Leadership. It should come easy to men and husbands, right? After all, they were created to lead and given dominion over the earth. The very nature of their office as husbands is to lead. And submission, it should come easier to women and wives, shouldn't it? After all, every man's and woman's first call is submission to God, right? A wife’s submission to her husband should be analogous to her submission to the Lord. Since her husband is not the Lord, she should not worship him nor follow him blindly into sin. How do you come up under your husband's leadership and cheer him on to victory when there are days you just want the answer to the question: How do I get my husband to lead?
We hear that question so often. Simply put, the answer is: let him. So often husbands don't lead because wives continually step up to lead in fear that things won't get done (or more likely, won't be done the way they want them done). Ouch. The more you step in and "save the day", the less inclined your husband will be to lead. Why should he? Especially if you are setting expectations for him that are higher than God's? I know that in our first marriage together, I had expectations for Scott that far surpassed God's expectations...they were unattainable. Little he could do was good enough, especially if he didn't do things on my timeline the way I wanted them done. We didn't have Jesus in our lives, so we didn't have any hope or tools to have the conversations we needed to have in order to do something differently. Guess how THAT turned out.
Scott's powerful challenge to husbands (to put on a cloak of humility, seek your wife's heart, ask the difficult questions, and receive the answers to be a better man and husband) in 10 Questions to Ask Your Wife caused me to stop and ask myself if I'm woman enough to do the same. Am I willing to take a long hard look at myself, then invite my husband to do the same, to help me better see the areas in my life where perhaps I'm not as submitted or respectful with my thoughts, words and attitudes as I think I am?
Before you corner your husband, pray for a humble heart. This isn't a grill session. Pray for a desire for submission to the Holy Spirit and His leading in your life. Pray for God to give you the words to say if there is anything for which you need to seek forgiveness from your husband. Say those words and seek forgiveness before you ask him the questions listed below. The questions will not lead to deeper intimacy between the two of you if there’s a proverbial “elephant in the room”.
Be prepared to react in a loving, humble and positive way, without being defensive and with the goal of seeking understanding. It will take your marriage to a whole new level!
- What could I do (or stop doing) to make you feel more respected and honored?
- What could I do to make our home more comfortable and safe for you?
- What could I do to make you feel more loved sexually?
- What could I do to make you feel that you are my top priority, second to my relationship with Jesus?
- What could I do to encourage and empower your leadership of our marriage and family?
- What could I do to to show you how much I need you and trust you?
- What do I do currently that esteems you, and what could I do to esteem you?
- What is holding us back from God's best in our lives and how can I help us be freed from it?
- Has God placed a dream in your heart that you haven't shared with me? How can I help you fulfill it?
- What mutual goal would you like to see us accomplish?
Remember, these are not questions to be asked lightly, or in the midst of the daily rush of life. Find some time together where you can be quiet and really discuss them openly and at length. Take the time to hear your husband's heart as you wish he would hear yours. Don't be defensive. Your husband may need time to think and pray about these questions, give him the time and space to do that. Remember that he is emotionally modest, be careful with his heart.
FamilyLife's Weekend to Remember is where Scott learned tangible ways to lead and I learned to submit with my words and attitudes. It's never too late to learn! This getaway will strengthen your marriage, and change your life, marriage and legacy. Find a getaway near you, register with our group code JOSHUA2415 for a discount!
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