Humility. It's a word that's about as popular today with men as the word submission is with women. However, any man who has tried to biblically lead his family for more than about fifteen minutes knows humility is an integral part of leadership.
When it comes specifically to leading your wife, approaching her with humility can be a challenge. It takes an intentional desire to put aside your own selfishness and see the bigger picture. More than anything else, your wife needs the security that comes with the knowledge that you are in your marriage for the long haul. She needs to know you're committed, not only to her for the rest of your life, but also that you're committed to growing closer to her for the rest of your life.
We need to be able, with all humility, to look at our performance as a husband and be honest with ourselves. To ask our wives what it is we're doing well and in what areas we need to improve. Let's be honest: that's a hard thing to do. But if you'll put on the cloak of humility that Christ provides and set aside your selfishness, you'll see the rewards are worth the effort. I would encourage you to take the following steps in order to bring your marriage relationship to a whole new level.
First, pray for a humble heart. 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 you need to seek forgiveness for from your wife. Say those words and seek forgiveness before you ask her 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".
Next, find a quiet place and the right time to ask your wife the following ten questions. They're taken from a book titled "Stepping Up: A Call to Courageous Manhood" by Dennis Rainey. I'd strongly recommend you get a copy and read it through. Understand that asking them and humbly receiving the answers from your wife will require you to be vulnerable, but remember: that kind of vulnerability takes initiative and courage. If you're ready, I would encourage you to take the initiative, perhaps set up a weekend getaway for you and your wife, and discuss these questions openly and honestly.
Finally, 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 to make you feel more loved?
- What could I do to make you feel more respected?
- What could I do to make you feel more understood?
- What could I do to make you more secure?
- What could I do to make you feel more confident in our future direction?
- What attribute would you like me to develop?
- What attribute would you like me to help you develop?
- What achievement in my life would bring you the greatest joy?
- What would indicate to you that I really desire to be more Christlike?
- 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.