“I want you to lead... but I want to tell you how!”
I heard these words come out of my mouth after a lengthy, and rather loud, discussion with my husband.
I have always thought the idea of my husband being the leader a good one. After all, it’s God’s plan for marriage. And in theory, having one leader is usually less complicated. I have even tooted the message myself to other women... but when it comes to living it out in my own home, in my own marriage, it’s just hard. And more often than not, I’m hardly living out my role as a wife the way God planned it.
I have discovered, after many discussions, arguments, disappointments, and un-met expectations, that I actually want to be the leader of our home, I just don’t want to be accountable or responsible for everybody in the end, so I keep saying that he must lead, just please do it the way I think you should. If my marriage was actually modeled after God’s plan, I would willingly come under the leadership of my husband who is ultimately responsible for our family. And by coming under his leadership, I have to actually respect God’s plan.
What would I not be doing in a model like this?
I wouldn’t be trying to manipulate the way he parents our children, by sending him hints about discipline, or even just straight out telling him how.
I wouldn't be waiting for him to earn my respect.
I wouldn’t be constantly questioning his walk with the Lord, and thinking he doesn’t read his Bible enough, (however much "enough" is... I’m not even certain.)
I wouldn’t be disappointed when he makes a difficult decision. Because, isn’t he supposed to be making decisions around here?
I wouldn’t be playing the comparison game. Or better named, the comparison SIN! Comparing him and our family with others around me, and finding myself discontented, or thinking about all of the areas we could be improving on and sharing them with him.
I wouldn’t be worrying about our financial future, because that’s his area as the leader.
I wouldn’t be nagging him to take a day off from work. Rather, I would be his biggest cheerleader, encouraging him to take pride in his work, and to do the best job he can.
I wouldn’t tune out his ideas because I find it difficult to be interested in all things mechanical – but I would actually try to understand what he’s talking about.
If being under the leadership of your husband sounds less than glamorous, or second best, or less-important to you somehow, or downright old-fashioned... check out the huge task we ladies have in front of us as wives:
We have been called to create a haven for our husbands to come home to. This one area encompasses so much diligence, commitment, and hard work. From clean clothes, clean toilets, cozy home decor, to well-balanced meals, all purchased and prepared within his income limits can be a pretty major undertaking, not to mention an incredibly time-consuming task.
If we are staying at home with our children, we are spending more time with his children than he is. He must trust us with their upbringing, discipline, and emotional/educational/spiritual needs. Eeeek! Us moms are the main influence in our kids lives. That could be a scary thought.
We are called to support his decisions as the leader.
To earn his trust, to become his closest confidante. If we do this wisely and with discernment, he will ask us what we think when he has a big choice to make, because he trusts our judgement.
We are called to be his best friend. A close companion. A person to enjoy life with. To laugh at his jokes, not mind the occasional teasing session, and just be in good humor with him.
We are called to be sober minded—to use common sense. To use our best judgement and skills to run our homes smoothly and in an organized way. This is huge!
To love our husbands. And this, for the man, translates as respect. Not balking his ideas. Not telling him how he could have done that better. Or worse, what a crappy job he ended up doing! To him, or any of our friends or moms. Yikes.
To find our life in his. To recognize that we have been called to be his helper. Not just a co-habitant of his who maybe competing for the next promotion or the next rung on the “success” ladder wherever. But to find our purpose within his purpose.
To be ministers to our husbands by being discreet and courteous, gracious, modest. He may be facing a very dark and sinful world out there in his workplace. His home shouldn’t be an extension of that dark world, if we are living for the Lord.
I hope we are all convinced (by the Holy Spirit) that being a wife, biblically speaking, is no second-class citizen, or less-important role. This is a huge calling, and hardly less important or menial. However menial it may seem on days when the laundry pile, is still a mountain at the end of the day, or the children are still testing us on the same issues they were last week. We have a high calling. Why do we keep shoving it to the side and competing for the role of leader? Because we sin. We want the control, just like Eve believed the serpent and didn’t trust that God actually did have their best interest in mind. She took matters into her own hands, and made a devastating choice outside of her jurisdiction.
I haven’t even come close to living this out the way I see our role as wives in Scripture. In my heart and mind, marriage is a daily laying down our lives for the other person. Just as husbands have been called to love their wives, even to death, as Christ did for the church, women are called to live in submissive obedience.
Lord Help Us.