When You Want Your Husband to Lead
By: Gina Smith
“…your desire shall be against your husband, and he shall rule over you.” - Genesis 3:16
Before I was married, the conversations I had with my single friends often revolved around the topic of what kind of man we wanted to marry. At the top of the list of qualities we were looking for was the most important quality:
He had to be a godly leader.
We were looking for our godly leader to come sweep us off our feet and lead us through life. We wouldn’t settle for anything less. And of course, we were ready to be led. Or so we thought. Oh, we meant well. It all sounded good. But the truth of the matter is that none of us really had a clue what biblical leadership really meant and none of us really wanted to be led. We thought we did, but if we had taken a closer look at the scriptures we would have seen the sobering reality that lies within every female heart:
Our desire is to rule over men.
“…your desire shall be against your husband, and he shall rule over you.” Genesis 3:16
One by one my friends and I got married. Off into the sunset we went! But it didn’t take long for us to see that we hadn’t married the leaders we had dreamed of. They weren’t doing it right. They weren’t doing it right at all. So, we decided it was our job to instruct them. We began to point out the ways in which they needed to grow in their leadership abilities, and if they tried to make any major decisions we questioned them.
I remember clearly the day that my husband and I sat in our pastor’s office. We had been married for less than a year and my husband was failing miserably as a leader — at least in my estimation he was. Discouraged and defeated, my husband willingly agreed to go with me to talk with our pastor about the problem. After we (I) stated our case, my pastor paused for a few seconds, looked at both of us, then directed his full attention to me and said very kindly yet sternly, “Gina, do you realize that there is more than one style of leadership? Brian has a particular personality and will lead you in his own way. He is growing in his leadership abilities and you need to allow him to do that.”
I was completely humbled and ashamed at how I had been treating my precious husband. I had been so busy holding him to an ideal of what I thought leadership should look like, that I had missed all that my husband was already doing and what a kind, gentle, grace filled leader he had already been growing in to!
We have now been married for 31 years, and I have seen this scenario with young dating and married couples more times than I can count. I often feel sorry for the men I have seen who are carrying the burden that their girlfriends or new wives unknowingly heap on their shoulders in the way I did my own husband all those years ago.
6 Things to Remember:
1. The man you marry will never be a perfect leader and you need to give him room for that.
2. The man you marry will be in a process of growth and learning until he dies (like you are!).
3. The man you marry has a unique, God given personality and temperament, and you need to give him room to be who God made him to be and allow leadership to show itself in the way he is meant to lead.
4. You need to be sure that you understand what true biblical leadership is and work hard to not impose your interpretation of what you think it should look like.
5. The best thing you can do for the man you marry is pray for him and ask God to help him to grow in his understanding of what biblical leadership is and how he is to live that out.
6. Pray that God would help you see any effort that your husband makes to be a leader and then be sure to tell him how much you appreciate it.
Just a few months ago my son got married. He has been learning how to lead his wife. He is not perfect and never will be, but he knows his calling and is making efforts. He has begun his journey of learning his calling to lead. He has joined my husband in one of the hardest callings on this earth. My goal is to encourage him in his efforts as much as I can. He’s had a great example in his father. I pray that God will enable my son to learn his calling well in the same way he has guided my husband.
Gina Smith is a writer and author who has been married for 31 years to Brian, a college professor and athletic trainer. For the past 20+ years Gina and her husband have served on a Christian college campus as the on campus parents, and her husband has been a professor and dean of students. They have lived on the campus where they raised both of their now-married children. In her spare time she loves to write, writes for several websites, and recently authored her first book “Grace Gifts: Practical Ways To Help Your Children Understand God's Grace". She also writes at her personal blog: ginalsmith.com.
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Originally published Tuesday, 08 November 2022.