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Spiritual Leadership of a Godly Husband

by Brian and Julie Bruce

praying coupleWhat is spiritual leadership in the home? Why is it necessary? What does it accomplish? How is it shown? What is it Not? How can husbands today live out being a spiritual leader in a world of equal rights and feminist rights? Our next few posts will answer these questions and at the end of this series on Spiritual Leadership, we hope you have a clear understanding of what it means to be a spiritual leader and that you will have the tools and Biblical direction to know how to be the spiritual leader God has called you to be.

Many think the idea of men leading their homes as archaic, but husbands, God has called you to be the spiritual leader in your home. As a Christian man, you may have the desire to lead your home in a way that glorifies God and allows your home and your family to be a testimony to others. After all, the marriage relationship is a picture of the relationship between Christ and his church. He even refers to the church as his bride. Revelation 19:7 says, “Let us rejoice and exalt and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready.” We know that Christ sacrificed himself and lovingly chose the church (Christians) as his bride and husbands are to do the same for their brides.

Perhaps you’ve tried before and failed. Sacrificing and loving is difficult! However, failure should never stop you from pursuing the God-given mandate of leading your family. Instead, pray and ask God to help you lead your family. You’ll never be able to do it on your own, but with Christ, who gives you strength and wisdom, you can do all things.

If you need some encouragement to begin being a spiritual leader in your home take a moment to imagine…If men began to lead like Christ, what kind of revolution do you think would happen in our world? How would spiritual leadership in our homes be transformational across our country? How would families be different? What about the behaviors of our children? Would there be a need for foster care? What would happen to the number of divorces? Could a revival be born simply from men obeying the call God gave them to be spiritual leaders that would sweep across our nation?

When husbands step up as the God-called spiritual leaders in their home and lead like Christ, marriages would be radically changed. Sons will learn from their father’s example how to love like Christ and develop a strong understanding of Biblical principles. Daughters learn how a man should treat her, love her, and take care of her. Family debt would diminish. Homes would experience joy and peace and bring glory to God. Selfishness would change and we’d put other people before ourselves and we’d put God first in all things. Spiritual leadership is not a choice…it’s a necessity and a command from God.

Ephesians 5: 22-31 provides us with God’s directives on spiritual leadership in the home.

Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body. Now as the church submits to Christ, so wives are to submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word. He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless. In the same way, husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own flesh but provides and cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, since we are members of His body. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.

Husbands, what does this passage mean for you?

In your mind, what does it mean for your wives to submit?

How could this look in your home?

How “doable” do you think this could be in your marriage?

We will address the idea of wives submitting to their husbands in a future post, but for now, we’re going to break apart the husbands role as spiritual leader. Let’s first look at the word, “lead,” which is defined as “to go before or with, to show the way; to influence; to guide in direction, course, action, opinion.” Does this definition change the ideas you had about being a spiritual leader? If you “go before or with” it gives the idea that you have already been there and now you’re going to lead your family. In other words, you’ve already surrendered your life to Christ. You’ve found the best way. Now you’re going to bring your family alongside of you to walk the Christian-life path together. You’re going to show them the way to Christ. The lifestyle you live will be an influence on their lives as you guide them in the direction to Christ and in leading them to live a Christian lifestyle themselves. You lead by example.

Do you find the job of being a spiritual leader easy or intimidating? Read the lyrics to the song entitled “Lead Me” by Sanctus Real or listen to it here:

I look around and see my wonderful life
Almost perfect from the outside
In picture frames, I see my beautiful wife
Always smiling, but on the inside
Oh, I can hear her saying
Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can’t
Don’t leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, but what about us?
Show me you’re willing to fight
That I’m still the love of your life
I know we call this our home
But I still feel alone

I see their faces, look in their innocent eyes
They’re just children from the outside
I’m working hard, I tell myself they’ll be fine
They’re independent, but on the inside
Oh, I can hear them saying
Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can’t
Don’t leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, what about us?
Show me you’re willing to fight
That I’m still the love of your life
I know we call this our home
But I still feel alone

So Father, give me the strength
To be everything I’m called to be
Oh Father, show me the way to lead them
Won’t You lead me?
To lead them with strong hands
To stand up when they can’t
Don’t want to leave them hungry for love
Chasing things that I could give up
I’ll show them I’m willing to fight
And give them the best of my life
So we can call this our home
Lead me ’cause I can’t do this alone

Father, lead me ’cause I can’t do this alone
                      Lyrics as performed by Sanctus Real

After reading the lyrics and/or listening to the song, how did the words of the song impact you? Could you relate to the words? Do you wife and children feel alone? Do they know you’ll stand when they cannot? Are they hungry for love? Are they still the love of your life?

Do you find the job of leading easy or intimidating? When we realize that we can be responsible for the eternal life of our wife and children, it is definitely intimidating. Perhaps you feel you are not capable of leading. This song reminds us, we can’t do it alone. However, we can cry out to God and say, “Father, lead me, ‘cause I can’t do this alone.”

Jesus tells us in Luke 11:9-13 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Any time you feel you are struggling with leading your family, remember “ask and it will be given to you.” You can also remember that the God who gives us good gifts gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit who is the greatest counselor and he lives in us. Additionally, James 1:5 tells us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” So be encouraged! God does not leave you to figure it all out on your own!

Our next post will look at what a spiritual leader is NOT. Then a third post on this topic will look at what a spiritual leader IS. Until then, begin to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom and understanding to know how God would want you to lead your family. It’s ok to tell God you can’t do this alone. He’s eagerly waiting to help you!

 

 

 

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