Husbands and wives have played tug of war over the issue of spiritual leadership in the home for hundreds of years. The bible tells us the husband is the spiritual leader, yet some wives feel that their husband doesn’t take the role serious enough. Being the spiritual leader in your home is more than choosing the church you attend or being the one who offers prayer at mealtime.
It is a Holy calling.
A man knows when he ‘misses the mark’ each time he is in church and hears the word of God telling him exactly what is right and what is wrong, yet he still may struggle getting it right in between church and home. It is a personal step he must realize himself, and commit himself in taking on this calling with determination.
His wife must do her part, by not ridiculing him or discouraging him, but go in private to pray for him. Praying for his spirit to be convicted. Pray that he will sense that something he is doing or allowing his family to do is against what God has for them or does not help them be closer to the Lord. Pray that he will have confidence in his faith and taking a stand for Christ – even when no one is around. Pray for him to be sold out for Christ, because he knows he can nothing in himself. Pray that he acknowledges his daily need for Jesus. That he recognizes the need to have alone time with God and have bible study. Pray that he put away the things of this world that are unGodly and do what will feed his spirit.
And then she is to leave it with God, trusting Him with her heartfelt desire and He will see her obedience as she is looking to her husband for leadership.
If a man is serious about being the spiritual leader, he must be committed and to be aware of what his actions say to his family – and what his actions say to God. Here is an excerpt from an article by Focus on the Family, with a guideline to help you be aware of what it means to be the spiritual leader in your household.
From Focus on the Family
If we are looking to Jesus Christ as our model, this can only mean one thing: the man is supposed to follow the path of a servant-leader. Jesus put it this way: “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:25-28).
A spiritual servant-leader, then, imitates Christ. He’s tuned in to his family’s needs and concerned for its spiritual welfare. He looks for ways to help its members grow in their relationship with God. He provides physical support, grace, and encouragement. He is ready to protect, help, and defend. In hard times and good times, in season and out of season, he’s ready to lay down his life for those who have been entrusted to his care.
What kinds of qualities are required in a husband who desires to fulfill this high and holy calling? First, he must have a strong connection with his Heavenly Father, finding his happiness in Christ first, realizing that he can lead effectively only if he maintains an intimate relationship with the Lord. He must be balanced in his commitments and nurturing in his concern for the mental and emotional needs of each family member. He must be proactive, spotting potential challenges to the welfare of his wife and children and coming up with workable solutions to problems. And he must be characterized by integrity, seeking to be the safest, wisest, and most respected man his family has ever known.
Guideline for the spiritual leader when you aren’t sure if something is wrong for you or your family
Ask yourself these questions before you make the decision to do what is in question:
- How does this affect my family’s welfare?
- Does it help them to grow in their relationship with God?
- Am I providing physical support, grace and encouragement?
- Am I protecting my family if I do this?
- Am I proactive in spotting the challenges my family faces?
- Am I providing solutions?
- Do I understand that God has entrusted my family to my care and am I giving them my best?