How can you be the spiritual leader of your house? The Biblical model that God gave us of men being the spiritual leaders in the church and home is not being followed by many Christian men today.
“But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.” — 2 Corinthians 11:3
Countless married Christian men have become “spiritual sissies.” TThese men have their tail between their legs, and their wives have them by the collar. Many of these men have allowed their wives to call all the shots, and they just follow them around like a lost puppy waiting for the next treat. In many cases, it’s not because the wife wants to act this way, but because she doesn’t have a choice; her husband simply isn’t stepping up. This is certainly not how you can be the spiritual leader of your house. This is the exact opposite!
Don’t get me wrong: I am not being a chauvinist with these statements. Women have a significant role to play in God’s kingdom and the home. They are equally gifted in many areas of ministry and the house. The Bible gives us many examples of women God used mightily for His kingdom.
But unfortunately, men are doing it all wrong! The stereotypical view of a Christian man today is someone who is too frail to stand up for their God, their marriage, and their family.
The Beginning of Spiritual Leadership
When I was married, in 1990, my wife was far more mature than I ever thought about being. Some might say she still is. But since I became a Christian in 2003, our roles have reversed.
During the first thirteen years of our marriage, my wife was raising me. I mean that in the sense of the way you raise a child. She always had to mold me, scold me, and hold me just like a kid. And I came to the point where I liked it. The day before I got married, my mom made my bed. The day after I got married, my wife made it. I had just gone from one mom to the other. I was the biggest sissy around. My wife was my mom, not my soul-mate. She spent many years training me to become a man. It didn’t work too well because that isn’t the biblical model, and I think over time she finally stopped trying and just let go.
In the early years of our marriage, when people asked us about having kids, I would jokingly say, “She has to raise me first.” What I later realized was that it wasn’t a joke. Not a good way to be a biblical husband.
Learning more about TRUE Spiritual Leadership In The House
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” (Ephesians 5:25-31)
After I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I began to read what the Bible says about being a good Christian husband. What I found was that I wasn’t even close to the biblical model, and neither were most of the men I’d met in church. But after reading about what kind of husband I needed to be, I found out quickly, that doing it was different than knowing it. I had thirteen years of bad habits to get rid of and an old, comfortable routine that would draw me back way too often.
Becoming the husband that God wants me to be, thus far has been the biggest challenge for me in my Christian walk. I have made a lot of mistakes and have let my wife down more than once. So, for me to start trying to assert my newfound “spiritual head of the household” attitude…well, it was going to take time, a lot of prayer, and tangible actions that were much different than what I had shown in the past.
How Can You Be The Spiritual Leader Of Your House?
“Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.” (Ephesians 5:33)
In my marriage, as well as many Christian marriages, there is a misunderstanding of the text Paul gives the Ephesians about marriage. He tells men to love their wives as Christ loved the church and to love their wives as they love themselves. He then tells wives to respect their husbands.
Unfortunately, the way that we tend to read this passage is like this: “I will love my wife when she respects me.” And the women read it as “I will respect him when he loves me.” This causes us to live in the vicious cycle of insanity.
You have husbands and wives, arms folded, back-to-back, telling each other that they will do what God commands when the other one breaks. In other words, there is a reward for obedience and consequences for disobedience. That’s not what Paul was talking about!
In verse 25, Paul says” love your wife as Christ loved the church!” The way that Christ loved the church was sacrificially, till death, even when He knew not everyone loved Him! In the same way men, we are to love our wives sacrificially. In other words, we love our wives whether she respects us or not! That’s true sacrifice!
Love Your Wife By Leading Her Spiritually
So, men, love your wives! Start doing something different than what you are currently doing. Stop the vicious cycle of insanity! How can you be the spiritual leader of your house? Sacrificially love her. Give up YOUR time to spend it with her. Give up YOUR hobbies, to share in her hobbies. Sacrifice YOUR rest to give her rest.
What you will see over time is respect! The closer you get to looking like Jesus through His word, prayer, and lifestyle, the more she will respect you! Make this your goal: Out serve your wife!
Author: Jody Burkeen is the Founder of Man Up God’s Way and Pastor of Ignite Church.
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