How to Lead Your Wife Courageously

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Let’s talk about how to lead your wife. In a small-group setting, the discussion circled back around to our sin-beginnings and the inevitable finger-pointing at Eve. My wife, intrinsically knowing better, leaned over to me and whispered: “The buck stopped with Adam. He failed to lead.”

Psalm 119:1-2: “Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart.”

Where The Buck Stops | How to Lead Your Wife

Scripture backs up my better half’s observation. It states Eve was deceived, but not Adam (1 Timothy 2:14). That begs the question: If he wasn’t deceived, what was his responsibility in protecting his wife from deception?

One answer I’ve always enjoyed retelling comes from Robert Lewis’ book Raising a Modern-Day Knight. Lewis asserts if Adam had been the action figure God had intended when the serpent began engaging with Eve, Adam would’ve pulled out the garden hoe and hacked that snake’s head off! This rendition of good conquering evil using Adam coming to the rescue always appealed to me as I’m sure it does most men. However, I recently realized the circumstance as described in the Bible, or by Lewis, should never have materialized in the first place.

How to Lead Your Wife Courageously

I believe the pivotal point of the story develops earlier in the day. Picture one morning during their usual morning walk, Adam and Eve stroll along the familiar path about to pass a small trail that previously garnered little attention. However, today, something caught Eve’s eye, pulling her gaze down the tiny offshoot. Perhaps it was the sunlight glinting through the canopy of foliage as the evaporating mist revealed an enticing segue to an unexplored area of the garden.

How to Lead Your Wife | Cole & Company

Whatever the attraction, the narrow trail’s appeal would not allow her to pass it by this time. So as Eve began veering off towards the postcard visual, she’s not thinking about where it leads but rather its allure… compelled more from a “feeling” rather than a purposeful “choice.”

Adam, on the other hand, fully aware of this route’s destination, should have promptly reached out and caught Eve by the elbow, pulled her back to his side and kept her from the mistake. His responsibility to his wife was to say: “No Eve, we don’t journey where that leads – we need to stay focused on the instructions God gave us.”

But no, sadly Adam just watched her turn and meander down the wrong fork in the road, not willing to say anything. Perhaps just content with the view from behind as he followed, he couldn’t summon the courage to challenge his wife’s decision.

Happy Wife, Happy Life….not so much.

I fear this to be a husband’s challenge, and I raise my hand high in identification. The happy wife, happy wife cliché, or don’t rock the boat, means a husband is guilty of abandoning his leadership role for risk of conflict.

Looking closer at scripture, I notice the wording of God’s curse at the end of the story mentions this. He charged Adam: “Since you listened to your wife…” Signaling what went wrong here, God directly indicts him with knowing better. Eve was deceived, but Adam shirked his responsibility. (Genesis 3:16-17) Thereby setting up the struggle we live with today.

Author: Daniel

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  1. Julian

    As an Enneagram 9 and habitual conflict-avoider, this resonates with me on such a deep level. I’m so thankful for your words and ministry. I’ve always identified with Adam as being the world’s first passive husband. So once again I’m confronted with the man in the mirror. Speaking up and leaning into conflict doesn’t come naturally to me but thank you for the reminder that God created men to lead and He calls me to do what Adam didn’t do.

  2. Paul Parmenter

    As a man, I (Most men I believe), want and demand respect. My wife will not respect what is disrespectful. If I’m actively living a sinful life and not the spiritual leader of my home by first and foremost LOVING my wife as Christ loved the church, then I’m doomed to have a house that is out of harmony at the least. Jesus, teach me and please don’t give up on me:)


    I too at times have not lead my wife or family in the right direction. This year I vowed to put God first in all things. My son (8) and I go to church each Sunday and try to when there are other services. My wife and 18 year old daughter really do not go. Some times it’s a conflict because they want to do other things on Sunday and not church. I told them we go to church on Sunday for what 2 hours? God has blessed us in many ways and we cant give him 2 hours 1 day a week? I want to show my son God comes first and as a man we need to be the spiritual leaders in the family. Ultimately it comes to the ladies making a choice of whats important to them, I just need to get on the road and pray God deals with their hearts to follow me.

  4. Kevin

    Yes, as Christians we are quick to point the finger at Adam who was passive and did not protect his wife from the deceiver. Rightly so. Yet, as men could we imagine how beautiful Eve had to have been? We need to remember after the creation of Adam, day after day, night after night, Adam was alone in a jungle. Yes, surrounded by incredible beauty and the very presence of God, yet he was alone.

    So, I know I am quick to judge codependent Adam but, haven’t we all as men been in the same situation? I have! That is why I need to work on the vertical relationship with God. Seems as though when I grow that relationship with God more and more daily, the more my wife sees me as a warrior. God Bless.

  5. Bene

    This picture of the garden situation, I feel, perfectly resembles my last 5 years. I feel I’ve tried, though many times imperfectly, to keep my wife from being deceived by the allure/feeling of alcohol…

    Today should be a good day however, because she is fighting against it. I should be rejoicing in her being sober for almost a week now. It is the longest I have seen her sober in the past 4 ish years. But last night, she expressed her desire and plan to still have it on occasion when she feels like it and expressed how much hurt she has experienced from my efforts to pull her away from the deception (my words)…and those statements alone have spiraled me into a depression of sorts.

    I have fought so hard and been through so much crap to try to keep her from the lies of the enemy. I have resolved many times that she would most definitely drink herself to death, but I was to love her through it.

    Right now, I feel like she is looking back at me (her efforts for sobriety) but still facing toward the lie (“I can control it the next time”) and she sees an Adam laying on the path that is completely torn down/worn out, injured/crippled from the fight, bruised and covered by a fog.

    I need God’s help for today. I cried out for it for most of the last 24 hours but just not feeling it myself. Would you please simply say a prayer for me. I believe it will help. I have support, but feel like I’m wearing them out with my ups and downs through the many relapses through recovery as of last 3 months.

    Thank you so much and may God richly bless you with even more insight from His gracious hand.

    • Tj Todd

      Would you and your wife be open to counseling?

      • Bene

        We had our first couple’s counseling on 2/11/20 and have it set up to be weekly. She has been going to 10ish hours of counseling a week for the last couple months and inpatient before that.
        I’m trying to work on myself and not blame, to find peace amongst the natural effects of alcohol and changes of behavior, to fight the enemy and not my wife, and to simply know what love looks like amongst the deception.
        Good times, heh.

        • Tj Todd

          Bene, that is awesome to hear. Please give us updates as you and your wife progress in the counseling sessions. We will be praying for that.

    • Jeff Maurer

      I bless you with positive energy and courage. The relationship comes first. Love the sinner, not the sin. I encourage you to pray on her behalf. Forgive her, for she knows not what she’s doing. You’re good enough. She is good enough. Forgive yourself. This isn’t your fault or your cross to bear. I would guess this is generational. You’ve identified it. And now, you are attacking it – not her. Lay it all at Jesus’ feet. You are NOT a burden to your friends. Don’t try this alone.

      • Bene

        I take every word to heart. Thank you. It is something I needed to read this morning and provides a reminder and direction.

    • Kevin Beasley

      Yes, I will pray for you and your wife.

      Have you heard of or considered CR? It is a 12 step Christ centered recovery for any hurt, hang-up or habit. You can look them up on the internet and find a local CR near you.

      • Bene

        I took the kids for the first time on 2/10.
        Despite the many tears and clingy moments before getting them to their class, they enjoyed it and are looking forward to going back (3of4 at least).

  6. David Satterfield

    Over the years I’ve taken my responsibility to lead my wife and children effectively. I’ve confronted, loved, lead, stood back, cheered, yelled, prayed, and paid. I’ve been loved in return, but I’ve also been shunned, threatened with divorce, accused of sins I’ve never committed, I’ve been stressed, light hearted, depressed, and happy. I wouldn’t trade it for an instant. It’s a fight of faith with ups, downs, victories, and losses! And it’s not over! My daughter has turned aside to sin and no matter how much I warned, she took the apple and ate! But I’m down for the struggle… satan has not won because me and Jesus are still here. Never give up! In the end the outcome is assured.


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