The days of childhood games are long gone, yet the words still ring in your ears: “Come out, come out, wherever you are!” Why does leadership in the home sometimes feel like a game of hide and seek? What’s to be done when a husband isn’t leading?
The path of wisdom is pursuing the blueprint of God’s original design for the home. Here are four practical guidelines:
Purpose to talk to God, not others. As wives, we’re often tempted to use our words to make our points known. A disappointment or unmet expectation compels us to bemoan “the way it should be.” Hurt builds, crowding the heart and leaving no room for grace or forgiveness. Even unvoiced longings echo in our thoughts. Yet Scripture gives clear direction; sharp words or decisive action isn’t the answer. Nehemiah shows us a better way. He poured out his desires to the Lord alone for four months before ever uttering a word to the king about his request to rebuild the wall around the city of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 1:12:4). It is our communion with the Lord, not our words, that makes a difference in wooing our families’ leaders (1 Peter 3:12).
Release him from expectation. At the core of every husband’s heart is a desire to meet his wife’s expectations. In reality, the pedestal we place him on is too high. No man can possibly be the Great Conversationalist, Avid Snuggler, Sugar Daddy, Spiritual Giant, and Family Man all wrapped into one. Your relationship will breathe in the fresh air of grace when the expectations are let go.
Anticipate the Holy Spirit’s work. Who’s the Holy Spirit here anyway? It’s possible you’ve taken on a role God never intended you to have. It’s His job to convict and guide in the truth (John 16:8-15). God created marriage to be a partnership of man and woman, each with gaps—in need of the other. Remember love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:7). What do you believe God can do in your husband’s heart?
Yield to encouraging moments. What godly behavior do you see in your husband? Is he caring? Protective? A lover of peace? Look for the moments when you see Christ shining through, and use your words to compliment him. Your support and cheers for how he exemplifies Christ will honor God as it honors your husband.
God’s aim in marriage is an astonishing proposal. He conceives a way to make two into one. He’s declared that a godly marriage symbolizes Christ’s relationship with His bride, the church (Ephesians 5:32). Seeking His desire for your family involves laying down your determination to solve things. And your greatest means of influence is through prayer.
Taken from Kelly Arabie, “When He’s Not Leading,” Insights (February 2007): 2. Copyright © 2007 by Insight for Living. All rights reserved worldwide.