by Kevin East
Many Christian men want to lead their wives spiritually, but they have no idea what that means. Many Christian women want to be led spiritually by their husbands, but they’re not really sure what it looks like to follow. Often times, what can result is a chaotic mess of unmet expectations.
Recently, I sat across the table from a young married man who wanted to know some practical ways to lead his wife. He went through a short list of what he was currently doing, but felt that was somewhat inadequate. After asking some men around him, he felt like the main question he got back was, “are you praying with your wife?”.
I’m glad some men want to fill the role in their marriage as spiritual leaders. Since God has called us, as men, to love our wives like Christ loved the Church, it is important that we put together some practical ways this plays out on a daily basis in our marriage relationships.
Here are a few ways I think men can lead spiritually in their home:
1. Pursue Christ. This is the foundation for good spiritual leadership. Before you try to start leading, you need to make sure you are following. Men whose hearts are humble before the Lord can be shaped by Him. Sit before God regularly, with His Word open, eagerly seeking to be purified and conformed into His image. Show her the importance of this in your life. That will translate into your relationship as well.
2. Find out who has led your wife spiritually in the past. Think about your life. Who made a distinct impact on you? Was it a youth pastor, college pastor, Young Life leader? Why did you learn so much from their presence in your life?
We all learn and are led differently. If you can find out those things about your wife, I think you will get a better clue of what it means to lead her. Your wife might love time together, just sitting and talking. In those times, significant conversations are had that give you the opportunity to care for her soul.
3. Honor her publicly. Speak highly of your wife. Don’t focus on her flaws or deficits. Be the man that makes your wife light up when you speak about her at meal tables with your friends.