By Rachel O’Neill, Contributing Writer
In a culture distinguished by feminism and passive manhood, it is an unfortunate consequence that men in the Church are also failing to lead their families. Frustrated Christian women everywhere want to know what they can do to encourage their husbands to lead.
You may have a husband who loves the Lord and is seeking to grow in grace, but no man is perfect. Even godly husbands have seasons in which they struggle to lead their families.
These moments are disheartening to the wife who longs to feel genuine respect for her husband. So what’s a God-fearing wife to do?
How to Encourage Your Husband to Lead
Oftentimes this is the first recourse when our husbands don’t meet our expectations. Not only does it fail to motivate the men in our lives, it further alienates them. Proverbs 21:19 states that “It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.” Fretful, stressed out reminders and complaints for your husband will never bring forth desirable fruit.
Contrast this with Proverbs 25:15- “With patience a ruler may be persuaded, and a soft tongue will break a bone.” Does your husband’s passiveness seem an immovable mountain? Let gracious and kind words be on your tongue, and patiently wait on the Lord, with whom all things are possible.
When you are tempted to nag your husband one more time, hold your tongue, and instead turn to the Lord. Praying for our husbands softens our hearts to them. It also takes our problems to the One Man who can actually do something about them!
Furthermore, praying can expose sin in our own hearts. Frequently we become so consumed by the “speck” in our husband’s eye, that we fail to observe the planks in our own. Is there unresolved sin that you need to repent of? Run to Christ- for forgiveness, assistance, and fresh courage to face your circumstances!
Do what is right.
It’s interesting to note that 1 Peter 3:1-2 encourages women to win over their disobedient husbands not by words, but by their respectful and pure conduct. When a husband is struggling to do the things he ought to be doing, he will often be encouraged to action by the quiet faithfulness of his wife.
Oh ladies, by no means are any of us faithful at all times- we all have seasons of failure and struggle. But when we are discouraged by a lack of leadership, quietly focusing on filling our own role can keep us busy and encourage our men to aim for the mark. Making a point of faithfully being in the Word and prayer, seeking to serve our husbands with joyful hearts, and caring for our homes with diligence are good ways to keep our eyes on Christ, leaving our husbands to His care.
I should briefly mention that 1 Peter 3:1 contextually seems to be addressing men who have heard the Word, and are still living in disobedience. There is certainly a proper time to graciously confront your husband with the truths of Scripture, especially if he has never before heard them! After the communication has been clearly made, our recourse as women seeking to honor the Word is to continue in quietly obeying it ourselves. By all means, speak the truth to your husband! Just remember that it is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict and bring about real change, not yours :).
Okay, experienced wives! How do you gently encourage your husband’s spiritual leadership in the home?