When you were courting your wife, she was worthy of speaking to yous on any topic at every level, wasn’t she? Think back to those heady days of dating. You couldn’t drink in enough conversation from the young woman you knew you were going to marry. You loved hearing every thought, every hope, and all her deepest dreams. You were learning her, and it was a thrilling, rewarding experience. Every opinion was a lovely thread in the tapestry she wove around your heart. But that was then; this is now. Somehow, somewhere, and at some nebulous point in time, things changed’
No guy would ever envision tuning out his lover before the wedding day. But in marriages all across the fruited plain, countless men snuff out the voices of their wives seeking to express themselves.
What this does to marital oneness isn’t pretty. Snuffing out your wife’s voice is a sin against her. It’s also a sin against God, because it discards and hinders His purposes for her voice in His kingdom.
Relationships, like people, go through stages of development. Therefore, I’d no sooner suggest that you recreate the first months of dating than I would for you to try becoming a teenager again. I’m simply suggesting that, somewhere along the way, most of us have lost sight of something wonderful’something worthy of being reclaimed: an eager excitement to learn our wives. Men, our wives are precious jewels ‘ don’t overlook and fail to appreciate them!
When looking for ways to serve our wives, many of us would rather lay tile, or fertilize the lawn, than lead her spiritually. Why is that? Simple. We like to function within areas where we’re competent and comfortable. Unfortunately, providing spiritual leadership often isn’t one of those areas. Yet the fact remains: providing spiritual leadership is a vital aspect of our calling as husbands.
So where do you begin? How about developing a deeper understanding of God’s word. Men, as you become committed and competent students of Scripture, it’ll help establish two important things in your wife’s heart’both of which are crucial for your effective leadership.
First, your knowledge of Scripture will create a sense of security in your wife’s heart. She’ll be able to live in peace knowing you have the ability to bring the light of Scripture to bear upon those areas of life that are confusing, difficult, and scary.
Second, your understanding God’s word will raise your wife’s level of respect for you. As you wrestle with scripture, and demonstrate your commitment to bring God’s truth to bear upon the life of your family, your wife will have reason to respect and rest in your leadership. She’ll know she can trust you to do the best possible thing for her and your children.
Men, resources abound to help in this endeavor. Your pastor and local Christian bookstore will get you started, and Bible study groups can help you persevere.
Men, no one in your home should be better and quicker at submitting to what Scripture teaches than you. In a recent marriage class several women were asked, ‘What’s the one thing that impresses you most about your husband?’ One woman responded, ‘[My husband] is much quicker to submit to the teaching of Scripture than I am. He’s quick to fix anything in his life that he feels doesn’t line up with Scripture. He has always been submissive to God’s ways, and this makes me trust him and feel one with him.’
This woman’s husband leads by example. What could possibly be more fitting or effective? And did you pick up on the security this woman feels because her husband is receptive and responsive to God’s word? Guys, this woman’s not the exception; she’s the norm. When you submit to Scripture, it fortifies your wife’s trust and respect for you. And note the irony here: even though Scripture exposes your flaws, your wife’s trust and respect grows’as does her willingness to give you the benefit of the doubt when needed. So long, that is, as you’re submitting to God.
On the other hand, your failure to submit to Scripture invites disorder, confusion, and fear into your home. It puts a formidable stumbling block in your pathway to oneness’not only with your wife, but with all members of your family. To put is plainly, men, God is not pleased with spiritual leaders who harbor sin.