Ya know what’s weird? I’ve talked to lots of women who claim that they want their husbands to take up the role of “spiritual leader” in their household. That makes sense. But what’s weird is that I’ve talked to a bunch of men whose wives simply won’t let them lead.
My wife and I are planting a church. You probably know that. But I am sure you have no idea how important she is to this whole process. I’m a guy. Once I came home from a conference and did not notice that she painted the living room a different color. I try not to leave my underwear on the floor and I try to do the dishes. But, honestly, that type of stuff just isn’t a major deal for me. I think I could live in a house with four rooms. I have to work at valuing the stuff Robin values.
I know my wife likes her nest to be in order. She takes value in stuff like flower gardens and fresh paint. It’s all part of the security piece that is one of her greatest needs. (His Needs, Her Needs: Building and Affair-Proof Marriage, Willard F. Harley. READ IT.)
Awhile back I went to her and told her that I felt God stirring me up for something. I told her about starting a new church, reaching new people for Jesus, and walking away from things like a matching retirement fund, expense account, health insurance and a salary. She immediately started praying.
I’ve recently talked with several men who want to be involved in planting this new church. They want to pioneer and build and put their faith into action. But each of them has told me that the main thing holding them back from stepping out in faith is their wives.
Soon after she told me she was excited about what God was leading us into and that she would support me however she could. She reminded me that she sees me as the spiritual leader in our home. Her actions have consistently backed up her words throughout our entire 26+ years of marriage. The Lord has used her to develop leadership in me.
So here’s what’s weird. I’ve recently talked with several men who want to be involved in planting this new church. They want to pioneer and build and put their faith into action. But each of them has told me that the main thing holding them back from stepping out in faith is their wives. Their wives like where they are and are comfortable and simply won’t support or encourage their husbands to take the spiritual lead even though they claim it is important to them. It is like they are saying, “Yes, you can lead as long as it doesn’t effect me. You can lead our family only into what I want.”
In Why Men Hate Going to Church, author David Murrow contends that the church caters to women, children and the elderly by creating a safe, predictable environment. This alienates anyone fond of risk taking, including young men and women, but men are affected most.
Ladies, you might love singing the ” Jesus-is-m- boyfriend” types of choruses in your chick-flick style church where you can sign up for class after class, read book after book and schedule walk-and-talks with your friends, but we men are wired to be about mission, building and meeting goals.
If you want a spiritual leader in your husband it might be time to step back and encourage him to change the world for Jesus. Will you let him lead?
Maybe we men would like to sing “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” and stop dating Jesus.