For years I longed for my husband to be the spiritual leader of our home. I asked for it, demanded it, cried for it, waited for it and complained for it. But “it” never transpired. The church preached it, books eluded to it but no one explained it – well, unless you count the long list of do’s and don’ts. “It” was elusive.
We were not raised in environments where spiritual leadership was demonstrated. Perhaps you weren’t either. What I’ve learned through working with inmates is that context creates the environment for understanding. For example, I’m currently working with a former incarcerated youth who upon release had no understanding of career. Job, he understood. His family had jobs. Jobs pay money. Jobs are hard to find. Jobs don’t pay enough money. Jobs are for a select few. He got out of jail and got his first job. However, when I stopped by his job and said, “What do you want to do for a career?” He stared at me blankly. His environment didn’t create a place of understanding. It’s the same for spiritual leadership. I knew our family needed it. My husband knew our family needed it. But what exactly did “it” look like? Funny how Satan can use a godly thing to make us run with exhaustion. We had no idea what we were running after, we just knew we needed to run and run hard.
We are less than four years away from an empty nest and I finally know what “it” looks like. Dad’s do you want to know what it looks like to be the spiritual leader of your home? Husbands, do you want to stop your wife from pressuring you to rise up and lead? It can be summed up in one word- Listen. That’s it.
Listening is the foundation of spiritual leadership within the home. You may say, “I’ve been listening to her for years and she’s driving me crazy!” Sorry girls, you’re the wrong source for this foundation.
Not too long ago I asked my husband to pray for me before I went into another jail facility. A long pause ensued as I settled in under his hand. It was so long that I had to ask him if he was still awake. He responded with, “I’m listening and I haven’t heard anything yet.” When he did pray what he heard God saying, I was moved, floored, surprised, encouraged, strengthened and felt greatly valued by God and my husband.
His ear to hear The Lord IS spiritual leadership. It sets the tone and course for all of us. Had we known then what we know now it would have saved us years of heartache and pain. It would have saved our children years of heartache and pain too. We did the best we could as we strived to capture an understanding of spiritual leadership but too often we came up short. However, we also know that it’s NEVER too late to lead. It’s NEVER too late to listen. It’s NEVER too late to leave a legacy! And so he listens.
As my husband has learned to listen to The Lord he is listening better to me and to his kids. Isn’t that what a wife wants anyway?
So Dad’s here’s your homework: Go home and lay a hand on your child and pray only what you hear The Lord say.
Husband’s here’s your homework: Go home and lay a hand on your wife and pray only what you hear The Lord say.
That’s “IT”! Spiritual leadership in the home chiseled down to one word: Listen. I promise that you will see a transformation come about in your home as you do this one thing.
So throw out the stack of books that tell you everything you should “be” and “do” and implement this one thing of “listening. YOU will be transformed, and not because your wife has stopped pressuring you, although that will be the icing on the cake.