I have to say it wasn’t always easy for me to let John lead. When he and I married in 1990, I was a single mom of a little boy. I was used to making all the rules, so allowing John to lead was really a struggle.
I wanted to set Cory’s bedtime. I wanted to set the rules for discipline. I thought I knew best; after all, I was the mom, and I read all the parenting magazines.
Over time, I realized Cory needed his dad to be a leader. (Otherwise how would he know how to lead his own family some day?) So I stepped back, and John led the way. He was firmer than I was but also full of grace and compassion. He made our son toe the line, and amazingly Cory started acting better and obeying better, and all of our relationships grew!
It was harder, though, letting John lead me spiritually. I was the one who listened to Christian music all day. I was the one who attended Bible study at church. I was the one who had shelves full of devotional books. I made suggestions of how we should do devotions, or pray at dinner, or have family worship time, but the louder I got with my suggestions, the more John pulled away. This frustrated me to no end!
I clearly remember one morning during my personal quiet time when I felt God’s whispers, telling me I was doing a horrible job at being John’s personal Holy Spirit. What?! I was just trying to help … wasn’t I?
I knew then I needed to pray—and to keep my mouth shut. So I did. And things got better. When I stepped back, John stepped forward. He didn’t do things my way, but he was leading and we were drawing closer to God and each other.
Even today, there is a struggle, but I’m working at it. These are things that allow me to help my husband lead on a daily basis:
1. Praying for God to give John wisdom and praying for my tender heart, so I’ll follow.
2. Instead of giving my opinion, asking John for his advice. He’s a very smart guy when I take time to listen!
3. Encouraging my husband when he’s making great choices. For example, when John suggested we read and pray together in the morning, I made sure I was ready and available to do that … even if kids were running around and dozens of other things needed to be done.
4. Providing courage. I’ve learned the men in our lives are often afraid of failing, so it’s easier for them to do nothing than step out of their comfort zone. I try to let John know I’m willing to stick by him and to cheer him on. I also ask what I can to do support him, and I try to follow through.
Letting our husbands lead is a lot of work, but it’s what God asked us to do. It’s also a great example to our kids as they see me giving preference to my husband, and they see John loving and providing as only he can.
P.S. That little boy? Well, he’s grown now, too. And he’s leading his wife and baby son, just like he saw his daddy do.