Who Is a Spiritual Leader?
Our online community at www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com often tackles many of the unique and challenging areas of living in a spiritually mismatched union. One of the common struggles we face has to do with spiritual leadership.
The spiritual direction of our home is monumentally important. We all wrestle with how to handle this issue well. In my own marriage this was an area of great confusion for me. Many difficult questions troubled my mind, such as,
• Do I wait for my husband to become a believer before setting the tone in our home for prayer and Bible reading?
• If I take any initiative to teach my kids about faith, will my actions be perceived as disrespecting my husband?
• Can I be the spiritual leader of our home and yet follow my husband’s lead in other areas of our marriage?
• Will my kids listen to me if I’m not the head of the household?
• Does leading spiritually make me the head of the household?
• Am I up to the task of spiritual leadership all on my own?
Tell me that I haven’t been alone in this! If you, like I have been, are in the midst of this kind of confusion, today I want to set your feet on a path to freedom.
Many years ago I heard this statement:
If your husband is unwilling to lead spiritually or has abdicated his position as the spiritual leader of your home, then God expects you, the believing wife, to step into this role.
Upon hearing this single sentence, I felt the cloud of confusion lift from my soul, and freedom flooded my heart. I will add that if you are raising children as a single parent, God looks to you to step into this role as well. Somehow I guess I needed permission to become the leader for my kids, and it came with those words. What a relief. But how do we step into this role and do it well?
It begins with our motives. The effectiveness of our parenting and successful navigation of our marriage greatly increases when we consistently check our motives. I had to ask myself, “Does my desire for my husband to lead our home come from a place that is me-centered or Christ-centered?”
Let me be specific. Here are some of my thoughts from years past:
• If only he would believe, he would help me get the kids ready for church.
• My life would be so much easier if only he was a believer.
• If he believed, I wouldn’t have to sit with each of the children tonight and pray with them. I wish he’d help.
• Going to church alone is so embarrassing.
Okay, I know I’m not the only one to have had these kinds of thoughts. But there comes a time when we must move past ourselves and truly focus on what is Christlike. Motives born out of love and humility will move us to wake the kids on Sunday morning and take them to church, even if we must do it alone. Out of a loving heart, you can say to your husband, “Sweetie, watch the television without me for an hour. I’m going to go tuck the kids into bed and say bedtime prayers.”
There are many ways you can build respect for your man and still quietly lead your family closer to Christ. More than anything, I go back to the truth of 1 Peter 3:1: win them over without words. Win your kids, your husband, your friends, your neighbor and a world that is lost and broken. Win them over with your boundless, crazy, passionate, fervent, zealous and adoring love for Jesus. When you love Jesus with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, over time it is irresistible to people. And that’s a promise.
~Not Alone, Lynn Donovan & Dineen Miller
CONVERSATION: Have you struggled, wondering do I lead my kids in faith or do I wait?
See you in the comments. Have an amazing day.
Congratulations to Gina M – our winner of Monday’s giveaway (I emailed you)!
Here’s our second giveaway of the week – 1 copy of