Biblical Followership in the Home … For the Ladies!!
Leadership in the home is God’s plan, ordained by God, for HIS purposes. God is a God of order. Without strong and good leadership, there is chaos and disorder.
God has ordained that the husband is to be the leader in our home. This is delegated authority from God!
- We as wives tend to fight against this, because we think WE are a better leader than he is! OR, we don’t like to think of ourselves as being “under” him.
- Our picture of “LEADER” is like an army with a General; or like an office with a “boss” who tells you what to do, who could just be a tyrant.
But GOD’S PICTURE is of Himself, His Son, and we the redeemed of the Lord, the Church –
God’s picture is of a spiritual BODY – with Christ as the head and we the members….
- This is a very exalted, wonderful picture of what God wants in our home — the husband as the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church.
- How does this work out? For sure, the HUSBAND has the most difficult job! HE is likened to Christ! How would you like that position? Not me! What a huge responsibility!!
And we, the wife, are to submit to him ….. If there is a leader, then there will also be followers.
- Is it demeaning to you that you are a follower and not a boss? Actually, I like the idea that I’m not the boss, the head!! I’m glad that my husband has this awesome and difficult responsibility!
- This is what GOD has set before us!! I’m so glad that I can follow, support, stand alongside of him. I know I am his equal, as much a wonderful, fearfully-made human being as my husband is….. but we do have different roles/responsibilities…..
And as the head of the wife, the head of the family, God has said to the husband: “Love your wife!”
- The husband is commanded to LOVE his wife!
- The wife is commanded to submit to her husband!
- BOTH of them VERY difficult to do!!
I really like what a lady Bible teacher once said about this:
- God told the husband to love his wife, which is the hardest thing for a man to do.
- God told the wife to submit to her husband, and that’s the hardest thing for a wife to do.
Biblical Leadership from the husband calls for humility and submission to God’s will & purposes.
Followership from the wife also calls for great humility and submission to God’s will & purposes. BOTH are not easy; both have tremendous responsibilities; both require God’s help & strength.
A wife might say: if you had my husband, you’d find it extremely difficult to submit and follow….
A husband might also say: if you had my wife, you’d find it extremely difficult to lead and be the head!
Ladies, this is the way God has ordained it, and as we follow God’s ways we will be totally blessed – (let’s not think of happiness, remember? But blessed! Having God’s BLESSING upon us and our family!)
In his book, LOVE AND RESPECT, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs focuses on the last verse of Eph. 5:33… Paul is summarizing what he has taught in the other verses about Wives and Husbands. This is his (God’s!) summary: – “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
Here, the husband must love his wife – but it’s slightly changed for the wife: “the wife must respect her husband.” Let’s focus on that command for the wife for a moment:
What does it mean: to respect our husband….
RESPECT – to honour, to esteem, to hold in high regard, to defer to (when the need arises), ….
- To speak well of….
- To treat with consideration…
- To build him up and not to tear him down
- Ladies, too often we have the mindset: He has to win my respect!!
- Actually, that’s not true, because this is a command from the Lord! (God doesn’t say, “Wives, respect your husbands if and when he commands that respect.”)
- Does your husband have to WIN your love before he is to love you? Isn’t LOVE in the Scriptures unconditional love?
- Therefore, we need to look at this matter of respecting our husbands ALSO as unconditional respect.
- Now, that’s a hard one to swallow, isn’t it! But it’s so true, and I hope from this day onwards you will see that GOD wants you to RESPECT YOUR HUSBAND – yes, unconditionally.
“THERE IS GREAT POWER IN GIVING YOUR HUSBAND UNCONDITIONAL RESPECT.”
- What does this mean? It means that when we obey God in this command, and do give him the respect, honor and esteem which God intends for us to do, then God’s blessing will flow!
- Our husband will feel energized when he sees that we do truly respect him. (There are many examples of this in the “Love and Respect” book……)
This book dedicates 6 chapters to spelling out some of the characteristics of men – of your husband. I’ll just mention a few of them here, to give you an idea of “your man”:
- His desire is to lead
- His desire is to work and achieve
- His desire is to protect and provide
- His desire is to analyze and to counsel
As we respect our husband, and give him the mandate, the opportunity and the encouragement to LEAD, he will do it! And if he doesn’t, perhaps it’s because he feels you don’t really respect him or esteem him; or you’ve already taken over the leadership of your family; or you’re resisting his attempts to lead. And so he gives up, or gives it over to you…..
Let’s admit it: there ARE some men who don’t like to do this, or perhaps they’re so busy with work commitments that they feel they don’t have the time or energy to give to this leadership role.
OR: they don’t take the initiative; they don’t act decisively; he sees her as the more spiritual one, so let her do it.
- And they say to their wife: You lead!! You’re better at it then I am! OR: I don’t have time and energy for this (he’s so taken up with his job)….. etc. etc.
- What do you do then? You gently tell him, “No, you’re my God-appointed head. I still acknowledge YOU as my leader. I will help you as much as possible; I will support you and help you. But the buck still stops with you.” Tell him that! And actually do it – and see how he responds!!
- It’s NOT a matter of “who is more spiritual” – this is a matter of ROLES – the husband’s God-given role, which you must encourage him in.
- God has put “leadership” into the heart and soul of a man. This is how God has made him – to lead! A man has a mind-set to lead! When we as the wife don’t support this, don’t support him as the head of our family, then it demeans him and shuts out God’s blessing to him….
- So….. don’t take over – but build him up, encourage him, and you help him. You are his supporter, helper, his most important “cheer-leader”.
Another very important point that I want to bring out is this: let’s realize that many a man has a very low self-esteem. Yes, even a man who is very competent in his work/business; even competent in other areas, like chairman of a committee at church, or in the community, etc. etc. And yet in the home they feel incompetent:
- Do you see this in your husband? Many husbands feel inferior to their wives. They see in us efficiency, multi-tasking, many abilities, talents and gifts, more spiritual, ….. and they feel they have nothing to offer….
- Our culture so often puts men down – because women so often put themselves up!! Women are encouraged to exert their power, their individuality, their capabilities….
- What a lie for husbands to feel so low and inadequate!! They have SO much to offer if we’d only give them a chance, if we’d only encourage them, honour and esteem them.
- Let’s listen to this quote again: “Each spouse has considerable power to nourish or to starve the other’s personality.” Let us determine within ourselves to “nourish” our husband’s role to lead our family, not to starve him in this God-given role.
Frieda E. Roberts