Becoming a Man She Can Follow: Restoring the Husband as a Leader
The thought of submitting your life to another individual can be intimidating. Women now live in an independent world where they are earning incomes that rival or exceed those of their spouse, do jobs that were once delegated strictly to the male, and enjoy all the freedoms — as well as the responsibilities — that any man has in society. Women have established themselves as very capable, powerful, and necessary influences in the modern world.
All these things are good.
However, in the process, men have sadly been demeaned and degraded, giving rise to the feminism so exalted among the modern female.
This societal norm is now governing most Christian homes as well.
Let me say that there has been no greater liberator of the female than Christ Jesus. Let me also say that “No, I’m not a feminist,” although I believe in the biblical equality of the male and female as outlined in scripture. Let me explain why. Feminism goes a step beyond biblical equality by denying the Godly order God ordained within marriage, by supplanting the male and usurping his position in the name of “equality”.
With that said, please understand as I preface this post, that this is not about whether or not women should work or assume leadership positions within their given profession. If that becomes your takeaway, there will have been a severe misunderstanding here. As many of you know, I am a professional woman myself. I need to clarify that this is not about pulling the rug out from under the female. On the contrary, this is about restoring the male to proper headship within the Christian home. The Christian home is the foundation of society. This is about godly leadership within the Christian home and family, which the bible has bestowed specifically to the male. That patriarchal pattern, since creation, has never changed. When the male position of leadership is supplanted or usurped by the female, a great vulnerability takes place by which the enemy gains an advantage and brings destruction. In this post we’re going to discuss how that happens.
Biblical equality and order between the male and female are not the same. This post is going to discuss how men and women can both successfully restore the biblical pattern of leadership within their marriage and family in a way that glorifies Christ and edifies each other.
Satan has tried hard to decapitate the head. That is where the attack on the family unit begins. Let’s recognize it for what it is.
In the rise of feminism, more women are leading their families than their husbands. The average man works alongside his wife. Some men even stay home with the kids. And although many of them may love it, they confess to struggling with the role reversal. Nagging thoughts of the need to provide for their families creep up continually. As for the women, they are equally as frustrated. Sadly, they struggle with time away from their children, their spouse, and the duties of their home which they often feel are being neglected — whether their spouse helps them or not. The truth of the matter is, when biblical roles are reversed, neither is comfortable with the outcome, despite their spouse’s help.
And then there is the spiritual aspect as well. I have listened to numerous Christian women complain that they are the ones carrying the spiritual weight and obligations in the home as well as doing full time work outside the home. They are the ones drawing the paycheck as well as the ones praying. They are the ones demonstrating the Christian lifestyle to their children. They are the ones leading bible studies and shuffling everyone to church on Sunday. They are the ones initiating relationship with Jesus and upholding the “biblical standard” that any nominal Christian home would seek to emulate. Fewer couples are praying together and forming a spiritual bond with Christ as a married couple. Wives complain that their husbands simply are not stepping into that biblical role. In fact, they are stepping back.
But why? There is a valid reason. And that is the question we want to answer today.
This is only one of the many factors contributing to the failure of Christian marriages. The divorce rate is equally as high as among those of secular status. Clearly, this was never God’s will.
Chivalrous Prince Charming vs. the Feminist Female
There is this silent confusion that men struggle with, yet only admit to when probed privately.
Does he become the kind of chivalrous gentleman who once made his wife’s heart swoon and head swim? Or does he bow to the feminist female who demands “equality” — not merely in society, but in their home as well? And if he’s going to bend with that modern cultural and societal norm, what does that look like, what does that mean, and how does he accomplish that as a Godly man — and still function as the leader of his home and as a successful male within society?
Ladies, the lines are incredibly blurred. Many men find they can’t, or struggle to know how. This is no longer isolated to the professional arena. So, where does that leave the male influence within the home?
I will tell you: Men are feeling lost and displaced within their own families. And women are feeling isolated within their marriages. Whether they realize it or not, they’ve degraded themselves by devaluing their men in favor of a feminist ideology. Many modern women live very independent lives — regardless of their marital status. Whether single or married, they may very well feel that they don’t need a man, although they may desire one. A man’s ability to lead, guide, protect, and provide has been so undermined in this feminist age, that women have silently assumed those roles upon themselves. However, when a man feels he is no longer needed, the suffering goes incredibly deep. Ladies, there is nothing that could be more insulting to a man than for his wife to live as if she didn’t need him. To be wanted is great, but to be needed is something every man genuinely requires if he’s going to be a man. Period.
In an attempt to give women freedom, which is not wrong, biblical roles for the male and female have overlapped to the degree that men are no longer respected as the leaders of their homes, families, or society — nor are they expected to become those leaders. That presents a very unfortunate displacement for the male. Men are not only competing with women in the workplace, but they are now competing within their own homes as well.
This cultural blur, which is the new norm for modern society, stealthily bleeds into the Christian family very easily. Yet, the bible is not blurry at all. It draws very clear and distinct lines for the roles of men and women, and that of a husband and wife. And although Christ brought a beautiful and liberating equality between the male and female, He did not erase their established order within creation, which governs how a home and family should function and operate within His kingdom.
In this post I want to restore the husband to his rightful position as the leader within the Christian home and family. Ladies, don’t crucify me yet. This post will set you free as well. So, I beg you to read it. It may be one of the best things you do for your marriage. And gentlemen, you’ll be grateful — because by the end of this post you’re going to find yourself celebrated and restored.
Women’s Rights and the Age of Feminism
There has been plenty written on women’s rights, women’s lib, and the Age of Feminism. However, in the wake of those messages and movements the male has been dumbed-down, demeaned, degraded, and yes — even dumped as more women choose to forego marriage in favor of personal aspirations. That is far from the biblical equality Christ demonstrated, purchased, taught, or achieved. In fact, it is a gross perversion of what the Bible teaches. As a result, men everywhere have silently suffered — whether they’re going to admit or not.
The modern male has been sadly and inaccurately portrayed as an impotent fool when it comes to matters of the home and family. The male has been so dumbed-down by society that the term “male bashing” has become commonplace. The media is, by far, the biggest push for this male-bashing message, creating male role models that don’t know how to lead, or who conversely “lead” their families and homes into the folly and foolery that bring utter chaos and destruction. The media has traded Prince Charming for a blithering idiot, Romeo for a faltering buffoon, and the chivalrous knight for an insensitive moron. In short, males are made to look silly in comparison to their female counterparts, who are portrayed as being brilliant. And that is nothing shy of degrading and insulting to any man.
Quite frankly, it’s embarrassing for us as women. I, for one, am deeply grieved with what I see happening to our men. It’s so common, in fact, that many scarcely notice it or call it to attention. That reveals clear signs that this new societal “norm” is no longer being effectively challenged by the Church.
The degradation of the modern male has led to many of them slinking into an imaginary hole. It’s brought unnecessary shame and obscure feelings of failure. The social stigma attached to this portrayal is something that has silently labeled men as incapable and incompetent among their female counterparts. It has created an underlying contest that destroys God’s design. Young men are reticent to assume the role of a husband or father, hence the increase of single mothers. And more women are reticent to marry in favor of powerful careers. This backward imbalance contributes to the moral breakdown of society.
The enemy has gone to great lengths to destroy the family unit. It is no surprise that he’s targeted the head of the home, who is the male, and elevated the female to such a proud and independent status that she no longer requires his leadership. Satan has achieved an inversion of God’s design. Ladies and Gentlemen, that deception is one we absolutely cannot afford. Men, I will boldly assert that we do need your leadership — and we need it desperately. We need you to be men. God created you to be the head for a reason, and when women supplant your God-given position, they do themselves a grave injustice and severe disservice. They insult God. They insult you. And they even insult themselves. Ladies, let us not forget from whom we came, and by Whom we were created.
Many women now live as if they no longer need men. Gone are the days when women were dependent upon the male for success in society. Gone are the days when the greatest compliment you could pay a Lady was to call her Mrs. ____________. In fact, gone are the days of the Lady. Where are they?
It’s so sad. They still call it a man’s world, but if he’s leading at all, it’s often from behind — at least when it comes to the Christian home. As for women, they’ll happily take up for themselves. And we wonder why men everywhere have silently stepped down. When a woman is no longer enough for a man to validate his worth, and he’s suddenly needing muscle cars and pornography — there is a serious problem. Ladies, there could be no greater compliment to a man than for him to have a Lady worthy of his honor upon his arm. That’s where you must learn how to build him up and bring him the glory he deserves. Just as the Bride of Christ honors and glorifies her LORD, so we as women are created to bring glory and honor to our husbands. That kind of encouragement cannot come from anyone else or anywhere else. And if your man has to try to obtain is elsewhere — you’re both in trouble. God created you for that special purpose. What he needs can only come from you. Learn to celebrate your man. As you do, you will also find yourself celebrated.
The male figure in society as a whole has suffered. As a result, men are no longer the men women want them to be. And what do we want, really? We as women are still very much attracted to men who exhibit their God-given strength and chivalry for which they are purposed and expected to demonstrate. But truth be told, there’s no longer a place for those men in the modern woman’s world — unless that woman creates a place for them. And Ladies, that is precisely what we’re going to do in this post, because when you’re no longer honoring, respecting, and celebrating your husband — you may as well just castrate him. He feels it — trust me.
This post is boldly calling men to stand back up and step into position. And I’m going to discuss how they can do that biblically. This post is calling women everywhere to celebrate their husbands by helping to establish a place for their men to lead them in Christ. That happens through respect, humility, and yes — submission. Ladies, if that term scares you, then there’s something fundamentally wrong with your theology, or perhaps your psychology if you’ve been abused. No doubt, this can be a delicate subject. So, I’m also going to discuss how a godly woman should foster that leadership for her man so he can be who God has called him to be. There is a proper biblical place for the woman alongside her husband. This biblical balance of “inter-dependence” is one God intended, created, and designed. And it works beautifully when couples understand how to live within the biblical order that is outlined in the scriptures.
The Art of Following
Christ followed His Father with an unquenchable hunger and desire to perform His perfect will on earth as it is in heaven. He even said it was His “meat” to do the will of His Father. It was His sustenance and satisfaction. He sought His Father diligently, avidly, and even tirelessly. He demonstrated for every believer what it truly means to follow God. Out of His intimacy came His ability to follow, and out of His submission came His ability to lead with great precision. Heaven came to earth. The perfect will of God was performed. When He breathed His last He was able to finally utter, “It is finished.”
The world has never been the same. That is the kind of leadership every man is called to demonstrate toward his wife and family.
With that said, Men, let’s go back to the opening statement of this post:
The thought of submitting your life to another individual can be intimidating.
Any modern woman who has bought the feminist message hook, line, and sinker is going to flinch at the biblical command of submission. It’s going to make her squirm with discomfort, and possibly even disdain. It may even incite rebellion with a flaming assertion of her own rights. It’s going make all her defenses go up. But let me remind you: All of these responses are bred by that deep-seated fear and distrust which have been brought about by one of two things: the modern male-bashing message or male-dominance. This fear and distrust is a natural response to what many women fear: subjection to abuse or the ineptitude that would put her at risk. These innate responses are a natural feminine response to self-preserve. This is why you must learn to become a man worth following. That is the core of what this post is about — restoring you to your rightful God-given position within the home and family which calls you to lead, guide, protect, and provide.
And with all due respect, no woman in her right mind would want that job, which is why so many are exhausted and frustrated when they try to fill your shoes. The problem is, men are not stepping into their own shoes because they believe women want them (thanks to feminism), and women have been duped into thinking they must wear your shoes if they are to survive in a “male-dominated” world. I assure you, both are utter falsehoods. Point and case: God did not create women for your role. Nor did He create you for ours. The shoes don’t fit. And although we may be capable enough to pull off some of your wits, the exchange is extreme. It’s unnatural and uncomfortable, causing undue physical, emotional, mental and spiritual stress that bleeds into the family and eventually society. For a time it may be fine when odds are against us and our spouse is in need. We can certainly pick up the pieces well enough. But as a consistent and indefinite lifestyle? Absolutely not.
We’ve already touched on the male-bashing message that degrades men. So I won’t repeat myself. Let’s move on to discussing the male dominance that terrifies every woman. Male dominance is centered in power, control, and intimidation which breeds abusive behavioral patterns and exacts broken relationships. It has absolutely nothing to do with godly leadership or biblical headship. Instead, male dominance degrades the female in every way: physically, emotionally, intellectually, and sexually. It is the inverse of the feminist message. Neither is God’s will. Male dominance is not the same as the biblical order God has outlined for the man, which puts him as the head of his home and family. Men who are power hungry with a lust for control are those who exhibit patterns of abuse. They are self-centered and narcissistic individuals. The patterns of behavior they demonstrate have absolutely nothing to do with the love, trust, and godly leadership that preserve and protect their wives, children, and families. Instead, they tear down, degrade, and abuse them in an effort to self-inflate their insecure egos. Male dominance is not God’s will or design for any man or husband — and certainly not for any woman or wife.
God intends that every man pattern themselves after Christ, who sacrificially gave Himself for His bride, who is the Church. Leadership is centered in servanthood and sacrificial love, which Christ demonstrated perfectly. Every Godly husband is called to emulate this. That is a tall order, and therefore a high call. It’s an enormous responsibility to be a husband, who is the head of his home and family, who are gifted to him by God. That position is one of great stewardship, requiring an intimacy with Christ by which you are enabled to properly lead, guide, protect, and provide.
First, before you can effectively lead anyone, you must learn to effectively follow. And unless you are following Christ, you will inevitably default to following another — whether it’s your boss, your pastor, your flesh, your wife, your movie hero, or your best friend. In this segment I’m going to discuss with you the art of following Christ intimately, and why your role as a leader in the home is utterly dependent upon that entirely.
This is where it all begins. This is where you assume a position of humility and surrender to Christ Jesus that keeps you wholly dependent upon Him. In doing so, you’ll find very quickly that leadership is really all about servanthood and sacrifice. Your wife and family depend upon you to lead, guide, protect, and provide for them, even as Christ leads, guides, protects, and provides for His Church. You are dependent upon Him — and that requires a humility that should daily bring you to your knees. That means hearing from the throne of God with an humble and obedient heart that seeks His will in all things, and an open ear that hearkens diligently to His voice when He responds or initiates a command. When you speak to your wife and children, they should rest assured you’ve heard from God.
Christ Jesus should always be the Head of your family.
Your relationship with Christ is what will govern your leadership within the home. That leadership is tiered. He is the Captain. You’re the sergeant. When your wife hears your final answer on any given matter, she should have the comfort of knowing you’ve sought Him diligently, and that you’re enlisting her help toward an agreement. If you haven’t heard God — then don’t expect her to submit to your answer. It’s still open for discussion, because your wife should be hearing from Him, too. She’s doing you no favors in blindly obeying you in matters unconfirmed before God. And if you’re both equally submitted to Him, she’ll provide the confirmation you need instead of a contrary opinion or a contest of wills. You should be able to seek God with the help and assistance of your wife, finding her to be your greatest ally and support. She’ll also provide the power of agreement in prayer, and again – the reassuring confirmation of His voice. Having her at your side should be a comfort and strength to you — not an interruption or contest that creates strife or division.
As the leader, listen for your wife’s input. Consider her. Be willing to ask her for help. Her wisdom, advice, and opinions matter greatly. She has life experience, intelligence, spiritual gifts and discernment in areas you may not be privy toward. So don’t disregard them. She’s a great gift to you. Her wisdom will serve you well. She will prove to be your fiercest ally and greatest support when she knows you’re diligently following Christ and seeking God for her and the well-being of your entire family. With that said, every wife should look to Christ in seeking God on behalf of her husband.
Men, your submission to Christ, and the level of intimacy you have with Him will ultimately determine your success in leading your home and family. You can only lead well once you follow well, and leadership is centered in the servanthood and sacrifice Christ taught and demonstrated for us all.
Your goal is to be a man she can follow. That servanthood and sacrifice is motivated by love.
Loving Your Wife
The command to love your wife as Christ loves the church is critically important. Because a woman cannot and will not — not should she — submit to a man who does not love her.
For that to happen successfully it requires a level of intimacy, mutual trust, and respect which are all grounded in God’s love. When couples are not genuinely in love, and when they don’t know one another, there are gaps in that trust and intimacy which leaves room for distrust and apprehension.
Men, you must understand the female heart. God has created us differently. From the time we are young, we naturally gravitate to you. We desire to be loved and wanted. Men who know how to play the game will offer affection, which women often interpret as love. Men will also offer attention, which women interpret as desire. However, neither may be true. Therefore, when women are played by men, a distrust takes place that scars us for our true love within marriage. Men, be prepared to deal with those scars in your wife. They are commonplace. If her trust of men has been broken, she may struggle. Your patient love is what she needs most.
It begins very young for the female. These patterns are established at an early age. I strongly encourage every man to read this post: The Emotional Intelligence of Young Girls: What They’ll Risk for Love and Affection.
It’s no mistake that God commanded husbands to love their wives. As women, that is our language of trust. God created us this way. And when that trust is broken, our world can easily shatter, especially when it orbits around you.
As women who are the weaker vessel, and as wives who are called to submit, we are innately vulnerable to our husbands.
Men, more than anything, your wife needs to trust you. The only way she can do that is if you love her.
Celebrating Your Husband
The LORD calls it worship in the context of Christ and His bride. The Word calls it reverence in the context of the husband and wife. But I prefer to call it “celebration”. I believe it’s a perfect word that represents what a woman truly does for her man. The term celebration is one that builds up. It conveys the love, joy, and honor she gives to him. It portrays a heart of gratitude and thanks. And it elevates and esteems you in the position to which God has called you to serve your family.
Ladies, celebrate him. Do it every day and in every way. Give him preference above yourself. Put him first, even as you would the LORD. Make your husband the priority in the home. Make sure your children see you celebrating him. The words you choose to speak, the services you provide your family, and your conduct toward him should always reveal your love, respect, and honor for your husband before your children and society.
The Word of God teaches us to submit to our husbands. When he is leading properly, there is no greater safeguard for you. When he is a man you can follow, you are truly covered by God. That is a beautiful and glorious place to be. When you can rest within your husband’s loving arms knowing he has only your best interest at heart. Yet know this: He can’t do it alone. He needs your support, your prayers, and your unwavering trust. He needs your love, your affection, and the honor only you can give him. Your position as his wife is one of critical spiritual support and under-girding. He should find great solace, comfort, and rest in you, and all that you do for him and your family.
Leadership requires submission. If the LORD is the One who is governing your family and home, His leadership should be evident within you and your marriage. Yet submission is a biblical term that has received a very poor reputation among women. And it’s one that men have often misunderstood and therefore misused, often ending in all manner of abuse. Submission is a term that causes women to bristle as if we’ve been stripped of every inherent freedom and right we’ve so diligently pursued and earned.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Again, that is a deception of the enemy.
Submission, in God’s terms, is a very safe place. This is where you are spiritually swaddled in His divine care and protected from the evil onslaught of the enemy. Within that humble and godly submission, God has created a place for you and your children that will ultimately shield you under His wing — if indeed your husband is hearing from God and following Him obediently. Again, that requires a humble heart of servanthood and sacrifice that seeks His face in all matters.
Does that mean you blindly obey? No. The scriptures are clear that you are to do so only in the LORD. If your conscience is grieved for some reason, you have an obligation to share that with your husband and pray it through. You belong to Christ first before you belong to any man. You are His creation and possession. He bought you with a price. No man is elevated above His position in your life, which is why your obedience to your husband is conditional upon this one thing — it must be “in the LORD”. That scriptural clause is not one giving you license to disobey him, but rather an opportunity to prove that which is of God. Your husband is not immune to error. Christ never applauded blind obedience. Rather, He commands us to seek Him, His wisdom, and His Word. Your husband’s position does not denigrate your responsibility to seek God on behalf of him or your family. In fact, you are your husband’s greatest accountability for the family.
Do not neglect your spiritual responsibilities toward the LORD, yourself, your marriage, or your family. Although your husband may handle it beautifully, he requires your help. Without you he stands alone and vulnerable. You are able to bring him the strength, support, and help he needs. Your wisdom, advice, and relationship with God can serve to be a beautiful and powerful confirmation of all God would reveal to him when you are equally submitted to Christ Jesus as a married couple. That is where the power of agreement manifests.
Two Are Better Than One
The isolation and loneliness one feels can very much be evident within a dysfunctional marriage and family. You don’t need to be single for that to happen.
God has always intended for equality between the male and female, and as with Adam, two are said to be better than one. God is no respecter of persons, and He never intended that man (or woman) be alone. We were not created to be single — at least not forever. We were created for marriage and all the blessings and satisfaction it brings, both to the family and society. However, the divine order He established for the male and female has never been rescinded. When men and women can relate to one another as God intended, functioning within their biblical roles, submitting to God as well as to one another together — only then will marriages and families turn the dangerous tide created by the deceptive social norms and stigmas that have destroyed Christian homes and broken Christian families.
I want to encourage every man to stand up and step into position. That does not mean you march into your home and begin barking orders. Hardly. It means you sink to your knees. It means you wrap your wife in your arms and promise to do whatever it takes. It means you beg for mercy and with a tender heart ask Christ to reveal Himself to you as your Husband. Submission to God is your key. You must learn to follow if you’re to lead successfully. Just as Christ demonstrated servanthood and sacrifice for His bride, so you are called to demonstrate the same toward your bride, who is your wife. That leadership is dependent upon your ability to follow Christ wholeheartedly. Men, you are called to a great and noble position. You are called to an enormous stewardship — the stewardship of souls. You are called to love your wife and children in a manner only Christ can teach and impart. Because you’ve answered that call, you are worthy of the highest honor and respect. Men like you deserve to be celebrated.
Click to read The High Call of Husbandry
Click to read Leadership 101: The Art of Following
Click to read From Woman to Wife: The Good Thing God Intended
Ladies, your key is submission as well — both to God and to your husband. There is no greater safeguard for you and your family. Celebrate this man who is called to lay down his life for you. The man who made your heart swoon and head swim is the same one who is willing to serve, sacrifice and ultimately suffer for you. There is no fear in that kind of love. If your husband is one you trust, then you should delight in him by preferring him above yourself. A man such as this is worthy of the highest honor any woman could possibly bestow. Serve and love him well, even as the LORD. When he walks into the house, he should feel like the cat that got the cream. He should be blessed by your presence, honored by your love, under-girded with your support, and served with humility and grace. With you at his side, he should experience the LORD’s comfort, peace, and ease – not only because of what you do for him, but because of who you are to him.
Together a man and woman are a valiant team. But if the enemy can wield his sly deception, we will continue to see the demise of Christian families everywhere. Don’t buy the lies society has proposed. The Age of Feminism has made women dangerously vulnerable. And media male-bashing has insulted and degraded our men, shaming them into “hiding”. It’s time to restore what is broken by submitting to God.
Ladies, it’s time to build up your man. It’s time to celebrate our men. Once our men are restored, God will be able to heal our families and homes. Satan has tried hard to decapitate the head. Men, please stand up and step into position. Don’t let the enemy degrade you any longer. Ladies, you are a key part in that happening.
Men, your goal is to become a man your wife can follow, even as you follow Christ. That is where true leadership begins, even as Christ followed His Father and led His Church, who is His bride. Ladies, if you have such a man, by all means celebrate him! Honor him, respect him, and serve him even as you would the LORD. That kind of leadership is servant-hearted and sacrificial, and it requires a great submission and stewardship. It’s not easy, so pray for your husband and support him spiritually. Be the help he needs to confirm God’s voice and lead the family safely.
Regardless of where your marriage stands, please begin to evaluate it in light of God’s Word. I pray this has been a blessing to every man and woman, and every husband and wife. May God’s glory be revealed in you just as He intended. May we always fight for those we love, and boldly contend for God’s greatest gift — not ourselves, but for our marriages and our families.
Cheers & Shalom,