Please forgive my lack of response to comments during this marriage series. While walking with my family through the loss of my father, I’ve taken leave of my computer the past few weeks. I’m reading your comments and pray for you while considering your various situations and needs. I’m thankful the Father of mercies and God of all comforts is close at hand to each of you in your pain and difficulty.
For those who had questions about my last blog post, let me remind you that encouraging your husband’s leadership role includes gently confronting him about sin issues (I’ll have more on that in the next blog article) and also allows for you to lovingly hold a difference of opinion.
Today, I’m passing on a few practical ways to encourage leadership as a follow-up to my last article.
1. No matter how small the decision may be, commend your husband when he is decisive. Some men make multiple decisions throughout the day in their vocational role, while also carrying a large load of responsibility, but when entering the doors of their home they feel inadequate and fearful to make the simplest choices. Look for opportunities to encourage your husband’s role as leader by affirming his decisions—even if it is different than what you would have chosen.
If you’ve asked him to make the restaurant choice for the evening, don’t complain when he takes you to a place you’d rather not eat—at least he was brave enough to choose! Your evening will be much more enjoyable when your eating preference gives way to the opportunity to encourage him.
2. Choose your places of dissent carefully. Most marital conflicts occur over issues much weightier than restaurant preferences, but some relationships are so fractured that daily trivialities become battlegrounds. If you allow your husband to lead and make multiple decisions without your criticism, it gives you a greater platform to speak and thoughtfully disagree when an issue arises of greater importance.
Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding (Prov. 17:27).
Try holding your tongue and perhaps you’ll discover there is greater benefit in allowing your husband to make a leadership choice (even if it is the wrong choice), and then trust the Lord to use the consequences as a form of instruction in his life.
3. Live each day in light of life’s momentary nature. Most of what we stress over and get hung up on really doesn’t matter in the long run. Life is very brief. Remind yourself to ask these questions when you feel the need to voice your opposition or criticism:
“Will this really matter a month from now? A year from now? In eternity? Do I really need to say this? Will these words bless and encourage or demoralize?”
Some issues rise to the level of serious discussion or critical examination and should not be ignored. Walk in the Spirit and seek to discern what points of disagreement need a thorough discussion (and perhaps confrontation) and what may need to be left alone.
I would love to hear from you about some practical ways you encourage your husband to lead. Please share your wisdom with us!