11/26/10

5 Practical Ways To Be A Leader In Your Home

1.  Pray with her.
This one is always a bit awkward at first. You hold hands and close your eyes. Then you talk to God in a tone of voice that you'd never use to talk with another human. And you ask for things like blessings for the food or safety in travel. Those are great prayers. In fact, prayer before meals is a good start. But do you pray like this when it's just you and God?

A leader takes his wife's hand and goes before the Lord with all family concerns and requests. He tells her through his actions that he gladly accepts responsibility for the spiritual direction of the family.

2.  Make Decisions.
I struggle with this one the most. I like to contemplate and let decisions sink in before I act. This is often a good trait, but I tend to let it go too far. Of course, I'm not advocating that you make quick decisions without consulting your wife. I am, however, learning that when it is time to make a decision, you make it.

If we're honest, our wives are probably more capable than us, and you may feel like she enjoys deciding where to eat or when to pay the bills or when to change out the trash, but what you don't see is the possibility of a creeping resentment toward you and your lack of initiative.

Don't misunderstand what I am saying. Every family is different. You and your wife may have agreed that she would pay the bills and that you take out the trash, etc. What I am encouraging is that you take a look at your relationship with your wife and search for opportunities to make decisions that may be a burden on her.

A leader makes decisions for his family.

3.  Study and Discuss the Bible. 
As a child, my wife memorized more Bible verses than humanly possible. And she still carries around most of that knowledge today. It would be easy for me to defer to her in bringing up discussions about God's word. But where does that leave me as a spiritual leader?

Build a good habit of reading and discussing the scriptures with your wife. Not only will this build intimacy in your marriage, but your children will be raised in an environment where discussions about their faith are the norm.

A leader studies the scriptures and creates a safe environment for biblical discussion in the home.

4.  Establish Your Priorities.
We live in a world where men are teased for even thinking about putting family first. We've all been there. The guys are planning a camping trip for the weekend. The trip sounds fun, but work has been hectic, and your wife has been getting your leftovers. You would love to spend the weekend watching movies and relaxing with her, but what will the guys say?

Most men wouldn't dream of passing on the guys for a weekend to date his wife. But where there is a man that will do that without fear of a perceived loss of his manhood, there is a wife that truly adores her husband.

Hear me out. Time with your friends is great, and you should continue to build those relationships. We make each other better men. But a man should never be hesitant to respond to an invite with, "sorry guys, it's family time this weekend."

A leader makes his family a priority.

5.  Treat Your Wife Like Your Daughter.
I've long lost the source of this idea, but I once read that we should treat our wives like a daughter. The thought creeped me out at first. But I soon understood that this mindset is essential to marriage. And for those of us that don't have children, the concept is still easy to understand.

If your daughter were to look at you and say, "I'm cold," you wouldn't respond by telling her to get up and get her own blanket. You would find a blanket or give her your coat. And if your teenage daughter's oil was low in her car, you wouldn't tell her to get it changed herself. You would take care of it for her. A good dad takes care of his daughter. We should have this same mindset toward our wives.

In the beginning, this behavior was easy to maintain. But at some point, we lost sight of the fact that our wives fell in love with us by the way we treated them in the beginning. Satan loves to creep in and make you think that serving your wife means you're a sucker, a fool. This is a great lie. Jesus, himself, came to serve.

A leader takes care of his wife.

This is the last of three posts on marital leadership. I am speaking directly to married men, however, wives, I'm speaking for you, so please correct, add, or add emphasis!

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