I love meeting women who have gone before me and are willing to honestly share their experiences in life, ministry and marriage so I can learn and grow from their wisdom. My darling friend, Jodi Aiken, is a pastor’s wife in Florida who God led on an interesting journey into ministry with her husband. When Jodi and I met, we immediately clicked. I love her. I am so honored to have her share her wisdom about marriage and what to do when you’re husband isn’t leading your family they way you wish he would. Check out more from Jodi on her website at jodiaiken.com
“How do I continue to allow my husband to lead our family when he is not walking with God?”
This is a question I have been asked numerous times through the years. This question is rooted in the heart of women who desire to live according to God’s plan for their family.
There is no easy answer. But if this is the question of your heart, know you aren’t alone. There are many women asking the same question—and I was one of those women.
Although my husband was saved at a young age, he did not walk as a godly man in the early years of our marriage. Nor did I.
We were 17 and 18 when we tied the knot and only by the grace of God are we heading into our 29th year of marriage. Our first years were aimlessly spent trying to work things out on our own. I felt lost and exhausted from meaningless arguments combined with the stresses of finances and raising our first child.
We had no real guidance and were trampling one another in a fight for leadership. As we entered our 9th year of marriage, we began attending church regularly. My relationship with God began to blossom. I began to understand the value of God’s plan for my husband to be the leader of our home. Yet, he wasn’t and wouldn’t be for some time.
However, God was at work in my heart and directed me as I longed to experience my husband as the spiritual leader of our home. Here are a few of the steps I took to influence my husband’s desire for spiritual growth:
Prayer: Prayer should not only be our first action but our most continuous one. Pray God’s word over your husband, and personalize it. You can never go wrong praying God’s will over your man!
Ephesians 2:10— Lord, remind (husbands name) that he was created for Your workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which You prepared beforehand so that he would walk in them. Help (husbands name) walk in your ways Lord.
Colossians 1:10—Lord, fill (husbands name) with the knowledge of Your will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that he will walk in a manner worthy of You Lord, to please You in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of who You are God.
Change: We must realize God, not us, has the authority and power to change our man. Acknowledge that the only person you can change is yourself. Ask God to reveal to you how to be a godly wife and how He wants you to love and respect your man.
Edification: Treat him as the leader you desire him to be. When you talk to him (or about him) filter your words and lift him up. He may not always make godly decisions, but treating a man with respect will help him see he is of value and has a responsibility to lead.
Pray Ephesians 4:29 over yourself. Lord, let no unwholesome word proceed from my mouth about or toward (husbands name), but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
Invite him to join you at church or events…but don’t nag if he says no.
As you go to church, pray for God to give him a desire to join you one day. When you return, be a light to him by displaying the joy you just experienced. The goal is not to push him away (or to make him feel guilty) but to cause him to realize he is missing out.
Walk in love as Ephesians 5:1-2 speaks of: “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”
Don’t give up: There may seem to be no hope in sight for your man to know God—much less walk with Him. The journey is lonely without him by your side. Don’t give up on what God is able to do. Hold tightly to your faith in God. He has not given up on your man nor should you.
Yielding to our husband’s leadership is difficult, but God-honoring. We are responsible for our own actions and how we respond and react. Let God speak through your life to reach your husband and turn over control to God as the one who can change him.
In God’s timing and in my husband’s own way, my husband began growing in the Lord. Patience, is indeed, a virtue we all need with our husbands. Trust God is at work in you, both, in the midst of difficult days. He is preparing you for what is ahead. God promises that He is able to do exceedingly more than we can imagine and would you believe, my husband would one day become a pastor (and me a pastor’s wife)!
That (obviously) won’t be every person’s story, but let me encourage you to trust God for the outcome and keep treating your man with dignity and respect. God knows his heart and the plans He has for him. Don’t give up.
Question: Have you, like Jodi, experienced frustrations in your marriage with a man who isn’t leading? What did you do? What worked? What DEFINITELY didn’t work? Share your story in the comments.