6 Ways to Spiritually Lead Your Wife

6 Ways to Spiritually Lead Your Wife

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As Christians, we have the Biblical conviction that the husband is to be the leader of the home.  We believe that this is God’s intention and healthy design for the family.  However, although many Christians strive to have a Biblical understanding of family, many men fail to be the spiritual leaders of their home.  When I first got married, one of the things I struggled with most, is leading my wife spiritually.  To be honest, many churches fail to train the men in their church to be godly husbands and dads.  As I’ve talked with other brothers, I’ve seen that many have had the same struggle that I’ve had.  How do we practically lead our wives spiritually?  It is a crucial question.  Although I am far from perfect in this area (as my wife told me last night!), by God’s grace I have grown in this area over the past 2 1/2 years of my marriage.  Here are some real practical tips for how you can lead your wife spiritually. 

1. You Can’t Give What You Don’t Have

This should go without saying, but I’m startled by how many men fail to understand this principle.  How can you expect to lead your wife to the throne of grace if you are not daily going there yourself? If you hope to lead your wife spiritually, you must violently pursue Jesus Christ.  You cannot expect to encourage and disciple your wife if you are not growing in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  This means that you must prioritize studying the Scriptures every day. Make prayer a habit that takes place throughout the day.  Find some good books to read that encourages you to grow and become the christian, husband, and dad that you need to be.  You can’t give what you don’t have, and you can’t expect to lead your wife spiritually if you are not vigorously pursuing Christ yourself.  

2. Initiate Prayer with your Wife Daily

Husband, you need to make it a daily habit to pray together with your wife.  This is so easy to do, but for some reason so difficult for us to initiate.  Praying before meals doesn’t count here.  Husband, you need to grab your wife by the hand, ask her how you can pray for her, then….. You do it!  Pray for her right then and there.  In my own marriage, Kaitlyn and I have found that this happens best at night.  We have been working on making prayer together a nightly ritual as a couple.  We finish our day by talking about what is going on in our lives, then I lead us in prayer.  This is so practical and easy to do, but so many of us struggle to just pray with our wife.  If your wife is craving for you to spiritually lead the home (as she should!) start today by just taking your wife’s hands and praying with her.  

3. Read the Scriptures or a Devotion Together

Start reading a book of the Bible together.  Read a chapter a night, and talk about what the Lord is teaching your through it.  Discuss it and open up about what the Lord is teaching you.  Maybe find a good devotional book together.  For a while Kaitlyn and I were reading Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening together.  Again, this is obviously simple, but sometimes we are so stubborn to see it!  It might be awkward the first week or so, but make it a habit to read the word together and the Lord will use it to draw you closer to Himself and closer to each other. 

4. Counsel your Wife with the Gospel

Every husband should learn how to counsel his wife.  Indeed, every christians is to learn how to counsel other christians with the Word of God.  A husband should learn to do this for his wife.  A big part counseling her in the Word is actually listening, which is tough for us men.  In a day with smart phones, TV, and iPads we are so quickly distracted.  In order to counsel your wife, you need to listen to your wife. This means giving her your undivided attention and listening.  It also means learning to apply the Gospel to your wife’s struggle.  Questions to ask are, What does God’s Word say about this situation?  How does God’s grace change the way I think about this problem? How can God use this situation for his glory and our good? Questions like this can shepherd your wife’s heart.  Listen, be attentive, and apply the Gospel in your conversations.  

5. Be Involved in Biblical Community Together

Notice that this does not say “let your wife drag you to church and hurry home to catch the football game”.  As a pastor I see so many men who get dragged to church by their wives and show no interest in being there.  There is no love for the things of God and there is no love for his bride, the church.  As a husband and the spiritually leader of the home, you should be the one that initiates belonging to the body of Christ.  This means that you make it a priority to go to church on Sunday morning, but Biblical community is much more than showing up for a service on Sunday.  This means that you make the initiative of getting involved in a Sunday School class or Small Group.  Rather than sitting on the sidelines, take the initiative and get your family involved in Biblical community.  

As a pastor, I’ve noticed a really bizarre and disturbing trend in some churches.  So often I see husbands and wives going to two different Sunday School classes.  I’m going to be honest, this doesn’t make any sense to me.  Sure, sometimes we need accountability with the same sex, and that’s a good thing.  But a husband and wife should be in community with the body of Christ together, learning and building relationships together.  

6.  Serve the Lord Together 

One of the great ways God has grown Kaitlyn and I together spiritually is through serving the church.  Kaitlyn and I have always done ministry together as man and wife. Whether she is helping me out on a youth event or I am helping out at the pregnancy center, we serve the Lord together.  We are a team. I think many couples would benefit from serving the Lord together.  Volunteer together at a ministry at the church.  Go invite your lost neighbors over for dinner and share the Gospel with them together.  Serve the Lord together as a couple.  Husband, take the initiative here and take your wife by the hand and joyfully serve the Lord together.

Husbands, I hope you are picking up on a common theme throughout this blog.  The key word here is INITIATE.  We need godly men who take the lead in the spiritual life of the home.  Husband, you have been given the biblical responsibility of pastoring your family.  You are to lead your wife like Christ led the church.  You are to lay down your life for her, just like Jesus did for you on the cross.  The Bible makes this clear:  

   “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,” (Ephesians 5:25–29, ESV)  

Husband, you are called by God to lay down your life for your bride.  You must give yourself up for her sanctification.  To be the spiritual leader of the home, means you are to be the disciple maker in the home.  You are to disciple your wife and your children in the word of God.  As you sacrificially give up your wants, God will use your leadership for your wives spiritual maturity.

So how are you doing in leading your wife spiritually?  We are faulty men who will struggle and fail often, but there is grace at the cross of Christ.  Today ask your wife this question, and be prepared for an honest answer; How am I leading you spiritually? Have you grown in spiritual maturity since I became your husband? More than ever we need husbands who will rise to the challenge to be the pastors of their homes and shepherd the soul of their wife and children for the glory of God!

How have you lead your wife spiritually? What tips would you add or have worked well in your marriage?  Why is leading our wives spiritually such a struggle? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

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  • Astrapto

    This is surprisingly good! Thanks!

    • justindeeter

      Thanks for reading!

  • ebc

    This article completely makes women to stupid people who cant read or interpret the Bible!! Assholes like this are the reason women are treated like shit all across our nation and the world!!! You also give Christians a bad name, my wife and I lead equally in our household and things are great!!

  • Sara

    Hey, I don’t know if you know this, but women aren’t children. They don’t need men to “lead” them and initiate everything in their lives, spiritually or otherwise.

    I’m not married, but if I ever get married, I would hope that my future husband treats me like an adult and an equal partner in the relationship, and not some silly little girl that he needs to be in charge of. I’m tired of this patriarchal religious crap that puts women in the secondary position or presumes that they can’t grow spiritually on their own with a husband “leading” them. Step into the 21st century, and stop being afraid of strong, intelligent women. Real men can handle strong women. It’s only weak, insecure ones who cannot.

    • babylonthegreat

      I think you may forget all the things that go along with being the “leader”. Just like in the military, if things go wrong, its the commanding officer’s fault. And he has to answer for mistakes he made along the way. And mistakes are made daily, really. So, one day every father and/or husband will stand before God and answers will be required of him as to what he did and didn’t do. Did he pray? Did he make sure his children knew the Word of God (whether they followed it or not)? Did he LEAD his family to the foot of the cross? It is also the husband’s responsibility to give his life for his wife if need be. I hope I never have to chose between my life and my family, but if I had to, I would. See, the husband and the wife can’t both have the responsibility to give their life to protect the other. I know it sounds simplistic, but one has to lead and the other follow. We are at war for the hearts and souls of our fellow human beings. Be they spouse, children, neighbors, friends, people you meet every day. We have to be about our Father’s business and stop arguing amongst ourselves about “who is in charge”. Jesus Christ is in charge.

  • JoN

    What you’ve written here is good and encouraging. As a woman reading this, I know how hard it is for us wives to submit to our husbands and follow his lead. Following someone else’s lead is not easy and it does not come naturally but that is the right and godly thing to do. I’d definitely appreciate my (future) husband taking the initiative to lead the family, especially in growing spiritually. Men, do note that this is not an excuse/permission for you to treat your wives as 2nd class citizens. We’re your co-heirs in Christ!

  • babylonthegreat

    People who think this article makes women look or seem stupid or childish or whatever are obviously not Christian. As the Word of God says, “the carnal man cannot receive the things of God, nor can he know them for they are spiritually discerned.” Many of the issues of our day would be solved if men would have the spiritual backbone God has called them to have. Adultery, idolotary, children running around causing trouble, gangs, the whole 9 yards! If men were the LEADERS of their homes, society would not be degenerating the way it is. It is the husband and father’s responsibility to lead his house as priest and shephard. When women rebell against their husband’s role, growth in the home and in the church become stagnant. We are the body of Christ and a body with more than one head doesn’t survive. God’s design for the home and for the church is for one head, not many. Excellent article, brother.