One of the perennial complaints that Christian women have about their husbands is that they just don’t assume leadership in the home. The wife has a certain expectation that a Christian husband will be leading the family in prayer, Bible study, and other “spiritual” things, and the husband isn’t interested. What is the cause of this abdication? Why can’t men lead their wives?
Well, I’m sure there are many reasons that have never occurred to me, but a couple have. Of course some men might just be lazy bums. So I’m not talking about them right now. But why don’t some of the other men who seem to be quite capable of leadership fail to pick up the reins at home?
I believe this is one of the primary reasons why men don’t lead: because they know full well that if they ever tried to lead, there would be a big show-down, and they are just not up to it. They would rather have relative peace in the home and be accused of being a poor leader than deal with the big fight that would ensue if they ever did try to lead.
Some men know that they should lead their families, but they also know that if they ever tried to initiate something, their wives would be quick to try to steer it, quick to criticize and compare, quick to make “helpful” suggestions, quick to be disappointed. So it is simply not worth the ordeal. And if they succeeded in telling their wives to pipe down, sit down, and be quiet, then they would feel like they were being poor leaders because they were insisting on their own way.
The irony of this situation is neither husband nor wife is happy in it. When the wife pushes her husband to take the reins, he is put in an impossible situation: if he takes them, he is actually following her; if he doesn’t take them, he is being obstinate. And though she is pushing, she hates it when her husband gives in to her. And she hates it even more when he starts leading her in a way that is not what she wanted. In spite of this, what she really wants (though she doesn’t perhaps understand this) is for him to be a rock. She wants a man who will tell her to quit pushing, a man who will love her enough to insist that she pipe down.
My opinion is that many of the women who desperately want masculine leadership in the home would hate it if they got any. So if you are one of those wives who wants your husband to start showing some spiritual leadership, start trying to follow him now. And go along quietly.