Thursday, November 24, 2016

HUSBANDS, LEAD YOUR WIVES!


LEAD! How do you lead? Every husband is a leader. The question is not whether the man is a leader or not; rather, the question is, what kind of leader is he really? God calls the husband to lead his wife well and to do so with utmost integrity, faithfulness, care, and gentleness. And wonderfully, God has not left men without an example in this call to lead.

Christ Jesus leads His own people just as a shepherd leads his own sheep. Christ died for His own and cares for them and leads them to pastures. Christ goes before His people and paves the way for them. He never calls them to do something that He Himself has not done. He would never demand a believer to do something that He is afraid to do. A leader leads by example. And yet, a leader leads with integrity. What does this mean?

To lead well demands that one be truthful thoroughly and faithful perseveringly. A leader does not lie or stretch the truth. Nor does a leader give up when times are tough. Moreover, a leader does not just count tally marks and call something a ‘success’ and give up entirely. Rather, a leader is one who is faithful. He puts his heart and his mind to something and he works hard at it and perseveres at it and continues without losing heart. To lead well requires humility, a servant’s heart, a willingness to be last, setting an example, and caring specifically for those allotted to his care. Christ modeled this for all of those for whom the Father gave Him. And this is precisely what the husband must do as he leads his own wife in the home.

To lead in the home context of the marriage means that the husband must lead his wife humbly. He must be willing to sacrifice his own desires for hers. He must lead his wife sacrificially. He must give of himself relentlessly and tirelessly to bless her, nourish her, care for her, and provide for her. He must lead his wife lovingly. He must lead with a Christlike and gentle spirit and never (ever!) with a dominating, heavy-handed, angry and harsh mentality. He must lead his wife protectively. The husband is to protect her as His own cherished possession that he would treat as if she were rarer than the most expensive vase that he purchased in a far away land; because, she is, indeed, rarer than any other precious find! He must lead his wife biblically. The duty falls to the husband to make sure his wife is growing spiritually and in his walk with Christ. He must ensure she has time with God each day and in prayer. He must serve her to be with the ladies of the church and to get time away to meditate on Christ and Scripture. He must lead his wife faithfully. He has the wonderful opportunity to embody the faithfulness of Christ as he lives with integrity, faithfulness to her, exclusivity to their marriage relationship, and faithfulness to Christ in his own heart.

To lead means that people follow. A godly husband strives to lead his wife in such a way that he runs to follow him. Indeed, she cheerfully and happily follows him wherever he leads in life. Even if she finds herself in a potential situation of uncertainty or fear, she will rest confidently knowing that her husband follows Christ, fears God, holds Scripture, and has her best interests in heart. This is the kind of leader that a wife triumphantly follows. Lead her by being last. Lead her by putting off your devices and sitting with her and enjoying her. Lead her by selflessly pursuing her even when she doesn’t seem to reciprocate. Lead her by constantly  and joyfully pointing her to Christ even in the dark trials of the night. Lead her by refusing to do what you want to do (or, always do) for the purpose of doing what you know would bless her and bring her great joy. Lead her by pursuing her heart, engaging her mind, giving her time, shepherding her soul and nurturing her tenderly. By God’s grace and with the Spirit’s enablement, as you’re guided by and full of Scripture, you can lead your precious wife as Christ, your Bridegroom, leads you ever so tenderly and faithfully.


 
*This is part 1 of a 15-part forthcoming series in "The Duties of Christian Husbands — A Husband's Handbook."
The pdf eBook will be available for download here.

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