How Do I Lead My Wife?1
What does it mean to lead your wife? In a generation of redefined and lost manhood, when divorce is more prevalent than family prayer, this question comes up daily. Let’s look at the Bible’s teaching, and see what we find.
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
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, because we are members of his body. (Ephesians 5:22-30 ESV)
This text teaches us three things about leading our wives. The husband is the head of his wife. The husband must cherish his wife. And the husband sanctifies his wife.
First, the husband is the head of his wife. Notice there is no command in that sentence. Paul does not command the husband to lead, order, or take charge of his wife. He simply declares: the husband is the head of his wife.
Wherever the head goes, the body will follow. Likewise, as the husband goes, so goes the marriage. The most important thing you can do to lead your wife is follow Christ. I’m sorry were you hoping for something else? If being a godly husband simply meant leading a family devotional, then you could simply tack it on to the end of the day. But it means more than that.
All day, every day you make continual decisions. You either move toward Christ or away from him. You must pursue Christ, you must say no to yourself and follow him, and you must turn away from all the idols that seek your attention and seek him alone. As you do that, you will lead your wife toward Christ.
If you put no time into your marriage, your marriage will fail. If you pursue money and success, your marriage will struggle and your wife will be stunted. If you pursue pleasure and treat Christ like an optional add-on to life, then you, your wife and eventually all of your children will be slaves to your immaturity.
If you are wise, then you are feeling your weakness right now. You may be thinking you lack the maturity and character to lead a family. You may be thinking of all the times you have failed to pursue Christ. You may be wanting to get on your knees and ask for forgiveness and grace.
If so, then you have taken the first important step in leading your wife. You have gone to the throne of Grace. And that is exactly where you should be leading. More to come…