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Leadership in the Home

Genesis 3:16

[16] To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.” 

Sin and its consequences took things of joy and made them difficult. The joy of multiplication and fruitfulness would become painful. The gift of man to lead and protect, would seem like a chain that restricts. Humanity has experienced the hardship of sin and its consequences. 

The curse of contrary desire or a desire for leadership from the wife provides some insight into the ongoing difficulty in marriage. Her desire would be to lead and act without concern for her husband’s thoughts/input, but God would have that misplaced desire met with leadership by her husband. 

The beauty of Christ’s work of redemption is that he would set the image of how a husband should rule over his wife. He would not be heavy-handed but self-sacrificial. The church (the bride) would not be contrary but submissive (Ephesians 5). 

How can a husband lead well, like Christ?

Husbands can lead well in 3 ways:

  • Lead in love by sacrifice.

Christ gave himself up for his bride. Husbands lead their wives well when their own safety, joy, and needs are laid down for their wives. Practically speaking, when a husband comes home after a labor-filled day, the desire to watch the football game as they recline on the couch for hours… Should be willingly laid down as the needs of his wife are considered and she is served. Getting up to wash dishes, after a weary day, speaks volumes about the goodness of Jesus. When the rhythm of the home is filled with sacrificial love, the husband is leading. 

  • Lead in providing trust in decision-making. 

We have a culture in our western world, where man is found saying these words too often: “I don’t care, whatever you want is fine.” Now these words can be used, but they can also be a statement to avoid responsibility and consequence. A wife shares, “Should we educate our child in the home or in a private/public school?” And soon the man stated, “I don’t care, whatever you want is fine.” Then later one might add, “Well I am not the one that decided to send them to that school…” 

In every situation, man will not have a preference, but they also can’t continually defer. Men have to make leadership decisions in the home, bear the consequences of those decisions (good or bad), and own the outcome. Over time, the responsibility to make decisions will cause husbands to pray and to think about decisions prior to committing their families to something. There is a huge difference between deciding which restaurant to eat at and how much one desires to give to the church. Husbands must own the decision-making process. We need less delayed adolescent husbands and more godly men who will seek the Lord. 

  • Lead your family to Christ first.

God has gifted husbands with the task of leading their families to Christ. In American churches, females make up the majority of church attendance and servants. Guys seemingly lag behind in desire and involvement (this is not the case in every church). Husbands can’t just earn a check and use their dad voice as a means of fulfilling their responsibility in the home. Husbands should pray fervently for their wives to walk with Christ, their children’s salvation, and model both well in the home. 

Where do we get this idea from? Ephesians 5: 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 the husband doesn’t save his wife, but he leads her to the Savior. 

Could it be that husbands provide for their families but never lead them to the Great Provision (Jesus Christ)? 

How you live with your wife will impact the way you commune with your Savior. 1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. 

Let grace be multiplied to you.

-Pastor John

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