Awhile back, I was reading at a prominent Christian mom blog. A particular and common topic brought on a myriad of thoughts; I came over here to write them out, unsure if they would ever be published. I have been thinking about it a lot, though, so I decided to go for it. As always, I would love to hear your thoughts.
The question was posed, “What questions do you have regarding your marriage relationship?” The readers were supposed to leave their questions by way of comment to be answered in future posts by a mom and daughter.
The overwhelming majority of questions dealt with how to handle a husband that isn’t the spiritual leader he should be.
This question at once resonated with and unsettled me. Of course, I have felt and wondered about this same thing at times, but there has been a huge change in how I think about this matter in the last few years. Besides that, it didn’t look as pretty coming from other women as it did from myself.
So… what does a spiritual leader look like?
There are three major thoughts that come to mind regarding this issue, but I’m just going to start with one of them. (I don’t want to be blacklisted by my gender!) = )
According to the Bible, one of my major roles as a married woman is to be the keeper (despot) at our home. Not just the figurative, emotional part of the home… the home: the toilets, rugs, baseboards, pantry, schedules, sleeping quarters, etc.
I don’t know about you, but I was no ready-made homemaker when I got married. In fact, quite the opposite… minus a hundred thousand. I am and always will be everlastingly grateful that my husband was patient with me regarding this. After six years, I’ve come a long way, but I have so much farther to go before I will even close to consider myself equal to most of the people I know.
Don’t you think that we as women might just be a little bit hard on our guys regarding this “spiritual leadership” issue? I mean, most guys don’t have any experience at spiritual leadership when they get married. So they gave a devotion in teen group? Were a prayer leader at Christian college? Led a discipleship group in their church? That no more prepares a man to “lead” an emotionally charged, newlywed girl/woman, then a high school cooking class prepares a woman to feed a gargantuan, hungry man… every day, on a budget.
How would you like for your husband to comment every time you left dishes in the sink too long? or were impatient with the children? or didn’t put much effort into making a nutritious, filling dinner? or for that matter, slept in and didn’t read your Bible? I know some women experience this regularly (thankfully, I’m not one of them); I doubt it’s a pleasant or inspiring experience.
Here, simply put, is my first question regarding husbands, wives, marriage, and spiritual leadership.
Are we too hard on our husbands regarding their God-given marital roles while giving ourselves unending patience and grace?
More than likely, yes.
A relationship has an atmosphere. Criticism and impatient waiting don’t mix well with love and support. Patience and grace can create an environment where small steps are encouraged, not avoided for fear of failure.
Besides that, we wives probably have enough work to on with ourselves for a while. When you take your eyes off of someone else’s faults and begin to concentrate on your own, things really do brighten up.
Has anyone else noticed this widespread dissatisfaction? What are your feelings on the matter?