Christian: What does a spiritual leader do in a marriage? - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-19-2014, 09:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am asking DH to be more of the spiritual leader... seeing this as his biblical role. But, he says he doesn't know what to do, what that means. I was surprised that he even said that... so, should I tell him what I expect or think... or does a spiritual leader have specific goals?

 

Here's what I expect: I expect him to pray with his family. My kids are 1 and 3 and I do not expect a simple, short prayer just because we have children... but alas, this is what he does. I also expect DH to lead out in worship from the bible and to explain what we get out of it... and that it should be explained in an age-appropriate way. But, I do not know that he is not very good at bringing it down to their level. (DH is a thinker/intellectual).


Please help us! Apparently, it's common for husbands to not know what to do as a spiritual leader.

 

Also... while we're on the topic of the role of a husband as a spiritual leader... what is the equivalent/complimentary and expected role of the wife?


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Old 04-19-2014, 10:04 PM
 
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Lots to discuss on this huge huge topic. My phone is about to die, so im subbing to be back.

But, one thing that stands out to me is that if he is doing what you tell him.to do as the spiritual leader, isn't he still following you?
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Old 04-19-2014, 10:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know. That is my problem. Is telling him what to do at least something better than not doing anything at all? I can't "make" him do something he doesn't know how to do. Where shall he seek his guidance from?

I included in my original post what I would suggest... whether that is wrong or right, I do not know either. I was able to spend time with a friend who struggles with a similar issue as mine and she has helped her DH by giving ideas and he says 'yes or no'. When I google online, I get a different picture of what a spiritual leader should do... and I also gather that other husbands to not understand their roles.


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Old 04-20-2014, 04:21 AM
 
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Well, I think one of his responsibilities should be to to actively seek out some clarity and understanding regarding his role as spiritual leader. This seems like a pretty good place to start to me.

The best resource is probably your pastor/minister or another man in your church whom you know to be a mature Christian. Ideally one with a family a bit older than yours but I don't think that's essential.

I also think that praying about it and seeking advice from God, both on his own and with you is essential. Obviously this is going to be an ongoing thing.

I am wondering why are you not ok with simple prayers for a 1 and 3yo? My kids are that age too and if I tried anything long and/or complex I would lose them completely. I honestly think it is fine to be age-appropriate. The prayer Jesus taught us to say is pretty simple after all. Maybe the longer prayers could be for when you and DH are praying together as a couple rather than as a family.

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Old 04-20-2014, 04:25 AM
 
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Oh, and regarding Bible teaching at their level. Maybe he could choose a good children's Bible to read to them from. And there are heaps of free Sunday School resources on the web. It's easiest if you've already chosen the passage/story though so he could decide what he wants to do - Noah, Jonah, etc - then Google: Noah Sunday school pre-school, for example.

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Old 04-20-2014, 10:52 AM
 
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I am just going to give you my opinions on these topics.
1st of all, you really need to be searching the bible, not google.
2nd your husband should be seeking Gods will for his marriage and family. He needs to be in prayer, by himself, and
digging in the Word. The Lord will reveal how to lead. Discipleship is also SO IMPORTANT! He needs to be being discipled by a Godly man.
3rd, you asked what your role looks like, you were created to be his help mate. So that looks different in each marriage but I would suggest getting into intercessory prayer for your husband.
You guys have to get your roles straight as huband and wife before you can expect to be effective at leading your children.
I don't see any problem with simple prayers with children, no matter what the age. God wants prayers that reflect a sincere heart not fancy christianese lingo. Id rather my kids learn simplicity in truth than long wordy prayers in falseness.... not saying that's what's going on, but check your motives behind the desiring of extensive prayers and teachings.
And lastly, when your husband does try, respect his efforts, its not an overnight process. The more he feels validated as a spiritual leader the more he will strive towards it. Otherwise,he's going to get burned out feeling like his efforts are never good enough for you.

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Old 04-20-2014, 09:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, it sounds like the role of a spiritual leader is different for all families if there is no specific answer. (just an observation... correct me if wrong...) I do realize we have to pray for guidance... together. We are not doing that... yet.

 

Ah yes, helpmate. That makes sense. I was just thinking of Ephesians 5 "Wives, submit yourselves..." and the equivalent/complimentary role of "husbands love your wives". I just knew there was something similar for 'spiritual leader'... 'helpmate' sounds like it fits well.

 

Yes, get off google. That's a challenge for me... but I like the idea of discipleship. It never occurred to me. We have only lived here a couple years, but I think this can work. Also, my husband is reading thru the bible this year... perhaps I should remind him to see where he can find his role as spiritual leader.

 

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Originally Posted by 3LilChunklins View Post

And lastly, when your husband does try, respect his efforts, its not an overnight process. The more he feels validated as a spiritual leader the more he will strive towards it. Otherwise,he's going to get burned out feeling like his efforts are never good enough for you.

I needed to hear that! Thanks.


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Old 04-21-2014, 10:03 AM
 
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Have you seen the movie courageous? It is very inspirational for men to step up their game.
I guess the role of spiritual leader does look different for each family, but there are certainly specific traits that should be being displayed. A desire to live for the Lord, an overwhelming love for his wife as Christ loved the church, servant leadership and example leadership with his children.
My DH would not be who he is today if a Spirit filled Godly man had not discipled him. He needs to see another flesh and blood man walking it out, he needs accountability, he might needs some guidance, I know my DH sure did!
On the helpmate note, God created Eve and said " I will make him a *helper* comparable to him". So that is your primary role as his wife. We were created to help our husbands. I've heard it explained that since God took Adams rib to make Eve, our husband is our "ribman", and the Word tells us we are one flesh, so whatever he has going on, so do you. It just manifests itself differently. So as you begin to walk as a helpmate, he will begin to walk as spiritual leader.
Prayer is so important too. The more you walk it out and live for the Lord the more you make yourself a target for satan. Be in prayer as often as possible for your DH, yourself, and your marriage. Dont forget the armor of God. You wouldn't walk into a battle field without being prepared for the fight ahead. Don't do it spiritually either. I can't stress the intercession enough. God hears our prayers and they do make a difference!

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Old 04-21-2014, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you for elaborating. from your list, he has the first two... not sure what servant leadership looks like. he might be doing that and me not accepting it as such...gotta think about that one. but leadership w/ the children is really what I was looking for when I originally posted. so i guess its a matter of how he thinks he should do that.


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Old 04-21-2014, 03:03 PM
 
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Maybe as you pray/look for a mentor for DH you could also both be praying for a mentor for you. Possibly the wife of DH's mentor. A woman who can help you examine and develop your role.

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Old 04-21-2014, 04:04 PM
 
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Servant leadership is what Jesus specialized in. Reread the gospels for a clearer picture. But as a father, it would probably resemble him just doing daddy things, giving baths, tying shoes, also the teaching and praying. Jesus never thought of himself as too good to serve others, in fact it was the essence of who he was on earth.

I would just say, don't try to make it fit a preconceived mold you have, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

ETA- The Kingdom of God is like an upside down Kingdom. Those who humble themselves will be exalted, The least of these are the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.

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Old 04-22-2014, 06:00 AM
 
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For a while, I was really frustrated with my dh.for not leading us like I envisioned. I was expecting evening devotions, discussions around the table, family prayers...all extroverted manifestations of leadership.

Dh is different. He lays in bed with each of children each night and teaches them how to pray, individually. He talks about things with them on the swing in the front yard. He is usually reading his Bible when they wake up in the morning. They know he often gets up very early and goes to pray for long periods of time. He *is* leading them, but in his quiet and introverted way. The result is that they are developing a deep quiet faith, like him. It's been beautiful to see.

As far as me, he is always reading something deep, and engagaing me in conversation. We hold each other accountable for many things. It all works really well. His is the opinion I seek.
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Old 04-24-2014, 07:23 AM
 
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Something to consider: In the narratives of the resurrection, the newly risen Christ does not initially reveal himself to his male disciples. He appears first to Mary of Magdala. She is the one entrusted to share this news with the men. By his own example, the first person Christ placed in the position of what might be called "spiritual leadership" was a woman.

There are no passages in the New Testament directly attributed to Christ which indicate that a husband should be the spiritual leader in every family. My understanding is that the passage in Corinthians which suggests that women be silent and submissive to their husbands are situational. These admonitions are made in the context of letters directed specifically to the church in Corinth. The letters address a situation which had arisen in that particular community.

As I understand it, Christ suggests that we find the kingdom of the Creator within ourselves, and I see nowhere where he indicates that men or women are superior in their ability to do so.

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Old 04-24-2014, 07:56 PM
 
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I think women are just as capable, but I disagree that the husband is not supposed to be the spiritual leader in the home. The husband is the head of the wife, Christ is the head of man, and the Father is the head of Christ. We know that the the trinity is all equal as God, yet The Father is the head ofChrist. So I do not find it offensive or belittling to say that man is the head of woman. We are still equal in value as humans, but the man is the head. He is my spiritual covering, he is there as an umbrella to protect me.
And even though the epistles are letters to early churches they do still apply today. The Word of God is living and active, sharper than any double edged sword. And always remember, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever!

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Old 05-05-2014, 01:36 PM
 
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I had been thinking a lot about why Jesus revealed himself to Mary first after the resurrection. I got revelation from the Holy Spirit, as I was meditating on this scenerio. The reason that Jesus revealed Himself to her before the male disciples was because she was *seeking Him*. Jesus is "the Truth" and so everything He spoke and taught was truth. "Seek and you shall find" was initially what popped into my head here. If you seek Him and your desire is to see Him, as was Mary's, He will not let you down. I don't really view that as a form of spiritual leadership bestowed on her. It was just natural cause and effect. If you do your part, God always keeps His promises and does His part wink1.gif

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Old 05-06-2014, 02:40 PM
 
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That's an interesting perspective. I appreciate your sharing.

In the Orthodox Christian Church as well as the Anglican Church Mary of Magdala is honored as an apostle. In fact, in the Orthodox Church, she is known as the "apostle to the apostles" based on the Gospel of John account where Christ calls her by name and entrusts her with the task of telling the others.

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Old 05-06-2014, 04:05 PM
 
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I just want to reaffirm what others have said on this subject-- your husband needs to find his role through his own study of scripture. What you want for him does sound appropriate according to scripture, but because it has not yet manifested in your marriage and family life does not mean that the Lord is not doing His work on your husband. It takes time.

Years ago I was a very immature Christian with a very strong desire for a biblical marriage, but neither I nor my husband were able to make that reality. It is through consistent prayer, searching scripture and discipleship that our marriage has matured with our faith. Your husband may be experiencing things that challenge all Christians, like a weakness in faith that leads to the feeling of inadequacy you describe. Neither of you can let this get in the way of his role as a father and spiritual leader, but you especially may need to step back and make sure that your expectations of what that his role looks like isn't getting in the way of God's plan for your husband.

 

I am not sure what your doctrinal views are, so this recommendation may or may not be helpful to you, but Pastor Voddie Baucham has some excellent sermons on the scriptural basis of a husband's and wife's roles in a biblical marriage.

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