I’m not sure what I had in mind when I thought of my husband, Daniel, leading me spiritually. I guess I imagined a detailed Bible study plan with a specific time set apart for us to study together. Over time my expectations continued to drop until I was sure he was incapable of leading me. I’m sure a lot of wives have felt this way; we have a godly desire for our husbands to lead our families, but we sinfully grow discontent when our husbands don’t lead our families.
The discontentment I felt reminded me of our first year of marriage. We were both new believers, and Daniel refused to lead our family in the way I thought he should. Did you catch that? I wanted him to lead but only if it aligned with the way I thought things should go! After all, it’s all about me, right? What I didn’t realize at the time is that I was refusing to submit and let him lead. Surprise! It’s actually not submission when I’m telling him what to do!
While I was remembering those hard days, I realized I’m doing the same thing again! It suddenly occurred to me that Daniel has been trying to shepherd my heart all along, but I often rejected his attempts. I thought shepherding my heart meant saying exactly what I wanted him to say when he counseled me and by having an organized “couple’s Bible Study” at Starbucks. Instead, Daniel sought to shepherd me by pointing out my sin—and all wives know how fun it is to have our husbands call out our sin!
But once I realized that was his way of shepherding me, my heart softened, and I started to thank him and show my appreciation for his desire to help me grow in godliness. Soon I saw him encouraging me in other ways: forwarding blogs and messages, telling me to pray and reread scripture when I had trouble understanding a specific passage, making physical intimacy a priority in our marriage, calling me to see how I’m doing when he’s away at work… In so many ways he was already doing these things, but I didn’t appreciate them as Daniel’s ways of shepherding my heart.
So let me ask all of you wives: are you letting your husband shepherd your heart? How do you respond to his correction? Is he afraid to bring your sin to your attention because of the way you’ve responded in the past? If you don’t think your husband is leading your heart, then let me encourage you to pray and ask God to take off your blinders and open your eyes to small ways your husband may be leading you… Still don’t think that he is? Then ask yourself (and him) what you may be doing to hinder him from leading.