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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Why Every Wife Should (Strongly) Encourage Her Husband to Attend the Spiritual Leadership Boot Camp

I’ve read a number of marriage books over the years.  Some of them provide lists of the top needs/desires of husbands and wives.  These lists typically place romance, security, and communication somewhere near the top for wives.  It's curious to me that in the formal and informal counseling I’ve done I’ve never heard a wife say, “I wish he would be more romantic” or “I just want him to talk to me.”  I have no doubt that women do long for these things, but there seems to be something else that is even more important to them.  What I hear more than anything else is, “I wish he would lead me.”
We’ve been blessed in our congregation with many women who are committed to the biblical framework for the family, that is, that the husband is the spiritual leader and the wife is his helpmate.  Accordingly, they have a strong desire to see their husbands lead.  They long for it.  Yet some have all but given up hope that he will ever take this role seriously.  They’ve been married for years and have seen no growth in this area.  When they have tried to nudge their husbands in that direction they’ve been accused of nagging.
I’d like to give you some reasons to push past that discouragement and strongly encourage your husband to attend the spiritual leadership boot camp. 
·      This may be just what you’ve been praying for.  You want him to lead, though neither you nor your husband have a clear picture of how he should do that.  Many men in our congregation have told me that they want to lead, but they just have no idea how.  This boot camp will lay it out for them so that they have no doubt what it means to be spiritual leaders.
·      Your husband is your brother in Christ.  Some wives carry the mistaken notion that because they are called to submit to their husbands (Eph 5:22-24) it is not their place to confront their husbands or to exhort them to take a certain path.  This is a sad misunderstanding of biblical submission.  You are your husband’s sister in Christ, and as such you have a responsibility to speak the truth in love to him (Eph 4:15-16), to encourage and build him up (1 Thess 5:11), to admonish him (1 Thess 5:14), and to confront his sin (Luke 17:3-4).  It is your place to encourage him to lead. 
·      At the same time, this is an opportunity to help him move in the right direction without feeling like you’re nagging him.  He may have even accused you of nagging him on this issue.  Encourage him to come to the boot camp.  Once he’s there, I’ll nag him. 
·      There are a host of familial problems that are remedied simply by a husband and wife living out their God-given roles.  If your husband learns how to lead you and implements the disciplines he’ll discover in this boot camp, the results for your family can only be positive.  You may have a plethora of issues in your home.  You would be amazed how a few small changes in the leadership of your family can help with those issues.  
·      If you have children, they need your husband’s leadership as much as you do.  Perhaps you’ve been taking up the slack and have been providing that leadership for your children because your husband has not.  You know the blessing that it is to speak the truth to them and to point them to Jesus.  Imagine how blessed your husband would be to experience that, too.
·      Your husband is the one God has called to shepherd your family and he is the one who will answer to God for how well your family has been led (Gen 3:9).  If he continues to fail to lead, consider the discomfort that he will feel on that day when he stands before the Lord and is called to account.  If you love him, you will not want that for him.  Encourage him to be trained.
·      This is about more that your own comfort; this is ultimately about God’s glory.  As we will see beginning this Sunday, the gospel equips a man to overcome the Fall’s consequences for his leadership of the family.  In the Fall, God’s design for male leadership was marred.  In Christ, the Father has provided for this to be overturned and for the family to follow God’s original plan for the home.  When the gospel transforms an individual, a marriage, or a family, God is glorified because He is the cause of that transformation.  If a wife wants the Lord to be glorified, she will want her husband to lead and she will encourage him to do so. 

Encourage him to attend.  Tell him how important it is to you.  Tell him, “It’s only eight weeks.  Anyone can do anything for eight weeks.”  Lord willing, those eight weeks will help him to create new habits that will last the rest of your lives.  
 Ladies, would you pray with me that the Lord will move every man in our congregation to make this a priority and that the Lord will use this to transform our families?
Encourage him to register at   May the Lord bless you!

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