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Your Husband as Spiritual Leader of Your Home
What does it mean for a your husband as spiritual leader of the family or home?
The Bible is rich with instruction on this, but, often, men don’t step into their role or simply just don’t know how.
As a wife, what can you do to help your husband lead and take his position as spiritual leader?
First, let’s take a look at what the Bible says about leadership in the home.
The Role of the Husband in the Bible
Scripture has a lot to say about how a man and husband should live and how he should conduct himself, but, for purposes of this post, we’ll focus on just seven of the instructions.
He should love God more than his wife
God should always be at the top of our priority list. We should put Him and His commands above everything – including our spouses. In a God centered marriage, think of a triangle: God is at the top and the husband and wife at the two other points. The closer we each grow to God, the closer our triangle will be and the stronger the marriage will be.
When we make an idol of our spouse, we are usurping God from His rightful place in our lives.
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ – Mark 12:29-30
2. He should be both a leader and a spiritual leader
This one is a cornerstone in the role of husband as spiritual leader. His life should reflect His love of God and his family. He needs to have his life in control and his behaviors should reflect that. In 1 Timothy 3:5 we read:
“(If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)” – 1 Timothy 3:5
And, in terms of spiritual leadership, Ephesians 5:21-24 says,
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” – Ephesians 5:21-24
Husbands aren’t to “rule” over their wives and families, but rather, lovingly influence them through their behavior and biblical teaching.
3. He should be a provider
As a provider, a husband should anticipate current and future needs and do all he can to meet them. These needs may be physical, financial or spiritual. Much like the CEO or President of a company, it’s his role to do the strategic planning of the family and make provisions to ensure that all needs are met.
“Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” – 1 Timothy 5:8
4. He should be a protector
When a man gives his daughter away in marriage, he expects that the husband will care for and protect his daughter. As God’s daughters, He expects the same thing from our husbands. Women, while created uniquely by God, are not inferior to men. Men were created to be strong, but not to be cruel. He is to use his strength with gentleness and ensure that he guards his family from harm, including spiritual harm.
“Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers” – 1 Peter 3:7
“Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them” – Colossians 3:19
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5. He should be a companion
We were not meant to do life alone. When we marry, we are to enjoy the companionship that only marriage can bring, as designed by God.
Early in Genesis, we find that Adam needed a companion, a helper and there were none suitable, so God created Eve.
…But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” – Genesis 2:20-24
Companions complement each other. They help where needed by meeting the others needs, be it physical, emotional or spiritual. Through intimacy, through communication, through provision.
Companions work as a team and each takes on his or her own role.
6. He should be courageous
Being courageous here is more than boldly facing a lion or other threat. Being courageous means that your fear and reverence for God is greater than any earthly fear.
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.” Before we can be godly husbands, we must be men of courage.” – 1 Corinthians 16:13
7. He should love his wife (and let others see that love)
After God, a husband should love his wife more than anything else – even his children. He should demonstrate that love for her and model it for his children to see.
Hold her hand, put his arm around her. Speak kindly to her. Seek ways to serve her. Children see what you do more than they hear what you say.
Additionally, the love a wife feels from her husband will fuel her to be a better wife, a more godly woman, a Proverbs 31 wife.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” – Ephesians 5:25
What Men Can Do to Be the Spiritual Leader of a Home
In addition to what the Bible says about a man as spiritual leader in the previous section, what are some practical ways that a man can lead his family?
He doesn’t have to lead a sermon in the living room or even hold intensive Bible studies with his children. He can naturally add spiritual leadership in his everyday family life.
Here are some suggestions:
- Pray with his wife
- Bring his family to church
- Get involved in ministry
- Do couple’s or family devotions, or both
- Treat his family with kindness and gentleness, yet firmness
- Lead the family in mealtime prayer
How You Can Help Your Husband Be The Spiritual Leader of Your Home and Family
If your husband is not a spiritual leader or you feel he could do more, the worst thing you can do is nag him or to point out all of the areas that he is failing in.
There are three things that you can do, though, that will help him step into his role.
Manage your expectations
Your husband may not be a natural leader or he may just not know or understand his role according to scripture. What does the Bible say that a husband’s role is? (See above section).
It doesn’t say that a husband is commanded to lead family devotions every night. It doesn’t say that he is to read the Bible with each child every day. Of course, those are great things to do, but, if he doesn’t, according to scripture (and that’s what really matters, isn’t it?), doing those things doesn’t make him a spiritual leader.
What are you expecting out of your husband’s role as spiritual leader? Does it line up with scripture?
2. Talk to him
Your husband doesn’t know what you expect of him if you have never told him. Study what the Bible says about the role of the husband and prayerfully discuss this with your husband. Don’t point out all of the areas where he is lacking. Instead, focus on what scripture says and let him take it to God on his own. Tell him how you pray for your husband as spiritual leader of the home and family.
It’s OK to tell him that you would really like him to pray with you more often or lead the family in devotions, but don’t demand it of him. Ask God to give you the right words and He will.
You can even, gently share with him some articles on how to lead your wife spiritually.
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3. Encourage him
An old management technique from my college days was to “catch them doing something right.”. When you notice your husband doing a great job leading the family, tell him.
When you witness how he gently teaches your child or prays with them, let him know how it made you feel.
By encouraging him with your words, he will be motivated to do more of the same.
Print these verses about what the Bible says about the husband as spiritual leader of the home. Use them during your daily prayer time and ask God to help you both manage your expectations and encourage your husband.
You may also find this video from Dale and Veronica Partridge helpful:
How A Wife Can Motivate Her Husband To Be The Spiritual Leader
What other ways could you help your husband as spiritual leader step into his role? Tell me in the comments below. I love hearing from you.
Because of Him,