Wives: How to follow the leader
Ephesians 5:22-24 Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands. The Message (MSG)
The hardest job in the world for wives is not to “understand your husband”, but to “support your husband in ways that show your support for Christ.” Sometimes I wonder if we husbands understand ourselves, yet the bible instructs wives to understand their husbands. I know many of you wives are thinking, “my husband is easy to understand.” While this may be true on the surface, there are many factors playing part with most men that wives need to attempt to understand. How did he relate to his father growing up? What damage was done to his “fragile male ego” in his developmental years? How has the relationship with you as a wife helped to heal or even deepened those wounds? John Eldridge talks about this type of “wounding” in his book “Wild at Heart“, which I recommend that wives read to help understand this concept more clearly.
I think the bible is clear in the order in which wives need to follow the leader. First, you are to understand your husband, then you are to support him. This doesn’t mean that wives are to throw their brain out the door and blindly follow a bozo of a husband like a dictator. That is a huge misconception of this passage which tells husbands to, “provide leadership to his wife the way Chrsit does to his church, not by dmineering but by cherrishing”. If a wife attempts to understand a husband it will cause her mission to be finding out what motivates him (either positively or negatively) to action, and not just winning the battle. Once a wife knows what makes her man weep, laugh, hurt, and love then she will understand more about his attempts at being a leader of the marriage, even if he fails at times. It has been said if there are two opposing viewpoints and one side can come to an understanding of the other side’s point of view (not agree with it necessarily, but understand from where it originates), then the chances of an agreeable outcome to the disagreement are highly increased. Likewise, if a wife will understand a husband then it will be easier for her to follow him as leader.
I return to my point that as a leader, the husband has the ultimate responsiblity to love and cherrish his wife in order that she will understand and support him. The marriage is the most realitic earthly picture of our relationship to Christ. Christ loved the church enough to die for her…and the church is able to love because Christ first loved the church. If a husband is loving his wife, a wife will follow him as leader in most situations. Nobody wants to follow a tyrant! So why do some husbands act as if this is the way the bible teaches? Wives, in order to follow the leader, you must make sure that both you and your husband are following THE LEADER: JESUS CHRIST!