I’m really struggling trying to get my husband to lead. I have tried to encourage him to do so, but I’m at a loss! Taking the initiative is what I want him to do, but he won’t. I have your workbook, but he won’t go over the questions with me. Short of reminding him again and again and feeling like I’m nagging him – which I hate doing and have tried really hard not to do – how do I get him to step up?
Watch the short video of Katie and I discussing the answer and/or read the transcript below…
Unfortunately, there’s no answer that guarantees a husband will grow in this area. Although I provide the following recommendations, I can’t assure a wife that her husband will be different in the future. For any single ladies, this is one thing to keep in mind before saying, “I do.”
Here are the recommendations I’d give a wife whose husband won’t lead…
1. If your husband won’t lead, keep reminding him.
I’ll be the first to say that as husbands we can be oblivious and forgetful at times. God has called you to be your husband’s helper, and this is one of the best ways for you to fulfill that role. The obvious danger is that your reminders turn in to nagging. The woman who sent me the above question said she makes an effort to prevent that from happening. That’s wonderful!
We recently finished two weeks of sermons on spiritual liberties (Giving Up Your Freedom Part I and Part II). I focused on the command to lay down liberties when they might offend or stumble our brothers or sisters in Christ, but one of the areas I didn’t discuss is the relationship between spiritual liberties and stewardship of our time. Often spiritual liberties relate to activities we might engage in and Paul had great thoughts on this topic…
1 Corinthians 6:12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
1 Corinthians 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.
We can take away some important points from these verses…
First, the words “all things are lawful for me.” While we don’t take the word “all” as literally as it sounds (Paul took for granted his readers would know it’s not lawful to engage in sin), he clearly saw plenty of activities or choices as permissible or non-sinful.
Second, Paul was clear that while these activities aren’t necessarily harmful or detrimental, they also aren’t beneficial or “helpful”; they don’t profit or “edify” us. This alone can be taken as a warning regarding how easy it is to waste our time on behaviors or activities that have no eternal or spiritual value. I’ll be the first to say we can have hobbies and engage in recreational activities outside of praying and reading our Bibles with every spare second; personally I enjoy chess, Scrabble and exercise. Jesus Himself attended weddings (John 2:1-12), banquets (Luke 5:29) and even said He “came eating and drinking” (Luke 7:34) referring to the social and recreational life He lived. There has to be a balance though where too much time isn’t spent on secular, earthly pursuits.
Third, Paul pointed out that it’s possible for spiritual liberties to become harmful when they start to control us; when we’re “brought under [their] power.” He’s referring to activities becoming addictions or obsessions. This is when our priorities are out of order; our unspiritual pursuits have become more important than areas that should be of greatest importance: the Lord, His Word, our spouses, children, church families, etc. When you talk to people struggling with this they might respond with, “I have the liberty in Christ to do this!”but they don’t have the liberty to engage in it that much; not to the exclusion of the more important relationships and responsibilities God wants us focused on.
“Only one life, ’twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” – C.T. Studd
Our leadership is pretty tight when it comes to spending money and I mean that as a compliment. They take seriously the money that’s given to the church, seeing it as an important stewardship. Here are three sobering realities associated with the money we receive that I think goes through the mind of every pastor/elder when finances are considered:
This is money people gave to the church that could’ve been spent any number of other ways to directly benefit them, their children, their family, etc.
Every dollar we spend on the church is a dollar that’s not going to a missionary.
Even though this money is given to the church, it’s not really the church’s money; it’s God’s money and He expects it to be used for His glory. Some day there will be an accounting for how it’s spent.
Spending money in the church is a large responsibility that encourages quite a bit of consideration and prayer behind every purchase. People might come to our church and see things that could be replaced or improved and they might suspect it has to do with us lacking money, but if you inquired the response you’d probably receive is “It still works.” The reality is we’re not lacking money. This leadership’s frugality has put our church in a good place financially, including having a beautiful church, fellowship hall, parsonage and no debt. We’re able to give generously to missions and at one of our recent board meetings we actually felt like we had too much money saved up and we needed to give more to missions. India Evangelical Mission is one of the wonderful missions we support and we were able to give them $8,000 for a well they wanted to build. We’ve also been in a place to help people in and out of the church which is a huge blessing. One nagging situation though has been our sound system. I talked to Jim, one of our elders, and he agreed that we should do something about it. Let’s face it: being able to hear the sermon is a pretty big deal. I don’t know what could be considered a higher priority than that…maybe only the lighting that enables people to read their Bibles as the pastor preaches? (NOTE: the lighting is something else we’re working on too!). We had a board meeting approaching and Jim and I decided we would talk about a new sound system then with the rest of the leadership. Here’s where it gets cool… Isaac, a friend of the church who’s really knowledgeable when it comes to sound said he could set us up with a pretty good system for X amount of money. Jim and I decided we would run that by the board and have Isaac go ahead and purchase the system and install it for us. At our board meetings we usually talk about new business toward the end, which is when purchasing the new sound system would’ve been discussed. To be clear, aside from Jim and I, nobody else knew we were going to get a new sound system. Toward the beginning of the meeting our financial person said, “I want to let you all know somebody anonymously donated Y amount of money to the church and they’d like it to be spent on a new sound system.” The amount donated was almost 70% MORE than the amount Isaac said he would spend. I don’t like to speak for God, but it was hard not to look at this as God’s way of encouraging us to go forward with a new sound system and even providing for us to do it! Again, when you’re thinking about spending money on the church, you go back to those three considerations I mentioned earlier and ask yourself, “Is this really what God would have us do with His money?” Receiving the news about the donation was a great blessing for a number of reasons, probably most of all because we could feel like it was what God wanted us to do and this was His way of providentially letting us know. We’ve got a few other church improvements on the horizon as well: the movable walls and the carpeting in the fellowship hall, the parking lots, the kitchen, and I already mentioned the lighting. We’d appreciate your prayers as we go about trying to be good stewards of God’s money. Finally, if the people who donated the money for our sound system read this, please know what a great blessing it to us and we’re very, very thankful for it. I hope it’s encouraging to know that as thousands of people hear God’s Word preached at WCC over the years, you can feel like a part of every one of those sermons.