How A Wife Can Encourage Her Husband To Lead Spiritually

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One of the most frequent questions I get from the wives in the Marriage After God community is this, “How can I encourage my husband to lead spiritually?” What I love about this is that their hearts are desiring to see their husbands stand up and take on the role that God has given to them. These wives desire to have a Godly husband who leads their family closer to God and closer to His Word. Aaron and I wanted to share candidly, practically and Biblically about how a wife can do this in a powerful way. We pray this episode blesses you and your spouse today. 

What we believe about spiritual leadership is found in scripture.

 “For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.” – Ephesians 5:23-25

 “But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.” – 1 Corinthians 11:3

A Prayer For Your Marriage

Dear Lord,

Thank You for the gift of marriage. Thank you for the opportunity to consider these things and how we can mature as a couple. We pray we would walk in righteousness, gentleness and self-control. We pray we would be people who see others through the lens of compassion. Help us to be thoughtful in our responses to each other. Help us to be respectful in our conduct. We pray our interactions as a married couple would be a testimony of your power and authority in our lives. May your light shine brightly in us as we direct each other back toward you.

In Jesus’ name, amen!


– Hey, we’re Aaron and Jennifer Smith with Marriage After God.

– Helping you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.

– And today we’re gonna share how a wife can encourage her husband to lead spiritually. Welcome to the Marriage After God podcast where we believe that marriage was meant for more than just happily ever after.

– I’m Jennifer, also known as Unveiled Wife.

– And I’m Aaron, also known as Husband Revolution.

– We have been married for over a decade.

– And so far, we have four young children.

– We have been doing marriage ministry online for over seven years through blogging and social media.

– With the desire to inspire couples to keep God at the center of their marriage. Encouraging them to walk in faith every day.

– We believe that Christian marriage should be an extraordinary one. Full of life.

– Love.

– And power.

– That can only be found by chasing after God.

– Together.

– Thank you for joining us on this journey as we chase boldly after God’s will for our life together.

– This is Marriage After God.

– Hey guys, thanks for joining us on a new episode of the Marriage After God podcast. We’re in season three and

– It’s so exciting.

– I know. And I hope you’ve been enjoying this new season. We’ve been doing some fun posts. We’ve been doing some devotional style marriage encouragements and just, we’re trying to make it a little bit more dynamic.

– Dynamic, ah that’s what I was gonna say.

– A little bit more mixed content. I hope you’re enjoying it. If you are, let us know on Instagram. Send us a message. Let us know what you think of the show. Also, we always want to encourage you, if you love an episode, if this is a particular episode that has blessed you, would you just take a screen shot of wherever you’re listening to it at and post it in Instagram and tag, “Marriage After God.” We love seeing those. We love sharing those on our own pages and it gets the word out. Let’s other people know about it.

– Okay, so I have to share with them. Knowing that we were going to be recording podcasts, I stopped by the local coffee shop. Shout out to Dutch Brothers.

– Yeah.

– They’re really good. They’re just one of those drive through coffee shops, but sometimes the people come outside to take your order and you know, I’m like, well into my third trimester. Very noticeably pregnant and I rolled my window down and he goes, “so what are we having?” And I said, “A girl!” He was–

– When you told me this, I thought you were kidding.

– No.

– I was like, oh, you got him good.

– He was so embarrassed and he was like, “even if I ever assumed I would never say anything.” And I go, “oh no, it’s not your fault. “I just, I just gotten done on an appointment “and it’s on my mind all the time “and people are always asking me “if we know what we’re having.” And we were just laughing about it.

– That’s really funny. And what’s funny is you weren’t kidding with him. You thought he asked you.

– I thought it was a legitimate question, but he was wondering what kind of coffee we would take today. So that’s funny. But I did wanna just give a little update on the pregnancy. You know where I’m at, it’s been really good and hard at the same time.

– It’s been really hard.

– Well, no complications.

– This has been hard when–

– We shared about this already. No complications, but just, you know when you’re chasing around four other little kids and your body is physically limited, it gets hard and uncomfortable at times. And so I’ve been feeling just a lack of energy lately.

– Mmh hmm.

– I’ve been feeling slower and being confronted with my, just physical limitations and that’s hard for my mind to wrestle with ’cause my mind wants to go, go, go and do more and I can’t.

– A tip for husbands out there. If your wife is pregnant in her third trimester, just massage her feet and legs every night.

– Yeah.

– That helps a lot.

– It’s wonderful.

– It’s kind been where we’ve been at.

– But all is good and I’m really exciting for the nesting phase to hit because I know that that’s kind of like an extra burst of God’s grace for soon to be moms. It just, it comes on.

– A burst of endorphins.

– Yup and you just go and you clean the things that you never even look at and it feels so great. And so, I’m kind of looking around my house going, nope, that’s gonna wait for–

– The question will be is how long will it stay that way with our four other kids.

– I know. Like the cleanliness, yeah.

– Okay, we just wanna encourage you guys, everyone that’s listening, we have some free downloads.

– Mmh hmm.

– We have two specifically, there’s actually a bunch more, but the two I wanna talk about today is, “The Marriage Prayer Challenge.” It’s a 31 day prayer challenge where you sign up. It’s completely free and we’ll email you a marriage prompt, a prayer prompt and a reminder to pray every day for 31 days for your spouse. And you can go to and sign up for that for free and then our other free download, it’s a new one. It’s our “52 Date Night Ideas” ebook. We have, we came up with 52 unique date night ideas and so if you’re looking to have a whole year of date ideas, just go to and sign up and download it for free. And those two free, well, those things, we created for you guys just to encourage you, to inspire you. So yeah, and

– Cool, okay so, the topic for today is how can a wife encourage her husband to lead spiritually and when, how Aaron and I kind of set up and prepare for these podcasts episodes is we have a document that we both share and we kind of just, once we have the topic down, we’ll go in every so often and add notes and look over it and share our thoughts about it. And I remember when I first went into this document, it just said the words, “honorably and gently.”

– I put all the notes I could come up with in there.

– It was really sweet, but I just had to get that out of the gate because it was really cool to see your perspective of how, like what it takes for a wife to encourage her husband and those are two powerful words.

– Yeah, to my defense, I actually did put more in there later.

– I know.

– I wrote down, and we’ll get to some of those, but I wrote down a lot of the ways that you have encouraged me.

– Yeah

– Whether we’ve talked about it or not.

– This was just the first note that I saw and I just wanted to add that because it was really cool. But this is actually a topic that came from the wives in our Marriage After God community and it was a question that kind of kept coming up in different ways and so we thought it would be fun to talk about it, discuss it.

– Mmh hmm.

– And encourage you listening. Both husbands and wives because marriage takes two.

– Yeah and for the husbands and wives that are listening, husbands take note of the things that we talk about because even if your wife isn’t encouraging you to be a spiritual leader, even if she doesn’t know how to or hasn’t started yet, it’s important that we as men start stepping up in that role. Trusting the Lord. Chasing after Him and guiding our family closer to Him, to the word of God.

– Yup.

– And we do that by example.

– Mmh hmm.

– We do that by being faithful, trustworthy.

– Yeah.

– And so I just want to encourage the husbands.

– I think that’s really good and I think that as the husbands are listening, of course not using everything that we share as ammunition to go, “see, you should be doing this,”

– Oh absolutely.

– but rather, use what we share today as an encouragement to you in how you should be leading.

– Yeah.

– And hopefully, it inspires you both today.

– Yeah and just, I always bring this up. Our pastor, Matt, our old pastor would always say, “read your own mail.” So, in those scriptures when it’s talking to the wife on how she should be, we don’t read that and say, “see, this is how you should be.”

– Because you’ve got the whole section yourself to be reading.

– Yeah, I have my own mail I need to be opening up and reading and to honest, there’s enough there for each of us to be doing our thing to not have to worry about how our spouse walking those things.

– Mmh hmm.

– That doesn’t mean we can’t encourage our spouse to be like, hey, I just want to encourage you, the way you were being, that was a little disrespectful. Or, like, we can always encourage each other. We’re allowed to do that. Again, honorably and gently.

– Yeah.

– But there’s so much in our own, in the scriptures that talk directly to us, that we should be just walking in.

– Yeah.

– In the spirit. And you know what, when we do that, our spouse, it’s so hard for our spouse to not.

– Mmh hmm.

– Like when we’re walking the way the Bible calls us to, it’s gonna be really hard for our spouse, our wife, or your husband to not desire to walk in that way as well.

– Okay so, first Aaron, before we get into the encouraging aspect of encouraging our husbands to lead, there’s something else that you wanted to talk about.

– Well, I think it’s a good point that we should bring up of just where this idea of spiritual headship, spiritual leadership comes from, ’cause there’s a lot of people who will be like, no, that’s not right. it should be, this way or that way, but–

– It’s not for Aaron and Jen.

– It’s not my idea. It’s not like I came up with like, hey, the men should be in charge and the men should be leading. It’s a biblical concept. It’s the way, it’s an order that God put in place and for His purpose, not for ours.

– Right, so what we believe and how we operate in our family comes straight from scripture.

– Right.

– And that’s what kind of where we wanted to start off on the foundational aspect of this.

– Yeah and I want to encourage everyone that’s listening that your desire should not be to live Aaron and Jennifer’s way.

– Mmh mmh.

– Your desire should be to live the Bible’s way. So you getting into the word and saying, wow, it says this. How does that play out in our marriage?

– We’re just big neon arrows pointing to the word of God.

– Let’s hope.

– That’s what we’re here for you.

– So Ephesians five, 23 through 25, the famous marriage scriptures. It says this. It says, “For the husband is the head of the wife, “even as Christ is the head of the church, “his body and himself at savior.” So just real quick, it’s not saying that the husband is the savior. It’s saying that Christ is the savior of the church. But it’s saying in that same manner, in the same manner that Christ is the head of His church, His bride, the husband is the head of the wife. And we talk about his in the Marriage After God book, that the picture of husband and wife, the symbol of marriage is to represent the gospel of Christ the Savior and His church, the bride. And so, that order of headship is specifically to highlight that, that point. So if I’m trying as the husband, if I’m trying to lead in a way that diminishes the gospel, I’m not leading well and I’m not walking in the spiritual leadership that God’s called me to. So, if I’m being abusive, if I’m being vulgar, if I’m using my power that God’s given me in abusive ways to manipulate, to control, that’s not how Christ came. That’s not how Christ loved His church. He came humbly.

– Humbly, yeah.

– And He came putting it, laying Himself down. That’s exactly what the scripture’s talking about. Giving himself up for her. And so, we don’t just get to say, oh, see the Bible says I’m in charge, so now this is how I’m gonna do it. No, the Bible says I’m in charge, so I must do it His way.

– His way, yeah.

– The Bible’s way. So, I just wanted to point out.

– No, that’s good.

– But that’s one of the first spots that we would run to in showing this headship, is the husband represents Christ. Your bride represents the church and that relationship represents how the gospel works. The redeeming nature, the love, the unity, the oneness of us being joined to Christ through His death and resurrection and so, headship comes straight from here and it also says, and when I read first Corinthians 11:3,

– It says this, “But I want you to understand “that the head of every man is Christ. “The head of a wife is her husband “and the head of Christ is God.”

– What I love about this is it’s showing this order again and saying the head of every man is Christ. It starts that way. It doesn’t say that the head of every woman is man. It’s not written that way. It says, “the head of every man is Christ,” and what that means is my authority does not come from me being a man. It comes from Christ and Him saying this is the order I want. That, so we have to first realize that we are responsible to our own head, Christ. That the way I love and lead and disciple and walk, I’m directly accountable to Christ and He’s gonna look at me and say, how did you walk in this authority I’ve given you? That’s this is idea of derived authority. It trickles down. It’s not just inside me because I’m a man.

– Right. So, the second part of that is, “the head of thy wife is her husband,” and this is very specific ’cause it’s not that the head of every woman is a man–

– Yeah, which some people believe.

– Well, can you clarify that?

– Yeah, it’s, this is specifically talking about the relationship again between a husband and a wife that me as a man in the church, I don’t get to have every woman be in submission to me,

– Right.

– as Ephesians five, 23 would call a wife to be in submission to her husband. Women do not need to submit to me. My wife should, but that’s it. I don’t get to have any sort of extra authority in any other woman’s life other than my own wife. So, we don’t get to use this scripture as an excuse of women are in this position and men are in this position in the church and that’s not what we do.

– I think this order, God showing us this order is really important because when you’re bringing two people into a single unity so that they’re one, which you know, the scripture tells us, there’s gotta be–

– Order.

– There’s gotta be order because otherwise you’ll have two people trying to lead and what happens when that’s going on?

– Chaos.

– Chaos because they’re fighting for their own ways. They’re doing their own thing and they expect the other person to follow and so this provides the outline.

– Right, well and what’s even more amazing is it ends with, “the head of Christ is God.” There’s a scripture that says, “Christ learned obedience “through the things that He suffered.” Which is amazing because you’re like wait, what? Not that He wasn’t obedient. It’s this idea of full obedience meaning even unto death, Christ was obedient to God. Christ, there’s another scripture where Christ says, “I only came “to do what my Father has called me to do. “To go where my Father has called me to go “and to say that which my Father wants me to say.” There’s this perfect picture of Him being completely and perfectly in unity with God in His obedience to God and His will.

– Which, I love this because it just further solidifies that Christ is our example.

– Yup.

– Right, Christ, it could have just been that Christ is God and that’s the authority and that’s it, but no, He says that, “the head of Christ is God.” That means that Christ is in subjection to God’s authority and if Christ is our example, then we need to follow.

– Right and this is a big concept ’cause Jesus is God.

– Yeah.

– And God is God. And the Holy Spirit is God because we have this triune nature of God. Three individual persons, but one God head, right. But there’s an order to it.

– Yeah.

– They’ve been in perfect unity since before the foundations of the world. So for all eternity, God, Christ and the Spirit have been in perfect harmony–

– They get it.

– and unity, but it’s in order.

– Yeah.

– God the Father. God the Son, God the Spirit. There’s this order and it’s showing us right here. It’s saying, in the same way that Christ, God, has a head, God, God, right, It’s kind weird. The husband is the head of the wife and Christ is the head of the church, and the head of man. So all this is showing is a derived authority trickled down. Christ got His authority from God. I get my authority from Christ. My wife gets her authority from me. This trickle down of roles and positions and we shouldn’t go beyond that. We shouldn’t try and extrapolate that and say, see, men need to have authority over every woman in the church. No, there’s not a single woman in the church that needs to be submissive to me the way my wife should be submissive to me. She’s the only one. Now, if we go back early on in Ephesians, right before this it says, it says, “Be in submission to one another “out of reverence for Christ.”

– For Christ.

– Which is a command to the church as a whole,

– Right.

– Which means–

– Be unified.

– Be unified. That each one of us in the body are not trying to be above another. We’re trying to raise the other ones up, but that’s not to be mistaken with people, ’cause people do this. They mistake that, saying, see, husbands should submit to their wives also. That’s actually not what that’s saying. That’s a command to the church as a whole generally. People in the church should be in submission to one another out of reverence for Christ, okay. And then it goes on, it says, “wives submit “to your own husbands.” It says, “your own husbands.” Not to other men. It doesn’t mean my wife needs to submit to any other men but me. And other women don’t need to submit to me the same way my wife does. But generally, in the church we should be in a mutual submission to each other in the body, not in marriage necessarily.

– Right, so this idea of leadership and headship, it’s not something that you just get because you’re a man.

– Right.

– Or men get because they’re men and it’s also not something that men are naturally good at just because they’re men. It’s something that they look to Christ and say, you’re my example. You’re my head. The authority comes from You and from God and I’m gonna walk in Your ways.

– Right and then that leadership plays out when I’m doing it God’s way. Now, if I’m not doing it God’s way, does that mean I don’t, that the wife doesn’t have a responsibility? Again, going back to the reading your own mail. Whether or not the husband is walking in this way, which is why this episode’s here, is the wife has a calling and an opportunity to walk in her own obedience to Christ.

– Right.

– And to walk a certain way that will bless her husband.

– Yeah.

– Bless her marriage and potentially change his heart and raise him up to be the leader that he’s been called to be. So, I just wanna reiterate that men, we’re accountable to someone. Wives, you’re accountable to someone and it’s Christ. And we each have an accountability and we need to make sure that we recognize that so that when we’re leading our families, husbands, we recognize that we don’t just get to lead it however we want. We lead it the way Christ wants.

– Okay so, that was kind of laying the foundation down. I know people like to hear from us, so let’s share a little bit about just our personal testimony of how we’ve been walking in this. You reading your mail about headship and leadership and me reading mine about submission.

– Why don’t we start with yours?

– Okay, so, so I admit that I had this understanding that a wife was to submit to her husband, but of course, learning something requires the experience of walking through it and learning from mistakes.

– Doing it.

– And growing and allowing the Holy Spirit to convict our hearts when we’re wrong and to submit to Him and be transformed by it. I would say that actually, the opportunity of marriage has helped me understand what submission is and what it looks like and I’ve gotten better at it over the years, but I wouldn’t say I’m perfect.

– Right.

– But I, I know that it, in the beginning, it was easier for me to submit physically and what I meant by that is, I had this idea that wherever Aaron, wherever you would go, I would follow you. Whatever you chose to do, that would be an easy thing for me. I’m just gonna follow you. I’m gonna do it and I saw it as submission. But then there was all these other little areas that I didn’t realize I wasn’t submitting to you in.

– Like me having a choice in something. Or desiring to go somewhere or something.

– Yeah or trying to make a decision for our family that would change the way we functioned as a family or even, this was before kids and so, just between you and I, whether it was about health decisions or–

– Getting out of debt.

– Getting out of debt. That was a really hard one for me.

– Yeah.

– And if people read the Unveiled Wife, they know about this. I think I might have shared it in Marriage After God, too.

– You were not interested.

– Well, I struggled because I saw it as your debt and I was very young and immature in my thinking and I didn’t see us as unified in that and so submitting to your request of, hey, let’s put this thousand dollars we just got, that we just earned from hard work and put it towards my school loan debt. I was like, uh uh. But what I found through the experience of walking through that with you is that when I did submit my heart and I said, “Okay, Lord, whatever you ask.” I’m gonna do this and this was just one area but, being able to submit to you in that decision that you made for our family, it actually blessed me and it benefited me and I saw–

– Still does.

– Yeah. Yeah, look at our, the years that have passed and becoming debt free, that’s just one area that I feel like has really changed my heart in this area of submission to you and it does happen in all the little choices. I remember, just recently something happened where you, I wanted to go out to lunch ’cause I had a desire for a certain thing. I think it was a certain sandwich shop down the street and you said, “well, let’s just eat at home,” and I responded with the worst attitude and I said something like, “that’s not what I wanted.” And I did it in front of the kids.

– At least you’re honest.

– Well, I’m really embarrassed but I was, I ended up leaving. I think I took Elliot with me and we were gonna run some errands and I was gonna go get my sandwich and the whole way there I just felt the Lord saying, “You need to call your husband. “You need to tell him you’re sorry right now.” Like, this is bad. And I remember telling you I was, “I’m really sorry “for the way that I responded to you in that moment,” because I wasn’t in submission to your decision to eat at home. I wanted what I wanted and I threw manipulation out. I threw my emotions out to try and get what I wanted and it wasn’t right of me and so learning, even in the smallest of things, how to submit to you in my heart, in my actions, in my attitude, all of it. I don’t know. I’m still learning this, but it really does benefit and bless our family when we walk in the order that God has provided for us. Told us how to do it.

– Right and not just in the practical things, because to be honest, you’ve been blessed by submitting to me even in bad things that, like choices I’ve made, and submitting to me in things that you disagreed with. And the blessing isn’t in that my bad choice turned out good or that my decision wasn’t a poor decision, ’cause those things happen. I don’t lead well all the time. The blessing in the encouragement and the power comes from your obedience to Christ. Your closeness to God.

– Yeah.

– Your, when it says that, “Christ learned obedience “through the things that he suffered,”

– Yeah.

– sometimes that’s the joy and that’s the blessing, is like, regardless of your husband ever does the thing that you want him to or ever leads the way you want him to, the true power in blessing is in your obedience to God.

– And I would say this to add to that, you’re absolutely right. It’s also, it builds trust. I’m trusting God because if I can see something, like you said, a bad decision or something like that that you’re gonna make and I still submit to you, basically I’m saying I don’t understand why you’re choosing that but I’m gonna trust God with you and with what’s going on.

– And with my life and the situation.

– And that has blessed us. Some of the opportunities with that that have come out has been a learning opportunity for you or a growth opportunity for me and it–

– Yeah, so when I think about this, I think of that first Romans eight, 28. It says, “and we know that for those who love God, “all things work together for good “for those who are called according to His purpose.” So, Christian, raise your hand. Are you called according to His purpose?

– Yup.

– Yeah. Do you love God?

– Yup.

– Yup. So, even when you’re husband’s not leading well, does God, can God work that out for your good? ‘Cause He promises to. And we may not know what that good looks like right now and it may not feel good and we talked about this feelings thing a couple episodes ago, but He’s gonna work it out.

– Yeah.

– I like what you said. Trusting God.

– Yeah, I didn’t know you were gonna bring this verse up but as you were reading it and you were getting to the end of it, it says, “those who are called according to His purpose,” and when I just think about marriage in and of itself, it’s for His purpose. It’s not for our purpose, although there’s benefits to us. Because earlier you’d talked about what it represents and so when we submit to His order and we say, okay Lord, we’re gonna walk this out. I’m gonna encourage my husband to lead. I’m gonna let him lead. He’s gonna lead me, and the husband’s over there saying, Okay Christ, I’m following You. I’m walking Your way, it’s for His purposes.

– Yeah, so I think that’s a good, for the wife listening, heart posture is saying, Okay Lord. My life and my marriage is Yours and I want to practice trusting You. I want to practice loving You. I want to practice knowing You, and so this is one of the ways I’m gonna do that is walking in submission to my husband.

– Yeah.

– Even when I’m afraid of how he’s making, the decision he’s making. If I think he’s wrong.

– Yeah, well–

– It doesn’t mean you can’t encourage him, right?

– Well, here’s the truth. We cannot encourage our husbands to lead and feel confident in leading if we challenge every time they try.

– You’re right. Think about our kids. We have to give them opportunities to make choices, make decisions, do things on their own and if we never do that, they’re never gonna get good at the things they wanna get good at, right.

– Yeah.

– So, even with your husband, just like anything, the moment they, and this has happened to us, I try and make a decision and there’s an immediate fight, argument.

– Confrontation.

– Yeah, confrontational, or opposition.

– Conflict, disagreement.

– Like, no, I think that’s a bad choice, rather than letting me figure it out.

– And then going to the prayer closet with it.

– I have enough room for it. And we’ve seen this time and time again in our own marriage. We’ve seen it in other marriages. This is the things is, we’ll get messages from people saying, “how do I get my husband to lead, “’cause every time he tries, “I don’t like the decisions he makes.” And I’m just thinking he’s never gonna figure out how to make better decisions if you’re not gonna encourage him and say, okay, let’s try that. I might not see how that’s gonna work out, but I’m gonna follow you and let’s see how that plays out.

– If we do submit, if we do act out in submission towards our husband, then it’s gonna require us to pray more for them

– Oh yeah.

– and the choices that they’re making. I think all the wives need to hear that right now because how often are we praying for our husband’s leadership? How often are we praying for the choices that they’re making and how they’re leading our family? That we want it to improve or that we want it to go a certain direction and that we’re submitting those desires and things to the Lord.

– And I would say, ’cause I’m just thinking about marriages where you have a super immature husband. Someone who just, the decisions they make are totally selfish decisions and those, that happens. You know, their hobbies or how they wanna spend the money. Where they wanna go or they just wanna leave and they just wanna, that’s a hard place for a wife to be. I just wanna say my heart is broken for where you’re at in your marriage, but for you, your prayer closet, getting on your knees before God and knowing that God loves you and your husband.

– And that He has a purpose for it.

– He has a purpose for what’s going on. Just start praying that God captures that man’s heart.

– Yeah.

– And pray fervently without ceasing. Pray daily, hourly, minute by minute for them and watch God move. And then also pray for opportunities.

– Yeah.

– Like very calm, gentle honoring opportunities to be like, hey, that’s great if you wanna do that. I just wanna give you an encouragement. Would you consider how this is gonna bless us when you make this decision?

– Yeah, respectfully communicate.

– And how ever they answer, be like, okay, I just wanna encourage you to consider that.

– That’s great.

– Love you.

– ‘Cause we have huge influence in our husband’s lives in the way that they do make decisions. So, even if we don’t feel like that’s true, they’re thinking about the things that we say and how we’re saying them.

– Yeah.

– Right.

– And I would also give an encouragement to wives to not be manipulative in the way they encourage their husbands to lead because I think sometimes there could be, oh yeah, I want him to lead as long as he leads my way. And so, doing, just using your emotional, emotions and the way you word things to get them to feel like their decision’s bad and they should go with yours anyway, or, that’s not how, no one responds well to those things. So just being careful how you’re using your words and being prayerful in this journey of encouraging your husband. Again, prayer and running to the Father ’cause God’s the only one who can change hearts. And that’s what needs to happen in a lot of these men’s lives. Husbands, if you’re listening. If you’re having a hard time leading, it’s a heart problem in you that you need to go to the Father and say, change this in me. Why am I so afraid, or why is this so hard, or why am I feeling like I can’t. Because even if your wife’s not letting you, you should still be leading.

– Yeah.

– Because you can be an example in your home.

– Okay, so real quick. For the relationship that the husband hasn’t been spiritually leading and maybe the wife has, there could become a root of bitterness in her heart towards him and so when he does step up to try and lead, it can feel almost frustrating in the sense that he’s doing it wrong or he’s not doing it how she thinks he should. I know you mentioned all of that.

– Well, she’s been doing it for so long and now she has to like, wait, you’re just gonna come in–

– How do you transition. How do you transition and sometimes that root of bitterness can get in the way and so I just wanted to call that out because you had touched on it briefly and I just, do you have any thoughts about that or an encouragement to a wife who may, there may be a situation that happens in the midst of them working together in the kitchen, how does she respond in that moment?

– Yeah, well, it’s even before that. If there is a root of bitterness like this, I’ve been leading and I’ve been doing this and my husband hasn’t stepped up and there’s this irked feeling.

– Now all the sudden he’s going to try.

– Now you’re gonna try or if you’re gonna do it and you’re not gonna do it my way. All those kinds of things.

– How do they respond?

– The first humbleness and repentance.

– Yeah.

– Within their heart. Saying, okay Lord. This is gonna be difficult, but I have been angry and bitter. And I just wanna repent that because I do want my husband to rise up. I do, I don’t, say like, we need to tell the Lord, I don’t want to get in the way of what You’re doing in my husband’s life. I actually wanna be a catalyst for what You’re doing. I wanna be a part of it.

– That’s good.

– So, I would just say start with humbleness and repentance.

– Okay, so we’re gonna move on and share just what are some ways that I have encouraged you to lead our family that’s impacted you, ’cause I think hearing personal stories like this helps get the idea across.

– So, I just have a list here. This is one of the things that I just wrote down notes of. Things that I’ve experienced that you’ve done for me that I felt encouraged me in my leadership.

– Which, by the way, I had mentioned how we kind of prep our episodes. I didn’t know you were gonna do this and so when I went in there to look over the episode. I saw this and I was so touched by it because I thought, oh, I didn’t even know I was doing these things that have impacted you. So, I was really excited to hear this.

– Well, thank you. So, the first one is you often ask me questions about the Bible. So, this does a bunch of things and we talked about this before. Scripture talks about this. It calls wives to go to their husbands and ask them questions.

– Yeah.

– And I know many wives would be like, well, I know more about the Bible than he does. Exactly.

– Or I know where to go that would give me the right answer.

– Exactly, like I have, oh, I have so and so or I have this Pastor or I have this podcast. Those things aren’t bad.

– Or whoever, yeah.

– But just, ladies, listen. Listen to the power that this has in a husband’s life. If every question you had about the Bible, even if you knew he didn’t have the answer, if every question you had about the Bible, like you’re reading scripture and you’re like, this is weird or that’s interesting or I wonder what he meant by that, and you went to your husband. You’re husband’s at home, he’s watching TV or he’s doing whatever, right, and you’re like, hey, Hon, I was just reading in first John and it says, this, what do you think about that? And not in a facetious way. Not in way that sounds antagonistic, but genuinely wanna know what he thinks.

– Yeah.

– I would imagine in the beginning you’ll have, what, what are you talking about? I don’t know. Just go ask your pastor. I don’t know.

– Who knows.

– Who knows how he’s gonna respond, right. But imagine the 50th time. What do you think that husband’s thinking to himself? He’s thinking, she must think I have answers. She must think I know something, right?

– I better know something.

– She must believe or must be interested in my way of thinking about this. So, over and over and over again, running to your husband and saying, hey, what do you think about this? Hey, I read this. Have you ever read this before? What do you think it means? How do I know how to and over and over and over again you go to your husband and you ask these questions, eventually he’s gonna start going to look for the answers.

– Yeah, I would say space the questions out just so that he doesn’t feel berated. Right, give him some breathing room because it could be, for some husbands, new.

– Right, this is tactical. This is tactical.

– No, it’s not. It’s a beautiful way that a marriage gets to look at the word of God together and so, my first thing is just give some space in between each question and then if you have a husband that’s having a hard time answering those questions or maybe he forgets or maybe there’s a lot of time that goes by and he never gets to that question, gets to answer that question, pray for him. Don’t let that become bitterness in your heart that he’s not answering your questions.

– Yeah.

– Let it become an opportunity for you to pray for him.

– See it as a tool. Well first of all, the Bible tells wives to go ask their husbands questions. Second of all, over time that’s gonna build up so much respect in him. When someone asks you questions, ladies, just think about this. If someone comes to you and says, hey I have this question. I wanna know your opinion, thought, idea, doesn’t that make you feel so respected and honored?

– Totally and I either wanna share right there what I think or I wanna go figure it out and then come back.

– Yeah, ’cause that person really wants to know from you. Cool, so lets, I’m gonna run through a bunch of these and then we’ll go a little deeper–

– Sometimes Aaron gets really excited,

– I do.

– and he starts teaching on a topic, but we’re gonna share a little bit more about how you can encourage your husband specifically in just a little bit. But first, let’s get through this list of what you came up with.

– So again, these are things that I’ve seen you do for me.

– Something I was gonna share real quick on this is one of the opportunities I always take is after a Sunday church service, if something stood out to me that I didn’t understand, I’ll come to you and say, “hey, what did “the pastor mean by this?” Or, “I’m kinda confused,” or whatever the question is.

– Right.

– And so that’s one opportunity and then, one of the things that we like to ask each other is, “what has God been teaching us lately?” So, I like that.

– Yeah. So, the next one is, you encourage me in the things I’m already leading in. So, it’s like this affirmation. You see me doing finances and you encourage me in that. Hey, thank you so much for doing, taking care of our family so well in that area. If you see me with my, doing something leadership wise with my kids, like discipling them, talking to them about something spiritual. Teaching them something, anything.

– Positive reinforcement with words.

– Oh yeah, so what you’re doing is you’re, and it, you’re going out of your way to recognize leadership things in me and affirm those things.

– Yeah.

– You work hard to implement things that I have put in place. Which again,

– I have a good example of it.

– That’s a submission thing and a leadership thing.

– So, I had a good friend, Angie Tolpin from Courageous Mom, encourage me in home schooling to say, go to the husband, ’cause I’m there all day with the kids, but to go to your husband and say, what’s your vision for home school? What do you want me to be teaching them? And then to take that vision and implement it and let your husband see the fruitfulness that comes from it.

– Which gave me an opportunity to lead because I’m like, whoa, I didn’t even think about that.

– Now you gotta look into home school.

– It took me some time to think about things that I cared about.

– Yeah.

– You did all the detailed stuff, all the standard things.

– But you got to cast the vision and lead our family in that way. So, that’s just one example, one area of what that looked like.

– Which I kind of already mentioned this, but you reinforce my leadership with the children. So when you see me doing, leading my kids. Teaching them things. Encouraging them, you affirm me in that.

– We also have to be unified in that.

– I notice you were working on submitting to my leadership and yielding to my way of leading by laying down your plan–

– Can you see it in my eyes when I’m not?

– Yeah, or inviting me to make the plan. These things encourage me and show me like, oh, she wants me to lead.

– I used to come to Aaron at the beginning of, not every day, but important days and I’d say, okay, here’s kind of like my expectations and what I want today to be like.

– You could tell me yours afterwards, but this is what I want.

– I’ve gotten into it but I still do that at times, but I do, I’ve gotten into a better habit of going to him on those days and going, hey, what were you thinking about today? Let’s talk about this. I’m trying.

– Well, you have gotten better and I’ve also raised up in that area.

– Yeah.

– So.

– Being thoughtful.

– Yeah, so we sit down and we’ll discuss the plans for the week. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have a voice in it.

– Right.

– You’re expecting me to lead in that. You’ve reminded me of what the Bible calls me to do in a loving way. So, there’s been times that you said, “hey, I just want “to remind you that this week’s coming up. “There’s gonna be these things. “I’d love for you to put your heart on “and your mind of what you see for us. “How do you want this to play out? “Remember, that’s your role. “I’m looking for you to do this in my life.” And so you just in loving, gentle ways, saying “hey, God’s called you to this. “I’m looking forward to it. “I’m excited for it and I’m reminding you to do it.”

– Yeah, no, that’s really good. And I think there’s been other times where just the way that I hear you talking with the kids, if it’s a little harsh, I’ll say, I’ll remind you, gentleness. Sometimes it’s just a one word phrase and other times it’s just, there’s actual scripture that comes to my mind that I feel like I need to share with you.

– Yeah, there’s been times in my life when I’m in sin,

– Yeah.

– And we’re talked about this in our pornography episode

– Oh yeah.

– Awhile ago where you came to me and you actually spoke truth to me.

– Jesus’ words about adultery.

– Instead of giving me your heart in your words, which you definitely had those,

– Yeah.

– you give me the word.

– His words, yeah.

– You showed me what you’re doing is adultery. What you’re doing, you’re going to end up teaching our children. You need to walk in the freedom you have. You spoke all these truths to me in a very powerful way, but you reminded me what the Bible says.

– Yeah, I want to admit to one more, but this is more like a failure slash warning for wives not to use scripture to get your own way and there’s one scripture in particular that always comes to my mind when I’m frustrated at you or what you’re doing and it’s the one about, “husbands walk “with your wives in an understanding way.”

– You’re not understanding me.

– No, it’s such a beautiful verse and I love it and I really do believe that you should be walking with me in an understanding way.

– Yeah, of course.

– But I shouldn’t use, there’s been a couple times where I’ve brought it up and I know I’m frustrated because I want you to understand me, but really, I just want you to yield to me. So, don’t do that.

– Right.

– Don’t do that.

– You’ve gotten better on that.

– Yeah.

– These last two are really powerful ones. Ladies, wives, speak well of your husband in public to others. This is the most dismantling, one of the most dismantling, destructive things you can do is speaking down of your spouse in public.

– Yeah.

– You should never do that. That doesn’t mean, like you’re not, you’re going to a confidential, a confident, a brother or sister in Christ to get advice and you’re sharing situations. But that’s not what this is and everyone knows when you’re talking down about their spouse.

– Here’s the deal. If you’re walking with the Lord, the Holy Spirit will convict you on those times that you’re not walking faithfully and you are talking about your husband.

– Okay, I get so frustrated about this and actually, if any of you that are listening have done this, I pray that you would think through it. Repent of it and change. I’ve seen people, public comments about their spouse. Oh, husbands and wives. Oh, my wife would never do this because of this, this and this, and I’m like, well, why are you telling everyone? Go talk to your wife about that. Or, I wish my husband would read this because he’s this, this and this, and I’m like, whoa.

– When you say public comments, are you talking about comments on social media?

– Social media.

– Okay.

– And this is just, that’s just one forum.

– Yeah.

– It’s super public. Everyone sees it and I would just imagine, if I was that husband, I would be destroyed. And I think that’s the point that they’re doing it is that they feel destroyed so they’re retaliating.

– Yeah.

– And so, I just want to encourage that we don’t speak down about our spouses in public. My wife, Jennifer, you do this. Not speak down about me. You speak well of me.

– Yeah.

– Which makes me desire to live up to the words you speak about me because I hear it and I’m like, whoa, that’s what she thinks of me. I didn’t feel like that today. I didn’t feel like I was being that way. So, speaking well of me in public is something that’s been done that’s been hugely impactful in my life.

– I will say this just to encourage the wives who maybe have done this or it happens occasionally is in order to change, you have to repent and I remember years ago, it must have been within the third or fourth year of marriage, I went out to lunch with a friend and the conversation turned into this kind of complaining about you.

– Complaining about me.

– And I was on, I remember still where I was on the freeway feeling conviction from the Lord on how I spoke about you and I called that friend up and I was like, I have to apologize. What I said, what I did, it wasn’t a good example. It wasn’t what I should have done and I told you about it and I had to confess it. Otherwise I could have easily just stepped right back into it another time. And when we’re confronted with our sin like that and we deal with it and we repent, it changes us. God changes us. And so I just want to encourage you, if you find yourself in the midst of doing something like that and the Lord convicts you, repent.

– Yeah and again, I wanna separate this idea of sitting with a close girlfriend who’s going to draw you back to the word of God,

– Right.

– and encourage you in saying, here’s some things I’m dealing with.

– I think we all know the difference.

– Everyone knows the difference.

– Versus I’m gonna tell you how much I’m bothered by my husband.

– It’s a heart posture.

– It’s totally a heart posture, So, speak well of people and of your spouse in public and then the last one is, Baby, you do this. You look to me for guidance pretty much for everything. It doesn’t mean I have the answers all the time. I rarely have the perfect answer, but you come to me and say there’s this, what about this. Hey, this things going in my, hey, I have this relationship thing, what do you think. So, that’s become a pattern in our life. Coming to me for advise.

– As it happens, I trust you more. I wanna hear from you more. I wanna get your perspective more and so, it’s a building block, so like in marriage, you may not be at a point in your marriage right now where you feel that way. Where you desire your husband’s perspective on something, but as you guys work through that and as you grow and you give him more opportunities for giving you advise on things or help walk you through certain things, you’ll learn to trust him more.

– So, that was really good. Let’s talk about some of the benefits of walking in submission to his leadership. So, why don’t you share some of the benefits you’ve seen from learning to walk in submission to and allow me to lead.

– Okay, well, feeling loved and looked after. I feel like you truly are concerned with my welfare, our family’s welfare and just when you make decisions or how you lead our family, it shows. There’s evidence of that.

– Just real quick. Husbands that are listening. Listen to these benefits because when you walk in leadership and walk in spiritual leadership, your wife’s gonna experience the same benefits.

– Yeah, totally. I feel like God’s honored and glorified because we’re working out that order that you mentioned earlier.

– Yup.

– And it’s a stark contrast to the way that the world operates. It just looks different. So, they see that picture of marriage. I feel like there’s less worry in my own heart because the burden is shared. So, if we are walking through something hard, I know, especially over time of submitting to your leadership, that I can trust you. I can trust God with you. What else? Our communication is better. I feel like we communicate more respectfully towards each other. Intentional discipleship of our children.

– That’s been a huge–

– Them seeing a good example of what it looks like for a daddy to lead and mommy to submit has been really cool and they get it, even at a young age.

– It’s amazing what they get.

– Yeah. I feel like it provides an open and safe place for us to talk about things, especially biblical things. And if there is ever disagreement or misunderstanding on certain things, decisions that we have to make or concepts that are even in the Bible that we get to talk those things out and wrestle with them together.

– Those are good benefits.

– Yeah.

– And it just, it’s, yeah, it’s obedience to God’s order and it’s a blessing.

– Yeah.

– When husband and wife are walking that way it’s good.

– It’s awesome.

– It’s awesome.

– Marriage is awesome.

– Now, it doesn’t mean you can’t walk that way without your spouse walking their way. We’re still called to read our own mail and walk in obedience to Christ.

– Yeah.

– But man, when you’re both doing it, the ministry that you can do, the example you are to the world of the gospel is so beautiful.

– Yeah, I will say this is another benefit, too, is that when we understand His purpose for marriage and His order and we’re trying as hard as we can to walk, maybe it’s not perfect, but we’re walking in those roles and in those ways, we’re motivated by an internal, eternal perspective that far outweighs any current circumstances that we face. So Aaron, wouldn’t you agree that over time, the things that we face, the things that we have to walk through together are now, like after 13 years of marriage, they’re much smaller to us in comparison to our view of what’s motivating us, which is God, which is His–

– Well because we repent way quicker.

– Eternity with Him.

– We humble ourselves way quicker. We realize like, man the thing that we’re really fighting about now,

– Yeah.

– is not worthy of this much attention. So, we back off quicker. We come to each other and say we feel dis-unified.

– Right.

– Let’s work on that. Let’s fix it. Our kids, we also recognize it in our children. When we have disunity, when we’re not walking well with each other,

– Yeah.

– our kids experience that and respond to that. So, we wanna give some scripture. We’re coming to the end. But here’s just in the Bible. So, wives listening, if you have a husband that’s not walking obedient, in obedience to the word, listen to what the Bible says. This is some of the most powerful scriptures, I think, to a wife on the power that she has in her husband’s life. First Peter, chapter three says this. “Likewise, wives be subject to your own husbands.” Remember, that submission reference to your husband. “So that even if some do not obey the word–“

– Now this could be a non-Christian or it could be someone who claims to be a Christian but is not obeying the word. He’s not walking the way God wants.

– Right, that’s what I love about this is it doesn’t distinguish. It’s saying someone who does not obey the word.

– Yeah.

– It could be both. It says this, “they may be one without a word “by the conduct of their wives. “When they see your respectful and pure conduct. “Do not let you adorning be external. “The braiding of hair, the putting on “of gold jewelry or the clothing you wear. “Let your adorning be the hidden person “of the heart with an imperishable beauty “of a gentle and quiet spirit which in God’s sight “is very precious.” And so, the point of this is, it’s saying, in stark contrast to letting your outside appearance be the thing that is attracting and is getting the attention, it’s not saying don’t wear these things. It’s saying don’t let that be what you’re using as your adorning. The thing that you’re putting on to show who you are. Who you are should be that respectful and pure conduct from within and what it says right here, it says, “they may be one without a word.” So, you want to win your husbands’ hearts, not just for you but for them to be a leader. For them to raise up and sort of obeying the word of God. It’s your conduct. Your gentle and quiet spirit, which is amazing. What that means is, wives, you can actually walk in such a way before your husband in your home that could transform them by the way they walk. Like, why are you so respectful? I’m this way and you just keep serving and you keep loving and you keep forgiving and you keep showing me by example what it looks like. That’s powerful.

– Yeah.

– And so I just want to encourage with that scripture is like, the Bible says it, so you can trust God that it’s saying wives, if you walk in this way, this is power in your husband’s life.

– I love how specific it is that it says, “without a word,” because I think that often times we get creative with our words. Women, we know how to talk and we talk a lot sometimes. And sometimes we think that our words are gonna change our husbands. We think that if we say something enough.

– I just need to get him to…

– Right and so I love that there’s a distinguishing note there, that, “without a word.” And that shows the power of, like you said, our conduct and our behavior and the things that we choose to do. I think if we slow down and really meditated on this verse and understood what God was trying to teach us through it and walk it out, man, your husbands will be influenced by this.

– Let’s take it a step further. So, the wife represents the church. The symbol of the church, right. And what power does the church have in this world? Our conduct.

– Mmh hmm.

– It says that, “the world may know that you “are my disciples by the love you have “for one another.” In other places it says, “that the world may know “that God sent Me by the love you have for each other.”

– Yeah.

– So, wife, your conduct is that symbol and representation to your husband.

– Yeah.

– And church, our conduct is a body of Christ, is that symbol and light to the world. That’s what that’s representing.

– In Proverbs 3, 5-6, it says, “Trust in the Lord “with all your heart and do not lean “on your own understanding. “In all your ways acknowledge Him “and He will make straight your path.” And what I love about this in support of the verse we just read is coming back to our words. Sometimes we think our way is the right way and we’re just gonna speak those words and we’re gonna say that thing over and over and over again, but here God’s saying trust me, lead on my understanding and I’m saying don’t use your words, use your conduct. And so we need to pay attention. We need to acknowledge Him. We need to acknowledge His word and what He’s sharing with us.

– Amen. So, let’s just end on five simple ways that they can start encouraging their husbands. Of course, we talked about all the ways I’ve seen you do it.

– Yeah.

– But there’s just five ways. I’ll do one, you do one. So, number one. Pray for him that he embraces his role as a future leader.

– Number two, ask him to wash you in the water by the word at night or in the morning and if you don’t know what I mean by that, Ephesians 5 25 says this. “Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church “and gave Himself up for her “that He might sanctify her, “having cleansed her by the washing of water “with the word so that He might present the church “to Himself in splendor without spot “or wrinkle or any such thing, “that she might be holy and without blemish.” And so, getting in the word together. Talking about it. Making those safe places for you guys to ask questions, for you to ask him questions and get answers and learn together.

– And don’t become bitter if it takes time.

– Yeah.

– Just keep asking. Say, hey, when you’re ready, I’d love for you to read to me. I’d love for you to talk to me about the Bible.

– Yeah.

– Which leads to number three. Ask him spiritual questions and questions about the word of God before searching it out on your own, which is super respectful and powerful. Just going to him and say, hey, I’d love to know your opinion on this. I’d love to know what you think about this. And just do that. Make that your pattern of, go to him first.

– Yeah.

– Don’t go to your, you know, whoever you listen to on your podcast or who, blogs you follow or your pastor. Go to him first and then go to those places. And that let’s him know that you totally respect him. First Corinthians, 14:35 says that is there’s anything that they desire to learn, talking about wives, “let them ask their husbands at home.”

– And I will say this. I think you’ll be really surprised by your husband’s answers when he does share them with you. I’ve had girlfriends in the past tell me, you know, I’m not good at asking my husband questions, but I asked him recently, duh duh duh tah duh, and this is what he came back with, and she shared his response and it was incredible and then she got to affirm him in that and it built his confidence.

– Yeah, which is number four.

– You guys are so cool. Number four is affirm him with kind words. Let him know that you believe he can do this.

– Yeah. Number five is be supportive in action. Meaning in front of the kids, being on the same page. If he has a decision, be like, let’s do this. We’re gonna do this as a family. Dad has made a decision. This is what Dad’s decided. Showing him that you’re rooting for his leadership.

– And that means that things don’t change when Dad steps outside of the home to go to work or Dad goes to run an errand.

– You instill things that he’s desired.

– You are the, the mediator between you and your kids and you’re going to be an advocate for his vision, for his decisions, for his leadership for them.

– Yeah and just as encouragement, this, sometimes this takes times. This always takes time. But Jennifer and I, we’re still learning how to do this. I’ve failed often. Jennifer fails often. This is something that we have to constantly be like, hey. We gotta get realigned. I know I have to remember my role. You have to remember yours. Let’s do this. So we just want to encourage you to take those steps in prayer. To desire what God desires. To be in the word of God and yeah, just follow. His ways are good and we just need to chase after those. So as usual, we end in prayer. We pray that this episode encouraged you and so, let me pray. Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of marriage. Thank you for the opportunity to consider these things and how we can mature as a couple. We pray we would walk in righteousness, gentleness and self control. We pray we would be people who see others through the lens of compassion. Help us to be thoughtful in our response to each other. Help us to be respectful in our conduct. We pray our interactions as a married couple would be a testimony of Your power and authority in our lives. May Your light shine brightly in us as we direct each other back to You. In Jesus’ name, amen. We love you guys. I hope this blessed you and encouraged you. Just get into those scriptures yourself. And we just want to remind you, if you have been following us for awhile and haven’t left a review yet, would you please do that today? Just scroll to the bottom on your app, hit the star rating and if you write out a review also, we love reading those. Again, thank you for joining us and we look forward to having you next week. Did you enjoy today’s show? If you did, it would mean the world to us if you could leave us a review on iTunes. Also, if you’re interested, you can find many more encouraging stories and resources at and let us help you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.

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