If you entered your marriage telling your husband what shirt to wear, what job he should apply for and how to spend his free time, you may now be experiencing the down side to that arrangement. I hear mutterings from many wives that their husbands are not leaders in their homes. Some husbands let their wives plan all the events, do all the entertaining and manage the household schedule. Maybe the husband helps with home maintenance, but only when he’s told to. Maybe the husband isn’t good with money, so the wife has taken that on as well, telling her spouse when he can spend money and how much.
Admittedly, the motive is not negative. We want to control our busy lives more efficiently, and we women are good a multitasking and managing our time. But it becomes a trap when we become more like a mother to our husbands than a wife, and we don’t allow them to act or feel like a man.
Someone who is always told what to do will likely stop taking initiative. So he may become stagnant in his life and role as father or husband. He may not even feel very manly in the bedroom. One consequence is he may look to another woman who makes him feel like a man and who looks up to him for the positive qualities he embodies. In fact, the first woman who shows him this kind of attention will probably spark something in him he thought was dead.
Part of the problem is that we as a culture have done a poor job of defining what a real man is, how to be one and how to value one. As parents it is our sacred duty to teach our young boys what it means to be a real man and a good husband and father—a loving protector, a leader who helps guide the family toward a common goal. I’m all for equal rights for women and believe women’s opinions should be equally valued. I also believe that a loving man who is allowed to use his leadership skills will blossom in his family and will be a treasure for his community.
Men are frequently valued for their leadership skills at work. When they are allowed to use these skills in their homes and communities, I believe we will see the family and the community blossoming. Boys need to be taught that leading does not mean controlling. It means sacrificing and loving, showing a positive example, teaching and encouraging, supporting and being physically and emotionally present. These qualities are what every woman wants in a husband. So wives, encourage your husbands in this area, and build them up with positive feedback. When we as wives pretend our husbands can’t take proper care of the children, prepare a meal or handle household tasks, we are devaluing them. Spouses each need to show appreciation for the other’s contributions both inside and outside the home.
Men: Do you feel like you have the skills to be a leader in your home and community? If not, can you spend more time with a man whom you admire for these skills? How do you see your role as a lover, leader and protector of women and children in your life? How do you evaluate and provide for the needs of your family—emotionally, physically and spiritually?
Women: Do you value it and react positively when your man shows initiative and leadership, or do you value control a little too much? Does your husband make any decisions in your home? Is his opinion valued? What qualities do you really admire in your man? Tell him today!