How do you encourage your husband to lead, spiritually?

[deleted account] ( 14 moms have responded )

My husband is in a new job which is pretty demanding on his brain but honestly, it's been three months and some days he says he's "bored" at work. FIne by me. But I've been afraid to bring up our spiritual life for fear of coming off like a nag. His work environment is very...macho and rough. Even though he's been a Christian for five years, I don't see any progress in his walk with Christ and he certainly doesn't initiate family devotions, express concern in how to teach our daughter (7 mos) about prayer or spirituality, or ask me how I am doing spiritually. It's not that he doesn't care. He just didn't grow up a Christian so I think he's at a loss for how to lead, or to even know that he should.



We've just joined a church in our new town and even a small group from the church, but all at my request. The only time he prays is saying grace at supper, and even then, it's virtually the same each day.



How can I bring this up in a loving way? It's gone on so long that I know I will lose it once I start talking and I don't want him to get defensive. I try to give him the space to do it on his own, but he seems to only care about doing other stuff instead.



Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks!

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Jill - posted on 04/13/2010

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you just explained my life in your post ...what i have learned though.. is 1. to set the example ...2. you are not responsible for your husbands christianity....he is .. sad to say the bible says... in the end times .. 2 will be working side by side and 1 will disappear... or what about the ones who said but we preached in your name and God said depart from me i never knew you....all you can do is pray for him ...God will lead Him back in his time... if it is His will... it might not be and you have to accept that... 3. do not rag on him.. it will push him farther away... let him see Jesus through you... walk in love...be the example....God Bless You... i know exactly what you are going through...

Heather - posted on 04/13/2010

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For me with my husband I do most of the things that I know that he should. When he is home and I am reading the devotions to the kids, he always steps in. If he helps me put the kids to bed and sees that we are praying first, he always joins in and wraps it up after they have prayed. I guess I have chosen not to voice my opinion about what I think he could do better, I just pray that God will continue to work in him, and he does. On occasion when I bring up biblical matters he will commend me or rebuke me if I am in error. He rarely brings up biblical matters, but he is always quick to offer me biblical counsel if I ask. So my suggestion is not to tell him that you think he needs to be more of a leader in your home, but to open up places where he can step in to be that leader. Don't wait for him to ask you about how you are doing spiritually, if you have a concern, ask him for advice, or to pray with you (or for you) about it.

[deleted account]

Thanks Heather. I have been advised this way by my previous small group. I just wish he was more concerned about it, you know? It makes me wonder why it's not as important to him as it is to me, especially when we made vows to put God first in our relationship. It could simply be a (very long) phase in the ebb and flow of our relationship and his relationship with Christ. But my patience (and grace) is running thin. :( I think part of it has to do with the fact that he was away in training (army) for 16 months, so he's used to doing his own thing, and so am I. But I feel like flexing our spiritual muscles together, instead of separately, would benefit us in more ways than we would know. Plus, if he gets deployed in January (very likely), we won't have a very strong foundation to survive on. These are my major concerns. I think I will just try to do what you suggested, and pray for more grace and peace. I know I am only responsible for myself.

Thanks again.

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LInda Joy - posted on 09/18/2013

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Thank you Carla. Any prayers are valued. What I meant by MBTI ENTJ was Myers Briggs typing indicator. It's just a way of describing personality types. You can do a free test online. ENTJ is also called the 'Field Marshall'. It's one of the most rare types. 'Type A.' is another label. He is extremely successful in what he does at work. Ironic isn't it? Can't be good at everything I guess. He does have quite a demonstrative, loving side to him but because he's never been around much for the nitty gritty, the kids don't like the sudden displays of unearned love. One day they'll look back and realise how much he WAS there for them. At least, that's what I'm hoping! take care, Linda.

Carla - posted on 09/18/2013

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Hi, Linda. First, I HAVE to ask: what is MBTI 'ENTJ'

You and I both know BEING Godly and ACTING Godly are two different things. We ACT Godly because we have the love of God in our hearts, not because it's something we're supposed to do. God is Love. If He's in our hearts, we give love and show love. My husband came from a very undemonstrative family. The children had never seen their parents hug or kiss until their dad was dying. How sad. My husband and his brothers, therefore, were undemonstrative as well. Our children suffered. After my husband re-dedicated his life to the Lord 6 years ago, his loving nature has been allowed to show through. He is affectionate and loving with the grandchildren, and with me.

We have been given children to teach the next generation to be loving, Godly adults. Without that pattern from their father, their education is lacking. I will pray for your husband, that he experiences the beauty of love through his relationship with Jesus. Because of what Jesus did for us, you can't HELP but be a LITTLE emotional, in gratitude for saving us.

God bless, honey

LInda Joy - posted on 09/17/2013

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This is a difficult problem which I share with you and I've been married for 24 years with four children. My husband and I have been christians from childhood and know what our roles are 'supposed' to be. He is an MBTI 'ENTJ' type and faith is not 'natural' to him. He finds emotion inferior to thinking and doing. "Soul searching' and sentiment is not something he does much - or at least, if he does, I only hear of it in passing well after the event. His style is like the cliched 1950's dad. Authoritarian and un creative. Whenever he tried to lead family devotions when the children were young he was downright boring and stale and he lost their attention. He was unable to get down to their level and unable to tap into the emotional side of his faith. He's not interested in parenting at all. He's told me that he hates it and regrets it. Three of the children resent him or are intimidated by him. He works all the time and tends to be impatient. All of this is a grief to me of course BUT In spite of all that (believe me!) he is a wonderful husband and father because he is ours. The best thing any father can do for a child is love their mum and he does love me and I love him to bits. He's a wonderful provider and he shows his faith and leadership in his steady adherence to Godly values and his own strong sense of integrity. I have faith in him and in God that He will do a good work in all of us as a family. The thing is, we're all so different and we tend to marry people different to us because we're attracted to those very qualities which can be problematic afterwards. I suggest that you pray in faith and work on your own inner transformation. Don't let bitterness spring up. Rejoice in the Lord and give thanks for your husband. Enjoy him. In doing these things your very attitude and life will reflect Christ. I often think of the analogy in the Bible of not being unequally yoked. I think that can apply in a way within christian marriages too where one partner becomes more 'spiritual' and surges ahead causing resentment and chaffing, crooked furrows and broken yokes. Hope this helps.

Carol - posted on 04/19/2010

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My husband was also not leading spiritually in our home and I believe that praying is extremely important, but something that helped my husband was talking to other men in the church who are being spiritul leaders in their home. You mentioned that maybe he didn't know how or even know that he was supposed to lead. I shared my concerns with my women's Bible study group and one of the women asked me if she could share my concern with her husband. I said yes and her husband began shring with and talking to my husband and he has improved greatly. Somtimes our husbands just need encouragement and support from other Christian men!

Heather - posted on 04/16/2010

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Today on Revive our Hearts, Nancy Leigh DeMoss addressed this very issue! She is a great biblical teacher. If you are interested to read or listen to what she said you can go to:
http://www.reviveourhearts.com/radio/roh...

Here is the description paragraph:
Want your man to “step up to the plate”? Learn how to
encourage him to do so today on Revive Our Hearts.

Marjorie - posted on 04/13/2010

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My husband is a very religious partner. I would just like to share what I know from my officemate's husband. He grew up in a family who is not used in attending masses and other religious activities. She could not work it out overnight but she continued all her religious activities and prayer for a change of heart on his husband's attitude. God will work it out through miracles and finally the husband started to join with her by attending masses on special occasions like birthdays and the like. She's still hoping it will improve by attending Sunday masses.

[deleted account]

Yep Rebekah, that is the kick in the butt I needed. Thank you. :) We are in a new town halfway across the country so I don't know anyone here well enough to ask such a personal question (weird that I can bring it up on here though!). I think deep down I knew all that but was secretly wanting validation for my feelings instead of being told to take responsibility. However, I know that God is in control and the best thing I can do for hubby is pray for him. Thanks again. I will press in.

Heather - posted on 04/13/2010

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Rebekkah, I think the last verse you were looking for is 1 Peter 3:1-2

In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.

Rebekah - posted on 04/13/2010

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This is one of the most talked about subjects when it comes to marriage counseling... and it's usually always the wife that brings it up.



It's time for you to step it up. No where in the Bible does it say the husband HAS to lead devotions OR begin the family prayer. These are the ideals that every wife seems to get in their head as "spiritual leader".



Actually, there is nothing wrong with the wife initiating family devotions and allowing your husband to have an opportunity for leading the family OR beginning the family prayer OR praying with your baby of only 7 months for daddy!



As for your husband's demanding job and you seeing him supposedly remaining stagnant in his walk with God - this may sound harsh and I apologize if it is, but I really truly believe marriage in the eyes of God is two people seen as one - when falls back, you are there too. Time for you to increase your prayer life over your husband. The Bible does say the husband should wash his wife in the Word (Ephesians) - but I also believe this is a 2 way street. Wash your husband in the word daily and watch God move - but get out of the way, because when God moves, if you are in the way, you will hinder it. Pray, believe, set forth the example and keep working on yourself. The Bible says, and I can't remember the verse (maybe someone else knows the reference, but I'm paraphrasing), that it's the characteristics of the wife that will win her husband over. You ARE the reference for your husband and this is how you can help him be the spiritual leader.

[deleted account]

Thanks Jill. Good to know. It's not like he has fallen away. He often describes things like songs or messages he hears that really "get him"; it's just that his work environment isn't conducive to faith, and he doesn't go out of his way to make sure he is constant in it. I am not worried about his salvation, just his commitment to be united as a couple under Christ, especially now as parents.

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