Hot topic question: Does a wife need male leadership? Is a husband who clearly leads in the home overrated or old-fashioned? It’s trendy in our culture for a wife’s independence to be praised and to look down upon any form of submission to her husband’s leadership. Is this healthy or unhealthy? To answer in short, a wife was created to desire her husband’s leadership and to actually thrive under it.
While it may be culturally acceptable (and sometimes necessary) for women to lead in the home, it is in a family’s best interest for a husband and father to lead the way when possible. Men are called to set the tone, the standard, and the moral compass in their homes so that their wives don’t have to carry that weight. They are called to lead even when it’s not easy. But what does this kind of leadership look like? How do you know how to lead your wife? Here are 5 types of leadership every wife wants and needs from her husband.
1. Loving Leadership
There’s a good reason you’re called her “knight in shining armor” and it’s not just because you’re supposed to look attractive to her. You are called to be her provider and protector, which makes your wife feel loved. But loving leadership looks more like gentleness, understanding, and empathy. To lead her, you must first “get” her. Once you get her, she feels both led and loved.
2. Decisive Leadership
Couples certainly have to learn how to collaborate at making decisions together. This can be a challenge. A wise husband will listen to his wife’s counsel in the decision-making process because he recognizes that she will sharpen him. She will make him better. But a good husband also learns to discern when stepping in or stepping up to make critical decisions is necessary, even if unpopular. When making the tough calls, don’t simply pass the buck to your wife. Let the buck stop with you. She may not say it or want to admit it, but she desires your decisive leadership. I’ve personally found that while my wife doesn’t always like my decisive leadership in the moment, she is thankful for it in the longterm because it makes her feel secure.
3. Servant Leadership
Servant leaders seek to meet the needs of those they lead before making sure their own needs are met.
A wife wants a husband who is a servant leader, who doesn’t just make decisions, but who selflessly contributes to her and the good of the family. This may mean stepping up to do things that are out of your comfort zone. This also means that as men, we must be willing to make the same sacrifices we ask our wives to make in areas like finances, parenting, hobbies, or alone time. Servant leaders seek to meet the needs of those they lead before making sure their own needs are met.
4. Moral Leadership
Moral leadership requires a man who not only knows what he believes, but specifically has a vision for what is best for his family when it comes to rules, standards, and values that need to be upheld and passed on. God did not intend for women to have to carry the burden of moral leadership in the home. When a husband carries it properly, it frees his wife to better achieve her own God-given potential as his help-meet. When a husband takes the reigns of moral leadership in the home, a wife silently cheers.
5. Spiritual Leadership
Previous generations of men who have been absent spiritually, or have relegated that responsibility to their wives, have not proven to be beneficial for marriages or families. Of all the areas of leadership, this may be the one your wife needs you to take the lead in most. Grabbing your family’s hands to pray together regularly and leading by example to help them live out their faith is one of the best things you can ever do as a husband and father. But even more specifically, taking personal responsibility for your wife’s spiritual well-being and growth is a type of leadership she craves and deserves.
Earn some points: Share this iMOM article with your wife: 5 Ways Wives Can Help Their Husbands be Better Dads.
Sound off: Which of these areas of leadership is the greatest challenge for you?