Lead Your Wife With Ease
My wife and I love pursuing Jesus together. Leading her feels more like an easy yoke than a heavy burden. But it wasn’t always that way.
When I first met my wife, I was inspired by her love for Jesus. At the time I was learning that a biblical marriage is built on six categories: social, intellectual, emotional, physical, spiritual and sexual. Since we both loved Jesus, I assumed the spiritual side of our relationship would come naturally. I could not have been more wrong. It’s rare I meet a Christian man who doesn’t have the same problem. Why is it so hard to lead our wives spiritually? In most cases the husband and wife have strong individual walks with Jesus, but they aren’t pursuing Jesus as one flesh (see Mark 10:8).
When we first got married we tried reading the Bible together, memorizing scripture, going through Christian books and working through devotionals. We tried praying before work, before dinner and before bed. We would try and try again, but nothing stuck.
I started asking God, reading scripture, listening to podcasts and going through books to find out what I was doing wrong. I finally found the answer. My obsession with leading my wife well was hindering my ability to lead her at all. I was approaching every prayer and Bible study with harsh scrutiny. I wanted our walk with Jesus to be passionate, profound and consistent. I guess you could call me a control freak. We both wanted a robust and exemplary spiritual marriage. Who wouldn’t? But in reality, our desire to have a deep spiritual connection with Jesus hindered our ability to get started.
Much like the disciples, pride is my biggest obstacle to having an intimate, spiritual relationship with my best friend.
When asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of God?” Jesus responded to His disciples: “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:1b, 3-4).
This is the best advice for learning to lead your wife spiritually. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to be an expert spiritual leader. If you want frequent and consistent Bible study and prayer, don’t expect it to be perfectly manicured like a pastor who spends hours preparing a sermon. Don’t expect every prayer to be sensational. Don’t expect every Bible study to be as profound as a Jonathan Edwards diary entry. Just say, “Let’s read the Bible for a few minutes” and only go through a few verses. Pray simple prayers together, and try keeping it under a couple of minutes. Start leading your wife by having faith like a child.
Don’t expect your spiritual relationship with your wife to be as deep as your relationship with God. Don’t expect your current spiritual relationship with your wife to be where it should be after ten years of practice. After dropping a lot of unhealthy expectations, my wife and I now enjoy pursuing Jesus together and the Holy Spirit is unifying our hearts in a new way. Today, for example, we enjoyed finding out that Jesus said John the Baptist really was Elijah. (I know most of you knew that, but we were trippin’ out.) We still argue and bicker, but we’re getting to know Jesus together. And we’re having fun doing it.
Eli is a compliance consultant in Reedley, CA. He studied Communication at Vanguard University and is currently training to become a pastor. Eli is married to Kaleigh, and they have a daughter named Karis.