How To Lead A Woman Well
Husbands, love your wives,
just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
On the day you took Simona as your wife you made a whole string of promises. You covenanted before God and a whole crowd of friends and family to hold her close, to love her faithfully, to care for her no matter what.
You promised to love skillfully and persistently— purposefully— for a lifetime.
And then, because you hold the teaching of Scripture to be true and relevant, you promised to take the lead in your relationship.
Not to dominate her— but to take the initiative, to grab her hand in yours and chase after God’s assigned tasks together.
To lead a woman well is an art form that takes skill, patience, practice, humility, and clear thinking. And respect, lots and lots of genuine, bone deep respect for who she is and what she wants and how God designed her.
Take a peek at Psalm 139 if you want to begin to grasp how intricately He wove together this woman who is now your wife. Let the words sink deep. Let God’s value of her marinate your heart.
And see this: Simona is different than you. Vastly different. When God saw that it was not good for man to be alone, He was not just talking about sex!
He also meant that she- woman- Simona- would fill up places in you that need filling. That she would help, come along side, make up for your lack.
You need to understand that her differences are not a threat to your vision of what you will do with your life. On the contrary, those differences are exactly what God intends to use to hone and craft your future. He will use her differences to make you more usable and more useful— together.
And so, my son, here are some things you need to know about those differences:
1. You have different gifts.
You know this. Of course you do. But what I see as a harmful tendency too many ascribe to, is thinking that your “better half” should have all her gifts PLUS all of your own strengths. As if your gifts are the bottom line of normal and hers are the extra that you admire.
It doesn’t work that way.
Her gifts may very well inconvenience you at times. Just as your gifts may create some uncomfortable moments for her.
Learning to live with and step aside for each other’s different giftings is a beautiful way to honor the God who gifts every one of us.
2. You hold different values.
I love order. To walk into our room and see everything in place: the bedspread even, pillows puffed just so, closet door closed, pictures lined up straight… bliss.
When we were first married, Dad loved that I brought order from the chaos that had plagued his life as a single man. But within just a few weeks he made a shocking discovery: sometimes my value of orderliness means doing what doesn’t make sense to him.
Like making the bed when in just a few hours we’ll be back in it. Why bother?
Suddenly, my offering of order began to seem more like a compulsion that made more work for him.
And me? I fell in love with his big, warm, loud embrasure of life. Except when it sometimes collides with my desire for order. Or quiet. Or more people than my introverted nature can handle with grace. What then?
We’re still figuring it out. But now we know this: Your different values, combined and interwoven, will create your own unique way of doing life. Not like yours. Not like hers. Like yours together.
Learning to live with and honor each other’s different values creates a whole new and fresh way of doing life better.
3. You go at a different pace.
Some people are sprinters. They run fast and hard, then collapse, all out of breath.
Others are joggers. They just keep going, one foot in front of the other, at a reasonable pace.
Some are hurdlers. They face obstacles and figure out how high to jump, finding exhilaration in the conquering.
Others are good at hills. The challenge of pushing hard as long as it takes, the glory of reaching the top, that’s what stokes their fire.
Here is the key in marriage: allow each other to go at the pace that works best, rather than forcing each other to go at the same pace.
This takes team-work. And understanding. And graciousness.
Learning to accommodate and honor each other’s different paces creates a satisfying run for both of you.
As a leader, Matt, you would be wise to take into account all three. To ask yourselves some questions and to be patient while you figure it out.
- Am I stewarding my wife’s giftings even when doing so means stepping aside sometimes?
- Am I willingly honoring her values in order to create a life in which we both thrive?
- Am I learning her pace and explaining my own so that we are both running well and free?
Your dad does these things with me, Matt. It’s not the way we were taught, but it is the way we have learned… albeit slowly and sometimes painfully.
And because he has chosen to steward my gifts, and honor my values, and let me go at my own pace, I am, at this point in my life, thriving like never before. His love has created a safe place for us both.
I hope and pray and know that you will do the same for Simona.
From my heart,
P.S. Is the man in your life understanding his privilege to steward your gifts as well as his own? What does that look like in real life?