Any man who feels the need to tell his wife that’s he’s the man is evidently not fully convinced. Yes, the Bible says the husband is positionally the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church. But positional leadership is the weakest form of authority. A man who walks around the house saying that he’s the head is suffering from insecurity and identity crisis.
Leadership is the ability to influence others to follow, and for every husband, the strongest method to inspire your wife to enthusiastically follow is to communicate love through servant leadership. Jesus said the greatest love is to lay down one’s life for another, and that is the scriptural example of love in action.
So many men are frustrated because they expect their wives to bow and cater to their every whim like a sexy maid, but instead, they feel talked down to, unappreciated and disrespected.
Only a weak and spiritually immature man tells his wife to submit to him. By the time he contorts his ugly face to formulate those dumb words, he has already lost whatever remainder of respect he might have had and has disqualified himself as a servant leader in the home.
Better to hear the quiet words of a wise person
than the shouts of a foolish king.
Ecclesiastes 9:17 (NLT)
As a man, you should never have to raise your voice to be heard. There is more volume in a soft answer. When you feel provoked but refuse to respond in kind, you automatically prove that you are the leader and are in control. Regulating emotions is something we teach our kids, so they don’t scream and throw a tantrum every time they don’t get their way at the supermarket. Unfortunately, there are a lot of grown men who have never learned to manage their emotions.
A wise man uses soft words and is more effective in getting his thoughts and desires across than the foolish man making a bunch of noise. Practice volume control the next time you feel provoked, because the Bible commands husbands to love their wives, and one of the attributes of love is that it is not easily provoked. “Anger rests in the bosom of a fool” (Ecclesiastes 7:9); this is a dude who just stays mad. It’s no wonder he’s always yelling because he’s angry—he’s tired of being overlooked and unappreciated. This is not the life he wanted for himself, and he sees no way of changing the predicament he so despises, and he releases his frustration on those closest to him.
Express The Love of God
My brothers, I want to remind you that God made you a man for a reason: to express the love of God. You are capable of responding in love to everything life throws at you. The Bible says that everything God does, He does out of His steadfast love (Psalm 145:9). You are made in His image and likeness, and when you give your life to Jesus the Messiah, He changes your spiritual DNA so you can function in His unconditional love. The love of God affects the way you speak, touches your tone of voice, and adds the delicious seasoning of grace to everything you say. The anointing will make you sound like Barry White in even the tensest situations. You can change the atmosphere if you respond in a gentle voice.
If the ax is dull,
And one does not sharpen the edge,
Then he must use more strength;
But wisdom brings success.
Ecclesiastes 10:10 (NKJV)
It’s important we get rid of the antiquated views of leadership. When the Bible says the husband is the positional head of the wife, it does not mean that as the head, you get to make all the decisions and everyone must bow to your absolute supremacy because your choices are beyond contestation. Any woman with half a brain would never follow blindly. Ephesians 5:22 does say, “Wives, submit to your husbands,” but the verse just before it says to “submit to one another.” When Abraham got angry with Sara for insisting he needed to kick his oldest son Ishmael out the house, God told him he needed to listen to his wife. Leadership is not loving the sound of your own voice but possessing the ability to listen and discern when your wife has the mind of the Lord on a particular matter. You and your wife are an unbeatable team when you are united, and it doesn’t matter who makes the winning shot — the only thing that matters is the fact that together you’ve won the victory.
You may be a domineering man with a wife who won’t rock the boat, but that doesn’t mean she is happy or that your marriage is good. All it means is she is living in a constant state of oppression because she unwisely chose you, and in so doing, she has suffered so much psychological damage and emotional trauma that she has accepted a role of passivity and obscurity.
If the way you speak to your wife reflects the way your father spoke to your mother, and the result is negative, then your father’s attitude was probably wrong. Growing up surrounded by your parents’ dysfunctional relationship, you saw your father’s method was domination — and at the time, maybe it even seemed like it was effective — but now in retrospect, you realize just how crazy your upbringing actually was. Some past cultural practices don’t work, and it takes a real man to realize he needs to improve and have a better story for his life and marriage.
Paul Arthurs has over 25 years of full-time ministry service and is currently the lead pastor for Wheaton Christian Center in Chicago. Read more from him in his new book, “Stop the Foolishness for Husbands: A Practical Guide to a Healthy Marriage,” available HERE.