Question: How is a wife to encourage her husband to put it all in with God but not make it seem like a push? I long for my husband to lead our family spiritually like God told us he would.
First let’s address this part of your question, that God said your husband would lead your family spiritually. God didn’t say he would. God said a husband SHOULD but never promised any individual would. In fact, most husbands never will. This is why it’s so important that we marry an already faithful man of God. 2 Corinthians 6:14 tells us, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?” Many Christians can see scriptures like this and still refuse to wait for the right spouse. Lust comes before the will of God. All other positive characteristics are counted as superior qualifiers, all along never meeting the highest qualification for a spouse, that’s that they’ve thrown it all in with God. If a man doesn’t love Jesus more than he loves you, he’s not in the position to be a godly husband.
Look at Ephesians 5:25-26, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word.” The model for a husband’s love is Christ’s love for the church. If a man doesn’t get to know Christ, how could he love like Christ loved? The first qualification while picking a spouse is that he loves and serves the Lord, not in word alone, but in proven lifestyle and actions. I heard someone say this once and my vote is that it’s a sad story repeated that needs to change: “when a man wants a project he gets a car, but when a woman wants a project she gets a man.”
It is important that we realize it’s better to be proactive than reactive. But for those already married, it’s not that simple. Look at the original intent for a wife, Genesis 2:18, “Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” A wife is meant to be a helpmate for her husband and included in that is encouragement, but how this looks varies from one situation to the next.
I love this example my husband shares. Before we were married we were sitting next to each other at church filling out our tithing envelopes and he looked over at mine while he was sealing up his and realized how much more I was putting in even though I didn’t make even close to the paycheck he was bringing home. He says it convicted him. Notice I didn’t tell him to get it right but his heart was moved by seeing my sacrifice and this encouraged him to do better. There are many other examples of this in my own marriage and in others within our church. Another faithful wife refused to skip church for any reason. She got committed and made sure her husband saw her put God first. It took a little while, but this demonstration of faithfulness was the avenue God used to bring him into the church, and more importantly, into the body of Christ.
A wife must be faithful to the Lord without waver. Unfortunately, many wives never commit to the Lord in their actions like they may in their words and so the husband has a way out so to speak. If you don’t go to church, he won’t either. If you allow the things of the world in your home, he’ll keep living like the world. A wife will sing praises to God in one breath and complain about her husband in the next. What do you think that’s saying to him? I could go on and on.
So to answer your question, how does a wife encourage her husband to be faithful and to lead the home? It starts by demonstrating your own faithfulness. Pray for him. Love him, but love the Lord more and let him see this in you. If over time you have been living as faithfully as you know to do, and he still won’t get it, you may actually need to seek godly counsel for your particular situation.