-Three Keys To Unlocking Spiritual Leadership In The Home

True spiritual leadership is about accepting the position as head of the family.


Three Keys To Unlocking Spiritual Leadership In The Home

True spiritual leadership is about accepting the position as head of the family.

What is a spiritual leader in the home? Some feel that he is a dictator who runs a tight ship. Others believe that he is a diplomat who avoids disagreement by constantly trying to negotiate a compromise. Neither of these thoughts express the biblical view. God’s requirements for leadership in the home are clearly laid out in His Word. Without this clear guidance we can develop the wrong expectations of what a spiritual leader is. It is easy to find ourselves doing all the right “spiritual activities,” but missing the real keys to being the spiritual leader for our family.


Ephesians 5 gives us three keys to help us unlock the true meaning of being the leader God wants us to be. First, we are asked to recognize our position, then to follow God’s pattern, and finally to practice love. Let’s briefly consider each of these keys.

Recognize Our Position

Paul sets before us the fact that spiritual leadership is a position that God has assigned to the husband. Notice it says that the wife should submit to her husband, as to the Lord. Why? Because “the husband is the head of the wife, as also Christ is the head of the Church” (Eph. 5:23). The Christian husband/ father has been appointed by God as the spiritual leader of his wife and family. It is not something we become in time, it is something that we are.

True spiritual leadership is about accepting the position as head of the family. This means that the husband and father is responsible for everything that happens in his home. This doesn’t mean that everything that goes wrong is the husband’s fault, but it is his responsibility. When we don’t take the responsibility respect is often lost, and this can lead to problems in the home. Therefore, the first key to becoming the spiritual leader in the home is to acknowledge the position we have and fulfill it.

Follow God’s Pattern

It is always easy to find someone else to blame when there are problems in the home. The very first couple did this when sin first entered the world. – Adam blamed Eve, and she blamed the serpent (Gen. 3:12-13). It is all too easy for us to blame our wives, our schools, our community or our culture. But the spiritual leader does not look for other places to put the blame. As husband and father “the buck stops here.” We are given the perfect pattern to follow: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for her” (Eph. 5:25 NKJV).

Think of the responsibility and blame Christ took upon Himself when He “Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree” (1 Pet. 2:24). He “suffered for us leaving us an example, that we should follow in His steps” (1 Pet. 2:21). He set the standard for every husband and father. He wants us to spend time with Him in His Word, so that we can learn to follow His pattern.

Practice His Love

The Lord Jesus also gave us a third key to unlocking true spiritual leadership. He “loved the Church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of the water by the Word, that He might present her to Himself as a glorious church, not having a spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives, as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself” (Eph. 5:25-28). A spiritual leader is to practice Christ-like love in his home. It is love that is to be demonstrated, not just spoken about. This love is to be an action, not only a feeling.

Christ acted in the past when He “gave Himself” for the Church. He continues to display His love to her by sanctifying and cleansing her with the washing of water by the Word. In the same way the husband should demonstrate his love for his wife each and every day. We shouldn’t be like the husband who said, “I told you once that I loved you, if it changes I’ll let you know.”

The focus of the spiritual leader in the home is to consider his wife’s needs above his own. He is to love his wife, as he loves himself. This is a love that provides for her and never stops providing. The Lord Jesus not only loved the Church in the past and present, but has planned a future for her, “that He might present it to Himself as a glorious Church.” Likewise, the husband should plan for the future needs of his wife and family.

The spiritual leader “nourishes and cherishes his wife, just as Christ does the Church” (Eph. 5:29). Another way a husband is to demonstrate Christ-like love to his wife is to care for her spiritual needs. It is important for couples to read the Bible, pray and enjoy the Lord together. The husband shouldn’t grow by leaps and bounds, leaving his wife behind spiritually. He should nurture her and help her grow along with him in the faith. This type of love would change so many homes today. The Lord desires that, “each of you in particular so love his wife as himself, and let the wife respect her husband” (Eph. 5:33).

If we husbands were to grab hold of these three keys we could begin to unlock our ability to be spiritual leaders in the home. What an effect this would have on our wives! Many women have a problem with the thought of submission, because they have never really been loved with this type of love.

May the Lord help us to recognize our position, follow His pattern, and practice His love in our homes.

By Tim Hadley

With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA.



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