What To Do If Your Husband Is Not Leading Your Family Spiritually

Note: This post was first published in 2017, but has been updated.

She sat across the table from us with tears flowing as she shared how desperately she wanted her husband to lead their family spiritually.  It hurt that he hadn’t.

A woman needs her man to lead his family spiritually.  If he doesn’t, the burden of the spiritual welfare of the family lands on his wife and it’s heavy.

The Bible says, “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.” Ephesians 5:23.

God designed man to be the head of the wife, to lead her spiritually as well as in other ways, but the reality is that a lot of men don’t lead their families in this area.

So, what to do if your husband is not leading your family in this area?

Why your husband is not leading spiritually

You cannot force your husband to lead spiritually.

To lead spiritually he needs a relationship with God and you cannot force that in anyone.

There may be a number of reasons why your husband is not leading: 

  • He may be struggling spiritually,
  • He may not have natural leadership,
  • He may feel intimidated by your spirituality that seems stronger than his,
  • He may not know how

In our home Richard did not take the spiritual lead when our children first arrived.  I longed for him to do it.  I found out later that the reason he didn’t do it was twofold:  a) He had not seen it done in his own family.  His family had never had worship together and his father had not led out in this area.  b)  He felt inferior to me because I could read well, sing to the kids, and connect with them better than he could.

Thankfully he did take up the role of spiritual head and did a fine job.

Here’s what you can do if your husband is not leading your family spiritually.

How to help your husband lead your family spiritually

Pray for him, not about him

Don’t take your complaints about your husband to God and rehearse all his shortcomings.  Ask God to work in your husband’s life the way He sees best. Leading out in family worship may be further down on God’s list of things to work on in your husband.  Be patient and let God work.

Have a respectful conversation

Present your need to your husband in a non-attacking way.  Ask him why he doesn’t lead out.  Don’t let the fear of addressing an issue keep you from addressing it at all.

“The spirit in which something is delivered makes all the difference between creating more resistance or opening the heart.”[i]

Encourage your husband when he does take the lead

Even if he doesn’t do it as well as you. Don’t patronize him and make him feel like a child.  Express genuine appreciation – “It makes me feel loved/safe/secure/happy when you lead our family spiritually.”  Or, “The kids really enjoyed your story tonight.”

Related: 2 Ways to improve communication skills

What not to do:

Don’t show him quotes/verses

Unless you are having a non-threatening conversation. Bible bashing is not going to motivate your husband to take the spiritual lead.

Don’t nag

“A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.” Proverbs 27:15 Nagging will cause your husband to shut you out even more and will not motivate him to take up the role of spiritual head.

Don’t pout

When you pout you nurse your grievance internally.  It will grow in your imagination until it becomes bigger than your reality.  Your spouse’s good points will fade and the distance between you will grow.

Don’t complain about him to your friends

This creates a negative impression in your mind of your husband.  It will also create a negative impression of him in the minds of your friends.  Praise his good points to your friends instead.

Related: What To Do When Your Husband Doesn’t Respect You

Above all, be thankful for the husband you have. Show him respect.  If you become resentful and bitter toward him because of the things he doesn’t do you will damage your children more than going without family worship will.

What is it that you need to do to help your husband in this area?

How healthy is your marriage? Take the free quiz and find out!

[i] Irresistible, 116,  Jim Hohnberger

About The Author

Jennifer Lovemore

Jennifer has three grown kids and is married to her best friend, Richard. She started this website as a platform to help families, and specifically women, to take control of their lives and grow themselves spiritually, mentally & emotionally, and to discover their God-given purpose and live it out with confidence. She is a trained Life Coach and has diplomas in relationship counselling and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). She is a certified SYMBIS (Save Your Marriage Before It Starts) facilitator. She lives in sunny South Africa.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.