Do you think your husband might sometimes feel that way?

Men hate to feel that they have let someone down or disappointed someone who was counting on them. If he is blowing it in your eyes, believe me, he probably already knows that and therefore feels even worse about himself. In his eyes, he’s disappointed you, his family and God, whether he has a relationship with God or not.

Men naturally want to do things they excel at. If they’re not good at being a leader, in your eyes, they may shrink from the task, altogether. 

My husband is a pastor. But in his home he still feels inadequate at times because he is human, because his wife might give him a look that says What were you thinking? and because “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

My husband already bears the weight of the spiritual condition of his congregation on his shoulders. How much more the weight of his own family? And how much more an added weight if I remind, chide, criticize, or instruct him about what he should be doing to be the spiritual leader in our home. Your husband might be a supervisor, manager, department head, VP or even a CEO and his decisions directly affect the wellbeing of his  employees and company. If that’s the case, your husband already bears the weight of responsibility to lead others – he needs to know you believe in his ability to lead you and your family, too.  Partner with him by believing in him as a leader.

2. Pray for him as you release him of your expectations. You may have a husband who is leading, just not in the way you have envisioned that he would lead. To lead in his home doesn't mean he has to lead family devotions every night. He may be leading  in how he disciplines himself and others, what he discusses with his children when you're not around, what he decides at work that benefits his family. Give your husband a break when it comes to meeting your expectations of a leader. And give him a break when it comes to being the spiritual head of the household. I’m not saying dismiss him from that responsibility (only God can do that). I’m saying lighten up. (And I say that with a smile.) Provide input graciously. Then pray for him continually.

Your husband wants to know you are in his corner. If you can’t say “I’m on board with you” and really mean it, then pray for a submissive spirit to be able to say “Because you’re my husband, I will honor your decision.” And then keep praying for him – and his decision – every step of the way.

3. Praise him – continually. The man in him will want to continue doing  what he feels he is doing well. Yes, there may be times he doesn’t lead effectively. But find something you can praise. His initiative. His courage in taking a step. His desire to do what was best. As he steps out and leads, he needs to know you are supporting him and the two of you are a team. 

Cindi McMenamin is a national speaker and the author of several books including When a Woman Inspires Her Husband (upon which this article is based) and When Couples Walk Together, which she co-authored with her husband, Hugh. For more information, encouragement and free resources to strengthen your marriage or your walk with Christ, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.

Publication date: April 18, 2012