Now, that curse did not mean Eve would have an emotional or sexual desire for her husband. It meant she would long for his position of authority.

We know that because when God said to Eve: “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you” (Genesis 3:16), the Hebrew word for “desire” in that verse is the same Hebrew word used in Genesis 4:7 when God confronts Eve’s son, Cain, about his attitude toward his brother, Abel, whom he eventually murdered, and says: “Sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” That same Hebrew word for “desire” – in both those verses – refers to an unhealthy desire that could bring about destructive results.

Thus, you and I, as wives, have an ingrained destructive desire to take that lead from our husbands.

Now, maybe you’re thinking at this point, but somebody has to lead in my home. Well, that somebody is your husband. Many times he just needs to be allowed – or encouraged – to lead.  I realize it may be difficult, at times, for you to let your husband lead, especially if you are a get-it-done woman who tends to accomplish things at a different pace than your husband. And the better you are at getting it done, the more difficult it may be to stand back and let him lead the way in getting certain things done – at work, at home,  in your marriage, in his parenting, and so on.

But here is what I’ve found by interviewing numerous husbands: Most of them want a partnership ­­with you, not a dictatorship. They want to work with you in the decisions concerning their job, their marriage, their family.  They value your opinion; they just don’t want it lorded over them. They want your advice; they just want you to ask for theirs, too. They sometimes – maybe many times – don’t know how to best handle a situation but they realize the tension in that they still feel responsible to lead. So they want your input and then your trust if it comes down to the two of you going with their decision.

What It Looks Like to Let Him Lead

Consider the viewpoint of husbands and what it looks like in their homes for their wives to let them lead:

  • “Ask for my opinions and input on decisions.”
  • “Don’t assume he’s going to always agree with your ideas or suggestions. Be willing to adjust or re-arrange your ideas to be in line with his.”
  • Offer statements like ‘What do you think?’ ‘What would you like to do?” “Do what you think is best – I trust you” and really mean it.
  • “If a decision of his flops, don’t chastise him or berate him for it – we all make mistakes. Talk about how the situation can be turned around or recovered (think in terms of solutions because that's probably how his work world operates).”
  • “She can let me lead by valuing my opinion, telling me she trusts me, telling me her needs, bringing her concerns to me in a constructive way, making suggestions not making demands, and respecting my point of view in front of others, especially the kids.”

True partnership is coming alongside your husband to solve problems or make decisions. Not dumping something in his lap and saying “You figure this out!” and not running ahead and being the CEO without his consultation. And the beauty of partnership in a marriage is that you and your husband can bring your different perspectives, ideas and modes of thinking together to examine something and come up with the best possible solution or decision.

Why does a man need a helper when it comes to decisions?