I remember the early years of my marriage, when my husband, Gary, was juggling a full-time job and a heavy course load as he pursued a doctorate in counseling. I wanted Gary to provide direction for our family, but he wasn’t doing it.

Eventually the Lord worked in Gary’s life and he became convicted of his need to fulfill his role as husband and father. And then it was time for me to make a critical choice: Would I allow Gary to lead, or would I fight for control? I imagine many of you can relate to my predicament.

When I speak at Weekend to Remember getaways, women tell me they desperately want their husbands to provide leadership in their families, but the men seem to use up all their emotional and physical energy at work and leave nothing for home. They are passive and uninvolved.

The truth is, many people today grew up either in a broken home or in a home where their fathers were passive and their mothers ran the show. As a result, men have no inner sense of how to provide “servant-leadership”—loving and leading their wives as Christ loves the church.

Genesis 2:18 tells me that God calls me to be a “helper” to Gary. Our culture tends to label a “helper” as someone second-rate. But not so in the Bible. The Hebrew word for “helper” equates to the English word “completer,” and elsewhere in the Old Testament it’s usually used in reference to God Himself. It is a title of honor and great worth.

So when Gary was ready to become the leader in our home, I had to learn to trust in God and His blueprints. I needed to let Gary assume his role—even if it meant he sometimes failed. As a wife, I demonstrate my faith in God by actively living out my love for my husband.

Marriages and families work when husbands and wives are willing to walk in obedience to God.

© 1999 by Barbara Rosberg.  All rights reserved.