Weak Men, Angry Women

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“He won’t lead!” This is a common complaint from women in my counseling office. If it is a session where her husband is present, the next words spoken are typically, “Oh yeah? Well she wouldn’t follow even if I did!”

The issue of leadership is a frequent issue in biblical counseling situations.  If you are a woman who is married to a man who does not lead in your home, you need to understand that he has been conditioned by our culture to be conciliatory, and to not lead his wife and family.There has been little or no instruction or biblical discipleship in his life that would enable him to lead his wife or family. Men have been taught to be our partners; to be permissive and have the role of a consultant in the home instead of being a leader. They are trained to be sensitive; and strong only in opinion. Many have never taken the mantle of God-given leadership seriously because they do not know how and are not at all sure they even want to know how.

Over the past 40 years, the feminist movement has emasculated men. The women’s movement and our “liberation” has also created tens of thousands of homes led by women. They are raising sons who will never know the leadership of a man or father, and daughters who will never see or learn what it means to biblically submit to godly male leadership.

I suspect many of you will agree with me, and some will be upset with me for these statements, but please sit back and look at the result of all this “liberation” on our society. Do you think it is any coincidence that the number single parent homes have skyrocketed? Is it unhappy chance that more children than ever before are on psychotropic medications (along with their parents)? Is it happenstance that society as a whole is worse off than in the 1950’s? I don’t think so. While I am certainly not encouraging a return to the Victorian Era, when women were little more than pampered decoration, the consequences of progressive thinking have been terrible for the family and our country as a whole.

Many of the people entering the doors of the church each week come from homes or families under matriarchal rule.  Couples have entered into marriage with little training or understanding of the biblical roles of manhood or womanhood.  This creates a mess of problems in the marriage; they are men who won’t lead and women who won’t follow.

The wives are angry. They bear the burdens of managing everything in the home alone. The husband views his only obligation to be that of a co-bread winner. He has a passive interest in disciplining their children, and takes little interest in discipling them. He leaves most things to his wife and he doesn’t understand that this is not biblical, because it is all he knows. She resents his unwillingness to step up and “be a man” and may consider him to be weak and lazy.

The women I have in counseling and discipleship situations have become aware of the biblical model through a women’s Bible study or women’s conference.  They observe the marriages around them that do operate biblically, they desire for their husband’s to take the leadership role in the marriage and home.  She begins to have expectations for him that he cannot meet because he is not equipped to meet them. By the time she gets to my office she has become frustrated with her husband.  She already decided to “encourage” him to take the mantle that is rightfully his and has taken it upon herself to teach him how to lead her.  Books and pamphlets on the subject of leadership and biblical manhood have begun to appear in the home. She wants him to watch videos and attend conferences about marriage and relationships, and is devastated when his interest is minimal.  From the husband’s perspective, things have been going along just fine thus far, why does she want to rock the boat?

Complicating matters is the fact that in his absence of leadership she has stepped handily into the vacuum and has become the leader of the family in the affairs of life and spiritually.  She has been the driving energy in the home, making decisions for the home and family with some consultation and input from her husband.  She is the spiritual leader as well, teaching and training the children to honor God. There is a part of a woman that loves the seat of power, and this is part of our curse to bear (Gen. 3), for we want to rule over our husbands. 

This is why women often give a mixed message in the area of leadership. If the husband does step up and attempt to intervene in a decision or to change the direction of the family in some way, he is frequently met with opposition.  His wife may outright defy his leadership attempts or use subtler manipulative methods to undermine his decision or leadership. This leads to arguments and division between them and confusion in the children.  As a result, these marriages are fraught with discord. This is not God’s plan for marriage. It places women in a position of power that we both love and hate. The truth is many, many women desire to be led by their husbands in marriage.  There is a part of even the strongest woman that dislikes the burden of leadership in the home and wants her husband’s oversight and direction.

If this resonates with you then you need to consider if the first problem in this equation is you. Pray and ask God’s help in changing your heart toward submission and leadership. Find a Godly woman in your church who can help you to learn these principles and then begin to build them into your life. Be aware of the times you respond sinfully to your husband, and confess to him that you have become aware of your usurping his authority in the home and ask his forgiveness. Give him the grace and the space to be the leader. Stop making decisions, stop doing his job and put him back in the place to succeed. This is going to be a process, but with a humble heart and a submissive spirit you will see rapid positive changes.

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