UNDERSTANDING MARITAL LEADERSHIP


In every organization, there must be a leader. What makes it an organization is not the organisms, by this, I mean that it is not just about people being involved. Until there is a leadership structure, it can’t be an organisation. This is how the family is and God never designed the family to function well without a good leadership system.

When we talk about leadership, we aren’t just talking about what we know as the head, it also talks about everyone who has a role to play. A good leader identifies his or her role, gets better at it and command influence from his or her office. It is not necessarily about being the sole director of affairs.

So, when people ask “who is a leader in the home?” Both the husband, the wife, the children and even servants are all leaders. Some are leaders in training and some are already ordained leaders. But then, there are hierarchies, not necessarily because they are more important or superior but because there can’t be an organization where every leader is on the same role. Understanding how God designed marriage and family will also help in understanding how important it is to stick within the frameworks of our roles and function effectively.

God designed man to lead the marriage but God designed both the man and the woman to lead the family. The man and the woman are the board of directors of their own family but on the board table, the man presides except where he has left the duty for the woman either because of death, separation or even sickness. This way, we can understand that children don’t submit to their fathers alone, they submit to their mothers too!

This is why the Bible says “honour your father and your mother…” The father and the mother are leaders of the family in equal capacity. They may deliberate on things in private, disagree, debate and finally come to a mutual understanding. But when they come outside, they implement it together as one voice. The Bible records that the husband and the wife have become one flesh by the virtue of marriage.

Whenever my mum makes a quick decision in the absence of my dad even without his pre-approval of which she knows he will always approve of if he was present at the moment, she would always present it to us by saying “I have discussed with your father and we have agreed to do this…” She was making us understand that she isn’t just speaking on her own but the behalf of the leadership board! If he still eventually disagree with her, they debate it in private, make resolutions and reach a common ground! Then mum comes openly to say “well, your father and I have changed our mind.”

The Bible says that except two agree, they cannot walk together. But we must understand that there is no agreement without one submitting to another or one dropping some differences aside. Being in an agreement doesn’t mean being without differing opinions, it means that in a particular cause, goal or vision, there is an agreement to work it out together. For an agreement to happen, one must submit to another person’s ideas or they may both find a common ground to agree and do away with some harmless differences.

For example, the man may want to buy a fifty thousand dollar worth of car but the woman would prefer that the money be used for something else. They may argue this for a while and the woman may realize how important a car may be to the family but her idea on how the money should be used may also be perfect. They can both reach an agreement in which the man may purchase a twenty thousand dollar car while the rest of the money is used for the other stuff or at least get it half done if it was going to take all the money. Now you see, they reached an agreement but dropping the differences and finding common ground.

Talking about the man’s leadership as the head, it is often misunderstood and abused. First of all, man is endowed with the ability, physique and emotion to lead. Man is also designed to interpret submission as love. The leadership of man is not a bossy relationship but servant leadership, the kind we saw in Jesus. The leadership of the man in marriage isn’t such that dominate the entire affairs of the woman and subject her to unfair treatments. The woman is not a subject, she is actually like a co-pilot!

A man who doesn’t understand the office and role of a wife cannot lead her well or even give her the chance to function effectively as a wife. The husband is not General Commander in Chief of the family. In the army, you are asked to obey the last order but marriage isn’t like that. The leadership of the man is implemented in the frameworks of friendship and love. Men are meant to protect their wives and not subdue them! That is what their strength is for

What some interpret as leadership is coming home late in the night, shutting the woman up when questions are asked and living without accountability. It is wrong! It is easy to identify men who would abuse leadership privilege even before marriage. Any man who places a demand on submission will abuse their office a husband at every slightest opportunity.

When the man leads his home the way Jesus modelled leadership and the woman submits to this leadership with all sincerity, they will both have the greatest influence towards each other and see the goal of that marriage fulfilled tremendously.

The office of the wife only makes sense in submission. Being submissive to the man’s leadership in the home is how he interprets love and being very attentive, considerate and caring to the woman in marriage is how she interprets love.

For the sake of clarity, a woman whose opinion counts to you will always cherish you. Leaders aren’t people whose opinions are final. By being attentive, they also make good use of a differing opinion when it will yield more result than that which they hold. On the other hand, even when the differing opinion makes no sense, they appreciate those opinions, making the other person understand why it has to be the other way round.

Marriage is a union and therefore cannot be productive when the couples are independent of each other. Until a woman also understands what submission is, she may not do so well in marriage or as a wife. The wife is also a leader and she is wired to be positively emotional, creative and multi-tasking. These attributes are very important and with it, they can make an untold impact on the family.

A man needs those emotional, creative and multi-tasking quality of a woman to lead the home well. Most men who neglect their wives don’t do well, they feel taking care of the children is all about spending money on them but that is just one out of many! When the man understands the role the woman is playing in his life, he will pay attention to her, stay accountable to her and carry her along with all that he is doing.

The woman submits unknowingly not just if she loves you but when you love her. The beautiful thing about loving her and showing it intentionally is that it triggers a sense of security in her making her fall blindly into your arms without fear, knowing that you’ll protect her. Perhaps, you should see submission as a woman willingly falling into your arms.

The question is, does she trust your arms? Have those arms disappointed them before? Earn that trust and you will never have to say “don’t you know I am the man of the house?”

Women are great but greatest when loved. Genuine love brings us the best of a woman. Now, a good leader knows how to bring out the best of others. When she isn’t submitting to you, while checking other factors, you may also want to look back and see where you aren’t getting it… Bring out the best of her and the key to this is genuine love!

Do you see that? Leaders should be accountable and when a man is accountable to his wife, she will trust him enough to submit to him. Let me give you another perspective on what submission is. It is not slavery, it is not acting in the capacity of a housemaid. It is a voluntary act of giving in to the leadership of another. As I started, in every successful organisation, there must be leaders and upcoming leaders but there must also be a hierarchy in the leadership system that must be respected.

Being the head doesn’t mean disrespecting another, seeing yourself as superior and seeing others as your subjects. When both men and women understand this, they will find joy staying in their place of assignment as couples and parents, knowing that they aren’t inferior but very important! While the leadership of the man makes him respect his woman and bring the best out of her, the leadership role of the woman makes her willingly follow the lead of her man, putting the best of her to the course of their relationship.

Let me put this thing in another word so that it makes more sense to you. 

Love is the only true means a man can exercise leadership in marriage or relationships and submission is the only true means a woman can exercise leadership in marriage or relationship. It sounds so simple but when we look into this from a practical perspective, we’ll realize that with love, a man exhibits all the virtues of a servant leader and with submission a woman has enormous influence both in the marriage and in the family.

I hope you find this portion of the Holy Bible very useful.

“Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” – Ephesians 5:22-23, 25-28

Blessings.

HOW WOMEN SHOULD NOT SUBMIT IN MARRIAGE


What exactly are we talking about when we talk about submission in marriage? Should the issue of submission be wrestled about? Do men have to out-rightly demand this submission? In what sense should women submit to their husbands? If you are an ardent reader of George’s Diary, you will have seen various teachings we had done as regards to women and we keep updating them every day to ensure accuracy. If women were asked to submit to their husbands, does it mean they are not equal with their husbands? Does it suggest they are to live by their husband’s rule without question? I will answer a few of these questions by actually telling us what submission isn’t or what God never defined as submission in marriage.

Marriage is like a plane where there are two pilots. Both contribute to a successful flight! For order, there is usually a captain and then the co-pilot. Sometimes the captain will need a rest and the senior officer (co-pilot) plays the role of the captain. In a family of two siblings, one would have come first and he is branded the “senior” but it doesn’t suggest he is superior or even more important. Being the senior is in age and ranking but in the real sense of it, they are equal as children, sons or daughters and they both have equal access to their parents and the resources made available to them as members of the family. However, certain tasks and responsibilities will be given to them with respect to their strength. Sometimes, the junior may even be stronger than the senior and it doesn’t make anyone more important or superior to one and another.

A captain and a co-pilot require the same skill and qualifications. There are no flight tasks exempted from the co-pilot as he or she needs an equal qualification to play the commanding role when the captain takes a break. In some cases too, the co-pilot plays a complementary role in difficult tasks where his or her own contributions and intelligence is also valued! It doesn’t rob the captain of his leadership position.

I believe that married couples are one and each contributes to raising a healthy family according to their areas of strength. Being a wife doesn’t make her inferior neither does being a husband makes him superior to the wife. In a simple line, to live in submission as a wife simply means responding to God’s call into the office of a helpmeet, recognizing and honouring the husband’s God-given position as the leader of the family with whom you stir the affairs of the family. It is in the identification of his role as the leader that you are even able to offer him necessary help and to also stand in his capacity when he is weak. In response to the issue of submission, husbands are also called to “highly respect” and hold their wives in high esteem! (1 Peter 3:7) To highly respect means to have a great sense and feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.

So, a husband, in turn, should be in awe of the amazing qualities his wife possess in solving problems! Leadership is meant to bring out the great potentials of others and this is what a husband should do, he gives room for the “helping” potentials of his wife to manifest! You don’t get that by imposing authority, you get that by allowing them to manifest freely and it is in their willingness to manifest their gifts as a wife freely that they also submit. The logic is, submission becomes very easy when you love and greatly respect your wife and the “answers” they carry. Another way men express leadership in marriage is by loving their wives the same way Christ loves the Church and gave Himself for the Church (Ephesians 5:25). This is a sacrifice, a man must sacrifice everything including his ego as an expression of leadership in the home!

Now, let’s look at certain things we must never define as submission.

1. SUBMISSION IS NOT UNCONDITIONAL AGREEMENT

We often hear people say things like “you have to agree with him without question because he is your husband. You can only suggest but he decides.” Oh well, that sounds so cool but that is a whole bunch of lies. In 1 Peter 3, if there were wives whose husbands were not Christians; in this sense, they heavily disagree, then it is possible to disagree with things that aren’t healthy to your purpose, your convictions in life and your ultimate loyalty to Christ. If the husband decides to have a threesome sexual experience, you wouldn’t suggest “no” to him, you would scream “no!” and in the same way, you can be bold with your convictions. After all, we have established the fact that leadership in marriage means giving room for the good opinions of another. There are places in a marriage where a woman is left with no option than to disagree respectfully and there is also no room for a man to impose his opinion disrespectfully.

2. SUBMISSION IS NOT “WITHOUT YOUR MIND”

Marriage doesn’t make a woman a robot, it doesn’t even make a woman a sex machine in the sense that she can’t say “please can we do this later, I really overworked myself today.” Submission doesn’t mean that the woman’s opinion is inferior and it doesn’t mean the mind of the woman has been sold out to the man. A good leader in marriage will always want to know and respect the opinions and strength of the other person. Many people would misinterpret 1 Corinthians 7:4 by suggesting a wife will always be available for sex but the same chapter clearly says the body of the husband also belongs to the wife and in the next verse it talks about mutual consent. A respectful husband serving as a leader should always be able to respect the body of his wife and understand when she is weak. On the other hand, being a submissive wife doesn’t mean putting your mind away and accepting things that are anti-Christ and destructive to you. You can speak your mind in the marriage too, don’t let anyone deceive you into thinking that God wants you to say “oh! yes” to everything. Remember your ultimate submission is to God and your submission to your husband should be guided by your submission to God.

The Bible view on authority should not be likened to that of the world, loyalty and submission in the family isn’t like what we see in political parties where people agree to ideologies they aren’t convinced about just because they are members of that party. You can disagree with your husband when he wants to overspend, it is both of you that pilots the ship and your own opinion also matter. In leadership, we must admit a better opinion when we see it. A good leader in marriage should be able to accept a better view and leave his own views aside. Leadership is all about doing something together and not about rolling out a personal plan.

You don’t say “we must do this!”, sometimes you say it this way “should we do this? Is it a good idea?” This is what husbands should do as they stand in the place of captains.

3. SUBMISSION IS NOT BEING LESS IMPACTFUL

Never ever be discouraged by trying to also have a great impact or strong influence over your husband’s decisions and character. Many people think that you must allow him to live the way he wants but that is not true. You were called to help him as a wife and therefore you should be the biggest influence in his life. It is not a lack of submission when you want your husband to act in certain ways. My mother got my father born again, my mother influenced him into quitting alcohol and smoking! She also had a superior influence on us and ensured we didn’t follow that path. Does that make her less submissive? No, because she was submitted not just to the man but to the purpose of the marriage and the office she occupies as a helpmeet and a mother. Today, we don’t even remember we had a Dad who would smoke and drink alcohol.

4. SUBMISSION IS NOT DOING THE WORK ALONE

People also usually think that submission in marriage means doing all the domestic chores, doing the dishes, taking care of the Children and the laundry while still keeping up with your daily job in the office. This is very wrong! You can have a submissive wife without having her enter the kitchen once! Trying to take up all the work doesn’t make you a submissive wife anyway. It is not even wrong to suggest to your husband that he should take up some domestic responsibilities and as a husband you are not being a coward by not trying to blackmail your wife into making her feel she isn’t a good woman if she isn’t able to do all the work. There should be a division of labour in the home especially when she isn’t a housewife and no man is supposed to force a woman to sit in the house all day. In our family, Dad can’t cook and therefore he doesn’t enter the kitchen for anything. The first times he tried, it was an eye sour! Mum does the cooking when we are not available to cook! On the other hand, Dad loves to do the laundry for himself and mum while we wash ours ourselves. When we are not available to clean the house and fill the water cans, Dad would do them himself. Now you see that? They both respect their places of strength without imposing extra duties on the other person.

5. SUBMISSION IS NOT “HUSBAND” ABOVE EVERYTHING

A wife has a life to live, she is a staff, a student, a member of an organization, a leader in the social world, a doctor, a mother, a friend and so on! Therefore she should balance her life to meet up with all the demands. Submission doesn’t mean going to see your husband when it is time to be at work, it is not going out with your husband when you need to stay with the kids, it doesn’t mean staying with your husband when you have an emergency in the hospital as a medical doctor. Husbands should understand this! Above all, our ultimate submission is to Christ and therefore when it comes to choosing between the husband and Jesus, it is Jesus without negotiation but with deep respect from both sides. While we love and respect our spouse, our ultimate reverence is to God.

The list would go on but now we can understand that our definition of submission should not be defined with the idea of cult-like followership, a hopeless dependence and careless disregard of our own personal convictions, goals and God’s calling in an attempt to stick to order. Both submission and leadership in marriage can only be best understood in the light of the scriptures. In other words, submission truly doesn’t mean living for the man and in his own terms, it means living for God and shaping your marriage to truly reflect God’s will and purpose for that marriage. In turn, the man expresses true leadership by identifying the duty of the woman and allowing her to carry it out effectively.

To be submissive in marriage is to be loyal to the purpose of that marriage and to affirm the role of the man as a leader making the woman also understand her own role as a helpmeet. You can’t help solve an issue you haven’t identified with.

God bless you.

~ George O.N

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SUBMITTED TO GOD | Alive! Daily Devotional


Submitted to God

“In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:6

When you have a very supportive father or a mother who has all the resources it takes to get your dreams into reality, will you ever start off a project without consulting them? What do you when you feel ill but have a family doctor? Will you ignore the family doctor and seek health your own way when you aren’t medically trained? The truth is, we will always submit ourselves to those who know better than us so that we ourselves can do better. Get This:

1. God never designed you for failure.

2. In submission, you fulfil God’s purpose for your life.

3. Success lies in fulfilling the purpose of life.

God created this earth and everything in it but He isn’t overly in charge of this earth. Yes, He is the God of all the universe but He never desired to control the earth or even control man. He released this earth to us and therefore we are the ones to make out of it anything we want. However, in submitting to God as we operate this earth, we achieve God’s purpose for this earth. Although we have been made in His image, we can only operate like Him if we let Him teach us.

POINT TO NOTE

The first step to submitting to God is by believing in your heart that Jesus has reconciled you with God and made you righteous in your Spirit by the reason of His death and resurrection. The next and only thing to do is to trust that God is able to keep you from falling and by letting His word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit directs you. This way, your path is always straight!

AFFIRMATION

“I have been united with God in Jesus and therefore I am in right standing with God. My ways are submitting to God and therefore I am walking by His own leading. Hallelujah!”

PRAYER

Thank you, precious Lord, for making every crooked way straight in my life! I reaffirm my submission to you.

Alive! Daily Devotional is a new project on George’s Diary. Stay inspired and enhanced every day with reflections, points to note, affirmations and prayers strongly rooted in God’s word. It’s simple, straight to the point and inspiring! There are peace and comfort readily available in God’s word for you!
~ George O.N

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GOD AND OUR WEAKNESS


GOD AND OUR WEAKNESS.jpg

Many times, we preach about great men in the Bible we never mention that they were ever weak or had certain flaws, we often present them as though they were a perfect breed who were chosen by God for their commitments, faith in God and strength. Presenting it that way often becomes problematic because many baby Christians feels displaced, they feel they need some extra things to do to be approved by God, they feel they need lots of fasting and prayers to be like Paul, by thinking that way, they are simply trying to do the work and get God out of the way.

Every man God used in the Bible had serious marks of un-qualification, they had serious weakness and flaws that should have prevented them but I have come to discover that God has never ever chosen the qualified… At least, in the eyes of men, He skips all the wonderful people to choose the unqualified who might have serious issues and questionable past.

  • Noah was a drunk! – Genesis 9:21
  • Abraham was old, committed adultery and lied! – Genesis 16:4
  • Sarah was an accomplice who aid her husband in committing adultery and she lost hope! – Genesis 16:2
  • Isaac was a liar too! – Genesis 26:7
  • Jacob was a scammer, a cheat and a greedy fellow! – Genesis 31:20
  • Moses was a murderer, he was hot tempered too! – Genesis 27:19
  • David was an adulterer, a murderer and more! – 2 Samuel 11
  • Elijah was hot tempered and selfish with his anointing! – 2 Kings 1:12
  • Almost all the disciples were uneducated, they lacked faith and knowledge! – Act 4:13
  • Paul was a murderer, a persecutor, an arrogant fellow! – 1 Corinthians 15:9

I can go on and on to list their weaknesses and what was supposed to make God overlook them and find qualified and educated people. Esau was more morally sound than Jacob, David’s siblings were all more qualified than David but God isn’t considering those things. Paul who experienced how God can transform a man who he uses wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

You see, God uses the weak to shame the strong, He does that to prove that indeed, Him alone is strong! God uses the foolish to shame the wise and bring them to the point they will realise that indeed they are not wise. God wants to take all the glory, He wants people to boast in His strength and not in their own strength. God’s strength is made known in weakness! For God to turn the illiterate Peter into a man who could address crowds of educated business elites, His strength has been made known! By turning Paul who was full of hate and pride into a man who could preach love and humility, His strength and power has been made known. Hear what God said

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 1 Corinthians 12:9

 

Sometimes, people come to tell us how a certain Pastor has been in the past even while coming up as a minister, they tend to discredit man based on those qualifications but while man judges the physical, God looks at the heart! God is in the business of turning people’s weakness into winning points!

God does not call qualified people, He qualifies those He has called! And it a process, it is not even automatic but a gradual process. Don’t disregard yourself, God has not given up on you neither is He ready to do so… In your struggles, in your weakness, in your ignorance and foolishness… Submit yourself under God’s mighty hand and you will see Him use you greatly!

Using myself as an example, I am not qualified, most unqualified people are more qualified than me… I don’t have what it takes, I don’t have that perfect character people are looking for, I don’t have the charisma that can get people off their seats but when I see God use me to do certain things… I just stand in awe and glorify His majesty! Yes!… That is exactly what God wants! That the whole earth can see His mightiness and give him glory!

In our weakness, God is mighty!

What do you do with your weakness?

You don’t celebrate it, you don’t treat it with light gloves, you don’t smile over it and say “God uses the weak after all… I am waiting to be used”. No! God isn’t looking for people who are waiting to be used, God wants people who have come to be used! You mustn’t let your weakness hinder you

What do you do with your weakness then? You give it over to God! You cannot change yourself, don’t try. God is in the business of changing our heart of stone to heart of flesh! God doesn’t take what you don’t give Him and when you give Him your heart, He gives you a brand new heart like His in return.

In Christ, what happens to the weak is that God lifts the burden of weakness and give them His strength! Hallelujah! Jesus said in Matthew 11:28

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Peter wrote in 1 Peter 5:6-7

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”

 

God cares for you so much that He really wants you to come to your best, he really wants to make the best out of you! It is God’s desire to raise you from nothing to something. It doesn’t matter how bad you have become, it doesn’t matter how old and feeble you have become… God can still make the best out of you, He can still make you become who He has ever wanted you to be but He can’t do it if you do not submit to Him! God bless you!

#GracefulGeorge