TITLE: Leader Of Convenience
By Marilyn Klunder
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“You’re supposed to be the leader in this family!” I yelled.
“I feel I’m only the leader when it is convenient!” He yelled back. I stopped and stood stunned at his statement.
“Honey, do I really make you feel that way?” I asked.
“At times, yes,” he replied.
My husband of five years had never been more enlightening then in that one single statement. While I don’t remember what we were quarrelling about, I do remember that statement, and it certainly changed my attitude and my approach in my marriage.
My heart sank as I realized that I wasn’t allowing him to be the man that God created him to be, and the man that drew me to him in the first place. I was forcing my opinion upon him and manipulating him to make a move on something that he didn’t feel comfortable doing. Instead of letting him be the leader, I was making him the puppet of my own agenda.
“I’m sorry,” I said, “I didn’t realize I was doing that. That’s the last thing I want you to feel, is a leader of convenience. You know I love you, and I believe in you as a godly man. Will you please forgive me?”
He didn’t say a word. He just reached for me and held me. What a lesson I learned that day; a lesson in love and forgiveness.
Looking back now, I see other instances when I have exerted my own agenda over his godly wisdom. For instance, in our search in purchasing a home. We had found a house we both liked and we made an offer to buy the home. The seller didn’t except the offer but came back with a counter offer. My husband, in his wisdom as a realtor and a godly man, didn’t think it was a good buy so he declined the counter offer. I was crushed and pouted for several days until he asked me to go see another house. I was sure the first house was the right house and wasn’t really interested; he coaxed me into going to take a look. It didn’t take me long to fall in love with the second house. It seemed perfect for our needs and even provided a few extra amenities that the other house didn’t have. He was right and I felt very foolish in my actions.
One of the most compelling issues among married Christians today is the role of the woman in the home and in the church. The opinion of each gender is plentiful and the disagreement among themselves and with each other is as numerous as there are stars at night.
Some are of the opinion that since the women’s liberation movement in the seventies, the role of the man in the home and the church has been emasculated. In some instances I would have to agree. It seems today, even to be politically correct and to give the genders equality, we must remove gender from our words not using man or woman, but person instead.
And still others contend that the liberation movement for women was started simply because the men stopped leading in the home and the church. It was as if men stopped making decisions so the women said, “if you don’t; I will!” Women started taking positions that was once only occupied by men, and not only in the home and in businesses, but also in the church.
Being a single woman and a single mother before we married, and now a woman involved in ministry to children, it is easy for me to assume the lead role. Invariably, God presents himself in a situation that reminds me even though He has called me to lead in ministry, He has also called my husband to lead in our home. I am still learning to step back and to wait on my husband’s leadership. There has been times when I feel like I’m falling back into the seventies saying, “If you don’t, I will!” But the more I see him seeking the Lord in his daily walk, the more confident I become in letting go and letting him be the leader that God created him to be.
Now, when a situation arises where a decision needs to be made, we spend time discussing it together. We each express our opinions and thoughts on the matter and we pray over it together. After our discussion, we then take it before the Lord individually. We don’t always come back from our personal prayers with the same solution, but we decide together which solution seems best. There have been times when I have conceded; there have been times when he has conceded. In either case, our focus is always keeping God as the Head of each of us.
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