Many women have asked me how my husband leads me spiritually. After all, we do not do family devotions, even though our house is permeated with God. (I do teach Bible class as part of our homeschool, but my husband shepherds each child in the fear of the Lord as the need arises.) God is in our deep conversations, in our faces, and in our lives. Our home is often characterized by joy. Someone told me recently that she loves how my husband and I adore each other, and she was right. Life is sweet with my husband, and I am so grateful for his strong spiritual leadership in our home.
First of all, for a husband to lead his wife spiritually, the wife has to be open to rebuke. The way to do this is to despise sin and to separate it from who you are as a person. We are to consider ourselves dead to sin. So any sin that we commit is not a part of who we are as a new creation. People who are truly saved desire to please God. If you have no desire to please God, you need to go ahead and get saved. But I assume I’m talking to Christians.
Okay, so here’s the deal: when your husband tells you about some sin that you have, don’t crumple up and feel inadequate as a human being. I admit that even now, about half the time, my initial reaction to rebuke from my husband is to feel wounded. I’m not mad. I just want to cry because I feel like a failure. And I don’t want to feel like a failure. I just want someone to love me for who I am. I don’t want someone who expects perfection, because they will always be disappointed in me.
And yet I’m wise enough to realize that the more sin that is burned away in my life, the more of God my body will hold. And more of God is more peace. More of God is more fulfillment. More of God is joy radiating out of my face. God is the God of miracles and can change you. The change happens when you realize that it’s your outer shell (“the flesh”) that is sinning. Don’t condemn yourself for something you’re trapped in. Even Paul himself kept sinning when it was the opposite of what he wanted to do (Romans 7:19-24).
You see, you yourself are precious, godly, and unique. But your “flesh” is what causes you to sin. So the sin that you are committing isn’t a part of your personality. You only think it is. You can get rid of it. It’s just like quitting any habit. You do it through the power of the Holy Spirit as He gives you the strength to stop a habit of behavior that you automatically do.
Your best self is yourself without sin. That is the aim of God. God’s will is that you be sanctified, so if you’re reluctant to be sanctified, you are fighting against the will of God. And if you’re fighting against God, how on earth can your husband succeed in shepherding you? He will fail. And he might as well not even try. Because he will be severely punished by you with all the hormonal emotional hoopla that men despise, and they will learn to never do it again.
So step one to be shepherded by your husband is to be open to rebuke. But this is really impossible for a woman to do without desiring holiness above her own comfort.
Now I will be vulnerable with you and show you some actual conversations with my husband, what he said and how he shepherded me through a sin issue and out through the other side, where I felt fresh and clean and released from sin. Yes, Scripture says your man can do this for you. And it’s absolutely incredible.
(Stay tuned for Part 2…)Tweet