Misconceptions About Family Leadership

By Greg Smalley
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
George Rudy/Thinkstock
What does spiritual leadership mean to you? When preconceived notions are inaccurate.

In the early years of my marriage, I hated feeling as if I couldn’t measure up to my dad, Gary Smalley, a great leader and counselor. I had developed a skewed opinion of what it meant to be a spiritual leader, thinking I had to become a “spiritual giant” like my dad in order to lead my family. So I avoided failure by not even trying.

Two years into our marriage, Erin and I had a daughter, but I was still not interested in my spiritual leadership role. So Erin initiated the spiritual disciplines of prayer, service and study.

I now know that, like me, many introverted, insecure or uninformed husbands struggle with leading spiritually in the home. Some of the reasons are because they …

  • have misconceptions about what it means to be a spiritual leader.
  • lack confidence either in their Bible knowledge or skills as a leader.
  • feel intimidated by their wife’s relationship with God.

Leadership in the home

One day after Dad and I had taught at a marriage seminar, we sat in a restaurant talking. Dad started the conversation by explaining what the Lord had taught him about leadership during one of his morning prayer times.

“Yeah, you’re the great leader,” I said sarcastically. “Even my wife wants me to be like you.”

“A man can give spiritual leadership in all kinds of ways,” Dad said. “It’s more than reading the Bible and memorizing Scripture.”

And he spoke these words of encouragement: “Greg, I see an amazing spiritual leader in you. I see a man who loves his wife and daughter wholeheartedly. I see a man who takes responsibility and seeks forgiveness. I see a man who prays with his wife and for his daughter.”

God used my dad to give me a renewed vision for what spiritual leadership really means.

Re-evaluate your assumptions

I want to challenge men to let go of preconceived notions of what it means to be a spiritual leader — focused solely on spiritual disciplines. I also want to challenge women to broaden their definitions of what it means to be a spiritual leader and to notice all the ways their husband loves and cares for his family.

Dr. Greg Smalley is vice president of marriage and family formation at Focus on the Family.

Copyright © 2016 Focus on the Family.

Learn How to Cherish your Spouse and Have a Deeper Connection

Do you cherish your spouse? Couples who cherish each other understand that God created everyone different, and as a result they treasure the unique characteristics in their spouse. We want to help you do just that. Start the free five-part video course called, “Cherish Your Spouse”, and gain a deeper level of connection with your spouse.

Book Cover: Aftershock A Plan for Recovery

Aftershock: Overcoming His Secret Life with Pornography: A Plan for Recovery

This book is for women who have discovered their husband’s struggle with pornography and other sexual infidelities. Based on biblical principles and psychologically sound advice, Aftershock is designed to help women heal, grow, and receive restoration for themselves, their husbands, and their marriages.
Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

How useful was this article?

Click or Tap on a star to rate it!

Average Rating: 0 / 5

We are sorry that this was not useful for you!

Help us to improve.

Tell us how we can improve this article.

About the Author

You May Also Like

Insert CTA Content in New Section Below