Doing Things Right In Matters of the Heart 7

Chapter Seven of John Ensor's book Doing Things Right In Matters of the Heart is entitled "He Leads...She Guides." In it he discusses leadership and decision making in the marriage in relation to the husband and wife's roles. Very counter-cultural, but biblical.

Commenting on 1 Peter 3:7—“I take this to mean we ought to lead with questions rather than conclusions. It means we ask about what she thinks is best, and we consider how she will be affected by the matter. Following this directive casts our whole leadership into the mold of tenderness and thoughtfulness.”

“Sisters if you repeatedly attempt to control the man in your life, and if you disrespect him and the decisions he makes, you will get nothing for it but neglect and emotional abandonment…But here is the thing: men naturally chafe and eventually flee from direct instruction from their wives. They do not change when you tell them to. And they never will. When you turn up the volume, you tune the man out.”

“Instead, try indirect instruction…This is the way of a woman with a man. She teaches him primarily by example. When needed, she may appeal to his thoughtfulness and ask for his consideration, but she will not go further. He will be far more apt to give consideration to her words when they are heard as an appeal or a suggestion rather than as a directive. Think of it as the difference between casting a flashlight down the path versus pointing it in his face. Direct light causes us to close our eyes. Indirect light, pointed away from our eyes, causes us to strain to see.”

“So let God, in his providence, bend the stiff neck of your husband, beat down his rebellion, soften his sharp edges, and fan into flame a vision for what it means to be a husband, father, and entrepreneur in the things of God. Until then, shut up about it in his presence. Turn it over to God, ‘casting all your anxieties on him, for he cares for you.”

“It is for me (men) to make the final decision when we are both uncertain or in disagreement about what is right. My wife will provider her best judgment and guidance: ‘Here is what I think…”or “We have to think about this factor or that.” Then when she’s done, she will add, ‘But you decide. God holds you accountable for it.’ Sounds a bit harsh, but it’s true.”

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