Validating Your Husband’s Leadership

I have been too exhausted in the past two weeks to write anything substantial. First came the Philippine Homeschool Conference and then Counterflow 2015 which were book ends to a number of social events and other commitments that kept me away from my kids and disrupted my day job — homeschooling. 

 Ready for the World – Philippine Homeschool Conference 

Counterflow 2015 

However, I am happy to announce that this week, I can return to a semblance of normal. Things should taper off even more by mid-November. I can’t wait…the perfect way to end the year…slowing down.

During the Counterflow parenting event yesterday, I was most inspired by plenary speaker, Cassie Carsten. He spoke with conviction, passion, insight, a large amount of humor. Although he directed his talk to the fathers in the audience, there were principles for everyone to extract.

Personally, I was convicted by the concept of the first follower. In a marriage, a husband is called to lead, to initiate. But his leadership must be validated by his first follower, also known as his wife. Children pay close attention to the dynamic between dad and mom. They watch, Cassie pointed out, the EYES of mom. Do her eyes acknowledge and affirm what dad is saying? Or does she roll her eyes in irritation or glare in defiance when he speaks?

I latched on to this insight when Cassie went on to say that followers watch the response of the first follower more than the initiator. In other words, wives can undermine the leadership of a husband when they communicate to their children, even in the most subtle of gestures, that they don’t think he can lead. Furthermore, the second follower (oldest child) is supremely important to setting the pace for the subsequent followers (succeeding siblings).

 Come to think of it, I have noticed this phenomenon with my own children. If I wholeheartedly agree with Edric’s plans or opinions on a matter, my kids tend to do the same. If I question him, even with a look that says, “Seriously? That’s your idea?”, then my children get infected by my coup-like spirit.

It is my wholehearted support of Edric’s leadership that matters most among all the followers in our home. Just a few days ago, Edric talked to me about this. He asked, “Why have you been so contradictory lately?” 

My version of this was different. Perhaps I had been more “opinionated” but not necessarily contradictory. However, he named several occasions when I flat out disagreed with his ideas with a tone that was condescending. And it bothered him even more when I challenged him by commenting, “So do you want a wife that is a yes-woman? Someone who always agrees with everything you say and do? I am not that kind of woman.” 

Truthfully, this statement came out of a heart that was boiling with pride, because the correction about being contradictory wasn’t about me not being able to present my perspective or opinions. But this was the angle I pursued to win this verbal jousting so that I wouldn’t be cornered about the real issue — disrespect. Annoyed, Edric claimed that I was missing the point and going all lawyer on him, which is his way of saying I was about to dissect his every word and look for holes in his hypothesis. 

I may not have intended to be contradictory but I had been on edge, emotionally, for the past two weeks. Multiple speaking engagements triggered my nervous system and I found it difficult to relax. So I mouthed out all kinds of things without filtering them as carefully as I should have. At the end of the day, however, it was simply a matter of disrespect for Edric. He didn’t appreciate my tone of voice or reflex responses that seemed critical towards him. 

Thankfully, we settled this conflict with sincere apologies, but God had a more personal message for me. 
It came delivered by Cassie Carstens, when he highlighted how important the eyes of a wife are — the way she looks upon her husband and acknowledges him. 

As I sat in the audience yesterday, listening to him speak, the rebuke that convicted me was this: Joy, you need to improve in the area of respecting Edric. You may think you are submissive, good, and respectful as a wife but deep inside you have not fully embraced your role to validate Edric’s leadership. You still like to prove that you are right, wiser and better which stems from conceit, insecurity and self-centeredness.

 Aaaaaahhhh. It’s true! It’s true! As God’s Word declares, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.” Mark‬ ‭7:21-23‬ ‭
I also spoke at Counterflow yesterday on motherhood. Furthermore the entire event was for parents. But God intended for me to reflect on my marriage. Edric and I, by His grace alone, have a wonderful relationship. However there are hidden crevices in my heart where character flaws reside and these emerge when Edric and I have conflicts. Sometimes these flaws actually start the conflicts. So I was grateful for yesterday, to uncover the parts in me that God must still redeem. 
There is always room to grow and improve as an individual. Sometimes it takes a guest speaker from South Africa to be God’s messenger of truth to reveal these areas of improvement. But the point is to keep seeking and learning about what it means to be a better spouse or a better parent. 

For those who missed Cassie’s talks at Counterflow yesterday, he will have a series of events Tuesday to Thursday. He is one of the best speakers I have ever listened to and I don’t want to miss this opportunity to invite anyone (especially dads) who can carve out time to hear him speak. You will be changed…for the better! 

Good news! CCF will be offering the workshops at a hugely discounted price of just P50!!! (For three days!)

22 thoughts on “Validating Your Husband’s Leadership

  1. When you’re an alpha female, you’ll find it really hard to validate my husband’s leadership in a positive way. My mind rages with the thoughts that I’m more experienced; I have better plans and better understanding on things and how it works.

    Thus, it’s really hard for me submit when it comes to decision making. But with God’s grace, every problems’ solution starts by identifying that there is a problem- and I bet that’s a good start. 🙂

    God bless you and your family, Joy!

    1. Yes indeed Nyle:) very humble of you to admit that. Alpha females need to use their strengths and abilities to support their husbands to become the Alpha males God has called them to be!????

  2. Dear Joy,
    Thank you so much for your insights, I feel so blessed having attended last Saturday’s Counterflow… and it made us (me and my husband) realize many things about our marriage and family life… and having read your blog on the issue of validating your husband’s leadership, I, too was guilty of insecurities. With this realization, I hope to work-out my inadequacy, and stubbornness, and pray for God’s grace on this.
    You have such an amazing family and you are an amazing woman… May God continue to bless you even more.

  3. Hello joy, i saw your testimony in 700 club on youtube and i really like your story…im just curious, i hope its ok to ask? Did you get pregnant when you got raped? Is abortion ok if the girl was raped?

    1. Nope I didn’t. The doctor gave me a morning after pill. I took it. I didn’t know it was an abortifacient because the doctor just told me it will make the uterus a hostile environment for the sperm (so that it will not survive and reach the egg) when I asked her what it was. Apparently sperm can reach the egg within half an hour or take 72 hours to do so. I do not know if I would have gotten pregnant after what happened to me had I not taken the pill. When I researched more about the pill some time after I took it, it deeply troubled me to know that this pill can be used as an abortive “medicine.” At the same time I chose to move on since I took it without really understanding what it was. I have since surrendered that guilt to the Lord.

      To your question about whether it is okay to get an abortion when a woman knows for sure that she is pregnant, I would say no. The child is not at fault for what happened to the mother. But more than that to kill him or her is still murder in God’s eyes. I have two friends who gave birth to children because of rape. The one friend’s child is an amazing woman of God. She is proof that God can redeem everything. The second friend is a younger woman who has a 3 year old but she has chosen to love him and keep him. I also know two other women who got abortions and they have regretted the decision and have found it very difficult to move past what they did.

      There is no easy way to answer your question given the crime involved and the disgust that a woman feels toward her abuser. So by saying that a woman should not have an abortion in cases of rape is not to be insensitive about how a woman may feel. Rather it is to encourage the application of a command that God has given — you shall not murder — which takes a great amount of faith in God’s goodness and plan to do so in such a situation. Yet I believe in a big God who will bless and redeem the choice of a woman who saves the life of a child. God is greater than our tragedies and the trespasses against us. He can take a child born because of an act of rape and make this person a spokesperson for His Kingdom.

      1. Thanks for your time joy! Can i ask? If the girl takes the pill more than 72 hrs after she got raped, will the pill still have effect or she is sure to get pregnant? Does it take half hour or 72 hrs for sperm to reach the egg?

  4. Wow! This is a good meditation to me. I thought being supportive, saying yes and obeying your husband is marked as being submissive but on the contrary how you respond on the firsthand also matters – your action /gesture when you receive your husband’s decision. I am all smiles reading the blog, I am guilty of rolling eyes though following my husband LOL 🙂 Anyways, thanks for sharing this great article Joy.

    So I had this friend who is an Alpha female, she tries to dominate his husband in all ways possible, I am really tempted to talk about it to her but I am afraid I may be misunderstood. She is a Christian too and hope she will realize it, right now please help me pray for her and her husband 🙂

    1. Ok Cendy. As women I think we all have the tendency to want to dominate. It’s our “Eve” gene. Ha ha ha. May you be a blessing and encouragement to your friend ????

  5. Hello there Joy,
    I’m always blessed and motivated reading your blog, specially if it’s for family, I admired you how you handle things, God bless you and your family.

  6. Hi joy iam so blessed to read your blogs..regarding being submissive to husbands. what if my husband is an drug -addict and irresponsible and who has no job , who goes out and come home whenever it pleases him …how would a wife show submission to his leadership..

  7. Will there be another Counterflow event? Too bad my husband and I missed it 🙁 But thank you so much for all your blogs. It has been really helpful. God bless you greatly 🙂

  8. Hey, Joy.

    I have just started leading my own d-group and praise the Lord for that. Although you talked about leadership in the context of marriage, I would like to share with you what God has been teaching me when it comes to discipling my brothers. I am no leader myself and don’t deserve to disciple others, lol. But when I would like to “instruct” my group, say, to come on time, God has revealed to me that instead of telling them to come on time, I can do it this way:

    “Guys, let’s imagine ourselves as soldiers training for battle. now, how disciplined are they when it comes to time? Do they come to training only when they feel like it? Do they choose what time they need to report for training? No. They know the importance of time discipline and how it relates to their goal. How do you think the same principle applies to our dgroup, to us?”

    Frankly, I am still waiting for an opportunity to use this approach. Lol. But I think it’s a good one. And I think that the same approach can work in marriages. Instead of telling your spouse what to do, you can use a situation to illustrate your point. that way, you involve them and draw from them their self-initiated action plan.

    I have been blessed by this article. I never realized how important it is for the spouses to work together making Christ their center. And I quote,

    “In a marriage, a husband is called to lead, to initiate. But his leadership must be validated by his first follower, also known as his wife.”

    Bless your family, Joy. in Jesus name. Amen.

  9. Hello Joy,
    I praise God for you 🙂

    Your life testimony and your blog has given me helpful insights on how to be a better mother, wife and daughter to our God.

    God bless you! 🙂

  10. Hello there! This post couldn’t be written any better!
    Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He continually kept preaching about this.
    I most certainly will forward this article to
    him. Fairly certain he will have a very good read. Thanks for sharing!

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