The issue of marital roles for husbands and wives can be a challenging topic. The Bible has much to say on these matters, and recently in our counseling training we’ve spent two hours studying what God has prescribed in His Word. But even armed with what Scripture says, there can sometimes be a disconnect in our homes when it comes to practically applying Scripture’s teaching.

In a recent article from Desiring God, John Piper answers a question sent in by someone seeking guidance concerning what a husband’s leadership in the home should look like. In his response, Piper spends time clearly laying out what God’s Word teaches concerning this issue, then moves to discuss the implications of this teaching on the ground level of daily life.

So the way I define a husband’s leadership or headship, as God wills it, is a sense of benevolent responsibility to lead, to protect, and to provide for his wife. And the key phrase there is “a sense of benevolent responsibility.” He may have a disability, for example, that keeps him from being the breadwinner. But that disability does not keep him from feeling a benevolent responsibility that the family’s needs are met, and that sense of responsibility will move him to take initiatives with his wife and children to see to it that the family is cared for. That is the main issue, a sense of responsibility that moves the man to take initiatives in the family so that God’s will is done as much as possible by every member of the family.

So here are some examples, and keep in mind that when I say he feels a special responsibility for initiatives in the family, he is not ruling out the fact that his wife may have important initiatives to bring to the discussion because of his blind spots and his fallibility and her wisdom and her perceptivity.

The point is: She ought not to have to feel that she is constantly doing the initiating, prodding to get this man to talk about things that need to be talked about, plan things that need to be planned, do things that need to be done. So here are some of the kind of things where I think a husband should be taking active initiative:

You can read or listen to Piper’s full thoughts here. I hope they will be a blessing to you and your family.

Source: Desiring God

While God is faithful to change hearts and minds in the lives of His children, we also understand that change is a process, and often times far from simplistic or quick. Habits of life and thinking tend to change over time as the Holy Spirit works in hearts. This process of change is called “progressive sanctification.” It can be helpful and sometimes necessary to seek help from other Christians who can faithfully lead and walk with us, providing biblical encouragement and instruction along the way for the implementation of God-honoring, Christ-centered change. If you are struggling with life’s challenges, we would encourage you to seek help from your pastor, a godly friend, or a biblical counselor who is committed to seeking answers from God’s Word. To find a biblical counselor you can contact us or visit to find a counselor in your area.
Leading Your Family in the Way of Christ

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