"to be spiritually minded is life and peace" (Romans 8:6)
Men, we are called to be leaders, a leader has a goal and an aim for where he is leading people to. Ultimately, our goal should always be to lead our wives to God's truth that is found in the gospel. Just as spiritual mindedness is the key to life and peace in Christ, any marriage based upon the cross will find life and peace through being consistently fed God's truth and forsaking all things carnal. All problems in marriage come from a failure to apply the gospel. My primary role in leading Laura is giving her a greatuer understanding and appreciaiton for the gospel.
23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish." (Ephesians 2:23-27)
A verse I need to continually guide my leadership is John 3:30, "He must increase, but I must decrease." As I gain a greater realization of who I am and my sinful heart, I am given more motivation to direct Laura away from me and to God. If my goal is for Laura's sanctification then I should be constantly aware of my inadequacy and need for grace as I lead her to gospel truth. If our marriage ever becomes about me and my glory then I have failed. "Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, But to Your name give glory, Because of Your mercy, Because of Your truth (Psalm 115:1)." The most valuable thing I can give to Laura isn't financial freedom, a dream vacation or an amazing house, but His word and mercy is where great gain and contentment is found.
This should be an even greater motivator to my devotional life! How else can I lead Laura to a continual application of the gospel, if I myself am not doing that. The best leaders lead by example and not only by word. My life must be fixed on knowing God's truth. Everything else in the world will change. Circumstances will fluctuate, but "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever(Hebrews 13:8)."
As I become devoted to knowing God better and leading Laura in knowing God more, then our lives will be impacted by that truth. Any change and anything we accomplish for God's glory is all empowered by the Gospel. If we are to resolve conflict better, it is because of the gospel. To forgive one another as we continually sing against each other is only possible through the gospel. Any positive strides of stewardship, whether it be with time or money is motivated by the gospel.
I am always encouraged whenever I think about how the gospel has transformed a former co-worker of mine and her husband. The doctor informed them that their two option for kids were either adoption or IVF and at that moment her husband said to her, "our sins are forgiven. We are going to heaven!” and this gospel truth enabled them to walk through this trial with joy and hope in the greatness of the God they serve. They went to a seminar on IVF and discussed the option of adoption. Then God performed a miracle and in mid-October they are expecting a little one of their own.
Because of the cross we can have hope in the midst of all trials and know that if He can save wicked sinners like us, then He is more then able to deliver us from any trial.
*If parts of this post sounded unoriginal, specifically in the first paragraph, I paraphrased Mike Bullmore's message on the Functionality Centrality of the Gospel from the small group leaders conference and adapted it to what a husband's leadership should look like.