H is for Hierarchy

It is important in a Christian marriage to recognize the Hierarchy that God has put into place.  Read just a few scriptures related to marriage and you will see that the man is assigned by God to be the head of the family.  It is important to realize this is not an assessment of value. God does not value man above woman, nor does he give men the authority to treat their wives as a second-class citizen.  It does not mean that the woman is not smarter, wiser, or more spiritually mature; they may very well be. It simply means that in order for the marriage to operate in a structured manner someone has to lead.  In a Christian marriage this burden falls to the man.


I know this may cause some fear to surface.  What if he takes advantage? What if he treats me like a doormat?  What if he becomes abusive? These are valid concerns. However, if you married a good-willed man, he can learn to bear the burden of leadership with wisdom and grace.  It often takes time, especially in a world where their father’s may have “checked out” during their childhood so that have no role model. There is fine line that family leaders walk between struggling with “control” and exercising “leadership.”  Pride and immaturity often get in the way as we learn leadership. There are a couple of things you as a wife can do to help him grow in this process.


  1. When he leads, follow.  Every woman enters a marriage with baggage and often it is the baggage of distrust.  Boyfriends, lovers, family members, husbands and even strangers may have hurt you deeply resulting in a lack of trust and a need for control.  However, if you are trying to be in control, you are saying he should submit to you. This is the reversal of the hierarchy provided in the bible.  As he is called to lead, you are called as a helpmate to encourage him when he leads and follow his lead whenever possible.
  2. Have a discussion on what leadership means to each of you.  When should he ask for input? How should it be provided when not asked for?  Talk about the differences in how you see things and the value of having your opinion.
  3. Offer your input and then let it go.  Trust that God is working in your life to learn how to follow and is working in his life to learn how to lead.
  4. Expect failure.  Learning to lead is a process and he is only human.  When he fails, encourage him when you can, take the opportunity to learn and then move forward in humility and forgiveness.
  5. Encourage him to attend men’s events and groups through the church.  Events like “Band of Brothers” addresses leadership in the family and puts him in contact with other men of different ages that can act as a mentor.
  6. Attend women’s events that have biblical teaching on family.  Events like Hearts of Beauty allow you to meet women of different ages that help you learn how to positively influence your husband and deal with some of your past.


It has been a couple of weeks since the Workshop where we discussed what respect looks like to a man.  If you remember, during the workshop we used the acronym CHAIRS:

C – Conquest

H – Hierarchy

A – Authority

I – Insight

R – Relationship

S – Sexuality


Today let’s visit conquest, the importance a man places on his work.

Most men have an innate drive to accomplish something in their life.  We look back at stories of old where Louis and Clark mapped the way west or Daniel Boone conquering the wild frontier.  We love the stories of men and their flying machines or of Henry Ford changing the landscape of work as he formed the first assembly line. Men often find their drive for conquest through their work.  The need to be successful, to move “up the ladder,” or create something that has never before been seen is a normal drive for many men.  Like everything else this can become an idol, but for most men the need to succeed at work is a significant part of their life and their job is often a significant part of their identity.

Today take a moment to text your husband and say thanks for how he provides for and serves your family through his work.  Express appreciation for what he brings to his work whether it is fresh ideas, experienced leadership, or a kind heart.  Validating the importance of his work is one way you can show respect to your husband.


Do you trust your husband?  I know you probably did at one time because you married him.  Often times the trust that was once present has been eroded by bad decisions, angry outbursts, selfish acts, and sheer stupidity.  The problem is that really great marriages are built on a foundation of trust and often times, trust is lost when our unrealistic expectations are not met.

At the age of 19 I walked the isle and said, “I do.”  Patty had some expectations of me that turned out to be unrealistic:

  • Michael will make good financial decisions – Michael got us into $50,000 worth of unsecured debt.
  • Michael will consult with me on issues of significant importance – Michael joined the Air Force without even discussing it.
  • Michael will help me take care of our child – Michael had no idea how to handle a child.

The list is long and distinguished.

I know what you are thinking; these are not unrealistic expectations.  This is what a husband does if he loves his wife. That maybe true when you marry a mature 35 year old, but not a 19 year old.  It is a realistic expectation now, but may not have been then.

Here is my point; if you have a lot of baggage from early in your marriage it may be time to unpack it and put it at the feet of God.  Your husband is not the man he was 15 years ago, maybe it is time to look at him for who he is now and not what he was then and issue some forgiveness. Maybe it’s time to forgive and trust God that he is continuing His work in your husband just as he is in you.

You may note that this is a somewhat personal entry for me.  Anyone would have fully understood if, after 15 years of struggle, Patty had left me because of my immaturity and stupidity.  However, she made a different decision. Along the way she stopped focusing on trying to change me and started focusing on trusting God and letting God be in charge of changing me.   That is exactly what happened. I am convinced when she starting trusting God and stopped trying to be my Holy Spirit, God got to work in our marriage. We love being married and we are thankful for each other and what God has done in our relationship.  Ultimately, we are thankful that we can trust God and can rest in his provision in our marriage. Because we trust God we can trust each other. It is that foundation of trust, both in God and in each other, that makes all the difference in our marriage.

The Strength of a Woman

Women love the story of Cinderella.  A woman, mistreated by her step-sisters (the world) is then discovered by her prince (Jesus represented by your husband) who sweeps in on a White horse and saves her from her condition (that time is coming).  Women love the story because there it is a reflection of the reality of a Christian woman and marriage.

A woman who humbly understands how much she is loved is a woman who understands her value and place in the world.  It is the foundation of self-control and self-esteem. It is the building block of submission and strength. It is captivating.

Here is a document that Patty obtained somewhere over the years.  It has the scriptural references regarding your true identity. Your challenge is to print it and place it somewhere you will see it every day.  Look up a listed scripture at least once a week and let the truth of who you are percolate daily. It may take some time to assimilate these truths, but it is worth the effort.