“So Ahab went home, sullen and angry because Naboth the Jezreelite had said, ‘I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.’ He lay on his bed sulking and refused to eat.” 1 Kings 21:4
A passive husband is a poor leader. He lacks leadership for his wife, his children and his work. His passivity may be a result of many things. He may be stuck in neutral because he feels overwhelmed. The thought of doing anything locks him down. He may be unable to function as a leader because he didn’t get his way. If he can’t do things his way, he will not do them at all.
He may be passive because his dad was passive. This is the only role model he has ever known. A man may be suffering from chronic passivity because his confidence has been crushed. He has never recovered from a traumatic event that sent him into a sequence of bad choices. Or, a man’s lack of action may be a combination of these or other reasons. He is like a turtle perpetually stuck in his shell, afraid to come out and face the realities of life. He may be going through the motions of life, but something is missing. The fire to engage life has been extinguished, or is only flickering at best.
If that describes you, it is time that you awoke from your slumber of irresponsibility. Your wife and others have covered for you long enough. You are on the verge of losing what you have worked for all these years. More importantly, the respect of your wife may be quickly vanishing, and your credibility in the community may be eroding. Now is the time to take the reigns of your responsibility and do something. Lead, follow, or get out of the way.
Eventually, however, you need to lead. This is your role and calling from God as a husband, a father and a man. Leaders are made, not born. Indeed, this is probably a huge faith issue for you. Nevertheless, these are opportune times to model, for those who love you, explicit trust in God. He understands your apprehensions about leadership. Your heavenly Father is your leader. You can lead, because He leads you. Lead as He leads you. Model His leadership. You cannot improve on the leadership style of Jesus.
Because He leads you as a servant, you can lead as a servant. Because He leads you with humility, you can lead with humility. Because He leads you in love, you can lead in love. Because He leads you with patience, you can lead with patience. Because He leads you with compassion, you can lead with compassion. Because He leads you with purpose, you can lead with purpose. Because He leads you with courage, you can lead with courage. Because Jesus led, dependent on His heavenly Father, you can lead dependent on your heavenly Father.
The Holy Spirit is the leader of your life. Submit to His leadership—He will move you from passive to active leadership: a leader led by the Holy Spirit. When you are led by God’s spirit, you will lead. It is as natural as falling off a log. Yes, you will fail along the way. But it is better to fail as a Spirit-led leader than to do nothing in your own strength. This requires faith, especially for a husband to take a risk as a leader. Faith overcomes fear and failure. Your leadership at times will let down your wife, but she will love you even more as she experiences your leading in love.
Giving her everything she wants is not leadership. Giving her a husband led by the Holy Spirit is what she needs. Trust God to take care of her wants. You give her what she needs. A passive husband sucks life from relationships. An engaging husband gives life to relationships. Be a life- giver by trusting God with your leadership. Lead for God’s sake!