Why Men Are Struggling To Lead Their Families Spiritually

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Episode Summary

Why is it that so many men struggle to lead their families spiritually? Join Isaac and Angie as they discuss the reasons many men are passive, practical ways their wives can encourage them, along with stories of what this has looked like in their marriage. The truth is, our children will mimic what they see and we need to model a Biblical marriage for them so that they both, know what to be and what to look for in a spouse. If you want to leave a legacy of Biblical leadership, don’t miss this episode.

If we want to raise our sons and daughters to be confident and joyfully embracing their God-given roles and responsibilities in leading their families when they are older, then we have an obligation to teach them how it is supposed to look. Many Christian women describe a deep desire for their husbands to be more intentional and take on the spiritual leadership of their homes, but they don’t know how to encourage them. On another hand, there are also many women who have been leading their families spiritually for years while their husbands are aloof but still sensing a quiet disrespect for their role. There is an attack on Manhood today, often referred to as Toxic Masculinity, that not only discourages men from leading but literally provokes men towards passivity while it gives accolades to women for the very thing it discriminates against men for.

The enemy doesn’t want men to lead or parents to be involved in the education or discipleship of their children. 

The enemy is clever. He subdues men, convincing them to believe they shouldn’t lead. One of the ways he does this is by getting the culture to shift towards hating masculinity, making men feel both irrelevant and guilty for their gender. Society is constantly pressuring men into being more feminine and apologetic for the God-given attributes they have been created with.

We are discussing the importance of men being a great example of masculinity to their children, reasons men can be passive, and how wives have a massive influence in the encouragement of their husbands in a spiritual leadership role.

Key Takeaways From This Episode

1. Men must be good examples of masculinity to their children.

  • If daughters don’t see a father leading biblically, but rather see a passive boy, they won’t know what to look for in a husband.
  • If sons don’t see their fathers lead their families they don’t know how to replicate being a Godly man.
  • Likewise, a mother’s role and response in encouraging her husband is equally important as it is both a role model for what a son should look for in a future wife, but also an example to the daughters of how they should act, lead, and encourage their husbands in the future or not.
  • The wife has an important role in knowing how to be supportive of her husband in being the head of the household.
  • It will be hard to launch confident Christian kids into the world if the man is passive.
  • If you are listening, Men, and you retort that you aren’t passive, listen with an open mind as we all need help with this.

2. Reasons for Passivity

  • There’s a psychological warfare discouraging men from living out how God made them and their leadership role of their homes.
  • Media depicts men as aloof, dumb, disrespected and it takes a toll, influencing how your children view you, how a wife views her husband, and what a man thinks everyone expects of him.
  • Don’t only rely on human examples as God’s Word tells you how to be.
  • Don’t look around you and say “I’m doing good, I’m a little bit better than the other guys I know.” No! Our standard is in the Bible.
  • Get around other Resolute Men and Courageous Moms to run the race with.
  • It takes courage and self-control for wives to be submissive.
    • A story of Angie being submissive that catalyzed Isaac’s leadership.
  • Wives, you should be submissive because you love your husband and want to follow his lead, but also because it’s what the Bible says.
  • Too many dads are over delegating their leadership role to coaches, pastors, teachers, youth pastors and take the hand off the leadership wheel.
  • Godly men like that should be additive to your leadership, but not replace it.
  • Over time your kids will grow in only listening to the other leaders in their life and then in the teenage years they won’t listen to you anymore and those other leaders might not even be around them anymore either.
  • A lot of times women, when they don’t see their husbands as someone who can lead them, go to their pastor instead, or online resources even. But the best way to encourage your husband to grow is to go to your husband with the questions.
  • If your husband doesn’t know the answer to your questions, make him feel fine looking it up and getting back to you. You, wives, have massive influence in building up your husband’s self-esteem and confidence in being able to lead.
  • Some men make the excuse of having a lack of Biblical knowledge as to why they cannot lead, but that’s a really bad excuse.
  • Whatever you focus on, you learn and know. We must reject passivity, the Bible is the manual for leading your family.
  • Unrepented sin in a man’s life destroys their influence; especially sexual sin like pornography. Sin creates a blockade from hearing God and understanding His word. You are neutralized instantly from having influence. You can even feel it inside you. You feel the guilt and shame.
  • God can clear up your sin right away but you can’t just repeatedly do the same sin over and over again knowing you are deliberately sinning and expect closeness with God.
  • You can’t hold others accountable for what you are doing yourself.
  • If you are in sexual sin, it will prevent you from having the deep conversations you must have with your kids about pornography, masturbation, and other issues if you are deliberately, and repetitively sinning in the same ways.
  • Men with secrets raise boys with secrets and both remain in deadly bondage of sin. Their boys don’t grow up and become men because they never saw it modeled for them what a real man was like.
  • Your kids will then repeat your behavior even if they don’t know about it, because you aren’t training them to fight against the desires of the world that you yourself are addicted to.
  • Over 80% of men are addicted to pornography. If that’s you, YOU ARE NOT A RESOLUTE MAN, you are a passive man. You cannot lead your family adequately if you are addicted to pornography.
  • Insecurities cause men to stay passive as their identity often isn’t in Christ.
  • If us women are expecting our husbands to lead the home but we make it hard for them to have the time to study the word we are being unfair.
  • Men, don’t abuse your time. Your wife knows if you waste your time and if you are, she will fill your time with things that need to get done. If you are not being intentional with your kids, she may fill up your kid’s schedules with activities with people who will engage your kids.
  • Is your identity in Christ or is your identity in the world?
  • Sometimes it’s hard to see how your role fits into the schedule because it’s too busy. Do you need to set some boundaries and re-prioritize? Do you need to schedule Bible time into your family’s daily or weekly routine? Utilize time you already have, like dinner time.
  • Here’s a key question men must ask their wives: “How am I doing as the spiritual leader?” The heart of your wife opens towards you when you ask her this. Encouragement might come your way if you allow her the freedom to share her heart and desire for you to lead.

3. Wives Have a Massive Influence

  • Wives, respecting your husbands encourages them to be the spiritual leader.
  • The Bible doesn’t say to respect your husband only if they deserve it. It says to respect them regardless. However, Men, you should want to be deserving of respect from your wives.
  • Respecting your husband is one of the things that might be needed for your husband to lead spiritually.
  • Men should respect their wives in front of their kids.
  • A huge discouragement to men is if they know the wife is disrespecting them to other women or to their kids. It is a huge, debilitating factor for many men. It shouldn’t be. We should rise above it, but it is one of the most discouraging things for men.
  • Women need to surround themselves with other courageous women. A courageous woman will hold her friends accountable, exhorting or even rebuking other women for speaking disrespectfully of their husbands.
  • If bitterness is in your marriage relationship, you subconsciously may be sabotaging your husband’s leadership and you don’t even realize it. Be introspective.
  • Men, if you get home and are passive it will likely lead to bitterness in your wives.
  • There is so much power in a praying wife. It’s the most powerful thing you can be doing as a wife to encourage the spiritual leadership of your husband.
  • Men, you should ask your wives and other godly men to hold you accountable to purity, we all need that.
  • A key question for wives to ask their husbands is: “Is there anything I’m doing or anything in our marriage that discourages your spiritual leadership?”
  • A powerful question disrupts the normal rhythm of the relationship and invites a better path together. It’s like a recalibration of the relationship rhythm.
  • Courageous Parenting Challenge this week is to ask each other these two questions that we have mentioned in this podcast!
  • Wives, it’s vital to shift away from being the spiritual leader when your husband gets home creating room for him to lead.
  • Put the Biblical modeling to your children above being productive and let your husband seize the opportunities. It will take patience but over time he will likely lead.
  • Your children turn on in a different way when your husband leads! We are not saying to stop leading spiritually in your home when he is at work, you just need to take a step back when he does get home.
  • Some of the pauses where you wait may seem like a long time. If you fill the gaps it could lead to passive efforts.
  • Men, mentally get prepared before you walk through the front door after work. It doesn’t matter how tired I am, how I feel, what happened in my day. All that matters is engaging with my family and leading. You should have this same standard too.

Scriptures From This Episode

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love.”

1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Ephesians 5:33 “Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”

Proverbs 31:10-12Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.”

Proverbs 14:1The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.”

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Written By Angie Tolpin
Angie has been married to Isaac for 19 years and together they have eight children, whom she homeschools. She is the Founder of CourageousMom.com, a doula, the author of the best-selling book Redeeming Childbirth, and the creator of the first ever Christian Postpartum Course. Angie loves ministering to Women and has created a few online Bible Studies on Biblical Friendship and Motherhood.

Reader Interactions


  1. Vince Caliendo says

    I can’t believe courageous parenting. Angie talked in detail about what being a submissive wife is, how to be one, and what are the benefits of that kind of obedience for a family in Christ. I have literally never heard or seen anyone do that before. That truly was courageous. And more to the point of personal application for me, keeping the Bible as my standard, and having the humility and teaching-moment mindset to look things up with my kids often was gold. I can’t figure out how to 5-star rate the show… but I would.

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