Spiritual Leadership

by Scott Huckaby

We have a problem in this country with men failing to assume the role of spiritual leadership in the family that God has ordained. About 50% of our marriages end in divorce. If more men had Christ in their lives, divorce would not be such a problem. Statistics show divorce rates among born-again Christians to be on the order of 5% versus 50% for the general public. Also, our welfare system is growing faster than the population largely because men do not assume responsibility for their actions.

This problem in society also manifests itself in the church. If only one partner of a married couple is devoted to Jesus and is actively involved in serving Him, it is usually the wife. Why is that? This phenomenon reinforces what the Bible teaches about the natural order that God has established (Genesis 3:16 & 1 Corinthians 11:3). If the husband knows Christ as his Savior, the wife is more likely to follow this leadership than the other way around.

Let's take a look at some of the things that contribute to men failing to be the spiritual leaders God intended...


The most powerful deception always has some truth. Satan has twisted God's plan for man to be a spiritual leader into a macho attitude that prevents him from following his wife in anything, especially coming to Christ. This is particularly true if the wife has been a Christian for a while, the man believes he is too far behind his wife to ever assume the leadership role in spiritual matters. But unbelievers do not understand they do not have to do this themselves, "A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven" (John 3:27). God will help men catch up to their wives in spiritual growth if they sincerely see their need for the Savior and seek to please Him.

Don't need religion

Men sometimes see "religion" as an "opiate of the masses" and feel they don't need it as much as the "weaker" woman does. But there is a big difference between having religion in your life and having Christ in your life. Religion involves legal baggage about what you must do for salvation, Christianity is a realization that Jesus has already done what is required for our salvation if we put our trust in Him (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Religion has caused more people to turn away from Christ than anything else in this world. Christianity is the only "religion" that teaches there is nothing we can do to save ourselves, it is God who has saved us through Jesus Christ if we follow Him. Satan encourages men to develop their own religions to lead people away from the only path to eternal life. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6).


Men often point to professing Christians who conduct themselves no differently than non-believers as proof that believers are no better off. The bumper sticker that says, "Christians are not perfect, just forgiven" comes to mind here. Yes, there are Christians in this world who are living a poor testimony. God gives us freedom of choice so that we may have an honest relationship with Him, but He will chasten His own eventually (Hebrews 12:6).

Also, non believers don't realize is there is a difference between professing to know Christ and knowing Him. Knowing about Jesus is not the same as having a relationship with Him. "You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe-- and tremble!" (James 2:19). Jesus told us how we can recognize those who falsely profess to know Him, "You will know them by their fruits" (Matthew 7:16). You will eventually see fruit of the Spirit in the lives of true Christians if you watch them long enough: a love, joy, peace... that surpasses all understanding (Galatians 5:22-23 & Philippians 4:7).


Men are taught not to show emotion. Since they assume religion demands an emotional response, they avoid spiritual matters. No where does the Bible say there must be an emotional response to be saved... "if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9). That's all there is to it!

There may be an emotional response as a result of believing in Christ, but this is not required by God. Some religions demand an emotional response as proof of one's spirituality, but this ends up damaging the cause of Christ. There is nothing wrong with feelings, in fact feelings can lead us to God's will if they reinforce the Bible.

Role reversal

Today's society not only teaches it is OK for men to be emotional, but advocates a role reversal between husbands and wives. Society applauds men who stay at home to raise the children while their wives become the chief breadwinner. This situation is uncomfortable for both because it is contrary to God's plan that the husband be the provider (1 Timothy 5:8) and the wife the helper (Genesis 2:18).

Men and women who reverse gender roles are in rebellion against God. They seek to prove they can do just fine on their own without having to follow the principles God established. This kind of thinking has led to society to accept just about any kind of family structure. We see this happening with an increase in homosexuality which is a sign of God's judgment on our nation, see Romans 1:18-32.

Women's lib

Men as well as women have been duped by feminists into a religion of self-sufficiency. This is not spiritually healthy, Satan wants us to depend on ourselves and not on God.

Feminists convince women that the "emptiness" in their life is caused by social institutions (including the church and family) that are created by men who want to keep power for themselves by alienating and squelching women. They don't realize we all feel empty without Christ.

Radical feminists made a "Declaration of Feminism" which stated, "the end of the institution of marriage is a necessary condition for the liberation of women." God told us this attitude would be present in the last days and is a sign that Jesus would soon return, see 1 Timothy 4:1-3.

The call

If you are a man who hasn't accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior but you have read this far, the Holy Spirit is convicting you to open your heart to Him. Know that this could be the last opportunity God will give you to embrace the truth, "the LORD said, 'My Spirit shall not strive with man forever'" (Genesis 6:3). You can receive Jesus into your life right now if you know who He is (Philippians 2:5-8) and why He came (John 3:16). I encourage you to let Jesus into your life, you'll never regret it.