As a husband, Selena looks to me to be a leader. She desires decisive, meaningful direction in our marriage and in our lives. Don’t get me wrong, she is definitely involved and vocal as we work together to craft our vision. But as the husband, the buck stops with me – I’m responsible to lead lovingly as Christ leads and loves the church (Eph 5:25). I’m supposed to lead her well, it’s my job – a job that should be tended to carefully.
To be clear, when I say ‘vision’ I’m referring to a plan for a desired result. Andy Stanley writes, “Vision is the tension between what is and what ought to be”. Vision is needed in all areas of marriage – faith, family, finance, fun, etc.
Sometimes I have to sell her on my vision; particularly if I feel strongly that it’s where we need to go. Solid leadership has at least three common characteristics:
- Vision – know where you’re going and why
- Communication – explain the vision clearly in terms of what, why, and how
- Execution – get to the desired goal
Each piece is vital, but in my experience, the most challenging part is communicating the vision in a way that Selena hears, understands, and supports it.
Example: I’ll use our decision to start this blog as an illustration on creating and casting vision as a husband.
A little while ago, I felt prompted to minister to young married couples through our marriage. This wasn’t a far reach for us as we’ve always been in agreement on that. However, the venue was new: a blog that could reach people far beyond our immediate influence.
I spent about a month thinking about it and counting the cost. I wanted to make sure that I was fully in tune with God and the vision was sustainable for us. It’s useless casting strong vision only to fizzle out down the road. I wrote down the vision, refined it, and prepped to share it with her.
This was the toughest part. I wanted to lead, but I didn’t want to force. The vision came at a particularly stressful time, when Selena was overwhelmed with lots of things. I didn’t want to just pile on yet another responsibility so I had to carefully consider how I could communicate the vision, not just the task, of Fierce Marriage.
Also, I wasn’t sure how she would receive it because it would require a new level of transparency, lots of work (writing is tough!), and it would expose us to potentially harsh criticism.
After much thought and prayer, I tactfully presented the “Fierce Marriage” idea to her. As it turns out it was a pretty easy sell. She had already begun to feel like we needed a way to minister through our marriage and the blog didn’t seem too daunting to her.
Once the vision was clear and Selena was on board, it was up to me to make sure we kept it going. It was time to execute.
I put the vision into action and got my hands dirty – coding and setting everything up. Selena’s confidence in the vision (and in my leadership) grew as the blog took shape and we had some realistic goals. When it was time to write, I had to be very careful not to bark orders if I wanted to keep her heart in it.
Husbands – we need to be careful not to bark orders if you’re that personality type. It crushes the spirit and demoralizes our wives. We need to lovingly remind and stay in lock-step with our wives – we can’t treat it like a job. It’s your job to know how to talk to your wife and communicate vision in a way that edifies and uplifts her.
Conclusion: What’s the point?
Vision evolves as life changes. Husbands should wield carefully their duty to create vision and lead in marriage. Leadership is an art much more than it is a science, and the stakes couldn’t be higher than they are in marriage.
In short, husbands-
- Get godly vision for all areas of your marriage – faith, family, finance, etc.
- Communicate lovingly and seek agreement with your wife
- Execute with loving strength and consistency
CEOs spend millions of dollars crafting and executing vision for their companies. We as husbands need to place as much if not more value on the visions we have for our marriages.