Communication, For Men, Leadership, Priorities

Husbands: How to Cast Vision and Why It’s Important

ryan frederick, selena frederick, fierce marriage

As a husband, Selena looks to me to lead our family. 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 family vision. (Oh, how I married a strong, smart woman!) But as the husband, the buck ultimately stops with me – I’m responsible to lead lovingly as Christ leads and loves the church (Eph 5:25). I’m called to lead her well, it’s my job– a job that should be tended to very carefully.

A man doesn't own his marriage, he is only the steward of his wife's love.

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Part of leading our family means I must diligently seek God and his vision for our lives. In fact, Selena and I should both be doing this separately, then we can work together toward a common family vision. In most cases, Selena and I are in agreement on our family vision – but this doesn’t come without lots of diligent communication, prayer, and more communication. Most of the time, this is how it works…

When I say ‘vision’ I’m referring to a plan for a desired result. Andy Stanley (pastor and leadership expert) 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.

We’re not always in agreement right off the bat. Sometimes I have to sell her on my vision; particularly if I feel strongly that it’s where we need to go.

Solid leadership (for any area of life, but here we’re focused on leadership in the family) has at least three common characteristics:

  1. Vision – know where you’re going and why
  2. Communication – explain the vision clearly in terms of what, why, and how
  3. Execution – getting 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.

Step 1: Vision

Two and half years ago, I felt God leading us 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. Blogs are a huge time/effort commitment, and I knew I would have to sell Selena on the methods required of us because the mission was worth it. That’s what casting vision is all about: gaining agreement on the “HOW” because of the “WHY“.

Looking back… 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. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t making things up on my own. 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.

Step 2: Communication (“Casting”)

This was the toughest part. I wanted to lead her, but I didn’t want to force her. 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 (and it has!).

After much thought and prayer, I tactfully (emphasis on 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. God was graciously leading us both in the same direction as we individually sought him… YES.

Step 3: Execution

Once the vision was clear and Selena was on board, it was up to me to make sure we kept it going. It was now time to execute.

The noblest tasks a man can do are serving God and loving his wife.

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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 that’s your 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, however, 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, and it’s imperative that you’re communicating through every vision shift. 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:

  1. Get godly vision for all areas of your marriage – faith, family, finance, etc.
  2. Communicate lovingly and seek agreement with your wife
  3. Execute with loving strength and consistency

Here are some examples of how you could apply this in your family:

  • Creating and following a path for getting out of debt
  • Starting a new endeavor with full agreement (business, ministry, a BLOG like this one…)
  • Imagining a family culture (praying together, laughing together, healthy) and working together to create it

CEOs spend millions of dollars crafting, casting, 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.

Question: How have you and your spouse created and casted vision in your marriage?

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Most of our pics from from our good friend Jeff Marsh. His work is awesome, truly. Check him out on Facebook.

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  • Danielle G

    Thank you for carrying out your call in life. So encouraging. God Bless,

  • Steve

    Awesome post! I just started following you two and I appreciate your Godly encouragement for my wife and I.

  • Camalot1

    Seven years ago, we committed to getting out of debt and out of the big city (in Vancouver, BC, the two were tied together in our single-income family). We sat down at least once per year and discussed what could be done to further our goal, and believed that God wanted both of those for our family. We had to put ourselves in the position of just carrying on with our everyday life and kids many times, but the topic came up often and we were encouraged by bits of progress and by others praying for/with us. Eight months ago God opened doors we hadn’t even known were there, and we stepped through, and are now living debt-free in a much smaller town. During those years we had our third child (now 5), who has autism and has greatly helped to shape our family’s vision for today and tomorrow with both his extra-special needs and his sunny, indomitable spirit. Our next family goal is to find some ongoing ways that we can contribute to our new community despite serious constraints, and hopefully get involved with church’s community outreaches again, too. God bless you guys for opening up and sharing to encourage couples.

  • Ryan Worley

    Need help in this area. My wife and I have not agreed on what we are to do together. I have my thing and she has her thing, but we do not have OUR thing and it is very frustrating. I haven’t a clue on how to do this. Personally I don’t know what I am seeking for. All i know is that I want my wife and I doing something together. She is consistently asking me to lead her on where we are to go, but how can I do that if I don’t know where to go or what to do. I need some input on what makes up a vision and not just the 1, 2, 3 steps mentioned above. My problem is, I don’t know the who what when where why and how. How did you come up with yours?

    • Karl S

      Hi Ryan,

      Your post reads to me like you’ve got some of the W5H figured out.
      Who: you and your wife
      What: doing things together (this is vague; are you talking about fun time activities like dates, or work, or ministry?)
      When: this is a timeline you have to decide on, and the sooner you want it is going to require more effort on your part to do steps 1-3 in Ryan’s post. If you want you and your wife having a regular date night once a week, you should plan a night out and invite her. If you want to be in ministry together, you should research potential ministries and discuss those possibilities with her.
      Where: this depends on “What” above
      Why: for greater intimacy in your marriage. The more connected you and your wife are, the better your marriage can be.
      How: this depends on the ideas you come up with based on “What” and “When” above.

      I hope that helps. Pray lots and then pray some more with your wife, and then start doing something.

  • Priscilla

    Love your posts…but to share with my husband (who is not on FB or Twitter….( I truly appreciate when you include an email link so I can share without having to print to share! ?

    • Jessica

      What I have found helpful is just copying the link and emailing it to my husband. Or you could copy and paste the post into an email. Either way works well! :)

  • Leah

    Love, Love, Love! Men make it so much easier to for us to follow them when they are good communicators. When we know the details and your intent and feel like we are a part of the decision it’s much easier to let go and follow along. It enables us to trust more freely.

  • Phill

    Being a husband / leader is a tough but rewarding calling.

  • Chris Woods

    God’s blessings on you both. This is awesome and God is using you to reach others. I have stumbled on this at a time that my wife have revived our marriage after some significant struggles. We are currently in prayer about moving forward in a life of ministry to young people and couples and this was a great word of encouragement.

  • Been There Done That

    Is your wife incompetent? I’m just wondering why she needs so much “leadership.” What would happen if something happened to you? Would she just flail around for the rest of her life for lack of a leader? This evangelical Christian idea that women need a leader is very demeaning. It assumes a certain level of incompetence or childishness on the part of adult women. What about she needs a partner rather than a leader? Someone she can work with to build a life, taking the lead in her areas of strength and letting him lead in his areas of strength? That sounds much more appealing than assuming that every woman needs to be lead by a man through the rest of her life. And what about women who don’t marry? I guess that’s how you end up with 30-year-old daughters still living at home under their father’s “protection.” Ugh. This is one of the reasons that Christianity looks so unappealing to those who don’t know Christ. I know that the comp/pat crowd loves to say that a husband as “servant leader” is attractive to women but trust me, it is only “attractive” to women who have been indoctrinated into that way of thinking by comp/pat churches and really don’t know any other way of interacting and building a life together.

    • Raven Niewoehner

      #1. The concept of submission and headship is found in the Trinity or in the nature of the God-head. Genesis 1:26-17. Christ is the member of the Trinity who submits. John 8:29,49 (I honor my Father but you dishonor me) & 1 Corinthians 11:3-12. Christ is God. John 1. Christ is equal to the other members of the God-head. #2 In the creation God’s females do the role of submission, like Jesus who is COMPETENT AND AMAZINGLY CAPABLE. Jude 25. In beginning God says specifically that the genders, together, image the relationship that the members of the God-head have with each other. Genesis 1:26-17. In Genesis 2 we see God’s males also known as “Adam” type get the role of headship in the creation. Adam receives the command to not eat the fruit directly from God before Eve was even created. Genesis 2:16-17. In this way Adam is given responsibity over stewarding the word of God, also known as spiritual leadership. Adam receives the commission to work the garden before Eve was even created. Genesis 2: 4-9. Adam names God’s animals before Eve is created. Genesis 2:19-20. Naming is a picture of headship in particular in the Old Testament. Note how believers like Jacob had their names changed by God indicating that the were coming under the headship of the LORD. God asks Adam to name Eve in a symbolic commemoration of Adam’s headship over Eve. Genesis 2:21-23. Note as well that God introduces Adam’s headship over Eve or God’s males’ headship over God’s females before the fall or before sin entered the world. #3 Eve was deceived when she spoke with the serpent. Genesis 3:1-13 & 1 Timothy 2:11-15. Adam showed no sign of confusion. However, Adam was a sinner as well. Adam’s sin was that in a critical moment he did not provide leadership to Eve. Genesis 3:1-7. Notice the absence of Adam’s voice correcting the serpent on speaking to his wife-God said to rule the animals not to listen to them Genesis 1:28- or Adam’s voice correcting Eve on what he heard God say- Genesis 2:16-17- that Eve did not hear God say directly and thus is not responsible for teaching. Ask any honest christian man and he will testify that he struggles with passivity during important moments when he should provide leadership. To break from the scripture analysis for a minute, an example of spiritual leadership that is MISSING from our world is when women say they are not skinny enough, men should be telling them in a convincing way that they were made fabulously and that he is in awe of God’s female creation. That is an example of spiritual leadership. Spiritual leadership is relaying the truth of Jesus Christ to the woman who often gets confused by the devil’s lies. It is not oppressive rather it is conducive to freedom and the lack of freedom is attributable to a lack of spiritual leadership as opposed to an over abundance of it as you suggest. When we as women suggest to men that we do not need to be led, we let them off the hook for a critical part of their sanctification process. Ask an honest christian man. HE DOES NOT WANT TO LEAD!! IT’S A LOT OF TROUBLE WHICH I KNOW BECAUSE I AM A LOT OF TROUBLE. Who in the world would want to approach a self-righteous I’m too good to talk to you I know more than you and I certainly do not need you female to tell her something to do. No one in their right mind. That is why the Lord assigned men the task- because it is hard. We would do well to focus on the tasks that God assigned to us. #4 Eve, a representative of God’s females, has had her eye on Adam’s job since the beginning. God gave the command to Adam. Genesis 2:16-17. However when satan approached Eve to talk to her about what God said, she did not say I am sorry, I am not the one appointed to be responsible for God’s commands but you can talk to my husband. Instead she stepped into Adam’s role of spiritual leadership. The devil manipulated and confused her with his question, not because she is stupid but because of how she was made. She was created to follow and be responsive, however, this enemy preys on her nature to continue listening so as not to be rude. Adam doesn’t have this issue. Adam will tune out his lovely wife while he is watching the Florida game-oh wait that’s too specific… Anyways Adam and Eve are different and were created to complement each other in a way that glorifies the Lord.

      • Raven Niewoehner

        Furthermore, the woman’s desire to be in charge is sin. Her weak area IS wanting to be in be charge! See the curses in Genesis 3. As a part of the fall woman wants to be in charge or her desire shall be for her husband (as a loose paraphrase of the scripture). In other words the woman has an unhealthy desire for the jobs and work that God gives the man. She has a weakness for thinking something is automatically better just because God tells the man to do it. In her sin the woman tries to be like Adam instead of trying to be like Jesus. In her carnal weakness she doesnt believe that God could make her different than Adam AND at the same time equal to him. She desires to dominate the relationship out of fear of submission instead of going first in humility like Jesus did in his humble first coming. She doubts that God is good and has good plans for her. She doubts her value and pushes away God’s commands because it offends her pride. She resorts to entitlement and self-exaltation to fuel her lust for power instead of seeing God work powerfully through her submission to her husband like Esther does and gains amazing political power. Let the woman who loves and fears the Lord joyfully accept His Word.