guest blog: follow the leader

>> January 26, 2009

Remember Follow the Leader, the elementary school game where the leader does something and the followers mimic? The object of the game is to simply follow the leader and not do your own thing.

As a pastor’s wife I learned the importance of following the leader. Early in our ministry I attempted to tell my husband how to proceed. This caused problems in our marriage. I could not comprehend why he did not appreciate my suggestions. After all, I was only trying to help him. I told him, “I am on your side. I want to see you succeed.”

I did not realize that my numerous suggestions caused him to feel as if I had no confidence in his ability. He felt disrespected. Ephesians 5:33 says the wife must see to it that she respects her husband. The most significant thing I have learned as a pastor’s wife is following his leadership makes him feel respected. The last thing he needs is to feel his own wife is not confident in his leadership. Through prayer and learning to trust God I was convicted that I should simply pray over my concerns and watch the Lord lead my husband.

So I began focusing on his strengths and not his weaknesses. I also learned to listen and not offer up my opinion unless it was sought. This strengthened our marriage, and he began to open up to me and seek my opinion more. In humility, I also learned that giving my opinion did not mean he had to act on it. The most important lesson I learned was that when he chose, as the leader, to go in a direction I disagreed with, I needed to pray for God’s will and submit to his leadership and follow.

In what ways have you learned to submit to your husband's leadership, in spite of your differing opinions? What other hard lessons have you learned in your PW journey?

Felicia Thomas is a writer, teacher, mom, and an avid reader. She is also involved with the choir, children, youth and women’s ministry at True Fellowship Baptist Church in Katy, TX, where her husband Henry is the founding pastor. You can join Felicia in conversation about Christian education and women’s issues at


Deanna January 26, 2009 at 8:59 AM  

This has been a huge lesson for me, too. It's not the easiest lesson to learn, but our home is SO much happier as I act on this wisdom! Thanks for this post, so full of wonderful reminders!

Sarah January 26, 2009 at 9:22 AM  

I've learned that he has a different style than I do in working with people and getting things done. Early in our marriage I thought he really ought to do a lot of things differently. But as I observed, I realized that while he might take a different approach than I would have, he gets the job done his own way with flying colors.

I've backed off, and I try to publicly admire and affirm him for his gifts. On the other hand, he's also learned that sometimes my women's intuition is really onto something. So when I'm really certain that I need to share something, I make sure to do it in private so no one else might think I'm doubting his leadership. Besides, if a pastor's own wife acts like she doesn't think he can do the job - why should any member trust him?

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