3 Ways to Help Dad Become the Spiritual Leader of the Home

by Sally Matheny

     Many women long for their husbands to spiritually lead their families. Although they are Christians, some men struggle in this area. Perhaps they are new Christians, or did not have a Christian father role model.     
     Whatever the reason, moms should not assume the full responsibility of spiritual training the children. What are moms to do, then? Here are three ways to help Dad become the spiritual leader of the home.

Dub Him as the Bedtime Chieftain
     If you have young children, ask your husband if he’ll be in charge of reading one or two stories to the children each night. Someone who is uncomfortable talking about spiritual matters may be quite at ease with reading books. Buy or borrow age-appropriate books depicting truths from the Bible. These are often found inexpensively at dollar stores, thrift stores, and yard sales. Even libraries carry them. Just make sure they do not contradict God's Word.

     As your children grow, gradually move to Christian devotion books and children’s Bibles with meatier content. Choose books that are easily understood. 
     The earlier you start this bedtime tradition the better. The books will spur conversations about God and your children will treasure this special time with Dad.

Promote Popcorn Prayers
     Perhaps your husband isn’t comfortable praying aloud. At meal times, why not suggest a popcorn prayer. This is a great way to involve the whole family. Each person will say one word or sentence. It may begin by each person thanking God for one thing. After each member has “popped” up and prayed, another topic may begin such as asking for God’s help with a certain matter. Over time, family members grow more comfortable with praying and prayers flow more freely. 

Direct Them to Dad’s Counsel
     Family dynamics vary. Sometimes children seek out Mom more than Dad on things close to their hearts—whether it’s fears, disappointments, or loves. It’s an honor when children trust their moms with their deepest thoughts. It’s good to have those special times; however, those are also great opportunities for you to direct them to Dad’s counsel. 

     Mom, look for occasions when you can point your child towards his father for guidance. Even if you know an appropriate response, perhaps say something like, “I know how much this meant to you. Something similar happened to your dad once. Let’s go talk to him and see what he says.”  
     Or, counsel your child if the need is immediate, but later share with your husband what took place. Suggest he talk with the child and vice versa. Provide opportunities for your husband to encourage the children.
     Will he get it right every time? No. Like everything else, spiritual leadership improves with practice.
     One of the best things a wife can do for her husband is to pray for him. Show respect and appreciation as he learns from God and grows into his role. Cheer your husband on to be strong and courageous as he pursues God’s will.

As a bonus, here are two websites listing helpful books for dads on Christian parenting:
      Two websites with lists of helpful books for dads on Christian parenting are
and Christianfathers.com  http://www.christianfathers.com/.
     Also, Focus on the Family has a blog for dads by dads:

      It's your turn. How do you encourage your husband as the spiritual leader of your family?