One of the struggles I have encountered with writing for this blog is defining how a husband should lead his family. There are not a lot of good, basic materials out there to get some ideas from. A lot of becoming a good leader is probably by learning from experience. There are a lot of ways I would handle things differently from how I would have 10 years ago. There are a lot of things I would have done differently 5 years ago than today. In reality, I would like do some things differently that I did last year or even last week. We can’t change the past, but we can look at some ways to try to improve as leaders of our family in the future.
When it comes to our roles as husbands, we are to be leaders of our family. This doesn’t mean being a tyrant or iron-fisted ruler. The best husband will display the qualities of servant leadership. So, I would like to look at 10 timely traits of a husband displaying servant leadership.
Trait # 1: Listening
A husband needs to take time to listen to his wife and family. While we often would argue that we hear our family, listening is an active practice that involves true interaction with them. Listening allows each member of the family to feel valued and important. A family member that knows that they are being heard is plugged in to the family and wants to be a part of the team.
Trait # 2: Empathy
A husband needs to be able to look at things from the perspective of each family member. Learning to show respect and understanding for your wife and kids’ position lets them know that you are looking at their point before making a decision. If you are not willing to display empathy your decisions will come across as if you are a dictator.
Trait # 3: Healing
A husband needs to be able to understand when a family member is hurt and work toward healing their wounds. There are going to be rough patches in a family and the way that a husband leads during this time will make the difference between coming out damaged or with a stronger, better family.
Trait # 4: Awareness
A husband needs to stay alert of everything happening within the family and stay constantly up-to-date with the current conditions.
Trait # 5: Persuasion
A husband needs to be able to lead by making decisions that are CONVINCING the family that he is leading effectively rather than COERCING the family to follow his views. Building the family up as a team and showing how each member fits into the decision can be a key way of persuading them you have made the right decision.
Trait # 6: Conceptualization
A husband needs to be able to monitor how things are going in the family and be visionary enough to act on his observations.
Trait # 7: Foresight
A husband needs to be able to look ahead and plan for changes that will take place in the family’s future. He needs to have a plan for his wife and kids’ colleges, marriages, and retirement.
Trait #8: Stewardship
A husband needs to be able to manage what the family has well. Managing our family’s money wisely, our family’s talents’ wisely, and managing our family’s time are extremely important roles for a husband.
Trait #9: Growth
A husband has to make sure that each family member is able to grow in the family structure. A husband needs to create an atmosphere where his wife and kids can grow mentally, physically, and spiritually. He must ensure that he provides opportunities for them to thrive and gain knowledge.
Trait #10: Build
A husband needs to be a team builder. He needs to be able to be the leader of a strong family unit that is committed to each other and to God. He needs to encourage the family to have a strong alliance to building each other up and helping each other succeed.
I don’t know if I can say that I have defined how a husband should lead his family, but these are practical, if not essential, traits a husband needs to display servant leadership to his family. I know there is nothing in this list about laundry, dishwashing, cleaning, or cooking, but some of those might just be hidden in the 10 traits. Being a servant leader husband can be challenging and you are probably going to fail many times, but if we learn from our experience and keep our eyes on these things hopefully we will do well overall.