As good men, society bombards us these days with stories of how women are getting the short end of the stick and we promise not to be like the men who do that to women.
We hear all these stories about weak men who hurt their wives in order to look strong, and our Christian sisters tell single men about their long list of attributes a good man must have. The pressure is on for men to measure up as "good men."
The problem though, is that this pressure can be dangerously utilized by the enemy to build a generation of men who are romantic ... but not leaders. God however, is looking for leaders.
In the attempt to honor your wife, in the attempt to always put a smile on her face and be the type of husband to make all her girlfriends jealous, many good—even godly men—sacrifice leadership for romance.
God is looking for men with whom He can trust His daughters, men who will lead like God does.
The truth is that as much as God loves us and tells us in His Word that He loves us enough to give up His Son Jesus Christ for us, He does have expectations of us. His love is not based on his ability to please us and give us whatever we want; His love is an open invitation to a relationship according to His will.
Does that mean that as husbands we should be dictators and seek to be "mini-gods" in our attempt to be leaders? Does that mean that we kick romance and the daily sacrifices we make for our wives/family to the curb? Not at all.
It simply means that as much as we want to be romantic, as much as we want to please our wives and make all their dreams come true, we must first seek to please God and must be quick to notice when the desire to satisfy our wives and please them is taking us outside God's will for us.
It means that we must remember that we are accountable to God, not to our wives.
We assume that because we are married and that "we love each other," her every desire (especially the ones she won't stop tugging at you about) must not only shoot up to the top of your to-do list, but must also become part of your life's mission. In fact, sometimes, we dangerously don't perform the due diligence to evaluate those desires to ensure they are within the will of God for the family and the direction He wants to take our family.
That means that there are many "good" desires your wife will have that won't be the "right" desire for your family to pursue based on what God is trying to do in/with your family.
Many Christian men fast and go through premarital counseling to ensure that they marry a wife after God's heart. But they forget that, afterwards, they have to continue to lead her and be accountable for her desires, actions and life.
There are many romantic husbands out there but very few leading ones.
How would this have played out in the days of old? Perhaps Adam may not have been so carried away by his wife's desire to share this "new fruit" and he perhaps could have asked her (just to be sure it was not violating God's will) where she got the new fruit and ensured that she went nowhere near the forbidden tree.
Or maybe we should ask Abraham. God had told him multiple times that he would be the father of many nations through his wife Sarah. Her desire to quickly make this happen made her suggest a shortcut, and his desire to please his wife—to make her stop nagging, to keep the peace, to help her deal with her anxiety—caused him to go against God's will.
Ask Samson, too. He was so caught up in Delilah's beauty and his lust that he stopped leading and forgot that as much as he wanted to be romantic, as much as he wanted to make her feel important, he was still accountable to God.
In Judges 16:15, Delilah nagged Samson into choosing romance over leadership at a deadly cost to him and the nation of Israel. The Bible says in verse 15: "Then she said to him, 'How can you say, "I love you," when you won't confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven't told me the secret of your great strength.'" With such nagging, she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it. Romance got him in trouble.
So what is the fine line between being a great romantic husband and leading your wife? What does it really mean to lead a woman? Why could it possibly be OK to say that, "Romance just might be overrated"?
Here is a truth I realized lately. Romance doesn't automatically come with leadership. You can be very romantic in the eyes of your wife but be a total failure in the eyes of God. Leadership however (how God sees it, how Christ shows it by giving himself up for the church, how Christ shows it by washing the feet of his disciples and how he defines leadership as service), does cover romance. Husbands who lead like God wants them to lead, end up being the most romantic too.
If you do it right, you will epitomize romance at the highest order, but not at the expense to being accountable to God.
So are you? Are you just trying to be the best husband possible to your wife? Or are you primarily trying to be the best possible son to God? What has your experience been?
Tobi Atte is a speaker and the writer behind IJustMetMe. For more on relationships, motivation, fresh perspectives on faith and personal improvement; you can visit him at www.ijustmetme.com and watch him on YouTube HERE .
For the original article, visit manturity.com.