It's recently been brought to my attention that I may have an inaccurate view of what "Spiritual Leadership" looks like in a relationship. In fact, I saw my own views reflected back to me and it was a bit unnerving. So, I did what I do whenever I have questions; I asked.
First, I asked the Lord by reading about it in His Word. There are two main passages that talk about submission: Ephesians 5:21-33 and I Peter 3:1-7
And then, I asked several of my married friends how it works in practice. As a yet unmarried person, I have no personal experience with what spiritual leadership within a marriage actually looks like. I can only guess and relate to it in whatever ways I can. But, I believe the Lord calls us to help and depend on one another, especially to see the truth, so I polled my friends.
The answer I found is that I indeed have a limited understanding of what the looks like based on Scripture and my wise friends. It seems that one verse that is often overlooked is Ephesians 5:21 that says we should submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Submit to one another. That sounds like a much more beautiful relationship than what I had sometimes pictured. In submitting to one another, it doesn't sound like there's a "Boss" or one who is "in charge" of the other.
In my reading and conversing, I've come to see this "Spiritual Leadership" as a complex and beautiful dance. So much is required of us as believers in how we behave towards one another. The marriage relationship is to mirror Christ's relationship with the Church - His Bride. What an awesome responsbility. What beauty is held within that idea. A marriage is a living, breathing representation of how Christ loves His Bride. I want a marriage like that.
And, so, I'm sure I have a ton left to learn on this and I'd love to hear the input of others. How does it work in your relationship? How have you seen it out of balance? What wisdom can you pass on to this still-single girl who wants one day to be a wife that honors her husband and glorifies God? I'm all ears.