Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Leadership in Marriage

In any team, company or even in a relationship, there is always a leader to make it run smoothly and successfully. If there is a leader, there is also a follower. In my case being a leader-type and hubby as someone who wants to stay out of the limelight, there might seem to be a power-clash considering our culture that man should be the head of the family and the woman to be more of a follower. But with the modern way of looking at this tradition where women now earn for the family as well and sometimes even more than men can, this tradition has been challenged thus leadership in the family now becomes equal for both husband and wife across cultures. This goes with the Bible verse found in Galatians 3:28 that "there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus". So, I do enjoy such equality and now we have no more leadership and decision-making issues in our marriage for 15 years as I have also learned the real meaning of submission (aka respect, click to see my related post).

There should be no issue as to who is inferior or superior because in the eyes of God, He created man and woman equal in dignity, glory and value although He designed them differently and assigned them different tasks.Thus, in any marriage, each spouse has a role to play in the relationship. For example, I play a major role in keeping our household budget, in buying groceries and stuff and running the household. Hubby, like most Asian men do, remits his salary to me and it's up to me to be a good steward of whatever he entrusts to me. But he is a good auditor so he checks on my spending at times especially if I complain that I'm running out of this and that (LOL). Hubby, on the other hand, shows his leadership in the management and discipline of our kids as he can more easily make them obey what he asks them to do.

In terms of major decisions, we talk things out like equals and we do our best to listen to each other's points although when we were newly wed, I showed my stubbornness being an independent-minded woman. But such independent-mindedness does not work in marriage for two become one in the union of a man and a woman to enjoy harmony.  For example, I would buy some furniture or appliance without consulting him that would turn out to be the cause of our conflict. Later, we came up with an agreement that if we buy anything more than a certain amount, we have to consult each other. But now, after trusting each other's wise judgment, we don't mind who decides on this or that although it has already become a habit for me to consult him whenever I want to acquire or do something big. Marriage is a partnership so both parties should be involved in whatever that has something to do within the family or the relationship.

One great benefit about consulting each other, aside from showing respect to your spouse, is you are free from blame in case something goes wrong with what you have decided alone by yourself. That's why in modern leadership, it is always beneficial to involve the constituents in decision-making as everyone becomes accountable with whatever decision that the body has come up with. It's also true in marriage. Aside from the responsibility of accountability, you can get good suggestions from your spouse so it is wise to consult him as two heads are better than one. It will also boost his ego as you consider his ideas and opinions so it will improve your relationship. Why do we, in the first place, get married if we can't respect our spouse?

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