“Just as submission to one’s husband is a difficult concept for a modern woman to assent to, so too, the modern man finds this type of leadership, responsibility, and dedication difficult to practice. Not many young Christian men have had this kind of sacrificial leadership modeled for them in the home. They haven’t had the privilege of seeing the tender, yet strong headship of a godly man lived out before them and thus find themselves learning by trial and error what it means to lead their wives. Often they can become overwhelmed with feelings of failure and guilt as they realize that the leadership they have been called to isn’t as easy as they once thought it would be. They can become paralyzed by their inadequacies.
We wives, on the other hand find ourselves struggling with feelings of disappointment and even bitterness as our husbands fail to live up the very high standard set for them in Scripture. We were expecting Christ’s love after all—his gentleness, his strength, his washing of the Word, his leadership, and his level of sacrifice. Instead what we often get are husbands who are struggling in their own relationship with the Lord, hardly knowing how to take on the added weight of their wives’ spiritual growth! A great lack of grace can develop as a wife mercilessly compares her poor husband to the striking picture of the holy Savior presented in Ephesians 5.
In order for a wife to maintain a submissive and respectful attitude toward her husband in this type of situation, she must first and foremost learn to view him as a brother in the faith. Though he has been called to take on an image of Christ in their husband-wife relationship, he is not Christ! He is a sinner, struggling with his inner man all day, every day. He—just like his wife—is the church of Christ, straining by God’s grace to obey and honor the Savior in all he does. He is no less of a sinner than the wife is. His calling to lead his wife is not an indication of his superior spirituality. In fact, many men marry wives who are leagues ahead of them in biblical knowledge and spiritual discipline. This does not negate their call to be the shepherds of their families or the wife’s call to humbly submit to his leadership…”