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We Need to Stop Destroying Godly Leadership in Guys

By: Bethany Beal

The conference had just begun as I settled into my chair with my warm cup of coffee in hand. I was excited to take a break from the normal routine of life and instead spend the weekend resting and recharging.

About ten minutes into the opening session, I noticed a cute young married couple come through the doors.

They looked no older than mid-twenties, so I’m guessing they had to be a newly(ish) married couple.

What happened next totally took me off guard.

As the husband walked in and gestured towards a row for the two of them to sit in, the wife looked at him with a look that said, “That’s the worst row in the world, you idiot. What were you thinking??”

She tossed her hair back, lifted her head high, shook her head “no” and then lead her husband to the row of her choice.

The husband literally followed behind her like a defeated little puppy.

I couldn’t help but feel saddened by the scene. Although I don’t know the in’s and out’s of their marriage, I do know this. Her actions just told everyone at that conference that her husband is literally incapable of picking something out as simple as knowing where to sit.

Her public “husband-respect-meter” was low, low, low.

Watching this young married couple interact really got to me. I was just so amazed (in a really sad way) by how defeated that young husband looked after his wife mowed him over.

Instead of having a good level of manly leadership and confidence, he looked defeated.

Sadly, this situation is mild compared to the way many women (myself included) treat the men around us. Instead of encouraging, promoting, and influencing our guys towards godly, good, healthy leadership, we squish it right out of them.

I’ll be the first to admit that I struggle in this area.

More often than I care to admit, I squish the leadership in the guys around me. I take the lead, I take charge, I correct, I share my opinions frequently, and I don’t give the men much room to exercise godly leadership.

I’m telling you now, I don’t want to be that way. I don’t want to be the wife who overruns her husband when he simply tries to find a spot for us to sit.

My goal in life is to become a woman who loves, honors and respects the young men and men around me.

I want to be a promoter and helper of godly leadership, not a destroyer.

Pause for a minute and imagine how different that simple situation would have looked if the wife had allowed her husband to lead. Imagine if she had even encouraged him and said, “these seats are great.”

Totally different outcome.

My prayer is that we can begin to work on this, as singles and young married gals, so that we can build a lifestyle of encouraging our men up (starting with the simple stuff like letting him choose where to sit).

In my book, Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity and Identity, Kristen and I share 5 ways to help encourage and promote the men around you. Whether you are single, in a relationship, or married, these are all things we can practice on the men around us,

5 ways we can encourage godly manhood:

1. Encourage his leadership (1 Cor. 11:3).

If you’re interested in dating someone, wait for him to ask you out. Wait for him to make his own moves. In any relationship, ask him what he thinks and listen. Allow him to make decisions in the relationship. Ask for his advice on small and big things. Affirm him when he makes a good decision, even if it’s a simple one.

2. Speak words of life (Prov. 16:24).

Strive to remove negative language from your vocabulary. Instead, choose powerful words of encouragement. Call out the good in your man. Praise his godly character, thoughts, and actions.

3. Help him succeed (Gen. 2:18).

Help your man succeed as he strives to be the leader and provider. Take an interest in his occupation. Affirm his accomplishments and show that you are supportive and available to listen.

4. Let him be strong (1 Cor. 16:13–14; 1 Peter 3:7).

Encourage his God-given masculinity in every way possible. Allow him to protect you. Ask him to escort you through a crowded restaurant or event. If he’s able, let him open doors for you.

5. Encourage spiritual leadership (Eph. 5:25–26).

This is huge! For many Christian women, having a man who can lead her spiritually is high on the list. Pray for him daily. Send him uplifting notes and verses during the week. Ask his opinion on spiritual matters. Pray daily that God would raise him up to be a man who loves the Lord and the Bible.

**Note: The italicized section was taken from Chapter 9 of Girl Defined.** 

I would love to hear from you now!

How can you better promote godly leadership in the guys around you?

In what ways are you destroying godly leadership?


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25 Responses to We Need to Stop Destroying Godly Leadership in Guys

  1. Rachel M. says:

    Awesome post Bethany!! Keep up the good work.

  2. Christian Country Girl says:

    Love this! Something that I believe is important (part of leadership) is allowing guys to offer their chair, or let you go ahead of them in a line…because those small things encourage them to be godly young men. 🙂

  3. Veronica M says:

    This is a good post, because I believe we all should be encouraging guys to be godly leaders…but at the same time, it doesn’t mean we (as girls and women) have to take away all the leadership from ourselves in the presence of guys, either. There can be loving give and take in any and all relationships, and personally I do not think “shar(ing) my opinions frequently” is a bad thing at all, so long as it is respectfully done. While allowing men to lead at certain times is perfectly alright, its also absolutely fine for the girl in a relationship to lead, too.
    The problem with the woman you brought as an example was she was rude and also could have happily suggested another seat or accepted the ones he chose kindly. A girl should respect a guy’s leading/protective side, but it does not mean girls have to let the guy lead and know everything in every instance. 🙂

  4. Macayla Bycroft says:

    This was great and really good to be able to read that and realize that I’ve been doing that and that it’s okay to do those things for the guys I’m friends with/the guy I like. I have a question about guys though if you wouldn’t mind answering…
    So I like this guy and we have become super good friends and he likes me back but we are just focusing on being friends bc I can’t date for another year and a half but anywayyyyy so we text a lot because we don’t live in the same town and so lately I’ve been praying about how I want to experience him on a spiritual level (if that makes sense…?). What I mean is this: he is also a Christian, and we are focusing on making our friendship centered in Christ and so I’ve just been really wanting to be able to experience him on a spiritual level such as praying with him, worshiping God with him, and maybe reading our Bibles together. Now, since we don’t see each other very often this might be hard but is this okay for friends to do or should stuff like that be reserved for a dating relationship?
    Thank you Bethany!

    • Gracie says:

      I’m certainly not Bethany, but I believe that that is EXACTLY what Jesus wants our friendships to look like! As long as you keep it about God and not do it for self attention. If someone says you can’t pray with a friend, they may be missing out passages of scripture like in proverbs, where it says basically friends sharpen each other spiritually. As long as this guy, is a real-deal Christian, totally go for It. Asking God for peace about an idea, is another way to be for-sure! God bless Makayla. 🙂

      • Macayla Bycroft says:

        Thank you so much! Should I just go about asking him in that way, or just mention it to see if that would be something he may be interested in? Like “hey lately I’ve been really praying about knowing you better and I think some way we could do that is maybe to experience each other on a spiritual level. Like to pray together, and worship God together, and read our Bibles together. I just think that our friendship could potentially grow stronger through this because then we are keeping God in the center! Is this something you would want to do?”
        How does that sound? Thank you so much! 🙂

        • Gracie says:

          Oh no problem. After all, one sister to another 😉
          And sure that could work. 🙂
          One ounce of advice: I think I’d try to simplify it as much as possible, because guys tend to ”get” things better when they understand it. Like for example, you could just say, ”Hey, do you think we could read our Bibles together sometime?” And that is an easy way to do it, because prayer is involved with Bible reading, and you can always pop in a good worship CD in the background, and get closer to God through your friendship.

          So I hope it all works out for you 🙂 It’s great that your excited to have a friend to get closer to God with. 🙂 A lot of girls today, really don’t care about God, so high five 😀

          • Macayla Bycroft says:

            Aww thanks!! And yes that’s such a great idea, I thought mine was kinda long winded hahaha so thank you so much!!

          • Macayla Bycroft says:

            I asked him last night and he said he’s totally up for it! Bc he also wants to be able to help me grow in my relationship with God as well 🙂 so hopefully over the weekends after I get less busy or even this summer we are gonna make plans to get together and read our Bibles!

          • Bliss says:

            Just one or two things I’d like to add – be cautious to not begin to rely on your friendship with this guy too much, or make spending time with him the focus… Keep Christ first and guard against the temptation to use Bible reading or talking about spiritual things to spend tons of time around him…
            Also I would say always, *always* be somewhere “open” (somewhere there are several people around) and don’t be alone together, that’s never a good idea.
            (oh, and one other thing, I know it can be easy to be talking a lot and doing things together and it sorta feels like “dating” without actually dating. Be cautious to not slip into that – I’ve seen its happen so many times and it’s never a good road to go down, especially if your parents don’t want you to begin dating at this age…)

            Just be sure to always keep the focus on Christ when you are together, as it’s so easy to get distracted from following God

            All that said, I hope that this will be something that draws you closer to God and I pray that you both will be focused on Christ before all else.
            Praying for you (both) ♡ your sister in Christ. 🙂

          • Macayla Bycroft says:

            So true! My parents would never let me be just out somewhere alone with him- they wouldn’t even let him drive me a mile from the church to my grandparents house so :). I will def keep Christ first! I don’t want this friendship to be a stumbling block, of course, but if that happens I’m willing to make changes. And yes also true! I’m a romantic at heart, and so it’s very hard for me to not get caught up in all these cute scenarios I wish could happen- but I’m working through that because it’s just heartache waiting to happen! I hope this helps me draw closer to God too! I only have maybe 3 strong Christian guy friends, so it’s nice to know that he is one that I can count on. Thank you so much!!

  5. Great post! Thank you! What a good reminder that encouraging others, both men and women, in the Lord can start with me.

  6. Anna says:

    This is a really interesting post and while I agree with the premise behind it I think we need to individually consider our own personalities and circumstances. For instance, I went on a date with a Christian and all went well. He offered to walk me to my car which I said he didn’t need to partly because I’m an independent woman and partly because I didn’t want to be I guess “out of the public eye” with him. I suppose if I take everything from this post straight up I squashed this guy’s leadership. So while I like your points everyone is different and so is each circumstance. We have to make the best choice for ourselves.

  7. Tiana says:

    Thank you for this post, Bethany! I completely agree with you. After reading your book Girl Defined it struck me that I struggle with this as well. I strive to remember encouraging Bible verses to share with men if they so desire. I hope that if I get married one day (which I do really want!) I would never treat my husband in the same way as the woman you mentioned.
    I pray that our Lord guides my way in encouraging Godly leadership in all the men in my life! Thank you again Bethany! 🙂

  8. Dani M. says:

    This was a good reminder, something that really struck me when I read your book. I have only younger brothers, but God decided He’d like to stick me in a circle of friends that are almost only guys (though I’m still the oldest), and I tend to get into big sister-bossy mode with them, instead of treating them like the young men God’s turning them into. I’m going to start paying close attention to whether or not I’m putting them down, again!

  9. Chloe says:

    Yes, yes, yes! My mom and I read your exact thoughts in Preparing to Be a Helpmeet and Created to Be His Helpmeet by Debbie Pearl.

  10. M.A. Ryann says:

    Are you kidding? God created you with your mind and your strengths to be an equal partner to your husband, not blindly follow everyrhing a man does and says. You are actually there to balance out his weaknesses and yes, sometimes you will have to take the lead and he will follow you. Don’t put your light under a bowl.

    • Katey Moore says:

      She just got finished talking about how the MAN was blindly following his wife, she didn’t turn the tables and say “that’s wrong women should blindly follow they’re men” she was simply stating ways to encourage men in their
      walk with Christ, encourage their masculinity that God created them with, these same things could be said to men about their wives under a different light. There’s nothing wrong with encouraging your husband and letting him lead you while you help him be lead by Christ. 🙂

  11. Jen says:

    Thank you. It’s something I need to be constantly reminded of!

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  13. Courtney Jackson says:

    This one struck a cord. I think I struggle with this. I am uplifting in speech most of the but if I disapprove I tend to give “the look.” I don’t want to be that kind of woman. I want to be encouraging in actions, speech and facial expressions.

  14. Sarah Almeida says:

    Hello! My name is Sarah, I’m 21 years old girl from Brazil and I’m in a relationship with my best friend. But the thing is that this relationship is in long distance. We’ve known each other for 8 years and dating for 1 year now. He came back from the city he is living last year, in his vacation, to ask me to be his girlfriend and future wife, he talk with the pastor that has been guiding both of us since we’re teenagers and also with my parents and they all blessed us. The day after the talk with my parents he went back home and we’ve been bulding this long distance relationship since that. And everything was quite good and without stress untill now that he is back in another vacation period. We’ve been both stress out because we are now having to face, in a short time, how it is to date, and deal with our friends and family. This is showing some sides of us that I didn’t knew. Mostly of me! He is a godly man who is serious about taking decisions and do things in God’s way. But I’ve making this hard for him by not letting he be the man that I know he is and that I love! We always had the habit of discuss things and we’ve been doing this, but I thought that He was been to serious and stressing himself for nothing. I was getting mad for things that I don’t get mad for and seeing mistakes only on him. But now I see how I’ve beeing unwise! I should be reconizing the efforts He is putting to try to equilibrate his relatives, friends and I in this short time he is here, all of that without his parents around, and all the tough decisions he is having to do all at once. I was praying tonight for this and decided to open the blog to see if I could find something that may help me. And I’ve found! Thank you girls! May God keep blessing yours ministry!!

  15. Actlikealeader_tobealeader says:

    “More often than I care to admit, I squish the leadership in the guys around me. I take the lead, I take charge, I correct, I share my opinions frequently, and I don’t give the men much room to exercise godly leadership.”

    If the only way the men in your life can act as a leader is by you squashing your own god given leadership abilities, then all your doing is playing into a lie. He isn’t a leader if the women around him has to pretend he is.

    Also what is wrong with sharing your opinions? You are talking about GROWN men right? Not a small child whose ego is crushed the moment a someone disagrees or has a different idea that he does. You know, the expectation that is placed upon every normal functioning adult in society.

    “Pause for a minute and imagine how different that simple situation would have looked if the wife had allowed her husband to lead. Imagine if she had even encouraged him and said, ‘these seats are great.'”

    She would have been sitting in an unfavorable seat, and he would have been coddled like a child. He wouldn’t have been anymore of a leader because of it.

    My conclusion from reading this is that your not talking about a normal functioning adult, but rather a loser who needs a women to pretend to be submissive (and I reference again “More often than I care to admit, I squish the leadership in the guys around me. I take the lead, I take charge, I correct, I share my opinions frequently, and I don’t give the men much room to exercise godly leadership.”) so he can feel confident.

    Too bad when he gets into the real world where the men and women around him won’t carry on that charade.

    (sometimes I read through these posts and it sounds more like your training a dog rather than a person. I usually don’t tote the fragile male ego stuff, but from these posts- y’all sure do.)

  16. Not2bliss says:

    Just like most women you talk a good game until your comfort is under siege. Oh I want a Godly man who leads me. Lets look at some biblical examples…Hey Noah build me an ark, there is going to be a flood and your family is the only one who knows its coming…Hey God, Abraham here, yes Abraham your wife is going to have a child in her old age and later on Im going to ask you to kill him. In the back of your mind all you want is the hollywood looking guy that has a 9 to 5 safe and financially rewarding career who only will listen to God when its convenient for the family to do so, ie. Sundays and maybe Wednesday. True men of God listen to His advisement on a day to day basis and I have no idea most of the time what He has in store for the family as a whole. Hey honey God wants us to be a family of full time missions oversees…and then your thinking that Greg guy who is a professor at a large christian university is looking yummier every day, because theres no risk involved in that relationship and Greg looks like Ryan Reynolds. Because thats what God has in store for every “Godly Women,” putting God first is first and foremost making sure your family is safe and comfortable any other guy who thinks otherwise is crazy and not fit for marriage. In the end marriage doesnt matter in Heaven anyway right, so I better get the “best” life with Mr. Dreamy while I can huh. He prays and goes to Church on Sunday as a family. Thats Godly enough for me. Just by taking one look at your photo I can tell you are total BS.

  17. Nola says:

    Of course what that girl did was wrong and disrespectful. However the issue is not that he wasn’t being a leader. The issue is that she was being disrespectful and selfish and that he didn’t stand up for himself and allowed his wife to control him, when neither one of them should be controlling the other one, but instead they should be working together as a team and both putting themselves aside for the other person.

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