Both of these men have wives and families who are looking to them for guidance and direction. It's one thing to look at John Piper's family and think how lucky they are to have this extra focused time with their husband/father for eight whole months, but imagine the 24 hours, 7 days a week of being with him as he wrestles with the Holy Spirit. Imagine the hard spiritual work going on in the house. And whether he ends up in downtown L.A. or a third world country, Francis Chan has big changes ahead which means big changes for his family as well. Imagine if his wife was not on board with this! Following men like these leaders takes extra grace and tons of faith...and takes adopting their vision as your own.
Growing up, we all formed visions of our life ahead and most likely took steps toward creating this personal vision. Whether it was to be a stay-at-home mom, a working-outside-the-home mother, a housewife, a professional in top management, whatever, we tend to end up where our vision took us. But what happens to this vision when you marry? Does it change? Expand? Disappear? Sometimes in marriage, we take the opportunity to create a whole new vision for our husbands and we do whatever we can to fulfill this vision whether our husbands are on board with it or not. Especially when our husbands don't really know what their vision is or know how to fulfill it. I'm going to say something very controversial right here: when we marry, our vision must become what our husband's vision is. Which also means your husband needs to know his vision so you can help him fulfill it. Is that too 1950's for you? But that is the essence of being your husband's helpmeet. It requires a lot of strength to carry out and a lot of faith in his leading. Courteney from Women Living Well blog recounts her own story:
Helping our husbands discover their vision, building up our husbands and following their leadership are all requirements of being their helpmeet. Creating their vision for them, thinking your vision is better than theirs, taking the lead in where you see the family going (following your own vision), trying to change our husbands "for the better" are all examples of the controlling, unsubmissive wife. I have been guilty of all these examples and had only a tiny clue what it meant to follow my husband's leading. By not following my husband (good, bad or no vision at all), I stripped him of the powerful opportunity to reflect on the vision he was following, figure out what kind of vision he wanted and allow the Lord to guide him in that vision. When I take that kind of control over him, I essentially try to become his own personal Holy Spirit, prompting him, convicting him and leading him.
Get out of your husband's way, ladies, and let the Holy Spirit take His rightful place in your husband's lives! It's scary, takes much faith and prayer but yields amazing and joyful results.
P.S. I would also highly recommend getting your hands on and listening to The Wise Woman's Guide to Blessing Her Husband's Vision by Doug Phillips, found at Vision Forum online or download at BlueBehemoth. It is amazing and was what God used to speak to me on this issue.
1. From Following Your Husband's Vision post on Women Living Well.