Straight Talk from a Mom on Spiritual Leadership

MyParentLab Mom

This is a guest post by Kym Carter. Kym is a dynamic and engaging speaker who has a passion for families and for God’s Word. Kym is President and Co-Founder of Legacy Moms, a non-profit ministry founded in 2006, which believes women are called to pass on Biblical Truth from one generation to the next. Kym has worked as a television producer, writer, and on-camera talent.


Recently, MyParentLab.com posted an article on moms being the spiritual leader. This article brought up a lot of questions from moms wanting more specific advice on that subject, so I was asked to address this “from one mom to another.” The fact is, there is no “one-size-fits-all” answer for the mom who has to be the spiritual leader because there are so many different reasons why you might find yourself in that role, and without knowing your specific situation, it would be hard to address it completely. I do have some advice that may or may not address your situation, and I hope it will help in some way. In general terms, let me say that a good place to start is to ask yourself why you are in this position and start there. So let me address two camps of moms who are spiritually leading: those that are single and those that are married.

To all the single ladies:

If there are choices or sins in your life that led you to this point, repent of those and start to make other choices that are honoring of God and reflect God’s will for you. It is never too late to seek forgiveness for past choices, and even though sin carries with it consequences, God is a God of forgiveness and clean slates when you seek Him. You cannot lead your children spiritually any further than you yourself are willing to go. You must be modeling an authentic Christian lifestyle for your children if you expect to influence them spiritually.

However, I know there are many of you who are single due to circumstances beyond your control and you are trying to be all things to your children to make up for what you all have lost. Just know that either way, God sees you, He knows all you do and how your sacrifice for your kids, and He truly is the Father of the fatherless. If Dad is in the picture, encourage your children to have a relationship with him and do not speak negatively of him to your children. Even if he is not the greatest influence, he is still their dad. One day they will see the truth about him, good and bad. If you alienate your children and their father, they will one day resent you and it will not aid you in being a good spiritual influence on them. Never underestimate the influence that a Godly mom can have on her children when she just lives out her faith in front of them. In 2 Timothy 1:5, Paul mentions to Timothy how his faith was made strong by the influence of his grandmother and mother. I know plenty of very godly men who are terrific fathers and husbands who were raised by single mothers who were very godly women. The common denominator: they lived their faith out, made church a priority, and made sure they had Godly men mentoring their sons. It can be done!

Now for the married moms.

Again, there are many reasons why married women are leading spiritually, and you need to ask yourself why. Were you not equally yoked to begin with? Have you become a Christian since marriage and he hasn’t? Is it possible he wants to lead spiritually but is letting you do it since you take it over anyway and it’s easy to just sit back and let you do it? I don’t believe there is a Christian wife out there who doesn’t want her husband to be the spiritual leader. I also know many wives who instead of lovingly and respectfully requesting it, nag and complain and manipulate so much that they literally drown out the voice of the Holy Spirit in the husband’s life. The Bible is clear in 1 Peter 3:1 that even if a husband is not being obedient to the Word of God, he can be won over not by the things she says but by her quietly living out her faith in front of him. Ladies, I have seen miraculous changes in men when this simple guideline is followed! Let him lead, and step back and show him that you want him to. If he refuses, then don’t nag him or belittle him. Just do what you know is right. Take the kids to church, make Christ a priority, and most importantly, pray for him to lead and for God to show you what to do. Pray for God to bring a man into your husband’s life who is leading spiritually who can have an influence on him and show him what it looks like.

There is one other piece of advice I want to share with you. If your husband is willing to attend church or small group, let him pick the church or group as long as it is a Bible-teaching church. It may not be the denomination you grew up with, or the church or group where you want to go. But if he isn’t leading in that decision, how would he lead anywhere? If you want him to get connected and grow, it is important that he be in a church where he feels comfortable and connects with the worship style, teaching style, atmosphere, etc.

Finally, for everyone regardless of what your circumstances are, if you have sons, encourage them to use their God-given maleness and leadership abilities to lead spiritually, even with their siblings. Teach them the importance of their role in the future family and encourage them to act like men. Encourage him to lead family devotions, lead prayer, be active in church and serving, and be vocal about his faith. Teach your daughters to love the Lord as well and to look for a future husband who loves Jesus more than He loves her. Teach her to be so deep in love with Jesus that any man who tries to steal her heart will have to seek Him first in order to find her.

I am praying for you, regardless of your circumstances. Keep your eyes on Jesus and it’s going to turn out okay.