What does marriage have to do with leadership? How do we develop a nurture a healthy marriage as we develop into effective leaders? And how does our leadership impact our marriage?

navigating marriage and leadership: a conversation with our husbands

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In the fourth episode in the Healthy Relationships series, Holly and I chat with our husbands, Zack and Scott, about how to develop and nurture a healthy marriage even when you’re wired very differently.  Holly and her husband Zack, a methodology and process manager, have been married for 14 years and have one son, Eli. Scott, the executive pastor of our church, and I have been married for 16 years and have one daughter, Kirsten.

Our Marriage Stories

Zack and Holly met in 2001 at church. After praying that God would send someone his way, Zack heard Holly’s laughter and knew that she was the one he would marry. In their marriage, they’ve faced the trials of infertility, job changes, and relocations, but they love to laugh. A lot.

Scott and I met when we worked at the same book store. We dated throughout college and got married right after graduation. In our marriage, we’ve struggled with communication and after the birth of our daughter, communication got even harder.

How to Develop a Healthy Marriage

If you’re in leadership and you’re married, having a healthy marriage is incredibly important. When you and your spouse are not in a good place, it’s tough to lead in other areas of your life.

Here are some insights the four of us have gleaned in how to develop and maintain a solid relationship with your spouse:

  • It’s important to support your husband in his leadership roles by being encouraging, believing in your spouse, and listening.
  • Make sure that you dream together. When your spouse shares a dream on his heart be a soft place to land by holding his dreams as gently as you would his wounds.
  • Learn to encourage your spouse and talk him through any discouragement he’s feeling.
Lead into a conversation with what you need out of it, and that will change everything about the conversation. - Scott LittlefieldClick To Tweet

Best Practices for when You’re Wired Differently

More than likely, you’re wired differently than your spouse. Here are some best practices to nurture your relationship when you see life differently:

  • Learn how your spouse is wired with tools like the Enneagram.
  • Your marriage may look differently than those of your friends or parents and that’s okay.
  • See you and your spouse as a team.
  • Care less about traditional roles and more about what works for you and your season in life.
  • Assess where your marriage is and make adjustments as necessary by perhaps adjusting roles and responsibilities.
  • Keep working at it until you find what works well for you, your spouse, and your family.

What if Your Spouse isn’t Supportive of Your Leadership?

In some marriages, your husband may not be supportive of your leadership. How do you navigate this while also honoring your husband? How do you champion your marriage while not neglecting your God-given leadership potential?

  • Pray. Pray for your husband.
  • Remember that your validation doesn’t come from your husband but from God alone.
  • Create your village of people who can speak into your heart and mind when your spouse can’t or won’t.
  • Build him up and support him. This may decrease the fear he’s feeling about how you’re growing in leadership.
Create your village who can speak into your heart and mind when your husband can’t. - Zack CainClick To Tweet

Other Episodes Mentioned:

Episode 17: How the Enneagram Can Help You Nurture Healthy Relationships

Other Marriage Posts & Resources for Navigating Marriage and Leadership:

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How to Navigate Marriage and Leadership