Need a Book for Husbands on Being Courageous Leaders?

Some surprises come totally unexpected. I love when God pours out those good things that He’s been storing up for us . . . kind of like when as a kid, I ran down the stairs on Christmas morning to see mounds of presents piled under the tree. I didn’t shop for those presents, didn’t plan for them or pay for them, but they were “stored up” for me by my parents. And on Christmas morning, they showered them on us kids.

Or like when your friends totally surprise you with an unexpected Birthday party!

I got a surprise like that this summer.

I shared with you last March that I had it in my heart to write a book for women on cultivating a passion for Christ (you can read that post by clicking here). And so many of you wrote me kind and encouraging notes—and it inspired me; I was ready to dig into writing that message!

Then in late March, Focus on the Family aired our interview with them and we started hearing from men. Husbands came out of hiding to tell us they needed help. Men who could relate to LeRoy’s struggle in our marriage identified with him, and they kept asking us to please write a book for “husbands of Fierce Women!” We recommended some resources written for husbands, but we didn’t know of any books that tackled this topic in particular.

God began stirring my heart about the need for husbands to have a book that would encourage them to step up to the plate and lead their wives spiritually.

By the month of May, my burden for husbands of “fierce women” was growing and I shared with LeRoy some of the messages and comments I was receiving online. He agreed that a book like that would be helpful to men . . . “Someone needs to write that.” But it never occurred to LeRoy that God might send that assignment to us.

One morning in early June, I woke up from a night of fitful sleep; a night of spiritual battle. (I’d been experiencing several nights like that throughout the month of May and I shared some about that in this blog post.) On this particular morning, I sensed that the spiritual battle I was facing was tied to three different areas of my life, and one of those was the area of ministry through writing.

I knew it was time for a significant heart-to-heart with LeRoy. 

I shared with him my burden for couples, and in particular, my burden for husbands to have a resource that would serve to encourage and instruct them to shepherd a “fierce” wife. I asked him about the possibility of us writing a resource like that together.

His response was, “Babe, writing is not in my wheelhouse.”

One thing I’ve seen my husband do without fail, is to obey God’s mission—no matter how tough—he was not comfortable moving into that sphere; it wasn’t his area of expertise. But the funny thing was, God had been dealing with his heart about writing a weekly devotional for the men in our church . . . and I think that was preparation to what God was calling us to. (And by the way, LeRoy writes that five-day-devotional every week—I might need to share some of those with you sometime!)

“LeRoy, can we just at least pray about it?”

He agreed we should pray together and just lay it open to the Father. We spent some time praying and my specific request was for God to provide tangible evidence if this was something He was calling us to do.

A few weeks before this, my editor at Moody had asked me if we could have a phone call and I thought she wanted to talk about the book for women on cultivating a passion for Christ. While LeRoy and I were praying, I wondered if I should mention to her what we were praying about.

I decided I should wait and give God room to show up with that “tangible evidence” that I’d asked him for.

Two hours after LeRoy and I lifted up that request, my phone rang with the call from Judy, my editor. We were barely into the conversation when she let me know that they were interested in talking to me and LeRoy about writing a book for husbands of fierce women. She didn’t know about our conversation two hours earlier. She didn’t know about the intense prayers that were lifted around our little kitchen table. She didn’t know how I’d been experiencing horrific spiritual battle and discerned that it was in some way related to ministry and writing.

But God knew and He answered.

While Judy spoke with me, tears were flowing freely down my face. Not tears of joy because of the opportunity to write another book with Moody (although I’m grateful and excited to do that). But tears of amazement and thankfulness because God is the God who hears. He answered my request in only two hours. He didn’t have to do that. But He tenderly assured us (knowing how much we’d need that in the months to follow) and brought clear confirmation through that phone call.

That phone call didn’t “seal the deal.” There was still much to do: writing a chapter outline, sending in a book proposal, and waiting for confirmation from the team at Moody. But all along the way there has been a steady and constant “knowing” that this was all of God and that writing this book was completely orchestrated by Him.

Last week, while visiting Moody Publishers, LeRoy and I signed our contract and we’re already in the thick of working on the manuscript. Will you pray for us? The deadline for the completed (unedited) manuscript is March 01, 2016. We’re committed to putting together a helpful resource for husbands in only 50,000 words (we’re about 20K in). We need God’s direction as we compile the content, we need the leading of His Spirit, the superintendence of His Word, and the creativity and wisdom that only He can supply.

Will you pray for us?

One huge request is that we will have enough time to write. We don’t want to rush through this and we need time to process and write carefully. And most weeks we have to battle to find just a little space to write. But you know the amazing thing about all of this?

LeRoy thought this was “outside of his wheelhouse” but whenever we have our writing hours together, God so beautifully dovetails our content and unites our hearts and minds into one message. We are having so much fun writing this book!

Do you know husbands who could benefit from a resource like this? Spiritual leaders who are looking for a resource for men who need to be inspired to shepherd their wife? Do you know couples you’d like to pass on this kind of resource to?

If so, please, please PRAY!!


  • Sue

    I can’t tell you how excited I am for this book Kimberly!! You have already been such a blessing in my life through your book and this blog post… Praying for you and LeRoy to be able to find the time and experience God’s Holy Presence as you write! Blessings to both of you!!

  • Julie Musil

    Oh, wow, YES, I know of men who could use this resource.

    You know what I love? How you could’ve easily mentioned your thoughts to your editor, but you refrained from doing that. You didn’t “meddle” in God’s way of giving you the evidence you needed. That’s a great lesson for me–don’t meddle when I’ve asked God for clear direction!

    I am definitely praying for you both as you pull this resource together. When it’s published, I’ll buy a copy on release day!

  • Annette

    Know that the Melton family will be praying for you and Bro LeRoy as you follow the Lord in writing this book~ and we wait with anticipation to get to read it. We are so Thankful for the season that we got to hear Bro LeRoy share God’s Word on a weekly basis as our Pastor, and we look forward to the Wisdom that will be shared in this book! Praying for you~
    Love to you friend,

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Thank you so much, Sue!

    We are truly grateful for, and needful of, your prayers! Thank you for your kind words of encouragement! 🙂

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Julie ~

    Thank you so much! We need much insight and time to compile the content. We’re asking God to use our story to bring hope and encouragement to men who’ve reached hopeless places.

    We are extremely grateful for your prayers!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, precious friend!!

    So good to hear from you, Annette! Can you believe it? I vividly recall a critical conversation I had with you (maybe a decade back) when I was seeking God about whether He was calling me to write. You were so encouraging to me as you read early attempts and faithfully prayed for me, and God has faithfully led all along the way! He is so good.

    We are so grateful for your prayers now! Your intercession is greatly needed!!

    We are so thankful for the years God gave us with your precious family and long for the day when all of our spiritual family will be gathered in one big, united and glorious, eternal worship event!

    Much love to you and your family ~

  • Barb Lange

    Kim, would you and Leroy please pray for us? We are mentoring a couple who are in distress and in need of a miracle. The wife has shut down and says her heart has died. I thought of you and Leroy.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Barb ~

    So good to hear from you! We often think of you and Roger, so thankful to hear God is using you to minister to other couples. Has the woman read “Fierce Women?” Or possibly you could send a few of the posts on marriage from this website? Also, if you have a radio station in your area that carries “Focus on the Family” they are airing an interview with us next week (Dec. 01–02). You might encourage the couple to listen to those programs (or pull them up online).

    God can work miracles, I’ve seen Him do it!

    Pausing to pray for you, Roger, and this couple now ~

  • Michael

    LeRoy and Kim,

    I was scouring your web site looking for a book such as this. I can absolutely use it as I am married to a fierce woman. I look forward to its release and intend to purchase it. In fact, your book can’t be released quick enough. Our marriage is in a desperate place. I’ve been listening to sermons, audio books, podcasts, and radio shows,and reading all sorts of books and articles in an effort to help our marriage. Almost everything I find is written from the female perspective and assume the man is mostly or completely to blame. I am not saying the husbands do not play a part in bad marriages, and I am certainly not saying I am without blame. I listened to your interview on Focus on the Family and found your testimony refreshing. Unfortunately, in the past several years, I have seen many of my peers, Christian and non-Christian, get divorced. An alarming trend I noticed was that all these divorces went against what I considered the norm of the men being irresponsible self-centered dolts. In all these cases, to the best of my knowledge, it has been the women who have defiled their marriage vows and have done crazy and very un-Biblical things. Unfortunately, I see the same pattern unfolding before me in my own marriage. I wish you and your husband well in your writing endeavor. Know that when you complete this book, you will be helping many men, including myself. Thank you.

  • em

    Until you & Leroy get that book written, what are the recommended books for husbands of fierce women? Wanting something to use now, while waiting for your book. Thank you

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Micheal ~

    First of all, we are so very sorry for the painful and difficult journey you and your wife are on, and especially grieving for the spiritual need you have. God can rescue, but it is much more challenging when only one spouse is recognizing the problems in the marriage. Be encouraged by knowing that God cares more about transforming your marriage for the sake of His glory than you do. He desires for you and your wife to experience the unity, beauty, and deeply rooted love, that only He can bring.

    Repairing a broken relationship requires two people who are willing to extend grace and forgiveness to one another, but no matter whether your wife is willing to work on the marriage or not, doing the right thing honors God–and that is what matters most.

    We would appreciate your prayers as we work on the book. There is much on our hearts and the need is great. It is not due to release until Sept. 2016, so until then, we encourage you to continue on the course you’re on, researching good resources and applying practically what you are learning. You might consider planning a special evening alone with your wife, where you take her to dinner (or prepare dinner for her) and let her know that you are fully committed to building a good relationship with her. Begin the conversation by confessing any way that you have failed in demonstrating biblical, strong leadership to her and ask her forgiveness. Perhaps watch our marriage video together (it is under the video tab on this website) and offer to do a study with her like “The Love Dare.”

    If you aren’t currently doing this, we encourage you to commit to praying for her daily, a good way to begin is by reading (and praying through) Stormie Omaritan’s book: “The Power of a Praying Husband.” Also, daily ask your wife what specific ways you can be interceding for her, and then pray for her and with her. Don’t just tell her you will pray for her, but take her hand and voice those prayers out loud.

    We hope that you and your wife are plugged into a healthy and biblical church body, if so, look for a spiritually mature couple that you can spend time with, not in a “counseling setting,” but doing activities together or meals, so that you can be regularly exposed to a couple whose marriage relationship is a good example to follow.

    Seek out men who can disciple you in your role as a husband.

    I would love for your wife to read my book, but I don’t know that she would be receptive to receiving that suggestion from you until changes are made in your relationship. It might help you to read through the book yourself, to allow you to understand some of your wife’s struggles. And perhaps, as she sees you following through with your commitment to lead her spiritually, that she will investigate what you’re reading and be open to studying the book together and discussing it.

    I understand if you fear your wife’s reaction to discussing the need for both of you to work on your marital relationship, but I encourage you to find your strength and courage through your relationship with Christ. He is who you ultimately are accountable to, not your wife. And He will equip you as you depend on Him.

    Bottom line, Michael, your wife needs your spiritual leadership. The deepest need for her is for you to grow in your love for Christ, to grow in your devotion to Him and His Word, and to lead her spiritually. Leading her doesn’t mean “preaching to her” but it means being a contagious Christ-like example, loving her as Christ loves the church, and standing for her in the spiritual battle.

    Although we don’t know your wife’s name, the Father does, and we’re appealing to Him to open her eyes, as He graciously did mine, to her role in your marital condition.

    May He grant that request for His glory!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, “em” ~

    We aren’t aware of any book written specifically on this dynamic, but a few books we can recommend for men and marriage is:

    “Kingdom Man” by Tony Evans
    “For Married Men Only” by Tony Evans
    “The Meaning of Marriage” by Timothy Keller

    Our book will be released in September 2016 and we appreciate your prayers as we work on putting the content together. Pray that God will use the book as a helpful resource for husbands who are struggling with this destructive relationship dynamic.

  • Learning (Still)

    Michael, I don’t know if you are the same Michael that posted here on July 20, 2013, or not but seems as if the path continues the same as we anticipate the release of the book for men.

    I guess the Lord has directed me here once again seeking words of wisdom to help in times of difficulty. (I heard Focus’ rebroadcast in December 2015).

    Seeing that today is the deadline for the unedited copy to Moody, LeRoy and Kim, I am praying that it is all coming together well.

    I do hope that there is a chapter included about men and the ministry. (Maybe Moody could up it to 100,000 words) It seems as if being in the ministry it is easy to ignore either our own brides or the “Bride of Christ” or do a poor job for both. Also, a chapter on raising daughters whose mothers may fit that “fierce women” mode would be helpful.

    While words do fail this morning while having an “Elijah” or a “Jonah” moment, praying that God might truly free us all to be what He would have us to be.

    Learning – Still (from September 24, 2013)

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Learning (Still) ~

    Thank you for praying for the work on the book. We sent it off last Saturday, so we really appreciate continued prayer as it now goes into the editing process.

    I am so sorry for the pain you’re experiencing in your marriage. It is such a hard place to be, longing for unity and joy in your relationship, but experiencing isolation and conflict. We did not include a chapter specifically for men in ministry, but believe the practical sections of the book will be helpful–no matter what your vocation. We’ve actually had someone suggest recently that LeRoy should work on a book specifically for men in ministry . . . so, perhaps that may be a future assignment.

    We are joining you in the prayer that God will “free us all to be what He would have us be . . .” May He be glorified through marriages that present the beauty of the gospel!

  • Michael

    Learning (Still),

    I am not the same Michael from July 20. But like you, I am very much anticipating the release of this book and can’t wait for its eventual release. I too found this site through the FOTF Dec 2015 broadcast of ‘Harnessing Your Strength to Transform Your Marriage’. Nothing has really changed in my situation since Dec, but I have found a few things which have helped me personally. I realize I can’t control my spouse. I can only control me, so I work on me and the stuff I have direct control over. I have enough of my own problems to deal with without dealing with my wife’s problems. This has been a real struggle for me to be sure. I feel like God is really challenging me here to trust Him and Him alone. He is able to do the impossible, including fix my marriage. When I try to intervene and change/control my wife, it just blows up in my face. I am struggling daily with this, but I keep trying to stay focused. No matter what happens in our marriage, I am challenging myself to bring my strength, integrity, and faith to the situation in a God honoring way that keeps my integrity in place. Whatever my response, I want it to be God honoring and pleasing to Him. It’s painful and requires a lot of effort on my part, but I kind of consider it my sacrifice to God. I am sacrificing my will to Him. I am desperately trying to change my focus from my wife, to God. Very difficult as her actions directly affect me, but God is aware of this. He knew this well before I did and He knew it when His Word was created. Our situation is not a surprise to God. Our situation isn’t some special situation God did not account for in His Word. So, with that in mind, I press in to God and His Word, trying to further my relationship with Him, addressing my own issues, remembering that God is always at work even when I can’t see it, pray for my wife, and ultimately leaving her personal journey up to God and her. This has not changed our situation yet, but it has changed me. Only time will tell if this changes my situation. In the end, putting my effort into following God, will never be a waste of time and can only benefit me and those around me regardless of what happens with my marriage. In the end, my wife and I are both responsible to God for our actions. When I stand before God, He is not going to be interested in my excuses of ‘but my wife…’. I want to be able to stand before Him knowing I did my best to follow His commandments and address as much evil within me as I could. I know I can never be perfect or earn my way into God’s grace, but I do want Him to be proud of my effort to follow Him.

    During my struggles, I have found the devotions ‘Streams in the Desert’ by L.B. Cowman very helpful. In particular, Nov 22 was VERY helpful to me. I hope you find it a blessing as well.

    “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” —Matt 9:28 NET

    God deals with impossibilities. It is never too late for Him to do so…

    God can “restore the years that the locust hath eaten” (Joel 2:25);

    “Nothing is too hard for Jesus. No man can work like Him.”

    “We have a God who delights in impossibilities.” Nothing too hard for Me. —Andrew Murray