Marriage can’t be treated as a business transaction or a partnership. Sadly, the amount of marriages that languish or fail, rival the amount of businesses that languish or fail. Marriage isn’t a 50/50 relationship with measured parts of contribution. Any "meet you in the middle” agreements will never work. Nobody really knows where the “middle” is, and we always overestimate how far we’ve traveled.
We need a new strategy. God knew this would be a problem so he said something real simple but incredibly difficult, “Husbands, loves your wives as Christ loved the church”. In plain terms, “Men go first”.
The reason headship is so controversial is because it’s either abused or passively neglected. The degree to which it carries any authority, it carries far more responsibility. But servant leadership is beautiful, and gorgeous it can be. When men initiate like Jesus, women have a better environment to respond well.
Now, I’m going to recommend a question that is tough for us men to ask. It’s easy to point, deny, explain…et.al. But this is the God sized question: Is there an area of my wife’s life that if I began serving her in, it would radically display my love for her, and thereby deepen our intimacy? I’m not saying that every gap in a wife is tied to her husband, but I am saying that godly men ask a simple question: Am I leading and loving my wife like Christ loves the church? It’s a gut check, but asking ourselves how we’re doing as an initiating man is a great and biblical discipline.
Chivalry still gets style points. Women still love manly men. Christ initiated in his sacrificial love for the church. So real men go first.