God has given me a vision for Christian wives. I see Him rising up an army of strong but gentle wives who do specific things in such a focused and powerful way that their husbands are propelled to become mighty men of God! Don’t we all want that?
The qualities of these strong Christian wives are all Biblical, and if we press into them, I’m confident we will have a tremendous, positive impact on our men! As we encourage and pray for our men, our men will be much more likely to step up and become mighty men of God. Hallelujah!
The most important thing we can do is to respect, honor and love the Lord. But beyond that, catch this vision of the wife God is calling you to become. He is calling wives to be…
- encouraging (1 Thessalonians 5:11…encourage one another and build each other up)
- respectful (Ephesians 5:33….the wife must respect her husband)
- gentle (1 Peter 3:4 …the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight )
- compassionate (Colossians 3:12 …clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience)
- courageous (Joshua 1:9… Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.)
- loving but firm confronters of sin (Luke 17:3 If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him)
- prayer warriors (Colossians 4:2… Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful)
— or view this topic as a 4 minute VIDEO HERE
In an ideal world, a wife would never have to confront her husband about some kind of disrespectful, destructive, or just plain immoral behavior. However, we live in a fallen world, and both men and women can easily stray into sinful choices that hurt the people they love.
If you are a wife who is ready to confront your husband over some kind of wrong behavior, here’s what not to do! Don’t treat him like he’s the enemy. Don’t give him that look says “you disgust me”. Don’t scold him like he’s a 3 year-old child. Don’t roll your eyes.
Instead, as you’re bringing up the issue that is causing you distress, let your husband know that you are for him and your marriage. A man will shut down if he feels his wife is against him. A man will tune his wife out if she is disrespectful. The Bible says “the wife must respect her husband” in Ephesians 5:33, and this is critical when a wife addresses issues of concern with her husband. Let your man know that you love him and want to work with him as his partner to overcome the challenge. Speak gently and encourage him by reminding him of his good qualities. If he knows you are truly for him, he will be much more apt to listen to what you’re saying instead of shutting you out or flying into a rage.
Oh, and one more tip. To help make sure he doesn’t get super defensive, start out by asking this gentle question: “Help me understand why….” When you ask him that instead of starting out with strong accusations, he will be much more likely to talk calmly with you!
I hear many wives mourn the fact that their husbands seem to be emotionally absent in their marriage. These women crave emotional intimacy and connection, but it’s a missing element in their marriage. What could be the problem?
It could be many things, but there is a common reason for a man’s reluctance to become emotionally intimate. If a man has attempted to share his feelings, thoughts, or ideas with his wife in the past, and has been ridiculed, criticized, corrected or laughed at, he will likely shut her out emotionally…perhaps for years!
A wife must become a safe place for her husband to share his heart. The Bible gives a key instruction to wives on this topic in Ephesians 5:33. The passage says “the wife must respect her husband“. Ladies, we must show respect to our husbands when they share their hopes, dreams, ideas, thoughts, and concerns. We don’t have to endorse every idea or plan, but we do need to actually listen attentively, ask gentle questions, avoid criticism and correction, and have a respectful attitude. Try it, and do this for several months in a row. I bet you will begin to see a difference in your relationship with your husband. If you can faithfully do this week after week, you will likely begin enjoying emotional intimacy!
Sometimes, we will notice a trend in our husband’s behavior or reactions that are concerning. He might not be engaged in something hugely sinful, but you are concerned about the harsh way he’s interacting with the kids or the resentment that he holds toward his boss, etc. In other words, you fear that if he continues down that path, significant damage will be the result. Hmmm. What’s a wife to do in those moments where she senses her husband is headed the wrong way?
I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but let me share two things that have been effective in my own relationship. 1) Pray earnestly that God will convict your husband through his Holy Spirit so that your husband will see that he needs to make some changes. Jesus makes it clear that one of the jobs of the Holy Spirit is to convict people when they are off track. Jesus says of the Holy Spirit in John 16:8 “when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.”
2) If you feel like God is nudging you to talk to your husband about your observations, quietly come to your husband, take a humble posture by perhaps kneeling beside him while he’s sitting, and gently tell him of your concerns. But instead of expecting him to immediately agree with you, simply ask him to think about what you’ve shared and talk about it with you again tomorrow. Also, take this opportunity to speak words of life to him. Tell him about the good qualities you see in him. Remind him that God is transforming him into a man who has Christ’s character, which is “gracious and compassionate; slow to anger and abounding in love” (Psalm 103:8). Be sure to let him know any ways you see him growing in maturity, even if that growth is slow!
I often talk and write about how wives were created to be their husband’s helper, and while that’s true, I feel it’s necessary to make a clarification. Yes, we should help our husbands by showing them respect, allowing them to lead the family, and assisting them as they seek to follow God’s promptings in their life. However, that doesn’t mean a wife should give up her own individual identity in the process.
Submitting to your husband’s leadership does not mean that you become a doormat which has no value. Helping your husband does not mean you sacrifice doing the things that bring you great joy. Respecting your husband doesn’t mean he’s always right and you’re always wrong. If you go too far in that direction, you will become an empty shell. It’s as if your heart doesn’t matter. God doesn’t intend that for you. In fact, He says in Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.”
Spend some time in prayer with God and ask Him to reveal if there are any areas of your life where you have lost your true identity. Have you stopped doing some things that bring you fully alive? Is it time to sit down with your husband and talk about how you can both live in a way that brings joy and fulfillment?
Having a rough time in your marriage? Do you wish you’d never married your husband? Our society makes it very easy to throw in the towel and divorce. Divorce might seem very tempting, but let me tell you from personal experience; it’s really hard on your children. Actually, it’s devastating for them. Yes, God can heal them over time, but your children will always carry a deep emotional scar. Whoever started the rumor that kids can bounce back from divorce was lying!
I’m not saying that a woman should never divorce her husband. The Bible certainly gives a clear allowance for divorce in Matthew 19:9 where Jesus says “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” Jesus clearly states that when a spouse has cheated on you sexually, divorce is permissible. After many years of studying the Bible, I also believe God permits a woman to divorce her husband when he grossly sins against his wife through continuing physical or emotional abuse. After all, God instructs us in Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life“. After years of severe emotional or physical abuse, a woman can become a mere shell of a human being. I don’t believe that is God’s will for anyone. Throughout the Bible, we see that God is more concerned with mercy than merely following rules.
All this being said, please do everything you can to fight for your marriage. Don’t give up easily. Don’t let bitterness grow. Work to resolve issues before your heart grows so cold that you don’t feel like working to save your marriage. You may possibly need to separate from your husband in order to bring his attention to the seriousness of the problem, but your goal should be reconciliation and restoration of your marriage. Find a good counselor. Get a mentor couple. Read the Bible. Pray continually. Don’t give up on your marriage too easily. If for no other reason, fight for your marriage on behalf of your children.
— or view this topic as a 3 minute VIDEO HERE
I have seen so many women wither and die emotionally in their marriages because their husband is engaged in disrespectful or sinful behavior and the wife gives up too easily in terms of confrontation. (I should know because I was one of those women in my first marriage!) So why would a wife give up? I believe it boils down to one main fear.
The wife fears that if she continues to confront the issue, or heaven forbid, draw a serious boundary, her husband may decide to leave her…and in her mind, she will lose what’s supposed to make her happy and secure. But this is faulty thinking! Your husband is not a reliable source of happiness. God is the only one we can depend on for unconditional love, compassion, and security. If your husband were to leave after you draw a line in the sand, I believe God is big enough to take care of you financially. I know He is. Do you trust Him? Do you believe what He says in Hebrews 13:5 “I will never leave you, nor forsake you”?
Trust in the One who will never leave your side. Trust in the One who can provide innovative ways to take care of your financial needs. Trust in the One who can bring supportive people into your life to stand by you as you draw boundaries. That One is Jesus.