When a husband is clearly sinning against you through something like verbal abuse or an affair with another woman, it seems pretty clear that you should take a stand, draw boundaries, and maybe even have a time of separation. However, the Christian wife isn’t always as certain about how to handle a husband who simply seems to be selfish. This is the kind of husband who almost always does exactly what he wants to do, when he wants to do it, with little regard for the desires of his wife or children. What’s a wife to do?
First, realize that your husband’s selfishness is not okay with God, and thus, it shouldn’t be okay with you. In the famous love passage in 1 Corinthians 13, the Bible says love is not “self-seeking“, and in Philippians 2:4, the Bible says “each of you should look not only to his own interests but also to the interest of others.”
Second, you must realize that nothing is likely to change unless you sit down with your husband and bring the problem to his attention. It’s time to gently and calmly tell your husband the truth about how you are being negatively impacted by his focus on doing what he wants without regard to your wishes. Ephesians 4:15 says we should “speak the truth in love“, so gently explain the problem. Then directly ask him if he is willing to begin considering your desires when the two of you don’t agree on something. Ask him if he is willing to work with you to forge a compromise the next time you disagree. Hopefully, by bringing the problem to his attention, he will begin considering your interests. If he doesn’t, it’s probably time to ask him to go with you to meet with a pastor or counselor.
I was asked recently how a woman can help her husband (or boyfriend) if he’s struggling with the temptation to view pornography. This is such a difficult question because, ultimately, he has to be the one who does what is necessary to overcome this temptation.
However, there are 2 things that you can do:
1) Sit down with him and let him know that you want to support him and help him in any way as he wrestles against this temptation. Then gently and lovingly ask him to share with you the things that seem to trigger the desire to view porn. As you show compassion and understanding, he will be more likely to feel safe sharing the things that trigger him. Then once he shares those “triggers”, you can ask what you can do to help him avoid those triggers.
2) Insist that he actively pursues assistance from a 12-step group, sexual addiction treatment program, or a godly mentor with experience in this area. He needs other people to help hold him accountable and to pray for him. He NEEDS to have other men speak into his life and help him deal with the common temptation to lust and view pornography. Accountability is Biblical. James 5:16 instructs, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
— or view this topic as a 3 minute VIDEO HERE
When men are surveyed about what makes a woman attractive, other than classically beautiful features, a strong majority say….her confidence! So, if you want to be attractive to your husband (or to your boyfriend), work at developing confidence. Work at becoming secure.
I believe you do this by spending time meditating on God’s love for you! He loves you so much he actually adopted you as his beloved child! He is your Papa! Meditate on this Scripture from Galatians 4: “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.”
The second quality that is extremely attractive is…humility. Most men run from a woman who is self-righteous and judgmental. A husband is repelled by a wife who conveys that she thinks she’s better than him! However, a husband’s heart is drawn to a wife who is humble, kind and compassionate. The Bible instructs us to be this kind of person! Colossians 3:12 says, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
P.S Yes, you can carry yourself with confidence, while at the same time displaying humility! This means having self-respect and dignity, but refusing to act like you’re superior to your guy.
In every marriage, there will certainly be times where you find yourself disappointed or frustrated with your husband. The question isn’t…how can you and I avoid those challenging times? The question is…how are we going to respond to the challenge?
I’ve met many wives who allow themselves to sink into self-pity or get all riled up with anger toward their husband. Neither one of those responses is helpful! In fact, a crazy cycle begins in the marriage. The wife lets her husband know how disappointed she is in him…he feels like a failure so he either responds with mean words or withdraws…she gets even more disappointed…and the cycle continues! Please allow me to suggest a couple of new ways to look at those times when your husband has frustrated or disappointed you:
Instead of focusing solely on what he’s doing wrong, choose to rejoice in what he’s doing right. This is the essence of Philippians 4:8 “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” In other words, instead of developing a sour taste in your mouth by dwelling on his every fault, choose to look at your husband as a work in progress. God doesn’t transform a person overnight (including you!). So, choose to relish in the sweetness of every good thing your husband does and every good choice he makes. For your soul, it will be like sipping on sweet lemonade instead of sucking on bitter lemons.
P.S. You’ll look a lot more attractive to your husband when your mouth isn’t puckered up like you’ve been sucking on sour lemons!
P.S.S. If your husband is WAY out of bounds with his behavior and actually sinning against you, you may need to establish some firm boundaries, while at the same time choosing to remind yourself of his good qualities as well!
Our men are bombarded daily with temptations to lust. They drive down the freeway and there is a billboard featuring a sexy woman. They go to work and encounter a female co-worker showing too much cleavage. It seems like there is no safe place to avoid the temptation to lust!
However, your home could be one of those safe places, especially if you choose to avoid watching TV shows that feature scantily-clad women! Personally, I would love to watch Dancing With The Stars. I so enjoy watching a dancing novice grow into a fabulous dancer in just a few weeks. But I know that watching that show with my husband will likely cause a huge challenge for him regarding lust. So, I choose not to watch that program. The same thing is true for many other shows. We apply the same rule of thumb to the movies we watch at the theater. I check beforehand to see if a movie features sexual scenes or partial nudity. We don’t attend those movies.
Are you helping your husband avoid sexual temptation through your choices of media? 1 Corinthians 10:32 says “Do not cause anyone to stumble“. Are you allowing things into your home that could cause your husband to stumble? For instance, I called Victoria’s Secret many years ago and asked them to stop sending their catalog to our home. That magazine is soft porn to men and boys! Should you make similar changes at your home?
There’s a fine line between confronting someone who is sinning against us and confronting someone about their sin in general. As I read the Scriptures, it is pretty clear that we are supposed to confront our husbands or anyone who is sinning directly against us. Jesus gives us this instruction in Matthew 18:15-17 and also in Luke 17:3.
However, sometimes we go too far and start to act like we’re the Holy Spirit! It is not our job as a wife to convict our husbands of each and every one of their sins. God says that’s the Holy Spirit’s job. In John 16:8, Jesus says the Helper (Holy Spirit) “will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment”.
This means it’s not your job to be constantly pointing out your husband’s flaws, reminding him of his imperfections, and chastising him for falling short of God’s perfect standard. A wife is NOT Mrs Holy Spirit! In fact, when we start acting like we are the Holy Spirit, we start to become that quarrelsome wife mentioned throughout Proverbs. She is compared to a constant dripping of a leaky roof. Hmmm.
We all would like to feel more emotional intimacy and connection with our husbands, but often we end up drifting apart as the years of marriage pass by. This is especially true when children come on the scene. You get super busy and absorbed with the kids and your husband feels unimportant, unvalued, and un-needed.
However, there is one simple step you can take to begin changing that dynamic. Start asking your husband for his opinion! Ask him his thoughts on the right number of activities for the kids. Ask him his thoughts on how to best arrange the living room furniture. Ask his opinion on what is most important to him in terms of cleaning and tidying the house. (You might be surprised that most men would prefer you focus on keeping the home tidy rather than clean).
By asking your husband for his opinion, you’re communicating that he matters. You’re communicating that he is a needed and valued team member. You’re communicating that he is respected by you! He needs that respect. He’s wired to crave your respect. That’s why God gave a clear instruction to wives in Ephesians 5:33. It simply says “The wife must respect her husband.” So, start respecting your husband by asking his opinion and truly considering his thoughts and desires. You will find that he likes being around you more, and you will develop a powerful sense of “team” in your marriage.