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!
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)
Our words are SO powerful! If you frequently tell your husband how he’s falling short, he will likely close down emotionally and search for an escape door. He may turn to alcohol, porn, excessive recreational pursuits, or even other women.
However, if you choose to tell him about the good things you see in him, he will begin to grow in confidence. I believe this is why God instructs wives in Ephesians 5:33, “the wife must respect her husband“. Your respect and admiration means everything to your man. If you intentionally take note of his talents as well as the effort he puts forth, and then tell him you are proud of him, his feelings of inadequacy will fall away. He will start believing he can be successful in what he tries. He will gain courage to try tackling even bigger things.
If you notice his positive character qualities (and every man has at least one!), and tell him how much you respect him for those qualities, he will be built up on the inside. He will likely begin believing that he can become a man who makes a difference in his family and for God. A wife’s words of respect and encouragement can propel her husband forward to be an even greater man than he would ever have been without her!
Have you ever noticed how a man loves his dog? Maybe it’s partly because the dog is clearly devoted to his man and shows it by jumping around with giddy delight the moment his man walks in the door. Maybe it’s because the dog is his loyal companion. Maybe it’s because the dog seems to just accept his man, despite his flaws and isn’t bent on questioning his every move. J
I can’t help but think wives could learn something from a man’s dog. (Yes, I’m saying this a bit tongue in cheek, but maybe a bit seriously too!) What if we, as wives, rushed to the door and greeted our husbands with love and excitement, just as a dog greets its owner when he comes in the door at the end of the work day? What if we, as wives, were as eager to please as a man’s dog? What if we were as much a faithful companion to our husbands as dogs are for their owners? What if we, like a lap dog, made it a practice of snuggling up close, without talking? The Bible actually has something to say about that. In 1 Peter 3:1, God says that “husbands may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives.” Hmmm. That’s something to ponder. Yep, perhaps there are a few lessons to learn from “a man’s best friend”….
Here are three things I’ve learned about becoming a beautiful wife in the eyes of my husband (and it’s HIS opinion that really counts!).
1) I need to put effort into looking my best for my husband, just like I did when I was dating him! There are many healthy decisions I must choose to make on a daily basis so that I can look my best. For instance, build into your schedule a 30 minute walking or bike-riding time perhaps 4 days a week. Even if you have young children, there is a way to make this work. Put the kids in a stroller or have them ride their bike with you.
2) I need to shed insecurity and choose to have a confident attitude about my appearance and value. My husband says a woman’s confidence is VERY attractive to men. Flirt with your husband. Give him some playful, sexy, sass! He will find that quite attractive!
3) I really need to embrace 1 Peter 3:4 which tells wives their beauty comes from a “gentle and quiet spirit”. When I asked my husband what this verse means, he said it means that a wife is FOR her husband and not fighting him every step of the way. It means she creates a peaceful home where her husband is treated with respect.
We all want to be beautiful wives. So, let’s ask God to grow us in self-control, confidence, peacefulness, and respect for our men.
Most women are totally insecure about their bodies. Our thighs are too big. Our breasts are too small. The list of insecurities goes on and on. The problem only gets worse after we’ve had children! Stretch marks. The extra poof of your abdomen that never seems to go away. Sagging boobs after you’ve stopped breast feeding. You know what I’m talking about! It’s kind of difficult to feel sexy around your husband.
But I’m going to challenge you to change your outlook. Yes, we do need to do what we can to be attractive. If we need to drop 50 lbs, we need to work on that. If we need to exercise to tone up the flab, we need to work on that. However, once we make a reasonable effort to look our best, our attitude changes the rest! You’ve got to rock what you’ve got! Think sexy! View yourself as sexy when you’re with your husband. Be spunky and playful and maybe even a little bit sassy with him. Don’t be ashamed of your body. Your confidence in who you are will be very sexy to him! In Proverbs 23:7, the Bible says “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” In other words, when you start viewing yourself as sexy and attractive to your husband, you will become sexy and attractive to him!
Are you familiar with the actress Queen Latifah? She’s not thin at all. In fact, she’s probably carrying an extra 30 or 40 lbs. But she’s viewed as sexy because she has that feisty, confident attitude that basically says “I know I’m sexy”. You can do it too. Rock what you’ve got!
— or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO HERE
Who does your husband encounter when he walks through the door at the end of the day? Is he happy to be greeted by a warm, gentle, loving wife…or does he encounter a “drip”? Who wants to be considered a “drip”? That’s not very flattering! However, the Bible assigns that label to a wife who is always complaining and criticizing and arguing. Proverbs 27:15 says “A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm.” Uh-oh. Could that label belong to you?
I’m not saying that you should sweep any sinful behavior by your husband under the rug. So don’t get the wrong impression that you must never confront immoral or destructive behavior in your marriage. If your husband is engaged in a pattern of actual sin against you, follow the instructions of Jesus in Matthew 18:15-17 and seek godly counsel. What I am saying is that we need to be careful that we don’t become a constant critic of our husband! No man wants to come home to that.
Did you know that anonymous surveys of men reveal that most guys are actually very insecure and fear failure most every day? What they need from their wives is encouragement, not complaints and criticism. Make a commitment to find something good about your husband every day this week and then tell him how much you appreciate those good qualities. Use a gentle and loving voice when you talk with him. He will actually enjoy being around you! Let’s be an “anti-drip”!!