Muttering to himself, teeth clenched, her so-called Christian husband fumes, “Dumb woman,” he grunts. Once again, as he has now grown accustomed to doing, he criticizes his wife for not preparing dinner on time that day. Other times he is more vocal. Sometimes the thoughts were just in his head. “My marriage has become boring,” he often thinks to himself. “I don’t even like making love to her any more.” Then his mind began to rattle with thoughts about his wife’s emotional stability. “If only she would use her head. She’s probably on her PMS again.”
This man’s thoughts continue to build upon a foundation of negativity, and his ill-feelings resonate through the tone of his voice each time he snaps at his precious little wife. He never really apologizes for his fleshly, demonic behavior to her, but leaves her heart bruised, defeated, angry, emotionally devastated and distant. He doesn’t care; he’s a selfish, egocentric, insensitive, inconsiderate, uncaring, unkind, thoughtless idiot.
What kind of man is this? Most Christian men are guilty of acting this way towards their wives at some time, and some more frequently then they would care to admit. “I’m not such a bad guy,” they rationalize, “I mean, after all, I do lots of good things for my wife. I work hard to provide a good living. I take her out to dinner once in awhile, and we nearly always go on a vacation every summer. What more does she want? What does she expect? Does she think a man is supposed to be perfect and speak tenderly every time she whines? Why doesn’t she just get over it?” And then he wonders why she seems so cold and distant.
Is it any wonder his love life with his wife is shot to hell? Does he REALLY expect her to respond to him when he treats her like a piece of discarded old furniture?
Does any of this sound familiar to you? It happens to all of us at times. So what is it, exactly, that a wife wants? The answer, as always, is found in the scriptures:
· 1 Peter 3:7 In the same way you married men should live considerately with your wives, with an intelligent recognition of the marriage relation, honoring the woman as physically the weaker, but realizing that you are joint heirs of the grace (God's unmerited favor) of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered and cut off. Otherwise you cannot pray effectively. (Amplified Bible)
Husbands, you can pray until you are blue in the face, but unless you obey the Scriptures first, your prayers are hindered and even cut off. Why should God listen to a man who does not treat his wife in a sensitive, tender way? Do you know what it means to live considerately with your wife? Are you considerate of her feelings, her emotions, her schedule, her needs, her desires, her pain, her joy, etc?
What if your wife flies off the handle and says something hurtful to you while in a state of anger or frustration? What if she gets easily hurt? Does your wife’s behavior cause you to believe she should grow up and act like an adult? When her emotions seem out of control, have you ever said something to your wife like, “Oh cut out the tears and just grow up!”?
If you have, my fellow husband, YOU ARE WRONG! The scripture says you are to love her and treat her the same way Jesus treats the church. Does Jesus rail on YOU when you step out of line?
You may ask, “Well why should I have to put up with her crap, when she doesn’t show me the same consideration?” The simple answer to this is: God says so. In 1 Peter 3:7 God tells husbands to, “live considerately with your wives, with an intelligent recognition of the marriage relation, honoring the woman as physically the weaker.” Are you doing this?
You may respond to the question above with some weak justification like, “Yeah, I treat my wife okay.” Oh really? Being the “weaker vessel” she needs a hug and verbal reassurance of your love several times a day. Do you intelligently recognize her need? Or are you too busy with the project you are working on watching the ball game or playing computer games to even acknowledge her? The longer you are married, the easier it is to take your wife for granted, and simply assume she knows you love her, and slowly begin to lessen or altogether forget your obligation to show her affection.
Husbands, it is time to be honest, we’re all guilty, to one degree or another, of letting our wives down, and failing to meet their emotional needs.
Husbands, we need to change our entire lifestyle. Does your wife go to bed alone many nights while you bang the hammer on a “project” for the home or pound away at your computer keyboard? Don’t you recognize that your wife loves you and that she needs you? Don’t you understand that she needs more than just an occasional hug and a kiss on the cheek?
Husbands, your wives need you! They need to hear you talk about your day, everyday... even if you don’t want to talk! Your wife needs to hear your voice and for you to hear hers’ every day. She needs you to be concerned about her life and listen to what is important to her.
Communicating with your wife is more important than reading the newspaper or watching the evening news or ball game. Husbands, your wives should be the very center of your attention! And she doesn’t need your attention just when you want sexual favors.
Do you wonder why she doesn’t respond to your advances? She’s not wired the same as you are. Women are emotional creatures, and God created them to respond with their whole being.
What a man processes intellectually a woman processes with her whole being. She FEELS what she thinks, and we husbands need to daily remind ourselves of this reality, over and over and over.
Dear fellow husbands, if you have to, write yourself some reminder notes, and place them all over your house, work, car, garage that reads:
Whatever I say to my wife, she will FEEL it emotionally.
Husbands, your wives need you to hug them…and not just once, but several hugs per day. When you hug and hold them, it needs to be softly and gently. They need to be TOLD you love them. Why? Because this makes her FEEL your love.
You cannot justify yourself by thinking, “Of course I love my wife. She knows that.” Sorry, bud, but she needs you to SAY it. Speak the words to her EVERY opportunity you get, saying things like:
· “Honey, I just love you SO much!” (Put some feeling into it guys)
· “Sweetheart, do you realize how much I APPRECIATE you, and ALL you do for me?”
· “Darling, have I told you how beautiful you look today?”
· “Honey, thank you for just being YOU! I just love being with you, and spending time together.”
· “Baby doll, how did I get so blessed to marry a woman like you?”
· “Thank you for doing the laundry sweetheart, I really appreciate it.”
· “Thank you for washing the dishes, and keeping our home looking so nice.”
Fellow husbands, why do you think God made ears? Ears are for much more than merely hearing sound. A woman’s ears are a pipeline to her heart. Again, referring back to the scripture in 1 Peter 3:7, God commands husbands to “live considerately with your wives, with an intelligent recognition” of the reality that what she hears is what she feels.
If you claim to be a Christian, and a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, and a child of God the Father, as a husband you are given the divine mandate to be “honoring the woman as physically the weaker.” Honoring your wife? You bet. Not only does she need it, but also she deserves it. If you claim the name of Jesus, you must do this husband...it is NOT optional in God’s eyes.
You may object to this honoring stuff and say, “Well, you should hear how she speaks to me at times! Am I supposed to honor her when she treats me with such disrespect.” Please don’t interpret what I am saying here to mean that her obnoxious behavior is acceptable. If your wife is acting bitchy, she will give an account to God, BUT…you are responsible to love, forgive, and woo her with mercy, just as Christ does the church!
Sure it’s tough at times, but she is weaker emotionally. Quit feeling sorry for yourself and being so selfish! Yes, selfish! Remember the Scriptures that talk about “denying” yourself? We, as husbands, need to die daily.
I believe that husbands need to practice saying, “I’m sorry” to their wives more often. I am speaking to YOU Mr. Husband…not the guy next to you. “OK,” you say, “it’s not always my fault, so why should I have to be the one to say, ‘I’m sorry?’”
Even if it’s not your fault, just do it. Isn’t having peace and contentment with your wife worth it? Is it really so important to be RIGHT? If saying a simple “I’m sorry” or “Will you forgive me honey?” will create harmony, and open her heart up, isn’t it worth it? This technique is simply to help keep her feelings and heart open. THEN you can, and should DISCUSS the issues that create friction between the two of you. However, if you don’t nurture her emotions back to health, she will never talk about the issues, but will withdraw from you, and, at best, will just argue with you.
Okay Mr. Stubborn Head, go ahead and just blow her feelings off. Go pout. Feel sorry for yourself and feel justified in your own self-righteousness. And while you are at it, you’ve alienated your wife and you’ll probably end up with a miserable marriage that can quickly end up in the divorce courts.
So far we’ve read 1 Peter 3:7, but ARE YOU READY for the rest of the Scripture context from this passage? I hope so, because it’s addressed to YOU!!!
3:8 Finally, all of you should be of one and the same mind (united in spirit), sympathizing with one another, loving each other as brethren of one household, compassionate and courteous (tenderhearted and humble).
3:9 Never return evil for evil or insult for insult (scolding, tongue-lashing, berating), but on the contrary blessing praying for their welfare, happiness, and protection, and truly pitying and loving them. For know that to this you have been called, that you may yourselves inherit a blessing from God--that you may obtain a blessing as heirs, bringing welfare and happiness and protection.
3:10 for let him who wants to enjoy life and see good days; good--whether apparent or not, keep his tongue free from evil and his lips from guile (treachery, deceit).
3:11 Let him turn away from wickedness and shun it, and let him do right. Let him search for peace (harmony; undisturbedness from fears, agitating passions, and moral conflicts) and seek it eagerly. Do not merely desire peaceful relations with God, with your fellowmen, and with yourself, but pursue, go after them!
3:12 for the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with God), and His ears are attentive to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who practice evil to oppose them, to frustrate, and defeat them. [Psalm 34:12-16.] Amplified Bible
You see my fellow husbands; WE are responsible for everything to be harmonious in the marriage relationship. I’m not saying your wife doesn’t have some responsibilities as well, but ultimately, we are the ones that need to, ”... search for peace (harmony; undisturbedness from fears, agitating passions, and moral conflicts) and seek it eagerly.”
So if you have an argument with your wife, and she insults you, or says unkind things to or about you, it is your responsibility to obey God when He tells the husband to, “…keep his tongue free from evil and his lips from guile (treachery, deceit).”
But you say, ”My wife doesn’t respect me. I mean, you should just hear the way she speaks to me at times, and you should hear how she insults me. Does that justify her?” The answer is “No, that doesn’t justify her sin.”
Dear friend and fellow husband, the Scripture is very explicit in God’s command to you when your wife acts grumpy, or angry, or says things to agitate you. You are commanded, along with all other Christian husbands to be, “…sympathizing with one another, loving each other, being compassionate and courteous (tenderhearted and humble), and never returning evil for evil or insult for insult (scolding, tongue-lashing, berating), but on the contrary blessing praying for their welfare, happiness, and protection, and truly pitying and loving them.”
So you see, the responsibility for harmony in the marriage rests predominantly upon the husband’s shoulders, not the wife’s. Husbands, you MUST allow your wife to have a different opinion than yours. She has a mind of her own.
Husbands, try to understand her point of view.
Ask her lots of questions; find out where she’s coming from. Realize that you are “joint equals” of God’s grace. She is your equal in God’s Kingdom, not some object you posses, or a doormat to walk all over.
Guys, it’s time to change. Let your entire day revolve around Jesus and your wife. Cut out the hours and hours of computer games and television and endless hobbies. That project in the yard can wait to be finished. Spend time with your sweetie. She needs you. If you don’t heed this admonition, you may lose her heart, her affections and it’s possible that your prayers will be cut off. Think about it. I say it in love and for you.
· Colossians 3:19 Husbands, love your wives [be affectionate and sympathetic with them] and do not be harsh or bitter or resentful toward them. (Amplified Bible)
You see guys; if we want to be a part of God’s kingdom, we don’t have a choice in this matter. It’s not your wife’s obligation to keep the marriage running smoothly, that’s YOUR job.
If you are harsh, bitter, or resentful towards your wife, you must repent and change your way of thinking. Yes, this may be a difficult thing to do if there are long standing hurts in the relationship, but you must still be obedient to the Word of God.
Some of you that read this brief exhortation to husbands may think that I am way off base in my approach. You might disagree that it is mainly the husband’s responsibility. How do you respond to the following Scripture?
5:25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her,
5:26 So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word,
5:27 That He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things that she might be holy and faultless.
5:28 Even so husbands should love their wives as being in a sense their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself.
5:29 For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and carefully protects and cherishes it, as Christ does the church,
5:30 Because we are members (parts) of His body.
5:31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. [Gen 2:24.]
5:32 This mystery is very great, but I speak concerning [the relation of] Christ and the church.
5:33 However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly]. [1 Peter 3:2.] Amplified Bible
Love your wife as Christ also loved the church? And gave Himself for her? Pretty tough calling fellas! I don’t believe any man will be able to perfectly love his wife in this manner, but THIS HAS GOT TO BE OUR GOAL!
Where do we begin? The context makes it very clear that husbands are to, “...love their own wives as their own bodies.” That means that she gets as much of your time as can be equally divided between your projects and computer games.
How does Jesus Christ nourish and cherish you husbands? Does Christ always forgive you when you repent? Then you should always forgive your wife.
Does Jesus ever leave you or forsake you? Then you should never walk out on your wife in a huff just because she is upset with you. Your angry silence that you use to punish her emotionally cannot be justified any longer!
I pray over each study I do that God would use it to challenge, convict, and bring true repentance in a person’s life.
· Isaiah 55:11 So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void without producing any effect, useless, but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. AMP
Links to the Entire "A Little Chat with Husbands” Series: