During a revival meeting I was recently in at my church, the guest Pastor said “the wife is the Holy Spirit of the home”. This Pastor had been married for more than 20 years and had previously talked about times in his marriage where his wife stopped him and corrected him when he was going down some wrong paths or about to make some wrong decisions. He then went further after his statement and asked the men of the church to raise their hands to affirm that they agreed that their wives were the Holy Spirit for their homes.
Needless to say, my children looked at me when the Pastor said this and they knew where I stood on this and they knew such a statement was highly unbiblical and it actually was heresy. My hand was glued down to my chair as many hands from other husbands went up across the auditorium. I was pleased to see that many other men did keep their hands down though. I could not see if my Pastor lifted his hand or not.
Let me just say that besides this statement and his having the men raise their hands about it everything else this Pastor taught both before and after it was very Biblical. He taught a perfect message on the Gospel and he taught on holiness and us living our lives in a holy way in which we would not be ashamed when Christ returns.
I truly believe this Pastor loves the Lord, believes the Bible is the Word of God and believes the same Gospel I do. He preachers hard against sin. But like so many Pastors, even conservative Bible believing Pastors, he has had his thinking poisoned by the feminist ideals that have infested our churches.
Let me make something abundantly clear. The Scriptures never compare the wife to the Holy Spirit. Such an analogy is borderline blasphemy.
The Bible Compares the Husband to God, Not the Wife
The Bible compares man to God in I Corinthians 11:7:
“For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.”
Because man is God’s direct image bearer and woman is not, this is why God is very concerned with there always be a distinction made between men and women. This is the reason that God condemns cross-dressing and transvestism in Deuteronomy 22:5:
“The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.”
In Ephesians 5:22-24 the Scriptures tell us that in marriage man represents Christ and woman represents the Church:
“22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”
The Scriptures here are clear that the husband is the head of the wife AS Christ is the head of the church and that AS the church is subject to Christ in everything so to wives are to be subject to their husbands in everything. In fact, the husband wife relationship is the only human authority relationship where God commands the one under authority to submit to their human authority “as unto the Lord”.
But Men Are Not God!
It is interesting to me that this Pastor and many Christian feminists would have no problem hearing a person say “the wife is the Holy Spirit of the home” but if you were to say “The husband is the Christ of the home” they would go nuts. This is due in part to the misandry that we have allowed to fester in this nation since the start of second wave feminism in the 1960s.
Am I saying Husbands are Christ? Absolutely not! Men are God’s direct image bearers and in this world husbands symbolize Christ in the home but that does not mean they are Christ. Husbands are not sinless, all knowing or all powerful as Christ is. Husbands do not have all the attributes of God as Christ does.
But men, and by extension husbands, have more in common with God than women do. And this is not by chance, but by the design of God. This is why God is always referred to in the masculine sense. This is why God is referred to as a husband, father and son and never as a wife, mother or daughter. The masculine human nature is a reflection of God’s nature and feminine human nature is not. The feminine human nature was created to compliment and serve the masculine nature, not to image the nature of God.
The Husband is the Ruler, Leader and Guide to Wife
The Scriptures tell us in I Peter 3:1-2 & 5-6
“1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear…
5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: 6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.”
The Scriptures tell us in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35:
“34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. 35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”
And in 1 Timothy 2:12 the Scriptures tell us:
“But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”
These passages smack our modern feminist ideals right in the face. But it is the Word of God. God does not tell husbands to go to their wives to learn how to lead their home or understand the Word of God. On the contrary it teaches women are to seek spiritual guidance from their husbands.
Should Husbands Listen their Wives?
In Genesis 3:17 the Scriptures tell us the first sin man ever committed:
“And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life”
If you ask most Christians “What was the first sin that man committed?” most will answer “eating the forbidden fruit”. But Genesis 3:17 tells us the first sin man actually committed was listening to his wife when she was wrong. Adam’s first failure was a failure of his duty to rule over his wife by rebuking her sin and then refusing to participate with her in it. But he was more concerned with keeping her love and affection and so he listened to his wife when he knew she was wrong.
Job in many ways was the “anti-Adam”. In Job 2:10 we read that when his wife asked him to sin against God he responded as Adam should have to Eve:
“But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.”
But the question is, are there times when husbands should listen to their wives? The answer from a Biblical perspective is yes. In Genesis 21:12 the Scriptures tell us:
“And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.”
In Genesis 21:12 we see a situation where Abraham did not feel right about sending Hagar and Ishmael away as his wife was asking him to do. And it was her advice to try and have an heir through Hagar that got him in this mess in the first place so I am sure he was at a point where he felt he should not listen to her.
But God knows Sarah is trying to clean up the mess she had made. She knows there will be contention over the inheritance and leadership of the tribe between Ishmael and Isaac when Abraham dies if Ishmael is still there. So, God intervenes and speaks to Abraham telling him in this particular case to listen to Sarah.
There are other stories in the Scriptures where we can see that husbands should have listened to their wives as in the story of Abigail and her husband Nabal in 1 Samuel 25 as well as the story of Pontius Pilate and his wife in Matthew 27:19.
The Scriptures tell us of the virtuous wife in Proverbs 31:26 that “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness”. What that means is that a wise wife is meant to be asset to her husband, not a burden. But she is to offer her wisdom to her husband and others in a kind and gentle way that is appropriate for women of good character.
The unfortunate truth is that often times intelligent women are more of a liability and burden to their husbands because they do not use their intelligence in a kind and respectful way with their husbands. Instead they use it to badger and disrespect their husbands and often to try and usurp authority over their husbands.
So, the answer to the question “Should a husband listen to his wife?” is – it depends on the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes the Holy Spirit will prompt us to follow our wife’s advice in a certain situation and other times he will tell us her advice is wrong and we must then go against her advice and in some cases it might actually require a rebuke toward her.
Should a Man’s Wife’s Advice Carry the Most Weight?
Many Christians including Christian feminists and even some complementarian Christians believe that the concerns and advice of a man’s wife should carry more weight for him than any other advisor in his life. The Christian feminists argue this from their belief that marriage is a partnership of equals and therefore the husband and wife have equal say in all family decisions. Many Christian complentarians while teaching male headship in marriage teach that a man’s wife’s concerns and advice should carry the most weight because he is in a one flesh relationship with her.
Some would argue that this passage below from I Peter 3:7 teaches that husbands should give the most weight to their wife’s advice:
“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”
It is for these reasons above that many Christian wives are mortally offended when their husbands seek the advice of others and even follow that advice over the advice of their wife.
The question is what does the Bible say about this? Should a man’s wife’s advice carry the most weight in is decision making?
Before we answer this from the Biblical point of view let’s make something clear. Contrary to what many Christian feminists teach we who believe in Biblical gender roles do not believe husbands are all knowing and that wives know nothing. Such an attack is straw man argument. The argument basically goes, if you believe a husband is the head of his wife and that a husband does not always have to listen to his wife then you believe husbands are never wrong, never make bad decisions and that they know all. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The Bible exhorts men to seek the counsel of their parents in their old age as well as other men both older and the same age to get different points of view and learn from the experience and spiritual knowledge of others:
In Proverbs 23:22 the scriptures tell us this regarding a man’s mother and his father:
“Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.”
And in Proverbs 13:20 we read:
“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”
And finally, in Proverbs 27:17 the Scriptures state:
“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”
The Scriptures are clear from the passage we discussed earlier in Ephesians 5:22-24 that marriage is not an equal partnership between a man and a woman. The Bible says the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church – are the church and Christ equal partners? The answer is no. The Church is subject to Christ. And as the Church is subject to Christ so too the wife is to be subject to her husband. Therefore, Christian feminism does not have a Biblical leg to stand on.
But what about the Christian complementarian argument that because a husband and wife are in a one flesh relationship and the husband is to dwell with his wife according to knowledge (I Peter 3:7) that this means her advice should carry the most weight in his decision-making processes?
I Peter 3:7 does not teach men that their wife’s advice or concerns must carry the most weight in their decision-making processes. When it warns of a man’s prayers not being heard, this is a warning to the husband that he must know his wife and at least hear her concerns. He should hear his wife’s concerns the same way he wants God to hear his. God is telling husbands – “if you won’t listen to your wife’s petitions, I won’t listen to yours”.
But let’s think of how prayer works. Does God always do what we ask in our prayers? The answer is no. Often his answer may be “no” or “wait”. Sometimes we ask for things we should not ask for. Sometimes we don’t realize we are wrong in asking for the things we are asking for. It is the same way with a husband and wife. Sometimes a husband’s answer to his wife will be “no” or other times it will be “wait”. And sometimes women ask for things that are completely wrong or against the will of God.
Finally let’s address the “one flesh” argument for husband’s giving the most weight to their wife’s advice. Who is the head of this “one flesh” relationship? The man or the woman? We know from Ephesians 5:22-24 that the husband is the head of the “one flesh” relationship otherwise known as marriage. That means the wife should be molding herself to and following her head. The unity of the husband and wife is most dependent on a wife submitting to her husband even when he does not follow her advice or grant her wishes.
So, no the fact that a husband and wife are in a one-flesh relationship does not mean a husband must give the most weight to his wife’s advice. What it means is that the wife after giving her advice must humble herself and realize she is but one of her husband’s many advisers. It means she must humble herself and follow her husband even when he goes against her advice. It also means that she needs to mold herself to her husband’s views over time. Biblically speaking, a husband and wife become one as the wife molds herself more and more to her husband and his thinking. As long as his thinking in any given area does not directly contract the Scriptures, the wife is to mold herself to her husband.
In other words, biblically speaking there is nothing wrong with a woman “loosing her identity in her husband”, but rather Biblically speaking that is exactly what a wife is supposed to do. That is why wives are to take on their husband’s name and leave their father’s house behind.
“Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house;” – Psalm 45:10
The wife is not the Holy Spirit of the home. But rather Christian husbands should listen to the true Holy Spirit of God and follow his guidance and he will guide husbands as he did Abraham as to when they should or should not listen to their wife’s advice or grant their requests. Also, husbands should not feel that their wife should be their only advisor or that her advice must always carry the most weight. Husbands don’t know everything just because they are men and neither do wives because they are women. It is good for men to have a multitude of counselors, especially other Christian men both older and of the same age who can offer spiritual advice and life experience.