What Are Your Goals as a Husband for 2019?

As we approach the new year what do you see as areas where you see that you need to improve as a husband? In Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting”. Below are some suggested areas where we as husbands may need to improve.

Ten Duties of a Christian Husband

  1. Provide for HerEphesians 5:27-28 tells us that husbands are to “nourish” or literally provide for the physical needs of their wife as they do their own bodies. Are you providing for your wife’s needs to the best of your ability?  Remember that a man’s provision for his wife’s needs is a picture of God’s provision for his people.  If your wife is the primary provider, you are breaking the model God meant for you to display.  It is one thing if you are disabled or ran into some unforeseen financial crisis necessitating that your wife be the provider, but this should be the exception and not the norm.
  2. Protect HerEphesians 5:27-28 tells us that husbands are to “cherish” their wives. This does not mean what our modern “cherish” means which is to put your wife on a pedestal and worship her. It means to protect her.  God says that husbands should protect their wives as they do their own bodies.  That means we keep her safe from all kinds harm – both physical and spiritual.
  3. Discipline Her Ephesians 5:25-27 tells husbands that they are called to wash their wives’ spiritual spots and wrinkles with the Word of God just as Christ does his Church. This is the reason men are told to give themselves up.  Many men today give up their leadership for their wife’s happiness, when God calls them to lead which sometimes requires sacrificing their own and their wife’s happiness in the process.  In Revelation 3:19 Christ speaking of himself as a husband to his churches stated “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent”.  No woman is perfect just as no man is perfect.  That means if you never find yourself rebuking and chastening(disciplining) your wife then you are not loving her as Christ does his Church.
  4. Teach Her In 1 Corinthians 14:35 we read that women are to be taught in spiritual matters by their husbands in their home. Do you take an active and intentional role in teaching your wife the Word of God? This goes beyond the washing of the word for discipline.  This is taking a whole encompassing approach to teaching the whole counsel of God to your wife.
  5. Rule Over Her In 1 Timothy 3:4 we are told that men need to rule well their own homes. Are you the ruler of your home? This is about much more than being the discipliner or even teacher of your home.   The Ruler gives a vision and sets rules and policies in the home.  Your wife needs a clear vision from you so that she can help to manage your home around that vision.  For instance, some men delegate the paying of the bills to their wives and that is ok.  But you cannot delegate your responsibility to give your wife principles and policies by which to pay the bills.  You need to set the policies for how much will be saved, how much will be given to the church or other charities and how much will be used to pay off debts.
  6. Show Her Grace In Psalm 86:15 we are told that God is full of compassion and grace. We as men are called to image God in the lives of our wives.  Grace is unmerited favor. In marriage it means doing kind things for your wife not because she deserves it, but because in spite of the fact that she does not.  Compassion is showing sympathy for your wife’s sufferings and misfortunes even if sometimes she has brought these things on herself by her own bad decisions or wrong behavior.
  7. Show Her MercyIn Psalm 103:8 we are told that God is plenteous in mercy and slow to anger. Mercy means not giving someone the punishment or discipline they deserve. Maybe you have no problem ruling over your wife but are you are not so plenteous in mercy and are quick to anger with your wife. God calls us to picture his mercy in our wife’s life.
  8. Know Her In I Peter 3:7 we read that husbands are to live with their wives according to knowledge and if we don’t God will not hear our prayers as husbands. Do you take the time to know your wife? You cannot know her without speaking to her on a regular basis.  And you cannot wash her or teach her or rule over her without knowing her. If you will not hear your wife’s petitions God will not hear yours.  That does not mean we have to give our wives what they want just as God does not give us everything we ask for.  Also, knowing her is not just talking to her, but it is also having sex with her.  The Bible actually uses the same word “to know” for both knowing someone spiritually and emotionally as well as as sexually – see Genesis 4:1.
  9. Honor Her In I Peter 3:7 we read that husbands are to honor their wives and in Ephesians 6:2 we read that children are to honor their mother. Do you show proper honor to your wife? Do you make your children honor your wife as their mother?
  10. Praise Her In Proverbs 31:28 we read that the husband of the virtuous wife praises her and her children do as well.  Do you set the example for your children in praising your wife when she does something well? For instance, do you praise her for meals that are well cooked? Or when she redecorates the house do you notice? Do you praise her for being a good mother to your children? Do you praise her for doing well in the marriage bed? No woman is perfect and some are far less perfect than others. And we are not talking about praising her for doing nothing but breathing and taking up space.  If she is lazy in certain areas don’t praise her for things she does not do.  But many women at least do some things that are praiseworthy – do you find ways to praise your wife.

What about a husband loving his wife?

Someone might ask after reading the list above, where is the duty of a husband to love his wife?  If you read Ephesians 5:25-29 you will have your answer:

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church”

These ten things I have just shown are the very definition of the love of a husband toward his wife according the God’s Word.  You see the problem we have today is that we only see love in one way, and that is in one person showing affection or kindness toward another.  Now affection and kindness are certainly not bad things and husbands should show love toward their wives in these ways as well.  But the Bible never defines affection as the definition of a husband’s love toward his wife.   A husband’s love for his wife is supposed to flow from his sense of duty, it is a love based in a conscious choice of the will, not one based in emotion.

So What Are Your Goals as a Husband for 2019?

Having read each of the 10 duties above – where do you see that improvement on your part needs to be made?  Maybe you are great at ruling, disciplining and teaching your wife but you are light on the mercy and grace side? Other Christian husbands might think they are great at showing mercy and grace but what they are really doing is failing to discipline and rule over their wives.  Too much discipline and ruling(control) can lead to tyranny but too much grace and mercy can lead to dereliction of duty and apathy.

Maybe you rule well over her, discipline her and teach her but you fail to ever praise her for anything that she does well.  Or maybe you allow your children to speak to her in disrespectful ways thus failing to honor her position as your wife and the mother of your children.

Maybe you are a great provider but you never take the time to know your wife.  So because you don’t know her current struggles you cannot properly teach her or wash her with the Word.

Maybe your family is harsh and unloving toward your wife.  Do you protect your wife from nasty relatives?  Maybe you live in a dangerous area where you should have a firearm in the home to make your wife feel safer.  Maybe on the spiritual front you need to protect your wife from harmful influences from friends or relatives? Maybe you need to protect your wife from herself? Perhaps she has some self-destructive tendencies?

Here Are My Goals as Husband for 2019

To help my fellow brothers in Christ get ideas for improvement I decided to share my list for this coming year. I have asked God to search my heart and this is what I came up with.

  1. I provide for my wife (we are a bit tight right now, but I can say I work as much as I can with all my responsibilities).
  2. I protect my wife by having a fire arm (locked in a safe of course), protect her from certain family members and also protect her from herself (she some anxiety and depression issues).
  3. I discipline her in correcting and rebuking her when she disrespects me or contradicts me in front of my children or other groups. I sometimes remove some free time I would have spent with her when she really gets out of line.
  4. I teach her the Word of God on a regular basis. Sometimes she feels it is too much, but she can’t say she does not learn about many parts of the Bible from me regularly.
  5. Ruling over her is an area that has been a continual need of improvement especially in the financial area. This is an area where I have not strictly enforced our weekly and monthly budget and that is one of my goals for 2019 to get our debt under control.  Some of it we cannot help because of her medical issues but we can do better.  I also want to give more to the church this year.
  6. Grace is one that may be just right or needing a little improvement. I do show my wife a lot of grace by doing things for her despite her lack of submission and sometimes just utter contentiousness. And no I don’t just mean doing things around the house.  I mean buying her things she does not need (but just wants).
  7. I think I show her a lot of mercy. If I took my wife to task for every disrespectful word or un-submissive attitude she displayed I would be disciplining her just about every day several times a day.  Let’s just say my wife is a strong willed, critical and stubborn person many times.  And believe it or not I am the one that everybody says is easy going and very patient and forgiving.  I know my detractors won’t believe that but it is the truth.
  8. In the area of knowing her I think I do that pretty well even if she would always like more of my time to veg with her. Wednesday night is date night for us.  It just works out good that way for me with my work schedule.  We often stay home because my wife does not like to go out as much as she thinks she does(LOL).  But even when we stay home it is us spending 4 to 6 hours alone in our room just watching shows and talking.  We also talk on other nights of the week as well, but it’s not as long and not just us as we will have my children around.
  9. In the area of honoring her I think there could be some room for improvement. You have to be careful though with honor as it can become a loaded term especially for Christian feminists.  Christian feminists will say if you rebuke your wife you are dishonoring her when that contradicts what the Bible says.  But where I see need for improvement is with my children.  One of my teens (he is autistic) has a real problem with my wife and is very disrespectful to her as his step mother sometimes.  I do take him to task and punish him from time to time.  The problem is that my wife sometimes just riles him up.  Also my wife is also hyper sensitive about disrespect from my kids.  This is a running joke between her and I where I have told her “If I was as sensitive toward your disrespect of me as you are at our teens you would never hear the end of it”.   But alas – I think I could be a bit harder on the kids about this.
  10. In the area of praise, I suppose there is always room for improvement. I do praise my wife when she does cook and tell her in detail what I liked about the meal.  I also praise her when she cleans the house.  I certainly praise her when she does well in the bedroom.  But I think sometimes I miss when does nice things and forget to praise her.  The problem with my wife is that she is disabled so I end up doing a big part of the laundry and cooking and other household things.  It also affects our love life as well more sometimes than others.  So sometimes it is very hard to find anything to praise her for when she has literally just laid around for days or a week and I have done most everything.  And it is hard to find opportunities to praise her for her performance in the bedroom when nothing has happened in a while or when the last few times were just phoned in. But again, this is an area that I as her husband can always improve on.

I look forward to hearing what you as Christian husbands are struggling with and where you think you need to improve.  As the Scriptures tell us in Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend”.

 

31 thoughts on “What Are Your Goals as a Husband for 2019?

  1. You know, I’ve been following your blog for awhile now. I don’t remember when I discovered it, but I check it almost every day to see if you have posted. You write interesting and thought-provoking articles, and I have found that I am growing more and more inclined to agree with you.

    But up until about recently, I honestly read your posts with the mindset you were an unfair, unloving Christian. I thought you cared only about men and how they image God, and you almost seemed to attack women. I genuinely did not believe that you cared for women and thought you figured men would be better off without them around had God not created them (women) for a specific purpose. It is hard for a woman to read that the only reason she is designed is for MAN to image the Lord and that she does not share that purpose. It is very hard to grasp the idea that I am not made in God’s image. You call the masculine nature divine, and I have come to feel as though women and the feminine nature are further removed from God and His glory (if that makes sense?).

    Nevertheless, this post gave me some hope and solace. Every word seemed kind and sincere – something I haven’t really read in your posts. You explained your faults and how you could do better with your wife. It was refreshing to read about your mistakes instead of another post talking about the mistakes of others, as weird and harsh as that sounds. I don’t mean for it to sound harsh either lol. I’m smiling as I’m typing this. I can see how much you care for your wife through this post alone, whereas it took multiple articles for me to glimpse that same conclusion.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is this was a wonderful update to read. I look forward to more posts from you in the future. Have a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year.

    From a twenty-two year old engaged Christian trying to learn her place in God’s design.

  2. Hope,

    I am glad you liked the article. I will fully admit that this blog does speak to the struggles men have with women much more than the struggles that women have with men. And there is a reason for that. It is because you can go online to most Christian websites and even secular relationship websites and you will find just the opposite. All you will here is attacks on men and masculinity and how relationships don’t work because men are just selfish jerks. If men would just start being more kind and sensitive to women’s needs and basically start thinking and acting like women the world would be a utopia according to all these other sites.

    Then you have other sites on the far right in the manosphere where the entire sites are basically dedicated to true misogyny as opposed to my site being falsely labeled such. I have made it one of my missions here to teach men that we can utterly hate feminism and call it out for the all the destruction it has caused but still love women.

    I fully believe we can attack the sin while still showing love for the sinner. For instance, on a regular basis I attack my wife’s feminists statements(even though she does not even like the label feminist) but that does not mean I am attacking her person. I am just attacking the ideology by shining the light of the Word of God on it. But still as I said in this article, I do show her a lot of mercy and I let things slide. But there are times I feel I need to take a stand and I do.

    As far as God’s image goes, yes I absolutely stand by what I Corinthians 11:7 states that “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”. But I also stand by what Galatians 3:28 states that “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus”. These are not contradictory statements. God made the male vessel to image him and the female vessel to serve and submit to the male vessel as a picture of the relationship of God to his people. Yet the souls that occupy a male or female vessel have equal worth in God’s eyes. The soul of a woman is not worth less to God than the soul of a man.

    One comparison I have used often is that of a big pickup truck and a minivan. They both have an engine, a transmission and all the same functional parts but they are designed for different purposes. Men and women both have brains, hearts, lungs, kidneys and we both have a common human nature. We are both share in some of the attributes of God in our common human traits. However there are some things about the masculine human nature that are very different than the feminine human nature and it is these differences that man is the reflection of God and woman is not.

    To say this is not to say God loves a woman any less than man. This is the poisoning of western thinking. We are so utterly obsessed with equality that it blinds us to the truth of God’s Word. God does not have to give someone all the same traits or the same role or same rights to love them. You will need to let that sink in. And when anyone tells you God loves you less because he made you for a different purpose and gave you different rights and responsibilities than men you need to run back this truth. Unequal design, roles or rights does not mean unequal love.

  3. Steve,

    The answer is you do all that you can and then leave her in the Lord’s hands. Check out this article I wrote:
    https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2015/10/03/7-ways-to-discipline-your-wife/

    Now you might say “well I did all that and nothing worked”. Some women are that stubborn.

    There are some things like sexual denial or abandonment that you could divorce her for and move on. But short of those kinds of things or her trying to murder you in your sleep you must stay with “the shrew” in question. But don’t let down on the discipline measures. Keep the finances on lock down. You can and should look strategically for some opportunities to show her grace and mercy of course. Maybe you take her to dinner even though she has done nothing to deserve it – that is an act of grace. Maybe occasionally you don’t rebuke her when she says something as an act of mercy. But for the most part you take your stand, plant your feet and you control what you can control.

    If she has her own job and bank account there will be little you can do with the finances. But you can you use your free time which many women crave from their husbands and remove some or most of that from her and do other things. Give her some time as you still need to talk with her and keep the lines of communication open.

    That is my advice.

  4. BGR, after reading this post I realize how truly blessed I am by my husband. Mind you, I knew that before, I really do worry that my feeling for him violates the First Commandment. The list you posted is so very sweet. I wish my husband showed a little more mercy, but I suppose every wife feels that way. Now I am mentally composing a list as to what I should do in 2019 to be a better wife. I think I have the housekeeping duties and the sex (we have sex any time he wants, twice a day, sometimes more) covered, but I definitely need to work on my state of mind and accepting his authority more, vs just obeying him.

  5. Great article bgr and your response to Hope above is gold.

    For me, #8 sticks out as a place I want to work harder as a husband. I want to be a better listener and give my wife more undivided time where she and I are just talking with no distractions. We have lots of opportunities for this where we are one on one to talk, but still I feel I can do more, listen more.

  6. “Laying around” ought to still be productive. I watched a video of a little family who has pretty much a “vegetable” for a son. About the only thing he can do is open and close his eyes, although his brain studies indicate he isn’t so very mentally impaired. So, he spends his severe disability praying and worshipping God, and his mother leads and joins him in that.

    I HATE laying about. I almost never sit and I have to discipline myself to cease the chores and sit to eat or sit to read the Bible. I would knit or sew in church if it wasn’t looked down upon. Even so, being I’ll or disabled doesn’t mean a free pass to sloth. There are plenty of cards to be written, hand crafts to do, books to read, planning to be done, prayers to be said…

    If your wife needs ample down time where you have to pick up her chores, she can contribute in other ways. Pray for creativity.

  7. Thank you for all you do! Your site and writing gives me great hope! Most content (and churches) take the (War on Men) position that Men are the problem without acknowledging that Women are also sinful. I live in daily disrespect supported by my church. I am complete submission to my wife in all things and I am basically a slave Since 2007, I have been the sole provider of my family. For 2 years (2008-2010), my wife literally lived a “retirement” lifestyle since we did not have any kids yet. Yet… When my wife says do, and I do. My wife says I want, and she gets. My wife says I will do, and she will do with or without my approval. If I don’t do, give or approve of her actions/decisions, extreme fighting breaks out. We went to counseling at out our church. After 3 sessions (10+ hours of effort) – the bible was never opened, yet she was being praised for all this great service she was providing to the church (which I never was asked or approved her to do) and was scolded for not listening to my wife’s needs and I need to “love” her more. This is awful! And it’s actually getting worse daily because my current local church is actually supporting her behavior…

    I get through this by reading your blogs, and my confidence in the TRUTH of the Word of God (Ephesians 5:22-5:33, 1 Peter 3:1-7, Colossions 3:18-3:23 and James 1). I also know that our goal in life to get to Revelation 21. In parallel, God has blessed me greatly with relationships and equipped me with skills which have helped me with Great Commission oriented fruits outside of my home.

  8. @Steve, your situation is why I don’t think much of counseling, or I suppose I should explain that it is critically important what type of counselor you go to. A sick counselor equals sick advice. You see that bending over backwards for your wife in sin does not grow her out of that sin, but bolsters her position in it. If you are not already praying, pray and ask the Lord to give you wisdom in this. Wisdom on how to proceed. Wisdom on what to do. Where to be soft and where to be hard. Do you have children yet? They complicate things as a wife can and will use them to keep her crystal castle of insanity.
    You sound displeased with your church, perhaps it is time to look for another that supports husbands as well.

  9. Anm1 – you are spot on! Passionately aligned to your thinking an guidance! I do have kids (3) plus in-laws that go to this church. Hence, ‘leaving’ would be very challenging and complicated. The church itself is a mirror reflection of the church in Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-20). My wife is a passionate advocate for the church and it’s breeding this type of behavior. Also tough to communicate everything that’s going on over a few website posts, but if someone would take the time to see my ‘affliction’ it would help me get justice over this situation. I also pray daily (and have been for over 10 years) for help. However, the fruit have been great (per James 1) for me outside of the home. The skills and closeness to God in finding Zoe life would have never happened without the ‘thorn’ in my side. Unfortuanately ‘social culture” is completely against Men suffering in these situation. This is empirically evident in rise of such groups as Marked Men For Christ where many men come together with extreme domestic pain caused by their sinful wife. What gets me through life daily is prayer, Wiord of God and confident hope on Revelation 21! From this pain I feel solid enough now that I am praying heavily for my wife to change her ways so that we will be at the ‘same place’ when Revelation 21 comes…

  10. @Steve, I’m sorry for your situation. From a woman’s perspective, submission can be really scary. It is hard to give up control and our society and culture definitely do not support men and women living biblically. Can you maybe show her this site and some of the comments from women. Because living in submission to my husband has brought so much joy and peace and yes, freedom, to me. But it is not obvious from the outside. Maybe she could just try it for a few weeks? That way, it doesn’t seem too big and I am sure she will find how wonderful it is to live as God commands and want to continue.

  11. Steve,

    I am glad my site has been a blessing to you. This has been one of the core reasons I made this site back in 2014 to help Christian men that are having to do constant spiritual battle with sin in the lives of their wives. Specifically for men that are suffering as result of the poisonous effects of feminism on the church and marriage.

    Like you I thank God for my trials with my wife. It was my trials with her that inspired the creation of this blog. And yes as Christians God calls us suffer in different types of situations.

    But as one man who has suffered through some tough things with his wife to another let offer some suggestions for change in your strategy in deal with your wife. It sounds to me like you have given up completely trying to discipline her because of two things:

    1. She goes nuts if you don’t give her what she wants.
    2. You church scolds you and does not support you.

    My friend – you cannot let fear of her reactions or your church’s reactions stop you from standing your ground. The scriptures tell us:

    For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
    2 Timothy 1:7

    Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
    1 Corinthians 16:13 (NASB)

    You may not be able to get your wife to submit to you even after using various forms of discipline, but you certainly should NEVER EVER submit to her. You are breaking the image of God in doing this. Did God surrender to his wife Israel when she was rebelling against him and would not listen? Did he stop disciplining her simply because she threw a fit? No.

    Brother you must stand your ground – even if you stand alone because your wife will not submit. I say this in brotherly love to you.

    You may think you are just suffering for God, but what you have done is to surrender to your wife’s sin. God does not give you that option.

    The suffering God calls you to endure is different than what you are doing now. The suffering he calls you to endure is the “extreme fighting breaks out” and also your church not approving. Brother trust me – I love my Pastor and our church but I have told him straight up, respectfully of course, when I disagree with his counsel. He is not a raging feminist, but he is soft on some issues and he and I conduct our marriages differently. You cannot be afraid to stand against false things your church teaches, or things your wife does.

    You may not be able to stop her from doing some thing but brother you have many tools to bring God’s discipline into her life and you are not exercising those tools. You are the sole breadwinner so you have the tool of removing her financing! Yes supply her with her needs, but not her wants.

    And don’t worry about counseling – while I have seen some rare exceptions where it helps – in most cases 90% Christian marriage counseling involves the woman telling on her husband for things she does not like and getting another man to scold him and make him agree. Again there may be 10% where there are some very real issues with a man (like true abuse, or substance and addiction issues) but these are the rarities.

    Take a stand brother, do what the Scriptures say and “stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong”.

  12. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Very much appreciate the encouragement and time you spent to write this! Yes! I need to step up more and be more confident in Jesus with my wife and members of this church.

    Your comment-> “in most cases 90% Christian marriage counseling involves the woman telling on her husband for things she does not like and getting another man to scold him and make him agree.” is so true! We had a 2 on 2 scenario (Man/Women counseling us together). Key themes over 3 sessions (10hrs) of invested discussion was 1) I needed to ‘Love’ my Wife better, 2) My Wife needed to have to opportunity to do more and was being praised for the work (by the women counselor) she was volunteering/owning for the church, 3) the secular assessment tool used said I was too aggressive w/ my communication style, and 4) I need to support more of my wife’s ‘Hospitality’ initiatives (which are actually per bible ‘Fellowship’ activities) . We never -> 1) Opened the Bible, 2) Looked empirically and respected my efforts contributing how my family survived (e.g. I was only income producer since 2007 – our kids came in 2011), 3) Showed pictures of inside of our house (which is in complete on-going disaster, and has been since we got married ) Note: I do 4-6 hours of housework every Saturday after working all week to make sure basics are done. and 4) How we have not tithed all year because the finances that my wife owns (and will not let me help her with, and fight me heavily when I try to get aligned) is a mess. Hence, in words of Carrie Underwood, I have let “Jesus take the Wheel” over this. Everyone up until now told me I just need to “Love my wife better”.

    I firmly believe the only way my wife will change is for her ‘Heart’ to change. The only way for her “Heart” to change is for the ‘Culture’ around her to change to be gospel-centric. Words or content will not change her given her pride Over past 10 years, I have had libraries of books thrown at me along with much prayer. Hence, for the sake of my eternal existence and be the steward of God’s Kingdom as defined in Genesis 1-2, I am doing everything possible to change our church’s culture so my wife’s heart can change, my kids do not acquire all these bad ‘inward’ habits and we can be at the same place come Revelation 21.

    Thank you again for all you do! Your response has been the best words of encouragement I have seen over the past 5 years!

  13. Steve,

    Your Statement:

    “How we have not tithed all year because the finances that my wife owns (and will not let me help her with, and fight me heavily when I try to get aligned) is a mess.”

    Do you realize how easily you could solve this problem with your finances? You can do one of two things. Change the pass code on your online banking or get another bank account and have your checks deposited there. Do not put your wife’s name on the second account. I had to do this with my first wife, and one time I had to lock my second wife out of our bank account to teach her a lesson.

    I have told her if she goes around me she will have zero access to the finances. And while she does not go around me she still complains a lot about things she cannot get, but that is another issue.

    Are you willing to lock her out or change accounts? If not why are you not willing to take step? What are you afraid of? You cannot live in fear brother.

    You said:

    “I firmly believe the only way my wife will change is for her ‘Heart’ to change. The only way for her “Heart” to change is for the ‘Culture’ around her to change to be gospel-centric.”

    Brother please listen to me. This is wrong thinking on your part. Yes the Holy Spirit is the one changes hearts, but you know what – God uses human agents in conjunction with the Holy Spirit. Think of if parents stood back and did this with their children? They just raise their hands up and do nothing. You cannot do that. With all due respect, what you are doing now is a dereliction of duty. You are not taking any discipline measures toward your wife.

    Yes if you take away control of the money from her she may have a fit. She may send church leaders at you. Let her! You are doing what is right before God. She may even threaten to divorce you. Let her! There is an article I wrote a couple years ago that I want you to read. It really applies to your situation.

    https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2016/02/27/should-a-man-risk-divorce-to-confront-his-wifes-rebellion/

    But please let me know what you are willing to do with your bank. You may not be able to control your wife’s heart, but you can certainly control your bank account! God wants you to do what is in your power to do to influence your wife to yield to the Spirit of God.

  14. @Steve, use your kids as a strength finder. Let me explain what I mean by this. Day in and day out they are seeing it “done wrong”. This is going to affect them. You will see 20-30 years down the road that they are paying the price in their marriages because of the issues in yours.
    I’m not trying to be hard on you, so don’t be discouraged. Your idea of fixing the church culture to fix her culture is backwards. That is not how God made things to be. Looking at the qualifications for a pastor, one can see that God says that he must rule his own family well. I know this isn’t a pastor situation, but the concept stands, you can’t expect the church to do what God tells you do specifically do. It is not their responsibility, it is your responsibility. They do not have the authority, you have the authority. I get where you are coming from in saying this however. The reason you feel that she will not change is not because you can’t facilitate change in her, it is because she does not respect her husband properly. If you work on change that puts you in a new light where as a husband, you expect respect, then you may be surprised that your ability to facilitate change in her will improve.
    I don’t know what kind of leverage you have with her, but it begins with your cooperation in “the wrong way” ending. That means you stop going along with her plans that you do not agree with. It is much harder for a husband to discipline his wife if she is working and has her own money and resources. I don’t know if this is your situation, but this is one of those reasons why I think a working wife is less ideal if it can be done another way. Either way, none of that means that you have to cooperate with your money, your time, your actions in things you do not agree with. Yes, there will be sparks, and yes, it may get ugly, and yes, she may use the kids as pawns. I hope not.
    Alice’s comment about submission being scary can be a valid issue to overcome. In that case explaining to your wife that you want a biblical marriage and that even if she disagrees, she should give it a try. On the other hand, there are wives who just plain have their ideas about things (and are rebellious) and they do not care what the bible or anyone else says. Where is your wife with the Lord spiritually?

  15. Will do brother! I’m on it! Full agree with all your points! You are the only one I have heard in years who is telling me to “Be Strong” and fight back against the “Gates of Hell”. Thank you!

    However, I do believe we need to change our church culture (or force the family) to be in a church culture that is “gospel-centric” which will give me more tailwinds as I take these actions. Our church is fueling these behaviors, and the beat down on me. Your words are very encouraging to stand up to this!!!

    You are a blessing!

  16. @Steve, be ready for battle. Start with prayer. The next time the church leaders try to bring it down on your, get our your bible and show them the Word of God! Tell them their argument is not with you, but with God and send them on their way.

  17. And bgr is completely right, the finances and tithing issue might be one place the church actually supports you. Be sure to point out that it is her mishandling of the budget that is causing the problem. Your attitude should be, “I will have it no longer”. The problem is getting fixed now. This is the perfect issue to start the road with, but like I said, be ready for battle.

  18. All – just to clarify, my wife does not work and has not produced significant income since 2007. (outside of selling clothes at consignment, etc.)

    Passionately agree with all points made! Thank you!

  19. @Steve, so wait, you are working full time, she is not, and you are doing house work for 5 hours each week? You will come to find that her not working will be a huge help to you in the tasks you have before you.

    The tithe issue can be the perfect issue to kick start getting on the right track…

  20. So you ask what are my goals or areas of improvement for 2019. I expect 2019 to continue to be a test of my faith and steadfastness. I have been trying daily, relying on the grace of God, to take up my cross and die to self in no small part to bear the consequences of my wife’s sins against me. I find comfort in the thought that I am sharing in the suffering of Christ in some small part. I do know what it feels like to be rejected and despised, to be an outcast and a man of sorrows. As a deposed pastor I am a reproach and pariah to former colleagues and friends. As a husband I have been rejected as a man, as a head and as a companion.

    The loss of ministry has been a train wreck for the sheep I once cared for and prayed over. Just this last week I was notified of a man I once pastored for a short time, he had died leaving behind 13 children and a wife. If I read between the lines correctly, I suspect he took his own life. I wept, not for those he left behind, but because I was unable to minister to him the hope that is found in the surrender to Christ. He was a kind man that once showed compassion toward me, when few others would. I still speak with a brother serving time in prison, the only one of my former congregation that I speak with. And another, a man of faith, a father who was abandoned by his wife for another man. I knew her from her teens, the daughter of a church elder. I still can’t get my head around it. I was unable to help, because I was disqualified in large part due to my wife’s rebellion. I feel helpless and a grevious sense of failure. Yet in all these sorrows, I know this to be unshakabley true, that Christ is faithful.

    That is my goal, no matter what 2019 brings, no matter how much my wife attempts to make me suffer at her scorn and contempt, I will be faithful to love her even as Christ loves sinners. I know that the testing of faith is more precious than gold, so I am blessed with some wealth that thevies cannot rob, that will not perish. I am not my own, I have been bought with a price. If my Lord can be glorified in my suffering and faithfulness, then so be it. My life is buried with Christ, I can do all things through Him while He works in me. I will love my wife like Christ loves the church even if it costs me my life, it cost Christ His after all. I am prepared to be called “whipped” and a “loser” “less than a real man” by others who think I should divorce for the sake of peace. One thing about being alone, one becomes jaundiced to the words of worldly wisemen, free from the clutter of social acceptance the focus on Christ becomes sharper.

    I anticipate that the current trial will intensify in the first half of the year, so I need to exercise my gratitude muscle now, giving thanks for wife in every way I can truly conceive and prepare, gird my loins, so that my volition to love is not eclipsed by passions or pride. I seek to care for and bless my wife, while not rewarding or approving of her ill behavior. To that end I pray earnestly for wisdom and self control. I desperately need to be slow to speak, speaking the truth in love, never excusing always leading toward grace. Then even in the face of agony, I still need to disciple my children. For that, the goal is to not grow weary in well doing; to push through interference and spiritually function in the midst of dysfunction.

    In short, to be a better husband, I need to take the blows, to be stricken and afflicted and then, still keep loving my wife; to be humbled by the loss of my old life with its hope and aspirations and rise from the ashes and be a better son of God, a little humbler and satisfied in Christ alone. I know it sounds sanctimonious, but right now it’s all I got and it is enough because He is enough.

  21. Jonadab,

    Your Statement:

    “I am prepared to be called “whipped” and a “loser” “less than a real man” by others who think I should divorce for the sake of peace.”

    Well brother I would not be one of those persons. I would call you a man who is living by what he believes God and his Word is telling him to do. We have discussed your situation before and I know you are not whipped. You have stood your ground and put disciplinary measures in place and are waiting on your wife to submit her hard heart to the Holy Spirit. I will pray for continued strength for you in 2019.

  22. @Anm1, yep, that’s correct. Our household has a ‘culture’ of that (me work full time M-F, then Sat 4-6 hours cleaning house plus another kid ‘assignments’ per my wife’s ‘Will’). Our ‘culture’ around us (church, society) continues to support our current family ‘culture’. It’s awful on paper, but God works in amazing ways. Through James 1 I have gain some great people management and relationships skill that are highly valued in the marketplace. I know God sees this situations and He is truly is helping me outside of it. God works all things for His good!

  23. @Steve, I’ve been praying for you brother and will continue to. I love your faith and agree wholeheartedly – God is awesome and He delivers unlike people who will fail you. I would expect everything to be thrown at you so be ready. The key is that you have to be able to withstand it. Read the article that bgr links above, it is very likely she’ll throw threats of divorce and possibly divorce at you to dissuade you. The key is a decision in your heart to say, the way things are not are not right and we need to move to aligning ourselves with what God says is right. You could say to her that you understand that that might be scary, but that it is the direction you are going to go and that she should give it a chance because she has no idea how much better things could be. If the worse comes, if she rebels and refuses, if she decides that divorce is a better option, I would still count myself better off with my kid(s) 50% of the time seeing a Godly home modeled with a possible new wife that respects God than one that does not. You have to make that decision for yourself, no one can make that for you. Others can pray for you and support you, but this is your life and family. I want to please God first and humans second. Whether to go full on change all at once or incremental is something maybe others can comment on. Again, I do think the tithe issue is one that is ripe for some husband authority to be exerted.

  24. @Jonadab, To you first I say Romans 14:23 (you must do what you have faith in) and 14:4 (it is not my place to judge the Lord’s servant).
    For me personally, I would ask myself, am I being fruitful in the way I am trying to bring my wife into holiness? What can I change that may accomplish what the Lord wishes?

  25. @Steve, I know it is not my place to teach a man anything (well, maybe some cooking skills) so please do no think I am doing that. I am only trying to give you a woman’s perspective. I honestly believe that your wife will be much happier once she embraces her true role. I also agree with Anm1 that she will likely threaten you with divorce. As a woman, I know the firmer my husband is in his role, the stricter he is with me, the safer I feel submitting to him. I think women sometimes unknowingly test our husbands. We don’t mean to, but it is very comforting to know they will lead, no matter what, and that they are unmoveable, even if we full out rebel. I don’t do that, but I certainly used to, although I didn’t really realize what I was doing. God bless you and your family.

  26. @Steve – I am praying for you also brother and I agree with BGR that you need to take the control of the finances away from your wife. Share Ephesians 5:22-33 with her and explain that God has called you to be the head of your wife and to lead your family. Explain that God commands the wife to submit to the husband and NOT the other way around. Confess your failures in these areas as sin and ask for her forgiveness. Tell her that it’s going to be different going forward and the first step in this is for you to take over the finances. If she brings up the church leaders tell her that you are going to obey Gods word, not men.

    Let her throw whatever fit she wants but do not let her make you angry or show any emotion because if she can get you to show anger or emotion, she knows that she still controls you and it keeps her from being able to respect you. One of the biggest hurdles that you have is to regain her respect for you as a man and that starts with NEVER SUBMITTING TO HER IN ANYTHING and always being calm and never letting her drive you to an emotional response.

    Then do what is right and always make decisions that are in her best interest. Sometimes (often) this is just the opposite of what will make her happy. God never instructs a husband to make his wife happy, he tells us to work to make our wives holy. Follow Gods instructions for you as a husband, pray without ceasing and leave the rest to Him.

    As stated above, she might divorce you but it is more important for you to obey God and leave the outcome to Him. “Stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong”.

  27. I’m three months late with a comment, but I just joined recently. I loved reading every word of this article and read it three times .My heart softened and I actually felt like I would feel safe and secure in a Biblical marriage as described and supported here with scripture. You sound like such a truly Godly and loving husband!

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