Should Husbands Invite Their Wives to Criticize Them?

Should a husband invite “critical feedback” from his wife as to how she would rate him as a man, a husband and a father? Specifically, should he invite her to point out areas where she thinks he may be going wrong as a man, a husband and a father and where he needs to improve?

This is what Brian Sauvé, Pastor of Refuge Church in Ogden, Utah recommends that husbands do with their wives.

Let me first say before I continue that like me, Brian Sauvé is a big proponent of Biblical Patriarchy.   And I agree with many things he writes.

In a Twitter post on January 2, 2023 Sauvé wrote the following:

“Men, your wife should have your explicit permission to give you critical feedback in private.

One of the most important aspects of successfully wielding authority is to make it easy to learn where you could improve.

A wise, respectful wife is a gift – don’t squander her help.”

Sauvé then went on to clarify these comments in one of his podcasts.  He compared wives being able to offer critical feedback to their husbands to church members being able to bring criticisms they have of elders and military officers bringing criticisms to their superior officers.

He also said that Pastors or elders of the church were like “referees” over the marriages in their churches and were there to call “call balls and strikes” between husbands and wives when they had marital issues and disagreements.

Sauvé qualified his recommendation that a wife should give “critical feedback” to their husband in private and in a respectful manner.

Should Men Invite Critical Feedback from Their Wives?

The Bible does not say in Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a wife sharpeneth the countenance of her husband.” It says men sharpen men.  And women are sharpened by fathers, husbands and other godly women.  Women are not called to shape and sharpen their husbands.

In his podcast on this subject, Sauvé gave examples of the ability of church members to be able to bring criticisms against elders and subordinate military officers to bring criticisms against their superior officers.   But marriage is a completely different kind of hierarchical relationship than those relationships he cites.

1 Peter 3:1-2 is crystal clear on how a wife should handle it when she feels her husband is being disobedient to God’s Word whether in their marriage or in other parts of his life.  She is to win him with her subjection and her pure behavior, not her “critical feedback”.

His suggestion in his podcast that if wives feel their husbands are not open to their “critical feedback” that they should bring it to their pastor to speak to the husband also violates 1 Peter 3:1-2.  The only thing wives should bring to their pastors is serious physical abuse.

The Scriptures never appoint Pastors or elders of the church as “referees” over the marriages in their churches to do as Sauvé says and “call balls and strikes”.  Only if it is a matter of gross sin (physical abuse or molestation of children) should a pastor step in and intercede in a marriage.

Should Christian men regularly meet with other godly men and share in their marriage issues and hear “critical feedback” from other men? Absolutely! We as men need that.   It helps us to be better husbands, fathers and men.

Am I saying women can’t give advice to their husbands?

Of course not.  Proverbs 31:26 says “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness”.  We as men should welcome advice from our wives.  But advice is very different than correction.

Especially as it relates to the day-to-day issues with our children or the domestic affairs of the home, we as husbands should welcome advice from our wives.  We should welcome suggestions from our wives.

But the fact remains that 1 Peter 3:1-2 leaves absolutely no room for a wife to verbally correct her husband.  It does not say “criticize him sparingly” or “criticize him respectfully in private”.  A wife wins her husband with her actions, not her words.  This is the teaching of the Bible.

2 thoughts on “Should Husbands Invite Their Wives to Criticize Them?

  1. I Peter 3 is talking about unsaved husbands, not Christian ones. And it doesn’t say that women may never in any circumstances verbally correct their husbands, just that husbands can be “won without a word”.

  2. Joanna,

    1 Peter 3 is speaking about ALL husbands, both the saved and the unsaved. The proof is verses 5 & 6:

    “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 key phrase is “For after this manner” – what manner is he speaking to? What he just said in verses 1-4. And was Sarah’s husband Abraham a believer or unbeliever? We know he was a believer and man of great faith in God.

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