Should a Christian husband make his wife submit?

Is a wife’s submission to her husband voluntary? Does God want or allow a husband to compel his wife to submit to his leadership through various disciplinary practices? Does a husband’s headship over his wife come with enforcement powers?

There has been a debate in recent decades amongst those who believe in male headship about whether a husband has any ability to compel his wife to submit to his headship. The topic of “voluntary submission” is often raised in these discussions.

Does the Bible show that a wife’s submission to her husband is voluntary?

Carm.org (Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry) has a post that is a good example of this disagreement. CARM definitely believes in and advocates for male headship in marriage and they strongly encourage women to submit to their husbands as seen here:

“Women are not commanded to submit to their husband’s because God insures that men will be just or loving. When a woman submits unto her husband, she is actually submitting unto God (Ephesians 5:22). A woman, therefore, does not submit because her husband deserves it in his own merit. She submits because she knows it is pleasing to her Lord. There will be times when a woman needs to submit and her husband does not deserve it from a human perspective. But by divine right, God set the man as leader, and a woman can trust that God is good. She can also know that nothing escapes God’s notice, and a wicked man will be held accountable for his actions.”

https://carm.org/apologetics/womens-issues/what-does-it-mean-wife-submit-her-husband

But in this same article and another article on the topic of submission CARM takes the position that this submission by a wife is voluntary and cannot be compelled by her husband:

“The Greek word for submission is hupotasso, “to subordinate . . . put under . . . ” God exhorts women to voluntarily follow their husband’s leadership (Ephesians 5:22, 1 Peter 3:1). A woman is actively doing this–choosing to put herself under leadership, choosing to be subordinate in a circumstance or relationship. This is not forced upon her by the recipient.”

https://carm.org/apologetics/womens-issues/what-does-it-mean-wife-submit-her-husband

“First, submission is actually a voluntary action by the wife. Wives are commanded by the Lord to submit to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22, 1 Peter 3:1). This is a commandment from the Lord. However, there is nowhere in Scripture in which husbands command their wives to submit. A wife chooses to follow her husband’s leadership. Slaves, on the other hand, choose nothing. Their decisions are chosen by their master. When a woman submits to her husband, she is actually submitting to the Lord. It is an act of worship and love for her Savior, not as one of a weakened slave.”

https://carm.org/apologetics/womens-issues/wifes-submission-her-husband-slavery

Before we continue on here let me say where I agree with CARM on the issue of a wife’s submission to her husband. I agree with them that a wife submits to her husband, not because he necessarily has earned or deserves her respect, but because she respects the leadership position God has given him over her. I also agree that Biblical submission does not mean a woman is treated like a slave where she can say nothing and has no opinions about anything. A wife Biblically speaking is not a doormat.

But where I and other advocates of Biblical headship disagree with CARM (and others in their camp) is about the enforcement and disciplinary powers of a husband over his wife. CARM maintains that a husband has no power to compel his wife’s submission and that if his wife will not submit to his leadership a husband is powerless to act against his wife’s rebellion.

But before we can proceed we need to understand what the Greek word hupotasso means as it is used in the original language of the New Testament.

What does hupotasso mean?

The Greek word hupotasso is translated as “submit”, “subject”, “subjection” and “obedient” in our English translations of the Bible.

This is the definition of hupotasso according to Thayer’s and Smith’s Bible Dictionary:

“to arrange under, to subordinate

to subject, put in subjection

to subject one’s self, obey

to submit to one’s control

to yield to one’s admonition or advice

to obey, be subject

A Greek military term meaning “to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader”. In non-military use, it was “a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden”.”

So there are two uses of the hupotasso, one had the idea of military commands like dividing units under leaders and the other is a more voluntary or cooperative type of submission.

Hupotasso, not unlike many words changes its meaning based on the context in which it is used. CARM has chosen to take the second meaning of hupotasso in regard to a wife’s submission. But we need to look at the Scriptures to see if their application of the second meaning of hupotasso to submission in marriage is correct.

Paul’s letter to the Ephesians actually illustrates both uses of the Greek word hupotasso

First it is important to remember that the chapter and verse divisions of the Bible were added many centuries after the Bible was completed (Stephen Langton divided the Bible into chapters in the year A.D. 1227 and Robert Stephanus divided the chapters into verses in A.D. 1551). So the chapter and verse divisions are not given to us by divine inspiration and sometimes they actually cause confusion in understanding the meaning of many passages of the Bible.

In Ephesians chapter 4 Paul is speaking on the unity of the Church as well as the different gifts and offices God gives in the Church:

“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ…

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:” – Ephesians 4:4-7 & 11-13 (KJV)

Paul continues his discussion on the unity of the Church and the proper behavior of believers in the body through Ephesians chapter 5 verse 21:

“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” – Ephesians 5:19-21 (KJV)

Then in verse 22 of Ephesians Paul goes from his discussion of believers and their relationship to one another in the body of Christ to the family. Paul’s discussion on the Christian home begins in verse 22 of chapter 5 and does not end until Ephesians 6:4. So here is Paul’s jump from speaking on Church relationships to speaking on family relationships in context:

“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 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. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 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.

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

For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” – Ephesians 5:19-33 & 6:1-4 (KJV)

So now let’s go back and revisit Paul’s use of the word hupotasso in Ephesians 5:21-24:

“21 Submitting [hupotasso] yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

22 Wives, submit [hupotasso] yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 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. Therefore as the church is subject [hupotasso] unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

Many who reject the concept of male headship in marriage attempt to soften Paul’s command to wives to submit with verse 21 that precedes his call to wives to submit to their husbands in verse 22. They teach a false doctrine of mutual submission and partnership in marriage.

I agree 100% that verse 21 of Ephesians chapter 5 is talking about mutual submission amongst believers within the assembly because of the context of the previous verses in which hupotasso is used.

But in the context of marriage hupotasso is not used in the “voluntary, cooperative” sense of the word, but rather it is used in the context of the military use of the term in which family members are given their various roles and responsibilities.

Wives are commanded to hupotasso their husbands because their husband is their head(leader) in the same way that Christ is the head(leader) of the Church. Wives are to hupotasso to their husbands in “every thing”.

Children are later told to obey both their mother and father in Ephesians 6:1.

“submit and obey” – a distinction without a difference

Ephesians 6:1 uses a different word than hupotasso, instead it uses the word “hupakouo”.

“Children, obey [hupakouo] your parents in the Lord: for this is right.” – Ephesians 6:1 (KJV)

This is the definition of hupakouo according to Thayer’s and Smith’s Bible Dictionary:

“to listen, to harken

of one who on the knock at the door comes to listen who it is, (the duty of a porter)

to harken to a command

to obey, be obedient to, submit to”

Some have tried to seize on the use of this word to show that women don’t have to “obey their husbands”, but rather “submit to their husbands”. What they say is “obedience is mandatory, while submission is voluntary”.   But in the Apostle Peter’s first letter he writes:

“For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection[hupotasso] unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed [hupakouo] Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.” – I Peter 3:5-6 (KJV)

The Apostle Peter’s uses hupotasso and hupakouo interchangeably when speaking to the relationship of a wife to her husband. This tells us that those who try and say a wife is to submit to her husband, but not obey her husband are truly guilty of making “a distinction without a difference”.

Even in the case of a master and servant relationship hupotasso and hupakouo are used interchangeably in the Scriptures and no one would argue that slaves had no choice in obeying their masters.

“Exhort servants to be obedient [hupotasso] unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again;” – Titus 2:9 (KJV)

“Servants, obey [hupakouo] in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God;” – Colossians 3:22 (KJV)

Just as a side note – Marriage is also pictured in Scripture as a type of Master/servant relationship – see my post “Is Marriage a Master/Servant relationship?”

In the context of Biblical authority structures whether they be kings, governors, church leaders, masters and yes even with husbands and parents the Bible interchangeably uses hupakouo and hupotasso – there is no difference. In the context of authority and subordinate relationships hupotasso ALWAYS means “mandatory submission” which is also synonymous with obedience.

Now that we have established that within the context of marriage submission by a wife to her husband is just as mandatory as obedience is from children to parents we will look at a husband’s role in regard to his wife’s submission.

So should a husband compel his wife to submit to his authority?

CARM says “there is nowhere in Scripture in which husbands command their wives to submit”. Really? While there are no passages in Scripture where a husband commands his wife saying “submit” there are passages in Scripture where a husband compels his wife’s obedience.

“Only acknowledge your guilt—

you have rebelled against the Lord your God,

you have scattered your favors to foreign gods

under every spreading tree,

and have not obeyed me,’”

declares the Lord.

“Return, faithless people,” declares the Lord, “for I am your husband. I will choose you—one from a town and two from a clan—and bring you to Zion“ – Jeremiah 3:13-14 (NIV)

Throughout most of the Old Testament prophesies God is pictured as the husband and Israel as his wife. God compels his disobedient and unfaithful wife to come back to him and turn to obedience to him.

So it seems in Scripture we have an example of a husband commanding his rebellious wife to return to him and obey him and whose is our example husband as Christian men? Is it not God himself?

In a followup post to this “7 Ways to Discipline your wife” we will discuss more Bible passages that prove that a husband can and should discipline his wife. In that post we will also discuss some practical ways that a husband can and should discipline his wife.

Conclusion

A Christian wife’s submission to her husband is not voluntary, it is mandatory and synonymous with obedience. A Christian husband has not only the power to discipline his wife, but he has a duty to do this.

The Black Hole of Babydom

“It makes me sad to lose my friends and watch them throw away their promising careers and lives to enter the black hole of babydom” – my wife found this quote from a woman who wrote into an advice column that is featured in our local newspaper.

This advice column is written by a nationally syndicated columnist named Judith Martin a.k.a. “Miss Manners”.  Each week people write in asking her what is the correct way to handle different social situations.

This week a woman whom Miss Manners titled as a “Hater of baby showers” wrote  this to her about why she hated that her friends were having so many babies and baby showers:

I am also alarmed at the shocking number of otherwise intelligent people who, despite this being the First World with various forms of birth control widely available, still have unplanned pregnancies and make no secret of this fact...

For these reasons and others, I am generally not thrilled when my friends become pregnant. I love my friends, but once they have kids, they fall off the face of the earth. It makes me sad to lose my friends and watch them throw away their promising careers and lives to enter the black hole of babydom (which, despite common arguments to the contrary, almost all do).…”

You can read the full letter from this woman and Miss Manner’s advice to her here.

This letter is a pure and unabashed display of just how ugly modern feminism has become.

It is a direct contradiction to what God says about children.

“Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” – Psalm 127:3 (KJV)

“He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.” – Psalm 113:9 (KJV)

While there has always been all kinds of wickedness in the world, never have we seen on such a wide scale the complete visceral hatred of motherhood as we do today.

God never intended for women to find their greatest fulfillment in a career, but rather he designed them to desire and be fulfilled in making and molding human lives.

Photo Source: Jason Ippolito  https://www.flickr.com/photos/jasonippolito/3686987657
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The Heresy of Skip Moen and his book Guardian Angel

Skip Moen is pretty close to what I would call a “Christian feminist cult leader”. He certainly is not the only major teacher of Christian Feminism, but he definitely has his unique brand of it. Skip Moen might be a loving husband and loving father to his children. I don’t know him personally but I don’t have to know him personally to show that his teachings are not just minor differences of interpretation but they are the very definition of heresy.

So what is this heresy that Skip Moen teaches?

I am not the first Christian to take on Skip Moen’s heresy and I hope I won’t be the last. But one of the best critical reviews of Skip Moen’s work is by Daniel Botkin and he gives a great synopsis of Skip Moen’s false teachings when he writes:

“According to Moen, the wife’s God-ordained role in the marriage, both before and after the Fall, is to be the following things to her husband: his priest and spiritual guide, his spiritual director, his boundary-setter, his confronter and corrector, his chastiser, his protector and guardian, his rescuer, his owner and manager, his shield, his sustainer, his nourisher”

http://restoredcov.org/resources/articles/guardianangel/

Skip Moen in his response to Daniel Botkin’s critical review confirms that Botkin correctly captured the essence of his teaching so we can be assured this is an accurate representation of Skip Moen’s beliefs:

“According to Botkin, “All of Moen’s descriptions of the woman’s role as the husband’s priest and spiritual guide, provider, protector, etc., etc. are derived from his misunderstanding of the ‘ezer kenegdo.” What does Botkin offer in place of my analysis?”

http://skipmoen.com/2014/02/01/a-response-to-daniel-botkins-criticism-of-guardian-angel/

So the heresy of Skip Moen is that he teaches a complete role reversal for men and women than what the Scriptures teach. His entire doctrinal position rests on one passage of Scripture:

“And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” – Genesis 2:18 (KJV)

The English phrase “help meet” is a translation of two Hebrew Words “ezer kenegdo”.   I previously wrote an entire post on this entitled “What did God mean when he called woman a help meet for man?” where I dive into the meaning “ezer kenegdo” and I showed that this Hebrew phrase literally means “a helper who is man’s opposite”.  Check out my post for more on “ezer kenegdo” as well as Daniel Botkin’s excellent rebuttal on the meaning of this Hebrew phrase at http://restoredcov.org/resources/articles/guardianangel/

How Skip Moen wrongly interprets Scripture

The Bible tells us that we need to rightly divide, or discern the Word of God, otherwise we may run the danger of teaching heresy.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” – II Timothy 2:15 (KJV)

I love word studies in the Bible. I love studying the Hebrew and Greek languages which are the languages the Bible was originally written in. I love studying the cultural backgrounds of the Scriptures. I love the Old Testament and I think it is just as important as the New.  But there is a point where we can take a word by itself and get caught up in what we think it means to the point where we ignore the context of how it used in Scripture.

So here is Skip Moen’s error. He takes what he believes “help meet” or “ezer kenegdo” means and then instead of letting the Scriptures themselves define what God meant by “help meet” he defines it himself.   He then takes his warped definition and attempts to twist the entirety of Scripture to fit what he thinks it means.

God defines what “help meet” means for us in the Scriptures

Skip Moen makes the mistake of not realizing that God interprets his own Word. You don’t need a Hebrew lexicon or a degree in Bible doctrine to see that God clearly defines what he meant by calling woman a “help meet” for man.

A help meet is one that realizes she was made to serve her husband, rather than him being made to serve her

“Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.” – I Corinthians 11:9 (KJV)

This first principle is where all the preceding commands regarding help meets come from. If a woman rejects this principle, then it is more than likely she will reject many other Biblical commands regarding God’s will and design of woman as a help meet to man.

A help meet is one who regards her husband as her lord and master

“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands… 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: 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.” – I Peter 3: 1 & 5-6 (KJV)

Because women were made for men as their help meets, they are to regard their husbands as their lords and masters. Sarah, a godly wife, modeled this by calling her husband her lord.

A help meet is one who submits to her husband as the Church submits to Christ

“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.” – Ephesians 5:23-24 (KJV)

A woman who wants to be the help meet God intended her to be recognizes that God wants her to model her relationship after the relationship of Christ and his Church(with her representing the Church, and her husband representing Christ).

A help meet is one who freely submits not only her will, but also her body to her husband for his pleasure

“Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.” – I Corinthians 7:3-4 (KJV)

“Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.” – Proverbs 5:19 (KJV)

A woman when reflecting on the first principle that God made her for her husband – will freely give her body to her husband for his pleasure and comfort.

A help meet keeps herself beautiful for her husband in the same way the Church adorns herself for Christ

“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” – Revelation 21:2 (KJV)

A woman’s beauty is symbolic of the beauty of the Church. In the same way that the Church adorns herself for her husband, so too Christian wives ought to adorn themselves for their husbands.

A help meet keeps her husband’s home and bears his children

“That they may teach the young women… To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” – Titus 2:4-5 (KJV)

“I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” – I Timothy 5:14 (KJV)

“She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” – Proverbs 31:27 (KJV)

Two of her primary duties as a help meet to man is for a woman to bear children and manage the domestic affairs of the home.

A help meet will not bring shame to her husband

“A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.” – Proverbs 12:4 (KJV).

When a woman speaks disrespectfully to her husband or acts in ways that make her husband ashamed it is as rottenness in his bones. Instead a woman that praises her husband and respects her husband is his crown.

A help meet will not constantly contend or be angry with her husband

“It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.” – Proverbs 21:19

When a woman is contentious and is constantly arguing with her husband and bucking his every decision or holding grudges against him and being angry with him this is the opposite of God’s intent for her as his help meet. A woman who is surrendered to the Spirit of God and his design for her as a help meet will not be a nag to her husband.

A help meet is one who has a meek and quiet spirit toward her husband

“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands… Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” – I Peter 1 & 3-4 (KJV)

While a help meet should keep herself beautiful for her husband, her greatest beauty is that of her inner self, her meek and quiet spirit toward her husband.

A help meet is one who is affectionate toward her husband

“That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands…” – Titus 2:4(KJV)

A woman in her role as a help meet to her husband will not only submit to and obey him, but she will also be affectionate towards him.

A help meet is one who has her husband’s trust

“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” – Proverbs 31:10-12 (KJV)

A godly wife, a wife who is fulfilling her duty as a help meet to her husband will always have his back. He can trust that she will never betray him. A wife in her duty as a help meet should be her husband’s greatest cheerleader.

A help meet is one who offers her husband godly counsel

“Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” – Proverbs 14:1 (KJV)

She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” – Proverbs 31:26 (KJV)

“As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.” – Proverbs 11:22 (KJV)

A wife who is exercising her role as the help meet God intended her to be will speak wise and godly counsel to her husband, but she we also practice discretion in knowing when to speak and when to hold her tongue.

A help meet is one who listens to her husband’s Godly counsel

“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.” – I Corinthians 14:35 (KJV)

While women should learn from their Pastors and other godly women as well, the first person they should look to for spiritual guidance is their husband if he is a believer. A woman who is constantly going behind her husband’s back seeking counsel that will contradict her husband’s spiritual teaching is going against God’s design for her as a help meet to her husband.

A help meet is one who submits to and receives her husband’s chastisement and correction

“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.” – Job 2:10 (KJV)

And Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel: and he said, Am I in God’s stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?” – Genesis 30:2 (KJV)

“21 And David said unto Michal, It was before the Lord, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel: therefore will I play before the Lord. 22 And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight: and of the maidservants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honour. 23 Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.” – II Samuel 6:21-23 (KJV)

A women in her role as help meet will humbly accept the rebuke or correction of her husband when he sees sinful behavior in her life.

A help meet is one who looks to her husband for nourishment and protection

“So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:” – Ephesians 5:28-29 (KJV)

While the modern meaning of the English word “cherish” has romantic connotations, the Greek that this word is translated from has the idea of protection. A wife in her role as help meet will depend on her husband and will look to him for nourishment and protection as the Church depends on Christ for its nourishment and protection.

Conclusion

As we can see from God’s Word – Skip Moen’s teaching that “the wife’s God-ordained role in the marriage, both before and after the Fall, is to be the following things to her husband: his priest and spiritual guide, his spiritual director, his boundary-setter, his confronter and corrector, his chastiser, his protector and guardian, his rescuer, his owner and manager, his shield, his sustainer, his nourisher” is heresy plain and simple.

In fact it would be correct to say that it is the complete OPPOSITE of what God’s Word teaches about the roles of men and women as God designed them to be.

If you read all the Scripture passages I have cited above – this what the truth of God’s Word actually is:

The husband’s God-ordained role in the marriage, both before and after the Fall, is to be the following things to his wife: HER spiritual guide, HER spiritual director, HER boundary-setter, HER confronter and corrector, HER chastiser, HER protector and guardian, HER rescuer, HER owner and manager, HER shield, HER sustainer, HER nourisher

Pray that God will raise up strong men to combat this wickedness that is creeping into our homes. God speaks of men like Skip Moen who are “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

“For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. “ – II Timothy 3:6-7 (KJV)

How many “silly women” have been led astray by Skip Moen’s teachings? The answer is far too many. God gives us our battle plan against such false teachers when he tells us to:

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” – II Timothy 4:2-4 (KJV)

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

Pray that God will raise up a new generation of Godly preachers and husbands who will take back our homes and Churches for God and rid this poisonous Christian feminist teaching from our midst.

Stories of Sexual Denial in Marriage – Episode 3

Our next story of sexual denial comes from a man named Nathan.  He sent in this story about his sexless marriage in response to my post “8 Steps to confronting your wife’s sexual refusal”.

Nathan begins his story by quoting something I said in my post and comparing it to his situation with his wife:

““some women simply are happy not to have sex that often and would prefer that their husbands would be the same, and these see no moral dilemma in simply training their husbands to have less sex.” This is a perfect description of my wife for 40 of the 40 years we have been married.

No sex before marriage and on our wedding night she was too tired and it was too late. During the first 5 years nine months of our marriage I tallied up the time from just 4 events and came up with no sex for 2.5 years! Within a few months of our marriage she was pregnant. She claimed it was an accident but a few years later, after the second pregnancy, I found out she and her meddling, controlling mother planned the entire thing. Her mother did some bragging after the second pregnancy and it got back to me.

As soon as she verified she was pregnant the first time she cut off everything for a little over 9.5 months. She then “allowed” sex once and then nothing for over 4.5 months. The second pregnancy was more of the same but worse. This time as soon as she determined she was pregnant she cut off everything for one week short of 11 months; “allowed” sex once and then nothing for over 6 months. Even when she allowed anything it was never better than 3 times a month.”

What Nathan is describing here is the type of woman that looks at her husband simply as one part in her “master plan”. Many women, whether they are Christian or non-Christian do not see themselves as God designed them to be.  They do not see themselves as a helpmeet to their husband, but rather they see their husband’s as a helpmeet to them.

They have it all planned out – “I am going to get married, have X number of kids, have the house with the picket fence, have my career and my other activities.” The husband, and to some extent the children are simply seen as accessories to this woman’s life. I am willing to bet based on the story, that she learned this from her mother doing the exact same thing with her father.

So it makes sense in this woman’s mind that her husband’s needs and wishes are secondary to hers – since he is just a cog in the machine of a world that resolves around her.

At this point we will have all the apologists for this woman coming out of the wood work. “Maybe he was not romancing her enough, maybe he was not buying her flowers, dating her and getting her in the mood more”.

First and foremost – romance is not a prerequisite of sex in marriage.  Biblically speaking sex is restricted outside of marriage, but REQUIRED within marriage.  It is both a RIGHT and a RESPONSIBILITY with marriage.

“3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” – I Corinthians 7:3-5 (KJV)

I don’t know if this man tried to romance his wife or not, but it sounds like even if he did it would not have changed her view of sex, and even more importantly her role in marriage.  She simply saw him as an accessory to her life – he was the paycheck, the person to do the heavy lifting and a sperm donor to produce offspring to add as other accessories to her perfect life.

Nathan confronts his wife’s lack of interest in sex

“Within a couple of months of our marriage I said something to her about her apparent lack of interest. She put on a great act telling me she didn’t realize sex was that infrequent and then immediately cut things to twice a month. After the first pregnancy I made the mistake of again confronting her with the facts of her lack of interest. Same act as before and this time she cut things to once a month or less.”

As you can see from this story – Nathan’s wife began training him early in their marriage to simply be grateful for whenever she decided to grace him with her body in the act of sex. Any complaint, any grievance on his part would be met with less sex to reinforce this training.

While Nathan can’t go back in time to change this, this is a teachable scenario for many young Christian husbands. What you tolerate at the beginning of your marriage – will set the tone for the rest of your marriage.  Can you change things later on? Maybe. But it will be much more difficult once a pattern of behavior have been established.

What Nathan should have done, and what any young Christian husband in this situation should do is to turn this “training” attempt around. Instead he should make if clear to her that if she continues to refuse him sexually there will be disciplinary consequences.

The Word of God needs be the foundation for every Christian household. Whether it be with his wife or children, a husband and father should always be sitting down and sharing God’s design for the family.  For instance if a child disobeys or disrespects his mother or father, I think it is good and wise for a Father to take his children to the Scriptures to show them God’s commands that exhort children to obedience and respect toward parents.

It is no different with a wife, when a wife acts in rebellious or sinful way her husband has a duty as the head of his wife to rebuke her sin and to show her God’s Word in the hope that she will repent. Job should be the model for every Christian husband in rebuking his wife:

“Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. 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.” – Job 2:9-10 (KJV)

Now there are gentle rebukes and there are more assertive rebukes.  I believe as Christian husband’s we should for the most part start off with gentle rebukes to our wives, in the hope that they will repent. But there are times when a wife’s behavior calls for a more assertive and aggressive rebuke.  A Christian husband needs to listen to the Holy Spirit to know what each situation calls for.

Nathan in this case should have rebuked his wife’s sin in regard to her sexual denial. If his verbal rebukes and Scriptural exhortations did not work then he should have moved on to other disciplinary measures. I have had a lot of Christians ask me if I think there could be a different order to 8 Steps to confronting your wife’s sexual refusal and I think the answer is yes.

For some Christian husbands, they may be lead to move from Step 1(rebuke) down to steps 4-7(removing privileges) and then back to steps 2(counselor) and 3(church).  I see no problem with that approach.

So in this case Nathan could have moved from rebuking his wife’s behavior, and if he saw no change or just rebellion on her part and moved to stopping dates and trips. He could then move to removing any unnecessary household upgrades and also remove her funding. But as he took each of these disciplinary steps with his wife – he needed to make it clear that this was discipline – not some form of revenge. It was action taken to correct sinful behavior in her life.   See “8 Steps to confronting your wife’s sexual refusal” for more detail on this process.

Nathan’s wife’s schedule

“With her this is how things have been for our entire marriage: Sunday through Thursday nights were out because she had to get up for work the next day. Friday night she was just too tired after working all week. Saturday night was out because she had to get up early for Church on Sunday morning, Sunday afternoon was out because she had to study for whatever she volunteered to teach Sunday night or whatever she needed to have ready for work on Monday morning. Saturday morning before 9:00am it was too early: after 9:30 am it was too late.

Almost as regular as clockwork, meddling MIL would call on Saturday morning at 9:00 am and she would yap on the phone for 30 minutes to an hour. Those Saturday am phone calls were after a 30 minute to an hour call on Friday night and calls at least 4 or 5 other nights of the week. What was always nice about all the phone calls from “mommy dearest” is that they almost always came within 10 to 15 minutes after I had been given the cold shoulder because my “loving?” wife was “too tired”.”

Here I would give a gentle correction to Nathan. I don’t think his wife did all this volunteer work in addition to her career during the week only to avoid Nathan and avoid sex with him.  She did it for her own fulfillment.  I have no doubt she had little need for sex, but I think the avoidance of sex was secondary to her other interests.

This woman is a prime example of how so many modern day women see their fulfillment in life in every other place BUT where God intended them to have their primary fulfillment in life.

They look at being as wife and mom as simply one of their many life attributes – being a wife and mom gives them a photo to put on a desk.  It gives them something to talk about around the water cooler at work or at Church activities. But they don’t see those roles as the central focus of their life or as the primary reason for which God created them as women.

I think we also have to ask a question that I would really be curious as to the answer from Nathan. Did he know his wife was this busy of a person before he met her? Often times we are blinded as men by a woman’s beauty to major flaws that will make a Christian marriage very difficult.

There is nothing wrong with a woman being ambitious and intelligent. The Bible says this of the virtuous wife:

“She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” – Proverbs 31:26-27 (KJV)

So as we can see – the excellent wife is one who is a wise and a busy person (she is never idle). One could argue that the excellent wife, is in fact an ambitious wife.

The Bible commends ambition for the things that God wants us to do, but it condemns selfish ambition. The virtuous wife of Proverbs 31 is a very busy woman and the Scriptures tell us that she “eateth not the bread of idleness”. Contrary to teachings of our feminist culture, the excellent wife’s ambition is centered on her God, her husband, her children, her home and how she can best serve them.  It is not centered on her own selfish ambitions.  The Bible says this about selfish ambition:

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” – Philippians 2:3(NIV)

“For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” – James 3:16 (NIV)

Let me remind the reader that the first sin woman ever committed was in her envy and selfish ambition in the Garden of Eden in seeking after the forbidden fruit and the knowledge of God. Eve was ambitious for something that God did intend for her.  And then we have man’s first sin “Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree” (Genesis 3:17). Adam not only failed to confront his wife’s sin, he listened to her and condoned it! Far too many Christian husbands are condoning and enabling the sin of their wives today in many areas (not just sex) and this is as displeasing to God as Adam’s condoning of Eve’s sin.

But let’s go back to my question of whether he knew or not that his wife was a selfishly ambitious person before he met her.  This is a teachable experience for young men seeking wives to check and see “Is this woman ambitious in a godly way, or is she ambitious in selfish way?”

But after marriage, even if you discover that you were blinded to your wife’s selfish ambitions – God still calls you to love your wife by leading her, providing for her and protecting her.  You are also still called to teach her the ways of God and to rebuke sinful behavior in her life, especially as it relates to her respect for you and her submission in all areas (including the area of sex).

Nathan takes his wife to a Marriage Seminar

“When it came to sex, for 40 years my wife has always been “too”: too busy, too tired, too involved, it was too early or too late. We attended a “marriage enrichment” seminar one time early in our marriage. They had us write down all the time commitments we had on a sheet of paper. Two pages or so later my wife had about listed everything.

The facilitator went around the room looking at the papers form different couples and making a few rather generic comments. Every one of these papers listed their spouse. When he got to my wife’s paper the first thing out of his mouth was “mam, there is no way you can be involved in all of this”. Oh contraire, my wife proceeded to list in great detail times and dates for every last item; she had it all planned out. At this he turned to me and asked “how do you feel about all of this?” My only comment was “isn’t it obvious that it doesn’t really matter how I feel about it”!

You see, in all of the junk she listed on over 2 pages, I did not even make the list and no doubt he saw that as well. Nice thing about that seminar, she went out of her way to start a fight so she would have an excuse for no sex that night as well.”

This marriage seminar just reinforced how blind Nathan’s wife was to her own selfish ambitions. Instead of her centering her life on God and her husband – her life was centered her own selfish pursuits.

Another key truth to point out here is that sexual denial in marriage is often just the tip of the iceberg.  Sometimes women deny their husband’s out of feelings of hurt or neglect, and while this is still sinful we can understand the source of this better.  But sometimes women neglect their husband’s from a position of pure and utter selfishness, and this wife seems to be demonstrating textbook selfish ambition.

This also shows whether Nathan realizes it or not that sex is more than a physical activity to us as men. It’s more than some pleasurable thing we do with our wives. Sex with our wife makes us feel connected and loved by her in a way no other activity can compare to.

When wives neglect or minimize the sexual needs of their husbands, they are in fact rejecting their husbands, you cannot separate a man’s sexuality from his person.  

Far too many men, even Christian men have surrendered to the false notion that man’s desire for sex is selfish and base, and this must be combated in every arena that it appears.

God created sex to be an outward symbol, a tangible symbol of the union between a man and woman in marriage. In many ways sex in marriage is similar to communion at Church in that communion is a constant tangible and physical reminder of the Churches relationship with Christ.  This is why God commands sex in marriage and it is to be often and regular. God gave man a strong physical and emotional desire for sex to make sure that it happens regularly in marriage. Of course there are other reasons God created sex and you can read about them in my post “The 7 reasons God made sex”.

Nathan tells us about his wife’s sexual teasing

“Another nice thing she liked to do for the first 30 years was to grab at me throughout the day in a sexually suggestive way. If I did anything to try and make good on it she would pull away and say “down boy down, we don’t have time for that right now”! If awards could be given for sexually abusive women I think my wife would win hands down.”

I am all for a wife sexually teasing her husband (both by touching him, and “visually romancing” him with her body), but then she needs to make good on that foreplay. It almost seems here that she was mocking his sexuality, knowing how much he needed to sexually connect with her. This is just a truly sad story.

Nathan gives up

“A little over 10 years ago I completely gave up and quit even trying. I no longer initiate anything so it is not unusual to go 1 to three, four months or more without so much as even a kiss from her. After a lifetime of this miserable existence my advice to anyone dating or married to someone like this would be, cut your losses and run as far and as fast from them as you can possibly get. No matter how much you love them they can’t be fixed and they absolutely will not change. If you think they will change if only you are patient and continue to love them you are living in a dream world; it won’t happen.”

So it sounds as if Nathan tried for the first 30 years, and then gave up for the last 10 years of his marriage. I am guessing this puts Nathan somewhere in his 60s now.  He has given up on women and marriage and I can understand why.

But to Nathan and those other men that have experienced this type of “miserable existence” in marriage – let me offer you some hope. You don’t have to give up. You can fight for what is right, in fact it is your duty to confront sin in your marriage. If you’re taking the leadership in your home and confrontation of sin in your wife’s life leads to divorce, then so be it.

God hates divorce, but he created divorce for a reason – because he knows men and women are sinful creatures.

God knew that there would be abusive husbands. He knew there would be lazy husbands who would not provide for their wives. He knew husbands would abandon their wives, and wives would abandon their husbands. He knew there would be adultery. He knew there would be husbands and wives that deny a central part of marriage to their spouse – sex.  This is the reason God created divorce.

So in a case like this if Nathan confronts his wife after all these years – she might leave and divorce him.  Even if she does not divorce him, he may divorce her for the sin of sexual denial in marriage – which is by definition sexual immorality. Regardless of if she divorces him, or he divorces her over her sexual denial – the sin rests on her head.

Another interesting phrase from Nathan was this “If you think they will change if only you are patient and continue to love them you are living in a dream world; it won’t happen.”

I am all for a husband being patient with his wife in regard to her faults, just as wives should be patient with their husband’s in regard to their faults.  But with God some faults in marriage are more serious than others, and some faults when left unchecked can break the marriage covenant and destroy the marriage.

I never recommend divorce lightly, and I get many people who write me about these kinds of issues and I tell them they need to wait, be patient and give it more time.  But I tell them that while they are waiting, that does not mean they need to tolerate the sin in these areas from their spouses.  They need to continue to confront the sin as it occurs, while at the same time continually praying that God will change the heart of their spouse.

But Biblical teachings like “patience” and “sacrificial love” in marriage can be abused to the point where these are used to excuse and enable sinful behavior on the part of a spouse.

If a woman is being beaten by her husband, should she exercise “patience” and just wait for God to work on her husband as he beats her week after week? I believe the Biblical answer is NO.

In the same way if a man is continually being denied sex for weeks, that turn into months, and then years should he just be “patient” and show “sacrificial love” to his wife by tolerating her sinful sexual denial? Again I believe the Biblical answer is NO.

One other thing I want to close with on this sad tale.  This story is about a whole lot more than sexual denial by this wife as most of these stories are. This is about a woman, like so many women today, who does not see herself as God sees her.  This is a woman who is in open and defiant rebellion against God’s design for her life. God wanted her life to center on him, her husband and her children – not her own selfish ambition.

Hannity Guest Gavin McInnes says woman happier in the home

GavinMcInnesOnHannity

I was working late tonight watching the rerun of Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News when I heard what he thought would have turned out to be an innocent interview about Hillary Clinton turn into something very different. I grabbed my DVR remote and recorded this golden piece of television history.  The interview started out with a discussion about recent reports that Hillary Clinton has paid her female staffers significantly less than her male staffers. Tamara Holder, a regular Fox News contributor who represents left wing feminists, took the position that the reports were false.

Gavin McInnes, the co-founder of Vice Media(and also a regular Fox News guest) stunned Tamara leaving her mouth wide open when he made these statements:

“The big picture here is, women do earn less in America because they choose to,they would rather go to their daughter’s piano recital than stay all night at work, working on a proposal so they end up earning less…They’re less ambitious, and I think this is sort of God’s way, this is nature’s way of saying women should be at home with the kids — they’re happier there.”

Gavin backed up his assertions with a book entitled ““Why Men Earn More” and encouraged Tamara to read it.

Gavin was right – this is “God’s Way”

The Bible states that a woman’s place is in the home, and this was the design of God from the very beginning:

“Teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” – Titus 2:4-5 (KJV)

God is clear, from the Old Testament to the New Testament, that his intention, his design for women, was for them to keep and manage their homes. This is not some drudgery, it is a privilege from God.  He has beautifully equipped with women with an eye for fashion so that each woman can beautifully decorate her home, in a way most men would not have a clue.

Who is better at taking care of the kids when they are sick, who is the great empathizer? Mom or Dad?

Who do little children cry out for most of the time – Mom or Dad?

Who did God equip with a natural way of feeding infants? Mom or Dad?

This is not just in the God’s Word, it is common sense, the truth stands before us.

I love one of Gavin’s final remarks to Tamara Holder:

 “Look, you’re miserable. You’d be so much happier with kids around you tonight…Feminism has made women miserable. Women were much happier when housewives were glorified.”

The look on her face after he said it was priceless.

FoxNewsWomenInHome2

All I have to say Gavin is Amen.  Amen brother.

I am curious if Sean Hannity will respond to this or not, he looked like he was trying to stay out of it, but this may catch a fire storm in upcoming days and I truly hope it does.  We really need to examine what feminism has done to this country and our culture, and this was a great discussion about that.

Women are truly happier, when they live according to the how God designed them, instead of daily trying to fight that design.

7 ways to let your wife manage your home

Portrait of pretty female cooking salad with her husband near by

Christian husband – the Bible clearly states that you are the head of your wife and your home. But did you know that the Bible calls your wife the “manager” of your home? These roles do not conflict, but instead they complement one another.

For those who don’t know the Bible’s teaching on male headship over women here is a small primer:

God has established the headship of man over woman

“But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of Christ.” – I Corinthians 11:3(HCSB)

“For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body. Now as the church submits to Christ, so wives are to submit to their husbands in everything.” – Ephesians 5:23-34(HCSB)

“One who manages his own household competently, having his children under control with all dignity.” – I Timothy 3:4(HCSB)

The Scriptures are clear here, as well as in multiple other passages (both Old and New Testaments), that a husband has authority over his wife and his family (contrary to popular teachings of our Egalitarian and Christian Feminist friends).

You are to be the head of your home, but your wife is to be the manager of your home

“Therefore, I want younger women to marry, have children, manage their households, and give the adversary no opportunity to accuse us.” – I Timothy 5:14(HCSB)

“Encourage the young women to love their husbands and to love their children, to be self-controlled, pure, homemakers, kind, and submissive to their husbands, so that God’s message will not be slandered.” – Titus 2:4-5(HCSB)

The phrase “manage their households” in I Timothy 5:14, is an English translation of the Greek word “Oikodespoteo”, which comes from two Greek words “oikos” (house) and “despoteo” (to rule). This literally means to “to occupy one’s self in the management of a household”. The King James Version translates this as “a guide to house”, which is also an accurate translation.

Titus 2:4, a companion passage to this subject of women and the home, calls women to be “homemakers” (translated as “keepers at home” by the KJV). This is a translation of the Greek word “Oikouros” which literally means “watcher or keeper of the house” or “caring for the affairs of the house”.

Proverbs 31 shows a wife taking care of all the affairs of the home while her husband Is away.

7 Ways to let your wife manage your home

So up to this point we have established two foundational truths about the home that are taught in Scripture. The husband is the head of the home, but the wife is the manager of the home. The wife being manager of the home, is a delegated authority from her husband, but it is an authority that God wants men to give to their wives. Below are ways that you, as a Christian husband can encourage, and delegate the management of your home to your wife.

  1. Your wife picks the appliances, you fund them and have them delivered.
  2. Your wife picks the paint color for the house, you fund it, and put it on the walls where she wants it.
  3. Your wife picks how the walls of your home are decorated, again you fund it, and hang it till she thinks it looks straight on the wall.
  4. Your wife decides the style of all furniture, your job is to fund it and get it in the house where she wants it.
  5. You can make dinner requests, but don’t ever tell her how to cook – that’s her domain.
  6. Your wife picks out the clothing for the members of her house, you are simply there to fund said clothing, and hold the bags as she shops.
  7. While you are the ultimate decider of the discipline policies and other things regarding the teaching of your children, a wise man will always hear what the mother(and manager) of his children has to say before making any determinations.

I will just say one thing about “funding”. Husband, as the head of your home, it is your job, and it is a moral responsibility for you to set the funding policies of your home. Your wife comes to you with a need in the home, you discuss the need, and determine the appropriate level of funding. Many men have spent themselves and their homes into financial ruin by not setting any spending limits on themselves, or their wives, and this ought not to be the case in a Christian home.

But having said all that – if you as a Christian husband will simply stand back and let your wife manage your home(without trying to interfere and micro manage her as she does this) you will find that God has naturally equipped your wife to make your home the best it can be. The concept that “a home is not truly a home without a woman’s touch” is not only a true statement, it is also a Biblical one.

This has been the second part of our series “How to be a godly husband”. Check back for more updates to this series.

Sexist or Biblical? Episode 4

Itsnofunwithanervywife

Is it “sexist” for a husband to not want to be around a wife that is anxious or moody most of the time? Is wrong for a husband to seek out some type of relief for his wife’s anxiety or constant moodiness? Apparently to feminists it is.

But the Bible says this:

“It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.”

– Proverbs 21:19

Everyone woman has a bad day now and then and as husbands we need to demonstrate God’s grace in our wives’ lives during these times. But if this is the pattern of a wife, then the husband needs to bring it up and try and get his wife counseling, or medication to help her, not only for her own sake, but also for the sake of the marriage.

I can hear it now from feminists – “but men suffer from anxiety and moodiness too!” While it is true that men also can suffer from this, it is far more prevalent with women, simply because of this difference in how our brains as men and women are wired.

“Women are twice as likely to suffer from panic disorder or social phobia compared with men, and they are three times as likely to have agoraphobia (fear of being in public places). They also face a slightly higher risk for specific phobia (fear of a particular object or situation). About 10%–14% of women will have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in their lives, compared with 5%–6% of men. And 6.6% in women will have generalized anxiety disorder, but just 3.6% of men will.”

http://psychcentral.com/news/2006/10/06/anxiety-more-common-in-women/312.html

The truth is that most women who suffer from issues of chronic anxiety or irritability don’t realize that they do, they do see their behavior as it is. More often than not, people who suffer from chronic anxiety and irritability have convinced themselves that it’s not as often as it really is, and that they are justified by the various circumstances of life in feeling and acting the way they do. But chronic anxiety and irritability will suck the life out of any marriage and it needs to be addressed.

Husbands, as the leader of your home, God expects you to deal with this so that you can make your relationship the best it can be. Obviously you should approach this in a gentle way initially with your wife and see if she will be willing to go to counseling and perhaps get medication (if that is prescribed). But if your wife rebuffs you concerns you may need to take a more assertive approach.