Tag Archives: husband loving wife

An Unloved Wife

Teri and I have been sharing what we believe God’s Word teaches on how to avoid having rebellious children. In our pastor’s sermon recently, he touched on another cause that I had not considered before. I wish it weren’t so, but all that we have shared points back to the father, and this one is no exception.

It is a very heavy matter to lay so much responsibility on the back of the father, but I believe that is where Scripture puts it. As God would have it, we should each do our own study and prayerfully come to our own conclusions. So I encourage you to open your heart and your Bible, and see if this is another warning about rebellion.

Colossians 3:19 says, “Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.”

Most would say they are familiar with that verse as a part of being a good husband. However, our dear pastor developed the point that an unloved wife’s bitterness will lead the children into rebellion. It is true, men–unfortunate, but true!

In Proverbs 30:21-23 we read, “For three things the earth is disquieted, and for four which it cannot bear: For a servant when he reigneth; and a fool when he is filled with meat; For an odious woman when she is married; and a handmaid that is heir to her mistress.” An unloved wife who does not forgive will become bitter.

I still remember a woman I met roughly ten years ago who had been mistreated and left by her husband. Acrid bitterness dripped from every word she spoke. It had eaten her up and was etched into her jagged-lined face. The encounter was most unpleasant, and it moved me to compassion and sorrow for the pain she was putting herself through.

This woman was an extreme example. However, an unloved wife who has not received God’s grace to forgive her husband for the wrongs he has committed will be bitter toward her husband. Just like the woman I mentioned, bitterness toward a husband cannot be hidden, and those around will sense it. Even worse, it will also infect her children with bitterness toward their father, and that could turn into rebellion.

1 Samuel 20:30 says, “Then Saul’s anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him, Thou son of the perverse rebellious woman, do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse to thine own confusion, and unto the confusion of thy mother’s nakedness?”

Have you noticed that Jonathan had a rebellious attitude toward his father? Saul felt that Jonathan’s mother had hard feelings toward him. Now he is accusing Jonathan of it as well. Look at 1 Samuel 14:29 where Jonathan said, “. . . My father hath troubled the land: see, I pray you, how mine eyes have been enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey.”

The correct response would have been repentance, but Jonathan had a rebellious attitude toward his father, and it came out here. This rebellion wasn’t so severe that Jonathan abandoned his father, but it was there. Jonathan was a “good kid” in many ways, because generally he complied with his father’s orders. However, he did not respect Saul and demonstrated a rebellious attitude.

We are called to love the wife God has given us. If we don’t, we can be sure there will be consequences.

Dwelling on Imperfections?

Sit back, close your eyes, and daydream for a minute. I know you can’t read with your eyes closed! However, think for a moment about your wife. What thoughts are going through your mind? No one else can truly know what you are thinking, but let’s take a few minutes and be completely honest.

Here are the pictures that come to my mind. I see a wife with a child on each side and one sprawled across her lap, as she reads stories to them each afternoon. I see her on a “search and destroy mission” as she crisscrosses the living room, picking up a few remaining toys and socks after the children are in bed. I see her lying down with her back flat for a few minutes to ease the pain so she can get back up and keep going. I see a wife who delights to give her husband a backrub every night when we are in bed on time. The pictures whirl by as God brings to mind the gift He has given me in my wife.

Now what emotions do we experience as a result of the pictures? Peace? Love? Tenderness? Joy? Gratefulness? Are there any negative feelings? There can be, as most wives are not perfect. How do we deal with this? Do we let ourselves ever dwell on something negative about our spouse? The answer should be a resounding, NO!!!!!!!

About six months ago, I did just that. There was a trivial imperfection in my sweet wife, and I allowed myself to dwell on it. Whenever I saw her, I would take up that thought. I began to feel sorry for myself and be judgmental of her. I knew it was wrong, but I continued to do it anyway. Soon she knew something was wrong and asked me about it. I told her it was my problem, and she could pray for me. Sharing the details with her would have been hurtful and not helped in any way. Her prayers were what I needed.

By God’s timing, our church’s men’s meeting came, and I was eager to go. During a time of sharing, I confessed to the men that my heart was wrong toward Teri, and I needed prayer. I was allowing wrong thoughts, but had not been able to break out of it. As is the custom during these fellowship times, the men gathered around me and prayed for me. The result–God totally freed me from my thoughts, and I had wonderful peace on the way home that night. When caught in a trap, if we are unable to break loose, we ask for help.

If we aren’t willing to ask for help, our marriage and family security are in grave danger. “Perfect” marriages have been broken due to that very weakness in the husband (or wife, for that matter). Yes, it is a weakness. Had I been stronger, I would have chosen not to think about a slight fault in my wife, but instead thought of all her wonderful qualities. Think about it. What good could ever be accomplished by dwelling on some fault in a spouse? Hebrews 12:15 warns us that a root of bitterness grows up into evil. “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” If we allow even a small amount of bitterness to be in our mind, it will always grow. It can be over nothing (mine was). However, it soon won’t be small, and we will begin to look at everything our spouse does in a very negative light. It will kill a marriage.

So what is the point? Let us be on guard to not fall into the trap that has shipwrecked many a marriage. We made a vow before God to love and cherish our wives, not to dwell on any shortcomings. We should be crying out to God to work on our own failures. We don’t want to be a stumbling block for our wives and give them opportunity to dwell on our faults. Ugh, now that is a scary thought!

A Dad’s Right

Have you ever had someone owe you something that they refused to give you? It can be pretty frustrating. Perhaps it is even something you really need! Moreover, it is ten times worse if that someone is close enough that you encounter them frequently. This is true, in varying degrees, for every one of us right now. What is it?

I marvel at how the creative genius of God designed the institution of marriage. God placed two opposites together in a lifelong covenant that is designed to represent the relationship of Christ and His bride, the church. The purpose of that union is to bring God glory and raise up godly seed (Malachi 2:15).

Into the man and woman, He placed intense inner needs, which can never be circumvented. Women marry for love and companionship. Men need respect. However, what is the husband to do if he isn’t receiving the respect he needs (Ephesians 5:22-33)?

Have you ever noticed a situation in the news or maybe at work, where either a group of people or an individual feels their/his rights are being violated? They will demand, get angry, petition for new laws, and do just about anything in trying to get this injustice resolved. The end of this militant campaign is that they are the targets of contempt by the others whom they expected to right the wrong. They appear to be a bunch of whiners and complainers.

So, dads, what do we do if we are not receiving the respect we deserve? First off, we obviously don’t turn to another woman. After a while, that other person would realize why our wives don’t respect us, not to mention we would be breaking a covenant. I believe the first thing would be to cry out to God and ask Him why we aren’t being respected. I think the answer will surprise us. We are receiving more than the respect we deserve! It’s true in my life.

Let God show us our failings, bad decisions, and tasks left undone. If He doesn’t show us enough, then we can ask our wives, as I’m sure they can give us some more ideas. The result–we will realize that we don’t deserve the respect God says our wives are to provide. Yes, it is humbling, but it will take the wind out of our sails and the fight out of our speech.

Of the groups or people we observe, the ones who are determined to fulfill their responsibilities and act according to the respect they desire are the ones who will begin to receive it. Maybe this respect is not fully the amount they think they deserve, but who among us is paid what we feel we deserve!

Now what does that have to do with home education? Everything! With our wives taking so much time and emotional energy to teach our children at home for us, they are under great stress. We will have additional responsibilities when we take on home education. Our wives become very discouraged when we neglect our responsibilities. Trust me, I know from personal experience!

Specifically, I believe we should first apply ourselves to what our wives need most, and that is love. Just as we often don’t deserve respect, they won’t deserve the full amount of love God has commanded us to give them. However, that is what is needed. It is ironic that with the additional responsibilities home education brings, our wives could be even less lovable. However, we will never love our wives if we allow ourselves to think about their perceived faults; they will never respect us if they think about ours. We are to give them what God says they need and expect nothing in return.

I believe when we concentrate on our responsibilities, of which the primary one is loving our wife, God is free to open her eyes to respecting us like she never has before. The result: peace at home, mama feeling loved, dad being respected, and the children learning and growing in a healthy environment.

Love Your Wife

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (Ephesians 5:25).

I have asked many men over the years if they loved their wife enough to die for her. Christ was our example and we are to love our wives in the same way. Most dads have quickly replied, “Yes I would.” Certainly, I have placed myself in that category.

The next question is usually more difficult to answer. Would you wash dishes every evening (or some other task you might not care to do) for the rest of your married life? That is where we often take longer to answer. Again, I’ve proudly thought to myself, “Yes, I’d gladly do that for my wife.” God recently provided me with an opportunity to see just how deep my commitment was.

Teri, the four little ones, and I were at Wal-Mart early on a Saturday evening while the older ones were with Grandma and Grandad. We finished shopping and had just returned to the car when the familiar refrain of, “I’ve got to go potty,” was heard. After making sure it was a serious, high-priority request, I was to be the one to return to the store with the little one and take care of the matter.

I gave the keys to Teri so she could get the others settled while I was taking the child and cart back in the store. Teri unlocked the van, tossed the keys on the seat and turned to pick a little one up. Just then the door swung closed, and she realized she had pushed the power lock button instead of unlock! She looked at me with the most innocent expression and said the keys were locked inside.

At that moment, I had one of those rare opportunities to prove how much I loved Teri and that she was more important than circumstances. My unbelief was quickly replaced with anger. Of course, I retained my outward composure, but inside I was a very unhappy camper.

How Teri needed me to put my arm around her and tell her it was okay. I failed! I asked her to go inside and wait while I tried to get in. I figured I wasn’t very creative if I couldn’t get in the car with a whole store of resources at my disposal. But God had a lesson for me. Fifteen dollars later, I knew it was hopeless.

By the way, have you ever noticed how people snicker in a parking lot when they see someone trying to get into their locked vehicle? I deserved it and more. I even tried to be a little spiritual and thank God for the situation.

However, I really didn’t mean it, and so back in the store I went to sit with Teri and the children until her parents came to rescue us. Notice, I wasn’t blaming myself for not having hidden another key or carrying one in my wallet. I was feeling sorry for myself.

For the rest of my life I will deeply grieve every time I remember that day. How easy it is to prove our wives and families actually aren’t first in our lives and how difficult it is to demonstrate true love.

As we begin the new school year, we will have many, if not daily, opportunities to put our families first. When we come home we can spend time with our wives, see how their day went, and how we can support and encourage them. We can take the time to have the children show us their work and tell us what they learned. We can deal with the character issues that surfaced and need to be addressed. The list goes on and on.

Hopefully, you will not fail like I did. I know I’m praying that I will set my priorities properly and be the loving husband and dad that my Lord Jesus Christ would have me to be.