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To Correct or Not to Correct…Your Husband: A Pendulum Post

Filed in Marriage, Pendulum Series by on December 26, 2012

To Correct or Not to Correct Your Husband

Written by Natalie, Editress of Visionary Womanhood

This is a blog post, and by nature, blog posts are supposed to make a point and make it succinctly.  Therefore, in order for me to make my point and let you go, I‘ll assume some things.

  •  I’m assuming that the typical reader of Visionary Womanhood is a conservative Christian woman who would view feminism as a destructive force in our culture.
  •  I’m assuming that the reader believes what God’s Word teaches about basic submission to authority, and how that enables cultures to thrive in an orderly, protective fashion.
  •  I’m assuming the reader has a basic understanding of sin, the institute of marriage, the importance of honoring and respecting one’s husband, the role of a wife in the marriage relationship, and how agape love makes the world go round.

If you are reading this and you don’t believe those things, then you might need to click away.  There are foundations you need to pursue before this post will mean anything to you.  But if you are on the same page here, then you might benefit from a discussion of this important topic.  Because this pendulum SWINGS.

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Swinging Over to the Left

You have secular feminists howling that women rock and men are crud.  It’s the “girls rule, boys drool” mantra for self-centered children in grown-up bodies.

Swinging pretty close to those folks are the Christian feminists who would tell you that men and women are equal in preciousness, but they compete for the same roles.  Roles for men and women are interchangeable depending on Wemmick whims.  There’s more…but for our purposes, this brief description will suffice.

Swinging over to the Right

You have Christians making rules that supersede the Word of God.  It’s a rule that is BETTER than God’s Word.  More holy.  This is a common error among religious Wemmicks.  It’s the ancient error of the Pharisees.  You know…those guys that Jesus was always saying “mean” things to?

These folks believe that women are to be silent.  Period.  If their husband is sinning against them or their children, their only recourse is to pray that God will “lay it on the husband’s heart” to repent.  God apparently is not allowed to use human means of the “help meet” to…well, help.

The wide-spread teaching found throughout God’s Word on conflict resolution and peacemaking is not applicable in the marriage relationship.  A couple of verses are chosen to trump the rest of the Bible when it comes to marriage, leaving a woman in a vulnerable position.  But that’s OK, because God will make it all right in the end.

Is your husband beating you or the children?  Don’t tell anyone or you’d be dishonoring him.  Is he into pornography?  Don’t correct him.  You must remain silent, winning him without a word.  Did he just take a wrong turn when you were on your way to an out-of-town wedding?  Don’t let him know the wedding was in the other direction.  You’d be usurping his authority.  Never mind that you are his “help-meet.”  The help can wait while he wanders around lost and you sit next to him experiencing a nice, holy feeling.

Now, these are extremes, I realize, but I’m showing you the swing, right?  I know people who believe this stuff.  How?  I used to believe it…back when my marriage was unhealthy.  Once I threw out the Wemmick teaching and turned to God’s Word as my source of direction, our marriage perked right up.  My husband is happier.  I’m happier.  Let God be true and every man a liar. (Romans 3:4)

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Why This is Critical

Error in the church has serious repercussions that reverberate for GENERATIONS.  There are blogs and websites springing up all over the Internet authored by women who lived under the false teaching that wives should not contribute to their marriage relationship by exhorting, restoring and building up their husband to love and good deeds.

This sick teaching produced the sick fruit of sick families.  And ultimately, sick children…who grew up.   Now those children are vomiting all over forums and blogs designed to blaspheme God and His Ways…when it wasn’t even God’s fault!  It was the unhealthy, man-made, “holy” rules of their parents in a sinful reaction to cultural feminism.

Whenever we REACT to a false worldview, we swing to the opposite error.  God does not want us reacting all the time.  His Word, and His Word alone, is to be our plumb line.  Christians who are not regularly reading their Bibles will be more prone toward falling into extremes based on the beliefs of Christians Wemmicks around them.  The more you study God’s Word, praying through it daily, meditating on it, speaking it into the life of your family, the more grounded you will be when Wemmick winds start blowing in funny directions.

The Meaning of Correction

cor·rec·tion  

/kəˈrekSHən/

Noun

  1. The action or process of correcting something.
  2. A change that rectifies a error or inaccuracy

Is your husband a human being?  If you answered “yes,” this means he is a sinner.  All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  All. (Romans 3:23)

Sinners need recalibration periodically, right?  So let’s set marriage aside for just a minute and simply take a look at the issue of correcting ANYONE.  What does God’s Word say on this subject?  When someone sins, what do we do?

To Correct or Not to Correct Your Husband

Give a Blessing…Be a Blessing

Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21)

…not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead, for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. (I Peter 3:9)

Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. (Romans 12:19)

Pursue peace with all men, and holiness without which no one will see the Lord, looking diligently lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled. (Hebrews 12:14)

Are these verses for all of us, in any relationship?  Do these verses apply to the marriage relationship?  Of course they do.  Let’s look at another way we can respond when someone sins against us or wants us to do something that is wrong.

Make an Appeal

An appeal is when we respectfully ask a person in authority to reconsider an instruction based on information he/she may not know about or understand clearly.  We are to do it in kindness, not harshly or sarcastically.  Daniel is an example of a godly person who made an appeal to authority when asked to do something that violated his conscience. (Daniel 1:11-16)

Sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness. Proverbs 16:21

The heart of the wise teaches his mouth and adds persuasiveness to his lips. (Proverbs 16:23)

This applies to all relationships that involve two people, including the marriage relationship.  Here’s how Martha Peace puts it in her book, The Excellent Wife:

“However, when a wife believes she has a better or wiser idea, as her husband’s helper, she should be ready to give her husband the benefit of her wise counsel and advice.  A wise husband should always be ready to receive it.  “A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel.” (Proverbs 1:5)  Who knows a husband better than his wife and who has God placed next to him who is better able to give him wise counsel than the “helper suitable” for him?”

If the person in authority maintains their position, and they are not asking you to sin, then you must accept that decision as the will of God for now.  “For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.” (I Peter 3:17)

Reproof

If there is sin involved, however, there are steps that God has set up that are designed to restore the person to a right relationship with God.  This is the whole point of Biblical rebuke: a person’s RESTORATIONIf we love one another, we will practice what God teaches regarding this.  If we love ourselves and want to avoid conflict, we will set up our own rules that “feel” more holy and make us have the appearance of holiness.  God sees our hearts, and God’s Word trumps our “holy rules.”

Be on your guard!  If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. (Luke 17:3)

Open rebuke is better than secret love. (Proverbs 27:5)

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. (Proverbs 27:6)

By the way, when a verse uses the word “brother” in this context, it is not referring to a biological brother.  It is not referring to men only.  These verses are referring to fellow believers: both men and women.  When you get married, you don’t lose your “fellow believer” status in regard to your marriage relationship.  If you think you do…you’d need to make a Biblical case for that, showing that God excludes the marriage relationship in such verses.  If you can’t prove that, then you are prey to Wemmick thinking…not Biblical teaching.

Again, I want to quote Martha Peace because she puts it so well:

“Another wrong, but wide-spread belief is that a Christian wife should never reprove her husband because she must love him unconditionally—she must accept him as he is.  As this view goes, she must suffer in silence when her husband sins against her.  Though there may be times when it “…is a glory of a man to overlook a matter” (Proverbs 19:11), this view is flawed because it misunderstands the true natural of biblical love. 

Proverbs 27:5 says, “Open rebuke is better than secret love.”  Certainly a wife must humbly, gently love her husband whether he ever changes or not.  But, she also is given to him as his helper so that he might grow to maturity in Christ Jesus.  A wife shows great love to her husband when she rightly encourages him to faithful Christian living.  “Love edifies” (I Corinthians 8:1).  It builds up rather than tears down.  A wife’s reproof done in a biblical manner and with biblical motives is intended to build up her husband.

If a godly wife refrains from “speaking the truth in love,” her Christian husband will be deprived of one of God’s greatest provisions for his own spiritual growth—the words of encouragement and exhortation of his own wife.  True biblical love “rejoices with the truth” (I Corinthians 13:6)  A godly wife’s biblical reproof is not only an act of love, but it will (if it is done properly and he humbly receives it) strengthen the love of the husband for his wife.

“…rebuke a wise man and he will love you” (Proverbs 9:8).  “Above all keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins,”  The idea here is that love will not broadcast a person’s sins to others, but will “cover them” by dealing with the sins in a loving, biblical manner.

A Christian wife does not have the option of whether or not to reprove her Christian husband who continues in sin.   She is commanded to reprove him because her husband is also a professing Christian brother in the Lord.  Galatians 6:1 explains what a godly wife must do when her Christian husband sins against her, ‘Brethren,  even if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one.”  She must go privately and tell him in a straight-foreword, clear manner how she believes he has sinned against her.

This verse also cautions the one giving the reproof (in this case the wife) to do it “in a spirit of gentleness; each on looking to yourself, lest you also be tempted.”  The wife should examine her own motive first to ensure that when she goes to her husband she has a clear conscience, free of sin, and that she does not sin in how she speaks to her husband (e.g. in a disrespectful or argumentative way).  Her motive should be to restore, not to expose, not to make things easier for herself, and not to get some other personal reward.”

If you want to read more on this subject, I recommend The Excellent Wife, by Martha Peace.  It is, in my opinion, the first book a Christian wife should read on the subject, next to the Bible.

Couple on terrace

Verses Used to Propagate the Idea that a Wife Should Never Correct Her Husband

“The women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.” (I Corinthians 14: 34-35)

This is the chapter in I Corinthians where Paul is telling those folks “enough already with the chaotic ruckus in church.”  Apparently the women were contributing their share of the noise.  Don’t twist this out of context or make it say something God isn’t saying.

“Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives,” (I Peter 3:1)

The second part of this verse (…so that even if…) is wise counsel for wives married to unbelieving husbands who do not have the Holy Spirit living inside, and consequently have no power outside of themselves to do what is right.  A Christian wife can correct her unbelieving husband until she’s blue in the face, but it will do no good.  He is spiritually blind.  What he first needs is regeneration, and the Bible is saying here that the best way to “win” him over to a saving faith in Christ is through powerful example of gracious, noble conduct.  Not words.

On the other hand, if your husband is a Christian, then he is not only a husband, but also a brother.  In fact, he will be your husband for only a brief moment in time on earth, but he will be your brother forever.  So whenever the Word of God gives instructions regarding how we are to treat our brothers and sisters in Christ…those instructions can, and should be applied to the most important relationship on earth: the marriage relationship.  When followed, these instructions will bear good fruit.

Biblical Examples of Wives Correcting Husbands (or Not!)

God calls Abigail’s husband a “fool.”  When Nabal told David he wasn’t going to give him recompense for David’s help, David decided to demolish the entire household.  Thank goodness Abigail wasn’t “silent.” She intervened and saved many lives.  God didn’t zap her for this.  To the contrary, He killed her husband and gave her a new one.  (1 Samuel 25:32-33 and 41-42)

How about Sapphira?  Now there’s a silent woman for you.  She failed to correct her husband, and God DID zap her right along with him.  Zapped them both dead. (Acts 5:1-11)

What do Godly Men Think of Their Wives Correcting Them?

Humble, godly men welcome correction as a gift from God.  They look to their help meets for counsel.  This doesn’t mean they do what the wife wants all the time.  But they see their wives as having insights and wisdom (yes, wisdom is personified as a woman in Proverbs!) that they can take advantage of and benefit from.  Here are some real quotes from godly men and women I respect:

“My husband would die in a big pile if I suddenly told him I would no longer “correct” him. And vice versa. He depends on me to be his faithful counselor. That’s how I help him most. Now…when we disagree…as we often do…I go with what he wants.  My husband has said before that a wise man will listen to his wife!  God gave her to him to complete him and help him.”

“May the LORD keep me and our brethren from becoming a Nabal ( fool 1 Samuel 25:2–3).”

“What a shame for a husband not to have the benefit of seeing himself in the clearest mirror available, his Christian wife.  If one wants to argue that one in a submissive position should never rebuke one in a leadership position, then our Lord sinned in rebuking his parents and Nathan probably sinned in rebuking David.  We always lose when we depart from the vibrant truths of scripture, and we may give our opponents legitimate cause for criticism.”

What Did the Puritans Believe About Wives Correcting Husbands?

The following quotes are taken from an extraordinarily interesting (my copy is dog-eared) book about the Puritans, Worldly Saints by Leland Ryken:

“Headship did not, for the Puritans, mean tyranny.  It was leadership based on love.  Benjamin Wadsworth wrote that a good husband will ‘make his government of her as easy and gentle as possible, and strive more to be loved than feared.’  According to Samuel Willard, a good husband will so rule ‘as that his wife may take delight in [his headship] and not account it a slavery but a liberty and privilege.’”

“The husband’s headship did not mean that the wife was his servant.  John Downame made this clear when he wrote that God ‘gave the wife unto the husband to be, not his servant, but his helper, counselor, and comforter.’  The most customary Puritan term for defining the relationship was to call the wife an assistant.  Gataker called the wife ‘an help, or an assistant; not a mate only, but a helper; not a companion only, but an assistant too.’

“Nor did the wife’s submission mean to the Puritans that women are less intelligent than men.  Some Puritans did argue thus, but not all of them.  Samuel Torshell wrote that ‘women are capable of the highest improvement and the greatest glory to which man may be advanced.’”

“Hierarchy did not mean that the wife could not debate and issue with her husband.  Samual Willard expected a husband to be obeyed only if he can support his viewpoint from the Bible, “and lay before her a sufficient conviction of her duty, to comply with him therein;  for he hath no authority or compulsion.  A wife, he continued, “hath greater liberty of debating the prudence of the thing” than do other subordinates.  There is even a duty of mutual admonition:   both husband and wife should “choose the fittest seasons to reprove each other, for things which their love and duty calls for.”

“The practice of hierarchy did not prevent a woman from religious teaching or spiritual admonition of a man. ‘Women may and must privately and familiarly exhort others,’ wrote one Puritan writer on the subject; ‘they may also privately admonish men and reprove them.’  The Chester minister Nicholas Byfield declared that the wife was not subject to the husband ‘in matters of her soul and religion when his will is contrary to God’s will….And again, she is not so subject but she may admonish and advise her husband with certain cautions, as if she be sure the thing she speaks against be sinful and hurtful.’”

Nostalgic hearts

What’s the Bottom Line?

Love

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22: 37-40)

When our motive is love…when our desire is to “correct” out of love for our King and devotion to our husbands, then correction is right and proper. (Very few husbands, or wives either, for that matter, will respond well to correction the moment it is given.  We are all Wemmicks and need some time to recover from our wounded pride.)

Most of the time our spouse can see through our real motives.  Are we being catty?  Manipulative?  Sarcastic?  These attitudes are sinful and not born of love.  But just as we can sin in our “correction” of our husbands, we can also sin in our refusal to correct.  It is not loving to watch another human being unknowingly walk toward a pit…and not warn them of the impending danger. 

Do you love your husband and desire to honor him?  One of the ways you demonstrate love and honor is through proper, humble, careful, gentle correction.

An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. (Proverbs 31: 10-12)

 

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About the Contributor

Natalie Klejwa is a Wemmick, loved by the Woodcarver, wife of 22 years to Joe, and mother to 9 Wemmicks ages 2-20. She is a business owner (Apple Valley Natural Soap), founder and administrator of the Visionary Womanhood blog, publisher and contributing author of Three Decades of Fertility, and a contributing author of The Heart of Simplicity: Foundations for Christian Homemaking and You Can Do It Too: 25 Homeschool Families Share Their Stories. You can hear her being interviewed on Kevin Swanson's Generations with Vision radio program. Follow Natalie on Facebook, Pinterest, and Google +. View all posts by Natalie →

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  1. To Correct or Not to Correct….Your Husband | | December 28, 2012
  1. Rebecca says:

    Thank you so much, Natalie, for taking the time you obviously have to write this. I needed it so much that the Lord woke me to read it in my inbox, as I am a subscriber, at 5am. I had just dealt with a need for correction, but sinned in both my motives and the manner in which I went to him. I don’t know that I would have taken the time to read the length of the post had this not just happened, and because this just happened I devoured the words. I have since asked for his forgiveness and shared parts of your post as well to explain my heart is for him and to learn to honor him the way the Lord wants me to. He is since more open to hearing my heart on the original matter. I appreciate your Titus 2 heart. :)

    • Wemmick Girl says:

      Thank you for sharing that Rebecca. This is HARD to do…it is easier to freak out OR to just be silent and “let it go.” (Which is actually what we should do sometimes…just not all the time!) Relationships are important. This one is the MOST important…and worth getting out of our comfort zone for.

  2. Dianne says:

    Awesome post! I think you pretty much hit the nail on the head, except for 1 Pet 3:1(…if any do not OBEY the word…). Let me explain.

    I’ve been married for 22 years. I was a brand new Christian when I married and was extremely attracted to my husband because of his love and zeal for God. However, when we married, we had major conflict. He (and I) behaved sooooo un-Christ like. I tried and tried and tried to let him know how his sinful behavior was bothering me, but I would hit a brick wall. He would not listen. I was frustrated and discouraged. I was at a loss about what to do. I searched the scriptures for years for wisdom about how to deal with this problem. I would come to 1 Pet 3:1 and would read in the NIV “…if any of them do not BELIEVE the word…” and I would write it off as not applying to me, because after all, my husband WAS a Christian and that verse only applied to unbelievers, right? As I searched the scriptures I believed my situation was unique and maybe God’s word did not address it. The scriptures spoke about believing husbands and un-believing husbands, but what about believing husbands who refused to listen or repent of their un-loving attitude toward their wife?

    The strife continued and one day, after being married around 8-10 years, I was reading the KJV (I am not a KJV only person, but I do now try to read it more than the others because after several experiences like this, I feel it is far more accurate), and was reading 1 Pet 3:1 and read , “…even if some do not OBEY the word…” Instantly, the light came on. OBEY??? I had always read the NIV that said BELIEVE. Could it really be? I set out to look up the word in the Strong’s Concordance. I read and re-read that scripture again and again.
    What the Lord layed on my heart:
    ALL of us are disobedient to God’s commands, even if we are saved. It does not take an UN-SAVED person to disobey God’s commands. Therefore, when that scripture says “if any of them do not OBEY the word,” we can confidently apply that scripture to our saved husbands who are disobeying God’s word and expect amazing results as I did when I put that scripture into practice in my marriage. Absolutely amazing. I’m not saying that the other scriptures you quoted don’t apply, but it is false to think that 1 Pet 3:1 only applies to UN-SAVED husbands.
    I have not arrived, and we do still struggle, but when I obey God’s word and put that scripture into practice, God blesses me every time.

    • Wemmick Girl says:

      Thank you Dianne! Actually, using Peter’s own words just a few verses before, a Biblical argument could be made that I Peter 2: 7-8 defines “disobedient to the Word” as referring to unbelievers in this context. Here’s what it says:

      “This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, “The stone which the builders rejected, This became the very corner stone,” 8 and, “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”; for they [those who disbelieve] stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.”

      The only other thing I’d want to mention is that there are Christians applying that verse strictly, avoiding other verses in the Word of God. They use it to consistently excuse themselves from speaking to their husbands about things that should be spoken, dismissing every other Scripture that admonishes us to reprove/correct one another in love. There are other Scriptures that speak about overlooking an offense and so forth, AND when taken all together, God presents us with profound wisdom…and wants us to also seek Him in how to apply what He teaches to our specific situations. Sometimes we must speak up…sometimes we need to keep silent. If we have already spoken to our husbands about an issue and they are blind to our pleas or refuse to repent, then we need to leave the rest to God. (Unless it is a serious situation or something where we need to bring in church or civil authority.) Constantly harping on them for the same issue is probably not the wisest thing to do. These are just some knee jerk thoughts here. But I appreciate your insights – and willingness to share your personal experience regarding what God has taught you about these verses.

      For a more thorough treatise on this subject, I refer the readers to Martha Peace’s book, The Excellent Wife.

  3. April says:

    Excellent, balanced article! Thank you!

  4. Dianne says:

    Hi Natalie! Know that we are just about on the same page, so I am responding with a spirit of iron sharpening iron and not for the sake of splitting hairs or being argumentative (can’t stand it when people do that!).

    Let me back up and say that as I was reflecting on my previous response, I remembered that I said some of the details wrong. It happened many years ago and it was a little fuzzy in my memory. Everything I said was true except that what actually happened is that after desperately searching the scriptures and not finding my specific situation, I decided to apply 1 Pet 3:1 in faith and I tried to behave as if my husband was an unbeliever. It worked miracles, but I was always a little confused because I knew my husband was a believer who was sinning like everyone else sins, including myself. It wasn’t until years later that I read that verse in the KJV and it clarified what I had already experienced to be true: that you really can win a disobedient husband over (saved or unsaved) by a gentle and quiet spirit. We are not supposed to have a gentle and quiet spirit and win him over without words until he gets saved and then throw that out the window once our husbands become believers (and I KNOW you don’t believe that anyway). What a rip-off that would be for the husband! :D AND how hypocritical we would be as wives to give an unbelieving husband our kindest, quietest, and gentlest attitudes and not apply the same beautiful disposition toward our believing husbands who deserve our best even more.

    I fully agree with the rest of your post about confronting our husbands about sin and trying to provide wise counsel when he needs it. If I have a faut-even to this day-it is that I am far too outspoken and don’t keep quiet enough.

    Now if you’ll allow me to go back to 1 Pet 3 and what I learned from it. Once, when I read that verse, I read “Wives, in the same way…” and I stopped. In the same way as what??? So, I looked above that verse in 1 Pet 2:22-24 and realized it was talking about Jesus and how he handled conflict and persecution (and we all know he DID speak the truth in love). And then I looked before that and saw that Jesus was essentially comparing himself to a slave in chapter 2 verse 21. Then, I looked farther down chapter 3 and saw that the spirit of the gentle and quiet woman is compared to Sara who served Abraham and called him Lord or Master (depending on what version you use). Sara served a believing husband, not an unbelieving one. And that very passage is telling us to behave the same way toward our disobedient husbands (saved or unsaved) as Sara behaved toward her believing husband.

    Now, if anyone is like me, this might discourage them instead of encourage them because they might feel the entire burden lies on a wife’s shoulders. Be encouraged because in chapter 3 verse 7, husbands are encouraged to act the same way as a wife who should act the same way as Jesus in chapter 2 verse 23, who compared himself to a slave in chapter 2 verse 21. So, husbands have an even greater burden to behave properly. That said, as wives we are not released from behaving like Sara just because our husbands don’t hold their end. And to clarify, the husband IS the head of the wife although his behavior should always be sacrificial submission to God.

    The reason I felt the need to share all of this is because as a young Christian, I did not know where to turn. Even when I searched the scriptures, I felt that verse did not apply to me because it seemingly only applied to unbelieving husbands. So, I did not live it out and I ONLY tried to confront my husband on his sin and I did not live the way the Lord commanded. It’s amazing how one word can change the course of your life!

    Thanks for letting me share and I really appreciate your blog. Very encouraging!

    • Wemmick Girl says:

      I love it when the readers here participate in lively discussion in a spirit of love. That is what you are doing, and I LOVE it! It only benefits the community here, so please know that I welcome your thoughts. I’m wondering if there is may be a bit of confusion over the term “gentle and quiet spirit” which you have brought into the discussion? This term does not imply that women must be silent, using “no words.” It isn’t even referring to personality type or “outgoing-ness” or other similar things that may come to mind when we read that word.

      God gave me a more outgoing/outspoken personality, but I used to be pretty bummed about who I was because I assumed that term meant a nice, quiet, sort of shy gal who would sit in small groups saying nothing, but smiling sweetly. I tried so hard to be that girl…and failed miserably. God eventually freed me from that and taught me that the term is really speaking of the SPIRIT of a person…not their personality. A sanguine lady can have a gentle and quiet spirit. We can and must obey God’s Word…even the parts about correcting our brothers and sisters in Christ…with a gentle and quiet spirit. To correct does not imply nastiness and loudness.

      I need to gently say that we can’t take our experiences and make them the end-all. For example, in my experience, I tried winning my husband without a word, and it backfired in horrific ways. Now that I am working toward obeying ALL of Scripture, our marriage and “issues” are improving dramatically. Do you see how our experiences are the opposite? So we can’t teach someone else based on those experiences. We have to stick to the Bible. You see, in your situation, God wanted you to speak less…and used His Word to help you do that. In my situation, He wanted me to speak more…and used His Word to help me do that. The Bible teaches in some places that there is a time to speak. And the Bible teaches in other places that there is a time to be silent. We need the Holy Spirit to help us individually with our unique lives and situations to obey in the areas that we are struggling in…and then He brings healing and freedom as we do that. This is why I say all the time…be saturated in God’s Word. Wisdom can only be found THERE.

      There will be readers here who will need to take this post to heart and be set free from the idea that they can’t ever say anything to their spouse. And there may be other readers who will see the need to correct more gently and humbly than they have in the past. My hope and prayer is that God will use this to help each one of us, wherever we are at, to bring that pendulum into balance just a little bit more. We need to correct the steering wheel of life periodically. My this be just a bit of correction to help you on the journey.

      Thank you again for sharing your thoughts on this and giving me an opportunity to respond!

  5. Dianne says:

    Natalie, I completely agree with your response. Even when the wife behaves as Jesus did (1 Pet 2:23), it does not mean she is speechless. On the contrary, in the verse before that (verse 22), it says “neither was guile found in his mouth.” Guile means deceit, duplicity, craftiness. God WANTS us to be honest. Jesus never was speechless, but he wisely instructed both in his direct quotes from the new testament and the Bible in general. When we only look at one scripture or part of one scripture, we get into trouble and make doctrines that God did not mean for us to make and teach. However, we are to be gentle and pick the best time to speak as characterized by Jesus in 1 Peter 2:23. And I agree with your point exactly about what happened to Saphira when she did not speak up. Furthermore, we do see the wife speaking in 1 Peter 3:1-2 when it talks about her conversation.
    I think my original comment was more about how 1 Peter 3 applies to disobedient husbands whether they are believers or unbelievers.

    • Wemmick Girl says:

      Yeah…you’re right Dianne. I thought about it after I left that last comment and realized I didn’t really address the fact that we are actually agreeing with each other on the basic gist of the post. I think my main point with the last comment was the quiet and gentle spirit thing. : ) Just wanted to clarify that in case any other readers were confused. Blessings to you!

  6. Dianne says:

    Oh! I understand exactly where you’re coming from. That was an excellent and eye-opening article. Now, if you could only share one with us about not getting distracted from your homemaking duties when you’re expecting company from out of town when you read a great article, it would be very helpful ;D Blessings to YOU!

  7. Lori says:

    I have been mentoring women for many years and I always encourage them to confront their husbands, believing or unbelieving, on sins they may see their husbands committing. But after confronting, they must give it to the Lord, pray about it, and win them without a word. Only the Lord can change others. We can certainly point out sins but we must never nag them about it. It just makes it all worse, in my opinion.

  8. livinginblurredlines says:

    There are two “teachings” in the Christian woman blogosphere that rub me the wrong way:

    1. Wives should not correct their husbands
    2. Wives should never say anything bad about their husband
    When I question both, I get, “well of course if he is commiting some big sin it needs to be addressed.”. But that’s not what they say and there always seems to be.some wife out there who endured and martyred herself in silent “holiness” and her husband changed (or she just dilluted herself enough to live joyfully and in silent faith with the abuse…aka walk on eggshells and avoid it.)

    I know! I did this, too!

    Sure, we shouldn’t nit pick and gossip, but the Bible addresses that, too. Beams, motes and flapping tongues. But to never correct? Never go to someone trusted for prayer and counsel if we need help in our marriage, even for smaller sins like him saying something mean, ignoring the children, etc? I don’t think so. Thanks for addressing this Biblically.

    And remember, ladies, your personal testimony is just that, a testimony….NOT a Biblical template.

  9. 6 arrows says:

    Good thoughts on an important subject, Natalie. I’m glad you also included this quote from Martha Peace: If a godly wife refrains from “speaking the truth in love,” her Christian husband will be deprived of one of God’s greatest provisions for his own spiritual growth—the words of encouragement and exhortation of his own wife. If one looks at the context from which “speaking the truth in love”, Ephesians 4:15, comes, one notices that that entire chapter from Ephesians speaks of unity in the Spirit. Why would we not endeavor to have that kind of unity with our husband, too? If he, as a member of the Body, is in error about some fundamental Biblical truth, are we not called to speak the truth in love to him, just as we would to any other Christian, rather than keep it to ourselves?

    I think, too, in practical matters of daily living where we may disagree with our husbands in matters of simple personal preferences, we can also (with gentleness and respect) feel free to communicate our viewpoints, and not feel that trying to get him to understand our perspectives is being manipulative or lacking in submission. The spirit in which we do this is important. I used to have a very critical spirit when trying to speak to my husband on topics we did not agree on. However, after a time, I became less critical, but then swung too far to the opposite extreme and would hardly say anything when we disagreed, in an effort not to be so disrespectful like I had been.

    My remaining quiet, though, did not always work out so well. On at least one occasion when my husband was lamenting that he should have done something differently than he did, and I admitted to having thought of doing it a different way, but hadn’t said anything at the time (for whatever reason), he told me he wished I had said something, because maybe then things would have turned out better. ;-) It’s not really being a helpmeet to keep some things to ourselves, I have learned! :-)

    Anyway, I enjoyed this post. Very important to look at marriage from a truly Biblical perspective, which you have done very well here, Natalie. :-)