(I am not a fan of the crassness of the original post, and the use in my first post was just to make a point, so I will refrain from it in this post since the point has been made. For part one click here:
Before I get a bunch of husbands mad at me, I do not advocate anyone be a jerk to anyone. I do not advise wives to rudely nag their husbands or husbands to nitpick their wives about burning dinner or not taking care of the dishes.
The point I was trying to make is this: submission does not equal silence. This goes for wives of both believers and non-believers.
The primarily role of a believers wife is to be a tool of sanctification in her husband’s life. She is iron to sharpen the iron in him. She is a sister in Christ to her husband and as such she is a loving voice of correction to her brother. She is to be a gracious lover and a patient partner. If her husband is sinning it is her task to help him see his sin and kill it before it kills him.
Men are finite creatures. They are unable to see all the sins that play in their lives, they need wives to show them their blind spots. It would be tremendously unloving for a wife to let her husband continue in his sin.
Yes, it will be painful for a wife to confront her husband in his sin. It might hurt his feelings. It’s not painless when the elders of the church call a member out either, but it is their duty as brothers in Christ (and church officers) to do so.
A lot of articles talk about being Christ to our spouse. But these articles typically only focus on “Jesus meek and mild”. Jesus is not a one dimensional character. He knew when to be gentle and He knew when to flip a table or two. He used gentle rebukes and He called people vipers. Christ exhibited incredible wisdom and discernment for us. We should learn to be like Him. For the sake of our spouse’s soul we should learn how to properly and lovingly rebuke sin.
The role of the non-believers wife is one of a quiet sign pointing to the Gospel. Notice I said “quiet”, not “silent”. The Gospel is not sweet unless the Law is bitter, the husband of a silent woman is not going to taste the sweetness of the Gospel unless he knows there are boundaries that he has crossed.
If she never sets up boundaries or expectations (which is what a lot of Christian marriage sites imply) he will never know he has sinned against her. Picture this: the non-believer husband goes to work and all of his coworkers are talking about their nagging wives (yes. This does happen . Shocking, I know. ) Will he think to himself “Wow, my wife is great. She graciously takes care of everything, there must be something to that Jesus she follows” or will he think “wow, my wife is a pushover, I have it made. I am awesome, these guys are losers.”? Knowing the men I do it’s typically the second.
Now, assume she doesn’t silently pick up after him and let him get away with being a slob day in and day out. Assume she sets up boundaries and asks him graciously to help her manage the household by doing little things like putting his laundry in the hamper. He knows “the law” so to speak.
When he violates this “law” , she graciously forgives him and picks up after him. Now, his response to his coworkers is going to be “Wow, my wife is great, she is not a nag. I fail all the time to meet her needs and do the right thing, but she graciously forgives me and never speaks to me in anger about my failures. I wonder if it has something to do with that gospel she is always talking about.”
I hate to say it but the seeker-sensitive church culture has infiltrated marriage. The seeker-sensitive church doesn’t bring up sin. It doesn’t call anyone to repentance. It never challenges a soul with the Law of God before presenting the Grace of the Gospel. The seeker-sensitive church says “God loves you and has a plan for your life” and leaves it at that. Now that may fill up cushioned chairs (seeker-sensitive churches are also buttock sensitive, no pews there) and it may fill up the church coffers, but it is not winning souls or making disciples. No one repents when they feel good about themselves.
So many homemaker blogs tell wives that their job is to make their husbands feel respected, loved, and like he is the master of the home. They urge wives not to make him uncomfortable or expect much out of him since his life at work is so hard and stressful. They push a wife to stroke her husband’s ego. They care more about his feelings than his soul or his performance as a husband or father. This is the stuff that bugs me.
I’m not saying “be a butt-hole and nag your husband about every wrong thing he does.” I’m saying establish boundaries and expectations and then graciously love him when he fails.
Wives of believers: Don’t be a silent wife, speak up when your husband sins. Approach him with respect but boldness, be discerning with your words.
Wives of non-believers: Win your unbelieving husband with your gracious forgiveness and unconditional love. Speak the Gospel with your actions and manners.
Don’t be a jerk.