Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Training Our Husbands?

Last week, I saw an interview with an author who has written a book about training our husbands. Like you would an animal. Seriously! The book is entitled, “What Shamu Taught Me About Marriage: Lessons From Animals and Their Trainers,” by New York Times journalist Amy Sutherland. I’ll spare you my esteemed opinion (I’m sure you can imagine, though), and just give you a few things the Bible says about the treatment we give our husbands. After all, we are not to conform to the teaching of this world, but be “transformed, by the renewing of your mind . . .” (Romans 12:2), and to “put off the old man . . . and be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” (Ephesians 4:22,23) These Scriptures are not necessarily related only to the husband, but if we’re to treat others in general in a certain fashion, I would think we should treat our husbands at least as well!

We’ll start with the obvious commands to wives:

1. Wives are to submit to and reverence their husbands – Ephesians 5:22, Colossians 3:18, and Ephesians 5:33 That’s it. Two little commands, but not so easy to obey all the time! Those are just for us, wives. Although husbands have responsibilities to us wives, that’s not the point of this post. There are quite a few more commands about relationships with others, that, if we put them into practice, just might make a difference in our marriages, changing us wives as well as our husbands, and making our homes happy places . . . without having to degrade our men by training them like animals! So here we go.

2. Wives should have meek and quiet spirits – I Peter 3:4 This is not mousy and timid, but a conscious decision to give control to our husbands (and ultimately to God), and remain calm within our spirits. Meekness is not weakness; it is strength under control. God values these characteristics in a woman, and I know that my husband values them in me . . . when I actually exhibit them!

3. Wives should be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving – Ephesians 4:32 Treat your husband with basic kindness. Have a tender heart, one that believes the best of him. Forgive him. He’s going to make mistakes (as are you), so just decide that you’ll forgive him before he forgets to take out the trash - again! ;)

4. Wives should have gracious words – Colossians 4:6 Stop a minute and think of how you speak to your husband. It’s no wonder my husband snaps at me on occasion (but very seldom), the way I sometimes get snippy with him! A soft answer turneth away wrath, but grievous (harsh) words stir up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)

5. Wives should be edifying to their husbands – Romans 14:19 Edifying is building someone up! Give him some positive words and looks and see what happens. I’ve read that one of a man’s basic needs is admiration, and he needs it from his wife more than anyone else on earth. I sure don’t want my husband’s need for admiration to be met by someone else, especially not another woman.

6. Wives should show preference to their husbands – Philippians 2:3 This verse speaks of being kindly affectioned toward another, in honour preferring them . . . to prefer someone is to regard them or honor them above yourself. In other words, to put them and their desires first. Keep them first in your thoughts. That was easy when you were dating, wasn’t it? He was my first thought in the morning, and my last thought at night. After 23 years of marriage, can I say that that is still true?

7. Wives are to show affection to their husbands – Titus 2:4 That “love their husbands,” according to Strong’s Concordance, matches the Greek word philandros, from which we get our English word philander. Be affectionate with your husband: hold his hand; massage his neck and back; give him lots of kisses and hugs. Ladies, as gently as I can say it . . . knock his socks off! He needs you and the affection that only a wife can and should give. You will never regret being affectionate, and you will have a very happy man!

9. Wives should be forbearing – Colossians 3:13 This goes back to forgiveness. Forbearance is just simply putting up with each other. Men and women are different (I know that’s a shocker!), and we will always get on each other’s nerves. Your co-workers, your children, your siblings, your neighbors, your fellow church members – everyone in your life – all get on your nerves at some time or other, and with most people, we grin and bear it. Why not with our husbands?

10. Wives should be compassionate, loving, courteous – I Peter 3:8,9 These verses are in the context of marriage! Courtesy: simple things like saying please and thank you or excuse me. Loving here is brotherly love – companionship. Compassion. We have more compassion for the poor across the world than we do for our husbands (it’s good to have compassion for the poor – just make sure you have it for man you love the most!)

11. Wives should practice the “Golden Rule” – Matthew 7:12 We commonly say “do unto others as ye would have them do unto you.” Hmmm. You mean if I want to be treated well, I should treat others well? Even my husband? Wow! What an amazing concept! Kind of sounds like “you reap what you sow” too. Want respect? Give respect. Want honesty? Give honesty.

12. Wives should be trustworthy – Proverbs 31:11,12 Can your husband trust you with everything? Money, his confidences, his dreams? One thing that my husband really appreciates is that he can trust me with money. For a man who works hard for that money and stretches it as far as he can every week, being able to trust his wife not to blow it is a big thing. A man won’t share his hopes and dreams if he thinks (or knows!) that you will tell your best friend or your mother every little thing. Be trustworthy!

I’m sure I could find much, much more, but these are the things I’ve written down over the past week as I mulled over the degrading, demeaning treatment of husbands encouraged by feminism. Let’s treat our husbands well, and see the Lord bless our men and our marriages with real joy. Ignore the feminists, and renew your mind with God’s ways.


  1. Just chiming in to say, "Amen!"rp

  2. This is really good, Susan, and a needed reminder. I especially appreciate those principles and verses, like the Golden Rule and forbearing and preferring one another that we are supposed to apply to all relationships, but especially within marriage. Somehow we seem to let our guard down with those we're around the most.

    I've heard some Christians these days disputing that the Bible teaches that the husband is the wife's head and authority. I don't know how they can get around that teaching in Scripture -- seems plain as day to me.

  3. Good post Susan, and gently put.

  4. Good post Susan....
    I am apalled the way Hollywood, and even commercials make men appear. I think we all need to be reminded.

  5. Thank you for the reminder. I often forget to treat my husband the way I should as the Bible says.

  6. Well said. Thanks for saying it.

  7. Great post Susan,
    It's crazy how the world is going so opposite of what God says. It's clear who the prince of this world is.
    Good post!

  8. I love to read about how to be a good wife! Its truly one of my callings. Thanks Susan.


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