Leading a Disrespectful and Uncooperative Wife

Posted on 09/02/2012 by

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POSSIBLE IDEAS TO LEAD A DISRESPECTFUL AND UNCOOPERATIVE WIFE:

  • Women love words.  More explanation is often better for us.  More words can help us understand better.  Of course, then we may start arguing – but maybe you could suggest something like, “I am going to listen to your heart and your concerns for 5 minutes, and then I would like you to listen with an open heart to my ideas for 5 minutes.”
  • great humility
  • “I will pray about that.”
  • Please tell your wife, “When you do/say/act like X, it HURTS me.  I feel very unloved.”  Let her see your vulnerability and emotions.  If she can’t hear or see your pain, she assumes you have no pain.  Most wives do NOT want to hurt their husbands.
  • Try saying, “God is holding ME accountable and responsible for this decision.  I want to hear your whole heart about what you think and feel is best.  And I will very carefully consider and pray about what is best for you and our children and the whole family.  I’m not perfect.  I may make mistakes sometimes.  But I need your support and cooperation, please. I MUST do what I believe is right before God in my heart about this.  If I am making a mistake, I take full responsibility for that.”
  • use a gentle, quiet, humble but firm tone – and lovingly confront us when we sin against you.  Allowing us to continue in disrespect and rebellion will not make things better for any of us.
  • don’t back down from what you truly believe is right in God’s sight – you have wisdom we don’t have.  God made you the leader.  We will appreciate it later.
  • “Sweetheart, it would mean so much to me if you would read this article/this blog post/this book (ie: The Surrendered Wife, For Women Only, The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, Sacred Marriage, Sacred Influence).  All I ask you to do is consider what you read and pray about it and really seek God’s face.
  • Are you feeling afraid or unloved right now?  Can you tell me about how you are feeling?”
  • “Let’s look over the passages God has about marriage together.”  (Genesis 3, Ephesians 5:22-33, Titus 2, I Peter 3, I Corinthians 11:1-11)
  • Let’s set a godly example for our children – even if God’s Word is VERY different from our culture.  Let’s pray about what God might want to do in both of us.”  (BUT – please don’t preach at your wife in your prayers!  That will offend her greatly!)
  • “Let’s pray about that together.”
  • Address our fears – you will HAVE to show us you are not making a decision selfishly!
  • “That felt disrespectful, are you feeling unloved right now?”
  • “Thank you for telling me you feel unloved.  I want to address that!  I NEVER want you to feel unloved by me!”
  • “I know you are feeling anxious about this decision.  What can I do to help you feel safe?”
  • Try talking to us about how the relationship is MUCH more important than the outcome of one individual decision.  And help her to see that her focus on the details of the issue can sometimes make the small issue more important than intimacy and harmony and obeying God’s Word.
  • Read in the Bible with us and talk with us frequently about God’s sovereignty. If we are controlling, we think we are sovereign and we have a wimpy picture of God and you.  We need to see an accurate picture of how HUGE God is, and how little control we actually have.
  • Talk with us about teamwork – women aren’t often very experienced with working together in a team, we are used to thinking of ourselves and what we want.  We take criticism pretty hard, so be sure to tell us what we are doing right, too!

I hope to give the husbands additional resources, soon! Let me know if you have any questions or concerns!

Lord,

Empower our husbands to be the godly leaders You desire them to be!  Let them be filled with Your Spirit, free from sin, and full of Your love.  Give them Your wisdom and use them to lead our marriages and families where You desire us to go for Your glory and honor!

Amen!

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