MARRIAGE: THE As-Zs OF NEVERS:
C-CHANGE (Forcing Change on the Wife, part 1)
While it is the responsibility of every Christian husband to be the spiritual leader of his wife as a teacher, leader, protector, guider, and lover, one thing he must avoid at all costs is the attempt to FORCE change on his wife – especially in the areas of likes, dislikes, viewpoints, and opinions. One of the worst things any husband can do is to bully, intimidate, belittle his wife in an effort to get her to change – even if she is wrong.
The Christian husband is to be a leader - not a bully or tyrant. There is nothing masculine about a man who attempts to exercise his authority over his wife in brutal or mean ways. If a man’s confidence in his masculinity is low, he may attempt to elevate it by bullying those who seem weaker than he. He is only manifesting how inadequate he is to be a head. He needs to grow up!
There are at least two critical areas in relation to the wife for the husband to understand if he ever hopes to become the strong Christian husband that God would have him be – and have a blessed marriage that the wife will at least respect! First, is in the area of really understanding his wife and the second is in the area of loving his wife unconditionally. Simply by understanding the nature of the wife and loving her sacrificially will prevent any husband from trying to FORCE his change on his wife.
Let’s take understanding. The first thing to understand is that women are different from men. Neither superior nor inferior – simply different…very different! Failure for a husband to understand the wonderful differences in women, will often result in husbands not only looking down on those differences, but trying to change those differences. He will look at those differences as inferiorities and often make snide remarks about her emotions, her sensitivity, and her caring nature. Without even realizing it, he is slamming her feminine qualities that enable her to connect in special ways with him and the children. To cut down the emotional capacities of the wife is to attempt to make her into a man. This is not to say that emotions don’t often cause many problems. However, the solution is not to eliminate emotions, but to elevate them by elevating the norms and standards which comes through Bible doctrine and the Holy Spirit. It is true that emotions in women can get them into big trouble – as a matter of fact nearly every Christian cult was begun by a woman who projected her emotions on God and therefore corrupted Christianity into an emotional religion as well as rejected clear teachings of the Bible regarding such things as the reality of Hell.
The solution to a woman’s emotions which may be out of whack because they are responding to false norms and standards is not the removal of the emotions but the changing of the norms and standards. Women’s emotional IQ’s are generally much higher than men’s; however the solution is not to lower the emotional IQ, rather it is to fill the IQ with the norms and standards of God’s Word. As the teacher and leader the Christian husband is to provide the appropriate doctrine for the wife so she can respond to it rather than some negative thing that she may be responding to emotionally. If she is afraid you simply remind her of the appropriate verse or doctrine so she can respond properly - instead of just slamming her for being afraid or too emotional. If she is being emotional and feeling lousy, then give her the appropriate doctrine about God’s love for her to respond to. This is what a leader does. He leads!
Society does a great disservice today by trying to destroy the differences between men and women. However, men and women were designed to be different so they can complement each other in marriage. Adam and Eve were much different and the differences are more than biological. I doubt Adam would have appreciated Eve even with her beautiful body, if her soul was masculine. The man, husband, and father is to be the strong protector and provider whereas the woman is the responder and nurturer. Men tend to be tough and strong; women tend to be tender and gentile. Men tend toward logic and linear thinking; women tends toward emotion and verbal communication. Men tend to take risks; a woman prefers security and order. A man tends toward relational insensitivity, a woman toward sensitivity. A man tends toward the long haul; a woman is concerned more about here and now. As protector, a man tends to be more skeptical and suspicious; a woman tends to be more believing and trusting.
To use a couple of similes: women are like butterflies and men are like buffalos.
The butterfly has a keen sensitivity. It is sensitive to the slightest breeze…It notices the beauty of even the tiniest of flowers. Because of its sensitivity, it is constantly aware of all the changes going on around it and is able to react to the slightest variation in its environment. Thus, the butterfly reacts with swiftness toward anything that might hurt it. (Try to catch one without a net sometime.) If a tiny pebble were taped to its wing, the butterfly would be severely injured.
The buffalo is another story. It is rough and calloused. It doesn’t react to a breeze. It’s not even affected by a thirty-mile-an-hour wind. It just goes right on doing whatever it was doing. It’s not aware of the smallest flowers, nor does it appear to be sensitive to slight changes in its environment. Tape a pebble to the buffalo’s back and he would even feel it.
The buffalo isn’t bad just because he goes around stepping on beautiful flowers. In fact, the buffalo’s toughness is a tremendous asset. His strength, when harnessed, can pull a plow that four men can’t pull – the man tends to plow through circumstances, while the woman tends to “feel” life and her surroundings with much more sensitivity.
There is nothing wrong with a man having tendencies to plow through circumstances and there is nothing wrong with a woman feeling her surroundings with much more sensitivity. The man is able to give strength to the woman and the woman is able to provide more insight into some of the most precious things in life (like present relationships).
There is everything wrong with man who refuses to heed to God’s command to understand the wife. How can a man lead his wife if he does not even understand her makeup? How can a man love his wife sacrificially if he does not understand her?
Let the world crack its jokes about never being able to understand a woman, but let us believers eagerly move forward in that wondrous endeavor knowing that God never commands that for which He does not provide. Let's be the kind of leader she needs.
1 Peter 3:7 You husbands likewise, live with your wives according to knowledge, as with a weaker vessel, since she is a woman; and grant her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life,