God understands what both men and women NEED to thrive in marriage. That is why He gave us the commands He did in the Bible. This is a continuation of a series I am doing about how men think, process, emote, talk and relate – from interviews with real husbands. Many thanks to the husband who was willing to candidly answer these questions for me. My words are in black, his words are in blue.
Ladies – this is fascinating stuff. I think this husband’s ability to explain things clearly is going to help some of us really understand how important God’s commands are and that God truly knows what is best for everyone when He gives us commands about marriage. Much of this applies in dating/engagement/courtship relationships, too.
1. How are men affected when their wives are disrespectful and try to talk/preach/lecture to them about spiritual things/God/the Bible/prayer? What goes on in a man’s mind in that situation?
You don’t want to know. Generally not well at all.
Unless …..it’s spoken sparingly,from a humble heart and in a quiet spirit. Then it can be received much, much more readily.
2.. Why do you think God commands wives whose husbands are far from God to win him without a word (I Peter 3:1-6)? Could you talk about how much a wife’s respect impacts a man vs. her words, please?
Words are wind. And a dripping faucet …respectful actions are really easier to hear and respond to.
We can tune out words but not respect.
3. How does a wife’s criticism of her husband’s spirituality tend to impact his walk with Christ and his ability to lead and love in the marriage?
He becomes paralyzed with self doubt and becomes more passive. He won’t share his spirituality for fear of rejection or humiliation
4. Ok, so if you are working through thinking about a problem in the family/marriage. Do you need to think about it for some amount of time before you are able to verbalize it in words? Is it possible to immediately talk about a very difficult relationship problem without first going off by yourself to process internally?
Yes, usually I need time.
It’s like a puzzle thrown on the floor. The pieces have to be examined and compared to see where they fit. I feel stupid that I can’t serve up a instant analysts like my wife can.
Even after I have processed I am filled with considerable doubt the I have the correct picture .
5. What happens in a man’s mind if his wife presses him or tries to force him to talk before he has had time to think things through the way he needs to?
It’s like taking a test you didn’t study for properly. You guess a lot, and feel unprepared. Or , I just say what I think she wants to hear. And maybe get a C+, if I’m lucky.
6. I am actually very interested to know what goes on in husbands’ minds/hearts/souls when their wives often preach, nag, lecture and verbally try to force their husbands closer to God. I know that God has commanded wives to win their husbands “without words” and I know that God has a lot of very important reasons for this. But I would love to be able to explain the reasons in greater detail to wives. We are SO verbal – it is extremely counterintuitive for us not to use words about God and things that are most important to us.
A. I would like to know what a wife’s many words do to a husband’s feelings for her and for God if he is far away from God.
B. Would it be different for a husband who is actually close to God – but whose wife treats him as if he is far from God?
A. Since I am not in this place now it is hard to answer fully. I know this – she can share her concern about it and with a humble and honestly caring heart-speak. But after that the win him “without words” come in to play. Non verbal cues of judgement and condemnation will make him RUN, from God, it is so subtle. But love and respect for the long run will be the best motivator .
B. For the wife who treats her husband as if he’s far from God, but he’s not – yes it would be quite a bit different. The spiritual disconnect would be huge. True closeness will be compromised. It’s huge. Not that they won’t get along and have a fair relationship. Just not what they both really want. She may wonder why he doesn’t take her spiritual point of view seriously. How can he? Love, acceptance, security and respect first – then we can talk about differences safely.