Yesterday’s post (you can find it below) resulted in a more than typical response from my readers. One of the blessings of blogging is that you can always change your plans at the last minute. So today I want to share just one more post on the gossip verses honesty thread.
Several years ago I was meeting with a group of wives of small group leaders at our former church. The topic that morning was on fulfilling our helper design as wives. When God said it wasn’t good for man to be alone He was talking about mankind in general, not just men. But any married woman or mother of sons can certainly see why it’s definitely not good for MEN to be alone!
As our conversation continued that morning, I mentioned that one of the way a godly wife is a “suitable helper” to her husband is by lovingly confronting his sin and involving others if he is unresponsive. It was one of the more vibrant meetings we had together. I was somewhat surprised by how intrigued most of the wives were by my comments. Two of them playfully asked if Benny planned to talk with their husbands about this topic at their next men’s meeting.
“If I go home and tell my husband that Sheree said I need to start confronting his sin…well…I just think it would be better for him to hear that from Benny!” (It wasn’t about what I was saying but about God’s instructions to believers to speak the truth — both positive and negative — in love to one another.)
“Seriously? Do you mean Benny invites and values your correction? Doesn’t he think you’re being disrespectful? And how do you do that without being critical and snooty?” (Benny doesn’t always eagerly welcome my correction or solicit my thoughts. But even when he doesn’t, am I off the hook from loving him enough to share them?)
The questions continued long past the ending time of our meeting — and spilled out into the parking lot afterwards.
The Bible commands the godly wife to respect and submit to her husband, as the church does to Christ. But when did “respect” equal leaving it to guy friends, co-workers or bosses to point out our husband’s flaws, sins or weaknesses? Who knows our husbands better than we do? And who loves them most?
Wifely respect and submission isn’t in competition with honesty. We all need people in our lives who know and love us enough to courageously call us out when we mess up. Sadly, too many marriages lack the depth, grace and mutual trust to do so.
But that can change, with God’s help!
What does loving rebuke or correction look look like in a Christian marriage? When do we overlook sin in our husband’s life; leave the discussion just between the two of us; or bring it up to a wise and trusted friend or pastor? How does the godly wife provide respectful biblical correction to her husband? What can happen when we wrongly interpret God’s word and either refuse to correct our husbands…or do so with self-righteous disrespect?
Author and speaker Carolyn Mahaney provides wise counsel and practical application for us in her excellent message Watch Your Man. This message may change your life and your marriage. You can download it for free here.
When I mentioned to Benny after that meeting that the wives hoped he would discuss this topic with the small group leaders, he actually encouraged the guys to listen to this, too. In fact, it may have been the first time my husband sent a message by a pastor’s wife out to other men as a listening assignment!
Please listen all the way through the message to the personal testimonies at the end. You won’t want to miss the humility, candor and practical insights you will hear from two godly wives who share their weaknesses in watching their men.
I promise we’ll move on to the Desperate Motherhood series. Thanks for your patience! And please consider reading the comments on yesterday’s post — and make your own! I honestly value your feedback either here on the blog or on the Faith Rising facebook page.