I’ll never forget a new acquaintance telling me bitterly that she had wanted her family to go into missions, ‘but Ed here didn’t want to.’ Husband Ed was sitting right there, resigned to being criticized in front of his children and people he had barely met. He was a godly man, but certainly not a respected leader in his family. She thought she was a godly woman….. (True story, changed names.)
According to homeschool speaker Douglas Phillips, many of the moms he meets around the country have issues with their husbands (which likely means their husbands have issues with them, but that’s not the point right now). Many men have no vision and no desire to lead their families, something that causes despair in both men and women. Many women have their own vision. In The Wise Woman’s Guide to Blessing Her Husband’s Vision, a talk on CD, Phillips outlines the problem and presents both hope and practical advice for wives.
While an abdication of his responsibility is obviously the man’s own fault, Phillips has noticed that the wife often encourages this tendency. How?
- By telling him what to do and how to do it.
- By trying so hard to solve his problems.
- By striving to be independent and to have her own mission.
- By being fearful.
- By disrespecting him.
- By being angry, nagging, and contentious.
- And more.
A wise woman, on the other hand, will seek to understand her husband, reinforce his authority, encourage him in serving the Lord, and respect him. His heart will trust in her. Even an unbelieving husband may be won without a word by his wife’s behavior (1Peter 3).
So, if your husband isn’t all you wish him to be, look at yourself. Can his heart trust in you? Are you encouraging him, or tearing him down? Is it all about you, or about him? Are you fearful? Do you respect him?
The Wise Woman’s Guide to Blessing Her Husband’s Vision can be a real encouragement and a godly reminder to wives everywhere. The principles are Biblical, the inspiration is heart-warming, and the advice is both godly and practical. I, and most of the women I know, need a reminder like this every once in a while. Many young wives have no idea how to put Biblical principles into practice; I know I didn’t at first. What’s more, there are Christian women who have never even heard of them!
This is a helpful talk on a crucial subject, and I recommend it.
–Note added in 2014: In light of the recent scandals surrounding Douglas Phillips, I considered deleting this post, just as I threw out this CD. However, even though the messenger is sinful (as we all are) the message is still worth considering, so I left this review on my blog. And I think, no matter what our other responses to the scandals are, they should include some element of “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”