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Featured How to lead a disobedient wife in holiness

Discussion in 'Requests for Christian Advice' started by fishmansf, Jul 29, 2020.

  1. fishmansf

    fishmansf New Member

    86
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    Lutheran
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    Often times me and my wife will view media on the TV or on our Spotify that I know we shouldn’t be listening or watching. Sometimes I’ll be the rebellious son that I am and try to justify us listening to it or watching it but the Holy Spirit always in that moment convicts me of it. Whenever I make an interjection and ask my wife if we can watch or listen to something else because I don’t feel that this is glorifying God she becomes angry and hot headed calling me a legalists, hypocrite, Bible thumper, dud, etc. This completely deters me from trying to lead her in thing like this in the future because every time I do I know it results in a blow up. I feel that this is steering her further away from God and I don’t know what to do. How can I lead a disobedient wife in holiness without her freaking out?
     
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  2. Gregorikos

    Gregorikos Mystic

    307
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    To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? 1 Corinthians 7:12-16 (ESV)

    It looks to me from that passage that your wife gets to decide for herself whether to follow Christ or not. There aren't any commandments in the Bible that tell you to make her obey.

    You're not the Holy Spirit. Let her be.
     
  3. PloverWing

    PloverWing Episcopalian

    +2,836
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    Anglican
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    Before you married, did you talk about what kind of authority relationship you both wanted to have in your marriage? Did you agree on a relationship in which the husband leads and the wife obeys him, or an egalitarian relationship in which neither person owes the other obedience, or something in between? Once you were a couple of years into the marriage (so that you could see how things were working out in practice), were you both still happy with the authority structure you agreed to in the beginning, or did you want to change the authority structure?

    I ask, because if your wife wasn't looking for an authority structure in which she is required to obey you, she may not think that she owes you obedience; she may simply see you as two equal-status adults who disagree about what to watch on TV tonight.

    (Also: Does your wife know that your profile status on CF is "Single"? :) )
     
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  4. All4Christ

    All4Christ ✙ The Handmaid of God Laura ✙ CF Senior Ambassador Supporter

    +6,889
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    Do you call her a disobedient wife to her directly? That attitude / description isn’t a very conducive to any effort to strengthen each other. Lead by example. If she is watching something like that and she doesn’t want to change, then don’t watch tv and read scripture or pray or something like that. You won’t be able to force her anymore than she can force you.

    St John Chrysostom was a very wise man and had good Biblical advice on this:


    He also gave some information for how to speak and treat one’s wife.


     
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  5. Kenny'sID

    Kenny'sID Well-Known Member Supporter

    +5,839
    Christian
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    Stamp this a grade A pickle.

    If you discussed it with her, would she basically say that part of the scripture (man over the women) was done way with when Christ died? Not saying it was done away with, just trying to figure out how to approach it.

    Glad it ain't me in your shoes.
     
  6. fishmansf

    fishmansf New Member

    86
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    Lutheran
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    Thank for your reply. The answer to that question is both yes and no. We never explicitly had that conversion but it was always expressed that she believes that the husband was the authority just in way she believed. My wife is sort of a Bible Belt Christian which, unfortunately, I did not realize until we got married, she wore a mask most of our dating life that made me believe she was firm in her faith. But she sort of does whatever her moral compass feels like while sticking to the core Christian values; no sexual immorality, don’t swear, be good, etc. and her parents are the same way. Truthfully they all have seemed to spiritually stagnated and are emotional Christians who really only practice their faith when it “feels good”. With that said, I believe that’s where a lot of the issue comes from, she does not know scriptures well and frankly, is quite rebellious towards me and God which I wish I would have known before hand hahaha. I think that’s is probably the root of the issue so I pray that God would open her eyes!
     
  7. fishmansf

    fishmansf New Member

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    I never call her disobedient. I just know it’s a mans job to lead not only his wife but his family in righteousness.
     
  8. All4Christ

    All4Christ ✙ The Handmaid of God Laura ✙ CF Senior Ambassador Supporter

    +6,889
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    Did you read the quotes I gave? They are very helpful and relevant to your situation.
     
  9. PloverWing

    PloverWing Episcopalian

    +2,836
    United States
    Anglican
    Married
    I've been mulling this over, and your reply this evening helped to clarify it. I obviously don't know your wife's entire spiritual history, but it may be that she's going through a time of spiritual exploration and sorting-out, trying to figure out which parts of her religious upbringing she should hold onto and which parts she should leave behind. Or she may be, as you say, spiritually stagnated, losing interest in some of the Christianity she was raised with. Both are common experiences for people in their 20s.

    I'm listening to your language of "glorifying God", and her reply language of "legalist", "Bible thumper", etc. May I suggest using different language when you discuss the evening's media activities? For now, set aside the churchy words when you're describing the TV show or music that bothers you, since the churchy words seem to be calling up an anti-churchy reaction from her. Instead, describe in your own words, specifically, what bothers you, and try to use "I" language: "I don't want to watch a movie with lots of violence right now; it makes me feel like it's okay to hurt people, and I don't want to feel that way." "I really don't like the racial stereotypes in that movie; it reinforces some of the attitudes that I'm trying to overcome in myself." Maybe language like that would be better received, and would sound less legalistic to her ears.
     
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  10. ForHimbyHim

    ForHimbyHim New Member

    98
    +48
    Kenya
    Christian
    Married
    Agreed or try find other moments to talk about what's happening in media these days. The kinda stuff that Hollywood is producing and how it's making you feel.
    Or like someone said, just get up go and pray and read your Bible during.
    When we first got married, I could handle a sex scene, but my husband kept skipping over it when we'd be watching. Now I can't handle sex in movies anymore, but he never told me about glorifying God. He just did it. It was such an example for me.

    On the other hand, he enjoyed 'senseless violence', I never watched and now he says he doesn't like it because it does not honour people made in God's image.
    Try talk less and do more, let her see you glorify God.

    If the Holy Spirit speaks to you like you say He does, surely he would have warned you about the wayward wife you were about to marry?
     
  11. tturt

    tturt Senior Veteran Supporter

    +4,064
    Non-Denom
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    That is assuming he was at same place spiritually before marriage as he is now.

    Though I agree with - say less, do. Dont watch that program. Scripture encourages us to take time to be alone with God.. But you could fix dinner or load the dishwasher while spending time with the Lord. That will benefit you as well.

    Also, urge you to forgive her quicly (don't let the sun go down on your wrath Scripture).
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
  12. Gentle Lamb

    Gentle Lamb "Let there be sheep!"

    876
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    Christian
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    I will comment from the perspective of someone who used to not want to watch certain types of entertainment programs, but would get carried along into watching them by the person who wanted to watch their own preference. My stance was that I wanted to not watch certain things, but as I was invited to watch things with the other person, the other person's will won out and we watched what the other person wanted to watch. As I drew nearer to God I gave up watching entertainment altogether. Now if I watch something, it's usually a sermon or a service on YouTube, maybe some educational programming or possibly (and very infrequently) the news. I've learned in life that you can't change other people, you can only change yourself. The best I can advise you is to prayerfully draw nearer to God, by daily setting aside more time to read your Bible and pray. Maybe instead of watching/listening to those things, you can be reading your Bible and praying while your wife does. And pray for her, that is extremely important. Pray about the programs you don't want the both of you to watch or listen to anymore and ask God for wisdom on how to approach her about it. But the best thing to do is for you to lead by quiet example. Instead of you asking her to not watch or listen to those things, withdraw from those things yourself, be more prayerful and more into the Word and more into your relationship with God overall, pray for her and for your marriage and your family, and see how things go from there. And be persistent in those things too, don't get discouraged if you get some pushback, just humbly keep seeking the face of God on behalf of yourself, your wife and your family. Hope that helps.
     
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  13. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

    +14,369
    Australia
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    If it results in a blow up to raise the issue at the point of viewing, then I would say find another time - when both of you are calm and not distracted - to raise the issue and your concerns, and explain why you don't want to watch particular things. Perhaps propose some alternatives so you might gain agreement ahead of time.

    But in the end, remember that you can't control her choices. It may be that she watches and you don't, for a time or indefinitely, and you have to be able to make your peace with that.
     
  14. fishmansf

    fishmansf New Member

    86
    +36
    United States
    Lutheran
    Single
    Thank you! I will try this! Truthfully I believe it’s a type of spiritual rebellion to be honest. I see a huge spiritual battle happening over my wife as she battles what the world tells her and her hat God tells her and additionally I do believe that she is frequently attacked by satans forces (not possessed or anything just I can see that in certain areas of her life there is some seriously dark battles going on). I will pray and try to live out my faith in my life more and be more gentle.
     
  15. fishmansf

    fishmansf New Member

    86
    +36
    United States
    Lutheran
    Single
    Yea I think that’s a good idea. I replied to the post above about this too.

    The Holy Spirit never warned me about her waywardness, I knew she loved the Lord all along but towards the end of our engagement I could definitely tell there was sort of a disconnect in her faith. I do believe she loves God but as we know there more to faith than just loving God. While I generally don’t advocate believers marrying non-believers, I did still choose to marry and love this woman and lead her in Gods word and in her faith. I think whether you marry one of the body of Christ or not, you are called to lead them in growing in their faith.
     
  16. brudspirea

    brudspirea New Member

    14
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    Non-Denom
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    Do you mind me asking what tone you use when bringing this up with her? Assuming you're keeping a level head and communicating your concerns in a respectful manner I'm concerned that she's flinging petty insults and name-calling your way.
    Has she actually countered any of your arguments or does she just shut you down?
     
  17. tturt

    tturt Senior Veteran Supporter

    +4,064
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    Good thought. I find apologizing quickly for my tone can drastically modify an 'exchange."
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020
  18. HamFist

    HamFist New Member

    24
    +5
    United States
    Catholic
    Single
    I’ve been there. When you consistently demonstrate (not with your words or the shows you watch or any actions meant to “teach” her, but by your every action and interaction) a deep joy, satisfaction, kindness and charity in all areas of your life, she will /want/ to come and copy your ways, for it will be clear that they are good. I’m not saying that you’re a grouch or a complainer or anything but selfless in your sharing of time and resources, but learning this was a real epiphany for me.
     
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  19. Hazelelponi

    Hazelelponi Well-Known Member Supporter

    +4,870
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    First, try not to "lead" her.

    A marriage is a partnership in life... while a husband has duties, he is to lead like Christ, yet the marriage as a whole is to reflect our covenant with God, one based on love, mercy, and forgiveness foremost.

    This television watching you and your wife have different convictions on, which is natural. My husband has no issues watching some shows that I cannot tolerate...

    But I don't tell him it's evil or unbiblical to watch them, he simply has different convictions than I do. So I request if he must watch them he do so when I'm not around, or watch on his computer where I can't hear and it doesn't negatively affect me.

    Like Christ, you should lead by example, not force... be forgiving and loving, explaining why these shows bother you then make some suggestions on what you both can do to respect the others' feelings.

    We all aren't in the same place in our walk with Christ, and won't always react the same to the same situations...even when we're married. But we can have the consideration and love our spouses need...

    So she has no conviction in this area. Then be the example; decide what you can tolerate around you, then work it out so she can still walk her own walk with Christ, being there for her as the example in love. Be something to emulate, not a dictator.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020
  20. AppleCider

    AppleCider New Member

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    Holy See (vatican City State)
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    Single
    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
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