Friday, January 15, 2010

The Imperfect Husband: Cause to Complain?

It breaks my heart to hear women complain and speak negatively about their husbands. I want to cry for them. I want so much to be able to express to them the damage this causes to their marriage. Whether it is a woman on a rampage because her husband works too much or too little, or a woman complaining that she does all the work and he never helps, or even "just" a woman joking that she'd like to trade in her husband for a newer model or one of those "what did I expect? He is a MAN after all" statements.

Women, our words are to be like gifts we give to our husbands. Just as children will become what we name them (brat, spoiled, mean, stupid), our husbands will live up--or rather, down--to the low expectations we speak for them.

I know it is hard when you've been working all day and come home to a messy house and a lazy husband. But the wise and Godly response is not to complain, not to tell all your friends how horrible life is or how pathetic your husband is or how much work YOU have to do because he won't do it.

God's Word tells us to "do everything without grumbling or complaining" (Philippians 2:14), and "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men" (Colossians 3:23) and also that "God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Corinthians 9:7 -- note that "giving"is not necessarily giving money, but also giving love, time, effort, energy, etc.). In 2 Corinthians 9, it also says, "Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously." What are you sowing in your husband's live when you complain or talk badly about him or the things he does? You are sowing generously bitterness, distrust, anger, and many other negative things. You will reap what you sow! Instead sow words of kindness, of love, of compassion, of a giving heart and a Godly attitude and then YOU WILL REAP THE GOODNESS YOU HAVE SOWN!

Below are some bits and pieces that apply to this subject that I wanted to share.

From Created to be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl (which I strongly recommend EVERY CHRISTIAN WOMAN read!):

"It has taken wisdom for me to understand a man, his ego, his tender heart, and his strong needs. It was nothing short of divine wisdom that enabled me to understand the destructiveness of taking personal offense when my husband did things that seemed unfair, selfish, or harsh. It has been the gift of wisdom that has helped me to understand that God is delighted in me when I want to delight and please my man.

A gift is something you receive that has not been earned or merited. God wants to give you the gift of wisdom. It is this precious gift of wisdom that has enabled me to see beyond the piles of dumped trash bags.

Do you think I am some kind of super-spiritual giant? I am just like you, flesh and blood. I can pitch a hissy fit just as well as the next woman. I can get stone-cold and freeze my man down to cracked ice. Thankfully, God has offered us women wisdom that allows me daily to choose what my future will be. I thank God that wisdom is not earned; it is a gift.

Your life will be full of dumped-trash-bag situations. Your husband will be selfish. He will be unkind. He will not respect your rights. He will be foolish. He may be cruel, and that son of Adam may actually walk in sin. But he cannot victimize you unless you react outside the wisdom of God. You can decide to be in a constant state of anger and bitterness, or you can ask God for the wisdom to live each day in a state of honoring your man for God's sake.

You need the precious gift of wisdom to be able to hold your tongue and be thankful when your flesh would strike back in anger. You need wisdom to see how feeling sorry for yourself is far from the heart of God. You need this gift of wisdom as a constant reminder of the limitations of your female understanding. The gift of wisdom will remind you that God's rules are not there to put you in bondage, but to help you make a man want to cherish, protect, and love you. Most of all, the gift of wisdom will enable you to serve and honor your husband because you are serving and honoring God. You will find fulfillment in your nature as a woman. "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men [and women] liberally..." (James 1:5) God gives us wisdom liberally, like a "gift", but first we must ask for it."

Another excerpt from Debi Pearl's book:

"By the time many women are entering their fortieth year, they are teetering on the edge of mental instability. They have spent several years of their life irritated at their husbands, daily feeling hurt and responding with coldness and bitterness. As practice enables the pianist to find the right keys without effort or thought, so a woman who practices discontentment will, without thought, hit the notes of bitterness when her chain is pulled. Practicing, always practicing, perfecting her bitterness and discontentment.

She has practiced her bitterness until it comes naturally, and she does not even recognize it. She will usually define herself as one who stands against pride and evil. She will "do what is right, even if no one else will."

In the course of time, as her edginess and moodiness grow, she realizes that she can no longer control her nervousness. One day her "nerves" snap and she loses control, screaming like a crazy woman and calling loved ones terrible names. She will say it was "just a bad hormone day," but the family will wonder. The family learns to tolerate her occasional blow-ups, and she keeps practicing. After a trip to the doctor, she is calmer..."more her old self." The doctor changed her medication.

"Mom sleeps more now."
"Shh! Don't wake up Mother; she is having a bad day."

The disturbed woman expects her family to appease her and is offended when they act like life is just fine. God is visiting her soul with a terrible rot called madness. First, she is only mad at her husband. Years pass and she is mad at the family. As time goes on she is mad at the Church. Then she is mad at the mailman and mad at the waitress. Practicing, always practicing, perfecting her madness. Mad, all the time. Madness.

"The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is mischievous madness." (Ecclesiastes 10:13)"

Some verses about bitter and complaining wives:

"A constant dripping on a rainy day and a cranky
woman are much alike! You can no more stop her
complaints than you can stop the wind or hold onto
anything with oil-slick hands." Proverbs 27: 15-16

"It is better to live in the corner of an attic than with a
crabby woman in a lovely home." Proverbs 21: 9

"Better to live in the desert than with a quarrelsome,
complaining woman." Proverbs 21: 19

"It is better to live in a corner of an attic than in a
beautiful home with a cranky and quarrelsome woman."
Proverbs 25:24

"A worthy wife is her husband’s joy and crown;
the other kind corrodes his strength and tears
down everything he does." Proverbs 12:4

Excerpt from Gateway to Joy radio program with Elisabeth Eliot and Nancy DeMoss

"One of the challenges I have been giving women over many years, and they have thanked me for this, is a 30-Day Challenge. It has two parts: a negative part and a positive part. The negative part is that for the next 30 days they will not criticize anything about their husband--to him or to anyone else, not to his mother, not to their mother--nothing negative about him for 30 days. Of course, for some women who are in the habit of picking on the negative things, this is something of a challenge!

And then I suggest that every day for the next 30 days they find one thing that it is--they target one thing--that they do appreciate about their husband, that they are grateful for, and they tell him. And they tell someone else about their husband something that they appreciate. And again, some women may be thinking "Well, I'm not sure I can think of 30 things to focus on." Well, that means that they have been focusing on the negative qualities and it may be they need to pick one quality and mention that every day for 30 days!

But I say to women, "You know, your husband may not change at all over those 30 days, although he may wonder if he is married to a different woman. But chances are you will change as you start to see your husband through different eyes, through eyes of praise and gratitude. After all, there was something in him that attracted you to him in the first place."

I think to go back and refresh and restore those qualities that are enduring can really rejuvenate and bring new life to a marriage."



  1. I am honest - I did need to hear this ! I am guilty and I am sure no woman hasn't even had that thought process without the training of not doing it. Thank you !

  2. I don't think I am negative except in circumstances where he needs SOMEONE to say something. That's called being assertive. If I don't say anything, no one ever will and it just gets worse and worse. I tried reading Debi Pearl but I found her cruel, judgemental and hateful. I've tried never complaining, but all that ever results in is being taken more and more for granted and having more work piled on my shoulders till I can't take anymore and literally SNAP.



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