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3 Common Ways Husbands Mistreat Their Wives

3 Common Ways Husbands Mistreat Their Wives

A common way husbands mistreat their wives is by responding insensitively when they’re hurting. Elkanah’s response to Hannah in 1 Samuel 1 is a good example showing three common mistakes husbands make.

Watch the short video of Katie and I discussing this or read the transcript below…

Elkanah had two wives—Hannah and Peninnah. This was part of the problem! Polygamy in the Old Testament is descriptive, not prescriptive, portraying the reality of the era but it’s not allowed for Christians today. This is why God never condoned polygamy, and whenever it took place in the Old Testament, it always caused problems. No biblical examples of polygamy are characterized by peace and harmony. Instead polygamy is always filled with turmoil and strife. Peninnah and Hannah’s marriage is a perfect example.

Peninnah could have children, but Hannah could not. Making Hannah’s situation even worse was Peninnah’s cruelty toward her. First Samuel 1:6–7 records:

[Hannah’s] rival (Peninnah) provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the Lord had closed her womb. So it was, year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, that [Peninnah] provoked her; therefore [Hannah] wept and did not eat.

Consider Elkanah’s response in 1 Samuel 1:8:

Then Elkanah her husband said to her, ‘Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? And why is your heart grieved? Am I not better to you than ten sons?’” 

Elkanah’s response is terrible, revealing three common mistakes husbands make

1. Husbands mistreat their wives when they ask insensitive questions

Elkanah gave the impression that his wife’s hurt was not legitimate. He knew good and well why Hannah felt this way—because she was unable to have children.

2. Husbands mistreat their wives when they try to cheer them up

He tried to cheer Hannah up. Proverbs 25:20 says:

Like one who takes away a garment in cold weather, and like vinegar on soda, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.

Husbands should respond sympathetically by listening well and then saying, “I am so sorry. What can I do for you? Would you like me to pray for you, or read the Word with you?”

3. Husbands mistreat their wives when they make prideful statements

Elkanah asked his wife: “Is not being married to me better than all the children you could have?” What does it look like today for husbands to be like this? “You are one lucky lady. Think of all I do for you! Aren’t you glad you get to be married to me?”

As husbands, when our wives are upset, they want us to respond sensitively. 1 Peter 3:7 commands husbands to live with our wives in an understanding way. This means responding to them gently and demonstrating compassion toward them when they’re upset.

Discussion questions and activities for husbands and wives:

Answer separately and then discuss together:

  • Husband: List three times you responded to your wife in pride, and explain how you should have responded.
  • Wife: List three times you feel your husband responded to you in pride, and explain how you wish he would have responded.
  • Husband: Are you more tempted to respond to your wife in pride or anger? What triggers your response of either anger or pride?
  • Wife:
    • Do you feel your husband is more tempted to respond to you in pride or anger? Why?
    • What can you do to help your husband avoid responding in pride or anger?

Marriage God's Way bundle—1 book and 2 workbooksNOTE: Most of this post is from Marriage God’s Way and the Marriage God’s Way Workbook.  Save %30 and purchase the bundle—one book and two workbooks!

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Husbands get the wives they prepare for themselves

Husbands get the wives they prepare for themselves based on Ephesians 5:26–27:

That [Christ] might sanctify and cleanse [the church] with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

This is discussing what Christ does with His, Bride, the Church. Since the context is marriage, it’s also explaining what husbands should do with their wives. Christ “sanctifies and cleanses” His bride, so husbands should sanctify and cleanse their brides. This makes a husband at least partially responsible for his wife’s sanctification.

Just as Christ gets the church He prepares for Himself, so husbands get the wives they prepare for themselves

There is a tremendous truth contained in these words. Christ does what He does in verse 26—sanctifying and cleansing the church—so that He can obtain for Himself the glorious church, or bride, described in verse 27 that “has no spot or wrinkle but is holy and without blemish.” The simplest way to say it is: Christ gets the church He prepares for Himself. Continue reading Husbands get the wives they prepare for themselves

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Why are wives commanded to submit to their husbands?

Wives are commanded to submit because it’s necessary

We see the clear need for submission in all other areas of life. No organization can be successful without authority or headship:

  • Businesses have CEOs.
  • Sports teams have coaches.
  • Governments have presidents or prime ministers.

Just as we recognize the need for a leader, or a head, we also recognize that there cannot be two heads. We don’t see two head coaches, two presidents, two head pilots, or two head surgeons. Imagine how uncomfortable you would feel:

  • Flying on a plane with two head pilots arguing over the flight plan
  • Being operated on by two head surgeons quarreling over the proper procedure

Instead we always see a:

  • Head coach and an assistant coach
  • President and a vice-president
  • Pilot and a co-pilot
  • Principal and an assistant principal

Continue reading Why are wives commanded to submit to their husbands?

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Can a wife love her husband without respecting him?

Can a wife love her husband without respecting him? Not only would I say it’s possible, I would say it’s common! Most women will say they love their husbands, and I believe they do. But many of these same wives might not respect their husbands. I’ve met men who have told me they feel loved by their wives but not respected.

In marriage counseling, when I hear wives expressing their frustrations about their husbands, it typically sounds like this: “I don’t feel that my husband loves me. I wish my husband loved me more. He never tells me he loves me.” But when husbands express frustration, it more often sounds like this: “I wish my wife respected me more. I wish my wife followed my lead. I wish my wife supported my decisions.”

In truth, it is much easier for a wife to say she loves her husband than to show it through respect. But it is through respect that a wife expresses her love for her husband. If a wife does not show respect, her husband will not feel loved. A good perspective for couples to keep in mind is that feeling unloved is as painful to a wife as feeling disrespected is to a husband.

An example from scripture of a wife loving her husband without respecting him

Continue reading Can a wife love her husband without respecting him?

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The Art of Apologizing Well

art-of-apologizing-marriage-gods-way-scott-lapierre

Katie asked me six questions about apologizing. Here’s the outline for the video:

  1. 0–4:17—Have you always been good at apologizing?
  2. 4:17–6:54—What are wrong ways to apologize?
  3. 6:54–13:00—What are right ways to apologize?
  4. 13:00–19:35—What is your favorite story about apologizing?
  5. 19:35–24:04—Should we apologize to our kids?
  6. 24:04–27:39—How can apologizing or lack of apologizing affect marriages?

1. Have you always been good at apologizing? Elaborate on your “history” with apologizing and how you grew in it.

When I saw this question, my first thought was, “If I’ve learned too apologize well, it’s from making so many mistakes.”

As a pastor you’re going to learn to become comfortable apologizing, because it’s a necessity to have a healthy church body. I’d go so far as saying don’t become a pastor if you’re not comfortable apologizing. You’re going to have to apologize for your own actions and the actions of others. Nothing looks worse than shifting blame, even if the blame belongs elsewhere.

As far as when I learned to apologize, I’d have to give credit to LTC Richard Brewer, my commander in Army ROTC. He didn’t teach me to apologize. He forced me to apologize. I couldn’t make excuses or shift blame.

2. What are wrong ways to apologize?

When we should apologize our sinful nature wants to flare up, get angry, make excuses or blame others. Some people – whether intentionally or unintentionally – act like they’re apologizing, but their “apologies” are simply excuses disguised as apologies.

Two words destroy apologies: Continue reading The Art of Apologizing Well

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Hope Initiative Ministries receives Marriage God’s Way

My desire for Marriage God’s Way has been two-fold from the beginning—strengthen marriages and exalt Christ. I’ve seen this prayer answered in different ways. One of the most recent took place on November 9, 2016. I received the following message from Efumbi Vicent, the program director of Hope Initiative Ministries:

We are so much in love with your marriage teachings. In the near future this could turn into big workshops here as we keep sharing and working together on fully establishing our ministry in Kampala. The need for knowledge of Christian marriages is high. We can end up asking for a big number which may not be managed at the moment.

I shared this message with the elders at Woodland Christian Church. They decided to send two boxes (80 books total) to Hope Initiative Ministries. The books were given out as an outreach in HIM’s main centers at Bugiri and Kampala (in eastern Uganda).

I understand the question people will have, so let me answer it now. The books were given to Hope Initiative Ministries (HIM) for free. Woodland Christian mailed them, and I did not receive any money.

Hope Initiative Ministries plan for Marriage God’s Way

Continue reading Hope Initiative Ministries receives Marriage God’s Way

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“How to respond when husband mocks Christian beliefs?”

Katie and Scott on Facebook Live

Outline for video:

  • 0–6:43—Scott’s question
  • 6:44­–8:11—Katie’s thoughts on Scott’s question
  • 8:12–12:54—Katie’s question
  • 12:55–17:37—Scott and Katie’s thoughts back-and-forth on Katie’s question
  • 17:38–19:17—Katie shares from Marriage God’s Way
  • 19:18–24:56—Discussion of Christian Heritage Marriage Retreat

Scott’s question: “How should I respond when husband mocks my Christian beliefs?”

How should I respond when my husband mocks my Christian beliefs? My husband claims to be a Christian, but he randomly says the church is really his wife’s church and it’s ridiculous to believe in creation over evolution. Occasionally he does this in front of the kids too.

There’s a chance your husband might be saved, but it’s hard to reconcile your description with the behavior of a Christian. People can be saved and believe in evolution, but they wouldn’t Christianity. That sort of hostility toward the Gospel seems incompatible with regeneration.

Here are the two encouragements: Continue reading “How to respond when husband mocks Christian beliefs?”

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“Leave this church?” and “Hubby likes kids more than me!”

"Should we leave our church?" and "My husband likes our kids more than me!"

Outline for the video:

  • 0-0:49 Intro and explanation of some of our adorable kids joining us
  • 0:49-9:18 Question for Scott: “Should we leave this church?”
  • 9:19-14:13 Question for Katie: “How can I get my husband to pay more attention to me than our kids?”
  • 14:14-15:35 A few thoughts from Scott on the question given to Katie
  • 15:36-16:06 Marriage God’s Way book giveaway
  • 16:07-19:27 Update on Marriage God’s Way Workbook and closing

Question for Scott: “Should we leave this church?”

I wanted to ask about leaving our church because of their misunderstanding of some doctrines. I don’t think I’ve handled the situation well. We’ve been checking out other churches, so instead of being a voice of reason the awkwardness has us not going there at all. My desire has been to continue going there, but my wife does not enjoy it. Though the people are sincere, the church is dead and there is a heavy spiritual attack going on. Another reason my wife doesn’t want to attend is my former fiancé from three years ago is there. The girl and I have no interest in each other, but it’s still hard for my wife to see her.

Every church we visit there is a lack of sobriety, or the they seem to be off base somewhere important. Perhaps they allow female teachers or there’s a “pop Christianity.” I’ve suffered way too much to attend a ho-hum church. I want seriousness, Scripture, and the life of Christ.

I met with the pastor a few times to reconcile our differences. He’s a very intellectual person and familiar with Scripture. But he’s come to a different interpretation of almost everything I believe God has taught me. I don’t see the pastor changing his mind, and I don’t know if I should bring up to the rest of the church the things I think are wrong.

What should I do?

My response…

Continue reading “Leave this church?” and “Hubby likes kids more than me!”

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“What if my husband isn’t interested in the Bible?”

marriage-gods-way-author-scott-lapierre husband isn't interested in the bibleOn Thursday nights at 8:30PST Katie and I are answering marriage questions on Facebook Live. If you have a question, be sure to send it to us. This past Thursday I answered the following: “What if my husband isn’t interested in the Bible?”

Below is the video. Here’s a breakdown of the content if you’d like to skip to a certain part:

  • 0–14:15—I answered the above question
  • 14:15–16:00—Katie shared briefly from Marriage God’s Way
  • 16:00–28:15—I discussed Genesis 30:1-2, which contains instruction for husbands and wives
  • 28:15–31.5 – Closing thoughts

Part I: 0–14:15 – “What if my husband isn’t interested in the Bible?”

Here’s the full question:

“My husband isn’t interested in the Bible. I’m becoming more interested in theology, but my husband feels like the topics that interest me don’t matter. He feels like a Christian is a Christian regardless. My question is, for a wife whose husband doesn’t agree with her theologically, what should I do? Should I just relax and let God work?”

Here are three suggestions:

  1. Pray! If your husband husband isn’t interested in the bible, you can’t make him be interested. Spiritual hunger and spiritual thirst is just that: spiritual. You can pray God gives him that hunger and thirst, but it’s not something you can give him.
  2. Encourage him! Be enthusiastic whenever he discusses Scripture. That will hopefully excite him about discussing it with you in the future.
  3. Ask him questions! Give him the opportunity to share. Keep your expectations low if he isn’t very studied. Do your best to prevent it from turning into an argument. That will only discourage him from talking about the Bible with you in the future.

Continue reading “What if my husband isn’t interested in the Bible?”

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We want to answer marriage questions on Facebook Live!

Katie and I started using Facebook Live to answer marriage questions sent to us. Here are two sessions:

We’re striving for one live session each Thursday night at 7PM PST. After we finish, I upload each video to our Marriage God’s Way YouTube channel. Please subscribe to make sure you don’t miss any videos!

marriage-gods-way-author-scott-lapierre - answer marriage questionsI have to say this is much more in Katie’s comfort zone than mine. I like to plan things out in detail. By the time I preach a sermon, I like to have invested a lot of time polishing it. I wouldn’t mind the videos so much if they weren’t live. The inability to start over is particularly nerve-wracking, but this is the only way to participate with us. People can post thoughts, questions, contributions, etc in the comments section while we’re recording.

Below are the three most recent videos we’ve done. I’ll provide a brief explanation of each, so you can decide which to watch.

Marriage Tips from Marriage God’s Way 

Katie and I shared two tips from my book:

  1. Wives, embrace your husband’s leadership style, from Chapter Fourteen.
  2. Husbands, you get the wife you prepare for yourself, from Chapter Nine. Ephesians 5:26-27 says Christ “sanctifies and cleanses the church…that He might present her to Himself a glorious [bride]”. Christ gets the church He prepares for Himself, and since this is a marriage passage it contains the same application for husbands with their wives.

Continue reading We want to answer marriage questions on Facebook Live!

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3 Ways to Cultivate Friendship in Marriage

Relationships that continue to find ways to cultivate friendship in marriage are stronger than those that do not. Working to be best friends with your spouse is so important for satisfaction in the relationship. Doing life with someone you like spending time with is like a balm to your soul.

Another thing to think about here is the point the Scott makes in his book, Marriage God’s Way. He says:

 

Reviews of Marriage-Gods-Way-author-Scott-LaPierre-front-coverIt is natural to focus on the romance- eros (physical attraction or romantic love) of a marriage. But in doing so, we forget that marriage should actually be the union of two best friends. In many ways, phileo (a strong affection towards a friend) is a great description of what marriage should be: a deep and close friendship….

Of greater relevance to marriage is the fact that phileo is the love wives are instructed to have for their husbands. When Titus 2:3-4 commands older women to admonish younger women to love their husbands, the Greek word used is philandros- a combination of the words phileo and aner (Greek word for husband).

Friendship is certainly a need for your marriage. So how do you cultivate that in your relationship? Here are some ways you can do that.

1. Cultivate Friendship in Marriage Through Shared Experiences

Simply living in the same house doesn’t necessarily equal shared experiences. Some things will happen naturally, but to cultivate a deeper relationship, you have to become more intentional.

Set aside specific time to do things together. If you and your spouse do not have the same idea of fun, then plan to take turns doing the activity the other one likes.

Striking a balance with your shared experiences is important. Both of you need the freedom to suggest things you like doing and have the other go along with it. Best friends are just happy to be spending time together, whether the activity is their favorite or not. Continue reading 3 Ways to Cultivate Friendship in Marriage

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What Keeps Couples From Communicating?

marriage-gods-way-author-scott-lapierre communicating wellOver the last few years, my husband and I have had some major breakthroughs communicating with each other. I feel that we have always had a great foundation communicating, but we were still missing the mark with each other. This is not to say that we have it all figured out, but there are a few things that we have discovered that keeps couples from communicating well.

Listening To Their Words Doesn’t Equal Understanding

We are told over and over again that all we have to do is really listen to our spouse. I can tell you that there have been plenty of times that I have intently listened to my husband and still didn’t understand what he was communicating. Why isn’t listening enough?

You Aren’t Speaking The Same Language

If I were listening to someone speak another language, I would have little idea of what they were trying to communicate. This happens in our native language as well. Words do not have the same meaning to everyone. One person in the relationship will say something as clearly as they know how and the other will not interpret it correctly.

My husband and I have very different ideas of the meaning of the word relax. For him, relax means to sit in front of the television and do nothing for the rest of the day. To me, relax means to leave the house and go do something so I can shut off the working part of my brain.

Reviews of Marriage-Gods-Way-author-Scott-LaPierre-front-coverAlso, before we go any further, let me encourage you encourage you to check out Scott’s book, Marriage God’s Way. You’ll be blessed and it will help strengthen the communication – among other things – in your relationship!

If you have any questions, contact Scott personally. He’d love to hear from you: scott@scottlapierre.org or (360) 977-2877.

Actions Are Misunderstood

Continue reading What Keeps Couples From Communicating?