How to Win Over Your Husband the Right (and Wrong) Way

If you’re a wife, Peter tells you how not to win over your husband—with words. And he tells you how to win over your husband—with godly conduct. 1 Peter 3:1-2 says:

Wives submit to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, you may win over your husband without a word by your actions, when he sees your respectful and godly conduct.

Win Over Your Husband the Right Way

Wives, Peter says you will not win over your husband by what you say, but you might win over your husband by your lifestyle. The gracious submission of a Christian woman to her unsaved husband is the strongest evangelistic tool she has. Just what does this look like in practical terms? Comparing 1 Peter 2:18 with 1 Peter 3:1­–2 can help with the answer because of the parallel language between the verses:

  • “Servants, be submissive to your masters” is similar to “Wives . . . be submissive to your own husbands.”
  • “Not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh” is similar to “even if some do not obey the word.”
  • “With all fear” is similar to “your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.”

In both verses, it is important to understand that this is not speaking of servants or wives submitting out of fear of their masters or husbands, but submitting out of fear and reverence for God.  When an unbelieving husband sees this heart for God it will be a powerful witness. His wife’s godly behavior will convict him to be a godlier husband. Her life will speak louder to him than any words.

Let the Holy Spirit Win Over Your Husband

If a wife wants her husband to read God’s Word more, pray more, or be a godlier man, rather than nagging him, she herself should read God’s Word more, pray more, and be a godlier woman. Wives should be encouraged by Jesus’s promise to send the Holy Spirit in John 16:8: Continue reading “How to Win Over Your Husband the Right (and Wrong) Way”

Three Threats to Intimacy in Marriage

God gave sex as a gift. The problem is that as sinful people in a fallen world, we have the potential to ruin anything good God gives us. Let’s take a look at three of the most common threats to healthy intimacy in marriage.

1. Intimacy in Marriage Is Threatened by Selfish Attitudes

Husbands and wives should be committed to satisfying each other, but Scripture must also be balanced in light of other Scripture. If 1 Corinthians 7 were the only passage considered, people could demand their spouses satisfy their desires regardless of the way the other person feels. But other verses command love, gentleness, compassion, and deference in the marriage relationship. While it would be unhealthy, and even sinful to deprive our spouses for selfish reasons, it can also be equally unhealthy and sinful to be demanding or insensitive toward our spouses.

Although Paul listed fasting and prayer as possible reasons for abstinence, common sense and simple consideration dictate there are other acceptable reasons—sickness, pregnancy, or grief. When people are suffering or struggling, they might find intimacy very unattractive. God wants sex to be enjoyable for both individuals. Selfish and unkind attitudes threaten the joy and pleasure God desires for couples.

2. Intimacy in Marriage Is Threatened by Mismatched Desires

Continue reading “Three Threats to Intimacy in Marriage”

A Biblical View of Intimacy in Marriage (and Abstinence)

Intimacy in marriage is not a neglected topic in Scripture. It is discussed a number of times in the Old and New Testaments, and one entire book—Song of Solomon—is dedicated largely to the topic. When God’s Word makes something important, Christians have a responsibility to make it important as well by learning what Scripture teaches on the subject. If Christians don’t do this, they are likely to gain their understanding from secular society, which has a perverse view of sexuality.

1. Intimacy in Marriage Is Blessed by God

Just as the devil has been successful in encouraging intimacy outside of marriage, he has been equally successful in discouraging intimacy within marriage. I once counseled a man in his fifties who was addicted to pornography. I mention his age only because pornography might be more typically considered a struggle for young, single men. In reality it can enslave men—and women as well—of any age, in any season of life.

The man’s actions were absolutely sinful; there is no minimizing the wickedness of his behavior. With that said, after months of counseling it became apparent that one reason for his addiction was a wrong view of intimacy. His mother had convinced him at a young age that sex was filthy, and he had never been able to rid himself of that belief. He told me: “I look at porn, because at least then I am not involving my wife in a dirty activity.” Though I tried to convince him otherwise, it was very difficult for him to shake his mother’s teaching, even though Hebrews 13:4 says, “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” Continue reading “A Biblical View of Intimacy in Marriage (and Abstinence)”

Wives Submit to Your Husbands

“Wives Submit to Your Husbands” is the third message I preach at Marriage God’s Way Conferences. This message is the complement to “Husbands Love Your Wives.” Watch this video to have a marriage conference in the privacy of your own home!

Below you will find:

  1. Lessons for the message
  2. Discussion questions for the message
  3. Message notes
  4. Information about a Marriage God’s Way Conference you (or your church) could host
  5. Information about my books: Marriage God’s Way, and the accompanying workbook.

Lessons

Lesson 1: Submission is __________________ (Ephesians 5:23; 1 Corinthians 11:3).

Lesson 2: Submission is not:

  • (Part I) Done ______________ and __________________.
  • (Part II) A matter of ______________________ (John 6:38; Matthew 26:39).

Lesson 3: Submission means:

  • (Part I) Husbands still ____________ to their __________ (Genesis 2:18).
  • (Part II) A wife puts her husband in a ________________ to ________.
  • (Part III) A wife ________________ her husband even though she disagrees with him.
  • (Part IV) A wife ____________ ______ (1 Peter 3:5–6).
  • (Part V) A wife keeps her strength __________ ______________.

Lesson 4: (Part I) Husbands ____________ __________ when they’re wrong (Part II) and wives shouldn’t say, “__ ________ ______ ____!”

Discussion Questions

Husband asks wife:

  • How do I make it hard for you to submit to me?
  • How do I make it easier for you to submit to me?
  • Do you feel like I listen to your thoughts when it comes to making decisions?
  • Do you feel like I admit when I’m wrong, or do I make excuses and shift blame?

Wife asks husband:

  • Do you feel like I submit “kicking and screaming”?
  • Do you feel like I put you in a position to lead?
  • Do you feel like I take control of situations or decisions that should be left to you?

Continue reading “Wives Submit to Your Husbands”

Husbands Love Your Wives

“Husbands Love Your Wives” is the second message I preach at Marriage God’s Way Conferences. This message is the complement to “Wives Submit to Your Husbands.” Watch this video to have a marriage conference in the privacy of your own home!

Below you will find:

  1. Lessons for the message
  2. Discussion questions for the message
  3. Message notes
  4. Information about a Marriage God’s Way Conference you (or your church) could host
  5. Information about my books: Marriage God’s Way, and the accompanying workbook.

Lessons

Lesson 1: Husbands love their wives by ______________ them with the ________ (Ephesians 5:26; John 15:3, 17:17).

Lesson 2: Husbands love their wives by setting the ________________ for ________________ in the home.

Lesson 3: Husbands get the wives they ______________ for __________________ (Ephesians 5:27; Galatians 5:19–23, 6:7).

Lesson 4: Husbands love their wives by __________ as ___________________ about them as they are about themselves (Ephesians 5:28–29; Genesis 2:23–24).

Lesson 5: (Part I) Wives must feel like the ______________ ______________________ in their husband’s life, (Part II) which can take ____________________ ________________ things from the husband’s life (Ephesians5:31; Matthew 5:29, 18:9).

Lesson 6: Think of how Jesus loved ______ __________ (Matthew 13:44–46; Romans 3:11; Hebrews 12:2).

Discussion Questions

Husband asks wife:

  • Do you feel like I love you? What do I do that makes you feel loved? What do I do that makes you feel unloved?
  • Do you feel like I take care of you as well as I take care of myself?
  • Do you feel like the supreme relationship in my life?

Wife asks husband:

  • What do I do that makes it easy to love me? What do I do that makes it hard to love me?
  • Do we have anything in our home that should be removed, because it is threatening our holiness?
  • What fruit of the Spirit or works of the flesh do you see in me that characterize my life?

Continue reading “Husbands Love Your Wives”

Temptations Facing Husbands and Wives

“Temptations Facing Husbands and Wives” is the first message I preach at Marriage God’s Way Conferences. Watch this video to have a marriage conference in the privacy of your own home!

Below you will find:

  1. Lessons for the message
  2. Discussion questions for the message
  3. Message notes
  4. Information about a Marriage God’s Way Conference you (or your church) could host
  5. Information about my books: Marriage God’s Way, and the accompanying workbook.

Lessons

Lesson 1: As we begin, make the decision to:

  • (Part I) Focus on ________ ____________________ more than your spouse’s.
  • (Part II) Turn your frustrations ________ ____________.
  • (Part III) Recognize your marriage is a reflection of your ________________________ with ____________.

 Lesson 2: God created headship before ______ ________ (Genesis 2:16-17).

 Lesson 3: Wives are tempted to:

  • (Part I) ______________ their husbands (Genesis 3:16 cf. 4:7).
  • (Part II) ______ their husbands (Proverbs 19:13b, 21:9, 19, 25:24, 27:15–16).

 Lesson 4: Husbands are tempted to:

  • (Part I) Be ________________ (Genesis 3:16).
  • (Part II) ________________ their wives (Colossians 3:19; Genesis 3:16).
  • (Part III) Be ______________ (Genesis 3:17).

Lesson 5: Reverse the effects of The Fall by ______________ God’s ________________ for marriage.

Discussion Questions

Husband asks wife:

  • Do you feel like I am stubborn?
  • Do you feel like I am harsh or authoritarian with you?
  • Do you feel like I am passive?

 Wife asks husband:

  • Do you feel like I try to control you?
  • Do you feel like I nag you?
  • Do you feel like I stir you up for good…or evil?

Continue reading “Temptations Facing Husbands and Wives”

How Husbands Should Treat Their Wives

“How Husbands Should Treat Their Wives” is the fourth message I preach at Marriage God’s Way Conferences. This message is the complement to “How Wives Should Respect Their Husbands.” Watch this video to have a marriage conference in the privacy of your own home!

Below you will find:

  1. Lessons for the message
  2. Discussion questions for the message
  3. Message notes
  4. Information about a Marriage God’s Way Conference you (or your church) could host
  5. Information about my books: Marriage God’s Way, and the accompanying workbook.

Lessons

  1. Lesson 1: Remember listening is ______ ____________ (Matthew 7:24-27; Luke 8:21; John 13:17; James 1:22, 4:17).
  2. Lesson 2: Husbands treat their wives well by:
    • (Part I) ________________ them (1 Peter 3:7a).
    • (Part II) ________________ them (1 Peter 3:7b).
    • (Part III) Recognizing they’re the ____________ ____________ (1 Peter 3:7c).
    • (Part IV) Being __________________ ______ (1 Peter 3:7d; Matthew 7:19; Luke 13:7).
  3. Lesson 3: Husbands mistreat their wives by:
    • (Part I) Responding in __________ (Genesis 30:1–2).
    • (Part II) Responding in __________ (1 Samuel 1:6–8; Proverbs 25:20).

Discussion Questions

Husband asks wife:

  • Do you feel like I strive to learn about you and understand you?
  • Do you feel like I honor you for your femininity?
  • Do you feel like I make your submission easier by being a spiritual man?
  • Do you feel like I respond to you in anger or pride?

 Wife asks husband:

  • Do you feel like I try to be a consistent wife so it’s easier to understand me?
  • Do you feel like I strive to be feminine?
  • Thinking about the account with Rachel and Jacob, do you feel like I:
    • Act melodramatically like she did?
    • Take my frustrations out on you?
    • Covet what other women have?

Continue reading “How Husbands Should Treat Their Wives”

How Wives Should Respect Their Husbands

“How Wives Should Respect Their Husbands” is the fifth, and final message, I preach at Marriage God’s Way Conferences. This message is the complement to “How Husbands Should Treat Their Wives.” Watch this video to have a marriage conference in the privacy of your own home!

Below you will find:

  1. Lessons for the message
  2. Discussion questions for the message
  3. Message notes
  4. Information about a Marriage God’s Way Conference you (or your church) could host

Lessons

  1. Lesson 1: Husbands must feel like their wives ______________ ________ (Ephesians 5:33; Proverbs 31:11–12, 23).
  2. Lesson 2: Wives can ________ their husbands without ____________________ them (1 Samuel 18:20; 1 Peter 3:5; 2 Samuel 6:16, 20–22).
  3. Lesson 3: Disrespect can ____________ a husband’s ________________ toward his wife (2 Samuel 6:23, 3:12-13).
  4. Lesson 4: Husbands can make respecting ________ ____________.
  5. Lesson 5: Wives respect their husbands by making their _________________ _____________________ easier.

Discussion Questions

Husband asks wife:

  • Do you feel like my feelings toward you have changed in a positive way from you respecting me, or in a negative way from you disrespecting me?
  • What do I do that makes it easier for you to respect me?
  • What do I do that makes it harder for you to respect me?
  • Do you feel like I withhold affection from you like David did with Michal?

 Wife asks husband:

  • Do you feel like I respect you?
  • What do I do that makes you feel respected?
  • What do I do that makes you feel disrespected?
  • Do you feel like I talk down to you like Michal did with David?

Continue reading “How Wives Should Respect Their Husbands”

What The Fall Teaches About Marriage

The Fall took place when the devil attacked Adam’s headship. Genesis 3:1–4 says:

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”
Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.”

There’s an important contrast between the creation account in Genesis 2 and The Fall in Genesis 3:

  • In Genesis 2:16, “the Lord God commanded the man.”
  • In Genesis 3:1 and 4, “[the serpent] said to the woman.”

God spoke to Adam, but the devil spoke to Eve. Why? The devil knew Eve was “the weaker vessel” (1 Peter 3:7). Part of the reason God placed Eve under Adam’s headship was for her own protection.

The Choices Adam and Eve Faced at The Fall

When the devil tempted Eve, she had two choices:

  • She could trust her husband who had given her God’s command, thereby submitting to him.
  • She could trust the devil, submitting instead to him.

Sadly, Genesis 3:6 reveals her choice: “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.”

At this point, Adam also had two choices:

  • He could obey God who gave him the command, thereby submitting to Him.
  • He could obey his wife, submitting instead to her.

Adam chose to obey his wife instead of obeying God. Genesis 3:9–12 gives us the outcome of that decision:

Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”
So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”
Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”

It’s significant that the conversation about The Fall took place between God and Adam. God didn’t address Eve until Genesis 3:16 when He explained how sin’s curse would affect women.

Who was Blamed for The Fall?

Continue reading “What The Fall Teaches About Marriage”

The Virtuous Wife of Proverbs 31

Proverbs 31 contains what is commonly known as the Virtuous Wife passage. One might say it’s about the ideal woman. While the verses are typically thought to instruct wives, there’s plenty of encouragement for husbands too!

The Virtuous Wife’s Treatment of Her Husband

Proverbs 31:11-12—The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.

He trusts her in more ways than one. He knows she is hardworking and does not need someone standing over her shoulder ensuring she is making good use of her time or the family’s finances. She is not like women who might spend hours on the phone, the Internet, or in front of the television. He also trusts her faithfulness to him, knowing she is the opposite of the adulterous wife in Proverbs 7:10–23 who entices the foolish young man with the temptation: “For my husband is not at home.” He has “no lack of gain” because as his helper she works hard to “[do] him good.” The rest of the passage elaborates on the ways the Virtuous Wife cares for her family and others.

The Virtuous Wife’s Job Description

Proverbs 31:13-16—She seeks wool and flax, and willingly works with her hands. She is like the merchant ships bringing her food from afar. Also, she rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household, and a portion for her maidservants. She considers a field and buys it; from her profits she plants a vineyard.

Interestingly, this passage was written at a time when women were not only legal possessions of men but their sphere of influence traditionally did not extend beyond the home and raising children. So what this passage includes as attributes of the “perfect woman” stands out in even starker contrast to what one might consider a stereotype of the biblical wife.

Notice she gathers the materials to take care of her family. She is diligent with her hands and travels to secure the best food for her loved ones. Her hardworking nature is shown in the way she gets up before dawn to have food prepared not just for her family but also for the servants. She is industrious and resourceful as she buys a field and then reinvests the profits to make more money for her family. This is important because it shows that women can also engage in work that provides for their families financially. Men are not the only ones who can make money.

The Virtuous Wife Takes Care of Her Family, the Poor, and Herself

Continue reading “The Virtuous Wife of Proverbs 31”