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”

Responding in Anger

Responding in Anger After King Jeroboam set up his golden calves and introduced the nation into idolatry (1 Kin 12:25-33), a prophet was sent to rebuke him and give him a sign that the altar he’d recently built would split apart (1 Kin 13:3). At that point Jeroboam faced the same two choices we face when we’re confronted:

  1. Be humble and repent.
  2. Get angry at the person confronting us.

You can probably guess his choice…

1 Kings 13:4 When King Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God [he said], “Arrest him!” Then his hand, which he stretched out toward him, withered, so that he could not pull it back to himself.

Proverbs 9:8 says, “Do not correct a scoffer or he will hate you” and that’s exactly what happened with Jeroboam.

When we’re confronted we might all feel like pointing at the person and saying, “Arrest him!” but the verse shows how God felt about Jeroboam responding the way he did, and I believe it’s instructive regarding how God feels when we respond angrily when we’re confronted.

1 Kings 13:5 The altar also was split apart, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the Lord.

Jeroboam’s anger didn’t change anything: the prophecy still came true. And the same is true for us: getting angry doesn’t change anything. Usually it just makes things worse. This is exactly what happened with Jeroboam:

  • He continued with his wickedness: 1 Kings 13:33 After this event Jeroboam did not turn from his evil way.
  • His lack of repentance led to his death and the death of his descendants: 1 Kings 13:34 [Jeroboam’s sin] led to the destruction of his house from the face of the earth.
  • Jeroboam’s son Nadab became king, he was murdered by Baasha who took the throne in his place, and that was the end of Jeroboam’s dynasty (1 Kin 15:25-33).

If Jeroboam had repented instead of getting angry, he and his descendants could’ve been spared judgment, but he’s an example of what Proverbs clearly shows: responding poorly to correction always leads to terrible consequences…

  • Proverbs 13:18a Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction.
  • Proverbs 15:10b He who hates correction will die.
  • Proverbs 15:32 He who disdains instruction despises his own soul. Why does it say this? Because the consequences of getting angry when corrected are so severe it’s almost like punishing yourself.
  • Proverbs 29:1 He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.

The next time you feel yourself getting angry, remember your anger won’t improve anything. It will probably just make things worse: James 1:20 the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

The situation with Jeroboam can serve as an example…

When we’re confronted and we feel ourselves getting angry – we want to point at our husband or wife or children or parents or friends or coworkers – picture Jeroboam pointing at the man of God and having his hand wither as a result.

  • Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger…be put away from you.
  • Colossians 3:8 Put off all these: anger, wrath, malice…9 since you have put off the old man…10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.

When we respond in anger we’re forgetting who we are in Christ and we’re living as the old man instead of the new one.

How Do You Deal with Fools?

There are two reasons to understand fools:

  1. Learn how to deal with them.
  2. Learn how to avoid being foolish ourselves. Even though certain people are identified as fools, there’s some foolishness in all of of us. Learning about fools can convict us of our own foolishness.

How to identify a Proverbs fool…

They’re described as unteachable:

Proverbs 1:7b Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 1:22c Fools hate knowledge.

It’s not that they literally hate wisdom, instruction and knowledge. They hate it in the sense that they won’t gain any because they think they know everything:

Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes.

Since they refuse to learn, they continually make the same mistakes.

Proverbs 26:11 As a dog returns to his own vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.

Instead of learning:

Proverbs 18:2 A fool has no delight in understanding, but in expressing his own heart.

This is to say they don’t want to understand. They just want to listen to themselves talk. This leaves them very puffed up:

Proverbs 14:3a In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride.

This pride leaves them blind to their own foolishness. They’re deceived:

Proverbs 14:8 The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way, but the folly of fools is deceit.

Wise people know the truth about themselves. They see themselves accurately. Fools on the other hand have deceived themselves into thinking they’re wise. As a result they think they’re speaking wisdom, when in fact:

Proverbs 15:2b The mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.

Proverbs 15:14b The mouth of fools feeds on foolishness.

This is why their mouths and ignorance get them in trouble:

Proverbs 18:7 A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.

Proverbs 10:21 Fools die for lack of wisdom.

What’s the solution for fools? How can they avoid the destruction their foolishness brings? The solution is to become teachable:

Proverbs 8:5 O you simple ones, understand prudence, and you fools, be of an understanding heart.

How to deal with a Proverbs fool…

Now that we have an understanding of the characteristic of fools, this is the obvious question!

The simple answer is you don’t! Proverbs says the best way to deal with fools is by not dealing with them at all:

Proverbs 14:7 Go from the presence of a foolish man, when you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge.

When you recognize people are fools, it’s time to get away from them!

If you choose to hang around fools though, the Bible also lets you know what to expect:

Proverbs 13:20b The companion of fools will be destroyed.

What if you don’t want to be the “companion of fools” but you want to try to reason with a fool. In other words, what if you try to deal with a fool? The reality is you can’t, because it’s inevitably going to become an argument. Scripture is clear about the hostility you should expect dealing with fools:

Proverbs 12:16 A fool’s wrath is known at once.

Fools are quick tempered and often respond in anger. This is how miserable it is:

Proverbs 17:12 Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs,than a fool in his folly.

A fool will hate what you have to say:

Proverbs 23:9 Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words.

You’ll be scorned if you try to correct a fool:

Proverbs 14:9a Fools mock at sin.

The clear instruction from Scripture is not to waste your time trying to deal with a fool; it is a futile, frustrating endeavor. You can’t talk any sense into a fool, and not to sound too simple, but this is what makes him a fool: he won’t listen. He won’t learn. He could experience terrible punishment and discipline, but he won’t change:

Proverbs 27:22 Though you grind a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, yet his foolishness will not depart from him.

If fools would listen they’d cease being fools, but since they won’t it’s best to let them continue in their foolishness. What’s the problem with this though? If you’ve been around a fool it’s hard not to respond!

Proverbs 27:3 A stone is heavy and sand is weighty, but the provocation of a fool is heavier than both.

The difficult dilemma with fools…

You shouldn’t respond to a fool for the reasons mentioned, but you know if you don’t respond the person will remain a fool. The situation is described perfectly:

Proverbs 26:4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him. 5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes. You want to respond so he doesn’t continue to think he’s right and remain a fool.

Answering a fool makes you “like him” in two ways:

  1. It is so foolish to answer a fool you have to be a fool to do so.
  2. You won’t be able to help but look like a fool when you respond, hence the quote, “Don’t argue with a fool because onlookers won’t be able to tell the difference.”

Proverbs 26:4 says not to answer a fool, and then Proverbs 26:5 says the opposite? It looks like a contradiction unless you consider how well it captures the predicament you’re in with a fool:

  • You can’t answer a fool because of his foolishness.
  • You should answer a fool so he learns some wisdom.

Despite the strong urge to respond, DON’T! Unless you want the frustration the Bible clearly warns you’ll experience.

Discuss:

  • Do the verses in Proverbs help you recognize a fool? More importantly, do they warn you against being foolish yourself?
  • Have you dealt with a fool before?
  • Requiring some humility, when have you acted like a fool?

Share your answer(s) in the comment section below!

Physical consequences of obedience or disobedience

Tuesday night I was at the young men’s study and Brendan covered Proverbs 3:8 which discusses obedience bringing “health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” I thought this was interesting because we don’t normally think of the physical benefits of obedience; usually we just think of obeying God affecting us spiritually, and perhaps mentally or emotionally. If we do think of the physical consequences of sin our minds immediately go to struggles with drugs or alcohol, but sin in general takes a physical toll on us. Listen to these words from David following his sin: “My bones wasted and I groaned all day long…my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer” (Psa 32:3-4), “My strength fails because of my iniquity, and my body wastes away” (Psa 31:10), and, “There is no health in my bones because of my sin” (Psa 38:3).

This past week I was watching a health lecture on YouTube. The doctor was talking about ways to avoid disease, keep a strong immune system, stay young, etc. He went through the normal recommendations regarding nutrition, exercise, sleep, etc. Then he started talking about avoiding things like bitterness, anger, and even unforgiveness. He described what happens in our bodies when we get angry: capillaries restrict, the heart has to work much harder, hormone levels are negatively affected, we become less reasonable, and our bodies become slower to heal, and experience poorer pulmonary function. One study showed individuals with the highest levels of anger had twice the risk of coronary artery disease and three times the risk of heart attack.

It was pretty hard to believe, but some scientists claimed chronic anger may be more dangerous than smoking and obesity as factors contributing to early death. The bible also tells us not to worry, and there’s plenty of evidence to show the physical harm in worrying. God’s Word is filled with tremendous spiritual, mental, emotional and physical ways to be blessed. Instead of milk it should say, “Obeying God does a body good.”

Being right and still being wrong

Have you ever heard, “You can be right and still be wrong”? There’s an example in this week’s sermon, and recently I faced a situation where it applied. Here’s a little background info: a relative of mine (who isn’t a believer, but thinks she’s a good person who’s going to go to heaven…like most unbelievers) was caught in a lie she told about Katie. I confronted her about the lie. This left her with the two options we face when confronted with lying: admit it or deny it which usually involves telling more lies to cover up the original lie (and this is what happened with her).

Here’s where the quote comes in! My desire: confront her about the other lies (aka keep the tension in our family going). We (my parents, Katie and I) had a family meeting. It’s obvious to everyone she’s lying, but everyone wants to let it go…except me…because of my flesh and because I’m immature. I could confront her AGAIN and be right in what I say…but be wrong because I know the right thing to do is let it go. Here’s the conversation I had with Katie (with my notes in parentheses):

Me – She’s caused a number of problems in our family over the years and there’s no sign of it stopping any time soon, so this should be addressed.

Katie – Things are already tense between them (her and her husband) and you (true). She’s obviously not going to confess; confronting her again is just going to push her further away and decrease the chances of us witnessing to them.

Me – People don’t get saved until they know they’re terrible, wretched sinners who need forgiveness through Christ, so let’s help her see that…I mean that’s basically how I got saved.

Katie – She’s not you. That’s just going to push them further away. You need to love them, so they can see the love of Christ through you and see how He changed your life.

Me – That won’t help her see her sinfulness and need for Christ.

Katie – This is exactly what you did with your parents (true) that made them want to move to Texas to get away from you (true).

Me – Uhhh…umm…well…

Katie – It wasn’t until you backed off and started loving your parents and being gentle toward them that they came to salvation.

Me – Is it already 10:00?