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?

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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

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