Proverbs 21: 9 “It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.”
Proverbs 27:15 “A quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping on a rainy day.”
I am sure there are some men who can relate to these sentiments expressed in scripture. I cannot count the number of times I have heard the grievances of a husband who feels nagged by their wife. These complaints are often coupled with assertions that the wife uses a disrespectful tone, sarcasm, or attitude -all in an attempt to control the husband or the situation. During these times of “nagging” husbands feel they are being spoken down to, as if they were children or less intelligent, by an unyielding aggressive wife.
Glory With No Humility
Adam's first words to Eve can be found in Genesis 2:23 which were “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” These were words of affirmation, recognition, and purpose. Adam was emotionally available and connected to Eve, as his first words were to affirm her existence and value. This is contrasted dramatically with today’s husbands who are emotionally passive.
Spiritually Passive Husband
the husband’s implementation. The husband does not need to be timid before God, as he is commanded to come boldly before God’s throne
Initiative is taking charge and responsibility before someone else does. There is no reason why your wife should be the one taking the initiative in your family. If there is disorder in the home -the husband is to initiate order. If there are financial difficulties -the husband is to initiate fiscal stewardship. If there is an argument -the husband is to initiate peace. If there is anger -the husband is to initiate forgiveness.
Husbands often desire to have a wife who is more yielding then one who seeks to seize power and authority. Wives often desire the freedom to be whom they choose to be without the criticism from their husbands.
Forgiving an individual who has hurt you grants them the freedom to give new meaning and definition to their actions; it frees them from the past. When you stop the ‘re-membering’ process you no longer respond from a place of hurt and disappointment, you respond from a place of hope and optimism.
There are many reasons why marriages dissolve; however, it is never because God desires this. There is no scenario -go ahead think of them- where God would rather you divorce your spouse.
While it is true that the wife must respond to her husband differently, let us first deal with the husband’s role -passivity.
As men, we often boast in the title of head of household, priest of the home, leader of the family, man of the house, and any other accolade that communicates headship.
Unfortunately, many men have taken on the title of headship without the lifestyle of servanthood. Men who have reached a mature sense of masculinity understand that they must exercise initiative. It is their responsibility to take an assertive role in the condition and direction of their family.
Emotionally Passive Husband
It is very typical for a husband to be absent and disengaged from marital and family life, with the exception of providing an income. Husbands often feel that by providing for the family financially they have met their responsibility. What may seem like
a nagging wife may be an overwhelmed wife longing for her husband to assume his God-design role and lead his family.
An emotionally passive husband is one who is unreactive to the shifts and nuances of his wife’s mood, thoughts, and experiences. This emotional passivity may be self-pleasing seeking sex rather than intimacy, objectification rather than affirmation, apathy rather than empathy, and contempt rather than respect.
An emotionally present husband, who is head of his house, takes the initiative in the psychological well-being
of his family. He is concerned and makes inquiries about the inner workings of his family members daily activities. He is sensitive to his family’s emotional expressions and is able to healthily express his emotions. He exchanges emotional passivity for emotional assertiveness.
Why have the title, priest of your home, if there’s no priestly functioning taking place? If there is no leading in prayer, if there is no pointing to Christ, if there is no Christ-like lifestyle being displayed -why claim the title of priest? Being able to lead others to God is an honor, an honor which God has called men to take the initiative in (1 Tim. 2:11-14; Eph. 5:22-23).
A priest is one who leads and teaches others the gospel of Christ by initiation and implementation. A husband who is the priest of his home will initiate prayer. This may be accomplished by him leading the prayer or by him delegating prayer to another family member -as long as he is the initiator. Instructions concerning fasting, worship, daily living, and other spiritually impacted activities should be at
Asserting your spiritual authority as priest of the home also means protecting and having spiritual authority over those who live in your home. Protection is more than locking the house doors at night or protecting against natural threats to your wife and children. Protection is also being sensitive to the spiritual climate of your home and being able to make adjustments when needed. Spiritual sensitivity only comes about when you are spending time with God in prayer and reading his word, conditioning your ear to hear the voice of God.
Husband are to Take Initiative
If God visited your family today, who would he ask to give an account for the family? Who would be the designated representative? Just as God first asked Adam in Genesis 3, it is the husband who is the first responder and the one who first must give account for his family. Husband
Ephesians 5 teaches us that as Christ heads the church, the husband heads his family. However, the orientation in which the husband is the head resembles more of a servanthood lifestyle. Jesus illustrates this perfectly in John 13 by washing his
headship and initiative was the precedent created by God, first illustrated with Adam, and later in Christ.
disciple’s feet. The disciples knew what Jesus was doing was a servant’s job, as did Jesus. Jesus also knew exactly who he was and the position he held when he stated "You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am” (John 13:13). So, if Jesus knowing he was Teacher and Lord demonstrated leadership by serving -how should a husband demonstrate leadership -by serving.
Just as much as Christ has sacrificed for his church, so should a husband sacrifice for his wife. When God created you as a man, he designed in you everything needed as a husband to fulfill your role (2 Peter 1:1-11). Your wife is looking to be relieved from burdens and responsibilities she was not intended to carry. Now it is up to you to reject passivity and draw out what God has placed in you.