What is a Christian woman to do when her Christian husband sins against her? This question has been the topic of discussion among my circle lately. The first answer was for the wife to tell him his fault. This solution presupposes that the husband is hurting his wife out of ignorance, not intentionally.
I would add here that there is a first step the wife should take before speaking to her husband. It is:
“Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:3-5
She should examine herself first, asking the Lord for help. What if the Lord shows her a log in her eye? (I have never — never — had the Lord not show me a log in my eye when I have asked Him, being in this position, if I was to listen to His answer honestly.) Then she should, with the Lord’s help, work on removing that log, keeping her silence about her husband’s faults, entrusting him to the Lord in the meantime.
The Lord ever so gently reminds me that it is not just that I have to live with my husband; he has to live with me, too. As my mother used to say when I would run in the house complaining about my brother, “You have enough to worry about with you.” When a flawed human being supposes to correct the faults of another flawed human being, a lot of hurt and damage can be done, unless the conditions of spirituality, humility, and gentleness are met.
What if the wife has been careful to remove the log from her eye, and she is one who is spiritual, who is careful to approach her husband with humility and gentleness? Then go and tell your husband his fault, between you and him alone. The women’s Bible study and the wife’s best friend are still ignorant of his fault at this point. If he listens to you, you have gained your husband.
But what should the wife do, if her Christian husband does not listen to her? What should the wife do if her Christian husband is continuing in a destructive sin? [P-rn]ography, refusing to provide for legitimate needs, anger or harshness toward their children or herself, or the like?
to be continued …
Update: continued in On unrepented sin