Influence of a Wife and Mother

Because of the celebration of Mother’s Day (here in the U.S.) we’re concentrating on the influence a wife and mother can bring into her home. (Next month Steve will address Father’s Day. So, hang on if you think this Insight is one-sided. We acknowledge that it is… for now.)

Most of us will acknowledge that a wife and mother can bring either a softening or a hardening touch to almost every situation, concerning the home. As author Melanie Chitwood says,

“Women are the heart of the home, and our attitudes set the emotional temperature in our families. A wife’s positive attitude can permeate our home like the sweet aroma of freshly picked flowers. Or negative attitude can pollute her home like stinky garbage.”

Concerning the Influence of a Wife, the Bible says:

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. (Proverbs 31:10-12) However, A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day; restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand. (Proverbs 27:15-16)

Better to live in a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife. (Proverbs 25:24) Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife. (Proverbs 21:19) The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. (Proverbs 14:1)

Do you see the influence a woman can bring into her home? She often sets the tone. We’d have to be blind not to acknowledge it. As far as her influence concerning her husband, it’s been said (and we agree):

“Wives have the power to frame husbands as either failures or as heroes. We are the mirror that reflects either their strengths or their weaknesses. Every choice, every word, every response has the potential to build or to tear down. The question we must ask ourselves is this, ‘How am I using my power?’” (Juli Slattery)

We hope that isn’t an “OUCH” for you. If it is, may the Lord help you to change that and use your power wisely!

For the rest of this Insight, we will weave in some additional points to prayerfully consider. Each point stands on its own to challenge our thinking and actions.

May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.(2 Peter 1:2)

So, the following are some quotes that we encourage you to pray about, read, glean through, and use what you can, as God points it out to you!

More on the Influence of a Wife (and Mother)

As far as a wife’s actions, reactions and influence within the home, it’s important to note:

“Your greatest temptation to sin is when someone first sins against you. But their sin never justifies your sin.’ This is as true for spouses… Fighting your husband’s irresponsibility with irresponsibility of your own is like pouring gasoline on a fire. It just makes things that much more explosive, that much worse. The Bible recommends a more subversive approach: ‘let love conquer evil. Let responsibility shame irresponsibility.

…”It’s a spiritual fact that kindness kills wickedness far more effectively than nagging, complaining, or disrespect. Remember, God won us with grace when we were his rebellious enemies. He doesn’t ask anything of you that he hasn’t already done himself. God says that we are responsible to love, even in the face of another’s irresponsibility.” (Gary Thomas, “Sacred Influence”)

“Have you ever heard it said that some people brighten a room just by their presence, while others brighten the room by leaving? We want to be room lighters, not gloomy grumblers. Jesus told his followers, Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.‘ (Matthew 5:16) He wasn’t saying we should be ‘Sally Smiles’ or ‘Frieda Fake’ or ‘Polly Perfect.’ He was saying that God has placed his gospel of truth, joy, and hope in our hearts. And we shouldn’t hide it. We should let it radiate from our lives. And as we shine with the Lord’s love, others will be drawn to him.” (Karol Ladd, “The Power of a Positive Wife”)

Additionally, Prayerfully Consider:

There’s no doubt that a wife can get frustrated by the actions of her husband. (And yes, the reverse can be true, as well.) But it’s still important to note:

“Only one perfect man ever walked this earth, and he never married. Since every wife is married to an imperfect man, every wife will have legitimate disappointments in her marriage. Are you going to define your husband by these disappointments, or will you pray that God will open your eyes to the common blessings that your husband provides and to which you often become blinded?” (Gary Thomas, “Sacred Influence”)

“Many women I meet at our seminars ask me how they can change their husbands. I gently remind them that the Holy Spirit —not the wife —is the change agent. Speaking to this same situation, Ruth Graham wisely says, ‘Tell your mate the positive, and tell God the negative.’ Talk to God about your marriage. Ask your heavenly Father to work change through His Spirit —and know that He may change you as well as your spouse!” (Bob Barnes, “Your Husband Your Friend”)

Also, here’s an important tip:

“Make a point of listening carefully to yourself during an hour spent with your husband. Then try to put yourself in his shoes and evaluate the way you behaved and the words you spoke. Try to assess whether you helped draw him closer to yourself as his wife, and to God’s kingdom, or whether you pushed him further away.” … “Reflect honestly about your life and think about any of your actions or attitudes that probably make it harder for other people to believe in Jesus. Repent when you are ready and ask God to help you change.” (Michael & Diane Fanstone, “Praying for Your Unbelieving Husband”)

On the Issue of One’s Influence:

It’s to pray for yourself and how you interact with your husband. And it’s also important to pray for your husband and your children. There is power in prayer because we are aligning ourselves with God’s will. But:

“Let me make it perfectly clear that the power of a praying wife is not a means of gaining control over your husband. So don’t get your hopes up! In fact, it is quite the opposite. It’s laying down all claim to power in and of yourself, and relying on God’s power to transform you, your husband, your circumstances, and your marriage.

This power is not given to wield like a weapon in order to beat back an unruly beast. It’s a gentle tool of restoration appropriated through the prayers of a wife who longs to do right more than be right, and to give life more than get even. It’s a way to invite God’s power into your husband’s life for his greatest blessing, which is ultimately yours, too.” (Stormie Omartian, “The Power of a Praying Wife”)

Here’s Something to Prayerfully Consider:

“Many difficult things that happen in a marriage relationship are actually part of the enemy’s plan set up for its demise. But we can say, ‘I will not allow anything to destroy my marriage.’ ‘I will not stand by and watch my husband be wearied, beaten down, or destroyed.’ ‘I will not sit idle while an invisible wall goes up between us.’ ‘And I will not allow confusion, miscommunication, wrong attitudes, and bad choices erode what we are trying to build together.’ ‘I will not tolerate hurt and unforgiveness leading us to divorce.'”

“We can take a stand against any negative influences in our marriage relationship and know that God has given us authority in his name to back it up. You have the means to establish a hedge of protection around your marriage. Jesus said, Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.‘ (Matthew 18:18)

“You have authority in the name of Jesus to stop evil and permit good. And you can submit to God in prayer whatever controls your husband. This includes alcoholism, workaholism, laziness, depression, infirmity, abusiveness, anxiety, fear, or failure —and pray for him to be released from it.” (Stormie Omartian, “The Power of a Praying Wife”)

The Prayer of Our Hearts

As a wife, we encourage you to pray:

Lord, help me to be a woman of God who, with Your guidance and strength and empowerment, pokes holes in the darkness that the enemy of our faith tries to push into my marriage and into our home. Help me to remember that my husband is not perfect, but neither am I. And for that reason, in partnership with you, it is my privilege to pray for BOTH of us. Lord, help us.

And may we never forget what God tells us to do:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7)

May God bless, as you minister in your homes “as unto the Lord.

Cindy and Steve Wright


Is your spouse an unbeliever? Here is an article that may help you in the influence you have within your marriage. We recommend you read it:



To help you further, we give a lot of personal stories, humor, and more practical tips in our book, 7 ESSENTIALS to Grow Your Marriage. We hope you will pick up a copy for yourself. (It’s available both electronically and in print form.) Plus, it can make a great gift for someone else. It gives you the opportunity to help them grow their marriage. And who doesn’t need that? Just click on the linked title or the picture below:

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18 responses to “Influence of a Wife and Mother

  1. (USA) So, am I to understand that only women should sacrifice and suffer?… I had a horrible “Mother’s Day” …Token gifts and cards and, as always, me against them in the end… I wish I was dead. I hate my life. I have a husband and kids because I made bad choices. I am a piece of furniture in this house and wish I’d gotten another dog and one less daughter. Seriously, I am becoming horribly disillusioned with the Marriage Message.

    My Faith is well set in myself at this point. Lord, take me home. And if I am not worthy, please send me back and I promise to do better.

  2. (USA) Dearest M… Your words were very similar to my current experience, both as it relates to my marriage and to my daughter. But if you continue to have faith and look to the Lord, you will continue to find peace over and over in each situation.

    No, God’s intent for us is not simply suffering and sacrifice, because of His great love for us. I am often disappointed with actions of my husband and my daughter that also (to me) feel as though they continue to attack me and blame me for their "issues". But I know better and I know my faith in God will prevail. Unfortunately, my husband and my daughter have CHOSEN at this time, not to practice faith in God and so they are in the situation they are in. I too have asked the Lord to bring me Home, but I’m still here. It’s because I still have work to do for Him.

  3. (USA) HI all, These are very good words to consider and keep in mind. The only cautionary (if that’s the right word and I don’t know that it is necessarily) wisdom I would add to this is to keep in mind that there are people out there who grew up in abusive houses.

    They grew up with people who had anger, negativity, extreme selfishness (I’m talking "take the cake selfishness" not just the average amount that all people live with), no manners, extreme disrespect and impoliteness and their childhood house was covered in this kind of attitude most of the time.

    So permeating is this attitude that there is a possibility that even when you are doing the right thing in a situation (or mostly the right thing, because we all slip now and then), there is a definite possibility that it will not be enough.

    People who grew up in this kind of home and then bring it into their marriages have an extremely difficult time keeping that out of their perspectives. They tend to be not only angry, but paranoid (almost to the point of delusion) and automatically read strange and twisted reasons for their spouse’s actions, even the Godly actions. It is my personal experience that soft words do not always turn away wrath because some people are too angry to see it at times.

    I’ve been called "self-righteous" more times than I can count, by my husband, for trying to address issues that create tension and keep us from having a Godly marriage and damage our ability to have a Christian home. My words, in general, tend to be attacked even when they are words I say to stand by God and what is right. God has taught me to stay as unemotional as possible, and respectful. Even this does not always win over someone who is angry. In fact, it usually doesn’t, if that person was an abused child who still hasn’t healed or found peace from God.

    Forgive me if I sound like a "downer," for that is certainly not my intention, it’s just that I felt pressed to write this. I believe there are probably MANY women out there living in abusive marriages and trying to do the right thing and wondering why, even when following the advice mentioned in the article above, they still face angry, negative words and actions from their spouses.

    I have come to believe, in my healing journey of overcoming my own abuse as an abused wife, but living with a spouse who comes from that environment and is still trying to overcome that (at least I hope he’s trying; we don’t communicate as much about that for me to know), that God allowed me to live with the abuse and that kind of a husband to make me into the Godly person he wants me to be. My husband’s abuse didn’t get addressed until he was in his 40’s so it’s harder, the later in life it’s addressed. His father, who is in his 70’s, is still living in that state of mind.

    But I believe God has a purpose in this, at least on my end, of which I’m not totally sure of the bigger picture. I know, in part, it is for me to come here and help women who are in the situation I was in.

    Please do not think I write any of this out of bitterness or lack of hope. Christ gave me the freedom to be free of my husband’s negative energy and attitudes. I read the article on boundaries (from this website) and it was huge for me – I now leave the room when profanity or name-calling starts. God showed me that it’s not me being disrespectful to my husband to do this (as he would have me think), but instead it is me showing respect for what is right in the eyes of God and having the freedom to respect myself. My husband calls himself a Christian so he should not talk that way to anyone, including his wife. I have also been given the additional insight to know that someone using profane language at someone else does so because they have deep hurt and anger, but don’t know how to express it in normal words – it comes out as an explosion of profanity, anger and emotion. When I shared this with my husband recently, even doing so in a respectful way, the response is that I’m simply being self-righteous and then more profanity occurs. At this point, I rely on God to give me the nudge to know when a conversation is being blocked by Satan.

    I used to feel hopeless, depressed and want to die. But it was through all this adversity that my relationship with God strengthened. I can now weather the storms. God takes me through anything – I no longer react with feelings of hopelessness or suicidal thoughts like I used to but I know there are women out there having these thoughts. And I also know what it is like to feel that way.

    There is hope ladies. Grow closer to God and put up a barrier to the negativity that comes from others. It’s a weakness they have that Satan uses against you. Be strong in Christ and don’t let it happen to you. As you grow and walk with God more and more, you will find yourself, too, weathering these storms with Godly courage and wisdom and strength. You will no longer be tossed "to and fro" with the situations in life (Ephesians 4:14, read the whole chapter) but you will, over time walking with God, find yourself standing strong with, and in, Christ Jesus, through the power and might of God’s Holy Spirit.

    God has given us the spirit of a sound mind, not of fear. II Timothy 1:7 (read the whole chapter, again)

    This note ended up being a lot longer than I had anticipated but I really felt pressed to write it. I think there are a lot of women out there who need to know these things.

    So…..the words in this article are always words to live by as they apply to us as Christian women. But there are times when your love and affection may cover a multitude of sins, but it doesn’t mean you can change someone else. It’s a matter of learning how to grow close to God and rely on Him and act in the right way, despite whether someone else changes or not.

    I think there are a lot of articles and books out there written for middle class people in western cultures who came from "average" families with not a lot of anger and/or abuse. Articles like the above article (and the book, Sacred Influence, mentioned) are made for people from these backgrounds but they are not always going to work for people who live with abuse. If you are being abused or are healing from abuse, find books and articles tailored to that situation because it is much more delicate and psychologically severe than material written for "average" middle class homes.

    Like I said, I don’t write this to be negative, simply realistic and what I’ve learned is from God guiding me to all the knowledge I’ve gained. Every article, book, person who’s told me things, etc., came from God taking me on a journey of healing, overcoming, having freedom and strength in Him, and receiving wisdom/knowledge from God.

    Please read the article above and apply it to yourself for it is full of wonderful advice. Just keep in mind that you may never have a husband who thinks of you as the Proverbs 31 woman (even if you are to the full extent described in the chapter) because he comes from a background of twisted views that sees good and perceives it as evil. For that is how pervasive Satan can be with certain people and homes in this world.

    This does not excuse them but nor does it give us (those who recognize it for what it is and trying to do the right thing despite the evil in our own homes) the right to give up or lose hope.

    Read I Corinthians 13 if you live in this type of home (you’ll know if you are one of those people in this situation even though Satan will use various means to tell you you’re wrong). It talks about what TRUE love is, not the world’s version of love or Satan’s twisted version of love. People from abusive backgrounds don’t recognize true love – a lot of times they actually see it as evil. But don’t let that dissuade you in your quest for Godly love that rejoices in the truth and doesn’t rejoice in iniquity.

    Proverbs also talks about a woman building her house (and family) with her own hands, not tearing it down. If you feel you are trying to overcome with God and do the right thing, you’ll know whether you are building your house up or tearing it down. Let God in you be your guide. Don’t let an abused, unhealed person tell you otherwise. Let God guide you on that one.

    People who are not at peace are miserable inside. And misery loves company. But don’t join that dinner party – stay strong in God.

    I know what I’ve written is for certain people out there. You know who you are and you’ll know if it is for you if you read it and it speaks to you. I felt God’s hand on me the entire time I’ve written it. Please read it prayerfully and take to heart whatever parts are for you. May God bless you all. With love, LT

    1. (USA)  It’s 2 and 1/2 years later and it’s still true relevant and powerfully healing. Thank you and may God richly bless you and your home. Thank you for not only being a woman who’s wise enough to build her home but loving and faithful enough to allow God to use you to build others.

  4. (ZIMBABWE) Thank you so much for this message. It came just when I needed it. I had just had enough of my husband’s irresponsible behaviour and was just about ready to quit on our marriage or just equally give up on being the responsible one. I realise now that no amount of shouting can change him. I think it just made things worse. I have decided to ask God to change him and to change me too. Thank you so much, you have lifted a weight from my heart. God bless you Cindy

  5. (SA) The part that touched me the most, “ONLY one perfect man walked the earth and he was never married, so every woman will be married to an imperfect man and will encounter disappointments etc…”

    I have been very bitter over the past three years in relation to my marriage and husband. It seemed that everywhere I looked there was another woman crying about her marriage, crying about how irresponsible or adulterous her husband was. I got to a point where I asked God, if this was what marriage was meant to be. How can all women suffer like this, over a MAN, when God created EVE who was meant to be something good, and ADAM was pleased?

    When I read the message above, I kinda understood things from a different perspective and now I can begin to try and work to forgive and remove the bitterness I feel towards this man I call my husband.

  6. (USA)  Thank you for this: I believe there are probably MANY women out there living in abusive marriages and trying to do the right thing and wondering why, even when following the advice mentioned in the article above, they still face angry, negative words and actions from their spouses.
    and I believe there are probably many MEN out there living in abusive marriages and trying to do the right thing and wondering why, even when following the advice mentioned in the article above, they still face angry, negative words and actions from their spouses.
    My wife grew up in an abusive environment. She calls herself Catholic, though days when we try to go to mass wind up complete catastrophes due to her traumatic experiences surrounding church and her family. Her mother was physically, verbally, and emotionally abusive to her.

    Now, unfortunately, my wife is verbally and emotionally abusing me. I have quite a number of books on the topic, and I can explain very clearly what my wife is doing while it is happening. All of the categories of verbal abuse are present: negating, diverting, discounting, name calling, profanity, stomping, eye-rolling, broken promises, etc., the list goes on.

    It’s like we got married and "poof," all of the rules of mutual respect and kindness disappeared completely. I became some man, someone never ever to be listened to, someone never ever to be kind to, just someone to use, beat up on, negate, etc., … just like my father-in-law was treated.

    I felt that my wife had amazing emotional intelligence and control before we got married. It was incredible how together she was under the duress of her family. However, it ALL came heaping down on me.

    Her words feel like arrows… actually… more accurately, I feel like my wife hits me in the head with a shovel (with her words) ever single day. It is slowly creeping into how she treats our child too.

    Anything I say is a "criticism," and she gets to walk out, stomp, curse, but actually discussing the real issues is completely out of the question.

    So, LT, I know where you are coming from, though I am receiving the abuse from my wife.

    The advice from all the books I’ve purchased helps, though I have to say I have certainly felt like death would be more pleasant than living through this marriage. I have looked deeply into myself, and when I find myself in almost a godlike state, things do improve, but it’s like my wife insists on robbing any joy from our life.

    Nothing can be happy. She always has to be mad. It is destroying our life.

    I influence almost nothing in our life. Not how we live, where we live, how our place is decorated, how our place is cleaned (and it is not clean at all) — though before visitors come I usually clean for many hours, our schedule, the food we eat.

    Every single aspect of our life is controlled by my wife, but if I try to influence things, or even try to discuss a "win-win" arrangement that would work for both of us, my wife gets really nasty and starts saying that I am trying to control her.

    I have a lot of spiritual help and guidance, and people are praying for our marriage, it’s just that I am physically not surviving currently… it is robbing so much energy from me …and we’ve reached out for several kinds of help.

    Relationship counseling is CONTRAINDICATED where there is abuse. Please read the Emotionally Destructive Relationship book, if you sense there is any abuse in your relationship.

    I pray to God from the bottom of my heart that my marriage be healed.

  7. (USA)  A much more helpful way to look at Christian marriage is found at which rightly divides the Word of Truth which makes the focus of the marriage upon the fact that Christian men are to AGAPE-LOVE their wives (5 times the scriptures state this!), to live with their wife with understanding, to lay down his life for her, to cherish and nourish her, etc. She is encouraged to “phileo” love her husband.

    Wives and husbands are told to “submit to one another” (meaning adapt to one another). Yes, mutual submission. And yes, wives are not supposed to be submitting to other womens’ husbands, which is quite obviously why Paul added in the phrase — not so that the husband is her military commander — “head” means “source of life, source of strength” — not boss, not General.

    “Ruler over the wife” is the curse brought on by sin, so Christian men should not be part of the curse!!! Jesus said “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” — but pulpits across the nation forget this in regards to how husbands should be treating their wives. SHE is the one, and you are part of spreading this information, they say who is supposed to do the changing and then God will take care of him…

    HOW long must she suffer emotional, spiritual, financial (sometimes physical and sexual) abuse? It’s amazing that denominations are now apologizing about how they badly interpreted the “slavery” scriptures, when in essence, they have more badly interpreted the scriptures on the treatment of women. Wives will respect husbands who “agape-love” them and who lay down their life for them… seldom do we see this happen, which is WHY the divorce rate in America in the church is so high.

    “Help” is the same Word used for the Lord and the Holy Spirit — so, yes, the wives are allowed to participate in their marriage as the Holy Spirit does so that she can “help” her husband become the Christian he was called to be.

    Man was incomplete, so God made woman to complete the man. The wife is the mirror as to how the husband has been treating her.

    “D”, in the comments above really needs to go to as there is the distinct possibility that he has emotionally abused (probably through being passive and not protecting her at times in their marriage) and has never repented or helped to heal her heart.

    Women respond differently to the abuse they have suffered — some going to the extreme of murder or physically injuring, some go insane or suffer severe illnesses brought on them the years of stress, while others suffer in silence or crying, screaming and throwing things… when it ALL could be handled if the husband would “grow up” and put aside childish things (1 Cor 13) and AGAPE-LOVE his wife… listen to her, answer all of her questions, give her a place of security and hope.

    Christ did this for us… and husbands are told to do this for their wives — not vice-versa… she can NEVER be the husband. Men are told “not to deal treacherously with the wife of your youth” and yet, all the pulpits can focus on is that “God hates divorce.” They are in the same scripture… MEN, please grow up in the man God has called you to… to agape-love your wives!!!

    Christian wives of non-believers do have to handle their lives differently so that he can be won — but, even then, if he does not want to remain married to her, they can divorce. has certainly helped my marriage — and so has

  8. (USA)  I see Joel and Kathy have a new website. More of the same, blame the husband for all marriage problems.

    I read both books. The readers digest summary is 99% of marriage problems are because of the husbands failures.

    Please, don’t bother with Joel and Kathy. If you go to them when your wife is having an affair, I can assure you that they will do you like they did me and blame me for my ex-wife’s choice to sin. They will lay the guilt trip on you that if she doesn’t return, it’s not due to any sin or failure on her part, but that you must have dealt with her in a treacherous manner.

    Please, don’t bother with the website mentioned above. It’s geared towards tickling the ears of women, the target market, but provides little in the way of true biblical counsel with respect to marriage.

    I’ll provide a couple of examples of the 99% thinking from the first book. I believe fair use covers a couple of paragraphs quoted out of 200+ pages.

    On page 33: “If only I had been dead to myself while being willing to meet my wife’s needs, we would not have had 99% of our problems.”

    The problem is Joel speaks as if all men are like him, and if only we would make the changes he made, things would get better. The problem is there is no one-sized solution. Not all men are selfish, unfaithful, porn addicted etc. And certainly men are no more sinful than women.

    So even if Joel is 100% correct about men, his writings miss 1/2 the problems in marriage. Marriage involves two sinners, not just one. So while it’s commendable to reach men. It’s downright sinful to treat men as if they are the largest problem. It’s an insult to men and worse,it’s a disservice to women who seek to follow Christ. It’s like the Pharisees who created rules so strict, not one could follow them, not even the Pharisees, yet they expected others to follow their law. So the blame men philosophy of Joel and Kathy is little more than a modern day Pharisaic law.

    The problem with treating marriage issues this way is it’s a lie. Therefore, if the program is based on a lie, then it cannot be from God. Anything that says 99% of the problems come from one person is a lie, period. How then can this be a Godly program if it’s based on a lie?

    Then again, on page 215 of the PDF document (I don’t know which page of the actual text) we have this gem. “Pastors and teachers, quit telling women that if they will “just submit to their husbands” that they will have a successful marriage. It does not work that way. Take this pressure off of the wives. The success of a marriage is not dependent on a man’s wife. Women are not required nor are they equipped by God to carry this load. Teach husbands to lay their lives down for and serve their wives. When the husbands deal with their own issues, the wives will do quite fine. In 99.9% of cases, the wives are not the root nor are they the solution to the marriage problems. When a husband gets right, his “wife issues” will magically disappear. If the men receive this paradigm, you will have happy marriages, which equals happy men and very, very happy women.”

    I can get on board with being critical of the just submit message. But then Joel loses all credibility when he turns it around and says if the husband would just “get right” then in 99.9% of the cases, the marriage issues will be solved. That really is the same logical fallacy, just reversing the genders. Credibility is lost when Joel says in 99.9% of cases wives are not the root, nor the solution.

    Sorry, but I’m not buying that only 0.1% of all marital issues are caused by wives. The stats about women’s infidelity throw this argument out. More than 0.1% of wives have affairs. So to say that women/wives are only responsible for 0.1% of core marriage issues is nothing more than a lie from Satan himself.

    Nothing I write is to shift blame for the problems husband do cause. Nor is it an attempt to avoid responsibility. Instead it’s a caution, using Joel and Kathy’s own words, to demonstrate how un-biblical and how out of touch the books and solutions they seek to sell are.

    So let me be clear, I’m not saying men should not own their stuff. They should. I’m saying that if it’s not correct to put the burden of man’s sin on the women, it’s equally wrong to put the burden of her sins on him. The only one who can carry the burden of sin for another is Christ.

    1. (USA)  Everyone blames tovistim in this, regardless of the gender and I fianlly learned why thanks to Dr. Clarke. He said that in Simnray and Bible School/Counseling they are taught to blame the victim in an attempt to shut it all up and fast. It’s so treacherous and uncomfortable that no one wants to deal with it and they seek to sweep it under the rug as quickly as they can. He did it for 20 years of his counseling and says that it is just wrong! and I quote “WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!”

      I was suicidal and we saw an assistant pastor for counseling. I was shaking and sobbing, had lost 42 pounds in one month and having seizures with my organ failure and before we could get into anything he began SCREAMING and pounding on his desk saying that it was my sin that put Jesus on the cross. I was to blame for my husband’s affair… I walked out, barely able to stand and my husband sat there in shock. Mouth hanging open.

      It turns out this guy “counseled” an aquaintance after her husband’s affair. She went home and hung herself leaving behind two little girls and this “Pastor” then married the adulterers because he was technically a widower now :O
      Everyone labeled “Pastor” is not necessarily of God!

      I have asked Cindy in the past and she said it was okay to mention this book. It was a turning point for me in working on (and that doesn’t even begin to touch what this has all been to all of us)I Don’t Want a Divorce: A 90 Day Guide to Saving Your Marriage by Dr. David Clarke and he begins it with skip right to Chapter 17 if you’ve been hit by adultery.

      My doctor saw that I was grieving and as severely as anyone she had ever seen and told me about this book. I bought one copy. My husband sat and read it to me and I sobbed. It was the first time anyone or anything had put the blame on him, called it a vile sin and a violation of every Commandment. The most serious offense to God, love for the ultimate enemy. It was everything I was feeling!

      As with Nathan to David “yes we are all sinners but let’s deal with this monumental sin before us NOW then we will move on to the sins of getting angry at another for anything, not praying enough and all that each of us do daily that is sin.

      This is DIFFERENT and huge! We bought a case of them and both have spoken with Dr. Clarke. Those that have not endured it directly have no idea what it feels like. Please see this book. It will change your life!

  9. (USA)  Hi – this message is for “D” – I was so sad to read your message and felt compelled to respond, hoping that this might help. My mother is from Korea and if you have any knowledge of the Korean culture, I am sad to say that the women rule the roost with an iron fist. On top of that, Korean women (and I hate to stereotype, but feel that I can say this since I am half Korean) are borderline crazy and self-absorbed! Well, growing-up in my household was a total nightmare, to say the least. The whole family would walk on eggshells each and every day, being very careful not to aggravate my mom or “all hell would break loose.” As you pointed out with your wife, my mom just loved to be mad. My dad put up with that for the entire marriage and he just learned to live with it. In fact, he always made excuses for her and enabled her behavior. Never did I ever hear her say “I’m sorry” to the kids or to my dad.

    Fast forward to adulthood (age 25) and now I’m a grown woman with my mom & dad as my ONLY role models. Not knowing any better, I get married thinking that this is the way life is – that women should be in COMPLETE control (just like your wife is). As much as I hate to admit it, I was emotionally immature and did all the things that your wife is currently doing to you – the use of profanity, name calling, tantrums, and the list goes on…. However, as much as my husband loved me, he refused to put up with it. One day, after a very violent argument, I suddenly came to the realization that the the buck needed to stop with me and unless I changed my behavior, I would end up in divorce or worse – our eventual children would continue the dysfunctional pattern and it would ruin their lives. During the next few years with counseling, I worked on changing my behavior pattern.

    Okay – fast forward another couple of years, and we are now celebrating 15 years of marriage this year. The past 10 years have been wonderful and for the most part, tantrum-free. What has changed is my desire and need for volatility. Now, I completely shun it. Because I had grown-up in that environment, that is what I recognized as “normal” – it was comfortable for me. As strange as it may sound, being in a state of anger and volatility made me feel at peace because that is all I knew. Now, when my husband and I have an argument (which is very few and far between), I will just be in complete silence (which also annoys him – but better than the alternative). I no longer “enjoy” being angry. It took a lot of work, self-reflection and a decision to change, but it can be done.

    D, I urge you to take a stand today! You are enabling your wife’s behavior and it’s not fair to your child who doesn’t have a voice in the matter. Your child is living in an abusive environment and your actions (yes, your actions today) will cast a very long shadow on your child’s life, well into adulthood. Your child deserves better! Right now, you & your wife – the way you interact with each other, the way you ALLOW your wife to treat both you & your child, is what your child considers to be “normal.”

    In addition to praying to our Father Almighty, you need to confront your wife and give her an ultimatum. Remember, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. This behavior is SO unacceptable. Your wife sounds like an identical twin to my mother. The worst thing in the world is to continue to allow your wife to consistently act like a 3 year old when she doesn’t get what she wants. At the very least, you owe it to your child’s emotional well-being.

  10. (USA)  All I can say is wooooww. I am stunned, shocked, and even speechless. I am that woman that abuses those who love her most. I am the one that slings curses like razor blades. I am the one that has physically attacked her husband. I am the one that is robbing the joy out of my family. I am always angry. My children look at me funny if I am smiling and happy. If I laugh it is a big deal. Wow, what have I turned my family into. The very thing I never wanted it to be like. The same type of household that I grew up in.

    My mother was very verbally abusive towards us kids. She would announce she was leaving and was packing all her s*(% and walking out on us. Me, the one kid that seemed like I cared, begged and pleaded with her to stay or at least take me. She stayed or left and came back that evening.

    Funny thing is I have done the same thing too. I have left and had everyone worried about me. I have thrown tantums and made half hearted suicide attempts to get the attention that I wanted. I have manipulated my family with my emotions. How far is that to them? How selfish have I really been?

    Writing these realizations are having a calming affect on me. I am feeling lighter by the minute. I have prayed. I have prayed for God to please help me make the change in my life to be that calm pleasant person to be around. Who wants to be around a negative person all the time? And you know I know these things and have given this advice to other people. But I make it so unpleasant to be at home. How does this all make sense?

    I know who has had a strong death grip on me and that is the devil. And today, September 6, 2009, I shake him off. Devil you have no place here. I declare Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. DEVIL YOU HAVE NO PLACE HERE. I DECLARE JESUS CHRIST AS MY LORD AND SAVIOR!!!!! DEVIL YOU ARE OUT OF MY LIFE!! YOU ARE OUT OF MY HEART!! YOU ARE OUT OF MY MIND!!! I rebuke thee!!!

    God is good all the time. He placed this website within my grasp. He knew where to guide me to find the words here. They are meant for me to open my eyes. For me to know that I’m not the only one that does this. And to give me courage to know I can change with God’s grace, love, and mercy.

    I will forgive myself. I will forgive myself for the hurt and pain I caused. I will love myself because regardless if no one else does, God loves me. He love me just the way I am and forgives me for all the hurt I caused before I forgave myself. I forgive me. Thank you Jesus!! and again I am left at wow!

    1. (USA) Dear Terri, How I pray that what God has revealed to you at the time you wrote the above comment is something that will bloom into a firm reality for you and your actions toward your family, now and in the future. Sometimes our healing is instantaneously, and other times it is a seed that God wants to water and grow in a healing way in our lives. Whatever the case, I pray you continue to lean into God to keep the process of this healing alive and real in how you interact with your family.

      You obviously have been deeply hurt in the past. And I’m so sorry that you experienced that horrible reality in your life. But that hurt doesn’t have to keep rearing its ugly head to keep hurting you and to work through you to hurt others in your life — now and in the future. I encourage you to look at this as a mission work that will have levels of work you will need to participate with, in healing the hurt you didn’t deserve and the hurt you have inflicted upon others that don’t deserve it either.

      We have many articles on this web site that tell you how to deal with anger issues and reactions you may have when you are angry and/or hurt. I encourage you to read through and apply what you can to help you. It will be a tough journey to break your “stinking thinking” and hurtful behavior patterns, but please be assured that it CAN be done as you ask God to keep helping you. If you fail or fall, pick yourself up and do what you should again. Never give up doing what you should, that is good and healthy.

      You may even need to do some soul healing to work through past issues. There are a couple of books I recommend if that is the case. The first is called Soul-Healing Love by Drs. Beverly and Tom Rodgers and also “Becoming a Family That Heals” (by the same authors). (You can look at the links provided here and/or look at the descriptions and then the links provided in the "Mental and Physical Health" section of this web site. I believe these resources can help you work through the issues that have haunted you for so long and are now haunting your children as you have taken on the behavior that you never thought you could or would.

      Terri, please don’t give up. You didn’t become a hurtful person overnight, so it usually isn’t overnight that you break free from that being that type of person. It will take intentionality and probably help to break free. But if you apply yourself, it IS possible! I pray God will help you to do this, for your sake and for the sake of your children and future generations. May God bless you in this effort!

  11. (USA)  I have been so unhappy for years now, praying God please send help, please make him better so we can get thru this. I feel neglected and abused, like if I don’t leave now I will have no more dignity left. However, what makes it worse is that you’re saying trust God as if I never asked for his help. Obviously, the answer was no because my husband never became responsible, never made permanent change. My needs have never been met unless I do it. And the list goes on.

    What is the point of praying to make my marriage better if someone is just going to keep on putting this guilt trip on me? Is that what I put out? Perhaps what I’m putting out now is a direct reflection of the things my husband has neglected in me. Can someone, anyone, please tell men about their influence on their wives and families? Can someone ask men to stand up and not just allow the devil to run thru their families by being irresponsible? Help, real help is what I need.

  12. Lisa wrote the following comment: I wish I subscribed to you 20 years ago – were you giving advice then? ; )

    I used to be one cranky wife and it was always in response to something my husband did… But since I’ve turned him over to God so many times and I’ve focused more on my actions and reactions, the change in our household has been tremendous. The kids are even saying “what’s up with Dad? He didn’t get mad like he normally does?”

    Unfortunately it’s taken me a while to get to this place. But your email really hit home and I didn’t remember those verses from scripture that are so very true.

    We do set the temperature in the home. It’s a burden to have to be the one always diffusing, buffering and being the rose, but it must certainly is true!

    Thank you for these emails – I forward them to my husband and I think he’s even reading them! May God bless you and all the work you do for marriages. Lisa

  13. I love this, will use it to build my marriage on a strong foundation, which is Jesus Christ. Thank you for this article.