Note: Today’s post is part of the Write 31 Days challenge. You can find the introduction and links to the posts in this series right here.
I shared yesterday that I’ve really struggled with speaking up in my marriage (and, really, speaking up in most situations that call for confrontation). I love encouraging people and hate being at odds with anyone, and confronting someone often means risking making someone upset with me.
There will be times in our marriages, however, when the right and Biblical thing is confronting our husbands in love. And that just makes me want to run and hide!
Whether or not you share my extreme dislike of confrontation, there is definitely a right and a wrong way to challenge our husbands when they are not living out Godly principles. Below is a list of things to keep in mind when we need to confront our husbands.
Remember, we’re not going to be perfect at this. We’re all sinners striving to live more and more like Christ, but here on Earth, we will always be at war with our sin nature. Hopefully, as we grow and mature in our faith, this will get easier (and, Lord willing, the need for confrontation will diminish as our husbands grow in their Christian walk as well). Most of all, we must proceed in humility!
Have the right purpose in mind
Our singular goal in confronting our husbands must be to bring about repentance of sin in order to glorify God. If we’re confronting them for any other purpose - to make things easier, or because something’s just driving you crazy - it won’t be successful. God’s glory must be foremost on our hearts.
Do it in humility, meekness, and love
It’s very easy - for me, anyway! - to feel indignant when someone else is in sin. I’d never do that! I tell myself. Ironically, in almost every instance where I’ve thought those words, the Lord has shown me where I actually have done the exact same thing. Oops.
When we confront our husbands (or anyone else, for that matter), we MUST do so humbly, meekly, and lovingly. There is no other way to Biblically confront someone. I love Micah 6:8 (NKJV):
“He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?”
We all would do well to keep this in mind when we need to confront our spouse!
Choose an appropriate time
It may be tempting to confront your husband the moment he walks in the door. Perhaps you’ve been dwelling on a situation all morning and have finally constructed the right way to phrase things so that you won’t come across accusatory. But just as there’s a right way and a wrong way to confront him, there are also good times and bad times to do it!
Most husbands are tired and worn out when they get home from work. Ambushing him - as it will probably feel to him - the moment he walks through the door is probably NOT the wisest time to address an issue.
What time is best will differ for every couple. Aim for a time when you are both relaxed and fed (no need for “hangry” emotions to further irritate an already-tender topic). Try to avoid stressful seasons if at all possible. Additionally, give him time to mull over your discussion once it’s taken place, and don’t demand an immediate answer. He may need to think on things for a bit.
Choose your opening carefully
It’s never easy to have someone come to you about something you’re doing wrong or about a character flaw that you need to address. When you begin confronting your husband, choose your opening words carefully. You might consider starting by sharing something you yourself are working on, especially if there’s an issue he’s confronted you on before.
Be willing to be confronted yourself
After you’ve shared your concerns with your husband on whatever issue is at hand, open yourself up to confrontation as well. Perhaps he’s been noticing something in you that needs to be addressed, too. By giving him an invitation to confront you, too, you’re showing him that you’re willing to take criticism as well as give it, and you’re setting an example of how to Biblically handle the receiving end of confrontation.
(Note: for more help on this very sensitive topic, I found this article from The Peaceful Wife to be a good read.)
Confrontation is not something most couples look forward to. But if it needs to take place, do it with the right purpose, with humility, at the right time, with carefully-chosen words, and with the willingness to receive correction yourself. When done Biblically, confronting our husbands can bring glory to God and improved relationships between us and our spouses.