“Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.”
“and do not be bitter toward them”
Bitterness means resentment. Resentment recoils and isolates a husband from his wife.
The foundational reason that women criticize and nag is that they do not feel secure in their husband’s love. Womanly perseverance will come to the fore. For example, a husband comes home and makes a seemingly innocent statement, and his wife blows up. This explosion is a symptom but not the cause.
The husband’s central role in marriage is to make his wife feel secure in his love.
Are you caustic with your wife? Do you use sarcasm on her? Ray Stedman tells of a man who said to his wife, “You’re nothing but a rag, a bone, and a hank of hair.” Her response was in kind, “You’re nothing but a brag, a groan, and a tank of hair!” Cutting words breeds cutting words.
It makes no difference whether the wife is a nag, the husband’s role before God is to love her regardless of her attitude. However, a wife with good horse sense never becomes a nag! A wife who is a nag is not feminine at all. But even if she is a nag, that nagging will never change by bitterness from her husband. Bitterness adds to the confusion.
Love preempts bitterness. If you have bitterness toward your wife, you no longer love her. You no longer have the capacity for love. Love and bitterness are mutually exclusive. Either we will have negative attitudes toward her or love her, but not both. We cannot love and be bitter at the same time. If the husband carries bitterness around in his soul, he obviously does not love his wife.
A wife is not a slave. She has a volition. If she is going to submit, it must be of her volition. Submission is a response. If she responds to her husband with her volition, he has something beautiful for a wife. He has the goose that lays the golden egg. He loses the goose that lays the golden egg if he violates her. If a man has a slave partner, he does not have a wife. All he has is a big ego, which means he has nothing.
The male world is filled with jackasses who think of themselves as God’s gift to their wives and disrespect the volition of their wives. Once the husband destroys the volition of his wife, she is no longer a human being. She is nothing but a zombie. That is what some men have at their house–nothing! It is incredible how many men are stupid enough to want a zombie for a wife. Men use the word “submit” against their wives for their own inadequacies and weaknesses.
The Christian home is the outpost of Christianity. God places us in this environment to represent Him here on earth.
Marriage is an institution where a man loses his bachelor’s degree without acquiring a master’s degree!
Are you, as a husband, worthy of your wife’s submission? The crux of the problem for men is not “Am I in charge of my family?” but “Am I in charge of myself?” The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. Do you hold the wife’s central need tightly in your mind, which is to feel secure in your love? If she has that, she will not nag. You will have a happier life.
The husband is responsible for the climate of marriage. The wife needs to find understanding in her husband. A woman can bear almost any anxiety if she feels supported by her husband. Your wife has an immense need to be understood. This is a marital fellowship.