“Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.”
“and do not be bitter toward them”
Bitterness means resentment. Resentment withdraws and isolates from the wife.
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.
The reason women criticize and nag is that they do not feel secure in their husband’s love. Womanly perseverance comes to the fore. A man comes home and makes a seemingly innocent statement, and his wife blows up. This explosion is the symptom and not the cause.
The husband’s central role in marriage is to make his wife feel secure in his love no matter if she is a nag.
It makes no difference if the wife is a nag. A wife with good horse sense never becomes a nag! A wife who is a nag is not female 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 have mental attitude sins, or we love but not both. We cannot love and be bitter at the same time. If the husband carries bitterness around in his soul, then obviously he does not love his wife.
A wife is not a slave. She has a volition. If she is going to submit, it must be at her volition. Submission is a response. If she responds to the husband with her volition, he has something beautiful. He has the goose that lays the golden egg. If he violates her, he loses the goose that lays the golden egg. If a man has a slave, 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 amazing how many men are stupid enough to want a zombie for a wife. Men use the word “submit” 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 a wife’s submission? The crux of the whole 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.