Her Emotions Part 2

When I first wrote Her Emotions, I was writing from the context of understanding the roles and responsibilities of the husband in terms of the emotional state of the wife.

Here are the main points of that article:

Any words or actions that a husband takes in regard to his wife are not to be about making her happy but rather to draw her closer to Christ.

[…]

However, husbands must understand that the Scriptures don’t state you have to make her feel differently, but as the head it is commanded to facilitate her on the right path which is toward God. It’s her decision on what to do with her feelings, though your words and actions can facilitate her away from her feelings in many cases.

[…]

Men and husbands — don’t try to take responsibility for a woman’s emotions. Take responsibility instead as the head to facilitate her lovingly towards God.

If she chooses to rebel against the headship in marriage because of her emotions, it is not your responsibility to clean up any of her mess. Her rebellion means the consequences fall on her. God does not take responsibility for rebellion and sins that Christians commit, and neither should husbands take responsibility for rebellion and sin that wives commit.

The main reason why I am inclined to write this article is that I didn’t explain some of the nuances of taking this Scriptural point of view.

Although the husband is supposed to take a “God’s way or the highway” point of view, there are two diametrically opposed attitudes that this falls under. The dictatorial “God’s way or the highway” is opposed to the loving “God’s way or the highway.”

For example, let’s take a look at one of the examples I’ve used extensively before. A Christian can go up to a non-Christian and tell them “you’re a sinner and if you don’t repent and change your ways you’re going to hell.” While this is all indeed true from a Scriptural standpoint, it is not exactly kind or loving. For the majority of non-Christians who hear this from a Christian it will only harden their hearts. Rather, the way that works best for witnessing to non-Christians is to either show them by example through your own life what the love of God can do, or it is to explain and help them understand the love of God and why He sent Jesus to die for our sins.

Now, what does this have to do with emotions?

The very fact that there is a disagreement in the first place is essentially the same as witnessing. You have fundamental difference in beliefs about a particular thing, and emotions may already be running high.

If a husband goes with dictator “God’s way or the highway approach” yes it will cause some wives to turn back onto the righteous path, but in many cases it may actually cause more dissension and strife in the relationship because we often go with how we feel rather than what God wants. Even if the husband is taking the correct stand, he may be taking an incorrect approach. It is important to understand the fragility of human emotions from either sides of the male-female relationship. Specifically, a dictatorial approach does not consider the “embittered” nature (Col 3) and living in the knowledge (understanding/consideration) as the weaker vessel (1 Peter 3).

Instead, I think Jesus’ approach tends to be best in these types of situations in which He states what God says, and then he follows it up with a parable or analogy. Parables and analogies are excellent because they make both men and women step outside their own shoes and experiences force them to think about things from a different point of view.

I don’t think it is a coincidence that Jesus used parables often among His greatest opponents the Pharisees and Saducees. While a husband and wife are not supposed to be greatest opponents, it may sometimes feel that way when they disagree. Therefore, it would make sense use the methods which Jesus used to convey His thoughts to those He disagreed with.

My explanation in the previous post was incomplete. While the husband’s primary goal is to direct her to Christ, he is also to direct her to be one with him. He is also supposed to be facilitating unity in decision making. Thus, it is important facilitate the encounter in such a way that brings about both unity with God and himself. While her emotions are indeed for her to deal with, a husband needs to understand and consider where she is coming from in order that he may facilitate that goal.

This is a more nuanced position than the position of the previous article, but I believe it to be more clearly aligned with the Scriptures.

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8 Responses to Her Emotions Part 2

  1. theasdgamer says:

    Any words or actions that a husband takes in regard to his wife are not to be about making her happy but rather to draw her closer to Christ.

    I thought that a husband’s responsibilities were to “nourish” and “cherish” his wife. Eph. 5:29

  2. @ theasdgamer

    Nourish and cherish his wife… as his own body/as himself (v28, v33) and as Christ does the Church (v29b).

    Also, that’s why I addressed these conclusions from previous article because the explanation is incomplete.

  3. Elspeth says:

    For an unmarried guy, you do a half-way decent job with these.

    Good post.

  4. @ Elspeth

    Half decent? I’m hurt, haha.

    In reality, if you understand the structures of authority correctly you’ll see that both unmarried men and women are all in positions where they are the authority or under authority. If you can understand the primary concepts of all of these relationships, then you will be able to understand other such relationships especially when the Scriptures speak about them.

    Likewise, even though a man may be unmarried, if he wants to be married he should already be preparing for all of the aspects of a Scriptural marriage.

    Bitter about women? Not ready for marriage.

    Aren’t willing to love a woman as your own body? Not ready for marriage.

    Not willing to be considerate/understand/in the knowledge of women? Not ready for marriage.

  5. Minimus says:

    Hello Deep Strength,
    I actually liked your earlier post better. Who are these dictators saying, “God’s way or the highway?” Do they actually exist? Seems to me one would have to be a blithering idiot not to understand the role of emotions in the world. But the emotions high-jack almost everything; therefore, the need for Christian Masculine/Dominant frame, the “Red Pill” and all the rest. If I am not understanding something here, please set me straight. Maybe 25 years as a marriage veteran has put me out of the loop as regards the mindset of young men, which could, I guess, be very block-headed. I don’t know. What do you do when every effort of love founders on the emotional shoals of a woman? Seems to me that is the perennial problem. What does she care for analogies and parables when she is a flaming heap of emotion?

    @Elspeth
    What exactly did you see as the merits of this second post on emotion?

    In all charity and respect–Minimus

  6. @ Minimus,

    It’s true that some women are more emotional than others and may need a firmer approach.

    Likewise, acknowledging an emotional state — for whatever reason it is there: right or wrong — does not mean you’re giving into it.

    The gold standard is always in the heart which reflects action, tone of voice, body language, etc. Is she drawing closer to you and God at the end of the encounter and was my actions that I took here considered sinful?

    You may need to be the tree that weathers the storm. But understand that there are different types of trees that weather the storm — some don’t bend at all, some bend a whole heck of a lot without breaking, and some in between. Different women respond best to different types of trees.

  7. Minimus says:

    Not a bad response, thanks.

  8. Pingback: You’re not responsible for a woman’s emotions | Christianity and masculinity

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