The Scripture and the temptations of husbands and wives

We naturally are inclined be tempted to sin. The Scriptures speak to us to work against that temptation to sin. With that in mind, we can look at the roles and responsibilities in Scripture to accurately root out the temptation of both husbands and wives to sin.

This should be a very eye opening post for many.

edit: renamed the post as ‘temptations’ rather than ‘sin natures’ to more accurately reflect how husbands and wives are tempted to sin.


Husbands:

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

  • Love their wives for the purpose of sanctification
  • Love their wives as his own body/as himself
  • Feed and care (nourish and cherish)

Col 3:19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

  • Don’t be harsh

1 Pet 3:7 You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with [c]someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.

  • Live with understanding as with someone weaker
  • Honor her as a co-heir in the grace of life

1 Corinthians 7:3 The husband must [a]fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and [b]come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

  • Husbands withholding sex

Temptations for husbands:

  • Love their wives for the purpose of sanctification — Husbands are tempted to love their wives more than God… like Adam chose Eve and the fruit over God. In other words, compromise and/or being led astray by his wife often through avoiding conflict for temporary peace. Husbands have the responsibility to point out if his wife is in sin but are temptation to NOT point it out.
  • Love their wives as his own body/as himself — Husbands are tempted to think of himself first without giving consideration to the wife’s needs and/or opinion (as helpmeet).
  • Feed and care (nourish and cherish) — Husbands have the temptation to not address her needs and/or be affectionate with her (note: needs are not wants)
  • Don’t be harsh — Husbands have the tendency to be blunt, especially in communication or action, rather than speaking with kindness.
  • Live with understanding as with someone weaker — Husbands may not understand or be tempted to avoid providing wives more support physically, emotionally, mentally, especially in difficult times.
  • Honor her as a co-heir in the grace of life — Husbands are tempted to not honor and value his wife as a helpmeet but rather a servant.
  • Husbands should not withhold sex — Husbands are tempted to withhold sex… rarer for husbands to wives but it does happen in some minority of relationships. Don’t weaponize sex.

As you can see, many of these are common temptations that husbands struggle with.


Wives:

Eph 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. […] 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Col 3:18 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

  • Submit to husbands as to the Lord
  • Submit in everything
  • Wife must respect/reverence her husband

1 Pet 3:1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2 as they observe your chaste and [a]respectful behavior. 3 Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; 6 just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right [b]without being frightened by any fear.

  • Submit even if husbands are disobedient to the word that they may be won without a word by chaste and respectful behavior
  • Adornment not merely external but with the quality of a gentle and quiet spirit
  • Obey and call him ‘lord’ so that you may not be frightened

Tit 2:3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, 4 so that they may [b]encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

  • Love (philandros) their husbands and children
  • Sensible, pure, workers at home, kind
  • subject to their own husbands

 

1 Corinthians 7:3 The husband must [a]fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and [b]come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

  • Wives should not withhold sex

Proverbs 21:19 Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife

Proverbs 27:15-16 A continual dripping on a rainy day and a contentious wife are alike. Trying to keep her in check is like stopping a wind storm or grabbing oil with your right hand.

Proverbs 25:24 It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.

Proverbs 12:4 A wife with strength of character is the crown of her husband, but the wife who disgraces him is like bone cancer.

Proverbs 11:22 A beautiful woman who lacks discretion is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout.

Proverbs 14:1 A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.

  • Don’t nag
  • Don’t be contentious
  • Have strength of character rather than disgrace her husband
  • Have discretion
  • Don’t tear down your own home

Temptations for wives:

There’s more qualities listed in the Scripture as wives have to guard against many temptations.

  • Submit to husbands as to the Lord — Wives like to rebel and disobey their husbands, but still consider themselves submitting to the Lord.
  • Submit in everything — Wives are tempted to want to pick and choose what to submit to.
  • Wife must respect/reverence her husband — Wives have the temptation to disrespect her husband.
  • Submit even if husbands are disobedient to the word that they may be won without a word by chaste and respectful behavior — Wives like to rebel and treat her husband poorly with impure and disrespectful behavior if she thinks her husband is not acting rightly.
  • Adornment not merely external but with the quality of a gentle and quiet spirit — Wives are tempted to vanity over gentle and quiet behavior if there is conflict. (Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger — note that this corresponds to Col 3 where husbands are warned over treating their wives harshly)
  • Obey and call him ‘lord’ so that you may not be frightened — Wives are tempted to disrespect their husbands and disobey. ‘lord’ signifies respect/reverence and obedience leads to peace. Disobedience leads to fear of righteous anger.
  • Love (philandros — affection) their husbands and children — wives have the tendency to treat their husbands and children with contempt.
  • Sensible, pure, workers at home, kind– Wives are tempted to lack of self control, impure words and deeds, laziness and prioritization of things outside the home, and unkindness. (Note this corresponds to 1 Timothy 5:9-16)
  • subject to their own husbands — Wives are tempted to be covetous of other marriages and apply it to their own marriage instead of asking their husband how he likes things done (see: marriage books and advice telling you about how “spiritual” other people’s marriages are)
  • Wives should not withhold sex — Wives are tempted to withhold sex… more common for wives than husbands. Don’t weaponize sex.
  • Don’t nag — Wives are tempted to nag
  • Don’t be contentious — Wives are tempted to be contentious in conflict or in generating conflict
  • Have strength of character rather than disgrace her husband — Wives are tempted to put down their husbands. Re: gossip.
  • Have discretion — Wives are tempted to air out their marriage baggage. Re: gossip.
  • Don’t tear down your own home — Wives are tempted to destroy their marriages either through divorce, gossip, and so on instead of building their marriage up.

Pretty obvious that these are very common temptations that you see that wives fall prey to.

Conclusion

In the end, the Scriptures accurately show us the temptations of both husbands and wives to sin against each other in marriage.

Overall, even though the husbands have a ‘shorter’ list, they hold much more responsibility for their role so the weight of it is heavier.

Here are the lists again so they can be easily read side by side.

Temptations for husbands:

  • Love their wives for the purpose of sanctification — Husbands are tempted to love their wives more than God… like Adam chose Eve and the fruit over God. In other words, compromise and/or being led astray by his wife often through avoiding conflict for temporary peace. Husbands have the responsibility to point out if his wife is in sin but are temptation to NOT point it out.
  • Love their wives as his own body/as himself — Husbands are tempted to think of himself first without giving consideration to the wife’s needs and/or opinion (as helpmeet).
  • Feed and care (nourish and cherish) — Husbands have the temptation to not address her needs and/or be affectionate with her (note: needs are not wants)
  • Don’t be harsh — Husbands have the tendency to be blunt, especially in communication or action, rather than speaking with kindness.
  • Live with understanding as with someone weaker — Husbands may not understand or be tempted to avoid providing wives more support physically, emotionally, mentally, especially in difficult times.
  • Honor her as a co-heir in the grace of life — Husbands are tempted to not honor and value his wife as a helpmeet but rather a servant.
  • Husbands should not withhold sex — Husbands are tempted to withhold sex… rarer for husbands to wives but it does happen in some minority of relationships. Don’t weaponize sex.

Temptations for wives:

  • Submit to husbands as to the Lord — Wives like to rebel and disobey their husbands, but still consider themselves submitting to the Lord.
  • Submit in everything — Wives are tempted to want to pick and choose what to submit to.
  • Wife must respect/reverence her husband — Wives have the temptation to disrespect her husband.
  • Submit even if husbands are disobedient to the word that they may be won without a word by chaste and respectful behavior — Wives like to rebel and treat her husband poorly with impure and disrespectful behavior if she thinks her husband is not acting rightly.
  • Adornment not merely external but with the quality of a gentle and quiet spirit — Wives are tempted to vanity over gentle and quiet behavior if there is conflict. (Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger — note that this corresponds to Col 3 where husbands are warned over treating their wives harshly)
  • Obey and call him ‘lord’ so that you may not be frightened — Wives are tempted to disrespect their husbands and disobey. ‘lord’ signifies respect/reverence and obedience leads to peace. Disobedience leads to fear of righteous anger.
  • Love (philandros — affection) their husbands and children — wives have the tendency to treat their husbands and children with contempt.
  • Sensible, pure, workers at home, kind– Wives are tempted to lack of self control, impure words and deeds, laziness and prioritization of things outside the home, and unkindness. (Note this corresponds to 1 Timothy 5:9-16)
  • subject to their own husbands — Wives are tempted to be covetous of other marriages and apply it to their own marriage instead of asking their husband how he likes things done (see: marriage books and advice telling you about how “spiritual” other people’s marriages are)
  • Wives should not withhold sex — Wives are tempted to withhold sex… more common for wives than husbands. Don’t weaponize sex.
  • Don’t nag — Wives are tempted to nag
  • Don’t be contentious — Wives are tempted to be contentious in conflict or in generating conflict
  • Have strength of character rather than disgrace her husband — Wives are tempted to put down their husbands. Re: gossip.
  • Have discretion — Wives are tempted to air out their marriage baggage. Re: gossip.
  • Don’t tear down your own home — Wives are tempted to destroy their marriages either through divorce, gossip, and so on instead of building their marriage up.

You see a lot of these in Christian marriages nowadays.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Scripture and the temptations of husbands and wives

  1. earlthomas786 says:

    Good list…the TL;DR temptation could be condensed to:

    ‘However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.’

    The husband doesn’t love his wife like he loves himself (remember a lot of men are lacking in loving themselves as a child of God and they can’t give something they don’t have), and the wife is disrespectful. The common denominator between both…a lack of submitting to God’s Word.

  2. Jonadab-the-Rechabite says:

    Excellent summary.

    Might we just say for the sake of brevity that men are tempted to be less manly and women are tempted to be more manly. It lacks nuance but captures the essence.

  3. jonakc1 says:

    In the circles I am in, Husbands love for their wives are measured by how domestic he is, whenever people come over etc they make sure they do most of the domestic work.
    Husbands that do not do this are seen as unloving.

    Among the younger ones, we were taught by the leaders, that if a man really loved his wife he would give up his career and support his wife after marriage- this was true sacrificial love.

    I was mocked when I told them this was nonsense

  4. jonakc1 says:

    In the circles I am in, Husbands love for their wives are measured by how domestic he is, whenever people come over etc they make sure they do most of the domestic work.
    Husbands that do not do this are seen as unloving.

    Among the younger ones, we were taught by the leaders, that if a man really loved his wife he would give up his career and support his wife after marriage- this was true sacrificial love.

    I was mocked when I told them this was nonsense

  5. earl says:

    I was mocked when I told them this was nonsense

    Of course you would.

    Love isn’t about rebuking your wife when she does evil or having a marriage like Christ and the church…it’s about how many home chores and how often you submit to her you do.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s