- 1 What does Jesus say about toxic people?
- 2 How did Jesus deal with toxic people?
- 3 Does the Bible talk about narcissist?
- 4 How a godly husband treats his wife?
- 5 How does God want you to treat your wife?
- 6 Is emotional abuse still considered abuse?
What does Jesus say about toxic people?
By Martha Clipp Almost 20 years ago, I found myself in a toxic situation. I was stunned to realize that the people I trusted the most were nothing short of bullies! They were in charge of an organization I cared about deeply. So many people were affected by their leadership and the notion of walking away felt cowardly.
- It felt like desertion.
- I sensed God wanted me to stand up to the bully.
- But how? I started searching for books on ” how to stand up to a bully ” but all I could find at first were books about dealing with bullies at school.
- I needed help with an adult bully who had real power over me, as well as over the people I cared about.
This blog is a brief summary of what I gleaned from my experience. Below, I list the books that guided me through a very challenging time. I recommend reading those for a much more detailed explanation on this topic. So, what exactly is a “Toxic Person?” Some defining characteristics are:
Display erratic behavior Ignore others’ boundaries Make others question their sanity ( gas lighting ) Invalidate others’ feelings and stir up drama Are a perpetual victim and need constant attention
I heard someone describe them as “people who leave a wake of chaos and confusion as they pass by.” In Bullies, Tyrants, and Impossible People, Ron Shapiro and Mark Jankowski write, “Difficult people come in infinite varieties.
Charming, but dishonest Greedy, but smart Sweet on the outside, but hard on the inside Intimidating Coy Temperamental, but kind Temperamental, but mean Dumb like a fox Just plain dumb Egomaniacal Craving approval Loud and obnoxious Quiet and obnoxious And on, and on, and on”
These people don’t care about playing nice, and they don’t care about anyone but themselves, In Confronting the Demon : A Gospel Response to Adult Bullying, Gerald Arbuckle writes, “Selfishness, narcissism and the desire for power are at the root of bullying.” So, what is a Christian to do with this person who is our:
Boss Family member Neighbor Co-worker Spouse
The typical Christian responses I hear are:
“We just need to keep loving them.” “We just need to turn the other cheek.” “We just need to pray for them.”
Those approaches are all clearly spelled out in the bible. I just have a problem with the word ” just.” The truth is, Jesus didn’t “just” do one thing with these people, and it turns out, there are very practical ways to deal with bullies, tyrants, and toxic people! What Does Jesus Say About Bullies? When I was in the midst of this turmoil, Christians told me I should “just forgive” (And forget.
And trust again. Even though the abuse continued.) They pointed to Jesus on the cross. “He was nailed to a tree and killed,” they said, “and yet he forgave.” “Yes,” I said. “He did do that. On a specific day. For a specific reason. But he didn’t do that every day and in every situation.” He didn’t teach his followers to roll over and tolerate abuse.
He did teach us to guard our own hearts:
He instructs us to give up our anger toward abusers (Matthew 5:21-24). He says to turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:38-39). He tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:43-48). He also tells us to get the plank out of our own eye, before we can help someone else with the spec in their eye (Matthew 7:3-5). So, in this context, we need to root out any bullying behavior in ourselves FIRST.
All of these things keep us from becoming a bully! He then taught by example, and with stories, how to face bullies, and how to help those who are being bullied or marginalized: We see that Jesus:
Slipped through a crowd that wanted to throw him off a cliff to his death (Luke 4:28-30) Confronted racism, and told his listeners to “go and do likewise” (Luke 10:30-37) Confronted the unreasonable expectations of the religious leaders of his time (Matthew 23:1-39) Welcomed little children (Matthew 19:14) Touched and healed lepers and other outcasts (Mark 1:41-42) Elevated women from a position of second class citizenship to a position of respect (John 4:7-30) (Luke 13:10-13) (Luke 7:11-15) (Luke 8:1-3) (John 20:11-18)
We need to follow Jesus’s instructions on checking our own heart, but we also need to look for practical ways to deal with the toxic people in our lives.
We may need to get advice from a wise and trusted friend about our issue. We may need to get out of a dangerous situation (If so, it needs to be done carefully, and with good council.) We may need to get professional counseling.
We need to follow Jesus’s instructions on checking our own heart, but we also need to look for practical ways to deal with the toxic people in our lives. If we are being bullied, it helps to know we have options. Below is a brief outline of things to consider when dealing with a challenging person.
The Persistent Critic : nitpicks, uses sarcasm, has unrealistic expectations, and loves fault finding The Skilled Manipulator : uses flattery and gossip, and causes divisions The Space Invader : disrespects boundaries: physical, psychological or emotional The Benevolent Intimidator : offers gifts, but then expects absolute loyalty The Irresponsible Abdicator: lacks the courage to stand up to the chief bully, and then joins in on the bullying
It also helps to understand there are three ways to categorize “difficult” people:
The Situationally Difficult : they are reacting badly to something that happened. The Strategically Difficult : they act badly because they believe it is the best way to get what they want. The Simply Difficult : they act badly because that is their persona. They will even do themselves harm, as long as they can do greater harm to others.
How we deal with the bully/tyrant/toxic/impossible/difficult person also depends on whether they have authority over us, or they are a peer; a relative or a stranger; a boss or an employee; a spouse or our child. There is a lot to consider here! This is not a one-size-fits-all topic.
There is a lot to consider here! This is not a one-size-fits-all topic. But if we can at least identify the bully type we are dealing with, then we can use our energy wisely as we interact with them. For example, if we are dealing with a Space Invader, we make a solid decision to stand our ground – either literally or figuratively.
This bully often gets their way simply by moving into our personal space (either figuratively or literally). Most people will step back as the Space Invader approaches, and then give in to their demands, just to regain a sense of safety and equilibrium (even for a moment).
Neutralize our emotions, When our emotions run high, our thinking and creativity go out the window. So first, we need to breathe: quicker in-breaths through the nose; long, slow out-breaths through the mouth. It won’t be obvious to anyone else what we are doing, but it will have a profound effect on our thinking ability. When we can think clearly, we can process the encounter with a fully functioning brain, and possibly come up with some creative solutions. We aren’t stuffing our emotions – we are simply keeping them under control, getting the information we need from them, and then pivoting as necessary. Change our physiology and therefore change our psychology. For example, instead of cowering in front of the bully with sunken shoulders, we can stand tall with our shoulders back. This simple act can adjust the power balance. Control the encounter. For example, when setting up a crucial conversation, it will make a big difference whether we meet in that person’s office, or at a coffee shop. They feel powerful at their office, but the coffee shop is neutral ground. Explore options. For example, just because they demand a meeting, we still have a choice whether or not we meet with them, or who we bring along to the meeting.
Some Do’s and Don’ts When Interacting With Toxic People Here are a few guidelines I found to be helpful when dealing with the bully/tyrant/toxic/impossible/difficult person: DO :
Treat them with respect. Stay as calm as possible. Speak with them privately about the issue, for starters. Bring in others if needed (Matthew 18:15-18). Look for options. Can I walk away from this person/situation? Can I limit my time with them?
Shame them. Especially in front of other people. That is like throwing gasoline on a fire. Even if they don’t explode in front of us, they may retaliate in a powerful way, probably in the near future. Get into a verbal fight. Be wise about when to “agree to disagree” and when to continue the discussion.
None of these things are easy to do! I have failed in each area – some more than once or twice. I have been the difficult person at times, and I have seriously struggled with the difficult person at others. But the good news is – we have been shown a way through it, and we have some practical tools we can utilize, making our interactions more effective for everyone involved.
This hopefully gives us some relief as we navigate those more difficult people, and ideally avoid becoming one of them! “If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.” – Alexander Solzenitsyn Want to find out more about Martha? Check out her website, Linked In or Facebook,
If you’re looking for a community in your life, we’d love for you to join us at Anchor Groups. You can find out more information here. Sources:
Arbuckle, Gerald A. Confronting the Demon, (Liturgical Press, 2003). Markham, Ursula How to Deal With Difficult People, (HarperCollins Publishers, 1993). Peck, M.S. People of the Lie, (Simon & Schuster, 1983). Payson, Eleanor D., M.S.W. The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists, (Julian Day Publications, 2002). Shapiro, Ronald M. and Jankowski, Mark A. Bullies, Tyrants, and Impossible People, (Three Rivers Press, 2005). Silvious, Jan. Fool-Proofing Your Life, (Waterbrook Press, 1998). Simon, George, Jr., Ph.D. In Sheep’s Clothing, (Parkhurst Brothers, Inc., Publishers, 1996).
What does the Bible say about harsh husbands?
What God Asks of Husbands My love for Scripture is matched only by my love for Jesus, and the love of one is the expression of my love for the other. Everything I aspire to be as a husband is because of what the Bible calls me to be. And since Jesus was never married, I have to take the bulk of my instruction as a husband from the other words of Scripture, which I take to be as authoritative as the “red letters” of Jesus.
- My fellow husbands, what I’ve found is that when I rightfully understand and seek to submit to all that God’s Word calls me to be and do as a husband, I don’t have any time left over to wonder if my wife is holding up “her” verses.
- So, let’s look at what the Bible actually calls husbands to be.
- A “biblical” husband: 1.
Never makes his wife’s life bitter Colossians 3:19 says, “Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly.” The word “love” is in present tense, meaning unceasing and ongoing action, while the language for “treating your wife harshly” is in the aorist tense, meaning a one-time occurrence.
In this context that means when it comes to a husband being harsh with his wife, Paul’s policy is Not. Even. Once, You don’t get to treat your wife harshly when you’re tired, frustrated, or it’s at the end of a long day and you’re not getting what you want out of life or marriage. A paraphrase for Paul’s advice to husbands would be, “always love, never be harsh.” Another translation for harsh, by the way, is anything that “makes her life bitter.” If I believe the Bible, I should never do anything that makes my wife’s life bitter.
If leaving my socks on the floor bothers her, I should pick them up. If a tone of voice makes her feel talked down to, I must stop using that tone of voice. And of course, this verse absolutely rejects any notion of physical harm, verbal abuse, or even threats.
- A biblical husband always loves and is never harsh,2,
- Provides for his family 1 Timothy 5:8 says, “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” Those husbands who play videogames at home while their wives work two jobs? They’re not “biblical husbands.” I understand the desire men have to pursue their dreams vocationally.
I don’t think this verse objects to a wife working full-time while her husband is in school—that’s preparing to provide and it’s work (even though you may not be getting paid for it). This admonition also doesn’t negate the wife also working, especially since Proverbs 31 refers to an income earning wife.
It does negate the thought of a husband who is able to work not working out of selfishness or laziness. This verse challenged me when I was a young husband desperate to become a writer and married a woman who was desperate to be a full-time stay-at-home mom. I had to work a full-time job (and for a spell another part-time job added on) for fifteen years and write on the side before I could write full-time, which is partly what turned me into an early morning person (it was the only time I could pursue my dream).
So men, I get wanting to pursue a dream. It’s the story of my life. I don’t get making your wife and children suffer so you can pursue your dream. Wanting to be a “biblical” husband, I didn’t see that as an option. A biblical husband works hard to provide for his family,3.
Treats his wife with respect 1 Peter 3:7 tells me that if I don’t respect my wife, God won’t hear my prayers: “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respectso that nothing will hinder your prayers.” It’s therefore impossible for me to imagine that I could be a Christian in good standing if I fail to respect my wife.
Respect begins with my language—I’m never to be condescending, nor hurtful, nor threatening. Respect includes making life choices with my wife’s welfare at the top of my concern. Respect means I also listen to her, value her opinion, and don’t talk her down to others.
- Respect doesn’t mean I always agree with her or always do what she wants me to do but it also means I don’t expect her to always agree with me or always do what I want her to do.
- A biblical husband respects his wife.4.
- Takes initiative Male chauvinism and domineering control have been a problem for all of human history, but in society’s attempt to dismantle this sin the opposite sin—male passivity—often gets overlooked.
That’s the devil’s trap: if he knows he’s losing his grip on tempting the church with one sin, he’ll try to get the church to fall head-first into the opposite sin. Truth isn’t found by reacting to evil; it’s found by responding to Christ and His Word.
- If you take the Bible seriously, a husband’s love is an initiating love.
- When the Bible tells men to love their wives like Christ loves the church (Eph.5:22ff), it’s calling us to an initiating, reaching-out love.
- Christ adopted the breathtaking plan of becoming flesh to get His message across to us—a bold, audacious and one-sided move.
He willingly laid down His life to deal with our sin when we didn’t deserve it. He is the most active figure in history, and He continues to be so when He says, “I will build my church” (Matt.16:18). He hasn’t built but is building His church. A biblical husband is an active husband, expending much energy and thought over how to build up his wife.
- He’s not primarily thinking about how or whether she is serving Him; he’s focused on what He can do for her.
- A biblical husband is an initiating husband.5.
- Speaks life to his wife Proverbs 18:21 warns us, “The tongue has the power of life and death.” We husbands are therefore called to choose every word— every single one —carefully: “I tell you, on the Day of Judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matt.12:36-37) This includes words when we’re tired, angry, frustrated, hurt or disappointed.
The Bible moves us to make every word breathe life into our wives and marriages. A biblical husband uses his tongue to nurture, never to hurt.6. Values her sexual pleasure and needs Our bodies aren’t just our own; on the day we get married, they also belong to our wives (1 Cor.7:3ff.).
Which means we need to preserve a brain that values her beauty, which enjoins us to resist comparing our wives to pornographic images or other women walking down the street. It means when we make love, we put her pleasure at the center of every experience, and that we preserve enough energy to be able to engage in sexual relations.
It means we spend time and thought thinking up how to please her. It also means we try to take care of our own bodies since they’re the only ones our wives are biblically allowed to make love to. Offering a body and brain that’s broken down due to neglect or indulgence (I’m not talking about age or disease here) is like feasting at a restaurant and giving our wives the option of licking the plate.
That’s not generous; it’s gross. A biblical husband disciplines himself and works to please his wife sexually.7. Loves her out of reverence for God 1 John 3:1 and Ephesians 5:1 are key Bible verses declaring that we are God’s children, which means my wife is God’s daughter, She will never not be God’s daughter, so I will have a lifelong motivation to love her and be faithful to her, simply because I owe her Heavenly Father more than I could ever even begin to repay.
This biblical truth has been a mainstay of my marital devotion from the time God first hit me over the head with it when he convicted me, probably 25 years ago now, about how lousy of a husband I was being: “Lisa isn’t just your wife, she’s my daughter, and I expect you to treat her accordingly.” Having my own children, and knowing how desperately I want them to be well-loved even though I know they aren’t perfect, gives me just a glimpse of God’s desire for me to love His daughter, my wife, and how much I can please Him by loving her well.
A biblical husband loves his wife because she is, first and foremost, God’s daughter,8. Honors her more than she honors him When I got married, I foolishly kept a scorecard, wondering if Lisa would treat me as well as I was trying to treat her. That is one hundred and eighty degrees different from the attitude the Bible calls me to have when Paul writes, “Outdo one another in showing honor” (Romans 12:10).
According to Paul, at the end of the day my goal should be that I honor my wife more than she honors me. This means I focus more on what I’m called to do than on what she is called to do. A biblical husband focuses more on loving his wife well than on evaluating whether he is being treated well.9.
- Is committed to his wife for life in a covenantal relationship When Jesus does talk about a marriage, He makes it clear that I get one choice, and I am to be covenantally (not just contractually) committed to that choice for the rest of my life—until either one of us dies.
- I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” (Matthew 19:9) If I want to honor Jesus, I can’t end my marriage because I’m not satisfied or happy or think I made my choice too hastily.
Only my wife can give me grounds for divorce. If she’s not unfaithful to me, my call is to work it out. If she abandons me or is unfaithful to me, that’s not something I’m doing, that’s something she’s doing. She’s breaking the covenant, not me. But for my part, I am to accept that this is my one and likely only marriage, so I should nurture it, grow it, build it, and enjoy it.
- There won’t be a second chance (not that I would want one).10.
- Loves Biblical love isn’t sentimental or emotional.
- It’s gritty and specific.
- Just look at 1 Corinthians 13:4ff.
- Love is patient; men, are we patient with our wives? Love is kind; men, when’s the last time you’ve done something for your wife out of sheer kindness and not to get something back? Love isn’t proud; men, do we exalt ourselves over our wives or act like servants? Love doesn’t dishonor others; men, how do we talk about our wives when we’re not with them? Love isn’t self-seeking; men, are we more focused on what we’re getting out of marriage than what we’re giving? Love isn’t easily angered; men, do our wives feel safe and cherished in our gentle love? Love keeps no record of wrongs; men, do we shove our wives’ past mistakes and sins back at them during an argument? Love does not delight in evil; men, do we entice our wives to join us in sin? Love always protects; men, do we endanger our wives’ health, energy, joy and peace for our own selfish pursuits and pleasures? Love always perseveres; men, are we committed to hanging in there, refusing to even utter the word “divorce”? A biblical husband loves his wife the way the Bible defines love.
These verses sidestep the complementarian/egalitarian divide. Whatever those verses mean, all of the above apply to every husband in every marriage. If I ever master these ten passages, maybe I’ll have time to wax eloquently on the ones so many others seem so obsessed about arguing over.
Until then, I’ve got my hands full with what God clearly asks of me as a husband. And I hope every spiritually alive husband reading this will feel the same.P.S. For the men who say it’s not fair that I’m focusing on just the husbands here, let me remind you that I wrote an entire book for women: Loving Him Well: Practical Advice on Influencing Your Husband.
Publishers aren’t too excited about publishing books with men as the primary audience, so I’m slipping a bit of what I’d say in a book to men into this blog. Plus, I like the biblical reminders about how I’m supposed to behave toward Lisa. I need them to stay the course.
How did Jesus deal with toxic people?
Jesus didn’t let the needs, pleas, attacks, or unresponsiveness of others distract Him from the mission given to Him by his heavenly Father. By Gary Thomas Since Jesus came from heaven to walk among us, Christians tend to think that walking away from anyone, or letting anyone walk away from the truth, is a failure on our part.
- But Jesus walked away or let others walk away a lot,
- I recently reread the gospels and counted every occurrence where Jesus deliberately parted ways with others.
- Sometimes He spoke a hard truth, after which the other person walked away.
- Other times, the people had been touched and begged Jesus to stay, but He had other places to go and left them.
Overall, I counted 41 such instances in all four gospels. Forty-one! Some of these references refer to the same encounter, but that still leaves more than two dozen distinct times when Jesus demonstrated walking away or letting someone else walk away. The point is that Jesus didn’t let the needs, pleas, attacks, or unresponsiveness of others distract Him from the mission given to Him by his heavenly Father. One thing we don’t see when others walk away is Jesus giving chase. As powerful as Jesus was, as brilliant as Jesus was, as pure as Jesus was, and as surrendered to God as Jesus was, not everyone he interacted with “changed,” repented, or agreed with Him.
Here’s the principle that comes from that: Sometimes to follow in the footsteps of Jesus is to walk away from others or to let them walk away from us. Take, for instance, the story of the rich young ruler. Jesus discerned this young man’s heart and the core issue in his life—he loved money. When the earnest young man couldn’t walk away from his money, he chose to walk away from Jesus.
Notice that our Lord didn’t run after him. Jesus didn’t say, “Wait! I know asking you to give 100% is a bit extreme; if you give away just 50%, I think we can make this work. I need followers! Let’s bargain!” No, He turned to His disciples and explained what had just happened and why it was so difficult for that rich man to join them.
Toxic” doesn’t seem to fit this young man’s profile, but the principle is clear: when truth is rejected, spend your time on those who will receive it instead of begging closed-hearted people to reconsider. On another occasion, after giving a difficult teaching about eating his flesh and drinking his blood, Jesus lost a lot of previously enthusiastic followers: “From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
‘You do not want to leave too, do you?’ Jesus asked the Twelve” (John 6:66–67). Notice the same pattern. Not just one, but many walked away. And not just casual onlookers; they’re called his “disciples.” Instead of chasing them down and begging them not to misunderstand him and to please come back, Jesus turns to the Twelve, and says, “So, what about you?” Notice the confidence that gives authority to his message.
Jesus never appears desperate, manipulative, or controlling, as if when people didn’t agree with Him, His feelings would be hurt. He is mission-focused and others-centered to his deepest core. Jesus also demonstrates the need to sometimes “verbally” walk away when dealing with a toxic person, like Herod.
Instead of arguing with Herod and trying to justify himself, Jesus remained silent: ” plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer” (Luke 23:9). Jesus adopted the same approach with Pilate and the religious leaders: “When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer.
- Then Pilate asked him, ‘Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?’ But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor” (Matthew 27:12–14).
- We don’t have to argue.
- When a toxic person is attacking you, you don’t have to participate.
- Especially when you know it won’t make any difference, spend those few moments worshiping and relating to your loving heavenly Father rather than contending with a hateful assault.
A particularly vivid example of Jesus letting someone walk away occurred at the Last Supper. Jesus knew Judas was going to betray Him. He spoke about it in advance. And yet He allowed Judas to walk out of the room. He didn’t chase after him. He didn’t waste time trying to change Judas’s mind.
What does the Bible say about hard times in marriage?
7 — Proverbs 13:12 – Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life. AMPC Lastly, you have got to hold on to hope. Rough marital seasons are draining, and if you allow your hope to fail, your heart will grow sick.
- Get counseling, even if your spouse won’t go with you yet.
- You go for you.
- The best thing you can work on when working on your marriage is you.
- Find a Christian or Bible-based counselor and begin going.
- Maybe see your pastors if this is something they offer.
- I think this could be especially helpful if your church is led by a married couple and you could sit down with them both.
Surround yourself with wise counsel. I can’t say that enough. That was a significant cause of problems in our marriage. We lacked wise counsel and were only taking advice from one source, and it was almost detrimental. When we let others in, we began to see a lot of things differently.
I sincerely pray that these verses comfort, encourage and stir you up. I think the number one take away is God loves you. He sees you. He’s not disappointed in you or frustrated. He hasn’t left you or given up. He is with you, and you are wildly loved by Him. When I felt like a failure in my marriage I was overtaken one day by His kindness and love.
A struggling marriage can be a distraction, so I just encourage you to make sure you stay rooted in how loved and accepted you are. If you found this helpful or you think your friends or followers would enjoy it, would you consider sharing this out? It’s an easy way to help us to spread our message of hope and love further.
There are share buttons on the screen to make it super quick and easy. Lastly, are you in the Living For Love VIP Club? It is the best way for us to stay connected with you so we can keep you encouraged plus you gain access to our Ebook – Overcome for free! Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links.
If you purchase through those links A Love Worth Living For will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. These little bits, when added up, help us continue to provide encouragement and content. Thank you for your support. : 7 Verses For The Struggling Marriage
What does God say about a narcissist?
Narcissism as Sin and Foolishness – Narcissism can be viewed as the epitome of sin, as individuals choose to be their own gods, seeking self-worship and control. The book of Proverbs addresses this concept by referring to narcissistic behaviors as foolishness.
Does the Bible talk about narcissist?
Often narcissism is not mentioned in Christian theology, sermons, or Bible Studies because term is not explicitly found in the Bible. Yet, the concept of narcissism and the dangers it poses to the human community is fundamental to scripture.
How a godly husband treats his wife?
Pastor Samuel Elliot By Guest Blogger Sam Elliot This week, I want us to think about the commands given to husbands in 1Peter 3. This passage not only lays out how a wife should live with her husband, but also explains how a husband should relate to his wife.
- The wife is told that God has given her such powerful tools that when she releases them into the marriage, it might lead an unbelieving husband to faith in Christ without a single word being spoken.
- These tools are ever growing Godly character, the development of inner beauty, a submissive attitude,a gentle spirit, and a quiet spirit.
The release of these into the marriage requires great faith in God and will require the overcoming of fear over and over again. But, when released by the wife, these qualities have great power. You can read more about this on our blog at nolareallife.org,
The article is entitled: Help! My husband is not a believer! This passage also provides instructions for husbands.1 Peter 3:7 says, ” Husbands, in the same way, be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” First, let’s dispel a lie that has been wrongly attached to Christianity for many years.
The lie is that Christianity and the Bible promote the oppression of women. The world has hurled this accusation so loudly and for so long that some in the church have even begun to believe it. The world has tried to convince women that God should not be trusted by them because He is withholding the best things from them.
- Things like a career outside the home, freedom to experience sexual adventures, independence from a man, and rulership over men to name a few.
- In the 1960’s, the feminist movement sought to wage war against traditional standards and seek to have these wonderful things they had been denied.
- The results are in.
This has created a massive amount of single mom homes. Two income families have lots of stuff, but many children have been left alone to raise themselves or be raised by schools and daycares. The divorce rate has skyrocketed. Men have been displaced and many feel lost so they create more trouble.
- Surveys show that most women still do not feel fulfilled even though they have obtained what the world told them that God was withholding from them.
- The truth is that while some men have mistreated women in the name of Christianity, God has a plan to bless women and lift them up.
- His plan is found in his order of things.
When a husband and a wife find and follow God’s order for life together, the wife is fulfilled and blessed and so is the husband. This results in children who are trained in the ways of God and have a solid foundation for life implanted in them! The first thing is the phrase “in the same way” or the King James version uses the word “likewise”.
- This leads to the question in the same way or likewise as what? This refers the husband back a few verses to the concept of submission explained in detail in verses 13-24.
- In these verses, we are reminded that Jesus submitted Himself to God’s plan all the way to the cross.
- This required Jesus to deny the temptation to do things in a way that would save Him from the pain of the cross in order to trust God and bring the benefit of the forgiveness of sins to us.
So, just as Jesus submitted to the plan of God for Himself, husbands and wives are told to submit to the plan of God for marriage and family. We have a tendency to look at how the world around us does marriage and family and copy their model because it makes sense to the flesh and requires no faith and no denying self.
However, it also brings great heartache and is void of the blessing of God. So, this passage is first of all telling husbands to set aside the things that this world values and choose to find out God’s plan for how a wife should be treated. Then, the husband is challenged to walk in obedience to God’s order, even though it will require nailing his natural, sinful tendencies to a cross.
If we want God’s blessing in our families, we have to choose to do things God’s way! The second command given to husbands has to do with how we think about our wives. It says, “be considerate” or the King James uses the word “Honor”. The original word means to ascribe value or dignity or esteem highly.
So, husbands are told that in God’s Kingdom, wives are to be considered to be greatly valuable and highly esteemed and treasured. Husbands, do you value your wife highly? What do you tell yourself about your wife all day? Do you constantly remind yourself of her faults and flaws? Do you run through an ever-growing list of complaints all day? Is your attitude toward your wife one of complaining, criticizing, and grumbling? If the answer to these questions is yes, then you are not following the example of Jesus.
Instead, you are gratifying the flesh and following the example of the sinful world. God is commanding husbands to think of their wives as valuable, priceless, exquisite, irreplaceable, and worthy of great dignity and esteem. I want to challenge you to take the next 10 days and choose to inventory the value your wife brings to you and remind yourself all day over and over what a great blessing she is to you.
- Chase away every complaining thought and choose to appreciate her.
- This passage instructs husbands to live with their wives in a way that is considerate or according to knowledge.
- The word in the original language translated here is the Greek word Gnosis.
- It refers to an investigation to find the truth or to discover something.
This word is used often in the New Testament and mostly refers to a search for the spiritual truth of the Gospel. However, it is also used here to tell husbands that it is required that they go on a lifelong investigation to understand what their wife needs from him so he can offer it to her.
Wow! This is the opposite of what many husbands practice. Men and women are created uniquely different. They relate to the world differently. They have different needs. They have different strengths to offer. They have different gifts to bestow on each other. The normal pattern of the world is that rather than taking time to understand and appreciate these differences, husbands and wives criticize each other’s differences and try to force the other to change.
Wives try to pressure their husbands to be more feminine in their speech and thoughts. Husbands pressure their wives to think and act more like a man. This is all done in an effort to provide self with an easier path. However, this creates a painful disconnect in the marriage.
- God instructs husbands to take the initiative in seeking to understand the needs of the wife and to be careful to meet her needs.
- Think about that a moment.
- This means that God is validating the needs of the wife.
- If the husband ignores the needs of the wife in an attempt to accommodate self, he is violating God’s command.
God created women with needs that God expects the husband to prioritize. What are those needs? They are unique to every wife, but generally speaking, wives want to be sure that their husband loves her and meant it when he promised ’til death do us part.
- A wife wants to feel certain that the husband will empty himself to care for her and their children.
- Wives want to be valued and respected.
- A wife wants to be encouraged and lifted up by her husband.
- A wife wants to be appreciated for all she contributes to the family.
- A wife wants to be helped.
- When a husband is helpful it gives dignity to the mundane rituals of everyday living.
A wife loves chivalry. it makes her feel special. I want to challenge husbands to stop complaining about what you don’t understand about your wife and begin to support, encourage, appreciate, and help your wife. So, this passage tells husbands to abandon the pattern of this world for husbands and to find and submit to the pattern of God for husbands, to recognize the great value a wife brings to a man and treat her as precious, valuable, and exquisite, and to embark on a lifelong mission of discovery concerning what she needs and how to give it to her.
- It also tells husbands to remember that their wife is an equal heir in the faith.
- God assigned husbands and wives different roles, but they are equal in every way.
- There is a push in the world to confuse this.
- The Bible is clear, men and women are not the same.
- They are wonderfully different.
- Yet, they are equal.
God created humanity male and female. Men were assigned certain responsibilities and women were created to fulfill certain responsibilities. One is not superior to the other, they are simply different. God intends that husbands would lead the way in discovering the unique needs and strengths of their wife and work to create a life of harmony and fulfillment.
- It is Satan that wants to bring gender confusion and try to undo God’s original intent for gender uniqueness and blessing.
- This part of the passage requires husbands to lead their wife with the understanding that she is an equal partner.
- This would include honoring her in the way a husband speaks to her and makes decisions.
The welfare of the wife should always be on his mind. This means that the wife has an integral part in every life decision. This rules out the idea that God wants the husband to rule over his wife. This rules out the idea that the husband is the king of the home and the wife is subservient.
- This rules out the tendency of too many husbands to regard their wives as stupid or to disregard their opinion as irrelevant.
- God wants the husband to remember that the wife is a wealth of blessing to him and God is holding him responsible for always seeking to lift her up and be a blessing to her.
- She is NOT inferior.she is an equal heir in the Kingdom of Heaven.
She should be treated with the dignity she deserves as a daughter of the King of the universe! Remember someday, husbands will stand before the Father who will hold them accountable for the way they treated His daughter. This passage makes that clear.
So, this passage tells husbands to abandon the pattern of this world for husbands and to find and submit to the pattern of God for husbands, to recognize the great value a wife brings to a man and treat her as precious and valuable, and to embark on a lifelong mission of discovery concerning what she needs and how to give it to her.It reminds husbands that wives are equal heirs of the Kingdom of Heaven with them and should be treated with dignity and respect.
Then, God highlights the seriousness of heeding these commands by telling husbands that refusal to do so will interfere with their relationship with Him. “So that nothing will hinder your prayers”, these are serious words. Far too many husbands don’t factor this serious warning into their daily interaction with their wife.
This is the balancing factor in the marriage equation. God has called the wife to a place of vulnerability as she relates to her husband. She is called to trust him to care for her. She is called to be co-operative with him. When children come along, she is very vulnerable during the pregnancy and the first few years of the baby’s life.
During this time, she is dependent on her husband to provide for them. Men can’t really relate to the feeling of vulnerability and dependency a wife feels during these seasons of life. In our modern culture, far too many men prove themselves to be unreliable and undependable.
God is telling husbands that if they mistreat their wife, it has a direct, negative effect on their relationship with God. In fact, in Malachi 2:13-16, God tells the men of Israel that their prayers and sacrifices are being ignored by him because they have mistreated their wives! So, husbands, the truth is that if you mistreat your wife, God will back away from you and will turn a deaf ear to your prayers until you repent and change the way you treat your wife.
Don’t be a husband who is living in deception thinking that he can treat his wife with anger, resentment, and contempt and be in great fellowship with God. It doesn’t work like that! So, if you are in a rut of being critical of your wife. I hope you will stop today and begin to celebrate the blessing she is to you! Today is the time to begin to lift her up.
I hope you will begin to ask, “What can I do to make her day better?” and then do it. Today is the time to set aside self-serving attitudes and be a blessing to her! Pastor Sam Elliot, an ordained Assemblies of God minister, successfully built a church plant from twelve members to three-hundred with many community outreach programs, events and a thriving Master’s Commission program in South Carolina before heeding God’s call in 2014 to plant a church in New Orleans.
After two years of preparation Pastor Elliot will officially launch Real Life Church in January 2016. He “envision meeting people in an open, honest recognition of where their real life is and leading them into real, abundant life in Christ.” He is the author of I Still Do: A guide for the Marriage Journey, a sixteen week devotional study guide.
How does God want you to treat your wife?
Ephesians 5:25 (NIV) – “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Husbands and wives are called to love one another and treat one another well. This is one of the Bible verses about love that remind couples to look to Christ’s example for how to love. Read Also: 5 Tips for Learning How to ‘Pray Without Ceasing’
Is emotional abuse still considered abuse?
Relationship emotional abuse – A relationship is still abusive if people face emotional abuse rather than physical abuse. People may be facing emotional abuse if they feel as though something in their relationship is not right, feel scared, or think nothing they do is right in the eyes of their partner. Signs that a person may be emotionally abusive include:
belittling a partner, calling them names, or putting them downhumiliating or intentionally embarrassing a partnerthreatening to harm their partner or themselves if a partner leavesstalking gaslighting controlling their partner’s actions or monitoring their phone and emailspressuring a person into sexual activitybeing upset when a partner spends time alone or with other peoplebeing overly jealous or possessiveblaming their abusive behavior on their partner
Learn more about coercive control in relationships.