None of us like to be criticized, and we like it even less when we are criticized by our own husband. The Bible tells us that there are times when we should admonish others, but when our husband sees a reason to admonish us, we can turn on him like a viper, ready to strike. We seem to forget the biblical mandate for admonishing others. Next, we start hollering about how he has no right to criticize us. Finally, we feel that carnal nature rising up within us to put him in his place and show him that if anyone in our household needs some criticizing, it is him!
Why would God choose to use our husband to admonish us?
1. Sometimes we refuse to listen to God.
We are constantly surrounded by noise. If it’s not the radio, TV, the phone, or the kids, then it’s the noise of things like the washing machine. It’s no wonder we don’t hear God speak to us!
In Psalm 81:8, God tells the people that if only they would listen, He could admonish them. How many times have I neglected to listen to the Lord?
2. Sometimes God may use our husband to test us.
We may be thinking that we have a true servant’s heart, but God may use our husband to reveal to us that we only have a servant’s heart toward certain people, and it’s not those in our own house. In testing us, God may be watching to see how we respond when our husband brings up a valid issue.
3. Sometimes God speaks through our husband to correct us.
Our husbands often have a keen ability to sense when things at home may be out of balance. Granted, there are times when the house may be in shambles when he comes home because we’ve been too busy taking care of sick kids. However, if this is a common occurrence, God may speak through your husband to help you change priorities so that you will be more in line with Titus 2 where it talks about being keepers at home.
Our husband may sense that we are too immersed in outside activities, and it is causing chaos to reign in the home instead of making it a peaceful place of refuge for everyone at the end of a long day. He may sense that while we may be physically present in the home, we have mentally ‘checked out.’ This ‘checking out’ could be in the form of reading excessively, talking on the phone endlessly, spending unnecessary time on the Internet, or becoming a news junkie. It could mean that we have become an addict of soap operas or even the daily talk shows. The result is the same – CHAOS in the home.
4. Sometimes God will use our husband to caution us about unhealthy friendships.
I know that my own husband has keen insight a lot of the time regarding my friends. One time he cautioned me about a certain ‘friend’ with whom I was spending a lot of time. I did not heed the wisdom in what he shared. The price to be paid was great, for this ‘friend’ turned on me and stabbed me in the back. She was a conniving, manipulating person. For me to try and defend myself from her attacks would only add fuel to the fire. I had to stand back and let God take control and let Him vindicate me. Sad to say, but it was nearly two years before I got the confirmation that He had indeed vindicated me. I have learned a lot through that experience, but how much better off would I have been if only I had listened to the wise words of my husband? I have no doubt that it was the Spirit of the Lord speaking through him, trying to caution me against a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
If your husband speaks to you about your friends, please seriously consider what he is saying to you. We are wise when we are cautious in our friendships, and sometimes a man’s perspective can save us a load of turmoil later. (Proverbs 12:26) Because I failed to listen, I suffered much emotional and mental anguish. Is it any wonder? We are told in Proverbs 13:20 that if we hang out with fools, we will indeed suffer harm.
What should be our response when we feel our husband is criticizing us?
1. First, let your spirit rule you, rather than your emotions. When you do this, you will be more apt to follow the biblical mandate to be quick to hear, but slow in speaking or becoming angry. (James 1:19)
2. Don’t repay him with evil. (Proverbs 20:22) Keep in mind that love isn’t rude. Even if we feel our husband is completely out of line with his comments, it does not give us the right to turn on him and be rude and hurtful. Nor is it the time to do a history lesson, bringing up a record of the many criticisms that you may have built up against him over the years.
3. Don’t become stiff-necked. If we become stiff-necked and stay that way, scripture tells us that we will be destroyed. (Proverbs 29:1) If we are destroyed, who may be destroyed right along with us?
4. Be receptive. We need to open our heart to instruction and insights from other people. If we do, we may learn some vital truths that can really help us to grow in the Lord. (Proverbs 23:12)
5. Remember the load of responsibility that your husband carries, as the head of the house. God will hold him responsible for what takes place in the home. (I Timothy 3:13) Since he is the head of the household, God may very well use him to correct some things taking place in the home, and some of those issues may involve admonishing you.
6. Be adaptable. The Amplified Bible tells us in Titus 2:5 that we are to adapt ourselves to our husband. That may mean that we need to adjust to a new way of doing things. Just because we’ve always done something a certain way doesn’t mean that we can’t change that. When we are adaptable, rather than cantankerous, it keeps the Word from being discredited.
7. Get ready for glory! As God’s children, we are being changed from glory to glory. Sometimes God will use the words spoken by our husband in an effort to achieve a major transformation in us that allows His glory to shine brilliantly through us.
© 2005, Stacy R. Miller