Husbands Create the Wives They Have?

Husbands Create the Wives They Have?

A woman wrote, “If a husband ever says, ‘You’re not submitting!’ I would say, ‘Bad leadership!’ The husband always initiates! If he is loving her to death, I promise he will have a submissive wife. Husbands create the wife they have. If you’re mean and angry all the time, that’s what she will become. You’re the leader. If you speak tenderly and serve her, she will be your reward. Serving and honoring you.” Did she speak the truth?

Where in the Bible does it say that a husband cannot tell his wife that she is in sin? Nowhere. In fact, husbands are commanded this: “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word” (Ephesians 5:26). If he is to teach her the Word of God, then he has every right to tell her when she is disobeying God’s Word. Those in authority have a right to tell those under them when they are doing something wrong. No, this isn’t bad leadership.

Where in the Bible does it say that the husband always initiates? Nowhere. In fact, in 1 Peter 3:1, we are told that wives who are married to husbands that are disobedient to the word, they are to win them by living in subjection to them with godly behavior. The wife in this situation is initiating by loving her husband even if he is not acting in a lovable way. Telling wives that the husband always initiates sets them up for miserable marriages. These types of expectations never help wives have a better marriage. We love, are kind, patient, and serve our husbands whether or not they do the same for us, since we are only accountable for our own behavior.

Does the Bible tell us that if a husband is loving his wife to death that he will be promised a submissive wife? NO! We know husbands who are good and kind men who are married to rebellious wives. They work hard to provide a living then come home to clean the house since their wives aren’t doing so. No matter how much they try to love and serve their wives, their wives continue to live in rebellion. Why do you think there are verses in Proverbs about contentious and quarreling wives? It’s due to many women wanting control and quarreling with their husbands for control. Women need to be taught to be submissive since it doesn’t come naturally, no matter how much her husband loves her.

Husbands create the wives they have? No. They have nothing to do with creating their wives. It’s more the parents who have created the wives the men marry. It’s the choices the wives have then made that create who they are. Putting the burden on men to create the wives they have is simply not biblical. From what I have seen, it’s most often the wives that set the tone for their husbands and homes. The Bible agrees. “Every wise woman builds her house but a foolish plucks it down with her own hands” (Proverbs 14:1).

If a husband is mean and angry, does this guarantee that the wife will become mean and angry? If he speaks tenderly and serves her, does this mean she will speak tenderly and serve him? People who are mean and angry sometimes become this way because of what they experienced in their childhoods. Divorce will cause this. Lack of discipline, care, and training will also cause this. Being modeled parents who are mean and angry will usually make their children this way. A mean and angry man who marries a kind and loving woman doesn’t mean that the wife will become like him. Her mean and angry husband will cause her much sorrow (Don’t marry mean and angry men, young women!), but it’s no guarantee that she will become this way especially if she is a godly woman who is filled with the Holy Spirit.

Often, a husband can become mean and angry if he is feeling disrespected by his wife. If she is consistently telling him how to do things, if she gives her opinion too much and acts like her opinion is always the right one, if she’s not listening to what he says but instead is always trying to correct, control, and/or challenge him, then he is not feeling loved by her. Men feel loved when they are respected. She may not know she is disrespecting her husband in subtle ways but each time she doesn’t listen when he is talking, mocks his opinions, acts like a Miss know-it-all, and tells him how he should be living his life, she may be giving fuel for his meanness and anger.

What this woman wrote is a commonly held belief. Many want to place all of the blame for bad marriages on men. Wives can’t change their husbands and the more they try, the worse their marriages will become and men can’t create their wives either. Most women marry their husbands thinking of ways their husbands need to change. Give up your controlling ways, women! Instead of placing all of the blame for bad marriages on men, let’s be responsible for our own behavior since it’s the only thing we really have control over and refuse to put the burden upon our husbands to “create” us.

But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands.
1 Peter 3:4, 5

21 thoughts on “Husbands Create the Wives They Have?

  1. A quick look at the Bible will show the falsehood of this woman’s claim. Eve rebelled before Adam did; Gomer didn’t follow Hosea’s Godly lead; and the very Bride of Christ often fails to submit to her perfect Bridegroom!

    It is possible that this woman is picking up on a correlation and mistaking the causation. The ideal setup for marriage is a Godly man and woman marrying; in such a case, you’re likelier to see family harmony even as you see the husband and wife respectively leading and submitting as they ought. This might be mistaken as “The husband’s good leadership causes the wife’s good submission.”

    I do not say that husbands are interchangeable–far from it! My own husband is a man worthy of respect and affection even apart from that which I owe to him as my husband. It is easier to submit to him than it would be to an angry, drunken lout, no question. Nevertheless, I am responsible for my own actions, and the rebelliousness of my heart cannot be blamed on my husband.

  2. Yes, also consider Abigail who was married to a mean and angry fool. It didn’t cause her to compromise her good sense. Instead God rewarded her by getting rid of Nabal and giving Abigail a Godly husband in the future King of Israel.

  3. So much to say on this false thinking! (You’ve pretty much covered it! Ha)

    No. Wives. NO! God commanded you to submit. He did not say “submit…only if you’re husband is being nice…only if he’s being a good leader…only if he is ‘loving you’ to death.” NO! YOU submit! YOU pray for him and over him! YOU shower him with kindness and goodness. I promise, God will do a work on him like never before! (If he’s falling somewhere.) Submission is a beautiful gift we are able to give to our husbands. Man, God is SO GOOD, do you really think He missed it when He told wives to submit? I don’t!

  4. If it was me, i would print it ojt and say ‘honey, i read this article and thought it was interesting, i would like you to read it and share your thoughts on it.’ At this point, dont share your thoughts. If she is willing to read it, just leave it with her and tell her you are happy to calmly discuss it when she is ready. No strings attached. If she wont read it, just say while you are dissapointed she wont read it and have an open dialogue. You understand and will keep it incase she changes her mind. Then pray about it. Leave it where it is. If she gets argumentative, just tell her you understand it must feel like you are making a personal attack, you love her and just wanted to discuss an interesting topic with her. People who argue and get mad often feel like their feelings and opinion are not validated and they arent being listened to. You can validate her feelings and indicate you are listening, without compromising your leadership. Jjst remember to respond in wisdom and gentleness.

  5. Lori,

    My husband has always been gentle, kind and gracious to overlook my faults, even when I treated him like dirt during the first two decades of our marriage. I disagree with this gal. When I finally chose to change my ways, the scales came off my eyes. The past nearly two more decades of our 38-year marriage finds me choosing to respect my husband FOR the leader he is IN the divine order and role God designed. These days, I take joy by being IN line myself, IN order and IN my God-designed place. I’ve been out of line, out of order and out of place in the past. NOT FUN! That’s called rebellion, and we don’t want any witches in our house!


  6. Blaming men for unsubmissive wives is taking away all personal responsibility.
    First and foremost, our responsibility is to God. To obey Him and to follow His word laid out for us in the Bible. Whether or not we choose to do that is totally up to us, not anyone else. And we will solely be held accountable for that.

    The Bible doesn’t give us a free pass because our husband’s are bad leaders, angry, grumpy, deep in sin etc. Jesus told us to turn the other cheek – give someone another chance to do it right. He told us when someone takes our coat, to give them our cloak also – to let things go, forgive, move on, not dwell on stuff.

    Even if we are married to difficult men, that doesn’t negate our responsibility to be cheerfully, joyfully submitting to him. Sure, it’s much easier to be a joyful, submissive wife if our husbands treat us well, but even if they don’t, our behaviour is still our personal responsibility.

    Just as God commands husbands to love their wife as themselves, and as Jesus loved the church (even if she is unsubmissive and difficult) wives are given the command to submit to their husbands (even if he is difficult and grumpy). Just because one side is not holding up their end of the bargain, doesn’t give the other half a free pass to behave however they like.

  7. Honestly feeriker, I would bother trying to get your wife to read it. If she doesn’t have the right heart to be submissive, suggesting she read something like this is only going to come as a personal attack to her, and will likely make things worse. She will probably mock this and you, and make you even more miserable.

    Submission has to come from the heart. It can’t be forced – it’s a gift a woman chooses to give. When God created us, He gave us free will. He wants us to choose to serve Him – just as He wants women to choose to be submissive to their husbands.

    I would just pray. Pray daily that your wife’s heart may be softened.

    If you really do want your wife to read it, getting a mutual friend to bring it up (preferably a happily married woman) and be supportive of it, might be a good way to go.

  8. I watched an excellent sermon by Nathan Pearl (Mike and Debi’s son) on the wives role in marriage. Loved it. He’s certainly a chip off the old block amd its well worth listening to.
    There is one for husbands as well, but i wont link it, as i feel it goes against the teaching of this blog.

  9. I have never understood how anyone could say that if a husband is loving his wife well, she will be submissive.

    What a huge fallacy!

    When (at the fall of mankind) woman was cursed with the desire to control, she from then on did NOT have a bent toward being submissive.

    As you pointed out, nowhere does Scripture say this. In fact, the Bible has more to say about the possibility of a submissive wife causing a husband to treat her well than it does about a loving husband causing his wife to be submissive. (1 Peter 3)

  10. feeriker
    KAKs advice is only partly right. The part about getting… lets call her… an “older Godly woman” involved to try and teach your wife what is good, and to train your wife to love you and your children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and in subjection to you, that the word of God may not be reviled… is absolutely a great idea but you must choose this older woman carefully. In my experience, there are not many out there that exist. Lori’s blog fills in that gap for many.

    Sorry KAK but the rest of your advice is not so good. Here is the truth. God has placed you in authority over your wife whether she understands that or not. Not only has God placed you in authority over her, God has given you RESPONSIBILITY regarding her as well. This feministic society has told her (and you) different but you MUST listen to what the Bible says and disregard the rest of (Satan’s lies) the worldly nonsense.

    Part of how God has called you to LOVE your wife is in helping her with her sanctification process. (Ephesians 5:25-27) As Lori so correctly stated above you, (YOU personally), are to be teaching your wife God’s word and calling her on her sin. (Colossians 1:28, 3:16) You are called to be washing her in the water of the word to help to remove her spots and blemishes. You need to be gently, lovingly, patiently but consistently and relentlessly placing a mirror up in front of your wife (metaphorically) and showing her her own behavior as you teach her what God’s Word says about her position as a Christian and specifically as a wife.

    Now you must include a lot of patience, grace and mercy in this process. It must all be done in love. (1 Corinthians 13) You must carefully consider how Christ (loves) deals with you in your sanctification as a guide as how you are to (love) deal with your wife in her sanctification.

    I will warn you, at some point, just as Christ brings discipline into our lives (Hebrews 12:6, Revelation 3:19) if we are too stubborn for too long, so you might also have to bring some form of (loving) discipline into your wife’s life if she is too stubborn for too long also.

    I will also warn you that it will almost certainly get worse before it gets better. God will grow you through this process also and growth often comes through suffering and pain.

    Your first step is to understand not only your position but also your responsibility to God in this matter. If you are just leaving your wife to herself and her own devices then you are not obeying God and you are abdicating the responsibility that He has given you regarding your wife. If you are not teaching your wife the word of God and washing her in it to help remove the spots and blemishes that she has, you are not obeying what God has instructed you to do. Understand first what you need to be doing.

    Then you must make sure that you have any logs removed from your eyes before you will be able to help your wife with the splinters in her eyes. (Matthew 7:5) In other words, if you have any sin in your life that you have not properly dealt with, you need to deal with it and get yourself right. Then pray that God will lead you in the right way to help (love) your wife. Pray for wisdom. (James 1:5) He promises that he will give it to you generously.

    It took years for your situation to get to where its at and it might take years to get it right but the journey of 1000 steps begins with the first one.

    Give your wife the above post and polity by firmly “instruct” her to read it. Buy the three books listed below and give them to your wife and polity but firmly “instruct” her to read them. It is OK for you to give your wife instruction. “Created to be His Help Meet” by Debi Pearl, “The Power of a Transformed Wife” by Lori Alexander and “The Excellent Wife” by Martha Peace. Each of these three books are written by Goldy women and have a great chance of helping to open your wife’s eyes to the truth of Gods word.

    This is not hypothetical advice I am giving you here. It is experiential knowledge learned the hard way over 29 years of marriage. I have been and continue to be on this journey myself. If you have questions you can reach me at

  11. That kind of thinking is actually quite misogynistic, and also actually pretty close to how feminists think as well. To think that a woman doesn’t have responsibility in her part of the relationship sounds condescending; as if women don’t have any agency of their own! I see this attitude of “I’m going to get away with bad behavior until my man fixes it”… Kind of messed up! Women aren’t children. Both man and woman need to take responsibility for themselves!

  12. We are both in early middle age now and experiencing some of the difficulties of this life stage. My husband has become a grumpy old man, quick to anger, quick to take offense, lashing out over the smallest issue or problem. And yes, he has yelled the classic, “Get off my lawn” comment to the neighborhood kids. Many of the things he took for granted–his health, his strength, his sexual vigor, his manliness-are declining rapidly. When he looks in the mirror, he sees wrinkles, a bigger belly, lost muscle strength, and gray hair. This has created a lot of tension in our home. Instead of lashing out in turn, I try to stay on an even keel and be kind and loving. It really helps that I have been through menopause and my brain and body are calm. I don’t take grumpy behavior as a personal attack, just as a problem he needs to work out for himself. He gets plenty of push back from other family members and friends for his behavior. He doesn’t need a wife on the attack as well. I know what he needs to feel better–a healthier diet, exercise, more sleep, and making lifestyle changes to lower his stress level would do him a world of good. Until he is ready to make changes, I will stay strong, cheerful, and supportive. The last thing I want is a mid-life divorce or acrimony over issues that will be behind us within a few years.

  13. You are a godly wife to him, Kande. You are storing your treasures in heaven where they will be safe. Thankfully, the Lord promises to be your strength. May He continue to bless you!

  14. The article’s top example premise is flawed, and you can tell this easily by just reversing the roles.

    It sounds good to say that “If a man ‘loves his wife to death’, she will be submissive…” But what about the other way? If a woman is a submissive wife, you can be sure her husband will be godly?

    Doesn’t work so easily that way. There is plenty of experience that shows that is not true at all. And that shows the error that Lori is talking about.

    Being a submissive wife, or a godly husband, has little to do with the other, and everything to do with our own obedience to the Lord.

  15. Exactly right. I spent too many years thinking that, “If I am perfect and obedient, then my spouse will blossom into a warm, loving, kindhearted person”. That did not happen. What did happen over many years of marriage is that I learned that I don’t have to let another person’s difficult behaviors impact the way I live my life and lead me into a “tit-for-tat” response. When I prayed to the Lord for a better marriage, he did not change my spouse. God changed me and showed me that the goal was not fixing someone else’s heart but healing and strengthening my own. I am not responsible for another person’s choices or poor behavior. I still pray actively for my spouse and always will. I hope that someday soon he will realize that anger and bitterness builds walls that can be hard to break down. Every day, I try to be a kind, forgiving peacemaker in our home. If I lashed out as well, then my children would live in a place of constant discord instead of a home with three kind, thoughtful, generous souls and one soul in deepest need of warmth and love.

  16. And I am going through much the same with my own wife. She’s a strict egalitarian and refuses any notion of “submission”. I do not even demand it (because I cannot).

    Probably because some women think “submission” means “women’s submission to men” – you know… the islamic perverted version of submission.

    Submission to your husband is submission to the Lord, just as my submission to my boss at work, or the elders at my church, or to the police even, is MY submission to the Lord. “Wives, submit to your husbands, as you would to the Lord.

    But the same thing applies to me. I am to submit to my master, my elders, and my government as unto the Lord just the same.

    We are ALL under some sort of authority that God expects us to be in submission to. And God says that all authority – secular and spiritual – is put there by God and he tells us to “submit to those in authority over you. Not grudgingly, as the world does, but willfully and joyfully, as this is pleasing to the Lord“.

    Don’t use that as a quote anywhere. I cobbled that together from memory from two or more verses. And I could be wrong. But I know it’s message is correct.

    My wife thinks that submission to me means that she is somehow inferior as a person. Even though we both know that as human beings, we stand equally before God, as does every living person on the planet, married or not.

    Submission to husbands is a role that exists only inside marriage. Women are not told to submit to men, and all men. Any woman who is a wife is required to submit to only one man, and that is her husband. It is a role within _marriage_, not a role within being a human being.

    And, as as believers (if we are believers) we are both equally to submit to the elders in our church, and other authorities that God has placed over us.

    My only responsibility is to see to my own obedience to the Lord. I cannot make her believe. And I cannot make her want to obey the Lord. All I can work on is me, and so I focus my attention there.

  17. BTW – for your husband’s sake (and possibly for yours too)…. One verse that finally changed me years ago (I used to be angry and bitter about all this, and lashed out, much as you seem to be describing) was simply this:

    The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God…

    Let that one sink in, and it works wonders! 😉

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