Why is Overeating Off Limits in a Wife’s Submission to Her Husband?

Why is Overeating Off Limits in a Wife’s Submission to Her Husband?

How would you respond if your husband one day looked at you and said, “You’re eating too much. You need to lose weight” Most women would be highly offended and angry with their husbands. Some would even tell him that it’s none of their business and they shouldn’t ask them to do this. Then they would go to their friends and tell them how unreasonable their husbands are.

Is this the godly wife’s response? No. A godly wife would tell her husband that she will stop eating so much and begin to lose weight since she knows that when she obeys her husband, she is obeying God. Even if it offends her sensibilities, she would keep her emotions under control, respond to her husband’s request with respect, and go about eating less and losing weight.

A husband who says this to his wife is NOT in sin in any way. He is pointing out his wife’s sin. She’s the one in sin, not him as most want to say. As head over her, he has every right to point out his wife’s sin since he is to wash her with the Word and love her as Christ loves the Church. Christ is sure free to point out the Church’s sin, therefore, husbands are free to do so, too. Christ commands that we not be gluttons, therefore, there’s nothing wrong with husbands telling their wives to not be gluttons. Anything God takes seriously, we ought to take seriously, too.

Oh, but women will protest and say a husband can only say something like this IF he says it in a kind and loving way. 1 Peter 3:1-6 wouldn’t have had to be written if all husbands spoke kind and loving words to their wives. No, wives who are married to men who make requests like this, even if they aren’t loving and kind, are to live in subjection to their husbands without the word and with godly behavior. God covered this, women! You aren’t responsible for how your husband treats you or what he expects from you but only how you treat and respond to your husband.

I posted this on twitter the other day: “If your husband said to you, “You eat too much and need to lose weight,” how would you respond? Would you be angry with him and tell him it’s none of his business or with, “You’re right. I will eat less and lose weight”? The first response is rebellious and the second response is biblical.” I love one wise woman’s comment: “My husband and I have been married 37 years and when I get a little too fat he says, “You’re getting too fat; try cutting down.” And when he gets a little too fat I get on him for it. If you have a marriage that you can’t talk truth to each other then, that’s not gonna last.” A man responded, “Hm. If I see my wife taking bad habits into her life and becoming unhealthy because of them, I would be a terrible husband for not saying it. I keep it to myself when I don’t care.”

Weight and overeating are NOT off limits, women, even though other women will try to tell you that they are. How much you eat is important; for we are called to be moderate in everything and to not be gluttons. Gluttons eat more than they need. We are not to do this. We are to eat in moderation. Eating too much is not only a sin, but it’s harmful to our health.

Do you want to be a godly woman? Do you want to be obedient to the Lord in all areas of your life? Do you want to be a wise woman who takes rebuke? Then nothing should be off limits for your husband to confront you about. If he sees sin in your life, he should have the freedom to point it out in you. If he can’t, then who can?

As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.
Proverbs 25:12

28 thoughts on “Why is Overeating Off Limits in a Wife’s Submission to Her Husband?

  1. We should look our best for our husbands. Also, keep up our health as we must be around and able to care for our husbands and we can’t if we’re suffering from heart disease and other complications from obesity and a heart attack away!

  2. What to do when your husband seems to constantly forget that in order for his wife to keep her fit, thin figure, she can’t eat like he does? I’m always gently turning down snacks, offers to split dessert, go out for ice cream, sharing French fries out at dinner, etc. My husband is a semi professional athlete and can eat A LOT. He eats healthy and in moderation especially during training season but the rest of the time I always feel like I’m kindly reminding him that my caloric/nutritional needs are vastly different from his.

  3. This was really good, thank you! My husband made a comment almost a year ago about how my weight has fluctuated. Back then, I took offense to his words + made myself out to be a victim. Not anymore … I now understand the process of my husband’s role.

  4. In our postmodern world where truth is subjective, the meaning of words is fluid, gender is a social construct and ethics are situational, it naturally follows that we deny the existence of objective standards of beauty and health. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” has been taken to it’s logical conclusion in our day, giving us celebrities famous for being obese, genitally mutilated men pretending to be women, women chemically distorting their bodies hoping to become “a real boy”, grotesque body piercings and tattoos as well as odd foreign objects worn as body art. May God have mercy on us all.

    For many people today, it’s obvious even without blood tests, by simply looking, one is able to tell whether or not they run the risk of suffering from obesity related illnesses and complications like diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke to name but a few. As an African woman, I can attest to the fact that the characteristics we find beautiful back home are slightly different from those that the west finds beautiful but I will say that we all agree on the visual / physical indicators of wellness and good health. Obesity is a sign of unwellness both where I currently live and in my home country. And yet, rather than encouraging healthy lifestyles to support weight loss, we now see an effort to normalize obesity. Photo shoots and magazine covers featuring “plus sized” women. Tone police shaming people who shrink in horror at how these obese women are exposing their unhealthy bodies to the world and getting cheered on rather than being given the help they need.

    Alas, the only thing that is rapidly shrinking today is the list of topics that husbands are “authorized” to broach with their wives. Nonetheless, the wise woman knows that her husband visually appreciates her appearance and indeed she knows that she is the glory of her husband and she was created for her husband (7 For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.
    8 For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man;
    9 for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake.) (1 Corinthians 11:7, NASB)
    When we won’t put the excess food away and do the hard work to get and stay in shape, we are saying that our husbands are not worth the effort. I don’t want to look my husband in the eye and say, “you’re not worth it!” So help me God.

    Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin. (James 4:17, NASB)

  5. KSM,
    I can relate…. I can’t eat sugar or chocolate because both will send me into a bad headache. Dear Hubby often forgets, but I simply say no thank you honey. I want him to be able to enjoy an ice cream run or a chocolate goodie, so I go with the flow and order a non sugary thing or if we are in the car, arm myself with what I can eat which is dried fruit. My suggestion is to find the things on the menu that are low cal, or even sip a coffee while your husband eats his goodie. If you are tempted by it all, possibly find the lowest calorie thing on the menu or eat a healthy thing before you leave home? This was an awesome question, I will be praying for you!

  6. When my husband and I were dating, during one chit chat he said, “just dont ever ask me, ‘do these jeans make my butt look big’ because I will tell you the truth”!

    Hopefully if our husbands approach this subject with us they are kind about it!

  7. Should a husband speak up if his wife is drinking too much wine? Of course! Should he speak up if she takes up cigarette smoking? Absolutely! Should he speak up if she is addicted to pain pills? Yes! Why get upset then if he brings up over-eating? Obesity is just as harmful to our health as an addiction. Husbands should not have to wait until their wives are morbidly obese before they can say something, just as a husband shouldn’t wait until his drug-addicted wife is in a coma before he does something about it. He should speak up before the problem gets out of hand. We wives need to humble ourselves and accept correction for our own good.

  8. My weight has been a struggle my whole life, and I try keep active and maintain a good diet. I am usually happy with how I look and my husband sees how much effort I put in. He works time into a ur schedule for our workouts each week, and says nothing as long as I am doing what he and I know I need to do to be healthy. My husband and I have always been very communicative about this, and he is sensitive to the jabs I would receive from family members since I was 9 years old. Still, he doesn’t like to see me uncomfortable or unhappy with how I look or feel. So whenever I complain that my knees hurt or that I feel “gross” he simply asks “what have you been eating?” (Of course he knows full well when I’ve been careless because we are always together!) He kindly turns the negative comments about myself into questions that I should be asking myself anyway. He tries to refrain from eating too much junky stuff around me when I am trying to get back to a good healthy place, and I know that is his love for me in action. He knows I have struggled my whole life and we both believe in doing our very best to stay healthy, not only for each other, but for the people we serve. We would never want anyone to look at us and think “gluttons” when our aim is to bring them the Gospel of eternal life, which means death to the things of this world.

  9. Robin,

    Thanks for your suggestions! For me, it’s not a temptation issue at all, but the practice of patience with my husband. I get annoyed that I have to remind him yet AGAIN that sweets are out of bounds for me! I sound like a broken record of “No, honey, remember why you’re attracted to me? I can’t indulge while maintaining the appearance you like.” I am really grateful for your prayers!

    I love your suggestion of coffee. I usually have some fresh fruit or an herbal tea as my “dessert”. 🙂

  10. Lori,

    You’ll get NO protest from this wife of 38+ years! I welcome advice, guidance and correction from my good husband. Iron sharpens iron, and faithful are the wounds of a friend. Even if he is WRONG, I still should submit and obey— not where sin or physical abuse is contrary to God’s Word, because that would also be sin on his part— but when he watches out for my soul AND my temple? Obey. Submit. Practice looking into the mirror, “OK. I’ll get right on this.” NOT rolling eyes and stomping off in a huff. Instead, wrap your arms around his neck and tell him, “You’re such a good husband to me. Thank you for wanting me to be healthy. What did I ever do to deserve such a wise husband as you are, honey?”

    My body is the temple of the Holy Ghost. I follow my good husband as he follows Christ. And we should be godly examples to younger women of all of this.

    Good words as always again today, Lori.

  11. I’ve been called arrogant by my mother, MIL, and many other women because apparently I care TOO much about my appearance and I follow a strict diet and intense workout regimen, especially after the birth of our first and only baby. I’m always fending off creamy casseroles and other high calorie, processed-food ridden meals and it’s apparently “rude” even when I smile and politely refuse.

    It’s the never-ending reminders to my husband, parents, co-workers, and women in Church that my health is something I take seriously and don’t wish anyone to sabotage it that really get the best of me. I’m really working to forgive and be patient with these souls who don’t personally know or care to understand the difficulty of making a consistent effort to consume good nutrition.

  12. Hi there Lori, I have been under more stress lately. I am a carer for my dear Hubby, our Son, and now I look after my dear Parents as well. We lived with them for about 7 weeks recently, and although it was the best fun ever as a family, it also had it stresses (like making sure medications where taken on time, food was cooked, washing was done, to say nothing of arranging a new car as ours had broken down very badly). I started eating easy food (not junk) just lots of breads and lots of sweet things (that may have been junk food) ? because they were easy – I was very tired and not well, with a head cold followed by strep! Long story short – I put on 10kilos (22Lb). It went on so fast; I knew I had to get back control, but it was a tad hard when my life was made up of mainly running after others! (Even though I love and adore them all.)
    Anyhoo, it really helped me refocus when my Beloved came to me and asked if I was battling with eating wrong, and did I realize that I had put on a lot of weight! Bless his heart going where angels fear to tread?.
    I could have turned around rudely and told him he had no right to talk about my weight as he is a big man. I could have told him to mind his own business, and I also could have gotten dreadfully upset as weight loss is so personal. However, knowing his undying love for me and his care for me, I chose to take heed and learn to change my eating, and now I am losing weight again and feeling really good.
    Sometimes I think instead of learning from our Hubbies love for us, we take offence and miss wonderful moments to learn to be a better person! I must add my precious Antony always says these things with great love; he truly has the heart of God – I am so blessed.
    Love to you and yours!!!
    Jilly. ?????

  13. Hi Lori,
    I just get the vibes from some of your posts that a women is ‘nothing’ Her body is not hers, her mind is not… what then. I get so depressed reading your blog, (and yes i’m a Christian with a good marriage)

  14. 120lbs of weight gain is tremendous. Why do you suppose he has done this? Why do you suppose he has transferred his monitoring of weight to you and not to himself? This seems strange to me. My husband has gained 40lbs due to work stress and he knows it is a problem. So I just try to make sure to cook healthy dinners etc… But the level of weight gain of 120lbs is really concerning and indicates depression or some other mental disconnect. I think it is part of being a partner in life to face these things.

  15. Being a wife and mother are what most of us were created to do and it’s perfect! Our body and mind are not our own if we are in Christ. They are Christ’s, therefore, we want to glorify Him in all that we do and this begins with obeying His commands joyfully! You have been listening to the lies of feminism way too long.

  16. I love the way you said it in your comments, “Our body and mind are not our own if we are in Christ. They are Christ’s, therefore, we want to glorify Him in all that we do and this begins with obeying His commands joyfully!”

    Women who truly know where their worth comes from and realize that their bodies and mind belong to Christ as living sacrifices, will not be easily and highly offended when their husband corrects/rebukes them. Even when they prefer their husbands be more gentle and kind, they know that their obedience to God’s Word matters more than their preferences and feelings. God doesn’t take sin very lightly and offended many people in His blunt approach. (Which I call tough love) He knows what is best for us which is why He made His guidelines clear in His Word, otherwise, they wouldn’t be in there period. And this is coming from a woman who isn’t married and is very emotional. I’m 26 right now and pray that if He wills for me to marry and be the woman and mother He’s called me to be, that I will continue to tame my emotions to the fruit of self-control so that I will be a good helpmeet to my husband even when he isn’t always gentle.

    Thank you so much for this convicting post!

  17. What a great post, and a wonderful way to explain it! This topic is especially important for our husbands to be able to talk to us about because of all the temptation they face in the world. Nowadays you can’t drive down the road without seeing billboard after billboard of thin, attractive, scantily clad women. If we are going to expect our husbands to keep their eyes to themselves then we need to work hard to give them something pleasing to look at after a long day of temptation!

  18. I hate coffee….everything from the smell to the taste to the thought of it…but, it is easy to make it a low-cal dessert if you like it. My DDD–just 5 minutes ago!–sent me pics of some Skinny Syrups that she bought for her coffee. She added a splash of almond milk for creaminess.

  19. I have always sought to stay healthy and keep in shape. After my second baby, I gained 20 pounds and my husband told me that I was getting too heavy and needed to do something about it because he does not find chubby women attractive. I will admit that stung, but he was right that I had gained too much weight after weaning the baby and it was affecting my health and vitality. I took the weight off through smaller portion sizes and lots of walking and swimming with the kids. Now I am very happy to be healthy and fit in middle age. But sometimes I wonder if what is good for the goose isn’t also good for the gander? My husband was already 100 pounds overweight when he told me that I was too heavy. In the beginning, I thought he would also join in and eat well and improve his health. This did not happen. Instead over the past decade, he has steadily gained weight and become very sedentary and now has stage 3 morbid obesity along with the health problems that come along with it. I hurt his feelings and he became defensive and angry when I gently suggested he might see a nutritionist or a bariatric doctor for advice. He won’t eat the healthy meals I cook and eats most of his meals at fast food restaurants and spends most of the time in his recliner. He constantly snacks on high fat, high sugar foods. I am very concerned about his health, but I can’t seem to reach him. Lots of prayer, but no change so far. My husband is always praising my slim waist and nice figure and is very happy with me, but I am afraid he won’t live to enjoy our retirement years if something doesn’t change.

  20. I if were married to a man who told me I was getting fat i would probably find it hard not to be defensive but at same time I know we are to be polite and not retaliate or respond unkindly. Sometimes it is best to bite our tongue and say nothing.

    If I were the one in charge of cooking and buying food perhaps I would start cooking healthier foods for us both. Unless the husband is extremely underweight or needs a lot of fat and carbs due to a health issue (I read somewhere that some Cystic Fibrosis sufferers need high fat diets), it cannot do harm for both to eat less trans fat and sugars. Win-win situation- both wife and husband are slimmer and healthier and no one is made to feel singled out or bad, even the one with the issue.

  21. I think perhaps that some here are missing the point of this post; that submission to one’s husband comes before one’s own desires about food, and that that goes BOTH WAYS. A husband may tell his wife she’s overeating and needs to lose weight, and he may ALSO tell her to relax and enjoy a dessert with him and she oughtn’t to make an idol of her diet. A wife’s body belongs to her husband. He has the right to make the decisions about her diet, both when it’s about avoiding gluttony and looking pleasing to him, and when it’s about enjoying food with him and pleasing him with that shared enjoyment. Your diet is not above your husband’s authority, one way or the other.

  22. It’s impossible to maintain a standard of beauty to fulfill a husband’s physical enjoyment while daily enjoying sweets and junk in quantities as he does. I really don’t think my husband is consciously wanting to hurt my health but his daily temptations are really exhausting me. There is a difference in enjoying a bite of chocolate cake vs. a super sized banana split at the completion of an unusually large meal. In a similar vein, a husband shouldn’t make an idol of his wife’s body. Maybe a wife wouldn’t be as reluctant to stray from her diet if so much importance wasn’t placed on her appearance.

  23. mmmh…I do not think the bible says anything about the control of our bodies before marriage belonging to our fathers.
    Also when you married your body became your husband’s and his yours. It would then be godly for you to point out if you think he is putting on too much weight; with respect of course.

  24. “If you have a marriage that you can’t talk truth to each other then, that’s not gonna last.”
    I love it! We also talk about it when it is necessary since we want to be healthy and attractive for eachother, and we want our children to have healthy habits too.

    Great post!

  25. I know this is an older post, but I have a question. I desire greatly to be submissive to my husband in all things. But I am struggling with one. I am very fit, slim and healthy even after the birth of our 5 children. I eat very well and exercise 4-5 times a week. But my husband wants me to become vegan, no sugar, no treats. I feel that small heathy portions of lean meat and dairy are healthy for us (and delicious), and I enjoy good food and love to have a cookie or a piece of pie every once in a while. I want to obey him but my heart is really struggling with this one. Please help!

  26. Hi, I have a remark. What to do in case when you tried losing weight but struggling and not much is coming off ( always been a problem) and husband comments on your weight. I have trouble with intimacy because it is always on my mind that he thinks I’m fat? What to do in this case?

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