The Questions Below Include the Following Topics:
c.) Romance & Sex
h.) Family Matters
Model Marriage FAQs
Q.) I have a fear that my wife will one day be in the hands of another lover. How can I deal with this?
A.) You must first be able to place a finger on exactly what gives you such fears. Is it what you have experienced in the past, or in your background? Is it that she appears to be happier and more comfortable in the company of other men? Or that you believe you are not able to satisfy her enough?
Whatever it is, you should try and identify the source of the fear and deal with it. Here again, communication, when good, will be able to unearth the problem. The husband must vent his fears in the appropriate manner and atmosphere.
Furthermore, whenever he sees himself falling short, he must redouble his efforts to ensure that his wife is happy. Suspicion indicates the absence of real love (agape), for perfect love casts out all fear.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
- 1 John 4:18
Unfaithfulness is also a spirit, so it must be tackled spiritually through prayer. Finally, the husband must deal with his insecurity by forging closer friendship with his wife.
Q.) He has a female friend I am worried about, but he seems not to care about it.
A.) The issue is why the worry. Is it because you do not trust that he can take care of himself or that the relationship is manifestly dangerous?
In any case, every husband must understand that women have instincts to smell “danger” in the air when another woman is drawing too close.
Where there is lack of trust because there is absence of communication, these fears usually thrive. In our counseling, each party is told that for there to be cleaving there must be a leaving. Examples of those we must leave are close friends, especially of the opposite sex.
Furthermore, unfaithfulness in marriage is a gradual thing. It starts with spending more time with someone not your spouse, even on the phone.
Selfishness in the marriage creates that situation being complained of. The husband may not be getting enough attention from the wife and therefore may be getting it somewhere else. It is the responsibility of both partners to create a place they can both call a home. Each must think more about the other spouse’s happiness than his/hers.
Improve upon the communication and romantic life with your husband and find an appropriate time to raise the matter for discussion in a non-confrontational and unemotional manner. Most men feel accused of infidelity when such issues are raised, so you need to tread cautiously.
Q.) I want her to put on some weight/Lose weight
A.) Putting on weight, or losing weight, are things we cannot allow to be the foundation for happiness in the marriage. Some put on weight easily, others do not; some lose weight easily while others may struggle their whole lifetime to lose even a kilo. The key to happiness and lasting friendship is the key of acceptance. Accept each other and walk in love. Your expectation may or may not come to pass, but pray for the grace to accept what you cannot change.
ROMANCE AND SEX
Q.) My wife does not like sex much.
A.) It must be understood that generally speaking, women do not like sex as much as men do.
The greatest sex organ all of us have is our minds and therefore there must be a proper conditioning of the mind for it.
In fact for women, sex is more than just an act. 1 Peter 3:7 encourages husbands to dwell with their wives according to knowledge. This means that for any marriage to be smooth and peaceful, husbands must know more about their wives and the frustrations will be less.
Wives must also understand that when a man is starved of sex, his potential for adultery is enhanced, so they must perform their God-given duty; something which only they can do for their husbands.
Q.) Sex is no longer exciting. I need more styles.
A.) Having exciting sex in a marriage is the responsibility of both husband and wife. You must both be committed to deriving the best from the gift that God has given. If you need more exciting styles, go for it! “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled” (Hebrews 13:4). There is no need to stay with something you are not enjoying when you are allowed to explore the sex act with different positions.
There is no law in Scripture against being innovative sexually, within the context of the marriage. As the marriage grows all things settle into a routine. This usually robs the marriage of excitement. It is therefore the responsibility of the couple to introduce certain things that will rekindle the flame. Try new positions, that is, sexual styles.
When wives introduce some of these innovations it tends to be more exciting. Wives, try and surprise your husband sometimes with some new styles. It will take the monotony and predictability in your sex life away. However, it must be emphasized that being romantic in the marriage is neither a duty for men nor women. It is a responsibility for both parties to ensure that the flame keeps burning.
Encourage your spouse to flow with the exploration and assure him/her that it will take you to higher levels. There is no need to chide your spouse about something that he/she may not be used to. Accept also the fact that as with food, there will be ordinary days and exhilarating (exciting) days. Do not fall into the deception that another woman will be more exciting. She is not a wife yet.
Q.) He does not compliment me. He is only expressive in the bedroom. He says, “I love you” once in 2 months.
A.) Husbands must understand that wives respond very much to things they hear while they (men) respond more to things they see and touch. What this means is that the more you say things they like, to their hearing, the more they open up to you.
Complimenting wives is so important a gesture that all husbands must learn to do it. When it is only done at times when you want to have sex, it exposes the manipulative intent of the compliment. Be liberal with complimenting your wife and let your actions back your words.
Wives must also understand that by their upbringing, some husbands struggle very much with giving compliments. Know your man and help him to learn it if he is that type. Learn also to be confident in who God says you are, even if you are not complimented.
Q.) She’s always quarrelling with me, and threatens to leave the marriage afterwards.
A.) This wife has violated the basic biblical principles of communication: “speaking the truth in love”. She must know that in dealing with her spouse, there are still things she should not allow to proceed from her mouth. Let the love of Christ constrain your speech and actions. Never threaten to quit the marriage; you are opening the door for Satan to have an advantage over you.
Neither give place to the devil.
- Ephesians 4:27
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Q.) She easily takes offence and refuses to talk for days.
A.) The characteristics of agape love emphasize that love is not easily provoked, and to live in silence for days only deepens the strain in the relationship. Make the effort to get your offence off your chest, by walking in forgiveness. A Christian is commanded by God to forgive.
Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
- Ephesians 4:26
Q.) My wife says I don’t communicate.
A.) Communication is made up of both the verbal and the non-verbal. There are people who do well in one and not in the other. In other words, sometimes the things that we say are negated by the things we do. In every marriage there must be as much speaking as there is non-verbal communication. There must be a balance. Even though it is said that actions speak louder than words, words also have their place. It must however be borne in mind that men don’t talk as much as women do, generally speaking. It may therefore be the duty of a wife to get her husband to converse by leading him on and asking him follow-up questions without appearing to be an investigative journalist or a lawyer cross-examining a witness.
Q.) Sometimes the way my wife talks to me in rudely. She talks back anyhow and even raises her voice in ordinary conversation.
A.) This depicts a husband frustrated about the apparent show of disrespect and lack of circumspection in the attitude of his wife when talking to him.
It must be borne in mind that at least two things determine the manner in which people speak: upbringing and temperament. These two situations however, ought to be influenced by the Word of God once a person becomes saved.
The husband must first examine himself and see if he himself treats his wife with respect. This is seen by the way you talk to her and also, by whether you include her in making decisions. People usually respond to people who treat them with respect and decency, with an equal or more dose(s) of respect.
On the other hand, a few warped thinkers take the position that the harsher and more uncontrollable a wife is, the more she can get her husband to do things for her.
Wives are enjoined to submit to their own husbands in everything. The Bible says it is better to dwell at the corner of a roof than to dwell in the same house with a loud, contentious woman.
The husband must show leadership in the way he speaks to his wife. As he shows this example, his wife, if spiritual, will learn from it and speak well and with respect.
Furthermore, the husband should identify a conducive time and raise the issue with his wife. Talk about the conduct and not the woman and learn to forgive each other.
Q.) He does not respect my decisions and thinks I talk too much.
A.) Every husband ought to understand the ways in which his wife is different from him. One of the fundamental differences is that women naturally have more to say about things than men do. They are also interested in details whereas men like the headlines.
Once this difference is appreciated, a husband will be able to accommodate the seemingly endless chatter of a wife. This is how women are; they are happier when they know that there is someone to listen to them.
Inasmuch as husbands ought to listen to their wives and seek their input in decision-making, it is the duty of the wife to ensure that her input is usually helpful.
Q.) He doesn’t talk to me the way he talks with others. He ensures that discussions and transactions he holds with others are kept from me.
A.) A situation such as the above may point to a lack of trust in the relationship and a feeling of familiarity, which, it is said, breeds contempt. Is it possible to critically assess oneself and see if there is a cause for this absence of trust? Have you been sharing things he shares with you in confidence with other people? Or are you also in the habit of keeping things away from him?
If there is no trust in a relationship, it will usually not be a lasting one. If you can locate the reason for the lack or loss of trust, try and repair the damage. Talk about it with your spouse, at an opportune time. If there is the need for apology, render it and redouble your efforts to repair the trust lost.
Q.) He does not chat with me. He prefers to speak to friends on phone. I only get information from such conversations he holds with friends.
A.) A couple must make every effort to speak to each other (Ephesians 4:15). It is a sign that there is friendship in the marriage. Sometimes it is difficult for the two to converse, and this is because they may not have learnt to do so during courtship. It may also be a sign of a deteriorating relationship. It is not right that a husband reduces his wife to somebody who must only eavesdrop in order to know what is going on in his life.
If there was speaking before and it is now gone, take your time and identify the causes and deal with them. On the other hand, if it has never been a feature of the marriage, then it is something that you must work hard at getting in the marriage. At least there must be something that both of you may be interested in. If not, take time to learn the things your husband is interested in and converse intelligently with him. Don’t leave out prayer. Gradually things will become better. Remember though, that a man also needs male friends he can talk to.
Q.) He says very little, if anything at all. I feel like divorcing him.
A.) Learn to accept that men are usually like that. Try solving the problem by leading him on to talk. Be content if he listens to you talk. He can never talk as much as you do. Don’t let this drive you to divorce. Find ways and means of making yourself happy in the marriage. As he sees that you are happy without him, he is likely to open up more into your world. Divorce has only one basis in Scripture which is adultery. There is no reason such as lack of communication. Work hard at communication, it will work. Don’t leave prayer out and don’t nag. Do not use divorce as a threat to resolve any issue: “Neither give place to the devil”.
Q.) She is always, second-guessing me.
A.) This is a sign of lack of trust in the marriage. Make every effort to be transparent and communicate clearly and unambiguously about issues and make sure that you have been understood. It is a sign that there is no love in the relationship if there is suspicion all the time. Love believes all things.
Q.) He is selfish. He does not give me enough money.
A.) Finances or the use of money is one of the areas in marriage capable of being controversial. In certain cultures, it is the responsibility of the husband to provide all the money needed. When that is the case, he seems to wield power to determine absolutely what money will be used for.
With our present economic realities, both husbands and wives contribute to the upkeep of the home. It therefore implies that whereas he is the head of the home, he does not reserve the right to unilaterally decide on what money will be used for in a home. Husbands are encouraged to give their wives enough spending money for the house as well as some to spend on themselves. Please do not be “arm-strong” or stingy.
Q.) He counts his pennies and talks too much about money.
A.) Where it appears that he is the sole breadwinner, he may complain sometimes about money and its use. It is however not a bad thing in itself that a man counts his pennies. It is a sign of frugality. However, if it leads to a situation where he is a miser, then something is wrong.
Q.) Should we have a joint bank account?
A.) There is no rule that once married a couple must maintain a joint account. What is important is that they must operate their finances based on the principle that what each one has is for both. Furthermore, there must be transparency. This means that whereas physically they may be operating from different bank accounts, substantially they will be operating a joint account because of the transparency.
Q.) He is so careful with money he makes life uncomfortable sometimes.
A.) Being careful with money is supposed to be a good thing. When we are able to plug all leakages around our finances we are able to have more, so it is a sign of good management. However, if it makes life uncomfortable for the wife then another look ought to be taken at the manner in which it is done. Handling of finances at home must be a mutual joint effort through discussion and dialogue. No one should feel left out. Encourage transparency.
Q.) He is not helpful and has an “I don’t care” attitude.
A.) It is one of the duties of every husband to love his wife as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it (Ephesians 5:25). If a husband truly loves his wife, one of the things that he will do will be to protect her from the strain of housework. What this means is that he will help and support his wife in order that she does not crush under the weight of responsibilities she has to carry.
The wife must also bear in mind that as a Christian wife her roles are many, so she must ask for help nicely from her husband. Let him feel that you are appreciative of the little things he does around the house. Furthermore, even if she does not agree with this, she must make the husband believe that she is grateful for his help at home with domestic chores.
This approach massages the ego of the man and makes him want to do more. Resist the urge to bark out instructions about who should do what and who should not do what.
Q.) She is not submissive.
A.) It is the duty of wives to submit to their own husbands in all things (Ephesians 5:22). Being submissive means to respect, yield, comply, and agree with. It is usually not very easy to do, but since it is a scriptural requirement, wives must strive to obey it.
Husbands must however bear in mind that submitting to them becomes easier for wives when the husbands love them as Christ loves the church.
Wives ought to know that submitting is not a weakness, but a sign of strength. A submissive wife is usually easier to dwell with than a contentious, fighting wife.
Q.) She is quick-tempered.
A.) As leaders in the home, if a husband is dealing with a quick-tempered wife he must handle her as a weaker vessel and as one who needs to be helped. As the head, love her and accommodate and teach her from the Word of God and by your example.
Q.) He does not show appreciation.
A.) Again, it is the duty of every husband to make his wife feel happy at home. One can achieve this onerous task by among other things, letting her feel accepted; refraining from being harsh and staying at home as often as possible, and by being a companion.
In the absence of the above, it is not likely that any husband will have a contented wife to deal with. A husband must not behave as if his wife’s sole preoccupation is to make him comfortable. Therefore, anything that she does to make his life more comfortable should be seen as something worthy of commendation and appreciation. The more he says “thank you”, the more service he is likely to receive.
Q.) He does not stay at home often. He comes home late.
A.) Is there a reason to believe that he goes to places where you suspect he may be having an affair or you are just uncomfortable with his nocturnal activities? Trust is very important if your marriage is going to last or to be harmonious and sweet. Suspicion is very unhealthy. “Love believes all things, hopes all things...” and “perfect love casts away all fears”.
There must be openness about his movements to remove all doubts handle the issue in a way that does not make it obvious that you are trailing him and are full of suspicion.
Q.) She lacks initiative and purpose.
A.) These are signs of a wife with a particular temperament––most likely a phlegmatic. The duty of her husband is to compliment the effort of his wife. You will notice that where you also have some weaknesses she will also have strengths. Marriage is about complimenting each other.
Q.) She complains too much about household chores.
A.) If she is complaining about work, it is likely that she is also not receiving much help. Try helping and joining her to do the chores. As you do things together, you will notice that what she did not enjoy doing will become a bit more enjoyable.
Q.) She is domineering.
A.) She is likely to be choleric in temperament. Understand the strengths and weaknesses of a choleric wife and what to do if you are married to one.
Q.) He does not take time to find out what is wrong with me when I am troubled.
A.) This is an issue pointing to one of the greatest desires of every wife, that is, attention from her husband. As stated earlier, it is the duty of every husband to let his wife feel happy at home. One of the ways to achieve this is to let her feel accepted. There is no way a husband can let his wife feel accepted if he does not spend time with her or factor her into plans he is making.
A.) If that means she does not easily forgive then it will be difficult to solve problems and live in harmony in such a home. As for forgetting, one must intentionally forget. It happens over a period, but to forgive is a divine injunction. It is required by God.
In a marriage there will always be offence but forgiveness must also be present to deal with the offences that arise. Unforgiveness is a spiritual matter and God does not forgive those who do not forgive. Husband; help your wife, with the Word of God, to appreciate this. Furthermore, teach her by your example on how to forgive and let go.
Q.) She is not spiritual enough.
A.) It is the duty of the husband according to Ephesians 5:29 to nourish and cherish his wife with the Word of God. He is also the leader in the home. If the wife is not spiritual enough, the head has the responsibility to discipline her in love, like any new convert, until she becomes spiritual enough. Remember that it is God who does the changing and not the husband.
Q.) He does not pray as he used to do before our marriage. I wish he was more prayerful.
A.) These are all the cries of a wife about the unspiritual attitude of her husband. In Genesis 2:18 God said He was making a help meet for the man. What this means is that the wife is a helper to her husband. This means she is to help in every way, including spiritually. The ideal thing in marriage is for the husband, as head, to take the lead in spiritual matters. However, in the instances above, it might appear that the wife is rather the one ahead spiritually. If you as a wife, try to give him a lecture on how important it is to pray or not to backslide, you may not achieve much. What is sure to work is your prayer for him. Find a good time and be praying while he is around. Try inviting him without being too forceful. Gradually, with prayer and wisdom, I believe you will be able to get him to do what he should do.
Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that if any obey not the word, they may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
- 1 Peter 3:1
Q.) She seems not to attach much seriousness to serving in church.
A.) The truth is that you cannot force your wife to like serving in church. One of the things that may account for this attitude may be that she does not get much help from you with the handling of the household chores. Furthermore, she may not see the difference in your life even though you are so involved in church work. If however, this is not the case, then there is a genuine cause for concern. As the head, there must be a way to get your household to follow you in serving God. Have a chat with your wife and know what her real difficulties are and assist her, with patience and love, to surmount them. You must however, bear in mind that it is not everybody who will be zealous in serving in the church. It depends on the degree of conviction, growth, and commitment of the person. Aim at getting your wife to become more mature as a Christian, while you show her a good example as a Christian husband.
Q.) I want to be able to pray with my family regularly. He does not pray with me.
A.) It is ideal to have both husband and wife praying together with the whole family. The reality is that it may not happen that way. I would first suggest that the wife should be grateful that she has a husband, who, at least prays. It is important that a couple prays together sometimes. This helps the bonding of the two, and the Bible states that if two agree as touching anything in prayer it has greater effect. It is therefore in the interest of the couple to find time to pray together sometimes. As the head of the home, it is the responsibility of the husband to be the priest of the home. As a priest, therefore, his duty is to bring his family together occasionally for fellowship. Be like Abraham and command your household after you. You may have separate prayer times and join up on certain issues.
For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
- Genesis 18:19
This helps the couple to stay together and to obviate certain negative tendencies that may be gaining root among the children.
Q.) We are unable to practically apply or involve godly principles in situations that confront us
A.) It is unfortunate that the very thing that can help you solve problems in your marriage is what you have difficulty doing. You can only do this when you consciously decide that God knows better than you do and that if He has said something in His Word concerning the situation, it will definitely be a better solution than yours. In other words, it takes a commitment to decide that we are going to apply biblical principles to solving problems in the marriage. Even if one party is unwilling, the other can stick to the biblical stance and what the Bible says. Through your obedience to the Word, you may win him to your side.
Q.) She listens to her mother more than to me.
A.) Trust and confidence is earned, so no one can wish them into being. The husband must work hard to earn the trust of his wife. In other words, if a wife listens to someone else more than to her husband, it could indicate an absence of trust. On the other hand, a wife ought to know that Genesis 2:24 enjoins “leaving and cleaving” as vital for the success of any marriage. She must leave the influence, direction and control of her parents (mother) in order to cleave to her husband. She must learn that the marriage concerns both of them more than any other person, hence the counsel of the husband must be deemed more germane to the marriage than the counsel of any other. The husband should try and improve upon friendship and communication in the marriage.
Q.) She is unable to make time as far as taking care of the home is concerned.
A.) Wives are naturally “harassed” people in marriage in this part of the world. Their roles include: worker, cook, sex partner, mother, Christian and hostess. A combination of all these can sometimes prove to be rather overwhelming for many a wife. What appears to be happening in this case is that the wife is solving her challenges by neglecting some of her roles in a home. This usually creates other problems. The way to deal with this problem is for the husband to protect her from the strain of housework. She must also learn to ask for help. Furthermore, she must bear in mind that all her roles are equally important. Finally, she must know that she can do all things through Christ who strengthens her. Husband, talk about the situation with your wife and, together, fashion out a strategy to help her organize her life better.
Q.) She neglects the children.
A.) The response for this will not be any different from the one immediately before this. The wife may need some help in organizing things. If on the other hand, her handicap is the fact that she genuinely does not know how to handle children, then they must seek counseling to resolve the matter to avoid any future problems.
Q.) He loves his friends and family more than me.
A.) This is a rather serious conclusion to arrive at. However, it is possible that he has shown some signs that give his wife the impression that he cares more about his family (extended) and friends more than her. The husband needs to be reminded of the injunction in Genesis 2:24 which requires him to leave all else and cleave to his wife to create a oneness. The solution to this matter is for the husband to obey Scripture. The wife must also create an atmosphere, which makes it almost compelling for the husband to want to be with her more than with his friends and family. One of the most result-yielding attitudes suggested to the wife is for her to maintain a meek and quiet, and sweet spirit. Such an attitude only attracts. Furthermore, make your husband know that you are a virtuous woman with wisdom.
Q.) He does not rebuke his family members who offend me.
A.) It is the duty of every husband to protect and care for his wife. One of the areas that he must protect his wife from is wrong attitudes from his own relatives and friends. A husband must know that not all of his people will appreciate his choice of a wife. His duty is therefore to ensure that he protects her from those who may not particularly like her. This protection can be done by showing strong disapproval for improper ways in which anyone treats his wife. This sends a message that he will not allow his wife to be mistreated. Any husband who leaves his wife to be harassed by his relatives and friends is failing in his duty to protect his “weaker vessel” wife.
Q.) His son does not respect me.
A.) When dealing with a step-child, it is the responsibility of the husband/father to bring the child to order, so as to strengthen the hand of his wife to instill discipline in the children.
Q.) She does not relate well with my relatives. She feels my relatives are b
A.) It is the responsibility of each party to ensure that he/she nurtures a good relationship with his/her in-laws. This relationship, sometimes, tends to be very problematic; either because the spouse in question is difficult and condescending, or that the family does not like their child’s choice of spouse. As far as it lies in your power, try to live at peace with all men, especially with your in-laws. In the long run, this will help the marriage to blossom.
Excerpt fom Model Marriage, one of the best books on marriage counseling.