I’m all for protecting your wife, but I don’t think defending her when she’s wrong is required, and I’m sure that attacking those who try to lovingly show her she’s wrong is unacceptable. Certainly, we can, and I think should, defend her if she’s being attacked, but the truth in love isn’t an attack and shouldn’t be treated as such. I understand the desire to stand up for your wife, and I understand how going on the attack can turn the attention from something wrong your wife is doing, but it’s not a right course of action.
While this issue can harm any man, it’s an especially dangerous trap for men in ministry. A pastor, missionary or Christian leader defending his wife’s wrong action or words is putting his wife ahead of the truth, and ahead of his responsibility to God and to those he leads. It isn’t about defending his wife; it’s about defending something that’s clearly wrong. This is a good way to destroy a ministry, and/or hurt a lot of people.
All of this aside, I think we have a God-given (or should I say God required) responsibility to lovingly deal with our wife when she’s wrong. Ideally, we do it before someone else gets to her about it. If we’ve already discussed a siltation, then we can easily deal with others by saying “Thank you, we’re working through that – please pray for us.” However, if we fail to bring it up before someone else does, I think that we must see someone attempting correction as the time to deal with the issue.