Wife protection mode

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.

11 Comments on “Wife protection mode

  1. My wife and I have found that letting one of us be “corrected” by someone else is a very bad idea.

    As a husband or wife, you must stand by your spouse as an advocate that can bring to the attention of the one doing the “correction” additional information that may change their attitude and mind about what they are attempting to do even though your spouse is “clearly” in the wrong.

    Most personal information is not appropriate to share with anyone outside the marriage because it can stir images in other people’s minds that do not exsist. And the advocate is there to make sure the one being accused is not taken advantage of and accused of more than actually is true. This happens far too often and most of the time a person left to their own understanding will see their wrong themselves and correct it themselves.

    Being an advocate does not mean you are trying to make a wrong into a right. It means you are there for the one being accused no matter if they are innocent or guilty.

    Jesus is our advocate, and we as husbands need to model Jesus when our dear brides are being accused. Because our love for them can cover a multitude of sin.

    Never never never let your bride be corrected without you as her advocate.

  2. There are really 2 issues here. The first is the issue of Truth. While we all believe in ultimate truth, no one has a corner on that. Usually, a defense of my wife (very rarely needed) is because of an inapropriate attack, either by place, circle of confidentiality, or other issues that make it inappropriate.

    As a child of a Pastor, I can tell you, the truth (if it is that) will survive. The Child (or wife) may not if allowed to be attacked. My ministry is gladly up for damage should anyone come after my wife or child. The ministry is small compared to the eternal relationship with that person.

  3. @Sunny Lowe – I do not dissagree with you, and certainly my wife comes before my minstry. My concern is men who defend something in their wife that is clearly wrong. Such a defence is a form of lying, and any man who does it has, in my mind, shown he is not qualified to be a leader.
    I also think that the how should never allow the what to be ignored. IOW, an attack is wrong, but if the facts are correct, both the attack and the facts must be dealt with.

  4. I think one of the reasons men go into protection mode when their wife gets corrected is because if correction is handled wrong, they end up with a very hurt and damaged woman on their hands.

    Remember, the Word of God says that a man’s jelousy of his wife is never appeased. Something he has worked so hard for, for so many years, and treated with tenderness and compasion, can go up in smoke in a few moments of misunderstood correction by someone else, or even himself.

    Never critisize the man who protects his wife with furry. Because he knows more than you do.

    This is not a cut and dried subject. It’s full of landmines.

  5. @eppvolvo – Not sure what scripture you mean, can you toss out a reference?

    If a few moment of misunderstanding can do that much harm, I would think something is deeply wrong.

    I agree it’s not cut and dried, but I still say it is unacceptable for a man to attack someone who has approached his wife according to biblical standards.

  6. Proverbs 6:34-35 for jealousy arouses a husband’s fury,
    and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
    He will not accept any compensation;
    he will refuse the bribe, however great it is.

    Women are easily messed with emotionally. Both in the area of sexuality and in the area of discipline. I’m sure you have heard about, or been associated with, or been a part of organizations that take advantage of the Biblical way to discipline. A woman is an easy target to discipline. Just as she is an easy target to seduce. I have seen too many women being taken advantage of, and someone righteously “disciplining” them in the name of the “The Word of God”.

    Most people do not understand that the Biblical example is there for the protection of the one doing the discipline as well as the protection of the one being disciplined. If someone’s actions are being interpreted as being wrong, and someone goes to them to explain to them they are wrong, then, in private, the person being confronted has the opportunity to explain their actions and possibly bring understanding to the “corrector” that they originally did not have. Then, the one doing the correction has the opportunity to understand they were misinterpreting the situation and can privately apologize to the accused. The situation is kept between them and is not open for public disgrace.

    However, this does not always go so smoothly. The accused might put up their guard. Not because they are wrong, but because they don’t know how to handle the confrontation. (most people do not easily pick up on this) Then, the accuser begins to think that they are right and assumes to take it to the next level to bring two or three with them. This further escalates the problem and the accused digs in even deeper. “Learned Helplessness” can too easily take a foot hold here. An advocate is needed.

    Too often, the biblical model of discipline is not applied correctly. If this happens too much, a husband will become protective of his bride, and he should.

    Hope that more clearly explains where I am coming from.

  7. @eppvolvo – Thanks for the verse. I do notice that it is the end of a passage about adultery.

    Yes, I have seen women (and men) savaged in the name of disciple – but applying a biblical label to sin does not make it right, nor does it make what the label should apply to wrong.

    I’ve been on both sides of it, and it’s no fun for anyone if it’s done right. Anyone who “gets off” on correcting others has problems of their own, and has no right nor place to be going after splinters with that log in their eye!

  8. I’m not badgering the point by writing so much. The reason I put the energy into all this dialog is because of what happened to a friend of ours.

    They were being accused of something they did. And rightly so. They were in the wrong. The individual doing the correction is a very upstanding individual and highly respected by us and our friend.

    However, as things progressed it was becoming clear that something was wrong. So we as a couple, decided to take the side of the one being corrected. It wasn’t fun, and many of our close friends were lost because of this. But, as we carefully looked into what was happening, and how this person was being disciplined, we discovered a trend that takes place even if good people are in the position of doing the correction.

    The trend is to accuse the offender for more than they have done. And the trend leads to future accusations of the offender without considering each incident as a separate incident apart from what originally happened. Even for good people, once someone has done something wrong, it is very difficult for them see the offender as a forgiven person, and not assume more blame.

    Therefore, the role of an advocate is most important.

    Our friend has never stopped thanking us for taking their side. It meant losing other close friends, but it is what Jesus does for us.

  9. Lots of really great input, and I am glad to read on this topic from a husband’s perspective.
    I would like to point out that the husband wife relationship is very intimate and exclusive. It is far too easy for a husband to be “understanding” of the person approaching his wife, and cross over the line of the relational intimacy with his wife.
    For example, if his wife is approached by an extended family member with some issue, the husband may not be mentally or emotionally prepared to deal with that person fairly, and still not breach intimacy with his wife. While the husband may make the other person feel great by listening and discussing that person’s concerns, his wife may stand there feeling BETRAYED! Ooohhh, very bad. And now guess what, the other person has maintained the relationship with the husband, but that husband now gets to go home with a VERY damaged wife.
    Yes, it can happen that easily. So what would be a better response from the husband? Or what shouldn’t the husband do? And what if the wife is wrong in some way? He should not “share” with the other person his deeper thoughts or feelings– or knowledge of–his wife. EVEN if his wife is wrong.
    That husband should protect his intimacy with his wife. His wife, imperfect person that she is, must be safe to make mistakes, be imperfect, grow and learn and change, in the context of her God-given marital relationship. I am saying that INTIMACY is the key word here, and the very thing that can be so easily breeched with her husband in the context of being approached by someone. You know, the husband can always HAVE an intimate conversation with his wife when he gets home with her. But not if he breeches the intimacy!!!!

  10. I also wanted to add that protecting your wife does not necessitate attacking the other person. It just means that she has a special place in your life–she is your flesh. If she gets hurt, you get hurt. That should also be motivation to protect her.

  11. @devotedwife – Very well said! My concern is that sometimes the attack is the point – either the wife feels better because her husband attacked the other person, or the man feels like he is a good husband because he attacked. Even if the wife was wronged, an attack is not right, and if either husband or wife is getting something positive from the attack there is a problem that needs to be dealt with.

    IOW, defend, yes, by all means and with passion. Attack – NO!

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