Q: I know I’m supposed to support my husband, but sometimes he says/does things I just don’t agree with. How can I voice my objections without starting a huge fight or embarrassing him in front of his friends?
A: The first thing you need to do is talk to God. Let him show you if this is an issue you need to bring to your husband or if you need to back off. God will give you the guidance and the wisdom. If it’s clear that you need to discuss the situation, ask God for an opening—the right time, the right place, the right words to say, the right tone of voice. Always do this in private—not even the kids should hear this discussion. This way you’re not confronting your husband or embarrassing him; instead, you’re voicing a concern. You can express that you’ve prayed about the situation and it’s still on your heart, so you wanted to talk about it with him.
When you disagree with your husband, be sure he understands that you’re not trying to undermine his leadership or God-given authority. Disagree with the issue, the content. Keep the disagreement about substance. Don’t attack him. Let your husband know that you will honor him.
Does a man need his wife’s support? Of course. Scripture says that you are to be his helper—his “vice president.” In any organizational structure, it is a wise president who listens to the advice of his vice president. As head of the home, your husband has the responsibility of the final decision. But a wise husband listens to his wife and gets her input. But he’ll be far more willing to listen depending on how you approach him.
Ultimately, the better the relationship between you and your husband, the better you’ll each be able to voice concerns and talk through the tough issues. So continue to build up your marriage relationship by loving him well. God designed each of you differently, so it’s likely the things that make you feel loved may not be the same things that make him feel loved. Here’s a short list of ideas for ways to love your husband well:
Make time alone with him a priority. In this busy world, other things become more important than husband-and-wife time. Learn to say no in order to love, honor, and cherish your husband above all else.
Honor his favorite things. Make a list of his favorites—such as favorite dinner, dessert, date activity, TV program, etc.—and make sure he gets to enjoy those things.
Tell him what you need. He can’t read your mind—at least not always!
Lift a burden. Ask him, “If I could take something off your to-do list today, what could I do for you?”
Allow him to be himself. Don’t assume that your husband is going to think, feel, or behave as you do or as “the ideal husband” does. He will make mistakes. Allow him that freedom.
Affirm your husband’s maleness by showing interest in his hobbies. Attend a sporting event with him or join him in the garage occasionally. If he participates in sports, be there to cheer him on.
Be more curious of your husband than critical. Don’t judge him. Investigate and ask questions about why he does the things he does.
Appreciate his hard work. Thank him for working for you and the family. Let him know that you notice and admire his work.
Praise him to your children. Tell the kids how hard he works and what a good man he is. Tell them how much you love him and how important he is to you.
Compliment his efforts to be sensitive. If he makes special attempts to understand, listen, or comfort you, let him know how meaningful they are to you. Be specific about what you particularly like.
*For more practical marriage advice, check out The Great Marriage Q&A Book. It's available in our online bookstore!