What The Bible, A Psychology Book and a Christian couple Say About The Submission Of Wives To Husbands In Marriage

In the New Testament, the Bible says in one of Paul's letters:

Ephesians chapter 5 (NLT)

21 ... submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 You wives ... submit to your husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of his body, the church; he gave his life to be her Savior. 24 As the church submits to Christ, so you wives must submit to your husbands in everything. 25 And you husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by baptism and God's word. 27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. 28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man is actually loving himself when he loves his wife. 29 No one hates his own body but lovingly cares for it, just as Christ cares for his body, which is the church. 30 And we are his body. 31 As the Scriptures say, "A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one." 32 This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. 33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

In the Psychology book Families And How To Survive them by Robin Skynner and John Cleese, it says, interestingly enough, although one person's word doesn't mean that's definitely the way things are:

Robin: "The mother-dominated family doesn't seem to work to well for the children."

John: "What, really?"

Robin: "In fact almost all the families I've seen in child psychiatry where the child was brought as a problem were mother-dominated - either that or completely chaotic."

John: "This is astounding!"

Robin: "Yes, well, it was to me, too when I noticed it. I was training in child psychiatry and I went to the senior social worker who allocated the cases after I'd seen about ten of them and complained they were all of this kind - could I have some of the other kind, please? She said not to worry; she'd been there ten years and they were all like that."

John: "Go on."

Robin: "Well, to put this in context, I have to say immediately the research on the healthiest families shows that the power in the family is shared between the two parents. They work together and make very conscious decisions about who's going to do what. But in all but those healthiest families, if one of them is to be the boss, it does seem more often to work better if it's the father rather than the mother."

John: "Better for the children, right?"

Robin: "Oh, yes. I can't emphasise that enough. It took me a long time to come to this view but in the end I couldn't deny the evidence in front of me. But you've got to try to see the whole picture in these problem families: In the old days we were certainly at fault because we used to blame it all on what we called 'castrating mothers'. Then when we started seeing the fathers regularly and seeing more clearly how the families operated we realized that it was just as much due to the way the fathers opted out of responsibility."

John: "You mean the mothers had no option but to take over?"

Robin: "Exactly. No option."

John: "I'm going to spell this out again just to embarrass you: In the healthiest families, the power is shared by agreement. In the others, one parent or the other is usually more powerful. In your experience, where the mother is more powerful, the children are much more likely to have problems; and consequently you feel that if there has to be a boss it's better if it's the father. I want more evidence, please!"

Robin: "Well, I have to say"

John: "Defending yourself desperately!"

Robin: "No, not really. You see, it was the mothers who convinced me of all this."

John: "And the editorial board of Spare Rib!"

Robin: "The mothers and the children. I resisted the idea."

John: "Brave chap!"

Robin: "Really! For me, the idea went against the grain. I believed in equality; discussions; shared decisions."

John: "Well, of course, that's how really healthy people work."

Robin: "Stop heckling and listen! Over and over again, when families came for help with problems with the children, mothers would say they longed for the father to take control. They still say that. And the brothers and sisters almost always agreed and said that the father should be more strict."

John: "so sexism rules ok!"

Robin: "No. It was the mothers who decided the argument for me. Let me tell you what just one of them said to me: 'It's something to do with having children. At first it's allright, and then the children come along, and you find you have so much to cope with. You're frightened because you have so many responsibilities to face and you need authority; you need authority - just a kind of injection now and again to enable you to carry on, to cope with the responsibility, to make you feel you're strong enough to carry on.'"

John: "Well, it's true, isn't it; sometimes you're struggling with a task and if someone says, 'Stop moaning. Just get on with it' it gives you a kind of strength; and of course if the husband is exerting some kind of authority he's taking some kind of responsibility, isn't he, which might help her.

Robin: "Now later on, she said something else equally interesting. She said: 'Suddenly you're faced with all that and you're petrified. And I think that by being provocative towards the male and him being aggressive towards you, when he takes the strong part he takes the responsibility. You draw strength for him in that way. It's automatic."

John: "Aggressive?"

Robin: "And I then asked her, 'So you would not see this aggression from the man as a hostile thing in those circumstances?' and she replied, 'No, certainly not.'

John: "Well, it sounds as if she's understood something that .. Well, I can't really get hold of it."

Robin: "No. But it's a message that I've heard again and again and again, and it seems that this kind of arrangement is needed at this stage of development. Maybe people can't understand it until they've actually got there and been through it."

John: "This woman changed her views after having a child?"

Robin: "Yes. I asked her if she would have rejected what she was saying before she had become a mother. She laughed and said she would have rejected it completely as terribly sexist. This is why it's no use arguing with people about this. Either they've discovered it or they haven't. Of course, it's possible that an extremely healthy person would never need to discover this."

In the First Letter of Peter in the New Testament, the Bible says:

1 Peter chapter 3 (NLT)

1 You wives must accept the authority of your husbands, even those who refuse to accept the Good News. Your godly lives will speak to them better than any words. They will be won over 2 by watching your pure, godly behavior. 3 Don't be concerned about the outward beauty that depends on fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. 4 You should be known for the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.

7 In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat her with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God's gift of new life. If you don't treat her as you should, your prayers will not be heard.

A Christian wife and husband, Hilary and David, gave a speech about what submission of the wife has meant to them in practice in their marriage. Here is a transcript of most of the things they said.


I became a Christian in 1969, just before David and I were going out together. And I didn't realise that you shouldn't marry a non-Christian. I didn't know any Christians around when I became a Christian. ... I'd heard about Jesus as a child, but I didn't know, in detail, God's Word.

David and I had been married sixteen years before he became a Christian. For many years I'd prayed for David to be saved, even dreaming about it. I did not like the idea of David going to hell. But the Lord focused my attention on what was wrong with me, rather than why David was not a Christian and his failings. ...

As a Christian, as I say, I did not know God's Word. And it never occurred to me to read my Bible until 1984! :-) So there was a great gap between 1969 and 1984! :-) My walk with God had been one of many personal experiences, and a relationship with the Lord borne out of a regular prayer life. But as I began to feed on God's Word, he brought many verses to my attention.

The first verse God brought to my attention is in 1 Peter, chapter 3, verse 1. It says, "Husbands may be won over without talk by the behaviour of their wives."

If this was the case, I knew David didn't stand a chance. My behaviour was not the best, I can tell you.

This verse also begins, "Wives, be submissive to your husbands."
In Ephesians, ... it says, "Submit to your husbands as to the Lord".
Now I didn't like that. I knew that as I looked at the Lord, I couldn't have one attitude towards him and a different attitude towards David. And to follow, in verse 24, it says, "So wives should submit to their husbands in everything"!

In practical terms, firstly I knew my heart attitude had to be one of love - All my actions and thoughts motivated by my love for the Lord. The Lord, I knew, wanted every ounce of rebellion out of me, and there was plenty!

The Lord was speaking to me afresh, a new start, to do things his way.
All David's requests and preferences had to come first, but it wasn't that David would be unreasonable. He was never unreasonable - for instance, if I had a hair appointment or something, he wouldn't say, well, I want you to go and do something else instead; he would honour that. But I had a very casual attitude to some of the things he would ask me to do. I mean, they would sort of seem things that I could leave till the following day - it may just be "Oh Hilary, could you just go down to the mechanics and get me two nuts and bolts" or something or other, and I'd sort of think, "Oh yes but I want to go and see someone or other first", or "I'm going to have coffee with somebody else". So I'd put it on my list for the day, but David would come home at the end of the day, with my not realising he had planned that when he came home he was going to fix .. x/y/z, or whatever, and I would say, "Oh well actually I was going to get it tomorrow morning ... I was going to do so-and-so and so-and-so first, and this, that and the other". And that would really, really wind him up! I mean, it sounds such a petty example, but it was an important one. As I said, David wouldn't have been unreasonable, if I'd had a definite commitment for something.

Hanging out the washing

The Lord showed me that submission was to be carried out even if David was not there at home. ... Here again, it sounds a trivial example, but it's very real. In our other house we had a rabbit run with net wiring around it. And I used to - instead of using a washing basket - I used to balance the wet washing over the wire, because the clothes line was just above it. And I remember David saying, "Please don't do that; you're going to bend the wire." And eventually it would wear the wire out as it kept bending. And I was out in the garden one day when David was at work and I was just about to put it over the wire, and the Lord spoke to me and said, "Even when your husband is not there ..." - you see, God is looking at your heart, even though your husband may not see it. God sees it, and God was challenging my heart in obedience, even in David's absence.

Another example is going to meetings. When we were first married, I used to wind David up when I went to church every Sunday, to the extent that one Sunday he'd had enough; and he said, "I don't want you to go to church for six months!" But it had wound him up so much that he left me - just for about twenty-four hours, and went to his dad's; he just could not stand it any more! And one of the reasons for this was that I used to get up early for work - earlier than him in the week, and so I was naturally tired, and come to Saturday - well, you know, you're busy about doing things - pottering around the garden or whatever - catching up on things. But Sunday was an opportunity to have a lie-in together. But I would be up early - I was going to church. So we had to come to some sort of arrangement here. So I prayed about it, because I know God's Word says, "don't give up the habit of meeting together", you know. So I prayed about it and I asked David if I could go once a month; and he was quite happy with that. So that took a tremendous amount of tension out of the atmosphere.

If you're a housewife, then make up with fellowship during the day, as it fits in with your timetable. Find some one or persons in your fellowship to have coffee with, chat and pray together. When David was on a late shift, I would take every opportunity to pray with the children, and to let them listen to praise tapes.

Pray about things as they arise. Don't wait till you go to bed to get right with God. There are too many pressures in the day. There are many, many temptations that may come your way - self-pity, rejection, moodiness, laziness ...
If you wake up in a bad mood or with a negative attitude, deal with it immediately; go and pray about it whilst in the shower or something.


One thing that Hilary used to do is if she wanted to go to a prayer meeting or something special, she would pray beforehand that the Lord would actually change my mind; and that happened on a number of occasions - the times I was resistant and I'd say, "Oh, no, I couldn't care, you go - if you want to go, you go." And I realise now that the Lord was doing that for Hilary's benefit.


But be very flexible with church attendance - if your husband says no, then you just have to pray about that; and God will sustain you - he knows that you can't go to church every week and you will miss out on fellowship, but he will still meet your needs. He promises to do that [in the Bible]. If you're trying to do that, be at peace if you don't get the time to go.

Sometimes I thought the children were being brainwashed; I didn't believe what Hilary was believing. I'd said [Before we were married] that she could bring them up in a Christian way; but I didn't really have a perception of what it meant to be a Christian, so I was saying yes to something I didn't even understand. And when it actually came to reality, off they went to church every Sunday, and I didn't have time with my own children, and it was my day off as well. So I found this a difficult thing to cope with. And so it really was something we had to come to agreement over, that the children were my children as they were her children, - they were our children, and it was very important that we made sure everything worked together.

Prayer meetings - if you go to prayer meetings, don't make your husband into a babysitter - a ready-made babysitter! :-) Sometimes it suited me, actually - sometimes. But again, it's compromise, - as I said before, pray about it. You know, don't dash out of the house when your husband comes home - "right, I'm off, cherio!" You know, the children aren't ready for bed, supper's not done. You know, these things can be irritating even to Christian husbands. Certainly as a non-Christian husband I would look for faults - anything related to God was something I would snap on and have a go at, because I was attacking the Lord.

Times with God are very important, but make sure they don't cut across family time too much.

Costs - Be careful how you go out buying books and tapes - and the phone bill was another thing. I was so aware that Hilary was on the phone very often to people, and I would have to pick up the bill - you know, another ninety pound phone bill, about ten years ago, for a quarter [of a year] because Hilary was ministering to somebody on the phone. These things need very careful consideration. [Try to] understand. Husbands are not always unreasonable.


Deceitfulness - that was something that God was challenging me on - to do with tithing. I thought, "I would love to tithe." And I never said anything to David, but I thought, I know, I'll tithe the Child Benefit - he won't know anything about that. But God didn't bless that, because by the time it came to the end of the month we would run out of money, and he would say, "Where on earth has all the money gone?" You see, David wouldn't want me to tithe, so God wasn't asking me to tithe. But I felt a sense of guilt about not going to a meeting or not tithing. But God isn't wanting that at all. So be careful of deceitfulness. Just be very straightforward with your husband.

There are other things you might like to do - I mean if you do have spare time, you can always bless other people in the church by, you know - somebody's having a baby - provide a meal if you can - but there again, only do it if your husband doesn't mind you spending that money on people in the church. He may object to that - in which case, don't do it. You know, God knows your heart. And he wants you to bless your husband.

David can't bear untidiness. And unfortunately, I am naturally messy, in everything! It has not been an overnight transformation. But I'm getting better. And after twenty-five years of living together, I can say that there is an improvement, although it is an area that I do have to watch carefully.

The Lord was certainly telling me to get my side of the house in order, and to bless David, and in so doing, acknowledging his authority in the house, regardless of his position of not being a Christian. If your husband comes in from work, don't say, "Mind the children; your dinner's in the oven - I'm going to a prayer meeting. :-) Worship is a loving attitude towards the Lord, even in circumstances that look impossible.

A house

The example I'm going to give here is actually what happened after David became a Christian. But if any of you do find that there is this real problem within you, please do get prayer. Don't wait until your husband becomes a Christian.
On our landing in our previous house, it's quite large, and I used to use it as a dumping ground. But the problem was that this dumping ground became bigger and bigger, and David would say, "Would you please clear it up." And I would say, "Yes I will". And in my mind I thought, "Yeah, I'll do it tomorrow." And I'd sort of set aside time, but somehow that time was always taken up with other things. And several weeks had gone past, and it was almost getting to the stage where you had to climb over the mess to get to the children's bedrooms! :-) I mean, it sounds funny, but God uses everyday experiences to bring home a point.
And I'd fully determined in my mind, "I'm really going to do it this afternoon!" And I had one more thing to do. And believe me or not, David happened to come home from work earlier than usual, and I thought, "Oh, no!" because I thought, "Oh, that mess on the landing!" :-) And I thought, "Oh, he's going to say something!"
Anyway, apparently - I didn't know - but David had gone upstairs, having come back from work, and he prayed about it, because he knew what my reaction would be, and he just thought it was the right thing to say something to me. And he came very calmly into the kitchen, - we both remember this incident very clearly - and he said, "Darling, when you've finished doing what you're doing, could you clear that mess up, please, from the landing?" And I just blew my top! I was like, "I KNEW YOU WOULD MENTION THAT! I WAS JUST ABOUT TO DO IT! .." bla bla bla ... And he was very calm, just took me by the hand and said, "Darling, it wouldn't matter what issue I brought up; you would have the same reaction."

And I knew deep down inside, he'd really hit the nail on the head. There was a deep-rooted rebellion towards him saying, Would I do ...? Would I do ... this or that.
And I said, "Yes, you're right." And we just prayed about it, there and then in the kitchen.
And I know that I was released of something, because it was like something just being pulled out of me. And from then onwards I had no more problem; when he asked me to do things, I didn't have any inner struggle with it. After that, it actually became a delight to do things for him and to put things first!

As I said, God will use any small, everyday situation to highlight what's really in your heart. My attitude generally had to change. In Philippians chapter 2 verse 5 it says, "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus." David was not a second-class person. I knew he was as precious to the Lord as I was. I had to stop any verbal criticism of David in front of other Christians, and face my own failings and weaknesses.

I also had to deal with the criticism that came my way. Home life got to the stage where it seemed that David criticised me for everything - the way I looked; my hair; he criticised my meals in front of the children. I felt hurt and tense, and had feelings of total rejection, especially as the children's behaviour seemed better with David, so that when he came home, because of the build-up of all this tension within me of feeling rejected and hurt emotionally, I would visibly shake with nerves when I heard the door key - I was in such a state. It got to the stage where I couldn't even make a cup of coffee without it not being strong enough or not being sweet enough or something. I realised, as I said, that I had to do everything in love, and I realised that as God was dealing with me, David was being challenged, and all these "fiery darts" David was giving out were not aimed at me but aimed at the Lord. I realised that David was being challenged by the change of attitude within me. I realised that as David became closer and closer to becoming a Christian - being challenged, the tension and the agro got worse.
But as these "fiery darts" came towards me, I just realised they weren't my burden. Jesus had already died for those on the cross, and I could leave them with him. And it brought a tremendous sense of release to me.

I remember one day making this cup of coffee for David, and of course there was something wrong with it, so as I took it back to the kitchen to do it the way David wanted it, I prayed there and then: "Lord," I said, "I leave all this criticism [with you.] It's not aimed at me but for you. Now, Lord, fill me with your love, that this coffee is made in love". And I just felt God's love filling me.


I was the hardest, most cynical man you could come across - you know, if you had to bet on me becoming a Christian, you would never take a bet that I would. I know people say, "yes, but you don't know my husband," - well, take it from me that God really had to work on me for a good number of years - sixteen years before I became a Christian! It's so important to let God deal with your husband and not you. This is an absolute testimony to how I became a Christian - it wasn't because Hilary told me the gospel, because actually, she didn't know the gospel.


The nearer I was to becoming a Christian, the harder I was to live with - I was really, really challenged, and I showed it - I was struggling and struggling and struggling, and the only person close to me I could take it out on was Hilary. I didn't take it out on the children, I'm pleased to say. It didn't occur to me to be like that. I was irritated and could get aggressive, of course, but Hilary was the one I really took the brunt of things out on.
So sometimes, if you can see your husband beginning to change - if you can see this, you really need to submit to God. Don't ram it back at him and say, "Oh, the Lord's getting at you" - that's the worse thing you could do. Just silently see the way your husband will be drawn towards the Lord , and derive peace from that, certainly, but be aware that nearer the end, the tussle - the last final struggles, can actually appear worse. So don't be discouraged.
This relates to this cup of coffee. I do not know the date; I know there came a point before I became a Christian when Hilary stopped trying to change me, she stopped everything and just loved me. And love conquers everything. I could not fight against love. I could struggle against her - I could find fault with the things she did, - but this day - I wish I'd made a note of it - we were both aware of this cup of coffee, I don't know why, - as a non-Christian I remember her walking in with this cup of coffee and [me] finding fault with it, and she went out, and she came back with another cup which was fine, - I remember this - I remember that when she came in the second time, there was something about her and the coffee that was different. And I knew from that day, looking back, that I could no more challenge her. There was no retaliation from her - she just loved me. The most important thing for me was when Hilary just loved me - just unconditionally loved me because I was her husband. And I was then alone with the Lord, and the Lord really began to work on me, - in a nice way - it wasn't a hostile way. But Hilary really cast me over to the Lord - "Lord, he's your responsibility. I will just do my part", - which was just to love me. And it was a real turning point for us - certainly a turning point for me.
And that has grown, - it's been such an important time. Just love your husband.

When your husband does become a Christian, it will take a long time - as it has taken all of us - to grow in the Lord; and I want to say this: Just because your husband's a Christian, it doesn't mean that everything's going to be rosy. I've been a Christian for nine years; I've just gone through three years of real hardship, and I've needed Hilary's prayers and support. It took me a long time to realise just what a counsellor Hilary is to me. She doesn't even recognise it, but Hilary's strength has been so important to me, to get me through. So the last three years have been really hard, but they've come to a conclusion.
So knowing that your husband has to change, be very patient with him. I've learned to value her often. Give time for your husband to mature.

Affectionate couple

When your husband becomes a Christian, don't think you can start gallivanting off to all these prayer meetings. Remain in this framework of love. Be very graceful to your husband and very gentle with him. Just let the Lord do it, and he will be won over just by your behaviour, just your love - not just a love from a distance, but with romance, with gifts, with fun, - enjoy your husbands, as you did when you were probably first married - wonderful time! But go back to those things and really love your husband.

You can't change your partner - let God do it. It's his job and he's better at it. Don't put pressure on your husband to change into something he's not. I felt that I was being pressurized to be someone I wasn't. There was a time when Hilary would pressurize me to become a Christian, and that made it a hundred times worse. It's the Lord's responsibility. I needed to change, because I needed to be a Christian, but I felt that I had to be a special type of husband, and I couldn't do that in my own strength. For instance, I used to swear a lot - in fact, one of the very first things God said to me when I became a Christian was to stop swearing. So if I was to swear, then Hilary would tell me off, and I found this very difficult - I mean, she might not swear, but she used to swear when she was a Christian when I first knew her. God dealt with that in her, but of course, as a non-Christian, I was [still] the same.
So be very sensitive about how you approach your husband. And please don't ever tell your husband off in front of the children if you have children. It's very important to sort it out on a one-to-one basis.

Do pray for your non-Christian husband. Hilary used to pray for me with the children even before the Children were Christians, which was good.

Please know the gospel - I used to ask Hilary questions. As the Lord began to work on me, I would ask her what they did at the meetings she went to, and I'd say, well, what's this all about? Who is God? And Hilary hadn't prepared an answer. It does say [in the Bible] that we should always be able to give an account of what we believe tempered with grace. And because Hilary hadn't read her Bible, she didn't know. But I do advise you to make sure you know what the gospel is, and do find out - if your husband has questions - which is a very, very good sign - do find out the answers, and let him know them when the time's right. You can't just say, "Go and ask the vicar yourself!" - which is what Hilary said to me - "Why don't you ask the vicar?" But I thought, "If she can't answer me, I'm sure I'm not going to ask the vicar!" :-) So do make sure that you can give an account of what you believe.

Always act in a godly manner. Non-Christians are excellent at seeing inconsistencies in Christians, and I loved to find fault: - You shouldn't do this ... if you're a Christian, why are you doing that! Often they're ignorant of what being a Christian is. But they will find fault, so be consistent with your husband in the way you behave.

If there are cases of physical abuse, mental abuse, sexual abuse or adultery - if there are special circumstances in your marriage, do see somebody and get some help. There are things that God doesn't want you to put up with, but please get some godly counsel before you make any decisions about separation and things - God doesn't want that. But if there are some really bad things going on, please seek some counsel before you go any further.

Changing and growing apart - very often, whether your wife became a Christian after you got married or before, as she goes on with the Lord, she will become a different person. I was aware that Hilary wasn't the person I married. As the Lord dealt with the different things in her, I found that she was becoming a stranger to me. I was a stranger to her. And we were growing apart. So it's very important that you pray - you must make sure you don't become isolated from your husband. I mean, you got married in love. Retain the love - love really is the key to all this. It really is important. Love comes first. The Lord says, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and everybody else as you love yourself." If you feel cold towards your husband - if your love has grown cold, then please seek God's heart for your husband. God loves him as much as he loves you - there's no question about that. And if you don't love your husband, do ask God - as Hilary said, - do ask the Lord to give you his love for your husband. We need love for all the lost.

Romantic dinner

And love him in very practical ways. Look for ways to bless your husband - with presents and clothes - just special treats that you know he would like, whatever that might be. It's very important to bless one another.
And please don't ever dishonour your husband, either in public or in private, in front of the children. Please apologise when you're wrong and forgive him when he is.

Submitting should not mean that you compromise your walk with God at the same time. If your husband asks you to do something which you know is illegal, - there was an instance I know of where a lady who had a husband who was a non-Christian and she was a Christian - he said, "I want you to steal. ... I want you to do this." And she said no. But she prayed about it beforehand, and surprisingly - but not surprisingly - although he got angry, it didn't go any further than that. He got angry, and then his anger died down, because she was still honouring God's Word. So you can be submissive but when asked to do something illegal, don't do it. But pray about that.


Give your husband the respect that is due to him. Bless him. - Wear the perfume he bought you that you never wear, or the bracelet etc that he gave you. Have his shirts ironed on time. :-)

I would get the children involved in honouring their father. If they needed new shoes or something, I would get them to thank him.
Get the children to understand that dad has to go out to earn the money, and he has to go out every day - so that they appreciate him, especially if he doesn't like his work. You know, I think there's nothing more than a man who has to work for years and years until he retires, absolutely loathing his job. That must be so dreadful! So he needs to have a reasonably happy atmosphere to come home to and relax in.

Don't listen to your husband with half an ear; but when he's speaking to you, give him your full attention. Take an interest in the things that interest him. Find a hobby to do things together, or go out together. Talk about holidays together. Seek his company.

Gradually, as my heart attitude changed, I saw changes in David. Each stage of response from David, I found encouraging.

Just to wind up, some of the examples I've given may not apply to you, but the Lord's words apply to you equally, and you must work his word out in your life and circumstances. Don't give up. I'm still working on things. You'll make mistakes. Ask the Lord to forgive you. Each day is a new day. Don't make excuses for yourself. The Lord said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

The apostle Paul wrote to his fellow Christian worker Titus:

Titus chapter 2 (NLT)

1 ... promote the kind of living that reflects right teaching. 2 Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely. They must have strong faith and be filled with love and patience.

3 Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that is appropriate for someone serving the Lord. They must not go around speaking evil of others and must not be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good. 4 These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, 5 to live wisely and be pure, to take care of their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.

6 In the same way, encourage the young men to live wisely in all they do. 7 And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good deeds of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. 8 Let your teaching be so correct that it can't be criticized. Then those who want to argue will be ashamed because they won't have anything bad to say about us.

Further Reading About Husbands and Wives, and Also About Women's Role in the Church

The psychology book "Families and How to Survive Them" by Robin Skynner and John Cleese is published by Mandarin.

The main Bible pages on this site:

Bible Bible Part 1: Bible Quotations, The Holy Spirit, People And Their Stories
Bible Part 2: The Lives and Suffering of the Ancient Israelites
Bible Part 3: The Bible, Articles About Alleged Inaccuracies in it, And Stories of People who Became Christians.
Or go directly to the next in the series: What The Bible And A Psychology Book Say About Disciplining Children.

The selections of Bible quotations have been put together by Diana Holbourn.

Throughout this series, wherever the initials TEV appear, they stand for Today's English Version (The Good News Bible).

Other initials:

Warning Against Believing Everything you Hear or Read

Don't be afraid to question the truth of what a religious authority figure tells you, or even the Bible or other holy books themselves, or certain people's interpretation of them. Nothing to do with religion or the supernatural is so well established in fact it shouldn't be questioned. To find out why caution is a good idea, visit:

The Beauty of the New Testament's Moral Teaching and Other Important Pages on this Website

Are you up to trying the challenges of the New Testament's moral guidelines, and would you like to know more of what it says about the love of Jesus? Here are some links to Bible quotes about the beautiful ideals the New Testament encourages Christians to try to live up to:

There are a lot of pages on this website with quotations from the Old Testament on them. Many of these are unfortunately rather gruesome, since the main theme of the Old Testament is warnings and stories about how it says societies were punished for mass lawless and hurtful behaviour, even to the extent of having war brought on them by God, that seem to have been designed to scare societies where crime and violence were rampant into behaving more ethically. In case there is any misunderstanding, it should be understood that this website does not endorse war as anything other than a last resort. The position of the website owner can be gleaned from the articles:

Fancy some light relief or laughter therapy? Then go to the first of our jokes pages:

If you have a problem affecting your mental health or well-being, like depression, a difficulty with life-damaging worry, panic attacks, phobias or OCD, marriage problems, an addiction, an eating disorder, recovering from the trauma of sexual abuse or domestic violence, coping with bullies in the workplace, or bullying and teasing at school, trying to lose weight, raising difficult teenagers, caring for someone with a disease like Alzheimer's, wanting to recover from anorexia or self-harm, or grieving for someone you were close to or feeling lonely, and you'd like some ideas on coping or getting past it, visit our Self-help series.

If this is the first page you have visited on this site, this is part of Broadcaster.org.uk, a website about social and psychological issues, what the Bible says about social problems and other topics, and how they affect people's lives today.

Go to the Broadcaster.org.uk home page to find out more.....