29 July 2012

Are Good Husbands Also Bullies?

Any husband has the potential to be a bully. A good husband, however, is never a bully.

A bully is a person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker. A husband in authority over his wife and family is certainly in a position to abuse his position of power. He could easily use his authority to intimidate his wife and break her down emotionally. He could use his superior physical strength to cause her bodily harm that cannot be excused as appropriate domestic discipline.  But a man who understands the responsibility that goes with his marital leadership, power, and authority will not easily fall into the trap of becoming an abuser.
A husband has the responsibility to love his wife. All his actions must answer to the question: Is this an expression of my love for my wife? If the answer is not an emphatic yes, the husband needs to take a closer look at his motives. A man who loves his wife will not humiliate her, or injure her, or keep her from being all that God created her to be. On the contrary, he will make choices that encourage his wife, that protect her from injury, and that raise her up in the eye of the public and her family. He will find opportunities to praise her and nurture her talents. He will take time to give her what she needs.
Bullies don’t act out of confidence. Their motive is fear. And they use fear to keep others from challenging them to become all they can be. A husband who uses fear tactics to keep his wife submissive is a poor leader, and there is little chance his marriage will thrive. Bullying a wife into submission may make her act submissive for a while, but it will drive her heart in the opposite direction and tear the marriage apart. A husband who desires a submissive wife must learn to love his wife into submission.

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