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Manipulative Marriage Partners
How to Handle Situations   

Q. My wife "plays" our pastor against me. She blows up if I suggest certain bible verses to help her feel better. But, she accepts them readily if the pastor gives her passages to study. She gets angry and hostile when I ask her to try something. But, she attempts to do what the minister wants.


You might think this odd, but we encounter this frequently. It is something we fight against on a day-by-day basis.

Preventing Divisions

First, you must inform the pastor of this manipulation. He cannot effectively work with the two of you if he is unaware of it. How can he know unless you tell him?

We suspect this is one reason the apostle Paul said the women must learn quietly and not exercise authority over men - to prevent these divisions in churches (1 Timothy 2:12). Paul said if they have any questions they should ask their own husbands at home and not speak out in a disruptive manner in church (1 Cor. 14:35).

Followed obediently this helps to maintain peace in homes and churches.

Authorities&Established Orders

Before a marriage partner goes "ballistic" over this, I suggest you tell her we will find that our lives will not operate smoothly if we are in rebellion against God and His established order of things.

In fact, even the angels who normally assist us will not help if we are in rebellion against God's Word. This may partly answer why Paul told women to "have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels" (1 Cor. 11:10).

How else are we to understand this passage?

Jude informs us that evil angels "reject authority and revile angelic majesties" (Jude v.8). Even Michael the archangel did not pronounce judgment against the devil when he disputed over the body of Moses (v. 9). Instead, Michael proclaimed, "The Lord rebuke you!"

If even the angels won't dispute over who is in authority over whom - should we?

I don't think so. Orders and authorities are important to God and the angels. So they should be important to us, too, regardless of the reasons why.

Trust God - not Men

As Christians we are to believe God's Word and trust in Him - alone. We are not supposed to place our faith in Pastor Bill at the First Christian Assembly of Kentucky. We are not to have "idols of the heart." Ever!

Idols of the Heart

The prophet Ezekiel says in 14:3-8,

"Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts and have put right before their faces the stumbling block of their iniquity…Therefore, (the Lord says), Repent and turn away from your idols and turn your faces away from all your abominations" …"I shall set My face against that man and make him a sign and a proverb, and I shall cut him off from among My people."

We must not make men our "idols!"

The Lord Fights our Battles - Not Men

Exodus 14:14 says, "The Lord will fight for you. You must be quiet." It doesn't say Pastor Pete will fight for you.

We read in Psalm 94:12-13, "Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O Lord, and whom you teach out of your law, to give him rest from the days of trouble, until a pit is dug for the wicked."

In other words, it gives the Lord glory when we react to things according to His Word - when we go through life's trials using Scripture as our guide.

Is your Partner a Believer?

If your partner cannot handle this I wonder if she is a Christian? If she is not, then gently encouraging her to study evidences for the faith may help - as well as putting her in the thoughts and prayers of other Christians.

Until a person is repentant and guided by the Holy Spirit there is not much we can do to help. This is partly why there is healing in mental illness or in broken marriages for many Christians. But, we don't hear of many healings among non Christians.

We will certainly put your situation on our prayer list!

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