When Your Husband Makes Decisions You Don’t Agree With

🌺 Published by Brittany Ann

 When Your Husband Makes Decisions You Don't Agree WithPinDoes your husband ever make decisions you don’t agree with?

How do you respond?

Do you say something? Or just let it be?

 

Recently, I received an email from a reader who was wondering the same thing:

 

Hello, I have a a question. My husband and I are both Christians but have very different beliefs in Biblical principles and practices.

For example we are a blended family and I don’t celebrate or participate in Halloween or let my children do but he does. I unequivocally believe in the Scripture that there is life and death in the power of the tongue but his views is different. I believe in the evidence of speaking in tongues as having the Holy Spirit but he doesn’t.

Should the beliefs, principles and practices matter or should it just be that we both believe that Jesus is Lord and that He came and died for our sins be my main focus?

 

This is such a great question, and it’s one that every married couple is going to have to wrestle with at some point.

It isn’t just spouses who have differing denominational beliefs or those in an unequally yoked marriage where one spouse isn’t a believer at all who have to wrestle with these type of things.

The truth is EVERY couple is going to disagree about parenting, sex, money or religion (if not all four!) at some point. So – here’s how to get through it (while keeping your sanity and relationship in tact!)

 

1. Determine if the Issue is a Sin Issue or Just Personal Preference

 

First, I’d encourage you to ask yourself: Are the choices your husband is making actually sinful, or simply a matter of different opinions, beliefs or preferences? Because those are two VERY different issues. And determining which category each falls into isn’t as easy as you might think.

While some behaviors are pretty clearly spelled out in the Bible as sin (such as lying, stealing, pornography or drug abuse), others (such as drinking, Halloween and speaking in tongues) aren’t so black and white.

And in 1 Corinthians 8, Paul actually makes the case that it is entirely possible that one action (such as eating meat sacrificed to idols in this case) can be sinful for one person, but not for another. So that makes things a little tricky too.

 

Let me give you an example: In our house, we disagree over Harry Potter. I refuse to watch it myself, while my husband sees no problem with it. We disagree. And that’s okay.

We don’t fight about it or think less of the other person because of it. He doesn’t force me to watch it, and I don’t force him not to. We both respect the other’s right and ability to decide for themselves.

 

So to answer the Reader Question: If your husband doesn’t believe there is life and death in the power of the tongue or that speaking in tongues is evidence of having the Holy Spirit — that’s okay. Let him believe what he wants. Scripture is not abundantly clear on this, and if he disagrees… well… it’s not like these particular issues make a huge difference anyway.

The fact of the matter is — ALL of us are probably at least a little off in our beliefs somewhere. I’m not convinced ANY of us have it 100% all figured out. He doesn’t, you don’t, I certainly don’t. So… honestly, I don’t think it’s worth fighting over.

(If you’d like to have a very respectful talk so BOTH of you can share what you believe and why, that’s awesome. But if neither of you ever come around — totally fine.)

 

However — if the choices your husband is making are clearly sinful and it’s affecting you or your family, then that’s a different issue.

There are actually several Scriptures in the Bible that make it clear that when a fellow believer is caught in sin, we have a responsibility to help if we can.

 

 

Otherwise, if the issue isn’t a sin, just highly irritating or not what you think is best for your family… keep reading to see how to respond…

 

2. Determine If You Need to Say Anything

 

Can you even imagine if your husband was constantly walking behind you, “confronting” you every time you raised your voice at the children, overindulged in chocolate or wine, gossiped with friends after work, watched trashy television or spent too much money shopping?

Yeah, that’d be incredibly irritating, wouldn’t it?

 

The truth is — You are not your husband’s Holy Spirit. There IS a Holy Spirit — but you’re not him.

 

It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict your husband, to soften his heart, and to draw him closer to God — not yours. Yes, sometimes God can use you to help, but that’s not primarily your job. You can set a good example, you can discuss things with your husband, you can encourage him in his faith. But you can’t make him behave the way you want him to.

So, should you say something your husband? Yes, I think it’d be good to mention it and talk about it IF you think he’s likely to be receptive and if you have the self-control to say it in a positive, respectful way that’s likely to lead to real discussion – not just an argument.

(Continue reading to see how)

 

3. Approach Your Husband Respectfully

 

So if you do decide to talk to your husband about the issue, it’s incredibly important that you broach the topic in a way that is very respectful – not accusatory. The goal here shouldn’t be to make your husband agree with your or do things your way, but simply to see what he’s thinking or where he’s at.

 

For example:

  • “So Halloween is coming up in a few weeks and the more I think about it, the more uneasy I feel about the whole thing. Do you ever wonder what kind of message we’re sending our children by participating in such a dark holiday?”
  • “Hey, I have a question — and I’m just curious — did people ever speak in tongues in your church growing up? What do you think about speaking in tongues? Have you ever really thought about it?”
  • “So, there’s something I wanted to talk to you about… It seems like you’ve been drinking a lot more than usual lately. Is something going on? Is there something I should know about?”

 

NOT:

  • “I don’t care what you think — Halloween is satan’s holiday and we are NOT participating.”
  • “How can you think that?? The Bible CLEARLY states…”
  • “What is wrong with you?”
  • “How could you?”
  • “I thought you…. I guess I was wrong.”

 

The truth is, whether your husband is right or wrong in his beliefs and decision-making, he is still a person created in God’s own image and capable of making his own decisions. You cannot force him to believe anything or behave any certain way, and you shouldn’t try.

You are his wife – not his mother – and your job is to respect him, love him and get to know him, not try to force him to change.

 

 

Related Video: Are You Too Controlling? (Here’s how to fix it)

 

 

4. Find a Biblical Solution You Can Both Agree to, If Possible

 

Hopefully, if you confront your husband very graciously and respectfully, he’ll be willing to listen to your concerns and care enough to find a solution you both can agree to – if possible.

For example, you may decide to use Halloween as a ministry opportunity, you may find a new church that meets both of your needs, or you may decide to participate in some traditions but not others.

Or you may simply agree to disagree. That’s okay.

(We’ve done our fair share of that since my husband is Catholic and I’m not)

 

 

5. Step Back and Give it to God

 

Can’t find a good solution? Well, not all hope is lost.

If you’ve confronted your husband about his sin or talked to him about your different beliefs and that hasn’t worked, it may be time to simply step back and give it to God.

After all, He’s way more talented at changing hearts and minds than we are. Why not let Him do it His way and on His timing?

Just because God doesn’t work on your timing doesn’t mean He’s not working at all. Sometimes, when God says “Wait,” it’s simply because He is hard at work behind the scenes and it simply isn’t time yet.

 

So be patient. And pray for your husband a lot! (These 5 Powerful Prayers Every Wife Should Pray Over Her Husband are a great place to start!)

He may just surprise you after all.

 

Does your husband make choices you don’t agree with? How do you deal with it in your family?

 

For Further Reading: 

 

 When Your Husband Makes Decisions You Don't Agree WithPin

 

 When You and Your Husband Disagree on ParentingPin

 

What to Do When You and Your Husband Have Differing BeliefsPin

 

 

Brittany Ann

Brittany Ann is an author, speaker, and founder of EquippingGodlyWomen.com, a popular Christian-living website dedicated to helping women be “all in” in faith and family.

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  1. Hello. My name is Donna and we have been married for 26 years. I feel very sad because theologically my husband knows more about GOD and the Bible than most men who are not ordained; however, he doesn’t know the love of GOD. He has not allowed GOD to heal him of those deep hurts that fester under the scars. He doesn’t allow anyone close enough…not even me. He is giving, responsible, generous, and unselfish but he is also distant and self-righteous. He often gets angry at the children and me for the very things he does but justifies his behavior.
    Four of our five children have talked to me about how he childishly reacts to them when I am not around. I have also witnessed it. I know he is stuck emotionally as a young boy. He is also defensive when I have tried to approach the subject.
    I have prayed for him continuously the past 19 years when began to recognize his woundedness.
    I am tired.
    He has wounded our children. It is very difficult to listen to our children talk about his childishness without jumping on the disrespect wagon. (I have never told my husband about their thoughts.) I encourage them to pray for their Daddy and also to forgive. As the children matured (we have some adult children and some young ones), they learn more about his past that explains (but not justifies) his behavior. I never want to promote disrespect for their Dad.
    But I am tired.
    He is not my friend; although he would say I am his only friend. It is difficult to consider someone a friend who doesn’t share their heart or accuses you of things they are guilty of, or has not own up to how he has hurt me even when I have told him. He turns it so it is about me and my perspective.
    His woundedness has created such a huge gap. I know if he would allow GOD to heal him, my husband would be so much more.
    He is not honest with himself.
    He is almost 58 years old. I am losing hope that he will ever humbly acknowledge his true state and come for healing.
    He has so many great traits: hard working, responsible, generous, thoughtful gift giver.
    I feel I shouldn’t complain.
    But he protects himself by keeping everyone at arms distance.
    Sigh, I am tired.
    I am not sure what I can do except continually walk in forgiveness and not allow any root of bitterness take hold.
    One time when I was crying out to GOD, I heard HIM say, “I see” What comfort that was. HE is the GOD that sees! (El Roi). HE sees my hurt. HE sees my husband’s woundedness, HE sees the wounds our children suffer.
    How I desire for GOD to move.
    I have somewhat given up on my husband seeking for healing. He has hidden so deeply in self-denial, self-justification, and somewhat self-righteousness that all I can pray is that I will never slip into bitterness but to continually walk in love.

    1. I’m sorry. That must be so difficult. Have you ever visited the site http://tolovehonorandvacuum.com? She has a TON of great Christian marriage articles on her site — I bet she has several that could really help you. (She’s been doing this a lot longer than I have and has a lot more marriage content than I do — and she’s great. I definitely recommend any of her advice)

    2. Hi Donna,

      I just wanted to jump on here and say a few things.

      Reading about your situation, I would’ve thought you’re my own mom if you didn’t have a different name. My father has wounded my siblings and I greatly and still continues to do so. In the past, it was drugs, but now (if he’s still sober – I can only hope at this point) it’s through self-righteousness and projecting all his own problems on the world. He’s very knowledgeable about Scripture, but his beliefs (in my humble opinion) are flawed by believing in misinterpretations of the word which belittle women, call for him to be separated from anyone he can fellowship with, isolate him and my mom, among other things. I used to be so close to him, but his actions built a wall between us; and now, despite that, he’s trying to take his place as HOH when he really has an empty nest.

      I just… I’m worried about my momma. She’s a wonderful woman with so much love to offer. They’ve lived in a new state for over 2 years and she hasn’t made one friend because of the amount of isolation he’s created. I wish I could be there with her more, but my path was driven away from them because of other things.

      Please.. Have friends to talk to, volunteer, stay in touch with people you love. Don’t let your kids worry about you like I worry about her. I love her and I love you. Y’all are strong women who deserve better.

    3. Thank you for sharing. I can relate to parts of your post. I hope your relationship with the Lord has grown sweeter and your situation has gotten better. I’ll certainly be checking out t website Brittany recommended to yy.

  2. I encourage you to continue spending time with God while growing yourself spiritually. Take courses or classes that will help strengthen your inner man and empower you in God’s word and as you do, he will speak to your heart, mind & soul. I fully understand your situation and know that this is a test that is to become your testimony. God’s grace is sufficient and will cover you so continue to walk in faith, knowing that nothing is too hard for God. Declare the Word of God over your marriage and family daily, for His mercies are new every day. Every day that you make your declarations, Angels are dispatched on your behalf & moving toward you with the provisions that you need. God is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. You will have what you say so say what God says about you. Declare those Scriptures in faith daily. God is our manufacturer & the Bible gives us His instructions to be followed for the success of our lives. I pray your strength in the Lord. May all be well with you.

  3. Hi,
    I’m a newlywed, so bare with me. I think the information in this website is great, and I’m trying to learn to apply it . I do have one question though. If the decisions your husband makes will effectively harm you (but aren’t sinful or preference based), Should I still try this steps, or just leave it in the hands of the Lord . Our issue is about location essentially, and if we don’t move, we may not be able to get ahead of our finances (and that affects me).

    1. That’s a tough one. I don’t believe the man is automatically “right” all the time. And with something like this, you really want to agree as much as possible. Do you have friends or family you could ask for advice (that may know the situation more)?

  4. My boyfriend and I disagree about what is best for his 14 year old dog. He is obviously miserable and in pain. He can barely walk anymore and he pees everywhere all the time leading to the use of multiple chemicals in our apartment. I try to have calm rational conversations with my bf, but he only gets angry and says he’s not going to put him down for awhile. I don’t think it’s right to continue letting his dog suffer and it is difficult to watch. I don’t know what to do or how to respect this decision. I feel that my bf is being selfish. I know this dog has been his best biud for 14 years and it is a very hard decision to make, I just feel so sad for his poor dog. Is there any advice you can give on how to respect this decision when it’s so difficult regardless of which option is best?

  5. Your articles and blogs bring so much hope to me. Two years ago I met a guy who I witnessed to. I decided to become his friend. During this time I was struggling to make community within a church my best friend was involved in. I started getting close to this guy and in an instant my emotions got involved and fell into sin with this guy. I found myself in a dark hole. Long story short, we made a decision to marry by court. Its been almost a year, and as I look back I think, how is it I got into this place. I considered myself mature in the Lord, yet its painful and saddening to realize that knowingly I went against Gods will for me. Nevertheless, I’m very thankful to God that my husband is such a sweetheart, he is sensitive. gentle and very kind to me. Also hes very open to going to church. I pray His desire and hunger for God causes Him to surrender completely to Jesus.

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