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Husband Under His Mother

How can a wife honor her husband as the head of household if he still behaves as though he is under his mother's rule.

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 ---Reva on 11/28/06
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To Whosoever has an ear to hear?

Despite the husband still clinging to his mother's apron this is what the Wife, in this matter, needs to get into her heart Eph. 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

....and despite the wife's lack of honoring her husband, this is a verse the husband needs to open his heart to: Gen. 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

If we can not receive God's Word into our hearts, on our own part, then we should not be in a Godly Relationship because we (separatly or together) are really not able to up hold the vows of such a relationship!!!!
---Shawn.M.T on 10/13/08


This is almost two years old,(Reva on 11/28/06 ) and people still are telling her what to do.

Betcha she is gone.
---Observer on 9/4/08

honor him and maybe by honoring you will build him default he is head of household ....but if he is not ruling/leading/heading up your home and youre ruled by his mother than your marriage is a fraud and is led by a 3rd party

sad how many men who are controlled by mothers who break them down where they become inept

...if you were aware of his mothers RULE in his life prior to marriage then you have no choice but to accept the circumstances you have placed yourself into honoring him and praying he will be delivered from this bondage

your husband, as head of the household, is ruled by Christ not mommie dearest
---Rhonda on 9/2/08

The 'young man' picked you because of your strength, another mother figure. He does not want to choose, because he can't. It sounds like you are at the crossroads. One out of two marriages hit the skids. I hear a cry for help. You want an adult. Is he mature enough to handle counseling? Or will this push his back to the wall, forcing him to make a choice that he's not equipped to do. You're changing the dynamics of the relationship after all these years.
---Anonymous on 9/2/08

crystal. Your doctrine on having to earn respect before you get any is not sound. God respected you before you before you earned it. The day I got married I respected my wife and she hadn't earned any yet. And even though you haven't earned my respect I do respect you. The Bible tell us to honour those in authority. There are no stipulations.
---john on 11/3/07

Reva, I prayed continuously for someone that hated me until the Lord released me from the burden. A few weeks later I knew it was taken care of. It was years later that this person changed but during the wait, I was not influenced by his actions because I knew God was in charge. Others didn't understand how I could love him anyway when he hated me so much, but it was God loving him through me. If you find it impossible to love your Mother-in-law anyway you should stay away from the tension.
---faye4464 on 12/21/06

It may seem as a rude statement by I have no reason to be rude to you, I know that for me to be a Christian I also must be a Christian to my Wife and that means she comes first and I must obey the word concerning her. You have to do that also laying down your own life for you husband as he should do for you. If he does not do his part it does not free you from yours.
---exzucuh on 12/20/06

Reva, I saw what a manipulative M-in-law did to my own mother. It's very hard. The only way my Dad could lessen the stuff was to move the family about 500 miles away. Hang in there. Trust the Lord in and through your husband... choose to love your M-in-law regardless of her actions, and PRAY...PRAY...PRAY. You're building jewels into your heavenly crown.
---daphn8897 on 12/20/06

Unless a person has lived with three in a marriage,meaning bossy Mom sticks her nose into what's not her business,they can't understand what turmoil it can produce in a family.Reva, no you aren't trying to manipulate your husband,but Mom is. Some mothers like that interfere in the hope of breaking up the marriage. They want sons all to themselves. I had one like that tell me"I'd be happy if all my boys (6 sons) got a divorce and moved right around me". Sad !
---Darlene_1 on 12/19/06

Reva,I'm so sorry you have a problem with your Mother-in-law. I feel so very fortunate. I was always very close to my ex-husband's parents and missed them very much when we divorced. Then my fiance was very close to his mother. They were friends and he called her every day. I realized that she was the reason I loved him so much. She made him what he was. He died the month before we were to be married but his mother is still Mom to me. I pray your Mother-in-law becomes your "Mom" as well.
---faye4464 on 12/19/06

exzucuh-I am not trying to manipulate my husband. I just do not enjoy feeling like I married his mother and that she is the leader of my family. Your comment was hurtful and rude.
---reva on 12/19/06

exzucuh, Your accusation is neither kind nor helpful, and gives no scriptural remedy to the situation. You throw out a term like "Jezebel Spirit" which is inflamatory and closes doors to counsel - because it is attacking and not inquiring.
---daphn8897 on 12/19/06

"Funny you should mention that, Mrs. Morgan. Men are treated more fairly. A professor told me if I would write from a man's point of view, I would have a higher grade. I tried it, my grades went up." --Not surprising!(lol) God Bless!
---Mrs._Morgan on 12/18/06

Funny you should mention that, Mrs. Morgan. Men are treated more fairly. A professor told me if I would write from a man's point of view, I would have a higher grade. I tried it, my grades went up.
---Anonymous on 12/18/06

What does that have to do with obeying the word of God it also says to honor your Mother and Father, Your problem is the same As his Mother you both want to manipulate his life and that is witchcraft,or a Jezebel Spirit.
---exzucuh on 12/17/06

It is so hard for me to understand this. Our children grow up and we have to give them the room to do just that. I have recently acquired a son in law, whom I love dearly. I told both he and my daughter before they married that I would always be here for them, but they have to come together for any counsel they may be seeking from me. I am a hands off mother in law. And I get to see them grow into the couple that God desires them to be.
---Dana on 12/16/06

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hope3895, In my heart I believe that MANY feel that way about me and other females here on CN(even some women,sad!), And I wonder if I should just leave CN? Men who are fervent in their beliefs, at times seem to be treated differently, more fairly. God Bless!
---Mrs._Morgan on 12/16/06

Why is it if Women open there mouth we are said to be hen pecking???God uses wisdom & women have it__ we must be open to Gods holy spirit if he says wittness to your husband then do so.. you mean to tell me we dont know how to wittness & it's then called hen pecking--
---hope3895 on 12/16/06

(I.)Reva, My heart goes out to you, It shouldn't be that way, isn't a part of God's perfect plan for marriage in which one leaves the dominion of Mom and Dad becoming as one with one's mate, BOUND TO EACH OTHER, having one mind and one accord(Genesis 2:24)...
---Mrs._Morgan on 12/16/06

(II.)...Reva, Your husband is attempting to make it 3 people of one flesh , and the Word says there's only 2 that make one flesh in marriage( husband and wife). You must discuss this with your husband , explain to him how it affects you/your marriage(in a frank yet non-argumentative way, You might need to KINDLY REFRESH his memory from time to time), then lay it on the alter before God, and close the case. God Bless!
---Mrs._Morgan on 12/16/06

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Reva, I know you have your hands full and there's never an easy road in that situation. May God give you strength,wisdom,and keep you and your marriage. God sees the effort you have put into solving this so don't dispair,he is with you and loves you much.Hope you have a blessed Christmas and New Year. God Bless you and move in your behalf to end this problem.
---Darlene_1 on 12/16/06

Reva, you are going to do the right thing, even if it means 'nothing', but keeping the peace in your family. As you've said, you are relying on God. May your Christmas be merry. :-)
---Trina on 12/15/06

Trina- and all, I really have enjoyed reading all the different responses. I am in a very touchy situation with my mother in law so you can see why I posted the question. I have talked to my husband about it several times and he is in agreement that his mother is "too involved" in our marriage. I am still praying that God would provide a divine revelation to my husband to see his role in our family. By the way, I have tried every single thing that everyone has suggested!
---reva on 12/15/06

Daphn 8897,thats how it got around to conversation,came about due to word henpecked. My dictionary didn't give that definitation , said to subject to persistant nagging or domination,that's a very interesting concept you gave. I'm open to learn something new and thanks it gave me a smile. Honestly I knew 6 sons like that,wives used different methods to try to get point across to them,the one that pointed out Mom's butting in several times had as much sucess as any other And they didn't divorce,it worked.
---Darlene_1 on 12/13/06

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Darlene, I thought you were referring to the term "conversation". Also, the term henpecked isn't in scripture... being as a "dripping faucet..." is. Once you know he's heard (not necessarily agreed with) your perspective. Then it should be left to the Holy Spirit - otherwise... you become like that "dripping faucet"....
---daphn8897 on 12/13/06

Daphn 8897, thanks for your concern,I'm not in cult, don't ignore all the meaning of the Bible Words,as you can see I search it out in depth. I feel we must live in the current time under what things are relevant to language now,yet giving full study to words beginnings. Believe age difference may be cause of different perception of what henpecked means. I ask a 73 year old and they agreed it's not henpecking to tell the husband whats going on,more than once,different generations see things differently.
---Darlene_1 on 12/12/06

Sorry for previous post. Wrong question!
---Not_Missing_Him on 12/12/06

And, by the way, I did NOT marry my husband to have my needs met. How many times do I have to say that my income is almost twice his? I married him because he was kind and thoughtful and claimed to love the Lord! He persued ME! HE LEFT! Now, last night he called asking me if he could come home. I said NO - not until I believe he is committed to this marriage - for better or for worse. I'm not missing him because he created so much contention by his need to control every little thing.
---Not_Missing_Him on 12/12/06

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Oppositional defiance is like wrestling an alligator. You may take the gator down to get the last word in, but it might bite you. The fight will leave you sitting high on a pile of words without a helping hand to pull you off.
---Debra on 12/12/06

Darlene, In order to understand the biblical context of a phrase, you cannot dismiss the former uses. If you do, then you are dismissing the author's God's intent... Since God does not change, neither has His intent.... "God bless"
---daphn8897 on 12/12/06

Darlene, My hope is that you are not willfully ignoring the content and context of God's word. If you are, you are on very dangerous ground... ground upon which many of today's cults stand. I certainly hope you are not that foolish.
---daphn8897 on 12/12/06

Reva, now that various sides have been aired, have you found a course of action that will work for you?
---Trina on 12/11/06

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daphn 8897, thanks for drawing my attention to that era's use of the word . I knew it means total life in word and deed. I looked up Strongs -conversation 391 and it says manner of life. I also went to the root words Strongs 303&4762 which means to,turn back and turn around. Latin also means to turn around. Dictionary says the form of word used in verse is obselete, and current meaning is to talk. Since we live by the current language I accept it not the obselete one or those obselete cultures. God Bless
---Darlene_1 on 12/11/06

Darlene, Actually, in the context of that passage, conversation refers to her whole way of being - not to speaking. How we understand conversation now is very narrow/limited compared to its historic use. One can have a conversation without uttering a word. Madison's counsel here is wise Reva. You've obviously brought the matter to his attention... so, let it go and let the Holy Spirit do His work. He's much better at it than we are anyway.
---daphn8897 on 12/11/06

Madison 1101,thanks, 1Peter 3:1,2 Likewise,ye wives be in subjection to your own husbands;that if any obey not the Word,they may also without the Word be won by the "conversation" of the wives,looks like it is speaking about subjection,not really silence since it says that husbands may be won without the Word by wives conversation, she couldn't be silent. Henpecking,no,giving truth.Since when does silence ever solve problems in marriage? God Bless
---Darlene_1 on 12/11/06

Darlene: Scripture also says, in 1 Peter, that if the husband does not believe, the wife can win him to the Lord without using words. I believe that silence can also be a useful tool for the wife in this situation. Telling the husband once, and then praying is my suggestion. To point out the husband's mistake every time, even lovingly, is nagging, or hen-pecking. Silence is golden.
---Madison1101 on 12/10/06

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Trina, whatever your opinion about what I say,there is one thing I don't do, and that is to say derogatory things about other people as you just have about me. If anyone has a problem with me giving the Word of God then they need to examine themselves and find out why. I will always stand upon the Word of God and follow that no matter what others think of me. God is who is important and His opinion of people who share His Word is plain. God Bless
---Darlene_1 on 12/10/06

I've watched you argue with others who do not agree with you until you grind them on down. You're henpecking me. I don't enjoy it, and I doubt any husband would enjoy it.
---Trina on 12/10/06

Trina,what I told Reva to do lines up with God's Word,so must not be so wrong if he thinks thats the way to do things. Galatians 6:1 Brethern if a brother be overtaken with a fault,ye which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness;considering thyself lest thou also be tempted. He has a big fault,hurting wife and letting Mom destroy marriage. Pointing out to him with kind loving statement,not contentiously, everytime Mom puts in, can help him see what he's doing.
---Darlene_1 on 12/10/06

Henpecking is "lovingly calling your husband's attention to the "crooked things" his mother does." If want to speed up the divorce process, this will be the ticket. This man's mother (parent) is #1, right, wrong or indifferent, he honors his mother. Reva knew that when they married. She's known that for years. She's probably had her fill. She can pray on her own for a change. The 'change' may be she can live with her decision of marrying the youngest son, sharing him with Mother.
---Trina on 12/9/06

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Reverse psychology discipline tips work with children. I would let him have his fill of Mother. I would remain strong, get involved with a hobby/interest I enjoyed. (Music, painting, church choir, etc.) Allow him to spend all the time with Mother he needs. I wouldn't raise one eyebrow at childish antics at Mom's house. (It's been going on for years, anyway). I wouldn't express my distress or jealousy. When the pressure is off, he may find you more interesting than Mother.
---Trina on 12/9/06

Madison1101, loveingly calling the husbands attention to the crooked things his mother does isn't henpecking which is persistent nagging and domination. What seems to be ignored is the prayer, and moving in love with kindness and gentleness covering whatever is said with God working too,not nagging but simple attention drawn to the tactics Mom uses. To sit mute is to condone or allow the sick tricks of mother to continue. As I said I know it works on some and thats better than doing nothing.
---Darlene_1 on 12/8/06

Darlene: No wife should henpeck her husband over anything. That is the job of the Holy Spirit, and the wife needs to mention once, lovingly, what the problem is, and then pray, pray, pray for the husband to obey God's word in this.
---Madison1101 on 12/8/06

Trina,sorry but you are mistaken.It isn't henpecking, it is enlightening,showing truth in the midst of the Mom's lies and I have seen it work. When you cover anything with prayer you invite God to work in the situation and He can make it work. It all depends on the attitude and spirit one takes when telling the husband. Love covers many things so they don't appear as anything harsh when spoken in love .God Bless
---Darlene_1 on 12/8/06

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That's right, do it over and over, henpeck the man until he runs home and lives with Mom. Uh huh, that would really (not) help.
---Trina on 12/8/06

Reva it seems you have tried so many things,and it is natural to become disheartened over the situation. Madison called it right,the mom is manipulative,and there is no one but you to point that out to your husband. Ask him if he can't see she is manipulating him with her tears,self pity, and do it every time she pulls a stunt like that. Do it over and over until it sinks in. Pray for God to prepare his heart to receive what you tell him and believe God will move. God Bless
---Darlene_1 on 12/8/06

Reva: If she cried and said that nobody loves her because he mentioned setting boundaries, she is a manipulative person, and your husband must develop a backbone and not let her manipulate him. That requires him to be aware of what she is doing and how she is doing it. That can be learned in marital therapy, if he would be willing to participate, but you did say he wasn't.
---Madison1101 on 12/6/06

Reva, You can gently remind your husband, that if he really loves his mother, he won't encourage the ungodly behavior she's showing, and far more importantly, he's allowing God's word to be compromised. Her feelings getting hurt isn't necessarily a bad thing - surgery hurts but it's to remove a far deadlier issue. Better a little pain/discomfort now than your family being destroyed.
---daphn8897 on 12/6/06

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She really is a controller. Are you married to Prince Charles? :p Reva, until the Queen steps down from the throne, Mummy wants to to rule the roost. Pray for ungodly soulish ties to be broken.
---Cindy on 12/6/06

I have spoken to my husband about this issue...again. I am also praying every day that God would reveal to him, his place in our family. So far, not much has changed but I always pray the answer and have faith that God's will is powerful. Thank you all so much, all of your advice is helpful.
---reva on 12/6/06

Husband told his mom that there have to be some boundries (she's a little over bearing). This has never happened before. She started to cry and said she might as well just die because no one loves her anymore...He apologized and life goes on.
---reva on 12/6/06

Cindy,thanks I missed the one on being friendly,but I'm not talking about manipulation at all,that would be to lie. I am sincere in saying make her a friend. I also seriously believe Reva should be more present in the relationship between husband and mother,a guarddog if need be. One point being don't give the Mom a chance to work on husband when alone. Her husband is commiting emotional adultry,which has nothing to do with sex,just giving attention owed one person to another instead.
---Darlene_1 on 12/5/06

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A renown Christian marriage counselor, states that even with pastoral/professional counseling, there is an 80% failure rate. The encouragement we can offer Reva is free. Divorce is on the rise. For the Christian, Jesus Christ has the knowledge and restorative power to resurrect a marriage. I suggest you meet with the "Counselor".
---anonymous on 12/5/06

Darlene, if you read Reva's earlier posts, she tried those tips. They did not work. Mothers can spot manipulation. Before we marry, the signs are usually there. Six or seven years down the road, they're neon, blinking off and on. This is where the rubber meets the road, facing the decisions we have made. For better or worse, to accept a 'mama's boy', mama, and all the flaws and thorns of the extended family.
---Cindy on 12/5/06

Reva, I'm going to give you a choice which may be hard to do. Break that Mom and Me bond by making it Mom makes 3. Make his Mom your friend, don't be pushed to the outside. If he goes to see her go with him. If he talks to her on the phone insist on saying hi to her yourself. Never let them be alone,establish yourself as just as important as Mom by always being near. Make it where if they discuss his and your life situations,you are adding your thoughts to theirs. Make the marriage real to her.
---Darlene_1 on 12/5/06

Madison, I certainly agree that counsling is helpful many times and I am all for it. Her question was how could a wife honor the husband with that situation still in operation,which is getting into subservience. I have known men like that and it is the hardest emotional tie to deal with, because often the husband is so tied to Mom the guilt of not listening to her is greater than the love for wife can overcome. It's difficult to get a man into counseling when he sees no wrong in himself.
---Darlene_1 on 12/5/06

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Darlene: I understand your concern for the advice that could lead someone into being a doormat. Unfortunately, that sometimes happens in marriages. There is submission and then there is subserviance. No woman should take abuse or mistreatment. That is why I encourage a spouse who is complaining about a problem to seek marital therapy, where both parties can discuss a problem and work toward a solution that is Biblical and amicable.
---Madison1101 on 12/4/06


My heart goes out to you! MPA "gets it." You should love and respect your husband to the very best of your ability because that IS biblical, but sometimes Christians forget the struggle. There is a battle between our flesh and our spirit. Husbands are COMMANDED in the scriptures to love their wives as Christ loved the church, and your fear is genuine and valid. You MUST NOT become a "slave" to his mother. You can respect your husband and still refuse to be bullied.
---Crystal on 12/4/06

Unfortunately, some mother's just can't let go of their son's. If her son chooses her that should be good enough. A mother should stay out of their children's marriage. If things are going bad the husband and wife should work it out together. Ephesians 5:31 tells us "a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and the two will become one flesh." You should talk to your husband and tell him how you feel. If you have to quote Ephesians 5:31. Good luck and God Bless.
---Norma7374 on 12/3/06

Madison thanks for input.I realize that, but felt wife should be reinforced-supported to know her complaint is valid and even according to Bible husband is in the wrong. Many try to browbeat wives with words, into accepting submissive behavior for her, no matter how bad the husband is acting. I don't believe God wants a woman to put up with mistreatment with a sumissive smile.God Bless
---Darlene_1 on 12/3/06

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Darlene: The original post was written by the wife, therefore, we should only be advising her as to her responsibility is in this dilemma. Her husband did not ask for our advice and to give him advice is a waste of time, and does not help the person who asked the question in the first place.
---Madison1101 on 12/2/06

Why is men are so hep on the wives submit and ignore the verse 1Peter5:5 -Yea all of you be subject one to another,-.? Also Ephesians 21:21&22 submiting yourselves one to another in fear of God.Then comes wives submit to husbands. Once again all are told to submit to oneanother and that includes husbands to wives but some ignore that and make it wives to husbands only. If proclaiming women submit,tell the whole story, really go by the Bible, use all of NT and tell husbands to submit to wives too.
---Darlene_1 on 12/2/06

I guess your right, we don't have to obey the Bible if the other doesn't....WHAT?

1 Peter 3 seems to suggest otherwise, and it's TALKING ABOUT UNBELIEVING HUSBANDS!!!
The Call of being a Christian COMES BEFORE BEING A WIFE OR EVEN AN EARTHLING, don't take me to your leader, he's the Father of ALL rebellion, the simple and awful truth is there is NEVER a clause to disobey God.

If you follow the advice of anyone telling to to disobey scripture you'll suffer and that's a promise.
---Pharisee on 12/1/06

Your life is not about comfort or perfect situations, THERE ARE NONE, but what your life is about is God's glory if you're Christian.

Submission inspires a man to be more than he ever has, a wife who genuinely admires her husband makes a tiger out of him, and MAYBE IT"S REALLY NOT ALL HIS FAULT - if he didn't face rebellion from his wife he could leave Mommy. It's unfortunate, this would mean to be a good woman you'd have to assume a lower position. Isn't that what Jesus did by becoming a man?
---Pharisee on 12/1/06

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Bible is clear about husbands duty ,Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and cleave unto his wife;-. Leave Strongs 05800 to leave,loose,forsake,leave behind,let go,of his parents.Cleave Strongs 01692 to cling,stick,stay close,keep close,stick to,stick with,follow closely,join to,overtake,catch what a man should do to his wife. A man isn't head of household with his head in his mother's,he disobeyed Bible and broke covenant/contract,forsaking all others includes parents.
---Darlene_1 on 12/1/06

Respecting one's husband is biblical, but so is putting one's wife before one's mother. When a man marries she must come before his mother. When he has children they will also have a greater importance in his life than his mother will have. In other words, his mother will get pushed further down the line of importance to him, whilst he will still honour his parents as scripture states he should. Parents also must 'not provoke their children to wrath'.
---m.p.a. on 12/1/06

Reva, be the first to break the mold. Stand up for yourself and your sisters-in-law will thank you for it. They probably all feel exactly the same but feel that they must do as others do, rather than as they would wish to do. No-one, man or woman, should feel like a doormat.
---m.p.a. on 12/1/06

Reva, I think I hear you saying, "How dare he let her treat me this way..." There is a difference between being submissive and being a doormat. The doormat is a victim. The one being submissive is intentioned and purposed in heart. It is good to challenge your husband, privately and lovingly - encouraging him to lead. Perhaps it's time to examine your own agendas and heart issues. Threats and ultimatums rarely if ever bring reconciliation.
---daphn8897 on 12/1/06

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And, Chrystal, It is obvious by your reply that you don't get it. We are to respond based on scripture, not our emotions or opinions. Whether or not you feel like respecting someone doesn't negate the biblical mandate to do so. Your response to Reva is not helpful, but encourages a prideful attitude rather than a godly one.
---daphn8897 on 12/1/06

Crystal-I do fear that I will become a doormat because, my husband has three brothers and all of their wives have submitted to my mother in law. To me, they look like doormats and their husbands do not stand up for them.
---reva on 12/1/06

His back would be against the wall. He does not want to be placed in a position to make that choice. The mother/son bond is too great. This calls for the power twins. Prayer and fasting. At this point, you're shaking up the relationship boundaries. God can bring a change when man cannot.
---Anonymous on 11/30/06

"I am unable to respect someone who is not respectable."

If you went into the Army with that attitude you'd be thrown in the brig sooner or later.
So What?
So if we read through Paul's letters to the churches he establishes order among God's people and gives commands as to how best bring glory to God in our relationships.
So what?
So does the stance bring about the desire God has or the desire Crystal has?
Christian = follower of Christ.
---Pharisee on 11/30/06

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"I am compromising to keep the peace."

Why would you feel that way when what you're doing is following Christ?

When you take on life Jesus' way and in Jesus' name you have traveling partner with the key to every door who wants to use this to build your faith in him and deepen your relationship with him.

If anything you take hold of the situation. You can be controlled by your circumstance or you can take control over yourself and bring God into the fray.
---Pharisee on 11/30/06

I did not miss the point. I know what you are saying, but I am unable to respect someone who is not respectable. And, Reva, you can honor your husband without having your feelings trampled. You do NOT have to be a doormat, nor do you have to agree with him. He should know how you feel about this situation, because you should explain it clearly - with respect.
---Crystal on 11/30/06

Annonymous-I have presented the idea of counseling and he won't go because he doesn't want to talk about his mom behind her back.
---Reva on 11/30/06

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