Are Husbands Supposed to “Get Their Wives Ready for Jesus”?

There is nothing missing with women’s salvation that requires husbands to complete it.

Let’s say a guy who genuinely wants to follow Jesus reads this article, and now feels that he is being passive if he fails to correct his wife (and Stoudt does accuse men who don’t correct their wives of passivity). After all, his job is to sanctify his wife and get her ready for heaven, so he had better start looking for things to correct her for! He doesn’t want to fail at his job. His focus in the marriage, then, becomes looking for things that she is doing wrong. I can’t think of a better way to destroy intimacy.

 

Before I jump in, though, let’s address one big pushback I got. Women were saying,

But he’s just writing to men, just like you write to women–so what’s the problem?

I get it. What’s wrong with a post to men encouraging them to hold their wives accountable?

I have no problem with a post about how men should lovingly confront when something’s wrong. I have no problem with an article that says, “Men, let’s challenge our wives to be the best they can be this new year!” I’ve written the same thing about what wives should do!

But it’s not like the author was simply addressing this to men, but could just as easily have written it to women. No, this was a post that could ONLY be written to men because of the “why” behind it. He is saying that husbands correct their wives in order to get their wives “ready for Jesus.” This is not something that wives can do for husbands; he believes it’s a husband’s unique role.

Whoa. Back up that truck.

If husbands need to “get her ready for Jesus”, is she not ready for Jesus without her husband? Can Jesus not get her ready on His own? Is the husband ready for Jesus just as he is, but the wife needs his help to get ready?

Does that even make sense? Does this mean that single women are fully saved, but once we’re married we need husbands to complete our salvation? If so, it would be better to remain single!

There is nothing missing with women’s salvation that requires husbands to complete it.

Readers, Jesus saves me, not Keith. As Tim Fall wrote, my wife has a saviour, and it’s not me. And others have written well about why husbands are NEVER called to complete their wives’ salvation, so I won’t repeat those arguments too much.

But I must insist: This is a gospel issue, people. It’s not really a gender issue. And you DO NOT want to mess around with the gospel!

Jesus is all-sufficient for our salvation. He has already done the full work on the cross.

I doubt that Stoudt intended to promote heresy by implying that women aren’t fully saved, but by saying that women need their husbands to get them ready for Jesus, that is, intentionally or not, what he said. And distorting the gospel is dangerous. I’m reminded of something that Paul wrote in Galatians 1:6-9 (emphasis mine):

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse! (NIV)

Ladies, we do not need another mediator. We already have one.

For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 2:5) (NIV)

It is not a husband’s role to get her ready for Jesus. And because of that, this idea that husbands must “correct” their wives can be dangerous, too, both spiritually and relationally.

Let’s tackle the spiritual stuff first.

Are husbands called to “correct” their wives?

I have no problem with husbands and wives challenging each other, confronting each other, holding each other accountable, even rebuking each other. In fact, not only do I not have a problem with it–I would hope that we are doing this, lovingly, in our marriage!

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