That title got you, didn’t it? I confess I am smiling as I think of how many women clicked on today’s blog because of the title. Who among us does not want to know how to change her husband’s mind about something? Maybe you want to obtain something, to go somewhere he doesn’t care to go, or to get your own way in some other circumstance. Those are rather self-centered and I would even say light-hearted reasons women try to change his mind; but there are also some very serious reasons women ask this same question.
In a counseling situation a woman may ask me how to change her husband’s mind when she does not agree with a decision he has made about some issue regarding finances or family. Often, the couple has fought about the issue and communication is strained or non-existent at that time. She sees her position as righteous and may even give me Scriptural support for it. My counsel in such situations is (usually) as follows:
My first piece of counsel is to examine yourself. Thinking back on the discussion or argument, did you communicate respectfully with your husband when presenting your point? In the heat of the moment it is easy to become so impassioned about the issue that words and tone of voice quickly get out of hand. Were you speaking honestly? Did you use the dreaded “you always” or “you never” as you interacted with your husband? We tend to use “always” and “never” for dramatic emphasis and rarely do we use them appropriately. How true is it that your husband never does that certain thing you want him to do? Can he really always ….? Both of these words are very concrete. I call them 100% words because in their literal meanings they are very specific and mean in every circumstance without exception. No matter how inflexible a person may seem, rarely does someone “never” or “always” say and do the things we accuse them of when we are angry at them. So, examine yourself for where you went wrong and where you sinned against your husband in the discussion.
When you have found the logs in your own eye (Matthew 7) you have to deal with your own sin through confession and repentance before God and then go to your husband and admit your wrongs to him. It is very humbling to strongly believe you are right about something and still have to confess you were wrong in how you went about it. Asking his forgiveness for your sin will go a long way in gaining his ear for future discussion.
Here is a little aside: I know some of you reading this are in unequally yoked marriages or are married to a man who is truly unreasonable or abusive. No counsel is “one size fits all” and it is impossible to write something that addresses every situation in one blog post. However, much of what is written here is still applicable to you. Self-examination, confessing your sin, and seeking restoration with your husband will allow you to live peaceably in your own skin, regardless of how he responds.
My second piece of counsel is to prayerfully consider making a biblical appeal to your husband on the issue. I don’t hear much about this anymore, but I believe it is a wonderful approach to take when you are at an impasse over something and you find you cannot let the matter go. A biblical appeal is a request made to your husband for the purpose of presenting information that will hopefully lead him to change his mind about a decision he’s made. A biblical appeal is not an argument, fight, or a manipulation. A biblical appeal is what a wise woman undertakes when she believes that her husband’s conclusion is wrong, or sinful. The purpose is to help her husband, or to give wise counsel in aiding him to make the best and most God-honoring decision possible, not merely to get her own way.
A biblical appeal should be based on facts not emotions. Just because a wife “feels” her idea or plan is better does not make it so. Before making the appeal, it is wise to research the subject and be ready to provide concrete data to support your position. Be prepared to present the reasons you disagree with his decision and then propose a different plan, idea or a solution. Be smart is choosing the right timing for your appeal; you don’t want to be rushed. Answer his questions with facts not feelings. Listen carefully to his point of view and for details you may have missed in your original discussion.
Once you’ve made your appeal trust God for the outcome. Regardless of what your husband decides to do, a wise woman will agree to go along with the decision that has been made and support him in it.
Another aside: I am assuming that the husband is not asking his wife to consent or be supportive of sinful decisions. If your husband has decided to do something illegal or immoral you cannot go along with his decision, even when told you must submit to his authority.
God is the ultimate authority, not your husband and you cannot honor God by consenting to commit sin with your husband. If he intends to go forward with something you are convinced is sinful you should seek outside counsel from your pastor or other wise biblical source.
Support should be genuine and include prayer for success, encouragement, and a willingness to be helpful in accomplishing the objective. To continue to bring up your disagreement with the decision and tell him how he should do it your way is called nagging. Don’t do that. You are only responsible for how you conduct yourself in these kinds of situations. Your husband may stick to his plan despite your appeal. In this case, trust God is working out things for your good and His glory, despite how it looks right now.
Making a biblical appeal is not easy, but it is always an option for a woman. Be wise and careful as you prepare to go forward, praying for the right heart and motives and that God would be honored by your words and your actions.