A Husband Has 1 Of 3 Choices


In chapter 8 of our marriage book, How to Fight for Your Marriage Without Fighting with One Another, Dr. Raymond Force discusses the 3 choices that husbands have when faced with difficulties in a marriage. Here is a little food for thought from our marriage book.


A Husband Is A Gardener


A husband is a gardener and his wife is a garden. If he fails to take care of his garden, weeds of sarcasm, anger, bitterness, boredom, and resentment will start to grow. It is at that point that every man has one of three choices:


The husband can choose to change gardens by way of leaving his spouse.


Although it is an unscriptural choice, if a man wants to, he can choose to leave his wife. It is not what he signed up for, nor would this choice correlate with the covenant of marriage. But, if providence chooses to leave him to his own devices, he can walk away from his marriage.


The husband can keep his garden, yet grow bitter about the weeds.


I feel that most men in a less than perfect marriage, fall underneath this present category. Instead of making the appropriate changes in their lives, they will stay in the marriage, yet get bitter about the negative aspects of their wife and the relationship in general. Once this occurs, the man has started down the path of becoming a grumpy, negative husband.

Colossians 3:19 says:


“Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.”


The Lord gives this command because he is more than aware that a man’s temptation is to live selfishly, yet complain about the biproduct of living in such a manner. His primary weakness is to become disgusted with the very weeds that his lack of love has helped to grow. In my view, this is why many a husband grows into a negative husband.


The husband can start doing what it takes to prevent the weeds from growing in his garden.


Option number three is not only best, but scriptural, and it involves the husband serving his wife as he would his own interests and desires (Ephesians 5:28). Of course, as mentioned in the last point, he can choose to complain about the weeds, but that will do little to further the cause of happiness in his marriage. He will do more to endear success by taking sole responsibility for the state of his garden and serve his wife as he agreed to do when he made a covenant before God and others.

I find that many men are short sighted in that they fail to see that their actions have exposed their wives to their emotional vulnerabilities.  When they should have been focusing on the cause, they seem to become embittered about the effect. A failure to reverse this order will be the source of little or no progress in a man’s marriage. It will only serve as an impetus for a lukewarm relationship at best, and it will lead to the man coming across as simply a negative husband.

I have also seen that men will do more to fast-forward the problem solving process if they will ask themselves questions as such: If I had been sacrificially loving my wife from day one of our marriage, would she have ever felt so tempted to act in a negative manner to my behavior? Or, if I had been properly taking care of my garden in the first place, would these weeds of anger, sarcasm, unforgiveness, and resentment even be growing?

– Dr. Raymond Force III


For Individual Study Or Use As A Couples Devotional


Our marriage book, How to Fight For Your Marriage Without Fighting With One Another, has been designed for individual study as well as a couples devotional. With thought provoking questions at the end of each chapter, couples find our book a helpful resource to encourage healthy, forward-thinking conversation. For ordering information, visit our online resource center.

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Posted in Issues Relating to Husbands

275 comments on “A Husband Has 1 Of 3 Choices
  1. Amanda says:

    This really hit home with me. My partner is unsaved–he’s very stubborn & defensive & he has caused weeds in his garden by being selfish & living only for himself. I have reacted out of those weeds & basically we’ve been fighting over the same issues for 6 years now. We are at a breaking point. We have 2 young sons–ages 4 & 2. I DO still love him & pray for God to change him.i see the mistakes I’ve made in leading up to this–I don’t know if he sees his part. Do you have any advice for me? And could you please pray for our situation & that he will become radically saved? Thank you. Amanda

    • Amanda,

      A couple questions:

      1. Are you married?

      2. If not, how can you expect God to bless a relationship that is out of bounds with his Word. I do not ask this in a judgmental way, but these things need to be considered as I John 3:22 states:

      “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.”

      My concern is that you desire God’s blessings, but you are not under the protection of the marriage covenant.

      Thank you,

      Dr. Force

      • Amanda says:

        We are not legally married–we went about all of it completely wrong & now have 2 children. I know it does not line up with God’s word–& now things are so bad. Are you saying there is no hope then to salvage this relationship?

        • With God all things are possible, and, sometimes, He chooses to work in spite of our mistakes. For example, he brought Solomon out of the union of David and Bathsheba which was a relationship that started with adultery and murder, yet God crowned it with the glorious reign of Solomon.

          Jacob deceived his father, Isaac, yet God used that situation to accomplish His will.

          It should be understood, however, that many are tempting God by banking on His grace, and that is an error also as we are not to sin that grace may abound (Romans 5).

          The problem in this situation is twofold and presents a dilemma of sorts: 1. It is scriptural for a father to take care of his children 2. You are unequally yoked if you marry him

          Because of the children factor, you may need to lean toward them having a father that is active and present. And, if he is willing to enter into a marriage covenant knowing that you are a believer, then maybe Paul’s exhortation in I Corinthians 7:13 would apply when he said, “And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.”

          You may need to do the following:

          1. Come apart with the intent of marriage
          2. Work toward marriage by getting biblically based help
          3. During that time, be sure that your children’s father is active in the parenting process

          Food for thought. Though this is not a perfect situation, God has a perfect love and grace toward those that seek Him.

          Dr. Force

  2. complicated says:

    I entered my relationship without the consent of God and definitely outside of His will. Started very well as we often do but soon after the marriage began I noticed she would resist most everything designed to prosper us like saving money or respect. She seemed angry and spoiled all the time no matter how much I spent or did for her. Difficult is an understatement and over time I became bitter and started sleeping in other rooms. Throughout the marriage she’s been caught in lies, acted bipolar and narcissistic. I drove myself crazy thinking of ways to save my marriage but now she’s filed for divorce. I have since learned that the way we respond to offense can be as powerful or more than the offense itself. Says she still loves me but doesn’t want to be married. Will occasionally ask me out and even be intimate. She’s very confusing because she’ll go from that to being so angry. I also have lots of reasons to believe she’s seeing someone else. I love her but also know you can’t make someone love you. She’s told me throughout the marriage that she doesn’t deserve me and didn’t know how I managed to put up with her. I was stunned when she told me she wanted out and for me to take the kids and everything. She’s had a very rough life and has often made really bad choices. I’m just fighting to trust God and see what the end will be…..any suggestions?

    • You wrote:

      “the way we respond to offense can be as powerful or more than the offense itself.”

      This is a very good conclusion for you to come to. I can see you are learning.

      I would encourage you to be sure that you are not basing your happiness on her actions at this time. For some reason, when you allow your spirit to be dictated by her inconsistent actions, it allows the other person to feel a sense of control that they are not willing to release.

      I would greatly encourage you to read the first chapter of our marriage book, How to Fight for Your Marriage Without Fighting with One Another, along with chapter 6. You will find it to be greatly beneficial.

      Thank you,

      Dr. Force

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