When Men Lose Their Backbone at Home


Husbands, in the same way, live with your wives with an understanding of their weaker nature yet showing them honor as coheirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.  1 Peter 3:7

Men can be two different people. The man you see at work, with his friends,  or on the ball court is not necessarily the same man you observe at home. At the work place men can be driven and assertive, engaged, leading, and high energy. In their element they are confident and strong, like a lion. Conversely, when they get home many men transform into a passive invertebrate. Assertive and vocal with their friends, coworkers, and teammates, they are reduced to a passive blob with their wife and children. Sound a little extreme? Maybe so but there seems to be an epidemic among men where the wife is the leader and strong voice in the family instead of him. The results don’t seem to be better among Christian men. Christian men often remain passive at home, yielding to their wives to make decisions, direct the family, and train the kids. Christian men often leave it to their wife to handle the spiritual things of the family. God is not ok with this.

Men convince themselves that their primary purpose is to provide monetarily  for the family. Yet, no adult I have ever met has felt the greatest thing their father did for them was bring home the bacon. Men give much of themselves to their work  and hobbies and little of themselves to their family. Being masculine to most men means working hard and not being romantic, being sensitive to his wife’s emotional needs,and being vulnerable with his children. Many men are insecure and are not willing to be vulnerable and emotional, even with their family.

Why do men turn passive in the home? Most likely they just want to keep the peace. They are emotionally spent from work and they just want to do as little as possible emotionally at home. They avoid issues, tiptoeing around potential “landmines.” When they do finally voice their opinion it is ignored or steamrolled because the wife knows for better or worse, she is in charge.

Some men would read this and think they are giving their wife just what she would want, to be in charge. Most women I talk with tell me the opposite. Recently a lady in my office lamented: “I would love to be able to follow my husband’s lead but he prefers to let me lead. When I ask his opinion he tells me whatever I want to do.I not only want to follow I need to follow him. Yet, he will not lead.” Men opt out. They take the easy road and they are misguided into thinking that their wife is ok with that.

Adam was passive with Eve. When God calls Adam out for their sin He rebukes Adam for “yielding to his wife.” Adam is a wet noodle. He just goes along with what she desires. He doesn’t take a stand even though when God rebukes Him He is quick to mention He didn’t agree, that it was she who did it!

When men are passive at home, their wives respect for them erodes over time. They feel isolated and alone in overseeing the family and raising the children. The sons are robbed of an example of what it means to be a real man, one who is sensitive, vulnerable, and engaged. Their daughters often marry passive men because they have watched mom run the roost all their life. This is not how God intended it to be.

Now I am not saying that the husband is ruler and the wife and kids need to act like slaves. I am saying that men need to be present in the home in a direct and influential way. They need to be carrying the bulk of the load. They need to stand up for their wife and children where needed. They need to have the “hard talks” with their children and not just leave it to mom. They need to be a shoulder for their wife to cry on. They need to be quick to listen and slow to try and fix it. Men need to be engaged spiritually and emotionally with their family. It is not the woman’s job to take care of those things.

Families need men to grow a spine at home and stop just taking the path of least resistance at home. Men need to step up and lead their families. I find that most women are willing to let their husbands lead if they will just do so.

Here are a few things that would be great steps towards being the leader God has called the man to be:

  1. Pray over your wife and children.
  2. Be a good listener to your wife and do not try and quickly fix the issue
  3. Engage your wife and children in emotional subjects
  4. Be vulnerable and admit your faults and failures to your wife and kids
  5. Show your wife affection in front of the kids. Teach them how a man should treat a woman.
  6. Take your kids out on dates and listen to what they are going through.
  7. Do devotions with your family at the dinner table or before the children go to bed.

Step up men. Let’s be the leaders God has called us to be in our families.

5 thoughts on “When Men Lose Their Backbone at Home

  1. I really liked this Dax. One of the excuses I used for 45 years was what I saw from Christian men. It seemed to me that every Christian man I knew was a shy, sissy, retiring type. And most seemed to be ruled by their wives.

    It wasn’t until I walked into the church where I now serve(ironically because of a woman LOL), that I saw a church full of men…who were men. They loved God, their wives, and their families yet were tough, hard men clearly leading in their lives and families.

    One the other hand, I experienced and did just what you said in my first marriage, which failed after 25 years. I always thought she wanted to run the show, so I just sort of let her take care of the family stuff, and I just worked all of the time. Turns out that is not what she wanted after all.

    LOL, I ended up marrying that church girl, was saved, and now am striving to be the husband God would have me be. Which in itself has been a struggle for almost 10 years now. My wife was also married before, sadly to a very dictatorial and controlling man. So, she has been gun shy about men leading. We both know that is the way God ordained it, we just haven’t always been very good at it. But, since He is really the center of things much more than we are, He seems to be sorting things out pretty good as long as we stay out of His way

  2. I like your ideas on how a man can be a leader and example in his home!
    In situations you expressed in this article I think it is a great idea for couples to sit down and have a real conversation about why the husband or the wife is acting in such a manner. Perhaps it is a current situation that is bothering that spouse or something from their past or childhood that causes them to act that way. In a husband and wife relationship their needs to be a great deal of communication going on. It is great to see that their are wives who are willing to submit to their husbands!

    Take a look at my blog: loftforum.wordpress.com

    You’ll find similar themes like this on my blog. I hope you’ll stop by!

  3. I love this! I can say from experience that I was the one trying to bring God into my relationship. My ex didn’t care much; just believing in God was good enough for him. However, passive, he was not. He was agreesive, manipulative, and controlling. When I asked if he thought God would approve of his behavior, he said I should worry about myself because God loved him the way he was. He wanted to be a provider and a leader but when it was time to provide he HATED it and he only led me to the bedroom. He had no respect for me whatsoever. I know know that once you understand what God wants for a husband and wife, things become easier. Both sides are valuable and worthy. No one is to be a doormat, which is what I first thought the bible meant when it could women to be submissive. I think that part of the word can be confusing or alarming for some.

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