Live with her in an under-handed way, wait, no….under her….yea, live way under her

(I know I said this was not my M.O. but doggonit….Rainey won’t stop, its him, not me)

Subtitle: How to make married life into a mobius strip

For many years, Tom Elliff and his wife, Jeannie, have taken time away from their normal routines to get away and be together. They read Scripture together, they pray, they talk, and have a wonderful time talking about their lives. 

Have I missed something? Was it not that reading scriptures together, praying together, and talk-talk-talking are supposed to be the prescriptions for a happy churchian marriage?

One year Tom decided to elevate the discussion and, in the process, open himself up in a way few husbands ever do. He developed his list of questions over a few months, basing them on issues he knew were of concern to Jeannie, and then sprung them on her at breakfast one morning during a retreat in the Rockies.

Good ole Tom. Like the pastor I mentioned below is Tom not simply adding more rungs on the emotional ladder men are “called to” climb?

Here’s the list (and my answers):

1. What could I do to make you feel more loved?

You cannot make her feel anything

2. What could I do to make you feel more respected?

Wives, respect your husbands

3. What could I do to make you feel more understood?

You cannot make her feel anything

4. What could I do to make you more secure?

Cure cancer? Make cats and dogs lay together?

5. What can I do to make you feel more confident in our future direction?

Turn over the rudder to her, then while going in circles and seeing the same stuff over and over she will feel secure

6. What attribute would you like me to develop?

Suck-uppy-ness, …..check

7. What attribute would you like me to help you develop?


8. What achievement in my life would bring you greatest joy?

Ask again later (The Magic 8 Ball)

9. What would indicate to you that I really desire to be more Christ-like?

Submit to me as Christ the church

10. What mutual goal would you like to see us accomplish?


Optional: Have I overlooked any question you would like for me to ask?

You’re probably thinking, There is absolutely, positively, no way I’m ever going to ask my wife questions like that. (Darn straight)

That type of vulnerability takes courage(or something)

When I interviewed Tom and Jeannie on FamilyLife Today®, I asked her how these questions made her feel. Jeannie replied that the first thing that crossed her mind was a sense of tremendous honor that her husband wanted to know how she felt about important issues in their lives. “I was almost blown away,” she recalls. “It was wonderful.(but, she failed to articulate it because she has no flipping idea except she felt “wonderful”)

Tom has reviewed these same 10 questions with Jeannie many times since that first breakfast. When Tom told me about this experience, I couldn’t help but think that it was a perfect illustration of 1 Peter 3:7, which instructs husbands, “You husbands likewise, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker vessel, since she is a woman; and grant her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life …”

No, it is not a perfect illustration. Its a perfectly horrible one but it is the most common.

Asking these questions, and actually listening to the answers, helps a husband understand his wife’s heart. It connects them in a deeper way, and makes them accountable to each other.

No, it doesn’t.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?(Jer 17:9)

The heart of the wise man lies quiet like limpid water.

This is the type of love, understanding, and leadership we are called to as men.

Dear, I will lead wherever you want to go. Let’s both follow YOUR heart.

It is an under-handed game to pander this much and call it anything but what it is.


14 thoughts on “Live with her in an under-handed way, wait, no….under her….yea, live way under her

  1. Funny how Christ never asked His disciples these kinds of questions. Nor does He ask the Church.

    And why does the Weaker Vessel get to pick the direction since that Vessel has no capacity to implement or achieve it?

    [The Personal Jesus does]

  2. Actually, you can “answer” several of those questions. Want to make her feel more secure, better loved, more confident in the future men? The answer is simple: ACT LIKE A MAN! A masculine man as her husband will achieve all those things, and more besides.

    And Ar10308 knocks it out of the park with his rhetorical question.

  3. Here, a follow up with 10 questions wives can ask their husbands.

    1. Would you like some sex?

    2. Do I respect you enough?

    3. Would you like some sex?

    4. Do I submit to you?

    5. Would you like some sex?

    6. Do I nag too much? (Rhetorical Question)
    [a question and answer both….love it when that happens]

    7. Would you like some sex?

    8. Am I too emotional?

    9. Would you like some sexy sex?

    10. What meal would you like me to make for you today, before we go to bed for some more sex?

  4. Good answers to the questions. I cannot (in a million years) imagine my husband asking me any of those questions.

    And we get away, we don’t read Scripture, LOL.

  5. Another meaningless list of things to worry about. When will these people realize that there are no gimmicks to save marriage–merely people who either have character or don’t? The Bible doesn’t promise that how we behave will affect how others treat us or see us–it merely tells us whether it is good or bad.

    And as we’ve discussed before, the list is never ending. As said following the first quote, praying together, talking, reading scriture–just opening the door, that.

  6. Sojourner:
    I would like to see some of these pastors come up with a list that men should be asking themselves. With questions like:

    1. What the hell do I get out of relationships with women anyway?

    2. Are ALL women this worthless and selfish?

    3. Aren’t there better women somewhere else?

    But I’ll bet those things won’t be asked since Christian ‘relationship counseling’ is a multi-billion dollar industry these days!

  7. The Bible doesn’t promise that how we behave will affect how others treat us or see us–it merely tells us whether it is good or bad.

    I was just contemplating this very thing. The simplicity of obedience, doing what is right, because it’s right, expecting nothing in return. Isn’t that a truer true test of Christian faith in mariage? That we don’t grow weary in doing well?

    It rankles me that these Christian leaders are training women to use our feelings as a gauge of anything. We already do that enough and cause tremendous damage to most everyone in our paths when this tendency is allowed to go unchecked.

  8. I would like to ask Rainey why he thinks women actually have any feelings involving men at all.

    Actually, by Rainey’s words it doesn’t appear he is at all concerned about her feelings involving men, per se. He is concerned about her feelings…..period. How she achieves them, through the man, through the world and acting on impulse, through food, whatever….no matter….and the idea that she be told to rely on God primarily for spiritual nurture as primacy escapes him. Why? Because he knows how stupid it would look to make a list like that for Christ Himself to answer to the woman about.

  9. The funny thing is, his questions reflect a fear that her commitment is only as good as his performance. If only he served his God as well as he does his wife…

    [of course he fears as much, leading to an infinite black hole of needs to meet, in fact a man like this would be lost if lacking such needs]

  10. Empath:
    Rainey also made a very peculiar statement regarding men:

    “This type of vulnerability takes courage.”

    The image that springs into my mind is the kind of courage required to commit suicide. In fact, I get the very distinct impression that Rainey’s male audience is largely at that same point of desperation—where they are willing to grasp at any straws to make things work.

  11. Elspeth:
    Most of these types of ‘experts’ only go by feelings and have no understanding of how things work in reality. You never hear—even in the Manosphere— much talk about gender polarity; but it is an essential concept.

    Basically, sex and sexual attraction is energy. All energy operates on a polarity—a male and female pole are terms even used by electricians! What people don’t understand when they talk about women being ‘the weaker vessel’ or ‘female submission’ is that a female’s sexual power comes from submission and reception—the same way a negative pole works on a battery. When the circuit is completed, even life can be created—but when the two poles are the same all that happens is a short-circuit and everything fails.

    Both men like Rainey and the Feminists don’t understand this principle—which is just simple physics—because they can’t read past the literal meanings of these terms.

  12. On polarity….Eric did you read Elder George’s book? “Dear Brothers and Sisters” I forget the subtitle but its a good book. Google it. He talks of this nature. The masculine is the force and the feminine the receptive. He speaks of inertia without mentioning the word whereby a glass sitting on the table will just sit there until a force moves it. The force is the masculine the glass and its inertia the feminine. He is a bit spiritual guru-ish but his book is well done and gets at the matters at hand. I got to know the guy pretty well ten years ago and wrote something for his site back then. The guru stuff chased me away, but I recommend his stuff none the less despite the fact it’s stuff we all know anyway.

  13. I read these questions on a facebook status saying what “husband should ask his wife.” I had a problem since it didn’t ask what they both should do. It was a very one-sided discussion that I wanted no part of. The women (no surprised) praised the discussion until one said should they ask their husbands the same thing. Then the discussion went further down hill.

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