When Your Husband Sins

If you’ve been following along this week on the blog, you know that I’m posting a few articles sharing ways to build unity and cultivate intimacy with your husband. If you missed my first blog post in this series, you can check it out here. I’m using the acrostic APPRECIATION, and today I’m picking up with the letter “C” for those of you who may need direction in confronting a husband who is in bondage to a sinful behavior.

C – Communicate Honestly, with Humility

Be sincere in communicating with your husband, rather than conveying false words of affirmation. If there is a sin issue which needs to be addressed, don’t enable him to continue in his sin by ignoring or covering it up, but demonstrate true love by gently and humbly confronting him.

Scripture instructs us to humbly and lovingly confront the sin of a fellow believer–even if that believer is our husband–as a brother in Christ (Galatians 6:1-2; Matthew 18:15-18).

Seek the Lord first. Spend time in prayer and the Word asking God for His direction and timing before holding this conversation. Be sure your desire to confront stems from the motive of spiritual restoration for your husband, and not from the motive  to “fix things” so they’re more to your liking.

Search your own heart to see if there are areas of sin that need to be confessed to God and perhaps to your husband (Matt. 7:5). As difficult as it will be, in order to confront your husband, you will need to extend the same grace and forgiveness you’ve received (Ephesians 4:31-32).

Before confronting, release unrealistic expectations. Depend on the Holy Spirit to bring conviction rather than your words. Determine that once you’ve voiced your concerns, you will leave this in the Lord’s hands.

If your husband remains unrepentant in sin, and that sin reaches a level that requires the intervention of spiritual leadership, you will need to follow the process of confrontation as outlined in Matthew 18:15-18. Biblical submission by the wife does not leave her without recourse if she is being sinned against. Biblical submission includes the humble confrontation of her husband, and the instructions for dealing with sin within the body of Christ apply to him.

“Better is open rebuke than love that is concealed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend . . .” (Proverbs 27:5).

Have you ever respectfully confronted your husband? Or, is this a totally new concept to you?

Originally posted 11.24.10 at


  • Kay

    Such wise advice, Kim. So many people who buck against the principle of submission and respect do so because they think those biblical concepts leave a woman no recourse in the event of a husband’s sin or abuse. As you’ve pointed out, that’s just not biblical. Thanks for stating this concept so biblically and graciously.

  • Jen Griffin

    Love this, Kim. I am so thankful for God’s word and how it truly is a light on the path, showing us how to live. It’s hard to remember sometimes that our husbands are also our brother’s in Christ if they know the Lord. I love that you can confront in love and still remain submissive and honoring in marriage.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Thank you Kay and Jen,

    Your words are so encouraging!May we all faithfully live out these biblical truths for the sake of the gospel and God’s glory!

    Praying for each of you now!