If a man has no accountability, should his wife hold him accountable?
In my opinion, it depends on what area he needs the accountability. My general counsel is that a wife should NOT serve as her husband’s accountability partner to monitor internet usage. I would encourage the husband to have a couple of other men who ask him the hard questions. Also, “Covenant Eyes” is a software program that provides excellent accountability. At the minimum, I would suggest that the husband have one older man to serve as a mentor who is committed to providing accountability, encouragement and prayer. This friend should be empowered to discuss any issue of concern that he has with the man’s wife.
However, if the issue is a general lack of spiritual leadership in the home, the wife should gently encourage and urge her husband to take the mantle and lead. Wives, you walk a fine line with this. How easy it is to become a nagging and complaining wife. This is extremely repulsive and will serve to demotivate your husband. However, wives, it would be beneficial to ask your husband what you could do to help him to better serve as a family shepherd. State very clearly and specifically what you would like for your husband to do and why. Express up front that you don’t want to nag him. Unfortunately, over the years, I needed several reminders from my wife before I started focusing on my role as the spiritual leader of our family.
Husband, you are the head of your household. Yes, your wife is called to respect and submit to you. However, your leadership is a servant-hearted leadership. You are to gladly do whatever would encourage and build up your wife. The Apostle Paul’s magnificent passage on marriage starts like this: “Submit to one another out of your reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21). All of us husbands are to rank ourselves under our wives and work diligently to love, cherish, and serve them.
Husbands, give your wives permission to admonish you. This is a mark of a Christ-like, humble person. Colossians 3:16 calls all followers of Jesus to this ministry: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
Wives, it is imperative that your admonition and rebuke comes from Scripture and not from your own wounded pride and preferences that you have. Proverbs 27:6 says that “faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.” Initially, I have always been defensive when my wife comes to admonish me about something I have done or failed to do in my leadership of the family. However, the gospel of God’s grace helps me to pull down my defense shields quicker and seek out the kernels of truth that I need to heed in order to become the man that God wants me to be.