When Not to Listen to a Woman
Updated: Jan 15, 2020
One common complaint among women about men, married women especially, is that men don’t listen to them. They say that their husbands don’t value their opinions. And it does not matter what they think, men always do what they want to do.
As a man, I can say that this is true for most men. Most men, for the most part, have this “I got it,” mentality. They believe that they know best. “What does the woman know, anyway?” they reason.
There’s an eminent danger when a man thinks that he knows it all and will not listen to his wife. Any man who would not heed his wife’s advice or opinion is bound for failure. After all, God Himself says after creating Adam that, “It’s not good that man should be alone.” If Adam had it all figured out, God would not have made Eve. One of a woman’s innate ability is her ability to see or perceive things a man overlooks.
Now, while it’s dangerous for a man not to listen to his wife, it’s equally dangerous, (if not worse) for a man to listen to everything his wife says. A man that listens and heeds every advice his wife gives is as doomed as one who does not heed any of her advice.
When then should a man not listen to a woman?
1. When a woman’s idea is an outright defiance against God’s instructions, warnings or word – Adam and Eve (Genesis 3)
A man should not listen to a woman when her idea goes against the grain of God’s instructions, warnings or word; especially when it leads to physical or spiritual death. God told Adam not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but Adam disobeyed God by listening to Eve. If Adam had not listened to Eve, the whole of creation would not be the way it is now.
A man should not take his wife’s advice when she advises him contrary to personal instructions given by God. Neither should he heed any advice contrary to God’s Word – the Bible. It takes a strong, discerning man to know what advice is contrary to God’s instructions or Word. For the most part, most women mean well when they advise their husbands, even when it’s contrary to God’s instruction. So, it’s possible for a woman to advise her husband contrary to God’s instructions, and not realize it. For instance, when Eve gave Adam the forbidden fruit, she probably didn’t think she was doing him evil.
Not listening to a woman when she advises him contrary to God’s instructions requires some effort on a man’s part. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Women are very, very influential and convincing. Even to the point of being manipulative. A woman can make a man do almost anything, and make it look like it’s his idea. If you don’t think so, ask Adam. A woman can do anything to have her way. Cry, whine, sulk, stroke your ego, and even use her body, if she has to.
The fact that Eve could convince Adam to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, tells you how influential and convincing women are. I mean, this was Adam in his pre-Fall state; when he had all of his physical, mental and spiritual faculties in place; this was before sin entered the earth. This was when everything in him, the trinity of his person yearned for God; when he had the capability to act like God. Yet, Eve was able to convince Adam (perhaps without much conviction in this case) to disobey God.
Think about it. If Eve could convince Adam before the Fall to disobey God, how much chance does a man have after the Fall, to withstand the power of a woman’s influence and her ability to convince or even manipulate? Even King Solomon, in all of his wisdom, was not wise enough to discern or withstand the manipulative, convincing, influential power of a woman’s tongue! Against God’s warning, he married foreign women (idolaters), who turned his heart against God, and after their gods.
Besides Adam and King Solomon, the Bible is full of examples of men – godly men – who disobeyed God by listening to their wives or women. And every time a man listens to a woman against God’s instruction, generations to come suffer for it!
Think about how wonderful this world would be if Adam had not listened to Eve, and eaten from the tree God warned them not to eat from. Also, if Abraham had not listened to Sarah, against God’s instruction, we may not have the ever-present, never-ending struggle in the Mid-East, and even now terrorism. The Arabs and the Jews are cousins. The Arabs are descendants of Ishmael, Abraham’s illegitimate son by Sarah’s maid, Hagar. The Israelites are descendants of Isaac, his son by Sarah his wife.
God prophesied the present-day Middle-East conflict right after Hagar conceived Ishmael:
Behold, you are with child, and you shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because the Lord has heard your affliction. He shall be a wild man; his hand shall be against every man, and every man’s hand against him… Genesis 16:11-12
You see, God had promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations. But after waiting several years, his wife Sarah considering her old-age told Abraham to sleep with her maidservant, Hagar, so that he may have a child as promised by God. But because God’s promise to Abraham was to be through Sarah and not Hagar, God had to bless Ishmael, but still fulfill His promise about Isaac through Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 16:1-6).
2. When a woman’s idea leads to sin – Joseph and Potiphar’s wife (Genesis 39)
When Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, he ended up in an Egyptian officer’s house, Potiphar. Joseph found favor with his boss, and he was made the chief servant. But Potiphar’s beautiful wife had other ideas for Joseph; she had her eyes on him. But Joseph refused her sexual advances.
Joseph did not give in to Potiphar’s wife’s advances not only because he thought that would be a betrayal of his master’s trust, but because he knew that a man that sleeps with another man’s wife sins against God. In fact, King Solomon in Proverbs 6:27-29 likens a man that sleeps with another man’s wife to a man who goes to bed with fire in his bosom.
And it came to pass after these things that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.” But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand…How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” -- Genesis 39:7-9
What if Joseph had slept with Potiphar’s wife when she tried to lure him to bed? I wonder if God would have used him to deliver his people in the famine that God knew was to come. Satan knew God’s plan for Joseph’s life, that’s why he tried to use Potiphar’s wife to derail that plan. But he failed.
Knowing how vulnerable men are to sexual sins, King Solomon, perhaps speaking from experience, warned his son (and us) to beware of the flattering tongue of a seductress or adulteress. In fact he took three chapters (Proverbs 5, 6 and 7) to warn his son (and anyone who cares to listen, really) about the seductress; warning earnestly not to listen to her flattery:
Say to wisdom, ‘You are my sister,’ and call understanding your nearest kin, that they may keep you from the immoral woman, from the seductress who flatters with her words. -- Proverbs 7:4-5
For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. -- Proverbs 5:3-4
Also, it took a woman (Delilah) to make Samson fall and go against God’s instruction. God had told Samson not to cut his hair, that the day he cut his hair, he would lose his strength. Delilah cajoled and pressured him to tell her the secret of his strength, which was in his hair. Revealing this secret to Delilah later cost Samson his life (Judges 16).
Imagine how much Samson could have done for God, had he not listened and yielded to Delilah. He probably might have lived longer and done more for God than he did, had he not given in to her pressure and sweet talk.
What if Job had listened to his wife when she advised him to curse God and die, because of his affliction? (Job 2:9-10). I wonder if God would have restored back to him two fold, everything He lost.
Knowing the influential power of a woman, Satan often uses a woman (besides, money, power and fame) to get at a man to thwart God’s purpose. Satan is aware of man’s importance to the plan of God. Not because man is superior to woman, but because of the role of a man to the plan of God. In the natural realm, it takes a man’s seed to keep a natural posterity; i.e., a seed reproduces after its kind. So it is in the spiritual realm. It takes the spiritual seed of a Man (Jesus) to keep the spiritual posterity of God to redeem mankind from sin.
As a result of this, Satan has always been after the male seed. He uses all kinds of things to hinder a man from achieving his purpose on earth. For instance, he influenced Pharaoh to make a decree shortly before Moses was born that every Hebrew male child born should be killed, in order to control their population. But what his real intention was to kill the deliverer of the Jews. Similarly when Jesus was born, Herod decreed that all children two years and younger be killed. Why? To kill the Deliverer of mankind; and thwart God’s redemption plan!
The bottom line is that Satan uses anything, any person to make a man go against God’s instruction, all in an effort to make man sin against God and not achieve his purpose on earth. And sometimes I wonder; what if Jesus Christ had yielded to Satan and bowed down before him when Satan promised Him all the riches of the world? His purpose to go to the cross to die for the sin of the world would have been aborted.
In closing, let me say that a woman’s influential power is not evil in itself. In fact, it is a God given ability to turn a man towards God, when and where he turns away from God. It is a gift meant to steer a man towards righteousness and not unrighteousness; towards obedience to God, and not disobedience. But this ability, like everything since the Fall of Adam, has been perverted. However, Jesus restored this ability at Calvary.
Therefore, what a woman has to do is be aware of her influential power and be mindful to use it to God’s glory. That is, use it to motivate a man towards his purpose, towards godliness and not ungodliness. A woman’s testimony of her use of her influential power should be like that of Esther – a woman who used her influencing power to God’s glory. Not like Jezebel, whom the Bible says instigated Ahab, her husband, into sinning against God.
But there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do wickedness in the sight of the Lord, because Jezebel his wife stirred him up. 1 Kings 21:25
Now, to the men, I say, “Seeing the devastation of disobedience to God’s Word, and the reward of obedience, let us be careful to weigh every advice, so as not to transgress God’s Word.” And seeing that we are encompassed by a cloud of witnesses of men in the Bible who resisted the devil and all that he had to offer, tells us that through the power of the Holy Spirit, we too can resist the devil and all that he has to offer.
Therefore, men (especially husbands) I adjure you, before you yield to any advice from a woman, consider first what God has told you to do; realizing that God holds you responsible not the woman. And if the advice is contrary to God’s instruction, will or Word, you just might have to say like Job said, when his wife told him to curse God and die, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks…” Job 2:10
May God give us all the strength to say no to any ungodly advice whether from a woman or man, but “Yes” to His will. Amen!