Managing Your Wife: Eating and Health

This is Part 3 in the Managing Your Wife series, which has dealt previously with emotional outbursts, and finances.

It is almost a stereotype that after a couple has been married for some years, the wife balloons up in size, and makes herself quite unattractive to him, and quite unhealthy. You don’t have to look far to find real life stories that meet this cultural model, and as usual, the husband in the marriage feels as if there is little he can do about it. Men have either been taught they are “friends” with their wife, or they’ve been taught the laid back, sissified version of headship, where they really do not jump in and tell their wives what to do. Either one of those bad ideas leave men helpless in the face of this and other problems. They may have other things in their lives which make them content, but their wives are not one of them.  

Since marriage in reality includes real authority by the husband, only misinformed husbands will think they have nothing they can do when it comes to their wives’ weight or health. A husband who knows his authority will understand that he manages his wife with real rules and commands, and he can use that in any domain in life. He is not helpless to watch his wife let herself go like that, and no longer be attractive at all. A man certainly does not need his wife to look like a model or a fitness freak, but he has every right to expect her to be attractive to him, and reasonably healthy. He should not be repulsed by the idea of making love to her, or be shocked by the woman she has become. He simply steps in and can fix a problem if he sees it arising.

The most obvious ways to ensure that a wife doesn’t abuse food, and spend too much time in inactivity, is to respond when the problem arises with either an exercise routine for her, a diet, or both. He should make sure she is able to spend more time with activities on her feet, and cut out any excessive sitting around. He should be aware of what her eating habits are, and cut out any excess, or supremely fattening foods. She should not be hiding food or sweets to eat whenever she feels like it. Sweets should not be a daily thing. A man who is running a household to honor God, will make sure that both he and his wife fast from time to time, which also has health benefits. Just refrain from food or any high calorie drinks for a full day or more, and the benefits both spiritual and physical are very good.

I’ve never had to monitor this kind of thing too highly in my home. I’ve never had to put my wife on a diet. I did once, early in our marriage, catch her hiding a stash of sweets in the closet. I quickly made her get rid of it, and since she knows the rules of our home, I spanked her for disobeying them. That’s the only time. It helps in not having to worry too much about health that we generally all keep on our feet. We don’t spend much time on the couch. We don’t watch television. The children spend plenty of time outdoors. My wife and I work in the garden, and I do other yard work. We fast. We may have big dinners most of the time, but we limit sweets to certain occasions, avoid sodas, and eat many fruits and vegetables. If you lead an active lifestyle, and don’t overindulge, it’s really not hard to avoid serious obesity. 

A husband’s management of his wife’s health includes making sure that she deal responsibly with any health problems or medications. She should not refuse medication when needed, and she should receive any needed treatment for her conditions. This is not a problem for most couples. However, a wife who is irresponsible, or who has a negative attitude towards treatment, may place herself in danger by rejecting it. In my own life the only people I have met who responded like that were Pentecostals, who without any evidence, had been told they’d been cured of a disease by a “healer.” They literally threw out their medicine, or they stopped seeing their doctor. Yet they still had the disease or injury, and saying it was gone did not make it gone. I realize there are some medical treatments whose effects are minimal, or which are even pseudo scientific at best, but in general organic illnesses and injuries do need treatment. This is especially true if they are serious, where letting the body handle it would be much riskier, and involve a longer time to heal and much more pain. 

The opposite is also true. When it comes to health — whether spiritual, mental, or physical — a man needs to assure his wife is not pumping herself full of needless pills, or abusing mind altering drugs. She should not be popping medication simply to feel good. This is practically epidemic in the West, where anyone who is diagnosed, often immediately, with a mental problem is put on medication. It could be stress. It could be tiredness. I could be sadness. They can medicate nearly any negative feeling, and much of it simply is not necessary. Some of it is habit forming, and has various dangerous side effects. A husband needs to make sure that any medication is necessary, for a real illness, and not simply to feel good. The human soul is meant to deal with any number of bad experiences in life, and it is normal and natural to have some negative emotions. Feeling bad is not a disease. When we rely on God, the human soul, love, and the community, we often find peace throughout any trials we undergo. Medicating unhappiness is not a necessity, and it can be bad for the health. 

A wife should not abuse drugs or alcohol either. She should drink in moderation if she does at all. With alcohol, it is also important that she only drink in an environment of virtue, such as around close family, and not in an environment in which men would seek to take advantage of her. If she is drinking outside the home, the husband should be with her. Whether at home our elsewhere, he needs to make sure she does not go beyond a reasonable limit, which is easy for some women, and hard for others. Much possible abuse of alcohol and some “soft” drugs can be easily dealt with by the husband’s authority, through his counsel, household rules, or discipline. However, in the case of serious addiction, it is common that he may need other help, and other techniques to remove her from the grip of a substance which enslaves her. The human will should be free to act, and not domineered by a chemical. 

My wife recently has been asking me if she thinks she is getting fat. This is the first time in many years. In essence, it asks if she is no longer as skinny as she once was. I assured her, in all honesty, that it’s normal for a woman to have a little padding, and she’s just not as skinny anymore. God designed women to have a few curves. If I thought it was unattractive, or unhealthy, I said I’d tell her. The standards of beauty or health are not to be rail thin. However, I also told her if I thought you were getting big in any unattractive way, or dangerously obese, I would tell you immediately, and I’d put you on an exercise regimen and run your butt around the block*. It’s as simple as that. Any man can do that in their marriage if they see the problem arise. He should be pleased by the sight of his wife, and not repulsed by it. He also has a serious responsibility when it comes to her health. 

*In many areas it is safer to run your butt on a treadmill, since actually running it around the block might get you abducted, robbed, raped, or killed. 

When women are not motivated to stay healthy, or look decent for their husbands, that is where discipline can come into play. Even a wife who is willing to live a healthier lifestyle often gives up on a diet, or is too lazy to get more physical activity. A husband’s firm hand or paddle on the behind is an excellent motivator. It cuts through any excuses or procrastination, in this arena or any other. If a wife has been breaking the rules of her eating or exercise, she will learn there are immediate and serious consequences for it. Health or weight are usually long-term projects. Once the man sets the goals, he can check up on his wife once a week and make sure she is staying on schedule, and meeting those goals. If she has been falling seriously short, a spanking will give her the motivation she needs to proceed. Long-term goals require perseverance, and the rewards are not always immediate for your hard work. It is easy to slack in the long run. With regular review, and a trip over his knee as required, a woman will have a better chance to stay on track for her success.

There is reason for warning not to set some very high or artificial standard for the body. This is unreasonable. The world is full of ridiculous beauty ideals, and it is much trouble, money, and anxiety to try and live up to them. It may be the standard of being thin. It may be to look like a plastic doll. It may be to have artificially grand boobs, or have a shelf for a butt. It may be to pay a surgeon to enhance your cheek bones. These things are not of great importance, so trying to match the cultures model, or a personal model, gets to be way too much. Looking decent should not amount to a part-time job of body alterations, constant dieting, hair dyes, perms, and expensive products that take up half of the bathroom. A man’s standards for his wife should be simple, and rely on the nature that God gave his wife. She should not have to make radical changes to her body, except where it means healing or improving her health. God provides the beauty a woman needs by the incredible design He gave her, and by the light of goodness which she has when she lives a holy life. These things are amazingly beautiful, and a man ought to be in awe at them. He should be attracted to her without a great deal of manipulation and beauty products. He should recognize how they only get in the way. A man should love his wife’s natural beauty and the goodness of her soul. 

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Comments

14 responses to “Managing Your Wife: Eating and Health”

  1. Hi Aron 🙂
    You mentioned not watching TV and I know this is common but I still was wondering if you might share what evenings look like in your home. After work my husband is often tired and while he is an avid reader, at night is not a time he likes to read or be read to. Do you do individual things in the evening, like writing blog posts while she works on her own projects, and the kids do homework, or do you do family things like boardgames or group prayer and Bible study? What is your evening like as a family?
    Thanks in advance.

    1. aronhusband Avatar
      aronhusband

      That’s a good question. I do a fair amount of writing in the evenings, and during other free time. That’s not just for this website, but for other personal ministry. Plus there is plenty of gardening to do during the warm season. I do some reading as well, and watch many biblical teachings online. I usually have time to play some games with the children in the evenings. We do chase, or board games, or play outside. We have a devotional most evenings. That could be singing hymns, praying, reading Psalms, doing a Bible study, or something else.

      It is not hard to fill up the life with good things once the tv is out of the way. It’s very simple and will enrich your life. We use video mostly for educational purposes, but will do the occasional one for entertainment, as long as it is wholesome.

  2. This is a great, well thought out article. It covers a lot of ground, in a good way.

    My husband has been very helpful to me in this regard. For the past eight or nine months I have been on a very restrictive diet except for holidays, and a wedding, and a funeral. There have been months in which I lost ten pounds. There have been six week stretches where I was stuck at exactly the same weight. I eat exactly the same thing every day, except for those few events.

    So I would gently suggest that if you are setting goals, monitoring them, and disciplining for them, that they be in the areas one can control, which are diet and exercise. Results vary even when those don’t.

    And the longer those plateaus go on, the harder it is to stay motivated. This is where some outside reinforcement is really helpful. 🙂

    Blessings and love,

    Cerah

    1. aronhusband Avatar
      aronhusband

      Congratulations on your improved health. This is definitely an area in which a husband’s oversight and guidance will help his wife.

      1. My husband is definitely my biggest supporter in this. He does not eat the same diet as I do, but his is similarly restrictive. He calls it the Wife Support diet. 🙂

        And after being stuck in the same place—again—for six weeks, I can confirm that fasting does help get things moving again. It’s not why I fast, but it helps with the weight loss.

  3. Searching Avatar

    Thank you for this article. My husband is my leader and he is taking me to the gym 6 days a week and oversees my diet. He is very knowledgeable and educates himself daily with lectures on nutrition and exercise. This helps to improve our health. Our 40th anniversary is coming up in June. I recently joined your Substack site. I noticed that there are more articles there than on your website. Is this by design? Should we turn to Substack for more information?

    1. aronhusband Avatar
      aronhusband

      Hello, I’m glad your husband looks after you so well in his care for your health. Congratulations on your coming anniversary. It deserves a great celebration. This website actually has more articles than the Substack right now, but eventually they will be nearly all the same. The Substack does not have comments though. Feel free to use either one or both.

  4. Pam Styles Avatar
    Pam Styles

    Hello,

    Health and fitness and safety is certainly a wise and practical application for domestic discipline. I mean why not?

    We eat home most of the time. My husband has me cook the steamed broccoli and other veggies along with poultry and fish. Billy says we can eat later, he will help with cooking, and help with clean up. He wants us to avoid fast foods and processed foods. An occasional pizza or ice cream is great but it’s mostly about moderation.

    An occasional beer is fine but I am to avoid hard liquor and NEVER be drunk.

    An ideal weight range has been set for me. Billy has a rule that I am to workout 4 days a week, some with weights and some aerobic (spanked once for slacking here). We both follow this workout routine.

    No smoking of course. None of my sister’s pot or pain pills. (Worst spanking ever- 1st offense if I ever broke this rule). Always wear sunscreen when outdoors in water(spanked for forgetting once). Get regular check ups. Remember to lock doors (spanked once for this).

    This has worked well for us. A funny: while not overweight, I used to worry that my butt was to big as I flare a bit at the hips. I wanted to try and lose some there but Billy would not let me. He said he loved the way I felt when he prodded my rear and upper thighs. He didn’t want a bony butt. It’s great to be told that a self perceived problem area is not a problem and that your hubby loves it!

    Thanks,

    Pam

    1. aronhusband Avatar
      aronhusband

      Thank you for your comment. Those are some good rules and standards to set for a wife. Very reasonable. I have given a spanking for leaving doors unlocked as well, although for some people in the country that might not matter so much. It is natural for a woman to have some curves and I’m happy your husband appreciates that.

  5. I always wanted very badly to be beautiful for my husband at all times, and I considered it an important part of my service to him. In the early days of our marriage, though, he had to teach me to embrace my natural beauty as a gift from God, turning away from the vanity of excessive makeup and products. Now that we’ve had a child, he’s been excited to see a little bit more curves on me than he’s used to. (Before the baby, I know I was skinnier than he really wanted me to be. Now, as he says, I’ve got a little more padding in the places where a woman should.) I feel very blessed to be married to a man who appreciates the natural beauty and softness of the female body, but I don’t take his desire for granted. I dress nicely, according to his preferences. I stay active and eat a healthy diet.

    It does give me a secret satisfaction, though, to know that if I ever struggled with my weight, I have a man who would lovingly give me all of the motivation I would ever need to stay on track. He wouldn’t just meekly stand by on the sidelines, becoming less and less attracted to me, letting our lovemaking become less and less frequent, putting our marriage in danger. He would sit me down for a proper talking to, and if that didn’t get my butt in gear, some time with his belt would. That seems a small price to pay to ensure that I’m worthy of his attraction, and that I give him the gratification he deserves. Our marriage bed is a source of joy for us both, and I know he’ll make sure it stays that way.

    1. aronhusband Avatar
      aronhusband

      Thank you for your comment, Sophie. I am happy your husband can appreciate you the way that God made you. Even if you don’t need it, I know it is comforting that your man would guide and correct you regarding health as well. I know you have his care, attention, and love.

  6. I love this! I go to spin class 3 times a week to keep my body in check for my husband. If I am feeling lazy I just have to remember that my backside will get tanned if I don’t go 😆 I love my husband and he keeps me in check

  7. I do want to suggest that a man should have a certain degree of respect for the body that has borne his children. There can be some conflict between caring for children and keeping in shape. I was riding bike sixty miles a week when we met, but that stopped when I was too pregnant to reach the drop handlebars and I never got back to it. And I gained weight, with two babies in twenty months. My husband never reproached me for this. I might be healthier if he had—but he has also always supported my efforts to be healthier, with his authority as well as with praise.

    He’s the best. 🙂

    1. aronhusband Avatar
      aronhusband

      Sure, a husband should take into account various factors when managing his wife’s eating and health. To some degree it is natural to end up with a slightly bigger stomach after having children, especially multiple children. However, this is not an excuse to become unhealthy, and he still needs to make sure his wife is reasonably fit. If she is not, the harm will come to her. Thanks for your comment.

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