While listening to Revive Our Hearts this morning, I heard the term “Spiritual Manipulation,” and it really struck a chord. I have watched several marriages where I think this is a factor, but I had never really had a name for the phenomenon. Perhaps you’ve seen it, too. A wife is not controlling in the classic ways, like being bossy or sexually manipulative, but she is just super-spiritual. I have one friend in particular who comes to mind. Practically every conversation includes a reference to something God has told her. And when a wife tells her husband what God has been sharing with her in her quiet time…well, who is he to argue against God?
The thing is, I think most women in this type of a relationship do not believe that they are manipulating. It just seems that they are very sensitive and happen to hear God more readily than their husbands, and the husbands may believe that as well. I’m not so sure. What do you think? Is this “spiritual manipulation” that the woman should possibly squelch, or is God just leading their family through the wife rather than the husband? It’s a pretty common thing these days for the woman to be the spiritual leader in the home. Is that fine, or is it a problem? Is it something that may happen occasionally, but just not as a rule? Let me hear your thoughts.
Another question– If it is manipulation, do you see situations where men are spiritually manipulative in a marriage, or is this more just a feminine tendency?