1 Kings tells the story of Ahab, king of Israel, who did many evil things — including killing a man to steal his vineyard.

But 1 Kings 21:25 sheds some interesting light on the force behind Ahab — his wife, Jezebel: “No one else so completely sold himself to what was evil in the Lord’s sight as Ahab did under the influence of his wife Jezebel.” The implication is that without the influence of his wife, Ahab would not have been nearly as evil. His wife was key to him becoming more evil than he ever could have been on his own.

That’s the power of wives. We have the ability to make our husbands more [blank] than they ever could be on their own. And we get to choose what word goes in that [blank].

Jezebel chose “evil.” By her actions and words, she made her husband more EVIL than he ever could have been on his own. I also know of wives who have chosen “weak,” “cowardly,” “bitter,” “resentful,” “hateful,” and “lifeless.”

As wives, we must be careful and intentional about what word(s) we select. We must be mindful that our thoughts, words, and actions strongly affect who our husbands will be. We must be strategic and deliberate about what we say, what we do, and how we treat them.

For example, take a wife whose husband is generally apathetic about spiritual matters. But the wife aspires to make him more spiritual than he ever could have been on his own. She could strategically and deliberately pray for him, pray with him, speak encouraging words of Truth to him, share Bible verses with him in a loving way, show him the love of Jesus by her actions, and remain ever hopeful that the Lord will change him. In contrast, she would be undermining her efforts if she nagged him to attend church, belittled him for not understanding spiritual issues, chastised him for not reading his Bible daily, or put him down for not being a spiritual leader to her and their kids. By engaging in the latter behavior, she is on track for making her husband more resentful, emasculated, distant, and agnostic than he ever could have been on his own.

Proverbs 14:1 says “A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.” As wives, we have a choice — to build our homes or to tear them down. We have great power — to be constructive (as in construct our home) or destructive (as in destroy our home). Our every word, every thought, and every action is either a brick used to build or a sledge hammer used to destroy.