Ability of Wife to Inspire – Fr. Leo J. Kinsella



The first purpose of this chapter should be to convince all wives 
that they have been endowed by God with the ability to inspire 
their husbands. Many wives do not seem to realize their potential 
power in this respect. It has been a revelation to me to find out 
how many wives do not have any concept of this important 
function of a wife. No doubt that is why we are both so unfortunate 
as to meet at the Chancery.

The world is quite a bit what women make it. If our sojourn here 
below is a triumphal parade to the tune of swinging music, to 
women go the bouquets. If it is a forced march through a vale of 
tears, to our lady friends go the brickbats. On the one hand we 
have our Blessed Lady. On the other hand we have to contend with 
Eve. brideandgroom2Women have a way about them of sweeping men on to the 
heights of nobility or of plunging them into the depth of 
degradation. To women God has given a mysterious power of 
bringing out the best or the worst there is in a man. History and 
literature reminds us of a multitude of women who activated this 
latent force within themselves and thus provided the motivation 
and inspiration of great accomplishments.

Men left to themselves too long tend to become rough, brutish, 
and even evil. I saw enough of this in the Army during the two 
years overseas with the same outfit. There was something vital 
missing in the lives of these soldiers. It was the influence of their 
mothers, their sisters, their wives, and their sweethearts. The 
deterioration of the soldiers overseas was slow and gradual but 
still very definite. The great mass of mankind finds it pretty 
difficult to climb very much above its environment. An all male 
environment is not good for a man over a long period of time. God 
never intended for the average man to so live. Eve appeared on the 
scene soon after Adam.

The ideal wife gives comfort and encouragement when needed. 
She is wise with a woman's intuition, so at times she pricks his 
pride subtly to enable him to rise to some particular situation. 
Always he has her understanding. She shows her sympathy without 
being sorry for him. Above all, she never allows him to feel sorry 
for himself.

There are times when she senses that her best contribution is 
silence. Her presence is all she can give, and it is all he needs. He 
is upset, out of sorts, confused, and angry with himself. She will 
not add to his turmoil with advice or suggestions. Patiently she 
waits, until he comes down to earth. Sometimes she is at a loss for 
what to say or do to help him. So she says and does nothing. Her 
best efforts at inspiration and encouragement may meet with 
failure and even rebuff. She is human and feels the hurt, but 
valiant is the word for her. She can be blue and down over his lack 
of response, but because she is strong of heart she bounces back 
with resilience for another day and its tasks. She does not run and 
hide from problems. If an understanding must be reached over 
some situation or other, she does not hesitate to thrash the matter 
out with him. Yet she never needlessly worries him. Some wives 
worry their husbands into an early grave, they themselves 
remaining around to collect the dividends of lonely old age.?????????????????????????????????????????????????????

A good responsible husband was in the habit of going to his office 
Saturday mornings, even though he had nothing to do there. He 
said that he just sat at his desk and read the newspaper. "If I stay 
home my wife will figure out a hundred things for me to do.

When he "cried on my shoulder" about the energy of his wife in 
planning his Saturdays his quandary was extreme, for he had just 
retired and no longer had an office to which to escape.

In every home certain tasks must be performed by the husband. 
The grass needs cutting, the storm windows have to be put up, and 
so on. The husband worth anything is aware of these chores 
properly befalling him. He does not have to be reminded of them, 
or worse, nagged about them.

Things around the house will get out of kilter. An electric socket 
needs attention. A wheel has come off junior's wagon. Because the 
wife is on the scene all week she will be more aware of these 
varying little jobs requiring a man's attention. Her objective is to 
get these odds and ends repaired. Her method will depend on her 
personality, her intelligence, her understanding of her husband, 
and her tact or lack of it.

She may use the direct approach based on the fact that honey 
catches more flies than vinegar. "Dear, I'll love you all day long if 
you fix the toaster."

The indirect method has its successful adherents. For our example, 
we will imagine that it is high time a particular Saturday morning 
that the window screens were up for the summer. While the man of 
the house sleeps late his wife quietly clouds the bedroom with 
DDT. If her husband complains, as he awakens, she innocently 
explains that she did not want him to be eaten by mosquitoes as 
Patricia Ann was during the night. She never mentions the screens. 
But it is easy to imagine that the idea of screens is slowly seeping 
into her husband's befuddled cranium.Lavender_Johnson

The shrewd wife is well poised enough to know better than to try 
to outshine her husband. If she happens to be married to a man of 
inferior intelligence or education, she will best give evidence of 
this fact by avoiding the slightest indication of superiority. 
Indeed, any wife's intellectual ascendancy over her husband could 
be questioned were she dull enough to strive to lord it over him. If 
she is clever she will from time to time approach that big man of 
hers with some terrific problem which is way beyond the 
capacities of her little brain. "Dear, what do you think I ought to do 
about this situation? It has me baffled."

"What is a wife expected to be," any woman might object to the 
above advice, "a wishy-washy dumb Dora? Is she forever and a day 
supposed to play up to her husband?" Of course not. Much better if 
she would play with him. A wife does not have to be an open book 
to her husband. It does not hurt to keep him guessing once in a 

A real man likes to picture his wife as one with spirit and bounce. 
Because she is intelligent with a mind of her own she knows when 
to maintain a principle, when to be roguish and sportive. Gifted 
with imagination she can give herself to the game of intriguing her 
husband. Always she is exciting and vivacious.vintage-housewife

The wife loves a little compliment here and there herself, so she 
knows the value of this form of encouragement. Incidentally, in 
most marriages heading for the rocks the couples exchange no 
compliments. Just the opposite is true between people who seem 
still to have some sort of possessive love for each other. I do not 
suppose there exists a married couple who could not concentrate 
upon and draw up a list of each others shortcomings. The wise 
wife knows that there is no future in this mean indoor sport. She 
counts her blessings. She makes her husband's good points the 
foundation upon which she strives to help him build 

The ideal wife does not mother her husband. Yet she knows that he 
stands alone only with difficulty. Physical or mental pain may 
drive him to her. She knows how to accept him then with feeling. 
There is an erroneous idea abroad that women can stand pain 
much better than men. This is nonsense. I have seen men in 
military hospitals overseas suffer in silence. I have seen them die 
painfully in the line of duty without a whimper. Many nurses have 
told me that their experience is that men suffer and bear pain just 
as well as women. Then whence comes this widespread false 
concept? It comes from the observation of our fathers. As children 
we received our first impressions of men from our fathers. And our 
fathers were notorious for raising a terrible howl of pain when 
anything happened to them. Why? Simply because our mothers 
were nearby.il_fullxfull.88986222

Toward the end of his days a man can look back upon his life and 
find no greater accomplishment than his full success as a husband 
and father. All his varied activities possessed significance, really 
meant something only in relation to his role as husband and head 
of the house. If he had great success in the cheap sense of the 
word and became very rich, but was a failure as a husband, what 
contentment is there in the last recollections of his life ? What 
success, real or fictitious, can compensate for his failure as a 

No woman can escape sharing her husband's misery or his 
contentment and peace. If she has contributed to his making, to 
her comes the reward of real happiness. No wife hurts her husband 
more than she hurts herself. No wife makes her husband happier 
than she makes herself.

Lest anyone think that sly reference is here being made to 
unfaithfulness on the part of wives, let us clear the decks of any 
such obstructions to understanding what is meant. I believe that I 
am in a good position to make the statement that, relatively 
speaking, very few wives are unfaithful. Men have much more 
cause to hang their heads in shame on this score. However, there 
are other ways in which a woman can bring out the worst in a man, 
other ways in which she can drive him to distraction, if not to