I Need Some Help, Please!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

A Christian single blogger wrote today about what a bad job the church and Christians are doing talking up the good things about marriage.  He says singles are already afraid of getting married and they already know marriage is really hard – and that what they need to hear is what we love about marriage.   I think he has a good point.

So – I am asking you to help me with a post for my site http://www.peacefulsinglegirl.wordpress.com

Believers, please leave comments that I can quote anonymously on a post about what you LOVE and ENJOY and SAVOR and are THANKFUL FOR about being married!

Thank you so much for your help!

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55 Comments on “I Need Some Help, Please!”

  1. wingsaseagles40
    April 2, 2013 at 8:24 am #

    God gives us a friend in marriage to help us unwind, to evaluate our lives and share or deepest burdens with. As a couple, we never have to face the difficulties of life alone. There are some trials in marriage, but working through those small issues God’s way brings the greatest blessings of friendship, communication, and a better understand of God’s love for us.

  2. Karyl
    April 2, 2013 at 8:42 am #

    Hi! You can always take a look at my blog (now finished but still up) 365 things I love about being married! :) http://www.ilovethishusbandandwifestuff.com

  3. April Stutts
    April 2, 2013 at 8:44 am #

    Growing up in a dis functional home with chaos all around, I am so thankful for a marriage where I know, with out a
    Doubt, that my husband will always be there for me as a constant. Someone is always on my side and by my side, and truly and deeply cares for me…no matter what. His love is unconditional, and that is something I treasure!

  4. diana
    April 2, 2013 at 8:55 am #

    I do not know what others will think about this one but it is honestly the first that came to mind. I love that marriage has forced me to grow in the Lord and now I see that life is not all about me. My marriage has made me a much better mother as well. I get to know what real love is; like 1 Corinthians 13 says. I look forward to the day when the Lord reveals to me much more (on the day I see Him face to face) about how He used my marriage for His glory. I’ve been married 18 years and it is hard! But, I would not have it any other way. 18 years, 5 children, one miscarriage and one more on the way I am so BLESSED! I have been with my husband for 24 years, more than half my life! I just would be so sad NOT to have him with me, no matter the difficulties! We are one!

    • trixie1466
      April 2, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

      This is beautiful!:)

  5. Pandu
    April 2, 2013 at 9:19 am #

    Hi, I love the fact that I have a partner that I am sharing my life with, marriage has so far taught me good lessons that i would perhaps not have learned in my single-hood, it has taught me to really love and forgive, it makes it easier to love and forgive other people because marriage is my training ground -:)
    I also love that I have someone to talk to about anything, he knows me in and out
    I enjoy spending time with my hubby, doing something together (like cleaning up) and all the fun. I love the outings and travelling with my husband
    I especially love that he treats me like a princess and that I am second in his life (after Jesus) :-)
    I am mostly thankful that my husband saw me worthy to trust me with his life here on earth, and I am grateful that he is such a wonderful man that fears God and loves me with my many imperfections (sometimes I think my hubby deserves someone better than me) but I believe God put us together for a good reason and especially to teach me His ways.
    It is a wonderful journey to be on
    We do not have kids yet but I imagine the joy we will feel when we will see those blessings from God and especially as they resemble the two of us whether in appearance or character

    Marriage is really not as hard as people portray it if you make God the center of it and make your spouse more important than yourself

  6. Norma
    April 2, 2013 at 10:00 am #

    I have been married almost 39 years and I consider my husband the biggest blessing God has given me. No, he’s not perfect and neither am I, but I can honestly say the friendship he and I share is as close to perfect as one can get. He has health problems that make me fear someday I may be without him so I cherish every single moment we have together. Of course there were times of differences and struggles but like the comment above, those times made me grow in the Lord, to see areas where I needed to change. I also feel 100% that if I had learned and truly applied the things that the “Peaceful Wife” talks about early in my marriage, many of those struggles would have never happened. Marriage for me is a safe haven where I am held when I sleep at night, where someone is looking out for me, helping me with things that come easy for him but difficult for me, where I feel loved and cherished 24-7. My husband and I work together in our business, we share the same interests and hobbies, we are always together and my only wish is that we would have more time to do the same!

  7. zanspence
    April 2, 2013 at 10:15 am #

    Good initiative, good post. I am not married yet. I’ve had this conversation with other singles and the observation is true that many marriages in and outside the church have visibly obvious issues. But the conclusion is wrong to become fearful and dissuaded about marriage itself. Such as conclusion is from the enemy. It should simply be more motivation to make sure that we take the opportunity during singlehood to overcome strongholds and become whole in Christ. We are in the end times where we have to fight the fight of faith to cling to hope for all things Godly including marriage.

    Besides comments from married people showing that it’s still worth it. Can folks also share what Godly principles and practices they use to overcome problems. Singles should see truth with hope.

  8. Lynne
    April 2, 2013 at 10:19 am #

    I thank God daily for my husband, our marriage and our children as well as grandchildren. Having Christ the center of our marriage was advice given to us as young newlyweds by the pastor who married us. Though we were young and not sure exactly what that meant, as time has marched on, we realize it was by far the best guidance we ever received, We celebrate our 30 year wedding anniversary this year. We are blessed to have each other, and realize that each day together is a gift from our Lord.

  9. Kayla Gulick
    April 2, 2013 at 10:20 am #

    What I love about marriage is knowing someone else so intimately, that you know them better than they know themselves. You can play house, live with someone, sleep with someone, and have children with someone without being married…. but kid yourself all you want, when you are a believer and you join in a marriage union, God does a miracle to literally bond the two of you as One in Him, like none of that alone can. That kind of intimacy that comes from Christian marriage can’t be faked. You love deeply, laugh harder, hug tighter, and pick up the pieces no one else would stay around to do, with compassion. You learn to forgive. We can pretend to be “one” and tell a lie with our bodies, but the true “Oneness” of Christian marriage is powerful and rich like gold.

    • trixie1466
      April 2, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

      Kayla, this is so true!!!!

  10. Amber
    April 2, 2013 at 11:47 am #

    The best thing about marriage is the feeling of working through our problems and coming out on the other side. Marriage is a hard commitment to make, those words of ‘for better or worse’ are actually true…marriage is designed for the spouse to see the other person through their worst, even if it’s their fault. The feeling is so rewarding, it’s the closest thing to God’s love we will ever experience from another person here on this earth. There is a place in all of us that desires to be loved no matter what and that is something that is hard to find these days. So many people give up when things get hard but marriage is the greatest gift we have because the reward of working through those problems i s everlasting and completely fulfilling.

  11. Kela Nellums (@Kela__Nellums)
    April 2, 2013 at 11:54 am #

    I love my friendship with my husband and yes how Christ gives me an opportunity to step back and examine myself through any conflict,

    but let me be very honest about another aspect that I absolutely LOVE about being married to my man…SEX! The freedom to be expressive in it without the guilt of shame and sin outside of marriage!
    We have a beautiful covenant that is blessed so much when we come together this way.

  12. Jennifer
    April 2, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

    Being married is waking up with my best friend who chose me. Every day we are faced with rejections and hardships of this world and everyday one who chose me walks through our doors and wraps me in a warm, strong embrace. He keeps me balanced and grounded and gives me the most amazing advice and direction. In marriage, I have learned a greater understanding of God and obedience. Marriage has taught me Godly character and integrity, teamwork and sacrifice. Marriage takes work but the rewards are incredible. There is a physical and emotional closeness that can only exist in the commitment of marriage. Everything that looks like marriage but isn’t is a cheapened imitation of marriage.

    • trixie1466
      April 2, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

      Excellent Jennifer

  13. trixie1466
    April 2, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    I find it sad that we have to try to convince single Christians to marry. Isn’t that what God designed us for. (Adam and Eve). Do we have to persuade them to follow God’s will? Maybe we should be teaching them what the bible says about being celibate unless you’re married. I doubt too many people would want to volunteer for celibacy. Perhaps this is the result of preaching what people want to hear instead of what the Gospel says.

    • Stephanie
      April 2, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

      Amen trixie1466!

  14. Stephanie
    April 2, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    If he or she wants to be sold on it, then they are already in the wrong state of mind. Sounds childish to me. Marriage is not a new car or a timeshare!

    Can we dress up puberty, childbirth or old age? Death? No. Like marriage they are also natural, important phases of life that do bring lessons and incredible blessings.

    But it’s not all fun and games. It’s hard. It’s stressful. It’s complicated always.

    Marriage is fulfilling but it is service.

    Service = work.

    • trixie1466
      April 2, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

      Stephanie,

      I couldn’t agree more. Amen sister!

  15. mercifulwords
    April 2, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

    I’m thankful for someone who will eat my cooking and say its good. Men like that are hard to find, and even harder to hang on to, especially when you are secretly feeding the dog under the table to get your plate clean. Those are the gentlemen who hold the door for you, go to the closet on cold nights for a heavier blanket to cover you better, keep your car serviced, and pray with you when you hurt. They don’t have to say they love you for you to know it already, but they say it anyway. I know, because I’ve been married to that kind of man for nearly 37 years.

  16. obimomjacoby
    April 2, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

    Marriage is like an adventure…there’s some fun exciting stuff with a lot of plodding between times. It is absolutely worth it. Sure, there’s hard things but being alive is hard. Being single is hard. “Hard” is not actually a problem, it should be expected and welcomed as having value.

    I think marriage has been easier in many ways than being single, and I got married at 30. It has been easier because we are both committed to Jesus and to the covenant of marriage. It has been very difficult at times, there have been many trials, but there will be trials no matter what happens because that is the way life is. Being married for soon 30 years, I can assure you that it is absolutely worth any hardship.

    I think it was Louis L’Amour, in one of his books, that said something like “when two walk beside each other there is no road too long or too dark”. And that is true.

  17. "Daisy"
    April 2, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

    I don’t think I can add more to what’s already been said. But…. If you chose to never marry I believe you’ll be missing out on so much life has to offer. Sure marriage is tough, but at the end of the day you’re best friend is right there with you through the highs and the lows. Life is hard even if you’re not married. Why not have your best friend along with you to help you through life’s trials. Yep, you’re going to have trials with each other, that inevidible. But when worked through said trials, you’ll each be better people.

  18. peacefulwife
    April 2, 2013 at 8:39 pm #

    Thank you all SO VERY MUCH for your comments! I can’t wait to start putting some of these together – I might have to make several posts. But that is fine with me. I love focusing on the good things about marriage. I, for one, LOVE being married and am so thankful for the way that God uses marriage to make me more like Christ. I would hardly know I was a real sinner if I wasn’t married! And I love learning about the differences between masculinity and femininity and how they display the powerful mystery of Christ and the church. I love learning about team work and oneness. I love the intimacy on EVERY level. I like having all kinds of intimacy every day, myself! Sometimes I just am so amazed that I get to live with my husband and we get to share a bed and all of the blessings of intimacy together.

    I also love watching my husband grow as a leader and as a man of God.
    And I loved seeing him hold our babies for the first time.
    I love watching him love our children and play with them and teach and instruct them.
    I love dreaming together.
    I love cuddling together every night and talking about our day and all the things on our minds.
    I love exploring new places together and having adventures.
    I love not living alone – but with my very best friend.
    He takes such great care of me when I am sick.
    He shows me what real patience and forgiveness and mercy and grace look like.
    I am fascinated to learn more and more about who he is and how his mind and soul work.
    I love seeing how we complement each other.
    I am SO BEYOND thankful for God’s beautiful design for marriage – wish I had understood it a lot better at the beginning. But I am thankful for every day we have had to work and hash this out together.
    I’m thankful for the chance to learn to forgive others.
    I’m thankful for the chance to get to experience a deeper love – that mirrors God’s love for us.
    I LOVE being a mom and seeing the perspective of a parent and working with my husband – that helps me understand God’s love even more.

  19. David J.
    April 3, 2013 at 2:18 am #

    Stephanie & Trixie: All of the wonderful things mentioned in all the other comments are true, and those things make a good marriage one of the biggest blessings God has given us. The unmarried blogger to whom April is responding is right that Christians and the church should be extolling those aspects of marriage.

    BUT — for the last 50 years or so, our society (including the church) has lived with the consequences of an approach to marriage that I don’t think has ever before existed: no-fault divorce (or, more accurately, unilateral divorce). It used to be that if the marriage wasn’t what it was supposed to be, the partners had to either live with it or fix it (unless one or both could prove in court that the other had been unfaithful or physically abusive), or they had to pay a steep social or economic price if they simply bailed out. As a result of unilateral divorce, there is no longer any outside pressure on the partners to live with or to fix any problems that arise, whether minor or major. And, given the plain facts that (1) the husband is usually the primary breadwinner, (2) the wife is usually the primary childcare-giver, and (3) two-thirds to three-fourths of divorces now are initiated by the wife, the concerns mentioned in Joseph’s comment above are significant for single young men. A young man who marries today does so knowing that his chosen spouse can go back on her marriage vows at any time (5 years from now or 25 years from now) for any reason, not only without penalty but with the expectation (at least if he’s not a bum) that she will get approximately half the assets he has accumulated for the family and she will get the kids for at least half the time (and likely more) and therefore will receive a significant supplement to her own income until the youngest child turns 18. That means that the only thing standing between him and the demolition of his life and his kids’ lives is the character of the woman he marries. The law no longer works to keep the marriage together and the church rarely does. If I were young and single today, I too would need to hear a lot more about the benefits of marriage. And I’d still be afraid of getting married. I would dig very deeply into the character, family background, emotional stability, and theological and spiritual stability of the woman I thought about marrying. (To do that, I’d have to marry later in life than I might otherwise.) And I’d still be afraid of getting married.

    It’s very, very beautiful when the husband and the wife make it work. It’s hell during the marriage if either one fails to do their part, and then it’s long-term hell of a different sort if either one unilaterally ends it — the hell of a lifetime of tainted memories, kids without a single home to go back to, step-relatives, separate holidays, awkward graduations and weddings and births, financial strains, and on and on. Most painfully, to me anyway, is the hell of a seriously marred example to the kids. I have two young adult sons (and another who is still a teen). I know their parents’ divorce has negatively affected their view of and openness to marriage, and understandably so. I don’t think that is childishness on their part at all; it’s simple prudence. It is very, very sad — but it’s not their fault.

    • trixie1466
      April 3, 2013 at 8:22 am #

      David,
      I agree that you must choose wisely when you choose a mate. What are these young single Christians choosing instead of marriage? Maybe I’m missing something, but the concerns you expressed seem to be worldly concerns. My understanding is that the scriptures are timeless and transcend all generations.

      I couldn’t agree more that unilateral divorce has been very destructive, but that has become the norm because of who we, as a people, have become. We have fallen away from God’s law and that is manifested in our perverse applications of it. It seems we have decided to only follow scripture that we like or can agree with.

      Marriage will always involve some risk because we have free will and are all sinners, but when you put your trust in the Lord he will carry you. The blessings of marriage far outweigh the risk when you are living your life for the audience of One.

      We can talk about the blessings of marriage, but many young people are convinced they can have all the benefits of marriage without the commitment. That is the core of the problem in my opinion. It is not enough to call yourself a Christian. You have to live as a Christian, which means obeying God’s law. Perhaps I am uninformed and more people are choosing celibacy than it appears.

      I really have no problem talking up the good aspects of marriage because I love being married. I just feel like the need for it illustrates how much we’ve fallen away from the teachings of the bible.

      • David J.
        April 4, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

        Trixie: Today’s young single Christians, at least so far, are choosing to delay marriage more than they are choosing something instead of marriage. They do still date, but just as likely they “hang out” in spontaneous gatherings of subsets of their larger group of friends, male and female. They will likely still get married, but unless they (or the church more generally) adopt Peacefulwife’s biblical message about marriage, the divorce trends will get worse, men especially will delay marriage even longer, more men will avoid marriage altogether, and young women will get more and more frustrated — perhaps never realizing that they and their mothers, with the encouragement of the divorce and custody laws, were a large part of the problem.

        I don’t understand what you mean by “worldly concerns.” There is nothing in the Bible that commands marriage for everyone, nor is there anything that commands marriage regardless of the risks. I don’t see how concerns about faithless women, permanent harm to and disruption of innocent children’s lives, disgrace to the cause of Christ, and the lack of any backup from the church or the state can be dismissed as “worldly concerns.”

        While more and more Christian kids (but by no means all) are engaging in premarital sex, unfortunately, I don’t think they see that as “having all the benefits of marriage without the commitment.” I think they see it for what it is: having some (or one) of the benefits of marriage, but not all.

        I agree wholeheartedly with you that “You have to live as a Christian, which means obeying God’s law.” But Christian women seem especially prone to rationalizing disobedience. During marriage, most of them rationalize sinful disrespect and lack of submission. Worse, many of them ultimately rationalize divorce — not because their husbands have committed adultery or been physically abusive — but because they are, to put it simply, unhappy.

        • trixie1466
          April 5, 2013 at 9:06 am #

          David,

          I apologize for not being more clear about what I meant by worldly concerns. What I was referring to was the financial aspect you mentioned, but I think I was also thinking about Joseph’s comments regarding the financial losses men take in divorce. That seems much less important than the other losses that go with it. I really do agree with you in almost all regards. Perhaps, I’m reading more into your statement than is there, but it seems you are blaming more of this problem on women than men. I discussed this with my husband and he too agrees that the problem is with both men and women. Parents haven’t raised daughters that understand their role as wives or men that understand their role as husbands. I agree women need to teach their daughters how be submissive wives, but fathers need to teach their sons how to love their wives like Christ loved the church. Men are responsible for their families. Society is made up of families. Men are equally at fault for the state of our marriages and children. The women’s liberation movement came about in part because men weren’t being godly heads. We are all sinners and we are all selfish by nature. Men and women share responsibility for this problem equally.

          I understand the bible doesn’t command marriage, but it does command celibacy unless you marry.

          My original point really is we all need to focus on what God’s Word says about how to live. Unless you choose a life of celibacy marriage is the only godly choice. The problems with divorce you mentioned are very really and I think you’re right about the damages caused by unilateral divorce, but the fact that it exists is a symptom of the bigger problem which is that we have fallen away from biblical teaching in our homes, schools and churches. In many churches the teachings of the bible are being made “kinder and gentler” so to speak, because they are offensive to our selfish generation. That causes church attendance to decrease and therefore a less offensive message is taught. I realize this is not the case at all churches so please don’t take offense if your church doesn’t fall into that category.

          I apologize if I gave the impression I was man bashing, because I meant no disrespect and I was always of the opinion that both sexes are equally to blame. I believe in the biblical model of marriage and am practicing that in my own marriage.

          • peacefulwife
            April 5, 2013 at 9:19 pm #

            Trixie,

            We are certainly all wretched sinners apart from Christ, that is for sure!

            I pray that God will bring this entire generation to our knees in repentance (the men and the women) and that He might make of us a godly generation that might leave a legacy of God’s wisdom and blessings to our children.

          • David J.
            April 6, 2013 at 1:28 am #

            Trixie: I appreciate the clarification. And I need to do some clarifying of my own. I do not blame women more than men for marital problems. Men can and do sin against their wives just as much as wives against their husbands (albeit often in different ways). I know in my own marriage, I was at least as responsible as my wife for the problems in the relationship.

            However, I do blame women more than men for divorce, for two reasons. First, the fact (not just my opinion or hunch) is that in the overwhelming majority of divorces, it is the wife who initiates it, and in only a small percentage of those cases does she initiate the divorce due to adultery or physical abuse. Second, the legal “playing field” is tilted heavily toward the woman in a divorce; or, to put it another way, the incentives all favor the woman. The husband who doesn’t even want the divorce is going to have to fight to get 50/50 custody, let alone primary custody; because he doesn’t get primary custody and because he makes more money (usually), he will be paying very significant child support for many years; and if his wife has been a stay at home mom (which at least used to be the norm in the church — and was the case in my marriage for all but the last 2-3 years), he is almost automatically going to be paying significant alimony for a period of years. The combination of no-fault/unilateral divorce, the ratio of wife-initiated divorces, and the favorable incentives for wives has become so routine that it now has a name (at least among men): “cash and prizes.” The cash is the alimony and child support; the prizes are the kids.

            As a Christian and an unwillingly divorced husband, I would add another reason for blaming women more than men for divorce, but I admit this is based on what I experienced and what I have seen rather than on any statistics: Christian women don’t hold each other as accountable in this area as Christian men are willing to do for other Christian men. I, and I believe other Christian men generally, have no problem confronting a fellow Christian man who is either initiating a divorce without a biblical reason or who is sinning against his wife in such a way as to cause her to file or consider filing. I’ve done it several times, not as a deacon or elder but simply as a friend and fellow church member. Christian women, on the other hand — again, in my experience in my divorce and others I’ve observed over the years — won’t do that. They sympathize with their sister’s complaints and pain, and they never even consider what is the biblically right thing to do; or they know it’s wrong but won’t say so because it will cause hurt feelings; or they don’t want to get involved because “she’s made up her mind and it won’t make any difference.”

      • Joseph Riani
        April 5, 2013 at 10:30 am #

        @Trixie: Women’s lib was about women divorcing themselves from men. We’ve been told ad nauseam that women don’t need men and that men are just out to get women. How can you expect a man step up to be a godly husband if the message he gets is “you are unnecessary and threatening?” It doesn’t mater what dad teaches him. Also, most dads are traditionalist in the sense that they think men take the bullet for women. I’ll never forget one time my friend (a girl) was leaving house and my dad lectured me on how I should have walked her to her car “in case someone was waiting in the back to get her.” Mind you there was about 30 ft from my door to the car which I was watching her the whole time. Never once did dad think to worry what might happen if the guy had a gun and we’d both be in trouble. I can’t think of a single one of my friends who don’t have the “die for the girl” mentality. The problem is most women do not reciprocate and after awhile guys come up empty without being refilled.

        • trixie1466
          April 5, 2013 at 10:47 am #

          Joseph,

          How sad you believe that it “doesn’t matter what dad teaches him”. It would seem that some woman has really hurt you and I’m sorry that happened to you. I find it pointless to continue this discussion as it seems to have turned into an argument and that is not the point of this blog. I apologize if what I said offended you, but I have found in my own life, no matter how much I think it’s all somebody else’s fault, I am not without sin myself.

          I hope you someday meet a woman that changes your heart. We aren’t all completely selfish.

          God Bless,
          Sandi

      • Joseph Riani
        April 5, 2013 at 10:50 am #

        @Trixie: No woman has hurt me and I’m happily engaged. I am just trying to be informative about the real issue at hand.

    • Stephanie
      April 4, 2013 at 1:44 am #

      David,

      I see where you are coming from, and I’m sure that is where the single person was approaching the issue from as well.

      Jesus never married, and the Bible encourages those who are not drawn toward marriage to stay single and devote themselves to God and live a virtuous life.

      Marriage is a take it or leave it sort of thing. But once it is in place, it should be taken seriously, so better to be avoided than approached halfheartedly. I don’t think there is a need to sell the God-given institution.

      • David J.
        April 4, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

        Stephanie: I agree with your entire comment, and especially that “once it is in place, it should be taken seriously, so better to be avoided than approached halfheartedly.”

  20. Charissa
    April 3, 2013 at 6:45 am #

    I love knowing there’s someone special in the world who cares about me and loves me. It makes me feel stronger even when we’re not together.

    I love knowing marriage is something God created – something that is good. In marriage we can serve God by serving our spouse and all the while we’re both learning to be more Christ-like.

    I savour the little moments no one else sees, when my husband says a word in a certain way and I meet his eyes and we share a memory and there’s just this connection between two human beings you can’t find outside of marriage.

    I love being able to trust my husband to take care of me and make the right decisions for us. And even if he fails sometimes, that’s fine because God provides even then.

    I love how he knows when to push me (when I’m too scared to do something or when I’m just being emotional and should get over it) but also knows when I just need to cry and have him hold me for a while.

    So many other things, big and little, too… And that’s just after 8 months of marriage!

  21. rem6782
    April 4, 2013 at 2:43 am #

    To me this article written by a divorced woman who regrets her divorce speaks volumes about the preciousness and benefits of marriage… http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1200225/Why-I-I-suspect-separated-women-regret-divorcing.html

    • David J.
      April 4, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

      rem6782: Thank you for that link. The article is so telling. I wish my ex-wife had read it (and believed it) before she blew up our family, or at least before she rushed into a remarriage and forever precluded the possibility of reconciliation. Whether she ever regrets her actions or not (I tend to believe she will, eventually, but I have a history of overestimating her conscience), the rest of us always will, in all those situations described in the linked article.

  22. gpscribe
    April 4, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

    Being married is having a loyal best friend and lover until death. It’s also waking up every day to an intriguing challenge to out-love each other. It is fun if we let it be. My husband so often hears young single men refer to “never getting married” because they don’t want to be told what to do. But I ask, when they are old and their parents are gone and they are unable to care for themselves, who will be there? Who will help them and love them and be a presence by their side to keep them company? I married at 19 and will be married 12 years in May. We’ve had some dark times that only strength from heaven got us through. But still today, there’s no one else I want to be with, spend the day with, spend a friday night with than my guy, my husband. Marriage is agreeing to let your love grow and mature daily for your spouse in fun times and in dark, trying times. Marriage is loyalty to the one your heart yearns for. Marriage is having someone to make and share memories with forever. And often, it can be a strong tower and a safe haven when everything and everyone around you is in utter chaos.

    • David J.
      April 4, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

      gpscribe: I’m very happy for and admire you and your husband. It sounds like you’ve seen the difficulties of marriage but stuck with it and reaped the benefits as well. Good for you both.

      The comments your husband is hearing from young single men are very telling about what they see in marriage. I can’t tell from what you’ve said whether these are young men in the church or not, but it doesn’t really matter — in general, there is no more respect for husbands in Christian marriages than in non-Christian marriages. (There’s more lip service for respect toward husbands in the church, but not really much more actual respect.) Peacefulwife is very counter-cultural even in the church.

      The young men who “don’t want to be told what to do” aren’t exaggerating or missing anything; instead, I would say they have a clear-eyed understanding of what most marriages are really like. By hook or by crook, the wife is in charge. That was the case in my marriage and, now that I’m paying more attention to this issue, in almost every marriage I’ve observed among friends and family (again, Christian or not). Truly, the only difference in the Christian marriages is that the wife’s control and disrespect are more subtle, to make them more socially acceptable. In my marriage, in the early years, the control was by manipulation, not direct insistence. I wanted her to be happy, so I would subordinate my own wishes/preferences/ideas to hers in most instances. (This began at least as early as the planning for the wedding itself. It was “her day” and every single thing was done the way she wanted it. At the time, that didn’t strike me as odd at all.) When I did happen to do things my way, I would “pay for it” — tears, pouting, etc. As time went on, the control became less and less subtle, until it was essentially overt. Just one example: in the 21st year of our marriage, after much thought, prayer, discussion, counsel, analysis, etc., I decided the family should move from Georgia to Idaho for both employment and family reasons. Her response was to consider divorce. She eventually agreed to the move, very begrudgingly, but she exacted payment in numerous ways over the next 3 years and continuously complained about our situation in Idaho until I finally decided it wasn’t worth it anymore and we returned. That may have postponed the inevitable for a few more years, but she still ultimately left the marriage, in part because I (finally) began drawing some lines and insisting on something closer to biblical respect.

      The young men your husband knows have likely seen this dynamic, or variations on it, in their own parents’ marriages and in most every marriage around them. They likely also see it in their dating relationships. Most of them will probably eventually get married anyway, partly because (if they’re Christians) that’s what Christians do, partly for the physical relationship they think they’ll have, and partly to have kids. But in most cases, they’ll find out that they were right to be concerned about being told what to do ever after. Sad, but true.

      • peacefulwife
        April 5, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

        David,

        You bring up a really important point, here. I have written about this on http://www.peacefulsinglegirl.wordpress.com. I am extremely concerned about the way that weddings are planned in our culture. The whole emphasis is on the bride – “it’s HER day” and everything is about what she wants. Most grooms don’t care too much about what flowers or colors or music is used, I guess. But my concern is that as a woman is “in charge” of the wedding planning for a year or more, and she is constantly told that it is all about her and what she “deserves” – it is VERY easy for the entire tone of the relationship to change and for her to carry that in-charge idea into the relationship and then into the marriage. Of course, we have also been marinating in a disrespectful and ungodly culture for our whole lives, too – and many people had very poor examples of marriage themselves growing up. There are many other things that contribute to women believing they should be in charge. But I do think that the wedding planning concept needs to be revamped to include the groom much more so that the bride is not set up as the “authority” – that can become unhealthy and set up unwise patterns in the relationship, in my view.

        I always thought of myself as being a respectful and submissive wife those first almost 15 years before God opened my eyes to ALL of my sin. I looked “better” than all the other wives I knew. I didn’t yell, cuss, throw things (except for that one pair of panties our first summer – which were clean, by the way! And they didn’t remotely hit Greg. Still, he was pretty horrified that I had thrown something at him – and rightly so. I’m thankful I never did that again. Even though I did WANT to hurt him many times because I felt so unloved), become violent or threaten divorce. So I would skim over those verses in the Bible and think, CHECK! Yep. I do that!

        But actually, I did expect Greg to submit to me. I would NEVER have said that or thought that. But I thought I was always right and he was always wrong. I thought I saw God’s will and he didn’t. And I thought he should do what I wanted. Because I was right.

        We as women are not seeing godly examples of respect many times in our families or in our churches or among our friends. It is often a totally foreign concept to us that we don’t even know exists. It is my prayer that God might raise up godly women around the world in each of His churches to teach His truth to women and to model it for them. How I long for us to be a faithful generation who lives by God’s Word instead of the world’s wisdom.

      • Stephanie
        April 6, 2013 at 11:43 am #

        David,

        I agree with you completely on the expectations. Planning a wedding has become so commercialized and it is truly sickening. I agree with April’s comments as well that it sets a very unhealthy tone for the first years of marriage and thereafter. Women put their sense of worth into the day (one short, expensive day) and then the marriage reality is bound to pale in comparison. Worst of all, it does leave the new bride with a sense of responsibility and leadership for the marriage that is completely unrealistic and not biblical at all.

        I also think it can’t be emphasized enough that sex is for marriage. When kids come into the picture, you’re married one way or another.

        These would be two things that younger generations would benefit to hear MUCH more of! By the time a person is a young adult, it’s probably too late. The expectations and norms are already in place.

      • gpscribe
        April 10, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

        Thanks, David. I appreciate your kindness. And I am sorry about your divorce. My parents divorced after 5 kids and 17 years of marriage. My husband and I endured 2 tragic divorces in our family and 2 more among very close friends in the last year. Needless to say, my view of marriage and divorce has drastically changed since then. I’ve recently sought God’s truth instead of believing all I had heard and been taught.

        I realize I should have been more specific in details concerning the comments my husband has heard. The young men I was referring to are not in church. And one of them seems to have a very unhealthy view of women and their purpose. Let me start by saying I agree with your view that the majority of marriages are ruled by the wife. Both christian and non-christian. I, too, see it in my circle of married friends and acquaintances. I was once one of those wives(and sadly, still constantly struggle against the urge to control & rule). Just in the last probably 2 years I was enlightened to my own dominance, control, manipulation, etc. in my marriage. I agree with what you said. One thing I would like to add is this: It seems that the leading cause of wives who rule/lead are husbands who don’t. If more husbands would stand up and take the lead in every aspect of his marriage and family, marriages would be stronger and less women would be leading. This is not to point blame and say that men are more responsible for failed marriages than women. Not at all. But in the circle of married friends and acquaintances that I mentioned above, the wives largely rule and the men sit back and let them. It is equally unbalanced on both sides. Several wives that I know, WANT the husband to lead, and his lack of leadership, causes a huge burden and often makes the wife feel like she has no choice but to take charge. Thus creating a situation that can be very difficult to change. And yes, I agree that there’s a lot of lip service in the church concerning respect/submission. Neither do we(the church) prepare and teach young people how to be married. We need more husbands to lead and more wives to trust and allow them to do so and more godly teaching on how to be and stay married.

        • David J.
          April 11, 2013 at 12:23 am #

          gpscribe: I’m familiar with a few marriages where (from what I can tell) the wife is filling a leadership void, so what you’re saying about a lack of leadership by men is sometimes true. But in my own case, and I think in the majority of Christian marriages (perhaps including Peacefulwife’s, if I’m remembering right), the husband does want to lead. I think things get turned around in stages. Early on in the marriage, he is bending over backwards to give her what she wants — not from a lack of leadership (not intentionally, anyway), but from an abundance of love and selflessness. On the occasion when they do butt heads about something, perhaps she goes along with him more easily than she will later, but more likely he gets a taste of what happens when he leads in an area of disagreement — and he learns (from a human standpoint) that he doesn’t want to do that any more often than he has to. By the time he realizes that he’s not actually the acknowledged leader anymore, she’s entrenched in her disrespect (and he probably doesn’t really understand how things got that way). So then he can either (1) not rock the boat — not being the leader but having some measure of peace in the relationship, or (2) insist on leading at least in some circumstances, living with the strife that causes. (Or (3) pray that she’ll see the light from Peacefulwife or other sources.) I think in at least some (if not most) of the marriages you see where there seems to be a lack of leadership, you’re seeing a husband who has paid a price for prior attempts to lead and now has become accustomed to not trying much anymore. Not the right course of conduct, but an understandable one. And not due to a lack of willingness to lead, but instead the lack of willingness to endure the strife of leading a woman when she disagrees with his leadership.

          • gpscribe
            May 9, 2013 at 11:49 pm #

            I get what you’re saying. But, just as you speak from your experience, I’m speaking from mine and I longed for leadership. And I’ve watched several wives do the same. I’m not sure it’s accurate or fair to assume that in most christian marriages the husband wants to lead but can’t. I would have to say it’s probably pretty close to equal. That again, is based on my experiences and knowledge of marriages around me. I’m not at all trying to point blame on either role. I think husbands and wives both need to return to God’s Word regarding their roles! On a side note, the high rates of fatherless-ness represents a significant lack of leadership among men.

            • peacefulwife
              May 10, 2013 at 9:25 am #

              gpscribe,

              I have to agree that the last generation or two of boys have been sorely lacking in godly examples of masculine leadership in their own families. Fatherlessness DEFINITELY contributes to a lack of leadership among men. Great point

  23. Ted Cox
    April 5, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

    OK, I gotta put my two cents in here! Most of what I have read in the comments here are true facts. It is true that in today’s churches premarital sex, or gratification of sexual desires is not given much discussion.It is also true that divorce is not regarded as the grave act that it is according to the Bible.As far as I know,divorce is only allowed in scripture by the husband’s choice and that only on the grounds of adultery.There is reference to a woman divorcing her husband in some versions of the bible, but it is always stipulated that if she does she is to remain single.This is a hard teaching for most Christians of today,but it is scriptural.Anyone who says otherwise has to contort scripture to say otherwise. Scripture plainly says that a woman is bound to her husband for as long as she lives. That said, let me extoll the virtues of marriage! I have been married for 36 years and I have seen the worst and most painful aspects of it all, and I would still do it all over again! Nobody understands me as well as my wife and I understand her better than anyone else. There is no exception there at all, not for mothers, fathers brothers , sisters, not anyone.Every man has a deep need to love and care for a woman,regardless of being married or not.I feel most manly when I can provide love and guidance for my wife by God’s grace to me.It really isn’t about what I can get from her so much as what I can give her that makes it so worthwhile to me.

  24. Norma
    April 5, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

    First, of all, I am going to do my very best, but please excuse any typos I may have, I am trying to type this with a new cast on my wrist and it is very slow going! I have to say, I can honestly understand where David is coming from. Society has done its best to warp the image of what a godly marriage looks like. Practically every’ commercial and every TV show portrays men as being big buffoons who need the “oh so smart woman” to lead them around and tell them every little move to make or the entire family would end up in a disaster! Be around any group of women and you hear how disrespectfully they speak of their husbands. I am saddened and shocked the way so many women talk and act. They have such an entitlement attitude when it comes to marriage. The concept of the wife having been created to be the husbands helpmate is completely foreign and insulting to them.

    I am the leader of a women’s bible study group that has been meeting for over 10 years. Whenever someone new comes to our group, they always comment how nice it was to be amongst a group of women who talked well of their husbands and marriage. They say they have never before been around women who spoke so respectfully and positively of their husbands. Many have left other bible study’s to join ours for this very reason. I know that men have their issues also, but I have observed many sad situations where I thought if only the wife would treat her husband with respect and love how different their marriage could be.

    My husband runs a mechanic shop that works on semi-trucks. He and I have gotten to know many of the drivers and many of them are reeling from having their wives just up and leave them, often with them having no idea that anything had been wrong. I think this world just hammering home the idea that women have been picked on they deserve this and they deserve that and men and marriage are beneath them has turned too many of us into arrogant, hard to please, individuals who are full of self-pity and self-seeking attitudes.

    The one thing that really helped me stop this attitude in myself was remembering a short little saying that Elisabeth Elliot said, and that was “Give up your right to be right” over the years when the temptation to push for my way or to try and convince my husband that my way of thinking was the only way, if I would just remember those six little words, it could keep a tiny little disagreement from turning into a huge blow-up. She had such an amazing way to show it’s the small things like “Giving up your right to be right” that following Christ is all about, and she always taught that for us women, our husbands, our marriages, and our children are our mission fields. Not for us to try to save them as a missionary does, but rather by serving and loving them and putting into practice the self-sacrificial love that Jesus taught us and by doing so, we will literally be completing the mystery of marriage being like Christ and his church.

    • David J.
      April 6, 2013 at 1:42 am #

      Norma: I appreciate your comment. And praise God for your Bible study group and the women in it.

      I agree with you about the value of Elizabeth Eliot’s writings. But there’s some irony there for me. My ex-wife loved Elizabeth Eliot’s books and sayings. To this day, one of her “favorite quotes” on her Facebook page is something like “Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances.” Yet when the circumstances got tough (due to sins and hurts by both of us), ultimately she chose to change the circumstances and did not care (apparently) that Christ had specifically disapproved of her action. There was (and is) a blindness there that I have never understood. We must have had a thousand conversations where I would try to persuade her of the wrongness of how she was acting (and had been acting for years); she would respond by pointing out my sin; and I would agree with her about my sin but point out the difference that I had acknowledged that what I had done was wrong, had asked for forgiveness, and had taken concrete steps to try to avoid repeating the sin, whereas she wouldn’t acknowledge her behavior as wrong in the first place. It just seemed to go right over her head.

      • peacefulwife
        April 6, 2013 at 11:56 am #

        David,

        This makes me so sad! As you know, I had the same blindness, and couldn’t see my sin at all, either. My husband never pointed it out to me. I often wonder if I might have been able to see sooner if he had.

        • Joseph Riani
          April 6, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

          Often times men see the problem but won’t say anything because it is like sticking your hand into a beehive.

      • peacefulwife
        April 6, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

        Joseph,
        I totally understand that now!

  25. peacefulwife
    April 5, 2013 at 9:16 pm #

    Hey, y’all! Wow! While I was away from the computer for a few days (and in a bit of withdrawal!) – you carried on quite the conversation. I love discussion like this. Thank you all for being so respectful of one another and for sharing your perspectives. This is one of my favorite parts of blogging – to hear what you think about these topics! THANK YOU for your time and for sharing your hearts.

  26. coastiewife321
    April 7, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

    There is no greater joy than getting to spend your life with your best friend by your side! It’s also amazing to see how (if you’re willing!!) God will use you to really grow, mature, support, help, and bring out the best in other another! Being married is so much fun and one great big, wonderful adventure!!

  27. ballista74
    April 11, 2013 at 6:41 am #

    I will say the proper challenge out there is “show”, not “tell”. You can tell all you want, but realize that those of you who are married bear witness of what marriage is to others. It can be a positive witness or a negative witness. That starts with the first marriage people witness (mother and father), and then goes from there.

    We see certain marriages and certain situations present themselves before our eyes. We see marriages of our friends blowing up around us with the private confessions of how well off we are, and then witnessing how true that is as the family court and the wife proceeds to do their best effort to destroy him and his life.

    This even extends to how the married couples conduct themselves in public. We see the new husbands suddenly have no time for us as friends, having to seek his wife’s permission to do even the simplest thing. We see all the public squabbles and fights, knowing glances when a joke like “her own wedding cake being the biggest killer of her libido” gets told in a group of men. We see the married men staggering into work in the morning with the “dead man walking” demeanor, obviously unhappy with life.
    This goes to the single women as well in how they conduct themselves before others.

    Simply put, there are a whole host of negative testimonials out there. When those come out, the answer is “that will never be me”. When those keep piling up, you have a problem, no matter what words are being said. The author makes the situation pretty clear:

    You ladies will never understand that you are your own worst enemies. Young men like the guy in the story are taking notice of your bad behavior and want nothing to do with you. If you ever really want decent men to come back to you, you better start policing your own. I know that will never happen but I’ll say it anyway.

    Again, “show”, not tell. If you want to see a decrease in the hesitancy to marry, the key is providing positive examples of what marriage is in both words and action.

    • peacefulwife
      April 11, 2013 at 9:18 am #

      Ballista74,

      I agree with you that we need godly examples of marriage – and the church is sadly lacking in that department. :(

      It is my prayer that God might raise up an army of married couples who decide to do things His way and who can show and lead by example and teach others what marriage is designed to be and how to glorify God in marriage. I pray that this generation might repent and turn back to Christ and His Word and that we might leave a godly legacy for our children.

      The last few generations have really dropped the ball – in my opinion.

      What I desire to see is Christians taking God’s Word seriously and obeying Him even when it’s not popular and even when it is really difficult and painful and there is suffering. And then I believe that God can heal our marriages so that they are beautiful examples to the world of the profound mystery of the relationship between Christ and the church. It can’t be faked. It has to be real and has to be powered by God’s Spirit.

      Thank you so much for the comment!

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