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“Jesus Is My Husband”

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A lot of Christian women like to use this phrase.

I understand why.

Ultimately, marriage represents Christ and His bride the church (Ephesians 5:22-33).  He is the heavenly Bridegroom for believers – the body of Christ.   Together, Christians comprise “the bride of Christ” – according to God’s Word. We have the promise that we will share the Marriage supper of the Lamb together with Him in heaven and live “happily ever after” with Him.

But… is it possible to take this Jesus-as-Husband concept too far?

Yep.  Probably so.

Here is a comment from a single Christian man on www.peacefulsinglegirl.wordpress.com this week about this subject:

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It should be noted that one of the constant problems I notice in reading the words of women is that they put Jesus in the place of their husband (or boyfriend, this works for both). Unfortunately, very few to no people deal with this at all. A rebuke in this manner sounds like suggesting that she put the husband as an idol in the simple-minded, but it really is not. It’s putting Jesus and the husband in their proper places and roles.

As David Murrow writes:

Christian self-help books are prodding women to become lusty — toward Jesus. Many famous authors vigorously encourage women to imagine Jesus as their personal lover. One tells her readers to “develop an affair with the one and only Lover who will truly satisfy your innermost desires: Jesus Christ”. A well-known Christian author says to his female readers, “at times, Jesus will be more of a husband to you than the man of flesh that you married. And while your husband may wonderfully meet many of your needs, only the Bridegroom can and will meet all your needs.” Another offers this breathless description of God’s love: “This Someone entered your world and revealed to you that He is your true Husband. Then He dressed you in a wedding gown whiter than the whitest linen. You felt virginal again. And alive! He kissed you with grace and vowed never to leave you or forsake you. And you longed to go and be with Him.”

In a woman taking Jesus as her husband, she puts herself and her husband in a unhealthy place. In doing this, she puts her husband and Jesus in competition, one which her husband can never win in the heart of his wife. In doing this, she heaps great amount of disrespect on her husband.

A better way to say it is to make sure her husband and Jesus is in the proper places in the hearts of a woman. A husband has his proper place. And Jesus has his proper place. As you rightly point out, it’s not good to replace Jesus in his proper place with the husband. But this is a very small problem, and pales in comparison to the problem of women replacing their husbands in their proper places with Jesus. As the quote above intimates, this is done much more frequently by Christian women to almost be common, and is done with the support and instruction of other Christian women and church authorities.

And to put what I wrote in a simpler way: As described, the wife is committing adultery against her husband….with Jesus.

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I don’t believe it is healthy or right for us to literally picture Jesus as being our personal flesh and blood husband or that He takes the place of a flesh and blood husband.  

He is GOD.  

There ought to be a great deal of reverence and awe and trembling in our souls before God – a holy fear.

We are not going to be physically intimate with Jesus.  Romantic, sexual, erotic love is created by God to be enjoyed between human husbands and wives here on earth.

We are to be one in Spirit with Christ.  We worship Him.  He is the focus of our lives.  We desire Him above everything else in a holy way.  We find our purpose, contentment, joy, peace, satisfaction, fulfillment and identity primarily in Him.  We seek to please Him and serve Him with all our our hearts, souls, minds and strength.  He is our LORD.  But He is deity – not only human. We are not in a sensual relationship with Him. Check out my Catholic friend Thomas’ comment on this post about the Eucharist.

Jesus has His proper place and my husband has his proper place in my heart.  They are two different places – I agree with the author above.

  • We are one SPIRIT with Christ – part of His Spirit enters my spirit and my body.  My body becomes His temple, the place where He meets with me and empowers me.
  • We are one FLESH with our husbands – part of his body enters my body – it is a picture or living metaphor of the one Spirit relationship we can have with Christ.

If I put Jesus where my husband should be – I have a mess.

If I put my husband where Jesus should be, I also have a mess.

Although my love and response toward Jesus and my husband share similarities – my relationship with each of them is NOT the same.  They do not compete in my heart for a place.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:

If a Christian wife begins to think of Christ as being her literal flesh and blood  husband, and she talks about that to her husband – quite honestly, that will creep out a lot of Christian men.  It makes it seem like there is no room left in her heart for himself, possibly.  And, I think it conjures up images of a woman having some kind of sensual feelings for Christ.  If we are imagining Christ being our physical lover – that seems to me to be a gross and unholy distortion of what our relationship with Him is meant to be.  We are not ever called upon to lust after Jesus physically or to desire Him sexually or romantically.  Imagine the repulsiveness of this thought to a man who wants to love Christ.

Sometimes we can also expect our husbands to literally BE Christ to us – to never sin, to love us with what we define as “the way Christ loves the church and gave Himself up for her,” to be totally responsible for our happiness, to do anything we want just because we want them to do something.  This is not a good idea!  In fact, we can easily make idols of our husbands.

I think we need to be careful with the concept of the church being the bride of Christ, that we don’t distort it:

  • Yes, in marriage, the picture is that of Christ and the church with the husband representing Christ and the wife representing the church (Ephesians 5:22-33).  But it is an imperfect picture that is demonstrated in the flesh – portraying a picture of what happens spiritually between Christ and the church.   God describes His people committing “adultery” against Him when they worshipped idols in the Old Testament.  Worship is the “intimate” experience God desires us to share with Him alone and to reserve for Him alone.   The church or individual believers will not be having sex with Christ in heaven. According to Jesus, people will not marry in heaven, “but will be like the angels.”  There will be a continual state of God’s people worshipping Him and being one with Him spiritually.  Sex in marriage points to the spiritual intimacy, oneness and worship of God that we will experience with Christ in heaven.  There is a tendency today in Christianity in our culture to glorify and even idolize romance and also to romanticize our relationship as believers with Jesus.  There is a very interesting article about that issue and the dangers that approach to Christ may encourage that I will be sharing tomorrow.
  • Marriage is between two sinful humans.  Hopefully, we only married men who are committed to Christ, but even then, our men are sinful  – just like we are.  There is no sinless human husband on the planet.  And there is no sinless human wife on the planet, either.  We will be called upon to extend overwhelming grace, mercy, unconditional love, unconditional respect and forgiveness in marriage – often.  We don’t have to do that with Christ.  Sometimes because the husband/man is to represent Jesus, we expect him to be as perfect as Jesus.  That is not possible – not outside of heaven.
  • “The way Christ loves the church and gave Himself up for her” – this does not equate to “a flesh and blood man has to love me exactly the way I WANT to be loved” or “I need to FEEL loved every moment for him to be properly portraying the love of Christ.”  How are we defining “the way Christ loves the church?”  That’s an important question!  Jesus loved the church and gave Himself up for her because He loved God the Father primarily and because He submitted to His will.  He also gave Himself up for her because she couldn’t save herself and He was the only one who could save her.  He did what was ultimately best for her in the big picture. That doesn’t mean that He does everything we want Him to do.  Sometimes what we want is not what is best for us.  THANK GOD that He says “no” and “wait” to us sometimes.  Thank God that He chastises us, prunes us, refines us and sanctifies us (uses suffering to make us more and more like Jesus and more holy).  Sometimes when a man loves his wife with the love of Christ, she may not FEEL loved at the moment, but sometimes he will have to make tough choices to do what He believes is right before God even though his wife does not agree with him.  That is his duty and responsibility before God – to please God above pleasing his wife!
  • We are responsible for our own obedience to Christ, our own sin, our own happiness.  It is not right to expect that another person be responsible for the things that ultimately we are responsible for before God.  When I make my husband responsible for my happiness – which I did for a long time – I also become a powerless victim, waiting on him to make me happy.  If I wasn’t happy, I blamed him.  Then I tried to force him to do what I wanted so I could be happy.  This is NOT a godly path to take!  God gives us a Spirit of power, love and a sound mind.  I am not a victim when I belong to Christ.  I have the resources and riches of heaven at my fingertips to flood through me like Niagra Falls to meet my spiritual needs and to bless others with along my path as well.  I am able to live in contentment no matter if my needs in my marriage are being met or not – because I depend on Christ primarily for my spiritual needs to be met.  I don’t lay the burden of my spiritual needs at the feet of another human.  Only Jesus can meet my deepest spiritual needs perfectly.  My husband has the ability to meet some of my needs.  It’s wonderful when he does.  But I can be ok no matter what happens because I have Christ in His proper place in my heart.

37 thoughts on ““Jesus Is My Husband”

  1. April, I’m so glad you did this post. I have seen this creepy idea in several places, but most notably in the book Captivating. I think romanticizing Jesus is ridiculous as men and women both are the bride of Christ, so should our husbands be thinking romantically about Jesus? I’m glad mine doesn’t! EEWWW!

  2. Thank you for your blogs. I am gratified to see that you continue to think and pray about what you write and not simply “go with the flow” but rather dutifully inspect and test every thought and opinion that crosses your path.

    God bless

  3. The Marriage Supper of the Lamb is not the same as human marriage. The later is an analogy for the former. Human marriage displays a unique intimacy, body and soul. This “body and soul” intimacy is realized in the Holy Eucharist of the Mass when Christians receive Christ into their hearts and into their bodies. There Christ is received “body, blood, soul and divinity.” This is the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, a unique union between Christ and believers which is eternal. Hence, Jesus says that those who partake of it “abide in me and I in them,” and that they “have eternal life.” (John 6)

    In this life, there is no greater intimacy with Christ possible than the Holy Eucharist. The intimacy and eternal life that Adam and Eve destroyed by eating the forbidden fruit is restored to us by Christ. He provides himself as the sacrificial Lamb which, like at Passover, is consumed by us. This is how the Bridegroom is united to his Bride in body and in spirit (soul). It is a complete union. A “spiritual” union with Christ, while good, is incomplete, as it does not include the material aspect of humanity which Christ also shares. The Eucharist solves this dilema, not “marriage to Christ” in the human sense. When Christians reject the Eucharist they are left with only the analogy of human marriage to “work with” in trying to attain intimacy with Christ. But the analogy points to the full realization of something greater (i.e. the Holy Eucharist of John 6 and the Last Supper).

    In the post it is stated:

    “We are to be one in Spirit with Christ. We worship Him. He is the focus of our lives. We desire Him above everything else in a holy way. We find our purpose, contentment, joy, peace, satisfaction, fulfillment and identity primarily in Him. We seek to please Him and serve Him with all our our hearts, souls, minds and strength. He is our LORD. But He is deity – not human.”

    Actually, we are to be fully united with Christ, body AND soul, not just in spirit. That is why we and Christ have bodies and are not pure spirit like the angels. To say that Christ is “deity — not human” is to adopt an ancient heresy which denys the incarnation. Christians (Catholic and non-Catholic) believe Jesus to be fully God AND fully human. He is now in Heaven with a glorified body, but he is still fully God and fully human. His glorified humanity exemplifies what we are to become in the resurrection. The Holy Eucharist, properly understood, is the means of worship Christ instituted, and is the answer to our desire to be with him and please him. It fulfills us because it is his fulfillment of his desire to be with us. If we long for him, he longs for us much more. Hence, his real, physical presence in the Eucharist.

    In the resurrection we are “neither married nor are given in marriage.” The analogy of man/woman marriage will no longer be needed since our union with Christ will be complete and we will be perfected. “We will see him as he is, for we shall be like him.” The Holy Eucharist is our means of complete intimacy with Christ until the end of the world. (“I will be with you until the end of the world”) In the meantime, you can partake of the Eucharist while being married to your husband, thereby having Jesus and your husband rightly ordered in your life. God has made a way to have complete, body and soul intimacy with both without violating one or the other. No worries about “adultery” or “competition.” Just godly intimacy all around.

    1. Thomas,

      I corrected that misstatement in the post. Thanks for catching that!

      I didn’t intend to say that Jesus is not also human.

      And thank you so much for the explanation of the Holy Eucharist. I referred readers to check out your comment.

      I appreciate your wisdom very much!

  4. I have been working to become a submissive wife for several months now when I stumbled upon your blog some time ago. I obtained and read a few of the books you said had helped you along the way and I have begun studying the bible. I do good some days and not so good others. There’s progress at least and my husband has noticed that. But recently I feel myself slipping backwards and I think that I may be beginning to resent what God’s plan is for me. By that I mean that while I believe in God and I believe in what he teaches, I am sad. I am sad that I don’t get to expect what I thought I could from my husband and my marriage. I feel completely diminished by what God’s will is for me. I feel like I have lost who I am. I am just a sheep now. I am to ask nicely for what I want from my husband and wait patiently even if it never comes. Is this really what is meant for me? For marriage? Can I truly not expect or ask for romance and passion? Am I to simply be at peace with the fact that Jesus loves me? I truly believe but I still feel so alone and so sad. My husband loves me and our daughter very much. He provides for us and serves his country with all his might. My marriage is probably great by someones standard. Probably even my husbands. But I still feel alone. I feel so crushed by this submission stuff. I have lost my sense of self, my excitement for life and my spirit feels beat down. I am just supposed to do what ever my husband says joyfully and forget about what I want and need it seems. Perhaps I am stating this s bit dramatically, but that’s how I feel right now. Maybe I am just not seeing things clearly. Of course I pray about it and I am waiting, hoping that this will all be worth it. Am I the only wife out there that feels this way? Doesn’t anyone else feel crushed by all this?

    1. Jessica,

      If you are feeling crushed by this – you are attempting to do it in your own power and you are not full of God’s Spirit. That is my guess.

      Letting go of idols is painful. Dying to self is painful. The process of sanctification is a lifelong process of allowing God to make us more and more like Christ.

      It is hard to let go of dreams for romance.

      Does that mean you can’t have romance in the future? Nope!

      I am sure there will be romance in your future- but it will be freely given by your husband, not forced upon him. I know right now it feels very frustrating – but for most wives, in time (many months, maybe even a year or more) – their marriages get infinitely better, their husbands become more attentive and more loving.

      The problem is – it can’t be your greatest goal to “feel loved” and have romance. This is what almost all of us do in our culture. Funny how the best way to get what we want is to stop trying to get it and be content with what we have.

      There is a process of swinging too far one way and then overcorrecting and swinging too far the other way on this journey.

      The only self I believe you will have to lose is your old sinful self – and you will discover your new self in Christ.

      How is your time with God going?

      It is fine to ask for things of your husband. What happens when you respectfully do that?

      What is it that you really want that you are not getting?

      Most wives – in time – find that they have more passion than ever before. Did you read “Respect, Biblical Submission and Sexual Attraction” at the top of my home page?

      When God’s Spirit fills you up – you will have His unspeakable joy, peace, purpose, energy, and strength to do all that He asks you to do.

      Is there anything you are holding on to in your heart that you are not willing to surrender to Christ?

      How long have you been feeling this way?

      Are you hormonal right now? Are you getting enough sleep?

      Are you doing fun things for yourself?

      Are you talking with your husband?

      Do you have a godly mentoring wife?

      I do believe other wives feel like you do at some point. I’m going to ask a few wives who are a bit farther down the road to respond to you, if that is ok. 🙂

      Much love, Jessica! I’m glad you wrote to me. 🙂 Let’s hash through this together.

      1. Thanks April. I am sure you are right that I have not fully let go of myself and given it all to Christ. I may think I have but surely I haven’t or I wouldn’t be feeling this way. Maybe party because I don’t know how to do this well on a day to day basis. It is still fairly new for me. Yes, I am tired but mostly because I have been up at night crying asking Jesus why. I do need to do more things for myself and that is tough for our family sometimes. Military, one income, etc. But I realize that’s important.

        I also know I could spend more time with God. I recently got discouraged and stopped reading the bible. I was using a ‘read it in a year’ plan and it started in Proverbs I think. It was just not resinating with me at all and I got bored. That sounds awful but it is true. My husband had finally agreed to go to church with me last Sunday (something I have always wanted but never pushed) and we found a way to skip it. My point being that I would love to get involved in church in a way that is meaningful to me and will help me study the bible. I do have godly wives in my family to talk to but no one in particular who is mentoring me. I would love to hear from other wives.

        I do need to spend more time with God and pray more. What I want is what I think a lot of women want. An occasional tight embrace with a kiss and and I love you. An occasional surprise, I cooked YOU dinner! Nothing fancy or expensive, just meaningful. Even just an unsolicited “I really appreciate all you do. You’re a good wife and mother” will do. I believe my husband feel this way, and wants to do these things for me but just doesn’t really. So I am left wondering why? And when? And if never than why, Jesus?

        1. Jessica,

          How has communication been between you and your husband. Is he depressed. Is he dealing with any mental issues, PTSD, addictions or past abuse?

          I can tell you this, if you get out of God’s word! you are spiritually starving yourself and it is IMPOSSIBLE to do this apart from God. Scrap the read the bible in a year plan. Read John, romans, the epistles, Hebrews, Psalm, Isaiah, Jeremiah…

          What are some things your husband has done for the family in the last month or two? Yard work. Bring home a pay check? Sit with you for supper? Play with the kids? Wash your car?

          THANK HIM. You start showing him gratitude and appreciation. Smile that glorious smile of yours at him she you see him. Bless him.

          If your husband is not one to give verbal compliments, like my husband, he may show his appreciation in other ways. But as you praise him for doing anything you like, you may just find that you will encourage him to do some more things you appreciate.

          I have a feeling, he wants more than almost anything in the world to see you be happy, 🙂

          Much love my precious sister!

    2. Jessica,

      There also may be some times when you have to take a break from the books for a few days or weeks and just allow yourself to digest what you have been learning and enjoy your husband and family. That’s ok!

      Here is the post Nina Roesner wrote about the different stages most wives go through on this journey

      As you learn what God’s design really is – you will have the power of heaven pouring into your soul like Niagra Falls. You will not have given up anything, you will have gained access to the riches and power of God. But there is a process of dying to self that comes first. And it can feel sad and scary, or terrifying. But later, you will see that what you gave up was garbage and what God will give you is treasure.

      I know it is very hard to see that right now.

      I’m very glad to hear from you any time.

      aprilc@sc.rr.com
      We can walk together on this road, ok? “:)

    3. HI, Jessica!

      I am so glad you are here and working on improving your marriage. I know God is pleased you are trying to honor Him by being a godly wife.

      It sounds like you are feeling down right now and that is alright… we all have down days.

      There is a sadness in realizing that things are not going to be like you thought they would. But I promise you, there is true peace in this path. I have been on this journey for 13 months but things really just started clicking into place for me 2 months ago. It takes time. And you can do this.

      Realize this, Jessica. God’s plan is good. It may not feel good at the moment but some day you will look back and see that His plan is so much better than what you originally thought you wanted in marriage.

      I once heard this in a marriage seminar and it has helped me tremendously. God does not tell us to submit to our husbands because he thinks we are inferior. He is giving us the KEY to our husbands heart by telling us to submit. Our soft, submissive behavior draws our husbands to us and makes them respond in ways that we have long dreamed they would. They don’t always do it exactly when we want them to. But it does happen.

      You can certainly tell your husband things you want in your marriage. But letting him decide when to give you these things is giving him the ability to give you a very sweet gift that you will savor and treasure. Instead of him giving it to you because you are demanding it, he is giving it to you -when he chooses to do so- as a gift from his heart.

      Yes, you are a sheep but that does not mean you are not infinitely precious to God. Do you know that God has your very name written in the palm of his hand? (Isaiah 49:16) If you were the only one on earth, He still would have sent His son for you. Don’t doubt your worth. God’s word also says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)

      Do this for me. I do this when I am feeling down. Write down 10 wonderful things about your husband. Things like he is affectionate or he tells you he loves you daily. Whatever they are. Even going to work for your family makes the list- that is a huge thing and how most men feel is a way they can show love the best. Making a list like this always makes me feel better and reminds me how blessed I am to have my husband.

      Coming to that place where you decide you can be okay either way is HARD. There is no getting around that fact. I had some real days of grieving when I realized that I had to give every hope and dream into God’s hands to see what He would do.

      But He has not failed me. I did this with no expectation of return. BUT my husband has actually done some very sweet and unexpected things since that time to show his love for me. Are they things on my time table? Nope. Are they exactly what I would have ‘ordered’ him to give me? Nope. But they are honestly much, much sweeter.

      Hang in there, sweet Jessica and stay the course. I will be keeping you in my prayers.

      1. Thank you fellow wife for this reply. I do not feel inferior. I just want to feel loved by my husband. I do appreciate all he does, like just going to work, and most days that is enough. And I tell him. I do things for him to show him and I praise him a lot! He does not suffer from any depression issues or abuse April. We do talk. I do mention to him the things I would like but as you know, I don’t want him to do it because I asked him to. I finished the books I read a few months ago and haven’t been reading anything but the bible since really. I have readym that part by Nina along with her book and most of your blog. Thank you for the suggestions on reading the bible.

        1. Jessica,

          I personally had to study this stuff for a few hours a day for 2 years for it to really sink in before I began to feel like I had a clue what I was doing. Of course, I was having to find pieces and put them together from over 30 books. But I read a the surrendered Wife every day for 3 months before I “got it.”(and I had to carefully subtract everything that wasn’t scriptural and figure out which parts to keep and what scriptures they were based on). This is a complete and total renovation of our souls and minds. It is like learning a whole new language.

          I believe it will be important to keep reading and studying. You may not have the time to read as much as I did, that is fine. But a few books from months ago is probably not enough. There is so much to learn! And I never do the read a bible in a year plans now. I did when I was 12, but it is easy for that to become legalistic, and it is easy to get bogged down in some of the Old Testament books.

          I like my pastor’s suggestion to read one chapter of Psalms and one from proverbs per day and one Old Testament chapter and one New Testament chapter. If you don’t have time for that, you can rotate between OT and NT books. That can work well, too.

          This is a situation where the more you invest in your time with God and the more you desire to allow Him to teach and change you, the faster this whole process will probably go.

          It is also key to watch our motives.

          It is actually good that our husbands often don’t change for a long time, that forces us to do this only to please God and bless our husbands. Otherwise our motive would easily be to change our husbands or to feel loved and we would continue putting the wrong things first.

          Much love!!!

    4. Jessica, one more little thing… those reading the bible in a year things don’t work for me, either. I try to read a chapter a day and I read a little devotional out of a devotional book. If you want a little more in depth study, I LOVE Kelly Minter. And my next purchase is going to be the devotional, Jesus Calling. Just some thoughts on different ways to study your bible. And April is right- I have learned I *HAVE* to have time with God each day! Without it, I go downhill very quickly.

      1. Thank you for the feed back all. The main messgaes I am getting from you is spend more time in the Word. More time with God. I appreciate the suggestions on where to start and tools to help. So far this has been a very lonely journey and I am very grateful for this blog April. I think I may have given up without it. I know there is a long journey ahead and I look forward to brighter days ahead.

  5. Jessica, I am also a military wife and have dealt with many of the longings you havein marriage. Just want to encourage you to look into PWOC (Protestant Women of the Chapel) at the post where your husband is stationed. It has been a tremendous place for me to learn and grow in the Lord alongside other Christian military wives. Besides that, you are always welcome to contact me at scotts helpers at yahoo dot com (no spaces in address) if you want to talk more. If you do a search for articles on the Peacefulwife website written by Hishelper, that is me. Hugs to you, sister. I will be praying the Lord reveals Himself to you in amazing ways as you search for Him and His truth with all your heart. He is proven Himself to be all satisfying to me, and I know that if my relationship with my husband never yielded all that I had hoped for, Jesus IS enough. I could not have said that a year, or even six months ago.

  6. I agree with this. I feel uncomfortable hearing Christians talk of “falling in love” with Jesus in books and even praise music. And also, the older I get, the more I dislike that expression because to fall in love implies that it’s possible to fall out of love one day. Why not just love each other, period? Love is a verb, an action. It takes work. It doesn’t rely on that whimsical falling in or out of something (almost like it’s beyond our control).

    Anyway, that’s just my take on it. Thanks for a thought-provoking post.

    1. Elena,
      Amen! Amen!

      Even our local Christian radio station has gone from talking about exalting Christ to having a phrase they use over and over about “We’re here to uplift you.”

      I want to scream, “NO!!!!! We need to be here to lift GOD up! We need to exalt Christ! This cannot be about lifting people up or about feeling uplifted ourselves.”

      Yes – this is about so much more than changeable feelings.

      Thank you for sharing! 🙂

    2. Elena, this is a very insightful comment and I agree with it 100 percent. Indeed, love is an action demonstrated by commitment, duty, forgiveness, loyalty, perseverance, and other similar virtues. On top of that, the phrase “falling in love” sounds like an accident waiting to happen. Who wants that?

      April, this is a great post (I’m just now discovering it).

  7. I also sometimes get bored of reading and find this helpful: pick one verse and intensely practice it. Today, I am trying to embody “let your gentleness be known to all men, the Lord is at hand”. I think about it, pray about it, ponder the gentleness of the Lord, repeat it to myself every time I am tempted to be grumpy at my children’s incessant demands. Do you ever get creative fatigue by looking at Pinterest? If I spend too much time just looking, I waste my motivation to “do”. Sometimes reading too many Bible verses without practicing them is like that.

    Be wary of your emotions at this stage. Practice obedience and a servant’s heart and don’t worry about how you feel. Feelings follow actions. And abandoning old ways leaves your heart a bit deadened because old stimulations and habits are being revoked. Any new habit, even one only of thought, doesn’t feel right at first. Give yourself some time.

  8. Jessica,

    I have been on this journey for 17 months and it does take a while! I too am so glad you are on this journey. It takes so much courage and strength to do this. There are days that are so hard and days that are so wonderful. I tell April all the time, “I hated you and love you at the same time.” I hated that myself had to die to its old ways of wanting to be pleased all the time but then I loved her because of the truth she was fueling me with. The truth that has truly changed me and my marriage. So don’t give up and if you feel like you want to, just reach out and we are all here on this journey with you. Trust in God’s perfect plan. The bible says, He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)

    The one thing I learned early on was I had made my husband an idol in my heart. I had to learn to replace Jesus as my one and only idol. That was extremely hard for me because I had my whole self identity wrapped up in how my husband made me feel. So if I didn’t get the warm and fuzzies from him that day then chances were, I was having a crummy feeling day.

    I had to learn how God felt about me. I had to daily and moment by moment remember God’s intense love for me. That I was uniquely and wonderfully made. That He had a great plan for my life. That I was beautiful and precious to Him. When I knew that, like really knew that, there was this overwhelming peace and joy that flooded my heart. Sure, I still wished my husband would be romantic and pursue me more ,but my world didn’t get shaken when he didn’t.
    I also had to notice the ways my husbands was showing his love or trying to be romantic. Some times I needed a magnifying class to actually see them, but I delighted in each one.

    The more I began to focus on God, the happier and more peaceful I became. The less I controlled him and nagged him, the lighter I felt. The more I focused on my sin, the more gracious I became. Then somehow like magic, my husband started to miss me and wanted to be with me more. And the more I invested into my husband’s life as an act of love (not wrong motives…you have to be careful with that) the more intrigued I became with this person I married. God gave me a window into my husband’s heart and I began to see things and learn things about him I never knew after 8 years of marriage. Now I truly delight in just being with him, even if its watching him build things in the garage. Sometimes he invests back into me and sometimes he doesn’t. Im okay with that! God knows the desires of my heart and I fully trust God with them!

    Im praying for you! Continue to ask questions to fellow wives along the same journey and continue to invest in time with God! He longs to be with you and walk this journey with you! Much love to you!!

    1. Thanks for sharing. I really dont need to be pleased all the time or have any crazy demands. I don’t nag him, I don’t ask for much of anything really. I know I am putting too much emphasis on my husband and not enough on God. That is where it is unclear to me though. You say now you are content with God’s love even when you don’t get it from your husband. I can’t imagine how I can be fulfilled by God’s love in the way that I am wanting my husband to love me. And that brings us back to April’s post. How i see my relationship with Jesus and my husband is confusing. I am trying to put all my love and faith in Jesus to fulfill what I really want from my spouse. Don’t get me wrong, I am convinced that Jesus’s love is the most powerful love there is and it IS possible. I just don’t feel it yet. And I am just sad that it isn’t something I can count on from my husband.

      1. Jessica,

        The love and acceptance and peace and joy we get from God are very different from what we receive from our husbands. God doesn’t meet our need for sex, for instance, or for romance. But – when we are putting Him in the proper place and centering our lives around Him, seeking to know Him and please Him more than anything else – we are able to have His peace, love, joy, fulfillment, power, etc. So – He is able to empower us to be able to be content even when our circumstances aren’t the best. We can find our contentment in Christ no matter what our husbands do or don’t do.

        There is a time of learning to change our motives and goals. There is a letting go of the dream of feeling loved by our husbands.

        But – many times, once we stop trying to force our husbands to love us or be what we want them to be – and once we have God in His proper place – God is able to work things out in ways we couldn’t imagine.

        Feelings are not something we can count on. They can be important. But usually obedience to God comes first – feelings may come later. If they do, awesome. If they don’t – that’s still ok because our goal isn’t to have good feelings – our goal is to honor Christ and bring glory to Him. Then He gives us unspeakable joy that is unlike any regular old human emotion. 🙂

        Much love!

  9. Hi Jessica, I wanted to also share a great resource on line or you can download the free app. It’s called ccphilly.org. It’s Calvary chapel church. The pastor, Joe Focht is a great teacher of the Word and you can listen to verse by verse studies of each book. I would read it first and then listen to the study of the same verses. This has helped me so much as I study Gods word. Another book I used was a devotional on line, Andrew Murray’s book, Waiting on God. You can read it on line at ccel.org. It helped me grow closer to God in a beautiful and deep way by simply being in His presence and waiting on Him for his blessings and the fulfillment of my needs.
    Just wanted to share that with you. Lifting you up in prayer today.

    1. Angelique, thank you for this resource. I listened today to a teaching and it was tremendously helpful. So grateful for this!

  10. Yes. The book Captivating came to mind. An overall hard to read book full of fairy tale wisdom which particularly creeped me out when she spoke on this topic. I did get some useful insight from this book, but her spin on our intimacy with Christ was offensive to me.

    There are so many dangers and sins in this type of thinking. We really need to filter what we hear and read through its alignment with scripture.

    1. Linda,

      It’s startling to realize just how many ungodly influences can get subtly weaved into our thinking and church culture. I pray God will open our eyes to these things so we can cut them out of our doctrine and biblical understanding, that we might handle God’s Word correctly and that we might cling to His truth and test what we are hearing and reading carefully against God’s Word.

      Thanks for the comments!

  11. I’m single and not only is Jesus not my husband he’s not my boyfriend either !!!
    It’s hard enough being single to be told you have a spouse when you don’t very hard. !! I’m alone and will not pretend I’m married . I want to marry some day but not to Jesus !!! It’s not an actual marriage

    1. kam75,

      Jesus can absolutely be your Lord and Savior. You can love Him more than anything or anyone – and that is the place He deserves. But – He is not your literal husband. So true.

      Praying for God’s greatest glory in your life, my precious sister!! I also have a blog for single women if you are interested http://www.peacefulsinglegirl.wordpress.com – and you are welcome on both blogs. 🙂

  12. I agree with God and the husband having their separate places. I, too, despise the romanticizing of Jesus movement.

    However, the Bible never tells us that the husband is to be Jesus. It merely describes how he is supposed to love his wife, sacrificing himself and preferring her above himself, and how she is supposed to yield to his side, and stay at his side, no matter what.

    As the Church, we are inferring into the text. It says the man has to love his wife sacrificially. We read into it that he has the final say, is the primary decision-maker, has “spiritual authority”, is the “head of the home”, is the “king, priest and prophet of the house.”

    No, it doesn’t say that. We read “head of the wife”, and read ” authority over the wife “. The Greek word used here means “source”, not “leader of”. Another Greek word for “authority” is used elsewhere in the NT. Research it elsewhere.

    My point is that the husband and wife is one in Christ. He is their Lord. There is no hierarchy in Him. He is the final decision-maker, the Author and the Finisher of their faith, not the husband.

    Unity in marriage requires that both reach the agreement to prefer the one over the other.

    Telling husbands they have authority over their wives and wives that they have to submit to it, is a false teaching because it is a perpetuation of the curse of Genesis 3:16. The flesh of a man desires to rule over a woman. The flesh of a woman desires a man to rule over her.

    There will always be a power struggle in this case, no matter how we as the Church try to dress the curse in truth. A husband and wife is supposed to function equally according to their gifting and human differences. The one does not have more authority and power over the other. In fact, the Scriptures state that both have authority over the other’s body.

    Romanticizing Jesus as a husband is all about how we as Christian women have internalized Hollywood’s lies about romance. In fact, we project that same internalization over men.

    They are fallen human beings like us. It is dangerous to teach another fallen human being like a church leader or a spouse has spiritual authority over us. We are one flesh with our spouse, but one in spirit with Christ. Spiritual authority belongs to God alone.

    1. Laura,

      Thanks so much for sharing. 🙂

      Yes, I am familiar with the Greek word potentially meaning “source.” And I agree that the Bible doesn’t tell the husband to replace Jesus or to be worshipped as God.

      However, there are very clear instructions in Ephesians 5:22-33, I Peter 3:1-2, Titus 2:5, I Corinthians 11:3, as well as in the story of Creation (the order of Creation, that God spoke His Word to Adam and entrusted him with teaching Eve, that God spoke to Adam first when they sinned), that show the loving headship/authority/responsibility before God as spiritual leader of the husband is part of God’s design and the joyful, willing submission of the wife as God’s design.

      Here is what a bible scholar friend of mine writes in response to some of my questions (he is a PhD in Greek and New Testament):

      “. . . I wonder if you can expand a bit more on hupotasso – so, the wife supports the husband in carrying his burden? Is that a more accurate understanding?” —-Yes, so all the variant verbs of hupotasso generally denote authority by indicating a willingness to yield to, defer, or follow another. So, they all carry an overtone of authority and subjection or submission BUT we must be careful to recognize that when used of humans none of them denote unbridled power. Thus, submission, but NOT obedience. Obedience is what Paul asks slaves and children to give their parents and masters but this is not what he asks of wives. So instead of asking wives to obey their husbands as a slave obeys a master who is more powerful, he is asking wives, as equals, to voluntarily yield to their husbands. This usage I see in lots of early Christian literature indicating voluntary yielding to another. I see the opposite at times too but I choose the former.

      “. . . . Would you please tell me, what is the word in Titus 2:5 where wives are “to be subject to their husbands so that the Word of God is not maligned”?” — So here we have hypotassomenas ὑποτασσομένας or “being subject” but that word is utilized in everything from: the demons are subject –to– the creation was subject –to—the younger women were subject to the older –to— our lowly bodies are subject to his glorious body

      “. . . That is so interesting about the word in I Corinthians 11:3. Source of love and comfort. Wow. That translation brings tears of joy to my eyes. So beautiful! Is that word used elsewhere?” —So, kephalē κεφαλὴ or head is used John 20:12;

      1 Corinthians 12:21; Ephesians 4:15; Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:18; Colossians 2:10; Revelation 1:14

      “. . . 1 Peter 3 is more about oneness?” It is hard for me to wrap my head around that. It sounds like it is the wife’s respect and Spirit filled behavior and her willingness to honor her husband that God might use to draw the unbeliever to Himself. But that is not the picture?” —It is part of the picture BUT they are to cultivate the interior life (1 Pt 3:4 -oneness) instead of excessive concern with their appearance (1 Pt 3:3 –which is ALL most today are concerned about). They are one even if they don’t realize it/ want to be. Husbands who do not respect their wives will have NO success in prayer as those who, according to Paul, have no love: their prayers will be “a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal” (1 Cor 13:1). After all, whatever the social position of women in the world and in the family, they are equal recipients of the gift of God’s salvation. Paul is very clear on this point, too (see 1 Cor 11:11–12; Gal 3:28). I know you know all that.

      In the very early church, you see authority inherent in the marriage relationship but it conveys a softened authority that is best understood in terms of voluntarily yielding to another in love. Note for instance that Peter commands the younger men to submit to the older, but softens the authority indicated by following this command immediately with another, “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another” (1 Pet 5:5). We also see the limitation of authority by noting that this word is used of Christ being submissive to his earthly parents (Luke 2:51), and yet this statement comes shortly after he created great anxiety in his parents by going to the temple without notifying them. When his mother scolded him for this, he gently chided her (actually in some variants He rips her) in return for not anticipating that he would be attending to heavenly business that transcended his ties to his earthly family (Luke 2:48-49). Christ was submissive to his parents and he corrected them and did not conform to their demands.

      So, just some 30,000 foot observations:

      The New Testament significantly qualifies a husband’s authority so that male headship in marriage is not primarily about power over but about the responsibility to serve one’s spouse. Having said that, the New Testament does assign sometimes unique authority to the husband, and the wife does have a responsibility to willingly respond to her husband’s leadership. In healthy marriages in which husbands love and serve their wives sacrificially, wives respect their husbands, and both husband and wife seek the Lord on all decisions, there will be very few instances in which a couple comes to an impasse. I think I am correct to say that when these rare moments occur, the husband should not just go ahead and make a decision his wife is opposed to. However, many Christian marriages are not healthy and wives who desire to be obedient to Scripture need and deserve to have the extent of a husband’s authority clarified. In other words, a wife need not and must not surrender to her husband’s authority when obedience to him would violate a biblical principle (not just a direct biblical statement). For example, a wife must not submit to her husband when obedience to him would compromise her relationship with Christ; violate her conscience; compromise the care, nurture, and protection of her children; enable (facilitate) her husband’s sin –and very importantly a wife must not submit to physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, et. al. Taking action to NOT allow this to continue is good for a husband and one of the BEST ways to break through his distorted thinking because it stimulates repentance (–That is what we are ALL seriously praying for!) Also, it decreases the temporal and eternal consequences which accrue the longer a husband abuses (Hell is payment for sin. More sin, more payment. This applies to our criminal/ tort system too.) It helps to remember God hates abuse and abusers (Palms 11:5; Proverbs 6:16-19; Ezek 9:9-10) and has overwhelming serious judgment on abusers (Is 10:1-2; Ezek 22:11, 21; Joel 3:19; Amos 4:1-3; Micah 2:1-2; 3:9-12; Matt 18:5-6).

      —Everybody wins if we can somehow get it right.

      ——-

      Also, Laura, please check out the posts “Spiritual Authority,” “A Husband’s and a Wife’s Authority in Marriage,” “Biblical Submission,” “Biblical Submission Does Not = ‘The Husband Is Always Right’.”

      And, David Platt’s series on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood is excellent – available on Youtube or http://www.radical.net.

      I realize that a husband having authority in any way is not politically correct in our culture or popular today and that very few churches teach God’s Word on this issue. But it is so vitally important that we understand this issue correctly and live it out in order that the gospel might be displayed and Christ be glorified.

      Much love to you! 🙂

  13. really blessed with your post.
    I am a relatively young Christian about 2 years since I had received Christ.
    And I used to think of God in that way. Recently it become better and I will look Jesus not so much as a ‘husband’.
    But I think I am in the danger zone of putting Jesus in the wrong place. I have a lot to learn and thank you for this post.
    God bless you.

    1. Marie,

      Congratulations! I rejoice with the angels that God has brought you to Himself through Christ, my beautiful sister!! 🙂

      God does use the analogy of Jesus being a Husband to us. But it is possible to take that analogy too far.

      It is wonderful to meet you! I’m always glad to hear from you if you want to talk about something.

      Much love!!!!

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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