It is possible to be the most godly, Spirit-filled wife on the planet and to still have a husband who is unloving and sinful.
God was a perfect “husband” to Israel – and yet His people were unfaithful to Him over and over and over again – just like we are so easily unfaithful to Him. 🙁 It is not because God did anything wrong that His people are faithless.
My goal for us as wives is for us to concentrate on things that we can control – but please hear me that there are situations where husbands can be unloving no matter what a wife does.
- We can influence and possibly inspire our husbands.
- We can obey God ourselves.
- We can be full of God’s Spirit.
- We can’t control our husbands.
- We are not responsible for their sin and behavior.
- They are responsible for their own sin.
- We are responsible for our own sin.
Our respect and biblical submission may help many things in marriage, but we cannot fix everything in our marriages.
Husbands and wives are all sinners. We are all capable of sin. In fact, apart from God, we are all slaves to sin and unable to do anything but live in sin. God has given us all a free will. We can choose to love and obey Him or we can choose to sin and rebel against Him. We can choose to love and honor others, or we can choose to be selfish, hateful and destructive.
- One spouse’s sin can make it easier for the other to be tempted to sin.
- One spouse’s obedience to God can make it easier for the other spouse to obey God.
But each person is accountable and responsible to God for his/her own sin no matter what anyone else has done. (Ezekiel 18)
SOME REASONS HUSBANDS MAY BE UNLOVING THAT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THEIR WIVES:
– If a husband has certain untreated or uncontrolled mental health disorders or medical issues: depression, mania, bi-polar, PTSD, Asperger’s, ADD, autism, thyroid disorders, a brain tumor, dementia, side effects from certain medications, etc… these medical issues can cause a husband to act in an unloving way or to seem unloving to his wife and family. (There are resources to help in these kinds of situations!)
– Almost everyone gets easily upset and grumpy when they are exhausted, sleep-deprived, sick, in pain or have low blood sugar. These are times to offer much grace, in my view. The flesh is weak.
– If a husband has a history of abuse in his past or his parents’ example of marriage was extremely ungodly, especially if he did not have a godly dad, he may not know how to be loving and may have a lot of wounds and scars to heal from. He may not know what love is or how to express it. He may need a godly male mentor in this situation to teach him how to be a godly husband.
– If a husband came to Christ, but is involved in unrepentant sin, his sinful nature is in control, not God’s Spirit. He cannot act like Jesus if he is cherishing sin in his heart. His life will bear ungodly fruit. (Galatians 5:19-21) His greatest need is repentance.
– If a husband does not have Christ as his Savior and Lord – he won’t have the power of God to give him the strength to love with God’s agape love. He is spiritually dead. A corpse doesn’t get up and lovingly serve anyone. Until God wakes him up and opens his spiritual eyes, he will be a slave to his sinful nature. His greatest need is Christ.
– If a husband is actively addicted to drugs or alcohol or some other addiction, he may treat his wife very unlovingly no matter what she does or does not do. She is not dealing with the real man, but with the addiction. She will need very specialized help. It may not be safe for her or their children to stay. Some wives believe God wants them to stay – I support them in their decisions if they believe this is what God wants them to do. Some wives believe God wants them to leave – I support them in their decisions if they are seeking to hear and obey God’s voice.
This is not an exhaustive list. But I do want women to know that they are NOT 100% responsible for all problems in marriage.
There are very few situations where one spouse is completely responsible for all the problems. Maybe we are only responsible for 10% of the issues. Then it is our job to take care of all of our 10%.
- We are responsible for our own sin, our obedience to Christ and our emotions.
- Our husbands are not responsible for our sin, our happiness, our emotions, our spiritual maturity, our joy – Jesus is the only one who can give us true joy, contentment and peace.
- Our husbands are responsible to God for their sin, their obedience to God and their emotions.
- We are not responsible for our husbands’ sin, their happiness, their emotions, their spiritual maturity or joy – Jesus is the only one who can give them true joy, contentment and peace.
Our husbands’ sin does not give us an excuse to sin against God.
We don’t take on our husband’s responsibilities, or God’s responsibilities – only our own.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Proverbs 1:7
Marriage should have love and respect going in both directions.
- There are times when He wants us to say nothing.
- There are times when He wants us to say specific things.
- There are times when we need to leave for our safety.
- There are times when if we left, we would be in even more danger.
- There are times when we need godly, wise counsel before we attempt to say or do anything to our husbands.
I can’t begin to tell you what God desires you to do in your specific situation.
I trust that He is able to give you His wisdom as you repent of any sin in your own life and put all your faith and trust in Him and learn to abide in Him, feast on His Word, seek His face, die to self and submit yourself fully to Him as Lord.
My Secret Idol (from a wife whose idol was her husband’s salvation)