Kept, looking all dazzling from her profile…but what she wrote to me, sent chills down my spine. She said, “Mary, we are so many feeling like this. Marriage ought to be beautiful, but am living in an ugly marriage. My husband is an adulterer, an abuser, emotionally, physically and I can tell you that I am living in hell. I hate him. I hate my Pastor (*name withheld) more for excusing my husband’s behavior!” My husband and I are pro marriage. We believe in the sanctity of marriage but we will never condone abuse.
Worse, a toxic patriarchal systems that excuses men from facing their responsibilities and fixing themselves all in the name of “submission.”Trust me, even if you are loved, as wife, it’s not natural to submit. I know it’s not. . .It’s definitely easier, but not natural. It’s not natural because we are all prone to sin. Submission isn’t a girl’s thing, or wife’s thing, or simply because you are loved. It’s an issue of the heart.
Submission has every focal point pegged on Christ not on a husband.It’s a choice, because you can be loved but choose to exploit the hands that embrace you. Submission also, doesn’t place the husband on Christ’s throne. A wise husband knows too well that submission starts with him. Submission yokes on a husband too- Ephesians 5:21-22. He has to submit his will for Christ’s. . .then submit to his wife too. He cannot be a husband without learning it from Christ, the one who submits to the Father. He too needs to take his hands off his life and yield that control, and trade off any toxic ego for a servant like heart.
So, Mrs.,you are not your husband’s Messiah. It’s not on you to fix him. You can pray, you can seek counsel, but unless he wants to change, unless he proactively seeks and embraces that counsel, unless he wants to be better, nothing will get him off that bondage. Proverbs 28:26 says, Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.
There’s a reason why God gave us free will. He has the power to make us all saved, turn around and behold Him, but He dares not. Reason being, He is looking for a true repentant heart. A godly sorrow that worketh repentance – 2nd Corinthians 7:10. Not one that moves under duress. We are not robots. He wants us to experience intimacy, and intimacy cannot be born without being conceived in the womb of choice. Abuse is always about choice, just like marriage is.
The devil simply comes in to assert himself on our choices, just as the Holy Spirit empowers the Word we have in us. Remember, that ancient foe didn’t force the apple down Eve’s throat. Her desires gave in, and she freely took it. To the men, headship isn’t dictatorship. It’s a unique responsibility presented by God to work His gifts in you through surrender and love.
There’s nothing manly about abusing your wife, physically or emotionally. Nothing manly about cheating and stonewalling your wife.We all have flaws and no one is perfect. It’s not her responsibility to fix your warts. You work on yourself. You get to the Word and surrender to the Potter’s hands.
Commitment is a choice, abuse is a choice. To the church, we need sober criticism seasoned by grace, but more importantly, a heart to accept that we do sometimes move from the heart of God and push for our own ideologies and idiosyncrasies.Just like the way marriage has been idolized, to a point where singles feel as if they are second class citizens in church, we too are to partially to blame for the mutiny of the word, submission.
It’s no longer a beautiful thing emanating from two lovers, mutually submitted to Christ and mutually submitted to each other, it’s a term used to counsel women who are slowly dying in their abusive marriages, all in the name of ‘saving the marriage face.’We need to teach sound doctrine. Sound doctrine have to do with right living too, not just the right thinking. It’s important to hold men accountable for their actions too.
That’s what is the right living. It’s not a wife’s responsibility to fix a straying or an abusive man. We shouldn’t teach that in the name of “submission.” That’s why so many wives would rather die than get labeled. “Ohhh her marriage failed, she didn’t build well!” Jesus doesn’t need emotional martyrs serving him. If it dishonors the wife, it dishonors God. If it dishonors the husband, it dishonors God. It’s that simple.
You cannot die in the name of marriage. There’s so much more that one has been created for. Marriage is just one of the many. It’s essential but not at the core of one’s essence. Let’s stop making abused women feel as if it’s their responsibility to fix husbands who abuse them. That they need to pray more, submit more, be careful more, cook more, lose more weight, gain more for curves, sooth more! That’s a whole load of junk. Defective thinking that crucifies women. That can be done yeah, but from a point of love, not fear. Because perfect love casts out fear! I would definitely be all in for my husband because he’s all in with me. It’s one way highway with the same directional thrust.
We make God look like an unkind father. A man seated at His throne with a whole set of rules that shouldn’t be bent or broken. I thank God that He’s the righteous judge. One who searches our hearts and motives. I don’t think God is so unkind to let you die in the name of “not blaspheming” His name through separation or divorce.
So if things get out of hand, dear wife, born again or not, get to a safe place.Separation brings things into perspective and healing. You need to heal too. Not just for the sake of the marriage, but for your own sake too. You need to stand on your two feet again, full of esteem, without second guessing yourself. If the marriage heals in the process, you both will be at a better place and better spouses, having learnt the true meaning of the offices you hold. You will both love equally, submit to each other equally, hold each other accountable, build in equal measure and surrender to each other out of reverence for Christ.
Marriage is beautiful.