I have read quite a few articles of late , that conveyed that husbands need to “lay down their lives” for their wives. While I find this to be consistent with the biblical teaching on marriage, I did find it troubling that in all of these articles, it was lopsided. They only called for the husband to lay down his life. And that is only half of the biblical teaching on marriage. This, I fear, is where I see most marriages in the Church tend to go awry, when we look at scripture through the lens of a feminism.
And yes, feminism is alive and well in the Christian Church, today. I am so very saddened to read material, frankly, the majority of Christian material on marriage is based on the culture and not on scripture. Scripture would urge husbands and wives to lay down our lives, to put the other ahead of ourselves. For both to love in a sacrificial way. To love without expecting. We would ask, why would this be, even in conservative Churches?
Well, in part, it is easier and more expedient to start where you are at, than to go back to where the sinful view started (the root) and pull it up, and kill it. And by “starting” from where we are at, we have essentially change biblical doctrine. In doing so we reject God’s wisdom and Truth.
In a feminist world where womanhood has been elevated to an idol of our culture, and also to a lessor degree, in the Church. The narrative is all of marriage is laid on the husband. If his wife is unhappy it is the husband’s fault. If the wife leaves, it is the husbands fault, he did not love her, or care for her like HE should have. It is a rare incident indeed, if you hear from a Christian husband that his wife won’t care for him, or she won’t cook for him, or she spends too much money. And the reason for this is that husbands are to carry all the weight in the relationships. But at the same time the wife is the one that has all of the control and power. She says and He does. She micromanages every detail of his life, and even how is to treat her. If he missteps, he is considered a bad leader and must make changes to accommodate the wife.
Is this biblical? No. Biblical marriage calls for both to sacrifice, to love your neighbor as yourself. When you have the husband expending his energy attempting to make his wife happy, it will not be long before he grows weary of this and gives up. Women cannot be made “happy” by their husbands. Another person cannot make us happy, or content. If our hearts are not content, they will never be content under any circumstance. Contentment is a heart issue. Our husbands are not machines, they are living breathing image bearers of God. They need to know that they are valued and loved. We are to love them, encourage them and lay down our lives every day, for them. But you say “He does not lay down his life for me the way I need him to”
Well, sisters that is not of your concern. Scripture does not ever say to us that the only time we love our neighbor is when they love us as we WANT to be loved. Never. We are not to hold our love for ransom, but rather love generously and joyfully.
I will not say that these qualities will come easily for us. We were raised and are living in an upside-down, feminist world. Where we have been taught to “train” our husbands like dogs. To treat them worse than dogs, I would argue. We have been taught that our men are to submit to all that we put on them, and smile and thank us for it. I see this every day, and I hate it.
We are in this world, but our Master tells us, we are not of this world. We must reject the pull of our flesh to be tempted to believe the lies. The lies that expose the real reason so many marriages are failing in the Church. It breaks my heart. It grieves me, daily. I weep for what I see that has been wrought not only in the world, but in the Church. The vows that were thought to be solemnly uttered in the presence of God are now being discarded for the allure the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.
Why do so many wives enter into the false thinking that someone else’s garden is lusher and more perfect than theirs? Desiring that garden, instead of tending, nurturing and loving their own gardens? They carefully open the gate of their garden, looking back briefly as they are convincing themselves that there are better and greener gardens that they must tend. Giving up so much. Not considering what God has given them in His Word to understand that marriage is for His Glory. And in the light of His Glory, we can live loving our husbands in the manner God calls us to. Discarding the worthless things of this world, as we find in feminism.
I can’t emphasize enough that God has given you a garden in your marriage. When you were first wed, it was just dirt and a few weeds. You began to pull the weeds and plant good things. Do you not have a love that started that garden? The love that God called you to, as a wife? God does not call us to “fall” in love. He calls us to love and love expecting nothing in return. Whatever we put into our garden that is what we will reap. Gardens need care and cultivating. We need to see our marriages as the blessing they are, even if we are going through difficult times. Difficult times can either bring us closer or drive us further apart. Difficult and trying times are what is forging our marriages, refining us and making us more like our Savior.
Many times we spurn those things in our lives that are the hard things, and many times go on to even harder times because of our discontent. In an effort to have what is not ours. I hate that there are so many divorces among our brothers and sisters, and many of them could have been avoided. But many fail because of the lack of love. Love is sacrificial. God has taught us this.
The love of God sacrificed His Son. The love of God laid down His life for His Sheep. The love of God loved the unlovable. The love of God is our example of how to Love. Where is the Love of God in Christian marriages today? Where is the sacrifice? Love cannot grow in a soil of selfishness, and that is what feminism in the Church, teaches. I hate to say this, but I know it is true. Most Churches don’t teach biblically on marriage because they fear men. They are afraid of being called names that pertain to the Patriarchy and God’s order. They are afraid of being called abusive. And it’s too bad, because our Savior was called many names, and mocked and folks even picked up rocks to stone him. And He kept His focus on the Father and His Will. On His Sheep. On His Will be done.
And here we are in the Church, standing with the stones in our hand, mocking His order, in the Church, marriage and family. Joining those that hate God’s Word. We want to kill this doctrine that had endured for over 2000 years, just to appease a crowd that is mocking our Saviors teachings. We should be ashamed of ourselves. How dare we? Where is the fear of God before our eyes? Where is the Love of God in the Church?
I can’t tell you the numerous times I counsel ladies on their marriages, only to find out they are using the doomed doctrine of feminism incorporated into their biblical view, which basically means any biblical doctrine was killed for them to arrive to their faulty thinking. And this is not a rare occurrence but, sadly, a frequent one. We cannot impose worldly god hating doctrine into scripture and then hope to have a “happy marriage”. It won’t work. It is fatal to marriages.
God help us to stop this wickedness. To turn around. To repent of thinking and acting as if the World knows better than God. The World is heading happily to destruction and our calling is to call them to repentance, not to join them in their folly.
Feminism is a marriage killer. It kills. Destroying families in the Church in larger and larger numbers for more than 60 years, but we continue spreading it(feminism) in our gardens, hoping it will produce good. That we deserve more than what God has called us to. And in reality, we are not producing or feeding anything, but our discontent.
We need to look into the mirror of Scripture. Scripture is the true reflection of ourselves. We need to begin there. And we need to end there. And everything in between is contained. Not with worldly wisdom. We must reject the lies of the World. Feed on the truths of Scripture. Feeding, loving, nurturing your garden. Love your own garden. There are no greener gardens. There is blessing in our own marriages, but we must care for them. We can’t look to our husbands to carry the load, we are in this together. All good marriages are hard work. Redeem the time. Remember it is good work, a work that is foremost, in obedience to God and for His Glory and for our good. Stop looking at other marriages and thinking they have something you need or want. Be content with your marriage, count your blessings, thank God for them, and love your husband. Giving glory to God for the things He has done and is doing in you and your marriage.
Things to Ponder:
- Who do we love? Do we love God, then our Husbands? We certainly want to honor God in our marriages, and in doing so, we honor our husbands. Putting God first in our lives, will naturally flow into our marriages.
- Love generously and be resolved that the “D” word is not an option, ever. Be resolved to walk through everything together.
- Agreeing with Scripture and rejecting the feminist narrative will breath fresh air in your marriage. You cannot go against scripture and think the outcome with be good. It will always be rotten. We don’t go with our “hearts” our hearts, our hearts, scripture tells us, is desperately wicked. We always obey God.
Proverbs 31:10 – An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels
37And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38This is the great and first commandment.39And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
7They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” 8He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”a