Christian Marriage Advice Is More than Just 5 Passages

by | Jan 17, 2022 | Uncategorized | 20 comments

Marriage Bible Passages: More than 5

Ever notice how all Scripture readings at weddings seem to sound the same–like the Bible has a very small marriage playbook?

In January I want to talk about how to put the “Christ” back in “Christian marriage advice”, and how to focus on Jesus again. And it reminded me of the difficulty that we had trying to choose Scripture readings for Rebecca and Connor’s wedding.

We googled “Bible readings for weddings”. And all the typical ones showed up: 1 Corinthians 13:1-8; 1 John 4:16-19 (about how God is love, even though the passage has nothing to do with marriage); Ecclesiastes 4:12 (a cord of three strands is not easily broken).

It seems that only certain passages are deemed worthy of a wedding. But in reading many of them I didn’t even think they fit a wedding all that well. So we chose different ones instead:

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 15:5-6

and:

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Colossians 3:12-14

We thought those were beautiful for a wedding–and for a marriage! In fact, I’ve been praying that passage from Romans over my own marriage ever since, because I think it’s so wonderful.

But it occurs to me that we do something similar when it comes to marriage advice.

If a marriage problem pops up, we immediately pull out “the marriage passages” of Scripture, and often leave it at that.

The Bible’s Marriage Passages

Ephesians 5:22-33: wives submit to  your husbands and respect them; husbands love your wives.

Proverbs 31: Be a virtuous woman!

1 Corinthians 7: Don’t divorce and be generous sexually with your spouse.

1 Peter 3:1-7: Wives, obey your husbands and “win them without words”.

And maybe we’ll throw in 1 Corinthians 13 (about what love is) or Genesis 2 and 3 (about the creation story and the fall, too).

It’s as if God wrote this massive book sharing His heart with His people, and yet we’re only supposed to search out those few verses when it comes to marriage.

Don’t get me wrong–these passages are wonderful and give lots of wisdom and direction for our relationships. Bu they are not the WHOLE picture. When we look at those passages in isolation, we often distort them and, I believe, interpret them wrong. Context matters, and you can only interpret Scripture by looking at the rest of Scripture.

God uses marriage as the analogy of how He feels about His people. And so don’t we think that the REST of the Bible may also have important things to say about marriage–important things about this very messy relationship which can’t always be summarized in pithy sayings or stitched on a pillow? We need to get away from “pat answers” about marriage.

And what’s a pat answer?

A pat answer is a suggested solution to a problem which DOES work–in some situations. But it’s presented as if it’s the answer to every situation, even though quite often it doesn’t fit at all.

Pat answers in the Christian life make two kinds of errors:

Either they make a big problem seem small (by minimizing the severity of the problem and suggesting a solution that won’t solve it at all), or they make a small problem much bigger by giving advice that sends a woman in a completely wrong direction.

An example of the making a big problem small: “just have sex more and then he won’t watch porn!

An example of making a small problem big: “God is close to the broken-hearted, so if you’re sad, just pray more!”

The first won’t work because it misunderstands the problem.

The second won’t work because it misunderstands God and what God wants from us.

And we aren’t going to grow in our marriages until we start thinking differently–getting rid of these pat answers, many of which we’ve heard our whole lives in church and in Christian culture–and getting back to what God wants for us.

And that’s quite simple: He wants us all chasing after Jesus and looking more like Him everyday.

Jesus didn’t live by simple formula. He lived His life always seeking out to do God’s will, and as He did that, He found great joy and brought joy to those around Him. His aim was always the same–to bring people closer to God–but His actions varied with circumstances. And that’s how we should live, too.

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A few years ago a reader, Kim M., left a comment on this blog about how we need to consider all of Scripture, even for marriage, and allow the rest of Scripture to help us inform our interpretation of verses. She used as an example 1 Peter 3:7, where Peter told the wife of an unbelieving husband to “win him without words.” Here’s what she said: 

Some religious groups use “win without words (1 Pe 3:1)” to silence wives married to unbelieving and/or disobedient husbands in ways that the Bible never intended.

ALL Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16). Last time I checked, ALL wasn’t limited or confined to just the verses that Paul and Peter wrote about women and wives.

The Bible tells us that “there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: (Ec 3:1) a time to be silent AND a time to speak (v. 7B).”

Being silent (without words) and speaking up are both Biblical and purposeful. It’s important that the wife of an unbelieving and/or rebellious, disobedient husband understand the purpose and benefits of both methods: silence (without words) and speaking up.

What the Bible says about being silent:

A wife who knows when and how to restrain her words has knowledge. “Whoever restrains his words has knowledge.” Pr 17:27A

A wife who controls her mouth can protect her own life, but the wife who has a big mouth could ruin everything. “Whoever controls his mouth protects his own life. Whoever has a big mouth comes to ruin.” Pr 13:3

Watching her tongue and keeping her mouth shut could help a wife stay out of trouble. “Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.” Pr 21:23

What the Bible says about speaking up:

A wife can protect herself by speaking wise words. “What a fool says brings a rod to his back, but the words of the wise protect them.” Pr 14:3

A wise wife can bring healing by speaking up. “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Pr 12:18 “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Pr 16:24

A wife can deflect anger by giving her husband a gentle answer. “A gentle answer deflects anger…” Pr 15:1

When a wife gives her husband an honest answer, metaphorically, it’s like kissing her husband on the lips. “An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.” Pr 24:26

Pr 31:10 tells us that a wife of noble character “opens her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” Therefore, one of the primary functions of a wise wife is speaking (opening her mouth) with wisdom.

When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. FOR IF YOU REMAIN SILENT AT THIS TIME, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Es 4:12-14

Those who have read the book of Esther know that she didn’t remain silent (without words). She spoke to her husband about what was going on. As a result, Esther helped save the Jews from annihilation.

Some religious groups quote 1 Pe 3:1 (without words) disproportionately. Being silent (without words) is Biblical, and it can beneficial. However, the win without words response is NOT the only Biblical or beneficial response. The Bible also has a lot to say and illustrate about the value of speaking up in a timely, wise and gentle manner.

Kim M.

Another woman left this comment about how “pat answers” about marriage have affected her, when well-meaning Christians assume that they can just pull out those marriage verses and they’ll apply on their own to whatever she’s going through: 

There is wise and relevant advice for mostly normal and relatively healthy married couples. Then there is wise and relevant advice for neglectful, abusive, destructive, or addiction bound marriages.

THE ADVICE IS NOT THE SAME.

Women who have married good men who listen to them, show them affection, and work hard to support their families think they can look at other women (in marriages absolutely nothing like that) and say things like, “Encourage encourage encourage, just pray more! Step back so he can lead.”

Women whose husbands are faithful and not addicted to porn tell women whose husbands ARE addicted to porn, “Be more free with your body. Let your husband see you naked a lot. Have sex regularly so he doesn’t look to porn even more.”

It’s hogwash.

People need to stop further damaging these wives who come for some empathy, help, and support by telling them that they should just wish, hope, pray, and submit more and their husband will stop sinning. The wife goes home, martyrs her sanity some more, goes on meds just so she can get out of bed and take care of the kids, and has sex in the dark while crying her eyes out and trying to pretend she’s on a beach somewhere because she listens to these people who DON’T UNDERSTAND they shouldn’t give blanket marriage advice.

My husband has been addicted to porn for 5 awful years and after being at the point of self-harm and meds, I finally realized the people “speaking into my life” were wrong. I didn’t need to “forgive my dad” and then the porn wouldn’t bother me so much. I didn’t need to “be naked more and have more sex” so he wouldn’t look to porn. I didn’t need to “cover his sin in love” and live an isolated lonely life just to protect his reputation.

I needed people to confront his sin. I needed people to look at me and say, “It’s normal you feel this way because your husband’s sin has caused great harm to you.”

I needed people who would stand up for God’s best for both my husband and myself with the goal of reconciliation–NOT a goal of me being more submissive and forgiving and sexual in an effort to break his cycle of sin.

I love her point–that we’re to “stand up for God’s best for both my husband and myself”.

I sometimes think that many would define “God’s best” as women always submitting to what their husbands want.

No, God’s best is that we be transformed to look more like Jesus.

Submitting ourselves to our husband’s welfare–to what is best for him and to what God is doing in his life–is how we can start to accomplish that. But submitting to a sinful husband’s will is submitting to sin. And we are never asked to do that (and Sapphira, in Acts 5, is struck dead for submitting in that manner). And the only will we are supposed to submit to is Jesus. “Seek first His kingdom…”

We submit to each other in the way that Jesus did in Philippians 2:1-11–by serving one another, through humility, through caring for one another. But ultimately we’re in submission to God so that we can be a part of building Jesus’ upside down kingdom, where it’s about love and serving rather than power.

When we only look at 5 marriage passages, and forget the rest of the Bible, we get a distorted view of marriage.

In every facet of life the point is looking like Jesus and furthering his kingdom, including marriage. The point of marriage is not furthering your husband’s kingdom; it is furthering Jesus’ kingdom. Any marriage advice that we take has to be about the MAIN THING. If it’s not, we’re going to go off track.

The verses we chose for Connor and Rebecca’s wedding were exactly the right ones.

May we all live with Christ first, demonstrating the fruits of the Spirit in our relationships with each other, and keeping Christ always as the focus.

You may also enjoy:

More than 5 Passages about Marriage

What do you think? Do we distort marriage advice when we ignore the rest of Scripture? Let’s talk in the comments!

Putting Christ Back in Christian Marriage Series

Plus please see my submission series!

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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20 Comments

  1. A2bbethany

    Nothing else left to say! This is the biggest flaw marriage advice has had forever. It’s like any relationship in the bible, not a certain kind of married, doesn’t count. Even though we can still Learn from the unusual marital situations too! Like when Sarah basically told Abraham that God must want him to “use” hagar to “conceive by her”, as that was one culture’s take on it.

    Reply
  2. Jo R

    The general Christian behavioral teachings do not have exceptions or caveats that allow us to opt out of them just because we happen to also be married.

    Do unto others, consider others as more important than yourselves, don’t lord it over others, etc.—none of them add “except in marriage, which allows the husband—and only the husband—to act however he wants, even in direct contravention of other verses and passages.”

    Reply
  3. Anon

    I agree that the Bible has more to say about marriage than in those verses which specifically refer to marriage. But that does mean you can’t argue a passage isn’t a good fit for a wedding because it DOESN’T refer to marriage.

    We chose 1 John 4 v7-21 for our wedding reading and asked the minister to preach from it. We didn’t want a little sermonette on marriage that just applied to the two of us (or even one that was more generally applicable, but left out anyone who was single). We wanted believers to go out from that service encouraged to walk more closely with the Lord, and for any unbelievers who heard it to be challenged to consider Christ’s claims as Saviour and Lord. I think it’s a passage that is apt for both those things!

    Reply
  4. Mara R

    In a blog post some time ago, I had encourage women with severe PTSD over the miss-use of Ephesians 5 to just stop reading Ephesians for a while. And stay away from any verses like them. Read other parts of the Bible that bring healing to your soul and balance to the years that you were abused with Ephesians 5.

    I also added, that if they could bare to look at Ephesians chapters 1-4, to go ahead and read those several times over to see how much God loved them. (Think Ephesians 1:3 and what follows.) Just pretend that chapters 5&6 aren’t even there. Because it is a shame that the mention of the word “Ephesians” would trigger some women when really, the larger portion of the book is such a blessing.

    And to those Eph5 lovers who would scream that we need to read the whole book, I would scream back. “BUT YOU DON’T. You haven’t. You only focused on the part that served your interests. You have so muddied the waters with your over obsession with Eph5 that you have made the sweet waters bitter for women. So much so that I would venture to say that a woman who has been abused with Eph5 for years, if she read Chapters 1-4 a hundred times over, she still would not read them as many times as she has been beaten with Eph5.”

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Very true! It’s the most weaponized verse in the Bible, and it’s heartbreaking.

      Reply
    • CM

      So true!

      We read Eph5 at our wedding, mostly because my husband is really committed to the “husband, love your wife as Christ loved the Church” part. We read and prayed over the whole letter while preparing for marriage and it seemed so obvious that people earnestly trying to live out chap 1-4 would NOT be abusive in any way.
      Yet several women around us were shocked that we would read aloud anything about wifes’ submission because they had been in or had witnessed abusive relationships.
      At the time, we just loved it and it was meaningful to us, but I now wonder if we should have chosen a more obviously egalitarian text out or respect for people who don’t have an healthy marriage.

      Out of respect to myself too, as I realize now.
      I’ve been buying into the “all men are beasts, you can’t trust them, all they want is sex and if they sometimes do something at home you’re lucky” lie for years. I could be in the place were Scripture works as in incentive to stay in an abusive marriage.
      It actually did work to make me stay in a toxic relationship with my own parents who used to bully me into never going out and getting a personal life with verses such as “honor/obey your parents” and frightening me with “the devil is at work within progressive churches/communities”.
      It worked on me up to 23/24 yo, when I went to a different church against my parents will. People there immediately told me I had to choose between God and my parents (Mt 10, 37). It took me a few more years of struggle and almost getting married to an abusive man to realize it WASN’T God’s will that I should patiently endure abuse.

      My husband laughs at that sometimes, as we now share everything equally and co-lead our family. But it was a serious concern while dating. I had to start a therapy to ensure I was free enough to get married.
      So I’m so angry and sad when I hear people giving out of context biblical advice …

      Reply
      • Walking Away…

        Angry and sad….so angry and sad. Here’s to FREEDOM!!!!

        Reply
  5. CMT

    I completely agree with the main point of this post. The general principles and goals of the Christian life (or basic emotional and relational health) are not somehow suspended within a marriage relationship. Even though much traditional advice essentially assumes that they are (and I spent some fruitless time thinking that way myself).

    But I have to ask if you actually mean this: “[Marriage is] the most important human relationship.” Can that really be true? If so, why did Paul encourage celibacy? Why was Jesus single?

    Yes, the Bible uses marriage as an analogy for the relationship of God and his people. But it uses almost every other human relationship for the same purpose – parent and child, king and subject, brotherhood, friendship. Even the relationship of an individual to their own body! So why would marriage be the most important out of all of these? Why does there need to be a hierarchy, anyway?

    Personally, I’m married. But if I were single, I don’t think it would build me up to read that the thing I don’t have is the most important human relationship out there. I do agree with pretty much everything you said here but that one thing seems pretty off to me.

    Reply
    • E

      That stuck out to me too (also married). I can only imagine that a single person could ve even more sensitive to this wording.

      I LOVE the passages from Rebecca and Connors wedding! Beautiful!

      Reply
        • Melissa W

          This is what I love about you Sheila! You listen to your readers and are willing to say “you are right, I will change that now”! You could have easily just responded to this comment with “that wasn’t my intention” and leave the wording as it but that isn’t good enough for you. Some of your colleagues could learn a thing or two from you!

          Reply
        • CMT

          Much appreciated!

          Reply
  6. Walking Away From What Has Been

    I tried for 16 years to “die to self,” to have no feelings, opinions, needs, or limits different from those of my husband in order to “respect him.” Doing so left me confused, shrouded in guilt and shame, and steeped in self-hatred for always doing something wrong. I tiptoed and still cracked eggshells all over the place.

    “Respecting” him meant:

    —Going alone to a dear friend’s evening wedding 2 hours away because I had the audacity to ask him to please wear pants that didn’t have torn pockets to this special event. I “micromanaged him” and “made him feel badly about himself” with my “criticism,” and I paid for doing so with humiliation, loneliness, and driving home alone late at night. (He didn’t wait up. Why should he when I made him feel so criticized?)

    —Panicking within as I made the choice to grab our young toddler as she reached toward a pot of boiling water on his watch. Would I be accused of “undermining” and “disrespecting” him for doing so? Or would he be grateful that I happened to see something he didn’t? (It was the former. “She’s got to learn somehow,” was his argument for why he didn’t grab her himself when, in fact, he did see her heading that way.)

    —Driving myself for a root canal after a tooth-shattering fall on the street, enduro the procedure alone, and driving myself home again to care for our young children. He didn’t even check in on me that entire day because I had made him angry by disagreeing with him, so I deserved what I got. (“I was angry at you. Why would I check on you?”)

    —Hating myself for not being able to change our Thanksgiving plans two days beforehand. We had made plans weeks in advance to have friends join us for the holiday, then suddenly he wanted to be able to include another couple. Because they had plans with their family that Thursday, he wanted us to change our plans to eat on Friday so we could accommodate them. When I said this wasn’t possible—and even rude—he flipped the script on me: “Well, I don’t recall us ever having a conversation saying we were celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday. How was I supposed to know that? Why do you always call all the shots without telling me?” I was clearly inflexible, inconsiderate of his needs, and controlling. (It took two hours in the counselor’s office for our bulldog therapist to hold him to reality and FINALLY get him to admit that he DID know we were eating Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, and that MAYBE it would be rude to expect others—including me and our children—to rearrange our plans at the last minute.)

    These are just a smattering of examples of the 10%-of-the-time dynamic between us. Lemme tell ya: 10% of the time is more than enough to make you feel like you are losing your mind.

    After 16 years of trying to accommodate and appease him in the name of “not sinning against him” as his subordinate, and of despising myself for failing so miserably as a wife, I had a Complete Breakdown of Self. I simply couldn’t go on in such self-hatred and cognitive dissonance. The entire situation was killing me.

    I could no longer endure the shame, and knew I needed to confess how terrible I was for regularly triggering him. I knew I needed help to repent properly and obey the Lord so as to please and support my husband.

    I started to gain courage to share scenarios with a counselor and trusted friends. They were horrified, but not with me: they were horrified about his patterned mistreatment of me, about his sin against me. (It took me many years to believe them.)

    A conservative Evangelical sister-friend of ten years had a different response: she accused me of being a sinful temptress who was “seducing” her husband and, after telling me she never wanted to see me again and refusing to give me any justification, sent a detailed email to my husband of how unfaithful, vicious, manipulative, and deceitful I had been to him and everyone who thought they knew me. The traumatic impact of her words and actions reverberated through me for years after, causing nightmares and cold sweats and crying breakdowns because, well, maybe she was right. We all have blind spots after all…

    Over the past five years, I have regained myself. I have, with significant, ongoing therapeutic support and a strong tribe of wise friends and sister-friends, broken free from the lies of “Christian” marriage teaching that is, well, not a whole lot different than what the Taliban teaches about male-female roles and relations.

    And you know what happened to our marriage? I released the outcome. I didn’t have a choice: holding on and pulling with all my might to keep it together was simply costing me too much.

    As I fought to trust God and to focus on detoxing and rebuilding myself and caring well for our children, my husband began going to counseling on his own.

    I have invested my energies into believing my pain, into learning how to clearly assert my needs and feelings and to stand in the truth of them, and to set steady boundaries and high expectations for him as a man who professes Christ. I have held him accountable when he attempts to discharge his emotional pain onto me, or when he refuses to take ownership for his (very human) mistakes, or when he defaults to old manipulative strategies for avoiding responsibility. I disengage when he shows signs of adolescent emotionality, and I wait for signs that he is living into his renewed self.

    He is rising to the new rhythm. He is doing his work with his counselor, taking ownership of his words and actions in the rare event he falls back into old ways, and repenting before me, our children, and our God.

    Our marriage has much more growth to undergo, but I daresay I feel safe at last, and he feels better about himself, his actions, and his relationships than he did when he was in perpetual emotional immaturity and sin. He is growing in empathy, flexibility, selflessness, compassion, honesty, trustworthiness, kindness, and self-control. Wise, fruitful words and choices make us feel confident about our masculinity and femininity, by God’s very design!

    Sheila, Rebecca, Joanna, Keith, Katie, Connor, and anyone I missed, your work is breaking chains in my heart, marriage, and family. It is breaking chains in COUNTLESS others’ lives, as well. What’s more, my daughters and their peers will have very different lives because of it. This makes it WORTH IT!!!! Because WOMEN ARE WORTH IT.

    Oh—and for anyone who feels you are sometimes too harsh, I want you concerned critics to get a bit “closer” to the stories of women who have lived and are living like I did. Listen to them. No pat answers, just attentive listening. Read their stories and believe them. Look at their tearful eyes, their trembling or fidgety bodies. Hear the confusion, pain, terror, and emptiness in their very souls as they attempt to “respect” their husbands and “love Jesus better” in their marriages.

    Once you’ve let yourself be empathic to their pain as fellow human beings and children of God, then go back and read Sheila’s and team’s “harsh” posts to perpetrators of lies. I hope Sheila et al. won’t seem nearly as mean as they once did.

    We are called to limit sin and speak truth to evil. That is what this team of courageous women and men are doing. I am living proof.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Oh, wow! Thank you so much for sharing your story! I’m so, so very sorry that Christian teaching ever made you feel that you had to endure that kind of controlling, abusive behavior. But I’m also so glad that you’re able to see it clearly now and deal with it. And he’s actually changing? That’s so, so wonderful. So wonderful.

      Thank you for your encouragement as well! I really appreciate it.

      Reply
      • Walking Away…

        Your belief in and validation of my pain are treasures. Thank you.

        One more critical thought: my husband came to our marriage with one “tool” for all conflict resolution: sex. He would withdraw for days—weeks even—after I “disrespected” him, “disappointed” him, or otherwise made him angry when I used my voice in any way. He would barely acknowledge my existence or that of our young children. He would threaten abandonment, and I truly believed I deserved this for my actions. After all, sometimes I got desperate—absolutely emotionally frantic— trying to be heard and understood by him when I felt an issue had to be addressed.

        I would hate myself for picking that battle (ie—whatever battle had triggered him, because there was no clear pattern), and for not being more self-controlled and submissive, and less “needy,” “nagging,” and “controlling.”

        Add in the “do not deprive” messaging, and I knew the only way to make the prolonged silent treatments, character mischaracterizations, and emotional cruelty stop was to reconnect with him when he “decided to forgive me” and “reconciled” through sex. I also learned not to re-trigger him by bringing up the issue again in an attempt to resolve it and be heard. To do so would only restart the cycle of abuse.

        Now, he has gained healthier communication and conflict resolution skills through counseling. I have learned that I can trust myself to know when he is truly understanding my perspective, and when he is locked into being right and holding his perspective above all else. I can honor my own voice, and require him to do the same. I know when to move toward him in trust because he is safe, and when to set boundaries of self-protection, a need that is becoming significantly less frequent now that he is learning healthier emotional regulation along with empathy, and putting these fundamentals into practice. (A self-reinforcing process by God’s design!)

        These are essential parts of mature personhood that neither of us never would have gained had I not begun to take the lead in pursuit of better, of different, of God’s offering of MORE.

        To those for whom my story sounds familiar, you are living in hell, even if it’s “only” 10% of the time. You, like me, may think there is no other way to be married. You may feel as though you are asking and expecting too much from your husband when you use your voice and stand in your needs and opinions. YOU ARE NOT!

        You are created for more in your God-ordained femininity with its powerful intuition, deep compassion, and desire to love Jesus. May we all honor the Lord and keep walking into mutuality and reciprocity in our marriages!

        Reply
        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          Thank you so much. This is so right on. I’m sure it will help many who are reading!

          Reply
    • Saved ByGrace

      Thank you for sharing this, I’m trying to deal with 20+ years of bullying in our marriage, patterns of he’s as sweet as can be to being ignored for days or weeks because I didn’t do something right or wasn’t sexually available or questioned something he did (like shouting at our children). Whenever I bring up that it hurts me things get worse, I end up getting
      to a place of feeling like maybe he’s right and I just need to “get over it” “stop being so easily upset” “be happier” extra. Yet I read the post here and hear the words my friends have been saying for years years years and realize it’s not healthy, its not right and apparently is not “normal” in a Christian marriage. I’ve been told to love more, pray more, have sex more….none of that helped, it makes I worse cause whatever I’ve tried to give then seems to become an expectation, so when I’m unable or unwilling to continue it becomes contentious. Thank you for posting what you did, I have been trying to talk about how much it hurts me that I can’t cuddle with my husband without him expecting sex or storming off and being mad at me. That I am so sad that I feel like an unwanted leper during my period….I felt like just giving up last night, the grief was so much, “why not just give him what he wants to keep the peace” but we both know it doesn’t, the demands become greater, the anger more damaging. The only way to bring healing is to be honest isn’t it. To stop pretending things are fine when they arent.

      Reply
  7. A2Bethany

    Sheila, for some reason today’s post won’t load on either of my phone’s web page platforms. Your home page will and this post from yesterday will.

    Reply

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