Marriage: Take Up Your Cross

When I write or talk of Christian marriage I will get blowback of the type ‘surely you don’t expect a woman to put up with abuse‘ or ‘surely you don’t expect men to put up with a lack of sex.’ ‘How can you possibly require someone to stay in such a horrific situation?’

First, I will quickly establish once again the fundaments of Christian marriage:

‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate. (Matthew 19:5-6 ESV)

Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:24-27 ESV)

Divorce is not an option, it is illegitimate, and wives are to submit as the church to Christ and husbands are to love their wives as Christ did the church.

If you get married, this is your mission. Love your wife to the point of crucifixion or, alternatively, submit to your husband to the point of crucifixion.

I am not being hyperbolic. This is what is literally what is demanded of you in the Bible.

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? (Matthew 16:24-26 ESV)

Take up your cross. If you’re a husband, your cross is to love your wife. If you’re a wife, your cross is to submit to your husband.


First for the men, this is how much Christ loved the church. Watch and take it to heart:

Christ loved the church so much he allowed himself to be brutally tortured and crucified for the church. This is how much you are to love your wife.

Is your wife disrespecting you worse than that? Is a dead bedroom ? Is nagging? Is your wife assaulting you?


You do not have the right to divorce your wife for any of this. You do not have the right to stop loving your wife for any of this.

If you are married, stop whining, pick up your cross, and love your wife.

Stop being a little bitch.


Now for the women, I do not have a video, but here is Paul on his trials:

Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant? (2 Corinthians 11:23-29 ESV)

According to tradition, Paul was later martyred by beheading. Peter was crucified upside down.

Paul submitted to Christ to the point of where he spent his life enduring extreme loneliness, extreme deprivation, and brutal torture only to have it end in violent death.

Is your husband ignoring your needs worse than this? Is having regular, if uninteresting, sex worse than this? Is being verbally abused worse than this? Is being smacked around worse than this?


If you are married you do not have the right to divorce your husband for any of this. You do not have the right to stop submitting to you husband for any of this.

If you are married, stop complaining, pick up your cross, and submit to your husband.

Stop thinking your situation is oh-so-specially horrible that you are exempted from God’s commandments.


Because fools and knaves may try to twist my words, I will state the stupidly obvious.

The husband being required to love his wife no matter what does not give the wife permission to deny her husband sex, to nag, to disrespect, or be violent.

The wife being required to submit to her husband no matter what does not give the husband the right to belittle, ignore, or abuse her.

Quite simply, for both parties, instead of thinking of your rights and how to get the most out of your marriage, think of what you can do for the other. How best can you love your wife? How best can you submit to your husband?

Your spouse and your spouse’s needs come before your own.

If both spouses think and act this way, you will both be much happier and your marriage much stronger.

If you think and act this way, even if your spouse does not agree to do so, it might surprise you what changes you can effect in the other or in yourself. But even if nothing changes, it’s still your Christian duty.


Pick up your cross. If necessary, allow yourself to be nailed to it.

It doesn’t matter if your spouse is abusive, unloving, distant, cold, or quarrelsome, your duty, your cross remains.

Does this sound like a tall order? Does this sound like more than you can handle? Are you not prepared for this?

Then don’t get married.

If you aren’t willing to pick up your cross and do what is commanded of you in marriage, whatever may come, do not get married. Stay single. If you do decide to get married, be sure to choose your spouse well, so they are unlikely to become abusive or unloving.

Before you decide to marry count up your costs. If, having counted the costs, you still choose to marry, pick up your cross.

Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ (Luke 14:27-30 ESV)


  1. Awesome. Thanks to this post, I have more wisdom to meditate on when I reach the 2nd Sorrowful Mystery on the Rosary.

    With regards to Matrimony, I pray with faith, so be it.

  2. Being married was like being scourged. The more I demonstrated love, commitment no matter what, the worse it became. The concepts and precepts of what a Christian husband/ marriage should be failed at every level. No thanks, never again, but I wish y’all luck with it.

  3. @FN

    Now how are husbands and wives to deal with the situations you listed above given the rule that no divorce unless adultery?

    Please elaborate.

  4. Generally speaking the Christian answer is “tough $hit”. Though not that straight forward and honest. Instead it’s a bunch of meaningless platitudes

  5. Let me guess, you’ve never been married. Believe me, marriage is worse than a cross. Marriage to a nagging, cheating wife is worse than hell.

  6. Good essay. Also biblically correct.

    Having said that, a couple of observations:

    1. Women need to read and implement this a hell of a lot more than most men.
    2. The folks who argue what FN argues here usually fall into one of the following two categories:

    A. Never married


    B. In a marriage in which there is strong mutual sexual attraction and a good sex life.

  7. @Infowarrior1,

    “Now how are husbands and wives to deal with the situations you listed above given the rule that no divorce unless adultery?”

    Three approaches:

    1. Appeal to a respected authority; a pastor, priest, marriage counselor (PPMC) or an older couple. This rarely works because most PPMC have pendulum swung hard towards the woman spiritual/man bad starting point. I have read a number of comments where men did this and their PPMC took the side of the wife and absolved her of any blame or responsibility.

    2, Take the slow, steady approach of upping your alpha leadership. Following the MAP of Married Man Sex Life. No guarantees, some wives respond well to this but some do not. It all depends on the spiritual condition of the wife – if the wife is embracing a spirit of bitterness and/or rebellion against male authority (personal submission) then this will not work.

    3. Claim your position in marriage by force. This is a high risk move which can backfire into charges of abuse and domestic violence. Here are some examples:

  8. FN is spot on with this. Does that mean that marriage is a dangerous, risky, no-guarantee thing in this day and age? Sure does. But that is part of being a Christian. We are to accept that life on this world will often be awful, and even seem unbearable. Remember, Jesus never said it would be easy, but rather the opposite.

  9. @ Ton, BB, & deti: I have not been married, but I did not say it would be easy or pleasant.

    @ IW: See Bee’s comment.

    You can’t control what others do, but you can control what you do. As a man, improve yourself and then take back your leadership of your home. Force her into a position where she either has to respect you or divorce you, then the choice is hers.

  10. “Being married was like being scourged. The more I demonstrated love, commitment no matter what, the worse it became. The concepts and precepts of what a Christian husband/ marriage should be failed at every level. No thanks, never again, but I wish y’all luck with it.”

    You missed the part about beating your wife if she’s in rebellion. Rebellious women like rebellious children need to be beaten, if you love them.

  11. Here’s the deal brothers, Christ eventually got off His cross and got His reward. No such 3 days and done for the married man.

    I don’t think single men or semi happily married men understand how $hitty marriage can be, what it is like to live with a woman hell bent of destroying your life, and working on it daily. Going into debt behind your back and forcing you into bankruptcy once it catches up, denying you sex for years, trying to turn your family, children and boss against you.

    The more you pray and fast etc the worst things get. There is never any let, no type of support from Sky 6. Undeclared wars in third world $hit holes is your refuge from church and home.

    The church does not call her out; pastors don’t call her out; marriage counselors do no call her out. In fact they blame you. You aren’t leading correctly, some hidden sin of yours is preventing her return or God’s help….. or they are actively engaged in covering up her infidelity, totally taken in by her ability to manipulate people. Read SSM’ s post on woman trashing women. That’s a beginning on what it’s like to be married.

    When you have had enough, the church and state come after you.

    It’s damn near unreal. Expect millions of men have lived through it. It rips your soul. Job cries out and is answered. Every Bibical promise of help and rest etc fail to materialize.

    The church, Christians etc are totally unarmed and blindly unaware…. it’s like sending Quakers to war. Worse then because Christians want to remove the ability to save your soul an looking life. They want you tied to her forever, while she works tirelessly to ruin you. Every part of you


  12. @ Red. Be real. Beat her and you’re in jail, security clearance gone, dishonorable discharge in hand an unemployable.

    Yes t would work, or the cops show up. And 6 month of meetings and investigating her abuse claims, they still don’t close the case because women never lie

  13. @Anonymous
    She’s going to wreak your life if you allow her to continue in her rebellion then you might as well do what Jesus did when he saw the Money lenders in the temple. You’ll might go down for it, but at least you’ve followed in the master’s footsteps.

  14. Wow, I am a Christian and I can’t disagree more. How about the Cities of Sodom and Gomorrha? God just put up with them? How about Noah and the Flood? Really, sometimes when confronted with evil, addiction, etc, you just got to walk away. Look at what Jesus did when the rich man asked what he had to do to get into heaven, then walked away rather than give up his wealth? Did Jesus follow him like a little puppy dog and try to negotiate with him? (“Well, how about giving up half your wealth now and see how you feel and if you want to give up the rest?”)
    This idea that Jesus was a pussy who put up with all kinds of crap from any douchebag is relatively recent. I don’t think that’s how the Knights of Saint John rolled when they defeated the forces of the Sultan at Malta, 1565–look it up, greatest last stand in history since the 300 Spartan’s. The warrior monks, in that last battle of the Crusades, beheaded their prisoners and used the skulls as flaming cannonballs, after the muslims crucified the last survivors of St Elmo and send those bodies floating across the bay to the other castle.
    And I guarantee that those old desert Jews would not have put up with mv wifes antics in our divorce for 24 hours before they stoned here. Wait till she got drunk, slept with half the tribe then stumbled around with a gourd of fermented goats milk or whatever they drank and verbally abused the elders.
    Once again–any wife who fornicated, lied and was a drunkard would probably be stoned, not given the majority of the family resources.
    The idea that Christianity forces you to put your balls in a box in your wifes make up drawer is recent and stupid. A true Christian has standards. And true Christian men know that they are supposed to fight for whats right.

    “Don’t be afraid. Fight. Fight like a Knight. For the angels and saints are watching you.”

    I am just so annoyed with the idea that being a Christian means you are a little bitch boy. When did that start? (Oh, I’m playing Jesus in a play, I could never let the audience see a hairy, muscular chest—I must be demure and feminine. Like little feminine Jesus)

    Look, Jesus was the Son of God. That’s kind of “Alpha” if I may say so.He had a reason to sacrifice himself. We aren’t the Son of God. Maybe putting up with your shitty wife abusing you isn’t the celestial plan. And I don’t see Paul in the example above say he wanted to follow Jesus, but his wife complained about it so he woud sacrifice everything to keep up with whatever she demanded last

  15. @ Dave

    lol. You do know that “loving” your wife means correcting or rebuking her if she’s gone astray from God and the Scriptures. How many times did a loving Jesus chastise his disciples for their lack of faith or when they were off track such as with the little children? A lot. Jesus and the Church (his disciples) is held as the standard for love in Eph 5.

    FN is saying the same thing except most people, even Christians, think that “loving” means to do only “positive” to someone and never “negative.” This is incorrect. The key is to know what “LOVE” actually is. And it’s not a feminized version of “love” means means to hold a woman or her feelings as an idol and always make her feel better.

    Your comment as well as Tons shows how entrenched this feminized notion of “love” is that you think the husband is going to be abused by “loving” his wife. The husband would love his wife if he chastised her when she goes off track. If he is “nice” to her instead of loving her then he gets in deep trouble of his own making because he holds her above God in his heart, and then his wife becomes like a spoiled rich kid.

    So yes, the Bible is true. Husbands are to love their wives no matter what. But if you use a feminized version of the word “love” then both the husband and the wife are gonna be in deep crap.

  16. Without the state or church to uphold the husband’s authority it’s entirely up to the husband to establish it on his own. This means rock solid relationship game. Expecting this of a virgin seems akin to training to box without ever fighting a round in the ring. Not impossible, but make exponentially more difficult and with added uncertainty as to when your ready. Expecting men to follow this path is de facto sending many if not most of them to their doom, celibacy being potentially preferable to doom. You talk about the hard path without thinking about the full implications. “And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:” Mark 9:23 Better advice may well be to tell men to castrate themselves so that they not sin, after all we aren’t to shy away from the path because it’s hard or difficult to bear.

    Paul makes it clear in 1st Corinthians 8 that it is better for the unmarried to stay unmarried, marriage as it existed in Paul’s day simply doesn’t exist as an option today. We have this thing the State calls marriage but it is not marriage, FN describes what marriage looks like and the State and the fallen church don’t acknowledge it and will actively fight against it, working to undermine the husband’s authority. Given this reality, the most righteous path is celibacy, by castration if necessary. Righteousness is not the motivation for this quest for the wife of noble character as described by Solomon so don’t work your rationalizations as if it is, just accept that it is something you want and are willing to risk a great deal to have. Besides the wife of noble character is not born that way, she is trained to be that way, and her father is not enough to complete her training. This is where relationship game comes in, mastering how to train women, having such influence over her that she worships the same God you do, not the God of the fallen church. Such that she accepts your interpretation of the will of God over what she personally thinks is the will of God without hesitation. She will know God through you, that is the only way to guarantee she won’t turn around and use her faulty notion of God as a wedge to turn against you. This is just a sample of the work you’ll need to do in order to up your odds of success. FN, you got your work cut out for you, I wish you luck.

  17. FN,

    This is a fine piece that lies out some hard Biblical truths. One thing I’d like to add to the conversation involves the “controversial” idea of submission.

    One of the many things that people debate and women fight is the idea of Biblical submission as if women should never submit to men. However, our every day experiences as men show us that women constantly live in submission to men be it their bosses or bad boyfriends that use them.

    The Bible never questions the fact that women naturally submit to men. The issue is whether wives will submit to their husbands.

    This means that wives must put their husbands over all other men including past boyfriends that they still may desire, bosses that want them to prioritize their work over their family and more. One can already see how difficult and confusing submission can be for women who have already been submitting to other men in different ways before marriage.

    In my experience I find that many wives struggle in separating themselves from their fathers. Too many fathers still want to have “their little girls” close to them even though their little girls are now other men’s wives. This confuses these wives who need to submit to their husbands as the Bible directs.

    There is little doubt that we have a current societal combination of (a) easy divorce laws that favor women in terms of financial support and parental control which puts the “law” above their husband, (b) politicians whose social programs provide financial support that replace husband providers, (c) wives working outside of the home which will have them answering to men (their bosses) other than their husbands, and (d) fathers who don’t instruct their daughters to submit to their husbands allowing them to fully leave the role of daughter to become a wife. Any one of these things is toxic to Christian marriage, but usually more than one is in effect. (In terms of both a & b, the political and legal worlds are still male-dominated and recent elections show how women’s votes for big government male politicians like Obama are another form of submission to men that are not husbands.)

    This is yet another reason in favor of early marriage for women which was a recent post here by FN that generated a lot of controversy. If a man can find a young women whose father encourages the marriage by encouraging her to be a submissive Christian wife, this is the best path for marital success. A woman who has been in the workplace will likely have been (a) living off of her father’s money in her early work years after college and then later (b) been submissive to her boss’s needs at work. In either or both a&b, this kind of young woman will have submitted in different ways to many men before marriage as a way to be provided for making it hard for a future husband to grow into that role. She will not have had the clean transition of submission from father to husband as the Bible intended.

    Although it happens less and less in our modern world, this clean transition was the backbone of Christian marriage for centuries. Only since the Industrial Age slowly brought women in the workplace have we seen this massive shift.

    Again, we aren’t facing a problem of women submitting to men. We face a problem of wives submitting to their husbands.

  18. Excellent post. It is a hard saying, but when did Christ ever promise us flowery beds of ease?

    @ Deti:

    Having said that

    Other wise known as, “Yeah but…”

  19. Elspeth:

    Ha. Easy for you to say; and easier said than done.

    It’s pretty easy to “suck it up, buttercup” when you and your spouse have always shared intense sexual attraction.

    Others of us have tougher rows to hoe.

  20. @ Dave: Deep Strength said it well. Love does not mean being codependent or a pussy.

    @ amandandhiswife: Feel free to link if you want.

  21. Sorry guys, but loving the wrong person to the point of crucifixion doesn’t necessarily lead to redemption. It just leads to crucifixion.
    I am divorced and I am an attorney who has handled divorce cases.
    And I have experience with the person in denial who gets served with divorce papers
    but says they love the other person and want to stay married (with their love power).
    Really, Deep Strength, do you have an insight into love that will help our swamped
    divorce court. Because it is very easy and profitable now to divorce your professional
    husband and there is absolutely zero social sanctions.
    I have seen Reverends who did everything right for 20 years get divorced.
    The terrible, awful truth is that some people develop addictions and mental problems that place them beyond the ability of your love to save them. And some women are just ruthless and feel so entitled by our divorce system that it is quite beyond the power of “love” to save the marriage. And Deep Strength, it makes me laugh that you have some super “Masculinized” form of love as opposed to my “feminine” idea of love. Like if all of us divorced guys had your super masculine love power our wives wouldn’t have started drinking and carrying on while we were at work. It must be nice to be you. (Or maybe you just married a good one.)
    Look, women initiate now the majority of divorces. They are taught that when that chemical dopamine rush starts to fade from the relationship it’s the guys fault. And it’s time to find a new source for that dopamine. (Dopamine is the chemical that gives you that “in love” feeling. The same person can only generate it for about 2 years maximum) Then you have to grow up and have a mature relationship like two people working on a project. Or else find somebody else to get that feeling back.
    Hell, I am not sure I wouldn’t have filed for divorce if I could live at the house with the
    kids and watched tv while my wife continued to pay spousal and child support while woking
    60 hours a week at the law firm and living in a crappy studio apartment.
    I am sure my marriage would have had a much better chance of surviving 2000 years ago. Or in my Grandfather’s time.
    You have no better chance with your “masculinized” love saving a marriage than some “PUA” can say his “game” let’s him sleep with any woman. Trust me, there are married women who want a divorce and will make life a dangerous and expensive hell, at any cost to everyone including the kids, until they get the house, car, kids and child and spousal support. And unlimited time to spend with the boytoys.
    When you are up against that person, believing your “masculinized” love can save things—well, all I can say is I and a lot of other guys in divorce court are laughing bitterly. But then I guess we just don’t have the big swinging masculinized love power you do. Why not write an ebook for us — say one time deal for $19.99 previously sold to many men now back with their wives for $99


    Before discussing Saul’s conversion we need to establish a point of fact. You cannot become a Christian and have unforgiven sins. If your sins have been forgiven you are a Christian. If you are a Christian then your sins have been forgiven. It is impossible to separate forgiveness, from being in Christ. How could you say I became a Christian last night but my sins were not forgiven? By the same reasoning you could not assert that I had my sins forgiven last night but I am not a Christian.

    What is true for us, was true for the apostle Paul.

    Acts 9:3-6 As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; 4 and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” 5 And he said, “Who are You Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, 6 but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what to do.”

    Saul obviously believed in Jesus at this point, yet he was still not forgiven of his sins; therefore he was not a Christian. Paul was not saved by “FAITH ONLY.”

    Acts 9:9-11 And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank. 10 Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am Lord.” 11 And the Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying,

    Saul believed that Jesus was Lord.
    Saul repented.
    Saul fasted and prayed for three days.
    After three days on the road to Damascus Saul was still not forgiven of his sins. Saul was not saved by faith alone, Saul was not saved by repenting alone. Saul was not saved by praying and fasting. SAUL WAS NOT SAVED ON THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS.

    Acts 22:12-16 “A certain Ananias….13 came to me….16 Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.’

    Saul’s sins were forgiven after he was baptized in water, not before.

    Galatians 3:27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

    Saul was not a Christian until he was baptized into Christ.

    Mark 16:16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved……

    Saul was not saved until he was immersed in water.

    Acts 2:38…and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of you sins….

    Saul sins where not forgiven until he was baptized in water.

    Paul was saved the way all men are saved. FAITH John 3:16—REPENTANCE Acts 3:19—CONFESSION Romans 10:9-19—WATER BAPTISM Acts 2:38




Leave a Reply