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.
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)
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)