My wife has helped me to see that my previous post might leave you with the impression that she was disrespectful in an un-Godly way. That is, that she was a raving lunatic. This was not the case at all. My apologies for any confusion there. My wife was always careful to maintain her integrity and never dropped to my level. What I meant was that I could not blame her if, inside, she had no respect for me because I really had not earned it.
In fact, this brings to mind the equation that I laid out before:
Christlike husband = Holy wife
This equation does not necessarily work in reverse, that is:
Holy wife does not necessarily = Christlike husband
We know of many holy wives who have bought into the idea that if they simply pray, be patient, be submissive, be quiet, be the Proverbs 31 wife, that their husbands will turn around and bless them and will treat them better and will become more Christlike. The problem is that, in general, it does not seem to be working. Here is an e-mail that we recently received (names are changed) that illustrates what I mean:
"Well, it has been a long time since we last spoke and
I know you have heard some things about the "state" in
which my marriage is in, so I figured in an attempt to
help other's who may really be searching, seeking and
persuing what it takes to make a marriage really work,
I would like to share my heart for a moment if I may.
Last May, a year ago, we relocated to (another state). I came
with the kids and my husband of almost 20 years stayed
behind to finish up on his work committments and to
continue seeing (a Life Partners counsellor) as he promised. Well, he
finished working but never went back to his weekly
visits with (a Life Partners counsellor) and when questioned about this and
the sincerity of his promise, he got mad!
I began to pray hard in May that God would show me
what to do here. I have tried "everything" I know how
to do for the entire duration of my marriage to make
it work. Counseling, seminars, marriage encounters,
therapists, medication, pastor intervention, group
Bible studys, in home couples groups, self help books,
PRAYER, intervention with family.....the list goes
on...all to the same sad end! No change that has ever
I got a clear sign from God last May that I was to
step out of God's way and let Him deal with my husband
as he saw fit! I decided to give it a try, to remove
myself emotionally, and see what happened. We became
more separated, with even less communication and
really never saw each other. When I gave a June 1st
deadline for divorce unless I saw some HUGE heart
changes, I got the same old, "He was busy, when he was
not working so much we could go talk with someone"
speech. I became mad, he was emotionless as usual.
Since I have been here I have met a lot of nice men,
some of which I have become friends with. I have taken
a lot of slack for speaking with them, and will not
justify my action there at all, as it was exactly what
I needed at the time. I have been ignored, rejected,
forgotten.....discarded like a piece of trash my
entire marriage, and the fact that gothers were able
to point out in my some good qualities I could not see
otherwise, due to the horrible things my husband has
made me feel over the years from his words and lack of
concern for me has helped me to see that I do not need
to suffer in a relationship as this anymore. I am a
good person and God does have a plan for me and my
life, and maybe it is without him as my husband.
I was scared to do anything for many years, and would
always find myself justifying or rationalizing why so
many situations in my marriage such as affairs,
pornography, etc. would creep up, and I always made it
my fault and just stayed for the next dose of hell.
Well, I have taken control of my life, I am filing for
divorce, and after telling him this repeatadly, have
gotten really no response or any type of action to
tell me to do otherwise.
I feel like we have been playing a Chess game for
years, and I am literally backed into the last
remaining corner on the board with two
choices......stay there and never complain about where
my marriage has ended up, as that is where I will
always be, or jump over him and continue to move from
square to square alone, and live for a change without
the fear of rejection, isolation, abandonment, and
neglet that I have felt my entire marriage from the
one that I have loved more than anyone else. I have
boarded up my heart, taken back control and have made
a descision "good or Bad" to never allow myself to
enter a relationshiop such as this again. I love him
as a friend, and the father of my children, but will
never trust him with my heart again, as he has shown
me that I am not worth fighting for, not even in the
least bit! I feel sad, but hopeful for my future, I
feel free for the first time ever, and I fell
empowered to walk where my feet take me and to make
something of myself, and my children's life before I
spend the next twenty chasing a dream that will never
I thanks you for your prayers over the years, your
support, your words of wisdom, they are forever in my
heart and will remain there as the ground work for any
future relationships I may have.
You may share this with your group if you wish, as it
serves to prove just what happens when a man "forgets"
what comes between him and God....PRIDE!! Pride and
the inability to humble the heart to the point that
God can really allow my husband to feel something and
then share it with me, has caused our marriage to end
here and now.
Jane (not her real name)"
I know this couple well and can vouch for her portrayal of her efforts and her marriage. It broke my heart as I read it. I wonder how it affects you?