What follows is an email I received from a man named Mark.
“BGR- I have been reading your articles for about two years now. Been married to my wife over 16 years and we have children together, our oldest of which is a teenager. My background includes being raised in the church and my father was a pastor. For the first 14 years of our marriage I pretty much went along with whatever my wife wanted with a few times where I went against what she wanted. And now let me share what my wife did on the occasions when I did something she was opposed to.
She fought me over career moves that I deemed were necessary; she didn’t work at all and so I was the main and only provider. When we did move away every day, she would just complain about being there and tell me to take her home. Every. Day. After a year and a half of hearing it I finally did. It cost me tens of thousands of dollars in moving fees and lost wages.
I have tried to reason with her in several different ways but she simply would not hear it. It was her way or no way. At times I even withdrew myself and gave her the silent treatment which you have recently wrote on. She was not having that either. Her response to my silent treatment toward her was to literally go nuts and start throwing things around the house.
On one specific occasion when I refused to speak to her, she literally (and I mean literally as in the sense it is supposed to be used, not metaphorically) destroyed the house. Pulled shelves down. Ripped up books. When that didn’t work, she attacked me. I mean physically. I ended up calling the police after I couldn’t take it and could feel that I was starting to get angry. She got in her car and drove away before they got there and they did nothing but laugh at me. If it was the other way around, I’d have been hauled off in handcuffs. That isn’t the only time but the time I called the police which only taught me not to since they’ll do nothing.
And then of course there are the problems we have had with sex over most of our 16-year marriage. At one point we had sex only 8 times over 15 MONTHS. She has told me on several occasions that she has to “feel” connected before having sex and I don’t just get to “use her body for sex” for sex when I feel like it. I have responded to her opposition to me wanting “use her body for sex” with the fact that she has no problem at all “using my body to provide food, housing, shelter, clothes, entertainment etc.”
She complains that I’m not verbal enough or I don’t leave notes telling her how great she is enough and not meeting her “love language” and I point to the other things I do – like never miss a payment on a bill, don’t cheat, drink, do drugs, beat on her, protect her from any threats and it still isn’t good enough.
My wife has told me that I just need to change my communication style and how I hear her. She says that “God intends for marriage to be consensual and loving and that we should want to please each other and do things not from duty but because we want to do them”. And course when she says “loving” she does not mean the Biblical definition of love, but rather love that comes from feelings and emotions. So, in other words she is saying that God intends for marriage to be based on feelings and consent and not on duty. I tried in vain to find a verse in the Bible that states what she has said to me about marriage.
So, over many years I had just accepted that his would be my life with her. For the most part, aside from completely changing my personality for her, I would do whatever she wanted. I worked where she wanted me to, did what she wanted with the kids, let her buy what she wanted and of course had sex when she wanted which was far less than what I wanted.
Then about two years ago my wife had said she wanted to be more “devout”. I took that as a sign that she wanted to you know, actually obey what the Bible said. So, I started to actually read what the text of scripture says in regard to marriage and husbands and wives and I really dug deeper into it I found that there were indeed specific roles given and there are reasons for those roles.
I had Googled “biblical gender roles” in the sense of what does the Bible say about gender roles because I was looking for more information when it sent me to your site which I would read alone or away from my wife. It clarified and articulated what I was trying to tell her. Eventually she found out that I was reading your site and it caused nothing but a conflict about how disgusting and horrible the material is…. which is straight from the Bible.
This is when it all went south then all hell broke loose.
We went and sometimes still go to the same pastor and his wife for counseling. This is a really sweet couple that really does care about people. Yet the pastor’s wife once told me that I was unloving and gave an example from I Corinthians 13. I told her that those were beautiful words indeed…and the guy who wrote them 6 chapters earlier said that the wife’s body doesn’t belong to her but to her husband. I have tried telling them over and over – my wife included – and quoted scripture VERBATIM but they will not hear it.
Another guy who’s training for the ministry told me flatly that I was “not wrong” regarding what the Bible says about gender roles and the way marriage should be and then he followed that up with “But would you rather be in a relationship or be right?”
I’ve caught her with credit cards that she opened without my knowledge and confronted her on those. She refused to even tell me what she spent the money on and continues to refuse to this day. The pastor advised that I just forgive and let it go. And then I wrote a check for the credit card account. I don’t know if that was the best option but in trying to “work on the relationship” I did it to try and move forward.
You see, it isn’t just people on the political Left that don’t believe. It is the so-called Christians – who I call CHINO – Christians In Name Only, that don’t believe. They swear up and down that they love Jesus and the Bible is God’s word…and then when I point out what it says it’s like I am the heretic speaking blasphemy and was the Devil himself. This includes the pastor, who I am friends with and care about. I once heard the pastor tell a group I was in that he was his wife’s “helpmate”…I literally spoke up and said that it does not say that; it says it in the reverse and I can read it to you in the Hebrew if you have any questions. It was not well received.
The pastor – a conservative evangelical pastor who if you asked him he would swear up and down the Bible is THE word of God – won’t stand up for what their very own scripture actually says. They allow women to preach and teach; why would they even bother to tell a wife she has to “submit to her husband” in ANYTHING?
These are people who are “devout” Evangelicals. These aren’t leftist socialists or liberals. They aren’t rabid atheists or raging feminists. They say they believe in the Bible. They are liars. But that changes nothing. And the Bible, my wife doesn’t believe a word of it based on her actions to the contrary of everything it says about marriage.
I sought out a divorce attorney to see what my options were. We did the math together. I would literally end up homeless sleeping in my work vehicle. I couldn’t afford even to rent a studio apartment after the state has taken everything.
See, in the state I live in they will give her half of everything. I have worked our whole marriage and provided for her. I have protected her, loved her, given her children. She only started working in the last year and a half. I would lose my children because the state would automatically award her custody for no other reason than she is a female. She would be entitled to alimony payments, child support, and she would get the house.
So, I have gone back to the way things were before I tried to actually apply the Bible to our marriage two years ago because I’m left with no other recourse and there is no help coming.
I grind my teeth, curse her false shepherds, and pray that Ragnarok come and wipe all of this out. Then I smile and do whatever she asks. If she wants to go on a vacation – we go. If she wants something – she gets it. If she wants sex – it happens when she allows it.
It’s all backwards and reverse.
Recently she told me that “we wasted the last couple years fighting” to which I thought, but dare not say, “uh, YOU wasted the last couple years rebelling”. She once told me “F*$k off; I will NEVER submit to you.” This is from a woman who has a bible degree, went to bible college, attended evangelical “bible believing” churches almost all her life. And yes, I still go to our church only because if I don’t, she will rage and it will adversely affect our children.
And believe it or not, despite all of these things I have just told you about, I still do love her. We have really great kids together.
So, I’m not sure what the answer is. I’ve only seen a society that favors women. I have long thought of writing you on these points and finally brought myself to do so. Perhaps there’s a lesson in there for others and for other husbands and wives and the state of the conservative church.
Why Publish Such a Sad Story?
Lately I have been absolutely flooded with emails from MGTOWs. Stories like this one from Mark feed right into their beliefs of why the modern feminized form of marriage is so bad for men. It would have been easier not to publish this man’s story knowing the MGTOW reactions it would get.
I am sure I will get many MGTOWs writing me saying “yeah there’s a lesson there and the lesson is men should not get married”.
The Christian feminists reading Mark’s story will come away with another lesson. In their view Mark just needs to go back to where he was before he discovered what the Bible says about the roles of husbands and wives. He needs to just do what his wife said and work on his “communication style” and “hear her” better. And of course, his wife mentioned the Christian feminist and humanists’ favorite word which is CONSENT. And when all else fails, Mark should just fall back into the appeasement mode with his wife, because after all “Happy Wife” = “Happy Life” right?
But despite the predictable reactions I knew would come from the Christian feminists on my left flank and the MGTOWs on my right flank I really felt the Lord leading me to publish this man’s story and he is right that there are lessons that can be learned from his story not just for other men, but for Mark himself.
Before I get into the lessons that can be learned as well as advice in dealing with this kind of marital situation Mark faces, I just want to make a few things crystal clear.
The philosophies of MGTOW on the right and Christian Feminism on the left are unbiblical philosophies. See my previous articles “Was Jesus Christ a Feminist?” and “Why MGTOW Is an Unbiblical Philosophy”.
Also, in regard to the false humanist philosophy of “consent” please see my previous article “It is Not a Woman’s Consent That Matters, It is God’s”.
With that being said lets first tackle some lessons that can be learned from Mark’s story and then I will give some advice based on Biblical principles for a husband dealing with a contentious and angry wife.
Lesson #1 – We Must Continue to Speak Out Against Error in Our Churches and Our Homes
What Mark did in challenging his Pastors and teachers at his church as well as his wife in his home is exactly what we as Christian husbands are called to do as seen in the Scripture below:
“2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
2 Timothy 4:2-4 (KJV)
I know that Mark is feeling discouraged after doing just what this passage commands and not seeing the results he expected. But it is not the results that matter, but only our obedience to God’s commands. God is the only one who can truly change the hearts of men and women, we are only his messengers.
Lesson #2 – While Preaching Against Error We Must Not Add to the Gospel
We who still believe in, practice and defend the doctrines of Biblical gender roles must remember how the Gospel is presented in the Scriptures:
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Romans 10:9-10 (KJV)
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”
I Corinthians 15:1-4 (KJV)
The Gospel is clear in the Bible. If we believe that Jesus Christ is Lord, that he was the sinless Son of God in human flesh and that he died for our sins and rose again we will ARE saved. We have passed from death to life. The following Scripture passage actually describes the process by which we come to trust in Christ and are saved:
“12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”
Ephesians 1:12-14 (KJV)
We heard the Gospel, believed the Gospel and then we were sealed with the Holy Spirit which is our guarantee that one day we will see our Savior face to face. And our belief in the Gospel and the subsequent indwelling of the Holy Spirit has a transforming effect on our lives as the Scriptures state below:
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”
2 Corinthians 5:17
But the Apostle Paul tells us of the sad reality that there will always be divisions in the church, whether it be on a local level or on a universal church level:
“18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. 19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.”
1 Corinthians 11:18-19 (KJV)
And this is why God gave us the various church offices and spiritual gifts:
“11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ”
Ephesians 4:11-13 (KJV)
This is why we have different Christian denominations. This is why even within each Christian denomination we have opposing schools of thought on many different doctrines whether it is the interpretation or application of such doctrines.
So, there are two extremes. One is to say “Unless you agree with me on every doctrinal interpretation and application of the Bible then you are not saved and you have no business calling yourself a Christian”. The other extreme is to say “No one knows what is right or wrong and no Christian should ever teach that another Christian’s behavior or interpretation or application of the Bible is wrong”. We as Bible believing Christians can and should call out unchristian behavior and false interpretations of the Bible by other people who call themselves Christians. And we can do so without questioning their faith and trust in Jesus Christ.
So, we can rightly and vehemently condemn the false philosophies of Christian feminism and MGTOW without saying Christians who believe in these philosophies could not possibly be Christians. This is a very important distinction that must be made.
To say that a Christian must have no blind spots and have the correct interpretation of every passage and doctrine of the Bible is to add to the Gospel and we have no right to do that.
The next logical question that could be asked in this would be “How then can we know that we are correctly understanding and applying all the Scriptures relating to gender roles? Or in other words how can we know that the traditional understanding of Christian gender roles was right?”
The answer can be found in one Scripture passage we already mentioned and another passage we have not mentioned:
“For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.”
1 Corinthians 11:19 (KJV)
“The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.”
Matthew 11:19 (KJV)
The Bible tells us that their must be false interpretations of doctrines in the Bible so that the true interpretations of the Bible can be clearly seen as right and approved by God. And Jesus said “Wisdom is justified by her children” or in other words our correct interpretation and application of the Bible can often be proven by the results that it yields.
And what has abandoning the traditional gender roles based on the Biblical passages regarding gender roles produced? Has it been shown to be something that God approves of? The fact that divorce rates shot up from about 3 percent to almost 50 percent, sex outside of marriage became common place, and millions of babies have been slaughtered under the banner of “women’s rights” shows us God does not approve of the modern liberal and feminist interpretation that there are no more gender roles for Christians. And truly Feminism has not been justified by her children.
Lesson #3 – The Seeker Sensitive Church Philosophy is not Approved by God
And this brings us to the third lesson we can take from Mark’s story. The seeker sensitive church is not approved by God nor has the children that this movement has produced proven it to be wise. The seeker sensitive church movement is based on false interpretation of Scripture passages like the one below:
“21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. 22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”
1 Corinthians 9:21-22 (KJV)
Basically, what churches are doing is they are setting up their churches to be as “non-offensive” to non-believers and even professing believers as they can so that they can “by all means save some”. Many of these churches have completely stopped preaching against homosexuality or even sex outside of marriage. Many of them don’t even preach against sin at all. A lot of them just basically preach “self-help” messages that you could find outside of church. And they have lots of fun activities for children, teens and adults.
Now some of these seeker-sensitive churches don’t completely abandon all the doctrines of the Bible. They might even say like Mark’s church that the Bible is the Word of God and they may even preach that Jesus is the only way to salvation.
But what all these seeker-sensitive churches have in common is that they all have completely and utterly abandoned the doctrines of Biblical gender roles. Every single one of them. You show me a church that has abandoned the doctrine of Biblical gender roles and I will show you a seeker-sensitive church.
And Mark is absolutely right that many of these churches claim to be “Bible believing” and they even proudly wear the label “Conservative” while still utterly abandoning all teaching on Biblical gender roles in an effort to please both unbelievers and professing Christians that come to their churches.
And what have these churches produced? They have produced a lot of people who are not even true believers and of those that are true believers they remain babes in Christ. They remain this way because they are never given the meat of God’s Word.
And what else has this seeker sensitive church movement produced? It has produced wide scale divorce within the churches. It is a shame before God that Christians in America have the same divorce rate as non-believers and in some surveys it shows higher. Now for those secularists who say “see the traditionalist Christian philosophy of marriage does not work” let me help you out. First secularists don’t marry at the same rate that Christians or religious people in general do. There is a lot more long-term cohabitation amongst secularists than Christians. So, since Christians marry younger and at higher rates the chance of divorce would higher because the incidence of marriage is higher.
But what is the reason for the higher divorce rate amongst Christians? It is for the very fact that the Christians who divorce were NOT following Biblical gender roles. If a man is loving his wife by leading her, providing for her needs, protecting her, correcting and teaching her as Christ does his church and the wife loves her husband, submits to her husband in everything and reverences her husband and she takes care of the needs of the home they won’t get divorced. You show me a Christian couple that got divorced and I will show you a Christian couple that may have started doing these things, but one or both of them began to fail in doing these things God has commanded.
And even when failings occur, God has not granted the concept of no-fault divorce. There are limited reasons for which God allows divorce and the vast majority of Christian divorces do not take place for reasons God allows.
Again, I will refer the reader back to what the Apostle Paul told Timothy. We are called to preach God’s Word, all of God’s Word even if some parts are not popular in our culture.
Now we will move from the “lessons learned” to speaking to how Mark and other Christians should deal with a contentious and angry wife.
How Should Mark Deal with his Contentious and Angry Wife?
First and foremost, this is not just a contentious and angry wife that Mark is dealing with. This is a wife who sexually denies her husband. Now in many cases a contentious and angry wife is also a wife who sexually denies her husband. But this is not always the case. I know of many a Christian man whose wife will give him her body, even if it is grudgingly given, in order to keep him in the marriage while still maintaining her contentious and angry spirit.
So, I will say from the beginning that sexual denial, on either the part of the woman or the man, is one of the few reasons for which God allows divorce. See my previous articles “8 steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal” and “4 Steps to confronting your husband’s sexual refusal” for more on those subjects.
Here is the truth of the matter though, even if a wife is sexually denying her husband there are some men who just do not feel that God wants them to divorce their wife. Others feel they must stay with their wife for the benefit of their children. And still others are afraid to leave for fear of the financial devastation it will cause them. We can see in Mark’s story that he seriously considered divorce from his wife but he saw the damage it would cause to himself personally as well as his children.
We can also see in the story of Mark’s 16-year marriage and especially the last 2 years that he has tried the following four approaches:
- Directly confronting his wife by showing her from the Bible she was wrong.
- Counseling sessions with church Leaders who told him he was wrong in his interpretation of the Bible.
- The silent treatment.
And from this email we have shown here, as well as other subsequent emails I have received from Mark none of these approaches have worked to change his wife’s behavior nor helped her to recognize the error of her ways.
So lets talk about his approach that he has settled back into and that is appeasement.
Appeasement on the part of a husband toward his contentious and angry wife may bring peace, but it is peace at the expense of obedience to God.
God calls husbands in Ephesians 5:25-27 to love their wives “even as Christ also loved the church” and we see that Christ’s love for his church is seen in his washing his wife’s spiritual spots and wrinkles with the Word of God. This concept again is seen in Christ speaking to his churches when he states in Revelation 3:19 “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent”.
So, we can rightly say that a husband who does not rebuke and discipline his wife is a husband who is in disobedience to God’s command to husbands to love their wives as Christ loves his Church. And a husband like Mark who is dealing with this kind of wife is a perfect example of how a man must sometimes sacrifice his own happiness to do spiritual battle in his home. The easier and the less painful approach in many cases is to take the path of appeasement. But this is not an option for a Christian husband.
My recommendation in these cases is to use the same approach God used with his wife Israel in the Old Testament. First, he confronted her sin and rebuked her for it calling her to repentance. After she utterly refused to repent (as your wife has done) then he engaged in the silent treatment toward Israel as I recently wrote about. Mark might say “I tried that but she went nuts”.
Let me ask you a question. If your child threw a temper fit whenever they did not get what they wanted would it be ok for you to appease them so they would not throw a fit? The answer is no. And the same answer goes for your wife when she throws a temper fit. When she starts doing that leave the house. Get your keys, get in the car and leave. Go some place and park for a couple hours and just take a nice nap in the car. Or go to a park and enjoy the peace. Sometimes it might be so bad that you just need to find a friend or relatives house to stay at for the night.
Remember how the Bible advises men to deal with contentious and angry women?
“It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.”
Proverbs 21:19 (KJV)
In other words, it is better to live out of your car than in a house with contentious and angry wife.
And one other thing I would like to add. You need to be VERY consistent in your disciplinary approach with your wife just as you need to be very consistent in your disciplinary approach with your children. So, the approach is, you rebuke her and she fails to repent and just keeps arguing with you then you walk away and engage in the silent treatment. If she becomes violent you leave the home for a few hours or even for the evening.
This consistent behavior toward her will result in one of three actions on her part:
- She will completely change her behavior.
- She will file for divorce.
- She will at least stop the raging so you won’t leave.
And if she does file for divorce – I would highly recommend that you speak to multiple attorneys. There are a lot of bad divorce attorneys out there. You need to find a good attorney that specializes in divorce from a man’s perspective. You also need to get recordings of her raging as that will not play well in divorce court for her.