Appeasement is Never an Option for Christian Husbands

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.

Mark”

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:

  1. Directly confronting his wife by showing her from the Bible she was wrong.
  2. Counseling sessions with church Leaders who told him he was wrong in his interpretation of the Bible.
  3. The silent treatment.
  4.  Appeasement.

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:

  1. She will completely change her behavior.
  2. She will file for divorce.
  3. 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.

11 thoughts on “Appeasement is Never an Option for Christian Husbands

  1. My advice to this man is to separate their finances and make copies of all important documents. Then sit down with his wife and give her an ultimatum—tell her that he will not remain in a sexless marriage, and that things need to change in order for the relationship to continue. Explain to her how difficult her life will be in a divorce, and that how courts are now starting to recognize fathers rights. If he is awarded equal custody, she will get significantly less child support, which would force her to take on more work hours in a job she doesn’t like.

    Plant a couple motion activated hidden cameras—You can get them pretty cheap these days—disguised as common household objects. If she flips out and destroys things again, the footage could then be used to negotiate the divorce in your favor. Tell her that if she files for alimony, you will use the footage to file for full custody, showing how she is emotionally unstable and unfit to parent. If you are awarded full custody, you will end up paying less money for preschool or daycare, than you would have been paying for child support.

  2. Absolutely start recording as soon as possible. A recording app for phones is a matter of only a few dollars but can be indispensable in court if needed. THIS ONE THING CAN HELP KEEP A MAN FROM PRISON IF HIS WIFE STARTS TO THROW AROUND ALLEGATIONS OF PHYSICAL ABUSE, so please, start recording NOW.

    Other than that, I will keep this man in my prayers. Though my wife is not on the same level as his I have also struggled with bringing the truth to my church only to be told I was wrong and that I had “fallen in with some chauvinists”, but I did my job and confronted the church with the Word, which they turned away. It may have cost me some friendships in the end and I still have issues with my wife, but I know I have done what God has called me to do. Stay strong, brother, for though we suffer troubles on this earth we know we have a heavenly reward that can never be taken!

  3. ar10308 – I agree with both your and Snappers suggestion about recording things. Whether he sets up hidden cameras or just uses his phone. Of course if he uses his phone he needs to maintain a safe distance as she could grab the phone out of hand and throw that along with everything else she is throwing at the time.

  4. Appeasement implies conforming one’s ethics for the purpose of avoiding an unpleasant conflict by placating an adversary. There is, however, a place for first speaking truthfully and firmly regarding sin and repentance and then patiently allowing time and space for the Holy Spirit to work. The latter may at first glance appear to be an appeasement, but if the true ethic remains stout and the hope for repentance remains steadfast, then patience is not appeasement. Further, in a quest to not appease there are pitfalls that may ensnare many if vigilance is not practiced. Among these are “lording it over” or tyranny, a focus on fruits not roots or external adjustments but not heart repentance, and non-sacrifical leadership which is lovelessness and narcissistic.

    The two principles that BOTH must operate for a godly husband are 1) seeking true repentance for violations of God’s law and restoration to His blueprints for the family AND 2) The practice of sacrificial love that is willing to personally suffer so that #1 might accomplished and that Christ may be glorified in the example of a husband’s faithfulness in the face of excruciating suffering. A godly husband must husband his wife for the glory of Christ with knowledge of the Word and an understanding that the Lord is shaping his character through adversity into a stronger resemblance of Christ. Giving thanks in all things, unwavering in adversity and ever striving for holiness he patiently acts and waits without an appeasing compromise. He has his eyes fixed upon Holiness not happiness. Happiness may or may not come, but joy is his constant companion as he labors in and for Christ.

  5. A few random thoughts for Mark, not in any particular order.
    You got here by having 12-14 years of doing the wrong thing. This is failed leadership and you have essentially taught her that you are ok with it by putting up with it. I’m not trying to pile on you, but you need to take responsibility for this failure before God, confess it and ask for wisdom and strength on how to move forward. The old you wasn’t doing it right. It is time to align yourself to God’s ways and be strong. You stay aligned to Him irregardless of whether she aligns to you.
    Get your ducks in a row. Call multiple attorneys, especially the ones who specialize in protecting and defending men. Listen to their advice. Be prepared to go scorched earth – a chance at happiness is worth the cost. Happiness without her if that ends up being what it is. An example of what not to put up with in marriage for your children if it comes to it. Be prepared to explain to her what the cost will be is she wants divorce. Explain to her that she will have to go to work. Explain to her that her life will be much harder if this direction is chosen. Explain to her that she will no longer have you to work for her, to help her, to provision for her. Explain to her that if she goes this direction there are no do overs and that there is a very high chance she will have to bear you giving your love, resources, and gifts to another woman.
    It could be a good thing she does not work. You can control the finances when you are the one making the money. Your name is on that paycheck, not hers. Open an account in your name only and have you payment check deposited there. Take control. The new word is NO, until she is working toward improvement. Not you are working with so and so and she has to please them. She has to please you, her husband, period. if you aren’t seeing improvement no matter what anyone else things, the answer for anything is a NO.
    There is something about a wife giving her body to her husband. It connects her in him. I think she will be more workable if she is having regular sex with her husband. I also think the opposite is true – the longer things go between connecting, the easier it is for her to fall into rebelliousness and sin. This is why this is important to start with sex. The idea of fixing things and then once things are perfect then having sex does not work. You start having sex now and then work on fixing things. It will help everything else flow if it is being handled and conversely if it is not being handled it will cause getting things right to be much more difficult. I believe in this so much so that if she flat out refuses to work in this area (have sex), I think you should go right to divorce and not waste your time with anything else. It is unreal that you provide everything and yet she refuses to give her body to you.
    You have kids. Right now they see you putting up with this and they are learning it is normal. Explain to them what the problem is in clear language and then do what is right. Use leading them and hopefully not watching them make the same mistakes in the future as fuel to push yourself to do what is right.

  6. 1 Cor 7:15 – But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.
    Do you think the Apostle Paul may have taken a different position in light of the current family court practices? 😉 Child support, alimony, and division of assets. Mark already knows that divorce is rightly warranted for his wife’s ungodly behavior. It is the cost that keeps him bound. It really gives a new perspective to the idea of leaving all to follow Christ. I feel bad for him, even if she left him due to adultery, the end result financially would be the same. It is the same in our culture, we think we still have a future to hold onto, retirement, comfort, money, etc. so most people keep their heads down and plow on. Only when this painful situation becomes too much to bare, will he chose a different option. When he does, I recommend a scorched earth policy.
    Tyler Durden said “It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.”
    or
    Matt 16:25 – 25 For if you want to save your own life, you will lose it; but if you lose your life for my sake, you will find it. – Jesus – I like this one better

  7. The Bible tells us that it’s built into the woman to desire to control the man (courtesy of Eve in the Garden). What the Bible does not tell us is that FACT that a women will not respect a man that she can control. Also not mentioned is the FACT that a women will have no sexual desire for a man that she does not respect. Based on her hormonal sex drive she may use you from time to time to scratch her itch (while she is fantasizing that she is having sex with some other man) but she will not really have any desire for you and if she does not have a hormonal sex drive, you will get nothing.

    Now strong Christian women understand that sexual refusal is a sin and will freely give their bodies to their husbands whether they currently have respect for him or not, but since this is no longer being taught in our churches, and society and our culture is screaming the exact opposite from every rooftop, most women don’t see sexual refusal as the abhorrent sin that it is.

    Men in this situation have to explain the Biblical truths to their wives, gird themselves for battle and with constant prayer, take action. Once the battle has commenced, they must patiently and firmly, stand their ground no matter what. They need to understand that they are doing battle for the soul of their wives and children and they must be willing to risk it all for the cause of (and in obedience to) Christ.

    A husband is bound by God’s word to agape (love) his wife. That means he is to always make decisions that are in her best interest regardless of the circumstances. Many times she will not like what is best for her, especially if she is mired in sin. He is also bound by God’s word to provide for the needs of his wife, not her wants… especially if what she wants is not in her best interest and it is never in the best interest of a spoiled brat child to get everything they want… especially if they throw a tantrum when they don’t get it.

    I would do as Anm1 stated and open a new bank account and limit the money that she has access to. I would take her credit cards away, put her on an allowance and never pay a bill for a charge/card you have not authorized. A credit freeze might help in this matter. Then start cutting down on the other things that she wants (vacations, etc.) that are not necessities and explain to her clearly why you are doing all of this. She is in sin and God commands you to wash her in the water of the Word to remove her spots and blemishes. God disciplines those that he (agape) loves and you are called to love your wive as Christ loves the church.

    In Mark’s case, hidden cameras (with audio) in the house are a must immediately for your own protection. I would think it wise to try and find that better job again far away from where he is currently living and move his family there to get his wife away from the bad influences that are currently strengthening her in her sin.

    I also agree with Anm1 that her sexual refusal is the first battle to confront and win. This is where the battle should start and once won, everything after that should come easier. As for her “reasons” why she does not want to have sex with you, they are all just excuses (for her to pridefully maintain control) and no matter how many you address and appease, she will just come up with more and the more hoops you jump through the less she will respect you and you will just be peddling backwards.

    As Anm1 also stated, it took years (of you doing it wrong) to get where you are, it might take a few years to get it fixed but as I know many others here (have and) are doing, I am praying for you and your wife Mark that God will honor you as you start obeying Him and working to get your house in order.

    One final thing, I also agree with everything that Jonadab said above. This is going to take immense patience and vigilance and in the end, no matter what the outcome, you are doing this to the obedience to (and Glory of) Christ. Let this give you strength.

  8. I don’t know exactly how old Mark’s children are but my advice is to fully consider how his actions will affect them regardless of how he chooses to deal with his wife. As someone who has had to grow up witnessing my mother’s emotionally abusive and controlling attitude towards my father since the day I was born, along with being the target of that same abuse more times than I care to remember, I can testify that the actions of a woman like her can have serious lasting impacts on children. Mark’s wife doesn’t sound quite as bad as my mother but children aren’t going to just ignore her throwing a tantrum and literally tearing the house apart. One thing that won’t work is appeasement, my Dad’s tried that for over 20 years. Getting her to see that she is the one at fault won’t work either, we tried that too.

    The best way to deal with a wife like that is to not get married to a woman like that in the first place. My Dad only married my Mum because she was pregnant with me, not because she would’ve made for a good wife. If a man, Christian or not, wants to get married then he should marry based on whether that woman stacks up against his selection criteria for a good wife. Not his ‘feelings’. If he is Christian and wants a Biblical Marriage then he should have that as his goal from the outset and make that clear early on when dating a potential wife. If she doesn’t fit the bill or is offended by the idea of a woman submitting to her husband than just leave her and find someone else. Believe me, it’s not worth it.

  9. If I could add one thing to the many comments, which I think contain some excellent analysis and advice: While we can all recognize this situation shows a wife in rebellion, and a husband who has not led his home from the start on biblical foundations, I see one common church error lying behind some of the thinking. This is the idea that there is no place for duty and responsibility, but rather decisions are made by the “free” desire of the heart.

    This attitude, extending far beyond marriage, is harmful to the brethren, as it causes us to lack in our responsibilities to each other, as well as our responsibilities to God. The husband and wife have real duty to each other. This includes the duty of the husband to provide and protect, and the duty of the wife to submit to and reverence her husband. It includes the duty to share intimacy with our partner, not just because we feel like it, but because it is OWED to the other. Fulfilling responsibility is indeed consensual as well, as both parties entered the marriage covenant with consent, and that marriage covenant includes our duties. Try only going to work when you feel like it, and see how that works out. Our responsibilities to our spouse are just as real and important.

    For that reason, I view this rebellious wife as a little microcosm of the contemporary churches, in their anti-nomianism and their false portrayal of a purely spontaneous and not duty-bound Christian life. It took a lot of very bad teaching to get to the point where this is common. True, this woman is pulling fast one, as she certainly thinks her husband has real duties to her, but constructing a feeling-based faith, rather than a serious and responsible one, is the fruit of aberrant teaching in the churches, and an overall rebellious spirit among Christians. You probably can see that as well as I can, but I just wanted to bring it up.

    I pray this man is able to restore order in his home, and lead his wife to repent. It will take wisdom and courage and grace. I spoke to a friend who had similar problems in his marriage — a sincere believer of many years and a wife who professed to be Christian — and he said that pastors had told them his wife only had to “submit” to their covenant, but not submit to him. I bluntly corrected them of course. But you can see the nice little twisting of truth that goes on to avoid unpopular teachings. The brethren are very vulnerable to false teachers. that is why I thank God He gave us His Word, and I hope this husband and all future husbands stay close to God’s Word and build their marriages on it. Sadly, churches can be very dangerous places to be.

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