If you study the Bible and look at Biblical principles of marriage there is one word that is noticeably absent regarding how to have unity in marriage. And that word is compromise.
In humanism, compromise is a sacred tenet of any relationship, especially in marriage. The reason it is sacred is because of humanism’s beliefs in individualism and equality. For individualism and equality to flourish, compromises must constantly be made. A marriage where one person calls all the shots on moral issues and big decisions of the family is considered “toxic” in the humanist view. This is because they believe marriage is an equal partnership.
But the Bible presents a very different view of marriage.
“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives”
1 Peter 3:1 (KJV)
The Bible shows in the passage above from 1 Peter 3:1 that God did not design marriage as a partnership, but rather as a patriarchy. And in the passage below from Ephesians 5:23 we can see that not only is marriage a patriarchy, but it was intended by God to be a direct reflection of the relationship between Christ and his church.
“For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.“
Ephesians 5:23 (KJV)
So the question is does Christ compromise with his church on his will, his plans and his moral decisions? The answer is absolutely not. And neither should husband’s compromise with their wives in these areas.
The first recorded sin of a male human being, Adam, was when he compromised his moral beliefs and listen to wife.
“ And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life”
Genesis 3:17 (KJV)
Adam’s compromise of his morality to please his wife brought sin into the world. Job shows us what Adam should have done when his wife asked him to compromise his morality:
“Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.”
Job 2:9-10 (KJV)
When a man compromises his moral beliefs to please his wife he breaks the picture of Christ and his church and he exposes his family to possible consequences of that decision.
Now don’t get me wrong – when it comes to things that have nothing to do with morality compromise in marriage is a good thing. Like when we choose where we go to dinner that is not necessarily a moral decision. How much is spent on dinner is a moral decision, but whether we have a hamburger or pizza is not.
But I think in most cases what we call compromise on these non moral things is just us being selfless and putting the other person first and that is a good thing.
But when it comes to moral decisions, including financial decisions, career decisions, what church is attended, religious beliefs, discipline and teaching of the children, decisions about sex and other things like this there can be no compromise. A husband is always called by God to do what is he believes is right before God.
9 thoughts on “Why Compromise in Marriage is Sacred in Humanism and Sinful in the Bible”
What if a wife tries to counter Genesis 3:17 with Genesis 21:12?
God was not saying in Genesis 21:12 that Abraham should always listen to his wife. It was his listening to his wife that got him into trouble in the first place with thinking he could have his heir through Hagar when God said the heir would come through Sarah. In this case where God told him to listen to her, God was simply allowing Sarah to clean up the mess that she had made.
I do not believe it is always wrong for a man to listen to his wife. I am sure Abigail tried to warn her evil husband Nabal in 1 Samuel 25 of the disastrous consequences that were coming to her family because of his actions regarding David. Nabal should have listened to her. But a man must be convinced by God that what his wife is telling him is the moral and right thing to do. It is one thing to listen to your wife simply to appease her and make her happy. That is wrong. It is another if God tells us to listen to our wife in a particular situation. That is exactly what Abraham did. The only reason he listened to Sarah the second time, after he wrongly followed her the first, is because God told him to listen to her.
Compromise on moral issues is a death spiral in marriage or anywhere else.
“The compromises of yesterday become the starting position for bargaining today, and today’s new compromise will become the starting point for bargaining tomorrow.” – Dalrock
A few years ago, I submitted to my husband in the decision about what church to attend. Before that, I had been driving those decisions, and it caused some unrest and confusion in our relationship. I finally realized that this decision is not mine to make, and that I needed to submit to him willingly. I know the new place is better for our family situation, but I miss our old church (which was the one I had decided on years ago). I trust my husband though, and I rest in my submission to his decisions. I definitely believe that church is one of those things that unity is very important. Can you imagine if I had “compromised” and decided to just go somewhere else from my husband…? The thought did cross my mind! And I usually consider myself pretty compliant. I had to work at submitting in this particular decision and I’m glad I did. We plan to join the new church whenever this corona virus stuff is over and we can go to church again! 😀
I appreciate my husband listening to me. Many times my words and warnings were wise and true, BUT I do not expect him to do everything I say. I do expect him to weigh my words with wisdom and to use them as tools to help, not as Gospel to be obeyed.
I am also careful not to spout off opinions and quick fixes/responses. Not everything needs my peanut gallery.
I don’t agree with all your posts but you did a great job here, God bless brother.
I am reminded of the famous essay by R.L. Dabney on woman’s suffrage. His brutal beat-down of the comprising northern Presbyterians is apropos because it is the same spirit of comprise to feminist empowerment as advocated by 90% of Christianity. Enjoy….
Trey, thank you for that excellent saying. I failed to think of it that way. I wish I knew that saying 10-15 years ago.
This pathology is summarised by the statement:
“Happy Wife, Happy Life”.
Its like Man becomes God’s Lord and God submits himself to Man.