You may wonder: “What about the big things? It sounds like your husband loves God – What if your husband doesn’t? What if he isn’t saved, doesn’t want to go to church, refuses to get a job, yells at us, or is unkind and abusive?”
I will tell you that if he is physically abusive – get help. Do not stay and try to work things out alone. He has bigger problems than you can fix. When I say ‘leave’, I mean gather your kids and a few things and go to your mother’s house, or a friends house, or something. Once you are in a safe place, you can take some time and counsel to decide what is the best way to go forward. Do not stay with an abuser.
Emotional abuse is different. It is still harmful, and needs worked with, but so much depends on the situation. There is no way for me to give advice through an article! Do you know why? Because many women throw that phrase around far too quickly as an excuse to leave their husband. I’m sorry to say it, but sometimes the wife is the one at fault. I have seen this happen. Yes, the husband may be emotionally abusive, but he was driven to it by his nagging, whining, unsubmissive wife! (no, that is no excuse for his behaviour, but turn the situation around for a minute…) If a wife is walking in the fear of God and has a cheerful and respectful demeanor – the chances of a loving husband are much greater.
He won’t take the family to church.
Why? Because YOU picked the church and then demand he go along? Is there a church he would rather attend? Go with him to his church. I have often heard that if won’t go to church – then go without him. But I have a different thought on that… IF it were me, (I have never been in that situation) I would stay home with him. Yes, the Bible is clear on being part of a local church, but it is also clear on being one with your husband. If you take the high moral ground by insisting on going to church, soon you will have a whole circle of friends whom he doesn’t know. You will have an entire section of your life that he is not a part of!
My suggestion would be: Stay home and watch online. The beauty of this digital age is that there are many churches that broadcast their services, now. Good churches. Find one that is biblically sound, and watch their service online. Don’t go make a big deal about it – just stick in your earbuds and watch on your phone or tablet as you snuggle up beside your husband. He’s over there watching football, you’re watching church – but you still have the connection between you. Or listen to a recorded sermon during the week. There are many. Find some Christian ladies in your community, an hang out with them during the week once in a while. It doesn’t have to be a Bible study – just fellowship is what you’re after.
He won’t get a job.
If he won’t, then you have to. You must pay your debts and feed your children, and if he won’t take his place, then you have to do it. I don’t know what else to say about this. You need money to live, and someone must earn it. If you can get him to counseling – great. Otherwise, go to work and pray that God changes his heart.
He does immoral or illegal things and/or wants me to do them, too.
Nope. Just nope. Yes, I believe strongly in submission to your husband, but when he crosses the line into breaking the law or immorality – then you have an obligation to not join in. Indeed, you must stop him! Call the police if you must. Leave if you’re scared. But don’t join in or assist him in these type of things.
When you should stay and work it out:
When he listens to music you don’t like. This is not the end of the world. Don’t break up a family over music. (I heard this excuse once.)
When he doesn’t like your church. Or any church. You can teach the kids about God at home.
When he is unpleasant to live with. You be the light in your home! Check your own heart…
When he has different career goals than you do. Go with the flow.
When he doesn’t love you as much as you think he should. How are you respecting him?
This is by no means a comprehensive list or article. It is intended to help you work through what is bothering you, to see if it is a leave-worthy problem, or a stay-and-work-it-out problem. I know there are some pretty terrible guys out there. I know that you can’t work everything out. But I have seen the grace and forgiveness extended by Godly women to their sin-natured husbands, so I know miracles can happen.
Pray a lot.
Pray all the time. Fast for a time, if you can. Ask your trusted friends to pray wth you. (not your gossipy friends) Study God’s Word and pray some more.
And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not send her husband away. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy. Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace. For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife? 1 Corinthians 7:13-16
I am not saying that the responsibility is with the wife — husbands make their own choices and will be responsible for them. What I am saying, is that you have the choice to live in a Christlike manner, and perhaps, by your Godly life your example will inspire your man to change. Since I am writing to women, I am not saying what I think the man should do. I am only trying to help you walk in a Christlike way in your marriage.
Read the rest of the series HERE.