If truly Biblical marriage roles were being better taught from the pulpits and in homes, I cannot help but wonder if Christian women would take much more seriously the decision of whom they marry.
So many parents understandably lament that their young daughters choose men who are lazy, addicted, morally bankrupt, exceptionally immature, or don’t genuinely love the Lord. But isn’t part of that on you, parents? Sometimes?
Why do so many young women think they can “rescue” a man?
More to the point: why was she under the impression that she could control or change him?
Did her understanding of marriage come from Scripture, or did you allow her to get much of that from unbelieving classmates, unbiblical church culture, chick flicks, and the world at large?
Was your daughter brought up to understand that the man she marries will indeed be her authority— not a peer who she can wrangle, manipulate, or “disciple” into seeing things her way? (1 Cor. 11:3, Eph. 5:23, 1 Peter 3:1-6)
That when they disagree in decision-making, she is to joyfully defer to him “in everything” as long as he’s not asking her to sin— so she’d better make sure he’s a man who wants a godly home? (Ephesians 5:22-24)
That even if he turns out to be an unbeliever, Scripture says that her best hope of winning him to the Lord is in the command to treat him with such reverence that he wonders why? (1 Peter 3)
That “reverence” (not mere “respect”) is what all wives are called to give their husbands— whether his behavior deserves it or not? (Ephesians 5:33)
That each spouse is accountable to the Lord for their own actions, which means she is to live out her role even if he isn’t living out his?
Was this dynamic both taught and modeled for her at home?
Did she even know?
To be clear, at times a young person may make an unwise marriage choice despite being diligently taught and biblically modeled for at home. But can we honestly say that’s the case? That the norm in the church today is to both teach and model truly biblical marriage? For that matter, do most even seriously study what the Word actually says about marriage– not some recommended book or marriage study or biblically-derived principles, but the exact, God-breathed words of Scripture itself– to know it well enough to teach it?
In no way am I trying to heap blame… only to warn the next generation.
Year after year, I’m grief-stricken over the number of women in bad marriages who message me, and dozens more who I’ve simply observed desperately reaching out for help. Most of these women (as well as their husbands) would have been spared a lot of ugliness and heartache had they believed these things before marriage.
Too late, they must slowly learn the painful reality that you have to lie in the bed you make. That you get to choose your love, but then you need to love your choice— and submit to him, too. When you choose a husband you are choosing, among other things, your most direct human authority! This is one of the many reasons to choose well.
Marriage matters… so much.
Not only for ourselves.
Not only for the reputation of the gospel and the picture of Christ and His Church to a watching world! (Titus 2:5, Ephesians 5:22-32)
But also for our children who, by watching our marriages day in and day out, subconsciously form their standard of “normal.”