An Unloved Woman

Now, This is NOT something I have written. I just want to make that clear. It was written by Pastor Jason Holdridge, who I know about through Kate McDonald.

You can find his original post here. If you have a blogger account you can leave him comments.

God bless.

♥Kristy

UPDATE: I have gotten many comments on this post and I have acquired some new thoughts. One gentleman brought to my attention in one of the comments that the “unloved woman” in Proverbs 30:23 might not be what Jason understood it as. In the NIV and NASB versions of the Bible it simply says “unloved” and so it is easy to understand that woman as someone who is not treated well by her husband. In the KJV and the Amplified versions of the verse it has some interesting alternative words that are used that sheds new light.

In the KJV “unloved” is not in there. In fact, the word is “odious” which means

“1. deserving or causing hatred; hateful; detestable. 2. highly offensive; repugnant; disgusting.” (Dictionary.com)

In the Amplified it says “unloved and repugnant woman”. Repugnant means:

“1. distasteful, objectionable, or offensive: a repugnant smell. 2. making opposition; averse. 3. opposed or contrary, as in nature or character.” (Dictionary.com)

Matthew Henry says that this woman is

an ill-natured, cross-grained, woman, when she gets a husband, one who, having made herself odious by her pride and sourness, so that one would not have thought any body would ever love her, yet, if at last she be married, that honourable estate makes her more intolerably scornful and spiteful than ever. It is a pity that that which should sweeten the disposition should have a contrary effect. A gracious woman, when she is married, will be yet more obliging.

Were you able to follow what Matthew Henry said? Marriage should bring out what is good, but in this “unloved” woman, only bad things are brought out from within her. Maxwell Sears, the individual who commented on this post pointed out that the verse might well be referring to the condition of the woman’s heart, rather than how her husband is treating her. I believe this to be true after reading the original context.

In the Hebrew the word used here is śânê’ which means:

A primitive root; to hate (personally): – enemy, foe, (be) hate (-ful, -r), odious, X utterly. (Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionary)

I think the King James version is the most accurate seeing as they used “odious” which comes straight from Strong’s definition.

This verse isn’t talking about a woman who is “trapped in a marriage with a misguided man” (see last line of attatched post below). Rather, I think it is more the man that is trapped in a marriage with a misguided woman.

We as woman who are married have such an effect on the flow of life within the home. Our attitudes are everything. Do we depend on the Lord for our fulfillment and satisfaction, or do we depend on our husbands or even ourselves? Do we seek to humble ourselves and admit to when we need correction or do all we see are our husband’s faults?

True, I believe that a woman trapped in a marriage with a man who doesn’t respect her or cherish her is a very very sad thing to behold. It isn’t right. It shouldn’t happen, but it does. And when one of us finds ourselves in the shoes of that “unloved” woman that Jason speaks about here, what will our response be? Will we continue loving the Lord and praying for our husbands and allowing God to refine us by fire? Or will we get stuck? get bogged down and allow Satan to tempt our fragile hearts? I would say that the unloved woman who allows her situation in marriage to make her bitter, angry, hurt, and discontent becomes a woman I wouldn’t want to emulate. It hurts her testimony when strength from the Lord during such a season of life (even a prolonged and never-ending season) would make her such a strong witness for God.

If you find yourself identifying with this woman Jason talks about, look deep within yourself and pray to see if perhaps you are an “odious” or “repugnant” woman. How have you contributed to your wilderness, and are you willing to allow God to first change you before He changes your husband?

What Jason says truly is devastating when a man doesn’t live up to his God-given role in marriage. It is true indeed, but don’t let this post fuel your emotional storm and make you even more discontent as you compare. Again I will say, do not compare your marriage and your husband’s lack of fruitful change to the change that went on within Jason’s own heart. God is with you where you’re at just as he was with Heidi (Jason’s wife) and Jason with where they were at. God worked on Jason’s heart and i’m sure his wife was praying hard for him when she felt unloved. Do not allow self-pity to have even one hair in the door or you will be on a spiral downward of comparisson and discontent that Satan loves.

So…without further ado….

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An unloved woman…

Proverbs 30:21-23
21 “Under three things the earth trembles,
under four it cannot bear up:
22 a servant who becomes king,
a fool who is full of food,
23 an unloved woman who is married,
and a maidservant who displaces her mistress.”

I’ve been married for just over ten years. It seems like a lifetime unto itself in many ways. I struggle to remember life apart from Heidi. I know I’ve lived longer without her than with her, but the B.C. years seem more forgettable since she entered my story. With every year we’re together, I’m losing clarity in my remembrance of the first 18 years of my life. I think this is the magic of love. “It covers over a multitude of sins” as the Scripture says. Her love has covered over me so beautifully.

I read this text a few weeks ago and it has been pestering my heart like a little poodle nipping at your heals. I can’t escape the power of these six words…”an unloved woman who is married”. An unloved woman is unconscionable in and of itself. But an unloved woman who is married?…this is unbearable to creation itself. There is nothing that causes the universe to hide in fear like the reality of a marriage where the husband leaves his bride unloved, unwanted, unvalued, undone. It just can’t bear up under these conditions.

I’ve left my wife unloved before. I’ve gotten busy with life. I’ve said yes to too many invitations. I’ve sought the rush of accomplishment. I’ve chased my own adventures apart from her. I’ve sat in silence in front of the television letting her take care of the household duties. I’ve seen her eyes hollowed out by monotonous obligations without so much as an acknowledgement of appreciation. I’ve seen Satan ravish her with insecurities without lifting a finger to fight off her inner demons with the “truth that sets free”. I’ve let words stay inside me when she needed them…oh, has she needed them. I’ve complimented everyone but her. I’ve befriended everyone but her. I’ve changed my schedule for everyone but her. I’ve left her to wonder at her place of importance. I’ve made her feel replaceable. I’ve given her the name, “Afterthought” by my actions. I’ve left her to wander in a world of uncertaintly as to her role in our marriage. I’ve made her read between the lines too much. I’ve left her to fill in the blanks on too many occasions. I’ve left so much inside her unfinished, promising to come back and complete what I said I would do, and letting time take the edge off my vows.

I’ve left her at home with the girls too many nights. I’ve shrugged her off when she needed “adult” conversation. I’ve been a lazy listener. I’ve made her feel like a bother, a nuisance. I’ve seen her dying for my affection, and sadly left her for dead. I haven’t asked nearly enough questions of her heart. I haven’t done much to sacrifice myself to make her dreams come true. I haven’t been the creative leader in the home that I am in the church. Some of these weaknesses go beyond neglect toward abuse. This is unacceptable.

I don’t want my wife to be unloved. I want more for our marriage, our friendship.

Here are some declarations I must make in order to avoid the dread of this verse:
1. I will speak when I’m tempted to stay silent.
2. I will move when I’m tempted to stand still.
3. I will hug when I’m tempted to withdraw.
4. I will kiss when I’m tempted to stare.
5. I will ask questions when I’m tempted to just talk.
6. I will affirm when I’m tempted to attack.
7. I will enjoy when I’m tempted to endure.
8. I will create when I’m tempted to shut down.
9. I will date when I’m tempted to distance myself.
10. I will listen when I’m tempted to solve.
11. I will enable when I’m tempted to disable.
12. I will understand when I’m tempted to be understood.
13. I will sympathize when I’m tempted to criticize.
14. I will forgive when I’m tempted to forgo.
15. I will gaurd my eyes when I’m tempted to feed my flesh.
16. I will accomodate her interestes when I’m tempted to push my own.
17. I will give her freedom when I’m tempted to pursue my own.
18. I will look for the good when I’m tempted to point out the bad.
19. I will defend her when I’m tempted to dis”gaurd” her.
20. I will pursue her when I’m tempted to abandon her.
21. I will trust her when I’m tempted to question her.
22. I will serve her when I’m tempted to let her serve me.
23. I will help her when I’m tempted to let her do “it” herself.
24. I will honor her when I’m tempted to talk about her.
25. I will crown her when I’m tempted to “down” her.

I don’t want my wife to be unloved. I want my chivalry to cause her to feel captivating. I want my romantic heart to break up things she’s scared to try for fear of failure. I’m a guy, but that doesn’t me I’m the incorrigible grunt that culture says I am…I’m created to love my wife with such passion that it confounds all of creation. And I want to…I really, really want to.

There is nothing so dreadful as an unloved woman trapped in a marriage with a misguided man.

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About Kristy

There's not much to say about me except that I'm a mom, wife, learner, and...very human. I stumble all over the place. I am bathed in the grace of God, and I love community. But also need quiet down time to decompress. Down time is hard to come by with Preschoolers. I'm also a Photographer serving Franklin County and Surrounding areas of Southern Illinois. You can see my page at www.capturemekristy.wordpress.com Thanks for stopping by! -Kristy View all posts by Kristy

33 responses to “An Unloved Woman

  • katemcdonald

    I love that you reposted this…good stuff.

    Post about your sponsored kid and I will link to it!

  • maxwell Sears

    When God said that earth trembles from an Unloved woman who is married. Was that base on the condition of the woman ‘s heart or was that created by a man not knowning how to loved and unloved woman.

    I understand that a man is responsible to protect and dwell with his wife according to God ‘s Love, but that is impossible with unloved woman. no matter what a man does, she will see it as rejection because she has not let Christ be the first man in her life. with The true spirit of Christ , there is no unloved woman, but without the spirit of Christ, every woman is unloved because no man can fulfill what Christ must do and she has not allowed Christ to do his will in her life. in reading your promise to your wife, none of that will matter if she cannot accept Christ love first. We make too many excuses for where we are in life. Seek you first the kingdom of God and everything thing that you want will be added to your life. a woman has to seek after Christ to find self love before she can get it from a man who may be unloved himself. A man cannot give what he never went to Christ to get. God would never want a man to fulfill a desire in a woman’s life that Christ has areadty prepared for her. God wants us to dwell with knowledge when it come to your wife.

  • Unlove wife

    IM Up at 12 30 pm as usual seeking God by my self,
    traying to forgot the screemings of my beloved husband I love him we have a 16 years old son,
    for many years i Work really hard to be christ for them to love them serve them and I get rejection abuse in echange for my unconditional love but everyday I take my cross, and I keep silence waiting for the Lord to bring healing to his poor tormented soul and im here after 18 years of abuse, still trusting in the Lord.to him be the glory I dont like to persive my self is a victim because christ once was for me Im his child and he loves me I just found my self in this place wanted to serve god

  • Linda

    As a woman who was unloved and told so not only in word, but in deed, I must thank you for posting this. When I married my husband in church, I meant my vows and did everything humanly possible to show my love. Unfortunately, he had other ideas. He was not capable of loving any woman. I persisted for eighteen miserable years until I was freed from my bonds by Our Lord. I am now a widow who is finally starting to live again and realize that she is a valued child of God and deserves far more than this man ever thought of giving. Do not blame a woman when a man decides to abuse her once he has wooed and won her…and relishes seeing her cry and be miserable. Until you have experienced it, you simply have no idea.

    • Mary

      Leah (is whom the passage is referring) was unloved by her husband, and yet the Lord honored HER by bringing about Jesus, our Savior, through her son, Judah. She was buried next to Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, and Jacob. Rachel was buried alone near Bethlehem.

      “husbands, do not deal treacherously with your wife …” four times written in Malachi, because divorce heaps VIOLENCE upon the wife. and FIVE times in Ephesians/Colossians Paul writes, “husbands, AGAPE LOVE your wives”

      Deuteronomy 24 tells the husband to use the first year of marriage TO MAKE HIS WIFE HAPPY — what a great habit to get into…

      Christian husbands are supposed to become MEN, and not stay as a child. Too often, pastors put the pressure on the WIVES to lay down THEIR life for the husband.. and this would be why Christian marriages are in such messes, with divorce or estrangement.

      • Kristy

        It is true that husbands are not to deal treacherously with their wives. Something I have learned recently, though, is that, just as men are to love their wives unconditionally, and lay down their lives fore their wives as Christ did the church (Ephesians 5:25f), wives are called to respect their husbands (Eph 5:33). This is an unconditional respect, and that concept is a hard pill for many women to swallow. We expect the men to love us and care for us, but we nag them and criticize them, and don’t teach our children to respect him as they ought to.

        I don’t believe it is really the men’s job to make their wife happy. They will always fail and the wife will always have unfulfilled expectations. I had to learn this slowly over a long period after I got married. When I allowed God to begin working on my own heart and to teach me that my satisfaction lies in his transformation of my own character and attitudes, I struggles much less with the issues in my marriage.

      • Linda

        You are so right Mary! Numerous times in church when a man has mistreated his wife or been unfaithful the church finds things wrong with the wife to point out as to why the husband sinned against her. This is a horrid thing to do to a woman. Not only is she wounded by her husband’s betrayal but now she is shamed by the body of Christ because some how it was her responsibility to keep her husband faithful. It is NEVER the woman’s responsibility to keep her husband a man of God. If he mistreats her or is unfaithful to her it is because something is wrong in HIS heart not hers. I have been married for almost 20 years and some of those years have been rough. However, regardless of what my husband or anyone one else every did “I” was still responsible to be faithful to God by being faithful to walk like Jesus. I have even heard many pastors say that if a woman does not wear nice clothes and make up then she ought to expect her husband to stray. They said that the wife should look amazing and smell amazing when her husband walks through that door eery time so that she makes him want to come home to her. WHAT??!! What a load of crap! (I smell fine but raising children and working with kids in the home all day sometimes renders a ponytail). My husband does not always look his best and let me tell you when he farts that alone could make me want to leave him on a bad day. haha! If I treated him ungodly or harshly or unfaithfully the church would crucify me. Please Stop damaging woman in this way! If a man is a true man of God than he will have the fruit of the Spirit. If he does not have the fruit of the Spirit than the problem is in HIS heart not his wife’s heart. The man is the head of the house hold and the man is the one that will have to give an account to God for his wife not the other way around. Stop making it the woman’s responsibility to make the husband a godly man. That is the Holy Spirits job not the wife’s!! I am passionate about this subject because of the number of woman that I have counseled that have been so damaged and wounded by the church that they can not even think about stepping foot into one again without breaking down and sobbing. A child came from inside the mother and the bible speaks of a healthy mother’s natural response is to protect, love, care for and teach that child with unconditional love and faithfulness. Where exactly did the woman come from? That’s right… she came from inside the man! Eve was created from Adam’s rib! The husband should be to the wife as the wife is to the child. Woman originally came from inside the man just as the child originally comes from inside the woman. We certainly do not blame the child when the mother walks out on them, beats them or mistreats them do we? Do we tell the child that they should have looked better, smelled nicer, cleaned their room better? Of course not! If a mother walks out, abuses or neglects that child than we say she is responsible for her own actions. Just as a man should be held accountable for his. Even the world knows that it is evil to hold a victim responsible for their abusers actions! Years of abuse and neglect will damage anyone and to abuse or neglect someone that you promised to love like Christ loved the church (someone that trusts you more than anyone else in this world) is the most damaging thing that I think of to a persons mental, emotional and often spiritual state. To be abused, neglected and abandoned by your spiritual head is a devastation that only God Himself can heal. I realize I went further than this blog has down this rabbit trail but it seems so sad to me that a man writes a beautiful blog stating where the Holy Spirit obviously guided him to step up his game in his home and others want to pick it apart trying to disprove his theology. Really?? Come on people! Does his blog not sound like the heart of Jesus toward a woman? OF COURSE IT DOES! The scriptures also say to stone a woman caught in adultery yet Jesus intervened to save a life and a soul. Is it too far fetched to think He maybe just did it again for this dear wife of Jason’s? If the precious Holy Spirit used these verses in scripture to move Jason’s heart to love his wife like God loves her why does anyone feel the need to try and discredit that?

  • Kristy

    Thankyou for writing, Linda. I agree that no human can’t possibly know what it is like to be living in such pain for so long unless they have experienced it first-hand.

    But God can. The Bible tells us that Jesus is able to fully sympathize with our weaknesses, and our God in heaven has been with every hurting woman and knows their pain. He knows the rejection and hurt because He went through it with us when we didn’t want to know Him.

    Thankyou for your comment.

  • unloved1

    How this post made me sob. What that man said….he could have been my man, except my man is not in that place right now.

    I just started a blog today – I know nothing about blogging but feel I need to do it or go crazy.

    I’ll learn.

    http://unloved1.wordpress.com

  • “An Unloved Woman” revisited « ~walking with her Jesus~

    […] Comments unloved1 on An Unloved WomanKristy on An Unloved WomanLinda on An Unloved WomanUnlove wife on An […]

  • stephanie

    I married blindly. I was older, very much wanted children and a godly household… but the man I married wanted a woman to support him in whatever he thought his ministry was…. problem was, I could not with good conscience support this man until he got himself well grounded in the Bible. Instead of being silent and praying earnestly behind the scenes, I was upfront and in his face.. didn’t learn to respect him ever and as such the home became a battle ground… i divorced 14 years into the marriage due to him not contributing to the household beyond babysitting the kids.. there were other issues related to laziness.. but today I see too clearly how i contributed and i always knew I had full responsiblity (as did he) for the death of the relationship… but today i really see just what happened. Makes me so very very sad… I’m not going into much detail.. but I was that unloved woman and I ‘got myself a husband’ and am now paying the consequences. the good thing is that he is now paying more attention to the children and he actually has a job.

  • Marilyn Willett

    I loved my husband so much but he went away for 7 years to work over seas, coming home only for visits, to me and our autistic son. Now he has gone for good, he has other women. Jesus is always in my heart though and on my mind.

  • tauraikurebwa

    Thanks for posting this, read Jason’s blog for the first time today and had the same thots of misinterpretation of the text and I think it was more because Jason used a though for thought translation rather than a word for word one which finishes the verse my saying “..who gets a husband” (ESV). I think for me striving is never a solution for the husband or the wife. Feeling that the husband’s role is not to fulfill those 25 points but to love and lead his wife to Christ always. Through that he achieves the 25 points without striving as Ephessians 5:25 says “husbands love your wives like Christ loves the church.” I guess the volatilty we experience in human relationships keeps us dependent on God knowing that no matter how loving our spouse is they can never take the place of God, if they try they will fail dismally.

    • Kristy

      Thank you for that comment. I agree. Even when the man fails miserably to lead his wife to Christ, that is never an excuse for her bitter feelings to make her the “odious” woman the passage mentions. We can’t shift the blame. Something I am a firm believer in is that Jesus did not die on the cross and redeem us to make is comfortable, but to conform us to Himself. We must reflect Him, even if it takes us our whole life of striving after Him. He never promised us that the way to sanctification would be easy and smooth. That’s why I feel that hardships in marriage, if seen through the eyes of God and responded to with godliness, will produce a woman who loves the Lord more than she ever thought she could, and will transform her more into His likeness, rather than the reverse.

  • Stephanie Dickerson

    I am an unloved wife! My name is Stephanie Dickerson! It is expecually hard because not only am I an unloved wife, I am an abused wife and my husband is also a Viatnom Vetran and he is also 100% Skitso! It is so very hard to handle him! Every second is a new one!
    What is your suggestion to me! And what does GOD say for a woman like me!

    • Marilyn Willett

      Leave it all in the hands of Jesus but if you are still abused leave him, you don’t need to be hurt, i was abused for years and now he has deserted me and our autistic son, I am at last in peace knowing i don’t put up with abuse or cruelty anymore. Jesus really will never leave you nor forsake you, every morning I wake up in peace and joy.

    • Kristy

      Hello Stephanie, thank you for commenting.

      I would suggest you grab the book “Love and Respect” by Dr. Emerson Eggerich. I was blown away by the perspective he took, and I believe every woman needs to hear what he has to say. My browser keeps crashing so I am going to post what I have so far, but I suggest you read back through at my comments I posted today to various comments on this post. Hopefully I will get something new out soon. God bless you and keep praying for your husband and allow God to refine your own heart in the midst of all your troubles.

      Kristy

  • Marilyn Willett

    I think what that man wrote is so wrong and twisted, i am not listening to men like him anymore, he has no idea what it is like to get cut and bleed and get scars from an abusive man who is 6’2” and all muscles, or not to be abe to get off the floor because of pain, or receive your husband’s naked mistress picture in your email. Men do not know what it is like to be a woman, only women do. my husband has sex with any whore he meets and even tried to get our special needs son involved who i brought up in the church. God protected our son. Some men are devils, and my husband is one.

  • Kristy

    Marilyn, one of the defects of the comment section of blogs is that an individuals situation is not fully known. I am not advocating a woman stay in an abusive situation, and I’m pretty sure the author of the book I mentioned wouldn’t condone abuse either. My viewpoint simply makes a woman responsible for her own holiness and responses to life’s difficulties. I believe that God gives us resources and people to help us through our trials, but each and every Christian is ultimately responsible for themselves. Please don’t misunderstand me. If a woman is in an abusive situation, she needs to get out, and she needs to get help, and the man needs to be stopped from his abusive ways, even if it means jail. I also suggest that a woman never stop praying for her husband, regardless of what he has done. Pray is petitioning to God to work in and through us and prayer really does change things. If we allow the seed of bitterness take root in our hearts we will be doing more damage to ourselves than helping.

  • Kim

    I just wanted to ask if the original writer of “an unloved woman” would be willing to comment on exactly what prompted him to realize how he had been treating his wife and to actually write about it? How did his heart become so broken and contrite that he would come to the reality that he did…what opened up his eyes? I am the unloved woman and have been married for almost 20 years with at least 13 of those years being unloved, and now to the point of persecution, alongwith emotional and mental abuse. The description of how he had been neglecting his wife is the almost exact description of my marriage, and how my husband has treated me. I love the Lord with all my heart, but he does not have a relationship with God. I know that God was trying to draw me closer to Him and not rely only on my husband’s love, but the deep hurt and pain from not having the right marital relationship is a hurt that is too deep for words. My hope is that the Holy Spirit intercedes for me when that pain is too deep for me to carry on, and also intercession is made on behalf of our two beautiful, bright children and their future lives as Christians, and as a future husband and a wife to be. I am trying to teach them from God’s word, and still remain a Godly Christian example, but sometimes, there is nothing to draw from inside me…when no love is going into the “love tank” as Gary Chapman refers to. There is an emptiness and a longing, and just a sadness that is unquenchable at times. Sometimes, we just need “Jesus with skin on” as friends have referred to either their spouses, or a friend, to have who can talk to you, listen, encourage, give validation to, and affirm and love you unconditionally….an unloved woman does not get that from her spouse.

    • Kristy

      Thank you Kim for commenting. You’re comment really touched me. I honestly don’t know the original author personally but linked to his blog from my post. I posted the original post years ago and haven’t been over to his site in a very long time.

      I want to encourage you to stay rooted in God’s Word. We are not promised a smooth easy life in this life, and we face countless disappointments because we don’t experience life the way we truly desire. But God wants you to remain faithful to Him in all circumstances and it is so good to hear that you have been striving to be a godly example to your children despite your husband who doesn’t have faith in God. Do not be deceived by thinking that your pain is for naught. God has a purpose and a plan for every aspect of your obedience to Him, and if that means denying yourself and taking up your cross daily, well, that’s what you need to do. Draw strength from God’s powerful Word and enrich yourself in its blessings. True knowledge of God is having a deeply intimate relationship with Him that satisfies the most unbearable thirst you have. You crave emotional intimacy with your husband and you take your broken heart to God and He WILL supply all your needs, but it may not come as you expect. Be sure that God is evident in all your weaknesses by allowing Him to humble you and be your strength. When you feel like lashing out because you feel so misunderstood, recognize your human frailty and go to God for guidance. Soak in His Word. Don’t be an odious woman, as I have written about.

      -Kristy

  • Mary

    you write: ” I don’t believe it is really the men’s job to make their wife happy. They will always fail and the wife will always have unfulfilled expectations.”

    and yet God’s Word says in Deut 24: “5 A man who has just married must not be sent to war or be given any other duty. He should be free to stay home for a year to make his new wife happy.”

    to make her happy… starting off marriage with the great habit —

    Christian marriage is a picture of Christ and His bride — does Christ put the onus of the marriage on the bride? NO. Does Christ agape-LOVE his bride first? Does Christ give each Christian husband the opportunity and the power and the desire to agape-LOVE their wife? YES

    so, my thought here is that if a man is choosing to not agape-love his wife, then he should truly be careful about calling himself a Christian. As in 1 John it says to love.

    In Titus 2, the older women are to encourage the younger women to PHILANDROS love their husbands and children —

    You encouraged women to read Love & Respect — and yet this book makes marriage a 50/50 with respect of the man NO MATTER how he treats his wife equal to the 170 other words that are written just before Eph 5:33. “in the Lord” “as unto the Lord” — would Jesus want us respecting Him if He was not acting in Love?

    what happened to the rest of Ephesians? Eph 5:21 “submit/adapt/yield to one another” “as to the Lord” —

    The LORD puts the responsibility of marriage on the MAN. That is why he needs such a strong relationship with Christ so that the agape-love will flow from the Father through the husband to his wife. Will he do it perfectly? no. and I don’t know of any Christian woman who expects perfection — since she is the responder, she STILL must have it coming from the Lord through her husband AS SHE also draws close to the Lord herself.

    It baffles me when people want to put the burden of the relationship of marriage upon the woman, when GOD did not.

    • Kristy

      I don’t disagree with you necessarily. When I said that I don’t think it’s the man’s job to make the woman happy I was more referring to her ultimate level of satisfaction in life. If we look to people to fill a hole only God was ever meant to fill then we will constantly be let down. I believe that there should be mutual happiness in marriage where each serves the other in love and respect. I liked the book Love and Respect, not because it puts the load on women, but because it addresses the fact that men desperately need to feel respected just as we desperately want to feel emotional love from our man. The culture has conditioned us to expect we deserve that unconditional love and yet our respect for our husbands is based on conditions and expectations that the man often doesn’t feel he can ever live up to. If a man needs to evaluate his standing with God if he fails to always love his wife then wouldn’t it be the same for the woman if she chooses not to respect her husband? Can’t disregard the verse. “Wives respect your husbands..” The bottom line is that in our earthly bodies we will fail our spouse but when we are unloving or disrespectful we must repent and ask for forgiveness. The burden to hold a relationship isn’t just on the woman or the man, but on both and as they grow closer to Christ individually they will grow closer to each other. If one is failing to grow closer to God then the more mature one must pray for the other and seek to please God in all things, even if his/her circumstances are seemingly unbearable.

      Thank you for commenting, Mary. I enjoy all the discussion.

      -kristy

      • Mary

        I doubt seriously that a Christian man behaving as a Christian would want to be respected when he is NOT loving his wife as the Lord commands him to do.

        As “unto the Lord” does not mean respecting a man’s abusiveness.

        your focus on “wives respect your husbands” ….. when there are nearly 200 words TO THE HUSBAND … about how to agape love her… is puzzling

  • Cathy Wendorf

    Ihave struggled over the years with many of thease issues..thanks cw

  • Rachael

    I’ve read all of this. I am a wife who is waiting as God changes her husband. God has had to tear down a lot of walls around my own heart. Yet as He has done so, I think about situations with my spouse differently. My husband desires my respect, but it cannot be earned. It flows through me from God. He’s tried to earn it through anger, fear, and being a dictator. My own bitterness and anger from years of verbal abuse from him blocked a lot of that respect he needed like a clog in a pipe. Even after six years of praying, I’m still waiting. It’s so painful to be an unloved wife, ladies. If you’re there, I’ve been there. I am there. If this writer was changed by God for the benefit of his marriage despite the mistranslation, then I praise God for it. A woman named Heidi will benefit from it greatly. I spent time away separated from my husband while he got some help. What I found out in the interim is that God places a heavy burden on a man’s shoulders. I can expect my spouse to treat me as well as Jesus always has treated me. Sadly, my very human husband falls far short. Yet marriage is something beautiful. When it works as God designed it, the love and respect flow freely and easily. There are men out there who don’t know how to treat their wives because they weren’t taught to do so. But still, you CAN trust God with your marriage despite the pain of being unloved. You have a Father who loves you passionately. If you’re praying, if you’re waiting, don’t give up in the dark winters. Keep trusting God that He will affect a change in your husband while you wait. It may take time. But in the process, worry more about standing before God and answering for how you’ve treated his son (your husband). You want to hear that “Well done!” I pray for all women who feel they’re in an unloved marriage. And I pray for all men who are in an unloved marriage. It can go both ways. God is FOR marriage. Just remember that.

  • dory

    Yes, just as God was FOR Isreal, yet he divorced her too. Then He died for her too. Marriage is indeed ‘a mystery’ as noted by Paul..

  • Amber Burt

    Thank you. I was looking for a resource to encourage a friend who’s husband shut down ater she had brest cancer…ten +years ago. He deeply and actively DOES NOT love her as much as you DO love your wife. She asked me if I thought it was Okay to have a fling with a nother man …I couldn’t support
    her in breaking her vows. I heard a sermon on the unloved wife …..Leah in Genesis was comforted and vindicated by God. But i am not a bible scjolar and needed more information. Thank you for putting your heart out there and speaking your convictions on God’s word out into cyberspace.

  • Annu

    Thank you for sharing. As I am going through this process of seeing this truth of being unloved after 20 years, I was seeking for answers and chanced upon this write up. Thank you indeed

  • Marylou Johnson

    After 30 years of marriage I found out that my husband had had a mistress for 13 years and a few flings with other women before that. I could I have not known…well my spirit was always uneasy but I made excuses because he is an elder in the church and a bible teacher for 20+ years. “He loves God too much”, I told myself . Long story short, We are now divorced. His actions have devastated our lives, and has caused much division and discussion within the family. I felt like an unloved wife and I did not want to be with a man that didn’t love me…even if he said he did…I no longer believe him. I feel justified in having divorced him. I was humiliated, and deeply hurt. I finally knew what having a broken heart felt like. I will humbly tell you that by the grace of God I don’t miss him, or want him in my life. However, the hurt and grief never truly goes away. It caused a wound that although healed, left a scar and a limp. I still periodically battle feelings of hurt and rejection. Our lives are complicated and strained every time we have to plan for holidays or special occasions. It is difficult for the kids because they love both of us but hate what he has done. Please don’t commit adultery, the hurt you cause is deep and everlasting,

  • L.Smith

    While it’s great that Pastor Jason had this realization of how he was not loving his wife, what is your advice for women living in a marriage where she is unloved and her husband has not acknowledged nor repented of this?

    • Kristy

      Hello! Thankyou for commenting! It surprises me to this day that this one blog post has gotten so much feedback, and I’m not even actively blogging on this site anymore! But I did see this comment, and I’d like to take a moment to respond.

      I’m glad you recognize that I’m not the original author of this. Many women commenting have mistaken me for Pastor Jason. I can’t vouch for him, or his perspective. When I posted it I was also feeling very unloved in my marriage. But it is really incredible what all this down time has done for me as I’ve been away from this blog.

      The latter part of last year was my season of being “unloved”. In fact, it’s not where I want even now, but it is now much better. But for about 4-5 months of last year my marriage hit a low. No details are needed, but it was a season that I felt neglected emotionally, spiritually, and physically. I tried talking to him about what may be going on, but he resisted me (not acknowledging, as you say). But here’s the point I want to make. GOD became my absolute ROCK! What advice to I give? I say you go to your knees in prayer for your man, for your marriage, for yourself, for your children. You can’t change your husband, but the Holy Spirit can. And I don’t just say that because my husband and I are on good terms now. There is still many issues, and he is still very much in denial of his behavior and how it hurts, but the tension and silence are over.

      God is your Redeemer.
      God is your Sustainer.
      God is your Rock.
      God is your Refuge.
      God is your Comforter.
      God is your Nourishment.
      God is your Encourager.
      God is your Strength.

      God is your Everything. Even if that man NEVER changes. NEVER acknowledges. Never repents. God is still there. God is still with you. God is your Life.

      The Word says in 1 Corinthians 7:13-15, “And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife…”

      Also, vs 15, “But if the unbeliever leaves, let them do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband?…”

      See, God has a purpose and a plan for the woman in a hard marriage. It is not her role to nag and be the Holy Spirit to her man. It will do more harm, in fact. But for her to continue to praise the Lord, seek guidance, and serve in ministry…in essence, continue to live out her Christian walk the best she can inspite of her circumstances, the blessings from obedience will leak to those all around her, including her unbelieving (or disobedient, spiritually rebellious) husband and children.

      Be strengthened in the Lord. Pray that your life will be a witness to him. I have heard of men coming around and “seeing the light” 40 years after marriage, all because the woman continued to be faithful to God and remained in her marriage and continued in worship and prayer for her husband, and in the end, it saved his soul.

      Do you understand? There is still LIFE outside of love and romance. There is still a God who can and will fulfill your needs…your deepest needs that your husband fails to give you.

      But another peice of advice ==> Don’t go at it alone. Find a community of believers to worship in. Go to Bible studies. Join prayer groups of mature women who can lift you up in prayer when you are weak. It has been a) a new church, b) a women’s bible study group, and c) a prayer group, that has lifted my heart out of darkness and helped me regain my footing and strength in the Lord.

      Also, EXPECT THE ENEMY TO ATTACK! Satan LOVES discord in the home. If there is strife, the enemy is there!

      Watch War Room! I’m dead serious! AMAZING movie. It tells my own story nearly perfect. Victory is found in Prayer.

      Hope you feel encouraged.

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