* * *
What is a spouse to do in a Christian marriage when a spouse is behaving badly or even abusing? “For better or for worse” can keep a spouse captive in a very unhealthy relationship.
* * *
Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.
* * *
Tim Challies wrote an article, 6 Deadly Enemies of Marriage, specifically relating to Christian marriage. For the most part, I found myself agreeing with the “enemies” Challies identifies:
- neglect of foundation (Biblical foundation of marriage)
- neglect of prayer
- neglect of fellowship – he identifies as the local church. I wouldn’t go that far, but whatever.
- neglect of communication – that’s a biggie
- neglect of shared interests
- neglect of sex
However, it was this comment by “Goodguy” that stopped me in my tracks (I added paragraphs and bolding):
As usual, the advice on marriage for Christians lacks teeth. I’m especially amused at the statement that neglecting sex is disobeying God (I agree, by the way) but if your spouse DOES neglect sex, what exactly can you do about it?
The pulpit, Christian marriage counselors, deacons and Christian websites all have the same answer: NOTHING.
The recommendations most Christians make for marriage are good.
The failure of Christian marriage, however, is that those same people would tell you “for better or worse” means you have to put up with abuse, sexual neglect and addiction.
My criticism of Christian marriage has been the same for years: it works great as long as everyone obeys the rules; when they don’t, you’re stuck with no recourse for a spouse’s bad behavior.
All the good ideas in the world mean nothing if your misbehaving spouse knows you’ll never leave. Such a marriage philosophy just creates a breeding ground for neglect and abuse.
Is this guy off his rocker?
Or do you agree?
Is there no solution for a spouse’s bad behavior or even abuse?
Does the church have a responsibility to get involved?
What if they don’t get involved, then what?