Lies Women Believe About Marriage

This is part 6 of 11 of a series based on the book Lies Women Believe. Read the introductory post or view all the posts in the series.

21. I have to have a husband to be happy

The ultimate purpose of marriage is not to make us happy, but to glorify God. Those who get married for happiness seldom find what they’re looking for.

The truth is:

  • Happiness is not found in (or out of) marriage. James 1:16-17
  • There is no person who can meet my deepest needs. No one and nothing can make me truly happy, apart from God. Psalm 62:5; Psalm 118:8-9; Jeremiah 17:5-7
  • God has promised to provide everything I need. If He will receive more glory by my being married, He will provide a husband for me. 1 Chronicles 29:11-12; Job 42:1-2; Proverbs 16:9; 1 Corinthians 7:25-38
  • Those who wait on the Lord always get His best. Those who insist on getting what they want often end up with heartache. Psalm 37:4; Psalm 106:15; Jeremiah 17:5-8

22. It is my responsibility to change my mate

This lie can take a woman’s focus off her own walk with the Lord—which is something she can do about— and places her focus on someone else’s failures and needs—which she may not be able to do much about.

The truth is:

  • A godly life and prayer are a wife’s two greatest means of influencing her husband’s life. James 5:16; 1 Peter 3:1-4
  • It is far more effective for a woman to appeal to the Lord to change her husband than to try to exert pressure on him directly. Proverbs 17:1; 19:13 21:1, 9

23. My husband is supposed to serve me

While it a man’s responsibility to provide for his wife and family, it isn’t his primary role to be a ‘helper’. In large measure our thinking has been shaped by feminism, which led to a focus on our rights as women, and what men ought to do for us.

The truth is:

  • If I expect to be served, I will often be disappointed. If I seek to serve others, without expecting anything in return, I will never be disappointed. Proverbs 31:10-31
  • God made the woman to be a helper to the man. Genesis 2:18
  • We are never more like Jesus than when we are serving others. John 13:5

24. If I submit to my husband, I’ll be miserable

The concept of a wife’s submitting to her husband is objectionable in some circles. Here are some lies about submission:

  1. The wife is inferior to her husband: Both man and woman are created in the image of God, and both have equal value before Him.
  2. As the head of his wife, the husband is permitted to be harsh or dictatorial with his wife: Husbands are commanded to love their wives in the same selfless, sacrificing and serving way Jesus loves the church (Ephesians 5:25-29).
  3. The wife is not to provide input or express her opinion to her husband:  God created the woman to be a “helper suitable” for the man. Which means he needs her help.  If her husband chooses to act contrary to her counsel, she must be willing to back off and trust God with the consequences of her husband’s decision.
  4. The husband is always right: He may be unsaved or disobedient to God’s word.

The truth is:

  • Submission places me under the covering and protection of God, who controls the “heart of the king”. Proverbs 21:1
  • When I step out from under authority, I become vulnerable to the attacks of the Enemy. Romans 13:1-5
  • My willingness to place myself under God-ordained authority is the greatest evidence of how big I believe God really is. Ephesians 5:21-22
  • Reverent submission is a wife’s greatest way of influencing a husband who is not walking with God. 1 Peter 3:3-6
  • A wife’s response to her husband’s authority should demonstrate the way the church is to submit to the authority of the Lord Jesus. Ephesians 5:22-33

25. If my husband is passive, I’ve got to take the initiative, or nothing will get done

This is what happened in Eden: Adam was passive, and Eve took the reins. It is hard for some women to stand by while nothing gets done, and we feel forced to take over. By so doing, we emasculate the men around us and strip them of the motivation to rise to the challenge and provide the necessary leadership. And when they do, we are quick to point out their mistakes and how they could have done it better.

The truth is:

  • God created the man to be an initiator and the woman to be a responder. Genesis 3:6
  • If a woman takes the reins rather than waiting on God to move her husband, her husband is likely to be less motivated to fulfill his God-given responsibility. Genesis 16:1-2; Psalm 27:14

26. Sometimes divorce is a better option than staying in a bad marriage

Marriage is hard, and good marriages are even harder. When a husband does something wrong, a wife may convince herself that he is completely (or mostly) at fault. She may be more interested in getting her own needs met than in the process of restoration and sanctification in her life and that of her husband. She leaves God out of the picture, not seeing how the difficulties in her marriage can lead to His purposes.

The truth is:

  • Marriage is a life-long covenant that is intended to reflect the covenant-keeping heart of God. As He is faithful to His covenant, so we must be faithful to keep our marriage covenant. Genesis 2:18-24; Ecclesiastes 5:4-6; Malachi 2:13-16; Mark 10:2-12
  • There is no marriage God cannot heal. There is no person God cannot change. Mark 11:25; Matthew 5:44; Matthew 18:21-22
  • God uses the rough edges of each partner in a marriage to conform the other to the image of Christ. Ephesians 5:24-27
  • God’s grace is sufficient to enable you to be faithful to your mate and to love and forgive without limit. 2 Corinthians 12:9

My take on this chapter

I haven’t mentioned that Nancy Leigh DeMoss and I have at least one thing in common: we’re both unmarried. If that disqualifies her from writing about marriage, then I guess we should throw out the Apostle Paul as well (I’m not saying she’s on the same level with him, just that another reason needs to be given for not taking her advice).

I can totally see myself doing #22 and #25.

Number 24: The part that got me was that submission to God-ordained authority is a picture of how big I believe God is. It does take an extraordinary amount of faith in God to submit to ungodly authority…

No. 26: Ms DeMoss doesn’t mention the biblical grounds for divorce: adultery, abandonment and abuse (according to the most conservative). Anyway, her point is that God can restore any marriage, whatever the circumstances, justifiable or not.