Would God want me to Stay in a Bad Marriage?

Share Button

 

I Often Hear People Ask, “Would God want me to Stay in a Bad Marriage?”

 

Of course, I will not be able to solve every marriage problem with this article, but I hope to be able to shed a little more light on the matter for those wondering, “Would God want me to stay in a bad marriage?”

would god want me to stay in a bad marriage
 

Some Really Bad Doctrine

 

First of all, I am really tiring of hearing people say, “How would a loving God ever be glorified by me being unhappy in my marriage?”

Um . . . ur . . . these thoughts must be stemming from some of the teaching one would find on the television as I cannot seem to find it in the Bible. This is actually why I often say that the main message of the Bible is not victory, it is obedience to God. In fact, it is why I start with the teaching in our marriage book and conferences that marriage is primarily for God’s glory and not our own happiness.

God does not exist to make us happy as much as we exist to glorify Him. And, though this may defy some’s logic, according to the scriptures, there are times when God is glorified even through suffering. This is clearly taught in I Peter 4:16:

 

“Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.”

 

Disclaimer

 

Of course, this teaching should never be used to encourage a spouse to stay in a situation that would put their well-being at risk. In fact, I believe that spouses in such a state are glorifying God by following what some theologians like Matthew Henry would call the law of self-preservation. That is, it is entirely acceptable and God-glorifying for spouses to seek protection from a husband or wife that would do them harm.

 

Defining Suffering

 

When I speak of suffering, I am talking about normative marital strife. That is, I am referring to a marriage that deals with petty arguments, unmet expectations, boredom, laziness, non-violent arguments, and disagreements about money, sex, and children. For the most part, these are all within the realm of normal marital conflict.

 

For Better or For Worse

 

Even if you did not say the words while exchanging marriage vows, the biblical standard is that marriage is for better or for worse. Jesus taught this in Matthew 19:6 when He said:

 

“Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

 

Simply put, marriage is a life-long covenant that requires commitment as well as an absorbent amount of emotional and spiritual elbow grease.

 

If Happiness was the Standard

 

What if marriage was a covenant that could be nullified when one or both parties were unhappy? What if happiness was the only standard for whether or not a marriage stays together? Do you realize how unstable the institution of marriage would be? There would be no clear cut boundaries. The standard would be forever changing and both parties would feel unbelievably insecure in their relationship with one another. What God had designed for stability would simply be a means for insecurity.

This is why God has erected a mighty tall security fence by way of the marriage vows. The covenant of marriage is to produce a sense of security in the hearts of both involved.

Order our Christian Marriage Book
How to Fight for Your Marriage Without Fighting with One Another

 

  • Learn our 2-step Process to Solving Marriage Issues
  • Use for your next Bible study
  • A Biblical Yet Refreshing Approach

 

 

Share Button
Posted in Marriage Advice

10 comments on “Would God want me to Stay in a Bad Marriage?
  1. Faith says:

    There has nor been infidelity in my marriage. Just constant bickering and often explosive arguments about everything!! Money time parenting work house school you name it. We do not get along and disagree on a lot. My husband has little motivation and follow through and a host of other emotional problems. I am the rock and strength in the family. Its exhausting. He wants to separate. I would love to in many ways but I have so many problems w him now I just know separation will cause a lot more. My children have heard explosive fights ( nonphyical) no cursing but husband often says shut up shut your mouth that’s stupid etc. Is there hope for us? I so want a healthy marriage n family

  2. Tracy says:

    Thank you for clearing stating the type of marriage you were addressing and the type of marriage you were not.

  3. Annonymous says:

    I completely agree that marriage is a covinent for better or worse. My first marriage ended after two affairs. I then married for the second time a few years later. The reasoning was not out of obedience. It was out of fear. Fear of being alone, fear of being a single mom, fear of so many things. I knew I was not supposed to marry him but I did because of lack of faith. The marriage has been bad. It’s unhealthy to me and to our kids. Emotional head games. He even threatened to report something about my son that was false and would have ruined him and made me choose between my children. There were other things I cannot divulge. So I am in process of divorce. So where did my disobedience begin? I am working through my issues. Digging deep with God to figure out why I have done the things I have relationship wise. Not waiting on his timing. Not believing who I am in him and settling for far less than God has promised because I haven’t valued myself, Why I married two men now that I knew I shouldn’t have. I am so broken. But slowly God is healing me. Each day I get stronger because of his grace, mercy, and love.

  4. Anonymous says:

    So…if a spouse continously and consistently lies about money, working, where they are, etc. Is that a “bad marriage”?

  5. Shelley says:

    So, what if the tall security fence of marriage vows was broken by adultery and the marriage for the last 3.5 years has been unstable and plagued with insecurity? I have been obedient to God because He told me to stay with my cheating husband (I was pregnant with our 3rd child when I caught him,) but we are both miserable in our marriage. It’s just such a roller coaster ride of good days and bad days with so much emotional damage. I keep trying to hang in there and let God get the glory, but most days I’m almost certain I am on the losing end of this.

    • God chose the path of grace with his adulterous wife, Israel, for over 700 years. However, there was a point where he wrote her a bill of divorcement (Jeremiah 3:8).

      Though I believe the better option is grace (as long as you are not facilitating negative behavior), there may come a point where a spouse may have to follow God’s example.

      Let the Holy Spirit be your guide.

      Dr. Force

  6. Winsome Wife says:

    I also feel for you and the kids. I understand why the need for separation, but …divorce? That was not necessary for you to give up on him entirely. You could have had him arrested next time he hit you or the kids, and visited him in jail. There is a way to stay married, glorify God in it, AND protect yourselves and the kids. Maybe he would have chosen to not hit you, to avoid jail. Please read this article, and know that I pray for you as well. And also, remarriage is also possible, for God’s glory. If neither of you are remarried to others, the door of reconciliation is still open, and protection is possible too. 1 Cor 7:11, God understands the need to be separated because of physical violence, but let it be jail that separates you. These are my 3 favorite articles that show how God is glorified when we don’t give up on our prodigal husband, one that lives with us currently, or not. Hosea is another good book that proves that our difficult marriage can glorify God. Few had it as bad as Hosea. We also get to know the heard of God better, by being in a bad marriage, maybe better than being in a near perfect marriage, not sure, but it seems God has to deal with rebels more often than the truly continuously faithful. Parenting is another way of getting to know God better, and be motivated to obey Him better.

    http://nogreaterjoy.org/articles/abusive-husband/

    http://aboverubies.org/index.php/2013-11-12-17-55-51/english-language/marriage/262-marriage-bring-him-home

    http://nogreaterjoy.org/articles/lazy-husbands-hungry-kids-and-hopeful-wives/

  7. Anonymous says:

    I am glad you qualified the issue of violence in your post, I stayed in a physically abusive marriage for 20 years because the church and family I grew up in said there was no option unless I could prove sexual unfaithfulness. It was very detrimental to both me and my children. I still struggle with guilt over the divorce even though the courts removed him from our home.

    • We preach and teach perfect principles, yet often deal with very imperfect scenarios. Though I have a heavy emphasis on doctrine at our church, we must have a spirit of grace and understanding in these very difficult situations.

      I will pray for you. Paul said that we are to forget those things that are behind and reach forth unto those things that are before us. (Paraphrase)

      Thank you,

      Dr. Force

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Marriage and Relationship Coaching

Over the Phone
Call Us at 1-888-642-3036
Talk Now - Live 24/7 Help
How do Good Relationships Go Bad?
Receive Dr. Force's E-Course on Marriage

Enter Your Email to Receive Your E-Course

Order our Christian Marriage Book
How to Fight for Your Marriage Without Fighting with One Another

 

  • Learn our 2-step Process to Solving Marriage Issues
  • Use for your next Bible study
  • A Biblical Yet Refreshing Approach

 

 

Available on Amazon

Available on Amazon

Opt In Image
Host one of Our Marriage Events
  • Find out How Your Church can Host one of our Marriage Events

Marriage and Relationship Coaching

Over the Phone
Call Us at 1-888-642-3036
Talk Now - Live 24/7 Help
Available on Amazon

Available on Amazon

Order our Christian Marriage Book
How to Fight for Your Marriage Without Fighting with One Another

 

  • Learn our 2-step Process to Solving Marriage Issues
  • Use for your next Bible study
  • A Biblical Yet Refreshing Approach

 

 

Know the Top Mistake Men Make in a Fight?
Receive Dr. Force's E-Course on Marriage

Enter Your Email to Receive Your E-Course