Trudy M. Johnson, MA, LMFT, CTSML
Certified Trauma Specialist – Master’s Level
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Wives World ~ Unconditional Love and Marriage

Love is Unconditional but Marriage is NOT.

WOW! Just heard an amazing concept in a training about “Emotionally Destructive Marriages” from American Association of Christian Counselors. Leslie Vernick has a book on this same topic. I believe Christian women in particular get roped into thinking that they are the ones responsible for unconditional love. They must submit, comply and obey regardless if their man is taking into account his part in the relationship or not.

Unconditional love is agape love and it is God’s plan for all of us. However, this perfect way to love does not give partners a “free pass” to do whatever they want in marriage.

Marriage is about mutual responsibility and each party plays their part in edifying, uplifting and loving each other within healthy boundaries. When things get lopsided under the guise of “submission,” God has a real hard time blessing this kind of union. If one party is getting discounted, blamed, shamed, verbally attacked and treated unkindly, it is time for change and equal responsibility for care-taking. When only one person in the relationship gets their heart taken care of that is called enabling, not agape love.

Emotionally abusive marriages are rampant in the Body of Christ. Is it any wonder the world wants no part of this thing called “marriage?” It is time Christians started being salt and light in all areas of their life. Imbalance and harshness of any kind never attracts anyone to Christ.

Sorry…just felt compelled to rant about this today.

One Comment

  1. I agree. The question that is never asked is whether the husband is loving his wife as he should. There is just an assumption that if the marriage is in trouble the wife must not be holding up her end of the bargain (total submission/ obedience). The doctrine of sacrifical love is very precious to christian women (men as well). But the whole problem in a nutshell is that the virute of self-sacrifice has been distorted and directed at women/wives (instead of male and females christians). I would like someone to tell me how the constant imposition of a husband’s preferences ( what complementarians and traditionalists call sacrificial leadership/headship) over and against the will of his wife’s can be viewed as a sacrifice on HIS part? What is constantly being sacrificed is the wife on the altar of male egocentricity. What I am trying to say (not so delicately) is that ‘male spiritual leadership/headship is ((NOT)) the same thing as the ‘self sacrifice/submission’ that is required of women. As a matter of fact, the ability to convince people that male spiritual leadership equals ‘serving’ when there is acutally NO serving or sacrificing on his (the husbands part) was the first thing that made me question these sort of teaching. It is clear that they are teaching the male to ‘lead’ by equating it with serving (slick). And they are teaching the wife to ‘follow’ by equating it with submission. I.E. Men don’t submit , they serve (which complementarians define as lead). And women don’t lead, they submit. Gender roles defined. The fact that a ‘switcheroo’ has been played on women is obvious. The fact is, complementarian teachings are designed to sever (try to convince women) that they have no (or very little) spiritual power or authority. Only men do.

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