If you’re a Christian married couple, it might be difficult for you to discern what is good advice or what is bad advice for your marriage. There’s a lot of advice out there that seems sound or makes a little sense, especially when it sometimes comes from a pulpit, but some of these messages can be very destructive to your marriage.
Wrong Marriage Advice
We’ve probably all been told at one point that marriage is 50/50. If you each put in your share things will work out. Division of labor, division of love, and boom, you get that 100% happy marriage. However, this is not how Jesus operates or how He calls us to operate. If fairness were His goal, His death on the cross for our sins would not have ever been a thing. Thank God that life isn’t fair because we’d all be in trouble.
What Jesus tells us is to shoot for that 100/100. To give, to love, to serve sacrificially. Are you going to hit that mark? Nope, probably not, but the attitude of serving over fairness is what will make your marriage good, especially when you both give that same effort. With messages like “die to self”, “submit to one another”, and “go the extra mile” it’s hard to believe fairness was what He had in mind for us in life, much less marriage.
Speaking of fairness, husbands and wives are equal. The husband is made to be the leader of the home, not the dictator of it. Leadership does not mean the wife stays home and is at the beck and call of her husband all the time doing all that he says. It does not mean he has been given full authority over her. It means that he is to give himself up for her (Eph 5:22 & 25) just as Jesus did for us. He is to always keep in mind what is best for her and make decisions accordingly. He is to lead his family in protection, in security and in love. Both husbands and wives are called to mutually submit to one another, but the husband is the one whose leadership will be taken into account. That is a high calling and responsibility, not a governing over a wife. A husband who leads should be a husband who looks and acts a lot like Jesus.
Another myth is that of not going to bed angry. This one comes from Eph. 4:26 that says, “In your anger, do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your anger.” This verse is not telling you to not go to bed angry, what it is saying is don’t let anger cause you to sin or rule in your heart. Deal with it promptly, within a 24 hour window. Any longer than that it will get more difficult to deal with.
If you need time to calm, to process, or to do some work with the Holy Spirit’s help, take it. Ponder it after a night’s rest so you can come back and resolve it the next day. Do not let anger take up residence in your heart and deal with it as soon as possible and you’ll be just fine.
Lastly, and one of the more common myths is have more sex with your husband to keep him from using pornography or having an affair. It is NOT a wife’s job to be responsible for her husband’s self- control or mind. Pornography is not a sex less problem, and more sex is not the answer. In fact, that belief is incredibly destructive to a wife. A wife should not be subject to providing sex for a husband who is actively engaged in adultery through pornography—Jesus’ words, not mine, Matthew 5:28. God designed sex to be fulfilling and pleasurable for both husbands and wives. Limiting it to a duty a wife must perform is destructive to its design.
If you found these deconstructed marriage myths helpful, be sure to check out the Expedition Marriage podcast, episodes 49 & 50 for more on Bad Marriage Advice.
xoxo, Chris & Jamie