Ask Your Preacher
Just because it says that husband is the ruler of me, does that mean he can boss me around and make all my decisions for me? Does it mean I can’t make any decisions on my own or speak what’s on my mind? Does it mean I’m not allowed to do anything on my own because my husband is in charge?
My husband says he's in charge of everything, but I don’t think that’s what the Bible means when it says he's my master in this marriage.
Dear Mad Mrs.,
It sounds like your husband isn’t doing a good job of following his marital responsibilities to love his wife – so the way you win him over is by following your marital responsibilities.
A wife is to respect her husband (Eph 5:24). She shows him respect even if he doesn’t deserve that respect. She chooses to let him lead the household regardless of whether he is good at it. As long as his decisions do not force her to disobey God (Acts 5:29), she follows him. She treats him as a man and honors him as head of the household even when he acts petty and small. Her respect is unconditional. It isn’t about not speaking your mind or having your own thoughts; it is about an attitude that shows him honor, which feeds his soul.
In like manner, husbands have the command to “love your wife” (Eph 5:28). A husband is to love his wife as his own body regardless of whether she is being respectful and kind. A husband’s love is not dependent upon a wife’s respect. Biblical love (best described in 1 Cor 13:4-8) is a choice, not a feeling. A loving husband chooses to do that which is in the best interest of his wife. He seeks to love his wife as Christ does the church (Eph 5:25). A husband’s love is sacrificial; it is a gift he chooses to give unconditionally.
Each spouse has their own job. You cannot force the other spouse to behave one way or another, but you can win them over by your behavior (1 Pet 3:1). Right now, from the sounds of it, your husband is treating you in a deeply unloving way; that is wrong. However, what you can do is treat him with respect, and the Lord will bless your efforts.
My question is this: if my husband is the sole moneymaker in our household but is not yet reborn of Christ, how do I know what I am to give to my church? Say he brings home $2,500.00 gross per month. He is not agreeing with me to tithe 10%.
Dear Money Matters,
You aren’t accountable for giving what you don’t have control over. In 2 Cor 8:12, the apostle Paul explains that we are only held accountable for what we have power over. Your husband is the head of your household (Eph 5:23), and since he is an unbeliever, he isn’t going to have the same priorities as you. Do your best to talk through this issue with him, but take comfort that the Lord isn’t upset if you end up giving less than you wish you could.
Hi. I was wondering if it is a sin to have an interracial relationship?
Dear Color Blind,
There is absolutely nothing wrong with interracial marriage. First of all, we are all descendants of Adam and Eve (Gen 3:20), and, therefore, race is a moot point. Secondly, in Christ, such things as race have no significance (Gal 3:27-28). The only concern you should have when falling in love and marrying is whether or not they are “in the Lord”, i.e. a christian (1 Cor 7:39).
Can people fall out of love? If the love you have for each other is true, why do so many marriages end in divorce? I am not married yet, but my boyfriend and I know we will be someday. I love him more than my own life and second only to the Lord, whom by His grace, sent me my best friend. But I hear almost every day of someone who I believed to have a Christ-centered relationship breaking up, or worse, ending their marriage. How can this be? How can people stop loving the person they marry and have promised to love forever? Are they really losing their love, or are they being lazy and not wanting to work at the relationship anymore?
Happily Ever After
Dear Happily Ever After,
To answer your question, we need to talk about the difference between passionate love and the type of love the Bible says a marriage needs. Passion is a fickle thing; passionate love is what we most often associate with love because that is what society teaches us romance is all about, but passion doesn’t always stick around. When a marriage faces the strains of day-to-day life, sometimes you don’t “feel” close… but God teaches that a godly marriage is built off of a stronger type of love.
Biblical love (best described in 1 Cor 13:4-8) is a choice, not a feeling. A loving husband chooses to do that which is in the best interest of his wife. He is to seek to love his wife as Christ does the church (Eph 5:25). A husband’s love is sacrificial; it is a gift he chooses to give unconditionally.
A wife is to respect her husband (Eph 5:24). She shows him respect even if he doesn’t deserve that respect. She chooses to let him lead the household regardless of whether he is good at it. As long as his decisions do not force her to disobey God (Acts 5:29), she follows him. She treats him as a man and honors him as head of the household even when he acts petty and small. Her respect is unconditional.
It is the lack of biblical love in marriages that has created the high divorce rate in our country. Godly marriages are successful because both people choose to love each other even through the hard times. Godly marriages take work, but it is good work, and it is rewarding work. Ask any older couple that still holds hands when they walk down the street – it isn’t always easy, but it is worth it.
I am engaged to be married, but I have a lot of friends of the opposite sex. Should I stop my relationships with men I have known half my life, so he does not question my faithfulness to him? What does the Bible say about opposite sex friendships… friendships that are purely platonic?
The Bible never says that men and women can’t be friends, but it does give some warnings to remain above reproach. Being above reproach is a qualification for an elder (Tit 1:6) and something we should all strive for. To be ‘above reproach’ means to make sure that your behavior is clearly appropriate and honorable in the sight of all (2 Cor 8:21).
When Christians interact with others of the opposite gender, we are to behave in a way that shows all purity (1 Tim 5:1-2). When you are engaged, your relationships with others of the opposite gender change because your stage of life has changed. That doesn’t mean that you can’t still do things with men… but you need to be looking at how to have those relationships in a healthy way that incorporates your soon-to-be husband – that may or may not be possible. If it does come down to choosing between your marriage and others… your marriage will always come first (Eph 5:31).