The Absent Lover

Jeremy Williams

Kids are screaming, dinner is not done, bills need to be paid, homework needs to be checked, and you feel like you are on an island by yourself even though your spouse is a few feet away from you.

Both husbands and wives have felt this before. Not only may one feel this way when it comes to every day duties, but this feeling of being alone in marriage may also been seen in the area of intimacy. For most of us we have been taught that a marriage is 50/50. But what happens when the other spouse does not do his or her “part”? Many marriages end up in divorce, or the couple just lives together and the marriage becomes full of regret and unforgiving hearts.

The truth of the matter is you can’t truly understand marriage without understanding the purpose of marriage. Ephesians 5:22-33 paints marriage as a picture of Jesus Christ and His church. So if you don’t understand Jesus and the church you will be lost when it comes to marriage.

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Marriage Is Not 50/50

The first thing you realize when looking at the marriage of Jesus and the church is that it’s not 50/50; it’s Jesus continuing to pursue us although we run from Him. In Ephesians 2:1-10, we see Jesus dying for us even when we were enemies or hostile toward Him.

How does this fit in your marriage?

If we are to paint the picture of Jesus and the church there will come a time in our marriages when we feel that our spouse is not doing their share around the house, with the kids, or in the bedroom. It is in those times that we must not harbor hate or disenchantment in our hearts, but, like Jesus, pursue that spouse with love and forgiveness.

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Our spouse not doing his or her part is not an excuse to not do our part. As a husband, if your wife is lazy, loud, hyper opinionated, etc., this is not an excuse not to love her as Christ loved the church. Remember Jesus died for his elect while they were in their sin. So even when we don’t feel loved we must show unwavering love. This is hard but true. Wives, when your husbands are lazy, indecisive, and have poor ways of communicating their feelings, this not your time to assume the duties as head of the house he is still the head of the house and you must respect him in that role. I know it is hard to yield under that kind of man, but like Jesus it shows your sacrifice to what you have the “right to” verses what God has called you to as a wife.

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The End Game

This blog does not answer all the questions of the spouse who feels alone in marriage. My purpose is simply to show the purpose of marriage so we know how to navigate it. We must get out of the 50/50, give-and-take mentality and realize no matter what the other spouse is, we have a responsibility to God as a husband and as a wife to do our part. If we see our marriages as being responsible to God above our spouses, marriage will look drastically different.

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Yet knowledge alone, though good, solves nothing. Get into a marriage small group at a local church or stay in regular marriage counseling even if things are going well. Remember it’s not give or take, but drawing strength from God and using it to pour out life, love, and respect to your spouse no matter their disposition.

Are you willing to unconditionally love and serve your spouse no matter their shortcomings? Remember that is what Jesus is doing for us.

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