faith, marriage, testimony

The Myth of the Perfect Husband

There’s an idea that’s popular among Christian women. And, it’s growing ever more prevalent, it seems.  I see it all over social media –especially among the younger generation.

This idea is that our husbands are required to be just as perfect to us as Jesus is, and –if they are not– we can just divorce them and find someone else who is perfect.

The problems with this idea are quite plentiful.

First off, God’s original plan was people to stay married.

‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife,

and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh.

What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Mark 10:7-8

Jesus (harkening back to Moses) did allow for divorce but said it was because people had hard hearts, hinting at their unwillingness to forgive each other and give each other grace.

They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away.”

And Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart

 he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation,

 ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother

 and hold fast to his wife,and the two shall become one flesh.’

 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together,

let not man separate.”

Mark 10:4-9

Jesus said divorce was only allowed under one condition: adultery.

And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality,

 and marries another, commits adultery.”

Matthew 19:9

(I’m not addressing abuse today, but I have in past posts. See here and here.)

There are no perfect men.

Sorry, ladies.

Nowhere out there is a man who will always say and do the right things and never upset you.

He does not exist.

…as it is written:

“None is righteous, no, not one;

no one understands;

no one seeks for God.

All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;

no one does good,

not even one.”

Romans 3:10-12

In fact, I bet if you were married to Jesus –bear with me for a moment– even He would not be good enough to fit your expectations.

Not even the perfect God Himself In Flesh would always say and do exactly what you wanted –not because he’s sinful, but because He has a mind of His own.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.

9For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are my ways higher than your ways

and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9

And, because you’re selfish.

Come on, you know you are.

So am I.

We all are.

Why do we women get a pass for being self-indulgent and sinful while our husbands are expected to be perfect, fulfilling not only every scriptural command toward us but also our every whim?

That’s not a fair expectation.

We women tend to hold our men to unrealistic standards and then this ever-more-popular idea gives wives permission to divorce when their husbands inevitably don’t live up to their standards.

No wonder the divorce rate is so high among those who claim to follow Jesus Christ!

You’re not really following Jesus if you believe that. You’re following a manmade version of Jesus.

We are supposed to be husbands and wives reflecting God’s love to the world.  We can only do this when we are loving unconditionally.  

 Love… is not self-seeking… it keeps no record of wrongs…

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13:5-6

Women are supposed to be teaching each other to love their husbands,  not to judge them and leave them if they don’t live up to our standards.

 …train the young women to love their husbands and children.

Titus 2:4

Remember this Bible principle: if you use an unfair measure to judge, an unfair measure will be used against you. This is a basic spiritual law.

For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged,

and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.

Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s [or husband’s] eye,

but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?

Matthew 7:2-3

[brackets are mine]

Frankly,  I’m embarrassed about how often I see these ideas among those who call themselves believers.

Even more embarrassing is the wife-shaming that happens when a woman catches her husband in sin and decides to stay with him anyway.

How far have our churches fallen that women are encouraged to leave their husbands and told they’re wrong — called doormats and told they are refusing to stand for God– if they decide to stay after their husbands sin?

She chooses the higher path –the one that reflects God’s unconditional love and grace– and she is mocked by other church-going women?

This is so wrong.

We were forgiven so much by God.

If we do not choose to forgive we are like the Unforgiving Servant.  

Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant!

I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me.

 And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’

 And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt.

 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you,

if you do not forgive your brother [or husband] from your heart.”

Matthew 18:32-35

Rather than mock you ladies who choose to love unconditionally,  I honor you.

I admire you.

I’ve got your back.  

You have my support and a listening ear any time you need it.

I’ll never do anything but point you back to scripture and pray for you.

You have strength of character, inner fortitude,  and an understanding of God’s grace that those who mock may never understand.

Life threw you a major curveball, and you knocked it out of the park.

Excellently done, my friend.

My hat is off to you.


Sarah Forbes

PS I’m not suggesting that it is wrong to divorce in cases of adultery. I’m only suggesting that divorce shouldn’t be our first and only advice in every spousal issue. For more on spousal interact see this page.


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