Author: Nicole Mar
The word of God says in Romans 9:25, "I will call those who were not my people, 'My people,' and I will call her who was unloved, 'My beloved.’"
We Are God’s Beloved Bride
We are God’s beloved. It is an amazing reality. He died a violent and humiliating death to be in relationship with us because it pained him more than death, itself, to be emotionally separated from us. He wants to hear from us, share with us, sup with us, and be intimately involved in our lives.
How We Feel When We Are Not Our Husband’s Beloved Bride
Despite this, we as married women can feel downtrodden when we are not the beloved of our human husbands. We can focus on this to the exclusion of God’s outstretched arms because the expectation of marriage was that those needs for warmth, understanding and acceptance would be fulfilled in marriage. We assumed the marital relationship would be one in which we would experience devotion and caring. We believed that our husbands would be the one person in our lives who would celebrate us and deeply know us. When this doesn't happen, it can be crushing and become the central pain point of our existence.
What Women Say About Unloving Marriages
According to Dr. Carol Tanksley, author of “What the Bible Says To A Woman Who Feels Unloved By Her Husband,” here are some general thoughts women may have about being in a marriage to a man who is emotionally absent and apathetic. Can you relate to any of these?
"Sometimes I just want to leave and never return. He keeps me around for his convenience: sex, meals, chores. I’m sick of it.”
Here is another:
“He spends every free minute on his computer. He’s married to his screen and his many gadgets, not me.”
And here is one from a woman who has a husband who is doing the necessary tasks to fulfill his basic Christian responsibilities, but is emotionally unavailable:
“I know I should be grateful. He is a provider and is quiet and faithful, yet he doesn’t even look at me or know me. I feel alone and invisible.”
While many women are unhappy in marriages where there is an absence of emotional connection, leaving them with feelings of neglect and loneliness, men also feel like failures who, try as they might, can never fulfill their wives needs (Tanksley, 2015).
“A woman’s heart is a delicate thing. Neglect to “feed” and care for it, and it will wither and shrivel up into nothing. Make too many withdrawals from it without making enough deposits, and it will soon become bankrupt. Bruise it, batter it, beat it up, and it will either go into hiding or morph into something ugly and destructive” (Tanksley, 2015).
“In an ideal world, a woman would get many of her needs for intimacy, protection, challenge, and love met by her husband. And many women are blessed to have those needs met in their marriages, but many others are not” (Tanksley, 2015).
“The reality is that when a woman feels unloved by her husband, anything else good in life can feel rather meaningless” (Tanksley, 2015).
How Women Must Respond to God’s Call to Focus on Him as Husband and Us as His Bride
I have found that I must reprogram my thinking by remembering who I am and whose I am. I am the bride of Christ. We are God's church. God has great plans for us. We are blood bought and spotless before our God.
The Pentecostal preacher, Vesta Mangun (2019) reminds us, “Every event in history transpires to fulfill God's ultimate purpose to reclaim his church—his bride. So, I have refused to be caught up in sorrow. I refuse to abandon hope in favor of despair.”
“At one point, a religious numbness had gripped my heart. I felt like what is the use? But God showed me this thinking is a spiritual suicide. I have to hold on to hope and determination and not give up and not quit. Even when it feels like the darkest hour I've ever been in, I have to remember that the sun will rise again. The battle I'm in sometimes feel like the toughest and roughest and deadliest, but victory is coming. The burden sometimes feels unbearable, too heavy, and too difficult, but relief is on the way” (Mangun 2019).
I remember that I am not defeated. Jesus already won and when I look at the situation and my heart is breaking because I can barely stand to imagine the future, I remember that this future is God's future, and He has it under control. Even if I don't see it on this side of eternity, victory is mine. I have nothing to lose in the end. I think of how God has done the impossible in little ways to give me a sip of water in the desert of my marriage. I try not to dwell on past hurts because God will make a way and give me hope and a testimony (Mangun 2019).
I'm not quitting. My storm is going to end, and ultimately, I will stand before my God as the bride of Christ. I will be perfected in Him and united with Him and no longer lonely or neglected. I won't compare the challenges of my story to the life I believe someone else is leading because God is allowing my story for His good pleasure. Besides, I don't know the hurts and realities of someone else’s life. I don't know what secret pain and burdens they bare. Their smile does not mean they are not struggling and even crumbling under the weight of their own struggles. If I find out about their struggles, I am not to compare those struggles to mine to determine who has it worse. If it is revealed to me, it is for me to pray (Mangun 2019).
Beth Moore says in Entrusted — Bible Study Book: A Study of 2 Timothy, “I won't bemoan who I am and where I am and what I've been, what I've said or what I've done anymore. I used to have a habit of wallowing in despair thinking about my failures and considering if today is just one big punishment, but I realize that God isn't here to condemn me. He wants to draw me in and convict me of sin to eliminate it, so I can come close. I don't know the reason for this story, but God is writing my story, and my times are in God's hands” (2016).
The Bible says in Hebrews 11:6, "God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him." I will not let Satan destroy my family or anything else I'm responsible for. I am pressing hard into Jesus as both warrior and weeper, interceding before God day and night asking him to spare my mind and spare my family. I'm not giving up. I'm not wallowing in self-pity.
Nicole Offers Practical Tips to Response to Being God’s Beloved in Part 2 of the Blog.
While you wait you can read Nicole’s article with Focus on the Family at
Mangun, Vesta. (2019) Seek First the Kingdom. Capital Community Church. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ItyhC2yfbM
Moore, Beth. (2016)Entrusted — Bible Study Book: A Study of 2 Timothy.
Tanksley, Carol. (2015) “What The Bible Says To A Woman Who Feels Unloved By Her Husband.” Dr. Carol Ministries. Retrieved from: https://www.drcarolministries.com/what-the-bible-says-to-a-woman-who-feels-unloved-by-her-husband/
From 1 NT Wife to Another: Never Forget You Will Always be God’s Beloved