An Epidemic of Christian Wives Divorcing

An Epidemic of Christian Wives Divorcing

Written By Ken Alexander

It is heartbreaking each time I hear of a good Christian man being divorced by his Christian wife. It seems that there is an epidemic of Christian wives being dissatisfied in their marriages or being the cause of blowing up their marriages with selfishness. I venture to say that this blog has saved many marriages already and will continue to do so, Lord willing, as it gets to the heart of the disease of feminism and a woman’s desire to be in control of her man.

Bob has become a good friend of mine who sought help a few years ago with his difficult wife. He loved her dearly even through her struggles, but he wrote TTW seeking help. As is the custom, Lori received the email and I responded with a familiar theme:

“Let’s first make sure that you are not the problem, Bob. How are you doing with loving your wife and living with her in an affectionate and understanding way? Let’s have you make a list of the things you can be doing differently and see if showing more grace and trying to meet her at her needs will produce the results you are looking for.

“One thing that you must insist upon in your home is that everyone will do all things Christian. You cannot expect the Lord to bless your marriage if you are not holding yourself and your family to the simple standards that we are given in God’s Word.

“Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another” (Romans 12:10).

“Let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of building each other up, that it may minister grace unto the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29).

“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).

“If you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another” (Galatians 5:15).

“Do not deprive one another” (1 Corinthians 7:5).

“Love one another; as I have loved you” (John 13:34, 35).

This same advice and theme has played out regularly the past few years and to all of the hurting men who seek my counsel. The initial reaction from a few is: “Hey, I am here for help with my wife, not for me!” But most of the men were truly at their whit’s end seeking help and willing to do almost anything to restore their marriages. So step one of solving any issue is to make sure that the men are not the problem.

As these men tried out this advice they had to learn how to say “No” and, “That is unacceptable” without getting angry or upset. After all, what Satan desires is to get both spouses wallowing in the mud of sin together. When one spouse no longer will climb into sin as a reaction to the other, it places the other spouse in an awkward position of having their sin exposed clearly. No longer can they start the fight hoping the other will give them excuse to justify why they are upset and angry in the first place, because the other is no longer arguing and fighting. They are acting like a Christian should, even in the midst of their turmoil.

The second phase of trying to restore a marriage comes with asking one’s spouse to do things God’s way in the marriage. Yes, these husbands were instructed to play the “submission card” that is so clearly given to wives in the Word, but to do so while maintaining all of the other principles of Christian love and living at the same time. They could not expect God to bless their marriage if they are not doing their part in it. But part of being in a Christian marriage is to be head and show loving and gracious leadership.

Bob set about holding his wife accountable for her temper and angry words spewed at him and the children by simply calling her out on it each time she did it. When she overspent regularly and put the family in a lot of credit card debt, he took the family finances away from her and gave her a generous $1,000 a month allowance as she regularly complained about how “controlling he was.”

“You can’t tell me to stop yelling at the you and the kids, or make me be submissive!”

“Yes, honey, I can point out to you when you are sinning in our home and I can ask you to be submissive, but you are right in that I cannot make you submit. All I can do is ask you to talk to God about that.”

Surprisingly for many of the men I have counseled, just doing these things helped restore their marriages, and some are having a wonderful time together. But for the majority of these men nothing seems to work. They try being loving and affectionate just to be rejected. They try devotions and prayer together and she has some excuse why she can’t do it. They call her out on her sins and she gets more and more angry and bitter.

Some have tried it all from being submissive themselves for a month to their wives to prove it’s not so hard, then to becoming a man of the manosphere and taking leadership whether they have a follower or not. Nothing they try seems to work, and often the wife will confess in her less angry moments, “I know I am the problem, but I don’t know how to stop it.”

One would think that just saying that would be a big breakthrough as the awareness that “I am the problem” should, in a healthy mind, begin to seek solutions to unhealthy behaviors. But in many cases, the final results are Christian wives walking away from their marriages in epidemic numbers because they are seeking relief from the pain that they themselves are causing.

Perhaps, in many cases, the root cause can be traced to bitterness and anger that started even before they got married. Broken and unhealthy homes often deliver broken and unhappy brides whose unhappiness is masked during the honeymoon through baby making stage, but 10-20 years later, it appears no different than what they saw or felt growing up.

Perhaps the root cause is a desire for control as the feminist lies are now planted firmly in most of the young Christian wives’ hearts. No longer do they go into a marriage with an attitude that believes love is sacrificial giving of oneself to another, but rather love is now a two-way street that says, “I cannot love you if I do not feel I am getting from you what I believe I need.”

In a men’s group that I am a part of, a young man asked what is he to do if his wife is no longer giving him sex because she complains that he is not loving her well. The main responses he received was that when he gets home each day, he needs to go about chasing down her needs. Give her affection, help with the children so she gets a break, make dinner, give her a foot massage and listen to her. All great things for a loving husband to do but guess what? It is just a short term bandage on the real problem. Many of us found out that no matter what we did, it only kept us on a treadmill of feeling we had to perform in order to be loved. When the degree to which our wife loves us is based on how we performed for her that day or hour, it is doomed to mediocrity and “tit for tat.”

So where have things gone so wrong that eight out of ten Christian divorces are initiated by unhappy wives? We have a silent epidemic in our churches that no pastor wants to talk about. For that matter, many are unaware that they are part of the root cause with their unwillingness or inability to preach both sides of God’s marriage design. Every time I have heard a sermon in a church about God’s plan for marriage, it is a one-sided showing. Whether it is Father’s Day or Mother’s Day, or it’s just part of the passage of the book the pastor is preaching through, there is one consistent theme:

“Husbands, love your wife as Christ loves the church and let me explain to you all that this means with laying down your life for her.”

“Wives, submit to your husbands, and let me tell you everything that that does NOT mean, and you husbands had better never tell your wives to submit!  That is very unchristian of you as your wife can decide what she wants to submit to and what is not worthy of submission. She is not your slave and was not born to be your helper, but your partner.”

This plays out over and over again in our churches, then add to that women’s Bible studies that refuse to teach what God commands the older women to teach, and instead turns into “Please, pray for my marriage as I am feeling so unloved as my husband is always working and not helping me around the house. Then he wants me to be affectionate and I just can’t.”

Bob, Joe, Fred, Dave, Paul, and John were all divorced by their wife last year, except one did divorce his wife after she left him and the kids for the eighth time and asked for the divorce. Lori and I are heartbroken each time we hear of another wife divorcing her husband and family. That’s right. The children know full well that Mom is the problem. Dad may not be perfect but he was the one trying to keep the marriage together and everything he tried wouldn’t work because his Christian wife had been poisoned by feminism and the appeal of the apple of happiness. She was convinced she could be happier walking away from God’s clear Word to her and she is destroying her husband and family.

Can God do a mighty work in the midst of such sin and restore each one of the family members and spouses? Yes, he can, but will He when we walk in clear disobedience to His commands? What about “God hates divorce” do we no longer understand in the church? Wake up, pastors, to see that what once may have been true, that it was the husband who was at fault for breaking up the marriage, is no longer the norm. The norm in the disintegration of the Christian marriage is confused Christian wives who are getting nothing but a clanging sound when it comes to God’s design for a happy and healthy marriage. Instead of preaching regularly about everything that submission is not, consider trying to tell wives what submission does look like and expect them to be just as obedient to the Word in this area as they are in others.

Would that not be a radical vaccination program for the church if this next Father’s Day your pastor boldly stood up in the pulpit and repented of his fear of women in his church? Where He proclaimed loudly and boldly everything that willful wifely submission looks like and what love, true sacrificial love for a husband should be in Christian marriage? To do this might start a revolution where the church no longer bought into feminism’s lies that it is equality in marriage that is the key to happiness. Instead your church would find that marriage done God’s way is no different than living the Christian life God’s way. It comes from simple obedience to His clear commands without excuse or obstruction. It is this simple for all who desire to do things God’s ways and reap His many blessings.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church, …  so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything… Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.
Ephesians 5:22-25

32 thoughts on “An Epidemic of Christian Wives Divorcing

  1. Yes sad epidemic going on. The weak men/pastors in the church are to blame as well as is the lack of titus 2 women out there. I tell people all the time before you marry make sure they are really with the Lord and embrace biblical roles.

  2. Thank you for this topic. My husband and I are dealing with a continuing dilemma of this nature that has now evolved. My father-in-law recently left my mother-in-law. He sinned and now is remarried to a new woman after 40 years of marriage. We haven’t met his new wife (it wasn’t her he sinned with, the “other” woman left him.) But instead of getting back with his wife he provided a revisionist history of his marriage and blamed his wife.

    I don’t know how to receive him. My husband is respectful to him but they only talk sports now the few times they do talk. They used to be best friends and would talk regularly. Eventually we will have to see him again and I’m at a loss.

    Also we need wisdom on how to tell our kids who are elementary aged. They have always been taught how wrong divorce is and that God says He hates divorce. Will this divorce damage them?

    I’d so appreciate the advice of an older woman on this!

  3. Amen!! Although half the turmoil I have experienced during these almost two year’s, is due to my disobedience of getting married unequally yoked, however, God’s word is clear.

  4. I definitely think if Lori and her husband wrote a post on not marrying unequally yoked it would help a lot of young women who desire to be married and may want to compromise and marry someone that isn’t a believer and the consequences of that. I dated someone who started as a believer then all of a sudden they said they just couldn’t believe in Jesus…those words got me out of there because then who will a man turn to if not to God? The world? Pornography (which I later found he was addicted to and wouldn’t stop viewing)? No need to compromise one’s Christian values just to say one is married…I left that situation and waited upon the Lord and met my husband in a coffee shop.

    P.S. Dear sister, definitely not judging you I just noticed a comment last week of a woman considering marrying an unbeliever bc she has been single so long…would you recommend it or based off your experience you’d encourage continuing to wait? And praying God changes your husband’s heart through your submission and seeking of the Lord.

  5. In general, Christian or not, it IS the wife leaving the husband most often. The story is usually the same, “I just don’t love him anymore.” I’ve witnessed several husbands trying desperately to hang on and the wives just don’t seem to care. We have one couple on our block who either separated/divorced, both still live in the house and her boyfriend moved in, as well. They have two teen daughters. Can’t imagine what that does to their way of thinking.

    I guess we shouldn’t be surprised. Christian women are leaving their helpless newborns behind in daycare for hours upon hours in the name of their careers. I imagine , compared to that, a husband is easy.

  6. Thank you, Ken. This cannot be emphasized enough. It just so happens that our pastor delivered a message yesterday called “Husbands and Wives” that was focused on Colossians 3:18-25. And he did NOT shy away from emphasizing verse 18! The irony was that before the service started my wife and I were greeted by a woman we know fairly well, a longtime member who had been divorced from her husband, but was cohabiting with him for economic reasons. They regularly attended church together, but then we noticed that he had stopped coming about three weeks ago. I asked her yesterday how he was doing, at which point she shrugged and said “we’re not together anymore. I don’t know how he’s doing.”

    Sadly, I can’t say that I was shocked. I was, however, very disappointed. This woman is something of a free Sprit/loose cannon who talked about her husband being “abusive” and “controlling.” That is no the personality he portrayed at all, and I’m convinced that what she saw as “abusive” and “controlling” are the perverted definitions of those words that too many “Christian” women subscribe to nowadays: a husband’s attempt to get his wife to at least make a semi-convincing pretense of being a Christian wife in accordance with Scriptural commands.

    What disturbs me as much as this woman’s current predicament is that, for one thing, she has been given visibility in the church by being part of the Praise Team and a coordinator of “outreach efforts.” While all of us are sinners who fall short of God’s glory, we cannot be effective witnesses for Him if we are afflicted by visible sins for which we have not repented or for which we are not actively atoning. Second, and more tragically, I am unaware of any active measures being taken by our pastor or church elders to encourage or help this couple to reconcile or repair their marriage (my wife and I strongly suspect, knowing her as we do, that she would resist any and all attempts to urge her do this). Our pastor, a man married for nearly sixty years with eight children, 15 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren cannot get enough of repeating the “God Hates Divorce” and “Divorce is unacceptable to the Body” memes, yet when it comes to the rubber truly hitting the road and having to confront the rebellious christofeminists in his church (of course none of them consider themselves to be such), his spine turns to peanutbutter (his wife is a stereotype of the evangelical pastor’s wife who demands co-equal status as pastor, an unbiblical abomination that is infecting most non-denominational Protestant churches today).

    Sorry for the long-winded yarn, but I suppose my question is, in light of what I’ve just related, what can one do to encourage a pastor who is generally on the right track to continue in the right direction without alienating or angering him?

  7. Can you please site the source for the 8 out of 10 divorce statistics you reference. I would like to look onto this data. Thank you

  8. My FIL was a devout Atheist and he married my very devoutly Catholic MIL. They went on to have a very happy marriage for 62 yrs. and 9 kids. I asked my MIL how she managed with an unbeliever, if it was difficult. She said she’d always hoped he would change his mind (he didn’t) but that he promised to let her raise the children in her faith. They all went to Catholic schools, etc. Despite his Atheism, my FIL was a great father in all other aspects. I consider myself and my 3 SILs to be some of the luckiest women on earth for marrying his sons. They are all great husbands & true gentlemen.

    I’ve met more than a few Christian husbands that could’ve learned a thing or two from him. That said, I truly wish he wouldn’t have been so stubborn in his beliefs.

  9. In my experience very few do so, even when they can no longer even pretend that divorcing their husbands was anything other than the worst mistake of their lives. There is simply too much pride involved to enable them to admit the error of their ways and to ask the husband they’ve wronged for forgiveness and reconciliation. Also, in many cases, the husbands have just moved on with their lives, having considered themselves abandoned by “the unbeliever who has left.” More than a few remarry.

    Probably the most useful and effective thing that such a woman can do is become a teacher of younger women who are tempted to follow her example. Let her use her life as a warning to other women and an illustration of the bitter fruits of Godless foolishness.

  10. Great post.

    As a single 40 year old man, I’m convinced the root of the problem is feminism, a lack of biblical literacy, the television (average American wastes 78,000 hours on it), pornography, and masturbation, which used to be severely stigmatized, but is now widely encouraged and promoted.

    Also, the practice of birth control, which separates the sex drive in marriage from the purpose God intended for it, which was children, and women voting, which is why we have he disastrous Democrat party, are the other factors.

    In the end, men are to blame because we are to set standards and expectations.

    Adam didn’t with Eve, and Abraham didn’t with Sarah, and mankind is still dealing with the consequences via the Fall, and Islam, respectively.

  11. Honestly I wonder how many of these women have adrenal or vitamin/mineral insufficiency. Both cause major aggression, rage (especially in bouts), and both are common during pregnancy and during the breastfeeding years. If nothing is done, it’ll just go on for years, possibly into menopause, where it causes even further damage.

    The trick is to see if the woman feels like she’s proud of her behavior when she’s feeling well. I noticed in your article that you noted many wives admitting at calmer moments that they are the problem, but do not know how to stop it–BINGO! That is God’s way of telling you your body is not doing well and needs attention. Get your adrenals and vitamin/mineral levels checked by a doctor familiar with deficiencies common in women of childbearing age.

    Take your vitamins, quit caffeine, stop eating sugar, and sleep! If you notice a change in a month of doing this, then you can attribute atleast some of the behavior to that. The rest will be much easier.

  12. Quite right, Kevin.

    Men have abdicated their role to lead. Nature abhors a vacuum. It’s virtually impossible for a nation to be full of Godly men and the women to be largely ungodly.

    The relationship between a man and God is similar to that between a husband and a wife.

    When a husband and wife are united in obeying God, the children are loved and taught Godliness.

    So too, when a man and God are united, women are given guidance, love, and leadership.

  13. Yes, no fault divorce conditioned millions of women to think their feelings are to be relied upon in the marriage which is a perfect disaster.

    This “controlling” nonsense, which is code for women saying they don’t believe in subjection to their husband, is a prevailing theme among millions of American women. If a woman doesn’t want her husband to have the final say, then stay a spinster, don’t get married, and avoid all sex, including romance novels, porn, and masturbation.

  14. Women teaching wrecked the church I grew up in. Women are often fiercely territorial, and the women teachers consolidated their power by viciously attacking sexual sin, mostly a male problem, and ignoring their own tendencies to revert to nepotism, gossip, cliques, preferring, and failing to help the poor and sick. Of course, women teaching and voting was not Gods design, and so the female teachers paid for their neglect of their families with children that got into some very serious sins, including incest, homosexuality, and molesting other kids. The dominant female teachers emasculated the men, neutered the churches growth, and turned church into a feelings based gospel. Judgment became predicated on relationships, not on dispassionate justice. As a result, the church is dysfunctional, less than 10% of the children joined the church upon reaching adulthood, an abysmal figure, considering they didn’t practice birth control and the birth rate was nearly four children per woman.

    Women were designed magnificently by God, to excel in the sphere he designed for them, as helpmeets, to teach other women and children. When they leave their sphere, they endanger themselves, their children, the man, the nation, and the world.

  15. Oh my. What a sad and tangled web.

    It all has to start with proper teaching. At our churches and at home as we raise our children.

    Lori, I know you say your church engages in teaching proper biblical roles in marriage. But I personally have yet to be in a church that does.

    In our last church, we had a co ed Bible study on Ephesians, lead by our Pastor. When we got to the part about wives submitting to their husbands, many of the women bristled. As did the Pastor’s wife, as she went into a lengthy explanation about what it “really DOESN’T” mean, in this present, feministic world. Her husband, our Pastor, didnt correct her. He kind of chuckled nervously and agreed with her.

    So what can we expect?
    This is so so sad.

  16. Thank you for the article Heidi… this author gets it even if not coming from a Christian perspective but a biological and practical one.

  17. Alison!
    I cannot agree with you more that you are on to something here. Too many of these divorces are happening in their 40’s and 50’s. It can be hormonal, adrenal fatigue or other health issues, but the real issue still is that they have lost their moral compass.

    Great advice!

  18. No, not one church or women’s Bible study that I have ever attended teaches proper biblical roles in marriage or anything about biblical womanhood. It’s tragic.

  19. Great advice on lifestyle choices, but I’m hesitant to take vitamins because I’ll come across “a synthetic form of …causes…” and I don’t know where to start.
    Can anyone give counsel on what supplements they have found valuable? Products that are the most natural?

  20. We buy ours from but I think you need a nutritionist to let you in. I’m not sure but they are of great value (no synthetics) and great price!

  21. Your pastor lives in the same world we all live in. His number 1 fear is getting divorced like most married men in america. For him the rumors about his treatment of her the ammount of women in the congregation who will blindly side with his wife. He knows it would b a painfull expensive public demotion.

  22. Debbie, God works in mysterious ways. We need look no further then your present President. Like Saul, he has led a life of sin, yet again like Saul, now has God’s hand on his shoulder guiding him.
    trust in God.

  23. Also note that in the article, Lori speaks about women who “just don’t care” anymore and say they don’t love their husbands. Ouch, thats awful! Don’t fear, though, if this describes you.

    It is a symptom of depersonalization that is caused by adrenal insufficiency. Sleep, nutrition, and following a good doctor’s advice can help with this, although by the time depersonalization sets in, it can take a year or more to recover.

    T, I like Metabolics and Standard Process, but to be honest, if a woman is raging or finds herself detached from her husband, she’s in serious trouble and needs the guidance of a good naturopath who understands adrenal issues. Things like liposomal vitamin C, Symplex F, pantothenic acid, and B complex are essential to healing. No sugar or caffeine! Lots of naps and an early bedtime!

    Of course, spiritual guidance from God, the Bible, your husband, and your pastor plus hard inner work is also necessary, but the path will be easy if you also care for the temple God gave you.

    I hope my advice helps a woman who wants desperately to change but just needed this one little piece of info!!!!

    God bless!

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