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I'm Married But Not In Love:  Is My Spouse Really God's Will For Me?

Mr. Malone,

I have been married for 14 years to a woman that I have never really loved. We were living in sin and just decided to get married one day. There were no "fireworks", no real romance, no real passion for each other, and no real intimacy. Just two lost souls growing older with no real direction in life. I knew at the time that it was wrong, but I went ahead with it anyway.

During the wedding ceremony, I never asked God to be with us and to bless the union, and I doubt my wife did either. Our wedding night was uneventful and our honeymoon was dull. Over the years, I just kept hoping that something would develop between us and that we would somehow develop a close relationship. Unfortunately, we don't really enjoy being with each other, we don't touch or spend any time alone together, and all of our past physical relations have been mechanical and un-satisfying. So, after about 12 years and three children, I just gave up. During that time, I drew very close to God, re-accepted Christ into my heart, and embarked on a journey to develop a close personal relationship with Him.  At about the 12 year mark, I gave my marriage to God and asked Him to save it or give me the strength to endure.

My wife is not a talker and has no interest in counseling. She has turned down all my suggestions that she join in Bible study with me, but I am sure she is a believer. We attend Church every Sunday, and she gets involved with Church activities. She has a good heart, she is a good woman, and actually fits the description of a good wife as laid out in Proverbs 31:10-31. We just don't think we married the right people. We are committed to keeping the marriage together for the sake of obedience to God and for the children, but it is more of a business relationship than a marriage.

And so, my question:

The Bible clearly teaches against pre-marital sex, living together unwed, and other similar situations. But I look at my situation and see that the only difference before the ceremony and after was a legal contract between us and the "state". In my heart, I made no promises to God, and didn't even acknowledge His presence. If He blessed our union, it was only because others asked Him to, or that He chose to do so on His own. So, why was the formal ceremony required? Can't a man and a woman make similar vows to each other in the Lord's presence without all the legal ceremony? It seems to me that what is inside the two is much more important than the ceremony. IF this is true, then we had already made the only vows we would ever be able to make, and we weren't really living in sin.

I know I must be wrong, but where?

Thank you for listening,

I get asked this question quite frequently.  The answer is quite simple.  You didn't pick the wrong person to marry.  She is the right person and she is God's choice.  The soul mate concept is way over played and just isnít Biblical, although, it does make for a good romance novel. 

You're not alone in thinking just because you're not in love or being intimate anymore that that's a sign that your spouse is not God's choice for you.  There is a misconception going around that love is the legal bond that God puts in a persons heart that validates a marriage as legal.  That's simply not true!  Yes, love is important, but if itís not Godís love it will fade as quickly as the problems come. 

Another misconception is that a marriage ceremony and the marriage license are just a formality and a piece of paper to satisfy the state.  Again, this assumption couldn't be further from the truth. 

Take a look at these passages: 

Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?  For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.  So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man (Rom 7:1-3).

The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord (I Cor 7:39).

Why did I bring this up?  For the expressed reason that the Bible has ordained the law (or marriage statutes of the state) as legal, binding, and valid between a man and a woman.  The Bible gives the ceremony and the marriage license validity.  Not only that, it is considered sacred and honorable to God.

Take a look at these passages:

Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge (Heb 13:4).  

Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered (I Pe 3:7).  

Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband (Eph 5:33). 

For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh (Eph 5:31). 

So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself (Eph 5:28). 

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it (Eph 5:25)

The fact that you and your wife are no longer intimate does not nullify the marriage, but it does drive a wedge between the both of you.  In fact, the Bible says that it creates two major problems.  One, it hinders your prayer life and two, you open up yourself and your wife to Satanís temptations.  

Take a look at these passages: 

Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.  Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.   The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.   Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency (1 Co 7:2 -5). 

Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered (1Pe 3:7).  

I have to say, you canít be in fellowship with God without being in fellowship with your wife.  Certainly, sex doesnít make a marriage, but if you are able, you should not withhold it from each other.  Personally, after three kids, there must have been a spark and a desire at some point, and itís still there if you allow God to heal the division.  But thatís something you and your wife need to talk about in open and honest conversation between the two of you. 

Somewhere along the way you lost sight of the command of God to love your wife as Christ loved the church.  Do you know why God gave this command?  Believe it or not, Christians of the early church had the same problem.  They were falling out of love with their wives as well.  And God didnít give them any Spiritual formula to rekindle their love life either.  He just simply told them (husbands) to love them.  Thatís exactly what you need to do. 

I realize that you said you never really loved your wife when you got married, but thatís irrelevant at this point.  You have Godís love and thatís deeper and more powerful than any surface love you could ever have through the normal bonds of marriage.  You need to tell your wife you love her because you do.  The fact that you consider her a good and deceit wife, and has the attributes of a Proverbs 31 woman says a great deal about your relationship.  She may not give you the so-called fleshy goose bumps but sheís an honorable woman that you should be proud to be with.  And truthfully, if you started treating her like an attractive woman again and eased back into the romance, you might find out why you had three kids with her.   

Of course, this is a two way street and it does take time.  She may not be that willing to rekindle the flame.  But if you pray and ask God to make you the husband and father you should be, He has a way of making the Christian wife eventually fall in line according to His will.  Frankly, every wife who puts the Lord first will find a greater love for a husband who will do the same.

Lastly, ďWhat therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder (Matthew 19:6b).Ē  This is the Lord Jesus Himself speaking and He meant for us to take this as a warning not to put aside our marriage vows.  This is a very serious commitment in Godís eyes and He holds each and everyone who takes this vow responsible for seeing it through.

I hope this has helped.  

Terry Malone
Calvary Prophecy Report

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Home Page                                                                                 Updated December 23, 2010 



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