an unloved woman...

Proverbs 30:21-23
21 "Under three things the earth trembles,
under four it cannot bear up:
22 a servant who becomes king,

a fool who is full of food,
23 an unloved woman who is married,

and a maidservant who displaces her mistress."

I've been married for just over ten years. It seems like a lifetime unto itself in many ways. I struggle to remember life apart from Heidi. I know I've lived longer without her than with her, but the B.C. years seem more forgettable since she entered my story. With every year we're together, I'm losing clarity in my remembrance of the first 18 years of my life. I think this is the magic of love. "It covers over a multitude of sins" as the Scripture says. Her love has covered over me so beautifully.

I read this text a few weeks ago and it has been pestering my heart like a little poodle nipping at your heals. I can't escape the power of these six words..."an unloved woman who is married". An unloved woman is unconscionable in and of itself. But an unloved woman who is married?...this is unbearable to creation itself. There is nothing that causes the universe to hide in fear like the reality of a marriage where the husband leaves his bride unloved, unwanted, unvalued, undone. It just can't bear up under these conditions.

I've left my wife unloved before. I've gotten busy with life. I've said yes to too many invitations. I've sought the rush of accomplishment. I've chased my own adventures apart from her. I've sat in silence in front of the television letting her take care of the household duties. I've seen her eyes hollowed out by monotonous obligations without so much as an acknowledgement of appreciation. I've seen Satan ravish her with insecurities without lifting a finger to fight off her inner demons with the "truth that sets free". I've let words stay inside me when she needed them...oh, has she needed them. I've complimented everyone but her. I've befriended everyone but her. I've changed my schedule for everyone but her. I've left her to wonder at her place of importance. I've made her feel replaceable. I've given her the name, "Afterthought" by my actions. I've left her to wander in a world of uncertaintly as to her role in our marriage. I've made her read between the lines too much. I've left her to fill in the blanks on too many occasions. I've left so much inside her unfinished, promising to come back and complete what I said I would do, and letting time take the edge off my vows.

I've left her at home with the girls too many nights. I've shrugged her off when she needed "adult" conversation. I've been a lazy listener. I've made her feel like a bother, a nuisance. I've seen her dying for my affection, and sadly left her for dead. I haven't asked nearly enough questions of her heart. I haven't done much to sacrifice myself to make her dreams come true. I haven't been the creative leader in the home that I am in the church. Some of these weaknesses go beyond neglect toward abuse. This is unacceptable.

I don't want my wife to be unloved. I want more for our marriage, our friendship.

Here are some declarations I must make in order to avoid the dread of this verse:
1. I will speak when I'm tempted to stay silent.
2. I will move when I'm tempted to stand still.
3. I will hug when I'm tempted to withdraw.
4. I will kiss when I'm tempted to stare.
5. I will ask questions when I'm tempted to just talk.
6. I will affirm when I'm tempted to attack.
7. I will enjoy when I'm tempted to endure.
8. I will create when I'm tempted to shut down.
9. I will date when I'm tempted to distance myself.
10. I will listen when I'm tempted to solve.
11. I will enable when I'm tempted to disable.
12. I will understand when I'm tempted to be understood.
13. I will sympathize when I'm tempted to criticize.
14. I will forgive when I'm tempted to forgo.
15. I will gaurd my eyes when I'm tempted to feed my flesh.
16. I will accomodate her interestes when I'm tempted to push my own.
17. I will give her freedom when I'm tempted to pursue my own.
18. I will look for the good when I'm tempted to point out the bad.
19. I will defend her when I'm tempted to dis"gaurd" her.
20. I will pursue her when I'm tempted to abandon her.
21. I will trust her when I'm tempted to question her.
22. I will serve her when I'm tempted to let her serve me.
23. I will help her when I'm tempted to let her do "it" herself.
24. I will honor her when I'm tempted to talk about her.
25. I will crown her when I'm tempted to "down" her.

I don't want my wife to be unloved. I want my chivalry to cause her to feel captivating. I want my romantic heart to break up things she's scared to try for fear of failure. I'm a guy, but that doesn't me I'm the incorrigible grunt that culture says I am...I'm created to love my wife with such passion that it confounds all of creation. And I want to...I really, really want to.

There is nothing so dreadful as an unloved woman trapped in a marriage with a misguided man.


pianoman said…
oh my... i'm in tears from these words that both cut and restore...

just that fact that you are convicted and given sight by this precious scripture shows your heart is where it needs to be...

thank you for being such a passionate lover of God and desperate pursuer of truth;
i can see clearly that you have the full ability to love and pursue your wife as well...

your unashamed vulnerability really helps me to see what a true man of God is...
Laura said…
I stumbled across your cd and then your blog by way of my love for Bethany Dillon's music and I'm enjoying yours now too! This post was wonderfully refreshing and more women need to hear more husbands feel and then do these things.
Jecca said…
wow...the uncommonality of this has left me speechless. thank you.
Kate McDonald said…
j...thanks for writing this man... every married person should print this out and read it often.

ps i heard rob bell speak the other night and he reminded me of you so much that it started to freak me out.
Kathy said…
Thank you. I needed this many years ago.
mama2dibs said…
Thank you for your honesty Jason. It is not many people that are "man" enough to admit that they are wrong, let alone over and over. I am sure that Heidi is very understanding, although as a wife, I am sure that things like this make her breathe a breath of fresh air. Thank you for your godliness. Thank you for your openness.
kevin said…
Wonderful post!
Kristy said…
Hello Jason, I found your blog through Kate McDonald. I posted this post on my site and left links for people to follow to get to your site. I feel like this is a truth that is often glossed over or not really realized at all. I'm sure I've read this verse many times but never saw what it was really saying. Thankyou for using your God-given gift to bless others.

God bless,
Penny Rodgers said…
WOW! I really don't know what to say other than, WOW!
Anonymous said…
I am unloved and wish I could die.
Anonymous said…
I sat down at my computer moments ago and began a letter to God with tears streaming down my face and a heavy, heavy heart. I know God led me to your post (it was on another website).

I am an unloved married woman. My husband is also a pastor. Everyone and everything comes before me. I often wonder what he will say to God when he is asked to give an account for how he covered me.
Dana Spring said…
Sadly, most of the comments are from unloved married women. Do men of God even notice or care? My experience tells me "no".
Anonymous said…
I too am unloved and so tired of it. Tired of living this way
Mary said…
Please give an update as to what changes have happened in your marriage as a result of you DOING your list -- of showering your wife with agape love.

I, too, was am an unloved wife, who, like many Christian wives could no longer tolerate the emotional (etc) abuse.... and the pain of the treachery of not being loved. and yet, even in divorce, this unloved wife was treated with even more disdain by "church" and the court because of the continuing NONloving actions in word and deed of the ex

Anonymous said…
you have read my life
Anonymous said…
Awesome, awesome post. While I am very much an unloved married woman, my husband would never leave me, he loves God and our children. This bible passage directly applies to me, but it is not at all how you interpreted it. See in other translations the word odious is used in place of unloved. I think God is talking about horrible women, not insensitive husbands. I am a cranky nag, who is unlovable, I used to be a sweet woman, but a wife and four kids later, I am really just a cranky nasty woman, the earth can hardly bear my crankiness, no wonder I am unlovable.
Odious woman - One in whom there is nothing loveable. Marriage, which to most women is the state in which they find scope for their highest qualities, becomes to her only a sphere in which to make herself and others
For an odious woman, when she is married,.... Odious for her person, her ugliness, and the deformity of her body; or rather for the ill qualities of her mind, which, while single, she endeavours to conceal, but, being married, hides them no longer; but becomes imperious, proud, scornful, and malicious, and behaves in an ill natured way to her husband and all about her, to such a degree, that there is no bearing the place where she is
Anonymous said…
.... Herself and others miserable, she makes everyone around her miserable. Sorry the definition didn't paste completely.

Don't worry Jason you are off the hook, Heidi sounds sweet.
Anonymous said…
Anonymous said…
Thank you for this post. Your honesty gives me some degree of hope within my own marriage. I am a very "unloved women." Everyday, I get home from work and taking care of our young son to find out every single thing that I did wrong that day. For example, I was asked to wash towels and of course, I did, however, after I washed those towels, I took a shower. When my husband came home, he said, "Good job washing half the towels, you cant do anything right." I explained to my husband that, I did wash all of the towels, but took a shower and used a towel after I had washed them. He didn't respond. He just decided to continue on the every day, "tear your wife apart."

I meant my husband when I was young and have been married for 5 years. I use to laugh, smile, and love life. Now, I love my son and focus solely on him. I do not go out with the girls for lunch, I do not have any confidence I once had and I do not feel "love" for my husband, in fact, if my son didn't love his daddy more than words could describe, I would have left a long time ago. I don't leave because I love my son. I know God can work miracles, but I cant say that I even want the miracle of a loving marriage anymore. I only want to be left alone. Its a blessing that he has so many hobbies, because I would hate for my son to know the truth about his parents marriage.
Anonymous said…
Wow! That's all I can say. I know I'm unloved. I just pray God remembers me.
Me said…
This is good counsel for husbands, but the woman should seek the affections of Jesus. This will enable her to know her value and not be co dependent on any human to fill the hole in her heart that is best filled by Him.
I married an emotional brillo pad, tho a marvelous man. Only because I first met Jesus as my number 1 love, have I been able to walk out 30+ and counting of a marriage chosen by GOD. It s not all about needs being met. I am thankful actually, for a marriage that drives me to Him who truly adores me.
Anonymous said…
Anonymous said…
I am an unloved wife and your words describe exactly how my husband treats me and my heart aches.
Anonymous said…
Thank you...for being a man of God and making these declarations. I pray blessings upon your wife & you & your marriage. Those of us unloved and feeling the ache of loneliness needed to hear those truths owned by a man. Sadly it validates the experience of feeling unloved - without a spouse confessing his poor behavior & choices, one starts to question one's sanity...(not to mention one's worth). Go and love your wife as Jesus loves us his church. She will return that love 100-fold. Others feeling unloved - turn to Jesus - His love never runs out & is not "performance-based". Praise God!!!
Anonymous said…
Thank you. I did not realize so many others are unloved. Thought I was alone. So sad to live this life like this. To know you are unloved, but to hear it from your husband over and over that he does not love is a crushing brokenness I cannot adequately describe. I know he regrets not leaving me when he had the "chance". May God continually turn His heart to The Lord. I stay for the covenant I made with him and the Lord,and for our children. God have mercy on us. May God help me to be forgiving to yield my rights and to be the wife he needs regardless of his actions. May He heal us and bring us victory.
Anonymous said…
this seems to be an old post but...I am wanting to leave a comment. Look how you come to conclusion : I will....when I am tempted to.... when I am TEMPTED to...who tempts? Satan of course. Satan tempts men to harden their hearts so often and in so many ways. Satan tempts men to rule over women since the sin entered the world. A man should remember this verse each time he gets those temptations in their hearts : Ephesians 2:28-29 : "28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church"
Anonymous said…
I was an unloved woman for 18 years and then he left me and I was able to divorce him. I met a man over a year ago and even though you would think I,wouldn't want to take another risk, I did, and four months ago we got married and I am now,very much loved.
ladyb2012 said…
You really hit the nail on the head with expert precision in this post everything you said and describe relates to me. So now I have a better understanding of what has been going on in my own marriage for thirty seven of the thirty nine years. It took me thirty-nine years to prayerfully come to the decision to finally leave. Wow staring over at sixty but free from the feeling of being disdain.
WOG🔥 said…
Phenomenonal! Look what happens with a yielded heart towards God. He sees his true reflection in the mirror and begins to surrender his will to be used as a vessel of honor. Thank you for your sensitivity to listen, take heed, repent and transparency in sharing. Praying this will set many captives free. May your marriage overflow with bountiful love! ❤️ You are truly blessed. Thank you!!
Romans 8:28 said…
Excellent post, very well spoken.
I was once an unloved married woman. That lasted nearly 25 years until I could take it no more. Then he added that it was my fault I could not take it, and he left me. Out of that pain came a new marriage and I guarantee my husband covers every bit of ground to make sure I feel loved.
Thank you for posting this :)
John Romer said…
I have become this husband and I misss my wife even though We are together God has shown me this Thank You
Tarapoto Lorena said…
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)...says

21 Three things make the earth quake,
four things it can’t bear —
22 a slave who becomes king,
a boor gorged with food,
23 a hated [wife] when her husband takes her [back],
and a slave-girl who inherits from her mistress.

This sheds more light on the scriptures when you see what has been translated from the Hebrew....apparently what you have stated is not what this scripture is saying
What you wrote fits more with Ephesians,husbands love your wives
what you have written is wonderful
all men who are or going to get married should read this
Anonymous said…
My wife wanted me to read this and I will keep rereading it. Please pray for me....the difference between you and I is that I have been married for four years and she doesn't seem willing to wait or believe in me like your wife does you.....I will always have hope and love her as she has been my first and only love.

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