Whenever we hear of the resignation of a notable Christian citing “moral failure,” it is no longer a case of, “Wow! Where did that come from?” More often than not, society accepts it as typical behavior of those Christians, while Christians wring their hands in despair or point fingers at the fallen person.
But there is an issue that I believe needs to be addressed as it relates to some prominent men. It’s the old blame game—she made me (him) do it.
Let me explain.
In Ted Haggard’s case, people blamed his wife for driving him into his affair, Mark Driscoll appeared to have harbored anger against his wife for an indiscretion committed when they were dating, something he found out about only years later, and Tullian Tchividjian cited that his moral failure was because of his wife’s infidelity.
The problem I find is that, whether with their wife’s consent or not, these men let what was happening in their households become the current topic of conversation. Dude, stop blaming the woman. That isn’t anything new. We can trace this back to the Garden of Eden. Remember Adam? “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” It was all her fault.
Men, let’s face it. Women are generally known to be loyal creatures. Whenever I hear of a wife having an affair, I have to ask the question, what caused her to do it? Rarely is it purely because of lust—she sees a hot body and immediately wants him. More often than not, it has to do with her husband failing her in some way—an emotional need he didn’t have time to, or didn’t care to, fulfill. Maybe the husband was an abusive, arrogant, or absent jackass.
And men, we have to ask ourselves some difficult questions sometimes. What is there about me that causes her to behave in such a way? Was I neglectful? Too busy on social media or listening to someone else’s problems or healing other people’s lives? Did I ignore or not engage her? We need to stand up and shoulder the blame too.
Before husbands rush out to denounce their wives, other questions need to be asked: Has she always shown a tendency to affairs? Is this unusual behavior for her? Is there something else I should know about? What can I do now? You know the answers to these questions just after a few years of marriage. Living together daily in intimacy gives us good insights into our spouse’s nature.
If we men are willing to assume the authority of being the leader of our household, then we must accept the responsibility of taking care of our wife. She needs to be protected. Under the mantle of her husband’s care, whatever she’s done shouldn’t be for the world’s review, denigration, and mockery. Her husband covers her with his honor and absorbs her shame. What happens in their lives stays with them—whether they fix their problems or decide to separate, and as long as it doesn’t involve anyone else. If the wife has murdered someone or found orchestrating a heist, she would obviously need to be turned over to the authorities.
But other than that, a wife should be precious to her husband—his treasure—his jewel to guard. Even if the wife is a chronic cheater, the husband should try to remain the godly man who quietly puts her away from him (especially when there are children involved), if that is the only way to solve their difficulties. He doesn’t tell everyone about her faults, nor does he rush to lay the blame at her door.
Let’s re-examine this Scripture text now:
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
How well have these men loved their wives and presented them holy and blameless? How have you loved or love your wife? Thoughts?