Wake up church. It’s time. One in three marriages end in divorce, a rising number of women are being left by their husbands who are failing to lead and love, children are being left without fathers or with only a skeleton of what they deserve, and the church is pretending that “this” is not their problem.
You see, the church has fallen asleep, has pushed its responsibilities aside, and is not holding husbands accountable for their sin. When there’s no accountability for sin there’s no reason to stop doing it. When sin continues unchecked, marriages end, families shatter, and mothers are left to pick up the pieces. Their children … are merely collateral damage.
I must admit that I am not the norm. When my world shattered and the Christians I looked up to turned a blind eye, cut me off, and chose to enable my then husband’s sin, I turned to the church we had called home for the prior three years. That’s the only place I knew to go – the only option I had left. I cried to my pastor, who gathered the brothers to help turn a man from his sin, in hopes of saving a marriage. They confronted my unrepentant then husband. He made his choice, and it wasn’t me. And when he chose sin, my church chose the Bible and walked me through the hardest time of my life; but that’s not the norm.
The norm is a church that doesn’t want to get involved, doesn’t want to get dirty, and doesn’t like to confront sin because it’s uncomfortable and ugly and “none of my business.” The norm is a church that tells a woman that she must be to blame for her husband’s infidelity, so she should go home, give him more sex, and succumb to his abuse. The norm is a church that pretends that their sheep don’t have problems with “in name only” Christians who instead of confronting sin head on, cover it up to reinforce a false image of perfection.
The norm is a church that welcomes an unrepentant living-in-sin-man to the table and carries on conversation as if hell didn’t just break loose, instead of calling him out like the Gospel says they should. The norm is a church that is more concerned with statistics, than with doing something about them.The norm is a church that is more concerned with statistics, than with doing something about them.Click To Tweet
I’m not saying that all Christians are like this, that all places of worship condone this, that men are the only ones who screw up and step out on their vows, but with 2 million single dads in America compared to 10 million (and growing) single moms, I think we can call it what it is … a problem. Adultery, broken vows, abandonment, abuse, deception, lust, and pride are sin problems, heart problems … and church problems.
So what is the Christian’s responsibility exactly?
The bible says that if someone is sinning, you should confront him. If he does not turn from his sin, go and get the brothers to confront him, and if he still does not turn from his sin, cast him out, cut him off, stop enabling him, stop ignoring it, stop pretending that he’s not doing what he’s doing (Matthew 18: 15-17). Nowhere in the Bible does it say that you should celebrate, ignore, turn a blind eye to, or enable someone’s sin.
Why? Because you are not to make it easier for the Christian to continue in his sin by ignoring it. This does nobody any favors. This hurts the sinner just as much as it hurts the church. This rips up seeds sown, tears families apart, and keep souls from being saved.
God hates divorce. The Bible says He does. But divorce is just a “term.” What God hates is the sin that causes divorce and a church that does nothing about it.
I get that it’s uncomfortable – to confront a brother whose sleeping with another man’s wife, to confront the woman he’s sleeping with, to confront a man whose left his pregnant wife and kids either physically or emotionally to pursue a fantasy he met five minutes ago – to get in the mess of it. I get that you don’t feel like your brother’s business is your business – the perfect excuse to pretend what’s happening isn’t your problem. I know that you don’t want to judge, but this places your responsibility to admonish a brother on someone else. I get that nobody wants to takes sides. But there are no sides here.
It’s not him versus her. It’s not about your “BRO” versus your “sister.” It’s God versus Satan, right verses wrong, and sin versus righteous. Taking a stand is exactly what the church is supposed to do because by doing nothing, you are choosing a side.
Church, you have a responsibility to confront the yeast in your dough, to cut off the weak branch so that the tree will be made stronger, to say and do something – whether that person is your friend, father, brother, or a 40-year veteran pew-sitter. You do the sinner no favor by turning a blind eye, as they need the humility that only comes from the accountability that only comes from the church.
But wait, it takes two, right?
Wrong. Marriages end for many reasons but a woman is not to blame for her husband’s affair any more than she is to blame for his abuse. By blaming the wife for her husband’s sin, the church is taking the responsibility off of the one who has actually committed the sin and that game is as old as “Eve made me do it.”
The church should not use the fact that a wife isn’t perfect as an excuse to do nothing. Of course she’s not perfect but she didn’t promise perfection at the altar, she promised unconditional love and her imperfection is never an excuse to cheat, abuse, abandon, or bail.
A woman who leaves her husband because he has abandoned her, cheated on her, used, and abused her physically, emotionally, psychologically, or in any other way, shouldn’t be shunned by the church. In fact, she needs the church to come along side her, not cast her out or force her to pay for her wayward husband’s unrepentant mess.
Church … please wake up.
Wives are leaving their husbands at the hands of broken vows, adultery, abandonment, and abuse, and we need you. We need you to raise strong men, confront them when they’re not, and to walk along side the single moms when their husbands choose not to. We need you to put the gasoline down and to not just stand there as our marriages burn.