Men cheat.

Men fail.

Men don’t lead.

Men don’t sacrifice enough.

Men are pigs.

Men leave.

Lack of male leadership is what leads to unsubmissive and rebellious wives.

“Marriage, for the male especially, is not 50/50. Manhood doesn’t require her to scratch your back before you’ll scratch hers.”

There seems to be a prevailing attitude in the church and culture at large that marital failure sits largely in the laps of men. Men are the reason divorce is so rampant. Men are the reason marriages fall apart.

There is an attitude that when wives rebel it is the fault of weak-willed husbands. If only the man had been a strong hand in her life and given her a good reason to submit.

There is an idea that no matter what a woman does to her husband he is to bear it without any stumbling. He is to die completely to self, even if it means bearing up under abuse and abandonment. After all, Christ did it for His bride, right?

Before I ask “Where is the accountability for wives?” I also have to point out the obnoxious cultural and church attitudes towards women.

When your man strays it’s your fault because you didn’t fulfill his needs.

If your husband is abusive you need to just submit. Eventually you will win him over.

If your husband finds other women more attractive than you it’s probably because you let yourself go. It’s your job to keep up your image so he finds you desirable.

Where is the accountability in marriage?

Why do we insist on pointing fingers every direction when there is strife in marriage? Why can’t we accept the truth that marriage is a uniting of two sinful people who each bear a bit of guilt for the burdens of the relationship?

Women bear responsibility for their lack of submission. Men bear responsibility for their lack of headship.

One of my favorite things about the Bible’s marital instruction is that it is clear, concise, and aimed at both parties to the marriage contract. Neither party can rightly look at the instructions and say “that’s not fair!” And while there is certainly depth and breadth to the council, the words are plain as day and can be read as such. A husband can look at his words and actions and say “Are these loving?” and a wife can look at hers and ask “am I being submissive?”

Each marriage and each member of the marriage has the freedom to apply those concepts according to their own unique perspective and situation. The Bible is not bondage, unlike the laws of men. There is a freedom in the simple instruction of the Word that is not found in the rigid, strict dictates of men.

Most quotes and books about marriage are tilted one direction or the other when it comes to blame or responsibility. They read something like this “if your marriage is bad or in a rough patch it’s probably your fault. You’re not doing enough of this. If you were fulfilling your role precisely like you should, things wouldn’t be this bad.”

While there is nothing wrong with taking self-responsibility for your actions and making sure you are doing everything in your power to make the marriage work, there is no guarantee that if you do so your marriage will be great. There is still another person in the equation: A sinner, someone who likely does the marriage thing just as imperfectly as you do.

As a partner in a married team, you shouldn’t take all the blame for bad places in the marriage. Nor should you lay the blame completely at the feet of the other. You have your responsibility and he/she has his/hers. You do the right things and you help your spouse do theirs.

Bad marriages and divorce are everybody’s fault.

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