Sometimes I feel like I just want to run away. He keeps me around for convenience, appearance, and sex, and I just can’t do it anymore.”
“He spends every evening in the basement, looking at other women on his computer. I have no marriage.”
“I suppose I should be happy. He provides well for me, and we’re doing God’s work. But he doesn’t love me. I feel so lonely.”
I often hear from women who are disappointed in their marriage. Their hearts are empty and sad. I also hear from men who feel like they can never do enough to make their wives happy, even if they try.
A woman’s heart is a delicate thing. Neglect to “feed” and care for it, and it will wither and shrivel up into nothing. Make too many withdrawals from it without making enough deposits, and it will soon become bankrupt. Bruise it, batter it, beat it up, and it will either go into hiding or morph into something ugly and destructive.
In God’s ideal world a woman would get many of her needs for intimacy, protection, challenge, and love met by her husband. And many women are blessed to have many of those needs met in their marriage now.
But when a woman feels unloved by her husband anything else good in life can feel rather meaningless. And it’s especially for you that we look into the Bible today.
Here are some messages from Scripture for you if you’re a woman who feels unloved in your marriage:
- God loves you. Yes, you’ve heard that before. But He really does! And not just in some nebulous, generic way. He loves you with that fierce, protective, jealous, unselfish, kind, and tender love you probably wish for from your husband. “For your Maker is your husband– the LORD Almighty is his name– the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer.” (Isa 54:5) That’s not just for single women: that’s for you too!
- You are responsible to care for your heart. It’s easy to fall into the trap of waiting for someone else – your husband – to make you feel loved, to fill your empty soul. But that’s actually YOUR responsibility. “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” (Prov 4:23) There are many things you can and should do to keep your soul filled up. It may not feel the same as “husband love,” but you can definitely still choose to be happy.
- Feeling “unloved” is not a reason to leave your husband. This is not the place for a full Biblical discussion of divorce, but the Bible presents a very high standard. Although being unhappy in your marriage may be painful, it’s not a reason to divorce in Jesus’ eyes. “Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Mark 10:9) And who knows: God’s transforming grace may yet transform your marriage.
- Focus most of your energy on loving others rather than worrying about being loved. The love God has for you is a giving, unselfish love. That’s the kind of love Jesus asks you to display to others, whether or not you are loved in return. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34) And it takes experiencing God’s love to be able to do that.
- God wants to be the One to love you enough to satisfy you. There is a God-shaped hole in your heart that only God can fill. He wants to satisfy you: “Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?” (Isa 55:2) The desires He has planted in your heart are best directed first and most to Him. “My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water.” (Psalm 63:1)
God understands what it’s like to feel chronically lonely. He knows what it is to never feel like your love is being returned in kind.
But He also can be the Source of love to fill your empty heart, and perhaps transform your marriage also.
P.S. If you are struggling in a marriage affected by violence, addiction, or abuse, please get some further help. Here are a few thoughts I have on the subject.
A few other resources you may find helpful:
- Boundaries In Marriage, by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
- Happiness Is A Choice, by Frank Minerth and Paul Meier
- 25 Messages Women Hear
If you feel unloved, what do you hear the Bible saying to you? Feel free to leave a comment below.
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