In Attitudes and Marriage I made the comment that:
A husband that is afraid that he may have everything taken away from him will not act rationally in his best interests in terms of the Biblical roles and responsibilities. What I mean by this is if a husband is in fear that his wife will divorce him, he will not be able to love her through sanctification. He will not be able to call her out and correct her when she is off course. He won’t be able to lead the marriage effectively due to being afraid of the potential consequences of her unhappiness. He won’t be able to stand firm during her moodiness and eventually capitulate. He’ll have a difficult time pushing back against a culture and and the churchians who suggest that “love” is “making his wife happy.”
This is not to say that those going into it with good attitudes will have godly and successful marriages. That certainly is not the case in every circumstance. Everyone has free will and even many people who were following or disciples of Jesus rejected him when the going got rough (e.g. John 6). However, it is true that it is likely that a bad attitude with corresponding responses will eventually lead to marital ruin.
In this context, we can say that a husband who does not fear his wife but only fears God stands a much better chance at having not only a godly marriage but a successful marriage as well.
Any man with a fear of:
- what a woman may do to him if she becomes unhaaapy
- what the government will do to him if his wife files for divorce
- how he will be financially ruined due to the threat point of no fault divorce
- how his life will collapse or be different due to the threat point of no fault divorce
And such things should not marry.
It will contribute to and possibly end up being his own self fulfilling prophecy.
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 19 We love, because He first loved us. 20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.
Having a correct eternal perspective puts you in the right frame of mind to be in a marriage. If you’re playing scared, you’re on the path to destruction.
For me, if my wife left, took the kids, took the house, took all the money, and did everything to screw me that would suck. A lot. I’d fight her every step of the way, but ultimately I know that God’s got my back and I can still be effective at God’s mission without her. I can say at judgment day that I did everything I could to save the marriage but she just walked.