Question: (paraphrased) My daughter became a Christian after marriage, but her husband is unsaved, and an alcoholic. They have been married for several years and have a teenage son. She has stayed with him to be obedient to God. Her husband works, stops to drink, then comes home and eats dinner and passes out. He is not a husband to his wife or a father to his son.
She has been in this situation so long it is keeping her from getting closer to God. Her husband doesn’t acknowledge her and only loves her for the things she does for him. She has been unable to get good advice, only that she should “kill him with kindness” or that she should accept the blame or change her attitude. It makes me furious with God that she has put all of her effort into this marriage and nothing has changed.
Answer: I am not sure we got your entire story, but we have enough to get the sense of what you are experiencing. My heart goes out to you and your daughter and her son. I am sure Christians will start praying for you as a result of your story. Let me assure you on the authority of God’s word He is far more concerned than you can even imagine. He knows every detail of our lives; He created us and cares about every single thing that happens to us!
I believe there are answers if you will put your total trust and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to solve the problems you expressed so vividly. Also, I know you are probably thinking, “He will say something about my anger with God.” God knows you have anger, but sometimes our anger is misdirected. Our anger should be aimed at Satan for causing such trouble in people’s lives. When Jesus was confronted with something even more serious than what you are experiencing, He wept. I believe He wept because of the results and devastation sin has caused in the world.
“And when she had said these things, she went her way and secretly called Mary her sister, saying, ‘The Teacher has come and is calling for you.’ As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly and came to Him. Now Jesus had not yet come into the town, but was in the place where Martha met Him. Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and comforting her, when they saw that Mary rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, ‘She is going to the tomb to weep there.’ Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, ‘Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.’
Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. And He said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to Him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, ‘See how He loved him!’ And some of them said, ‘Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?’ Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone.’
Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him ‘Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?’ Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.’ Now when He had said these thing, He cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth!’ And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Loose him, and let him go.'” (John 11:28-44)
Some say if He had not said “Lazarus” all the dead would have come forth! You say what does this passage of scripture have to do with my situation? It has everything to do with it, when we are at our wits end, we know there is nowhere to turn but to Him. As strange as it may sound that is exactly where He wants us to be, now He has the answers, the question is do we trust Him?! Jesus wants me to tell you that He feels the same way about your situation and your daughter’s situation as He felt when He stood at the tomb of Lazarus. He loves you just the same as he loved Mary and Martha in their distress! He still hates what Satan is doing to lives today, and He has the answers, but we have to continue to trust Him, and to continue to pray. One day all sin will be done away with!
First, remember it is not God who caused the problems; there are consequences from our choices, and the choices of others. On the other hand, people need to start where they are at now. Your daughter does not have to divorce her husband, nor does she have to stay with him. Another option is separation. There are other kinds of abuse besides the physical. It sounds like there is emotional and possibly mental abuse going on, God wants to be first in the life, and if this is not happening, separation is a possibility.
Alcohol and drugs do terrible things to lives and families, and that is one reason we have articles about this very subject. Here is a testimony to what really happens when drink is involved. Women have stayed with someone like this and ended up dead when their spouse became violent after drinking. In your case it seems there are other abuses besides the physical, but you need to understand that the psychological or soul is just as important if not more important then the physical body! She cannot stay in a situation where she is dying inside, and her son is being neglected. I would venture to say this man does not fully realize how he has hurt his wife and his family by his drinking and actions. Nor will he see it as serious until she lets him know that she will have to leave if he is going to continue this life style.
This does not mean when a person leaves a husband that they have to get a divorce. You can continue to pray that God does a miracle in his life, and that he is gloriously saved and changed, but short of this, she would not need to return to him. Our study on 1 Corinthians would be helpful in this area. The section you want to look at is Part Two chapter 7. I don’t have all the answers, but God does! I will say, now that others are praying for you, you will see some changes taking place! You have to remember, though, that sometimes when we pray it looks like things are getting worse at first, that is because Satan doesn’t like what’s going on. Just remember he is a defeated foe, we have read the last chapter of the Bible that says this is so!!!
I could not tell for sure if your daughter, her son and you are attending a good Bible believing church or not, but if you aren’t you need to find one right away! Pray for the right one, and God will lead you there by His Holy Spirit. There the pastor can counsel you on what the Bible teaches. You need to read the Bible and meditate on it each day, we have a two year Bible reading chart that you can use to get into the word. Then pray and have others praying for your daughter and her son. By the way, mom, it is good you are concerned about her, and well you should be, but you can only advise her in love, she has to do the rest.
We will be praying, and remember Jesus is still the same person that He was when He raised Lazarus from the dead! There is nothing too hard for Him!
Yours in Christ,
Gary T. Panell
For more information email me at [email protected]