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  • Writer's pictureBrandon 'b.Side' Alvillar

Why in the world did I get married? Dealing with doubt and regret...

If you stumbled across this looking for some stuff about the Tyler Perry movie, move on. This ain’t it…

If you stumbled across this article because this question describes a thought you’ve had, then keep reading! Don't ignore your doubt. Don't let your regret turn to spite. Deal with it Biblically!

Believe it or not, this is actually a common question among married men. It doesn’t take long to search Google to see that there are quite a few men that even question why they got married, WITHIN 24 HOURS OF THE CEREMONY! That sounds kind of crazy to me, but it’s a reality we have to deal with. In this article, we’re going to talk about how to Biblically process that kind of doubt or regret.

Let me tell you right out of the gate: I’m not here to tell you whether or not you made “the right decision.” The truth is, if you’re married, you made a commitment. From God’s perspective, that’s the end of it. The truth is, you only have two ways of dealing with doubt and regret concerning your marriage. You have God’s way, and the wrong way. You don’t have to take my word for it though. The internet is FILLED with testimonies of people handling this issue some other way besides God’s way. Go ahead and read some of those things, and tell me if those men seem any more satisfied or fulfilled in their lives. The reality is that websites, blogs, and social media readily provide an abundance of information and “perspective” to justify whatever decision we make for ourselves. The Word of God is the only standard that will address the issue in a way where we can grow, mature, and thrive. If you’d rather have that, then read on…

Man's praying with hands on Bible

The first thing that we need to establish is the root of doubt, regret, fear, and things of that nature. Before you look at your wife as the problem, we need to remember that the Bible commands us all to work out OUR OWN salvation with fear and trembling first (Philippians 2:12). When it comes to checking our own attitude about marriage, we need to compare it to God’s attitude about marriage. Here’s how Jesus (God-in-flesh) explained the Biblical standard for marriage. In Matthew 19:3-6, the Bible says:

"The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for [just] any reason?’ And He answered and said to them, ‘Have you not read that He who made [them] at the beginning 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.’"

Here, Jesus quoted the Old Testament, to show His unchanging perspective concerning marriage and His purpose for it. When God created people, the first sort of relationship He created, was a marriage relationship. God did this, to teach an important principle about Himself, and His desire to connect with His people specially and intimately. This is why the Bible teaches that, when a man and woman get married, God sees those two individuals, as a single unit – as one person. That’s why Jesus said, people shouldn’t try to separate the things that God wants to join together.

Now, that doesn’t mean that all divorce is evil and will send you to hell. There are special exceptions that justify divorce that the Bible addresses, but those specific issues of divorce are for another conversation. Look at the question that the Jewish religious leaders asked Jesus. Can you get a divorce for “just any reason?” In the King James Version of the Bible, that phrase reads, “for every cause.” In the NIV, the Bible translates that phrase, “for any and every reason.” The Christian Standard Bible translates the phrase, “on any grounds.” We can see the issue here. The question is:

Can we get divorced for whatever reason we come up with in our minds, where we find any kind of fault with our wives?

Notice how the language subtly tries to cast blame on the wife. The Jewish culture at the time of Jesus, had become very liberal and lax on the divorce issue. If a guy didn’t like something about his wife, suddenly having “doubts and regret,” the religious leaders were permitting guys to get divorced for all kinds of stuff. They would be saying stuff like...

"My wife isn’t measuring up to my personal standards and expectations, so she’s got to go. Never mind my individual responsibility and accountability to the Word of God. I’ll find the right religious leader that will support my decision. I’m not as happy as I thought I would be, so I’ll start over. I'll let doubt and regret govern my marriage, not the LORD."

Sound familiar?

How did Jesus address it? Jesus went back to the original standard and purpose. God sees marriage as an individual man and woman, that used to be separate from each other in their lives, becoming one. Becoming one means that they become unified in purpose, goals, ambitions, and the labor required to succeed in those things. So, does doubt or regret justify a reboot? Not according to the Bible.

If separation or divorce isn’t God’s answer to our issue, what do we do with doubt or regret about being married? What should we check within ourselves – our motives and attitudes – to make sure we’re not just projecting blame against our wives, because we’re not gratifying our personal ambitions?

In Colossians 3:19, the Bible says,

Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.”

As husbands, we’re commanded to love our wives. That command is in total contrast to the next phrase, which says NOT to “be bitter” towards them. The original language describes “bitterness” as exasperation, which means to irritate and frustrate someone intensely. Since the phrase says not to be bitter “toward them,” it means that we shouldn’t look at our wives with bitterness in our hearts against them. We shouldn’t look at them as if they’re irritating our individual way of living. We shouldn’t look at our wives as if they’re frustrating our personal goals and ambitions. The command is to love them. Are you doing that the way the Bible says?

In Ephesians 5:25-27, the Bible says,

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish."

The way we love our wives should be the way that Jesus loved the church. Jesus came into the world as God-in-flesh. He came into the world as the Creator of all things, but in human form, and His own creation didn’t recognize Him. He went to His own people in Israel to share blessings with them, and they rejected Him for it (John 1:10-11). Jesus died to Himself, restraining His glory for our spiritual benefit. He accepted the pain, discomfort, frustration, irritation, and flat-out rejection of His people, never wavering from His purpose to do the work required to forgive sin. He literally and spiritually died to Himself for the spiritual benefit of others. That’s love according to the Bible.

The scriptures NEVER show Jesus doubt His purpose. Jesus NEVER regretted His incarnation, His ministry, or His death. In fact, when His own people put Him on the cross, He said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do (Luke 23:24).” That’s Biblical love.

Think about this: What if Jesus would have approached us, like some of us husbands approach our own wives? What if Jesus had the same attitude towards the world like some of us husbands think of our wives? What if Jesus was governed by doubt and regret instead of love, mercy, and grace?

The Bible is FILLED with illustrations that show how God considers His people, like a loving husband does his wife. While the omniscient LORD God Almighty certainly disciplined His people as the Righteous Judge throughout the ages, He did so with the wisdom, ability, and restraint to make sure that those terrible things, were spiritually fruitful to actually beautify His “wife.” The Bible doesn’t show God expressing “doubt” or “regret” concerning His initial desire to forgive sins, resurrect, and restore dead souls, in order to make us one with Him.

So, this issue of doubt and regret about being married, is all about motives. It’s all about our own hearts, not about our wives. If we're going to deal with this issue, we have to accept that truth. Are we motivated to die to ourselves for the spiritual benefit of our wives? Are we motivated to set aside the pursuit of our own glory and selfish gratification, to build up our wives in the LORD? Is our doubt and regret based on an honest effort to love our wives without bitterness like God’s Word commands? Are we making honest efforts to “wash her in the water of the Word?” Where is the priority of scripture in our marriage relationship?

Look, you don’t need to search for long, to see that a lot of men doubt and regret marriage, MOSTLY because the relationship conflicts with their personal and selfish ambitions. If you’re calling yourself a Christian, born again by the Spirit of God, living by faith in the supreme standard of Jesus as the Son of God and Messiah, you shouldn’t be living for “self.” The FIRST thing Jesus said to those who wanted to follow Him into the Kingdom of Heaven, was that we need to deny self, pick up our cross daily, AND THEN follow Him (Luke 9:23). This is the true standard for ALL true believers. The marriage relationship just gives us men, a more specific objective once we’ve died to ourselves for the day.

How do you deal with doubt and regret about being married? We die to ourselves, so that we can spiritually-beautify our wives by nourishing their souls through the Word of God; trusting God’s promise that treating her this way, will unify our thinking, our ambitions, and satisfaction with one another. It doesn’t mean things will be perfect. It means that we’ll both have the same supreme goal of seeking the LORD and His righteousness. If we husbands lead the charge dying-to-self, the Bible shows that the LORD will encourage her to learn and follow in time. With two people dying to self, there is no conflict with selfish ambitions. There’s a unified effort to seek the LORD, and as the LORD uses you to build her up that way, you’ll find that the LORD appointed you a pretty great helpmate. I speak from personal experience. And let me tell you, when you have those days, where you tune out the selfish voices of “regret” from within, die to self to spiritually build up your wife, and you get to see her grow through your effort, dude that mess is sexy for real…

No regrets there.

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