When the Man Will Not Be a Good Man

A wedding in 1891. Public Domain. Credit.

When the man will not be a good man—
It makes the good wife’s life a living hell.

They are not equally yoked, and she must
Strain not only against the light burden
To which they each are hitched, but also
Against the full weight of the unruly man himself,
Who doesn’t want to pull that burden where it should go.
And she is ever torn between the two, and has no rest.

If he does not repent before then,
It is after death that her relief comes,
For then the woman meets that ultimate Man
That heavenly Husband to whom all the good are
To be eternally married in a spiritual sense.
And as he wipes away her tears, the starkness
Of his righteousness immediately validates
Her long struggle and gives her heart release—

And the lousy husband meets Him, too,
And having never learned to yield to authority,
He may see The Righteous One instead
As The Great I Told You So
To whom he would not listen for so long,
And cannot help but to listen now.

And he will surely be shown what he might have had—
And what she might have had—
Had he simply been willing.

And God will know just what to do with that man.

21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Ephesians 5:21-33. NIV

NOTE: As for the picture, I have no idea who these people were, or what their marriage was like. I was simply looking for a good photo for this post and I was thrilled to discover one with the bride in black, and not looking happy. What an image! And as for the groom, could it possibly fit my poem any better than that he should be looking askance like this, as if afraid to look the world in the eye? Meanwhile, the bride’s gaze is harder to read, as it seems a bit ambiguous to me. As I have shamelessly commandeered the image to fit my purposes, I imagine her hoping to meet the eye of someone who understands what she has gotten into—and who can offer some hope of relief!

A wedding in 1891. Public Domain. Credit.

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