Not Dating Your Wife Is Not ‘Sin’

Recently a commenter left a remark aimed at one of my own comments in which I stated that if I had a friend who was experiencing marital issues and had informed me that he was not spending time with his wife that the first thing I would recommend to him would be to take the initiative and do just that – spend time with his wife. This amazingly simple (sometimes) act can actually clear up a lot of problems, real or perceived, in a marriage relationship and really only takes a little effort on the part of a husband.

However, I would not in any way, shape or form, tell him that he was in sin by not spending time with or “dating” his wife. The concept of sinning against God for not spending time with your wife or taking her out on dates is a Christo-feminist scary story meant to control men into giving their wives control over their time and money. Nowhere in the bible does it say that lack of interaction with your wife is a sin and to say so is to add to the bible that which is not there.

Now, that is not to say that there isn’t WISDOM in spending time with and getting to know your wife. In fact the bible says it is beneficial to us husbands:

1 Peter 3:7

Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

Not only does it keep our prayers from being hindered but it also has the simple effect of making for a more mellow wife.

1 Peter 3:7 tells us to live with our wives “with understanding” and though some take that to mean sitting down and talking and getting to know our wives I would argue that it simply means that husbands should understand that their wives are WOMEN, and therefore NOT MEN. They get emotional and cry at silly things, they get angry sometimes over what appears to be nothing, they are (typically) weaker physically and mentally and thus require different tact than when you are dealing with your guy friends. Again I point out that there can be much wisdom in sitting down and spending time with your wife, but I don’t see where it could be accounted to sin, and that is the heart of this post.

Indeed if this were the case then the men of biblical times were hosed! Working in days not to long ago might require a man to be gone for long periods of time – years even! I will again point out the film In the Heart of the Sea in which the main character informs his wife, who is pregnant, that he wont be back for two years. Two. Years. Was he in sin? Were all men in sin who had to live such lives? The movie portrayed him as someone who had a good relationship with his wife (he was based on an actual, living person), was he required to do more to avoid condemnation?

King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines, yet his sin was not that he didn’t know them or that he didn’t date them. I would have little to no doubt that he likely didn’t know many of their names except for when he was interested in spending time with them (if you catch my drift), yet his sin was that he let the women in his life turn him away from the one true God, not that he didn’t set aside time to spend with them to get to know them.

Nothing in scripture indicates that not getting to know your wife more intimately is a sin and men should not be burdened by it as such. This doesn’t mean to cast your wife aside and ignore her though. You got to know her well enough that you wanted to marry her and she wanted to marry you – there should be minimal excuses as to why you cannot spend SOME kind of time with her. Indeed if your marriage is having issues one of the first things you should look at inwardly is “Does my wife even feel like I care about her?”. This should be an intelligent assessment. If you already spend tons of time with your wife and she complains about wanting more, or if you find that you cant do ANYTHING alone and that she has to be involved in every aspect of your time then you can probably rule out “spend more time with her” or “get to know her” as an issue. If you find that you go a few days without even really saying anything beyond “hey” or “hi” or if you have to see if you can squeeze your wife into an empty spot on your schedule for the month then you may want to consider taking the steps to spend some quality time with her.

After all, a good relationship with your wife can be a great joy without being a great burden. I recently read a post on Reddit in which the poster outlined all the ways he invited his wife to participate in his adventures. By doing this he would not only get to spend time with her but he would be generating excitement and fun while maintaining his leadership in the relationship. If she didn’t want to participate then oh well, he would go do what he wanted to do, but the invitation was there. And it wasn’t all expensive trips and dates either, some of it was just goofy fun stuff like throwing a ton of glow sticks in the bathroom and inviting her to shower with the lights off. Nothing incredible, but something fun and memorable.

Be smart. You married her, make your wife a part of your life. Invite her along on your adventure, but don’t sweat if you go through periods of time when you can’t. Your marriage may go through some stress (welcome to marriage!), but you are not in sin.


Author: SnapperTrx

Just a guy on the internet.

5 thoughts on “Not Dating Your Wife Is Not ‘Sin’”

  1. I think we both disagree with the “happy wife, happy life ” talk as well as the idea that wives are precious china that must be petted and pampered. I also realize that from what you have posted in non-protected posts that your wife would probably disagree with that last statement, so to a small extent, I can understand where you’re coming from. However, I don’t think you can make as broad and sweeping claim as you do.

    James 4 talks about our submission to God and verse 17 says if someone knows to do good and doesn’t, that is sin. So I think it is definitely possible for a man to sin in this way, but that is unrelated to the sense of female entitlement I’m guessing you were mainly addressing.

    I think your point about men in history being gone for months or even years isn’t as good as it appears at first because you could say that about sex just as easily as you can about dating. There’s also the idea of doing what one can. I work nights and prefer to have a small nap when I get home (particularly when I work back to back nights). When my husband was in class all day during intensive week, I was unable to. But nobody would catch my husband telling me not to sleep now because I didn’t that week. I did what I needed to then and he lets me sleep when I can now. No reason men shouldn’t do the same as my husband.

    I agree with the issues you see in a lot of women today, just not sure this is the best way to combat it.

    1. This particular post is not meant to combat the “happy wife, happy life” narrative so much as to battle the unnecessary guilt and shame piled on husbands for not meeting a wife’s over-inflated expectations (where they exist). I don’t understand what “broad and sweeping claim” I have made. My point is that there is no scripture imparting sin to those husbands who do not meet some invisible quota of dates or time spent with ones wife. I never said it wasn’t a bad idea not to get to know ones wife or take her out, but a bad idea and sin are not the same thing. I take my wife out when certain things line up right – money, time, her attitude, etc. For someone to tell me I am in sin, SIN, for not taking her out more often than that is preaching a false gospel! Sin separates us from God. Is spending less than 12 hours a month and 1 date a week with my wife separating me from God? That’s a pretty bold claim to make if one says YES. Yet this is what some people preach! All this does is pile unneeded stress and worry on a husband, as well as cause him to make some serious mistakes financially.

      I don’t see how James 4:17 would be applicable here. Look at the verse in context. James does not simply blurt out “to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”, he is referencing what he just talked about in the preceding verses. What did he just talk about? To summarize, the headers for the preceding verses in my bible say:

      – Pride promotes strife (you do not have because you do not ask)
      – Humility cures worldliness (submit to God, humble yourself)
      – Do not judge a brother (do not speak evil of one another)
      – Do not boast about tomorrow

      Therefore, those who knows to do good (as seen above) and do not do them, to him it is sin. I don’t see anything about spending time with wives or dates indicated in the preceding verses or even where that would fall into one of these categories.

      The point about men in history is that if there is some type of undocumented quota or requirement for time spent with ones wife in order to “know her” then these men would have all been condemned for not meeting said quota. Certainly some would have “done what they could”, but in the harshness of the times there are many that probably wouldn’t. Our modern conveniences mean that when I get home from work, even if I am gone for a month, I don’t have to repair my home to ensure my family will have adequate shelter before I leave again. I don’t have to worry about tending to animals, planting crops, or spending time in business before I leave again. Many men in those times likely didn’t have that same convenience – were they in sin, then?

      A man loves his wife by breaking his body and mind for her every day to ensure she has adequate food, clothing and shelter. The bible DOES say that one who does not provide THESE things is in sin, and worse than an unbeliever! There is no similar verse for one who does not provide ‘feelings’.

      Again, this post was not meant to address issues with women, but to bring husbands to the realization that they are not committing sin if they do not spend a certain amount of time with their wives, despite what some might tell them.

  2. I never said anything husband needed to meet a certain quota and would argue that none should exist as all relationships are different. I was looking at the verse in context but ‘good’ is not limited to those specific things you mentioned. God gives us a brain, the Holy Spirit, and the wisdom of seeking out multiple counselors. If a man senses that God is telling him to spend some time with his wife and he doesn’t, he is sinning by disobedience. So the broad claim that a man can never be in sin by not dating his wife isnt accurate, but I agree that there is no weekly quota or anything like that.

    The point I’m making really isn’t about dating one’s spouse as it is about submitting our lives to Christ and following His direction for our lives.

    1. Quota is my word, as it seems like many espouse a mysterious quota that must be met for men to be in some kind of compliance. At least they did in the books I have read, as well as some of the marriage seminars I have attended. “Are you dating your wife enough?”, well, how much is enough? Who makes the determination? That is what I a referring to.

      As I said before, I would, firstly, recommend a friend spend time with his wife if he indicated that they were having some issues and he admitted that he didn’t spend much time with her, and I can see where that might fall under “if one knows to do good but does not do it”. And if a man senses God is moving him to spend time with his wife then, yes, to not do so would be sin, but I am not talking about such an instance, I am talking about the modern day church and marriage recovery business pushing that not spending time with/dating your wife is sin. What you have just used as an example is being disobedient to God, which is a far cry from the sin of not dating your wife. That’s like eating a slice of pizza God told you not to eat. You have committed the sin of being disobedient to God, not the sin of eating pizza because eating pizza is not sin.

  3. Snapper,

    Another great post. I agree that the Bible never commands men to date their wives. But I think I Peter 3:7 requires husbands to know and honor their wives lest their prayers be hindered.

    God literally won’t hear our prayers if we don’t at least make a good faith effort to know our wives. I agree with you though that there is no quota for this and certainly the wife is not the determiner of how much time her husband must spend with her.

    You are absolutely correct that a man because of military or other business commitments may have to be away for extended periods of time and there is no sin in this. But a man should be able to answer in clear a conscious to God that he is making a good faith effort to know his wife to the best of his ability.

    Our Pastor teaches that men should date their wives “weekly” like it is in the Bible but then he ignores all the passages on submission. It is pretty said that he preaches what is not in the Scriptures as if it were and he does not preach what is plainly their in the text. But this is how feminism has poisoned the church.

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