“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.”
That’s how Psalm 22 begins. And look at the start of Psalm 13:
“How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?“
The original Hebrew didn’t have punctuation, so sometimes I wonder if passages like these are missing some exclamation points. The psalmist David might as well be knocking on Heaven’s door and yelling, “Helloooo! Helloooo! Is anyone there?!!!”
Some of you could go back and re-read those passages in your own voice with the subject being the sexual intimacy in your marriage. You wonder if God has forsaken you, if He’s forgotten you, if He’s hiding.
But maybe you also wonder if it’s okay to yell at God about how you feel. Perhaps you logically agree that it’s all right — after all, King David, a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 4:13), did it — but in practice you feel guilty pouring out your anger to God.
Here’s why it might be a good idea to just go ahead and yell when praying about your struggles:
1. Owning your feelings. A lot of women were raised with Nice Girl Syndrome, where we don’t feel like it’s proper to express anger. Disappointment or sadness, sure. But anger? Isn’t that a bad thing?
We point to scriptures that warn against anger, like James 1:19-20: “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” But a look at Scripture as a whole shows two different kinds of anger: selfish rage and intolerance of injustice. What James is talking about here is the former, anger that comes from pride (also true in Ephesians 4:31 and Colossians 3:8).
When David expresses his anger toward God, it’s about genuine hardship he’s experiencing and a desire for God to uphold his just cause. By embracing his anger, David aligns His own feelings with God’s feelings about injustice in the world.
I believe that God is also upset when marriages are failing or flailing and when sexual intimacy isn’t everything it could be in the marriage bed. It’s okay to own and express that anger to your Father who cares.
2. Connecting to the Source.
If your car breaks, you don’t ask a physician to look at it; you turn to the mechanic. Likewise, if you’ve been praying or working toward better sexual intimacy and nothing is going right, who will you turn to? Who will express your frustration to?
By going ahead and yelling at God a bit, you’re essentially recognizing that He Is the Source of answers. You can let off some steam in His presence, because He can take it and ultimately He’s the one who can truly rescue you — even if it doesn’t look like what you expect.
The remainder of Psalm 13 is this:
“Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
and my enemy will say, ‘I have overcome him,’
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
for he has been good to me.”
The psalmist knows that even if he doesn’t understand why it’s taking so long, God is the only one who can truly provide what he needs. He’s not looking in the wrong place, but going to the Source for answers.
If you’re not telling God how you feel and what you long for, maybe you’re ignoring Him. And I feel pretty sure He’d rather you yell and work through your emotional pain with His arms there to comfort you: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).
3. Opening up to His answer.
You know that God wants to bless your marriage bed, but it hasn’t happened yet. Like David, that creates conflict in your mind and your soul: Do you believe that God will improve your sexual intimacy? Or do you give up? It’s not easy to tell someone who’s struggled for a long time to remain hopeful. As Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Who doesn’t to trade a sick heart for a tree of life?
But this verse and many stories from the Bible show us the importance of letting God have His way. We don’t always understand what He’s doing, but if we come before with honest hurt and open hearts, He can show us a better path to take.
Later in Psalm 22, David says: “But you, Lord, do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me.” Although He isn’t sure what God will do for him, David reassures himself that “[God] has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.”
God indeed rescued David, though not by the schedule or method David wanted or even expected. Maybe he had to actually go through this anger with God and humble himself before God’s throne to become fully open to how God wanted to work in his life. Maybe we need to do the same.
I think it’s okay to yell at God sometimes. It’s not okay to dismiss God or to hold grudges against Him. Rather, by expressing your deep frustration, you can work through your emotions and grow in trusting your Father to help and heal you.
Have you struggled with feeling angry at God? Have you ever yelled at Him in prayer?
See also: GotAnswers.org – What does the Bible say about anger?
6 thoughts on “Is It Okay to Yell at God about Your Marriage?”
Psalm 13 is my go to on unpleasant and unfulfilled days, and there are a lot of them thanks
I don’t yell at God about my marriage, but people much more expect that I yell at him about the pain and humiliations of the pancreatic malignancy that is slowly killing me.
They’d expect it, but it doesn’t happen…and some folks – including my wife get kind of peeved at my “some days you de windshield, some days you de bug” attitude.
It does cause strain; my wife gets so tired of my relatively lighthearted attitude that she sometimes thinks I don’t need her compassion. If I’m good to go, why worry about me?
I think she suspects it’s a “tough guy” act, or a sort of lunatic Stoicism. That may be true. I hope not, but one can never fully judge one’s own character.
So I guess the point is that maybe we need to be able to cry out to God, to join the other voices that are crying out in our behalf. Maybe I can cry out to Him in protest for my wife’s anguish?
I don’t know, and I apologize for this long and somewhat tangential comment.
Right now I’m reeling from pain and nausea – this comment’s taken over an hour to compose, because of that – but still…I figure that with all this manure of illness that’s filled up the drawing-room of my life…there’s GOT to be a pony here somewhere!
I have yelled and yelled at Him since the loss of my baby boy. I know He must be ok with it because every time I do, He listens to me then gently leads me out of the anger, questioning and pleading and back into His comforting, loving arms where it doesn’t hurt quite so bad. He knows our deepest feelings anyway so we might as well own them ourselves and let Him into those places of brokenness.
Oh Shelly, my heart aches for you. Such a tough loss. May God give you much, much comfort.
I had something like a midlife crisis several years ago when a young woman I met at another job site through my work was very friendly to me and was quite over in her interest in me even though she know I was married. Nothing ever came of it because I’m not stupid. But the mere fact of her interest and her solicitous nature was enough to send me over the edge.
I went back to my home town, not thinking about the woman, but thinking about the stark contrast between the attention and respect I got from her and the negative attention and disrespect that was a constant aspect of how my wife treated me.
You name it. Blame for every problem. Complaints about everything she has to do. Problems with messy children who have lots of problems. In-Laws that are in our business constantly. No peace. No privacy. And no sex.
This is what I signed up for God? This is what I married for? Are there any women out there who care about the marriage bed other than as a place to fall asleep at 8:30 PM? Sure I get it. Everyone has good days and bad days. But 15 years of bad days? Months and months of no sex and no respect.
For the first time in my life I understood why some men are tempted by affairs. It isn’t the sex. It’s the respect. It’s the attention. It’s the soft voices and sweet smiles of a young woman’s face. But it is also a big lie. Satan’s lie. A fraud. But then there is what is not a lie. The home I return to after a long trip on business. A place of no soft voices and no sweet smiles.
Why God? I want to scream. I don’t want to sin. But I also don’t want to spend the rest of my life being sexless and miserable. Do you really care, God? What is my evidence? If you really cared why do you let my wife get pregnant so quickly after sex resumed after long dry spells? Why did you make every pregnancy so awful that sex was off the table.
Why did she have to want to breastfeed each child for two years and never feel like sex because all of her hormones were being used up. Why did you give me in-laws that never leave and children that never sleep and bills that can’t get paid?
I have no answers. I see no light at the end of the tunnel. Is this just a season of life? Season’s are supposed to be shorter than this. Maybe it IS my life. That brief 4 month window of sexual frequency at the beginning of our marriage was the exception. Maybe that is another one of Satan’s lies. Give him false hope so he’ll hang in there hoping for something better. Then keeping him waiting year after year until he feels one brief moment of appreciation from an attractive woman who is off limits.
The only wait to hurt a man who has lost everything is to give him something broken.
I can hear the ache, the emotional pain, in your comment and my heart feels so heavy as I read it. This is certainly not what wants for your marriage, for either of you. This one issue you mentioned — “Why did she have to want to breastfeed each child for two years and never feel like sex because all of her hormones were being used up?” — I almost want to answer directly, because those were the dry spell years in my marriage. I had little to no interest, and yes, it was partially related to breastfeeding. I have no regrets about nursing, because it was a very good thing for me as a mom and for my kids, but I have apologized to my husband for not prioritizing our sexual intimacy, because I’ve learned it really isn’t an either/or (breastfeed/have sex drive); there were ways to have both that I didn’t pursue.
I also wonder what your wife would cry out as part of her “Why, God?” yelling. I suspect you both feel lonely in this marriage, and I pray heartily that you can find ways to reach out, connect again, and discover intimacy of all kinds. Yes, you should be having regular sex in your marriage, and I pray that a breakthrough happens. Saying a prayer for you. Many blessings.
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