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A Miserable Couple

By:  Donna Martin

You would think with names like Herod and Herodias they would be a cute couple who were so in love.  But their story reads like the plot of a modern day soap opera – manipulative wife and an ambitious but weak husband in an incestuous relationship with a step daughter caught in the middle and a Godly many losing his head over the whole ordeal.

You can read the entire story in Mark 6:14-29.  The summary of the story is that Herod had taken his brother Philip’s wife, Herodias.  John the Baptist had told Herod that is was unlawful for him to be married to Herodias.  This angered Herodias and she held a grudge against John the Baptist.  In fact she was so angry at John that she wanted him dead.  It is interesting that the Bible tells us that Herod knew John was a righteous man, so he didn’t want to kill him.  In fact, he enjoyed listening to John.  I’m sure this infuriated Herodias even more.  So much that she used her daughter to manipulate Herod into killing John. 

We read this story and are quick to condemn both spouses, however, the Bible is God’s word and is written to convict us of our sins.  Have you ever been guilty of manipulating your spouse?  Men and women both do it in subtle and not so subtle ways - buying tickets to a game that just happens to be on the same weekend of your mother-in-law’s birthday party, belittling your spouse in front of his friends so that he feels like a child, using your children to get your way, refusing to have anything to do with your spouse’s friends, pouting until you get what you want, acting like you are sick so you get out of doing something your spouse really wants to do.

How about standing up for what you know is right.  Herod knew it was unlawful to execute John without a trial, but he couldn’t back down on his promise to his stepdaughter, especially in front of his friends.  His pride caused him to be too weak to do what was right.  His lust caused him to steal his wife from his brother.  Hopefully you have never had someone killed or stolen someone’s wife, but have you let your spouse, or your boss, or your friend influence you to do something that was wrong or dishonest?  Or perhaps you have not done something that you knew you should do because you knew your spouse would complain if you did.

I think the moral of the story of Herod and Herodias is:  Women stop trying to manipulate your husbands and husbands be men – be the spiritual leader of your family that God has called you to be.  How differently this story might have ended if Herod had been a true leader in his family and had empathically told Herodias there was no way he was going to kill John.  Perhaps he would have continued to listen to John and eventually become a great leader and a follower of Christ.  What a difference that could have made in his family.

The Martins currently present “Happy Together” Marriage Enrichment Events for churches and organizations.  To schedule an event call Michael at 940-735-1515. They are certified “Prepare/Enrich” Facilitators and are available to work with couples on an individual basis using the “Prepare/Enrich Assessment.”  They publish a weekly “Happy Together” Blog about family and marriage issues.  You can order copies of their new books Dancing With Death and 366 Tidbits We Have Learned in 14,610 Days of Marriage, read, and subscribe to their “Happy Together” Blog by logging onto the Martin’s website at

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