A video from a woman on TikTok explaining her and her husband’s rules for “Christian marriage” has gone viral, with some users particularly taking issue with a rule that a husband and wife should individually have no friends of the opposite sex.
“You want to go out of your way and be alone with men?” asked Bailey, whose handle is @bmcpher, in a follow-up video addressing the controversy. “Or you need to go out of your way behind your wife’s back and be alone with women? That’s a red flag. But ya’ll keep saying I’m insecure. That’s fine.”
Christian Marriage Advice From Bailey
Bailey posted two videos with rules she and her husband follow in their marriage. The first video has gotten 2.5 million plays as of this writing. She included the hashtag #christianmarriage and began the video with text saying, “Rules my Husband and I have for our marriage that make people ANGRY.” Those rules are:
-No friends of the opposite sex
-No work [girlfriends]/ [boyfriends] or being alone with the opposite sex
-No texting the opposite sex without the other knowing
Rules from the second video include:
-No lusting after others (no following scandalous pages)
-Always put each other first (even over parents)
Comments have been turned off for both of the videos, but prior to that, responses reportedly ranged from people who agree with Bailey to people who believe her rules show that her marriage is characterized by distrust, insecurity, and a desire to control the other person.
In her follow-up video about boundaries in Christian marriage, Bailey responded to user @lindseymethner, who had asked, “So you and your husband lose out on potential great friendships because of trust issues?”
At the beginning of her response, Bailey appeared to imply that she was not generalizing this rule for all couples. “It’s not a lack of trust thing so much as it’s just a boundary of respect that we both feel is right for us,” she said.
But Bailey followed that comment by saying, “I feel like if you do personally feel like you do need those companionships specifically with the opposite sex that you cannot somehow get with your spouse or those of the same sex, that’s a problem.”
Bailey explained that she and her husband avoid making new friendships with the opposite sex, although they do maintain such friendships if they made them prior to getting married. If either Bailey or her husband were to meet with a friend of the opposite sex in person, the two would meet with that friend as a couple. If Bailey were to text a male friend, she would let her husband know that she had done so, and vice versa.
The rules not to have work boyfriends or girlfriends and not to be alone with the opposite sex are the “bare minimum,” said Bailey. “If it sounds like prison to not respect your spouse like that…that’s a red flag.” In the caption for the video, she wrote, “At the end of the day, I don’t expect non-Christians to understand Christian marriages.”
However, even among Christians, there are different opinions regarding how to handle opposite-sex relationships, and what is beneficial for one couple might not be for another. It is worth noting as well that a common critique of the purity culture movement is that it sexualized relationships, making it difficult for men and women to have healthy friendships with one another.