When my Husband Hurts Me – What Does God Desire Me to Do?

Marriage was designed and instituted by God to represent the very profound mystery of the relationship between Christ and His beloved church.

The roles of husband and wife are not interchangeable!!  The Church does not provide for Christ.  The Church is not stronger than Christ.  Christ doesn’t submit to the will of the Church.  Of course, He submitted to the will of His Father in dying for her, and what He does is always out of love and for her best interest even if He must sacrifice Himself.  The Church does not have authority over Christ to tell Him what to do.  But she can entreat Him for help and mercy.  She can ask for what she needs, knowing He has all the wealth of the universe at His disposal to assist Her in accomplishing His will.  He is the Prince and She is His Princess – and He will share His royalty and paradise with Her!

LIVING OUT THE MYSTERY IN REAL LIFE

The mystery of Christ and the Church does fall short in human marriage.  Marriage is HARD!!!!!!  And PAINFUL!!!!!  Sin hurts all of us- our own sin and our spouse’s sin.  Marriage, after all, has two sinful human partners.  Husbands are not infallible like Christ is.  Husbands make mistakes.  Husbands have shortcomings and sin natures.  Husbands lose their temper wrongly or can be selfish, unloving, dishonest, hateful or even cruel at times.  And wives definitely can be hateful, bitter, unforgiving, unloving, vengeful, disrespectful, and cause a world of pain and hurt, too.

Right now, though, let’s focus on those inevitable times when our husbands sin against us and hurt us, when they lash out at us, and purposely or accidentally hurt us… when things go wrong (which they WILL!), what are we as Christian wives to do?

I’d love to hear your feedback- what you have learned over the years, and, with your permission, I would love to share your insights and wisdom with the group.

THE CHURCH AND CHRIST

If there were somehow a problem between the Church and Christ, how should she approach Him?  With screaming, tantrums, pouting, name-calling, guilt, nagging, accusations, bitterness, pride, arrogance and a holier-than-thou attitude?  That would be extremely inappropriate considering Who Jesus is as well as the royal position of the Church in relation to Christ and all He has done for her.  She has much more dignity and self-respect than that.  She has her faith in Christ and also in God.  She doesn’t need to resort to infantile methods to get her Husband’s attention.  She may boldly approach Him for help and mercy in Her time of need.  But she always approaches with great reverence, knowing how powerful He is and Who He is.  She has a meek, humble attitude.  She has poise, dignity, grace and self-control.  She seeks His best and has a disposition to be agreeable to His will and to say yes to His desires.

WHY RESPECT MY HUSBAND WHEN HE SINNED AGAINST ME?

Even if a husband sins against his wife, he is designed to respond to respect.   His sinfulness does not negate God’s command to the wife to respect him. 

In fact, when a man is disobeying God, it is his wife’s very respect – and peaceful and gentle spirit that does not give way to fear – that will draw him back to God and help him see the enormity of his mistake and his accountability for her well being.

Any HINT of disrespect will generally push a husband put up his protective wall to keep his wife out of his heart – or will tempt him to lash out against her in more anger.  If she lashes out and sins in her pain, she will alienate him further- not entice him to return and to reconcile.  And if she sins against him in retaliation, she will give him plenty of ammo to hold against her and then he’ll be thinking about what she did wrong, NOT what he did wrong.

Her gentle, peaceful, respectful way of confronting him to say he hurt her will cause him to only see his own wrongdoing and to have his own hateful words ringing in his ears and will make him want to scoop her up and protect her and make things right.  I implore all of us – when dealing with a husband who is hurting us – tread carefully here!

Yes, he has wronged me (the Bible promises us that all people sin and stumble in MANY ways- there are no perfect people here!), but if I retaliate or handle this situation wrongly, I will create a much wider chasm than he did.

Gary Thomas in “Sacred Influence” says that the time I am most tempted to sin is when I am sinned against- HOW TRUE!  God’s goal is unity.  I am called to speak the truth in love to my husband.  I do need to RESPECTFULLY and BRIEFLY bring up wrongs when I am sinned against directly to the one who hurt me, but with the goal of reconciliation in my marriage and between and my husband and God.   This frame of mind can help us be respectful, peace-loving, patient, gentle and keep what is best for our husband in mind if we do need to bring up an attitude or action or words of his that were hurtful.  (“A gentle word turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” Proverbs 15:1)

WE MUST HAVE THE HOLY SPIRIT’S POWER AND WISDOM

I pray that we might each prayerfully go to God first when there is a problem.  I pray that we might reverently approach His throne and appeal for His aid, respecting the authority our husbands have over us, even if it is being misused or we are being wronged.  Our husbands have authority over us, like a military commander has authority over those who are under him.  The authority remains in place even if the commander is wrong.  The person over him will determine his punishment if he is found to have mismanaged or abused those he oversees.  We can still show respect for the position of our  husband in the marriage even when our husband doesn’t lead well and even when he makes mistakes.  A husband who sees that his wife still respects him and has faith in him as a man is powerfully motivated to do better.

I would encourage us to approach our husbands only after a great deal of prayer, maybe even fasting (depending on the nature and severity of the situation) and with a great deal of humility, knowing we could fall just as easily and that we are in need of forgiveness by God and by our husbands daily ourselves.  We are not “better than” our men.  Sometimes it can feel like we are when we only look at our husbands’ weaknesses and compare our strengths to their weaknesses and ignore their strengths and our weaknesses, but that prideful attitude will only keep our husbands far away and will kill any opportunity for intimacy with them.  Spend some time writing down your husband’s strengths and your own weaknesses before confronting him.  Thank God daily for your husbands strengths and pray to God daily for help with your own pridefulness and sinfulness.

CAUTION

I would encourage all of us to approach our husbands calmly, and to approach them with only this one recent event (not a litany of the past 20 years of their faults- they will give up and not even try if it looks impossible to please us) and a very concise statement of how we are hurting.  I believe most husbands are much more receptive and responsive to our pain than they are to our anger.  Anger will often scare a husband away.  Pain will draw him near- especially if he sees he can do something to help make the pain go away and bring back his wife’s beautiful smile.  And a woman who can gently, lovingly, firmly tell her man- “I know you are better than that.”  “I know you are a good man, and you don’t want to do X.” “I know you want to honor Christ with your life.” – will get serious results that would never come through anger and screaming and throwing things.

CHECK LIST

A few things to check first before deciding to talk with him about things:

-          Be sure that it isn’t hormones that are really having you feeling angry!!!!  Maybe even wait a few days if it’s around that time to be sure, if you can.  They can be SO sneaky!  Sometimes the more urgent you believe a matter is, the more likely it is hormones that are driving your train at that moment!

-          Be sure you are taking care of yourself!  Are you tired?  Are you hungry?  Are you sick?  Are you irritable?  Are you in pain?  Are you overwhelmed and overworked?  Being exhausted and spiritually/emotionally/physically spent can make every situation look a lot worse than it probably is.  Take care of yourself first and then you will be in a much healthier frame of mind to consider what the real problem is.   Be sure you have been having your quiet time with God and that you are caught up with repenting for any sins that you need to confess to God!!   This alone takes care  of a lot of issues!

-          Be sure you aren’t expecting something unrealistic from your man.  He isn’t God.  He isn’t your best girlfriend.  He can’t meet all your spiritual and emotional needs.  Maybe you need lunch with a girl friend.  Maybe you need more time with God.   Is what you are upset about actually something that is realistic to expect from a husband?

-          Have you done something disrespectful that upset him?  What is there that you might possibly need to apologize for?   It is so much easier to feel the pain others cause to us than it is to notice the pain we cause others.  Be as open as possible to the idea that his hurtful actions may actually be a reaction to something you said or did that hurt him and made him feel disrespected.

-          Is this really a big deal?  Really?   If it is small – it may not be worth mentioning.  Love covers over a multitude of sin.  (I Peter)  If it is just that he left a wet towel on the bed again – does that really require a confrontation?  Now if he insulted you or made a hateful remark or is putting your life in jeopardy – then you have something you need to deal with.

SOME BASIC SUGGESTIONS

We can calmly (although tears of pain/sadness don’t have to be repressed), quietly, respectfully say things like, “I am upset.”  “That hurt me very much.”  “I am scared.”  “I am hurting.”  “I feel sad and angry.”  “When you said X, it hurt my feelings.”  “Did I just come across disrespectfully?  Because that felt unloving just now.”  (Dr Eggerich’s favorite line from “Love and Respect.”)  If right at that moment, our husbands say something hurtful, we can say, “Ouch” like Laura Doyle suggests and leave the room and let him think about “how he hurt the woman he loves most in all the world” and leave him with his own hurtful words ringing in his ears, with no ammunition from you being fired back at him.   And we can briefly (probably about only 1-5% of all the things you have thought about saying!!!) tell our husbands that we are hurt and how we are hurt. But we must be SO CAREFUL not to BLAME them.  We can say what we feel without blaming, judging, condemning, criticizing, yelling, screaming and character assassinating!  Truly.  We can with God’s help!

BRIEF IS MORE POWERFUL WITH MEN!

And I would suggest that this process of telling him that you are hurt should probably not be more than a few minutes in most cases. (A few minutes being 2-3 minutes should probably be plenty of time to cover it!  Maybe even just a few sentences.)  He is going to check out if this discussion goes on for 20 minutes or 2 hours.  That is overload for him.  He may need to think about things for a day.  It takes men at least 8 more hours to process highly emotionally charged information than it does for women (His Brain, Her Brain).  Let him mull over what you say without trying to force him to apologize immediately.

I would suggest not taking the bait if he throws it back at you, “Well, YOU, have done X, Y, Z wrong!!!”  If you have done something wrong, it would certainly be wise to apologize ONE TIME, sincerely and without explanation.  “I apologize for being disrespectful to you.  I don’t want to do that.  I’m sorry.”  And leave it there.  No “but you should have…”  or “it’s just that you did X”  No explanations or excuses.  Just a simple single apology.  That will speak volumes.  And we need to apologize to God and forgive ourselves.  If you really haven’t done something wrong, then just don’t answer the accusations and maybe wait quietly for him to think about what you have said to him.

AFTER THE APOLOGY

If he is able to apologize and come towards you to hug you, GREAT!!!  Reconciliation is occurring!  If at all possible, forgive him right then and then if you need him to do something to make things right, you can calmly, quietly let him know about that.  And then the situation needs to be dropped.  Like – forever.

If not, he may need some time- I am talking hours or days possibly, to think about what you said.

It might be that moving away and giving him space for awhile is a good idea- not for us to pout, but for him to have time to process.  Men aren’t nearly as verbal as we are and a lot of words and emotions can be overwhelming and takes a long time to digest.  Really!  And the more emotional words you use, the longer it will take for him to process.  Later, if he hasn’t apologized, and he tries to act like things are fine, you can say, “I am still upset.”  And that is all you really need to say.  (Bob Grant’s ideas).

But then, I would also suggest following Jesus’ ideas about blessing those who curse you, bless and do not curse them.  Be kind to those who insult you.  Repay evil with good.  Pray about how you might bless your husband.   I know God will give you some very creative ideas!  When he sees you bless him after he knows he was wrong towards you, he will have a huge crushing load of guilt to deal with.  And he will be in a much better frame of mind to see your pain and to hear God’s voice and repent.

This is certainly not an exhaustive work on handling conflict with our husbands.  And I am not infallible.  PLEASE always weigh everything I say or that any person says against Scripture with guidance from the Holy Spirit!!!!! But I hope to give some healthy ways and maybe fresh ideas to handle difficult situations that might bring about reconciliation a lot faster and that might bring unity to our marriages and glory to God!  If you are dealing with a really serious problem: infidelity, abuse, drug addiction- please seek help from our pastors at church and the resources we have available!  Seek godly counsel.

I pray that we might all become more and more like Christ, more holy, set apart to accomplish His purposes in our lives, in our marriages and families.  I pray that we might be open to His Word and that He might make us the godly women He desires us to be!

With love and great anticipation of all that God is going to do in each of our marriages!

FORGIVENESS

Jesus commands us to forgive those who sin against us so that God will forgive us.  Here is a video of me speaking about this REALLY important topic! (10 minute video)

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

“The Sacred Marriage” by Gary Thomas

“The Excellent Wife” by Margaret Peace – has MANY biblical and practical examples of handling conflict in marriage.

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45 Comments on “When my Husband Hurts Me – What Does God Desire Me to Do?”

  1. Michele
    November 14, 2012 at 6:34 am #

    Hi April,

    Thank you for posting this topic. It has been an area I have struggled with and still do at times, although not nearly as often. For the first few years of our marriage ( actually half my lifetime! ) I never saw myself as a huge contributer to the problems in our marriage. Like you’ve shared before, I saw myself as better than my husband, more educated, more together and I saw myself as my husband’s “savior” because I actually believed he couldn’t live without me! Thank God He has stripped those scales off my eyes and I have seen the gravity and desolation of my ways! God has miraculously intervened after 20 long years of hurt and turmoil to show me what He has expected me to do in my marriage … To love and respect my husband, submit to his authority and with quietness stand beside him as his helpmeet. When I say quietness, I don’t mean I have no voice, it just means that I put on humility and respectfully contribute to our marriage and allow my husband the final say and allow him to lead in all things.

    I have learned and grown by leaps and bounds in the past year since we both set out to change our roles and align them with God’s command for Godly marriages. The scripture that God has drawn me to countless times is 1 Peter 3:3-22 – “1 Peter 3
    New International Version (NIV)
    1 Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

    7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

    Suffering for Doing Good

    8 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For,

    “Whoever would love life
    and see good days
    must keep their tongue from evil
    and their lips from deceitful speech.
    11 They must turn from evil and do good;
    they must seek peace and pursue it.
    12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
    and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
    but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”[a]
    13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats[b]; do not be frightened.”[c] 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 19 After being made alive,[d] he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— 20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God.[e] It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.” This passage is LOADED with Godly instruction for us all in every aspect of our lives. I am personally drawn to verses 1-2 with regards to my duty as a Godly wife and how I must deal with my husband’s sins against me. Verse 6 tells me to do what is right and not give way to fear. Verse 8 tells us to be sympathetic, humble, compassionate and loving one another. Verse 9 tells me to repay evil with blessing because that is what we are called to do so that we may be blessed. Verse 12 assures me that The Lord is watching and He’s got things covered. I never need to fear that my right behaviour will ever go unnoticed. Verse 18 reminds me what Christ has done for me individually and for all. Who am I to refuse to take up my cross and not treat others with the same sacrifice and grace that was extended towards me? Verse 22 reminds me of the true power and authority my Lord has and He has promised to give to me from His resources all that I need to carry out His plan in my life and marriage. Galatians 5:13-15 “Life by the Spirit

    13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b] 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” Luke 10:18-19 “18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” I John 5:1-5 “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” Ephesians 6:10-18 “10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

    18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” From just these few verses, I find no excuse NOT to obey God and treat my husband with respect even when he sins against me.

    As I said earlier, I am still learning and by God’s grace I will continue to remember the sacrifice that Jesus has made for me and by His power, imitate Jesus in my marriage. My husband has seen the change in me and I can testify that the truth in 1 Peter 3 really happens … When I have chosen to respond with humility and respect, I have won my husband over and helped him to draw to God when he is struggling to lead like Jesus. God’s promises never return void! When we have the courage to obey God even when it just doesn’t make sense to our human minds, God performs the miraculous in all our lives. God bless you April and thanks again for posting and allowing me the privilege to share my story.

    • peacefulwife
      November 14, 2012 at 6:49 am #

      Michele,
      I am so glad to hear your story!
      That passage in I Peter 3 is HUGE! It is GOd’s prescription to us! Thank you so much for sharing and for sharing that particular passage, as well. How did I leave that one out in my post today? :)

      It’s perfect for this topic.

      I am thrilled for all that God is doing in your marriage and in your soul and I can’t wait to see what He has in store! May God richly bless your walk with Him and your marriage!

    • Trophy of Grace
      November 14, 2012 at 7:22 am #

      Excellent comment. These verses are the ones the Spirit has lead me to also…i just can’t seem to get past the anger and hurt to want to apply the truths here :'( I want to though…hurting so terribly this morning. Thanking God for new mercies and grace. I need it.

  2. Trophy of Grace
    November 14, 2012 at 7:16 am #

    Ouch and thank you. This post is exactly what I needed. I so dropped the ball and I think I kicked it right at my husband. I woke up feeling so terrible. I am certainly going to try to apply some of the suggestions you gave,cause what I’m doing isn’t working. Thank you so much. This is exactly what I needed this morning.

  3. herainz
    November 14, 2012 at 8:35 am #

    I learned something about myself this week. My hubby had wounded me repeatedly with the same sin for the majority of our marriage. The seventy times seven became soo difficult for me. Because he had witnessed the devastation in me I felt he could not possibly care about me-you just would not do that to someone you love. His addiction was pornography. I can share because we share now, it’s our ministry. The year before his deliverance, God did a huge work in me. I stopped being the Holy Spirit-yes, I know arrogant-I’m sure you can see how I justified it.

    God said trust Me not him, be still and know I am God. My intimacy with Jesus grew by huge leaps & bounds. My circumstances got worse. I could write pages and pages of what my Redeemer did in my life!

    This ended just before our 25th anniversary. My man had repeatedly over the years asked me to renew our vows….I wouldn’t, I couldn’t. It was all I could do to honor my original covenant with him – but renew it??? I think maybe I thought that was like saying I was ok with his sin. We renewed our vows for our 25th (timing perfect, eh?).
    It was the best worship party! Quite a storybook event, complete with horse and carriage. One of the things we did was make His & Hers boxes. In these boxes we wrote on slips of paper things we were letting go, forgiving, giving to Jesus. We had a fire pit at the foot of a cross and in those boxes went.

    That was 2 years ago. This week I asked God to show me any unforgiveness in me. He did. I had been sure there wasn’t any…I don’t feel bitter or like I’m holding any grudges. I’ve had health issues over the past year. Ray has been so good at taking care of me. I am a spoiled woman. After 10 months and 2 surgeries I was able to return to work. But, I did not resume much of anything at home. Ray continued to do the housework, cook & wash dishes, do laundry…..etc.

    What God showed me is Ray is trying to make up for what he’s done out of guilt and I am confirming it by allowing it out of a heart of unforgiveness. I owe you, yes you do.
    I couldn’t believe it…..how did this happen? I thought I left all that stuff at the foot of that cross, going up in a smoke offering.

    I’ve confessed & set my husband free. The lesson here for everyone is this: Satan will re-package whatever your sin, whatever condemnation, whatever your struggle and slip it back in because if worked before and because it was once familiar it just feels like home.

    1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

    Once again, April, everything you said above is correct and I so agree with….I was such a slow learner. Let me say this before I stop, Ray is the perfect man for me AND while I would not have chosen the things that happened I can praise God for them now. Sin and wounds were exposed in me that would not have come out any other way. My relationship with God just would be the same without it. Jesus is THE REDEEMER!

    • peacefulwife
      November 14, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

      Herainz,
      Thank you SO much for sharing your story! I am SO thankful that our mighty God is able to use our sin and our husband’s sin for His good purposes in His sovereignty. I’m so ecstatic about what God has done and is doing and WILL do in your life and your marriage. HOW BEAUTIFUL!

  4. Angelique
    November 15, 2012 at 6:49 am #

    This post and comments have even a huge blessing to me. Plan on reading it over and over again!! I still struggle in these areas!! But I know that God is drawing me to Him! To trust Him to cling to Him and the peace it brings when I do that is overwhelming!!

    This song by John Waller, while I’m waiting, has been a sweet blessing to me as I waiting God!

    I’m waiting
    I’m waiting on You, Lord
    And I am hopeful
    I’m waiting on You, Lord
    Though it is painful
    But patiently, I will wait

    I will move ahead, bold and confident
    Takeing every step in obedience
    While I’m waiting
    I will serve You
    While I’m waiting
    I will worship
    While I’m waiting
    I will not faint
    I’ll be running the race
    Even while I wait

    I’m waiting
    I’m waiting on You, Lord
    And I am peaceful
    I’m waiting on You, Lord
    Though it’s not easy
    But faithfully, I will wait
    Yes, I will wait

    • peacefulwife
      November 15, 2012 at 7:55 am #

      Angelique,
      I love that song, too! I just posted it on my FB page 2-3 days ago. :)
      Much love my precious sister!

  5. Angelique
    November 15, 2012 at 6:50 am #

    Forgive my spelling errors!! :)

  6. Wannetta
    March 25, 2013 at 8:39 am #

    What would your biblical response be to the following?
    Part of the punishment for the fall, in the garden, was that the man was given a “desire” (or tendency) to dominate his wife (inferring without tenderness or kindness) and that the wife was given a “desire” to rule her husband and be the family leader, basically to have a desire to be unsubmissive and to seek after her husband’s authority position as leader in the relationship. If this is so, then it would seem to me that God gave each a desire to sin as part of their punishments.
    Thank you; I’m looking forward to your response.

    • peacefulwife
      March 25, 2013 at 8:57 am #

      Wannetta,

      I don’t believe that God gave sinful desires – or that it is possible for God to give sinful desires since Scripture says that God does not and cannot tempt anyone to do evil.

      However, I believe that our sin nature wants to go very much against God’s design – no matter what the topic is! God commands husbands to be tender, gentle, servant-hearted and loving with their wives – that goes against their sinful nature. Forgiving people who have wronged me flies in the face of my sinful nature and my wisdom. Repaying evil with good does not come naturally to my sinful nature. Humbly trusting God to lead me through my husband does not come naturally to my sinful nature. Almost everything God desires us to do is diametrically opposed to what our sinful natures desire to do.

      Does that make sense?

      Great question! Thank you!

      • Wannetta
        March 25, 2013 at 11:19 am #

        Great response. I understand the sinful nature and how it goes against everything God has designed for us.
        Are you saying that (which I think you are) that our natural man and its sinful desires are a constant reminder of the sinful nature passed on from fall which we continue to struggle against. I guess my question might better be explained in the light of Gen. 3:16.
        Could the word “desire” (in context) mean that the woman was “given the desire” for her husband’s authority by God? Followed by the husband desiring to “rule” (heavily) over the wife – this all being part of the punishment? I guess to say, to intensely desire the opposite of God’s plan in a particular area, as in having a particular nature to behave as such. Have you ever heard this verse being tied to the other place where the word “desire” is used in Genesis 4:7 with a very negative and aggressive connotation. Would you say that since this second mention of the word “desire” continues the context of the first use?
        I hope I’m not being confusing. That is not my intent, and I really appreciate your scripturally based insight.
        Would you say the wife desiring the husbands of authority is part of the curse? That idea seems to me to be against God’s nature. Why would God give a curse that would cause the woman to desire to sin, even though she already has a propensity to sin.

  7. Manuska
    November 5, 2013 at 5:54 am #

    Dear April, I am very grateful to God that when I was browsing the net in despair be pointed me to your site. I wish I had read it a year ago, when you first posed it, but accept that this is also part of Gods perfect timing. I feel like reading what you wrote over and over again, praying it into my life and also watching your video almost like a daily discipline. My husband and I have been married for nearly five years, and all throughout that time my non-believing emotionally abusive family has been a constant source of problems for us. Because it is my part of the family I thought not having a relationship with them, no matter how destructive they have been and continue to be towards our marriage, is not an option. For years we have tried to have a loving and caring relationship with them, with various degrees of success and failure. We have bone though times of rebuilding and then time, when my parents were horrible about my husband and said they never wanted any contact with him anymore. Six months ago today, I have birth to our first baby daughter. In the process of my pregnancy my parents cut me off and said that I am not welcome in their home with my husband. Yet, shortly before I gave birth my husband encouraged me to reach out to my parents yet again, to invite them into our home and take joy in their grand daughter. ix months on, their nasty, disapproving comments about my husband came back. This time my husband responded to my parents by saying, they are no longer welcome in our family and asked them not to ever be in contact again. Though I am finding it hard to accept all of this, I feel convicted that I need to lovingly submit to Jesus and my husband rather than let feelings of resentment and discontent grown inside of me. It is also not helpful for me to look to other functional families and feel jealous about it. God is exposing so much of my sin, and is humbling me greatly. I forever had the feeling my husband is not handling the situation with my family well and I would do it differently and so much better. Today I feel humbled by all that I have read, and want to say sorry to my husband for all the times then I put my relationship with my parents over my marriage. The situation is very difficult but rather than be fearful about what attacks will come next from my parents, I am choosing to believe that my husband acted correctly to protect our family unit and even if his actions should be sinful, I am choosing to love him and put our marriage in its rightful place; God 1st, marriage 2nd and every other relationship comes after that. Please pray that no matter what adversity comes I can stand firmly by my husband as his helper and that glory can be given to Christ in what seems as such a messy situation. Thanks.

    • peacefulwife
      November 5, 2013 at 6:22 am #

      Manuska,

      It is a pleasure to meet you!

      What a heartbreaking situation. :(

      I do believe that you owe God your primary submission and allegiance. And then you owe your husband your primary devotion, submission, respect, love and honor as the first priority in all of your human relationships. You have a marriage covenant with him. He is your God-given authority now, not your parents.

      I do believe it will be necessary for you to honor your husband’s decision. I think he is trying to protect you and your child. I pray that your family might repent and that there might be harmony one day. I think it would be wise to apologize to your husband for putting your parents over him – since God commands us as spouses to leave our parents and cleave to each other.

      You are right to watch for jealousy of other families and for resentment and bitterness. Don’t let any of that take root or it will allow the enemy a stronghold in your life.

      I pray for God’s will and His greatest glory in your life and marriage! And I pray for healing for your extended family.

      • Manuska
        November 18, 2013 at 8:56 am #

        Dear April, thank you so much for taking the time to respond. At the time when I wrote my initial contribution on your blog, right after I read what you wrote, about loving our husbands even when they sin against us, I felt really encouraged and was going well. I have apologised to my husband for all the times I did not treat him with respect, pushed him to his limited and put the relationship with my parents above our marriage. He was so touched get by it, he nearly cried. I was giving thanks to God for sustaining our marriage and without the negative infounces of my family we have been doing really well. It feels like a weight has listed of our shoulders. On the other hand, as the days go past, I seem less willing to love and respect my husband after he told my parents never to contact us again. Never is such a definite thing! I seem to be in such a conflict: I want to honour my husbands decision and fully acknowledge that my parents were sadly a very toxic influence in our lives. At the same time, they are my parents and God commands us to honour them and by cutting them off I do not feel I can honor them. I guess I am struggling to follow my husbands leadership as I feel we should always be forgiving as Christians no matter what and I cannot see how anything good can come out of this situation. I am scared the next time I hear anything from my side of the family, it will be bad news like someone passed away, and I will be blamed by them for it.

        Any wisdom and encouragement would be most welcome. And most of all prayer for what is such a desolate situation.

        Thanks.

        • peacefulwife
          November 18, 2013 at 11:06 am #

          Manuska,

          It is ok to say, “I am really sad about not being able to talk with my parents. I trust God to lead me through you. I will honor your leadership. But this is very hard and sad for me.”

          God is able to change your husband’s heart. God is able to change your parents. It may be that God inspired your husband to do this because it is the only way to get through to your family? I don’t know. Your primary responsibility is to submit to your husband’s leadership. Any honoring of your parents must also be in line with honoring your husband.

          I pray God will give your husband and your family wisdom.

          You will have to keep bitterness and resentment at bay and constantly tear any root of bitterness out of your soul – committing to trusting God’s ability to lead you through your husband.

          It is also important to say your feelings in a non-blaming way.

          There are times when it is impossible to live in peace with other people, even though we try to and even though we love them. It is damaging to our marriages and our own family to allow toxic people to continue to poison us.

          Matthew 18:14-16 says we are to confront someone in private about their sin. Then bring 2-3 witnesses with us to confront them. If they still don’t repent, we take them before the church. If they still don’t repent, we break contact with them until they repent.

          We hope that things never get to that point. I wish that people could always repent of sin and have healthy relationships.

          It is ok to pray for God to open the eyes of your family to His ways and His LIFE.

          It is important to support your husband’s leadership.

          Your family may try to blame you for things like that – but you do not answer to them. You answer to God primarily and to your husband. They may want to control and manipulate you with guilt – but you can choose not to be impacted by that. They have the choice to repent and to apologize for their wrongs, I assume. And I feel sure that if your husband sees them repent and change their hearts – he would probably allow them into your lives again.

        • peacefulwife
          November 18, 2013 at 11:06 am #

          Manuska,

          PS
          You DO need to forgive them. That is a command of Christ.

          But whether you can trust them and allow yourself to be influenced by them – that is an entirely different question.

      • Manuela
        November 21, 2013 at 3:03 am #

        Dear April, thank you once again for taking the time to consider my situation and respond in such a wise way. I am really trying to take on board what you said and pray to our Father that he helps me to love my husband despite his harsh decision. I still feel in a real conflict as my heart is that of reconciliation and with Christmas coming up and having our little 7 months old daughter, I would want to have at least some kind of relationship with my side of the family….but I can see that day dreaming about what I would want is not productive and only makes the feelings of resentment come to the surface.

        I have so much hurt in me, from childhood when my mum was already threatening suicide then! when she did not get her own way with my dad. But I suppose when you grow up on a dis functional family, (though on the surface my parents would claim we were a perfectly normal, decent family) you get used to it as the norm and perhaps that is why even when my parents were causing problems in our marriage I could always overlook their mistakes and forgive them and would want a relationship at almost any cost. I can see how my husband had suffered a lot of abuse from them over the past five years and does not want our family unit and our baby daughter exposed to it.

        Still, my big prayer remains that God overruled and somehow they can get to know Christ and see what they have done wrong and that we could reconcile and glory can be given to Him.

        It is so therapeutic just being able to share my thoughts…. Thank you for listening and perhaps praying about what weights on me so very heavily that it almost paralyses me.

        Yours in Him,

        M

        • peacefulwife
          November 21, 2013 at 6:42 am #

          Manuela,

          How I pray that your family can reconcile and have a healthy relationship in time. This is certainly a very difficult decision to make and a difficult one to stick with – sometimes, if extended family is particularly toxic, it can be necessary.

          I continue to pray for your husband to have wisdom. I pray that there will be opportunities for you to show love to your family according to God’s will.

          I like the idea of taking this one day at a time – and waiting expectantly to see what God might do. There is a long time between now and Christmas. Who knows what surprises God may have in store and how He might move in people’s hearts by then!

          I pray most of all for you to not become resentful toward your husband but to be able to be thankful for his desire to lead and protect you in a godly way. I hope you will thank him for that.

          A relationship at any cost with your parents could be (and has been) exceedingly damaging to your marriage, to you, to your husband, and possibly to your little girl.

          I pray that there might be reconciliation in time. I pray that the family might be able to get together. But sometimes a husband has to draw tough boundaries to protect his family. Maybe this is what your parents need to wake up to how destructive their behavior has been. Maybe they will be willing to try to make things right so that they can see you and their grand baby.

          My greatest prayer is for them to find Christ. Maybe God will use this to get them to think about their need for Him? Maybe there will be eternal rewards of salvation because of your husband’s decision that we won’t know about until later.

          A dear friend of mine who started this journey over a year ago had a very similar situation last Christmas – but her husband decided not to see or talk to HIS family. She was SO UPSET. She wanted peace at any cost. She was sure he was sinning to do this and to be so “unloving.” But for years, his family had been hateful to this friend of mine and there was a lot of tension, but she would always insist that they get together with them anyway and override her husband’s wisdom. Last Christmas was a difficult battle for her. She truly believed her husband was wrong and “in sin” to make the decision that he did. But, within 5 months, the unloving, hateful family members repented. Things are much better now than they ever were before – I am so thankful she listened to her husband and submitted to him even though she STRONGLY disagreed with him.

          Sending you a huge hug!

          Much love,
          April

      • Manuska
        November 22, 2013 at 3:34 am #

        Dear Aptil,

        I cannot tell you how blessed I feel that even across the ocean there is a sister who is prepared to help and encourage. Thank you! I think the ministry you are doing is great.

        What I feel particularly blessed by is to be encouraged to love my husband and honour his decision, even though I find it so hard. I can think of plenty of Christian sisters who by now would have said that my husband is wrong to have shut out my family, and that he is being unloving towards me in doing that… That is not what I need to hear, as it will not make things with my family better and will not help my marriage either. That is why I appreciate your every encouragement to lovingly submit yo my husband. I feel that is what God is trying to teach me.

        I think you are right, taking it a day at a time is the way to go, and I give thanks to The Lord for each day when I do not hear from my family because at least no news is good news. In the past, whenever we have been in a similar situation they would already have come with their abusive and emotionally blackmailing e-mails within a few days. I keep praying God is working in their hearts……

        Thank you also for sharing the story of your close friend. It is so helpful to know that I am not the only Christian dealing with a sitiuation like this. Praise the Lord that their relationship has been mended, but I just need to be aware that that might not be Gods sovereign will for my situation.

        So in this time if trusting, I can hold on to all of Gods promises, that He only gives good gifts to His children and so I need to trust this is good for me, though I cannot see it right now.

        Jesus knows my heart and so I lay it daily at the cross and for now cannot do anything apart from praying……

        I hope I might be able to write yo you again if there is any new developments in my situation.

        Lovingly,

        M

        • peacefulwife
          November 22, 2013 at 6:36 am #

          Manuska,

          I’m very glad that I can be here and “walk beside you” even if I am an ocean away. :)

          As your husband sees that you trust and follow him – he is going to feel a LOT more pressure (in a GOOD way) to make the best possible decisions. Your faith in him will push him to seek God even more sincerely and to be sure he is not being selfless.

          He may change his mind. He may not.

          God is sovereign. We must allow Him to decide the outcome of this situation. It would be VERY EASY to turn “talking to family again” into an idol. And it would be easy to cling to bitterness and resentment – which could destroy your marriage.

          I would not look at this as necessarily a permanent thing – but as your husband’s loving protection.

          There are MANY, MANY Christian sisters in similar situations around the world. You are not alone at all.

          God is able to use even this for His ultimate glory and your good – and possibly your family’s good as well.

          If they begin to email you – please allow your husband to handle it – don’t even read the emails – let him read them. They will just upset you, I am sure!

          He can decide how to handle the situation.

          I pray for God’s will and His wisdom for your husband and for Him to bring your family to salvation, my sweet friend!

          I pray for His power to enable you to be the wife of His dreams to your husband.

    • Manuska
      December 4, 2013 at 4:50 am #

      Dear April, I hope you do not mind me writing again. The situation with my family is still ongoing, the way it was when I first wrote on your blog. Only I feel there is more to the story I need to share….. As I said my husband and I have been married for nearly 5 years and the first 6 months of our marriage have been really bad, we did not display a godly marriage by any account. When our marital oroblems started, I shared all of our problems, the way my husband treated me with my parents and sister. Their response at the time was to want me to get yo divorce him. I always knew, that this was not what god wanted me to do. Things between my husband and I hot so bad at one stage, that is left my marital home…. I did nit really think it through all I could think about is that I cannot bear it any longer and when I left I went yo stay with my sister. I thought it would just be a temporary thing for a few days, so both my husband and I can take a step back, reflect before reconciling. I never realised that leaving to be with my sister that my family will almost hold me hostage and NOT allow me to return to my husband. From day that on back in September 2009 my parents decided he is not a good husband for me and never will be. A few days after I left our marital home I was prepared to talk to my husband, who was desperately trying for us to talk and work it out. He tried to apologise for the wrongs he has done to me and really wanted to work on us even through Christina councelors but my parents, were stopping me from answering his phones, did not let me look at my e- mails, my Dad even hacked into my e-mails, and they were threatening all sorts of things if I return to my husband. I ended up returning to him in secret, but once my parents found out that we resumed living together, my mum started threatening suicide. By the time Christmas came! which was supposed to have been the first Christmas for us as a married couple, my mother promised she would kill herself if I do not desert my husband and come and spend Christmas with my parents. I should have said earlier that my parents live in a different country to where my husband and I live. So, giving in to the blackmailing ways of my family I deserted my husband yet again. It took months after Christmas,. On Christmas Day, my parents presented me with divorce papers they wanted me to sign. I didn’t but it was the sadded, most awful Christmas. I was more worried about upsetting my parents than my darling husband, who I have made an eternal commitment to before God! The attacks on our marriage continued since then , though a few months later my husband and I (with the help of some of our close, strong Christian friends) really started to work on our marriage, forgiving, forbearing and rebuilding….. As part of that my husband made so many efforts to reach out to both my parents and my sister, we wanted to bear a good witness to how faithful God has been to us, but my family knowing the history of what happened were nit prepared tk forgive. They said, that I might be able to forgive him, but they won’t. It is also important to day, that it was not just my husband doing wrong against me, he acted in an ungodly way because I too was full of sin, that drove him to his unglofliness. Anyway, since September 2009 we have managed to resume contact and even visit with my parents a number of items, but usually the visit ended up in some sort of fight because my parents still look for my husband to Otis up, observe his every step and would always find things in his behaviour which they do not like. They do not love Jesus and so they hate also all that I today stand for. They do not like me being a godly, submissive wife to my husband, they do not like the fact I decided to give up my hight flyer job, to be a wife, mum and homemaker. In the time of rebuilding with my family my husband has also tried to rebuild the relationship with my only sister and her husband. He tried god best part of two tears, but they just threw his every attempt back in his face. After a while, I believe my husband has hardened his heart towards trying with my sister and this has been the biggest source of conflict with my parents. They desperately want me and my sister to reconcile, but my husband is not prepared to be the bigger person here and just forgive without an apology. He wants my sister and her husband to first acknowledge all that they have done working towards us in the past, before we can move on. With my parents I feel they are not prepared to have a good relationship with me and my husband without us having a relationship with my sister. Sorry this is such a complicated and messy situation…… The latest is, that my grandma that still lives with my parents has been taken to hospital two weeks ago, and my parents did not even tell me. I found out from my neighbour that my gran has been hospitalised. My parents must be so upset after my husband emailed them a month ago that they are NEVER to contact us again. My head and heart are in such a chaos and conflict. I have so much resentment in me and feel that my husband as the Christian should make peace with my parents and my sister regardless of their sin and lack of apology. Apologies I am going on so much, I just feel in a real state of anxiety and do not understand why God would allow this to happen if I have been praying for years to be reconciled to my sister and my parents. I would appreciate any thoughts…. K

      • peacefulwife
        December 4, 2013 at 6:38 am #

        Manuska,

        It is extremely unfortunate that you shared so many things your husband did wrong with your parents when you were first married. Parents cannot always forgive sons-in-laws and it is often best not to involve them in marriage problems. You are seeing the results of that now.

        Your husband is trying to protect you and your marriage.

        What your parents have done was extremely toxic to you and your marriage.

        I am not sure it is fair to say your husband “won’t be the bigger man.”

        I cannot imagine parents being more manipulative than a mom threatening suicide if you didn’t come home for Christmas and leave your husband. That was SO WRONG.

        Your parents are also not your spiritual authorities anymore now that you are grown, your husband is your spiritual authority. It is not right for them to give you divorce papers and to try to make you divorce your husband. “What God has joined together, let not man put asunder.” Jesus said NO ONE has the right to destroy a marriage.

        God’s Word tells us to live in peace “as far as it depends on you.” There are times when others will not be willing to be peaceable that we cannot control the outcome. There are times when a situation is so toxic, that it is not possible for us to live in peace with some people, at least for a time.

        I understand why you have resentment in your heart – but you will have to lay that down.

        You can tell your husband you feel so torn and you are upset about your grandma being in the hospital. Pray for God to give him wisdom, and then see what he says.

        What if God is leading your husband to do what he is doing to protect you? What if God is leading your husband to do what he is doing in order to bring about real reconciliation and eventual peace in your family?

        I am going to share a husband’s comments with you in just a moment who did exactly what your husband did and regrets that he didn’t do it sooner, and it did lead to peace and reconciliation.

        Much love my precious sister!

        • peacefulwife
          December 4, 2013 at 6:39 am #

          Here are a husband’s comments that he sent to me on another post last night:

          I still feel very ashamed that I allowed my mother to abuse my wife, for years, before I finally put a stop to it. Previously, virtually every phone-call, my mother would criticize my wife. First it was her weight. We got her to stop.So, she criticized my wife’s debt. Then her job. There was always something. No advice given. Just going on and on about it. I grew up receiving this kind of abuse, so I didn’t realize it was very wrong. My wife would almost be in tears every time we were about to call and all I would say was ‘fight back’ which she didn’t know how to do. Finally, my parents stopped living together and I kicked my mother out of our lives for 3 years. My wife endured far too much abuse that I could have prevented. We’ve both had therapy and I’m a lot stronger now. My mother is also much more civil with us. Grand-children help of course. However, I still feel ashamed that I allowed it for so long.

        • peacefulwife
          December 4, 2013 at 6:40 am #

          Your husband’s job is to protect YOU and your marriage primarily.

          I believe he is doing what he believes is right before God. That is all you can ask him to do – that he does what he truly believes God desires him to do.

          • Manuska
            January 6, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

            Dear April, I am sure especially after the Christmas break you must be flooded with emails and I would not be at all surprised if you could not hold very peaceful wife’s story in your head. Still, I thought to give you a little update and ask for prayer….. Christmas was really hard for me as I did nit have any contact with my family. We hosted my husbands brother with his family and it was so special to see our baby daughter interact with her two cousins. It made me miss nit having the same kind of relationship with my sister and her two daughters. ( this is my only sister and sadly the one who has done so much damage to our marriage especially at a time when my husband and I tried to rebuild our marriage). Anyway, I have been reading various things from your blog over Christmas and took up your resoect dare over the Advent time, so each morning I would leave a little verse or something Gid was teaching me I should change on a peace of paper in my husbands advent calendar. Despite all the pain I was going through this Christmas being so completely cut off from my side of the family, I did my best to create a nice atmosphere for my husband and our baby, to offer hospitality and tk make it as good a Christmas for our little family unit.

            In my last contribution I shared that despite my grandma being hospitalised my parents did not let me know. I know she is out of hospital now and my husband thought we should go visit. That is why I am writing yo ask to be connected and supported in orated for this trip.

            We are heading to my home country tomorrow afternoon and planing on visiting my grandma on Wednesday and Thursday. The issue is, that she lives in a house right next door to my parents home. We are expecting my parents to be back at work and will want to visit during the morning, when we think grandma should be home alone, but we do not know for sure. Perhaps my sister, who otherwise also lives abroad will still be back home, perhaps my parents will not be at work….we simply do not know.

            Please pray I would not feel anxious and pray I would fully trust in my redeemers sovereign plan! whatever that my be. In my mind I am hoping and praying for reconciliation, but overlaps it’s too soon… I need to keep remembering its Gods timing NOT mine! and His ways are NOT my ways just as the heavens are above the earth. Going to my home county right next door to where I grew up and not being even on speaking terms with my family is one of the hardest things I have to do, but also my husband feels it’s right that we visits my ageing, sick grandma and let her enjoy her grandchild for a few hours. I pray that the visits goes smoothly and that whatever happens, glory will be given to God and I will be able to lovingly submit and honour my husband and his leadership in whatever circumstances arise. Please pray. Thank you sister!

            • peacefulwife
              January 6, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

              Manuska,

              I remember your story well and prayed for you over Christmas. I am so glad to hear an update. What a thoughtful, loving husband to want you to see your sick grandmother. I pray there may be reconciliation too, in God’s time. I pray you will trust God’s sovereignty tomorrow and your husband’s leadership. We will pray for God to give him wisdom.

              Praying for safety for you and for a strong, healthy marriage and a life that brings great honor to Christ. Praying for your family’s salvation and for God to work through this situation for His glory!

              • Manuska
                January 6, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

                Thank you dear sister in Christ. If that is OK with you I shall give you a brief update on what God has done, once we get back. I find it such a privilege to have you carry me in your prayers though we are oceans apart and have never met. I love my Christian family! Blessings to you.

                • peacefulwife
                  January 6, 2014 at 7:52 pm #

                  Manuska,
                  Yes, please do send me an update! And any time you need encouragement, I am glad to pray with you and for you. :)

                  Lord,
                  I lift up Manuska and her family to You. I pray for Your will to be done in their family and for Your purposes to be accomplished. Thank You that she wants to honor her husband and obey Your Word. I praise You that You are able to bring good in this situation and I pray most of all for You to open her family’s spiritual eyes and bring them to salvation.
                  In the Name and power of Christ,
                  Amen!

                  Sending you a huge hug my sweet sister!

                  • Manuska
                    January 18, 2014 at 7:17 am #

                    Dear sister April,

                    It has been a week since we returned from our trip to my home country and rather than writing to you tight away, I wanted to take a bit of time to just digest and process all the things that have happened….

                    The trip was extremely emotionally exhausting. We managed to visit with May grandmother on two days. The first day, because we came unannounced as a surprise, she was a bit unsettled and insisted that I speak to my mother. Remember, I had not had any contact with my parents since my husband send them an email early November saying “they are no longer welcome in our lives” and ” never to contact us, come near us or attack us”. When I dialled my mothers number, out of respect to my grandmother, my grandmother spoke to my mother first and when my grandmother tried to hand the phone over to me, my mother hang up saying she is not interested to talk to me. Later that day, my mother spoke yo my grandmother over the phone again, and shouted a lot of abuse about my husband, called him names and said how him and I are destroying everyone around us all at the cost of me being happy. She told grandma, how my husband told them not to contact us and as such they are not interested to have anything to do with us and that my husband is a nasty peace of work. My grandmother was so shaken after this phone call, and myself my husband and our little 8 months old daughter were also all unsettled. Even though I did not come my mum face to face, hearing her over the phone, even if just on distance, shout made me shiver and brough back so many bad memories of the past, it sadly reminded me also, of many blackmailing and nasty ways my mother used and also how all my life, I have been looking and longing for a step mom. One who would not lash out and love me unconditionally.

                    Anyway, my husband stood by me and comforted me and was sorry this is his things turned out. He also said, that before we left, he texted my father to let him know we were coming and that if they were prepared to change their ways and turn over a new leaf, their granddaughter would love to see them. My fatter never responded…..

                    On the second day after we visited with my grandmother and moments before we were about up leave, my husband was outside the house getting out things ready and he spotted my father, who had just return home. My husband walked across to my parents half of the house and tried yo ring the bell wanting to at least shake hands with my dad, he did nit open. Afterwards the three of us, my husband, I and our baby daughter went and knocked on my parents door and rang the bell several times, but my dad stayed locked inside and did not let us in.
                    I cannot describe to you how much this hurt! The fact that not even their granddaughter can soften my parents heart was a big statement to me…..

                    I was however, so grateful to God that in me straying quite, not nagging and just nailing all my worries onto Jesus’s cross God has done an amazing thing in softening my husband’ heart towards my parents, in that he was prepared to reach out to them and offer the olive branch.

                    Sadly, because my parents never assumed the best of my husband ( he is of Arabic origin, and I think there is a big racial element there ) my parents would never think, why did our son in law sent us such horrible e-mail. Is it perhaps Something we have done up upset and hurt him? To them they will always assume the worst of him and coupled with their racial prejudice, they must think I am married to this horrible, tyrant like husband who I listen to explicitly, that I have lost my own free will and just obey him and therefore they are just letting me be, but are not interested to have anything yo do with us. Yet, my parents have in the past said several times to my husband that he is never welcome in their home, but whenever they showed the slightest bit of goodwill for him, his heart always softened and he always tried it with them time and time again.

                    The one person, towards whom my husbands heart remains hart, is that of my sister and her family. This I feel is a subject I cannot even approval with him as it brings us to an argument every single time. So I am learning to just leave it at the cross.

                    I feel my Lord Jesus telling me, despite all the wrongs my sister and her family have done towards my husband and our marriage, we should reconcile. But here I feel, my husband is not prepared to offer the olive branch. He was prepared three years ago, but at that point my sister was not interested. Now, my husband stopped trying and whenever the subject of my sister comes up he would say rather hurtful things about her, her character and what an awful person she is.

                    I am so sorry if I am going on a bit. But this situation has been on my heart for 5 years now and still I find the Holy Spirit is telling me to live, to forgive, to reconcile no matter what. But I cannot reconcile or reach out my sister by myself. I am one with my husband now and he is the Authitity in our marriage and therefore unless he decides (as he did with my parents) to reach out I cannot do it.

                    I guess I am just trying to portray how complex the sistuation is, how much I am hustling not yo have my parents and my issuers with her two daughters I. Our lives. Especially since I became a mom myself, I would love for our daughter to group up knowing her cuisines from my side of the family.

                    I am learning very day, that it’s Gods timings no nit mine, He knows best and I just have to trust his plan for me/ us.

                    I would appreciate if you join me on this journey and pray with me and help me keep trusting in our Sovereign Father no matter what the outcome. He is infinitely good, and I do not want to let Satan get a stronghold by telling otherwise and telling me lies about my husband.

                    Thank you.

                    • peacefulwife
                      January 18, 2014 at 7:28 am #

                      Manuska,

                      I am so glad to hear from you! I wondered how things went.

                      You know what? Your husband has shown some very godly leadership. I’m so proud of him for making the trip with you and your daughter so that you could visit your sick grandmother. That was such a loving, kind, thoughtful, generous thing for him to do.

                      I am also so very proud of him for trying to reconcile with your parents. That took a lot of courage and the power of God in him for him to be able to be ready to shake hands with your father and to try to make amends and patch up this broken family relationship.

                      And I am SO proud of you for allowing God to lead you through your husband. I know that it was scary to feel like you may not see your parents again. But you cooperated with your husband and honored and respected him – GREAT JOB!

                      I can understand why your husband wanted to break contact with your family considering how disrespectful they have been of him.

                      At this point – God’s Word says for us to “live in peace with others as much as it depends on you.” You can’t force your parents to talk with you again. Your husband can’t make them reconcile.

                      We will wait and pray for God to work in their hearts. It is really sad that they would not come see your baby.

                      But, we will pray for God to open their spiritual eyes and their hearts and to bring them to Himself. And we will pray for God to continue to strengthen your faith in Him and your husband’s godly leadership and his faith in Christ and your marriage for His glory.

                      I am so glad you aren’t listening to the lies of the enemy.

                      Sending you a huge hug my sweet friend!

                      I’m right here any time you want to talk.

                    • Manuska
                      January 18, 2014 at 7:34 am #

                      Thank you dearest April.

                      And if we can please also pray in the whole situation with my only sister, where I want to obey my husband but find it so difficult that we are not reaching out to them and whenever we talk about her, my husband is so very negative.

                      I will carry on praying daily for reconciliation with my sister also, but should that not happen I need to find contentment in the situation God has placed me in right now and for however long it takes.

                      Thank you!

                    • peacefulwife
                      January 18, 2014 at 8:05 am #

                      Manuska,

                      I will pray for your whole family to come to Christ and for reconciliation for all of you. And most of all, I pray for God’s will and His glory in your life and in your marriage. I pray you will find your contentment completely in Christ.

                      Much love,
                      April

                    • Manuska
                      March 26, 2014 at 2:50 am #

                      Dear April, here I write again as I had a big if a set back two days ago. Ever since our visit to my home country, when we went to visit my grandma, and my father never opened the door fir us, I never heard from my parents. Equally, I did not get in touch as I was trying daily to nail it to the cross and trust God with the situation to work in everyone’s heart. Also, I have learned through your website to submit more and more to the loving leadership of my husband and so I did not want to nag him about my family. Then this Monday I received a text message from my father to say, my husband tried to call him, but he was not free to speak at that moment and that he wanted me airways and foremost to be the one to communicate with them as their daughter. He was asking me to tell him, what my husband wanted to talk yo them about. I responded again on text message (after consulting my husband that he was happy with my response), that I do not know exactly what my husband wanted to say to my father, but that I trust my husband and know his motives are good and he was calling with good intentions and I asked my father to give my husband the chance and hear him out. To that, my father responded, that my husband and I destroyed everything and that it remains very sad that whilst my husband may have something nice to say to them, I as the daughter have nothing to say. He said he is not interested to speak with my husband and that he should not call.

                      This really got me down….. My darling husband did not tell me that he was planing on calling my father, but I trust that he called because he wanted yo build bridges again and probably wanted to do so for me. Also our baby daughter will soon be one year old and perhaps that too made my husband be in touch. When my husband got home from work on Monday, he told me he tried to call my father and I did not ask him more about his motives or what he wanted to discuss with my father as I did not think it was right to question my husband. Instead I wanted to display utter trust.

                      As for my father being disappointed that it was my husband and nig me wanting to speak, I honestly at thus stage do not know what I would say to my parents. I feel do scared of them, their reaction and rejection. Also, in my father saying they always want me yo communicate and not bring prepared to hear my husband out, I think they are driving a wedge between us and again not respecting our marriage.

                      It was my husband who last write them that terrible email last November telling my family never to contact us again, so from my point if view it is tight that he should be the one in touch first and if only my dad gave him the chance perhaps my husband wanted to apologise fir that email. I feel that phone call all is not mine to make…..

                      So, once again I felt touched my husband tried to reach out and is disappointed that my father would find even fault with that and that get has out this pressure on me that they are disappointed with me….. But I Gould not be in touch whilst my husband said we are stopping cobtact, and also, when he thought it was right to resume contact again, he as the head and leader had the right to make that call. But my parents again want things their way and would have wanted me to make the call.

                      I just feel really disappointed and do not understand why I was given this tiny glimmer of hope that we could be reconciled and then the next minute had it taken away.

                      I just unfitted my husband that my father whore on text that he foes not wish tk speak with him and then we did not discuss it anymore. I want to quietly do my best in trusting further in Gods and my husbands leadership. I bet my husband must be hurt that my father responded this way…..

                      I would appreciate any thoughts. Esp I do not think there is anything I can do, especially not what my parents would want me to do, to be in touch unless they are prepared to accept us as a unit and listen to what my husband has to say.

                      Thanks,

                      Manuska

                    • peacefulwife
                      March 26, 2014 at 6:25 am #

                      Manuska,

                      Goodness, so painful!!!!!

                      It sounds to me like your husband is trying to make things right and build a bridge with your parents again. And I believe that is his place to initiate that, not yours. I don’t like that your father went around your husband to you.

                      But – you are doing the right thing as far as I can tell. You don’t answer to me – but to God. But it seems to me that you are honoring your husband and that he is trying to do what he can to re-establish connection. And it seems to me that you can’t really do or say anything to “fix” the situation at the moment. I also do understand why your husband cut off contact – to protect you and your marriage and family.

                      This story is not over. God is at work behind the scenes. Let’s trust Him and see what He may do here.

                      Sending you a huge hug!!!!!!!

                    • peacefulwife
                      March 27, 2014 at 5:30 pm #

                      Manuska,

                      Think about this passage and Jesus’ teaching on marriage. This is wisdom!
                      When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. 2Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

                      3Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

                      4“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’a 5and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’b ? 6So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

                      —-

                      God doesn’t want ANYONE to play any part in tearing a marriage apart.

                      Much love!
                      April

                    • Manuska
                      March 28, 2014 at 4:08 am #

                      Dear April,

                      Praise be to Jesus for his wisdom, and I give thanks to the The work of the Holy Spirit through you to envoy rage people lime me in difficult situation when the world would want to feed you lies!

                      Thank you for preaching that passage to me and for helping me to stay strong for my marriage and my husband.

                      The bit that touched me the most was when my husband wrote to my father “Manuska – and me and Our daughter by extension, as we are part of the same body and feel what she feels -, is missing you very much and is suffering for not having you around in our life. However, she does not want to pay the heavy price that, you always wanted, and sadly continue to want her to pay.”

                      I think he spoke lovingly, gently and wisely and if my parents have a hardened heart at the moment then like Proverbs say ” you cannot argue with a fool”.

                      I think there is nothing else I can do except pray for my parents salvation, because that is what they ultimately need and carry on on my peaceful wife journey, that has been the best thing for me and our marriage.

                      In a few days, if I feel strong enough and if my husband agrees that it is a good idea, I might put a few thoughts on an email to my parents. Not to plead with them anymore, just to express how I feel and to 100% back up my husbands leadership. But I need to pray about it as it might just be a waste of my time and emotion since they think I have no freedom in my marriage and my husband has completely “brain washed me “.

                      Despite all of this, I feel the events of last week are very significant and a real breakthrough and in it all I am somehow finding peace to lay the situation fully and completely at the cross in prayer ( the way I have not been able to do before) and instead focus on my little family and keep working on my part as a loving, respectful and peaceful wife.

                      From the bottom if my heart, thank you April.

                    • peacefulwife
                      March 28, 2014 at 6:25 am #

                      Manuska,

                      You are most welcome! I’m glad you are willing to honor your husband’s leadership and I do pray that God will speak to your parents’ hearts and that He might enable there to be a joyful reunion in His timing. I pray even more for their salvation.

                      Much love!
                      April

                    • Manuska
                      March 26, 2014 at 7:13 am #

                      Dear April,

                      Thank you for once again listening and for walking by my side in prayer and encouragement.

                      Since I wrote to you this morning, I had a further text message from my father asking that they communicate exclusively with me as their daughter after another attempt of my husband to ring him.

                      Then this email exchange happened between my darling husband and my father…..

                      “Good morning Pavel,

                      We – i.e. I and my wife -, as repeatedly announced and demonstrated to you over the past 5 years, would love to have a loving, caring and respectful relationship with you, which is free from hate, possessiveness and coercion.

                      Manuska is certainly freer than you can think. She is blessed with a loving heart, that loves, cares and protects her family from aggression. She possesses a
                      godly freedom to do what is right, and steer away from what is wrong.

                      I hope one day soon, before it is too late, that you would move away from this destructive way of thinking and change your behaviour toward my family.

                      We sincerely want you in our life, but not at any cost.

                      Manuska- and me and our daughter by extension, as we are part of the same body and feel what she feels -, is missing you very much and is suffering for not having you around in our life. However, she does not want to pay the heavy price that, you always wanted, and sadly continue to want her to pay.

                      [We are different from the Jayampthy family. In contrast to them, we hold our marriage in the high regard that it deserves, and thus are very protective of our small family (mainly due to our past, and current, experiences with you). We are not the type of people who would sacrifice the integrity of our marriege for the sake of, misplaced, financial or emotional support.¨]

                      My reason for contacting you was to try to see if you would like to open a fresh page, and if you would visit us so you can see your granddaughter, who will be 1 year old soon.

                      Please try to reflect on the above, what went on, and where we are now. I am sure that there is at least a small part of you that wants things to be better than they are.
                      Take care,
                      N”

                      My fathers response….

                      “Mr Mayhew,

                      firstly pls don´t use my first name, in yr last mail you named me Mr. Holik – this is correct, because it mirrors the actual mutual relation between you and us.

                      Everything what was to be said and explained was already done.Please take into consideration, that I and my wife are (still) able to handle independent of your imperative way.

                      Plus, although you married Manuska, we shall never be equal, because we are and shall be parents of our daughter – a simple fact, which nobody can eliminate.

                      Wash her brain furthermore, if you believe, that this is christian culture. In fact it it is not!

                      P”

                      I feel so distraught by it but praising The Lord for how much he has softened my husbands heart and how my husband is being loving and protective of us!

                      Thank you for listening my precious sister and shedding any wisdom you might have.

                      M

                    • peacefulwife
                      March 26, 2014 at 8:01 am #

                      Manuska,

                      I am so impressed with your husband. What godly leadership. I love how he handled that difficult situation. “We sincerely want you in our life, but not at any cost.” Wow. And I LOVE how he explained the honor and regard he has for marriage.
                      I know your father doesn’t understand that yet. He believes that parents have a greater bond with their grown children than spouses do. But that is not God’s design at all. Many parents believe that their children should be loyal to them above their spouses – that is so destructive to marriages! And it is unbiblical.

                      I pray that God will open your parents’ eyes.

                      I am so proud of you and your husband. This is a PAINFUL situation. Your husband is becoming such a Christlike leader – in my view. I know God is using this for good and for His glory ultimately.

                      I know it is tempting to talk to your parents and go around your husband – but I believe that if this family relationship is to heal properly and become healthy and functional – that your husband is approaching it in the best way. And, we will pray for God to intervene as well. Who knows, maybe God will use this to draw your family to Himself?

                      Sending you a huge hug!!!!!!!

                      Much love,
                      April

                    • Manuska
                      March 27, 2014 at 4:11 am #

                      Dear April,

                      Thank you for your feedback and wisdom in what can be a muddled and confused situation.

                      I am in no way tempted to go behind my husbands back and be in touch with my family because biblically I know it is not possible for them to only have a relationship with me and not my husband, who is one with me!

                      I think yesterday, for the first time, I have finally had my eyes opened to the destructive ways of my parents. For years I thought the fault was my husband, would see all the wrongs he has done and always excuse my parents behaviour. Andwhilst I am sure mistakes have been done on both sides, it pains me how cruely my father responded to my husbands attempt to reconcile.

                      It pains me also for our baby daughter that even this little person would not soften my parents heart.

                      I think my parents behaviour to demand to exclusively communicate with me us absurd, disrespectful to our marriage and immature.

                      I think at last I see, if they cannot listen to a well meant, emotional, from the heart email from my husband there is NOTHING I can do to improve the relationship. I am so disappointed with my parents and so sad they would not reconcile for my sake.

                      They have made their feelings about my husband very clear and that leaves me with little hope that they will ever want to reconcile properly!

                      Please pray, that I believe in Gods Sovereignity in all if this. After all, we have a mighty God who can do impossible things, however, his best plan for me and my family might be that I never have a relationship with my parents again…..

                      To His glory.

                      M

                    • peacefulwife
                      March 27, 2014 at 8:45 am #

                      Manuska,

                      I’m so glad that you are able to see things more clearly now. It is a very difficult position for a wife to be in – for sure. And, since you grew up with your parents, what they do probably seems “normal.” But from what you have shared – they want to encourage you to dishonor your husband and marriage covenant and not leave them and cling to your husband the way God commands you to. That is not good. A godly parent would encourage his child to obey God and to put the marriage covenant above all human relationships, even above the parent/child relationship.

                      I believe God is at work here. I am excited to see what He will do in your marriage and family and in the extended family. I pray for Him to open your parents’ eyes that they might find the abundant life of Christ and His peace that passes all understanding!

                      I hope you will take this one day at a time and trust God to work in their hearts as you focus on living in His Spirit’s power, abiding in Him and honoring God and your husband.

                      We will trust God together to work in your parents’ hearts.
                      Much love to you!

  8. Anna
    April 24, 2014 at 6:38 am #

    Dear April,

    It was good to read about your spring break and see pictures, and the information given is quite educational.

    I’ve been quite ok recently, even satisfied and happy until yesterday. Last Saturday we were invitied to our friend’s place, but I specifically asked my husband not to stay late, as I had to interpret at church service, besides, the pastor from a different city had to come, so I felt a bit nervous. Not only did we stay late, but also my husband’s friend came along, and this friend didn’t want us to hurry, and my husband agreed because he wanted to talk to him! (although they talk every day, as they work together). I tried to explain to them that I am tired and nervous, I need to get home quicker to set myself to the right mood, but they didn’t want to listen, so I lost my temper and told my husband irritably that he can interpret himself then. We got home past midnight, and I woke up with a headache. Ok, we talked it through on Sunday and left it at that.

    Yesterday, I had a very stressful day, apart from work, I had tons things to do, I didn’t even have time to eat properly, and so my husband came back from work and lashed out at me, regarding this Saturday situation. He didn’t care that I was stressed, I needed a relaxed evening, etc, I felt and still feel so hurt. I put up with many things because of him (his old, sick grandparetns, tiny apartment, foreign country), but the better my attitude towards him, the more he tries to nit pick. He overlooked all those good things I did for him since Saturday, but concentrated on this Saturday episode. Yes, I know I could have said things differently, but I am tired of this male ego that had to be cherished all the time, everytime.

    Thank you,

    Anna

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