A Hurting Wife Examines Her Heart

933783_thinkingAn email from a wife
It is EXTREMELY difficult to examine our own hearts when we are being severely sinned against ourselves.  
I am very proud of these precious wives for the work they are doing and allowing God to do by letting Him search their hearts and then repenting of the sin in their own lives.  I am so amazed at the things God is teaching these friends of mine.  Thank you to this wife for allowing me to share her story and her journey.  She is in an excruciatingly painful place.   But God is working!  And what He is doing is so beautiful in her heart.  
I don’t know if all of these marriages will all ultimately be saved – my prayer is for God’s greatest glory and for these women to be faithful to Christ and to grow in their faith and shine brightly for Him.  And my prayer is also for these husbands to be drawn back to Christ – to be reconciled with Him and for healing according to God’s will, His timing and His purposes.  I do know that our God is able to heal and bring beauty from ashes.  And I do know that God says, “I hate divorce.” (check out Malachi 2:13-16)  There are some times when it is not safe to be together or the spouse refuses to stay.  My prayer is for God’s will for each marriage.
I pray that we might have ears to hear what God may want to speak to us as wives today – and that we might learn from this wife’s experience.
 
** For wives with serious marriage issues – please see the paragraph at the bottom of this post! **
 
FROM A DEAR WIFE:
I found out about the affair some months ago.  My husband has told me that he has ended the affair, but (she) is still interested and may be texting him.  April, we are trying to stay together and my husband says he still loves me.  This is the second affair that he has had.  I love him too –  and do not want a divorce but I want total reconciliation.
When we talked about some things that led to the affairs, two issues surfaced.  One issue totally belongs to my husband.  The other issue belongs to me.
  • I was very disrespectful and controlling to my husband in the first half of our marriage.
  • After I got saved, I became very judgmental and self-righteous and treated my husband with even more disdain.
He gave me a sarcastic nickname about being a Christian because I was just no fun.  I went to church a lot but that was about it.
  • Instead of meeting my husbands needs,  I paid more attention to his sin.
  • I rejected him sexually, recreationally and every other way.  
  • I thought all of my suggestions were right and my husband was wrong about stuff most of the time.

He told me that I was not happy unless I was complaining about something he did or trying to run his life.

I thought my intentions, and motives were good because I wanted my husband to be totally committed to God like I was.    Instead of listening to me, my husband stopped going to church and is still struggling in his relationship with God.
My husband said he could not get any peace living with me and I did not make him feel good about himself.  It was really very tough to hear all of the things that I did wrong and it makes me so sad to think back to all the things I did to destroy my marriage from the inside out.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE

What an incredibly heartbreaking situation.  How I wish this couple had discovered God’s design for marriage long ago.  

The husband in this marriage is 100% responsible for his sin against God and his wife.  He is accountable for what he has done.  I pray that God convicts him and that he will be broken before our holy Lord.  I pray that he repents to God and to his wife and finds forgiveness and new life in Jesus.

The wife in this marriage is 100% responsible for her sin against God and her husband.   She is NOT responsible for her husband’s sin.  She is accountable for what she has done – and I am so thankful that she now has a repentant, humble heart and that she is experiencing the forgiveness, grace, mercy and healing Jesus has to offer to all those who call on Him in faith. 

God is at work and He is doing big things in this wife’s heart.  The very fact that He has opened her eyes to the sin she had never seen is huge.  Only God can open our spiritual eyes and convict us of our sin.  That is the place we must start.  We are ALL wretched sinners with no good in us on our own.  Because this precious wife has a humble heart now before God and desires to know Him and please Him – I know that He has amazing things in store for her – and I can’t wait to see what our great God is going to do.  He is a God of miracles.

Please join us for praying for this couple that God would reconcile both the husband and wife to Himself first, that they would seek God above everything else and repent of any sin that offends God – and that He might heal this broken marriage for His glory and use them to bring many to Christ.

When a husband is far from God – whether he is an unbeliever or a carnal Christian in rebellion against God’s Word, God has VERY specific directions for believing wives.  The reason God has these instructions is that what comes naturally to us is to try to verbally force our husbands or verbally drag them to God.  The verbal gift God has given us is powerful.  I believe God desires us to use our words to breathe life and speak life to our husbands and children and to refrain from using our words as weapons of destruction.  

Our WORDS about God and spiritual things are not what our husbands can hear when they are far from God.  Only our respect and godly example will get through to them at that point.  

Read what God says and be greatly encouraged if your husband is far from God right now.  This is His prescription for you and this is where your power is as a godly wife!

Wives, in the same way (as believers are to submit to the government and other God-given authority in chapter 2) be submissive to your husbands (from PW – honor their leadership unless they ask you to sin) so that, if any of them do not believe the Word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.  Your beauty should not come from outward adornment… Instead it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet (calm, peaceful, stilled) spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight… You are (Sarah’s) daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.  I Peter 3:1-6

If this is your situation – God desires your witness for Christ to be with actions and attitude, not words about God and spiritual things.  THIS is the way to reach a husband for Christ – in cooperation with God and obedience to His Word – having your heart totally submitted and yielded to Christ.

WHAT COMES NATURALLY TO US

Our sinful nature wants to be full of fear and anxiety if we have a husband who is far from God.  We want to take over leadership and control and try to make things happen the way we think God wants them to happen.  Freaking out, worrying, being upset a lot, being irritable, being self-righteous, looking down on our husbands, thinking we are better than they are, thinking we are so much closer to God than they are… these are the things that come naturally for a wife in this situation.

WHAT GOD DESIRES

God’s instructions to us are completely counterintuitive to our verbal female minds.  The reason a gentle and peaceful spirit that does not give way to hysterical fear is so beautiful to God is that it means we are trusting in His sovereignty and His power and His timing and His work in our lives and in our husbands’ lives – so we are not afraid.  We are resting in God’s love and we are full of real faith in Him – keeping our eyes on Him and not the crashing waves of our circumstances.

Submission for a Christian begins with total submission to Jesus.

FOR WIVES WITH SERIOUS MARRIAGE PROBLEMS

If your husband is physically abusing you, has an uncontrolled mental disorder/active drug addiction/active alcohol addiction or he is being unfaithful to you – it is possible you may need a time of physical separation for your safety and healing.   
 
And it would be my prayer that the separation would lead to spiritual and emotional healing and that eventually the husband and wife might be reunited but in a healthy way that brings great glory to God – not with the same old sinful, destructive patterns as before.  There are times that marriages can’t work out.  But I believe our desire should be for reconciliation for both spouses to Christ and for healing for the marriage if possible in a way that honors God.
 
If there are serious problems in your marriage, please find godly, experienced help – a Christian pastor, a Christian counselor (preferably a man if you are going with your husband), a godly older wife mentor, a Christian women’s shelter).  
 
I don’t believe that Biblical submission means allowing someone to beat you and staying in a dangerous situation or allowing your children to be physically/sexually abused. 
 
I don’t believe God’s command for wives to respect their husbands and honor their authority means staying and trying to “respect” your husband’s affair/drug addiction,  saying nothing about it and continuing on as if nothing is wrong – exposing yourself to STDs/danger.  
 
I don’t believe Biblical submission means you must “do whatever your husband says” – any more than a Christian must do anything and everything the government or his/her boss/pastor asks him/her to do.  Yes – as believers, we are to honor the God-given authority of those in positions of leadership and we are to submit to their authority ultimately because we are submitting to Christ.  But if your boss asks you to lie or steal – the authority of God’s Word trumps his human authority.  If the government asks you to kill your babies or stop talking about Jesus – the authority of God’s Word trumps their human authority.  If your pastor asks you to have sex with him (and he is not your husband) – the authority of God’s Word trumps his human authority.
 
We must obey God rather than men.  Acts 5:29
 
If your husband asks you to sin or condone sin – please respectfully, humbly, firmly resist him – listen carefully to God’s Spirit and seek godly counsel.   There are times you may need to confront your husband’s sin after examining your own life and repenting of anything that offends God in your own soul (Matthew 7:1-6, Matthew 18).  
 
But even when your husband sins, you still have  power and freedom in Christ to respond in God’s Spirit with respect and without sin yourself.  His sin does not justify your sin.  If he has an affair, it doesn’t mean that it is ok for you to cuss him out, throw things at him and try to stab him with a knife.  Those things might cross your mind!  It is definitely much more TEMPTING to sin against him when he sins against you.  
 
We answer to God for our behavior, our obedience to His Word, our thoughts, our words and our sin – no matter what our husbands do or do not do.  I pray God will give each of you the wisdom you need for each situation.  If your marriage suffers from drug/alcohol addictions, uncontrolled mental disorders, physical abuse – PLEASE get godly, experienced help ASAP!  Those issues go way beyond the scope of this blog.  If you are not safe or your children are not safe – please carefully plan how you might escape to safety.  Please contact your local women’s shelter or check out these resources below.
 
I am glad to pray for you.  

http://www.todayschristianwoman.com/articles/2004/september/11.68.html?start=1

http://www.marriagemissions.com/why-do-christian-spouses-abuse-their-marriage-partners/

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3 Comments on “A Hurting Wife Examines Her Heart”

  1. mandi
    March 27, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    PLEASE I encouarge all wives that have ever been betrayed by their husband weather it be a physical affair or affair of the mind(pornography) please read ‘HOPE after Betrayal’-Healing when sexual addiction invades your marriage- By MEG WILSON
    It truly will be like fresh water that you can always keep going back to! Also google her. She really is a vessel used mightily for God in this area..one reason because shes been there, done that! I promise you will be encouraged by her book sooner or later. God’s first concern is for your relationship with Him-not your circumstances.
    P.S. you can find her book also on Amazon and EBay.

    Though it may seem out of reach there is hope after betrayal!
    Please get the book and allow God to heal you♡

    • peacefulwife
      March 27, 2013 at 9:42 am #

      Thank you Mandi! That sounds like a great resource. I totally agree – focusing on our relationship with God is the primary thing. I appreciate this information greatly!

  2. espressolane
    April 7, 2013 at 11:22 pm #

    Amen & Amen! :)

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