A Wife’s Confessions

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This wife is so adorable!  I love the way she articulates this struggle.  I think she expresses so well this universal struggle we as women have with learning to respect our husbands and submit to them as the Bible describes.  Of course, first we must respect Jesus and submit completely to Him.  It really is ALL about Him and our relationship with Him.  The marriage stuff is just the “lab” where we learn to put the theory into practice. :)  A HUGE thank you to this sister of mine for being willing to share her journey:
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The whole daily take up your cross can be easy thing to forget, but an important part of our staying connected and humble before Him.

I did an EXTENSIVE study on Rom 7 (why is it I do the things I do not want to do?). John Gill talks about a civil war going on inside of us.

How true this is!!!! The flesh does NOT want to be humble. It does not want to submit to my husband. I was reading in the Amp version of 1Peter 3 that wives should DEPEND ON their husbands.

Okay, icky secret: I don’t want to depend on my hubby. I actually hate it???

So, how many layers of pride must be peeled off to get me to a comfortable place of dependence? YIKES!!!

I catch myself getting impatient with my husband

  • cuz he walks too slow
  • he wants to hug me and I push him away.
  • He rubs my belly (when I’m sitting and the fat is spilling over), so I get mad cuz I’m so vain.

Why he doesn’t give up on me is a miracle!!!

Just a little while ago I got upset cuz he spilled some purified water. I’m feeling really dizzy, I don’t know why, so I think I’m a lil scared. I’m like this crazed person that HATES waste.

Anyway, it just reveals my inability to trust God. I value a few drops of distilled water over my super kind husband.
So what if he doesn’t validate me. Ugh, that’s something that really hangs me up. Being validated. How do you get past that?

At Wed. nite study we did 1Peter 3, to the wives and then we got to the part about the husbands. I tried to not listen too closely or I knew my flesh would want to use it as a “see, what you’re supposed to do” thing. But then our pastor said that husbands should not get embittered to their wives. This happens cuz some husbands never say no. Then it turns out bad and he has to take the responsibility, so he gets bitter with her.

My pastor said that a godly husband needs to know when to say, “No.”

YIKES, I’m sure my husband has learned to say no, cuz I would ALWAYS want my way thinking I am MORE right.

I struggle when he says no, and sometimes I’m right but I’m learning to let it go.

Pray I will not waver in my trust in God. That I will not doubt His goodness and plan even if it doesn’t look good from my perspective.

My flesh NEVER wants to trust God in the things I can’t fix. The things that seem so wrong. Yet He has given me patience and worked things out. I really need to trust Him more.

HERE IS PART OF MY RESPONSE TO SOME OF HER QUESTIONS:
Let’s see – how many layers of pride?  Umm… in my case, it was dump truck loads every day for weeks and weeks and weeks.  And then more layers revealed for a long time after that.  Pretty nasty stuff – and my heart is so deceitful that I may not even see it in myself even though everyone else can see it plain as day.
 
This wife’s icky secret is EVERY wife’s icky secret, as far as I can tell.  We want control!  We are daughters of Eve and we think we know best.  That awful pride entangles us and we want to elevate ourselves and our wisdom above our husbands’ authority and above God’s Word and above God Himself and be in charge of the universe ourselves.  We want sovereignty!  
But what we need is to humble ourselves and learn to trust God to lead us through our imperfect husbands.  It is our greatest test of faith as women, in my view!
Being validated – AH!  Yes.  We love that!
 
Well – for me, accepting that I would NOT be validated was part of learning to tear out my idol of “feeling loved.”  
 
I had to learn that I am not learning respect and biblical submission to control my husband or change him or to make him love me more so that I can feel loved.  That is REALLY important!
 

When I want validation – it is a signal to me now that I need to look to Christ alone for approval and for worth.  I am doing this for GOD – not for my husband, not to have control.

 

It is actually a blessing sometimes NOT to get validation – otherwise, it is easy to think you are controlling him with your respect and submission and turn that into an idol or a form of manipulation.  

 

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19 Comments on “A Wife’s Confessions”

  1. Kayla Gulick
    June 18, 2013 at 7:22 am #

    That’s a great post. Especially that VERY last paragraph. It’s leaving me with some food for thought today. Thanks for sharing April. And thank you to the wife willing to be real and honest.

    • peacefulwife
      June 18, 2013 at 8:03 am #

      Kayla,
      Isn’t it amazing!?!? I LOVE LOVE LOVE seeing God work in wives’ hearts like this! And the difficult times on the journey are still part of our training in holiness. :) Nothing is wasted by our God!

  2. Carla
    June 18, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    I am the same in needing validation from my hubby. I think this is how i feel his love. Am I submitting to him to get those results??? Probably yes if I’m honest. I’ve destroyed intimacy with him with my disrespect and he tells me that is the consequence of my sinful disrespect towards him. So I almost feel like I’m being punished by him with lack of intimacy. He says he’s forgiven me but in my mind not treating me like it. I want to start fresh but i know I’m still disrespecting him when I point out when he’s not being loving to me. I think I do this because I’m trying to be his Holy Spirit and not wanting to feel like the only bad guy here. We both understand the love and respect aspect of marriage. Please help– I’ve read many times from peaceful wife it will take along time. I’ve confessed to him over 3 months ago. Grant me patience God. We are both believers:)

    • peacefulwife
      June 18, 2013 at 10:40 am #

      Carla,

      3 months is still VERY early in this long journey. It took me 2 years before I began to feel like I had a clue what I was doing – and 2 years and 10 months for all of my husband’s walls to come down.

      I think each wife has to go through this phase where you are not getting validated, and you get mad. And you question why you are doing all of this work “for nothing.” THEN comes the conviction that it HAS to be for God alone.

      It takes husbands a LONG time before they really believe this change is permanent. And there are many ways that we still inadvertently show disrespect sometimes that we don’t notice and are still causing damage that has to be taken care of. Then our husbands also have their own learning curve and it takes time for them to heal and begin to learn to lead and feel confident.

      It is a slow process. Believe him if he says he has forgiven you.

      Remember that you are NOT the Holy Spirit, stay humble and allow God to work in him. When I try to take the Holy Spirit’s place – which I have many, many times in the past… I always repel my husband from me and from God. :( If I can get out of the way, and WAIT. A LOT. And listen to what God wants to change in me, trusting that GOd will speak to my husband in His time – God has the ability to reach my husband in ways infinitely more powerful than anything I could ever do.

      It is really amazing. You learn to wait and just watch to see what God will do. You never know when He is going to throw some circumstance or curveball into your husband’s life that will grab his attention and open his spiritual eyes.

      It is SUCH an adventure! Being submitted to Christ and reverencing Him and being submitted to my husband and learning to respect and honor him has been the most incredible, difficult, rewarding journey of my life.

      The painful part comes first, dying to self. Learning to wait with joy. I have a post about Waiting Becomes Sweet

      This is all part of learning to use those faith and trust muscles in God and in your husband and learning to step down out of control and learning to be a supportive, joyful, encouraging follower.

      It is ok to say, “That feels unloving to me, did I do something disrespectful just now?” (Dr. Eggerichs Love and Respect)

      You both have plenty of sin. There may be times you will need to confront your husband’s sin (Matthew 18, Matthew 7:1-5) But be sure you take care of your own sin first. And many times, I Peter 3:1-6 is the most powerful plan for a wife whose husband is not close to God.

      You are both sinners. Your husband knows this. God certainly knows it. You are responsible for you. Your husband is responsible for himself.

      You are always welcome to email me if you want to. aprilc@sc.rr.com

      • Holly Cameron
        June 18, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

        April, I just read the “waiting” post – I needed to read that! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

    • Holly Cameron
      June 18, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

      Carla, you’re me! I am almost at 4 months and it feels like so much longer. I feel like I have made strides and backsteps, but I am really starting to understand how hard this is. I want change now. I don’t want to wait. I remember going to a therapist one time, and her main point was “validation.” For the next 6 years I felt entitled to validation from my husband, and this is the concept I have the hardest time letting go. Every time I start feeling overwhelmed by all the effort I am putting in and how little change I see in our relationship, God surprises me. I don’t know what your situation is, but I think the thing I ask God for the most is help in letting go and letting Him work in my husband! I tried for years, to no avail. God takes one little moment to remind me how ineffective I am and how effective he can be if I step back. For example, something I have been wanting to do together with my husband, he has wanted to do alone. It directly affects our family, and it has been torture keeping my mouth shut (not always successfully). Just this morning, he called me from work and said he is ready to talk about doing it together – and he even set a time to talk about it! My point is that, just as I have to tell my kids to do something over and over before they start remembering on their own, I have to surrender over and over before my husband remembers that he really can make a decision and think for himself without fear of retribution from me – especially when I keep giving into my flesh. I have to be consistent too, and let the Holy Spirit speak to him instead. The more I stand behind him, the more he starts to pull me to stand next to him. I spent so many years putting myself so far ahead of him, I think now he gets nervous having me stand over his shoulder all the time, thinking I am “”checking” on him instead of patiently waiting for his next move. Again, it helps when I don’t check on him. My guess is that when he can trust that I am back there waiting patiently without being his conscience, he”ll miss me and pull me to him?!

      • peacefulwife
        June 18, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

        Holly,

        Oooh! This looks like post material! I hope you might allow me to use this comment, please! :) GREAT STUFF!

        VALIDATION:
        Yes, we women LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE validation. I know I wanted to get basically a wife “report card” often and see all the A’s I just knew I had earned. Getting validation – like making high grades – is pretty addictive. It is “confirmation” that we are doing things “right” or, “perfectly.”

        It would be awesome if husbands would give us validation for this stuff. But here is a brief summary of how Laura Doyle describes this in “The Surrendered Wife”:

        She says that expecting our husbands to pat us on the back and high five us for the great job and all the hard work we are doing (to respect and “surrender”) would be kind of like if we had been late every day to work for the past few years and then started coming in on time. Should we receive affirmation and validation for doing that? Nope. “It is the minimum requirement of the job.”

        She talks about how we can’t say, “Honey, didn’t you notice how I didn’t nag you or insult you or criticize you at ALL about that decision you just made???” Because respecting our husbands and not controlling them is a “minimum requirement” of being a good wife.

        Being validated is not a right. Receiving validation is a gift. I cannot force my husband to give me a gift. He gives it in his time if he wants to, when he wants to. My particular husband is not very verbal. He VERY RARELY compliments me – and that is still true to this day. I get maybe a few compliments per year. But I am ok with that now. One thing I have realized is that men who are liberal with the validation and compliments tend to also be very liberal with criticism. My husband rarely gives me verbal compliments or emails, but he also very rarely criticizes me. I am actually extremely thankful that he is not on my case about something every day. So I realize now that there are two sides to the coin with husbands’ strengths. If you get one strength, it has a corresponding weakness. Best to focus on the strength and enjoy it and allow God to use the weakness to make you more like Christ.

        LETTING GOD WORK:

        I have learned that I MUST step back from my husband spiritually and allow God to work in him. If I try to get involved, my husband only hears me, not God. And all I do when I try to verbally drag my husband spiritually is make him run farther from me and from God.

        Here is something my husband shared after 2 years I think, of me learning respect and submission:

        “When you stopped the negative stuff (criticizing, complaining, lecturing, telling me what to do, showing contempt, etc) it was like someone stopped the static on the radio station that had God’s voice. I could begin to hear His voice again. Then, when you added the positive stuff (praising, affirming, building me up, telling me what I was doing right, admiring the good in me, respecting me), it was like someone put an amplifier on God’s voice and I could hear it more clearly than ever.”

        I know now that I HAVE to get out of God’s way. If I try to get in there and tell my husband what to do spiritually – I am only going to make a huge mess. But if I will step back, WAIT patiently and joyfully, seek to learn all I can in my own spiritual life, and trust God to work in my husband – that is the way to become God’s partner to bless my husband. That is how I make it easier for him to hear God and to desire God and me.

        Holly, I love your story about this morning!!!!!

        A HUSBAND’S FEAR

        It takes a LONG time of seeing that his wife is seriously permanently respecting him and honoring his leadership before most husbands feel safe enough to lead. At first it is VERY confusing for them! You can read my husband’s story here

        You can also read another husband’s take on how scary it is to try to start leading when his wife never had let him lead before, here.

        Husbands have to see real respect and biblical submission for many months, sometimes longer, before they really feel safe to lead. Just like it is very terrifying at first for us to step down out of control, it is terrifying for them at first to begin to try to lead. Especially if they haven’t had much experience – and if they still remember our vicious words of condemnation from the past about their ideas when they tried to lead before. It takes a LONG time for a wife to learn to respect and submit – especially in our culture where you have to unlearn everything you learned growing up and in our culture, trash it, and start completely from scratch and rebuild your understanding of God, yourself, godly femininity, godly masculinity, marriage and being a good wife on God’s Word.

        It also takes a long time for a husband whose leadership has been usurped for many years to begin to lead with confidence. He will be confused at first. He may not trust you. He may not be sure what to do. He may be afraid to make decisions because he thinks if you don’t agree, he will face your wrath like he has in the past.

        I began thanking my husband for being the God-given leader in our marriage many weeks before he made his first decision. I actually stopped giving any input for a time – because I had been so headstrong and led so much, I wanted him to be able to think for himself without my constant opinions. At first, I would say, “Whatever you think is best, Honey.” Eventually, I learned that some things he really does want my opinion on, and now I know how to express my desires and feelings respectfully. But then I trust him to make the final decision, knowing he is accountable to God, not me.

        I believe that your statement at the end would be correct, Holly!

        It is the most amazing thing in the world to watch God transform my husband into a strong, godly leader. We are BOTH so much more the people we have always wanted to be. I haven’t “lost myself” I have found my true self in Christ! I did have to lose my old sinful nature – but that was no sacrifice in reality! And I haven’t lost power or a voice, I am now God’s partner to bless, heal and empower my husband to be the man of God’s dreams.

        Much love to each of you, my precious sisters in Christ!

        • peacefulwife
          June 18, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

          For those who haven’t read Laura Doyle’s “The Surrendered Wife”

          Check this out!This is an excerpt from Laura Doyle’s “The Surrendered Wife” about how she and the wives in her “Surrendered Circle” knew it was time to learn to surrender to their husbands and a summary of the results of their surrendering. These are wives of different religious backgrounds- God’s principles of marriage apply to marriage regardless of a person’s faith in Christ. Some principles are set in place and always work this way- just like the laws of physics and mathmatics work for believers and unbelievers. Men and women are designed to function in marriage in a certain way. Trying to make marriage work in a way that is against God’s design results in a disaster!With God as our guide, we have discovered that surrendering in our
          marriages gives us a new freedom we had not known before.
          For a wife to surrender means she is willing to release her grip on her
          husband’s life, thereby making his own journey possible. We have found
          that marriage works best when we let our husbands be the men and fathers only they know how to be.
          Surrendering is a process of celebrating our femaleness- our God-given right to receive life’s blessings
          of love, companionship, prosperity, and family life. We can fulfill our
          womanhood only when we give our husbands the freedom to stand tall in
          their manhood. In extricating our grip, we find we have renewed energy
          for life’s many joys.

          Here are some signs that told us it was time to surrender:

          - Feeling superior to our husbands.
          -“henpecking” or disrespecting our husbands behind their
          backs- particularly in the company of other wives
          -Encouraging other wives to disrespect their husbands
          -Disrespecting our husbands publically and privately
          -Often hearing ourselves say the words, ”I told my husband”
          -Believing everything would be ok if our husbands would just
          do as we said
          -Compulsively looking for the worst in our husbands
          -Eavesdropping on our husbands’ conversations to ensure
          everything was handled correctly
          -Feeling that there was only one adult in the family- us!
          -Feeling overburdened in parenting our children
          -Increasing fear around family decisions
          -Doing for our husbands what they were capable of doing for
          themselves
          -Recurring anxiety and depression
          -Physical exhaustion, often including chronic illness
          -A loss of interest in sex by either partner
          -Increasing resentment and jealousy at our husbands’ victories
          in life
          -Rejecting our husbands’ gifts until they could no longer risk
          giving
          -Often fantasizing about divorce or life with a man who would
          better match us
          -Discounting the reasons we had chosen our husband in the
          first place
          -Feeling that our needs had gone unmet for so long that we
          lost hope
          -Inability to trust our husbands in even the smallest matter
          -Finding our obsession to control had become so loud that we
          could no longer hear the voice of God

          Here are the things that we did, to the best of our ability, to
          surrender to our husbands:
          -We refrained from offering our husbands advice or teaching
          them how to do things
          -We released our inappropriate expectations for our husbands
          and focused on appreciating their gifts
          -We discussed our problems with other married women to gain
          perspective, and so that we didn’t have to rely on our husbands as our only emotion al support
          -We apologized for being disrespectful whenever we
          contradicted, criticized, or dismissed our husbands’ thoughts or ideas
          -We refrained from asking our husbands to do the things we
          wanted them to do
          -We concentrated on taking care of ourselves first, knowing
          that our own contentment was the key to a happy household
          -We listened to our husbands’ problems without offering
          solutions, trusting that they would find their own
          -We refrained from doing things for our husbands that they
          were capable of doing themselves, such as buying their clothes or making doctor’s appointments for them.
          -We respected our husbands’ approach to parenting, and their
          unique relationship with their children and stepchildren
          -We deferred to our husbands’ thinking when we had conflicting
          opinions
          -We relinquished control of the household finances and relied
          on our husband to give us what we need
          -We made ourselves sexually available to our husbands
          -We acknowledged our hurt feelings by saying, “Ouch,” our
          loneliness by saying, “I miss you” and our gratitude by saying “Thank you.”
          -We practiced graciously and gratefully receiving from our
          husbands whenever possible
          -We followed their direction and leadership, except when to do
          so would cause us severe emotional/physical distress (ie: husband asking us to do something that we are not physically/emotionally able to do) (FROM PEACEFULWIFE – God’s command is for us to submit to our husbands unless they are asking us to sin.)
          -We told our husbands what we wanted in way of clothing,
          household items, babies, vacations, etc., and allowed them to provide those things for us
          -We prayed for wisdom and listened carefully so we could hear
          the answers

          What happened when we surrendered

          -We felt genuine admiration and respect for our husbands
          -We felt a sense of dignity that had eluded us when we were
          nagging, complaining and criticizing our husbands
          -We developed a deeper, more satisfying relationships with
          women
          -Harmony was restored in our families as conflict and fighting
          dropped dramatically
          -We found ourselves doing less and accomplishing more
          -Our children showed more respect for our mates and relied on
          them for guidance in a deeper way
          -We felt excitement and fear at the dramatic changes in our
          lives
          -We had more time for relaxation and pleasurable activities
          for ourselves
          -We felt the pleasure of connecting with our own femininity
          -We had less to worry about, more to be grateful for, and the
          passionate, romantic relationships we had always wanted
          -Sex became more frequent and enjoyable
          -Our husbands started earning more money. Some received
          raises or performance bonuses while others found better paying work
          -We received more gifts than ever before
          -We became more conscious and comforted that God was guiding
          and protecting us. This connection made us feel joyful.

          FROM PEACEFULWIFE:
          I can identify completely with the “before” and the “after” of Laura
          Doyle’s experience and her circle of friends who decided to surrender to their husbands. Yes it is scary to take this step. But I, for one, have never regretted it for a second! In fact, you could not pay me ANY amount of money to go back to my old self!!!!!!
          I pray for God’s great blessings on each marriage as we seek God’s will and seek to obey Him and find the abundant life He has promised to us in His Word for those who love and obey Him.

  3. Janet Arold Surrett
    June 18, 2013 at 9:51 am #

    Thanks for the reminder. What a great read, very convicting.Father forgive us of our selfishness, mold us into the wives you have called us to be.

  4. darylgstewart
    June 18, 2013 at 10:54 am #

    I am remembering that all decisions need to be made with eternity’s values in view. The values of this world are so transitory!

    • peacefulwife
      June 18, 2013 at 11:11 am #

      Yes! That is the only way we can make truly wise decisions. Thank you, Brother Daryl!

  5. B
    June 18, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    Thanks for sharing! this has truly blessed me. What a great reminder. I often forget that TRUSTING GOD is letting my Wonderful husband lead. The part that spoke to me most was when she said, ” why he does not give up on me is a miracle” I truly feel that everytime, he is SUPER sweet, and I’m not being nice to him… (breaks my heart). Jori (my husband) is definitely a picture of how GOD loves me :) to think of “this is how I treat Christ” is heart breaking. I also know the holy spirit is at work in me EVERYDAY, to mold me into the wife he desires me to be:)

    Is there a balance on how much I should depend on my husband? Can you please give me an example of how depending on our husbands look like? (I need help understand this :) )

  6. Carla
    June 18, 2013 at 11:23 pm #

    Thank u. I relate to the report card validation comment! I am smiling right now cuz I was just thinking about confronting my hubby how I’m doing! instead i poured out my heart to God and thanking him now for the wisdom of this blog. Pray for my patience. Thank u

    • peacefulwife
      June 18, 2013 at 11:33 pm #

      I believe that another godly wife can give us the validation we desire during this journey. That would be a great place to go to get it. And, of course, realizing that your main purpose in life is to please and glorify Jesus Christ – and to hear His validation when you stand before Him one day – that helps put things in perspective, too, for me!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Links and Comments #13 | The Society of Phineas - June 29, 2013

    […] The command for husbands to step-up and lead their families is a heretical Churchian command manufactured out of whole cloth from misapplication of Scripture. The command given is for wives to submit, no matter how much the Churchian proctors wish to ignore it. It is Scriptural to say that Effective Female Submission Initiates Male Leadership. This is confirmed by Peacefulwife here: […]

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