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New Temptations

Many of the old temptations I used to have are really not temptations at all anymore.  I LOVE that!  This is GREAT news, ladies!

I have ZERO desire to say hateful things to my husband, to criticize him, lecture him, boss him around, complain, argue, disrespect him or try to control him anymore.   In fact, I almost never even THINK that stuff anymore.  God has changed me profoundly.  And those were VERY strong temptations at the beginning of this journey.  Now, you could not pay me to say some of the things I used to say to him.  I know exactly the damage I would be causing, and I just can’t do that anymore – PRAISE GOD!

You know how when you are starting to learn respect and submission, saying admiring things and praising your husband feels like speaking a foreign language and feels awkward?  Well, now, saying the awful old things feels awkward, foreign and icky.  I hope that will be very encouraging news to those of you beginning your journey!  God can and will change and renew your mind and heart.

But temptations do not end.  We are still human and still on this earth.  I am still a wretched sinner in total need of Christ every moment.

Now, there are still temptations, some old ones, and some new ones (this comes with the territory of the later stages of this journey):

  • There are still temptations to commit idolatry.  It could be easy to make rituals idols, or even respect an idol, or ministry an idol – almost anything could become an idol!  My heart is an idol factory – and I have to CONSTANTLY be on guard for idols.  I have a rebellious, stubborn, wandering heart.  I pray that God will bind me to Himself!
  • There are still temptations to do other things and put off spending time with God – especially when the schedule is very busy.  Not a good thing to do!  I MUST have that time with Him, or I am worthless to my family and everyone else!
  • There are still temptations to have impure motives.  The difference now is that I can recognize them much more quickly.  I have to CONSTANTLY ask God to check my motives and purify my motives to be sure that what I am doing is for the right reasons.  Every thought still must be captured for Christ!  That battle never goes away.  Am I doing this for my glory, to make myself look good?  Why do I really want to do this thing?  Or am I doing it purely for the glory of God?  The human heart is wicked and deceitful above all things.  I can easily deceive myself.  I need God’s Word and His Spirit to constantly search my soul for sin with that intense spotlight of God.
  • I must still be sure I am holding nothing back from Jesus daily.  I have to examine my heart. Is there something that I want to say, “You can have everything, Jesus – except for THAT!”  I have to be sure that I am fully surrendered and yielded to Him and His will.
  • I must still die to self daily.  And I must still be prepared for those moments when self suddenly tries to come down off the cross.  I’ve got to have the hammer and nails ready!  Not my will, but Yours, be done, Lord!
  • There is still the temptation to run ahead of God – with writing posts, wanting to write a book, wanting to see things happen for others or in my family.  Thankfully, God’s Spirit usually reminds me QUICKLY to stop and wait now.  And I don’t view waiting with the loathing I used to!  I want to learn every single lesson along the way.  The waiting is the most important part!  That is where my faith is often tested.
  • There is temptation for me to think I am too important here.   Pride can set in easily.  I have to always be vigilant about that.  God is what people need, not me.  God is the necessary ingredient here – and His power.  I am just a jar of clay for Him to pour through.  I am not the essential one.  And if God decides to – He can remove me from the picture, and His purposes and plans will still carry on just fine without me.
  • It is tempting for me to think if I just explain the “right way” enough – women will understand all of this stuff.  Sometimes I have to let women go.  I cannot be God’s Spirit.  I can’t open people’s eyes.  I can present the truth, but I can’t control when and how and where people will see it.  I have to present and then allow God’s Spirit space and time to do His job.  I can’t force anyone to understand and learn when they are not ready.  Some women have heard me out, and then chose to rebel against God and His Word.  And I had to let them go.  That is REALLY hard.  It is tempting to try to cling and make them go God’s way.  But that is not my place!   I prayed for them daily.  But you know what?  God has brought many of them back to Himself!  Not me.  I didn’t do it.  But He has done this.  What a mighty God we serve!  He is so very good, all the time.  Regardless of circumstances.
  • It is a temptation for me to take on the weight of other people’s problems.  I used to do that.  But, thankfully, now, God has shown me how to lay the burdens down at His feet and not carry any of the weight.   I am really glad for that!  All that weight would crush me.  So, I don’t carry it, I trust God to do that.  But it is a temptation, and I must guard against it.
  • There is a temptation to miss opportunities God is giving me.   I don’t want to ignore or miss ONE!
  • If someone treats my husband with disrespect, it is REALLY, REALLY tough for me to sit quietly and not say something.  I have spent 4 years now learning to respect this man and honor his leadership – and it completely eats me up if someone else is disrespectful to him or tries to control him.  I get UPSET.  I want to step in and rescue him.  I actually emailed Laura Doyle (“The Surrendered Wife”) about this issue a few years ago, and she had very wise advice for me.  She said, “the respectful thing to do here is to trust him to handle his own relationships and his business without your interference.”  Well, that makes sense!  How come I couldn’t have come up with that!?!?  So now, I remain quiet and trust him to take care of himself in his relationships and dealings with people.
  • If I see a wife disrespecting her husband, trying to control him and treating him like he is an idiot – WOW! – I have a HARD time witnessing that and not intervening.  But I know it would be disrespectful and ineffective for me to rush over and try to tell a wife what to do.  I would probably get slapped – or shot.  So I haven’t intervened so far!  It is definitely not my place AT ALL to be the respect and submission police.  That is the Holy Spirit’s job.  I am not the Holy Spirit.  But still, it is a HUGE temptation for me to interject myself when I see women being disrespectful, condescending, negative and controlling with their men.  Thoughts definitely enter my mind!  I want them to find the intimacy, joy and peace God has shown me.  And it is excruciating to see the pain those husbands are in!  But I have to be patient and allow God to work in His time.  I can’t just go around trying to force wives to learn about God’s design.  I need to only work with the women God brings to me who are ready to learn and ready and able to hear.
  • I cannot stand to hear women bashing their husbands/boyfriends/ex-husbands.  That makes me want to run screaming out of the building.  It is like nails scratching a blackboard to me now.  It is shear torture!  I seriously have to bite my lips – and hopefully find something very engaging to read or do if I must be in the same vicinity and can’t leave and it is not appropriate for me to address the situation.  Oh, I hate hearing that stuff  SO MUCH!
  • Issues with other men – The more I understand about the power of respect, submission, godly femininity, godly masculinity and God’s design for marriage – there are new temptations.  With all this knowledge comes a lot of scary power.  Now that I can see the masculine perspective and point of view, and I can see how disrespectfully some husbands are being treated – I have to be REALLY, REALLY careful.   I have a lot of empathy for men.  Now – I know what men need.  I know what they want.  I know what they like and how they perceive the world.  This whole new world of manliness has opened up for me and it is an amazing and wondrous place!  I appreciate men’s wisdom and masculinity as being a reflection of Christ.  I know how to meet their needs now.  I know the power of respect, godly femininity, a peaceful and gentle spirit that does not give way to fear, admiration and praise.  I know what men could become if their wives give them respect, honor, faith, trust, encouragement and praise.  And that really helps me to be able to teach this powerful stuff to other women and to translate husbands’ words and actions for wives.  It is a HUGE blessing!  But I have to be extremely careful not to see a man who is starving for respect and think that I can meet that need.  I mean – I COULD meet that need.  But then what a MASSIVE MESS that would be.   I can be respectful, of course – to a point – with everyone (men and women).  But I have to only give teeny, tiny doses of respect and be extremely aware that I can’t apply the respect/admiration skills full force on any other men. I can only do that for my husband.  THAT IS IT.  I have to hold WAY, WAY back with other men.  This respect and admiration stuff is like having super powers with men.  And it  is some seriously dangerous ground.
  • Persecution – When a woman stands for the truth of God and His design for marriage – lots of people, women especially, cannot tolerate her stand for Christ.  There is persecution.  So far – it is very mild.  Just words.  It’s not a bad thing – it is actually a good sign that people are treating me in some small way like Jesus was treated – with contempt and ridicule.  Jesus says we are blessed when we suffer on His account.  But I long so much to honor God with my response – to know what to say and if to say something and when to say it. There are temptations not to forgive – that is why I need the Spirit of Christ to be in control NOT me!   So I must constantly check my heart for unforgiveness or any tiny root of bitterness and get rid of it immediately!  I long to see these people come to know Jesus and have His peace, joy and eternal life with Him forever!
  • This will shock you, I know.  I am frequently tempted to spend too long BLOGGING, working on my book and emailing people.  I LOVE blogging and ministering to wives and am not particularly great at moderation sometimes.  So finding balance with all of my priorities can be tricky for me.   Thankfully, my husband has lovingly given me a curfew of 10:00pm on the computer so that I will stop and spend time with HIM from 10:00-12:00 and that has been the best thing ever!

Please pray for me as I minister, for my marriage, my children, wisdom and God’s Spirit to have full control as I write and for God to keep me from sin and temptation by His power for His greatest glory!  Satan would love to take me down.  I am a target.  So are you!  Let’s pray for one another and build each other up!

My Personal Convictions about Dealing with other Men:

My personal convictions:
– I don’t EVER want to be alone with another man in a room/building.
– I don’t ride alone in a car with another man.
– I don’t have private phone conversations/email conversations/texting/FB messages with another man
– my husband has full and total access to all of my text messages, my FB messages, my internet history. I am completely transparent.
– I tell my husband immediately if I notice temptation so that I stay accountable to him.
– I tell my godly girl friends/prayer partners or my twin sister about tempting feelings or even the possibility of tempting feelings.
– If I notice possible temptation, I try to break contact with that man completely.
– I pray that God would take me out of this world before I would fall and disgrace Him, my marriage and my family by getting ensnared in adultery.
– If possible, I much prefer not to work with men at all.

To me – I have a constant sense that other men could be poison. I try to keep a very clear distance.

Blogging creates some new challenges.  So I am constantly in prayer and talking with my husband and godly girlfriends to see if I need to add additional accountability measures.

10 thoughts on “New Temptations

  1. I can imagine how hard these things have become for you! I too now notice other wives being disrespectful and manipulative with their husbands….and because I’ve lost mine, for doing that very thing I am soooooo tempted to put them right!!! But I know that is not my place!
    I can’t wait to be able to put what I’m learning into practice with my husband. But I must, I must wait on God’s timing and stop wrestling it back from Him!!!!

    1. Suzi,

      I can totally identify with wanting to run ahead of God’s timing. I used to do that every day! And I would run ahead of my husband’s timing, too, of course. You are in my prayers every day, my beautiful sister! 🙂

  2. I always thought I was a submissive wife, but I now know there is MUCH more to it than a clean house and meals on the table. I always tried to encourage my husband, but I really didn’t let him fully lead our house and be the head if the house. I was raised in a Christian home (my dad is a preacher) and always heard to be a submissive wife, but never was taught what submission and being respectful was like.

    As I was reading this blog (I read everyday with joy and eagerness to learn!!!), I thought that I need to pray for you and your ministry, as well as encouragement as you write new blog posts…….and as I read your post further I saw God working when you asked for everybody to pray for each other. I agree 100%!!. Prayer is so amazing!

    I guess all my ramblings are to thank-you for such a wonderful blog and encouraging advice on how to be a submissive and respectful wife. I started on this journey very recently and have already seen positive changes in my life and in my husband’s. I’m still in the quiet stage of thinking before I speak so that I can say encouraging and pleasant words and know when to bit my tongue in certain situations. Thank you so much and God bless!

    1. Tulip,

      Thanks so much for your comments! I thought I was being a respectful and submissive Christian wife those first 15 years of our marriage, too. I had no idea!

      I’m so thankful that you are finding God’s wisdom and encouragement here. And I am thrilled to hear that you are seeing results already – that makes it a lot easier to keep obeying God when you get that positive reinforcement. 🙂

      Thank you for your comments and for your prayers! I really need and appreciate your support and prayers very much!

  3. I appreciate the teaching on temptation as it helps us all remember how everpresent and destructivie they can be to our spiritual lives and our relationship with the Savior. One has to look no further than the front page of this morning’s paper to see yet another prominent person, this time a highly decorated general and head of a powerful government agency, who did what he knows he should not have done. (He himself had defined character as “who you are when no one is looking — and someone is always looking.” How very true, for our almighty omnipresent God is always there.) This morning’s daily leadership devotional from A.W. Tozer deals with the issue. He wrote:

    “Spiritual Warfare and Sin: Preparation Is Vital

    Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” —1 Samuel 17:37

    The whole Bible and all past history unite to teach that battles are always won before the armies take the field. The critical moment for any army is not the day it engages the foe in actual combat; it is the day before or the month before or the year before….

    Preparation is vital. The rule is, prepare or fail. Luck and bluster will do for a while, but the law will catch up with us sooner or later, usually sooner….

    It did not take Moses long to lead the children of Israel out through the Red Sea to deliverance and freedom; but his fittedness to lead them out was the result of years of hard discipline. It took David only a few minutes to dispose of Goliath; but he had beaten the giant long before in the person of the lion and the bear….

    Preparation is vital. Let this be noted by everyone. We can seek God today and get prepared to meet temptation tomorrow; but if we meet the enemy without first having met God, the outcome is not conjectural; the issue is already decided. We can only lose.”

    In terms of sexual temptation, the example of Joseph might have been more apropos, but still the idea of making the decision to turn from temptation before the temptation opportunity arises is good.

    Again, April, I praise God for your ministry.

    1. Ronfurg,
      Yes – I saw the headlines yesterday and knew I HAD to write about this. What an incredibly devastating thing adultery is.

      What does it matter now that this man may have had 30+ good years of marriage with his wife? It’s gone now. His incredibly powerful and successful and highly respected career is gone now. I don’t know if he has children. Relationships with them may be destroyed.

      An affair leads to death. Death of relationships all around the couple and in family and extended family. Adultery has SERIOUS and SEVERE consequences.

      I have seen many marriages survive affairs, even affairs that lasted 7 years or more. God CAN and DOES heal marriages and families that have been dealt the blow of adultery.

      BUT – how much better never to go there!

      I pray that we might look at the examples of people in positions of great power and fame as well as those around us. Look at the astronomical cost associated with the fall-out of an affair.

      It is SO NOT WORTH IT!

      Best not to go even close to it. Pornography is a gateway sin that easily leads to taking sexual needs outside of the marriage. Emotional affairs are destructive – they are not innocent. And they lead to sexual affairs. Having close friendships with people of the opposite sex – especially communicating privately is a recipe for a disaster.

      I pray that the people of God will wake up and see that we must be on our guard against temptation and that we must protect our hearts, our marriages and our families against this kind of catastrophic damage. I pray that we will fulfill the needs of our spouses and that we will take our emotional/spiritual/physical needs to God when we are not getting our needs met in our marriage and find strength in HIM as we wait on Him to heal our marriages. I pray we will not take our needs outside of our marriages.

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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