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If You Are Getting Stuck

The times I have gotten stuck on my journey to obey God’s Word as a wife and to totally submit to Him in my entire life, including my marriage and to learn His design for me to respect and submit to my husband – there is usually one or more of the following going on:

  • bitterness – I am hanging on to resentment and unforgiveness.  When I do this, I forfeit God’s Holy Spirit abiding in me and empowering me.  It is IMPOSSIBLE to be a godly wife and to live in constant fellowship with Christ if I am cherishing ANY sin in my heart.  I MUST sincerely, humbly and deeply repent.
  • pride – I start thinking I know best.  I know better than God.  I know better than God’s Word.  I know better than my husband.  I should be the one in control.  I’d do a much better job than my husband at leading.  He’s messing everything up.
  • lack of faith in God or my husband – without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).  And without faith in my husband, it is impossible for me to show respect to him in a way that will mean anything to him.
  • idolatry – I started looking to other things besides Christ for my fulfillment, contentment and happiness.  THIS IS VERY EASY TO DO!  I have to CONSTANTLY check my motives.  WHY am I doing what I am doing?  Am I really doing this to honor God?  Or am I doing it to try to control my husband and make him love me more?  Am I doing this to try to force my husband to make me feel loved?  Am I doing this because I love God with all my heart, want to know Him more and want to obey Him?  Or am I doing the respect thing because I want to try to CONTROL God?  Motive matter GREATLY to our husbands and to God.
  • self-righteousness – I start thinking I am better than my husband.  This is sin!

BROKENNESS

If I do not start from a place of total humility and brokenness – weeping over the magnitude of my own sin in God’s sight – I still have a lot more repenting to do.

It is only when I am utterly humble and contrite before God and tear down all my idols and all my false understanding of him and of myself that I can please Him.  I have to see how utterly spiritually poor, impoverished and critically ill I am to be in the right place.

I must be willing to lay everything down on the altar and sacrifice it to Jesus.  I have to die to myself – willingly.

If there is something that I am holding back from Him and afraid to trust Him about – I have an idol – and I have a lot more work to do.

His perfect love drives out all fear.  The one who fears has not been made perfect in love.

THEN…

The power of God will begin to move in my own heart in extremely powerful ways.

God’s power is fiercely strong in me when I look to Him to be the only source of my identity, the only source of my joy, the only source of my strength and the only purpose in my life.  I must want His will much more than my own – even if I don’t know exactly what His will might involve.  I trust Him.

My highest goal is to bring honor and glory to my Lord.

This is the secret of contentment, joy, peace and abundant life!

THE LITMUS TEST

If I am acting in my own strength and have sin in my heart, I will see multiple characteristics of the flesh predominantly in my heart on a daily basis – and in increasing measure (Galatians 5:19-21):

  • sexual immorality
  • impurity
  • debauchery (excessive use of alcohol/drugs/sex)
  • idolatry
  • witchcraft
  • hatred
  • discord
  • jealousy
  • fits of rage
  • selfish ambition
  • dissensions
  • factions
  • envy
  • drunkenness
  • orgies
  • and the like

If I have things in my heart from the above list, I have either not accepted the gift of Jesus Christ to pay for my sins and asked Him to be my Savior and Lord – or I am not living with Him as Lord.  I have grieved His Spirit and am clinging to sin more than to Jesus.

If His Spirit is in charge – I will see ALL of the fruit of the Spirit in my life daily and in increasing measure (Galatians 5:22):

  • love
  • joy
  • peace
  • patience
  • kindness
  • goodness
  • gentleness
  • self-control
  • no envy
  • no boasting
  • no rudeness
  • no pride
  • no self-seeking
  • not easily angered
  • keep no record of wrongs suffered
  • forgiveness  (unforgiveness = wickedness, the parable of the servant whose master forgave him a great debt, and then the servant wouldn’t forgive his fellow servant a small debt – the master called him, “You wicked servant!”)
  • no delight in evil  (ie: unforgiveness, idolatry, control, pride, selfishness, lust and gossip)
  • rejoice with the truth
  • I protect my husband
  • I trust my husband (or want to move towards being able to rebuild trust) and even more, I trust my Lord
  • I hope in my husband and my Lord
  • I always persevere in my marriage by God’s strength

When I am living in the power of God’s Spirit – these things on this list will be a daily reality and become normal.  God does this.  I cannot do these things AT ALL on my own.  I just have to be plugged in to His power source, spending time in His Word, surrendering my heart, yielding my life completely and without reservation, praying constantly, praising Him constantly, meditation on His Word all throughout the day.

This is what a “normal” Christian life is supposed to look like!

4 thoughts on “If You Are Getting Stuck

  1. ::SIGH:: so true. lately i feel like i take 2 steps forward, 4 steps back. And I find that when I take my eyes off of JESUS I can easily spiral down and take 10 steps backwards!!!! There’s something to be said about just looking to HIM- especially when I am falling apart. It isn’t easy to keep quiet in the middle of being frustrated or being hurt by something my husband said or did like making decisions without consulting me or minimizing what I do as a mother because he is the breadwinner… my first instinct is to let him know just how unhappy I am about it.There are times like last night when I do let him know how unhappy I am. But these days, if I do slip-the HOLY SPIRIT is so quick to let me know I grieved the Lord. OUCH. I am still learning and struggling every day. I guess this is what it means by dying to self… IT IS NOT EASY but I am thankful that the Lord is working in me- little by little.
    HERE IS WHAT I WROTE LAST NIGHT in my prayer journal as I was praying and crying out to God about how unfair it was that I am burdened to be respectful to my husband but my husband doesn’t seem to care about how his words or actions affect ME…
    “AHA! I only want him to come to Christ because hopefully he can be stripped of his thick pride and stubborness. AM I REALLY respecting him because it is what God wants me to do or because I want this end result?? And if I am doing it to get an end result- no wonder why I easily get frustrated. I can’t quote the exact verse but something about God’s ways being higher than my ways… His timing is perfect.”
    OUCH OUCH OUCH OUCH. I ended last night’s prayer with “thank you God for letting me see the gigantic PLANK in my own eye. forgive me please for MY pride, MY selfishness.”
    I thank the Lord for guiding you to have this specific post this morning!!!!!

    1. Marie,

      All we have to do is unplug from our power source for a minute – and things will spiral out of control!

      YOu can respectfully ask him (once, usually) – if he would please check in with you about decisions, that it would make you feel safe and loved if he would do that. But if he does not – realize that he is in charge of the marriage and the God-given authority and respect his decisions anyway. Your cooperation with his authority will help to lead him to God in ways you cannot begin to fathom. IT IS WORTH IT!

      If he minimizes you as a mother – he may be trying to say he doesn’t feel respected and appreciated as the breadwinner. He may feel you are trying to “compete” with him for who is doing “more” and he may be trying to defend himself and what he does in the marriage. If there is a spirit of competition, “I do more for our family than YOU!” – that is EXTREMELY destructive! It has to stop. And it will have to stop with you first.

      If he is talking about how important he is to the family as the breadwinner, say something affirming to him, “You are absolutely right. You do an amazing job providing for us. Thank you for taking such great care of our family! We are very blessed to have you.”

      You don’t have to have accolades from him about what you do for the family. You know you are doing what God wants you to do by caring for the children and home. YOu know God will reward you for your faithful service in this family.

      Your husband may not even be a believer – so you are going to do best to have ZERO expectations of him since he is spiritually dead or blind. God has put you there to minister to him. It is not the other way around.

      I did that, too – wanted the end result more than wanted to obey God a year or so into my learning about this stuff. IT DID NOT WORK! I had to learn to want GOD and to not care how my husband responded or didn’t respond.

      God will not allow me to experience His blessings when I have wrong motives. It is not going to happen.

      The verses you are talking about is in Isaiah 55:8-9. I read those this week! LOVE IT!
      “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

      Praying for you, my precious sister! Thank you so much for sharing! I believe your words will encourage many other wives. 🙂

  2. Amen! It is truly a difficult road to walk, in light of the messages we are fed in our society today.
    I still struggle with jealousy: I don’t like when he give more attention to others, esp women
    I still struggle with fits of rage: I see things as unfair, but I have learned to go to my quiet place to pray and read the word
    I still struggle with envy: I wish I were more like my husband so that he would like me, or more like other men and women he respects and likes

    I have put way too much emphasis on my husbands approval and not enough work into letting God make me into the woman He made me to be.

    Its mostly because I am still afraid of being alone. How do I think I am alone when all I am supposed to need is God?

    This is probably a good time for me to hold all my thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ!

    1. Yes! Only seek God’s approval ultimately!!!! Let God change you. He will never leave you or forsake you. And He is sovereign. If your worst fears happened and your husband left you – he cannot take you out of God’s sovereign hands. God would be with you and fully able to use any trial for your ultimate good and His glory. So there is no need for fear!

      Much love,
      April

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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