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Do Not Expect Outside Support

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If you decide to obey God’s Word about respecting  your husband and honoring his God-given leadership (Ephesians 5:22-33) – I believe your marriage will be greatly blessed.  I believe you will likely find much greater intimacy with your husband.   You will definitely find incredible intimacy with God as you submit completely to Jesus first and then want to obey Him in everything.  You will  find God’s joy, peace and abundant life as you walk this road.

It will be painful first – as you die to yourself and have to see your own huge sin and repent of all of that.  Digging out all the decades of lies, idols, pride, disrespect, controlling behavior/attitudes, unforgiveness, bitterness and misunderstanding about God and His design is HARD!  Then you begin to rebuild your life on Christ alone and His Word alone.  You throw out everything you thought you knew about femininity, masculinity, being a godly woman, being a godly wife, marriage and even being a Christian and understanding who God really is.   You begin to realize just how toxic our culture is and how very far we have strayed from God’s Word.  But as you follow Christ and obey Him – you discover that His yoke is easy and His burden is light and that you will have freedom, joy, peace and a huge weight off of your soul that you have never experienced before.   It is the most wonderful thing in the world to live in obedience to God and be full of His Spirit!

UNFORTUNATELY

Many wives quickly discover that when they talk about respecting their husbands,  they begin checking with their husbands before making decisions and they begin to live with their husbands’ authority/protection/provision/covering over them instead of trying to please all the other people in their lives – other people sometimes get really angry.  A turf war for control begins.

Many wives learned to be disrespectful and controlling wives by watching the dynamics in our own families growing up. (I think I learned it from being a dominant twin, my mom wasn’t controlling or disrespectful at all, interestingly!)  So our original families are where this new way of living will probably  receive the greatest amount of criticism.  The people I have seen who get the most angry with wives are controlling extended family members who suddenly find that they don’t have power over these women anymore.  To these family members, losing control over their loved one  is UNACCEPTABLE.  Many times, families begin to up the pressure, the guilt, the manipulation and attempts to control wives because that is what they have always done in that family and they cannot tolerate that this woman is no longer under their control.  For a controlling person to realize that he/she no longer “has control” over someone is the ultimate insult and nightmare.

Trying to control other people is idolatry of self – it is sin.  It is saying that we are sovereign and have to make everything work out right, not God.  It is saying that other people don’t have a free will but must do what we say.  This is how I lived for DECADES – trying to control others and be a people pleaser (which meant allowing others to control me).

We do not have to submit ourselves to that!  THANK GOD!  The only One Who is qualified and worthy to have control over me is God – when His Spirit fills and controls me, I have His joy, peace, love, patience, kindness, goodness,faithfulness, gentleness and self control! (Galatians 5:22-23).  I either am controlled by God’s Spirit or by my sinful nature.  Those are the choices.  If I give in to the controlling and manipulative tactics of other people, I am allowing my sin nature to be in control of me, not God.

It’s interesting to me that family members will say, “You are oppressed!  You don’t get to have a mind of your own anymore.  How dare you listen to your HUSBAND!?!?!”  – like that is the most heinous thing in the world.  “GASP!!!!  You are listening to your HUSBAND???????   How awful!!!!!!  There is no hope left  for you!”

But these same people are totally fine with being controlling themselves over these women  – even though that is wrong and the wives who are respecting their husbands are actually walking in obedience to God.  We like to call evil, “good” and good, “evil” in our society.  If the family exerts sinful control and the woman caves to them in an effort to be a people pleaser – that is labelled “good” in these families.  NO! NO!  People pleasing is sin – actually, the worst kind of sin – it is idolatry!!  We are to please God, not men. And God commands us to LEAVE our parents and all other human relationships behind as secondary and cleave to our husbands.  There should be clear boundaries around our marriages that well-meaning, loving family members cannot cross.  It’s time to let go of unhealthy boundaries and trying to control other people and erect healthy boundaries – that is better for everyone in the family!

We have a covenant with our HUSBANDS and with GOD.  Not with our parents, sisters, friends or coworkers.  I no longer answer to my parents as my God-given authority.  I answer to my husband as my God-given authority when I am married.  If we don’t get that straight, we are in for a lot of misery and possibly the destruction of our marriage.

Our family members/friends/coworkers need the freedom Jesus can bring, too!  We can pray for God to open their eyes to their sin and we can pray that God might use our example to draw them to Himself.  Being a controlling person is awful.  It is a stressful, frustrating, anxiety-producing, lonely life.  That is how most of us used to be.  PRAISE GOD, there is hope for change and a new life in Jesus!

IN THE CHURCH

You can expect other people, even people who call themselves Christians, to say that you are “oppressed” or that you have “joined a cult” if you begin to respect your husband and honor his leadership.  Seriously.  Just saying that you trust your husband once or twice can get you labels like this.  That just blows my mind!

Even in the church – many people do NOT understand God’s design.  Our culture’s influence has poisoned the church, too.  There are so few women living as godly wives that it is extremely difficult in many places to find a godly wife as a mentor who actually obeys the Bible about marriage on even the most basic level.    This is a huge problem.

SUPPORT

Pray for a godly mentoring wife to talk to as you learn on this journey.  And you may always find support, prayer and encouragement here.

It is hard enough trying to learn to completely submit and yield to Christ and die to self and live with Christ as Lord and learn His design for marriage without opposition.  But I want you to be aware that you will likely face opposition.  There are many people you may not be able to talk with much about what you are learning.  That is ok!

THE BLESSING

Thankfully, God can take what other people mean for harm and use it for good.  I find that when people insult me, mock me, verbally attack me  (sometimes pretty viciously) –  it is a great reminder to me that I answer to God and I answer to my husband.  I do not answer to these other people.  God calls me to love them and to respond to them with prayer, kindness, respect, gentleness and goodness. But I am no longer a slave to pleasing other people.  I used to do that.  It is a form of idolatry – desiring to please people more than desiring to  please God.

  • People pleasing is OPPRESSIVE!
  • Having my sinful nature controlling me was oppressive.
  • Grieving God’s Spirit and not having His power filling me was oppressive.

Now, I am living to serve and honor and please God alone.  That is FREEDOM, joy and peace!  What a relief!  I don’t have to try to make everyone happy anymore.  That was an impossible and extremely stressful goal.  I love people, but I am not oppressed by them anymore.  I will stand before Jesus Christ to give an account one day – not to any friend, family member, coworker or someone who reads my message online.

When we stand for God’s Word and His truth – we will be hated by this world.  We will be persecuted to some degree.  And God says that we are blessed and to give thanks that we are counted worthy to suffer insult for the Name of Christ.  It is totally worth it to do things God’s way!  I am not ashamed of my Jesus AT ALL!  I thank God EVERY DAY for what He has done for me, my husband, our marriage and our family!  And I thank Him every day for all that He is doing in so many of YOUR marriages!

80 thoughts on “Do Not Expect Outside Support

  1. “Trying to control other people is idolatry of self” ~ so true!
    I was there for many years and did not even know it. I am so thankful the Lord woke me up, as I am sure my husband is also 🙂

  2. My dear, SO much wisdom here. THIS was a brave post and one that is so needed. Interestingly enough, when you actually live biblically, people oppose you and try to persuade you otherwise. You are not in bondage. You are free, in God’s will and will enjoy His blessing on your life as a result. XO

  3. We are having to put up some heavy boundaries towards my parents to protect our marriage, it is so complicated because we love them and they mean well. But they are disrespectful towards our decisions and undermine my husband’s authority.

  4. I do not ever remember reading anything here that is demeaning to women. That would all be according to where your heart is. The scripture is very clear about our roles in marriage.
    We each have the right to choose the path we want to walk on. Obedience to the Word of God, or not.

  5. Jean,
    I do appreciate your concern greatly! 🙂 Thank you for reaching out to me and for telling me what you are hearing.

    Absolutely our God is a loving God – and my deepest desire is to portray His Word truthfully.

    I have a feeling that the reason people are possibly offended is that I am asking women to look at ourselves and to look at our own responsibilities – and I don’t think that happens a lot in our culture.

    I also think that God’s Word is what is actually offensive to many people. I am quoting Him – these are not my personal ideas about the design of marriage. (Ephesians 5:22-33) And when God gives us commands in scripture – they are for our good. Just like I tell my children not to run into the street – God gives us directions because He IS loving and wise and wants what is best for us.

    I definitely do not sugar coat things. Maybe because I am a pharmacist – I just tell people the truth and it is always my goal to speak the truth in love. But to not tell the truth is extremely unloving and disrespectful. I want to have both love and truth together.

    I am very aware that what I say is extremely politically incorrect, culturally unacceptable and anti-feminism. And that is true even in the church – because we have come such a long way away from God’s Word.

    I lived this for 15 years in my marriage – this believing that i was a great Christian – but not having God’s power in my life because of my sin. I didn’t see my pride and my idolatry of myself and my wanting to be in control of things. I didn’t see how sinful my unforgiveness was and my resentment and bitterness.

    God set me free from that prison. And now I have His peace, joy and freedom every day. Millions of my sisters in Christ are in that same prison I was – and I want to see them experience the abundant life God has designed for them, too.

    Lord,
    Thank You for Jean and for her love for women. Thank You for her love for You. I can’t open her eyes. I couldn’t even open my own eyes. You opened my eyes four years ago and have given me the marriage of my dreams. You have replaced my loneliness, anxiety, fear and stress with peace, joy, fellowship, purpose and power. Thank You for what YOu have done for me. Thank You for the power of Your Word even when it is unpopular and offensive. I cannot give up Your Word, Lord! I pray for Jean that You might draw her to Yourself. I pray that You might empower her to become the woman You desire her to be. I thank YOu that she loves You and that You care so much about her and each person on the planet. I pray that You might love her through me. I pray that she will see Your love here. I pray that You might speak to her and allow her to see and learn all that You desire her to. May You become greater and greater and may I become less.
    In the Name and power of Christ,
    Amen!

    Thank you for your time, Jean! You are very important to me – so is each woman who reads my blog. Much love to you!

    1. Amen!
      Dear April, thanks for always sharing. The thoughts shared on this blog are hard truths, and as such will not be palatable to all, even christians.
      Be encouraged and stay focussed. I pray that one day Jean and many other women will be more broken to the truth of the Word.
      Stay strong and blessed.

      1. Thank you, Nana! They are very hard truths – I agree. And we are not hearing them in our churches and in many marriage books – so it can be a bit of a shock when we first hear them. I definitely understand that. Thanks for your prayers! I hope you are well. 🙂

  6. Hi April,

    I LOVED this post! And I LOVED your reply to Jean. Sometimes I just want to share everything I am learning because I want what is best for everyone I know, but as you have stated, that often backfires! Thank-you for being a shining example for all of us and for not being afraid to stand up and tell the truth with love.

    1. Many women do respond to the concept of respecting our husbands with anger. Usually the level of anger is in direct proportion to the amount of conviction – in my experience. And the concept of biblical submission brings out even more anger than respect in our culture. This is extremely counter-cultural and counter-intuitive. Our culture is soaked in feminism – so sometimes just saying that God wants us to “respect our husbands” creates hostility.

      Let me be clear – I don’t teach men. I only teach women. So I don’t talk about what men are supposed to do. But God’s Word does instruct them to love and cherish their wives and to lay down their lives for their wives. My focus is only on what God commands women to do.

      As you learn about disrespect, you begin to see it everywhere- in your coworkers and at church and on tv and in your extended family. It is HARD not to say something! If women approach you and ask about what you are learning – that is a great time to share. But unsolicited advice often will be met with contempt. Until God opens our eyes, these concepts don’t make sense to us.

      Thanks, Christine!

    2. Christine,
      Thanks for the comment. There will hopefully be some women you can share with – especially as they ask you questions about how you do things or ask your advice.

      Jean is precious to me – all of my readers are. I appreciate her willingness to tell me her thoughts.

      I NEVER, EVER intend to come across disrespectfully to anyone. I love all of my readers, and I love the people God has created and want nothing but His best for each of them. If I have been demeaning or disrespectful – I want to repent about that. I am not above needing to be corrected or rebuked.

  7. Jean,

    Maybe you would like to give me an example of how to explain Ephesians 5 to women – God’s design for marriage – in a way that sounds respectful to you. I am not sure I am following what you mean by me being demeaning to women. It sounds to me like if I directly quote scripture – you are saying that is demeaning? Could you please give me an example of teaching women in a respectful way that you believe they would be receptive to?
    Thanks!

  8. Thank you for sharing. As a disrespected husband who is constantly fighting petty control battles with my wife, your voice is one that I wish were the norm. So much of what you describe as your battle describes my wife’s. Your posts give me hope that change is possible and sanity realizing that what I am feeling is the result of being sinned against and not that I am just a putz.

    I have mentored many men who want to step up to the plate and lead their wives and families but their wives wont follow or will dictate how and where he should lead the marriage and family. They usually end up going passive and giving up.

    I believe our churches could be a great place to teach men how to lovingly lead their wives and kids; and wives to cooperate with and follow their husbands lead. These skills have been lost after 50 years of feminism. The picture you paint of the freedom, joy and intimacy is worth the fight against self.

    Thanks again for this blog!

    1. Thanks, Dave!

      I appreciate husbands sharing their perspectives. I think it is important for other wives to hear how much pain husbands often silently carry in marriage.

      I always thought that if my husband was hurting, he would tell me. I certainly told him when I was feeling unloved, lonely, hurt, etc. But my husband never told me he was hurt. Ever. He never told me I was disrespectful. He wasn’t able to voice his pain. I am thankful for husbands who are willing to share their hearts here – because I believe that other wives might be able to understand their own husbands’ perspectives better.

      Trying to lead someone who refuses to follow would be extremely frustrating. That was my husband’s experience with me, too, and he gave up quickly because I was “always right.” I have been amazed over the past four years at the godly leader my husband has become since God has opened my eyes to His design. He is truly ABLE!

      I will continue to pray for you and your marriage. And that is my prayer exactly – that EVERY church of Christ around the world would have at least one couple who could teach godly marriage to the others in the church. I would like many more than one couple, but that is my first prayer!

  9. April!

    I love this post so much. I think we can all agree that people pleasing is the most oppressive lifestyle out there. No one is more quick to attempt pleasing everyone than the housewife! It’s a lost cause.

    Respecting our husbands is a foreign concept these days, and perhaps that is why your message (from scripture, which is God’s message) ruffles feathers.

    I guess I can see what Jean is referring to in the posts, but to me it’s a call to action. It’s a warning. A wake up call.

    If a person saw people in danger, doing something that was daily deteriorating their marriages and families, (and their relationships with God) perhaps a measure of alarm is warranted.

    I myself used to relate so personally to my flawed perspectives on the feminine and a woman’s God-given roll in the family, that these messages would have rubbed me the wrong way too. But no more.

    But good is good, bad is bad. That’s never going to change. Readers who will allow themselves to detach from the concepts and judge them against God’s word will find that they are 100% accurate whether or not you like the tone or presentation.

    Women everywhere need to know:
    It’s okay to change who you are, especially if it means being happy for once. You can be bitter or you can be better. These principles can bless your lives as well as future generations. Give them a chance!

    1. As a pharmacist, I talk with people all day at work and say things like, “Don’t drink alcohol with Flagyl. If you do, you are going to have a bleeding hole in your stomach and end up in the ICU.” I say that because I CARE very much about my patients and don’t want them to get hurt or killed from a drug interaction.

      Many things that I talk about are painful. They are unpleasant. It’s kind of like having to deliver the news that a person’s leg has gangrene and she is going to need to have surgery to amputate or the disease could kill her.

      Dying to self is PAINFUL. Seeing our sin is PAINFUL. Looking at our own side of the relationship requires humility, a willingness to listen to God’s voice, a spirit of repentance, a purposeful laying aside of my pride. It HURTS at first. But this is the gateway to God’s greatest treasures.

      Unfortunately the state of marriage in the church is in very critical condition. Many marriages are dying. I do think that it is an emergency situation in God’s church today. So I do give warnings. But my goal is to do so with love and respect.

      Maybe if people watched my videos and could see my facial expressions and hear my tone of voice, it would be better? I have a Youtube channel “April Cassidy” for those who prefer to listen and watch.

      I deeply appreciate all of my readers’ feedback and am willing to listen to criticisms and if they are founded on fact – I am happy to repent and change in order to honor God.

  10. Joseph,
    Thanks for the comment and perspective.
    I truly believed my husband was my enemy and was purposely out to “get me” the first summer we were married. That is a very vivid word picture – I think women need to hear husbands’ hearts about this! The real problem for me all those years ago was that I didn’t understand how vastly different he was from me and thought we were the same. I assumed evil motives where in reality, there were none. I know now that my husband never stopped loving me. How I wish I had this information in 1994! What a completely different marriage we would have had those first 14.5 years.

    BUT – God is sovereign – and He is using my years of sin and misunderstanding and unknowing disrespect and control to bring hundreds of women to Himself now. So – it is not wasted at all.

    I answer to God – you are right. We all do.
    Thank you for your insights!

  11. Thank you & may God bless you and this blog. It’s so tricky to be a godly, leading husband these days…so thank you for your teaching. It’s either not accepted by your wife or if it’s accepted & your family and her friends look at you like you are part of the Taliban…no matter how much you chrerish, love, protect, show affection in everyway. It’s like the words, “I’ll have to check with my husband before doing that” or “my husband thinks we’re too busy to do that”, etc…it’s you like you get treated like a wife-beater when nothing could be further from the truth. Nobody gets more love notes than my wife, let alone hugs & kisses. I’d take a bullet for that woman, with a smile on my face! It’s like being a godly man or woman is sincerely offensive to many these days, even a lot of Christians. I can’t tell you how many of her friends tell her I’m controlling, when in fact she keeps the money, has her own car, can pretty much do anything she wants (because she’s a godly woman who makes wise choices almost every single time…she’s amazing!, they act like she’s locked in the basement…but it just rubs mostly other woman wrong who just run everywhere doing everything they want with little concern of their husbands. Most of the blogs, books, etc out there these days everything is so watered down…woman are teaching woman what they want to hear & there are very few resources for husbands…so thank you. You’ll be in my prayers as I know you are on the front lines of battle.

    If we could get men to stop looking at porn, lead, and cherish their wives and women to respect and have sex with their husbands…I can’t imagine how much not only happier we would be but also how many more would come to know Christ because they’d see something truly joyous and special. It took us a dozen years but we got it figured out, neither of us could be happier…it just about broke my faith but I’m so thankful now.

    1. Thankful husband,

      Thank you for your comments and insights! I wonder if you might allow me to quote you in a future post please?

      My husband is very calm, laid back, never raises his voice, treats me like a princess, cherishes me, makes huge sacrifices for me, loves to cuddle with me, supports my interests and my blogs, is a very involved dad now, beautifully renovates our house, provides well for our family, makes selfless decisions and even does chores around the house without me asking. I am in total heaven.

      But I am often told, by people who don’t know me or my husband, that I am oppressed. Some people get very offended if I say I must check with my husband. But I don’t see people get upset if he says he is going to check with me. My husband is the kindest, gentlest most loving man. I am truly honored to be his wife and I thank God every day for showing me His ways and changing me and healing our marriage.

      That last paragraph – YES! And amen!!!! Those are exactly my prayers for God’s church and for all of my brothers and sisters in Christ!

      Thank you for sharing! Let’s all pray together for God to heal marriages and create a godly generation. If we can’t do marriage God’s way, we have nothing of eternal vAlue to offer to the world. Marriage is the picture of Christ and His church, our marriages should be shining for Jesus and drawing people to Himself!

      1. Please feel free to…I just can’t say how thankful I am for this blog…it gets discouraging sometimes. When did wanting to check my wife’s car over before she takes a couple hour drive or filling up her tank become acts of oppression? Why must every wife have 10+ outside engangements a week and if I & we don’t agree that’s the correct way to live somehow I’m making my wife unhappy & controlling her. The way our world and just as much our christian lives and marriages are lived out is just so far of His course. Your husband sounds a lot like me, I’m a gentle giant unless you mess with my wife or kids!

        1. Thankful Husband, I appreciate it! Thank you!

          Thank you for taking such great care of your wife and loving her and protecting her and your family time together.

          We wives need our husbands to look out for us and our children!

          Sent from my iPad

  12. i just want you to know, i read your blog almost every day. i only comment occasionally, but i want you to know your articles have really helped me. i am currently going through the very painful part, but i know to the very depth of my soul that God will create a beautiful marriage if i lean on Him & persevere. thank you for caring enough to put yourself in the line of fire to share those hard truths.

  13. Hi April, im so blessed by your posts. Its been hard for me but by reading your posts ive come to understand what respecting my husband really does to marriage. God bless you. Pleasse say something to me. Lol

    1. Vhailsham,
      Thank you for your encouragement! This is stuff I wish so much that I had seen many years ago. But I thank and praise God for His wisdom and His beautiful design! Yes, when you have faith in our huge God, He can and will do miracles! Not always what we expect! But always for His glory!! 🙂

  14. Thank you April for allowing God use you to bless so many lives. Ive been so blessed by your posts. My marriage is just 2years old. Our first year was really horrible but by ready your posts ive come to understand what respect really does in my marriage. With the help of God,there has been so many changes.

  15. I thank God first, and, you all for this ministry. I am new here, and your Godly words are so comforting to me, and most importantly helping me to see Jesus’s way of how I am to be as a wife, Godly women. I relate to all your past experiences to the letter, and I am excited to see there is HOPE only in the LORD!!!! Psalms:25:5: Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

    1. Meg,
      It’s wonderful to meet you! Thank you for your comment. I love that verse! I look forward to hearing more about your journey with Christ and learning to be the woman of His dreams!

  16. Oh I love this blog! To the commenter Jean, who was reading a negative or demeaning tone, I’m not clear where you got that. But it does require us to put ego aside!! And so do successful relationships. I say do what works! I guess its the kind of thing, once you know what you really want, you do what it takes. This blog is really beautiful, I love the tone of empowerment for men, women, and all God’s children.

  17. Hello, I am so thankful for this post it’s truly opened my eyes to something’s. I’ve recently gotten married and it’s been a battle. My husband does work that requires him to be out of town from time to time for several weeks and my family thinks I’m “not having a marriage”. I’ve been trying to keep things from them because I know they don’t support me and my family’s decisions. They think I am crazy for running things past him first and I am dumb to be submissive to him. I now am learning that I can’t continue to tell them what goes on in my marriage. It’s toxic to allow people in my family to know things that occur in my marriage. It’s sad because you want their support but I’m learning when you do things according to Gods word your a rebel to the world. I now realize you will suffer people won’t agree and they you will get tested. I thank you so much for letting God use you this was powerful and it truly helped me. But I do have one question how do you tell people that things aren’t their business in a respectable nice manner? Especially when they are questioning about your marriage? Thanks once again God bless

    1. Yes, you are exactly right, most people, even believers, are not supportive of a wife honoring her husband’s leadership today.

      I personally took a few steps back from everyone emotionally when I was learning the first year or two because I had been too emotionally entangled with others and did not have healthy boundaries. Then I learned to have discretion and wisdom and to look to God primarily and then my husband for spiritual guidance. Most things I don’t talk about – in our marriage. Well, I talk about some things on the blog. But that is for the purpose of encouraging and instructing other wives.

      But I don’t go to my parents for advice or counsel or to friends. I go to my husband. You are right, we are rebels against the world. And they won’t agree, but their opinions are not actually that important.

      Here is a post on people pleasing

      Handling external pressure

      THank them for their love and concern, don’t go into details, change the subject, or say something like, “I’ll talk with my husband about that.” or “I trust God and my husband to handle this.” Or “I’m praying about that. You are welcome to pray for us to have God’s wisdom.”

      Let me know if you need more ideas!

      Much love,

      1. I’m truly thankful for your wisdom and insight. Thanks for the tips as well. These few months have been a battle I truly have to learn to have boundaries. The hardest thing is my family picks and picks asking questions then when I don’t answer they assume what the answer is and then yell at me about it. They don’t like me keeping my marriage as my marriage. It seems like me being married is the biggest reason of seperation and not getting along between me and them. I wish I could get along with them but its just not working out. I love my family but now God comes first my husband second then my family. They are having such a hard time grasping that. It’s hard and I know this test is about to come my way again really soon.

        1. Nicole,
          What does your husband say about how to handle your family?

          I have some posts the week of 11-3-12 through 11-7-12 about healthy boundaries and people pleasing and dealing with guilt and control from family.

        2. You can say, “That is between me and my husband.” Or, “God will direct us about that.” Or, “Thanks for praying for us to have wisdom about that, but I am not at liberty to discuss it.” Or “Thank you for loving me and caring so much about me and being concerned. I would love for you to pray for us to have wisdom about that decision.”

          If they pressure you to talk about details, “I’m sorry I can’t go into that.” “I’m sorry, I can’t talk about that.” And if they keep pressuring, just keep repeating yourself, “I wish I could, but I can’t talk about that. But I love you very much!”

          Eventually, after a LONG time, possibly, they will get it. 🙂 We will pray for God to help them understand healthy boundaries, too!

          Control and Healthy Boundaries

          People Pleasing

          Using Guilt to Manipulate

          Why Playing the Martyr Repels Those We Love

  18. Sad but true; I am shocked at how threatening professing CHRISTIANS find any attempt at being a biblical woman as far as actually submitting to your husband and trying to be feminine goes. Almost every church I’ve gone to, the women have extremely short cropped hair, wear pants and have a domineering ,brusque, almost masculine manner about them. I realize we have some latitude choice wise for hair styles and clothes, but its clear from observing these ladies who REALLY makes all the decisions and wears the pants in the family. I was in one church where the pastor’s wife regularly would stand up and correct him in the pulpit when she thought he was preaching “over their heads” or he wasn’t loud enough. Between the two of them they made this actually sound as if it was something God was using to teach him humility! He was completely complicit in her domination of him. Although some might look at this and buy the Christian veneer they put on it, the truth of their marriage seeped out from around the edges in the form of annoyed eye rolling and exasperated sighs when he was trying to say something and she’d talk over top of him. He clearly felt dominated and over a barrel. I actually had a pastor take cheap shots at me from the pulpit when he found out I was a stay at home wife: I’d expressed to him my frustrations with acclimating to a new province and community where I hardly knew a soul and thus was spending more than a usual amount of time at home. He informed me that I was lazy and needed to get a job outside my home so I could ” be a witness to the community” and then made very pointed remarks from his pulpit about people who “just sit inside their houses all day”. This man was a MAJOR people pleaser who would not teach what the bible said about submission and would not correct several very domineering ladies in his congregation because he was more concerned with having their approval. As a matter of fact, with very few exceptions almost every pastor I’ve met these days seems so hooked on having the approval of man and schmoozing with prominent people that its about pleasing man and self admiration a lot more than its about Jesus.

    So, this post is very right; it is not easy these days to find an example of a truly godly woman (vs. one who has an outward form of godliness but is firmly in control of everything and not humble or submissive at all). In my attempts to live as a biblical woman, I’ve been slandered, bullied and gossiped about, spoken to in the most condescending and patronizing way as if I had a brain the size of a turn signal light bulb, and characterized as someone who sits on her duff all day and doesn’t contribute anything at all. In fact my husband’s family, who had treated his ex wife pretty badly as well, actually began “courting” her, suddenly treating her as if she was a much loved and long lost relative come back to the fold, which of course has involved discussing me behind my back with her. According to my husband, his family despised her for her controlling and domineering taker personality, and tried to tell him not to marry her. I don’t think their motives are out of any real love for her. She will drink and party with them and I’ve earned their contempt because I rejected spending time with them when they began to disrespect me and try to push me to drink more than I wished to. It actually hurt me pretty badly because of the sheer hatefulness of it, and undermined my confidence enough for me to fall to depression and make their judgements appear to have some truth to them. I also became very angry, paranoid and mistrustful of my husband for not setting firm boundaries with them and protecting me. Make no mistake ladies, what we do with our lives is spiritual warfare when its obedience to God in a corrupt and increasingly apostate world and church. I made the same mistake another lady who posted elsewhere did, in that I was warned by my husband that I ought not to cultivate a relationship with his family because they would turn on me viciously and stab me in the back, and me, being a Pollyanna who thought being a Christian meant everyone is supposed to just adore you, thought I could make friends with these people, have a glass of wine or two with them and that they would just oh, you know, meet me half way with mutual respect, allowing me to be me just as I was allowing them the same latitutde. What spiritual ignorance. A portion of the script from the movie the Matrix illustrates my error in thinking quite well: ( of course Jesus said it first when He spoke of the division the gospel could bring, when he spoke of tares and wheat, of the leaven of the Pharisees and Saducees, etc)

    Morpheus: The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you’re inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.

    [Neo’s eyes suddenly wander towards a woman in a red dress]

    Morpheus: Were you listening to me, Neo? Or were you looking at the woman in the red dress?

    Neo: I was…

    Morpheus: [gestures with one hand] Look again.

    [the woman in the red dress is now Agent Smith, pointing a gun at Neo’s head; Neo ducks]

    Morpheus: Freeze it.

    [Everybody and everything besides Neo and Morpheus freezes in time]

    Neo: This… this isn’t the Matrix?

    Morpheus: No. It is another training program designed to teach you one thing: if you are not one of us, you are one of them.

    Of course because of the cross, satan has no authority but he does have lies and deception and the like and he’s out to take as many folks still inured in his system to hell. So when we model God’s kingdom, we are committing acts of defiance against satan’s kingdom. Keeping it in this perspective helps take away some of the personal sting from it. With that, I will sign off because this post is rather long. Sorry, as usual, edit it as much as you feel it needs 🙂 Thanks for the opportunity to comment here on your blog, love it.

    1. Wooly Sheep,

      Oh how I hate to hear about a pastor’s wife correcting him as he is preaching from the pulpit. WOW! I have never seen that before. 🙁 I am so sorry to hear that you had a pastor tell you that you need to work as if being a wife and caring for your husband and home is “not enough” in the kingdom of God.

      I’m so thankful for your faith in Christ and for your marriage. I’m thankful your husband protects you from his family.

      I appreciate your willingness to share. There are very precious few godly examples. I used to be just like the Christian women you are describing. I cut my hair short because I didn’t care what my husband preferred – he loves it long. I wore pants (except on Sundays) and I dominated my husband. I thought I was the best Christian wife ever. 🙁 Didn’t see all my pride, self-righteousness, disrespect, rebellion against God, idolatry of self, etc…

      Now, I love wearing skirts as a reminder to myself to embrace my femininity and to remind me that Greg “wears the pants” in the family.

      Yes, this is spiritual warfare.

      Thank you so much for sharing!

      1. Thanks Peaceful wife; I know what you mean; I am afraid that although I thought I’d repented of my past life and thought myself also quite the Christian wife, I’m far from it. At least God has shown me that I know little of His ways and need to learn. I’m sure all the pride, insecurity, me first arrogance and rebellion is not very attractive to anyone and certainly not much adornment for the gospel either. My husband protected my from his family by moving us away from their location which has helped but because of sin in both our lives, he has a hard time standing up for me or wanting to. I’m slowly making the same journey you have. I do appreciate the encouragement that caring for my husband and home IS enough in the kingdom.

  19. Hi April,Also Hi to any other Christian Sisters out there, I would be really interested to know what your thoughts are in ways that we can find more strength to be openly Christian in the face of ridicule. In the past, I have allowed bad examples of Christian behaviour to stop me from calling myself a Christian. I do not deny believing in God or Jesus, but I tend to disassociate myself with Christianity. I have dug myself a hole as it has been so long that now I don’t know how to do it without seeming like i have gone nuts and joined a cult.At times, my own behaviour has slipped and I have seen this as being unworthy to say”I’m Christian” but the thing is, I want to meet more like minded Christ loving people and go to church more. I want a Christian life, and I want to disassociate with negative influences without hurting people. Can you suggest some graceful ways to distance from non-christians?. Every time I go to church, I seem to find something ethically really disturbing that I don’t want to be associated with,I know this is not really about the marriage thing directly but it is very important that my faith grows and I know I need church. I need God of course and I need more christian girlfriends,any advice?Is keeping your faith to yourself to avoid religious fanatics the same thing as denying God? I share my faith when I deem it to be appropriate, but I am mindful of preachy insincere christianity from corrupt people and I don’t want to drive people away from God like people nearly did to me as a young woman. I know you are away and there is no rush for a reply, only reply if you can 🙂 I guess I just want to be closer to God and I want to know what that means in the context of open discussions with other people about christians and religion.

    1. Rain,

      I am not sure what church you have been going to. This will likely take you repenting of all sin wholeheartedly to God and you deciding to seek Him with all your heart no matter what the personal cost to you from this point on.

      I hope you will listen to some of David Platt’s sermons or read his book “Radical.” Or Watchman Nee’s “The Normal Christian Life.”

      Jesus calls us all to take up our cross daily and follow Him. He calls us to do radical things. Christianity is very sickly and weak in our culture today. Many people say they are Christians but they do not obey Christ. Check out John 14:22-24.

      Then God’s Spirit can and will give you wisdom about what to say and what not to say with others. Sometimes others may persecute you. I get persecuted (mildly) here on this blog. Jesus promised us if we follow Him we will be hated by many in the world. If the world loves us, we are probably not very much like Jesus.

      Much love!

      Much love!

  20. Thank you so much for your advice. I’ve enjoyed reading your story and relating to it on a certain level. It’s good to be surrounded by people with correct view on life. When I started reading it I felt almost depressed with where I am at in my own mind before even thinking about my relationship with others. Having to change so much was overwhelming! But I was encouraged as I read on because God is with me and I have my husband to support me. As Gods children we forget so unbelievably often of the power that is living in us! Thank you and God bless you!

    1. Inna,

      Yes, it is very overwhelming at first. I wanted to go live in a cave for the rest of my life and never talk to anyone again when I saw my sin and how sinful my thoughts and motives were! But, God can and will transform your heart, mind and soul as You give Him access and seek to honor, please and obey Him in everything. You can’t do this. But He is totally able to do the work that is required in your life. THANKFULLY!

      Lean on God and His Spirit and allow His Living Water to well up in your soul and be full force in your life. If you are seeking Him and willing for Him to change anything He wants to change – He will do it!

      Much love!

  21. This blog is truly anointed. I am so so so beyond grateful how much I am becoming aware of how HUGE God is just by what He is revealing to me through your blogs. I feel like I have been born again- again with all this understanding I am gaining. Thank you so much April for being obedient to God and producing such great fruit in this ministry our Lord has entrusted you with. You are a beautiful woman both in mind and spirit. God is so Good!!!!!!

    1. Amanda Chandler,

      I am so thankful for what God is doing in you! That is exactly how I feel about what God has done for me, too! I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for you, my dear sister!

  22. April,

    Then you for your work. It encourages husbands too read (and listen to your videos). I am a disrespected, privately shunned, publicly shamed husband. But my wife is perfect.

    It is refreshing to see that you are successfully training some women. My wife doesn’t need your assistance yet. She has things all figured out. (I write this with tears streaming down my face.)

    THANK YOU for your service to Christ.

    1. jackryoung,

      My heart breaks for you, my brother! My husband felt like you do for so many years in our marriage. 🙁 I was blind! I couldn’t see at all. I do wish Greg has attempted to confront me about my control and disrespect. He never did. But one day, when I read the introduction of Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs in our church bookstore, God began to open my eyes.

      I pray for God’s wisdom for you. I pray for you to cling to Christ to have His strength and power as you seek to lead your family well. I pray for God to open your wife’s eyes and for healing for you both and for your marriage.

      It is such an honor to me that God allows me to be part of the work He is doing all over the world to draw many women to Himself and to bring healing and blessing to marriages.

      Many husbands read my blog and use it to reverse engineer things and to better understand their wives. They often find much healing here. You are welcome here any time. 🙂

      Much love in Christ, my brother!

  23. I have read and re-read this post. I have a wonderful christian woman,who was divorced long ago, help me in my walk with the Lord over the past 2 years. She has helped me understand my need for His word, and how to study it. But now… now it seems she just keeps telling me to “put my foot down”. We have beenarrived for almost I years and have 3 lovely children and my husband has checked out. Unless other people are around to see him helping. My issue is I don’t see her advice to be Godly in this situation at all. And seeing as she is divorced and if it was as simple as putting my foot down my marriage would never have any problems. Because in my self I have no issue doing that. How do I distance myself and my married life from her without completely breaking that tie? We are away from family and she has adopted me like a daughter. Just in the sense of marriage advice it’s just not biblical. I’ve tried not talking about it but she asks how things are going and then I like word vomit it up,and then I feel horrible because I shouldn’t have said anything. If you could just pray for guidance about how to handle this with love for me as I pray and seek the Lord in this too.

    1. Nikki,

      We do have to be REALLY careful who we listen to as mentors in our marriages.

      You may want to not talk with her about marriage stuff, only other things. How often do you usually see her?

      How is your walk with Christ going?

      Would you like to talk a bit about what is going on with your marriage? I have been in a similar situation myself – and I turned to God and He radically changed me first, then began to heal my husband and marriage, in time.

      I think there may be a lot of posts here that might be a blessing to you. 🙂

      Much love!

  24. April, thank you for this post. My family has rejected me because they were so used to controlling me due to my passive nature. No one in the family had ever met my husband or tried to. It’s been hard to let them go and I’ve always blamed myself for their behavior. But I know that I am only accountable to God, not them, and must transition to a new phase of life even if they disagree.

    1. Amber,

      It is hard when we have family members who want us to keep dancing the old dance and letting them control us. Setting new, healthy, firm, loving boundaries is painful at first – but it can lead to healthier relationships. I pray for God’s wisdom for you!

      What does your husband think, my dear sister?

      Much love to you!

      1. My husband is the one who drew my attention to how controlling my family was…specifically my mother. She would always put me down and criticize me, and I would let her to the point where it affected my self-esteem. My dad would partner with her too. Once my husband saw those things happening, he began to counsel me about the necessary steps I should take. In the end, my mother ended up rejecting me, and the rest of the family followed suit, once my husband and I began to put up even the smallest boundaries. But my husband has supported me every step of the way.

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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