Skip to main content
264245_8285

“So, When Do I Get to Feel Peaceful?”

I’d like to welcome a number of new wives who are just beginning this journey toward becoming the godly wives God calls us to be.

It can be a bit overwhelming at first as you begin to look at all that you don’t know and all that it seems needs to be changed.  A lot of you have very valid concerns and questions.  If you have a question I have not addressed here, please leave it for me in the comments and we will talk about it!

  • This seems like more than I can handle.
  • When does the peaceful part start?
  • I feel like I am losing myself. (Part 2)
  • I don’t want to lose my voice and power in the marriage (Part 2)
  • I feel so lonely. (Part 3)
  • I don’t know how to say things respectfully to my husband, so I am just not saying anything at all. (Part 3)
  • My husband isn’t changing at all.  Respect doesn’t work on my husband. (Part 4)
  • My husband doesn’t love me and is not on board with this marriage. (Part 4)
  • But I’m right! (Part 5)
  • I’m so scared to give up control!  I am the better leader.  I should be in charge! (Part 5)
  • He doesn’t deserve my respect! (Part 6)
  • Why can’t HE change first?  Why do I have to change when he’s the one who is so far from God and so unloving? (Part 7)
  • Wives who have been on this journey for awhile – please share your wisdom with the wives who are at the beginning of the trail.  I may anonymously share your comments in another post, too, if that is ok. 🙂

1. This seems like more than I can handle.

YES!  If you feel that way – that is a GOOD THING.  It means that you realize that you can’t do this on your own – that it is IMPOSSIBLE to be the godly woman God commands you to be in your own power.  That is a critical first step because it is only through the power of God’s Spirit filling you up and giving you supernatural power that you can be the wife of His dreams.  You can’t do this without Him.  In your own power, all you can do is have the sinful nature in control.

The results of the sinful nature being in control are predictable and written for us in Galatians 5:19-21:

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like.  I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

The thing to realize is that if I have ANY of these things going on in my life and mind and soul – I am being powered by the sinful nature.

When God’s Spirit is in charge, the results are also predictable and are written for us in Galatians 5:22-25:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

If I don’t have all of the fruit of the Spirit growing in us on an increasing basis pretty much daily – something is SERIOUSLY wrong with my walk with Christ Jesus.

Either:

1. I never actually received Him as my Savior and Lord – accepting His gift of His death for me in my place as payment for all of my sins against God and giving my life completely to Him for Him to now be in charge.

2. I am not living with Him as Lord and am cherishing sin in my heart.  Often, the biggest ones are

  • PRIDE – thinking I know best and I know better than God and His Word doesn’t apply to me, I am justified in not obeying His Word
  • idolatry  – making something else most important in my life – I MUST HAVE THIS THING to be happy.  If that thing I must have to be content is not Jesus – I am in sin.
  • unforgiveness – If I refuse to forgive others when they sin against me, Jesus says God will not forgive me – Matthew 6.

If I have grieved the Spirit of God – I don’t have His power blasting through my soul and empowering me to do things that I cannot do on my own.

I need to:

  • admit my sin is wrong and offends God’s holiness. (I John 1:9)
  • ask for forgiveness through the blood of Jesus that He shed for me.  He paid for all of my sin as if He had committed the wrongs I have done.  He bore the full wrath of God that I deserved in my place so that I can be made right with God by His goodness.  He puts His holiness and righteousness (right standing before God) in my account and He puts my sin in His account when I trust Him and put my full faith in Him.  He took my death and punishment and when I receive this gift He gives me, He gives me His life with God and the spiritual riches of heaven.  I don’t deserve this.  I deserve hell.  I can’t earn God’s favor.  I can’t earn God’s pleasure with me on my own.  But Jesus can give me a new heart and soul and I can stand before God with the righteousness of Jesus as my robe – so that when God sees me – He sees His perfect Son.  I don’t understand how all that happens.  But I am SURE THANKFUL He is able to do that for me!  WHAT GREAT NEWS!
  • turn away from my sin 180 degrees and stop doing it and turn to God.
  • die to my old sinful self – nail it to the cross to die and be buried with Christ – then I can  put on my new self in Christ. (Galatians 5:24)
  • seek to obey God in EVERYTHING and allow His Spirit to fill me daily. (Ephesians 5:18)
  • have my only goals in life to be to know God, to desire to please Him, to obey Him, to do His will and to bring Him the greatest glory
  • give myself as a living sacrifice to Jesus daily.  I lay down my rights, my wisdom, my plans, my life, my desires, my possessions, my future, my family, my marriage, my everything.  Then I pick up His wisdom, His plans, His desires, His power, His strength, His holiness, His will and I seek His glory alone.
  • focus on the good things God has done for me and given to me and have a thankful heart. (Ephesians 5:20, Philippians 4:8)
  • do not worry or trust SELF anymore, but trust God with all my heart. (Philippians 4:4-8)

Jesus replied, “If anyone loves Me, He will obey My teaching.  My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make our home with him.  He who does not love Me will not obey My teaching.”  John 14:23-24a

If Jesus is my LORD – my answer to Him is always, “Yes!!!”  There is NOTHING He can ask me to do that I won’t do.

2. When Does the Peaceful Part Start?

You actually control a lot of the speed of this process.

Becoming a peaceful wife has NOTHING to do with our husbands or our marriages – it has EVERYTHING to do with our relationship with Christ.

If you cling to sin and cherish it more than you cherish obeying Jesus and being full of His Spirit and repenting of sin – you will have a long time of pain, frustration and struggling.

The beginning of this journey is PAINFUL.  It is hard to give up idols and face our sin!  And it is terrifying to stop trusting self and seeking to feel loved and to learn to trust God if we have not done that before.

The sooner you learn to trust God and put all your faith in Him and the sooner you embrace His wisdom and repent of your sin – the sooner you will experience His supernatural peace and joy.

  • I must be willing to give up EVERYTHING that offends God.  Every single thing.
  • I must be willing to obey Christ and make Him LORD of everything in my life.
  • I must submit 100% of myself and my life to Jesus.  I have to wrestle with my fears and beliefs and God’s Word until I can get to the point that I can honestly say, “Not my will but Yours be done, Jesus.”
  • I must be willing to obey Him no matter what the personal cost to myself.

When your sinful nature is no longer in control – but you have died to your old sinful self – and God’s Spirit is in control and you are walking in obedience to His Word – the peace will come automatically.  God gives His spiritual gifts to those who live by faith, who trust Him completely and who obey Him, even when there is suffering and hardship.

  • It was really shocking to me at first when I began to experience it.  I usually had worry and anxiety and fears running constantly through my head all the time.  But when I finally repented of all my sin and idols and unforgiveness – I realized one day that that voice wasn’t going all the time.  Things were still and calm in my head.  That was WEIRD and DIFFERENT. Then it dawned on me that this strange feeling was PEACE.

Wow!

It felt SO GREAT!!!!!

Let me warn  you – God’s peace is SUPER addictive.  Once you experience it-  you will be willing to do anything to have it again if you lose it. 🙂

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:12-13

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.  Isaiah 26:3

SOME OTHER WIVES SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCES:

1. Angelique:

I have been on this journey for 17 months and it does take a while! I, too, am so glad you are on this journey. It takes so much courage and strength to do this. There are days that are so hard and days that are so wonderful. I tell April all the time, “I hated you and loved you at the same time.” I hated that my old self had to die to its old ways of wanting to be pleased all the time but then I loved her because of the truth she was fueling me with. The truth has truly changed me and my marriage.

So don’t give up and if you feel like you want to, just reach out and we are all here on this journey with you. Trust in God’s perfect plan. The Bible says, He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)

The one thing I learned early on was – I had made my husband an idol in my heart. I had to learn to replace Jesus as my one and only God. That was extremely hard for me because I had my whole identity wrapped up in how my husband made me feel. So if I didn’t get the warm and fuzzies from him that day then chances were, I was having a crummy-feeling day.

I had to learn how God felt about me. I had to daily and moment by moment remember God’s intense love for me – that I was uniquely and wonderfully made. That He had a great plan for my life. That I was beautiful and precious to Him. When I knew that, like really knew that, there was this overwhelming peace and joy that flooded my heart. Sure, I still wished my husband would be romantic and pursue me more ,but my world didn’t get shaken when he didn’t.
I also had to notice the ways my husbands was showing his love or trying to be romantic. Some times I needed a magnifying glass to actually see them, but I delighted in each one.

The more I began to focus on God, the happier and more peaceful I became. The less I controlled him and nagged my husband, the lighter I felt. The more I focused on my sin, the more gracious I became.

Then somehow like magic, my husband started to miss me and wanted to be with me more. And the more I invested into my husband’s life as an act of love (not wrong motives…you have to be careful with that) the more intrigued I became with this person I married. God gave me a window into my husband’s heart and I began to see things and learn things about him I never knew after 8 years of marriage. Now I truly delight in just being with him, even if its watching him build things in the garage. Sometimes he invests back into me and sometimes he doesn’t. I’m okay with that! God knows the desires of my heart and I fully trust God with them!

I am so glad you are here and working on improving your marriage. I know God is pleased you are trying to honor Him by being a godly wife.

2. A Fellow Wife

We all have down days.

There is a sadness in realizing that things are not going to be like you thought they would. But I promise you, there is true peace in this path. I have been on this journey for 13 months but things really just started clicking into place for me 2 months ago. It takes time. And you can do this.

Realize this – God’s plan is good. It may not feel good at the moment but some day you will look back and see that His plan is so much better than what you originally thought you wanted in marriage.

I once heard this in a marriage seminar and it has helped me tremendously. God does not tell us to submit to our husbands because he thinks we are inferior. He is giving us the KEY to our husbands heart by telling us to submit. Our soft, submissive behavior draws our husbands to us and makes them respond in ways that we have long dreamed they would. They don’t always do it exactly when we want them to. But it does happen.

You can certainly tell your husband things you want in your marriage. But letting him decide when to give you these things is giving him the ability to give you a very sweet gift that you will savor and treasure. Instead of him giving it to you because you are demanding it, he is giving it to you – when he chooses to do so – as a gift from his heart.

Yes, you are a sheep but that does not mean you are not infinitely precious to God. Do you know that God has your very name written in the palm of his hand? (Isaiah 49:16) If you were the only one on earth, He still would have sent His Son for you. Don’t doubt your worth. God’s Word also says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)

I do this when I am feeling down. Write down 10 wonderful things about your husband. Things like he is affectionate or he tells you he loves you daily. Whatever they are. Even going to work for your family makes the list- that is a huge thing and how most men feel is a way they can show love the best. Making a list like this always makes me feel better and reminds me how blessed I am to have my husband.

Coming to that place where you decide you can be okay either way is HARD. There is no getting around that fact. I had some real days of grieving when I realized that I had to give every hope and dream into God’s hands to see what He would do.

But He has not failed me. I did this with no expectation of return. BUT my husband has actually done some very sweet and unexpected things since that time to show his love for me. Are they things on my time table? Nope. Are they exactly what I would have ‘ordered’ him to give me? Nope. But they are honestly much, much sweeter.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE

We’ll look at the other questions from the top of this article in the next few posts.

OTHER RESOURCES:

Nina Roesner wrote a post about the normal stages that wives go through on this journey.

My YOUTUBE CHANNEL – “April Cassidy”

51 thoughts on ““So, When Do I Get to Feel Peaceful?”

  1. This is an amazing post, and hit home as most of your post do. Dying to self can be the most painful and most rewarding things you’ll ever do. I’ve been on this journey since January 2013, and I’ve loved every day of it. I tell other women, I don’t have bad days. Some days are Great and other days are Good, I consider each day to obey and serve The Lord a true Blessing. I’m a wretched sinner, and will be until in home in Heaven with my Heavenly Father. Some of us feel like The Lord can not forgive us, and we decide to not even try. But I’m here to tell you, from experience he has NO conditions on his love for us. If you’ve decided to obey The Lord and be a respectful wife, don’t let anyone tell you are weak or a doormat. Because it takes a strong woman of Faith to walk in the ways of The Lord. I’d like to share a link to a song if Mrs. April doesn’t mind, it always pulls at my heart strings and is a Blessing each time I hear it. May The Lord richly Bless you all on this journey of being the Woman that we are all asked to be. Much love to you all !!

    http://youtu.be/PgGUKWiw7Wk

    Love in Christ,

    Brandy

  2. April
    Thank you for this blog. My husband found it a few months ago and suggested it to me because he does not feel respected in our marriage. At first I was very angry that he would suggest that I could benefit from listening to how another wife does things. I now see that as the excessive pride that it is. We have been married fifteen years and known each other since the 5th grade. We’ve had very few major disagreements. But in all honesty we don’t communicate that well. I’ve always been such a talker . . . well you know how that works. . .It makes me so sad to think that I wasted so much time not respecting the man God gave me as I should have. Anyway . .just wanted to let you know I’m here. . .reading, praying, believing. . .taking one step at a time toward the marriage we’re supposed to have. . . and thoroughly enjoying your posts along the way 🙂

    1. fallenshort,

      It is an honor to meet you! 🙂

      It is difficult for many wives, especially if their husbands are the ones asking them to read my blog. I think a lot of wives feel angry about that at first. But THANK GOD that you were willing to read and that you are allowing Him to work in your heart! What He is doing is so beautiful.

      I can’t wait to see what God has in store for you! Please let me know how you are doing. I appreciate your comment so much!

  3. So my situation is a bit different. I found your blog a couple of months ago. It was an answer to my prayers. I have been really trying to be respectful and let go of my controlling nature. My problem is that my husband keeps asking me what is wrong with me. He thought I was just fine before. I explained to him that I was going to let him lead our family because that is what God intended. My husband believes in God but that is about the extent of his faith. I think he feels like it is normal for the woman to take the lead. I am just not sure where to go from here. I continue to pray for him to find a relationship with Jesus and keep working on my relationship with Jesus.

    1. Finding my path,

      Some men and women in our culture have grown up with dominating, controlling mothers. So that can seem “normal” because it may be what we are used to. And, we have all been marinating in the same culture that portrays men as idiots and women as so much smarter and where disrespect for men is mainstream and women are celebrated for being in charge.

      This is a big paradigm shift – to switch from worldly thinking to biblical thinking. A lot of husbands balk at first.

      Why?
      – they often think they don’t WANT more responsibility (just like women are daughters of Eve and we are tempted to take control from our husbands, our husbands are sons of Adam and their sinful nature tells them to let their wives take control and to just be passive because it is “easier” and you don’t have to get criticized or feel like a failure if you aren’t trying to lead.)

      – they don’t like change. Any change can seem “bad” to some husbands at first.

      – they like feeling like they do not have to be responsible and feeling like they don’t have the weight of accountability before God on their shoulders.

      Good news:

      Most husbands come around in time.

      You may not want to talk about it a lot. But just begin to share your ideas, feelings and desires and then respectfully place the decision in his lap and defer to him.

      Check out my husband’s post “When She Surrendered” near the top of my home page. God designed men to lead. Usually, if we will step down and give them praise and encouragement, they will begin to slowly step up over time. Then they find out they actually really like to lead. But some of them have never lead and it can seem intimidating at first. That is why a wife’s support and encouragement is so important.

      So, keep doing what you are doing.

      A fellow Wife, who commented in this post, had the same situation for a long time with her husband. But now, he happily leads his family and loves it. But his wife had to stop leading and stop trying to control him and stop all of her disrespect first.

      According to I Peter 3:1-6, you can honor his leadership and show him your respectful attitude and that will help bring him closer to being able to hear God’s voice.

      It’s an interesting thing about men, when they are put in a position of leadership, and they feel the weight of responsibility and they know people are depending on them and have faith in them, they often rise to the occasion. Responsibility seems to help men become more selfless, more godly, more noble and it often forces them to see their need for God more.

      So, don’t worry about how he feels right now. Just keep close to God and obey His commands for you and we will pray for your husband’s salvation and for wisdom for him to lead. 🙂

  4. I’m afraid I’m failing miserably at this. I’ll do well for awhile with it, then old feelings will surface…I’ll attempt to communicate with my husband, he feels attacked, criticized or picked on, I feel lonely and left out…and it seems like we just hit ‘replay’ again and again and again.

    I’ve been trying to be respectful…but I could have written what you posted:

    – I feel so lonely
    – My husband isn’t changing at all

    My husband works a lot, which I understand and respect. But he is also a physical fitness fanatic, which takes most of his free time, and makes me resentful that he pretty much only gives left-over time and energy to me, our family, and our marriage. I’ll try to hold my tongue, but after awhile it just gets the better of me.

    And then I feel like a failure because I feel like I should be better at this. I try to be encouraged reading about other wives’ journeys with being respectful, but I often end up even more discouraged because I just seem to mess up time and time again.

    What am I doing wrong?

    1. Mickey B.,

      I will be addressing those concerns about feeling lonely and a husband not changing in the coming posts. 🙂

      How long have you been doing this, my sweet sister?

      How is your time with God going?

      What expectations do you need to lay down? You can search my home page for “expectations” – it is easy for us to have a lot of expectations and turn those into resentment when our expectations are not met. As one reader shared with me, “expectations are premeditated resentment.”

      That is why the first day of the REspect Dare is about laying down expectations. I also have a 4 part series about all the expectations we bring to our marriages and how we can turn those very easily into idols – things we believewe MUST HAVE to be content and hpapy. You can find my supplment to Day 1 of THe Respect Dare on July 1st on my BLog Timeline.

      This is a LONG, LONG process.

      It took Nina Roesner, author of The Respect Dare 10 years to feel like she knew what she was doing. It took me 2 years to begin to feel like I had any clue how to respect my husband and submit to him. It took 2 years and 10 months for all of my husband’s walls to fall.

      There are still some prayers that are unanswered in my marriage. That is ok.

      If your goal is to “feel loved” or to change your husband and have the intimacy you have always wanted emotionally and spiritually – you will fail often.

      One reason I believe that God doesn’t allow our husbands to change quickly when we start to change is that we would never have to purify our motives if they immediately changed, too. THen we would still have our idols of wanting control or of wanting to feel loved or of our husbands changing to be who we want them to be.

      I can tell you this – God is not going to change your husband until you accept him AS IS and don’t try to change him anymore.

      And, God wants to see your motives be only this:
      to love, obey, please and bring glory to God and to bless your husband

      If your motives are impure, if you have any idols, if you cherish any bitterness/resentment – you will continue to cycle where you are until you allow God to refine your motives.

      God will not let us find contentment in idols. I know I made my husband a huge idol, and feeling loved, and wanting control and having my way.

      God was SO GRACIOUS that He wouldn’t let me find happiness in those things – He graciously allowed me to only feel frustration, disappointment, and despair when I did that.

      WHy?

      So that I would have to turn to Him to find purpose, acceptance, fulfillment and contentment.

      Only He can meet the deepest needs of your soul.

      Lay down these other things. Face the things you fear the most – not being loved, not feeling loved, abandonment, not having the intimacy you want and the romance you want – and lay them down at God’s feet. Be willing to say, “Even if I must go through these things I fear so much, I will trust You. If You allow me to go through these trials, I know that You will use them for my ultimate good and Your glory and I trust Your sovereignty even if I must walk this path alone. You are enough for me, God. Show me how You are more than enough for me.”

      It’s fine to say:
      “Honey, I’d love to spend 30 minutes/1 hour together one night this week. That would mean so much to me.” But then allow him to decide if and when he spends time with you and be ok whether he spends that time with you or not.

      What things does he like to do?
      Can you join him in his fitness stuff?
      Can you sit with him while he is working out?
      Could you go walking or running or play basketball with him?

      Instead of insisting that he do what you want – see if you can join him in what he loves sometimes.

      When you get upset, what do you say to him?

      WHat does he say to you?

      Let’s work through this together my friend! 🙂

      1. Thank you so much for caring.

        To answer your questions, I’ve been at this since February of this year. My time with God is so precious. He is growing me in so many ways. I am so thankful He directed me here. 🙂

        I am not able to join in my husband’s fitness stuff because he does these activities in or around his workplace, which is an hour-away commute. Also, because he’s been at it for so long, he is way past where I would be (marathon running and ski racing, etc.) And those are activities where I’d physically have to run or ski right next to him. I did ask him a few times if he’d be willing to compromise and sometimes come home to walk around our neighborhood instead of running at the outdoor track at his work, or if he’d sometimes ski on the frozen lake by our house instead of the groomed trails by his work…but he said it wouldn’t be enough of a workout for him. So I’ve let that go.

        When I get upset, I tell him that I feel like he is placing his physical fitness/hobbies above me and our marriage. And it hurts. I have tried to offer compromises but he insists on the fitness 6 days a week. Between working and the commute, that’s about all the time there is. When I say these things to him, he says that he feels I am trying to control him (Bingo! He uses that word exactly) and tell him what he can and can’t do. And he has told me point-blank that he is not going to lessen his fitness activities, so I am just going to have to learn to be happy with it.

        I think I need to lay down the expectation that I be a priority to him. I feel ‘left out’ of much of his life, and like I get ‘left-over’ time. It hurts. I am going to back and read your 4-part series on that again.

        It is encouraging to hear this can be a LONG process. Maybe I’m expecting too much too soon.

        Some things that are particularly hard for me:

        1. Learning to keep quiet when I should. When I feel hurt, I get sad, I will sometimes ‘text’ him how I am feeling. I know I shouldn’t, but I will. I feel like Paul when he wrote about doing that which he does not want to do, but does anyway. I need to learn how to take those thoughts captive, and take them to the Lord…not to my husband in an attempt to “communicate” … because it often feels to him like I am complaining about his behavior or character. Or if I’m telling him I’m sad about something lacking in our relationship, that I’m letting him know he isn’t living up.

        2. How do you react in a respectful manner when your spouse has done something that really does hurt? For example, coming home an hour late for dinner because he stopped off to visit some friends he hadn’t seen in awhile? I was hurt and angry, and it’s hard to be respectful when feeling like that. I let the kids eat early, but I saved my (now cold) dinner until he got home so we could eat together. I didn’t yell or argue,but I found it very hard to engage in friendly conversation when my feelings had been quite hurt.

        3. And the hardest…how do you react in a respectful manner when your spouse has done something that really hurts one of the children? Not physically…but emotionally? Like not making an effort to attend a Father-Son event?

        It looks like I’ve got work to do in laying down the things you mentioned…not being loved (“If he loved me, he would have been home for dinner on time.”), abandonment (“Why did he want to be with those friends instead of home with me?”), not having the intimacy and romance I want (“I just wanted him make being home and with me a priority.”)

        Okay, enough of the novel! Thank you for working through this with me. I want to honor God and bless and respect my husband. It is not an easy task, but I know God has called me to obedience, even when…especially when…it is not easy.

        1. Mickey B,

          1. While it is important to share your feelings – if all your husband ever hears is negative stuff, condemnation, criticism, anger, contempt for who he is, etc… he will not want to hear anything soon. What positive feelings do you share? What things do you actually respect about him that you could praise him for? What kind things and admiring things do you say to him? Is there ever anything you say to him that is encouraging, uplifting and positive?

          2. Well, a part of this is reframing how you look and laying down your expectations. If you haven’t, you may want to read my post about “The Night My Meatloaf and I Got Stood Up”

          I would like to hear what you are thinking about after you read that post, and we can talk about some ideas for next time. 🙂

          3. Did he promise to go to the Father-Son event?

          What do you say to your children when he doesn’t follow through or when you are disappointed in your husband?

          Check out “Respecting Our Husbands as Fathers” Then let’s talk about how you are doing in this area and what God may want to do in your heart.

          Much love to you!!!!! 🙂

          1. Understanding to open that door was tuff, and going on was slow,so I’ve had to think that my husband is happy, even after he voiced his anger, about me,meaning , he’s been gone from me and he said forever.

            Forever in this lifetime , I can’t , He rubbed to much of filthiness at me,I was frozen, not wanting to Let Go not realizing his needs are taken care of, an proud to tell me .So I got forever shunned. He enjoyed saying every word, I think strongly of myself as dead to him, everyday .

    2. Mickey B,

      You are not alone in your struggles, I feel the same way. I just started this about 6 weeks ago and I feel like I am constantly back where I started. My husband is very sensitive and whenever I mess up he sure let’s me feel it by telling me things like “you are always harrassing me”. Even though that is not accurate, I feel like a failure and that any of the changes I have made are unnoticed.

      I love April’s response, we are wise to listen and learn from it. I think we just need to tackle this day by day, not get too hard on ourselves or discouraged, and the mess-ups will start spreading out into longer times apart.

      Be strong and courageous, God is rooting for us and our marriages!

      Love in Christ
      Victorious Spirit

      1. Victorious Spirit,
        Love that name!

        Thank you for encouraging Mickey B. 🙂 I believe that women can give a HUGE amount of support to each other on this journey. We can pray for each other. Listen when others are feeling discouraged, share our stories and share our pain – then share our victories, too. There is much value and strength in having the body of Christ around us as we learn and grow.

        I have a post you may want to also check out. Sometimes when a wife begins to change, her husband seems to be more angry and unloving.

        And please keep in mind, my precious sisters – husbands tend to take our failures at first as signs that we have not changed – even though God has been doing a lot in our hearts. That’s ok. We have to create a new history with them so that in time, they will see that we are different. They may not be very supportive at first. That’s ok, too. You are not doing this for them. You are doing this to obey God and please Him and to bless your husband. In time, they will be blessed.

        You won’t be perfect. Some husbands think that once a wife sees she has been disrespectful and controlling that she can flip a little switch and be wonderful and perfect from now on. It does not work like that. The roots of our disrespect, contention and control are DEEP. This is actually about our understanding of who God is, who we are, God’s sovereignty, dying to self and the Lordship of Christ. This is not some superficial problem that can just be painted over. Idols must be ripped out of our hearts. Pride must be completely removed. Our souls and minds have to be completely renovated and regenerated. This is HUGE stuff to change.

        Your husband WILL notice a lot of the changes you are making. He won’t comment on most of them. That’s ok. Don’t expect verbal validation from him. If you need validation and encouragement – come here and we will be glad to provide it for you. 🙂

        Husbands watch their wives during this process VERY closely. They won’t say anything for a REALLY, REALLY long time usually. But just because they don’t say anything does not mean they don’t notice what is happening.

        You just stay on this narrow path that God has for you and keep your eyes on Jesus, my friends. We will trust Him to work in our husbands’ hearts.

        Much love!

  5. These words have touched me so much, crying so hard right now. Have been trying to be a peaceful wife for about 7 months and thought I had it all worked out..but STILL struggling and fighting with my husband, I find it so hard to submit, it doesn’t come naturally. I will keep trying, but so needed to be reminded how much God loves me, I have to let go of my husband (not literally) but I definitely have him as an idol, its VERY hard as I think I am right most of the time and my husband isn’t a Christian so I am supposed to be winning him over without a word, instead I am having angry outbursts and am feeling unsettled, needy, jealous, he just winds me up and seems he has to be right about everything all the time…I just want to get it right, but it feels like I’m being a doormat. I know that’s not how it is, but that’s the battle I have….thanks so much for this post today though, it has helped enormously. X

    1. JuR,

      Of course submission does not come naturally! I don’t know any wife for whom biblical submission comes naturally or any person for whom submission to Christ comes naturally – to our sinful nature. Our old sinful nature is going to BALK at these ideas.

      But when God’s Spirit is in charge and we put on our new self in Christ, in time, this does become “normal” and “natural” – and, eventually – the old sinful ways seem awkward, foreign and repugnant.

      I can relate to thinking you are right most of the time. I used to think I was right ALL of the time – and, of course, that my husband was ALWAYS wrong.

      My husband shut down and quit trying to lead because, he told me many years later, “How do you lead someone who is always right and who thinks you’re wrong?” “How can you lead someone who won’t follow?”

      WOuld you like to give me an example of a time you feel you were right and you were arguing?

      What did you say? How did he respond?

      Here is something my husband shared with me – I often questioned his salvation and looked down on him as being far from God before when I was controlling, contentious, prideful, critical and disrespectful…

      He told me, “You acted like you were so close to God and I was so far away. I believed that I was hopeless. I thought I could never be as close to God as you were. It was just impossible. So I stopped even trying. But when you stopped the criticizing, lecturing, blaming, negativity, condemnation, putting me down, complaining about me to other people, etc… it was like someone took the static off of the speaker that had God’s voice – and for the first time in many years, I began to be able to hear His voice again. Then, when you began to add the positive things – encouraging me, praising the good you saw in me, thanking me, respecting me with genuine respect and admiration, supporting my leadership and speaking highly of me – it was like someone put an amplifier on the speaker in my mind with God’s voice.”

      I’d love for you to list all the things you can think of off the top of your head that you believe you are right about that you and your husband have had a fight about in these past 7 months.

      Let’s hash through these things together and talk about ways to handle them productively – if you would like to. 🙂

      Most of the wives I have worked with – it seems to take about 1 year before they REALLY “get it.” Of course, each wife’s story is different, and every husband is unique.

      PLease keep in mind that God commands us not to complain or argue so that we may shine like the stars in the universe as we hold out the Word of Life (Phil 2:14-16a). If we argue or complain, we damage our witness to our husbands and to others.

      It is easy for us as women to make the little issue more important than the marriage or than our fellowship with Christ – if we feel unloved or sinned against, we think we are justified in reacting in sin back to that person. God doesn’t work that way. He wants us to repay evil with good and to bless those who persecute us and pray for those who mistreat us.

      Think about the issue before you fight about it – is this issue more important than my husband’s salvation? Is this issue more important to me than my fellowship with God’s Spirit and His filling me up with His power? Is this little issue more important than my husband feeling respected by me? Is this little issue worth destroying intimacy with my husband?

      It is entirely possible to communicate our desires and feelings respectfully without destroying our husbands or the intimacy in our marriage or our connection with Christ.

      I’m very glad to hear from you and we will walk this road together and talk through these tough things. 🙂

      Much love my precious sister!

      1. PS, JuR,

        All of us are sinful humans. We will all fall sometimes. That’s ok. Then we repent get back up and keep going.

        There are days that will be difficult. That is part of life.

        You don’t have to be perfect. 🙂

        Much love,

  6. Ladies,

    Please also keep in mind that ideally, we would all have had examples of all of this as we were growing up for 20 years. Many of us didn’t have that. And we learned so many things that are so against God’s design from our culture, too.

    We were “programmed wrong” – and it will take time to remove all those worldly ways of thinking and replace them with God’s ways.

    But – one awesome thing is that as our daughters watch our examples, we will make this transition and journey so much easier for them when they are married one day!

    Much love to each of you!!!! 🙂

  7. Thank you for this post and helping through God’s glory to guide us wives that desire to be close to God and please Him! I needed to read this post today. I’m 6 months into the journey and am still trying to “get it”. I have always been a talker, controlling, dominating, and especially “RIGHT”!! oh the sin! Oh the pride, the idols! Now my husband does ask me “what’s wrong” when I’m quiet. I choose the respectful, quiet path more often than I choose the bully, demanding path these days. Thank you Lord for that. I am trusting God ! I am praying to die to self daily, several times a day when necessary ! I keep reminding myself of this –Exodus 14:14 “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

    He is molding me, I can feel it. It isn’t easy, and I haven’t wanted to do some of the things He keeps pointing at. Tonight ANOTHER thing that’s standing in the way popped up in this blog. And I immediately thought, “oh yeah… THAT! I do have to deal with that.”

    God is great! And I pray that I will continue to die to self and let my husband off his Idol pedestal … I haven’t bitten my tongue completely off yet. That is a blessing, right?!!

    Psalm 19:14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

    Please continue to post! I look forward to your upcoming posts about feeling lonely and my husband not changing (on my timeline….Boy that sounds selfish and self righteous….more sins to confess…) thank you!

    1. prayingwife79,

      I can definitely relate to the way you have been. 🙂

      Yes – dying to self can easily be multiple times per day. It requires a constant taking each thought captive for Christ – replacing the sinful thoughts with the truth of God’s Word and humbling myself.

      I am THRILLED about what God is doing in you.

      Our sinful nature resists all that God wants to do – but – as we allow Him to work and we lie still on the operating table while He searches the darkest corners of our souls – it gets easier. Eventually, we see that when He points out something, it is an incredible gift of grace and that we will be most blessed if we obey Him, even if it is painful to remove the sin and idol at the time.

      I’m glad that you haven’t bitten your tongue completely off – you will need it to give words of life. 🙂

      Yes – there are MANY, MANY sins to confess. We owe Jesus MUCH!!!!!!! But when we realize that and see how great our debt is to Him – we can love Him MUCH. 🙂

      With love,
      April

  8. Thank you April. There are some great tools here once again that I can use and apply daily. I also realize now where I am falling short and can try to make some adjustments that will help me on my journey. It is so wonderful to have the support of other women here so thank you, thank you!

    1. Jessica,
      You are so welcome! I’m really glad you reached out. You will find support here. 🙂

      Lord,
      I lift up Jessica and her husband to You. I pray for Your greatest glory in their marriage and in their lives. I pray for Your strength for Jessica to become the woman of Your dreams. I pray for her to abide in You and to be empowered by Your Spirit to become more and more like Christ. I pray that she might greatly bless her husband and that the power of heaven would pour through her into her marriage and her husband’s soul and bring healing and LIFE for him as well. Help her to see the beautiful things You have in store and to live in great faith and to trust Your sovereignty and to dwell in Your peace that passes all human understanding.
      In the Name and power of Christ,
      Amen!

      Much love!

  9. What can i do when my husband disrespects me infront of the children, raising his voice, does not want to be asked any questions even how his day was. In tears……….Please pray for me.

    1. Bella,
      I am so sorry things are so difficult! 🙁

      Is this normal? Was it just today? Did he have a bad day?

      What has been going on?

      What did he say to you in front of the children?

      Is he stressed about something in particular?

      What did you say to him?

      Let’s work through this together. I pray for God’s strength, courage, comfort and wisdom for you!

  10. Hi. I’ve posted comments in other sections. I have been reading Love and Respect. I am open to making this change – so can you guide me in a practical way to what i should do next? I have slowly been submitting to my husband where I can see that i need to do that. I am in my Bible more, and I am working on not idolizing my husband as much (tough one). I know God will be the one to transform me…but…can you give me some practical steps to get started? Will the Respect Dare walk me thru things I can do that show respect?

    1. Jaref,

      The respect dare is a great resource. I also wrote a parallel study to go along with The Respect Dare this summer. You could buy the respect dare or you can just read my series that started on 7-1-13. Or, you can read both. 🙂

      Also, the Surrendered Wife was super helpful and practical for me, but not written from a Christian perspective, so some things you will have to discard as you compare statements to God’s Word.

      I also have MANY, MANY posts on respect that have practical suggestions.

      You can search my home page for What Is Respect in Marriage for a long list of ideas.

      And, you may want to ask you husband what 3 things would most speak respect to him. 🙂

  11. April & everyone here,
    Thank you for the encouragement about the long painful process. It feels like the movie “Groundhog Day” because I think I’m understanding what’s going on & then I my husband says I’m not submitting & am stubborn. Yikes! I know there’s truth in what he says, but I am so blind to it. I’m guessing the blindness is my way of dealing with the intense feelings that come from the realization that my way is not best, that what I thought was reasonable for everyone is not necessarily true, etc. I can report a praise in the midst of this anguish, though. I have actually been defending myself less, not making sure I’m heard or understood correctly. This is a huge victory because I am not a quick verbal communicator, so conversations with me can get messy & twisted (also known as a great way to frustrate your husband!). So for those who find it impossible, please be encouraged that there are little victories. I’m facing one of my biggest fears right now by doing this & I haven’t died yet (although it has felt possible several times). Again, thank you everyone.

    1. Sally,

      This is a difficult and PAINFUL process, to be sure. Kind of a rebirth.

      It is ok, and good, to say what you desire and how you feel… But without trying to force or dictate your way. And, realizing that God may be leading you through your husband and he may have valid wisdom, too.

      I am super proud of you for not defending yourself!
      That is REALLY hard! It goes totally against our sin nature to listen and accept criticism and prayerfully consider whether there may be truth in someone’s criticism.

      That is a wonderful victory!

      If you ever want to talk about what is going on, please reach out. You don’t have to do this alone. We will pray with you, love you, encourage you and seek to point you to the power of God and the truth of His Word. 🙂

  12. Hi, I never talked to anyone about what I have going on in my life so this is definitely a first for me so Im stepping out with faith! My husband & I been married for 4 months and he is constantly telling me I need to stop being so selfish and demanding. I never allow him leadership, I try but I have had such bad experiences in my past relationships I am afraid. I yells and gives him the cold shoulder when he speaks upon it, he says its not Gods way. We pray alot but I make him do the praying I never let him hear me pray, I have been physically abused so badly from my past and now he is paying for it. I hate the way I make him feel, I pray for change, I do not know what to do, I do not want to loose him, He is the best thing that have ever happened to me. Please tell me what can I do to help give him leadership and be head of my household? And not control him?

    1. Praying4change,

      It is wonderful to meet you!

      I have many, many posts about all of these topics. The post yesterday is a great place to start.

      Have you received godly counseling about the abuse you have suffered? You would have SO MANY SCARS from that – I can understand that it would be scary to trust.

  13. Hi, I am so happy to have found your blog. I have been married for 6 years to a wonderful man and we have a good marriage but we have our ups and downs. The thing is I know that most of our issues are my fault, I want to be a peaceful wife. I am going to go through your blog and start my journey. I really want to and need to change. I know that the root of my personal and marriage problems is that deep down I am not a happy person, I don’t know how to handle stress and now I know that it is because I try to be the leader of our household. I am not letting my husband lead and I definetly don’t know how to accept criticism and I believe I am always right. Thanks again for your blog and I really look forward to making this change in my life to become closer to God and to trully trust Him to guide me in the right path to a happier/blessed life and marriage.

    1. Hopefulwife08,
      It is a pleasure to meet you!

      I am so excited about what God is about to do in your heart and in your marriage. Please let me know if you want to talk about anything! I pray for God’s greatest glory in your life. 🙂

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.

%d bloggers like this: