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.
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.
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:
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.
We’ll look at the other questions from the top of this article in the next few posts.
Nina Roesner wrote a post about the normal stages that wives go through on this journey.
My YOUTUBE CHANNEL – “April Cassidy”