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SMILE! :)

happy girl

I would like to issue you a little challenge this week, my friends!

Whenever you go in the room where your husband is –

please smile at him.

  • Not to change him.
  • Not to get any specific results from him.
  • Just to bless him.

Stay close to God. ย Be in His Word daily. ย Lay your life fully before Jesus and give yourself 100% to Him as The Lord of Your Life. ย Let His joy flood your soul as you seek to obey Him and please Him and as you are overcome with gratitude for all He has done for you.

Let that joy shine and radiate from your face. ๐Ÿ™‚

Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again, REJOICE! ย Philippians 4:4

If you really want to go crazy with this challenge – hum happily around the house. ย Or sing. ย Sing praise songs to God! ย Hum praise songs. ย Allow God’s joy to overflow from your heart and change the expression on your face.

Bless your husband with some REAL smiles this week.

You probably have NO IDEA the power your smile has over that man. ย When you are genuinely happy – for whatever reason – he feels like a success as a man and as a husband. ย It draws him to you. ย It is PLEASANT to be around someone who is happy and smiling.

Maybe even bless your children with some real smiles, too!

Let me know how you do! ๐Ÿ™‚

RELATED:

A Challenge for the Ladies – not to argue or complain

Tone of Voiceย 

My Welcome Home Plan – a 2.5 minute video

Finding All of Our Contentment in Christ

Things That Fuel a Spirit of Discontentment in Me

How to Have a Relationship with Christ

93 thoughts on “SMILE! :)

  1. Challenge accepted! This reminds me of something I read when I began my journey as a submissive wife. A list of things to do for our husbands to show respect to them included “welcoming him graciously when he got home each day”. I did that for a while. Would stop what I was doing and hug him and say hello. It really made a difference and allowed us to connect for a few seconds before jumping into our evening. I have fallen off the wagon on this. I need to start again. Along with smiling at him as you suggested. When I do both I honor God with my smile!

    1. Sara,

      I do that!!! I started doing the welcome home thing, I think it may have been when I read The Surrendered Wife by Laura Doyle. It made a HUGE difference in our marriage. I still do it! Thank you for sharing. ๐Ÿ™‚ Awesome idea. I think I have a video link about that I could link to this post.

  2. This is no challenge for me, as I do this all the time. We’ve been married 13 yeas and I always smile at him and the kids and I always greet him when coming home from work. In nice weather the kids run out to his truck as he pulls in. I have at times, but mostly I stand at the door. We have a routine, ( that just happened it wasn’t planned) jesika takes his coffee cup/thermos and dalton takes his lunch box and mail. If he’s stopped for milk or anything else we need on his way home I take that. Then the hugging begins. I fall more in love with the man every day, so smiles come naturally for me.
    I’m glad that you asked ladies to do that however, for those of you that don’t, please take Aprils advice. You will over time see a difference not only in your heart and attitude, but in your husband I’m sure.
    Smile on ladies !! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I’m in! I do smile at my husband when he enters the room, but it’s feeling a little routine. I’m going to also remind myself why I’m smiling which I think will deepen my respect for him! I’m guessing he’ll read this, too. Love this!

    1. Sally,

      I love how God works. When we obey Him – feelings usually come along in time. We want feelings first, then we will do the actions. That is backwards! As we seek to smile and bless our husbands, we will find that God changes US. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thinking about your motivation and seeking to please God with your motives is a POWERFUL move towards spiritual maturity!

  4. This post was for me and confirms what my husband says to me often. I tend to be “serious and reserved”, but my husband wants to be around a wife who is happy and joyful – not somber and depressed! I tend to let past experiences and current circumstances dictate my mood and my face is the first place those feeling show up! I will accept this challenge and bless my husband! Thank you April – you are an incredible blessing to me!

    1. Amy,

      I am still in the middle of Shaunti Feldhahn’s new book “Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages” – which is a MUST READ, by the way. One husband talks in her book about how he and his wife “boss our feelings around.” They don’t allow feelings to control them. They tell their feelings what to do. LOVE THIS!

      God COMMANDS us to rejoice in Him and to think on GOOD things (Philippians 4:4-8) and not to worry. Those are not suggestions, they are COMMANDS!

      I can’t wait to see what God has in store for you as you allow Him to flow into your heart and fill you with His joy and radiate that joy to your husband and everyone around you. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Yes, I really try to be content in my circumstances. I don’t worry about the future, I trust the Lord. I am the one who goes to work everyday, husband is unemployed. He has a “friendship” with a women which has been an emotional struggle for me. My husband loves me…but he also loves her. She has told him that she wishes she was married to him….I saw a video she sent him on Christmas eve…my heart never ached so much. I feel betrayed and hurt…and he knows this. I remind myself everyday… my Christian husband is not accountable to me… and I have given this over to the Lord. Meanwhile our relationship has improved 100%…but she’s still there…which is why my face doesn’t always burst with joy. But, I definitely can smile more…and I will!

        1. Amy,
          You have a greater challenge than many wives, to be sure. How I pray that the joy of Christ might radiate in you – and that Jesus might use that to draw your husband back out of sin and to Himself. I pray for you to have the power to live in obedience to God, joy and peace no matter what your husband does. And I pray that God might work in your husband’s heart in ways that surpass our ability to fathom, ask or imagine. We will stand together and pray for His salvation for your husband and for reconciliation and healing for your marriage for God’s glory!

        2. A year ago when I was struggling with a situation I had no control over but impacted me greatly, I came across Philippians 4:11 “… for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances”. I actually have it taped to my work computer as a daily reminder to not let struggles get me down. This morning when I was praying the rosary (Sorrowful Mysteries), I prayed about Christ carrying his cross. I was convicted that He carried His cross without complaint. I don’t always carry my crosses without complaint. In fact, sometimes I like to say “LOOK AT ME!! I have a HUGE cross I am carrying and it really stinks but I am doing it”. My conviction is that I must be more humble in the carrying of the cross. Less the martyr. I know Jesus is right there with you every step of the way as you carry this cross. I will add you and my husband to my prayer list.

          1. Thank you Sara – I know my Heavenly Father has a plan and is in control. Thank you for your comment and prayers…I am a born again believer in Christ and do not agree with “praying the rosary (Sorrowful Mysteries)…but would welcome all prayers to my Heavenly Father, in Jesus’ name.

          2. Amy,

            Many of my readers are actually Catholic and born again believers in Christ – which is so wonderful. ๐Ÿ™‚

            I’m so thankful we can all pray together to God and support and encourage one another. ๐Ÿ™‚

          3. My husband is having an affair for over a year now, which he blamed me for. He does not talk to me for the past four months now. We no longer pray together as we use to be. He drives alone. He take a walk almost every night so that he can talk to his mistress while walking. Several people have spoken to him about his infidelity but he do as if there is nothing wrong. The children are affected by his behaviour. I do not think my smile will make a different.I prayed and even have some Christian friends who are praying with me. Sometimes I am confuse though I am trusting God for his change .

            Maria

          4. Maria,

            The post about smiling is not a post I wrote specifically for wives whose husbands are involved in infidelity. Your smile won’t make your husband change a deep sin pattern. He is responsible for his own sin. Have you told him something like, “This is NOT ok! We have a holy covenant. Please stop seeing her. What you are doing is destroying my heart and soul and our marriage. We cannot live together as husband and wife until you repent and change your ways. I know that this is not the man you want to be. I know you want to set a better example than this for our children.”?

            Is it possible to separate from him until he repents?

            You are responsible for your sin. He is responsible for his. You can apologize and repent of anything you have done wrong. But you are not responsible for his affair. I would encourage you to please seek godly counsel, and, ideally, to ask him to go with you. I would also say that there need to probably be boundaries if he is involved in an affair. I would not want to have sexual relations with him until after he repents and shows himself trustworthy for a significant period of time and is tested for STDS.

            God is able to heal marriages after affairs. But it is not ok for this to continue on.

            Is your husband a believer in Christ?

            I wish I could hug your neck!

          5. Yes, he claim to be a believer and a worker for that matter. Last Sunday, 12 Jan he tought Sunday School for adults in the church. I already tried godly counselling but he refuse to drop his mistress and when I ask him to file to divorce he neither willing to divorce. I do not want to file divorce because I want to honour God s word ‘ I HATE DIVORCE’ and my children are still young 11 and 13 years. We have been married for 14 years now. I really nee your prayers.

          6. Kerttu,

            Of course we will pray! Is there not a godly pastor you could go to in your church? Or is there somewhere you and the children could stay until your husband is willing to truly repent?

            I have an email support group for wives whose husbands are involved in infidelity if you are interested.

            Much love!

        3. My heart aches for you, Amy. Sounds like we are struggling with similar pain in our marriages. I will pray for you as well.

          1. Thank you Cat, and I will pray for you…LOVE this way for us to share our experiences…helps me SO much!

          2. That might be nice. I’m willing if you are, Amy. If not, that’s ok, too–we can still connect this way.

  5. Thanks for the challenge–I accept, too! I already do smile at my husband and welcome him home (though maybe the latter isn’t as consistent or obvious, I’ll work on that) but this is a great reminder to check my motives–only to bless him and honor God, with no expectation for anything (not even a nod of acknowledgement) in return. The kids also have a “good bye” routine with him that involves hugs & kisses then running to the front door to wave. If my husband is driving away in the opposite direction so he doesn’t go past the door, he’ll actually back up the road a bit so the kids can still see him waving at them. If the kids are in bed, I always tell him good bye/have a good day, kiss him if he’s open to it, but I don’t run to the door and wave. Maybe I should? ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Cat,
      Yes. Motives are KEY. God wants us to do the right thing for the right reason – everything else is sin. I can’t wait to see what God inspires you to do to bless your husband. I love the goodbye routine, so precious!

      Much love my sweet sister!

  6. “When you are genuinely happy โ€“ for whatever reason โ€“ he feels like a success as a man and as a husband. It draws him to you. It is PLEASANT to be around someone who is happy and smiling.”

    I think this ties in with acceptance and not being judged/rejected, so rather than thinking he’s a big success, he’s probably just thinking that his failures aren’t being held against him, which motivates him to draw closer.

    Men need this encouragement!

    The same could be said with God. We are more motivated to draw close to Him when we think he is loving and accepting than when we think he is judgemental, unforgiving, and condemning.

    1. RG,

      Yes, when we are content and happy – we are much more friendly and approachable and pleasant – and our husbands feel safe – especially as they see this behavior continue on and on for many months and years.

      Thank you for sharing a masculine viewpoint! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. April, This is such a simple but wonderful suggestion for us all! Thank you!
    Cat, you might be surprised how good going to the door and giving your husband one last wave might make him feel–and you.
    This post reminds me of how my mother, a small town woman who heartily believed in hospitality, always walked outside with our guests and would stand on the porch so she could wave as they drove away. To this day I do the same thing, and I think it’s heartwarming for everyone.
    Also, when I taught Drama, one important lesson was to learn that “feeling follows form.” This means that often when an actor goes through the motions of physically behaving as a particular character would act, he/she also begins to FEEL the way that character would. In other words, even if you’re not feeling particularly happy when you smile, you will soon feel happier simply because you smiled. Every actor understands this, and what a great way to help ourselves feel better, as well as our husbands.

    1. Elizabeth,

      I love your mother’s example of hospitality. SO BEAUTIFUL!

      And wow! What a powerful lesson from drama. I hope you might allow me to share this on my FB page today! LOVE THIS!

    2. Elizabeth, thank you for the encouragement. I think I will try going to the door to wave good bye to my husband. I might feel a little silly (it’s cute with the kids, probably not so much with just me), but if feeling silly is the worst that can happen and there’s a chance that it might have a positive impact on my husband (and me) then I’ll go for it.

      And thanks for the quick drama lesson, too. “Fake it ’til you make it”–doesn’t sound ideal in our culture, but it’s true. Sadly, it’s exactly what my husband says he’s not willing to do–pretend he has feelings for me that he doesn’t, he says he can’t just “manufacture” them–but his feelings and what he does or doesn’t do with them are his & God’s responsibility, not mine. I am working hard to be joyful and peaceful, to feel it inwardly as well as display it outwardly to him, so it’s good to remember that feelings will follow actions when I obey God’s commands despite circumstances rather than waiting to “feel” joyful/happy based on my circumstances. Then nothing would ever change! There’s so much more power in doing things God’s way, isn’t there? What a great idea, April, to “boss our feelings around” ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Cat,
        We actually CAN manufacture feelings when we obey God. THANKFULLY! God has the power to change our hearts, motives and minds. I pray that God might be at work in your husband’s heart drawing him to Himself.

        Don’t you love that? Boss our feelings around. Could have used that idea 20 years ago!

        1. Yeah, you’d think with all our controlling ways, it’d be easy to boss our feelings around. Sadly, I guess it’s easier to boss everyone else around instead. Praise God He didn’t make us slaves to our feelings! Of course, we have to WANT to change how we feel, too, so that must be where His Spirit comes in–to change the desires of our hearts. Thanks for your prayers!

      2. Cat,
        I wonder if your husband has ever pulled out of the driveway and longed to see you peek your head out and wave goodbye to him.

        1. Thank you so much for this sweet thought, SusanB. My initial reaction was a feeling of wonder that maybe my husband has longed for that, something so simple that I could do to bless him. It only took seconds for the Enemy to pounce on that thought, though, and turn it into bitterness that no, there’s not much longing in my husband for anything I can offer him. Praise God that I recognized this as a tactic of the devil trying to get in a foothold and tossed it aside (bossing those feelings!) and chose instead to go back to thinking maybe he did want me to do something so simple for him and how unfair it is of me to make negative assumptions about his desires or thoughts. Thank you!

  8. I love this idea! ( I say that a lot on here. . .) My personality is joyful and encouraging in general, but my husband is melancholy with a critical spirit. It’s not that he doesn’t smile, he is just better at seeing the glass half empty. Sometimes, if I’m not careful, he rubs off on me & I start to be melancholy and critical too! I often have to check my spirit when I can feel myself slidng ๐Ÿ™‚ And with all of this snow/ice/freezing temps we’ve got going on here in Ohio, a little sunshine in the spirit is a VERY good thing!

  9. This is one of the simplest yet most profound things we can do for our husbands. My husband always remarks how he loves to see the light in my eyes when I smile at him. Unfortunately, for years I let the anger, worry, or whatever was troubling me rob that light. Once I began to truly trust God, smiling became second nature. Thanks, April, for great advice. We all can benefit from this. Love you.

    1. redpillsetmefree,

      You know, I actually saw an article written by a former mistress- she shared her “wisdom” with wives. This was part of what she shared, now that I think about it. It is very shocking for wives to think about learning something helpful from “the other woman” but – sometimes we can learn helpful things from the most unlikely of sources.

        1. Wow that was harsh. I do not agree that there is no rest with ones wife. If God is the center of the marriage, the husband would never have an affair. He would be very blessed to be with his wife in all ways not just sexual.

          However, I do see what you are saying about a husband doesn’t always step out to find a different sex partner. Some men are looking for love, respect, care, companionship, etc that thier wife is not providing. I do not however agree with an affair and neither does my husband. He says ” what’s the purpose in getting married if your not in it till death do us part”. I’m just saying what I’ve heard and read what men say. Alot of men say it has absolutly nothing to do with sex.

          Our marriage is a amazing, so no affairs gona be happening here. I pray for anyone that has to deal with an unfaithful spouse. My heart goes out to you.

        2. Redpillsetmefree,

          If a wife is contentious, controlling and disrespectful, I am sure there is not much rest with her. My aim is to point wives toward Christ and His Word. Then wives and their husbands can experience the rest and peace of God.

        3. This used to be me. Hours at work for my husband and then hours at home trying to meet my demands. In learning to Biblically submit I have learned that my husband must find rest at home. I get home from work at 3 and my husband doesn’t get home until 630. I used to take for granted that I got home, changed, rested and then began dinner etc… So when he walked through the door I was ready for him to get busy with chores. My have things changed. Tonight, he walked through the door and we talked for a bit. I went to clean our bathroom. He went to play Legos with our son. I got my rest when I got home hours before. I sat and watched tv for about an hour. Now it was his turn. AND we are eAch meeting in the bedroom at 9:30 every night for more rest in each other. While I don’t condone affairs, I can tell you I totally understand the psychology behind why men and women do it.

          1. What you’re talking about Sara is second shift, and yes, it’s hard on both spouses. Excellent growth on your part. I most definitely was not condoning affairs, but from the man’s point of view, I understand why they happen.
            So if you have changed to make your home/living space and time with him more restful all the way around, fantastic.

            I also was not speaking of merely physical rest. I was also addressing emotional rest. Again, one of the main components that men seek out prostitutes and mistresses for.

          2. You know, sadly, what you have said is the truth, and my marriage is an example of this. My husband and I drifted apart emotionally…he didn’t care about me and I really didn’t care about him. He connected with a woman on facebook in Feb. 2013 and that relationship has developed into what has been described as an emotional affair. He calls it a “unique friendship”. He was looking for support, unconditional love, encouragement, respect, honor, adoration…and he found it – in his friend. In April – I “woke up”, realized what was happening, starting changing my behavior, fell back in love with my husband…but she’s still there – breaks my heart. But I try to focus on changing “me” and not him. We both love the Lord and each other…I have forgiven myself for causing this to happen…and I now focus on loving him and being obedient to the Lord…and definitely SMILING more. ๐Ÿ™‚

          3. One of the things I’ve realized in my travels is that people have large expectations in a marriage, and even larger needs, but they tend to assume that their spouse will automatically just understand them, and then joyfully meet them.
            It really doesn’t work that way, and most people don’t get real with their spouse until there’s an outside catalyst, unfortunately.

          4. Yes, I agree. We have definitely “gotten real” with each other, and know each other better than ever. We have been married for 28 1/2 years…and this past year has been an awakening of what our needs are, and how to meet them. Thanks for your comments.

  10. I am a smily person so this is just a friendly reminder to just keep at it. When one is smiling though, one must smile with the eyes, not just from the mouth. A real smile lights you up from within. But when days are low,I wouldn’t mind “faking it,till you make it”. That’s better than looking surly and forlorn. ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. As a husband of a wonderful woman, I can assure you that her smile just makes all the “bad day” go away. When Elise smiles at me, I instantly feel better. I feel loved, comforted, and just better. When she knows I have had “one of those days”, she just smiles and hugs me and I can’t even remember what it was that got me in that mood! My wife is my “anti-depressant”. lol God has blessed me SO much!!

    Love the post ๐Ÿ™‚ God bless!

    1. He has blessed you. And your wife, too! Thanks for bringing a smile of hope to my face. May God continue to bless you both! ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Cat, we were the typical married couple. Fights, talks of divorce, kids worried, etc… It is amazing what can happen when BOTH give up worldly ways and turn to God. Follow the design as it’s intended and it WILL get better! Elise did a “guest post” on here, not sure how to find it, but she explains more in her words. Since we brought God back to center, we’ve been SO much happier! ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. Thanks, Bryan. I looked up and read your wife’s guest post. What a powerful testimony to the transformation that following God’s design for marriage brings! It’s amazing how God’s ways, which seem so backwards to the world, are truly the only way to true success and peace. We really do have to say it’s a God thing then, as April likes to point out, because there’s no way in our fallen human nature we would choose His paths for our lives. Thank you for sharing and for your encouragement. I am seeking to follow God’s design for my life and marriage and praying that He will reveal Himself to my husband.

          1. Thanks for link April ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m kind of “tech challenged” lol Cat, My wife an I pray together in the morning and again at night before bed. We will pray for you and your husband tonight.

            God bless ๐Ÿ™‚

          2. Bryan,
            You are most welcome! The post didn’t have your wife’s name in the title, so if you didn’t know the title, it would be pretty tough to find. ๐Ÿ™‚

            Thanks for praying for Cat. ๐Ÿ™‚

          3. Thank you so much, Bryan. That means a lot to me. Praise God for this community at Peacefulwife where He is continually blessing and challenging me.

  12. Count me in! I have really been noticing a lot lately that I let my present circumstance dictate my mood. that has to stop as of now! I can hardly wait to get home tonight and smile. I won’t stop after tonight either and will report in the results. Thank you for challenging me to do something I should have been doing all along in this journey but honestly I haven’t allowed myself to really stop the pity party so here I go!

  13. What a wonderful challenge, and source of encouragement.
    This is something that God put on my heart a few weeks back. I am happy, and when I am happy the whole house functions so much better. I smile and laugh more then I ever have, and found I love every minute of it.

    As for my husband, he dropped a comment the other day, which is the first time I’ve ever heard his, he told me that I was his best friend, and am his “home”. You have to know that my husband does not make comments lightly, so this was HUGE. It is worth more to me then a thousand I Love You’s could ever mean.

  14. The power of a smile is incredible. My wife seems to smile to everyone but never me. Mornings are met with negative attitude and scowls from her. I am still working on marriage, and had her at my office showing her how our business worked and she seemed to have no interest, no smiles and could not put her phone away from looking at Facebook posts. I made the best of it. This Thursday I was planning on seeing divorce lawyer, but my wife does just enough to make me think there is glimmer of hope, than pull back. I am homeless, tired and lonely. Today I started reading the Love Dare book and it filled me up with hope.

    I would love to have a women smile and adore me for me.

  15. Hurting Husband,

    Out of all the comments for some reason yours sort of touched me. I tend to be a “smiler” and I joke around a lot. Sometimes my wit is so quick I’m afraid it might give me an aneruysm. In fact one time my 4 year old grandson told me, “Nana, when you laugh and smile it looks like the sun is busting out of your whole face!” I’m pretty sure that was a 4 year old little boy compliment. LOL.

    My husband has said often (usually during an argument though) that I was happy around everyone except him. That literally when I walked into a room, I had “a presence” and people were drawn to the happiness.. Except when I was with him. At first I thought he was nuts. But then I started working on myself and realized that it was true. Very true. I really did not appear or act happy, laughing and smiling around him. That didn’t happen in a vacuum, believe me, part of it was that he was also acting like a jerk and I really was not happy when I was alone with him. I was stressed and waiting for the next complaint. My husband tends to be a needy man and somewhat introverted. He really did and somewhat still does complain a lot. He doesn’t realize he speaks so many negative thoughts in a day. He just don’t have a filter for it. That can suck the life out of someone like me. I wasn’t keeping smiles, laughing or happiness away from him on purpose. The environment of our marriage just wasn’t happy to me.

    But as I have started to change, he has too. My response to him acting like a jerk or being needy changed. I approach his neediness with a servants heart and I resent it less. And he appreciates it more. I don’t respond the same when he is argumentative or acting like a jerk. I don’t let him walk all over me but I respond differently. I remind myself that happiness is a choice regardless of how other people behave. I pick my battles and keep a tone of respect (without dropping F bombs) or I at least keep hurtful things I want to say to myself. I make no decisions when I’m upset. Because let’s face it, decisions made about anything when a person is angry, emotional or upset are always 100% of the time bad decisions. No matter what they are about.

    He is starting to respond to that but it is hard for me to keep up my end sometimes. There are times when he says something so stupid and so wrong that I want to defend myself or really lay into him. But what would it accomplish? He won’t hear me in that situation. He won’t benefit from me doing it at that time. I won’t feel better or make the situation better “at that time”. So, I have applied this filter in my brain (some assembly required) that filters out truth from what he says in anger. If it’s true I work on it, if it’s not true I forget he said it. That helps me. Things I don’t agree with, I tell him I need time to think about that percpective and get back to him. If it comes up again, I tell him what I think. If it doesn’t come up again, it wasn’t important to begin with.

    The smiling and joking around with him was one of those true things that I had to change. I understand why it hurts him now. It was one of the key things about me that he fell in love with. That’s what he really means when he gets upset about it. Not that he doesn’t want me to be that way everywhere else but that he missed that in our marriage. So as I do more of that with him, his attitude that made me not want to do it in the first place is changing. 40 years from now it’s not going to matter who changed first. It really will not matter if things are better and we are both changed.

    If you want your marriage to improve take “divorce” off the table in your mind. Unless there are serious issues like addiction, abuse or infidelity there really isn’t a reason to have it on the table. Happiness is a choice. Who changes first does not matter. The changes will impact the other person. God is not the one whispering in your ear to call a divorce attorney so don’t let the enemy have a revolving door to your marriage. You may have to be the first one to change. Sometimes it goes like that. Marriage is not always 50/50 all the time. It balances out over time. Take the leap. Be the first to change and leave the rest up to God. She’ll change eventually and in the end it won’t matter who jumped first. Get divorced and you only trade in one set of issues for a new set of issues. Sometimes worse issues.

    I choose to change first because I don’t have the same roadblocks to change as Mark does. I choose to change first because “I CAN”. He’s changing too because he can’t help but NOT change at this point. He doesn’t know what I’m changing. He probably wouldn’t even say I was changing. But I see it and I see the ripple effect. He wanted to be angry about something small today and I would not engage. I did not become unhappy. I dodged all sorts of little “argument traps” today. Yes, I am that clever. ๐Ÿ™‚ I treated him with smiles and hugs (he’s a hugger) and teased him and flirted with him.. And at this very moment, he’s whistling away doing laundry. He never does laundry.

    I’m gonna see if tomorrow I can get him to fix the dishwasher! Yeah, that’s how bold I feel right now!

    Gail

  16. I have been reading your blog for around 2 years on and off. I trust your advice. I am married to husband #2. This is his first marriage. He lived alone for most of his adult life until 2012 when we were married.

    My husband is a Christian, but was forced to attend church about 5 days a week as a child and teen and is put off by the thought of attending as an adult. He also works very hard and comes home at night exhausted. When I have questions about the Bible he answers them but doesn’t like conversations to turn emotional. He is a “just the facts ma’am!” type of guy.

    My first husband was a stand up comedian, and my new husband is extremely serious. I know it isn’t healthy to make comparisons but I’m trying to lay a little groundwork. My children, a teenage daughter and and middle school age son, are both from my first husband. My second husband and I live with my children, who have regular visits with their dad. Their father recently divorced the much younger woman he left our marriage to be with.

    My new husband has one daughter who lives out of state. She has recently graduated from high school and has started having semi-regular contact with my husband, which I encourage.

    On the surface, everyone gets along. Including the kids and the exes.

    My husband has issues like everyone does but I know I should concentrate on my own. I have a hard time keeping up a good attitude because of a lack of emotional support. I wake up most mornings sad. I feel very alone. I am too emotional and my husband is devoid of emotion. Sometimes I think he’s an android.

    I have stopped whining to him. It doesn’t work. He asks, “How can you be lonely? I’m right here!”

    But he’s not here with me. Although he wants me to be in his presence, I swear it’s just to watch him watch TV.

    I need a new perspective. I don’t want my marriage to fail. Most of all I just want to be happy. I am sorry for being long-winded. I truly don’t have any girlfriends and I don’t want to burden my family with my feelings.

    Will you please add me to a prayer list? Is there a program you can suggest that I can do alone without my husband knowing for now? I know it would irritate him if he had to talk to me about this stuff or if he knew I was talking to someone else about it. Thank you in advance for any help you can give me.

    1. Kelice,
      It is so great to meet you!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

      You know what? We are having a conversation about this topic on my post from yesterday. Check it out! Many, many wives shared their struggles and what they are learning and some husbands shared too. I think it may be a great place to start.

      Then, let me know what you think and we can look at a next step.

      How is your relationship with Christ???

      Please search my home page for:

      – discontentment
      – contentment
      – expectations
      – emotions
      – feelings
      – idol
      – idolatry
      – distant

      Much love!

      1. I read those posts this morning – they were exactly what I was going through on Saturday! Wouldn’t you know, as soon as I hit “send” on what I wrote initially and walked into the living room, my husband invited me to sit on the recliner to cuddle and watch TV with him. This, after being almost completely withdrawn for the last week or so. God has a great sense of humor with me sometimes!

        I responded under “Smile” because I was interested in maybe how other women had managed to smile at their husbands even when angry with them. I have a hard time hiding how I’m feeling (and would like to control my feelings a little better so I don’t have to do much as much hiding). ๐Ÿ˜‰

        So, a little more about me. I come to you surrounded by men who know “everything” about Christianity. My twin brother is a pastor, and for most of my young life I aspired to be as good as him, or sought out his approval. I no longer feel comfortable talking to him about my faith as I’ve aged, because too often it turns to debate regarding denominations. I can’t take the debating. I just want us all to love one another.

        Have I mentioned I’m not good with confrontation? ๐Ÿ™‚

        I am able to talk to my husband about these things, but only to a point. When I reach the point where I start questioning things that he can see clearly, he loses patience very quickly. He doesn’t ever struggle with his faith that I can see.

        My relationship with Christ exists, but it’s not where I want it to be. Too often I measure my self worth according to my husband’s opinions. I do the same with my parents’, children’s, and brother’s opinions of me, but to a lesser degree. I also believe that my husband thinks ill of me even when he doesn’t. I seek the confidence to see myself as worthy of God’s love. I know I’m supposed to be more confident, and I’m ashamed that I’m not. Sometimes I feel completely beat down by life. When there is even the hint of unhappiness in my husband’s voice or mannerisms, it really shakes me up. He has told me I just shouldn’t feel that way.

        I know I’m not supposed to feel that way!

        I’m really so fortunate in my life – I have fantastic kids, a good job, I live in the United States, how can marital strife put even a dent in my overall happiness? I feel so ashamed.

        Something is missing. I remember how it felt when I first gave my life to Jesus. It was in high school at a retreat and we heard the parable about the prodigal son. We were invited to write sins down that weighed on our hearts and nail them to a huge cross they had there. The pastor removed our sins from the cross and set them on fire. It was such a feeling of freedom and love that washed over me that evening, watching the ashes of my sins float up towards heaven. I long to feel the arms of Jesus around me, holding me like that again.

        I have started reading the Bible so many times, at the beginning, but always stop about halfway through the old testament. I get tripped up and sort of stop understanding what’s going on, which is embarrassing. My husband is a genius, and when I ask him questions, I can tell he’s saying to himself, “What’s wrong with you, lady? How do you not get this?”

        Should I just start at the New Testament? Is there a good tried and true study guide out there? I’d like to go to church, but my husband finds something wrong in the doctrine of all of them so he doesn’t want to go. It feels disrespectful to me to go without him. I know he wants me to stay home with him, and I don’t want to cause him discomfort. And let’s be honest, I’d be surrounded by one of my big triggers, godly men with their seemingly perfect families being more perfect than me! I hate how bratty I sound.

        Where would you suggest I start with a plan to study the Bible more on my own, being respectful and ever hopeful for more involvement from my husband?

        1. Kelice,
          My precious girl!!!! I just want to hug your neck!!

          You are in the right place, I have a feeling. ๐Ÿ™‚

          I would love for you to start by looking up and reading the following posts (you can search the search bar on my home page):
          – the snare of people pleasing
          – playing the martyr
          – guilt
          – expectations

          I have a feeling that you may have built your faith on shaky ground, and there may be lies that you may not even realize you have embraced. These posts should be helpful. I pray a God may use them to be eye opening as you seek Him with all your heart.

          There is no reason to get bogged down in the Old Teatament and stop. How about start with John, Acts and Romans. Then the epistles.

          I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for you!! I am right here if you want to talk. ๐Ÿ™‚

          1. Kelice,

            Please keep in mind that NO SINFUL HUMAN is “worthy” of God’s love.

            God’s Word says we are all sinners, we all fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

            Isaiah 64:6 says that our best attempts at righteousness in our own strength is like “filthy, bloody menstrual rags” in God’s sight.

            We are completely unworthy and we are totally incapable of doing anything about it. Us being made right with God is ALL about what Jesus did and how He was worthy of God’s love. It is all Him. It is not us. We did not initiate our salvation. He did. We did not earn our salvation. He did. We cannot keep our salvation. Jesus does that.

            I hope you might read The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee. It is an excellent treatment of the doctrines of Romans and he explains with very clear pictures what Jesus did for us and what that means for us as believers and how we are able to live by His power now and have freedom from sin. ๐Ÿ™‚

            Here is a post that describes what God says about you in Romans 8 – if you are in Christ, these are the things that are now true about you.

          2. PS, Kelice,

            Our worth comes completely from God who made us and gave us our worth and value. If we are trying to find our worth in the sight of others, or in earthly things – we may have those things as idols – things we put before Christ in our hearts.

            Once we belong to Jesus, we are to seek only to please Him, not people. Ultimately, that is your only job – to love, honor, please and obey Jesus. He is your LORD if you are in Him. No one else is your lord. You can find all peace, joy, purpose, acceptance, love, identity, contentment, fulfillment and every good thing in Him alone. He is sufficient.

            You can never be satisfied by seeking the approval of people. Trust me, I have been there and tried to do that! It is impossible! They cannot fulfill you. They cannot meet your deepest needs. Only Jesus can do that. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. April- Thank you. And I do seek approval from others. It is so hard to change my gut reactions to things that happen. I am trying though. And I struggle and fight my gut on a daily basis.

    I read John for (ready for this?) THE FIRST TIME EVER yesterday. Not that I hadn’t heard most of the book through hymns, movies, sermons etc…but for the first time I took the responsibility to read it on my own. My faith is renewed. I love Jesus and I’m – I’m just at a loss for words. It strikes me how simple everything really is, and how much we complicate things by not honoring Jesus’ teachings.

    I hope for contentment and definitely need to find the balance between respecting and idolizing my husband.

    1. Kelice,

      WOOHOO! I am so excited about what God is doing in your heart and that you are so responsive!!!!!

      You are spiritually starving yourself if you are not feasting on God’s Word and spending time in serious and fervent prayer each day, seeking Him with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and seeking for Him to change you to become the woman He longs for you to be.

      God has opened your eyes already to so much! Isn’t it exciting!?!? HE has the power to change you. You cannot change yourself. But His Spirit working in you can change you dramatically. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Much love!

  18. I’m struggling to keep a smile on when i’m under a lot of pressure. From work i have to cook meanwhile i’m helping the kid with the homework. After i dish up and wash the dishes, when i have the strength i wash the little one by that time is already 20:00 i have to put them to bed maybe until 21:00 i’m putting them to sleep. I’m sure you wondering where’s my hubby at that time, sometimes he’s watching tv or maybe wen out.

    1. I don’t get enough time to relax
    2. I don’t get time to spend with my husband alone
    3. I don’t even wanna talk about my time with God because most of the time i’m tired.

    In the morning I must prepare the lunchboxes and help them bath, at least in the morning He helps me with he small one which makes it easy for me to prepare myself.

    I find it very difficult to relax and smile with all this pressure. I spoke to my husband about helping me but it’s like he doesn’t understand because He’ll help when i ask but stop. i asked him to help me the the older one to do his lunchbox (sometimes) and washing the dishes at night.

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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