A Wife Analyzes Her Journey

Mongolian Gold being refined to 99.99% purity.
Mongolian Gold being refined to 99.99% purity. 

An email I received from a Fellow Wife in Nov of 2013..  Her words are in black, mine are in blue.  She was taking an inventory of her heart and soul and her progress on this journey over the past 13 months, and asking some questions. This journey of becoming a godly woman is a life-long process of sanctification. It is how we work together with God to allow His Spirit to refine our hearts and make us more and more holy and Christlike and set apart for His diving purposes (and please check out her latest update in September of 2014): 

1)  I want to get your opinion.  I am going to rely on the fact that you understand men MUCH more than I do right now.  I *feel* like you don’t see this the way I do at all- and that is perfectly okay.  🙂  I *feel* like you can see dh’s love for me at all times and see that he makes me very much a priority and that there is never a question of his feelings.  Are those assumptions correct?  Perhaps a large part of this is my misunderstanding of him.  There have been other times when I was wrong in what I thought he was thinking.
I am not an “expert” about any of this. I still have so much to learn and so many areas where I want to understand God, marriage, femininity and masculinity more fully. I think I have just been studying these things a bit longer than you have, so I do see your husband’s actions and behavior in a very different way than you do many times. There are times when you focus on “I’m not the highest priority to him” that you and I see the picture of your marriage VERY, VERY differently, yes.
Yes, I can see your husband’s strong love for you all the time  – sometimes, I think he is frustrated by your negative assumptions, hormones and attempts to control him.  But yes – you have one EXTREMELY loving man who is very committed to you.  I have no doubt of that.
I can also see ways that he makes you a HUGE priority in his life.  He doesn’t always do things exactly the way you want him to.  There may have been a couple of exceptions where he was selfish.  But – overall, I believe he makes you his biggest priority and I believe it exhausts and frustrates him to have it thrown in his face that he is not making you his priority when he actually usually IS making you his priority.
I don’t think you understand his heart and mind and motives well yet.  I think if you did, you would be shocked by how wrong some of your assumptions have possibly been.
Are there men who don’t make their wife a high enough priority?  YES.
Is your husband one of those?  Not usually.
2) I do know this man loves me.  That is not in question at all.  He works hard to provide for us every day.  He is kind and caring.  He tells me he loves me multiple times a day.  I could count on one hand the number of times he has called me by my name.  It is honey, baby, babe, baby doll and a number of other endearments.  He loves my children- who are not his biological children- beyond words.  He could not possibly love them more or do more for them if they were his biological children.  He adopted them.  A man does not do that if he does not love his wife!  And her children!
That is a lot of VERY strong evidence that he does love you and your children and is a very committed, devoted husband and father.  There is also much evidence of his love for you in many of his actions that you have shared with me in the past year.
3) Let’s flip this.  Holding onto this past hurt is not fair.  I have done countless things toward my husband that were wrong in our marriage and he very easily could have held them against me and to my knowledge, does not.
Yes, he could hold hundreds of things against you – but he does not.  He has been extremely forgiving, merciful, patient and gracious with you even when you have been very unlovable.
4) I can go long stretches in peace before this thing rears it’s head.  Right now I need to run everything through a hormonal weakness filter.  Yesterday was a terrible hormonal day.  I finally went to bed early because I knew it was the healthiest thing I could do.
Hormones make these temptations SO MUCH MORE DIFFICULT. It is infinitely easier to assume our husbands have evil motives towards us when we are hormonal, exhausted, sick or in pain.
I’m glad you went to bed early.  Smart girl!
5) There is no one time of dealing with this and it is done.  I falsely believed that.  There will be times the idol of “wanting to be my husband’s first priority” or “wanting control” or “thinking I know best” springs back up and I have to deal with it again and again, but it does not have to grow to the HUGE thing it was before.  This is a daily decision to not bite the bait.
Right.  There will be many times of temptation and times you will want to resurrect those idols.  This is a daily decision – it gets easier over time with practice and with God’s Spirit’s power! 🙂 But apart from God, if we are not abiding in Him and full of His Spirit, we cannot do this on our own. If I stray from God, I will crash and burn.
6) I have made HUGE progress!  I am doing wonderful.  Just because the temptation raises up to accept this idol back at times does NOT mean I have to accept it or that I haven’t come far.  I do not want to feel defeated by not doing this perfectly.  I CAN and AM doing this.  🙂
You are absolutely right!  God is giving you the power to do this.  You have come VERY, VERY far.  It doesn’t mean you are back to step one if you trip and stumble.  You just get up and keep going. 🙂
7) Truth: a lot of this is that *I* have a problem with setting too high expectations- for myself and my husband.  Last night, before I put myself to bed, I was fussing that I was so upset I had not got more done yesterday (although I HAD cleaned the stove, cleaned the microwave, fixed a time consuming supper, read my bible, did floors in the whole house, tv screens, mirrors, 2 loads of dishes in the dishwasher, multiple loads of laundry, ironed or today and tonight, went to a dr apt and did other errands, helped our son study for a test, etc) and he said, “Babe, you expect too much of yourself!” I was still stressing I did not get my grocery list made and unload the final load of dishes.  I am a perfectionist and I expect perfection from my husband at times.  Not a healthy habit.
Your husband is so right.  You do expect too much of yourself. 🙂
Perfectionism is a form of idolatry, too.  Been there, done that myself. I have to be very careful, I can easily pile up all kinds of expectations on myself that are not actually of God and then drown in my expectations. We must ALL constantly watch our thoughts and motives and expectations and lay them at the feet of Christ.
God doesn’t expect perfection.  He desires increasing holiness and Christlikeness.  And He doesn’t expect us to do this on our own. He expects us to do it in the power of His Spirit. Let’s use seeking to please God as the goal – not our own human standard of “perfection.”  
8) Changing internal dialogue might take awhile… I need to give it time to become a habit… when I ‘catch’ a negative thought with an evil assumption, I will have to just replace it with a better one.  Habits take time to form and that is okay.
Yes.  Habits do take time to change and to form.  It is important to have healthy and true statements and scripture at the ready to replace the evil assumptions and the lies that we repeat over and over to ourselves so that we can take those sinful thoughts captive.  This whole process of sanctification takes a lifetime. 🙂
9) This came to my mind last night from a book I read several years ago, Having A Mary Heart In A Martha World, which is a very good book by the way.  Anyways, I learned in that book that the devil has three basic weapons.  Doubt, Deceit and Distraction.  Anything that he throws at you can be pretty much traced back to that.  The thought, “I am not a priority to my husband”- doubt & deceit.  “He doesn’t care about me that deeply.”- doubt & deceit.  Just examples.  Taking every thought captive is very, very hard work.
Yes!  that is awesome!  When you can recognize what the enemy is doing – that is a huge part of claiming victory – just to see it so that you can combat it with God’s power is VERY important!
Any time you hear yourself accusing your husband of not loving you or having evil motives – please examine the source. Are you actually basing those thoughts on real fact, or on fleeting emotions and assumptions? Negative emotions and assumptions are NOT a solid basis for making accusations against our husbands. When we do that, we are not showing the love of God.
  • ie: He’s not sitting with me right now, so he must not love me. I must not be a priority to him. He obviously doesn’t care about me at all!
Thoughts like that are not based on fact. These are the kinds of thoughts we must take captive. Let’s assume the best about our husbands instead of the worst. Yes.  It is very hard work to take every thought captive instead of luxuriating in the toxic mire of resentment and bitterness and pain. We can also ask for what we want and need in a respectful, kind, pleasant way instead of assuming our husbands can and should read our minds. 
  • i.e.: “Honey, I’m feeling lonely. I’d love it if you could sit and cuddle with me sometime tonight!” (with pleasant tone of voice and a smile, but no pressure, then allow him to decide what he wants to do and accept his “Yes” or “No.” If he doesn’t choose to sit with you, that is ok. And it doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you. He may have something on his mind he needs to do. We can still find peace and joy in Christ no matter what our husbands do or do not do.)
Of course, wallowing in those sins is destructive ultimately.  Taking thoughts captive and shooting down the lies empowers us to allow Christ to renew our hearts and minds with His truth and His wisdom and His Word, and allows God’s Spirit to be in control, not our old sinful nature.
10) There is probably an explanation for my husband’s behavior at the times I don’t understand… and then there are times I really believe are just selfishness… but that is between him and God.  That is his journey.
Yes, I think there may be explanations at times for his behavior that you don’t understand sometimes. He thinks very differently from the way you do. He will also need room to mess up and sin and make mistakes.  He will not be perfect.  His needs are just like your needs – mercy, grace, forgiveness, unconditional love, unconditional respect. 🙂
When you condemn him as being selfish, you are setting yourself up as his judge.  You (and I) are not qualified to judge him accurately.  Jesus will be His judge – and Jesus will be righteous about His judgements.  You don’t know his heart.  You don’t know his motives and you cannot accurately judge him.  That is God’s job.  You are not God.
11) I really need to just relax and enjoy where I am.  It is okay I am not doing this perfectly…. I am moving forward, that is the main thing.  And I need to keep practicing letting go and it will all be okay.  Some days are more perfect than others.

Yes, some days will be better than others.  DEFINITELY ENJOY where you are and relax. 🙂 Rest in God’s love and in your husband’s love for  you.

12) Why hurt myself with negative assumptions?  I really DON’T know how he thinks.  Why not assume the best?  Although I am sure the temptation will come again to assume evil motives.
True.  You don’t know how he thinks and you don’t know his motives – although he has given you many clues. 🙂   God’s love assumes the best about others, not the worst. (I Corinthians 13:4-8)
13) I seriously cannot let my guard down one single minute.  The devil is furious that our marriage is getting healthier.  He has taken some large hits from us lately.  I need to pray for God’s protection and help at all times.
True. True. True.
How is that from your analytical friend?  LOL!
PMS – part 1
PMS – part 2