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A Wife Shares What She Is Learning in Biblical Marital Counseling

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I’m so thankful for this wife’s willingness to share what she is learning!  I believe this will bless you. 🙂

My Dear Husband (DH) and I have started Biblical Marital Counseling at a Baptist church near my job. They are very well known and its 6 sessions for free. Our first meeting went very well. our counselor was a young man with a wife and two boys. He was very knowledgeable in the word.  Here are some of the things he shared with us:

  • If I draw closer to God and my DH draws closer to God, it will draw us closer together. (the pyramid effect)
  • He talked about the man that was possessed, and the demon left and had no where to go. He then went back to the house and saw it clean and swept, and brought 7 of his friends. And the man was more tortured than before. With God’s help you can clean your heart, stop a habit, but you have to replace it with something. You can’t just leave it. He called it the “put off and put on.” The Bible talks a lot about it. He gave a sheet that we can add to, how to stop one thing (Put off) and what to “put on” in its place.
  • We talked about respect. Respect comes in all different shapes and sizes. For me, respect = trust. For many reasons, I am not able to trust my DH with many things. That translates to my DH that I do not respect him. I want to trust him, but that is something he and I will have to work on together.

I have been on this journey since I contacted you in early January. And I can say that it really takes focusing on God.

Yes, my DH has MANY issues… But those are not for me to fix.. I have to Put Off trying to “help” him be better and love me how I feel he should, and Put ON My relationship with Christ. Let the Lord step in. Yes, my DH needs help. But not from my mortal hands. God can do anything if we just take our hands off of it, and let Him in his infinite Wisdom and love take over.

Time daily spent in prayer is essential and daily Bible reading as well. Get a devotional!! And do it daily!!

THINGS I WOULD SUGGEST TO OTHER WIVES JUST BEGINNING THIS JOURNEY

  • Work on yourself!! Your husband will see the change. Move your focus from your husband to God.
  • Love God, and through Him, you will learn to love your husband and he will learn to love you.
  • I know you love your DH – just as I do – But love him more by giving him to the Lord. I’m not saying “Let go and Let God”… I am saying, take a step back… Put your life back in its proper place.. Put God above your self and your DH.. Ask God what he wants you to do.. Seek Him FIRST…
  • From the time we give our lives to God (justification), we go through a long period of sanctification. Learning how to be like Christ. Learning how to be whole. Until we reach glorification when meet Him face to face..

This is why it is imperative to focus on your relationship with The Lord..

Don’t make you DH an idol. He’s just a man.. I know emotions can take over. But you must start this process by changing YOUR heart.

SHARE:

If you have been on this journey for awhile, what encouragement, wisdom and insights would you share with wives who are just beginning and are feeling overwhelmed and frustrated as they try to learn all of these new things about becoming godly wives?  What do you wish you had known when you first started?

I may use some of your comments and wisdom in other posts. This is exactly the kind if thing that will bless so many other wives. 🙂 Thanks for your willingness to share!

RELATED:

I’m Giving Up On My Dream for My Marriage

I’m Going to Stop Pursuing My Husband

How to Make Your Husband an Idol

Praying for Your Husband So That God Will Hear

Your Blog Made Me SO ANGRY!

How To Stop Idolatry and Truly Live for Christ

29 thoughts on “A Wife Shares What She Is Learning in Biblical Marital Counseling

  1. I keep seeing people say work on yourself, but I am not sure exactly what that means. I have bought hundreds of books on marriage and ALWAYS tried to put them into practice: greet him with a smile, pray scripture for him, send him notes.. The latest one I am going through is the Respect Dare and I am already doing ( or not doing depending on the dare) almost all of them.. I’ve never talked about my husband to anyone. I’ve never said anything disprectful ( How could I hurt him like that. Plus he would be mad at me and I can’t take that.) So what do I need to work on… I just wish my husband was happy. Other than that he is a perfect husband. There isn’t anything I would change. He is a great man, but so tired and weary….

    I read my Bible several times a day. I am currently memorizing Psalm 27… What else should I be doing and how do you know if it is enough??? Or if you are doing it correctly?

    1. Hi Elizabeth,
      If you don’t mind, I will try and answer your questions from my perspective. I have been on this journey for almost 2 years now and this is what I would say… Working on you doesn’t mean your actions towards your husband. That’s not to say that all you are doing is not good, but that’s still you kind of working on him-You trying to change him.
      “Working on you” in my mind means taking your focus off your husband and concentrating on your relationship with God. It means trusting God to work on your husband being in the hard place he’s in right now. From what it sounds like, he is at peace within himself right now. In my own marriage so often I feel like I am the cause of his unhappiness but I have had to realize that many of the struggles and unhappiness my own husband experiences have nothing to do with me. It can be really hard for a wife to feel powerless but that’s where your power comes into focusing with God and seeking God for your own peace and letting God have him. If he senses you trying to fix him, that probably speaks disrespect to him more and makes him feel even less like a man or like a failure which is a huge thing that guys struggle with.
      I guess the bottom line action I would encourage you with is to emotionally let go of trying to make him happy. Instead of doing things to speak love to him, reassure him that whatever he’s going through you’re there, you believe in him, “he can do it”, etc… And then give God the space to do the real work.
      Press on sister…you are not alone in your journey. Find your peace with God.

      1. A quick ps to that… You will know that you are “doing it correctly” when you feel the peace that it is out of your hands. It’s not so much about what you can “do” – it’s about a heart attitude of trusting God and giving him the power back.

      2. Thanks Emily! I needed that too. My husband doesn’t seem happy either much of the time. I haven’t thought about that he senses that I am trying to fix him.

    2. Elizabeth,
      I was just wondering if you have ever asked yourself why you are doing all that you are doing. I was the same way I read every book on marriage and being a godly wife I could get my hands on and put it to practice what I read. I read my bible and prayed a lot. But when God really began to dig down deep he showed me that I wasn’t just trusting and resting in Him and basking in His great love and forgiveness. I was doing all these things to try to earn His favor. I knew they couldn’t save me but I was deceived thinking the more I prayed read my bible and tried(in my own strength) to be the best mom and wife the more God will be pleased With me. I never got joy and peace this way all it produced in me was despair and self righteousness. I didn’t see that because I had mixed motives that ALL I was doing was filthy rags(isaiah 64) and it would never be enough. When God showed me this and the extent of sin in my life that I was blind to it broke me. I came to him broken and realized how much I needed to be forgiven. T hen from that and just believing in His great love for me and forgiveness he began to fill me with Himself. Then I knew that I was pleasing in His sight not on anything I could ever do but because of what Christ has already done. Believing this truth is what pleases God. Without faith it is impossible to please Him. Then my deep heart motives change and everything I did was to please God because of how much I love Him. This is how I focused on myself. I stopped looking at my husband to meet so many unmet needs for affirmation security unconditional love and allowed God to meet those needs. And he revealed to me how I responded sinfully when my hubby wasn’t meeting them.Turn I was free to just love my husband with no expectations of Him changing because that is sin.if I’m using respect and submission as a means of changing my husband that is SIN. It’s called Manipulation and its still trying to change Him or get some result. The motive I must have now is to respect submit and implement whatever God asks me to just to honor and obey God. To please Him. That becomes my joy and satisfaction not any expected change in my hubby. If it does that’s just Icing on the cake but it’s not my reason for obeying God as a wife. Whenever my motives are not pure God is so faithful to reveal it and I know it because I begin to feel that familiar feeling of despair. I praying for you today Elizabeth. That God will fill you with all joy and hope as you believe and rest in Him and HIS great love for you. That you would see that Jesus is enough. That every lie you may be believing that He would replace it with His truth. I pray He would reveal himself to you in a new and mighty way today my fellow sister on this journey

    3. (Posted under the wrong comment, sorry! This is meant for Elizabeth’s post at 7:34am)

      I just read Psalm 27 today too! In fact, it was the only chapter I read.

      I’m just starting out recently on the whole ‘work on me’ and most of that working isn’t so much ‘what do I do’ but about the heart I have towards my husband and the attitude I hold about him and about life on a daily basis, moment by moment. When I lose my joy, it doesn’t matter how much I seem to knock off the checks on my checklist. Ultimately, changing US is not in the hopes of manipulating change in someone else. When we change ourselves from the heart outward, oftentimes the result is more harmony and peace and joy in the home but in the end we are responsible to God for our heart and behaviors and it’s at that point when we examine our hearts and know that we’re right before God and our hearts are pure and we’re living in integrity – we can continue to pray and pour out our hearts concerning our spouses but the Holy Spirit is the One who changes us completely. Yes, we have an important role in our marriage, vital even – but ultimately heart choices and patterns of behavior are individual choices.

    1. In my experience (and this is not 100% correct but I would say more times than not –) God is silent when there something blocking you from him. Usually when that is the case you need to search your heart and repent. If I may be so bold, it seems that you’ve made your husband’s happiness an idol. Additionally I would say that without knowing it, you may be trying to play God in his life and fix him the way that only God can. I would start by confessing those things and asking God to forgive you. You will know you are “doing it right” when you feel the peace of trusting God in your heart. I know there are times when I am strongly feel God’s confirmation that I’m in the right place, but sometimes I just feel a peace in my spirit though I continue to feel his silence.

      When you trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, the peace that passes understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. (that’s my terrible paraphrase but just go with it!😄)

      1. Emily C,
        I used to make my husband’s happiness an idol, too. Which probably sounds so weird considering how disrespectful I was. If I knew he was upset, I was A MESS!

        There are times when our husbands have issues that have nothing to do with us. When my husband is in a bad mood, which is pretty rare these days, I can easily get thrown and assume that I must have done something wrong to cause his bad mood.

        Sometimes, there are other things that can get our men down.

        I have a post about this!

        A Wife Responds Beautifully to Her Husband’s Bad Mood

        1. Here is a post from http://www.peacefulsinglegirl.wordpress.com about “When He Is in a Funk”
          Here is a great question from a reader:

          How does a surrendered Godly peaceful single girl handle when her man is being a grouch? The further I get into my relationship, the more tolerant I get of the occasional mood swing as I have learned not to take it personally but there is still this part of me deep inside that wants to call him out on it and tell him to man up and be positive. Examples of grouchiness come in my personal situation when we are in overwhelming social situations to him (ie: with my friends), often in the post work hours, and often when things aren’t going according to his schedule. (He is very scheduled and likes to utilize every minute of the day to the fullest- a blessing and a curse 😉

          Now, I am not saying by any means that I am perfect or that I don’t get grumpy from time to time (which my perception is less often of course;) I’m just wondering how the healthy way is to handle these inevitable situations and how to resist the urge to scold, control, or tell him how he should be feeling/acting. Yikes, I sound super controlling just asking that question. Lol. Would love your feedback whenever you have some free time on this one. Again, all of your articles have been infinitely helpful to me and our relationship.

          Whew! This is a tough one! This one still trips me up sometimes! My husband doesn’t get in a funk often anymore but when he does, I can’t always immediately tell what is happening and at first, I usually think something is wrong with ME. It takes me awhile to get my bearings when my hubby isn’t doing well.

          Some important questions are

          How severe is the funkiness?
          How much does it affect your friends and other people?
          How often does it happen?
          Is there any depression or untreated mental condition going on?
          Is he getting enough sleep and eating well and taking care of himself?
          Is there a major sin issue, idol or addiction he is dealing with?
          Is he under a lot of stress at work/school?
          Was there some recent tragedy or really difficult situation?
          Is he just more of an introverted personality that is exhausted by being around other people too much?
          It would REALLY help me personally if my husband could tell me immediately, “I’m in a mood.” “I’m in a funk.” – because then I would not be imagining that I did something wrong that I need to apologize for. But he is often not able to verbalize that for a few days. If you know the triggers for your man, you may be able to immediately identify what is happening and that is a HUGE blessing! Knowing the problem is on his end is the first part of the solution!

          A few things I do when I am trying to figure out what is happening:

          pray for him and for myself
          examine my own heart for sin – particularly disrespect
          give him space
          check to see what time of the month it is for me… am I hormonal?
          minimize my words but keep my tone pleasant and my facial expressions friendly
          try not to ask anything or put extra burdens or expectations on him
          eventually, I will ask him if I did something disrespectful that upset him if he continues to seem extra distant
          has someone else been disrespectful to him?
          then I do my best to believe him if he says that I haven’t done anything wrong. I then trust that it is his responsibility to tell me if I did do anything wrong that I need to repent of. And I look to God, praise Him, sing to Him, read His Word like usual and cling to Him for my strength, purpose, identity, joy and seek His glory – that is normal stuff.
          THIS SITUATION

          Your man’s personality sounds different from my husband’s. Some men feel down a lot more often – and may have more ups and downs. That is not wrong – but a woman does need to be able to adapt to her man’s particular personality with grace.

          A few things I would suggest:

          Pray for him DAILY but especially when he is grumpy – could be some type of spiritual attack going on.
          Realize that this is going to be part of life with him – especially when things are stressful for him
          Don’t try to change him. You will need to accept that this is part of his personality – it is a downside to a corresponding strength of his. If you get rid of the weakness, you’d have to get rid of some of his strengths, too!
          If he asks for something, try to do what he wants and be cheerful and cooperative (as long as he is not asking you to sin or condone sin).
          DEFINITELY do not tell him what to do, how to feel or how to act. You will have one RESENTFUL, ANGRY man on your hands if you resort to scolding or trying to control him! He is a grown man – he gets to decide how he feels and what to do for himself. Just like you get to decide how you feel and what you do. God gives each of us a free will, we cannot take that away from another adult!
          Be there to listen if he wants to talk about what is bothering him BUT DO NOT GIVE ADVICE!!!! Listen and nod and be empathetic and let any comments be about your faith in him to handle the difficult situation. But do not tell him HOW to handle it! (Unless he specifically asks you for advice – and even then, proceed with GREAT CAUTION!)
          Realize that your man is sinful – just like we all are – and trust God to work on all of that with him. The Holy Spirit is perfectly capable of convicting your man of his sin without your help. In fact, your man will be convicted much more quickly without your lectures/sermons/nagging/scolding. 🙂
          You can influence him in a godly way. You may have to experiment about what helps. He may not be cheer-up-able. It might be he does better if you give him some time and space to himself and don’t expect him to engage for awhile. Maybe it needs to be ok for him to go off by himself, even if you are with your friends, so he can get his thoughts together. If he is not close to God – talking about God and God’s Word will make things worse.
          You can set a godly example of not whining, not complaining, not pouting and not getting grumpy yourself.
          Sometimes going off on your own and doing things you enjoy can keep you sane while you give him time to come out of his grumpiness.
          Sometimes building him up, complimenting what he does right and his strengths and telling him things you admire about him may help.
          Sometimes your smile and look of faith and expression of trust in his abilities to handle the situation can help.
          If he likes to exercise, you could suggest going for a run or bike ride together or going to do something shoulder to shoulder (and let him do the talking only if he wants to) that expends adrenaline and energy may clear his head and may help him feel more bonded with you.
          Allow him to relax and watch tv, pray, have his quiet time, read a book or do what helps him to calm down.
          IN MARRIAGE (to keep in the back of your mind) – sometimes physical intimacy will help a lot when a man is in a funk, but before you are married, that is obviously not an option!
          If you can help to facilitate his schedule – that would probably help.
          Does he ever say what he would like you to do when he is feeling like that? It could be interesting to ask him (not when he is grumpy) what he thinks you could do to best assist him when he is with your friends or in those hours after work. Are you expecting him to be a social butterfly and that is not his personality? Are the friends being disrespectful towards him? Does he not enjoy their company? Does he prefer a quiet evening at home to unwind after work?
          A SPIRITUAL TEST

          I also try to look at these times as a test to see how my spiritual maturity and oneness in Christ is doing. It’s a pop quiz to see if I will handle the situation in God’s power with His love, mercy and grace or if I will retaliate because I feel abandoned, unloved, angry or lonely.

          This is a fantastic opportunity to get to practice forgiveness and the love of God with the same lavish generosity that God uses when He forgives me. It is also a great opportunity to appreciate how different your man is from you – and to realize that different doesn’t necessarily = “wrong.”

          1. How do you handle it when your husband is in a funk that causes him to get annoyed with you and you can’t tell who is truly at fault?

            My husband is a VERY good man, a godly man, and I adore him. It is so easy to love and respect him! His job lately has been incredibly stressful and there are times when he gets upset over seemingly little things, and I’m not sure if I should repent of sin or if he is in the wrong.

            For example, one Friday I was having a very rough day because I discovered my daughter had lice. We called in a service to go through her hair, and I spent the day cleaning the house, doing laundry, all of that. We’d planned on pizza and a movie after my husband came home. He sent me a text to let me know he was leaving work in a few minutes. I replied right away to ask if he wanted me to order pizza or if he’d rather pick it up on his way home like usual. He never replied to my text, but when he came home, he was very irritated that I, knowing how much stress he is under at work and how hard his day had been, didn’t just take the initiative to take care of dinner myself. At that point, I felt like he didn’t want to be around me and I ended up making the night worse because I tried to give him space. I felt like a wife who just couldn’t figure out what her husband needed.

            Another example is on a Sunday morning before church: we overslept and he offered to take care of the cat litter which is normally my job (he’s not a huge fan of cats but he says he wants me to keep them because he knows I love them). Unfortunately they’d knocked over the entire litter box. Our morning had started out very sweetly but with that, it was over. He was angry about that and then angry that the house was a mess (I normally clean on my day off on Fridays but hadn’t this week, because he’d asked me to accompany him somewhere instead). He said he was going to have to skip going in to work for a few hours before church like he’d planned so he could stay home and clean (I sing at church and had to be there earlier for rehearsal). He was upset because I bought a new vacuum cleaner claiming that I’d make sure the house was clean and the cats didn’t interfere, but that isn’t happening. I felt like the worst housekeeper ever.

            Another big issue is sleeping. He has serious sleep apnea and is prescribed a cpap, but he understandably hates wearing it. The problem is that I am an extremely light sleeper and have trouble when there is any noise. I can usually sleep through the cpap because it’s more like white noise, but I can’t sleep when he snores. Sometimes he’ll start snoring before putting it on, and he gets angry with me for asking him to put it on, claiming that he wasn’t actually asleep yet and all I care about is the cpap (at this point he says this in sleepy anger, not his normal demeanor). But if I don’t say anything and he falls soundly asleep, I am not able to wake him enough for him to put it on – so I’ve gone to the couch, but that makes him more angry that I would sleep in a separate room. It is not acceptable for me to sleep in another room. When I asked him the last time how he would like me to handle the situation, he said that he would prefer I just get used to the snoring (though in his calm moments he said he realizes I feel loved when he puts the cpap on).

            Please let me reiterate that my husband is the most generous, kind, hard-working, romantic man I have ever met. Truly the best man I’ve ever known. He cherishes me and treats me like his angel. There are just a few specific things that I am not sure how to respond to with respect. I’m not sure who is the one “at fault” so I don’t know how to react, if I should gently point out that I am not at fault (although that might make him feel like his feelings aren’t being validated, and I don’t want that at all), or if I AM actually at fault and I should just apologize.

            I didn’t mean for that to be a novel!

          2. Melissa,

            Here is a post I wrote for the single ladies about when a man is in a funk. That can be really tricky! It is hard for me to know at first if I have done something wrong or my husband is just in a bad mood.

            We dealt with lice 2 summers ago. Here is what I did!

            I suggest making a mental note about that he would prefer for you to just handle dinner yourself from this point on. That is my personal idea, anyway, for whatever it is worth.

            THANK THIS MAN for cleaning up! Then allow him to own his anger. And try to do better this coming week if possible with cleaning to show him that you do respect his requests and desires for the house to be clean.

            I can’t sleep when Greg snores either. There is no way I can just get used to it! I have to have total silence, too. I can tell you that sleep deprived people tend to get pretty cranky! I think that he is asking you for something that is impossible here. You can say something like, “I know you really hate wearing the CPAP. But I am such a horrible sleeper, and it is the most amazing gift to me when you wear it. If you don’t wear it, and I can’t sleep, I will have to go to the couch. I will be no use to you if I am completely sleep deprived. I don’t want to leave. But I do need to sleep. I hope you won’t mind wearing the CPAP so we can be together. I love to be with you!”

            Much love!
            April

    2. Even the great prophets in the OT sometimes had to wait for a word from the Lord. The idea that God will always be talking to you if you are in the right place with him is just not Biblically accurate. Pre-sin, Adam and Eve waited in the garden until God came to walk and talk with them. If there is sin that you know you should be repenting of, then do so immediately. If not, just try to be encouraged that God will give you that feeling of closeness when he chooses to do so. Periods of silence are a testing of the faith. Adore him and rest upon his faithfulness and his promise that he will truly never leave you, even when you can’t see his hand working, when you can’t hear his voice speaking, and when you are discouraged.

  2. Ok, some of this is making sense. I know peaceful wife doesn’t do it anymore but is there someone else that I could e-mail back and forth showing scenarios and how I should handle and stuff. I have stayed deliberately vague as this is public. I need confirmation if how I handle things each day is correct or not or what I should do differently.

  3. The Hoy Spirit, is youcomforter, are you in tune with His voice? Is your husband a man of God? Do you go to God for answers through prayer, and wait for an answer from HIM? God can speak through anyone or anything at any given time. Do you seek Him first? Are you asking your head, your husband about how he feels about your behavoir and the choices you make. Are you allowing your husband to give you positive critisim for your growth? Even if he isn’t saved he can still help you, are you and your husband close companions?

  4. Sharon…I am having trouble hearing God. I’m not sure if its the sin I didn’t know was hidden. I love that you said God can speak through anyone or anything. What ways have you heard Him speak to you? I’m trying to figure out how to hear Him for direction and guidance in this journey.

    1. Hey PLM,
      God is so awesome He speaks so clearly when you ask Him a question, He comes not always when you want HIm too, but it’s always when you really really need Him. He said whoever seeks me diligently will find me. I actually experienced this not long ago, a couple times, it was like instead of figuring stuff out on my own, or jumping to assumptions, He taught me to come to Him first. I hear Him alot, only because its a relationship that I have with Him. Whenever I put stuff in my own hands, like my quick deceitful assumptions of things I always have it wrong. So when I decide to slow down and pray He intervenes. Sometimes we can reject His answers, or choose to put stuff in our hands and we WON’T Hear Him because our own thoughts cloud Him out. And sometimes He allows us to fall so He can show us to
      Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
      And lean not on your own understanding;
      6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
      And He shall direct your paths.

      This something we all have to do continually, give every situation to Him especially whenever your not sure, and He will answer you. Or the Holy Spirit will direct you in that still small voice. I always pray and ask God to remove every high thought and everything that is loud in my mind so I can hear Him clearly, He actually helped me out in this and I’m able to Hear Him.
      He said ask and you’ll receive. He is so powerful!

      I hear Him guiding me all day, because my prayer is that He direct my steps. I hear Him lead me into my daily routine, everyday. And I had to keep asking God for the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit didn’t just come to me after just asking Him a couple times, it took months. The Holy Spirit keeps me from sin. I hope all this helps, feel free to ask anything else if not.

      1. Some ways I have heard God, is when I need encouragement, someone may encourage me all of a sudden, and seem to know my whole situation even though they didn’t, that just let’s me know that God knows and sees and is helping me through whatever it is. One night I was so down because of my own faults, and God encouraged me that very next morning, so I could keep fighting the fight, It was a message someone sent me, like you know that just has to be God. Some lady prophesied to me when I was really going through some tuff situations, I just had so many doubts- she knew I was stressed and told my husband that I was stressed, I didn’t say a word, she just start saying all kind of things encouraging both my hubby and I. I didn’t look stressed God knew and wanted my hubby to know though. Alot of times I hear God speak through my husband giving me wisdom-from what I prayed about-that really blows me away. His voice came from developing a relationship, He’s just there for me. You can have this too. I pray you do. His voice is so sweet. I didn’t understand this a long time ago, and just kept asking Him to speak to me, He finally did one day and it hasn’t stopped.

  5. I, too, think I am doing what I need to do, but my heart is deceitful. I have ongoing arguments with myself. I want a Damascus Road experience. I want my husband to change. You can see that it is still all about me!
    I’ve only been coming around for a few weeks, but in that time God has revealed a few things to me. He showed me that I have too many locks on the door of my heart, so I gave Him the Master Key. He showed me that instead of trying to claw my way up the slippery, muddy river bank, I need to relax and float in His River of Living Water. He reminds me that He will never leave nor forsake me if I stick close to Him. He calls me to Him with a still, small voice that is difficult to hear above the noise going on between my ears. I need to trust His goodness and love.
    I’m trying to work through the Respect Dare but it’ll prob’ly take me 40 weeks! Day 1 Expectations were all about me; Day 2 Childhood Scars had me in tears; Day 3 Report Card I totally failed. Pride keeps rearing it’s ugly head in ways that I don’t recognize right away, and I still find myself cursing at the altar of my idol instead of glorifying God.
    This is not a Damascus Road experience by any means. It’s more like walking through the valley of the shadow, but God is changing me little by little, shining the light of His truth onto my life, and if it’s me who’s dying to Self, then it’s a good thing.
    Thanks for turning me onto David Platt. He is helping me see who God really is. Good thing He is so patient with us 🙂

    1. Marcia,
      Wow! You have an incredible way of describing this journey – such vivid word pictures! I may have to ask you to write a post for me about the beginning of this road! 🙂

      It is ok if it takes you 40 weeks to do the Respect Dare. It is better to go slowly and really dig down and get to the bottom of the issues than to rush through it in 40 days. 🙂

      I am so excited about what God is doing in your heart – and I am THRILLED that you gave Him the Master Key!!!!!!

      MUCH LOVE and a BIG HUG, my sweet sister!

      1. Thank you, April. You have my address 🙂

        The “word pictures” are how God has begun speaking to me — just the flash of an impression in my mind — He does not always use the language we might expect.

        He has already started using the Master Key on my heart. I know He is at work in me because the tears are beginning to run down my cheeks. 🙂

  6. Sharon…
    Thank you for explaining how you hear God speak. I actually had 2 devotionals this morning that had things that “jumped out” at me. Things I have been praying about or have been anxious about.
    I still don’t know what I’m “listening for” though. I know its not a voice, but how does He guide me when I hand Him the keys. I try to think of scriptures throughout my day. I may say things to Him when I can while I’m working. But, I’m not really sure, really. I’ve been so busy telling Him what I think He should. This is new territory. I would love all my encounters to be through people, but I don’t get alot of that during the day. I want to be close to hear Him whisper, but I don’t understand.

    Marcia…

    “He showed me that instead of trying to claw my way up the slippery, muddy river bank, I need to relax and float in His River of Living Water”

    LOVED THIS!!!
    I have tried to “be still” for the past few days to just recharge and renew my mind. I have noticed a decrease in my anxiousness and worry. Its still there, but not to the extreme. I have tried to take negative thoughts captive. That enemy is so quick sometimes!! But, “relax and float in His River of LIving Water” is almost another statement that jumped out at me like my devotions this morning.

    Thanks Ladies!!

    1. PLM,

      Seeing things jump out at you – is definitely a way God speaks. Sometimes, He speaks in a “voice.” Other times He speaks through Christian songs, Scripture, other believers, your husband – He is able to speak to you through almost anything. At first, it is hard to hear Him. It gets easier with practice, time and as you totally submit and yield to Him, and stop listening to the enemy and your sinful nature. Check out My Demon for more about that!

      When you do begin to hear Him, His voice will first probably bring conviction and grief over your sin, but at the same time, you will soon begin to have peace as you obey Him. As you seek Him with all your heart, He promises that He will be found by you! Jeremiah 29:11-13

  7. PLM Hey, I just wanted to tell you, I been in that place before where I couldn’t hear and had no clue how to hear Him, I found it so odd that others were hearing from Hm, and I still wasn’t. You just gotta keep asking, and I promise He will come. We all have to start off somewhere, and He begins to give us more and more of Him,one thing at a time. One day about 9 years ago, way before I married my husband and everything, I was having a conversation with my cousin….We were talking about ways God showed Himself to us, well my cousin had an experience, but I had not had one yet. Even though I was praying this prayer for a long time. So I told my cousin that I am awaiting an experience, he said, “It will come, believe me God works in all kinds of ways.” So I got off the phone really feeling at awe like wow I’m ready to experience this.

    I had at the time some glass Angels that my Auntie been gave me sitting on my bed post. Guess what happened…When I woke up, one of the glass Angels were sitting on my bed, crazy right, right on my PILLOW!!! Right by my face!!! I was like WOW God answered me. I knew that had to be God, especially from that talk me and my cousin had the day before, God came and gave me a glimpse of Him. That was Him speaking to me. I was so thankful. By the way another time was when I got baptized, right in my house in my bathtub, by a strong leader… that night I felt shivers like never before, like I was so scared the shivers were so strong, and I had no clue what it was. I couldn’t move, It was the most chilling experience, because of the Baptism I believe that was God’s Holy Spirit coming to me. He gave me the Spirit, I just didn’t know how to walk in Him, had no, teaching no guidance, ect. But by alot of praying and growth I’m able to hear from Him whenever I need to, God is miraculous. I pray right now that He show Himself to you, its a sweet experience.

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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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