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83 thoughts on “GraceAlone Takes Another Step

  1. I am with you, GraceAlone, in spirit and in prayer. I felt led to share this word from 1 John 4:18 which I claimed just hours ago as I travel this valley of darkness with you:

    “Perfect love casts out fear”

    I am praying for you to experience God’s presence, power, and peace in ways you never imagined possible! Much love and prayers for you, my sister.

  2. Dear Grace Alone, Hey sweet girl! Love this! Your story, your heart, your journey…BEAUTIFUL!!! I’m so glad you’re here and you’re sharing. It’s not easy to always be that vulnerable, especially with a crowd April’s size….but you’re doing big things in other people’s lives. I promise!!! It makes your own story worth living if you know it’s bringing other people closer and closer to Christ. Keep it up!!!

    Let me say, brokenness over sin does not always come when we “want” it to. I wanted to be broken and DONE with it a LONG time ago!! I think what finally happened for me was I truthfully put myself ENTIRELY in my husband’s shoes.
    Literally….our minds (especially FEMALE MINDS!!!) are capable of playing out quite the story. We all know this from the “My Demon” post.
    So, USE that for good instead of always letting or fighting Satan from using it for bad!

    Imagine that your husband said to you what you’ve said, did to you what you’ve done, withheld from you what you’ve withheld. How do feel?
    Picture that withholding like it’s coming from a place of anger or contempt.

    We know, we’ve been downright spiteful and malicious in some of our looks, words and actions.

    What if… he said what you said, with the look and the withholding for days and YOU KNEW he was filled with total contempt for you.
    Can you imagine? Can you feel it? Can you see your own pain? Can you feel the angst to withhold forgiveness and refuse to trust you ever again?

    That’s how I broke. I imagined my husband had done to me what I’d done to him. And I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, IF I forgave him, it wouldn’t be quickly, maybe not completely, and I would be crushed from the inside out.

    I think it’s easy for us to feel sorry about our sin as soon as we see it as sin. If we love Jesus, none of us ever WANT to sin and we always feel sad over it.
    But to IMAGINE and FEEL the consequences ourselves for what we’ve done… to KNOW What it took to send Jesus to the cross and to realize what we’re asking our husband’s to forgive and move on from….it’s different than seeing alone. It’s experiencing.

    You’re walking a narrow road with lots of obstacles from the tempter…..but you’re doing it GraceAlone – you’re DOING it with Christ. You don’t need easy friend, you JUST NEED POSSIBLE!

    1. Kayla,

      This is SO SO good! I hope you might allow me to share it on my FB later?

      Thank you so much for sharing with GraceAlone!

      I am so excited about what God is doing in your heart! Thank you for allowing His power to shine through you.

    2. Kayla and maybe April,

      I grew up in a home with parents who screamed at each other and never listened to each other. I used to fantasize when I was a girl about sitting them down and saying, “Mom, please listen. He is NOT saying xyz. He is feeling scared or that you don’t support him or whatever. Dad, please listen to what she ISNT saying. She is saying she doesn’t feel loved.” Of course, I never had the courage to say any of those things. I would pretend to be asleep to stay out of the line of fire an if you tried to say something then YOU became the object of attack. Best to stay out of it.

      Hence, I always try if I am upset about something to look behind my husband’s eyes… Maybe I would like to go out on a date, but he’s been working really hard for the past 2 weeks and so he is working out on our farm. He NEEDS to recoup… So I don’t say anything…. I can imagine his pain at some of the things he is facing in his life and think there is no way he is emotionally able to meet any of my needs. I have spoken up now a few times, but he just isn’t able to right now..

      So I guess this is when I just have to ask Jesus to fill that void. And so then is the sin that you repent of not making Jesus first? Not so much things you’ve done to your husband but your focus?

      1. Hey girl –

        Sure, I think there is the sin of wanting our husband to be Christ to us.
        And when we see that, we need to repent and ask forgiveness from God and even our husbands too.

        But I don’t think it is a sin to desire time with him. To me, there is a fine line between what is actually the sin in that situation and what is OK to feel and do.

        I don’t think wanting your emotional needs in marriage met, hoping your husband speaks your love language to you, or desiring time and/or intimacy with him is sinful.

        How you treat him when he doesn’t meet all these desires or in the right way, that would be where the sin comes into play.

        In my opinion (April step in here if you think I’m wrongfully speaking) desiring some intimate time with your husband doesn’t mean Christ isn’t first.

        But if you can’t find joy or you can’t control your actions when you’re not getting everything you want, that is a bigger indication that Christ isn’t first.

        Maybe your husband needs alone time with you and would benefit from a date just as much? But he’s exhausted and needs you to plan it and help him get there?

        Could you ask him with a smile, “Honey, I miss you so much. Would it be ok with you I plan a date for Saturday night?”

        And if he says yes – go for it! You’ll be surprised how just your desiring him will give him some energy back.

        They love to hear that we miss them, want them, appreciate them, respect them, desire them, crave time with them.

        Is this of any help???!!! Or am I not reading the thoughts right here?

        1. I’ve planned every date we have ever gone on. We did go out to eat a week ago, but then just ran errands together even though I suggested fun activities because he was just too tired.. He says the way that he most relaxes it to do a household chore with me like weed the garden or plant our vegetable garden or helping a sick cow… To be honest, those are not fun for me. I do them because I love him. I would like to go to a bed and breakfast, stay all day in bed one day, go hiking another day… He would rather just stay here on the farm. But I am on the farm A LOT. I just haven’t figured out how to do this…he connects at home…I need to go out. Yes, I’ve told him this. I even offered that we go out and do something fun and I help him with a chore.. The chores have gotten done. Dates…maybe 1/4 of the time and I plan them… I guess I wish to be pursued, but he just doesn’t have the energy… Just trying to pursue God right now and feel him pursue me. I imagine having fun with God like I’d like to have fun with my husband and it is helping.

          1. Oh Elizabeth. I’m sorry. That is hard.

            My advice here would be to keep praying!! I think you’re doing the right thing to do chores with him, even though it isn’t the most fun thing to do in your book, it’s really sacrificial for you to meet this need for him. Good job! I’m so proud of you!

            Are you feeling a disconnect from your husband? Or maybe just a lack of fun?

            I’m going to be joining you in prayer that your husband will be moved to have more energy and desire to go somewhere fun with you that you’d like to do, but in the mean time….. when was the last time you did something you really like even without him?

            Do you have a close girl friend you can go shopping with, hit up a craft fair, see a movie together?

            I would never suggest filling our marital cravings elsewhere -ever! But, it is ok for us to have some fun time with our friends or family too even if your spouse isn’t interested in coming along.

            I know I went through a rough season of being home with my kids ALL the time (that still happens now too) and getting a sitter isn’t always easy for us.
            Some days I’d just meet a girl friend for coffee from 7-9 pm at McDonalds to talk like an adult woman and laugh and have fun.

            It was amazing to me how much less frustrated I felt toward my husband on issues just because I got out of the house and laughed.

            Again, let me emphasize because I don’t want to steer anyone wrong here — it’s not good for us to purposely fulfill marital desires with anyone but our spouse. If you’re needing direct time with him, then skip over the advice and we’ll just keep praying together.

            But if there is any chance that you just need to do something fun that makes your heart light up, it isn’t a sin to call up a best girl friend and spend a Saturday shopping. It actually might lessen and frustrations and disappointments you have right now and refuel you to keep praying hard for your husband and spending time with him doing what he enjoys.

          2. Kayla,
            I think it can be such a blessing for us as women to do something we enjoy often, when possible. It does make burdens and trials easier to bear when we take a bit of time to do something fun.

            Thank you so much for sharing! ๐Ÿ™‚

          3. Elizabeth,

            Is your husband depressed right now or experiencing a lot of stress at work or medical problems?

            That is a challenge when one is energized by being home and the other by being out.

            I will certainly pray for God’s wisdom and for His direction for you!

          4. Yes!!! The stress at work is unbelievable right now and I also believe he is suffering from depression.

        2. Kayla,
          I agree with you!

          I don’t think it is wrong to want time with our husbands. I think that is what every healthy wife wants and is a good thing! The issue comes in if we can’t have time with our husbands, how do we respond? Or, are we dissatisfied in life because no matter what our husband does we are not content? The motives of our hearts are the key here. For me, when I find myself really disappointed in my husband or situation, it is a flag to check my motives and look to see if I am looking to something or someone else other than Christ for contentment. It can also be a flag that I need more time with God.

          A lot of husbands bond just by being in the same room with us. Most of us want to be talking to bond.

          What does your husband say if you are out of the house, Elizabeth? Does he want you there every minute he is home?

      2. Elizabeth,
        How heartbreaking for a child to see her parents fight and to see the misunderstanding but not be able to fix it. ๐Ÿ™

        I think there is a line that requires God’s spirit’s wisdom to know when to share and what to share. But, in your situation, it seems to me that you will have to be careful not to be overly responsible for your husband’s emotions, responses and feelings, but allow him to voice his needs for himself. You may know what he needs, but he may need to be the one to say how he feels. The challenge for you will be to learn to speak up more and share your heart and to allow your husband to be part of a real conversation with you so he can know you, the real you.

        I hope that makes sense. :). Many of us were dominating wives and did too much talking. We had to learn to be quiet more and not share every single thought. You are on the other end of the spectrum and may need to approach things from the opposite angle of learning how to use your influence and feelings to bless your husband and be authentic and not just stay shut down.

        Praying for God’s Spirit to give you wisdom! we all need His owner to do this no matter what extreme we are coming from. ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. April,

          Thank you so much for sharing these thoughts to Elizabeth. This spoke a lot to me as well. I don’t share much, having had it squashed so much growing up (bad habit), that now it is difficult to share with my husband how I feel about things (especially when he says things that hurt). I struggle with having any conflict around. I also don’t think quickly on my feet. The idea of praying to have the words to bless my husband is something I can do. Then it’s God’s words & not mine. That gives me the strength to be more confident in speaking up. Or so I’m guessing!

          1. Sally,

            Obviously, being a dominating, controlling wife who has no control over all the words flying out of my mouth was dishonoring to God. But – the opposite is also dishonoring to God – being a wife who never shares of her real self, who doesn’t express her ideas, who doesn’t bring her perspective and influence to the marriage and family, who doesn’t use her POWERFUL influence wisely to bless her family…

            You may need time to think. That is ok! You can ask for time. I pray that God will give you wisdom, confidence and power to speak life to your husband and family, my precious sister!

          2. Here is a post I love A Husband’s and a Wife’s Authority in Marriage

            We have SO MUCH POWER to bless, build up, shape, encourage and influence our husbands. I pray we won’t use that power to destroy them. And I pray we won’t lay the power down and do nothing with it. I pray we will use it to be a godly force for the kingdom of Christ in our families, to breathe life and healing to our husbands and children and to share godly wisdom, kindness, our vision, our dreams, our desires, our goals, our ideas, our personalities and all of ourselves to bless our husbands and children and to portray the powerful picture of the relationship between Christ and the church. ๐Ÿ™‚

    3. Thank you so much for that encouragement, Kayla! It is hard sometimes- often times- but you are so right when you say, I have tendencies to only think how my husband has acted and not myself- thank you for sharing that!!

  3. grace alone you are doing really well so far on your journey. my husband and I have intimacy issues too. I was doing so well being humble and positive. instead of negative and critical. my husband was responding well too. then 2 weeks ago I had to stuff things up and our marriage took 10 steps back. he o became withdrawn and hardly spoke to me again. you are right submission isn’t always a easy thing. I started putting Christ first and focusing on him. we are taking slow steps forward again In the last couple of days. i think i still have some unforgiveness with our intimacy issues. you are not alone on this journey. we cant let our little mistakes get us down ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. GraceAlone,

    It takes courage moving forward trusting God. Your doing it !! Faith is what pleases him ๐Ÿ™‚ every step you take toward Jesus, trusting him is huge! I encourage you to try not getting overwhelmed but just take it one day at a time, seeking Jesus daily in the morning, giving him your all, getting filled up with his Spirit and empowering you for the day whatever comes your way.
    Also, just try and Love your husband right where he is right now and by you stepping out of the way and not voicing everything that bugs you and allow God to speak to your husband. Keep it up! You’re doing Wonderful!!! Keep your eyes on Jesus today, rest in him :))
    Love you Sister

    1. Thank you so much, Amy! You are right- keeping my eyes on Jesus should be my only focus… I am definitely trying to learn to honor Jesus and what he has called me to do in my marriage! Thank you for the encouragement!!!

  5. Thank you all SO VERY MUCH for your encouragement, wisdom, prayers and love for GraceAlone. I can’t show my appreciation enough for the way that all of y’all come together here to rally around those who are hurting and to pray for one another, to share what you are learning, to support and bless each other. It is such a taste of heaven to see the Spirit of unity, love and humility here and to see the way God’s Spirit is so powerfully moving among so many women!

    Y’all are a treasure and a blessing to me!

  6. Love following along on your journey!

    One thought from my own personal life that popped into my head when I read the following:

    “When I walk past the room where my husband plays video games and see him in there for hours, my thoughts and bitterness can grow by leaps and bounds within 20 seconds! During those times, I have tried to pray in the past, and it seemed the more I prayed sometimes the more frustrated I got. Do I look for a distraction? Do something? I know these seem like silly questions, but I am genuinely curious. ”

    It is ABSOLUTELY okay to “do something”. For some reason, we women (more so than men) seem prone to setting aside our hobbies and identities when we get married. When my kids were little hubby was working a job that required him to be in bed by 7 so, for a season, I set aside my theatrical involvement since their bedtimes and rehearsal times really didn’t sync up well. Once the kids were old enough and hubby’s job situation had changed to the point where he could stay up with them in the evenings, I got back out there and got involved again. I wish I could tell you it was a smooth transition but there were some bumps. Hubby was being asked to help with meals and clean up and he wasn’t super thrilled that I wasn’t home every single evening. Mind you, he had NEVER stopped golfing or watching sports since we had gotten married. We’ve had a few heated exchanges over the issue in the years since and there have been two times I’ve had to ask his forgiveness for over-committing myself and not making the family a priority. But we have both come to the realization that we are actually better versions of ourselves when we are indulging our hobbies in a healthy way! Ironically, hubby is going to try to teach me to golf this summer and he auditioned for his very first play ever (got a pretty major role too) so we have begun to indulge in each other’s hobbies after 25 years of marriage!

    All of this is a very roundabout way of saying that finding a hobby of your own to be involved in while he is playing his video games might be just the solution. As my husband once said, (and I have his permission to quote him!) – “Having you involved in your own “thing” was a wake-up call for me. I just got used to having you there all the time and when you started doing theater again I realized that you weren’t always going to be there waiting for me to get done doing what I wanted to do. I had to adjust how I spent my time a little bit.”

    1. I totally agree that doing something YOU enjoy is absolutely VITAL, not only for your marriage, but for your own growth and happiness. Our husbands have a lot more respect for us when we don’t “lie at their feet” but have interests and intellectual lives independent of theirs. My husband doesn’t read a lot, but loves it when I share funny or thought provoking parts of what I’m reading. Often it will spark a long conversation. Similarly, I take an interest in one of his gifts/hobbies–buying and reselling antiquities. We share many interests, but cultivate our own as well. Developing our own gifts is always a wonderful investment of time and brings many rewards, not the least of which is feeling so much better about yourself.
      Grace Alone, thank you so much for sharing your story. If you only knew how encouraging it is to US when we see you building your faith in Christ and growing in his wisdom. Love to you, our dear sister!

    2. moj8668,

      I’m so glad you returned to the theatre! I love it too, even taught it for a year, and understand how much enjoyment it adds to your life. It sounds like the “bug” might be biting your husband, too. ๐Ÿ™‚ How wonderful that you can help each other stretch and grow in this way. Love to you, my sister!

    3. But what if your husband has no friends or hobbies but you and wants you t.o be home when he is? This is where I get confused… We once had a big issue where I was singing on Easter and a family opportunity came up at the last minute. I made a suggestion since I didn’t want to leave my group in the lurch that he go ( He only had 2 days off anyway) with the children and enjoy his family and then leave the kids. He would come back the 2nd day and we could enjoy some alone time and then I would go down and visit with his family. ( This was 4 hours away.) He said ok, but then was horribly mad at me when the day came because he wanted all of us to go down together and then he would come home alone..

      My hobbies are only hobbies and his are the real career so if he wants to do something then I need to change my schedule even if I was looking forward to something. I always do ( the above situation is the only time I offered an alternative) So how do I be submissive wife and still have my own interests? If you have a concert, then you have a concert.

      1. I was referring to hobbies in light of his playing video games. I fully agree that jobs are an entirely different thing!

        When my hubby – who is a pastor – does weddings, he has the couple light the unity candle but leave their own individual candles lit. Yes, we become a new family unit but neither of us should set aside all of our identity. That means that the interests I had before I married and became a mother – theater, music, reading, sewing, etc. – are still valid ways to spend my time as long as I’m not over committing myself.

        As for the choir commitment, I would have made exactly the same suggestion. We need to be people who keep our commitments – it’s called trustworthiness.

        Relationships are complicated, treacherous things if we don’t step with LOTS of care. Early in my return to theatrical ventures, hubby fussed about the time I was spending away from home and him. I told him that I would give up all theater involvements if he would do the same with his golf since golfing took time from me just like theater took time from him. He didn’t so much like that idea. He finally admitted that what he really wanted was the chance to do whatever he wanted with his schedule knowing that I would be there waiting when he got home. We’ve since worked out a much more amicable arrangement. ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. Yeah, my problem is that my husband has no hobbies or friends. I am the only person he confides in and leans on. Which I realize that other wives would KILL for.. I am so blessed. He fixes things without being asked, but to the point I wish he wouldn’t fix things… He noticed my sink was clogged at 5:30 am and fixed it before he went to work.. If he knows something is broken, he will fix it or do the project even when I tell him he doesn’t need to . He needs to rest… So that is what is weird. He wants me home, but he doesn’t really want to BE with me..he just wants the security of knowing that I am there… Anyway, there is nothing I can ask him to give up since it all centers around our home or his job… I wish he had some guy friends..

          1. I can relate. My husband has no guy friends and it is exhausting. I was praying for him to find friends and I need to go back to that prayer. It would be good for both of us.

        2. Hey Moj,
          My husband has a ton of hobbies, he is good at almost anything and everything!! I am the complete opposite. All I do is homeschool, clean, read, love going to the movies, and eye shopping(so fun). I would like to do more homemaking things, such as knitting,crocheting, and sewing, but they do take up time and Im trying to manage the time I already have to attend to the family. But since I dont have too much of a hobby that I regulary do, I become ancy and a little agitated, looking for fun from some where and alot of times, become needy of my husband. He loves playing video games and golf, and fishing, hunting, ect. I tend to get involved with him in whatever hobby he is pursuing at the given time (it varies throughout the year) I try to keep up with him, lol and fish when he fishes, or watch him play his golf. I even paly viedo games with him (zombies, call of duty, ect.) We even would have game night and play the game together, it is alot of fun. WHEN WE GET INVOLVED WITH OUR HUSBANDS in their HOBBY it can bring closeness and well spent time together. And even stand behind them and encourage them to be the best he wants to be at his sport. He loves when I stand behind him and push him towards his goals. How do we know if one day our husbands actually may be on the PGAtour or even try out for a fishing tournament, or whatever it may be? What if God is calling a husband to a particular duty will we lash out at them or stand behind them even if it sounds too good to be true or terribly impossible. Our support makes them feel powerful, and motivated. I use to be jealous or talk him out of his goals instead of pushing him toward his goals. It’s even as simple as supporting his game tactics on a viedo game to be the best player on there that he can possibly be. I think women are very good at tearing men down to be nothing instead of something. I use to manipulate him to stop pursuing his goals in life and this made him feel like he didn’t have any support, and even led him to a depressed state of feeling unloved.

          You mentioned your hubby wanting you to be at home…..I think alot of hubby’s want their women at home more than out of the house- take being a homemaker for an example. My hubby wants me home when he gets off work out of respect, and so I can attend to him, and be there for him, (he never told me exactly why I’m just guessing that this must be why)My hubby loves when I am available to him- he hates when I clean around him or when the house is too busy when he wants to just relax from a hard day at work.

          1. Sharon,

            There is so much wisdom in this – getting involved in our husbands’ hobbies! What a great way to bond.

            Another wife a few months ago mentioned that she learned to play her husband’s favorite video game when he was out of town for a few days and he was SO excited!

            I love that
            “Our support makes them feel powerful and motivated”

            You know what else? It gives them space and room to dream and listen to God’s plans for them, too!

            I usually stay home with Greg. I have never asked about doing anything else. I just want to be here. I love being here with him and having time to relax together after the kids are in bed. That is my favorite time of day!

            Love this. Thank you so much for sharing! Would you consider allowing me to share this on FB, please?

          2. Yes April, that would be awesome!! Share away, pls correct 3 mistakes punctuation, sorry about that. I love what you said, about giving them space and room to dream to listen to God’s plans, it gives them space from the world, life’s troubles.
            I’m so happy that u are able to find so much pleasure in being home with home. I am also happy to be at home with hubby, its so nice, when I’m doing my part as a wife (respecting him), it brings so much joy our marriage, so much peace, its like a fantasy come true!!

    4. Moj,

      Greg used to beg me to get a hobby!!!!! Ha! Now, I have one, well, more of a ministry than a hobby, but yes, I think it is great for us to use our time wisely and do things we enjoy and cherish the time we can have with God. Thank you so much for sharing!

      1. Hubby and I had an AMAZING conversation the other day regarding us and our passions. I recently realized a dream of 20 years and his comment on the whole issue was so sweet I almost cried. And I have permission to quote the following: “When you are in the throes of your latest theatrical production, you are the most ‘you’ you will ever be. There is a sparkle in your eye, you are at complete peace even with the stress of those last few rehearsals (it’s almost as though the craziness BRINGS the peace!) and if my lifting a hand to do some extra work around the house means that I can help you really “be you” then sign me up!

  7. April,
    What was the post GraceAlone refers to about the frustrating quiet phase?

    GraceAlone,
    I am praying with and for you, and walking alongside! Know that you’re not alone in your struggle-you’ve got company when it comes to learning how to trust God and remove idols!

    Kayla,
    Your original post made me cry. Your comment above made me cry too!

    May we all remember to walk in the shoes of our Saviour: He died for us!

  8. GraceAlone,

    Thank you so much for letting April share your journey. I started my journey late last fall & just this week realized how I was going off in a wrong direction. Your willingness to look at the “ugly” in your heart & to seek to remove all of the idols is sooo encouraging. I had lost hope & was struggling with continuing in the process.

    You are an amazing, beautiful woman & I am grateful to “know” you!

    1. Aw Sally! Thank you friend! Yes, it can be hard to be vulnerable and to share my story, but I am so thankful that my story is encouraging women, and that thru April sharing it, I am so encouraged and touched at the amount of people praying- I am so incredibly grateful!

  9. GraceAlone,
    Once again I feel as though you speak directly to me when you write! Although all of what you wrote is powerful , one statement stood out to me.

    “I found myself praying God would bring my sweet husband back, but maybe I need to pray He will bring my husbandโ€™s sweet wife back.”

    THIS. So much. I have my good days, and bad, just like everyone else, but this statement is such a good reminder to check in with my motivation on those “off” days!

    I’m learning very much to think of 1 Peter 3, even when thinking of my newly-believing husband as well. The last thing I want my behavior to do is weaken his faith! That is the very opposite of what I am called to do as his wife!

    Thank you again for another insightful post. I will be praying for and with you!

  10. Grace Alone, it is so encouraging to read how you are working through these hard lessons! You are blessing me. Do not give up. Keep your eyes on Jesus. It is incredibly hard to be vulnerable to someone who has hurt you. Been there, Sister! Do it as unto Christ and let your husband own his reactions. Obey truth, hold your head up when he throws discouraging words, because over time he will see that you and God are able to do hard things. I continue to remember you and pray for you. Warm hugs!

    1. Julie,

      Thank you for such wise words. You really encouraged me as well when you said, “It is incredibly hard to be vulnerable to someone who has hurt you. Been there, Sister! Do it as unto Christ and let your husband own his reactions. Obey truth, hold your head up when he throws discouraging words, because over time he will see that you and God are able to do hard things.” I’ve gotten discouraged & have lost my focus on God. You have blessed me beyond words!

  11. GraceAlone, girl you are singing my song. I have been praying so hard for change and it just doesn’t feel like it is coming. My husband said he is just waiting for the other shoe to drop as well. It can be a crushing blow to know they have no faith in us and do not believe this is a real change we are making. Someday’s I just feel like giving up, like this is too hard. However, I continue to pray, get in the word every night, and write in my prayer journal. I keep fixing my eyes on Jesus and pray that something will give soon. That something will show me I am doing the right thing and that this change is going somewhere. I feel the same as you do but like myself I encourage you to not give up, fix your eyes on Jesus, and keep praying. You will be in my prayers as well. Sister in Christ

    1. Becky,

      I’m right there with you! I have prayed for you & will continue praying for you. I found myself off track this last week & feel a little hopeless. Knowing someone is right there with me, in God’s Word, journaling, praying…reaching out to God & not their husband for nourishment…encourages me so much. You are a mighty warrior of God & He will honor you. I have prayed that something will break soon for you & that God will be glorified through I read in Psalms this week & was reminded that He id gracious & merciful. Psalm 145:14 says, “The Lord sustains all who fall & raises up all who are bowed down.” I am clinging to this right now because I have fallen & am now bowed down. He will sustain you!

      1. Sally, I love that verse and needed to be reminded of it! Thank you so much! I am praying for you too, that thru the valley, Jesus is making himself perfect in us!!!!!

    2. I think when husbands throw out painful phrases like waiting for the other shoe to drop, is kinda like when we wives have said things like actions speak louder than words. Neither spouse is wanting to make the other give up on changing, Perhaps keeping in mind that deep down those husbands want the positive changes desperately but are afraid to expect them anymore, will help. :^)

      1. Julie,
        I think you are right. I think things like that are spoken from a place of fear and pain. But, it does help us to have to refine our motives when our husbands don’t seem to be supportive. It can be a great reminder that we are doing this for God, not for our husbands when they do say things like that. I think we can also try to see from their perspective and understand just how deep their wounds may go.

        I totally agree that husbands want to see positive changes, but are so afraid to get their hopes up.

        Great point!

        1. Thank you, Peaceful Wife. I think what you mean is, we are making the changes for God and to bless our husbands, not to motivate our husbands to bless us. God will bless us, and so often he will eventually have our husbands bless us when they see God’s unconditional love through us as we respect them. But if not, God gives us all we need for complete joy, even in the midst of pain. And our rewards in heaven will be far greater than any earthly circumstances! The process really reveals our hearts though, doesn’t it?

  12. GraceAlone, it sounds like there is still a lot of growth happening for you. Changing your whole attitude towards God, your husband, and your expectations for your life, takes time. You would not be the first wife to stumble along the journey on occasion.
    I can tell that you really wanted children. You’re upset as you think that will not happen now. Possibly…
    However, maybe your husband’s (and God’s) no was just a ‘not yet’ – God knew you had some changing to do first! Maybe in future, after your marriage is truly repaired, there might be some children in God’s plan for you. But you really have to accept God’s will one way or the other! He might have something else in store for you that is just as fulfilling, or not!
    If you want to repair your marriage, you must learn to trust God and find peace in the knowledge that God is in control. He is your Father and loves you!
    I think you will be waiting a long time if you want your husband to apologise to you for not wanting children. Honestly children really test a marriage and probably your marriage wouldn’t survive right now with that pressure as it isn’t its strongest. You can’t emotionally blackmail your partner into becoming a parent.
    So I guess your task is to work on your relationship with God, who will mould you into the person He wants you to be, which will improve your relationship with your husband, which may one day lead him to want to become a father… Or not… In which case God has something else in store for you. You just have to trust in God!
    My love and prayers for you and your marriage! What a blessing that April has been able to help you along this journey so far.

    1. Jay, you are so right. I do not know what God has in store for the future, but I do know that I had made having children an idol in my life and I am trying to honor him, by seeking his will and finding contentment in Jesus only first. Thank you so much for sharing and your encouragement!

  13. Grace Alone,

    My greatest pet peeve during my most controlling phase, before the Lord regenerated me was Dong’s video-game playing. It was his greatest hobby. He would buy console after console — Nintendo, Dreamcast, PS1, PS2, PS3, X-Box, X-Box Kinect… See? I know how to name them!!! Because he LOVED them.

    Before, when he would start playing, I would be take on my most grumpy face and most irritated stance, and look at him or his game with disgust. I never spoke, but all my non-verbal gestures showed utter contempt at NBA2k or Lara Croft or some other game, I found to be a TOTAL WASTE of time.

    There were times that I would stomp my feet very loud while going up the stairs (He played in one of the rooms upstairs and we had wooden stairs.), so he would sense that I was there, and that perhaps he would get the hint, and STOP all this childish play!

    In my mind, if you would STOP all these senseless games and got your act together, then we would be better off!!!

    When I got regenerated in Christ, I realized how awfully prideful and unloving those actions were. ๐Ÿ™ I saw myself as judgmental, rude and disrespectful.

    I saw myself to be controlling. ๐Ÿ™ I wanted to control every aspect of him, including his video game playing, because in my mind, if he only did what “I” wanted him to do (get a job I liked for him, stopped playing video games, waking up early), he would be efficient and responsible.

    How dare I even think that?! We could be so BLINDED by our own sins, and be so judgmental towards others. ๐Ÿ™

    When the Lord convicted me of my sins, I let go of all desire to change my husband, control my husband and lead my husband.

    I learned to accept all of him, including my pet peeve of his video game playing.

    I just focused on his good qualities, kept still, and turned to Christ.

    Initially, it took A LOT out of me. I had to literally close my eyes, or stay away from him where he was playing, or while away my time with other things. As time passed by, since I was focusing on ME and my walk with Christ, I became less and less aware of his playing and not as irritated already… Time passed by again, and with me keeping still and focusing on Christ, and him stepping up the plate, without my having to do anything, it was Dong himself who decided that he was playing TOO MUCH. See how the Holy Spirit can act on our spouses when we are NOT playing God?! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Nowadays, Dong still loves his video games (He actually even has plans of putting up a business related to that.), but he controls his time in playing. His playing hours dropped by 90%, doing it now for only before he goes to sleep, or on lull moments from his business ventures.

    Now, I don’t even get irritated anymore at his video games. I even watch when he plays, or just sit down beside him.

    See how just focusing on YOUR own walk with Christ can turn a pet peeve into a petty thing? ๐Ÿ™‚

    I am sure we all have pet peeves of our hubbies here, and for sure, they have pet peeves of ours too. But we are all called to bear each other’s burdens. And we bear it with love and patience, sooner or later, it fails to be a burden anymore. That’s how love transforms everything. That’s how God changes hearts.

    I now LOVE Dong’s video games too. Because it is part of him. It is what makes him happy. It is what makes him playful and childlike. When I met him, he already LOVED his video games. So, when I married him, I married into his hobbies too. It all boils down to acceptance and being non-judgmental. I married a gamer, so I am all game! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Nikka,

      I LOVE THIS!!!! Would you please allow me to share???

      I so relate.

      My biggest hang up with Greg before God completely changed my heart, mind and soul was his TV watching. He watched TV every waking moment when he was home. I personally hate the TV! I wouldn’t even own a TV if I lived by myself. In fact, I broke up with Greg when I was 18 (we had been going out for 3 years at the time) and two of the 3 biggest reasons were the TV and how much he loved sports. I don’t care about sports either!

      I used to believe that the TV was an idol for Greg. I told him that, often. I told him what a waste of time it was. I pouted. I condemned him. I told him he should be spending his time with God and with me – you know – IMPORTANT things. The more controlling I became, the more judgmental and condemning, the more angry and resentful and bitter, the more he shut down and would just “ignore” me. I upped the volume. He continued to ignore me and watch TV. I wanted to throw the stupid TV out the window because – obviously – if he didn’t have the TV in his life, he would have more time for ME. THAT was the problem. TV was an idol for him. If he got rid of his “addiction” – then he would pay proper attention to God and me – I was absolutely sure of it. I would even pray for the TVs to all break.

      Then God changed my heart, my mind and my soul – over time. It took a long time and I stumbled A LOT!

      I began to understand that I was responsible for my behavior, my attitudes, my motives, my sin and my obedience to God and that Greg was responsible to God for those things for himself. I began to understand that a lot of men need time to unwind and relax and just chill out and that it is not wrong of them to have some time to veg out sometimes. I began to realize that Greg is not me – and that doesn’t make him evil or wrong. It makes him different. And I am GLAD he is not me. I am GLAD he is a man and I am GLAD he is different! It is the differences that make our marriage more interesting. I also began to realize that he was safe with the TV but he was not safe with me. I began to understand that the TV was a place of shelter for him from my disrespect, control, condemnation and contempt.

      Yikes.

      God showed me that He gave Greg a free will, that he is a grown man and that God doesn’t take people’s free will away, but allows them to choose to come to Him or reject them. Who am I to demand that Greg not watch TV but be with me the way I want him to. Who am I to try to make Greg think just like me and want exactly what I want when I want it?

      I began to understand that there is a whole world of masculinity that I knew nothing about – that Greg had perspectives I didn’t understand and couldn’t wrap my mind about – that my perspective was not the only one in the world and wasn’t necessarily even “right.”

      I stopped telling Greg what to do. I began to thank God for Greg, for his strengths, for his abilities, for his talents and even for the way he is able to relax. You know what? I am HORRIBLE at relaxing. I don’t like to just relax. It is hard work for me to do that! Now, I appreciate that Greg wants me to come sit beside him while he watches TV. Now, I know that we can bond from his perspective when I stop everything I am doing and go sit with him. No, I wouldn’t watch TV if it were totally up to me. But thankfully, Greg watches sports and cooking shows and shows about traveling and nature and not horror movies or rated R movies and he is kind to me and considerate of me that I can’t tolerate violence or suspense – it really freaks me out! So now I thank God for Greg and that he is home with me and isn’t out at a bar somewhere or out spending money on something else or hanging out with buddies. He comes home after work every day and is home with us all evening. I am so blessed!

      Now, when Greg watches TV, he welcomes me to talk with him. We have long, deep discussions almost any time I want. I almost never ask him to turn off the TV. Sometimes, if there is something super serious I want to talk about I will ask him kindly to please pause the show for 5 minutes. He is willing to do that now. He is not afraid when I come to talk to him about things now. He knows I am not going to verbally assault him anymore. He usually plays with my hair and rubs my back while he watches TV and sometimes he even is playing a game on his tablet, too. But eventually, he puts that away and just cuddles with me every night now. He listens when I talk to him now. He cares about my feelings now. He completely supports my blog and ministry and does a lot of the behind the scenes work and was the one who wanted me to teach this stuff God had taught me to other wives. Our relationship is SO different now – but most of it is because God opened my eyes and changed my perspective.

      Greg still watches TV. But he doesn’t ignore me now. The thing that changed was me. PRAISE GOD! I thank Him every day for changing me so radically.

      At first, when I felt lonely and ignored, I would go sit beside him and read. Now, I still go sit beside him and read or work on posts. Sometimes we don’t talk. But even if we aren’t talking I know we are bonding. Greg doesn’t bond with words like I do. And that is ok! It helps that I understand him and his needs now instead of expecting him to have needs just like mine.

      I don’t get upset about the TV anymore. I don’t pray for it to break. I trust God and Greg to handle anything if it is an issue for God. I know Greg will stand accountable to God for his use of time – and so will I. I try to ask Greg about his sports teams and try to learn about the things he is interested in. He loves things that have competition and strategy. I like learning about how his mind works and what makes him happy.

      There is ZERO tension in our marriage about the TV now. God didn’t change Greg. He changed ME.

      Much love!

  14. I now LOVE Dongโ€™s video games too. Because it is part of him. It is what makes him happy. It is what makes him playful and childlike. When I met him, he already LOVED his video games. So, when I married him, I married into his hobbies too. It all boils down to acceptance and being non-judgmental. I married a gamer, so I am all game! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I love this Nikkia, alot of men play games, I think its a boy/man thing, my kids love games, I would be a little to strict and not let my son play video games that much, b/c I didn’t want him to be a gamer boy. I looked down upon what makes my son the happiest. He doesn’t play with toys, so why not, they even help their brains. I love the fact that he has something to keep him entertained instead of the tv so much. Anyway, lets not look down on video games, I like playing them too, just cant find the time- I like reading. They do relieve alot of stress though for me, it gets my mind off the world. It’s fun-why not!!

    1. April!!!!

      I was laughing out loud at how much you HATED the TV!!! My daughter had to ask me why I was laughing at something you wrote. I told her, “April is funny. It’s an adult thing, honey, you would not yet understand.” ๐Ÿ™‚

      How totally prideful of us to think that our husbands are so sinful because of their LOVE for gadgets and electronics!

      But, in one of our heated discussions when the subject of the video game playing came up he raised his voice:

      DO YOU THINK THIS IS ALL I WANT TO DO?
      DO YOU THINK I DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOU?
      WHEN I PLAY, IT IS TO RELAX. IT IS MY TIME TO THINK. I THINK OF PLANS FOR US WHEN I AM PLAYING MY VIDEO GAMES.

      To me back then, I thought he was this thoughtless, heartless, video game addict who would rather play all day, than do something worthwhile!!!

      Praise God for changing our hearts, April. Thank God He did not answer YOUR prayers to break every single TV set in your home!!!! Hahaha!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ This made my day.

      To the rest of the sisters reading this post, I am SURE each of you have your own pet peeves as well of your husbands. It never is about them, it is really about you. If you are irked, irritated, angry, frustrated… Search your heart. For sure, there is a hidden sin in it.

      Yes, April, share it away. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Just to add, proof of my PEACE with his video game playing, I even asked that he download me some games when I was very pregnant last year and was too tired and quite bored waiting for my EDD.

      I ended up playing games he suggested — Kirby’s Avalanche and Q-Bert and Mrs. Pacman! Hahaha!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ And, we played TOGETHER this Zombie Video Game — The Walking Dead, and we FINISHED it! I even asked for more zombie games! Imagine that! Hahaha!!!

      God is amazing. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Love,

      Nikka

      1. Nikka,

        Glad I made you laugh! ๐Ÿ™‚

        Oooh! That is so interesting that Dong uses that down time to think as well as recharge.

        Thanks for allowing me to share!

        Yes, I am so thankful God changed my heart and yours and so many other wives!

    2. Sharon,

      Yes! ๐Ÿ™‚

      I think there is a study out there somewhere that girls mature earlier than boys. I know that many men, even the respectable ones, are boys at heart. As women who are “more mature” than them, it is a challenge to still respect them, while allowing them to unwind in what we deem as “childish” pursuits. ๐Ÿ˜›

      The more Christ changes me, the more I judge people and what they do less. Just because they are different does not mean they are bad. Just because I do things a particular way, does not mean, it is the ONLY way.

      Life is more joyful and more peaceful minus all those judgments and misjudgments. Thank God He convicted me of my sins!

      I now appreciate video games! My kids are Minecraft enthusiasts, and they are soooo good at creating these structures that I could never make or have time or energy for. Ha! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Love,

      Nikka

      1. April and Nikkia, yall are so funny,
        I love the fellowship, I think it is so funny April, I love your writing’s they are so detailed and vivid, I can just picture things as u write, how cool, and what a gift! Are you this funny in person : )I like how you said that u would sit by Greg when you felt lonely, and how, sometimes men don’t really bond with talking, being that women do, I love when we talk, every conversation is so fun and brings us closer together to me. My hubby just likes when I sit by him at times, that is bonding to him. It’s nice to learn how men love challenge, figuring out tactics, and love being a champion at any and everything.

        Nikia I love how you mentioned the judgements. I struggled with this, I use to struggle alot with this with hubby, I would make judgements, but the finger would point back at me.
        Bible scripture-
        Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.

        1. Sharon,

          In person I can be pretty animated! You can’t really get just how lively and energetic I am from my writing, I am sure. ๐Ÿ™‚

          Thank you so much for sharing! ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. Nikka,

        Girls do generally physically mature sooner than boys – they go through puberty earlier,usually.

        I received a comment from a man about this idea that women are “more mature” than men that when they hear us use this kind of wording, it can feel really disrespectful to them. I appreciate his comment.

        I don’t think that you mean that we are more mature than they are – but that some women view men that way. I am so thankful that God has helped you to see Dong with fresh eyes and not look down on him or judge him but to appreciate that he is just different from you now.

        Thanks so much!

  15. Grace Alone,
    In my opinion, it’s not profitable to get caught up in the details of comparing how broken someone is over their sin to how broken you are.. just because you weren’t bawling doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not changing or that you’re not broken over your sin “enough.” Someone could bawl their eyes out and it doesn’t mean anything or vice versa. You can’t compare emotions with other peoples emotions. God is convicting you and that’s what matters.

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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