We are continuing to follow GraceAlone’s progress as she began this journey to become a godly wife about 3 weeks ago. I am no longer able to email every wife, but I hope to correspond with a few wives who are willing to allow me to share their stories so that maybe many more wives might be blessed and encouraged as they embark on their own journey to submit to the Lordship of Christ fully, to tear out idols, face sin, face fear and live in the power of God’s Spirit to become the wives and women God calls us to be. This is a continuation of the email discussion GraceAlone and I had from yesterday’s post. I hope to take on another wife or two maybe next month if anyone is interested!
You are going to realize very soon that you cannot afford to skimp on time with Jesus. It will be like trying to drive a car with no gasoline in the tank. Not going to happen!
What did He say about your family and making him your priority?
I am so proud of you for going to work out with him!!!! Woohoo!
It is going to take months to find that line, if not longer. I vote to err on the side of too much silence right now because you don’t know what is disrespectful very clearly yet. Later, you will understand better and learn what to say. Or you can email me and we can talk about it. 🙂
I believe your husband will will probably care a lot more about your opinion when he feels safe with you, feels respected by you and doesn’t feel attacked and disrespected for a long time. I promise!!!!
I pray for Greg now, very carefully, watching my motives constantly, being sure I am not being selfish but only praying for God’s will. But for a long, long time, I only prayed for God to bless Greg and change me. My motives were way too easily sinful for me to pray for him beyond that for a really long time.
Love that, yes! Pray for God to bring your husband’s sweet wife back.
When I was in the first 2 years of this journey and I felt lonely and unloved – which was often – I would turn to the Bible, to prayer and to all the books I was studying about becoming a godly wife and seek with all my heart to get rid of my sinful, wrong, unbiblical ideas and to embrace and absorb everything I could about God, my identity in Him as a woman, marriage, femininity, being a godly wife, etc. Sometimes I would go sit beside Greg and read. Sometimes I would go cover my head and pray for Greg. Covering my head in obedience to I Corinthians 11:3-11 really helped me tangibly understand that I was putting myself under Greg’s protection, authority and leadership and I felt so much closer to him when I did that. It also helped me to focus on having a respectful attitude towards God and Greg when I prayed – and I needed all the help I could get!
A PEEK AT YOUR HUSBAND’S PERSPECTIVE
Ok… Here is something to consider. It could be a possibility. What I am about to share is heavy. It is a theory. It may not be what he is thinking, but it could be. If you read this, please read it prayerfully and with enough time to be able to really think for awhile.
- What if the reason he decided he didn’t want kids was because (at least in part) he felt betrayed in the marriage?
I don’t know for sure that this is what he was thinking. But what I do know is, you have one VERY, VERY deeply wounded and disrespected-feeling husband. From what we have talked about,
- He knows that he is not your priority.
- He knows your family comes before him.
- He may feel that children are more important to you than he is.
- He knows that you hold him in contempt and don’t think his opinions are important many times.
- He knows the way you have verbally lashed out at him, insulted, disrespected, pressured, tried to control and emasculated him – almost constantly.
- He knows the idols in your heart.
- He knows how anxious you are. He knows how you don’t trust God.
There is a point at which a man, even though he thought he wanted to have children before marriage, may decide that it would be a disaster to introduce children into a situation.
I don’t know his heart. Maybe there are other things going on. Maybe he is pure evil incarnate. I don’t really think so. But, is it possible that he was actually responding to the way he felt you were treating him in the marriage?
This is scary. But as you keep moving towards God and seeking Him, He will remove your fears and give you power to conquer them. 🙂
If you are like I was – you may think that your perspective is the only one there is. It’s not. That is what I used to think. Men have a totally different perspective and think about things completely differently from how we think. But – they have a legitimate perspective and reasons for what they do that are often legitimate, too.
It is going to be exciting to begin to open the doors to see the world of masculinity where your husband lives that you have never really seen before.
There are other reasons he may have decided he didn’t want to have children, too. From what I understand about men now, here would be what I would expect to be his potential motives:
– he feels very disrespected which means he feels very unloved
– he feels afraid, possibly because he had a poor example
– he may feel he can’t deal with the drama he has with you alone, and he knows that things would be much harder if you had children
– he may feel so wounded that he can’t even think about having kids
– he may realize what a huge responsibility it is and feel unprepared
– he may have decided that you are not going to force him to do anything and that he will not cave or be manipulated by your pressuring him.
Those would be some of the reasons I would expect a man to make a decision like that.
What I would like you to do is to assume that he is coming from a place of pain and hurt not a place of evil. And I would like for you to assume you don’t understand his perspective and for you to assume the best instead of the worst.
This will take some time to learn to do.
Your husband is not your enemy. He is a sinner – like we all are. But I have a feeling that his decision about children has a lot to do with what he experienced in marriage those first 6 months. That is my suspicion.
There is a lot of work to do. But it is more than worth it! I am so glad to be with you on this road and I can’t wait to share each step – the struggles and the victories.
Thanks so much, April!
When I read your email I was immediately reminded about some of the things my husband would say in the heat of an argument – things like
- “Why would I ever want to have kids with you?”
- “All you care about is kids, that’s all you married me for.”
- “You worry so much now, there is no way I could handle all your stress about you, let alone the stress about the baby. ‘Honey, do you think she is ok? What if something is wrong?’ I wouldn’t be able to tolerate both.”
I would hear those things, and truly just brush them off because I thought he was just saying them because he was frustrated with me. I would have a thought that his reasoning for not wanting children runs deep. I think that is one of the things that has bothered me so much, I never truly knew what the real reason was for him not wanting kids – I still don’t. However, reading over your email about certain possibilities as to why definitely makes me think… I mean do I think there is a deep penetrating fear as to why my husband doesn’t want kids–absolutely, but do I think that part of the reason could be me–yes, I must say I do.
- When my husband told me some of those reasons as to why he may not want kids, you would think I would have tried to work on those issues he pointed out; but no, I chose at the time to linger in my pain and hurt.
I am starting to see that I have not been as innocent in this either. I remember I used to say things to my husband when he hurt me like
- “I’m so glad we don’t have kids, because I wouldn’t want them to see you like this or have you as a dad.”
Oh, my word – how wrong I was – that one sentence could be 90% of the reason we don’t have children.
If he had any fears of his own at the time, I completely made a disaster with my words . He would than tell me that he “would feel sorry for the kids having me as a mother. ” I so wish I could go back in time and change things I said. Even knowing all this and that I have played such a HUGE role maybe as to why my husband does not want children, I still catch myself at times feeling sorry for myself – wondering why he won’t “come around.” Seeing all my pregnant friends pop up everywhere is hard, too.
I think you are so right, I always thought my perspective was the only one, but I know that’s not true. There were /sometimes still are times where I struggle so hard not think that my husband has pure evil motives towards me because of withholding these things, but now,
I’m seeing a little bit how evil my motives towards him were. How I tried to manipulate him into caving with his decision regarding kids, I would slather up the guilt with some extra guilt on the side.
I don’t want to do this anymore- I want to try to forgive my husband and not hold it over his head. I want to start fresh. I am VERY scared.
On a positive note, I did workout with him again today – that’s twice this week! That doesn’t sound like a lot , but it’s a big step for me!
FROM PEACEFULWIFE TO MY READERS:
What makes me most excited about GraceAlone is that even though she is terrified of all the changes that are going to take place, she is willing to listen to God and allow Him to work and to obey Him. She wants to change even though it is a huge battle. She wants to learn and grow. When I see that, I know God has GOOD things in store for a wife! Thank you for your encouragement, prayers, love and support for our precious sister and for each other! You are a beautiful example of what the body of Christ is supposed to be for one another. I am honored to be a small part of this incredible community of believing women (and men)!
I have given GraceAlone an assignment for this week. If you are beginning this journey, you may want to work on this, too.
I asked her to list ALL the hurtful, disrespectful, sinful things she has said and done to her husband. We talked at length about this today. There is quite a list. I think it is important for us to see exactly what we have done and how we have wronged others, especially our husbands. Seeing it all in black and white in one place can help us truly appreciate just how sinful we are and just how desperately we need Jesus to cleanse us, heal us and transform us into His image. Then we can repent and turn away from our sin and accept God’s forgiveness and allow Him to restore our souls and make us right with Him. We don’t have to walk in shame and guilt. Jesus is able to cleanse us and make us whole!
A further assignment after this one (thanks for the suggestion, J!) – we can write down all the things our husbands have done against us to sin against us that hurt us privately!! Then we can ask God to help us forgive each item by His power and we can destroy the list.
This is how we can tear down the strongholds of sin that have us imprisoned and how we can enter into God’s amazing peace, joy and abundant life!
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”