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Winding Country Road through autumnal Landscape

Experiencing God’s Victory Over Fear

Winding Country Road through autumnal Landscape

In this series, first we looked at our fears and how our fears fuel our compulsion or “need” to control others, then we looked at facing our deepest fears. Today we will talk about the path to finding victory over our fears in Christ. (I’d also like to invite you to my Peacefulwife Blog Facebook page today where we are discussing the question “Why should I pretend to respect my husband and put on an act like I am coy and meek. That feels fake.”)

Rev. Harold Weaver, a minister I deeply respect at our church,  mentioned in a Bible class one time that when churches teach Armenianism, which Baptists and many Protestant denominations do – we focus much on the “free will of man” and we don’t balance that out properly with “the sovereignty of God.” Rev. Weaver explained that when we focus more on human free will and we don’t focus on God’s sovereignty, we lose our healthy fear of God and we develop an “independent spirit” – believing we have much more power and control than we really do.

This topic could seriously be a whole book in and of itself – or multiple books. But I am going to address some of the fundamental remedies for us to conquer our fear to get you started. Then you will need to research, pray, seek God, wrestle with your fears and determine if God is who He says He is in His Word and if you will trust Him fully or not.

CONQUERING OUR FEAR:

1. We must know God. The real God of the Bible. Not who we think He is or our wimpy, warped, messed up pictures of Him – but who HE proclaims Himself to be in His Word.

We must be willing to study His Word, dig as deeply as we can, seek Him with ALL of our hearts, long for Him with all that we are and research to begin to understand and know His character.

Jesus said, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.” John 17:3

Study in God’s Word, use a concordance if you would like to, about God’s nature, His character and get to really know God. Tell Him you want to know Him more. Listen to what He says about Himself and about us and accept His Word as absolute truth. Read/listen to as many David Platt and John Piper sermons as you can (or other solid Bible teaching pastors’ materials) about the character and sovereignty of God. Until we begin to really know God, we can’t trust Him. And if we can’t trust Him, we are putting our trust in other things and we will always live in fear when we don’t trust God.

2. We must replace our fear of circumstances and of people with a healthy fear of God.

As we get to know God in a deep, personal and intimate way, we can begin to develop a healthy fear of God. That means, we will  stand in total AWE of Him, with trembling before Him – realizing just how incredibly powerful, holy, pure, just, wise, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, sovereign, good, loving, great, mighty and majestic He is. When we don’t know that God is good and God is great and God is love and God is sovereign – we don’t believe we can trust Him because we believe He may have evil motives towards us or that He is not strong enough to take care of us.

Sadly, even in the church today, we have developed a very wimpy attitude and picture of God. We think of Him more as our “buddy” and we treat Him with entirely too much informality and irreverence. We approach God in a very casual way today – in our attitude, in our dress at church, in our words, in our behavior and in our prayers. Many believers today greatly lack proper fear, reverence, respect and awe of the God and Creator of the universe.

When our view is that God is weak and wimpy and small, our problems and circumstances can look bigger to us than God does. We fear whatever we believe is more powerful than we are. If we believe we are most powerful in our lives, we won’t fear God. We may fear circumstances, but not God. God commands us not to fear men (people), and not to seek the approval of men, but to fear God and to seek His approval alone. He commands us not to fear circumstances but to look to Him to provide for, protect, direct and guide us. It is only when we have a proper perspective on God’s identity (strong, powerful, mighty, unstoppable, holy, perfect, just, loving, kind) and our own identity (small, sinful, weak, impotent) that we can begin to fear God instead of other things.

Do a word study about “fearing God” and “the fear of the Lord.”

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Proverbs 1:7

You can go to www.biblehub.com and type in “fear of the Lord” and you can search “fear” and “afraid” and see what God says about what we are to fear and what we are not to fear. God has quite a lot to say to us about the subject of fear.

3. We must take our eyes off of people, self and circumstances and keep our eyes firmly set on Christ.

Whatever we focus on and feed will grow in our lives. If we focus on our scary circumstances or that our needs are not getting met or we focus on bad things – those things will begin to appear bigger and bigger in our lives. If we focus on Christ and on things that are good, noble, true, praiseworthy, excellent, of good report, etc… those things will begin to appear bigger and bigger in our lives. (Philippians 4:8)

Many wives say to me, “My husband doesn’t love me anymore. He wants to leave me. So – there is no hope for me.”

THAT IS NOT TRUE, MY PRECIOUS SISTERS!!!!!!!!

Wives somehow believe the lie of the enemy that a husband’s current emotions and current thoughts are insurmountable obstacles because they have their eyes on their husbands and their circumstances and they are looking to place their faith and hope in their husbands or their marriages. That is not where we put our faith, my precious sisters!

I don’t really care what your husband thinks or feels right now. I mean – it would be great if all husbands loved all wives all the time and were completely committed to their marriage every moment. And I really don’t want him to feel hurt, disrespected, dishonored and controlled. But – what I care about most is what God says and what He thinks. As you focus on Christ and you seek Him with all your heart and you desire to walk in total obedience to Him by the power of His Spirit flowing through your life – God is perfectly able to change your husband’s heart and mind and your circumstances.

Our God is SOVEREIGN!!!!?!?!!?

This doesn’t depend on us. It doesn’t depend on our husbands. It is ALL about Jesus and what He is able to do. There is no one who is out of the reach of God’s sovereignty. Your husband cannot snatch you from God’s sovereign love and from His will. No matter what your husband does, God is able to use it all for your ultimate good and God’s ultimate glory and He may even use these trials and difficulties to bring your husband to Himself. You can’t even take yourself out of God’s sovereign hands. Yes, we have free will and – yes, PRAISE GOD, at the same time, God is sovereign. Those things do not contradict each other, they work in harmony.

When we really “get” what it means that God is sovereign, we can rest in His love, wisdom and sovereignty and trust Him to work things out for our ultimate good and His glory because we love Him and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28-29). When we really understand that God is in charge and that we can trust His heart and we have a healthy fear of Him and we are keeping our eyes on Him, we can approach each day as an exciting adventure because we never know what God might do to change things up and to alter our circumstances and to do miracles. Our job is just to trust Him, seek to know Him more, listen to Him, obey Him and ask Him to fill us up with His Spirit and power that He might accomplish His will, His purposes and His greatest glory in our lives.

 

4. We must humbly approach God and allow Him to reveal our great sin to us, so that we may repent. We must keep short accounts with God.

We cannot be close to God if we cherish sin in our hearts. Any sin has to go. If we hold on to sin, we repel God and the power of His Spirit slows to a trickle in our lives. That is NOT GOOD! Let’s be willing to allow God to remove every trace of sin that offends Him in our lives, to convict us of anything that He hates in our souls – and let us allow Him to purify our motives and our lives and transform us to be more like Christ.

One thing God does give us control over is how much of Him we allow into our lives.

Let’s ask God to give us the MOST of Himself that He can possibly give to us! Let’s turn the valve to “wide open” and allow His Spirit to flood our hearts and souls like Niagra Falls!!!!! Let’s give Him full reign and control in our lives and ask for ALL of Himself!!!!

There is no greater treasure in the universe than our God!

5. We must DIE TO SELF. We must completely and fully surrender all of ourselves and our lives, our desires, our dreams, our goals, our wisdom, our plans, our possessions, our family members, our future, our health, our talents, our time, our resources, our lack of ability to obey God, our sinful nature, all that we have and all that we are and all that we might ever be 100% to Jesus as LORD.   We give Him all of ourselves. At first, this seems like a great sacrifice.

6. We receive all that Jesus has for us. After we give Jesus all of ourselves without reservation and in total faith, He will give us all of Himself and all that He has, His dreams, His desires, His goals, His wisdom, His plans, His possessions, His family, His future, His inheritance, His abilities, His holiness, His Spirit, His peace, His joy, His total ability to submit to and obey God, all that He has and all that He is. We must be willing to receive what He provides for us – spiritual treasures and wealth beyond measure.  It turns out, God asked us to sacrifice what was actually garbage in our lives, so that we could have empty hands to receive REAL treasure from Him. We will spend the rest of our lives learning to tap into all the riches of Christ as we follow Him wholeheartedly. He IS our Life! He is our Greatest Treasure. He is our Hope.

He is our Pearl of Greatest Price for Whom we are willing to give up anything and everything else to own.

He is worthy of all of our praise, sacrifice, worship, honor, obedience, love, devotion, submission and adoration. We come to a place where we are joyful in being willing to always say, “Yes, Lord!” to anything Jesus asks of us out of gratitude and thankfulness for all He has done for us.

7.  We must abide in Christ and in His Word.

He is our Life now. He is all that matters. He is all we want. We know now that if we can just have Him, we can be more than content in this world. So we cling to Him, develop relationship with Him, seek to know Him more, seek to understand His heart, want to love and He loves and hate what He hates. We want to represent Him well to the world and be His ambassadors, to bring many others into relationship and reconciliation with God through Christ. The more we know Him and are empowered by His Spirit, the less the things of this world matter and the more the things of heaven and eternity matter and all we want to do is what He wants us to do.

John 15:

1“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunesa so that it will be even more fruitful. 3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

5“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

9“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command. 15I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17This is my command: Love each other.

NOW:

I can move forward in total trust, faith and obedience to God, knowing that as I seek Him and obey Him, He will handle the results with my husband and marriage. I trust I can obey God’s Word to win my husband without a word (I Peter 3:1-6) and I can trust God to speak to his heart as I just seek to obey Christ for my part of things. I don’t have to be afraid. I know my Lord. I know what He is capable of. My faith is 100% in Him. I know He will never leave me or forsake me. I know He will empower me to handle whatever may come. I know that if He allows tragedy or problems into my life that He has a plan to use them for my ultimate good to make me more like Jesus and for His glory. I don’t have to be afraid. I just rest in His great love for me and in His power and I am fully submitted to Him, anticipating that He will make me fruitful and useful to Himself and that I will get to be with Him forever in heaven. The peace and joy of Christ come bubbling out of my soul to all those around me. I see people with Jesus’ eyes. I see circumstances through the perspective of heaven. And the things I cannot understand, I trust to God’s wisdom which is much greater than my own.

I become willing to do anything God calls me to do, even if it involves suffering, because I know that God will use suffering to refine me, mold me, chisel me and to make me be more like Jesus. So, I can’t lose. When my faith is totally in Christ, good things are blessings for which I can praise Him. And when my faith is totally in Christ, bad things are opportunities for God to demonstrate His sovereignty and goodness and to teach me and to use me for His glory. I always “win” in Jesus. His perfect love casts out all fear. I John 4:18.

SHARE:

If you have experienced God’s victory over your fear, please share your story and what God has done in your life so others may be greatly blessed!

57 thoughts on “Experiencing God’s Victory Over Fear

  1. Reblogged this on Peaceful Single Girl and commented:

    This is my prayer for each of you – to find victory and the power of Christ to overcome fear in your life!

    Thank you for your patience with me as I have had some medical struggles lately and have not been able to be on the computer as much. I thank God that His power is made perfect in my weakness. 🙂

  2. I’m printing it out to read and go step by step. hard for me to give up the fact that I can never be happy again.. But I must die to self.

    1. WOAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Elizabeth!

      I know that dying to self may seem like you will never be happy again – but that is a lie from the enemy.

      In fact, this is the path to the greatest joy (something more amazing than any happiness), peace and overflowing satisfaction in the world!

      When you are fully submitted to Christ and abiding in Him – He floods your soul with the fruit of His Spirit supernaturally. You get to have all of His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

      This is not a prison sentence.

      It is freedom!!!!!! It is the greatest gift in the universe!

      Much love my precious friend!

    1. Elizabeth,

      Why can you have no human contact?

      And – one thing that was really important for me to “get” was – this is not at all about me “trying harder.” It is about God working through me by His power. But that couldn’t happen until I laid down everything in full surrender to Him. The hardest things for me to yield to God were my desire to control, bitterness, resentment and giving up my wisdom.

      I am praying for you my sweet friend!

      1. AMEN! God reminded me the other day that I still have alot of pride in me. It was ugly =(. The enemy will push ‘legalism’ on us in a heartbeat! We should contemplate on why we do things? Is it out of ‘want to’ or ‘have to’? Love vs. legalism. I got caught up in legalism and it destroy several relationships I had -but it mainly dishonored God and I had no testimony to show (either verbally or by my actions due to wrong motives).

        Not trying to sound ‘preachy’ Sis. Elizabeth…just concerned for fellow saints.

        1. Raphael,
          I appreciate your willingness to share and encourage our sister, so much!

          Yes, legalism -doing things out of “duty” or even fear” is such a deadly trap.

          May God show us how to examine our every motive and may we do things completely out of genuine love for Him and love for others by the power of His Spirit working through us.

    2. Elizabeth,

      Hang in there! God knows and cares. He is with you…even when you think He isn’t. He loves to show His children who he is… Just ask Him =). I can honestly say He is faithful even when I become apathetic, I can look back and say ‘He is faithful’. We need sunshine and rain. Just tell him EVERYTHING (out of reverence of course!).

      You have saints praying for you! You are not in this alone! We have the GREATEST personal trainer!

  3. Elizabeth, I agree with April and the happy (because I got what I wanted) v. joy (because I died to self and am now living for what God wants). For me it’s been akin to an alcoholic learning to live sober. Of course living sober has so many more options in life and I have greater ability to choose my steps, my own destiny than be enslaved to this illusive concept of “happy”. But if a person has gotten used to living in the dark, how can she fathom what the sunlight is like? You don’t begin to understand the weight of your choice to die to self v. trying to get happy until after you’ve chosen that path on faith. Nothing in you will feel good about it. You will have withdrawals!

    Just last night I learned a bit more about the 3 types of men God created and I felt knocked on my tail. I couldn’t figure out if my husband was really a visionary or a commander. Either way, what knocked me down was how I could totally miss FOR TEN YEARS that God had a purpose for this man so much greater than making me the center of his universe. My desire to feel loved and be happy created such a small life for us and I feel, at best, it was a great distraction from the larger plans God had for our family. I literally felt totally disgusted. In the story about Moses winning a war because Joshua was fighting out front while Aaron and Hur held up his arms (Ex 17:8 – 13) can you imagine the outcome if either Joshua, Aaron or Hur argued with Moses rather than submitting to his instructions? Can you imagine Hur saying, “But Moses, I don’t feel important just holding up your left arm, how about I do something else more in line with my status?” or if Aaron said, “this isn’t fair! I can’t even see the battle from here, I feel so left out. You don’t really care about me!” What if Joshua said “I’m obviously so much more spiritual than Moses…he has me out here fighting when he’s sitting up there on that rock.”

    My marriage is an amazing opportunity to take part in glorifying God. It is an awesome privilege that He would include me in any part of ‘His kingdom come’ and here I was totally oblivious to such mercy! How many battles have we lost not because of my husband’s humanness but because of my inability to fall in line with God’s design?

    The fear I had to fight this morning was that voice that said, “See, you’ve messed up so much! Why would God want to use you now? Why would your husband want to love you now?” And I remembered what a priest told me not so long ago – that sometimes God writes straight with crooked lines. What the devil would use to condemn me, my God can use to make me that much more qualified to be used by Him. These episodes of fear, rather than being yet another stumbling block, can be stepping stones to heights I couldn’t fathom from down below. I am now more ready to take my place in God’s plans than when I first said, “I do” because now I understand better what my place is and the immeasurable greatness of His glory. With humility, I accept that honor. “Happiness” doesn’t hold a card to that kind of joy.

    1. Refined,

      Oh my goodness!!! God is already using you!

      Please allow me to quote you in a post or on my FB, my sister!

      Weren’t those videos amazing from Carla Sellis at http://www.mysparkleliving.com? I LOVED them, too. So powerful.

      Here is the one about the 3 kinds of men for any of the ladies who missed it:
      http://www.mysparkleliving.com/shows#la=loaded&h=860&w=1040

      And here is the one about submission being a way for us to help our husbands “hold the shield” in front of our families in a powerful way:
      http://www.mysparkleliving.com/shows#la=loaded&h=860&w=1040

      I love what God is doing in you!!! WOOHOO!

      I can’t wait to see all that He has in store for each of us.

      1. Thank you April for the link to mysparkleliving!! WOW! The “Submission Sheild” brought me to tears!!!! An unbelievable visual that I totally needed!!! It spoke volumes! 🙂

  4. God loves us so much Elizabeth and He cares so much about our pain. I feel that my words came out harshly. I’m moreso verbalizing the shock I feel at the history of my own erroneous thinking.

    Hang in there and let our Lord surprise you with many more good things to come.

  5. April, yes do use whatever I say whenever for anything you think might be helpful. Those videos from Carla Sellis were fantastic! The one on the shield is what reminded me of the battle with Moses and the three others. I wanted to view more but it was getting crazy late! Thank you so much for the links and the continual encouragement. I feel like a whole new world is available looking at life from this perspective. I’m just so grateful.

    1. Refined,
      YES! It is a whole new amazing, beautiful world that most of us, even as believers in Christ, have never seen before. It blows my mind all the treasures of God we have been missing out on. I don’t want any of my sisters in Christ to miss ANYTHING that God has in store for us or any blessing that He desires to give to us. I can’t wait to see all that He will do in each woman’s life here (and in our brothers’ lives as well).

      I love your description of the battle where Moses needed two men to hold up his arms so that they could win the battle. BEAUTIFUL and POWERFUL description. What a great way to think about how God allows us to bless and help our men.

      Much love!

  6. Ok. THIS is one of the most difficult topics for me. I can’t get the truth of it all to permeate my mind. (Or God, in his sovereignty, isn’t allowing me to understand??) These verses have caused me much grief: “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” And “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.”

    I abided in the vine, prayed reverent prayers and trusted God for a good marriage and a man who would follow hard after Him, and the marriage has been so hurtful in so many ways and my husband isn’t interested in growing in the Lord since getting married. So these verses make me think that 1) they are not true or 2) I am not a real Christian. Either option is not very comforting. It makes it very hard to step out in faith now and trust God for…anything, really.

    I get that God wants to refine us and make us ready for heaven, but doesn’t he want to give us good gifts? I’m not a prosperity gospel type of person, but can’t I take these verses at face value? Sometimes I feel like Calvinist types go the polar opposite direction and make it all about suffering and that a “good gift” is more like “sanctification” rather than something that we would just like to have, like a good marriage (is that such a bad thing?).

    1. Jane Doe,

      What if this marriage WILL result in good and WILL result in much fruit – but there is a time of being refined, molded, pruned and chiseled first?

      God only gives good gifts. But His definition of “good” and ours is not always the same. His definition of “good” is that ultimately – much good will be produced in that we will be more and more conformed to the image of Christ. God counts as “good” us going through suffering if that suffering is in order to make us more like Jesus, to expose our sin, to expose our true ungodly motives and to draw us to Himself.

      Good marriage is not a bad thing. But – we do have to be careful that having the kind of marriage we want, feeling loved, romance, etc… do not become more important to us than having Jesus. That is where I got tripped up.

      A good marriage is a good marriage because of what God is doing in us – not because “we married the right person” and that person is “perfect” and we have no problems.

      God uses the imperfections and even sins in our husbands to purify us.

      And, ultimately, His desire is that we become the godly women He wants us to be – and that our husbands become the godly men He wants them to be – and that our marriage demonstrate a vibrant and accurate picture of Christ and the church that our marriage might bring many to Christ.

      Would my marriage be able to do that today if I had not gone through about 17 years of trials first? Probably not.

      You can thank God for the good gift of your marriage even as you are being refined. You can choose to thank God for the good things you see, and the good things He will bring from it that you can’t see yet. And you can choose to focus on Philippians 4:8 things about your husband and your marriage. YOU get a huge part in determining whether the marriage will be good or not by your attitude, your gratitude, your walk with Christ, your faith in God, your seeking God with all your heart – your willingness to trust God and wait with anticipation for Him to bring great glory and honor to Himself through your marriage.

      Those verses are not saying “If you love me nominally, you get everything you want.” Those verses are saying that as you seek God more than anything and find your contentment, purpose, identity, joy, peace and fulfillment in life ONLY in Him – as you are one with Him – He will change your desires to want what He wants – and when you are abiding in Him like that – you will want only what He wants – and when you ask for His will – you will receive it.

      Are you seeking God’s will above your own? Is His will all that you desire?

      How is your walk with Christ going?

      Much love!

      1. I think I can say I am constantly thinking of what is God’s will and trying to please him. But I don’t think I can say I am desiring ONLY his will. And my walk/time with Christ could be better because I don’t trust him. I’m constantly defeated and doubting because of what I wrote before and have a hard time moving into his presence. I can read Christian literature all day long and soak it in and love it but my heart is still resistant when it comes to surrendering.

        1. Hi Jane,

          This is a quote from Jerry bridges book ‘Trusting God:Even when Life Hurts”

          “For many years in my own pilgrimage of seeking to come to a place of trusting God at all times—I am still far from the end of the journey—I was a prisoner to my feelings. I mistakenly thought I could not trust God unless I felt like trusting Him (which I almost never did in times of adversity). Now I am learning that trusting God is first of all a matter of the will and is not dependent on my feelings. I choose to trust God, and my feelings eventually follow.

          Having said that trusting God is first of all a matter of the will, let me qualify that statement to say that, first of all, it is a matter of knowledge. We must know that God is sovereign, wise, and loving—in all the ways we have come to see what those terms mean in previous chapters. But having been exposed to the knowledge of the truth, we must then choose whether to believe the truth about God, which He has revealed to us, or whether to follow our feelings. If we are to trust God, we must choose to believe His truth. We must say, “I will trust You though I do not feel like doing so.”

          Don’t worry Jane, you are not the first to have such feelings. Praying for you. It is easy to get distracted by the blessing God has provided -but HE is worth so much eternally more. That hard time is really ‘good’ in that you know it is hard and you KNOW you are seeking HIM. Our hearts are deceitful and HE is renewing our minds when we soak up His word. It takes awhile for water to erode a rock – but it can!

          1. Raphael,

            This is awesome!! Thank you for sharing with our sister!

            Yes, we each must wrestle with this before we can come to Christ… Will I trust Him and get to know the real Him or will I trust myself and reject Him? Am I willing to let go of control and give it to Him and to believe His Word is true?

            It can take time to wrestle with this. But this is the path we all must take in order to come to Christ and experience His abundant life.

            Until we trust Him fully, we don’t have Him. And until we trust Him fully and live and walk in His power and in obedience to God, our prayers will go unanswered. It feels like you are flinging yourself off of a spiritual cliff at first… But then, He is able to make us soar in wings like eagles. Once you really taste Him, you know nothing else will satisfy your soul.

            He IS LIFE!!! 🙂

        2. Jane Doe,

          It is only once we fully surrender and yield everything to Jesus that He will make Himself fully available to us. If we are double minded, James 1 says we should not expect anything from The Lord. God only wants wholehearted worshippers who trust Him completely.

          If you feel you can’t trust Him, it may be that you don’t know Him well enough.

          A great place to start would be to say, “God, I want to know You more. I want to be able to trust You. I don’t want to trust my own flawed human wisdom anymore. Open my eyes. Help me to see who You really are. Please give me big faith in You. I am going to be as still as I know how. Show me the things You want me to surrender to You and help me make each little step towards You. I can’t do this on my own! I need You desperately!”

          Check out Hebrews 11.
          Much love!
          April

  7. Hello, I started my peaceful wife journey about two months ago. I’m learning a lot and trying to be a more respectful wife in many different ways. I was wondering if you have any posts or places to give me guidance on how to deal with the situation I am facing in making a choice between supporting my husband by not spending time with my family. This is a new challenge that I’m now facing where my husband has said he’ll leave the ‘family event/party/etc’ or not attend any function my family is at because he is through with their disrespect towards him even if the event is at our home. I understand and respect his opinion, but this is very devastating for me both for him as my husband and my family because I am close to my parents and siblings. I could use any guidance, resources or wisdom, especially because my family includes nieces and nephews whom my children play with often at family gatherings!

    1. Trusting in God,

      Oh no! Such a painful situation. 🙁

      What kind of disrespect has your family been showing to him?

      Are your family members believers?

      How long has he been feeling disrespected?

      Have you spoken to your family about this issue and asked them to stop the disrespect and to honor your husband?

      If so, what did they say?

      We have been having a discussion on this topic in the comments of the post “why Won’t He Protect Me from His Family?”

      I’d be glad to discuss this with you and will do my best to point you to how you can most honor your husband’s authority and your marriage covenant.

      Please keep in mind, you are no longer under your parents’ authority not that you are married. god has placed you under your husband’s authority now – I Corinthians 11:3. And you do not have a covenant with your family. If you must choose, you must choose your husband over your family every time. He needs to know he comes first. And your family needs to know that your husband comes first. It is not right for anyone to attempt to divide a married couple whom God has joined together, according to Jesus. Matthew 9:16.

      You may also want to read “respecting our husbands around extended family.

      Let me know how you are doing!

    2. Dear TIG,

      Once your husband knows for certain that you’re on his side without reservation and that not even his family can split you, he will be more comfortable attending such functions. He will be better able to stand up to them because he knows you, his partner are on his side. At this time am sure he’d rather not be there because he feels all alone and that even you don’t stand with him.

        1. Thanks April. I do not claim wisdom in any of this but I’m willing to share my feelings and experience if it will help others.

      1. That is so wise Nick, and SO true. I think it applies to wives as well. I have had a lot of issues with my husband’s family as well. The times when I felt that my husband would stand up for me, I was less concerned about what they thought or did. Ultimately, it is more about how the spouse who is the in-law, feels that his/her spouse will stand up to his/her family and defend the marriage. Once there is confidence in that, there is less need for resistance. When family members/relatives do not respect the boundaries in a marriage, it can be as problematic as an affair!

        1. It’s always difficult loving someone when you know a part of them (their family) is against you.

          In such situations place yourself under the protection of your husband. If you fight back he will assume you can protect yourself. Silence and respect will remind him of his responsibility for your safety. It may take time but he will eventually get it.

          1. Thanks Nick. Now that I am more “learned”, I am more aware of how to deal with those situations. But my point was, that it is always best when the spouse of the family member stand up for the marriage, whether it is the husband or the wife. However, in an imperfect world, that won’t always happen. And in cases where a husband does not defend his wife/marriage, yes respecting the husband is still important.
            I like the statement, “If you fight back he will assume you can protect yourself.” 🙂

          2. Prayinglikehannah,
            I agree, that statement “If you fight back, he will assume you can protect yourself” is something the ladies need to hear. Another thing, I would add to that, and maybe Nick would like to weigh in on, or some of the other men – I believe that if a woman takes charge and wants to lead in the marriage, the husband will assume she can protect herself. IF she is the leader, why would she need his protection?

            It is the one who leads and is in charge who protects the others. If a wife usurps her husbands’ authority and dominates him and expects him to submit to her and do things her way – but then wants him to protect her – I would think those would be very conflicting messages.

            Another thing Greg shared with me last year was that if a wife disrespects his family, she comes out from under her husband’s authority and protection and she is on her own to clean up that mess.

          3. I know we focus on what wives do wrong here – and not husbands. That is for another blog 🙂 . However, I do want to reiterate my main point, which is that, when there are issues with in-laws, my experience (which might be less than most people here), is that in most cases, it is best when the spouse who is the family member, deal with the situation. A wife is supposed to respect her husband, no debate about that at all. And a wife who disrespects her in-laws is doing a bad thing. However, I was not speaking of those cases. Because there are situations, in which in-laws do not respect the boundaries of a marriage. That can have devastating effects on a marriage. I think it is true that if the wife fights back, the husband will assume that she can protect herself. I love the statement. But I also like to balance what I say, even though I am not speaking directly to men, I still want to say that if a husband does not defend his wife, she will assume she needs to defend herself. Again, I am NOT focusing on what men should do. I am simply trying to clarify my main initial point.

  8. Peacefulwife – I just wanted to say what a blessing your blog is! I am getting married this year and have been going through a pruning season with my beloved. I was so angry at first and full of doubt that my perfect boyfriend was now “mental” and started going crazy because of my anxiety fear and stress! And then found your blog and started realising how little I knew about marriage about being a good wife and about respecting. WOW!!! Did I miss the memo?!?! I had all the right intentions but few tools. I am so happy it happened that way!! I stopped dead in my tracks and started seeking God in a new deeper way! Still so much to learn but the changes in me are profound already and my relationship with my beloved is now peaceful and trusting. I apologised and he has been so gracious. We are having so much fun and I am loving not being in charge and really trusting his leadership (I am a type A lady too!!).

    I am so grateful and wish there was someway I could bless your ministry. You pour out yourself on this blog and because of that I can walk into my marriage a lot stronger than I would have. I can be the prov 31 wife he wanted and I am so passionate that other women learn too! I’ve sent the blog to my girlfriends already! I don’t want to make mistakes- there is so much to be done for God’s glory and I don’t want to use that time fighting with my man when I should be watching and promoting his glory being etched out!

    I used to think “happy wife happy life” meant “I get what I want and we are cool”. Now I see “happy” means a deep joy, trusting God above all less and surrendering. His ways are truly above ours. And in that place of “happiness” life is truly good- for me and for my beloved.

    Thank you for what you are doing. God bless you and may you receive a thousand fold of what you give out xx

    1. HappyWife,

      Wow, you know how to make a girl cry happy tears of joy! 🙂 YAY!!!!!!!

      I am thrilled about what God is doing in your life! I think we ALL missed the memo. I sure did. How I wish I had been able to study these things before marriage!

      Maybe you would like to share your story anonymously as a post sometime? That would be a wonderful blessing – if you are interested. 🙂

      Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing with me!

      Much love!
      April

          1. April:

            Did you ever share Trixie’s story as you had planned? I am not sure if you did and I missed it.

  9. This entry is really timely for me right now, though I know you posted it over a year ago. I’m not going to post the personal details since I’m leery of putting it out there on the internet, but my marriage is REALLY struggling…. 🙁
    I’m thankful for a huge support network and many people praying for us, but I’d be grateful for your prayers too.

    April, the work you do with your blog is simply amazing, transforming so many marriages! Thank you thank you thank you!! One question: the devil must be pretty unhappy about all the damage you’re doing for the kingdom! Do you experience spiritual warfare?

    1. BrokenbutGrowing,

      I am very glad to pray for you and your husband right now – for God’s Spirit to work in you both to draw you each to Himself, for victory over sin and the enemy, for healing for your marriage, and for God’s greatest glory in your lives!

      God is certainly the One doing the heavy lifting and the miracles. I’m so thankful He allows me to be a clay pipe through which His Spirit flows. What an honor! And yes. Absolutely – there is much spiritual warfare. I can tell the weeks when the enemy is particularly unhappy with what I am writing about, because the warfare picks up dramatically.

      I would greatly appreciate prayers, too, that I might be faithful, obedient, and sensitive to God’s Spirit with every word, that I might handle His Word rightly.

      Much love to you!

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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