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“Refined” Shares Several Lightbulb Moments


In response to “Experiencing God’s Victory over Our Fear” A wife was concerned that if she “dies to self” she would have to resign herself to the idea of “never being happy again.” That is something that many of us wrestle with before we submit fully to Christ. In fact, I can’t even count how many times I have heard that exact line of thought.  Of course, it is a lie from the enemy!

Please check out how our sister, “Refined,” responded. I know you will be greatly blessed! 

I agree with April and the happy (because I got what I wanted) vs. 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.


Those amazing videos Refined is talking about are from my new friend, Carla Shellis, at I LOVED them, too. So powerful.

Here is the one about the 3 kinds of men for any of the ladies who missed it.

And here is the one about submission being a way for us to help our husbands “hold the shield” in front of our families (Submission is a Shield Part 2) in a powerful way. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this illustration. It is so worth your time, ladies!


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.


My Demon

25 thoughts on ““Refined” Shares Several Lightbulb Moments

  1. Refined I’m so pleased with the progress and change you are going through.

    I would say I’m still stuck thinking that if I lay everything down I won’t be happy, treated well. I think it’s hard when you can’t see your husband taking any steps to care for you or consider your thoughts and needs…

    1. Godlywifetobe,

      I didn’t see Greg taking steps towards me for a long time when I first began this journey myself. Now I know that it was because he was SO WOUNDED by me. It took about 2.5 years before I had any clue what I was doing with stopping disrespect, starting respect and biblical submission. And it was 3.5 years before he felt safe with me again.

      But I am so thankful now that he didn’t change quickly. I needed that time to really refine my motives and to learn to depend completely on God and to learn to do this only for Christ no matter what Greg’s response or lack of response was.

      Praying for you!!!

      1. We are all responsible for our own choices, but I think women are greatly unaware of how much their support and Godly influence is needed by their men. We each have a part to play; they are still human, not gods. I think that’s part of the problem – we never expected our prince charmings to be so human. We made them idols and are having to push a reset button.

        My husband leads best when I empower him with my influence, my cooperation, my request for his counsel. He provides best when I amplify what he brings in with my own skills to earn, obedience to the set budget and appreciation for his work efforts. His protection of the household is made more sure when I protect his manhood, promote his ‘soft voice’ by accepting his olive branches and eliminate home front cancers like contempt. I enable him to love best when I respect him.

        I think we have no idea how vulnerable they become with us and the severity of their response may speak to that. Your love helps him to love more like Christ. Keep going Vin. Give your husband time to trust this new you. Show him that it’s real. In the meantime keep distracting yourself with the changes that need to take place in your own heart.

        1. Consider every little twig an opportunity for God to show up through you, Vin. If a person is nearly dead on the ground, CPR may just save their life! Every encounter with your husband could be that CPR, if you let it. His sinful response is smoke and mirrors, distracting you from the real enemy and his real pain. If he’s still offering anything, consider the hope that there’s still time to pour in. You will be pouring out of your own empty tank but that’s where God comes in. He does with your heart what He did with those loaves and fishes. Trust Him on this.

          I learned a bit about contempt with John Gottman’s book ‘Why Marriages Succeed or Fail’. I believe Nina Rosner refers to this author. I personally think the book is difficult to get through emotionally, especially without your spouse, but the education on how contempt actually distorts one’s thinking is extremely valuable. It is a cancer that progresses from years of hurt and misunderstanding. The only way out of it is to do the opposite of what your wounded heart wants to do – lash out, go cold, marinate in your hurt, see your spouse as a monster, etc.

          I’m praying for you, Vin.

          1. And you know what else, Vin? You just do the best that you can. You are working hard. God will honor your efforts. He is sovereign, even over our mistakes. You are beautiful in His sight.

      2. I think my problem is self righteousness. I think his sins and behaviour is worse than mine 🙁
        I know it, but I’m having trouble walking in that knowledge and not getting uptight or feel “right” when he’s messed up and I’m taking the high road. Ugh. It’s ugly and I don’t like it…

        1. Godlywife, Apparently, this is a stage we all go through. I say that because it’s so freeing knowing this is something to pass through, not live with forever. It is absolutely a mindset to get beyond. I’ve read April tell so many women how painful this part is…and she is absolutely right! Letting go of all my expectations and just looking at where God wanted me to be felt like torture. I kept going with it because the alternative was to loose my family and hope to find “the right one” out there. But something told me that fantasy was a hoax.

          The further I went, the more I really did see my own sin. His didn’t matter -as much – because I was getting more ticked off that I was getting duped by my own wants…again. What kind of Christian was I that all my gifts really did have strings? The night I realized I could live without my husband’s undying affection and still be ok, was the moment it became all about me and God. Kind of like the athletes who play their hardest and tune their ears to no one but their coach? It seemed like I kept getting caught up in the opposing team’s smack and intimidation. No more!

          I figured if I have no options, I might as well fail well. Lord, what do I have to lose?

          Funny, I look back on my list of sins that apauled me back in the fall and I totally see a crazy woman. I remember thinking ‘what a breakthrough!’ The list I have now makes that stuff look like preschool work. How could I have been so clueless? the more I’ve learned about what I owed my husband and myself the more I truly didn’t have time to look at what he was doing. Please distract yourself with April’s list of books and go through the Respect Dare! (It took me 3 months to get through those 40 days!) Practically speaking, this gives you direction and something to work on while your husband processes. Really.

          After awhile you just realize how sick you both truly are. My relationship has been so sick that even the things that should be life-giving, like sex, is a no-go. It’s like the person who is so sick they have to take the medicine in an IV drip. I helped to get us here and by God’s grace I’ll do whatever I can to help us get out.

          The other night my husband came over to me and embraced me in a long hug. (What’s this?) The next day he said “I love you” when we got off the phone. (That’s new.) Last night he approached me for intimacy and this morning was flirtatious and lingered with talking, making himself late for work. He’s got a project coming up that he’s asked me to assist with and I realize this is a GREAT opportunity to SHOW UP.

          Something is happening. But I am determined to keep my eyes on my coach. His grace IS sufficient. Who knew? Praise God. His grace IS sufficient!

          If you’re at the point where you are getting ticked off that you keep running into the same sins/problems with yourself. You are on the road to recovery, my dear! Get mad! We have been duped! See what happens when you continue to trust him! I look forward to hearing your testimony.

          1. Thanks Refined.
            You made me cry…but that’s good. I need to feel about this.
            I just feel I’ve tried to hold this marriage together and fix it for the last almost 11 years that I’m just tired. I just want him to fight for it too. 🙁

            I’ve been reading my bible every day since April challenged me and I’m getting victories in some areas, it just seems the areas I need it to happen in it’s not happening :/ I’m getting frustrated and I know what I should be doing but then something happens and I just let flesh take over. Not all the time, but sometimes. Then I’m disappointed in myself and there goes the cycle….

            1. Godlywifetobe,

              This is a long and sometimes excruciatingly painful process. And sometimes the progress doesn’t come quickly. That is pretty normal.

              One thing that may help is something I have mentioned to other wives in the past, but you may not have seen it:

              What if God has you here with this man to be His missionary to him? What if that is one of God’s primary purposes in your life?

              One wife I talked with about this was upset because her husband wanted to go to a very different denomination from the one she preferred, and she didn’t want to give up her worship music and her Christian friends, her place in the choir, her spot teaching children at her church to go to the church he wanted to go to. She believed she was “serving God” at that church and her Christian friends told her not to put her husband before God.

              But – our husbands are our greatest human ministry! We are called to be their helpmeets – even if they are unbelievers.

              If God had called her to be a missionary in the Amazon jungle, wouldn’t she have to give up her church, her worship music, her Christian friends, her Sunday School position in the children’s department and her spot in the choir? And – are any of those things as important as ministering to the people God called her to minister to and to share Jesus with?

              You have Christ, and you still struggle with the flesh and sin. Your husband doesn’t have Christ. He has no power over sin at all.

              My prayer is for you BOTH to find victory over sin and for God to be greatly glorified in your lives and in your marriage. But – what if God wants to change you first?

              “Why Do I Have to Change First, Lord?”
              “When I Shut Up, My Husband Heard God”

              Sending you the biggest hug! This is not some weird thing that only you are going through. This is part of the journey for all of us, my sweet sister!

              Much love!

        2. OUCH!!!!!

          So true Sis!

          Psalm 119:71 NAS “It is good for me that I was afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes.”

      3. This is so hard….I think it’s harder if your husband is not a Christian.

        I know God doesn’t want us to only do something if someone is being nice to us. How do we get past those feelings? Of being ripped off? Hurt?

  2. Wow, Refined. Praise God for His light in you! So much here that reminds me of how selfish I am. And then get caught up in Satan’s half-truths. May God be my focus, not myself.

  3. I am struggling so much with what to do, as my husband of 16 years finally had enough of my disrespectful attitude that he walked out. It wasn’t until that point that I realized how wrong I had been. Now, try as I might, no matter how much respect and submission I show, no matter how much I die to self, it may be too late. I am continuing to walk in faith that God will restore my marriage, and that my husband will see how much the Holy Spirit has revealed to me my faults and changed me, but doing it all alone and not having my husband here day in and day out to really see the changes is breaking me down. He’s been gone for 3 months, and there are days I just struggle to breathe.

    1. Standingforever,

      YUCK! What a painful, difficult situation.

      There are a number of wives in this same situation here. You can find some of their comments on this post and also you can search peaceful separated wife for a few posts by women in this position and how they found God’s strength and peace.

      Prayiing for wisdom for you!

      Do you have any godly support in this battle?

      Sending you a huge hug!

      With love,

      1. Believe it or not, my godly support in this battle is my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law. My husband’s family wants nothing more than for our family to be together again, with God leading us, and they know that their son and brother is not handling it in the best way, but they also believe that God has a greater plan. They can see that God is doing His work in me, and believe that God still needs more time to do His work in my beloved. I hate that my children are the innocent victims of my sinful past, though. They pray daily that their father will return home, and daily they are disappointed.

        1. Standingforever,
          I’m so glad that your in-laws are so supportive. That is awesome! This kind of thing can take a lot longer than any of us would like. But – I’m glad your children are praying. I trust your husband to God’s sovereign, loving hands and pray for His wisdom for you and your children. I pray for Him to use all of this for His greatest glory and your family’s ultimate good.

          Much love!

    2. After such a cold and long winter, I noticed how green our front lawn looked. I realized so much was happening beneath the snow. So much looked dead, but then spring came.

      Standingforever, my heart goes out to you and our faithful God knows your pain and your heart. April’s site gives much to chew on as your marriage undergoes reconstruction and a hard winter.

      1. Thank you, Refined. I was out cleaning the pool last weekend (I am having to sell our house as a result of the separation), and was thinking that I needed to throw out the dead plants that I had neglected all winter. When I walked toward the pots, I saw sprouts of new, green leaves beginning to grow. I thought of how God managed to protect the vulnerable through the cold, harsh season and then restore them to beauty when the season was right. There are two pots of the same species, and one has tall green leaves growing, and the other’s leaves are just about an inch high. I drew this parallel to the growth in my walk with the Lord and marriage principles and to my husband’s walk. Mine has happened at a much faster pace, and I am still waiting on him to catch up with me, for God to fertilize him and grow him. We are the same species (my husband and I), but our growth patterns are different during this season. I hope and pray that is what God intended for me to see, anyway! Until my husband catches up with me, I will continue to pray on his behalf, that God softens his hardened heart and that he will see the changes God is making in me.

        1. Standingforever,

          God told us He wouldn’t leave us or forsake us. Those real-time moments of experiencing that promise tangibly are priceless and food for the soul. We are fellow travelers in this journey and your message really lifted me up today.

  4. Godlywife and Vin, I hear your hearts. Loneliness and pain is NOT what we signed up for when we said, “I do!” But here we are. Now what?

    Coming to terms with my own sins allowed me to see how my particular efforts at control, my lack of self respect and respect towards my spouse, and contempt were to compensate for skills I didn’t have. If I didn’t seek to understand how men typically thought in general -and my man in particular- I could keep right on thinking my husband was a beast. If I didn’t learn how to say how I felt with “I” messages and continued allowing myself to forget my own self care I could continue thinking no one cared about me. I could gloss over all those Bible passages that addressed my responsibilities and pretend I was problem solving with my husband when I didn’t hear a word he said.

    I grew up to be exactly how I was trained to be coming out of my happy dysfunctional family of origin and American culture that says women are equal to men in all things but deserve marital bliss that’s based on selfishness. No wonder both my husband and I were battered and bruised. I had such good intentions for my marriage and worked so hard running in that hamster wheel. I was a ‘good’ Christian and so weak! Like April I’m having to learn everything anew according to God’s design.

    The best part is that God rewards our diligence and sincere efforts to follow Him! Possessing new abilities to forgive, wait, speak up for myself or intentionally remain quiet, listen and accurately hear my husband’s heart, receive right-now direction from the Word, and actually bless my husband now -with no strings- feels amazing. I accept that both my husband and I have the choice to either be lead by the Spirit or our sinful nature and that personal pain can cloud clear thinking. I desire to be beautiful in God’s eyes no matter what my husband’s response.

    This is a marathon of trust and as the Author and Finisher of our faith He will take us to victory if we let Him. May we all keep our eyes fixed on the cross.

  5. “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?”

    I believe this is a perfect example of God’s design for wives to be “helpmeets,” as the term “meet” is described as a construction term meaning “to come into contact with as a supporting joist,” which purpose serves as a mechanical support designed to brace, strengthen, and hold other pieces upright – just as Aaron and Hur did, holding Moses’ arms up when Moses became weak.

    What the Feminist movement did to Christian women, was convince them that they were being “abused” and “oppressed” by fulfilling God’s design to be “supporting joists,” and that they would be “happier” if they abandoned their own jobs and took their husbands’ jobs instead, but when nobody is being that critical “supporting joist,” strengthening their husbands, and helping to hold the frame and structure of the house together, then the house will inevitably weaken and fall apart. The foolish woman tears down her house with her own hands.

    The current trend and push by the government is to force young men to become “stay-at-home-dads,” becoming this same “supporting joist” for their wives, so that their wives can try to become more successful at doing men’s jobs. Society is finally realizing that we need both functions to be healthy, but they are still trying to swap the roles to help women become “happy.”

    Women were made to be “helpmeets,” strengthening and supporting and holding-up their husbands. They weren’t designed to bear the full or majority of the weight of the house (whether alone or as part of a team effort), and doing so will never make them happy. The only way for them to be happy or find joy is by accepting and doing what God designed them to do, and doing that well.

    1. RG,

      I definitely tried to take on the husbands’ God-given role and I felt like I was being crushed under the weight of it for many years in our marriage. There has been such freedom, weightlessness, joy and peace as I have learned the role God gave me. And, interestingly, my husband was plenty capable of handling the weight God gave him, as well. We are both so much happier and our marriage is infinitely stronger now that we are seeking to apply ourselves to God’s design and we threw out the world’s wisdom.

      Thank you for sharing!

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