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“Refined” Shares Several Lightbulb Moments

from www.outsetministry.org
from www.outsetministry.org

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.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

Those amazing videos Refined is talking about are from my new friend, Carla Shellis, 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.

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.

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My Demon

39 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. April,

        Husbands are supposed to be like Christ, and we like the church and it was Christ who first loved us and he gave his life for us! And why is it that when it comes to marriage wives need to submit, wouldn’t it be easy for wives to submit if Husbands loved us!

        1. Vinodhini,
          Of course it would be easier for us if our husbands were submitted to Christ and loving us as Christ loved the church. And, it would be much easier for them if we were loving them and honoring and respecting them and submitting to their leadership for them to love us.

          When one spouse disobeys God, it is easier for the other spouse to also disobey God. And when one spouse obeys God’s Word, it is easier for the other to obey God’s Word. We don’t control our husbands, we can only control ourselves. So as we obey God – just to please God – we do make it easier in time for our husbands to also turn to God.

        2. 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. Refined,
            AMEN!!! AMEN!!!!!!

            I agree, Vinodhini, there has been much damage done over the past 4 years. It will take time. But God is able to heal you both.

          2. Dear April,

            Hmmmm yeah it may take long but Im just praying that worsening situations around me dont make me fall again and make a bigger mess :O

          3. Vinodhini,
            My prayer is not for your circumstances but for God’s Spirit to flood your heart, for you to allow Him full control. Then you will not fall. 🙂

          4. ” I protect his manhood, promote his ‘soft voice’ by accepting his olive branches and eliminate home front cancers like contempt. ” This is key for me as of now dear Refined 🙂

            However, I have a big trouble doing this – all the olive branches he offers are treated with contempt 🙁

          5. 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.

          6. 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.

        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?

          1. GWTB,

            It is hard when a husband isn’t close to God – which, for most wives, their husbands are not very close to God when they begin this journey – sometimes because the husbands haven’t been able to hear God’s voice in such a long time over their wives’ voices. That was the case in our marriage. 🙁

            This is the love Jesus has for us, my sweet sister! He died for us when we were still His enemies. He was definitely very “ripped off” and loving us hurt him deeply. It takes God’s Spirit flooding your soul with His power to be able to love like this:

            Check out I Corinthians 13:4-8, Galatians 5:22-26

            Romans 12:9-21

            Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

            14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.c Do not be conceited.

            17Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”d says the Lord. 20On the contrary:

            If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
            if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
            In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
            21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

            Romans 5
            1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, wea have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And web boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but wec also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

            6You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

            9Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

            Luke 6
            27“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31Do to others as you would have them do to you.

            32“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

            37“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

            39He also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.

            41“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? 42How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

            A Tree and Its Fruit

            43“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

            46“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”

            I Corinthians 6

            The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? 8Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers and sisters. 9Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with mena 10nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

      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. GWTB,

          Ask God to help you see how ugly self-righteousness is and to help you see your sins as clearly as He does. Ask Him to help you mourn over your own sins and see the enormity of your own sins. When we see things from God’s perspective, we see that pride is often the root of most sin. My pride was through the roof. I thought I was so much more spiritually mature than Greg was. I thought I was so much closer to God than he was. I thought I was so much more righteous and holy. I looked down on him.

          Do you realize what sins Jesus spent the most time blasting the Pharisees for? He was more harsh with them than with the adulteress or the tax collectors, prostitutes, thieves and murderers. He had scathing things to say to the Pharisees because of their self-righteousness and hypocrisy. He called them white washed tombs full of dead men’s bones.

          What was Lucifer’s sin? Pride. He wanted to be like God.

          I put myself above God when I made myself judge over my husband. And I put myself above God when I made myself so holy in my own eyes. I didn’t forgive even though God commanded me to. I was a Law Breaker. I put self above Christ. That is idolatry. What sin is worse than that? God destroyed Israel many times for the sin of idolatry. I didn’t fully believe God. I had the sin of unbelief. What sin is greater than that? Without faith we cannot please God. I thought I was hardly a sinner, but Greg was a huge sinner. And yet, I held on to resentment, bitterness, hatred, contempt and unforgiveness – which would be equivalent in God’s eyes to me being a murderer. I lived in constant fear, anxiety and worry because of my lack of faith. I lost my fellowship with God because of my sin.

          Adam and Eve only committed one sin. They took a bite of a piece of fruit. But look at the consequences of that one “little” sin. Death. Sin entered the world. Curses on all of creation. All other sin came from that sin.

          I John 4
          God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

          19We love because he first loved us. 20Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

          1. GWTB,

            As I understand the full weight of my sin and truly experience the grace, mercy and forgiveness of Christ, then I can freely offer what I have received to others. But, I had to really experience God’s mercy, grace and forgiveness on a very deep level for myself before I could offer those things to Greg or anyone else.

            The parable of the unmerciful servant is a great illustration to remind us how much we have been forgiven by God so we are able to forgive others the small amounts of sin debt they owe us by comparison.

          2. OUCH!!!!!

            So true Sis!

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

        2. 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….

          2. 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!
            April

  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. Hi April, Thanks for your amazing blog. It’s awesome to get godly advice from you and you are helping so many.
    I wanted to ask your opinion on something. I watched the video you linked to (about the 3 types of men) and was really intrigued. I wanted to research more about this and found that the idea stems from a book written by Debi Pearl. I’ve read horrible things about her book and about the book written by her and her husband on child rearing. Mostly that they advocate and condone abuse (physical and sexual) and that really disturbs me. So I wanted to ask what your opinion is on these books by Debi Pearl and the advice that stems from those. Thanks!

    1. Nicole,
      I haven’t read Debi Pearl’s book. I have read high praise for her book and scathing criticism. I am going to run a book review on Created to Be His Helpmeet by Nikka tomorrow. You can find the entire review at Nikka’s blog http://www.peacefulwifephilippines.blogspot.com

      I have spoken with Carla, the woman who does the videos I shared links to. She agrees that there are things in Debi Pearl’s book that she would not condone. But it was that book that God used to bring her to repentance. The only thing she refers to in her video is the 3 types of husbands that Debi Pearl talks about.

      Great question!

    2. hi, Nicole,
      I think I am the one who initially mentioned Debi Pearl’s book on this blog. As April has stated, she hasn’t read the book. It just came up because I referenced it while giving testimony about how God has worked in my life regarding respect and submission. I have a very strong, type A personality, and I think the way she wrote just really spoke to me personally. Also, a couple of those chapters sound like they came right out of my life. I just could really relate personally. It really resonated with me as a wife. I just think her “style” of writing was used by God to speak to me in a way that I woke up and experienced great conviction. It was because of many of the things she shared that I repented and made things right with my husband and children. And God has been doing miraculous things since. The absolute best part of the book is the chapter on the three different types of men – Mr. Command Man, Mr. Visionary, and Mr. Steady. That chapter really helped me realize that I was trying to turn my Mr. Steady husband into a Mr. Command Man my ENTIRE marriage. I just thought all men were supposed to end up being the same once God got a hold of them! WRONG! Learning that God made men very differently helped me to accept who my husband was created to be and stop trying to change him. Just knowing this was so freeing and liberarint — for both me and my husband. If I didn’t take anything else away from that book but this, that would have been enough. But she DID touch my heart on other issues, and I have never experienced that kind of conviction before in my life. I thank God for using it to open my eyes.
      This is the very first book I read on submission and respect. When I read it, I was focusing on my own sin and what God was speaking to me….I really wasn’t judging Debi Pearl at the time. When I mentioned the book on this blog, I wasn’t really considering the content of the book as far as how it would affect other people. Hindsight, I guess I should have….I was merely saying God used it greatly in my life. I don’t know anything about the Pearl’s or their ministries. I did not look into any of their books on child rearing because I am way past that stage of life.
      Nikka wrote a great review on the book. I am happy that April will be sharing that tomorrow. I think with reading any book by a human author you have to “chew the meat and spit out the bones.” Since reading the Created to be His Help Meet book, I have read several others, but none of them spoke to my heart the way Debi’s book did. And I didn’t agree with everything in them either.
      I just want to make sure that nobody judges April or her blog just because I mentioned a book that God used in my life. Regardless of whether or not people agree with the book and like the Pearl’s or whatever, God used it GREATLY in my life and it absolutely brought me to repentance.
      God Bless us all as we seek to “grow in grace and knowledge of Him.”
      ~ Eliza

  4. 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,
      April

      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.

  5. 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.

  6. “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!

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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