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“God Didn’t Give Me a Good Husband”

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Greg and April – Easter 2014

Greg is a very good gift from God.

I, sadly, didn’t always see this truth.

Here are some questions I hear over and over.

  • If God didn’t give me a loving husband (by my specific definition), I have to doubt His goodness and His motives toward me.
  • If God really loved me, He would give me a good husband (again, by my particular definition of “good”).
  • My husband is not a good gift. I question if God is able to really love me and if He can even save my soul after He let me down so badly by giving me the man I am married to.
  • I tried to live for God, how did I end up with a husband who is not Christlike at all?
  • If the way my husband “loves” me is the way Jesus loves the church, I don’t want anything to do with either Jesus or marriage. God’s design is not good because my husband has failed me, sinned against me or not met all of my expectations.
  • I thought I was hearing God’s voice when I chose to marry this man. But my husband has turned out not to be a godly man at all. He looked at porn a few times/He says mean things to me sometimes/He doesn’t make me his first human priority the way I want him to. How could God have led me astray like this? (If I did X, Y and Z for God, He owes me a godly man.)
  • Does God not love me? What did I do wrong that I am married to this guy?
  • If God did not help me pick a good mate, how can I trust Him to save me for eternity?
  • Why do I have to work so hard and be “perfect” to win my husband over and please God when other husbands are so loving toward their wives? (For this question, please refer to yesterday’s post about the Snare of Comparing.)

** If you are dealing with severe issues in your marriage, my blog may not be a helpful resource, you may need more experienced, specific help to deal with infidelity, addictions, real abuse, uncontrolled mental disorders, etc. God is able to heal and His Word applies to us all, but I don’t have experience or expertise with any of these things. I don’t want to make things worse for wives in such situations. I am approaching things from the perspective of a woman who was not abused and who was very controlling and dominating with a passive husband in the past. I don’t want anyone to stay where they are truly unsafe.)

Ok, ladies… These are important questions and I am glad we can address them because I think that many, many wives are stuck on these issues. Let’s see if we can get a couple of very important things straight. These are foundational things that if we don’t get them right, we are building our lives and marriages on the sinking sand of the world’s lies instead of the Rock of Christ.

These questions really revolve around whether God is who He says He is or not and whether His Word is true or not.

Will we believe God, or will we believe lies?

GOD’S TRUTH:

  • God is good. Always.

“No one is good–except God alone.” Luke 18:19

  • God is love. Always. He cannot have evil motives toward us. For us to accuse God of evil is very serious sin.

At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”

In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. Job 1:20-22

  • His wisdom is infinitely higher than our own.

“Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker… Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘The potter has no hands’?… “This is what the Lord says— the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker: Concerning things to come, do you question Me about My children, or give Me orders about the work of My hands? Isaiah 45:9-11

We are largely lacking proper reverence, trembling, awe and fear before God when we think we are more wise than He is and that we have enough wisdom to question Him and accuse Him of making poor choices. God has wisdom. I do not. I need to get that fact very clear and straight in my head and humble myself greatly and repent of any such attitude before I approach God.

  • God is holy and is incapable of sin. (James 1:13-15)
  • God is sovereign (check out the entire books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Psalms, Ruth, Esther, Revelation, Job, Genesis, Exodus, and every other book of the Bible). He is able to use even demons, sin, Satan and sinners to ultimately accomplish His purposes even though He does not cause evil. He uses what was intended for evil for His good purposes (Genesis 50:20).
  • All people are wretched sinners. (Romans 3:23) Any husband I marry would sin against me. Some worse than others, true. But all spouses sin against each other. I am a wretched sinner, too. Loving a sinner is painful. It involves great cost. Look at how much it cost Jesus to love me. Marriage gives me a glimpse into the profound pain God experiences when we sin against Him.
  • People have free will. (Romans) God’s sovereignty and human free will co-exist together without conflict – one of the greatest mysteries to our finite human minds. God doesn’t tempt anyone to sin and He doesn’t cause anyone to sin. If my husband sins against me, it is because he is a sinner – it is wrong and sinful of me to blame God for my husband’s sin. If I sin against my husband, it is because I am a sinner.

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.  James 1:13-15

MY DECISION MAKING PROCESS:

I can’t speak for any of you. I can only speak for myself. I thought I was seeking God’s will when I prayed about if I should marry Greg. I thought I was serving God well. But, now I know that my heart was brimming over with sinful motives:

  • idolatry of self, of being “in control,” of Greg, of marriage, of romance, of my happiness, of “feeling loved.” I did NOT love Christ with all my heart, mind soul and strength, I had other things on the throne of my heart instead of Jesus. 🙁
  • massive pride, pride, pride
  • selfishness
  • I expected Greg and marriage to make me happy and make me feel loved all the time. I had extremely unrealistic expectations.

This is how I look at these things now personally for myself:

  • Do I really desire Jesus above all else? Am I willing to be content in Him alone no matter what my husband does or does not do? (Philippians 4:12-13) Or do I have my husband, our marriage, my feeling loved or getting my way above Christ in my heart as idols? What I really wanted earlier in my marriage was for God to give me His contentment through my idolatry.

God is NEVER going to allow me to find His peace and contentment when I am putting my trust and hope in other things, not in Him alone.

  • God’s definition of “good” is from the perspective of eternity – not “in the next 5 minutes.”
  • How can I sin against God by accusing Him of evil and wrongdoing by telling Him that He didn’t give me a “good gift” when I made the decision to marry Greg myself? If anyone is wrong here – it is me or my thinking, not God.
  • What if God is trying to work in Greg’s life, but I refuse to obey Him so Greg can’t even hear God’s voice because MY voice is so loud? Maybe I am a stumbling block to my husband becoming the godly man God desires him to be. That was absolutely the case earlier in our marriage.
  • God loves Greg. Jesus died for him, too. God desires me to treat his son well. How am I doing at honoring, respecting and blessing God’s son?
  • Can I accurately label Greg a “bad husband” when I was not at all being the wife God called me to be? Maybe my husband would respond very differently to me if I am not emasculating him, disrespecting him constantly and usurping his authority? Turns out – that is exactly what has happened. Greg is not a “bad husband.” I was a very ungodly wife – and didn’t realize it for 14.5 years.
  • What if Greg IS a good gift from God? Maybe the problem isn’t God or Greg but maybe that I have been terribly mistreating the gift? That was true in my situation, at least.
  • There may be husbands who are truly horrible and “bad” – but a sinner’s sinfulness does not negate the goodness of God, thankfully!!!!!
  • What if God plans to use all of Greg’s flaws, weaknesses and sins to chisel, mold, prune and refine me and to make me more holy and more like Christ? Isn’t that actually an incredibly good gift?
  • What if God is not that interested in my temporary happiness but in me knowing Him deeply and in the eternal consequences of the decisions I make in my marriage?
  • What if God, in His sovereignty, is able to make something beautiful of our marriage even if I “made a mistake.” Which, I happen to know now – I did not make a mistake. Of course, I erroneously thought I did for a very long time. Now I know that Greg is a very good gift! God has given me a totally new perspective.
  • What if no matter what husband I married, I would be sinned against and that would reveal all this same sin and filth in my own life? The kind of wife I am and the way I respond comes from my character and the fruit of my soul – whether my sinful nature is in control or God’s Spirit is in control. I could be married to Billy Graham and be just as unhappy, resentful, bitter, prideful, self-righteous and full of idolatry of self as I was being married to Greg.

It is not my husband who determines my character. My relationship with Christ determines my character! I am fully, 100% responsible for myself.

  • How could I ever say, “God, you must not love me!”  YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All I have to do is look at Jesus – God in the flesh – on the cross. How can I stand there before Him as He absorbs all of the wrath of God upon Himself, taking my place that I deserved, bearing the colossal weight of my heinous sin and tell him, “Jesus, You aren’t giving me enough! You need to give me more. I can’t trust You at all. You haven’t given good things to me. If You really loved me, You would have given me X, too. That’s what I really want. You aren’t enough for me. I am not content or satisfied with all of You and all of heaven. After all, the only reason I serve and try to obey You is to get what I REALLY want – the marriage of my dreams.”  Wow. That would take some serious audacity on my part.
  • God does not give spouses on the basis of “merit.” All we have from God we have by grace. We have earned NOTHING. I don’t think we truly “get” this. That what we earned is hell. That is what we deserve. We don’t deserve anything good from God. We are wretched sinners. Jesus earned everything for us.
  • We are the bride of Christ. Jesus is the perfect Groom. But look how we have treated Him and sinned so greatly against Him. If Jesus’ spouse sins against Him, why do we expect not to be sinned against when we marry a sinner and we, ourselves, are sinners?
  • There is no “soul mate” like we think there is and like Hollywood has tried to sell us. No particular human can meet all of our emotional and spiritual needs. Only God can meet our deepest needs, no man can do that. We choose our husbands. He knows who we will chose. He may give us godly wisdom as we truly seek Him. His primary directive is that we only marry someone “in the Lord” and that we not be “unequally yoked.”
  • Sometimes God has eternal purposes in a difficult marriage – have you read the book of Hosea? God asked Hosea to demonstrate His unfailing love to a faithless wife to show the people of Israel – His bride – how much their idolatry and sin and rebellion cost Him and how faithful He was in spite of their constant sin and unfaithfulness.
  • Marriage is hard and painful in this fallen world. But God will use this pain to stretch us and teach us to become more like Himself and to help us understand more of His love for us and more of what He desires us to give to Him.
  • Unbelief is HUGE sin. There is no bigger sin. If I tell God that He is untrustworthy and I don’t believe He is able to deliver me from sin and save me based on His Word and who He is – I probably  don’t know Him. If I can’t accept God’s Word is true and that God is who He says He is – I have a BIG, BIG problem.
  • If I hate my husband in my heart, I don’t love God. (I John 4:18) What if marriage is a “love lab” where I am tested and tried and where I learn to love with God’s love in real life even when my husband doesn’t “deserve” love or respect from me. What if it is not about what my husband deserves or what I deserve but what Jesus deserves? He is worthy of my obedience and sacrifice!

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6

  • What if God desires to use me to be an ambassador for Christ to my unbelieving or disobedient/ungodly husband? What if He desires to use me to witness to my husband (if I am already married and my husband is not a believer) and what if, through my obedience to God and my being filled with His Spirit, God plans to draw my husband to salvation? What if I get to play a small part in seeing my husband come to Christ? What would not be worth that? What sacrifice would I be unwilling to make if it meant that my husband would know Christ here on earth one day and know Him in heaven and not be condemned to hell forever? I cannot save my husband. But I can make the gospel as attractive as possible and I can influence my husband for Christ as I live in His power and love and as I walk in obedience to Jesus on a daily basis and live out I Peter 3:1-6.
  • What if God desires to use my struggles and difficulties to minister to wives later in my life who are experiencing similar struggles? What if God is preparing me and equipping me to make strong disciples of other women through my heartache now? That is exactly what God has done with me. He has used my years of loneliness, sin, worry, anxiety, fear and rebellion against Him and my sin against my husband to draw thousands of women from around the world (and men) to Himself. Could I see that 5, 10, 15, 20 years ago? Nope.

MAYBE IT IS BETTER TO SAY:

  • God, make ME a good gift to my husband!
  • God, use ME to bless my husband!
  • God let my life bring You great glory and honor however You see fit!
  • God, use our marriage to bless many other people and to attract many to Christ! Show me how to play my part in displaying the profound mystery of the intimacy between Christ and His church in our marriage no matter what Greg does or does not do.
  • I trust You no matter what happens, Lord! You are good. I will praise and thank You in everything!
  • I am fully Yours. Make me like Jesus and use me for Your kingdom. I yield myself completely to You.
  • If I have You, I will be content. You are all I need. You are my very great Reward, my Shield, my Treasure and my Pearl of Greatest Price. If I have You, I have everything! Nothing can rob me of the peace, joy and abundant spiritual life You give me.

218 thoughts on ““God Didn’t Give Me a Good Husband”

  1. Sometimes, I feel like you are speaking right to me, April.

    After a period of trying to work on myself, I’ve been on a horrible stretch of blaming and complaining, of totting up who has done more, sacrified more, and who deserves what in our marriage (unacknowleged Mother’s Day and birthday were my excuses, but they’re no excuse, of course!). And you know the answer–me, me, and I deserve all that I want and am not getting. Hard not to run away from the computer as I review my own behavior now.

    Time for a re-set. Ironically, my husband’s name in Hebrew means “given by God.” It should be a reminder!

  2. Great post! The same can be applied to a husband thinking they married the ‘wrong’ mate. God knows what He is doing. If we are His children, we should accept all that He gives. whatever comes our way is for our good in that it will glorify God. It may HURT for a long or short time. No one may understand why we are doing what we are doing but it is about ‘WHO’ and not ‘WHY.’

    “What if God plans to use all of _____ flaws, weaknesses and sins to chisel, mold, prune and refine me and to make me more holy and more like Christ? Isn’t that actually an incredibly good gift?”

    OUCH!!!! I do ‘feel’ like God is using my wife to chisel off the barnacles of anger and pride (and comparison) that still reside in me. My path isn’t the same as John Doe ( or John the apostle)

    “What if God is not that interested in my temporary happiness but in me knowing Him deeply and in the eternal consequences of the decisions I make in my marriage?”

    So true!!!

    “What if God desires to use me to be an ambassador for Christ to my unbelieving or disobedient/ungodly wife? What if He desires to use me to witness to my wife and what if, through my obedience to God and my being filled with His Spirit, God plans to draw my wife to salvation? What if I get to play a small part in seeing my wife come to Christ? What would not be worth that? What sacrifice would I be unwilling to make if it meant that my wife would know Christ here on earth one day and know Him in heaven and not be condemned to hell forever? I cannot save my wife. But I can make the gospel as attractive as possible and I can influence my wife for Christ – even from a distance – as I live in His power and love and as I walk in obedience to Jesus on a daily basis and live out I
    Peter 3:1-6.”

    “What if God desires to use my struggles and difficulties to minister to a few husbands later in my life who are experiencing similar struggles? What if God is preparing me and equipping me to make strong disciples of other men through my heartache now?”

    2 Corinthians 4:17 “For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,” (NASB)

    Ephesians 3:20-21 “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” (NASB)

  3. I’m definitely guilty of thinking those things like
    “I love God and obey him, why do I have a husband who has walked away?”

    “If God loves me and wants good for me why doesn’t he change my marriage”.

    I also had wrong motives getting married. I was immature in Christ and hubby was my first bf at the age of 24. I thought nobody would ever love me. I wanted someone to love me, rescue me and make life good. I was looking to man and not God 🙁 I’m so glad I know the truth now and have been able to share with younger girls my story to save them some heartache and bitterness!

  4. I am still shocked at times how your posts hit so close to home. I did some very ugly, horrible things last night. Besides arguing with my husband and losing complete control over everything I’ve worked on and (thought) I had changed, I got very angry with God. My husband said a couple things to me that hurt me so deeply that I responded to God in a rage. Yes, a rage. I am so ashamed and although I talk to God every morning, I’m at a complete loss for words. I don’t even know where to start to apologize and repent. Your post points out where I sinned horribly by being angry with God. 🙁 I feel horrible.

    Long story short, a person in our life who is a threat to me and my marriage asked my husband a question (she had called him for a work issue) that I felt was absolutely NONE of her business. I simply asked him why she needed to know that and the fight was on. I was very disrespectful, angry and hurt by his reaction and defensiveness. I reacted like the “old me”. His defensiveness caused such a train wreck in me, I couldn’t get a grip on my negative emotions. I said calmly that I was very sorry, and that I have been working very hard on my insecurities and fears, and that I’m human and I make mistakes and that I wished he would offer a little more grace when things like this happen.

    The last words my husband said to me before he left were, “You’re trying too hard”. I felt like I got hit by a truck. I felt so hurt. I simply walked into the house and closed the door. I had NO response to this statement whatsoever. Speechless.

    I spent the next two hours crying, punching my pillow and screaming out to God, “WHAT NOW?” “I do everything right for weeks and months, I follow Your word, I trust You, I have faith, I do exactly what I feel You have called me to do in my marriage and my husband says, you’re trying too hard?” Yes, I slipped up after doing SO well and being SO proud of the changes God is making in me and SO grateful……. so now what? Can God forgive me for turning my pain and anger towards Him? Do I have to start completely over? Will my husband forgive me or just add it to the list of my mistakes? The only response that went through my mind after my husband left was, “At least someone is trying”. Ouch. So glad it wasn’t verbalized. I could use some extra prayers today.

    (Note to other readers: my husband and I are currently separated and he is a non believer).

    1. Catherine,
      I’m sorry for what you’re going through. I just want to encourage you to keep pressing on. God does forgive you.
      I have been there where I’ve slipped up after feeling so good about the changes I’ve made. When our husbands react negatively to our mistakes, its so discouraging because it feels like we have to start from scratch. This happened to me this weekend. I just had to start the next day as a new morning with new mercies. I also worry if my husband will forgive me or just keep tallying up my mistakes, but I have to try to leave that with God and just continue on with what I know I have to do to be in obedience to Christ.

      I am praying for you this morning.

      Jeanne

    2. ” I responded to God in a rage. ”
      Evidence that you have a living, active relationship with God! He is perfect; you are not; therefore this is likely to happen.

      Having held a grudge against God for years, I can honestly say He did not join me in that endeavour…so you don’t have to worry about Him.

      “You’re trying too hard”
      Our weaknesses are our strengths overdone.

    3. Catherine,

      Perhaps God is showing you that you cannot make this marriage work by yourself…it is not your job to do that, nor is it in your power. You cannot control the fate of your marriage, you can only control yourself and the best remedy for our own sinful nature is obedience to God.

      I feel your pain, I really do, because I am also separated and married to a non-believer. Pray for your husband to accept Jesus as his savior, pray a hedge of protection around him that God would deliver him from temptation, pray for your faith to strengthen so you can let go of the reigns.

      You are not in control, but everything will turn out right if you put your trust in Christ. I will pray for you.

      Much love to you,

      Livelywriter

      1. As I read your reply, Psalm 27 came to my mind. “Unless the Lord builds the house, it’s builders labor in vain. Unless The Lord watches over the city, the watchman stand guard in vain”. April has often told me that I can not do this alone, I need God to help me forgive and heal the pain that I’m going through. After discovering my husband’s brink of an emotional affair I tried to watch over and I started picking up the kids from their after school program in my attempt to control my husband’s interaction with woman. Your reply really spoke to me. Thank you.

        1. Yes! Separated, your comment rounded out perfectly what I was trying to say.

          Thank you for that verse. That’s a good reminder that God’s will has to lead or else we do things that are not for our lasting benefit.

          It sounds like you went “on patrol” which is completely understandable, I did it my entire adult life. It made me miserable. Putting everything, including my marriage, in God’s hands has lightened my heart immensely.

          God bless you! ☺

        2. Separated,

          I also want to say that I am so sorry you have experienced a breach of trust with your husband. I know how much you must hurt from that. Sending you a sisterly hug of support *hug*

        3. Thank you for your post Separated, you gave me something to really think about. No, I can’t do it alone. I tried to control and make everything perfect ALONE and it clearly didn’t work out so well either. I understand completely what you are dealing with. I am sorry for your pain. I turned into quite the ‘stalker’ for awhile and was miserable. I gave it to God and just pray that he can guide my husband out of temptation. Bless you.

    4. Catharine,

      Goodness. So frustrating for both of you, I am sure!

      Ok, so – this is my understanding of situations like this. If a wife begins to accuse another woman of being inappropriate, many times the husband will defend the other woman because he will feel she is being attacked. This is not the dynamic you want in this situation, in my view.

      Maybe, a more effective approach could be, “I wish that she wouldn’t call you at home if possible. That would mean a lot to me.”

      Or, if you have already harped on this particular issue a lot already, it is possible that it may be better for nothing to be said rather than descend into the knock down drag out mess that happened last night. That only alienated your husband from you – not what you want to happen!

      He was defensive because he felt attacked. If he didn’t feel attacked, he probably wouldn’t have felt the need to defend himself.

      God can forgive you. He can use even this for your ultimate good. Thankfully!

      This is a fantastic opportunity to purify motives and to get right back up and seek God with all your heart.
      I am praying for you!

    5. Oh Catherine! I have been where you are my dear sister. What I always learned when I went through one of these times was God always said to me, “Your approach to the situation was wrong.” And oh boy…..I did this same thing over and over and over and over!

      I let myself get hurt by my husband’s reaction and I pounced on him. I told God that His way doesn’t work with this man. Once I calmed down, I always realized that I didn’t follow plan once again. And I can PROMISE you when you learn to follow the plan, things will get better if with no one but you! You will feel peace. You will feel in control. It will be all worth it. And hopefully your husband will change too.

      In this case, here is what I think you should have done.(I may not be right on because I don’t know the whole story but generally speaking) When this happens with this other woman say in a calm voice, “I don’t like that this woman calls you. When she calls you I feel x.” Then leave it at that. If he explodes, let him. Don’t try to explain your feelings. Walk away. Do something else. If all possible remove yourself for a little while. When you come back act normal. This will speak to him more than all the fussing and crying in the world will. You will give a chance for his conscience to work and for the Holy Spirt to speak to him.

      Please don’t beat yourself up! It is ok! I used to think I would never get this right.Just remember this is a test, if you want to stop doing the lesson over and over, then pass the test. I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but learning not to react to my husband’s responses has been huge! I have seen such a change in him.

      Also, your husband will be more attracted and drawn to you if you make your likes and dislikes known in a calm way. All the drama will only push him away. I have been there too many MANY times. Let him wonder why you are reacting differently. Give God a chance to speak to his heart.

      Hugs to you! I know exactly how you feel. You can do this! God doesn’t hold grudges. Start again today. 🙂

      1. Daisymae,
        I like your suggestion. That sounds good to me. And I like the idea of walking away calmly so that you are not pressuring him after that.

        Then he will know that he is hurting you – and it is his choice to make.

        I am so excited to hear an update from you, Daisymae!

        1. April and Daisymae, thank you! I love both of these suggestions! I knew I handled it completely wrong, he got defensive because he swears he has nothing to hide. (Her motives concern me – he knows this and says he will “handle it”. Unfortunately he didn’t “handle it” right many years ago when this happened before. I have to learn to trust.) When he got defensive, I felt it necessary to defend my feelings on the matter. It escalated. I needed to walk away with something simple.

          Tryingtoohard is Tryingagain!

    6. Catherine,

      I felt your pain here. I can relate to what you have said, I tried hard and messed up a few times on this journey and thankfully, I think i’m getting things right now. The thing I picked up on here was this person ‘who was a threat to you and your marriage’, no-one can be a threat to you, you have God, he loves you and is your friend. Give this issue with this person to God and leave it with him, trust him with this person…then I would not mention this person again (to your husband).
      I know it might be hard if they seem to be in your life, but mentioning them needs to stop and you need to try and forget about them completely (don’t entertain any thoughts about them). I thought I had someone who my husband might have been attracted to at his work and I mentioned her a few times, but then realised that it was making a problem, which may not otherwise have existed (only in my head) so I prayed (only a bit about it) and now she has moved far away! she is still on my husbands facebook, but mentioning her or being jealous makes me look unattractive. so I choose to believe that my husband is not interested and if he was, there is nothing I can do about it.

      Give him some time and space and any new interaction you have with him now, just make it nice and pleasant…but be real. God understands that we cry and are angry, I have done this, you can say sorry but then just trust him. God is there, even when we mess up and will work things out if we just ride the storm. believe that you are a good, lovely, attractive person in your own right, do things for YOU and get on with life (I see that you live separately at the moment), but I would make absolutely sure, he knows you are there for him and are thinking of him (without trying too hard!). you could read The Respect Dare (Nina Rosener), the first few pages are a good start just to get you in the right place,and doing some of the things for you (not necessarily involving your husband) forgiving any past issues etc…and remember this takes a long time. April told me 1 Peter 3 was my assignment! so true, I was not to mention anything spiritual, but that my actions and attitude would reflect my faith, making my husband more interested and drawn to God.

      My husband has come to Christ!…its truly amazing and God is now in his rightful place in our lives, our lives are not perfect and we are both still basically sinners, but we try not to hurt each other anymore and our marriage ‘feels’ completely different.

      Don’t give up, keep respecting and also don’t say too much, i’m quieter these days and don’t always try and get my husband to have serious chats, move away from the old habits of the past…God will help you, but it its one baby step at a time…much love xxx God have gone before you you know, and can change your husbands heart x

      1. JuR,
        PRAISE GOD your husband has come to Christ!!! WOOHOOO!!!!

        And thank you so much for sharing with our precious sister!

        Would you please consider allowing me to use your comment in a post? Anything you might want to add for other wives facing this struggle?

        1. Of course April!
          I can only add:
          I think you have to choose your battles to begin with, and let things your husband may do or say that are hurtful pass by….because husbands can also be in the habit of being disrespectful! So its a case of the wife changing first, but it may take longer for the husband to stop reacting in the same way too, so we have to be patient.
          I believe that I have stopped (or at least lessened) any moaning and complaining…..forgiving is a big thing too, I have had to forgive my husband a lot! and he gets that….The church we attend is quite lively (and not boring at all!) so when he did join me, he heard some great, interesting sermons and he felt welcomed, making a few new friendships now. I think this helps husbands too, they need their proper ‘place’ in the marriage, they want to feel important, loved and most of all RESPECTED! It might seem hard for wives at first, especially if there husbands are not being particulary pleasant, but just try and focus on ANY positives and keep praying, making God NUMBER 1, not the husband. When we are at our weakest, that’s when amazing things actually happen, when we are in our darkest moment, we can have the strength to change things, to ask God for his divine help. My husband now says being a Christian, ‘is the only thing that makes sense’…I truly know that God has plans for us and seeing as this is my second husband, I am truly thankful for this second chance at marriage. xx much love, thank you for this blog, it is also truly a stepping stone for people to be saved and come to Christ.

    7. Hi Catherine (Trying Too Hard)….
      You said your husband got a phone call from someone you feel is a threat to your marriage. I assume from the rest of the letter,she is a co-worker, or possibly an ex-wife or girlfriend. (?) Anyway, I think your husband reacted the way he did because men are much less intuitive than women are. Is it possible he does not see the handwriting on the wall like you do? You may see this woman as coming on to your husband and its possible she is. But your husband may not see it like that. In fact, he may be completely oblivious to that. I don’t know if there are other reasons to suspect her motives.

      Since you know your husbands hot buttons and you know he feels like he’s being accused, next time the situation presents itself, why not just walk away and retreat to your prayer closet? Discuss it with God and let him show you how to approach this. Better yet, don’t wait until you are in crisis mode….pray daily for God to give your husband insight and wisdom and to avoid traps the enemy is trying to set up in your marriage. Don’t argue with him…it only pushes him further away. And about raging at God. Of course God is holy and sovereign but He also understands that we are dust. He knows our human condition better than we do. He can take it! He wants us to be gut wrenchingly honest with him. We want to always remember He is God and we are not and give Him the respect He deserves. But all of us have done something similar when we feel hopeless and desperate. Ask His forgiveness and move forward.

      You are forgiven, accept it! Remember David did some awful things in his walk with God. But God called him “a man after HIS own heart” because David was so honest and transparent with the Lord.
      David was far from perfect.

      Did I read it right that you are currently separated? If so, use the time that he is away to really focus in on prayer and sitting at Jesus feet. Allow Him to bring healing and renewed love into your marriage. Don’t be suspicious of your husbands behavior…that is counter-productive. Claim God’s promises that he is sanctifying your husband because of your belief in HIM and that He loves your husband more than you do and He wants him to be saved even more than you do. This could be the devils last ditch effort to stop God’s promises from coming forth. You could be closer to your
      miracle than you think!

  5. I hope to get to respond to each person individually later – but – I see now that what I really wanted for many years in my life was for God to give me my idols and to allow me to find His contentment and joy through all the things I put above Him in my heart.

    That’s MESSED UP.

    It’s kind of like saying to my husband, “You are not making my life comfortable enough and happy enough while I am cheating on you with this other guy over here. You are not a good husband and I can’t trust you at all! If you loved me, you’d make sure I was happy all the time and take care of the kids and chores for me so I can go meet up with so-and-so.”

    What?!?!?!?

    PRAISE GOD! He will NEVER allow us to find His contentment, rest, peace and joy apart from Him. What a disaster it would be if we could have what we wanted apart from God.

    He will ONLY allow me to find the riches of His Spirit when I am completely trusting Him and submitted to Him alone.

    When I am walking in sin and cherishing sin in my heart – bitterness toward God, unbelief, self-righteousness, pride, idolatry, etc… I have deeply grieved God’s Spirit and I won’t have fellowship with Him until I repent.

    This is hard stuff. Deep stuff. Life-changing truth.
    I know that many of you are hurting. I am praying for you today!!!!!

  6. Oh! Had to add this one:

    What if God is trying to work in Greg’s life, but I refuse to obey Him so Greg can’t even hear God’s voice because MY voice is so loud? Maybe I am a stumbling block to my husband becoming the godly man God desires him to be. That was absolutely the case earlier in our marriage. I was getting in God’s way and in Greg’s way and I, myself, was sabotaging what God wanted to do in Greg’s life by my own disrespect and lack of biblical submission to God and to Greg.

    1. I can see your point here, but is God really that impotent? If our husbands are seeking The Lord there isn’t a person on earth or a devil in hell that can stop God from working in their lives or hinder his voice.

      1. Hi Lisa! 🙂

        I felt compelled to share about my thoughts to your comment because April’s story and mine are so much alike. My husband Dong was as passive as Greg was, and he too failed to hear God’s Voice when I was too LOUD and dominant in our marriage. 🙁

        I get your point, and it is really a good point. Yes, God is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. Nobody and nothing can hinder God’s Work. However, He also moves according to our own free will. He never forces Himself on us. It is always up to us to accept Him and His Will.

        Same goes with marriage. Even if God for sure was talking to my husband and leading him to the right path at that time, I was just TOO NOISY and judgmental on my husband’s plans, that whatever God-inspired plan Dong may have been given at that time was squished right that instant when I once again took over or dismissed his ideas.

        For many years, we were living the DOMINANT WIFE-PASSIVE HUSBAND setup. When the passive husband’s headship is usurped, it is almost nearly impossible for him to get it back. The dominant wife will not allow it and she is too take-charge in her attitude, to give in or give way to him.

        So, to your question… Is God really that impotent? The answer of course would be, DEFINITELY NOT! The God we serve is sovereign, mighty and great!

        But, He is also a God of Love. He loved us so much, He gave us free will to accept Him or reject Him. Same goes with our decisions. He doesn’t force His Way through. He works with what we decide on. And if we have a disordered, ungodly marriage setup, He may talk to my husband and enlighten him when he prays to Him, but if Dong feels paralyzed by our setup, he will still be unable to discern correctly or move accordingly. I was in the way. During that sad phase in our marriage, it was usually MY way that was followed. Dong did not fight for headship anymore, because he wanted to maintain the “peace”.

        I praise God He had convicted me and changed me!

        Now, not only is Dong able to hear and discern God’s Voice, He also is able to follow Him accordingly. Having a wife who supports him and respects him, gives him that much needed boost to fulfill His own God-ordained role as leader of our home. 🙂

        Hope that helps answer your question somehow? 🙂

        Love,

        NIkka

          1. April,

            Praise God that my husband’s faith has been restored and continues to be restored daily. 🙂 We talk about God a LOT especially since after his father died… and I am grateful to the Lord for opening up my spiritual eyes. I was a HUGE stumbling block for my husband before. 🙁 I was questioning his faith! Imagine that! How spiritually arrogant could one get, to get to that point of judging somebody’s faith in God?! 🙁

            Having submitted to my husband, as unto the Lord, in everything… had restored my husband’s belief in God, more than any “I love you’s” or sappy love letters I sent him in the past, without my (respectful) actions to speak for them.

          2. Nikka,

            PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!!! 🙂

            That just fills me with such joy!

            I’m so thankful that God is healing your husband and your marriage. What He is doing in you both is just absolutely breath taking.

            I’m so thankful that you are having all these chances to talk about God now. I know that your words have much greater impact now that Dong feels safe with you and can trust you and knows you honor and respect him and accept him.

            I am amazed at how God allowed Greg to blossom and grow into such a godly man and leader after I submitted myself fully to Christ.

            The day 3 years ago when Greg said, “I think you need to share what God has shown you with other wives” is a day I will never forget. I can’t imagine a greater compliment from my husband. And then, the day that he decided, totally on his own, to start his own blog for husbands!?!?! Wow.

            I had told him in December of 2008, “I don’t really know what respect means. But when I figure this whole respect thing out, you are going to feel like the most respected husband on the planet!” Then when he started his blog, he decided to call it http://www.respectedhusband.wordpress.com. Wow.

            Made me cry such happy tears of joy and awe.

            God IS able to lead me through my husband. Greg IS able to hear God – particularly when I am facilitating that by obeying God myself.

          3. I completely see what your saying that our behavior can make it harder for our husbands to hear God. But if Paul and Silas can be full of unspeakable joy in a prison then a husband can experience everything God has for him regardless of the wife’s behavior. I just thought it minimized Gods vastness and magnified the power of a wife. An ungodly wife is an obstacle, nothing more.

          4. Lisa,

            My audience is wives, not husbands. So – my focus will be what we can do as wives to honor God and bless our husbands.

            Of course a husband can experience everything God has for him regardless of his wife’s behavior – but since I am talking to wives – my prayer is that none of us will be an obstacle to our husbands. Thanks for sharing!

          5. I think I see your point. But then again God can teach one great humility and patience from such a wife. And if she’s only an obstacle and a burden, do you think her husband should divorce her? Maybe even just completely ignore her?

      2. Lisa,

        Thanks for the comment!

        Of course God is not impotent. But – we are responsible and accountable not to place stumbling blocks in our brother’s way or to live in habitual sin against God or people – including not disrespecting our husbands or being controlling. God commands wives what we are to do when our husbands are far from Him in I Peter 3:1-6 because He knows husbands and that is what works. When I ignore God’s commands and sin against Him and my husband, I absolutely can create great stumbling blocks for my husband and make it much harder for him to hear God.

        Does that mean he gets a free pass to sin in God’s eyes? Nope. He is still completely accountable to walk in obedience to God and to obey God’s commands. Just like I am.

        My greatest concern must be that I am honoring and obeying and pleasing Christ and treating my husband in a God-honoring, respectful, loving way. That is the most effective way to influence my husband for Christ.

        Are there husbands who hear God in spite of their wives’ disobedience? Yes. But why would I ever want to make it harder for my husband to hear God?

        After my husband felt safe with me again (3.5 years into this journey for me), he shared something fascinating with me. He said that when I used to nag, preach, argue, criticize, lecture, belittle, condemn and be negative about him and his relationship with God and his spirituality – it was like there was static on the speaker where he could usually hear God’s voice in his heart. When I stopped those things and stopped sinning against him daily like that, eventually, the static went away. Then when I learned to honor him, genuinely respect him, admire him, build him up, encourage him, praise him for the good things in his life, he said it was like there was an amplifier on the speaker with God’s voice in his heart.

        Much love!

        1. I have always LOVED that metaphor of the static and the amplifier, April, ever since I read that early on in my submission journey. 🙂 Greg couldn’t have stated that any clearer or more emphatic. Thanks for that sharing!

          I always picture Dong with his ear to God, when I am tempted to be loud, on times of weakness. I do not want to get in God’s Way!

      3. I agree, if our husbands are seeking the Lord nothing can stop God from working in their lives. But what if, because of our disrespect, we trigger feelings of hopelessness and depression in our husbands that cause them to not want to seek after God?

        1. yes, I would mention God and Jesus to my husband, but then I was miserable and controlling and didn’t even open a bible or attend Church, it was MY HUSBAND who found this website…coincidence…no GODinsidence….when I re-ignighted my faith, I changed, I learnt the respect way, now he believes! yey! Our husbands need to see Jesus through our actions and responses, but we don’t need to tell them the good news of Jesus, unless they start asking questions….which hopefully in time they will! x

      4. True that God’s amplifier goes to eleven and is ONE LOUDER than the wife’s and the wife can’t prevent God from sending his message; however, this issue is with the receiver of the message being interfered with. Husbands aren’t perfect and we’ll trip-up. (Gen 3:12)

        By nature of marriage, spouses are in a unique position to adversely–or positively–affect the other.

    2. “What if God is trying to work in Greg’s life, but I refuse to obey Him so Greg can’t even hear God’s voice because MY voice is so loud? Maybe I am a stumbling block to my husband becoming the godly man God desires him to be. ”

      __________________________________________________________________

      Realizing that I had become a stumbling block in my husbands walk with God was a serious wake-up call. I had no idea that I had that kind of influence in his life. As much as I hate the pain I caused him all these years, it is easy to justify lashing out in anger if I think he hurt me first. But knowing that I am hindering his relationship with God?…there is NO justification for that.

      Mt 18:6

  7. April,
    I’ve read a lot of your articles and this one has helped me today. Last night my man wanted to confront for something that was two weeks ago. This was my first day in a long time that i had a good day and i thought i was making a break through for myself in following God. He took this confrontation of a time when i told him how i felt and how some things make me feel unloved. He took that and said i was trying to weaken him and that i have to take more time to think about if i want to be in this relationship or not and how i am a typical simple woman and i need a typical simple man (he says often to me). He also went on to say (like many other times) how he is never wrong and how he is a respectful and good to people (yet he likes to repay evil for evil). His family raised him in a biblical way, and he has much wisdom from this; however, this doesn’t mean anything with his relationship with God. I guess, i just wanted to say, it is like i have a good day and he always brings me down, never up. When i am weak, he might encourage me, but when i feel good, he brings me down. This article helped me a bit with trying to do things God’s way. I still am on my journey with trying to build a relationship with Christ and i have read your articles on that, but i still struggle to find him and have that understanding like you have. It still hasn’t clicked and i still haven’t been able to make the relationship stronger as i want. I want my heart filled with Christ and have Him resonate through me. I want is so bad, but i still cannot find it. It’s nice that there are women here that i can express this to and i won’t be told that my feelings are weak and that i am trying to weaken someone or that i am ridiculous or weak. The things he says makes me not want to discuss my feelings whatsoever. Every time i do, there is something that (and i take responsibility for my feelings) he takes them in an opposite direction and says he won’t try to understand my feelings because they weaken him and its completely opposite when he talks. It’s just hard to remain silent when he is completely hypocritical on numerous things especially when he says he isn’t perfect, but yet again he is never wrong. Makes no sense. I realize last night talking to God i just have to let it go. I cannot win, i will never win. I even caught something he said when saying i don’t have to remain quiet. There is the key. I do have to remain quiet. The devil spirit gave away the one thing that he thought i wouldn’t use. As you always say with the quote from the bible, wives remain silent so that your husbands may be won over by your ways (paraphrase). I am doing my best, but i feel like i have to close myself off to him so that way i am able to deal with this type of behavior. If every time i have feelings or i have questions, they become issues, then maybe if i do the opposite, it will make more impact. THanks for listening to me. My man isn’t a bad man, and i know this. He just likes to make himself a god and view himself as immortal. NOt good, but i suppose God can make it apparent if i just be quiet for good. Thanks for all that you do and keep hearing the word of God. I know you will.

    1. Brenna, my heart really goes out to you in your situation.

      Have you ever read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman? Perhaps you will find some answers there.

      No matter how difficult our situation (and yours does sound difficult), we can always look to Jesus for comfort and help. That’s what I do in difficult times.

      1. Jim,

        Yes I have read it. I believe his is acts of service. I know I am quality time and words of affirmation (so things he says effects more and mean more). I do so many things to help out with and I know it has to be his love language considering when he is displeased with me or whatever it’s called he wants to take away things from me. He is a good man with his head on his shoulders, but I realize that if God can mold me to be able to show Him through me with someone who is the closest to me and is the only person in my life that can bring me down, then he is molding me to be someone strong in the world and be a bigger leader than I already am. I know God can lead me through this and show me how to depend on Him to show others Christ through me. I have been asking God for this relationship with Christ to be stronger. This is probably it. Because when I ask God to grow me, this is when my man starts up. So, I have to turn the tables I guess and not look at this relationship as it’s for me, but realize that this is what God has called me for. To bring Christ through me to reach the most impenetrable that there is. This man is the most impenetrable that one can find. I have to really be focused on following God on this because, this is the only way how and He wants this man for a reason. Thank you Jim for your understanding and encouragement. I do my best to look for Jesus for comfort. I listen to the Holy Spirit when it tells me to go read the bible when I am upset, rather than wallow in tears and hurt. It does help me. Thank you again and God bless you.

        1. Brenna,

          I had a very tough situation for over 20 years. My wife was very abusive to me, emotionally, sexually, and even physically. I finally moved into the spare bedroom, just to get some peace. It wasn’t long after that that she left, and then filed for divorce. (We are now divorced.)

          I guess because of my past situation, my heart really goes out to others who are in a difficult marriage.

          I’m glad you are looking to Jesus. In reality, Jesus is our only answer, no matter what our situation is.

          God bless you too.

          Jim

    2. “… and i won’t be told that my feelings are weak and that i am trying to weaken someone or that i am ridiculous or weak. ”

      You are persevering in a difficult situation in a society that encourages and facilitates giving up easily–that is far from “weak”. (Romans 5)

    3. Oh Brenna I can feel your pain. I’ve been in such a similar place. My husband and is relationship was so bad, he talked down to me, I thought he thought he was perfect, he would blame all of our problems on me, and say some really awful things. We were stuck in a terrible cycle. I wasnt a godly woman, I didn’t have a personal relationship with God at all. And my deeds were awful as well. There was a point where I had clarity, iknew that either our marriage was going to be over, or I needed to do the only thing I had power to do and that was to fix my issues. During that time I stumbled across the surrendered wife and put it into action, it took a while, bit he changed more then I could have ever imagined. But I also stopped focusing on his bad traits, and loving him more, regardless of how he behaved. Anyways through this I realized that a lot of the times he was acting like he was better, like he was godlike like you saod, where really the times he was building up a wall of defense. It’s so hard but we need to behave right not because they are, not because we want to improve our marriage, but because its how we become a stronger person. I find that the days where I am making progress against any sin I have are the days the devil makes an attack to prevent it. Either mentaly, or through someone else. Don’t think he cant mess with someone else’s thoughts like he does ours. In the surrendered wife there is a chapter about bating, especially when your doing good your husband may try to bait you into going back to your old self. You must do your best to resist this bait, and he will be able to begin to trust you are really changing and can let dowwn those walls, but it may take some time. If he hurts you quickly let him knowwith just a quick that hurt me, then leave it, walk away so you don’t say anything else. Let God do the work in him, and start looking more at his good points then his bad. As for building your relationship with God I would ask Him to reveal to you any sins that may be keeping you from the relationship you want. Our sin keeps us distant from Him. And until we repent and start seeing our sin we can not have a full relationship with Him.

      1. Sarah,

        Thank you so much for your testimony and understanding. I have confronted God with much of my sin which is a lot of idolizing of myself and not trusting God. And you are right about the devil attacking/baiting me in. I can see that. I told him this morning when he called that I wrote him all the letters I wrote him and things that I admire about him and after I could hear him soften ever so slightly and start to rethink his decision to leave me over something that is nothing. Sometimes it’s kind of weird being able to see what’s going on and then wanting the other person to realize it’s an attack, but you know they won’t see it how God allows me to see it.
        Your advise and information is greatly appreciated and helpful. Thank you so much sister. I have been working on following what peaceful wife has said about much sin and what it is. I realize right now, that how hard it is of me to trust God. I realize that, and it shocks me that it’s extremely hard. That is what my biggest sin is. I can see that through much recollection now. Thank you for that reminder. I realized this last night that I was talking myself through this that God is the only one who can change this man and that I need to just be quiet and no defend myself anymore. It’s super hard, but I am going to keep pressing. Satan can win this with God on my side.
        Thank you for reminding me of baiting as well. I need to reread that. I can see how this is happening. I can see how my man may be confused about my changing too, especially when I slip. It just seems he is always building a defense even when I am doing right. Baiting I guess. Thank you so much for the reminder. And thank you for the encouragement to keep me moving forward. God bless you!

    4. I thought I would reply to all and give Glory to God! Through all of this and the replies received, Praise be to God and His promises. Last night I struggled so much and knew I had to trust God with this man. I cannot do it and I know it. My biggest sin ever is not trusting God and not taking heed to devil as a prowling lion. I didn’t know how dangerous he really is. I know, now, all areas that have been problems with me and continue to be with me in my life, are all areas where the devil knows to attack me to make me weak and bring false feelings. But PRAISE BE TO GOD, that when I trusted Him last night, that anything that may happen is of His Will and will be for my good and His glory. I was able to handle the conversation that I had this morning with my man in a way that was respectable and showed the change that God has made in my life even when the stuff he was saying was stuff about the old me over a year ago. He still hangs on to that. I understand it. But my man called me back after all of everything, and told me that he liked how I handled it all. GOD IS GREAT! HIS PROMISES ARE TRUE, HIS WORDS ARE TRUE! Trust in Him all things! It is hard for me, but now I realize how the devil prowls, and no matter what, God will always bring good for me and His glory, and that my pain will not be in vain. Thank you all! And for God’s Glory, I lift Him and his works up and praise be to Him of high! I know the rewards of trust in God. AMEN!

      1. Brenna, this is so inspiring, After a horrible night and morning, I too had a better conversation with my husband. No “stuff” just chit chat, schedules, kids, the busy weekend (my oldest is headed to divisional championship for fastpitch, we’re on the road two days, return Saturday and I have Sunday to cook, decorate, and get things ready for her BBQ and her graduation!) I realized I may be under a little stress??? What jumped out at me in your comment is: “MY PAIN WILL NOT BE IN VAIN”. Wow. I feel inspired to write that on notes all over my house! TY! 🙂 Bless you all for your comments today, it helps so much to know I am not alone.

        1. Catherine,

          Thank you so much for responding. I am glad that my story can help. Godlywifetobe also has a great journey story as well that is very encouraging. “My pain will not be in vain” That must have been the Holy Spirit talking knowing you can grow with it. Put notes all over, i have them all over, even in my car and at work too. Whatever keeps us with God! Thank you again and God will never forsake you or leave you, always.

      2. Another update to the previous. God is amazing and i am trusting the relationship to Him. I spoke about God’s glory all day today. I talked to my spouse this afternoon again thinking all was well. He just told me the same stuff as before, but now he said he felt cheated and like he settling for someone who doesn’t meet his expectations. Not sure how we got this far with me not meeting expectations, but to each their own. I didn’t give into the devil with the things that were said and I thank God for the strength He gave me, because after these talks, i feel exhausted and i know i couldn’t have done it without God. Like i said, i am leaving this up to God, that even if my man chooses to leave, my pain will not be in vain and that even a better me will come out of this and that maybe someday, he will be able to see what God asks of him to be a better him. I will always pray for him to find God in all His glory so he doesn’t have to keep himself isolated and closed to the world. There is more to life than survival of the fittest; there is life basking in the glory and peace and trust of God. I pray that he may experience what it’s like have a relationship with God. I am glad if i could help anyone with this story and i will update when things go how they go. Thank you everyone for encouraging me. I have learned valuable lessons today and have received much encouragement, peace, and love. Thank you all brothers and sisters. God bless you all!

        1. Brenna,

          Wow. What an incredible and beautiful faith in God. Praying for God to work in you both and for His healing. I pray God will draw your husband to Himself. And I praise God for what He is doing in your heart!

          Than kyou so much for the update!

    5. I’m sorry 🙁
      My husband sounds similar to yours in the way he brings you down. My hubby will do that with his words too and thinks he’s invincible. My hubby is far from God though so that’s most of the issue I think.
      It is hard to be peaceful and respectful and honoring when you are made to feel lowly by your spouse but I have made progress in this area by prayer, Gods Word, and obeying the Spirit and holding my own tongue.

      It is possible to rise above and bless and not curse. We have the Holy Spirit in us, guiding us. You can do this if you lean on God, trust Him, obey Him, and forgive your hubby when it’s needed.

      Praying for your heart and mind!

      1. Godlywifetobe,

        Thank you for your prayers and the strength you have shown going forward in your journey. You have shown it can be done. I do have some self esteem issues since being with him and also second guessing myself since i do something and it’s pointed out constantly (of which i never used to have). There is no right time for anything unless he calls for it. So, i do know that God can bring me great confidence if i do lean on Him, trust Him and obey Him like you said. Thank you so much for your response, and I will pray for you as well. God bless you sister.

    6. Brenna,

      Oh, goodness! It makes me cringe when someone says he/she is never wrong. I used to do that! AND I WAS REALLY, REALLY WRONG.

      It is VERY difficult to live with someone who has a lot of pride like this. 🙁 I am praying for God’s power and wisdom for you and for you to seek to please, obey and honor Christ ultimately. He is the one you need to please in the end.

      The silence in I Peter 3:1-6 means that we don’t talk to them about spiritual things, the things of God, etc… but it doesn’t mean you can not talk about anything or that you cannot share your ideas, feelings, needs or opinions.

      The farther your husband is from God, the less he can hear your words about God and spiritual things.

      God is able to convict him. You are more than a conqueror through Christ, my sweet sister! Praying for you to have lots of time in God’s Word and to be fully submitted to Him and full of His Spirit’s wisdom and power and for God to work in your husband as you wait on Him.

    7. Update to the update. I found a way to move closer to Christ through the message that this blog brings. I knew after reading the article about command men that God had answered me in everything i have needed to know. I went to dinner and out for the evening with my man. It was a good night and i prayed before we went out and made sure that there was nothing in my heart, so that way i could focus on how God wanted me to act. My man’s name is David. No, we were not married, but we were dating for over 2 years. Marriage wasn’t in his book of plans in his life (which i was perfectly ok with), and i met him before i surrendered my life to God. There’s the truth. Everything went great last night and i was even able to overlook his rude comments without having to try. Then later on while we were out, he got angry with me because (which i had not known at the time) and ignored me out in front of everyone and left me behind while walking to vehicle. I had no idea what had happened. He keeps telling me to be myself. So i was, and i laughed at something funny a random stranger did directly in front of me and that is was made him mad because he says i focus on people (while he is watching some girl shake her butt and smile and laugh and clap his hands for her to keep doing it-he does to every single female-i mean every single one all night long all day long even when i am talking to him). I can overlook his weakness of what he does without fail. I don’t expect anything from it. He keeps telling me for the mistakes that i have made that he now watches me and associates a pattern with everything that i do. I followed what the Lord asks me to do. I didn’t make a scene, i didn’t tear up. Even later that night he called me stupid on the way home and told me i treat him like the people and common guys at my work and i have previously dated (these are such hurtful and so untrue things that he says to me). So all in all he has said he no longer will be with me. I know last night, without a doubt, that i did not have any poor intentions or wrongful motivations. I was just excited to be able to be at peace and be with a strong man and felt good that i could call on Jesus to help guide me. I want to do what Jesus wants me to do. I do so bad. And i did without fail and i will continue. So, i know that God will let something good come out of this, but this just hurts too much anymore. This is the person that i knew was the one that no one could replace in my life. And now, i live in this town for about 5 years, and i have no family, no friends, no man here or close to me. I used to have some friends but they spread rumors that weren’t true about me so i didn’t want to place myself around people who obviously weren’t friends in the first place. Otherwise, 3 friends have moved. I’ve been ok all my life with being alone but some reason this just knocks me down to far down. I am sorry for this because this is not what your site is for April and people on here have so much mature things to say and i just want to be respectful to your work and site. I just need a much needed hug that i haven’t had in a long time. A real hug. I know God will guide me through this. I just need Him so bad and i still need a lot of work to trust and lean on Him. I know i will be fine throughout all of this (that is me trusting Him) but the pain is still has to run it’s course. Thank you all for your support, your stories, your inspirations, and love. Please don’t be discouraged by my story. I made mistakes (nothing overly drastic), but with this man, there was never anything i could ever do to right because he was always right and never wrong. So, i gave it my all anyway and found God along the way too. Now, i know what real mistakes i have made and I know God’s way, so i have no excuse to make them anymore. Now i have all the time in the world to keep moving closer to God and Jesus. Blessed is the Lord and all you strong individuals on here that are moving closer day by day with the Lord. Thank you for all you have done for me.

      1. And now after a two hour conversation where he told me all that is not what makes a queen in his eyes, which is really all misunderstood about the evening. Now, he says we will be ok and i guess that means he changes his mind about leaving me. I am glad he feels better for releasing all his frustration with me and he can sleep better now. Yippee. This is the fourth time this has happened, and i have no idea why i even get upset anymore. i guess i should know how to play the game by now. Thanks for everyone listening and i won’t comment on this anymore. Don’t want to down an article page. I typically don’t write ever, but i was ecstatic to share God with everyone. With my situation i do not know what it’s all about anymore. Thank you for all your kindness and blessings. God bless you all

  8. Like some of the other commenters said, this hits really close to home. This is something I needed today and I really want to take some time to go through the “Maybe it is better to say” section and use that to help me stay focused when things don’t seem fair or right in my marriage.
    Thank you for another timely post.

    1. Jeanne,
      This DEFINITELY really gets to the crux of the matter for these issues – that is my prayer!

      I pray that God might use it to shine His light and truth into the darkest corners of our souls and to purify and refine us and to cleanse us from every thought that would set itself up against Christ and HiS Word.

      May God richly bless your walk with Christ!

  9. Good stuff – still trying to figure out how to keep putting one foot in front of the other when I often feel like I’m in a “roommates with conjugal privileges” situation. I know I am not to find my contentment or peace in my husband. But seeing signs that he actually cares about me outside the bedroom would be nice. Maybe learning my love language – and his – was actually more of a curse than a help.

    1. I am on the same page with you. We will get through this. I am trying to figure out how to love someone while guarding my heart-really don’t think it makes sense, or I don’t know how. Sometimes it seems that is what men want. An emotionless man-woman friend that is a woman when it’s convenient for them. I know this is not true and God leads us to be what He wants us to be regardless of the other person. I realize that from this message today. I feel like I am supposed to be in a business partner relationship (according to him that’s what it’s supposed to be, his words) and it makes me wonder what’s the point of being with someone who you cannot have the relationship with how a relationship should be. But like the article says, maybe God is using this to refine and mold you to show God regardless of what or how someone is towards you and what better way to do this than with the person who is the closest to you. If someone can do this with the person who is closest (person who can hurt you the easiest, disappoint you, get your goat) you can do it with anyone.

      Hope I help more than sound like I am negative individual.

      1. Brenna, I believe in reality most men have no clue about the needs of women. I believe that I was a pretty good husband, but when I read Nina Roesner’s 101 list for men, I was stunned at what I DIDN’T understand.

        It must be really difficult for a woman in that situation, where her husband doesn’t seem to understand her needs and never seems to meet them.

        I really don’t know what the answer is for you. But if he is basically a good man, then there may be a way that you can touch his heart as only a loving woman can. Perhaps you can let him know that you think he is a good man (give an example of why, when you tell him that), because that is the kind of thing that resonates with men. For example, the fact that he goes to work faithfully every day and is a good provider for his family. Tell him that that’s what a real man does, and that he is a real man in your eyes. Come up with other examples as well. Try to do this sort of acknowledgement regularly.

        Saying stuff like that (if he believes that you really mean it) touches a man in the deepest part of his being. If he believes that you see him in that way, he will deeply appreciate it.

        Here’s why: From the time he is born to the time he dies, literally everyone tells him that he needs to meet his obligations as a man. And so, without even realizing it, he is constantly trying to pass that test, to make sure that he and everyone else considers him a man. Put another way, the last thing he wants is for someone NOT to believe that he is fulfilling his manly obligations.

        So if he believes that you honestly believe that he IS fulfulling (and even exceeding) his obligations as a man with regard to you and the children, he will deeply appreciate it.

        And then hopefully, one of these days he will begin to be more sensitive to your needs!

        1. Jim –

          Going to go out on a limb here and ask for a man’s advice.

          By my hubby’s own admission, he has to be on constant guard against being a workaholic. It’s the behavior he saw modeled in his own father and as a pastor, it’s easy for him to justify “overworking” because it’s for such an eternal cause!

          If I praise my husband sincerely for being such a compassionate pastor, he works more hours. If I thank him for the wood crafts he does, he spends more time in the woodshop. You get the idea. But if I thank him profusely for spending a large chunk of time with me – my love language is quality time followed closely by gifts and words – he will make no effort to connect with me for days. Sometimes up to a week. To my shame, I have, on occasion, lost it and fussed at him about being “cut off”. He is always shocked and says “You said you had a good time and felt really loved so I figured I was off the hook for awhile.”

          I don’t EVER want my husband to feel “on the hook” with me. No matter how I try to explain it, we just hear and see things to differently – I cannot effectively communicate to him that I NEED time with him like he NEEDS physical contact with me. Most days, I do a decent job slapping a smile on my face and focusing on meeting his needs. Then he’ll ask me things like “Do you ever feel lonely?” or “Do you ever doubt that I love you?” These questions are usually prompted by something he has read. My answer is always the same – “Yes.” Following that he’ll ask “How often?” My answer is always the same – “Most of the time.” Then he’ll get angry and shoot back that he worked harder at being a good pastor and harder at making stuff in his shop so how can I possibly feel unloved when he is doing more of everything (his word, not my own exaggeration) I have ever told him I appreciated.

          Any way I can get him to understand why those questions need to stop showing up in our conversations? Or do I just shut my mouth, change the subject, and hope he doesn’t notice?! I can do well for days at focusing on his needs and not getting caught up in the fact that mine are going unmet. Then he asks a question and I answer honestly and it gets ugly. Help!

          1. moj8668:

            You are asking the advice of your brother in Christ. I am glad to do whatever I can to help.

            Don’t get hung up on the phrase “on the hook”. Men are driven and motivation by what they believe are their “obligations”. He didn’t mean it like it sounded to you. Trust me on this one.

            Do you know what your husband’s primary love language is? Begin to regularly and consistently fill his love tank.

            Then, after a few weeks of that, explain to him what you have been doing, and ask him if he will read the book.

            Then after he reads the book, explain to him what your primary love language is. Give him some simple things he can do to fill your love tank.

            Let me say that I just read the book myself (twice!), and so I haven’t had a chance to see how it all works. But I did write a nice, affirming letter to my son. I’m optimistic that it will bring tears of joy to his eyes.

            I am hopeful that by your filling his love tank consistently for a few weeks, he will be grateful and therefore more open to your needs, especially if all you’re asking him to do is what you have been doing for the past few weeks.

            I think you’re doing fine on the submission end of things. What you need is to fill his tank with love, in a language he can understand. I’m optimisitic that both he and you will very much enjoy the experience.

            We’re all pulling for you.

            Jim

          2. We’ve both read the book. His is physical touch and he really diesn’t seem to have a secondary. And I do sincerely appreciate the encouragement. There are just times I wonder if God ever asks an individual to live without feeling loved – deeply, intimately loved – by another person.

          3. I believe that there is hope for your marriage. Your husband is a Christian, so God can speak to him. Please don’t lose hope. Put your hope in Jesus.

            I know that that sounds so “spiritual”. But that’s what I do when my love tank is empty, which seems like all the time these days.

            My love language is Quality Time. But in the past several months, I have gone from living in a house full of people to a totally empty house. Even the dog died a few months ago — that broke my heart, because she was a very affectionate dog.

            When I am about to go crazy from loneliness (which is most of the time!), I get on these blogs and pour my heart out. I spend a lot of private time with Jesus. And I get my guitar out and sing to the Lord. I also have a group of close friends on Facebook to whom I pour my heart out in the form of private messages. (Never in the public posting area!)

            I don’t have many close friends nearby, but I try to visit the ones I do have. And I call people on the phone.

            I’m quite sure that I talk some people’s ear off. But I do what I have to do to survive.

            I do have another suggestion which may be helpful. You will need to consider if this will work for you.

            Nina Roesner has a list of “101” things that wives can do to respect their husbands (http://ninaroesner.com/for-wives/101-ways-to-respect-your-husband/).

            I think a good first step you could do would be to study the list, so as to get a better understanding of the way men think. The list is excellent for deciphering men.

            Then, after you feel you have a good understanding of how men think, try to select a few things from the list that you aren’t already doing, and begin to do them consistently.

            Here are some things from the list that you might try:
            8, 10, 17, 39, 42, 44, 48, 50, 54, 58, 60, 74, 77.

            Good luck, and God bless you.

            Jim

          4. “There are just times I wonder if God ever asks an individual to live without feeling loved – deeply, intimately loved – by another person.”
            Your not feeling it does not imply it isn’t there.

            I think this is Jim’s point with the “love language” issue. If your husband is speaking “touch” or “service” but you’re deaf to it, you’re disconnected, not unloved.

            “Any way I can get him to understand why those questions need to stop showing up in our conversations? Or do I just shut my mouth, change the subject, and hope he doesn’t notice?! ”
            Neither as both of these cut off communication. The best route is, “_First_ seek to understand, _then_ to be understood.”

          5. Frankly –

            I would appreciate prayer. My choices right now are to lie when he asks if I feel lonely/disconnected/unloved or to tell the truth and make him angry.

            He speaks touch very well. Unfortunately, in my love language “design” that ranks fourth out of the five (and the fifth one really doesn’t register at all!). And thanks to a past dating relationship that resulted in what is probably best described as multiple occasions of “almost” sexual assault (no actual rape but had his hands places I didn’t want them on NUMEROUS occasions with threats of pain if I tried to stop him) a relationship that is trying to survive on only physical intimacy is frightening for me.

          6. moj8668:

            My heart really goes out to you.

            You must heal from your past hurts. And right now, you must survive. (I am in survival mode right now; sometimes I just get by, but I do get by.)

            I’m a little unclear. Was it your husband who did the abuse, or was it someone else?

            If it was not your husband, have you ever told your husband about it? If you could bring yourself to tell him about it, as well as about how much it hurts you now, that would help him to understand the pain and hurt you are now going through.

            Hang in there. You have a very tough situation, and we are all pulling for you.

            I am praying for you.

            Jim

          7. moj8668:

            I have thought a lot before sending you this reply.

            I believe that you could receive some good help from something called “EMDR Therapy”. EMDR Therapy is simply a technique by which your brain revisits and reprocesses old, terrible memories. I had a horrific childhood, with some terrifying memories which have affected me my entire life. I am currently undergoing EMDR Therapy, and I am amazed how EMDR Therapy causes me to revisit old, terrible memories, but this time, the memories become less and less terrible! In fact, the “terrible” part of them disappears, because I revisit them a few times, under the guidance of the therapist, and after a few minutes time, the memory has been made into a very mild, harmless experience.

            In one case, I remembered that as a child, some boys were doing terrible things to me, and there was nothing I could do about it. With EMDR, I revisited the memory, and during the revisit, I dealt with the boys effectively, and I became a grown man, no longer affected by the torment that they did to me.

            It is a very gentle therapy, nothing stressful about it. At least that is my experience. So far, I have cleared up two memories.

            I would suggest that you look into this to see if this may be helpful for you. Based on my experience, I believe that you would find great relief from the difficulties caused by the terrible memories.

            Here is where I found my therapist:

            http://www.emdria.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=235

            She is a very good therapist.

            God bless you in your marriage and in your life.

      2. “I am trying to figure out how to love someone while guarding my heart-really don’t think it makes sense, or I don’t know how. ”

        You can’t. Love is charity (look at Christ); “guarding my heart” is withholding.

        “Sometimes it seems that is what men want. An emotionless man-woman friend that is a woman when it’s convenient for them.”

        My wife frequently will “go along” with me and will mask her feelings to “not cause any trouble”. The first flaw in this well-intentioned plan is assuming I would be oblivious to the entire thing; I am not. Upon seeing this, my initial reaction is to think, “Why is she deceiving me?” and it has usually gone downhill from there. Hardly convenient. When our _only_ choices are “neutral” and “bad”, we’ll take, “neutral”.

        ” I know this is not true and God leads us to be what He wants us to be regardless of the other person. ”
        I’m not sure how you mean this but God wants wives to conform to their husbands.

        “I feel like I am supposed to be in a business partner relationship”
        This is probably the most pervasive lie about marriage, setting us up for failure…even the well-intentioned folk who are now just misguided to the “wide path”.

        I could go on but instead, let me point out that business relationships do _not_ have emotion or intimacy–not what God (or you) intended for marriage.

        1. P.S. Ah! I think I got what you meant: yes, do what you are supposed to do, irrespective of your husband’s doing what he’s supposed to be doing or not.

          1. Yes, all of what you say is true. It’s just this is what this man says he looks at relationships like is a business partnership. So, to me, he wants a woman with no emotions/feelings except when it ‘s convenient for him which is in the bedroom only when he wants it. I’ve tried intimacy with him and he rejects me. I asked him about this when the topic came up and he said he thought i was just playing around with him when i never have played around. This makes no sense to me, but i do know that he tends to look at me like i am a simple typical woman (his words) and i should be with a typical simple man (his words). This is what he says. If it isn’t what he means, which he says what he means (his words) then i don’t know why someone says something they don’t mean. I do know as well, that there are things that i have done to close him up or disrespect him, and i have come a long way. I know things need time. I guess, when he asks me what’s on my mind and how i feel and i tell him, and i take responsibility for how i feel and i don’t blame him whatsoever, my feelings become an issue to him. He asked, why is he so taken aback that i have feelings. He says those are weak and that i am simple and typical and he needs someone who his strong to walk by his side, not someone who is going to weaken him. My feelings aren’t weak and all i ask for is a little understanding and he says he won’t take the time the understand any person in this world and why they feel or do the things they do. He says it’s insanity to do such and weakens him. I am not making this up. These are his exact words. They are not my interpretation of what he said. I cannot guess what he says when he comes right out and says it word for word.
            Sorry, i just got all in to this and how does one not believe this is what the husband intended to say when really, he does this with everyone, even his family. It’s like self preservation.

          2. Brenna, my heart really goes out to you.

            Here’s what happened to me one time, and it really hurt bad. (Actually, not one time, but several times.) My wife would call me only when she wanted a favor, but never just to say hello or tell me what was going on with her. I asked her to just call me sometimes, just to talk, but she said that that wasn’t her personality, that wasn’t her style.

            She would joke around and laugh with other people, so I asked her to call me the next time she heard a funny joke, so I could share in the laughter. But she responded that that wasn’t her personality and style, that I was trying to force her to do something that wasn’t “her”.

            If your husband is a good man, then there is hope. Somehow he can be reached. I am really sorry for you that it is so difficult to reach him.

          3. “He says those are weak and that i am simple and typical and he needs someone who his strong to walk by his side, not someone who is going to weaken him. My feelings aren’t weak and all i ask for is a little understanding and he says he won’t take the time the understand any person in this world and why they feel or do the things they do.”

            I understand what he’s saying as I’ve been about the same in the past. It is actually a strength (not being bogged/biased/distorted by emotions) overdone (pretending ignoring emotion will somehow make them inconsequential).

            Surely you can see–and maybe appreciate–his perspective:

            P1. In anger, people do regrettable things they normally wouldn’t do.
            P2. They were weakened.
            C1. Anger weakened them.
            P3. Anger is an emotion.
            C2. Emotions = weakness.

            It’s an anecdotal fallacy that is difficult to argue since so many bad things stem from emotion, especially if you’ve read James 4 or Gal 5:16-24.

            More Wisdom From Star Trek:
            Your husband is Klingon!
            You are Federation.

            How did Riker handle being aboard a Klingon ship? He found appreciation for their ways and lived them whilst aboard. (Romans 14)

            How did Data handle getting an emotion chip? He was bombarded by them and couldn’t perform. (Pr 16:32)

      3. Your husband does not want a buisness relationship with you, he wants your heart, but if the past your emotions have been used against him, they are probably really didficult for him to deal with. If you work on showing him respect and doing what God wants you to do, and submit to your husband you can rebuild that trust. What is so shocking to me, as I’ve been at this for a long time, is that when I’ve been being really repsectful of him and really fulfilling my side, if I start crying over something, in a non manipulitive way, but say he hurt me by something he said, or I saw something sad on tv etc. Basically if im not using my emotions against him, he adores it. You can just tell in his face. This amazes me so much because he would always get so angry when I would cry before. It would frustrate him to no end. But when he trusts that my emotions aren’t against him he loves them. No man wants you to be a buisness partner, or be an emotionless robot. If they feel loved and adored, and like they are your hero, then the rest will fall into place, and something else that I find is that I feel free. Like I can be my loving caring, emotional authentic self. Don’t pull yourself away from him, but do seek God to help you with your judgments against him.

    2. moj8668,
      I am so sorry things are so difficult. I am praying for God to give you His wisdom and for you to have the time you need with Him, resting and basking in His presence and abiding in Him. He has power supplies that we cannot ever have on our own. Sending you a huge hug, my friend!

  10. Is your blog spyware or is this anecdotal evidence of the consistency of God’s Word? Did you eavesdrop on my conversation with my wife last night or is it the same Holy Spirit acting in both? 😀

    “God is holy and is incapable of sin. (James 1:13-15)”

    This is why it is _impossible_ for a husband to command a Godly submitting wife to sin as then God would be telling the wife to sin, which is a sin. We cannot believe James 1:13 and not believe Ephesians 5, according to James 2:14-26.

    I do believe that if the Word of God is sharper than any double-edged sword (Heb 4:12), the book of James is the tip! :-O

    1. Frankly,

      God is pretty awesome, isn’t He? He blows my mind every day when I get to see just a glimpse of what He is doing.

      Exactly – a husband cannot command or demand that a wife sin. A wife would have to respectfully refuse in such a situation in order to obey God rather than men.

      Thank you so much for sharing!

      1. Nonono…the wife wouldn’t have to refuse (that would be a sin) as the situation would never come up. Ever.

          1. Yes. More specifically, the Bible says that; I’m just reiterating it.

            We can’t believe that God is sovereign yet also believe that any punk of a husband is more powerful than He.

          2. There is absolutely nowhere in the Bible that teaches us that husbands cannot ask their wives to sin.

            Her husband asking her to sin is simply a test for her, to see if she will be faithful to God, or will she take the easy path and sin.

            We all face decisions like that. Perhaps your boss has asked you to sin in some way. Are you going to take a stand for God, or are you going to compromise?

            And sometimes, taking a stand for God will result in persecution against you. Sometimes it will cost you. But we MUST be faithful to God.

            Here’s a horrible scenario: The husband wants to wife-swap with another couple. What should the wife do? SHE SHOULD REFUSE! He is asking her to sin.

            God is sovereign; and He has chosen to allow each one of us to decide whether or not we will sin. She needs to refuse to sin when presented with the choice, just as you and I need to refuse to sin when presented with the choice.

          3. “There is absolutely nowhere in the Bible that teaches us that husbands cannot ask their wives to sin.”

            Yes it is and I’ve posted a few chapter & verses (Ctrl-F, “Frankly” to find it). There are many more, too, like Lamentations 3:37. Are you really saying, “God is in control–except when it comes to 200-lb. wife-beaters”? If that is the case, then why worship God? Worship the more-powerful husband instead!

            I also wonder if we’re talking about God making a burrito so hot that even He can’t eat it–the “appeal to possibility” fallacy. Do Godly submissive wives actually get treated this way or are we speculating about a circumstance that can never occur? I don’t know (would warrant closer examination) but either it cannot occur or if it does occur, it changes nothing.

            There is absolutely nowhere in the Bible that has wives leaving their husbands for any reason. As livelywriter pointed out, Christ’s burden is light (Matt 11:something-IIRC-I-haven’t-had-my-coffee-yet) and to put that kind of decision on a human’s head is far from “light” and would be foolish of God to do. Christ said He built His church upon Himself (Petra), not on man (petros). (Matt16:13-20)

            God does not leave his instructions for mankind to _interpret_; that would be the quickest way to turn a _perfect_ thing into a really messed up thing. The first example of that being the whole Genesis-fruit-“Did God really say…?”-oh-no-we’re-naked thing.

            “God is sovereign; and He has chosen to allow each one of us to decide whether or not we will sin. ”
            Are you suggesting the latter _trumps_ the former? Either God is _sovereign_ and no amount of my free will can contradict that or God is just a chump no less than I.

            How could anyone possibly have _confidence_ in God if He is so easily thwarted? He is not. He is my Rock, my Refuge, my Fortress, my God in whom I _implicitly_ trust. (Ps 46 & 91)

          4. God, in His sovereignty, has chosen to give us the choice of whether or not to choose Him. If you don’t allow God to make that choice, then you are saying that He is not really God.

            If we have no choice about sin, then hell, judgment, and Jesus dying on the cross make absolutely no sense. Adam and Eve choosing to eat the fruit and therefore being guilty is a farce.

            Matthew 19:9 — Jesus said that in the case of adultery, you can divorce your spouse. He didn’t command it, but He allowed it.

            Pardon me for saying it, Frankly, but you are a cruel taskmaster. You need to show mercy to your wife, as well as to all of the women on this blog who are suffering in bad marriages. Yes, they should do their best to do what the Bible commands them to do. But it is not your place to beat them over the head if in your opinion they aren’t measuring up to God’s standards.

            I used to be hard on people who got divorced and remarried. My perspective completely changed when my wife left me and then divorced me. I never teach disobedience to what the Bible says; but I ALWAYS show mercy to someone who is divorced, or who is in a bad marriage.

            You should do the same.

          5. “God, in His sovereignty, has chosen to give us the choice of whether or not to choose Him. ”
            Correct. Our free will is _granted_ by His sovereignty but that does not mean our free will is _mutually exclusive_ to God’s sovereignty.

            Do not confuse “God’s will” with “God’s sovereignty”; they are not synonymous. God’s will is that everyone be saved–will that happen? No. Why not? Because we have _choice_ (one cannot accept someone if one doesn’t have the choice to), not because someone or something can get in the way. (Rom8:31)

            What you are suggesting is that a rebellious husband can interfere with God’s sovereignty–which has nothing to do with, “choice” as we both agree that our ability to choose is given by God Himself, not by our own power.

            God’s will was that Nineveh receive the Word. Jonah’s will was that God find someone else for that job. Jonah made his choice (free will) and God demonstrated His sovereignty–the two do co-exist. How often do we sit in a dark fish or wander in the wilderness, homeless, while God has no _choice_ but to wait for us to choose Him? (Numbers32:7, Jonah–the whole book)

            “If we have no choice about sin”
            I did not say that. I am saying God’s sovereignty precludes a husband from commanding a Godly submitting wife to sin. I am saying God’s righteousness precludes a Godly submitting wife from being commanded to sin. These are specific instances, not blanket generalities and not applied to other venues of authority–I am only speaking of marriage.

            “Matthew 19:9 — Jesus said that in the case of adultery, you can divorce your spouse. He didn’t command it, but He allowed it.”
            I left that out since we aren’t talking about adultery (please take what I say in full context). Since you mention it, Christ specifically cited one instance where divorce is permissible (but not always profitable–1Cor10:23) and only one instance “because your hearts were hard” (Mark10:2). If divorce were permissible under other circumstances, why did God fail to mention it? Either God failed to complete His message or we’re not listening very well (Matt11:15-19)

            As far as the ad hominem attacks go, I will neither take offence nor cause to escalate. (I don’t mean to be dismissive; I just don’t agree with your judgement and don’t want to make a thing of it. If I have said anything offensive or inappropriate by all means do not refrain from addressing the specific thing that I said–after all, I am the, “I think your idea is stupid”-hearing-kinda-guy.)

            1Cor13:1

        1. Frankly,

          I wish that situation never came up, ever. It hasn’t in my marriage – it wouldn’t with a godly husband, hopefully. But I know countless wives whom their husbands have asked their wives to watch porn with them, have a threesome with them, have an abortion, lie on taxes, etc…

          Rev. Weaver from my church, in his class on Spiritual Authority, addresses the issue of when someone in authority asks a believer to clearly sin.

          1. In the book “Me, Obey Him?” by Elizabeth Rice Handford http://www.amazon.com/Obey-Him-Elizabeth-Rice-Handford/dp/0873985524 she explains that if a wife is completely submitted to both God and her husband (agreeing with both that she will submit to her husband no matter what) that God will provide a supernatural way out if her husband were to try to force her to sin. It’s not a popular take on this issue, I know. I just wonder how often we miss out on the work of the spirit because we never give God the opportunity to protect us?

    1. Jim,
      I wish I had been at this for 20 years, since our 20th anniversary is in 1 week. But, only for 5.5 years. Still, I am so thankful every day that God opened my eyes in His great mercy and grace and that He showed me all of my sin.

      I count myself the most blessed woman on the planet for all that God has done and is doing in my life. I have to share this with my sisters, especially, and also with my brothers! Can’t keep it to myself.

  11. “What if no matter what husband I married, I would be sinned against and that would reveal all this same sin and filth in my own life? The kind of wife I am and the way I respond comes from my character and the fruit of my soul – whether my sinful nature is in control or God’s Spirit is in control.”

    This is so true. We take our baggage from one relationship to the next, one situation to the next, if we never stop to deposit it somewhere.

    Jesus says, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV)

    Jesus will take our baggage, our filth, and give us new life in exchange. How incredible is that? Our greatest barrier in accepting this amazing offer is our sinful fear, disbelief and trust in self.

    I think each person comes to this realization of his/her need for Christ in his/her own way. Because of my pride in my intellect, it took a problem with no fair solution to realize I needed His help.

    Despite the fact that my husband moved out and intends to divorce me as soon as he is able, I am thankful for what is coming out of the experience. When my husband unilaterally decided to nullify our plan to have a child, I faced a struggle that had no fair answer and I turned to God. I learned that every choice boils down to to options, do what is right (by God’s definition) or do wrong.

    I learned that it is possible to face sacrificing your dearest dream in order to fulfill a promise made to God. My marriage vows did not hinge upon our having children, therefore, I needed to give up my dream of more children (and not be resentful of my husband breaking his promise) to save our marriage. Through that sacrifice, I began to understand and appreciate the gift of Jesus and that ultimate sacrifice God the Father and God the Son gave to save us from eternal death and keep us for His glory.

    Through this heart-wrenching experience, I came to accept Jesus as my Savior. I thought I was a Christian prior to this, but I saw that I had never completely surrendered. Very honestly I am a different person from the wife I was when my husband left. I am calmer even in the midst of this tremendous storm I stand in (my husband abandoned us after we just moved to a new state after living overseas and my husband has sole control of our finances). My faith rests completely in God and acknowledgment of His sovereignty. The fruit of my renewed heart is sweetened by sacrifice and surrender.

    Before all of this, I was ruled by fear. I could not rest in anything because I felt I had to constantly be “on patrol”. That sinful fear is not part of my nature anymore.

    April, you talked about free will. It was hard at first to acknowledge that I have no control over my husband’s actions. None. I loved my husband deeply and was so hurt when he changed his mind without ever talking to me. I spent a year trying to be a perfect wife so he would keep his baby promise to me. My motives were wrong and I was unhappy because my efforts went unacknowledged.

    I learned it takes TWO people committed to each other to make a marriage work and TWO people committed to God to make a marriage joyful. It takes only ONE person to deny commitment and break a marriage.

    Though my marriage will likely end, I do not fear a joyless life. God’s hand is so evident in this whole situation…that buoys my spirit. In my renewed life, I am able to live “in the moment”–an ability that eluded me my whole life.

    Wherever you are in your marriage, I encourage you to listen to what April says about needing to rectify your relationship with God. We are incapable of deep, lasting change without the power of His Grace.

      1. Livelywriter,
        Wow.
        Wow.

        PRAISE GOD!

        Ok, I was planning to run your story in the next 2 weeks or so, but I think I might rather run this comment. SO POWERFUL, SO GOD-HONORING.

        Thank you so much for sharing! I am praying for you!

        1. Hi April!

          You know what is crazy? The start of this crisis was a mere two months ago. I feel like I’ve lived two decades in that time.

          I remember being devastated in the days following the final baby talk, searching the web for an answer about my husband changing his mind about having a child. This website was the sole light offering hope for a marriage with this dilemma (everything else said to divorce and find a new husband). I am so glad I didn’t choose to heed that misguided advice. Maybe this divorce is inevitble, but acting on secular wisdom would have denied me the chance to grow into my role as a child of God. I would have continued to carry an impossible burden into my future.

          Right now, my situation is so far from “normal” that I struggle with the reality of it daily. When I am overwhelmed, I lay my head down, imagining it on Jesus’ lap and I pray for His help and guidance. The pain, fear and anger come and go, but being anchored in God’s light gives me the ability to let the feelings pass without me being stirred to rash action.

          Please please use me to be an example of His grace in action! None of this is my doing outside of me choosing to be obedient. Use this evidence to glorify our Heavenly Father under whose authority I take comfort.

          April, I can never ever thank you enough for your obedience to God through your husband and taking on the enormous task of running this site!!! It is amazing to think of how many lives you’ve touched. 😊

          You, your eyes, your family and your book plans are in my prayers, too.

          Love to you!!!

    1. “Though my marriage will likely end, I do not fear a joyless life. God’s hand is so evident in this whole situation…that buoys my spirit. In my renewed life, I am able to live “in the moment”–an ability that eluded me my whole life.” This is amazing and so well written! I needed this very paragraph today! Thank you livelywriter! I feel so broken and defeated today. I needed to be reminded where my joy needs to come from. Amen

      1. Catherine, I am so glad you were blessed with encouragement by what I expressed.

        This scripture has been so encouraging to me in these moments where I don’t know how to take another step:

        Philippians 4:4-7 NIV

        Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

    2. AMEN! Apart from Him we can do nothing. If we focus on Him, he will provide us with all of our new hearts desires because they are in alignment with His will. Our flesh will fight to stay on the throne. May God bless all the saints on this blog with a true love and knowledge of Him. He alone is worthy.

      “Faith has nothing to do with feelings or with impressions, with improbabilities or with outward experiences. If we desire to couple such things with faith, then we are no longer resting on the Word of God, because faith needs nothing of the kind. Faith rests on the naked Word of God. When we take Him at His Word, the heart is at peace.”

      George Mueller

      1. “…resting on the Word of God”

        The practice of letting go allowing God to do His will was a foreign concept to me.

        Old me: “I can’t just sit here! I must act now or everything will collapse!”

        I was stressed. All. The. Time.

        I am learning how wonderful it is to trust His protection around me as I walk trials I never imagined I would face.

        Our God is so good! ❤

      2. Raphael,

        Amen!!!!

        I love when you quote George Mueller. Thank you for sharing so much encouragement, truth and inspiration with the wives and husbands here. 🙂

    3. “I thought I was a Christian prior to this, but I saw that I had never completely surrendered. ” This rang so true to me, livelywriter. How different we view ourselves to be from how God really sees us.

      I am blessed by your sharing. How “ironic” that in losing all, you found yourself.. and most importantly you found Jesus. 🙂

      Psalm 51:17

      “The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.”

      Thank you for sharing your heart, livelywriter. I do not know what the future has in store for you and your marriage, but I know that since you have already found the Greatest Treasure, whatever is bound to happen, cannot deduct or add to the Peace or Joy you have already found.

      God bless you!

      Love,

      Nikka

      1. Hi Nikka,

        Let me add that in finding the Greatest Treasure, I also discovered my true worth.

        My self-worth was severely damaged by a rape many years ago. My then-fiance dumped me over the phone when I told him about it, which I realize now may have been more devastating than the rape. I began to believe I was worth less than others.

        When my husband abandoned us, it felt like he was trying to dump us off the side of a road like unwanted kittens. That made me realize…wait! I am a child of God and in His eyes I am precious…this treatment is wrong and not an indication of my value. The lie that has haunted me my whole adult life was made powerless in that moment.

        Even the mean-spirited actions of my husband have been used to God’s purpose. God is almighty, His power and ability are limitless!

        May God bless you and everyone today! ☺

        1. livelywriter,
          OH NO!!!!!
          How I wish I could hug your neck and erase the pain you have experienced.

          But PRAISE GOD that He is showing you your worth in God’s sight and how precious you are in His eyes.

          I am so excited about what God is doing in you!

          1. Thank you from my heart for your caring concern. 😊

            As someone said above in the comments…the pain was not in vain.

            My survival of my traumatic experiences blessed me with the knowledge that I am one tough cookie! It may have muddled beliefs about myself for a long time, but I see the Light and I am made new in His Son! I am blessed to have been forged in such hot fires. ☺

        2. livelywriter,

          AMEN! Thank you for your story and blessing me and everyone with your wisdom. I am going to use your statement, “wait! I am a child of God and in His eyes I am precious…this treatment is wrong and not an indication of my value.” That helped me tremendously. Thank you and God bless you!

          1. Brenna,

            I am so glad my words are encouraging to you. There have been so many times when replaying my husband’s departure and divorce e-mail in my head, that I have spoken those words aloud over and over. The enemy wants us to feel that we are beneath God’s notice and that is so far from the truth!

            Praying for you!

        3. Livelywriter,

          Praise God for what He has done in your life and heart and the renewing of your mind. My heart resonates with your testimony and causes me to reflect back over my life and praise God for His awesomeness. I can relate to you saying in finding your greatest treasure you found your true worth by seeing yourself the way our heavenly Father sees you. I was abandoned by my father at a young age, then saw my fiance at the time kill himself ,and then my husband abandoned me and our children (i don’t want to make him look like the bad guy I was extremely disrespectful and very hard to live with)when I had depended on him our entire marriage. Through all this God taught me that He loves me and everyone can leave me but He never will and knowing that truth I can have peace, He showed me that He is my provider He may use my hubby but ultimately my every provision is from His hands. I think my life verse would be romans 8:28 and He will never leave me or forsake me. He did restore my marriage but not until he showed me that I was never truly loving my husband with the only motive that would please God. I was motivated by of abandonment God allowed that fear to manifest to teach me that He is bigger!!!! You are in my prayers today thank you for sharing your heart with us.

          1. Amen!

            Oh Jessica thank you for sharing your evidence of God’s sovereignty. Truly amazing!

            I was simply ruled by fear for a really long time. I see why God used such a drastic event to get my attention–I was being consumed by fear, my spirit drowning in its depths. I honestly did not know that fear was sinful.

            Like you, God needed to move the obstruction in my life so I would finally see who He really is. He is Master of All!

            Thank you for sharing your testimony, it is so encouraging to see Him at work! ☺

    4. Livelywriter,

      I understand and feel your pain and disappointment about not being able to have another child. I too wanted more children but my wife is not up to it. I’ve had one good cry about it. Alone. ….and then I relented in my heart. I have come to the conclusion that God has me where I am and with the number of children for a reason. A reason I can’t see. But my faith in letting God lead my business has also allowed me to allow Him to lead me in this decision. Part of me feels that my wife holds something against me and therefore won’t proceed with another child. There is always some sort of excuse as to why another child is not a good idea for her.

      What do you do when you are powerless like this? I’ve been able to achieve anything I put my mind to in life but this is something I can’t control. God knows this. God knows my hearts desire but I guess I will have to remember that Gods grace is sufficient. Wasn’t there something that Paul asked for and was denied? I supposed he had to live with his circumstance and keep his focus. This was Paul’s lesson and it will have to be mine. I do sin though. I do covet and envy marriages which have multiple children and it does cause me pain to see other families with multiple children. I am aware of the sin though.

      I have to believe that in this area of my life, God’s grace and his provision will have to be enough. True, some of my dreams will have to be forgotten. But I guess I have to believe that in His sovereignty, He knows best.

      Great article April. I’ve been told by my wife that she wished she had married another type of man. Someone different, stronger in faith. I can tell you that it demotivates me and has emasculated me for most all of my marriage. I married a very Godly woman. She was far more biblical and centered than I was when we married. I was in a state of spiritual growth but the expectations and legalism, really turned me off. My relationship with Christ is much more personal now and because of that I sometimes dislike talking about it. I Never thought that I would have to live up to my wife’s standard more than God’s and it has truly hampered my walk…because as you said, I have problems seeing God’s will with my wife’s will so much in the way.

      1. Hi Broken brother,

        I am sorry that you feel very dissatisfied with the number of children you have, and that this causes you to sin. I sense that you are a family man, and enjoy having lots of children around. Not many men I know like having many children, but to you they are not a burden but a blessing. Bless you for that.

        It is very possible that your “godly wife” has taken on an air of spiritual authority over you. Since as you have mentioned, she was “more biblical and (Christ)-centered ” than you were when you got married, I believe she really does think she is “closer to God” or more knowledgeable of all things spiritual than you.

        I am surmising, because I was like your wife too before the Lord convicted me of my sins. 🙁

        I was judging my husband’s faith. He had a sort of “blind faith”, which I called that, but was actually a “great trust in the Lord’s Provisions”. I always chided my husband for having so much faith in God, but not having ‘good results’ (to my judgment) to show for it. The result? My husband almost lost all faith in God and became nearly agnostic. 🙁 Like you, he was living up to my expectations, not God’s. He will be answerable to God for that, for that is his own walk with Christ, but I have seen how I have become my own husband’s greatest stumbling block because of my pride, self-righteousness, judgmental attitudes, and condescending behavior. 🙁

        Like your wife too, I was guilty of the sin of envy. I envied other women who had more commanding, driven, go-getter husbands. I saw my husband’s laidback, passive, gentle demeanor as a “barrier” to my having a “perfect marriage.” 🙁

        I pray that your wife’s eyes be pried open spiritually by the Lord and that she sees the error of her ways. You cannot do that. I did not open my own eyes. I could not open my own eyes. Only God could do that. And when He did, I saw myself for what I really was — not a “good” and “spiritual” woman by MY standards, but a sinful, prideful, envious, self-righteous, judgmental, discontented, ungrateful woman. Imagine how SHOCKED I was by that realization! It was totally not what I was expecting!

        I have since repented for my many, many, many sins to God first, then to my husband. I died to myself on September 1, 2013. I have submitted to God, then unto my husband… and I can tell you, since that time, I have never known that such a PEACE that Christ promised in the Bible, was even POSSIBLE nor was it ATTAINABLE. But, I now bask in it daily.

        THere is much hope for you, brother! Pray for you spouse. She just does not know that what she is doing is wrong, I believe. But, do not lose hope! If the Lord opened up my eyes, April’s eyes, and so many spiritual eyes among us here… it can happen to your wife too!

        But, the key is to not focus on your wife, but to focus on Christ.

        God bless you, Broken brother. Praying for you especially today.

        Sincerely,

        Nikka

        You can read about it here. It was posted on April’s blog.

        http://peacefulwife.com/2014/01/29/nikkas-3rd-heartbreaking-interview-with-her-husband/

      2. Broken,

        How my heart breaks to hear your story. Thank you for sharing, I know many wives here will relate to your pain about desiring more children.

        Paul did ask God to remove the thorn in his flesh three times, but God told him, “my grace is sufficient for you.”

        I pray for God’s wisdom, direction, strength, peace and joy for you and for His will to be done and His greatest glory in your life, your marriage and your family.

        Oh goodness. I recognize myself in your wife in that last paragraph. You are describing my marriage, the first 14+ years. If your wife knew what God has shown me, she would be mortified at the pain she has caused. She doesn’t know. She doesn’t understand yet. I pray that. God might open her eyes as He opened mine. The book Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs is what God used to help me understand my husband’s need for unconditional respect.

        I would love to ask you a favor. You are welcome to say, no. But, your last paragraph is so well written and your feelings here are so clearly described, I would love to anonymously quote you in the book I am finishing up to help wives begin to better understand husbands’ perspectives.

        I am so thankful that you shared with us. I am praying for you and your family.

      3. Wow. That last paragraph convicted me. I never thought about my husband was trying to live to my standard instead of Gods. I was being too loud and not letting God shine His love and mercy and grace on my husband.

      4. Broken and livelywriter,

        Let me just say first that I can fully relate to and understand what you both are going thru in regards to children. April shared my story a few months ago, but the summary is that I married a christian man who told me he wanted kids before we got married, and decided after we got married he NEVER wanted kids. Talk about heartbreak. I was devastated beyond words. I was mad at my husband, mad at God for sending me someone like that, and mad at anybody that would be having children. These debilitating thoughts went on for years. I would pray and pray that God would change my husbands heart. Sometimes, my only communication with God would be for him to change my husbands heart and grant us kids.

        See, I came to know and believe that I desired children more than God, more than my husband, etc. It was a HUGE idol in my life that I was completely blinded too. I am just now starting to get to a place in my relationship with God and in my marriage, where I trust the sovereignty of Jesus.

        I was raised in a Christian home and accepted Jesus at a very young age. I grew up hearing “trust Jesus” quite often, but I do not think I knew what it fully meant to truly have to trust him in areas that were so serious. I blamed my husband, telling him it was his fault and all kinds of disrespectful things- as a result my husband started withdrawing from me – which just fueled my fire more at the time.

        Now, I am having to retrain my brain and change the way that I view God and my husband. I still desire children, yes, however, for the FIRST time in my marriage, I can truly say that God has taken that desire and replaced it with new desires for a closer relationship with Jesus and with my husband. I came to the realization that if I were given the choice that I could have kids and have my husband taken away, or I could never have kids and know my husband would be there, I would choose my husband every time.

        See, God has brought me to this place of trusting in Him. I never thought me, of all people, would actually start being okay with the possibility of never having kids, but I trust Jesus. I know that his timing, and his will are perfect.

        My prayers for you are that you know and fully experience the amazing sovereignty of Jesus, and that you thank him for the amazing blessings of children he has given you if you have them. We don’t understand God’s will sometimes, but I can tell you that he is using this heartache in my life to show me that maybe it wasn’t my husbands fault, maybe,just maybe, this is an area in MY life that God needed to work on. If we would have had children right after being married, I think that I would still end up being a very miserable person because I would try to find all my fulfillment in my kids instead of God, and I might have never taken this journey to become a respectful wife – so I thank Jesus that in His grace, he knew what I needed to fully understand his LOVE.

        1. “If we would have had children right after being married, I think that I would still end up being a very miserable person because I would try to find all my fulfillment in my kids instead of God, and I might have never taken this journey to become a respectful wife – so I thank Jesus that in His grace, he knew what I needed to fully understand his LOVE.”

          Amen!

          Gracealone, I started this journey with a google search for what to do when your husband changes his mind about having kids. I was so disheartened by the prevalence of the advice to divorce and find someone else. That just didn’t sound like true, solid advice. Your story here in April’s blog was the first thing I read that gave me hope.

          Although my story has taken a turn I never anticipated, I am so thankful that I listened to that small voice that turned me away from the advice to leave and remarry. The outcome may still be the same at the end if the day, but I learned what true obedience and sacrifice mean and this journey saved my soul in the process.

          We are so blessed to be shown our deficiencies and to have the chance to correct them! I am so joyful for the contenment you are finding through Christ in your journey to becoming a respectful wife.

          I pray for you, sister!

      5. Dear Broken,

        First, I understand the depth of your pain. It is so hard to face a joint decision becoming a solo decision…it cuts to the core. I am sorry you are experiencing such pain.

        Second, I feel so blessed to be able to answer you very specifically. You asked, “What do you do when you are powerless like this?”

        The first step in becoming okay with my powerlessness, was acknowledging that I was indeed powerless. I turned to God and told Him that I needed Him…that He alone could make right a lose-lose situation. With regard to the no baby situation, I got the message that there was no fair (hard to swallow), there was simply right and wrong. Keeping my word to God was right and that meant letting go of having a baby so that I could choose to honor God in my marriage vows. This was not easy.

        I remember sending an e-mail to my new pastor at 2 in the morning to express just how this sacrifice of my heart’s desire felt. Here’s what I said:

        “I am sad, angry, and determined to be faithful. I am trying so hard to let go of my desire for another child, but it feels like I am actually sacrificing a living, breathing baby…like I am giving the baby I so long for away because it is what I am being asked to do in order to keep my word to God. I hear the promise in my ears that He who made the stars knows them by name and knows me also by name…and He wants me to be happy, and yet I still fear the pain of letting go.”

        The knowledge that I was obeying God is what gave me the strength to let go.

        My deacon’s daughter said something that I overheard and it really resonated with me. When asked if she wanted children, her reply was I want however many children God wants to give me. That is where I am now. It brings me peace to let God have that authority over me.

        I hope this helps. I will pray for you. Stay strong in God!

  12. Thank you, thank you, April! These are so many of the questions you know I struggle with, and you have given us such a fire hydrant to drink from here. It’s going to take a long time to wade through all these truths and let them permeate my heart and mind, but I will take the time! I’ve really been searching my heart lately about 1) my attitude towards God (I think it has become less reverent over time) and 2) my frame of mind while dating (perhaps I was not as holy as I thought I was). This are painful things to process. Much love to you.

    1. Jane Doe,

      I know! It is a bit of a fire hydrant. Sorry about that! I was a bit concerned that it may have been too much all at one time.

      But – hopefully it will be something that wives can refer back to and chew on and prayerfully consider for awhile.

      We can’t rush through this stuff. We have to really take time, wrestle with things, allow God’s Word into the darkest corners of our hearts, carefully decide if we are going to believe God and His Word or not and whether we are going to obey God or not. I don’t want any wife to rush this. It is very deep, life changing stuff. It requires allowing God to completely change our our old heart and mind with a new one from Him.

      This is very painful. And a bit shocking at first. And humbling.

      How I wish someone could have explained all of this to me many years ago.

      I pray that God might use this to help you dig deep and do the soul searching He desires you to do and that He might accomplish His greatest glory in your life. 🙂

      Much love!
      April

    2. Livelywriter,

      My heart goes out to you! It’s like the same lie of the evil one is permeating your present as it did in the past. Thank God, you have seen it for what it really is: a BLATANT, OUTRIGHT LIE by satan!

      You are precious, dear sister. The world may treat you badly, men might dump you for whatever reason or no reason at all, but you are a child of God. Praise God you saw the Truth!!!

      Thanks for sharing your life to us. You are a living testament to God’s Amazing Mercy and Love!

      Love,

      Nikka

      1. Thank you Nikka for being a beacon on my path to Christ!!! I have been so encouraged by you and your openness about all you have experienced! ☺❤

        I know what you mean about the same lie then as now. It gave me chills to see that parallel. Spiritual warfare is real.

        Thankfully, I claimed victory through Christ and God’s Truth crushed satan’s lies! I feel free from the bondage of self-hate. Praise to God!!!

  13. I actually just wanted to comment on this post and tell you how pretty you looked, April. But also, I love that this cross in the image is covered in beautiful springy flowers. To be honest a lot of the stark wooden ones around Easter tend to remind me more of Christ’s pain and suffering than the hope that we have and the beauty of his sacrifice and this just seems so symbolic of just the right message.

    1. Uncommonprincess,

      Yes, the flowers do convey the beauty of the new life that is completely ours when we are in Christ. We are dead to our old lives and old sinful selves and to sin and this world and now we are alive to God in Christ. So glorious!

      Thanks for the encouragement!

  14. Catherine,

    How my heart feels your pain! One of the most humbling things I’ve experienced is falling and having to get up again–with God’s help–and keep trying to please him, in spite of multiple failures to do his will perfectly. Old hurts can return like a freight train when something in the present triggers it, and it just takes time and lots of fervent prayer for God’s help to make. progress. Healing of the heart only happens when we learn to see situations through spiritual eyes, when God’s spirit gives us the insight that brings understanding.

    1. You’re absolutely right Elizabeth, thank you. I healed from a lot of old hurt, worked very hard to forgive and let go of the past – but new hurts have ripped those scars wide open. I know my husband cannot understand it, and trying to explain only makes it worse. Take it to God. I didn’t pause to listen to His direction. Live and learn, love and let God. I appreciate your post.

      1. Catherine,

        I quickly sent what i had written but then had to head to the basement of the large apt building where I am in Denver when a tornado warning sounded. So glad it’s past now. I wanted to add that it gets easier and easier to remain in God’s peace as time goes on. My prayers are with you. Much love!

      1. Hmmm,

        Ok, soooo my ‘Amens’ still apply. Both of Elizabeth’s statements are true and reassuring. God bless you Sis Elizabeth and Catherine. We are not alone.

        Rev 12:11 “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.
        (NASB)

  15. Good stuff. The thing I’ve noticed is that Satan has not changed his scheme one bit.. it is the exact same lies he’s telling us that he told Adam and Even in the garden! Satan convinced Eve that if God really loved her, God would want her to be able to eat of all the fruits of the garden, and that God was somehow lying to her and that she would not surely die…

    Years ago, I started dating a guy that I know God did not want me to date.

    I did this because I grew up in a Christian home, went to college, remained sexually pure the whole time, waiting for my husband to come along.. I (subconsciously) had a false belief about God that if I did these things then I would “deserve” a husband and when I finished college and still wasn’t married I was confused, I believe Satan placed a poser in front of me and said, “If God really loved you.. wouldn’t he give you a husband.. here is a guy who likes you, date him!” And I gave in! 1 1/2 years later when our relationship crashed and burned, I was angry and hurt at God for not allowing our relationship to be restored and to become married. For some reason, God mercifully saved me from that relationship!!!!!! Not less than a year later, he was arrested for domestic abuse to some other girl! I honestly don’t know why God spared me from that but I’m so glad he did!

    I spent the next 6 months healing, grieving, and returning to God with a new worldivew that I didn’t “deserve” a husband and children ever, I deserved hell, and anything else would be a gift and blessing. Three years later, I married my current husband.

    Although I know he is a wonderful gift in my life, there are still times when I struggle. He rarely does the dishes and when I ask him nicely he still usually refuses. It is hard sometimes because Satan STILL tries to tell me “you don’t need to serve that guy who sits on the couch not doing dishes every night!!” I try to concentrate on what he DOES do: he loves God and takes us to church, gets on the floor and wrestles with our children, mows the lawn, takes out the trash, pays all the bills/handles finances, disciplines our children, hangs out with my family, and the list goes on! And most of all, he never to rarely mentions anything that I don’t do or don’t do well (and there is a lot!), he never nags like us women do!
    I’m encouraged reading all your comments, ladies/men!

  16. Gentlemen,

    My sisters and I warmly welcome your perspectives, insights and thoughts here. It is always my desire to uphold God’s Word and His truth. It is also my primary task to focus on teaching the wives about becoming godly women and godly wives. I desire to bless men here, as well. But God has called me to focus on teaching women.

    I am sure there are things that we won’t all agree on. I believe we do all agree about the absolute truth of God’s Word.

    I want to encourage discussion. You are my brothers, and I love you with the love of Christ. I am so thankful for all that you have shared with the wives. I am even thankful for your different ways of looking at things. I know that you love God with all your hearts and are seeking to live in obedience to Him.

    If you would like to continue this particular discussion, perhaps I can facilitate an exchange of email addresses for that purpose?

          1. Jim,
            It is difficult for Christian men or Christian women to agree on these difficult topics – and we don’t all use the same wording or have the same background or perceptions. It can get difficult. It can be that much more difficult in marriage when there are also two different genders involved.

            Thankfully, our Lord is able to give us a Spirit of unity. And He is able to open our eyes to His Word and His truth. I trust that He will do that for each of us.

      1. Haha Brother Frankly! 🙂

        I enjoyed your “verbal fistfight” right there with Brother Jim. Glad the wrestling has come to an end and served its purpose. 🙂

        We ladies did not want to get caught in that one! Hehe.

        Peace, brothers! You are most welcome here.

        Your sister in Christ,
        Nikka

  17. HI! I am soooo enjoying your blog! I am new to this journey of becoming a peaceful wife. Before my marriage I never thought I was the controlling type. I have blamed what I perceived as him being passive for my controlling ways. I am having trouble relinquishing this control as I have experienced far too many mistakes that he has made. Big mistakes. Costly mistakes. I forgive of course. I am just very fearful of having to dig out AGAIN! Also, I never really chose him. I allowed trustworthy family members to approve ( i was not trusting myself to choose well after a really bad 1st marriage). and still today I try very hard to find things in him that I like/love/feel drawn to, and i have found 2. I have heard it said that love is a choice. Can’t say I have experienced that. I watch him and concluded over and over that I wouldn’t choose him even if I just met him and didn’t know anything more than what I saw and heard in the last 10 minutes. Praying! Any advice you have will be greatly appreciated!

    1. Michelle,
      Great to meet you!!

      What is your relationship with Christ?

      What are the two things you found?

      Are there addiction issues or mental health problems?

      Why did you relinquish any choice in the matter?

      Much love!

      1. April,

        We are both saved. He is a MInister. The 2 things I found that I like about him are that he is faithful and that he willingly seeks after God. A Pastor once said, If you can find one thing that you really like about your spouse you can work with that.” Well I know those two things are pretty great. It just seems to me that outside of Christ we do not have much in common. We differ in our interests, humor, drive, choice of friends, and much more. There are no addictions or mental health issues. The reason i relinquished my choice was that I really did not trust my own judgement. I was so sure about my ex husband and I just knew we would grow old together. I never even considered divorce when we hit some rough roads. When he ended up hooked on drugs and had countless affairs I was blown away. Shocked. I never knew he could fall so low. I didn’t trust my own judgement in men for a long, long time. His actions shocked and surprised a whole lot of people. He was a deacon and the Pastors right hand-man. So when my (now) husband showed interest and pursued and pursued me for some time, I simply listened to my mom and other wise women in my family who had successful marriages who were definitely in his corner and saw a lot in him that I did not. I have never been drawn to him. Yes he is nice and pleasant. There is just no spark. No connection. Never has been for me. I know he loves me. I believe him when he says it. He shows it in ways that are him…. not me. I know I sound unappreciative. It’s just that I long to have a husband I truly desire. Someone that I can talk to, share with, laugh with, without it feeling like sooo much effort to simply relate. I believe its unfair of me to expect him to change. Our life and so much in it is mediocre and mundane at best. We have been married for 8 years. I have been unhappy for at least 6. I have gotten used to having him around and when he is not there, which is very rare, it feels funny…not because of some deep connection but more like whats normal is not there. (Like cutting down a tree in the front yard and having to adjust to the new look) In all honesty I am not walking away but if he did… I wouldn’t look back. BUT! that is not going to happen. So here I am. Yielding to God. Praying that this marriage which I have little desire for can become something palatable, desirable, God-pleasing. I am honoring my vows.

        1. Michelle,

          Goodness, what a painful situation in your first marriage. We are all wretched sinners in need of Christ, that is for sure!

          I really wish you had involved yourself in this process of choosing a husband. Attraction is not always something that can be manufactured. However, marriages were often arranged for thousands of years, and yet God’s design still stands. A wife is still commanded to respect and submit to her husband and he is still commanded to love her as Christ loves the church.

          Why do you believe that you don’t feel a spark? It is his personality? His looks?

          What do you believe you would need to be “happy?”

          There are no other things that you are able to respect about him? His work ethic, his talents, his strengths, his abilities, his masculinity?

          Thankfully, women CAN develop greater attraction as they focus on genuinely respecting their husbands. Check out “Respect, Biblical Submission and Sexual Attraction.”

          What are your expectations?

          Why is your life mediocre and mundane? What is your ownership in that?

          Your 2nd husband is just not as dashing and exciting as your first husband? But he loves God and is faithful and is not on drugs. Sometimes “excitement” is not a good thing!

          I’m very glad you are yielding to God. I do believe you can focus on Philippians 4:8 things and that your desire may be able to increase as you seek to focus on the positive. What are the things you tell yourself about your husband and your marriage?

          Is it possible that the enemy may be whispering in your ear here? I’m sure you and your husband are quite a target.

          How is your walk with Christ going?

          Much love!

          1. April,
            I really wish I followed my gut instinct in not marrying him too! But I didn’t and I have come a long way in owning what I did.

            Why do I believe I don’t feel a spark? That is hard to explain but, I will try. It is his personality. The things he says. He can be quirky and off-putting to me, my children and others. He is the kind of person you really have to warm up to. Many of his friends have said they simply did not like him at first but then they realized he is very faithful and dependable. He is somewhat stern and very set in his ways of approaching things and pretty much can only function in the way he thinks to go about it. Any suggestion by me or even his male friends is really not accepted by him easily. Many of my friends and acquaintances have commented that he is not who they expected me to be married to when they have met him for the first time. (I try to quiet the memory of their comments) I do see some change in him, since I backed off, calmed down, apologized for being soooo disrespectful to him. He responds to me differently, better. ( after doing that I actually felt lighter, even joyful, like my old self prior to feeling so trapped and down) He still has a long way to go in responding to others but he has gotten better. A lot of it I believe has to do with him having been a loner as a child. He can be, at least in my eyes, arrogant and boastful. The hope I keep in my heart is the fact that God called him to not only preach the Gospel but to one day Pastor. And since the CALL is there i know God will finish what He has begun and that as a Pastor he will be ineffective if he is off-putting, rude, arrogant etc. SO I fully expect God to change him. AND I am no longer trying to ‘help GOD’

            What do I believe I need to be happy?
            I have always been very easy going, easy to please. But I have always been around numerous people who are very charismatic, leaders, go getters, commanders, and I now realize having literally relocated to far-from-what-I-was-used-to-land….. that type of person is not here in great numbers. It’s huge and sorely missed. BUT. I stop and think maybe this absence of what I was so comfortable in and used to is causing me to become something I never had to be: Out of the shadow of those type of people. Developing into what God has for me to be. Blooming where I am planted.

            Other things I respect about him?

            hmmm….. He is a hard worker. He is a talented musician. I am having trouble in this area. His off putting ways block me… A LOT! But i have become quiet about them. I have stopped complaining and started praying and trusting God and waiting patiently. Enjoying what I can. HIs masculinity???? HE can be overbearing at times so not so much there. I tell ya…I have to dig deep in this area.

            I will definitely read the book. I need every bit of Godly advice I can get.

            Why is my life mediocre and mundane and my ownership in it?

            Wow April….THERES NO UMPH! I am/We are trying to get out and do more. HE is content to be on the outskirt of things and I want to be in the hub. I try to let him lead in this area. We are taking turns planning different weekend getaways (minimum of 4 per year we agreed due to our finances being so tight)…so its my plan next. I am excited! HUBBA HUBBA!

            NO HE IS NOT EXCITING! He and my EX are completely different. (I didn’t want another man like my ex but i didn’t expect this) HE is MR slow and steady. MR VERY SLOW and steady. YAWN! WE can be considering the same thing and I will decide in like 5 minutes. Three weeks later he will say what i have forgotten about.

            Yeah my focus has changed. Believe it or not I used to be even more negative during my unbearably unhappy days. I became someone even I didn’t like, preoccupied with self. My happiness. I even entertained having an affair. As wrong as that is. I met a man. HE was easy going, Interesting. Handsome. Easy conversation. Funny. Single. Alluring. A leader. I believed I could easily follow and respect him if I were free to enter a relationship with him. I felt something that felt a lot like love. We kept in communication for months. He would invite me over to his house and I would happily go. I was already strongly considering leaving my husband and he was waiting with no pressure. I would confide in him. I lusted after him. But I did not cross the line physically ( I know I crossed the line in many other non-physical ways). I had a weakness for him that scared me. I confessed to God and my husband. I repented. Now I pray and seek after God and His will. I no longer ask God to release me from this marriage. Believe me I used to beg God for that! I still have not fully surrendered. I have these fears that I allow to prevent me. Like… becoming like my husband. NOT GOOD TO FEAR THAT! A church member once told me my joke sounded like my husbands. I was offended. WOW I hope I didn’t show it. That is such a slap in the face to my husband.
            MY focus is surrender.

            My expectations are that God will develop in each of us what His plan for us is. This is my hope. I will continue to do my best to respect him. I realize this is a process. AND YES my own inner voice can be our worst enemy. My negative thoughts of being trapped will fester if I allow and they lead no where good really fast.

          2. Michelle,

            I would love for you to read my article for minister’s wives. You can search for it on my home page. Let me know what you think!

            Are you holding on to unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, contempt, disrespect, self righteousness, pride or idolatry of any kind, do you think?

            How is your walk with Christ?

            My prayer is that you look for the good and begin to savor what you have. Your marriage now is a paradise compared to your first marriage. Praise God!!!

            It sounds like you have a good man there. I pray you will have eyes to see that! 🙂

        2. Hi Michelle,

          I agree with April. I was very attracted to my husband when we first met but there have been times where that attraction has faded. Not-so-coincidentally, the times I have lost that attraction were the times I was being the most disrespectful and belligerent. Being a submissive feminine wife to a godly masculine husband is hot! 🙂

          Common interests aren’t enough to hold a marriage together and I think even good marriages take effort to simply relate sometimes. I would suggest finding some girlfriends who share your interests and asking your husband if you can have a girls night once a week/month. Then seek to share in his interests. Learn something about whatever he is in to. Spend time with him even if you are just sitting in the same room as him. It is easier for wives to adapt to their husbands interests then for them to adapt to ours (It’s just how we were made) Men, for the most, part do only show love in their own way. Don’t believe the movies. If you can see him showing love you can learn to internalize that love.

          I think women on a core level seek strength in a partner. To find the spark, find his strength. In my first marriage that spark was from his physical strength but he was also an addict liar and cheater. With my current husband that spark is in his intelligence. When I focus on his strength the attraction naturally increases.

          1. Thank you Victoria,
            I am always looking for something more to like and admire about my husband. I try hard to understand him. I agree that we women do adapt much more easily. I have been going with him to his places of interest for most of our marriage. They are okay. I love when we invite friends to join us. It becomes more lively.

            I do seek strength in a partner. Hmmm. What are my husbands strengths??? I have felt like he effectively had my back on very few occasions. I frequently feel like when a major situation arises I have to be on it. Early on I had no problem letting him lead…until we experienced horrible outcomes. I have had 3 surgeries in 3 years. The last surgery resulted in my having a reaction to the anesthesia and I did not wake up for several hours when I should have in like 90 minutes. It was to be an outpatient surgery. The hospital staff dressed me and tried to wake me up to send me home. When they were able to arouse me a little I heard the nurse say its time to go home. My thought was something is not right. My limbs felt very heavy. I could not control my body. I couldn’t even hold my head up. I couldn’t stay awake long enough to complete a thought. They sent me home completely out of it. My husband did take good care of me AND I APPRECIATE THAT! but after the fact I was concerned that he didn’t know enough to tell the staff THIS SHOULDNT BE and allowed it because he didn’t know better. I called the hospital and got a big apology. Yes I forgave him. But its hard to follow him.

            One other thing i will mention that has led to my very difficult road of FOLLOWING HIM… One of his sons was falsely accused of a crime and arrested. HE advised his son to plead no contest. REALLY! I asked him if he believed his son was innocent. Did he believe his son was telling him everything. He said yes. I advised him to have his son plead NOT GUILTY, Get an attorney or at the very least go and talk to the public defender. He did. The truth prevailed and his son is free with no criminal record. Thank God! When I discussed this with his then pastors wife as being one of the reasons I did not want to marry him (this happened before we were married and his pastor and wife were very much for our getting married) she said well thank God he had you to tell him.

            Sometimes what he doesn’t know is soooo frustrating to me! BUT STILL I am learning to stop complaining. STILL looking for more to admire. What strength does he have that I don’t? What weakness does he have that I don’t. I used to say I need a little yin for my yang. Let me stop now before the complainer in me wakes up. Just please pray for me and I will too. This marriage to me clearly should not have been. But God is able to do exceeding, abundantly above all we can ask or think. That is all I have to stand on. His word. And I will stand. Though at times frustrated. I am growing, learning,enduring, trusting, hopeful, standing, Surrendering!

          2. Michelle,

            Command men are very exciting, and it sounds like maybe you were used to that. Every husband.ms personality has strengths and weaknesses. No one has all strengths. Now you have a faithful husband who loves God. That counts for quite a lot! I would take that any day over an exciting man who is addicted to drugs and unfaithful. I am married to a steady man myself, obviously. It does take longer for decisions to be made. Things are much more calm and peaceful. There are many blessings in such an environment if we are willing to look for them. 🙂

            It seems to me that your husband is not medically trained, and that the hospital staff were the ones who jeopardized your life. He may not have seen people after surgery before. I have to lay fault on the hospital staff much more than your husband for that one. I am sure he will know better next time.

            It sounds like he did listen to your counsel about his son’s situation and that he made a wise decision. You will be giving your input. That is how you work as a team. He will not make the best decision 100% of the time. He may have had reasons why he felt what he was thinking of doing would have been the best solution. Men are not born wise leaders. They learn to become godly leaders over time, usually by making mistakes and learning from them.

            He can you say this marriage clearly should not have been? You are married now. This is God’s will for you now. Our God is able to make something beautiful here. If you are willing to do things His way.

            You are safe, well loved, protected, honored and cared for, it sounds likes you have a hard working husband who wants to give you a good life, from what I can tell.

            What are some ways you have been disrespecting your husband, even just in your heart? Please read the posts at the top of my home page about disrespect and respect for ideas. What sins do you need to repent of and cut out?

            What are 5 new ways you could begin to show respect to your husband this week?

          3. April,

            I have been doing some self examining this morning after considering your words and reading on what is disrespectful to my husband. I have been extremely disrespectful. I nailed about 80% of the things on your list of disrespectful ways. Yes I am angry and resentful, and a whole lot of other terrible things. For the first time in my life I don’t feel safe, or loved. It’s not that I am not it’s that I don’t feel it. You are so right about command men, which I have always had through my dad, grandfather, uncle, my ex-husband, ex-father in-law, my former pastor during my 1st marriage, and many of the people on my former job in law enforcement. The thing about them is it is very easy to, like Victoria said, see their various and unmistakable strengths,(intelligence, creativity, heroic ways, generosity, wit, drive, success) and be drawn to it/them. The spark for me with my ex was just there, plainly and undeniably there. It made it so easy to follow and respect and to feel safe and loved. Please don’t misunderstand, I don’t want him back! I just really desire the feeling of security and being loved and loving in return quite easily. I now know that I must put my trust above all else in God. A whole lot of UNDOING has to happen here in me. You asked me what are 5 new ways to begin to show respect to my husband and I have to really think on this. Sad but true. NOT having blaring signs from him like I have had all my life equals poor sight for me. I have got a long way to go. Some digging deep. A whole lot of surrendering to God. Day 1 of the journey!

          4. Michelle:

            If I may, here is one way you could be respectful toward your husband.

            You said in an earlier post that he is a hard worker. Tell him that he is a hard worker, and that you greatly admire this about him. Tell him that real men work hard, and he is a real man in your eyes.

            In fact, here are some more possibilities:

            Is he a good provider? If he is, tell him that real men provide for their families, and he is a real man in your eyes.

            Does he ever purposely do things that you normally do, for the purpose of sparing you the burden of doing it? Tell him that real men protect their wives from the burdens of life, and he is a real man in your eyes.

            The point is, the most important thing in the heart of a man is that he is thought of as someone who is fulfilling his obligations as a man. And it is most important to him that you his wife, more than anyone else, see him that way.

            If you can find one such thing to say to him, if he believes that you really mean it, you will touch him deeply. The more things, the better. By touching him in this way, you will be giving him the spark that you so long to get from him, and my guess is that he will then want to find a way to give you a spark.

          5. Thank you Jim,

            I will try. Right now I am still angry. It wouldn’t be sincere. The disconnect between us has been here for sooo long. I really have to start with getting rid of so much sin in my heart. I feel a little hardened and I don’t like being here! Its a very difficult place to be.

          6. Michelle,

            I prayed for you today.

            I think there is so much hope for your marriage. I know your situation is hard, but take stock of the good parts because it could be so much worse.

          7. If you can grit your teeth (figuratively) and just give him one word of affirmation, he might respond with a loving gesture. If he does, then the next one will be a bit easier for you.

            Sometimes you have to fake it. That’s what we musicians do when we don’t know how to play the music that is written.

            We’re all pulling for you, and we all know that you are in a very tough spot.

          8. Jim,
            Good advice. I have heard similar before. A pastor said that he advises people who are simply not in love with their spouse to fake it. Fueled by sheer will power, say and do things as if they were passionately in love with their spouse for at least 30 days ( i think that’s the time period). At the end of 30 days they will have a new habit that usually grows into true feelings and then continue to do those things that should now feel more natural and the couple is happier. I have not tried it.

          9. April,
            I am thankful to God for your faithfulness! This ministry/blog is an eye opener to me. I was angry and somewhat hardened. At times it’s difficult to see myself sincerely desiring my husband, appreciating what I can’t yet see and yet knowing this marriage is where I will be. THAT makes me angry and sad. But!… I went to a women’s bible study today that ended up lasting 6 hours. We had a great time in God’s word on subjects like the trinity, marriage, fears, hopes, family and more. I left there with a renewed determination to follow Christ without fear of what I can’t yet see.

          10. livelywriter,
            Thank you for your prayers! And yes it could be worse, I am thankful its not. Believe me. I have had a huge serving of worse. Glad its behind me!

          11. Michelle,

            I am so sorry if my comment sounded like a rebuke and not encouragement. You sure did have a big serving of worse before…I am sure that hurt excruciatingly.

            I think it is wonderful that you experienced some uplifting fellowship, too! We all need that! ☺

          12. livelywriter,

            NO worries! Your comment did not sound like a rebuke. I appreciate your time and effort to try and help me! God bless you!

  18. “Why do I have to work so hard and be “perfect” to win my husband over and please God when other husbands are so loving toward their wives?”

    __________________________________________________________________

    This thinking tripped me up for so long. I felt like my husband was expecting me to earn his love through submission. I began to see God the same way, that He could only love me if I obeyed Him. I would envy wives who had egalitarian marriages. I would accuse my husband of expecting me to jump through hoops in order for him to love me. I thought there was something inherently wrong with me because my husband couldn’t love me unless I was perfect for him.

    My husband would say that our marriage would be so much better if I would only submit to him. I began to think that he didn’t care about me as a person; that having a submissive wife was more important to him than who I was at my core. I wanted him to love me no matter how badly I disrespected him or rebelled against him. “Love me for me, not what I can do for you” I often yelled.

    My husband and God were both trying to teach me that submitting was for my benefit but I was so hurt from my past that I just couldn’t see it.

    It’s been a long road. It’s taken me such a long time to trust my husband and God. I know now that my husband wants the best for us not just the best for himself. As I have worked on submitting, my husband has been able to let his guard down and I can see his heart. He is more forthcoming with compliments and I can see now that he does love me for me. I wish it didn’t take me so long to see the truth.

    1. Victoria,

      This is awesome!

      Interestingly, our submission is not about God’s love for us or our husband’s love for us – it is how we show our love for them!

      “Anyone who loves Me will obey My commands… He who does not obey Me does not love Me.” John 14:22,24

      Thank you very much for sharing!!!! May I please quote you in my book, anonymously, of course?

      1. Sure you can!

        That is a great point April! I am beginning to learn this myself. I have had such a hard time internalizing that obedience and authority are expressions of love. I don’t think it is natural, especially for women to link these ideas.

  19. Reblogged this on Peacefulwife's Blog and commented:

    Ladies,

    Single women have different variations, but really, it is the same question.
    Is God really good?
    Why hasn’t He given me a husband yet?
    What have I done wrong that I am not married?
    If God really loved me, He would give me a godly husband right now.
    Can I really trust God?
    Is God’s Word true?

    I invite you to join me as I seek to shed some light on these questions in this post.

    If you would like for me to address the issues singles face more specifically, please let me know!

  20. Jim and Frankly 🙂

    Bless you, great having your input! I am smiling because it’s so cool that you both love the Lord and want to do things right! I challenge you to treat your wives tonight!! lol x

  21. Good stuff!!
    This week I’m going to work through this thread slowly. Lots of great thinking and meditating nuggets!!!
    🙂

  22. Thank you for your wisdom, honesty, and complete devotion to Loving God with every breath and word…

    I am newly Married and I have been struggling with this very issue, reading your post was like looking in the mirror! This is very convicting and inspiring thank you for your courage and honesty in posting this article.

    Newly Wed being Sanctified 😉

  23. There are certainly many men like us that would want to meet a good woman to settle down with as well, and being alone for many of us isn’t fun at all.

    1. Jay,
      Absolutely! I hear from many men and women who feel exactly like you do. I pray for a godly wife for you, according to God’s will and timing. And for His comfort, healing, power and greatest glory in your life.

      Thank you so much for sharing.

  24. Oh my! THANK YOU for clarity! I thought I was loving Jesus with my whole heart – this post revealed some ugliness in me. I really appreciate you pointing out in particular if we have hatred in our hearts we do not love God. I have some praying and repenting to do. God bless you April.

    1. Rhonda,

      This is a message we all need a refresher on from time to time. I’m so glad it is a blessing. Sometimes, seeing our sin is very painful at first – but what freedom when we can repent and then experience the power of God’s Spirit flooding our souls and working in us to form Christ in us. 🙂

  25. Nobody should ever say “God” didn’t give me a good husband, or a good wife, for that matter. We are adults and our decisions are not made for us, not even by God. Ultimately, nobody forces you to say “I do”. A lot of people prefer to blame God for their poor choices because it takes away their responsibility, and many, many times, you see a lot of red flags during the relationship that scream at you, “if you marry this one, you will suffer”, but often people prefer to ignore that.

    1. Opened eyes,

      True, we make our own decisions, and sometimes, you are right, we ignore lots of red flags to our own detriment. Of course, even with a godly spouse, there will be sin to deal with at times, because we are in a fallen world. But the awesome thing about serving the sovereign Lord is that He is able to even use our spouses’ sin and our sin and mistakes for our ultimate good and His glory as we trust Him. Thankfully!! 🙂

      1. You have to remember that we’re living in very different times today that finding love for many of us good men is very hard on us right now which i am very sure that many other men that are single like me will certainly agree with me as well. Today with so many women being very high maintenance, independent, selfish, greedy, and very picky, really speaks for itself as to why there are so many of us good single men out there today as i speak since it wasn’t our fault at all when many of us are Not single by choice. And if we were very extremely lucky from the beginning finding love then many of us would’ve been married with a Good wife and family as well since that never happened for many of us as you can see. The good old fashioned women years ago certainly made it much Easier for our parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles finding love in those days for them is a very good reason why many of their Marriages lasted so long, and today believe it or not many of them are still together now as i speak. I really wish that i could’ve been born many years Earlier which it certainly would’ve made a big difference for many of us that are still Single And Alone now, and most likely we also would’ve been married with a family for many of us today that wanted that as well unless the ones that are single would’ve stayed single. I always thought when i was growing up that i was going to find the right woman, and when i finally did meet a woman that i thought was good at that time to get married too, she Cheated on me with so many different men at the time which really Hurt me very much. Today still single and still looking and hoping, Peace.

        1. Ron,

          Our son is now a teenager. This is NOT the world I would desire for him to have to face to find a godly spouse in the coming years. It is very difficult to find a godly mate today – even in the church. We, even in the church, have slid so far away from God. We need a Great Awakening desperately. That is my daily prayer, my brother!

          Thank you for sharing. It breaks my heart that things are the way they are right now. I grieve with you!

          May God richly bless your walk with Christ and may He direct your steps for His greatest glory!

  26. Allow me to chime in here on the perspective of oblivion; There are many people in ministry or other careers of personal choice. In some cases there is a semblance of success. You know, boy meets girl, they marry, he works, they have kids, he coaches, etc. Some make good money, some don’t. The disruption in this process is a disruption in God’s order of things, just as much as a husband going to war. The necessities of life carry their own weight in which the right choices must be made. In the middle of this journey of life, some people experience tragedy such as, alcoholism, adultery, teen drug use or suicide, layoffs, victimization of crime, early health problems. How are we chosen for these outcomes? It is unknown. As much as I’ve had my share of great tragedy and my own situational depression, my wife remains with me. my choices in life have been bad but in other people’s lives, those same choices resulted in success. So should I blame God or me or the devil or what?
    A woman’s choice for a husband is the same as his in which we assume things will go well and we can all roll with the “punches” and things will be ok. 20 years later, we look at a past that is immersed in circumstances that are just different!
    My wife takes things differently than I do. Some years ago, after numerous tragedies, she said to me with tears, “why is God doing this to us?” I simply said, ” why do you think it’s God? God wants us to realize that life on earth is hard and that we must realize a future in which He will make all things better, so much better that he will “wipe our tears away.”” This is a comforting thing in the midst of my own problems and it applies to wives everywhere as well, no matter how messed up we make it!
    Often, God allows us to mess things up on our own. He wants us to look after each other just as Christ told us to. His work is among us in ways I still cannot fathom.

      1. I have just come across this page having raged at God for the Husband ‘he gave me’ So many ‘spiritual’ things happened when we met that we felt God meant for us to be together and even though he was never my type and I had doubts at marriage prep, we still got married.

        Now the blinkers are off and I just felt God lured me in and I have raged at God and my Husband. I did ask someone about my situation years ago and she said the marriage was my free will. Im at the point where I cant even bear to look or talk to my Husband because he uses conversation to whinge about everything.

        I said to my Husband that he is my test but he thought that was insulting. Having read some of this blog I still feel that.

        I said some really nasty things to him last week things Ive felt for years – that he was never my choice but Gods and so I will go through this test. On the eve of my Wedding in 2009 I opened up the bible nearly 9 times to Jerimiah 16. Being a new Christian I thought it was the devil trying to talk me out of it but as I was rightly told later, the bible is God beathed. Weve gone on to have two children with 3 miscarriages in between them

        My Husband through his life has been terribly accident prone and most the childrens serious accidents have been down to him.

        I feel terribly let down with ‘my choice’ and worry for their future and wish he would stop being such a wimp.
        Im sorry but I get lots of negative thoughts about him if anyone had tips to conteract or cast these out, Id love to hear them.

        I know I have a lot of repenting to do to God and my Husband but I end up regurgiting the same thing again in my mind and its hard to keep up the pretense as we’re so different but I know if I can just truly give it all over to God he will make our path straight. Fed up of failing all the time and saying sorry. He doesnt want to hear it.

        Im going to try to do what someone suggested and make a list of his good points because they are many and I do know he is a blessing though a challenging one to me.
        Please pray for us and thank you to everyone who has written in. I am praying for you. Our God is an AWESOME God, I know that much snd can change any and every situation. x

        1. Kazaroono,

          It is wonderful to meet you! How my heart breaks for you both. It sounds like there is so much pain in your marriage. 🙁

          What are the basic dynamics in your marriage, if you would like to talk a bit with me about things? Your husband is passive? This makes you angry?

          What are the good things you see in your husband, things you truly do respect and admire?

          How is your walk with God if you have been raging at God and blaming Him?

          Are you filled with His overwhelming joy, peace, contentment, thankfulness, and praise each day?

          I can understand why your husband felt insulted by your saying he is your test. God does use spouses to sharpen each other and help expose our sin so we can grow and mature and become more holy. But let me encourage you – the sin that is being exposed in you through this particular man being your husband would have been in your heart even if you had married someone else, and you would still be dealing with the same sin issues in yourself. Because those sins come from inside of you. He may be a trigger for you – but any husband would trigger you. The stuff that comes out of your heart, soul, mind, and mouth are a result of the spirit and character in you. The way you treat your husband and think about your husband reveals the way you treat God and think about God. I have some posts about this where I explain in more detail if you are interested, my precious sister.

          Why did you believe you shouldn’t have married him? Why did you marry him if you had so many doubts?

          Are you willing to embrace that even if you made a mistake in marrying this man – God is sovereign even over this and He is able to make something beautiful from this marriage for His glory if you will trust Him and lay down your bitterness at Him and your husband?

          It seems to me that you may be saying many toxic things to yourself about God and your husband. Are you willing to type these things you are saying out and we can hash through them together? (Totally Change Your Reality)

          I have many posts here that I believe might bless you. I’m excited that you want God to work in your life. I am happy to point you to Christ and to His power and His truth in any way I can as we walk this road together, my friend. 🙂

          Much love to you!

          Godly Femininity
          My Husband Is Not a Good Spiritual Leader

          I Am Responsible for Myself Spiritually

          Finding God’s Victory over Bitterness
          Fear Fuels Our Need to Control
          Experiencing God’s Victory over Fear
          How to Make Your Husband an Idol
          The Idol of Happiness

  27. I don’t know April. I am really in need of some godly advice.. I got married so young. So young. Me and my husband both have a good relationship with Christ but I just feel like honestly the only reason I married him is because He loved God so much. It was not only attractive to me but also that was what I really wanted in a husband! Now 2 years later I see so many other qualities I don’t want or like.. (Doesn’t take good care of me, selfish, not very affectionate or loving, never compliments me, still hangs out with single, bad influence friends all the time even though he’s married, doesn’t seem to care about a lot, when I am upset always turns it around on me, did I mention SELFISH?)
    Idk what if I really did make a mistake?
    It doesn’t help I have been out of town for work for almost 2 weeks now and he has barely called me at all!! Even after I ask him to? And the co-worker who is basically in love with me is showering me with compliments and favors all day..
    Ugh :/

    1. Lilywife,

      It’s great to meet you, my dear sister!
      What made you believe he loved God so much before? Is he still doing those things?

      I wonder if you might be willing to read a post about expectations for me – and see what God might be speaking to you?

      We all enter marriage with a LOT of expectations. And when those aren’t met – we may feel bitter, resentful, and upset. But one definition I have heard is “expectations are premeditated resentment.”

      How is your walk with Christ?

      What does God desire to change in you?

      I spent 14+ years focusing on my husband’s faults and weaknesses and how I thought he should change. That is a miserable, destructive road to choose, my sweet sister. Please don’t make the mistakes I did! Learn from my experiences. 🙂

      How are you showing respect to your husband?

      Are you disrespecting him in any way?

      Are you finding all of your contentment, fulfillment, identity, purpose, joy, peace, strength, and acceptance in Christ – or are you expecting your husband to meet the needs that only God can meet in your heart? Do you expect your husband to be responsible for your happiness and emotions and spiritual growth?

      Here’s another post I would encourage you to check out – “How to Make Your Husband an Idol.”

      What do you do and how do you speak and act and look when your husband doesn’t meet your needs?

      Much love to you!

      1. I do believe I could have less expectation. But my expectations are so high because my husbands talk is so large. I believe He loved God so much because of how much he talks of Him. He sees his hand in everything. He said he believed God was telling him to marry me. He has faith and never ever worries and also does ministry and loves people and shares the gospel every where he goes not in a weird way, he is very relatable and likeable and people are drawn to him and listen to him. He also has been through a lot in his life and believes God desires him to use those things to help others.
        But the thing is, before my husband came to Christ he was in huge sin. Swimming and drowning in sin upon sin and he will admit this. So many of his old ways still linger alllll the time. And this is what’s hard for me to understand. Sometimes I will hear him talk one way but his actions in my eyes say way differently. This has caused me to loose major respect for him unfortunately. It’s caused me to not trust him and to look up to other men in authority and question everything in him.
        I do believe God can and does still lead me through my sinful husband but also there’s no denying what I feel because of this..

        I do not find all my contentment inChrist alone 100% of the time 🙁 I know I am a sinner too! I do not believe I am better than my husband but I also don’t pretend to be the way he does. I know when I focus on Christ fully I don’t see so many of my husbands faults, well I see them but they just don’t bother me as much but that still doesn’t mean they are not their. If I had to use one word to describe my husband it would be hypocrite. That is terrible and I don’t want to feel that way

        1. Lilywife,

          Do y’all have a godly mentoring couple you could talk with?

          When did your husband come to know Christ?

          Are you willing to trust God to work in your husband to sanctify and refine him?

          When he disappoints you – how do you respond?

          Is he living in unrepentant sin? If so, what kinds of sins?

          What are your unrepentant sins?

          What does your husband say he needs in the marriage? Or does he say there are things he believes you could improve?

          Men do not enter marriage as perfectly mature Christian leaders. Marriage exposes our sin and brings it to the surface – and God can use this to make us more holy. It is going to take time for your husband to grow and mature. Just like it will take time for you to become more and more the godly wife God desires you to be. This calls for us to extend grace and patience to God and our husbands on their journey.

          How old are each of you?

          What do you believe you need to be happy?

          What are your greatest fears?

          Much love to you!

          1. Hmm.. Well we are 22 and 24… My husband struggles with all types of addictions in my opinion. Substance abuse, breaking the law, he has a hard time with authority, he’s very selfish, pride. but both his parents struggled with the same messes. I definitely have pride as well. He thinks most things he does tho are not sins. I almost feel he will never change.. He is a good person but I would say his character definitely is not the best. We don’t have any godly mentors and he has only ungodly friends, and just godly acquientences and he is fine with that: that is a lot of his problem where as I can’t do that. I have a ton of ungodly acquientences to hopefully make an impact on their life but only surround myself with godly friends!! That is a big thing.
            I believe to be happy in my marriage I need a two way street. I need him to try just as much I do! I don’t see that happening

          2. Lilywife,

            Hmmm… substance abuse. So do I understand that he is addicted to illegal drugs or rx drugs? Or what exactly is he doing? When you say breaking the law – do you mean he goes a few miles per hour over the speed limit? Or are we talking about serious offenses for which he could/should go to jail? He is disrespectful to his boss, or to the police?

            I just want to be sure I understand clearly before I attempt to address these issues.

            What do you do and say when he does these things?

            Is he driving when he is impaired? Is he endangering you?

            Is he willing to go with you to a godly mentoring couple? Just to hang out and talk and learn from them?

            He was doing all of these things when you agreed to marry him?

            Much love to you!

    1. hanging by a moment,

      If you are experiencing abuse, your husband is committing adultery right now, or he refuses to get help for a major drug/alcohol addiction, you are truly not safe, or there are extreme issues – there are times when a godly wife does need to leave for her own safety – and even as a healing step for the marriage, many times.

      If this is not the situation, it may be that God desires to use a wife in a difficult situation to pour God’s love, hope, truth, blessing, and healing into the marriage. Sometimes God changes the wife first, then eventually changes the husband.

      Would you like to talk a bit about what is going on? It sounds like things are very painful, my dear sister?

      Much love and the biggest hug to you!

  28. Some additional resources for wives whose husbands are sinning against them – you may search my home page for:

    – Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin
    – 25 Ways to Respect Myself
    – Should I Stay or Should I Go?
    – Do I Condone Abuse?
    – Rage, Hatred, and Violence

    If you are experiencing emotional abuse, http://www.leslievernick.com may be a helpful site.

    If you are experiencing physical abuse – please check out http://www.thehotline.org

    If you feel that you can’t or shouldn’t confront your husband about sin, or that you just have to take abuse, please check out Nina Roesner’s eCourse Becoming a Woman of Strength and Dignity. http://ninaroesner.com/strength-dignity-ecourse/

    I don’t want anyone to be mistreated or abused in any way. Of course, all sin against others is abusive. I know we will have to extend grace at times and that there is healing in forgiveness. But forgiveness and trust are not the same thing. If there is major unrepentant sin against you going on in your marriage, please seek godly, wise counsel. Praying for God’s healing and wisdom for each of 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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