“What if no matter what husband I married, I would be sinned against and that would reveal all this 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.” (a quote from Peacefulwife from another reader.)
FROM A WIFE:
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
May God bless you and everyone today! ☺
I stand in total amazement and awe at what you are doing in my precious sister’s life. THANK YOU for bringing her to Yourself – even though it has been such a painful journey. THANK YOU for the faith she has in You and for the power working through her now.
Lord, please provide for her needs. I pray for You to work in her husband’s heart. I pray for every stronghold of sin and the enemy to be torn down by Your power, Jesus. I pray for this husband to hear Your voice and to listen and obey You. I pray for this wife to stand strong in the power of Your Spirit and to walk in obedience and in great faith in You.
I pray for You to meet her every need and give her the wisdom she needs each moment. I pray for reconciliation and healing for this marriage. Most of all I pray for Your greatest glory.
Ladies (and gentlemen), please join with me in surrounding our new sister in prayer, love, support and encouragement.