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How Disrespectful Was I?

April as a pharmacist in 1998 (25 years old)
April as a pharmacist in 1998 (25 years old)

I had a talk with Greg this past week and, out of curiosity, asked him if he would rank my level of disrespect earlier in our marriage on a 1-10 scale with 10 being the MOST DISRESPECTFUL wife he had ever seen. He said, “You were probably about a 4 or a 5.” I knew that many women were much more disrespectful to their husbands than I was. I didn’t have eyes to see it if there were women who were more respectful than I was to their husbands. So, I thought I was respecting Greg just fine. He never complained or told me I was not doing a good job. I didn’t know I was disrespectful at all for those first 14+ years of our marriage. I thought I was the best Christian wife, ever! I mean, I didn’t:

  • scream
  • cuss
  • throw things – except for that ONE time that I threw a pair of clean panties at Greg the first summer we were married. They didn’t come anywhere near hitting him. So, that surely doesn’t count, right?
  • threaten divorce
  • call him names
  • purposely disrespect him
  • hit him – although, I really wanted to sometimes
  • cheat on him – but, I did become infatuated with another man early in our marriage, and allowed myself to daydream about what it would be like to be married to him instead of Greg. So dangerous!
  • humiliate him on Facebook – of course, it hadn’t been invented yet!
  • act like the women on Jerry Springer
  • refuse to cooperate with him if he led in a direction I didn’t like. But, I would argue for hours about how right I was and how wrong he was and then when he still insisted on doing something a certain way, I eventually conceded to him. But I made sure he knew I was not happy about it and I held on to bitterness and resentment. I did not joyfully honor his leadership. Most of the time Greg didn’t tell me what he thought if he disagreed with me, because (I found out later) he felt it wasn’t worth trying to fight me on things.
Greg and April, Easter 1998
Greg and April, Easter 1998 – almost married 4 years

Our marriage was not awful. There were some happy times. I remember Greg often saying, “Our marriage is a lot better than most.” He said that especially when I was trying to “improve” things. There were times when I often felt lonely, stressed, worried, afraid and unloved. I wanted our marriage to be the BEST it could be, not just “above average.” Unfortunately, I didn’t see my pride, self-righteousness, unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, critical spirit, people pleasing, perfectionism, idolatry, lack of faith in God… I thought I barely sinned at all and that I hardly owed God anything. Wow. Was I wrong! How thankful I am that God opened my blind eyes to my sin.

We both always loved each other.  Divorce was never an option for us. We were committed to each other and to God. I didn’t think Greg loved me at times because he was so unplugged and passive. But looking back, I know now that he did always love me. He just shut down because of my attitude and behavior toward him. I knew I didn’t know what Greg needed, and I knew that he wouldn’t/couldn’t tell me what those things were when I would ask him. I also had very little idea what respect actually meant to a husband and what biblical submission should look like.

Even small to moderate amounts of disrespect on a wife’s part can cause damage to the marriage. That is what sin does, it hurts people, hurts relationships and separates us from God. Any sin is destructive.

MY THOUGHTS AND ACTIONS TOWARD MY HUSBAND ARE  BAROMETERS OF MY LOVE FOR GOD:

Until I am willing to reverence and fully submit to Jesus Christ as my Master and Lord,  I am incapable of being a godly wife. My level of respect and biblical submission for my imperfect husband are just a tangible indicator of my level of reverence for and submission to Jesus. He is the Perfect Bridegroom. Until I am able to relate to Him properly and understand who I really am (a wretched sinner with no good in me) and what I really deserved (hell), and until I understand what Jesus has done for me, the phenomenal price He paid for my sins on the cross and who He truly is and how much He loves me because of who He is – I cannot be a godly wife to my imperfect earthly husband.

If I can’t or won’t respect and trust Jesus, I cannot respect or trust my husband. It is only as I am right with Christ that He empowers me to be able to walk in obedience to His commands for me as a wife. Then, I am able to respect my husband and trust his leadership because my trust is ultimately not in my husband, my trust is ultimately in Christ and His goodness, love, faithfulness and sovereignty to lead me through my imperfect husband. From that position of strength, I can learn to genuinely respect, honor, trust and bless my husband.

Jesus must be the source of my life, power and motives. He must be my greatest desire. Then He enables me to be right with my husband and other people, too. My prayer is that God might show us His beautiful design for us as women and for marriages so that we might learn how to greatly bless our husbands and honor Christ, our Lord.    I pray we will do our husbands good, not evil, all the days of our lives and that the hearts of our husbands might safely trust us. (Prov. 31)

RELATED:

My Story – how God woke me up to my sin and what I had been doing that was disrespectful

Husbands Share What is Disrespectful to Them

What Is Respect in Marriage?

Biblical Submission

Spiritual Authority

Some Things are Unconditional, Some Are Not (Love, Respect, Forgiveness, Trust)

Greg in 1998
Greg in 1998

46 thoughts on “How Disrespectful Was I?

  1. April,
    I Need prayer today. My husband came home last night and told me he has made arrangements to move out. I guess he was planning on leaving last night but by the time we finished talking it was late and he hadn’t told our daughter yet. I’m totally blindsided by this. I truly thought things were getting better and thought, by his actions, that he had noticed. He says there is no other woman. He’s moving in with a single guy from work, not a Christian.
    I don’t know what to do or think. He says he’s still going to come home every evening and on weekends. I’m confused bc he’s supposed to stay home with our daughter until 11 on weekdays now that she’s out of school. He works at 11:30. I didn’t know what to say. I asked for more time bc I don’t think a separation without a plan or wise counsel is a good idea. He won’t talk to his Christian friends bc he doesn’t want to hear what they say but he did say he talked to his mom and she disagrees with his decision.
    He says he wants time and space to heal but I just don’t want to deal with this again. I’m scared and upset that he can just walk out like this. I tried to listen to him and did better than I would have 6 months ago. I apologized again and took responsibility for my part but it sounds like he made up his mind. He says he sees so difference in me and he doesn’t like who he is around me. He would say he loves me and I’m a great person then go on and on about all the negative things. He let me ask questions and say what I needed to say.
    Sorry to ramble on. I got maybe 3 hours of sleep and I’m trying to decide if I can make it through work today. I’d love any advice, insight or prayer anyone has for me.

    1. Jeanne,

      I have just prayed for you, your husband and your daughter. I am so sorry that this is happenning. I asked God to strengthen you, give you wisdom and hope, and enable you to continue to demonstrate respect and love to your husband in this gut-wrenching situation. I have also prayed that your husband would not follow through with his plans, that God would break his heart for the sinful actions he has planned and that your marriage would be redeemed and restored.

      May you feel the All-Encompassing Comfort and Grace of The Lord as you put your trust in Him.

      Much love to you,
      Martha

    2. Jeanne,

      I am SO very sorry for the pain you are feeling. I will definitely pray that God’s holy spirit will give you strength, wisdom, and peace, and that he will work in your husband’s heart to restore your marriage. Please don’t forget that all things are possible with God, and that the only person you can control is YOU. God’s spirit can sustain you and give you peace even in the midst of catastrophic pain. He can lead you to wisdom, heal broken relationships, and he will never, ever leave you!
      I truly believe that even finding this site where we can all share scriptural counsel and encourage one another is a powerful way that God has shown us his love and how deeply he cares for us. Please, if you can today, keep reading the posts here, meditating on all the scriptures, and praying for God’s spirit to help you and work in your husband’s heart. Remember that he said he loves you. That is something to build on!

      How are you doing now? Do you have a godly woman friend there to talk and pray with? We are all your sisters and friends here, Jeanne, and want to walk with you through this painful experience. This might sound silly, but can you make some hot soup? On several occasions when my heart was broken, just eating hot soup was a great comfort. I wish I could be there to give you a big hug and make you some myself. Please write and let us know how you’re doing now. Much love to you!

    3. Jeanne,
      This conversation is almost exactly the same one as I had when my ex husband moved out. He told me there wasn’t another woman and there was. What I can say with almost certainty is your husband has some sort of sin and being near you and your daughter brings on lots of guilt and he wants out. My ex also came every evening and weekends. What you can do right now is make the time he is at your home a happy time. Treat him just like you would if you were in a happy marriage while he there. There are many sites that give great tips for Standing for your Marriage. I think it I had done them, my ex probably would have come back. I can’t say that I am sorry that he didn’t now, but that was our life. Yours doesn’t have to be that way. What is important right now is follow God’s leading. Take care of yourself. Don’t let your mind go to what he may be doing when he is not home. It isn’t worth it.

    4. Jeanne,
      Oh no!!!! 🙁

      I am so so so sorry to hear about this. 🙁

      How I wish I could hug your neck and pray with you!!!!!!

      I have some posts about separated wives living in God’s peace like Raphael mentioned that you may search on my home page search bar. The posts and the comments may be very helpful.

      My prayer is that you will use this time to draw nearer to Christ and that you might trust Him to work in your husband’s heart. Sometimes a spouse may need a bit of time away to think and figure things out. That is not always a bad thing. He may be able to hear God more clearly.

      But, you can continue being the wife and woman God desires you to be. You can use the opportunities you have with him to show him genuine respect for the good that you see in him and to honor him. You can use this time to plug in more to prayer and God’s Word and to seek God above all else. You can trust God to work in your husband’s heart. He is able to reach him even if he is staying somewhere else at night.

      I have seen God heal so many marriages even after times of separation. We will pray together for God’s will, His power, His healing for you, your husband, your children and your marriage.

      Your husband cannot take you out of God’s loving, sovereign hands. God is able to use even this ultimately for your good and His glory.

      I am praying for God’s wisdom for you today!!!!

      I love the support and comments you are getting. There is a lot of wisdom being shared here. Thanks everyone for loving, supporting, praying for and encouraging our precious sister!!!!

    5. “He won’t talk to his Christian friends bc he doesn’t want to hear what they say but he did say he talked to his mom and she disagrees with his decision.”

      “I’m scared and upset that he can just walk out like this.”

      “He says he sees no difference in me and he doesn’t like who he is around me.”

      “He says he wants time and space to heal but I just don’t want to deal with this again.”

      This isn’t about you. This isn’t about the church. This isn’t about the opinions of other people – even his own mom.

      This is all about him right now.

      The church would never support a man/husband separating from his wife, and “walking out like this” – even if a given wife completely deserved it, and that action was the wisest choice for a man – but they would almost universally support a woman/wife doing the same exact thing to her husband without any warning or explanation.

      If your husband says that he needs time and space to heal, then ask him how you can support him, and do whatever he says. Maybe offer to pay for a cabin in the woods on weekends, so that he can be alone, and have some peace and quiet to rest. Make him a cd of his favorite worship songs to listen to. Make him a giant cooler full of meals and snacks to take to the beach. Buy him and his friend some tickets to a baseball game, and give them some cash for stadium food.

      Encourage him to do all the things that he enjoys doing, and give him all the space he needs, without asking him any questions.

      Find a way to take care of the kids more on your own, so that he can find healing. Let him know that you will take care of them, so that he doesn’t need to worry about them.

      Let him know that you want to support him in whatever he wants to do, and that you want to LISTEN to anything he wants to say when he decides he’s ready to do so, but don’t rush or pressure him to do or tell you anything.

      He needs to choose to come back on his own, and you need to be welcoming and accepting of him whenever and however he chooses to do that.

      Use this time to seek God and work on yourself, not blame him for your discomfort.

      He chose to leave for a reason, and blaming him for leaving won’t help you address that reason.

  2. Praying for you Sis!

    You are not alone – HE is with you just as he was with the 3 Hebrew young men. You are also not alone in dealing with separation within Christian marriages. It HURTS SO MUCH -but God will get you thru this! Type in ‘separation’ on April’s blog for some more insight.
    You have to be strong for your Daughter. If you have some vacation or sick time, it might be wise to take a few days off – not too many. I was ‘out of it’ for a while at work. I made a HUGE mistake at my job -but God used my co-worker to help me thru the fiasco.
    I know you already know this, but Focus on God, you , your Daughter AND your HEALTH. Abba knows what he is doing. Tell Abba EVERYTHING – your raw feelings (fears, anxiety,etc..) HE can handle it! HE is more than able! As many of the ladies say on here ‘HE will hug your neck.’

    Here is a comforting -yet sober – quote from ‘Diamonds in the Dust’ by Joni Eareckson Tada

    ” I realize, Lord, that my trust and obedience is all You ask of me through my trials. Forgive me when I sneak off the altar or try to turn down the flame of my trial. As my High Priest, You know best how to tend the altar”

  3. Jeanne,
    Wow…that is huge…I hope you feel God’s love through all of His people on here. That He already knew this was going to happen & He is there to help you through this time….so much more than we can ever comprehend. He will continue to work out His divine plan in your life. Stay close to Him….praying for you too!

    1. I wish I could reply to everyone of you but I’m just on my phone so it’s kind of hard. Thank you all so much. I can’t tell you how much your words have meant to me. As of now, he just left for work and decided to go to his moms for the weekend. She lives 4 hours away. Apparently he’s already told her his plans and she disagrees with him. They have a good relationship so this could be a good thing.
      I really don’t have anyone around me other than family so it’s kind of hard to open up to them about these things.
      I truly don’t think he is seeing someone else. I could be wrong of course but we’ve gone through that before and this feels different. I don’t doubt there’s some sin or shame he’s wanting to hide from though.
      He was loving to me this morning but then turns and gets angry bc of all I’ve put him through. He was telling me to be strong when I cried. My mind is all over the place. My daughter is going out of town this weekend with her grandpa so I’m going to have two days alone. I’m not looking forward to that but maybe it’s a good thing.
      The advice to treat him as if we have a good marriage when he is around is good. I’ve read that before but he doesn’t see anything good in me he doesn’t see anything positive so that feels so daunting. I feel upset that I have to tell my family something. I don’t like being in that position since it wasn’t my decision

      Thank you all again. Everything has helped me so much.

      1. Prayed for you, Jeanne, the moment I read about your heartbreaking problem but just wasn’t able to comment.

        May this weekend away from each other give you much-needed space and time to think and to PRAY.

        Hang in there, sister. God is in control.

        <3

        Nikka

      2. Jeanne I am so sorry and so praying for you and your family; I’ve been there too and I understand how hard it is… Especially when you feel like you are doing better and have been in a better place. All the advice you are getting here is good though…

        It was on my heart to speak to your family comment real quick… I would not feel pressured to tell your family anything right now. From experience, I think it’s beneficial to keep your family out of it as much as possible to protect the future of the relationship and to respect your husband in relation to them. Especially if they are not local, I would not feel any urgency to tell them. Find some good local support who you can talk and pray with or the online community here but your family is never going away so to keeping them out of the ins and outs of the relationship is beneficial…hang in there; you are definitely not alone.

        1. Thank you to everyone who is praying for me and took the time to encourage me.
          Redeemedbygrace, I wouldn’t be worried about my family bc I don’t like telling them things like this but my mom lives with us so she’d notice immediately if he left. My dad comes by 3 days a week to get our daughter so he’d notice too since my husband is supposed to be with her til he gets there. So if he leaves I will have to say something. I prefer they don’t know.
          Update: He had been texting me a lot during the day yesterday from work. He obviously felt bad and a couple of times I tried to tell him my thoughts, which he takes as lecturing. Later I gave myself some time and read through the separation posts here, had a good cry and went to god and felt peaceful about him going away this weekend and me being alone. I actually looked forward to it. He leaves work and writes me a few times on his way to his moms. But stops writing at 10pm. I wake up at five and had expected to see a text letting me know he got there but there was nothing. I wrote to ask if he got there safely. Didn’t hear anything til 9 when he tells me he was too tired to drive so he pulled over at a truck stop and slept then decided to come home and he was home. I was pretty shocked. I was kind of disappointed bc I don’t know if I got in gods way or if god wanted him to come home. I had let it go before he made the choice and he didn’t ask me otherwise I would have encouraged him to go. Trying to make it a great weekend bc he may very well move out tomorrow. I know that it will be super hard and I may “fall apart” but this did help me see that I can get through it. I need to let him go and not make having him here my idol if he tries to leave. Everyone’s advice here had been so helpful.

          1. Jeanne,
            Wow! Sounds like an answer to prayer to me that he came home. Praying for you to allow him space and time to think without pressuring him or demanding anything. I am praying God will give you opportunities and strength to show your husband. Godly attitude, tone of voice, behavior and demeanor. Praying for you both!!!!

            With love,
            April

          2. April,
            Yeah, I’m giving him space, not asking questions, and not pressuring him on anything. I’m trying to serve him and be pleasant. He’s just wanted to hang out so it’s been very “normal”. I took a walk to give him some alone time and I needed it to so I could pray. I was in complete peace about him being away by last night that I have been conflicted all day wondering if it was a good thing or he came home bc I guilted him but I know God can work in it either way. Who knows maybe a quiet night on the side of the road was a time God used to speak to him. I just want to stay out of the way. We will see what happens. I’m nervous but it’s helping me seek Christ more.

          3. Jeanne, i am praying with you my sister. Its a tough situation but God is able. I am encouraged by your strong focus on Christ. He wont let you down. I sense God is already working on your hubby. Whether he moves out or not, keep praying and loving him. My prayer is that God may break open the gates of his prison and release the godly man he ought to be.You will also grow closer to Christ in the process.
            Praying for you
            Liz

          4. Thank you Liz and to everyone who has been praying for me. My situation is far worse than I could have imagined. And I’ve been dealing with the revelation of it since Monday. I need strength and wisdom to know how to move forward from here.
            I don’t know what to say other than ask for prayer.

          5. April,
            Thank you. I met with a pastor yesterday to talk things through. My in-laws all know and are very supportive of me. So having them to talk to has been good.
            I’m trying to make it through my first day of work since last Thursday and its SO hard. Having tears well up in your eyes every 10 minutes is really hard to fight all day!

            I appreciate continued prayers for strength and wisdom.

            Thank you for all you’ve done for me. I don’t know how I would have made it through the last 6 months without your ministry.

          6. Oh, Jeanne, I am so very sorry!! Continuing to pray for you and for your husband. Believing God for miracles in your circumstances, because He is so able. Hold so close to Him in this time…He can be glorified thru our deepest darkest junk, even when we don’t understand or can’t see it…Big hug to you!!

          7. Jeanne,

            I can’t begin to imagine the pain you are in. 🙁 I pray that you will discover the sufficiency of Christ and that God might bring blessings through this painful trial.

  4. April, Love, love the post! I can’t believe I thought I could be a Godly wife & treat my husband in certain ways. I’ve been enlightened along this journey, as you point out, that it begins with our relationship with Christ…it makes more sense to me now than ever. I’m having a problem with some friends that have been married “forever”, that are putting down their husbands, calling them grumpy old men, etc….and they tell me “you just don’t know, it’s different after this many years”….and they basically do their own things & aren’t much considerate of their men. Help me with this attitude, it’s so disrespectful, and I haven’t said anything yet.

    1. Rose,

      I know!?!?! How could I have convinced myself that I was such a godly wife – but was so full of pride, bitterness, unforgiveness… and sin. The human heart truly is so deceitful.

      Goodness. Well, I can tell you that most women will not be open to your message if you try to share about respect and biblical submission. Most will get offended. Some may be hostile. Sometimes it can be important to pray first and ask God for an opening. No matter how you approach them, you will need God’s Spirit to open their eyes. You can’t do that part. You may try volunteering some of the things you are learning. Or if they come to you to criticize their husbands, you can say something like, “I am glad to support your marriage and seek to honor your husband’s leadership and the unity of your marriage. But I can’t listen to you speak poorly of him.” That will probably not go over well. You could say, “If you want to talk about being a godly wife together, I am glad to talk with you about what I am learning. But I am not able to listen to you speak disrespectfully of your husband.”

      I have a post! Giving Friends Godly Marriage Advice and Choosing Your Girlfriends Wisely

  5. Jeanne,
    Prayer works online is a great place to send in prayer works. I have felt a lot of comfort in the past by sending in my prayer request.

  6. I SO want to be a more respectful wife. I thank you, April, and others who comment on April’s blogs – your encouragement and open sharing of hurts and healing are helping. I have been asking for God’s wisdom and guidance and help in working in our marriage (21 years) to make it better and stronger and a blessing to not just us, but to our daughters and others around us. Thank you so much, Wendy

    1. thnkful,
      I’m so excited! That is where we have to start – wanting God to change us. 🙂 I’m so glad that this is a blessing and a help to you. I love the discussion here. Y’all are such a joy to me!

  7. I also had that “GODLY WIFE” List that I had every point checked, only to find out when the Lord convicted me that just because I didn’t “look the part” of the nagging wife that goes drip-drip-drip on a rainy day, didn’t mean I was the BEST WIFE ever. I was actually a “silent nagger”. I got Dong to feel my bitterness and anger over not being the husband I wanted him to be, through my frozen silence. That was my weapon to make him feel that I was not happy with what he has or hasn’t done and that I was miserable with our lives. 🙁

    Had I not gone into this submission journey, what is interesting to note, is that Dong would not have known that this was mostly about ME, more than it was about HIM. He thought he was just not able to live up to MY expectations, that’s why our marriage was not as happy as I thought it should be. He felt like he was failing ME, because he was not living up to how I thought he should BE. 🙁

    I would probably ask him too on where I was as a disrespectful wife on a scale of 1 to 10, later… It would be interesting to know the answer!

    April, the first photo where you were supposedly 25 looked like you were not yet legal! I don’t think “12”, but 14 or 15 probably. Now I know why people give you the stares when they see you walking around with your son! Ha! You look as though you were just a child yourself. Good genes, those are though, sister! They would serve you well once you finally do get old. 😉

    Thanks for sharing how disrespectful you were. I can FULLY relate.

    1. Nikka,

      Greg thought the exact same thing – that the problems were all his fault, that he didn’t deserve my respect. I believed it was all his fault, too. 🙁

      You are so right, my being a godly wife was ALL about me and my relationship with God and really had nothing to do with Greg. I thought if I had a “better husband” I would be different. Nope. What was inside of me would have been there no matter who I was married to.

      I found those old pics in a photo album this week and thought y’all might enjoy seeing them. I did look young. People often asked me if I was in middle school (12-13 years old). In fact, it was when we were 25 that my identical twin sister and I were walking around my neighborhood one day and a bunch of middle school kids followed us around demanding to know how old we were. I told them 25. Beth said, “We’re 12!” They believed her. I showed them my wedding ring and my college ring. They said, “That’s fake. It’s not really yours.” And, “If you are MARRIED, where is your husband?” I said, “He’s watching basketball.” They followed us around for 1 mile. I kept saying, “Do you see us at your school or on the bus? Nope. That’s because we are 25!” They didn’t believe me. Beth just laughed and laughed.

  8. April,

    I was able to have this discussion with Dong this morning. In a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the MOST DISRESPECTFUL, he figured I was probably 5 or less than that. He said, I was never “really disrespectful”; I was just too set in my ways and in what I wanted to do, not really minding what he said or wanted. He ALLOWED it, so he couldn’t really put the full blame on me. It didn’t change the fact though that he felt really bad about what was happening or that there was some resentment, but he DECIDED not to fight me or the situation. He just went with the flow…

    1. Nikka,

      I had never thought to ask that question before – but I think it is very helpful to know the answer. I’m sure Greg would say something similar – he never told me to stop or told me that what I was doing was wrong. That didn’t help matters!

      I appreciate this!

  9. “Jesus must be the source of my life, power and motives.” What does this look like and how do you get there? I know it is a broad question but I often wonder how to arrive at this place of fully making Christ my all.. I truly desire it but I fail in my life daily! Is this a gradual process? I pray James 1:5 a lot asking for wisdom in all decisions throughout the day, but find myself still having a hard time feeling like the Lord is leading me — however I continue to persist in asking Him to lead my life because maybe there is something I’m doing that seems as if His voice is being blocked..Sorry I know I may pose a huge question that’s hard to answer, but thought I would ask any way…

    1. Learningtotrust,

      Almost my whole blog addresses that. 🙂

      Check out Stages of This Journey

      And please search my home page for:

      – idol
      – idolatry
      – discontentment
      – contentment
      – insecurity
      – security
      – Jesus as Lord
      – fear
      – bitterness
      – forgiveness
      – expectations
      – but I’m a Good Person
      – I’m Right!
      – consecration
      – holding nothing back
      – give up your Isaac

      A book that I believe is extremely helpful to understand the deep theological truths of Romans is “The Normal Christian Life” by Watchman Nee.

      It is a gradual process of sanctification.

      Are you holding on to any fears or sins?
      Is there anything you are holding back from Christ?
      What are your deepest fears?
      Are you holding on to bitterness or unforgiveness?
      Is there any pride in your life, where you think you know better than your husband or you are better than him spiritually or you know better than God?
      Are you running ahead of Him?
      Are you honoring your husband’s leadership and respecting him?

      If there is any sin in your heart that you are cherishing or you have unbelief – you won’t be able to hear God’s voice.

      That is a great question!

      Much love,
      April

      1. Thank you so much for pointing to this book of Watchman Nee. It is as if someone pointed out to me, while I am swimming towing a boat, getting exhausted and calling for help. hey why are you swimming if you have a boat.
        I can only laugh, ooh yeah that’s right, I do have a boat.
        Amazing

    2. Wonderful question I struggled with this one as well. Thank you April for all the searchwords, I see I have some work to do.
      But the text from Nee lifted me up, as if Jesus just grabbed my hand and pulled me up saying hey where is your faith, see I can walk upon the water knowing for certain my old me died with Jesus so that now Jesus lives in me.
      Amazingly. Praise God.

  10. April, I love the post and your original story. God truly did a great work in your life and thank you for sharing it with all and championing this issue. It’s amazing what God can accomplish with someone who is just willing to be used by Him.

    As a Christian husband with a Christian wife I have a question though. You mention in one of your accounts that you wish your husband would have confronted you about this earlier. Do you believe that would have really worked? Clearly God worked in your heart and brought you to the right place and then in those circumstances you made a decision to change. Do you think that would have happened if your husband had said anything?

    I have had Christian men tell me that a husband cannot counsel his wife. Too much history and “a prophet is not welcome in his own town”. If I directly confronted my wife on her pride and gossip I have no doubt she would go in the opposite direction you did. I look for the day when God does a work in her heart and hope that I can be there to help her, but I don’t think initiating it on my end will work.

    While I certainly would appreciate receiving more respect from my wife, my main concern is her spiritual state and all the baggage she faces daily from putting things (self image, romance, TV, fears, control) above God in her life. As the family spiritual leader I want to help her experience that full grace of God in her life and help get our marriage to be a blessing rather than the control struggle/competition it is right now.

    My choices seem to be to continue to pray and fast and look for God to bring her to a place where she is ready to change, or I can take more initiative and confront her on pride, gossip and the idols in her life. The first choice sounds more doable, but in all honesty we have a pretty blessed life (outside of our marriage) and there isn’t much there to bring her to a point of crisis or needing a change.

    As a wife who made it through this struggle, do you really think having your husband confront you on your pride at year 10 would have worked? Do you think you were ready at that point?

    1. Aury,

      Great question!

      For me, in particular, I believe that I would have been stunned and very upset. But I also believe if my husband had told me that I hurt him, I would have wanted to do anything to fix it. I had zero clue that Greg was hurting in our marriage. I thought I was the only one who hurt and that he would tell me if I hurt him. I did love him very much, in my own messed up way. If I had known that there were things I said and did that caused him pain, I do believe I would have wanted to change. I wanted Greg to feel blessed, loved and important. I had no idea that his shutting down had anything to do with me. Seriously. It was not a gift to me, to him or our marriage for him to allow me to continue unchecked in sin.

      Not all wives would respond favorably. I definitely understand that. I know of some husbands who approached the entire thing by prayer and asked God to convict their wives and I have seen that happen, too.

      I believe a husband can invite his wife to read Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs as a great way to begin to introduce the concept of a husband needing respect as much as a wife needs love. It is a very balanced book and shares what husbands can do to love their wives, too. So, she won’t feel singled out.

      If she has idols in her life, I do believe a husband can gently and lovingly and humbly confront her, while extending grace, mercy and forgiveness. You can search “idol” and “idolatry” on my home page for posts about this. But then you can say, “Honey, I can’t help but notice that you have a lot of fear in your life. It makes me sad to see how anxious/depressed/worried/stressed you are. I believe that you can find healing from these things and peace and joy in Christ. Maybe we can talk together about overcoming fears, would you be interested in that?” Or he might address that she seems to be looking to romance, feeling loved, her husband, marriage, happiness or being in control to meet needs that only God can meet.

      I have posts about fear, gossip, anxiety, depression and bitterness, too.

      When a wife is living in sin against God, she will not have His peace and joy. You can gently talk about Galatians 5 and how you long to see her whole in Christ and full of His abundant life. You can read Watchman Nee’s book, The Normal Christian Life together. You can see things that she can’t see and you have insights she doesn’t have. She needs your leadership, in my view.

      A husband can also talk up the sovereignty of God to help his wife understand God better and understand that she is not sovereign. If she has not been exposed to this teaching, a husband might share David Platt sermons or John Piper sermons about God’s sovereignty or just talk about God’s sovereignty in scripture, maybe even reading with her in the Bible.

      Praying for wisdom for you to be faithful to all that God asks of you and for His Spirit to work in both of you for His greatest glory!

  11. I think it sad when some people cannot change their behavior because they cannot accept that the other person may have not done anything wrong to them too. There is the person who does not want to be the cause of all troubles – even when they are – so they start bringing up, or making up negative things about the other person, as if they are “justified” in how they act because its always “even-Steven”. The truth is, it cannot always be “even-Steven”. You cannot win one and lose one as if you have “turns”. Usually there is one person piling it on and the other taking it. We have to forget about pride and embrace love – love does not vaunt – you cannot have stringent rulesets in love, the only rules are truth, peace, mercy, all things GOOD, HONEST and GODLY. SO if you are the one causing all the issues, you need to accept it and stop looking for excuses, which only enable you to continue and get worse. Never excuse yourself for un-Godly behavior – would God excuse you? And stop being dishonest about the other person – if they were right all the time and you were wrong – ACCEPT THAT REALITY – anything else is accepting a lie; is accepting and promoting lies Godly? Hmmm?

  12. Reblogged this on stolywizard's Blog and commented:
    I give the author my respect. Everything she said is pertinent to my walk with The Lord as a man who will be held to account. It’s frightening and a big responsibility. I need You, God, to grow me up rightly in Your image, so I might do Your will on Your schedule. I don’t want to be blind any more. I trade my weakness for Your strenghth. Mercy and grace. Let me understand thoroughly, Holy Father.

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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