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Leaving the church on our wedding day - May 28, 1994

“Wasting” Myself

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May 28, 2013 – our 19th anniversary. Picture taken in front of the church where we were married in 1994.

There is an incredible chapter in Watchman Nee’s “The Normal Christian Life” about “wasting ourselves” for Christ. If you haven’t read this book yet, PLEASE, PLEASE read it! I believe it should be a must-read for every believer.

Nee talks about Mary who, in the eyes of Jesus’ disciples, wasted that extremely expensive perfume on Jesus in John 12:1-7. And Luke 7:36-50.  Particularly, Judas (the one who betrayed Him) was upset, rebuking Mary for her act of love and telling her that she could have sold that perfume (it was worth 1 year’s wages) and given the money to the poor. Jesus, however, commended Mary for what she had done, saying:

“Leave her alone… it was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you. But you will not always have Me.” John 12:7 

There are times, Nee says, that God will call upon us to “waste” ourselves on Him.

The world, and even other believers, may say that what we are doing is a terrible waste of our time, talents, resources and abilities.

But there are times when God wants us to Himself. He may remove us from a place of ministry for some period of time. He may isolate us. He may incapacitate us. He may ask us to give up that which is most precious to us – as an offering to Him – without us knowing in advance if we will be able to retain the thing we hold so dear or not.

Nee describes a minister whose lifelong dream had been to have a Ph.D. He wanted to be called, “Doctor,” more than anything in the world. He wrestled with God saying, “I could bring You so much more glory and honor if I was Dr. So-and-so.” So he pursued his doctorate in divinity (I believe it was). Then, he lost the Spirit’s power in his preaching and could not understand why. He could come up with no message for his church each Sunday anymore. He went to God. God put His finger on this man’s pursuit of his degree. The man argued and argued with God, justifying himself, and kept on pursuing his doctorate until 2 days before his graduation.  He knew God was telling him NOT to get that degree. So, finally, within hours of achieving his lifelong goal, he surrendered his dream to God and did not finish getting his doctorate. God was pleased. His ministry was later greatly blessed. God showed this precious man that He wanted the glory, and that this minister having a doctorate would bring too much glory to the man instead of to God in his life.

Sometimes the world around us, and even our family and Christian friends, may say that we are wasting ourselves when we obey Him when He calls us to:

  • spend much more time with Him in Bible reading, study and prayer than time in ministry
  • stay home with our children or work just part time so that we can be with our children more to bless them, love them, nurture them and raise them to love and know God and His Word
  • prepare to be a housewife instead of going to college
  • be friendly to those who are socially awkward or outcasts
  • minister to the homeless, orphans, the poor and oppressed
  • sell all we have and follow our husbands to become missionaries in another state or country
  • give up a lucrative career to care for our husbands, our children, an ill family member, the poor or to do ministry
  • put our husbands and children ahead of ministry
  • spend less time at church so that our husbands and children do not feel neglected by us
  • remove some activities from our plate or our children’s schedule
  • take an unglamorous, low paying job, being content in obscurity
  • take an unglamorous, behind the scenes position of ministry in the church. being content in obscurity
  • cooperate joyfully with our husbands if they ask us to sell our home and our possessions and radically downsize to be able to give more to those in need and to be able to spend more time in ministry
  • submit joyfully to an unbelieving husband in order to seek to influence him for Christ
  • treat my unloving husband with honor even if he never changes
  • not have the same priorities as the world (sports, entertainment, romance, money, beauty, popularity, etc…) but to seek Him first and to truly desire to obey His Word even if we seem weird
  • dress modestly instead of showing off our bodies to men who are not our husbands
  • drive an old car instead of going into debt to have a new one
  • not give our kids smart phones even though “everyone else has one” if we and our husbands believe that is what is best for our children
  • act with integrity at work even when no one else does
  • suffer with a prolonged illness as He uses that time to draw us to Himself and to refine us
  • submit to our husbands’ leadership even when we don’t know how things are going to work out and our friends/family accuse us of having been “brain washed” or “joining a cult”

(These are just examples. They will not each apply to every wife and some things may apply at certain times but not other times in our lives. We must carefully hear what God is whispering to each of us individually at that time. He does not call each person to the same assignments He gives to others.)

WASTING OURSELVES ON GOD

God often kept His apostles in prison for long periods of time. That may have seemed like a waste to some. But we would not have most of the New Testament were it not for those times. When Paul first came to Christ, He spent 3 years by himself studying and learning and drawing near to Jesus. That was a time of training that God used to equip and prepare him for his ministry. Think of the story of Joseph in Exodus. God gave him two dreams to show him that he would rule over his brothers and parents when he was 17 years old. And then Joseph unfairly suffered for 14 years as either a slave or a prisoner. And yet, God had him in the exact place He wanted Joseph to be in order to become the 2nd in command to Pharaoh when the time was right. Moses spent 40 years in Egypt as the Pharaoh’s adopted grandson, then 40 years hiding in the desert before God called him to lead His people out of Egypt.  What seems at first to us like a waste of Moses’ life was actually very practical preparation for the job God had for Moses to do.

I don’t know what treasure God may call each of us to give up. In some ways, this is a daily thing of dying to self. I don’t know how much time God may set aside in our lives to have us all to Himself. But I do pray that we might each be ready to give all that we have to Christ even if He is the only one who benefits. Some women think, “If I obey God, and it doesn’t result in me getting what I want (a baby, more money, a bigger house, a husband), I am wasting my time!” But, if we are walking in obedience to Jesus, and we are lavishing ourselves on Him – that is NEVER a waste of our time or effort! He is WORTHY!!!!!!!!   As we give Him everything – He is pleased. We have an “Audience of One.” God’s opinion is the only one that matters. His approval is all we must seek.

What thing is there that you are holding back from God in your life? What is it about which you say, “You can have everything in my life, Jesus,  but not this”? I beg you to be willing to surrender control of that thing to Jesus and to be completely submitted to Jesus as LORD of every single thing in your life. You cannot begin to grow powerfully in Him until you are willing to do this. We must ALL die to ourselves and we must ALL be willing to lose our lives and everything we have in order to have Jesus.

WASTING OURSELVES ON OUR HUSBANDS:

There are often parallels between our submission, love, reverence for and devotion to Christ and our submission, love, respect for and devotion to our husbands. I think that is so fascinating!

There have absolutely been times when I thought to myself, “Greg is just watching TV. He doesn’t seem to care if I am here or not. He hasn’t asked me to stay with him. I could be spending more time ministering to wives online rather than ‘wasting my time here’ watching some TV show I don’t care anything about.”

But this summer when I had my blogging/social media break for a month – God revealed to me that I need to be beside my husband at night even if he is “just watching TV” and even if he is not having a big conversation every moment. Yes, there are great needs in the world and there are always women who will desire counsel and prayer. Those things are very important. But, even though my husband may never actually say, “I want you here with me in the evenings,” that is my place. He was able to better articulate this to me during my blogging break than ever before. When I make myself available to him, it gives him the opportunity to share things with me if he wants to. We have greater opportunities for intimacy on every level. Every night may not be a big deep discussion.  Every night may not be physical intimacy. That is ok. By my being there and making my husband my greatest human priority after the children go to bed, I bless him. If I am blessing my husband just by being in the room with him in the evenings, that is not a waste of my time. Even if he doesn’t really talk about it much. This makes our marriage much stronger. I am ministering powerfully to my husband just by sitting with him and cuddling with him while he watches TV.

Greg actually told me this past week as he had his arm around me, smiled and patted my hip,

“I really like you being right here.”

Wow.

Some of you may hear words like that every single day. Greg doesn’t make comments like that very often. Maybe 1-2 times per year. He doesn’t use adjectives like “really” and he doesn’t straight out say “I like” anything or verbally gush over things. Usually, if he likes something, he will say something like, “That wouldn’t bother me.” Or “I assume that would be ok.” So, I was floored. This was a VERY strong statement coming from him.

I am so thankful that I listened when God clearly told me in June to slow way down and focus more on Greg, our children and on Him.

In addition to making myself much more available to Greg in the evenings, I have found that if I stay in bed a little longer in the mornings, an extra 30 minutes, instead of rushing to go have my quiet time or answer comments as soon as I wake up, we have greater opportunities to connect on every level in the mornings, too. (Of course, this doesn’t work if I have to get ready for work, also.)

I try to ask Greg about once per week,

  • “What can I do for you this week?”
  • “How can I bless you?”
  • “What would you like me to stop doing?”
  • “What would you like me to start doing?”

I am a DOER. I like to DO STUFF. I feel productive and purposeful when I am DOING. I like moving and getting things done. I don’t like sitting still and “going nowhere”!

Interestingly, what Greg almost always says when I ask him how I can bless him is:

  • Relax!
  • Just have fun!
  • Enjoy the kids.

These things do not come naturally to me. I’m pretty awful at relaxing. I tend to want to say, “No, I mean, what actual THING can I DO for you that would really bless you?”

But now I am beginning to understand, when I relax and enjoy him and the kids, that DOES bless him. Greatly. It is dawning on me more and more just how important I am to this man I love and respect so much and that there are many ways he appreciates me ministering to him that he may not articulate with words, but that are extremely important to him and to our marriage.

And, imagine this… maybe this is more of what God wants from me in my walk with Him, too?

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

SHARE:

What does your husband ask you to do that you may tend to brush off or think of as being “unimportant” or “a waste” of your time? I’d love for you to share!

How can we “waste” ourselves in a beautiful way on God and on our husbands – or maybe a better term would be – LAVISH?

Husbands,

What are some ways you would like to see your wives lavish themselves on you that may seem “wasteful” to others but would greatly bless you and your marriage? We’d love to hear from the men on this.

 

121 thoughts on ““Wasting” Myself

  1. What a wonderful post April and I love how you were blessed in your obedience!!
    A similar thing has happened to me also. I am very much a doer and need to be always on the move, but I’ve noticed the more I just sit with my husband quietly watching him do house repairs or a show I’d rather be reading during….it truly blesses him. And all of a sudden he begins to share deep things in his heart and I’m so blessed!!!

    Just this week he had to travel for work and we missed each other so much. I’m sure it was because we had connected so much before he left. We teased about who missed who more….but what a blessing to my heart!! And I pray God continues to give me wisdom to bless my husband so we continue to grow in intimacy.

    My husband would prefer me to not run out of bed in the mornings too but it’s my exercise and quiet time (as my day doesn’t allow for it any other time). I’m praying through how I can still bless him in this area and yet do these things I know I need for my spiritual and physical health.
    Thanks for your continued ministry to us April!!! What a blessing you are!!!

    1. Angelique,
      WOW! I am thinking back to two years ago and how there wouldn’t have been that kind of teasing going on back then. God is so very good!!!! What He is doing in you, your husband and your marriage is so beautiful!

      Thank you very much for sharing. It is HARD for me to slow down, too. But – I am so thankful that God is helping me to understand how important it is!

      Yes, time constraints can make this very difficult to do. Praying for wisdom for you!

    2. Oh Angelique, this staying in bed dilemma happened to me this morning…in the end I stayed in bed and used the time to pray for him in my head…made me feel like I was doing something 😉 I too hate wasting time (waiting in long lines at the grocery store, waiting on hold with customer service, waiting at a red light…) but using that time to pray kills two birds with one stone, and makes me a whole lot more pleasant to be around!

    3. I’m new to your blog and searching for help in my marriage with my husband. I am pretty certain if I were to say to my husband what can I do for you this week? His answer would be leave me alone, don’t bother me. I know the issue are not all on him. I pray that the ill feelings and hatred that have built up over our 34 years of marriage can be resolved. Life is miserable like this and has been for a long time

  2. So glad to see you back on!! It’s been a little hectic on my end so I haven’t read some of your posts. (Counting the days to my week off)

    Oh goodness, April. What is with guys and TV? (Sorry, guys). When I ask my husband how I can bless him, he will point to the spot next to him on the couch, “sit and watch with me.” Or “Relax with me.” Some days I’ll go with it. Other days, I’ll give him a list of things that have to be done or I’ll “watch” next to him while I fold laundry.
    That’s where we are. I must say, though, that many times, he will offer to help me after whatever show he wants us together .. And he’ll either fold the laundry, vaccuum or do the dishes. 🙂
    Btw, last night, we watched God’s Not Dead. 🙂

    I whole heartedly agree with what you said here. In my experience, sometimes, you’ll feel a little unsure when everyone around you, including fellow believers tell you that you may have it wrong. (Did God really say…?) When you start to doubt, then keep running to God and keep asking for clarity. God is faithful and He will give it to you. And if your motives are in the wrong place, the Lord will reveal that to you too!

    ON the other side, we need to be the kind of believers that respect, honor and encourage other believers’ decisions to “waste” themselves or a part of their lives for God. If a friend goes up to you and tells you this is what they feel God is telling them to do, and maybe it doesn’t make sense to you, I suggest (and I’m preaching this to myself as well) to go to God yourself before you go on discouraging your friend or telling her she may have misunderstood the Lord.
    🙂

    1. p31mariec,

      Do you realize that we are coming up on 2 years since we met?!?!

      I am so excited to hear about what you are learning. I don’t totally understand the TV thing with our men. I know it is a way they feel they can unplug and relax and recharge. It’s so funny how much I have fought blessing my husband in this way for many years because I don’t think the same way. But, if this is all it takes to make my husband feel connected, loved and blessed by me – OK! I can do this! It doesn’t feel like I am DOING enough. But to see me relax with him really makes him feel special.

      Greg is awesome at grabbing the laundry basket now and folding laundry – without me even asking! THAT never used to happen years ago!

      And I agree with you, there are times when a wife may need to pull back from church to minister to her husband or may need to do something we don’t agree with – but God may be calling her to do this. Wives need our support and encouragement in those moments. We may not be privy to what God is calling them to do! VERY good point!

      Much love to you!

      1. Yes. I believe it was two years in July. 🙂 This part of my story (running into your blog) is on of many examples of how God knows all our needs and provides. I believe growth in me and my husband happened the day I chose to respect my unbelieving husband (without sinning). This choice bas literally brought me to my knees and drew me to my Heavenly Father.

        1. p31mariec,

          I am so thankful to have met you. I love seeing what God has done in your heart and I can’t wait to read all the chapters that haven’t been written yet!

          I know that was NOT an easy choice for you at all. I remember the battle very vividly. But how I praise God for His faithfulness and goodness in your life!

          For other wives who may be living with an unbelieving husband, here are two posts about that topic:

          My Secret Idol
          When I Shut Up, My Husband Heard God!

  3. My husband is not a big TV watcher, but there are a couple of shows he enjoys that we will watch together.

    The two things I can think of that he asks most often is for me to join him when he goes somewhere. There was a day I had off from work for some reason or another, and I was so looking forward to a day at home, relaxing, cleaning up, getting things organized and cleaning out a few areas that needed refreshing! And then my husband informed me that he was going to be on the road that day instead of at the office, and he asked if I’d like to go with him. Um…YES! We had a wonderful time, talking about so many different things during the drive, and I got to see him interact with clients.

    Some times he will ask if I’d like to go with him on an errand to a store, or to run up to his office. I almost always drop what I am doing and say yes. The more time I can spend with my husband, the better!

    Another time, I had dropped my daughter off at a morning camp and planned to go home and clean as quickly as possible during the little time I had available, so that I wouldn’t have to worry about it over the weekend. My husband made a comment that he could really use some coffee and would like to see me, so I disregarded my plans, went to Starbucks, brought my husband some coffee, and sat in his office with him until it was time to pick my daughter up. Some of the cleaning didn’t get done, but he didn’t seem to notice and even told me later how nice the house looked.

    I have at times felt like I was “wasting” time, or at least not being as productive as I could, but I know in the grand scheme of things, we only get so much time with our husbands and if he wants me with him, I’m going to take advantage of that!

    1. M,

      That reminds me of how my Daddy would always ask, “Who wants to go with me to the hardware store/bowhunting shop?” And I would always jump up and down and run and grab his hand, “Me!!! I want to go!” If my daddy was going somewhere, I didn’t care where it was, I wanted to go with him. Just to be with him!

      What a blessing. I’m so glad you shared this!

  4. Good morning April! I appreciate your words very much. This is the first post where it struck a chord in me. I am a housewife and focus my priorities on making our home a sanctuary and one where our children will hopefully thrive. I face challenging remarks from many people but the past two years it no longer rattles me because i know in my heart that creating peace in life is good. Last year, i found myself unhappy. I spent a lot of time volunteering at school and as a girl scout leader. Much of my time was spent in activities that seemed a waste of time. They also seemed to bring conflict into my home by adding stress from the obligations or from the women in the group. I began to ask myself, why am i sacraficing myself or my family for activities so disconnected from God. It was then my husband asked me to slow down. At bible study, my question to my group was. “Where does God want me to go now?” Well…funny thing is….he didn’t want me to go anywhere…his answer is “right here..being still…getting closer to me. Being calm, strong, loving, gentle and kind” i couldn”t believe that was what he wanted me to do. Really? That sounded too easy. It was then i began to realize how much i feel my worth from doing rather than just being…the true path to God for me is first learning to love him and the ways he has blessed me…and now to be gracious and loving to the people he has put in my life. Just like you, i felt unproductive sitting there on the couch in front of the tv…but my husband likes me next to him also. I can see the change in how he looks at me since i have been taking the time with him. In these quiet moments where i am not doing, god is urging me to change and bringing me much inner work i can do…in my heart.

    1. Gwen,
      Love this!!!

      Thank you very much for sharing.

      It is so easy to fill our lives with activities and things on a “to do list” that may be good things – but that may keep us from even more important things.

      I know every wife doesn’t have time to spend 2 hours per night with her husband in front of the TV. But – even if we just take 15-20 minutes and enjoy our men or seek to do something to bless our husbands whenever we can, it makes a big difference.

      I would personally love to see more of us focusing our attention on God, husbands and children and home – and a lot less attention elsewhere – according to God’s Spirit’s direction, of course! Sometimes things we think are SO necessary – really are not.

      I believe a lot of husbands would love for their wives to get rid of some outside commitments and focus more on being with them. This will take a lot of prayer and sensitivity to God’s Spirit and to our husbands. But I am so excited to see how God may move in each wife’s heart and life to bless her husband, marriage and children and to help her make time for God a bigger priority, too.

      Relationships – with God, with our husbands, with our children – take TIME. There is no way around that. May God help us use our time to most honor Him and to do what has eternal value in His sight!

    2. Hi, Gwen.

      Something you said caught my eye: “i know in my heart that creating peace in life is good.”

      I have noticed that when I am around certain women who are about my age (55), my spirit is quieted — just from being in their presence. This peace is something I am looking for in a woman when I remarry.

      My first wife was a workaholic and didn’t have time for me. In fact, she didn’t try to connect with me emotionally. So another thing I am looking for when I remarry is a woman who has time for me and who connects with me emotionally.

      Jim

  5. It’s interesting to me,that we recently had a situation come up that is related to this.Without getting into details, let me just say it would mean the world to me, if my wife would make time with me more of a priority, even if we’re just sitting on the couch, or yard, or lying in bed. Just having her near me, even if we’re not talking or doing anything, or I’m doing something and she’s not, gives us an opportunity to connect. You have articulated this so well in this post, all I can add is AMEN!

    1. Tjcox,

      Thank you so much for sharing a husband’s heart on this. As women, we don’t think of sitting quietly in the same room as being a meaningful activity. But, so many husbands have shared that it is very bonding for them. If you want to add anything to help us understand how powerful such a simple thing can be to our husbands, we are all ears!

      1. April,

        There were times when my job required me to spend time on the computer when I was at home. I had no choice. But my wife complained that I wasn’t spending time with her. But she could have sat with me while I was stuck at the computer. Simply sat there and made simple conversation when I had a few minutes here and there. Or even ask me to explain what I am doing, thereby showing an interest in the things in my world.

        A man believes he must fulfill his obligations to his family by working and earning a living. And if his wife is there by his side, he will feel like she fully supports him in his efforts to fulfill his obligations. However, if she will not sit beside him at least sometimes, he will feel that she is not supportive of him in his efforts to fulfill his obligations.

        He is stuck; he has to do his work. Emotional support from his wife in those times will mean a lot to him. On the other hand, her fighting for his attention during those times will be a huge negative to him.

        Jim

  6. Hi April…..I have not commented before but I will in due time…just wanted to say thank you so much for obeying Gods leading…I can relate to what you’re saying above in so many ways. I played this song yesterday…after losing something to me that was so dear to me…but I know God always work things out for our good in the end…for His glory. Just wanted to share it as I know it would bless you guys…love you much…. It’s called I’ll trust you Lord by Donnie McClurkin….https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_xcEX4aP8Sk.

  7. Hi April! Another great post as usual! Things are definitely on the uphill swing for my husband and I lately. We had a really good conversation on Saturday and he was very receptive. The whole dynamic between us is so much different than before. I often ask God during our conversations, “help me with my words”, and of course, “help me listen”.

    My husband and I spent a weekend out of town together a couple weeks ago doing some things we USED to do together all the time. (Mostly the things he enjoys). It was so much fun. Yesterday, he made cleaning the garage and getting some outside work done a priority. I’d been waiting patiently for him to move our daughter’s new bed in and that gone done as well. So I was busy inside the house, he was busy outside the house, but several times throughout the day he’d check in, and ask things like, “so how are things going in there?”, “is it coming together?” Unheard of!! He’s always just gone into his own little world and never bothered to care what I was up to. I know this seems so small, but it’s really big for us. 🙂

    TV isn’t the issue at my house, it’s his online buying and selling. He’s constantly on an auction site or on his email. We talked about it, and he acknowledged my feelings. I can’t believe how much we’ve discussed recently that didn’t cause the normal anger and hurt feelings and of course, hurtful responses. We laugh more. We say sorry. We say thank you. We say I love you. I can’t thank you enough April. Your blog and insight has changed my LIFE. It feels SO good to have him home so he SEES the changes I’ve made and I can DO the things God is asking me to do. Blessing my husband isn’t a chore, it’s a joy. God bless you!!

    1. Catherine,

      This is a GOD thing, my sweet sister! I am THRILLED beyond words to hear about all the changes going on with you. What a very different tone and atmosphere is in your home and marriage and family now compared to a few months ago. WOOHOO! PRAISE GOD!

      I am so thankful you shared how you are doing. May God richly bless your walk with Christ, your husband’s walk with Christ and your marriage for His greatest glory!

    2. Catherine,
      Even though we don’t know each other, I feel so encouraged and strengthen in my faith by what you share. I am sincerely so happy for you and appreciate you sharing your stories. God is so good!

      1. Mrs. M I will be honest and say that I didn’t trust God a few months back, and I didn’t believe for a minute this would happen. My husband has not been living at home and we’d been separated for nearly six months. He moved home about three weeks ago. I was ready to quit when he became ready to try again. <3 We shall see where this path leads, but right now I'm going to cherish every moment. May God bless you!

        1. Catherine, I just want you to know how happy I am for you and your husband! Praying blessings over your marriage! God is AWESOME!!!

        2. Praise God, Catherine! This is a miracle! I pray things just keep getting better and better for you, and as they do, keep living for Jesus and don’t ever forsake that first Love!!!!

          -HisHelper

    3. Catherine!!!!!!!!

      Praise God!! He has worked mightily on your behalf as you waited on Him. I pray He will continue to strengthen you and fill you and empower you to be the wife he has called you to be and that He will continue to do great things in your marriage to bring glory to His name

  8. This is such a heartfelt post, dear sister, April!

    I too am usually told by people that I am “wasting” my talents by not going back to my broadcasting ‘career’. At this stage in my life, I would rather “waste” myself on my family than on anyone or anything else. But nothing is wasted when done for the Lord!

    I share your ‘DOER nature’. When I am not “doing anything”, I feel like a lazy person, but it is exactly keeping still that the Lord requires of me right now. Just keeping still takes a LOT of energy and patience, but I am getting the hang of it! Thank God! 🙂

    I wrote a piece on “wasting my life” as per other people, for those who might be interested. 🙂

    WHAT?!? ME? “JUST” A HOUSEWIFE AND MOTHER?!?
    http://peacefulwifephilippines.blogspot.com/2014/07/what-me-just-housewife-and-mother.html

    Hugs, dear April and hello to all the Peaceful Wives here. 🙂

    <3

    Nikka

    1. Yes. I used to get that too, Nikka. I chose a less paying, less glamorous job but it is what makes sense for my family. I used to get the whole speech about how I can do so much better, my kids won’t be little forever and what will I do when they’re all grown up and I don’t have a career?
      My career is my family. Thankuverymuch. 🙂

      1. p31mariec,

        I am so thankful for you and for Nikka and your beautiful examples on this issue! Thank you for seeking to do what is best for your marriages and your children even though it is not popular and sometimes you are disrespected by those who don’t understand yet. Thank you for seeking to do what you believe God desires you to do. May we all seek to obey God regardless of how the people around us think or respond to us!

      2. Amen to that p31mariec! 🙂

        The argument, “Your kids won’t be little forever… What will you do when they are grown up and do not have a career?” is the VERY reason why it is important to think about quitting one’s ‘career’.

        The kids are not little forever, so use up all your time, talent and treasure cultivating and nurturing their souls. Once they are all grown up, they will never forget the love and attention that you gave them. That is priceless.

        A career? That’s what the world wants us to have. But it is clear that what the Lord wants us to be are keepers of our homes and helpmeets to our husbands. 🙂

        Titus 2:3-5 New International Version (NIV)

        3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

        I do not mind having a job to support the finances of the family. But a career? One that takes my best energies and my bestest self, leaving scraps for the family or none at all? No, thank you. Our hearts should always have the home as priority. I learned this the hard way.

        God bless you p31mariec!

        <3

        Nikka

    2. Nikka,

      I know you hear these words often – particularly from old colleagues, I am sure. But I am so thankful for what God is doing in you! And you are very right – nothing is wasted when it is done for the Lord and when we are walking in obedience to Him!

      Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story!

      Much love my precious sister!

  9. Wow! As i read this blog it has so encouraged me. I am a stay at home mom and pastors wife. I found your blog a couple of months ago. And it help me to be more submissive. This blog came right after my husband had talked about mar and the allibaster box. We had to make some quick descions on the kids schools that we where not looking to have do this year. Thank you Jesus we are being obedient. Love how Jesus uses you. It tough the area where we are called is my home town and i had to come to grips with i may never move. Thank april. JESUS IS LORD

    1. pastorswife2000,

      I am so thankful that this is a blessing to you. Being a pastor’s wife is particularly challenging at times – sharing your husband with a whole congregation can be hard! But I am so excited about what God is doing in your life, your marriage and your family! And I can’t wait to see all that He has in store for the church where you both minister, as well!

      I am praising God with you and AMEN! JESUS IS LORD!

      For pastors’ wives who may not have seen this post, here is a post just for you!

  10. April, I have a slightly different take on this. While I completely agree that making our husbands a priority is very important, I wonder if this can go to the other extreme?

    When my husband is home, I give him my undivided attention for the most part. I wait on him because he has worked hard. I sit in the living room or go outside with him and neglect anything else that needs to be done.

    I have a friend who is like this too. And what we have found is our husbands have become selfish. When I am sick or hurting and can’t do for him, he becomes angry. He seems to have no sympathy for me. He is sweet at he can be when I am doing for him.

    Right now I need a hysterectomy. I do have a surgery date of Aug 25 but my national healthcare insurance still has not approved it even though I have had 3 doctors confirm I need surgery.

    I feel very alone and feel like I have no support from my husband. He just wants me to get better so I can do for him and he doesn’t have to help with the house or errands.

    What is the happy medium here? I want to be there with him. I love our time. I like doing for him but I am feeling like I am doing too much.

    1. Daisymae,
      This is an important point!

      Absolutely it is possible to go too far to giving our husbands attention. It is always possible for us as sinful people to take things too far.

      I think the real test is – what are my motives?

      – am I seeking to honor and obey Christ?
      – am I seeking to bless my husband?
      – am I seeking the approval of Christ far above my husband’s approval?

      Or
      – am I doing this because I idolize my husband and want him to idolize me, too?
      – am I expecting my husband to fulfill me in ways that only Jesus really can?
      – am I afraid that my husband won’t approve of me if I don’t jump through hoops, is fear my motivation?
      – am I doing this to measure myself and to be prideful in myself?
      – am I doing this to try to change my husband and make him love me more?
      – am I really being self-seeking?

      If a husband is very selfish, that may be something a wife might need to address. Sometimes there are times when that is exactly what will most honor a God, and other times it is more productive for us to be quiet and wait on God, particularly if our husbands are far from God. I Peter 3:1-6.

      You can search my home page for some posts that may be helpful:

      – to Speak or Not to Speak
      – How to confront our husbands

      But, also, please keep in mind that my husband tends to be very passive and quiet. He tends NOT to ask for what he wants and needs. He tends to be selfless to the point that it is hard for me to tell what I can do to bless him.

      If your husband is more demanding, outspoken, selfish and aggressive/assertive – you may be approaching this issue from the opposite angle I am.

      How do you ask him for things you need?
      Do you share your feelings? Do you tell him when you are upset, scared, nervous, angry or sad? If so, how do you share?

      I know things were pretty rocky just a few months ago. I am sure you both Still have a lot of healing to do in the marriage as well as on your own spiritually.

      What does your husband’s dad do for his mom? What is their dynamic?

      Is your husband squeamish around sick or injured people?

      I don’t think it is going to work to neglect everything you need to do. It may help to talk with him about what he would like your priorities to be.

      How is your time with God going lately?

      What does your husband say about your recuperation time from surgery and your legitimate needs?

      Much love my precious sister! Praying for God’s wisdom and direction and for His provision as you face surgery.

      1. Daisymae,
        What happens if you say, “I need X on these days, please when I have my surgery.”

        And then, leave it with him and allow him to think about it without pressuring him? I don’t know your husband – so, this may not be the best approach. But, maybe it might be something to prayerfully consider?

        1. I told him I need him to take two days off to get me to the hospital and home but when I said I need you to be home by 5 to relieve my mom the rest of the week, he said I doubt that will happen. I can’t just leave work. He really doesn’t see the need if he thinks someone else can do it. My mom is 80. She can’t hold out for a full day and evening caring for me. If I let him think about it? He won’t. He just won’t be here. He has the “Oh you will be fine” attitude. I don’t think he is being mean. I just don’t think he sees the need. He think if I am home then I am fine.

      2. April, I have been thinking a lot today about times when I have been selfish and controlling. And wondering about the damage that has done. I feel like that is connected to this.

        I ask for things I need directly and he generally directly says no. He even said once that he thinks I am just trying to get him to do something for me…like it is a game. I have never once in my life done that. If I say I am too weak to go to the store. It is because I am. I hate asking other people to do things. I wonder if this is old baggage with him. He really hates when I tell him I am hurt or fearful or sad etc. It makes him irritated. He says I complain too much. Maybe I share too much.

        His mother is dead. He nursed her through cancer staying with her at the hospital etc. He doesn’t like to be around sick people at all but he can if needed. I don’t know his family was like.

        I have been spending a lot of time with God and my emotions and view of things are so much better. I am no longer an emotional roller coaster. Even though my husband does things to hurt me, I get over them quickly and let God deal with him. And my husband is better in many ways . He is communicating much better. I know his exhaustion plays a role in the way he is acting now. I just still would like to figure out what to do next. Perhaps it is still just pray and wait on God.

        When we talk about my surgery and recovery, he says that your mom, best friend etc will take care of you.

        I think I will be a lot better when I can have a life again. Right now I spend most of the day just sitting and that is not good for me mentally. It has been good to focus on God but I know depression is creeping in. I just try to tell myself this will pass. One day I will be strong again.

        1. Daisymae,
          I am praying for wisdom for you and for God to grant you favor with your husband, that he might understand you truly need him!!!!

          I wish I could hug your neck! I also wish I could magically make things better. I sure can’t. 🙁 But we will pray about this together – and maybe some of our other sisters can join in praying, too, that the week of your surgery might bring great glory to God in your marriage and that God might provide in ways we cannot begin to imagine!

          1. Thank you April. I am at a point that I am getting depressed. I have never been depressed in my life but this is just wearing on me. I can’t take care of my son like I need to. My husband works such long hours all he does is come in and go to bed.
            I know the disorder that I have can lead to depression but so far I have been able to control it.
            I so appreciate your prayers.

    2. daisymae,

      This won’t provide any practical help for your needs while you are recuperating, but if your husband is anything like mine, maybe this will help you in understanding your man. Nurturing and compassion do not come naturally to my husband. He likes to be in charge, and sickness and pain are often areas that I think some men avoid because these are things they cannot control, and it makes them uncomfortable.

      I don’t have any advice as to how to encourage your husband to take some responsibility for helping you through your recovery, but maybe, if what i said above applies to your husband too, it could help to keep that in mind as you do talk to him about your concerns?

      Praying for wisdom, provision, and quick healing as you go though surgery!

      -HisHelper

  11. Thanks for sharing April. It is so true that sometimes God put us aside from ministry for a while and it is a preparing time. I’ve been there for more than 2 years now, since we are married and start to realize that a change is coming but we cannot anticipate and burn the steps cause God knows what we need to learn during this time.

    Your illustration about being there on the sofa with your husband make stronger your marriage even id you don’t talk a lot. My husband often watch a bit the news and then will go on his tablets to check his mails o chat with his numerous friends all over the world. Sometime I’ll tell him I wish to have some time to talk with him and he does listen to me (usually with an eye on his tablet), but I was thinking it is frustrating than rather a blessing.

    Like you I need to do and I don’t feel really useful but maybe I should try to see things as you do. And I shouldn’t expect to have a deep talk each night too, but it makes me think deeper. I was thinking maybe to ask my husband if it makes a difference for him if I am there with him without talking but I’m so afraid he said “no”. What do you think?

    1. sonadewonderful,

      Nina Roesner talks about (author of The Respect Dare) that God didn’t allow her to have a ministry to women until she got the submission/respect piece right in her own life. I also know friends who wanted to be missionaries for God, but God didn’t allow them to minister to anyone until they got their hearts right with Him and each other.

      I think that is probably what is happening here – that God wants to wait to give y’all a ministry until you are both mature and ready for it.

      Your husband’s personality is VERY different from Greg’s. And y’all have been having a difficult time these past two years. I don’t know that I would ask him right now if he would like you to be beside him.

      I think it is good to ask for time to talk with him – and if it is really important – you could respectfully ask him if he might please turn off the tablet for 5-10 minutes – but then be sure you finish in that time frame that you asked for.

      Greg also often is playing a game on his tablet. Interestingly, he is totally able to have a deep conversation with me with that thing going. I used to resent the tv and the computer (there were no tablets back then!) But now, I realize that I can enjoy being with him and that is a blessing to him. And, if I want to talk about something, now, I have the freedom to do so. It took some time before Greg opened up to me. In fact, it was 3.5 years before all of his walls came down and he really began to trust me again after I started this journey. So, it may take time.

      But, you could certainly sit by him and be friendly and smile at him and be pleasant just to bless him, even when he is on his tablet. And if he makes any conversation, you can be friendly toward him.

      I know most wives would love to have about a 2 hour long deep conversation every night – maybe 3 hours! But, that may not be realistic. I think we can enjoy when we do get to have those times and I think we can still enjoy being with our husbands doing something “shoulder to shoulder” realizing that it may be a way that our husbands feel more connected and bonded to us.

      Praying for wisdom for you, my precious sister!

      1. Thank you so much April. Yes, I think you are right regarding submission and ministry. And you know what: I’m totally ok with that. It was hard at the beginning it feel put aside by God but now, I realize it was part of my identity. It’s not anymore. I still feel the need to feel useful but I know God will open the doors at the right time.

        I do understand totally what you said about resenting the TV. He doesn’t really watch TV but I do resent that he speaks with his friends all over the word and doesn’t really take time just for me, it’s a great advice to ask for 5 to 10mn. And I know that he usually needs to do something when I talk to him. I think it’s from the book of Lauren Doyle. When I had to speak about the most intimate things, he was walking all over the house while listening. Men are just different from us. And I know it might take a while that the walls came down. Thanks for your encouragement April: it blesses me. Big hug

        1. Sonadewonderful,

          I have been thinking about you and praying for you! I think that if you are able to show him that you can be in the same room with him and it can be a pleasant experience, that will be a healing step.

          What I did with Greg – and I know Greg is very different from your man – but, I would just sit beside him and I would read and read. If he looked up, I would smile. But at first, I didn’t demand that he talk to me or try to force him into any conversations. I just sat beside him. I probably did that for months. There was a LOT of damage in our marriage at that point.

          Eventually, I began to talk a bit more.

          Now, I can talk any time I want to, and Greg will listen and care very much about what I say. But – this will probably be a slow process.

          I think that just him seeing that you can be in a room with him without there being an argument would be great. And I think you can ask him for a little bit of time every night or every other night – but at first, it may be wise to keep it brief. Keep it positive and pleasant. And stop talking when you said you would. Over time, he may begin to feel more safe with you as he sees that you are being respectful, that you are calm and pleasant and friendly and that being with you is not scary.

          I am sure that those were some VERY UNCOMFORTABLE topics you were talking about in the past – I remember them quite well. Right now, it may be wise not to pressure him at all about those things. He remembers every word you said, I bet. And I am sure it was extremely difficult to hear some of what you had to say.

          Praying for healing for you both and for you to be a safe place for each other!

  12. This is a good post. I needed to read this one. I need to read so many of them! 🙂

    I always wonder if I’m wasting myself. I am “just” a mom. I homeschool my children, but I don’t have a career. My husband says he loves that I homeschool the children, but when I meet the wives of his coworkers, and they are nurses, or managers, or caterers, or whatever, it seems like they are so much better than me. So much more successful. So much more worthwhile.

    My husband says he likes to spend time with me, but I don’t really see it. He works, and works, and works so hard. He is an admitted workaholic. I do believe this is a way he thinks he shows his love, but I wish he wouldn’t work so much. He is always so tired at night. Too tired for talking, too tired for dates, too tired for intimacy. All of this adds to my feelings of worthlessness. But if I talk to him about it, he gets upset that I don’t understand that he’s tired from working so hard. It’s a vicious cycle.

    He usually works Saturdays as well. I have offered to get a job to take some of the burden off him, but he sees that as me thinking he’s not providing enough. I don’t want more money, I want more of him.

    I’ve tried watching tv with him. It’s good for about 20 minutes and then he’s fast asleep.

    Lately I’ve taken to sleeping on the couch. I go to bed, but I feel so lonely that I go out to the living room and sleep there. We used to cuddle a lot, but I was always the cuddler, not the cuddlee. After some of our issues, I’ve backed off. What’s weird is, in many ways we are healing. But the damage has been done. I can no longer initiate intimacy. It’s too scary. There’s a part of me that has just given up. What’s scary is, he is at the point where he wants us to get closer and for our relationship to get stronger, or so he says, but I’m just worn out from the emotional ups and downs. Since he’s from a non-affectionate family, most love and cuddling was initiated by me. Since I can’t bring myself to do it anymore, it doesn’t happen often. Even if he says he wants to be close, it’s hard for him to initiate anything if he’s sleeping. I feel sad.

    Our schedules just don’t mesh. We talk about going on dates, but there’s never any time. I have just started praying again about these things, but I need to pray much, much more.

    1. Becca,
      I’m glad this blessed you!

      A LOT of husbands try to show their love by how hard they work to provide well. To them, they are saying, “I love you!” by their work. Of course, we want THEM, too! That can be hard for a husband to understand sometimes. Many husbands feel like, “But I am working this hard FOR YOU!”

      I hope you will thank him for what he does. Maybe that will help?

      I hate the way you think so poorly of yourself! The enemy is the only one who is happy about that mindset. Your worth is based on the fact that God made you – not your income or any career, my precious sister!

      I would love to see you get back in your marriage bed. Again, the enemy is SO WINNING here! 🙁 Breaks my heart! Please go back to bed and cuddle with him.

      Have you talked with him about that you are so afraid to initiate intimacy?

      I will pray with you, too!!!!!!

      Much love my precious sister!

      1. Hi April,

        Just an update. I went back to bed, but for what? I think we cuddled once. It was stupid. I’m tired of trying. Every day he tells me “I love you so much” or “you’re so beautiful” and blah blah BLAH! It makes me so mad! Empty words mean nothing. I’m not beautiful and if he loves me so much, why does the love only get expressed once a week, if that?

        My husband is a great man and I do love him so much. The problem is, I want him far more often than he wants me. He has no addiction, so the obvious answer is that I’m not attractive to him. And we’ve talked and I try to be pleasant and keep my mouth shut and smile, makes no difference. None.

        He said he didn’t like me sleeping on the couch, that he wanted me close to him. Ummmm, for what? Nothing happens. I guess so he doesn’t feel badly about me having to sleep on the couch. Well I tried going back to bed and it made no difference. I just lost a lot of sleep. Back to the couch I go. It’s simply easier. Easier not to think about how undesirable I must be. Easier than lying there and being close to him but never being close. How I wish I were one of the women I read about who wishes their husbands wouldn’t desire them so much. It would hurt so much less.

        1. Becca,

          I am sorry you are so frustrated!

          You know what? Greg only gives me compliments maybe 2-3 times per year. And when he does, he almost never says, “you are beautiful.” And I am not sure he has initiated saying “I love you” in years. Would I like him to say stuff like this more, sure. Do I know he thinks I am beautiful? Yes. Now I do. But, I have learned that he doesn’t express himself verbally the way I do and that is not wrong. He shows his love in other ways. Ways I used to ignore, discount or not even notice.

          What if your husband does love you with all his heart and does think you are very beautiful but just has a lower drive and is not as verbal as some? Is he wrong? Are you unloved? Not at all! He is not you. His drive may be lower than yours. That probably has nothing to do with you and more to do with his chemistry, hormone levels, exhaustion level, health issues and temperament.

          You may FEEL unloved because your expectations and his actions don’t match up. But that doesn’t mean you are unloved. Your feelings are not always an accurate measure of your husband’s love. I know my feelings told me I was unloved for years. And I was completely wrong. Greg isn’t me. He doesn’t think like me, talk like me or have the same expectations as I do. What freedom when I stopped expecting him to be just like me!

          What if you were to drop your expectations and just appreciate anything he does do as if it was a gift to you? I hope you might search my home page for “expectations.”

          I would be happy to be intimate with my husband every day. He is happy with a lower frequency. That is ok. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t find me attractive. Please keep in mind, I have been on this journey for 5.5 years and my husband just now told me – after 2 months of me focusing a lot more in him every day – that he really likes it when I am beside him in bed at night more.

          A few years ago, I learned to stop trying to be ready ahead of time for sex very single night. I used to do that and then would get really upset when it didn’t happen. My goal now is to enjoy cuddling. Enjoy conversation if it happens. Enjoy intimacy if it happens, but to be content and to know I am helping to deepen the bond in my marriage even if we don’t have a big talk or intimacy every night.

          I truly believe you have a wonderful man there. And I also believe that as you allow God to help you focus on Phil 4:8 things, and as you slow way down and learn to find contentment in the little things, you may discover that you have the marriage of your dreams.

          Sending you a huge hug my precious sister!!!!!!

          1. Becca,

            You’ve been in my prayers off and on ever since I learned of your struggles over at A Man’s blog. I could not sleep last night, and for some reason you kept coming to my mind. Finally, at 3:30am I stopped trying to sleep and started praying for you!

            I’m going to write to you as a sister who is very familiar with an exhausted husband who has a lower drive, is not very affectionate, who, like April’s husband, rarely compliments. Yet, he has been completely faithful to me and our children, even when I had no idea of the disrespect I was showing him in many of the areas April talks about on her blog. So, what I say here comes from having been in a similar place to where you are. I don’t write from a place of judgement, but from having been there myself.

            This is difficult for me to say to you. In all that you’ve written here and on A Man’s blog, there is one thing that is consistent: From what I see , you have made a god out of physical attraction–you obsess over yourself and in comparison to others in this way, and it seems that in doing that, it is doing the very opposite of what you so desperately wish you were: It is making you very unattractive on the INside–tainting how you view yourself, your husband, your marriage. In your comments it always comes down to this issue–and in every circumstance you discuss, anything negative that happens only confirms for you how horribly ugly you are, in spite of the fact that it has been confirmed otherwise. So much so that everyone else is a liar, including God, and you are the only one who knows the truth. A Man had it right to say that this is a pride issue. I won’t even try to convince you here that you are beautiful, even though God Himself says you are. You don’t want to hear it. You’ve already made up your mind about that. You are ungrateful for what God HAS given you. You are not placing your identity in who you are in Christ, but in who the world so deceptively says you should be. You are being deceived, sister. Even your comment to April about being more mature than you will ever be shows who you are listening to-Satan, and not the Lord.

            If you are Christ’s then HE will do the maturing in you. In fact, it is likely your marriage through which He is going to accomplish this if you will let Him. He will allow you to go through these same issues over and over and over until you learn to consistently respond in a husband-honoring, completely God-trusting way. He certainly did this to me, and I about beat my head into the wall in frustration trying everything I could to fix my marriage! But, God wouldn’t allow it to be fixed, because He had some fixing first to do in ME! These were things that had everything to do with my relationship to the Lord: my pride, my self-centeredness, my lack of trust, my accepting His unconditional love so that I could love others with this type of love too.

            I believe I hear something else in what you’ve written. You are very much doing things (like going back to bed with your husband) because you are trying to get something out of it for yourself. You are attempting to change your husband’s actions toward you. This is never a sound, Biblical motivation. My dear sister, yes, we have wants in our lives. We may desire to cuddle, or to have our physical needs met, but in trying to heal a marriage, you sometimes have to do hard things and endure difficulties over long periods of time with no guarantee the other person will change. IF you have the Lord, then you have ALL you need. You may not FEEL like this is true, but it is. I have been there and KNOW that it is true. May I encourage you to do EVERYTHING as unto the Lord, in HIS strength and not your own, rather than to get your husband to change? Then, no matter how long you have to endure, you can have peace that you are doing what is right, and this is your best opportunity for the LORD to do the changing in your husband IF He so chooses. And, if not, then you will contentedly wait where you are forever, if necessary, because you know you are storing up treasures in heaven for your obedience. You are lavished in love by the Lord, so you have truly gained everything from an eternal perspective.

            These are thoughts that do not come naturally to us. I pray that you have truly repented of your sins and are saved by the death and resurrection of Jesus on the cross so that you have the Holy Spirit inside of you to show you these things are true! If not, PLEASE humble yourself and place your faith in the punishment Jesus took for your sins on the cross so that you would be freed from their bondage forever!

            Finally, I plead with you to have compassion for your exhausted husband. If indeed his hard work is the way he shows you his love, then you are rejecting that love by resenting it. Maybe he wouldn’t feel the need to prove that love so much to you by working harder and harder, and could relax a little knowing that you accept and appreciate his work, and thus his love.

            You probably know people who are life givers in their demeanor. When you are around them, it’s like they are the sun shining brightly in your life and they build you up and put you at ease. Then, there are people who suck life out of you. I think husbands have little antennas that can detect even the slightest forms of discontentment, manipulation, ungratefulness. (My husband has extra high powered antennas!) We wives can SO easily drag our husbands down with our criticism, judgements, wrong assumptions, blame.

            Becoming sunshine to my husband has been the number one thing that, in spite of his exhaustion, is bringing back the old playful, smiling man that I married. April has talked about this before: wives are the thermostat for our homes. If we are pouting, down, have given up, hopeless, critical, full of self-pity, then the whole household will set itself to that “temperature”, and it drags everybody down. It sounds like you’re letting your thermostat waiver from sunshiney warm to off the charts cold, Becca. And it sounds like the setting is dependent on the reactions you get from your husband when you try something in order to change him. When what you try does’t work, it’s back to freezing temperatures. In the strength of the Lord (who, if you are His, has already promised to supply it), could you commit to setting that thermostat at a nice pleasant temperature? Even if it does nothing to affect your husband (and please don’t do it to try to evoke change in him), your own emotions will become more steady. Could you genuinely smile and ask the Lord to help you be more lighthearted?

            It sounds like your husband has tried repeatedly to bring the temperature back up in the house with his kind words. But, who could blame him for lacking interest and becoming further exhausted by a wife who doesn’t even believe what he says? If you had to come home to temperatures like that, would you be enthusiastic about being close to your spouse in spite of your exhaustion? I can only imagine your husband is asking (even if only in his head) like mine did out loud, “What more do you want? You don’t even appreciate what I DO do, so why should I try to do more-that won’t please you either!” or “It doesn’t matter what I do, I cannot please you!” There is no extent your husband or mine can go to where we will be satisfied for them to fulfill a need that only Christ can fill. If you are looking to him to make you happy, or confirm by being physical with you that you truly are beautiful, it will NEVER be enough. It is not his job to fulfill this in you, Becca. Only your identity in Christ can do that.

            When I raised the thermostat in my home, as well as truly submitted with joy to my husband, there WERE benefits to me—I am so much less “hormonal” and up and down in my feelings. I felt so much better about myself. I felt loved, because I embraced God’s love and acceptance for me. As the temperatures have remained steady and consistent, my husband has begun to be more interested, affectionate and talkative. He is attracted to sunshine, and repulsed by the clouds. But, as soon as I did it to gain something from him, he would back away. (It was those antennas again!) When I did it because the Lord wants me to think on things that are good, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy, then my husband would come near again. (It is really weird how that happens!) It goes to show you just how important your heart’s motives are in this!

            It sounds like you have a great husband, Becca, just as you said. Don’t give up on your marriage just because you aren’t being fulfilled right now. Do you realize it is a high probability you are only driving your husband further away by your drama and roller coaster emotions? (Mine sure was!) Yet, he thankfully seems to be longsuffering with you as you struggle so far. You may be fed up with the marriage, but he could just as easily get fed up and walk away—you do not hold all the cards. Please decide here and now that as far as you have contol over yourself, the drama will stop today. Decide now that you will not be led by your feelings or listen to Satan’s lies.

            There are much more immediate issues going on in your heart that the Lord is obviously trying to deal with. Your marriage is just the thing that brings them to the surface. Go back to bed with your husband because it is honoring what he wishes. He likes you near to him. The man is not a liar, but I am certain he is hurt that you don’t trust him and think of him as such. (My lack of trust in my husband is what hurt him the most, and over the years made him shut down completely.) You sound so bitter. You may have tried to put on a smile and “keep your mouth shut” , but your husband can see right through that. These are heart issues with YOU that only truth will conquer. The truth comes from the Word of God and in hiding yourself in the One who is Truth.

            I pray for your relationship with the Lord. I pray you would be obedient to Him above all because you actively know His love and out of gratefulness want to follow Him. I pray you would put no other person, thing, idea or image before the Lord. I pray your husband would remain patient with you as you go through these struggles. He is enduring a lot himself. I pray you would become true, genuine sunshine to your family. I pray you would be a godly example to any children you may have. Their self-image and their concept of marriage and the type of spouse they will be come so powerfully from you. I pray that down the road you will look back at this time as transformational in your own heart and, as a result of that, in your marriage. I pray you will be able to thank God for this trial. God is not finished with you or your husband. Let go of bitterness and let God do His work in you!

            I have been more harsh here than I want to be, but you have not taken to heart the many others who have kindly taken the time to try to help you here and on A Man’s blog. You have been spinning your wheels. I have been where you are, stuck in the mud. Jesus is your only lifeline here. I speak from experience. He will over and over again put you in this place until you hearken unto Him and His truth. Please don’t wait until your husband has had enough and walked away (I am not saying he has ANY intention to do so, but I want you to be sober about this because this is very serious.) There is so much potential for God to work in you and your husband. This is the hardest part of the journey. Press forward in His strength and do not give up!

            In Christ,
            HisHelper

          2. Becca, and MANY other wives in this exact same situation,

            HisHelper is offering a LIFELINE of wisdom here that she has learned the hard way. This stuff is PAINFUL to hear. But it is LIFE giving! How I WISH someone had sat me down 20 years ago and told me all of what HisHelper just said. What a difference it could have made in the next 14+ years of my marriage if I had heard these incredible truths of God and practiced them from the start of our marriage.

            I, too, have been there. I, too, have had a husband who was working full time and renovating our house 6 nights per week for YEARS until midnight every night, sometimes until 1am. I, too, felt physically rejected, sexually rejected – and assumed I wasn’t beautiful enough. Turns out, it was my disrespect, pride, control, critical spirit, negativity, bitterness, resentment and self-righteousness that had totally turned my husband off – and my entitlement attitude and total lack of gratitude for all the many things he did for me to show his love.

            And, I, too, in the beginning of my journey, would do things and realize that I was doing them to get Greg to do things I wanted him to do, and I would feel resentful and disappointed when he didn’t do what I wanted. I learned that these are refining moments, that when my motives are impure, God will keep me stuck until I have truly beautiful, godly motives and am not self-seeking at all.

            This is HARD. It requires dying to self and humility and total surrender of self and control and our desires to Jesus – without us knowing if we will get what we want in the end or not.

            I pray that God might speak powerfully through HisHelper to you, my precious sister, Becca. And I know you are voicing the exact same feelings of countless other wives – I know this exchange will greatly bless them, as well.

            Thank you so much, HisHelper! What a powerful testimony and what godly counsel!

          3. His Helper,
            This is wonderfully written and I thank you so much for taking the time with it. It will be an invaluable tool for so many wives!

            Becca – I remember you often in my prayers. Hang in there sister!! You are in the right place to hear Godly wisdom and when you fill up with the good stuff, that’s usually what will come out! Much love to you!

          4. Becca,
            I actually don’t believe that! Because all that has changed in me is totally a God thing – and I know that He is able to make the same changes in you.

            For me, a huge key was to realize HOW DIFFERENT Greg and I are.

            I assumed for YEARS that he had evil intentions toward me because he didn’t want sex as much as some men do – but men are different (Just like women are different! Some women who love their husbands dearly are happy with sex once a month or less, while other women want sex 2 times per day – and this desire level changes over time and with different circumstances).

            When we try to force our husbands into a mold that isn’t who they are, it is unfair. Why can’t my husband love me, be attracted to me and think I am beautiful and be content with intimacy 1-2 times per week? It turns out – that is who he is. It is not an insult to me. That is just who he is and how he is. And that is ok! He CAN and DOES love me. He thinks I am very beautiful and he IS attracted to me very much – but he is his own person and has his own unique personality and idiosyncrasies. He just doesn’t talk about it a lot. He demonstrates it in acts of service – building my dream home for me, playing with my hair, sitting beside me at night, coming home from work to be with me and our children instead of going somewhere else…

            I embrace that now and accept who he is and seek to enjoy him instead of trying to force him to be someone he is not or accusing him of evil intentions or of not loving me or of not being attracted to me. I did those things for over 14 years. I almost destroyed my marriage that way.

            I hope you will see that YOU have so much control here. You can set the emotional temperature. That is the wife’s job. You can make your marriage cold as ice. Or you can make your marriage a warm, welcoming, friendly, safe, nurturing place. Even if your husband never changes. Your perspective is the one with all the power right now. Changing the way you see your husband to see him in a more understanding, compassionate, sympathetic light – to discover what his world is like and how he thinks and what he likes and how he approaches life and accepting him as he is can make all the difference. You don’t have to be a powerless victim, waiting for him to change so you can be happy. No, you can allow God to change you and you can be responsible for your own happiness and emotional well-being by the power of Christ living in you. You can be content with what you have – and maybe, in time, you might even see that what you have is actually a lot better than you ever realized.

            I used to think Greg didn’t love me because he didn’t verbally gush and give me lots of wordy compliments – I have to say, if Greg told me I was beautiful once a week, I would be in shock and amazement! WOW! That is a lot of complimenting in my book! Your husband is MUCH more verbal than mine is. Maybe you can appreciate the compliments and thank him? Maybe he doesn’t compliment you 10 times per day. Ok. Maybe he is just not as verbal as you are. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t love, cherish, adore and value you and find you very attractive.

            It’s fine to say, “I really love it when you give me compliments!” Of course, you can also help the poor guy out by BELIEVING him when he does compliment you. If you light up and receive his compliment graciously, maybe he will be a bit more motivated to want to be more vocal about what he loves about you. Check out “Being a Cheerful Receiver”

            I love you my sweet sister and friend! I am praying for you!

          5. Hi April and HisHelper,

            Thank you for your thoughtful replies. Yes, that was a lot to take in, and I will need to reread it all and ponder on it.

            HH, there were several times where I wanted to jump in and defend myself, but I’m going to try not to. Because 85% of what you said was pretty on, and the other 15% – well, you don’t really know me so there are bound to be some assumptions.

            But the two most important things I need to think on (and yes I am saved) are that God has a lot of work to do in ME, that I have a lot of faults – I so get that; and also finding my identity in Christ. People say that to me over and over and call me thick headed but I don’t even get what it means.

            One thing that has been misunderstood is that my husband DOES compliment me. I don’t need more compliments…I hate compliments! They are so uncomfortable for me and I am not a wordy person.

            Also, I think you all think I’ve been married for like six months. 🙂 We have been married almost 20 years. I think I was so busy raising children that I didn’t ever have time to worry about this stuff. In fact, I never even knew anything was wrong with the physical part of our marriage until I discovered “Christian marriage blogs” (and I’m not talking about Aprils, but all the others that focus on sex). Did you ever notice it’s always about wives who think their husbands want too much sex? How to be a wife that wants more sex….why you should let your husband have sex with you…why your husband needs sex…article after article after article about the perfect wives who are ALWAYS bring pursued by their husbands and don’t appreciate it. Before reading all that, I never knew how undesireable I really was.

            You say my attitude is ugly, and perhaps it is. It can be sometimes. But you think the wives who refuse their husbands sex all have beautiful attitudes? I doubt it. And yet their husbands still desire them intensely. Daily. It must be so nice to be desired.

            I also think you have the impression that I am this horrible dark cloud that just runs around sucking the life out of people. Yes, I would say that’s harsh. If you knew me in person, you might not think that. I’m actually very friendly, and I try to help others and be kind to everyone. I don’t always succeed, but I do try.

            I am much more open and share my struggles on here because it seemed like a safe place to fall. I’m wondering now if, like in real life, I’d be better off keeping my thoughts to myself. I know I’m a work in progress, but it’s hard to hear people think I am an evil shrew.

            After thinking about it, I could see where Aman could say it was a pride issue. At first it didn’t make sense because I am not proud of my appearance. At all. But I guess because negative though it may be, I’m still focusing on me, yes, we could say it’s a pride issue.

            But understand, when you say I’ve made a god out of appearance, that is such a bizarre thing to say. I do try to look nice for my husband, I’m not frumpy. But I do not understand what you people don’t get when I tell you I’m just not that attractive. And my husband’s lack of desire confirms that. As do photos, which is a discussion for a completely different day.

            Oh, and God cannot, and does not lie. So I’m not sure why you think I would think He is a liar. That one was a little unfair.

            I appreciate your comment. It took a lot of time and I thank you for it. I very much appreciate your prayers. I’ve got a lot going on and I am very tired, so I’m thinking I’m not in the best frame of mind to continue this discussion at this moment. I would love to sleep on it, pray on it, reread it, and talk some more later. Thank you so much.

            April, thank you as always. I have a lot to think about. I know you said you think there are other women with these issues, but I apologize for sharing too much. I’m afraid I’m going to drag your readers down.

            Thank you both.

          6. Becca,

            I wish I had a lot more time, but am a bit tied up today and the next few days, but I am GLAD you are sharing your thoughts! I believe that you are speaking for many wives, not just for yourself. In fact, I could have written much of the frustrations you shared in your update myself a few years ago.

            I am excited about what God is doing and is about to do in you. I hope to get to respond more later.

            Praying with you and for you to hear God’s voice clearly and to be willing to trust Him and allow Him to do any work He desires to do in you. You are not alone. Almost all of us who are here have been in a very similar place to where you are now. My prayer is for your healing in Jesus.

            Sending you the biggest hug!!!

            Much love
            April

          7. Thank you so much April. I need it. I made a point to go to bed early last night when my husband did. (Usu he’s asleep before 8 and up till at least 12.) But he had a mtg at church and was up a little later. We talked a little about our days and held hands and snuggled a little, but that was it. I found myself starting to feel upset that he didn’t seem to want more, so I began to feel angry, unattractive, and extremely repulsive. Here I was, in bed, earlier than normal, and still he’s ready to sleep. But I didn’t complain (which I usu don’t but I do get sullen and he can sense my unhappiness) BUT, although I was getting upset, I prayed and prayed sincerely, and although I’m not perfect and it still bothered me, I found myself relaxing and not radiating frustration. Baby steps, I guess. I’m a work in progress, and the road seems long, but I’m trying.

          8. Becca,

            I am so excited for you! It is a long road. It takes very conscious spiritual contortion at first to unlearn our habits and usual ways of thinking that are destructive and to very purposely begin to take those thoughts captive for Christ and to change them. It is PAINFUL! And it feels foreign and awkward at first.

            But I am really proud of you. That was a BIG baby step. Eventually, you will be able to put those negative thoughts out of your head much faster, recognizing the source. (I am sure you read “My Demon”, and you may want to read “My Demon Now” which is a follow up.)

            In time, the old ways begin to be more and more repulsive as God transforms your heart and mind. And His ways begin to bring you peace, and, eventually, joy. Eventually, thinking Philippians 4:8 things about your husband and about cuddling with him will become more “normal” and you will learn to quickly silence that accusing, bitter voice of your sinful nature as you count yourself dead to that old nature and alive to Christ. It does take a long time.

            Eventually, you will realize that enjoying him and cuddling with him is a treat in and of itself even if it doesn’t lead to anything else and you will enjoy the fact that you can bless your husband with the gift of your presence, your joy, your peace, your gentleness, your love, your adoration, your respect, your nurturing abilities and your tenderness – all of which is available as we allow God to pour through us. Then, you can enjoy the moment no matter what the outcome. If it leads to physical intimacy, AWESOME! And if it doesn’t, it is still a time you spent pouring out into your husband’s life to bless him and to enrich your marriage and to honor God. That is never time wasted!

            I’m glad you relaxed! As you relax more, your husband will eventually be able to relax more and feel more and more safe, too. This is a process that takes many, many months, or longer. But that is ok!

            It is so great to hear from you!

            Much love,
            April

          9. Becca,

            I have been praying for you as well. I’ve talked with you a little over on Aman’s blog, so you know I’ve struggled with self-esteem and times when I felt like my husband didn’t want me either. I have learned so much, learned how different my husband and I are, and learned not to take that as rejection but merely a difference in personality and priorities, and that’s okay. I don’t want my husband to be just like me, to do everything how or when I would. I would hate being married to myself. 🙂

            It is obvious how hard you’re working to seek God, and taking those baby steps to allow Him to work through this with you. I’m proud of you for going back to bed, and especially for praying sincerely so that you didn’t radiate frustration. It may seem like a baby step, but I understand how HUGE that is! One victory at a time, my friend! It does seem like a long road, but we are all walking it with you!

          10. Becca, It’s great that your first reaction when you started to hear the lies was to turn to the Lord!

            I’ll put in my hearty agreement that yes, the road is long. Sometimes it feels like you’re taking one step forward and two steps back! So, I encourage you when you do mess up (which, if you’re like any of us, you will stumble many times along the way) don’t beat yourself up and be tempted to think this means you are not making any progress! You are! In just the past couple of days it sounds like God has given you the opportunity to flex those faith muscles and lean not on your own understanding, but to rest in truth. Wiith His help you have won some battles! When you do fall, don’t stay down. Get back up and run straight to Jesus. Stay conscious of being in His presence throughout the day and as you go to sleep at night.

            Yes, those voices will pop up again telling you that you are unattractive. Just because they come, does not mean you have to accept them. Take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and actively refute them with the truth.

            Memorizing a verse or two to recite at times like these will give you real ammunition against the lies. Maybe 1 Corinthians 6:19-20? Make it personal: “MY body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, which is in me, which I have of God. I am not my own. I was bought with a price. I will glorify God in my body and in my spirit, which are God’s!”

            Psalm 18 would be excellent to meditate on to give you joy that the Lord is strong to deliver you in the middle of these trials. When the verses talk about the enemy, you can equate that to the lies that the Lord is delivering you from. I pray Psalm 18 would also give you comfort as you turn to Him and hide in His love, especially when you feel lonely for your husband.

            As you fill your mind with God’s Word, your thoughts and therefore actions will be transformed!

            Sending you a big hug,

            -HisHelper

          11. P.S. Psalm 18:
            I love you, Lord, my strength.
            2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
            my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
            my shield[b] and the horn[c] of my salvation, my stronghold.
            3 I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
            and I have been saved from my enemies.
            4 The cords of death entangled me;
            the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
            5 The cords of the grave coiled around me;
            the snares of death confronted me.
            6 In my distress I called to the Lord;
            I cried to my God for help.
            From his temple he heard my voice;
            my cry came before him, into his ears.
            7 The earth trembled and quaked,
            and the foundations of the mountains shook;
            they trembled because he was angry.
            8 Smoke rose from his nostrils;
            consuming fire came from his mouth,
            burning coals blazed out of it.
            9 He parted the heavens and came down;
            dark clouds were under his feet.
            10 He mounted the cherubim and flew;
            he soared on the wings of the wind.
            11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him—
            the dark rain clouds of the sky.
            12 Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced,
            with hailstones and bolts of lightning.
            13 The Lord thundered from heaven;
            the voice of the Most High resounded.[d]
            14 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy,
            with great bolts of lightning he routed them.
            15 The valleys of the sea were exposed
            and the foundations of the earth laid bare
            at your rebuke, Lord,
            at the blast of breath from your nostrils.
            16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
            he drew me out of deep waters.
            17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
            from my foes, who were too strong for me.
            18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
            but the Lord was my support.
            19 He brought me out into a spacious place;
            he rescued me because he delighted in me.
            20 The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness;
            according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.
            21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord;
            I am not guilty of turning from my God.
            22 All his laws are before me;
            I have not turned away from his decrees.
            23 I have been blameless before him
            and have kept myself from sin.
            24 The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
            according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
            25 To the faithful you show yourself faithful,
            to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
            26 to the pure you show yourself pure,
            but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.
            27 You save the humble
            but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.
            28 You, Lord, keep my lamp burning;
            my God turns my darkness into light.
            29 With your help I can advance against a troop[e];
            with my God I can scale a wall.
            30 As for God, his way is perfect:
            The Lord’s word is flawless;
            he shields all who take refuge in him.
            31 For who is God besides the Lord?
            And who is the Rock except our God?
            32 It is God who arms me with strength
            and keeps my way secure.
            33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
            he causes me to stand on the heights.
            34 He trains my hands for battle;
            my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
            35 You make your saving help my shield,
            and your right hand sustains me;
            your help has made me great.
            36 You provide a broad path for my feet,
            so that my ankles do not give way.
            37 I pursued my enemies and overtook them;
            I did not turn back till they were destroyed.
            38 I crushed them so that they could not rise;
            they fell beneath my feet.
            39 You armed me with strength for battle;
            you humbled my adversaries before me.
            40 You made my enemies turn their backs in flight,
            and I destroyed my foes.
            41 They cried for help, but there was no one to save them—
            to the Lord, but he did not answer.
            42 I beat them as fine as windblown dust;
            I trampled them[f] like mud in the streets.
            43 You have delivered me from the attacks of the people;
            you have made me the head of nations.
            People I did not know now serve me,
            44 foreigners cower before me;
            as soon as they hear of me, they obey me.
            45 They all lose heart;
            they come trembling from their strongholds.
            46 The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock!
            Exalted be God my Savior!
            47 He is the God who avenges me,
            who subdues nations under me,
            48 who saves me from my enemies.
            You exalted me above my foes;
            from a violent man you rescued me.
            49 Therefore I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
            I will sing the praises of your name.

          12. Becca,

            You have been on my heart so much the past few days!

            I am sure that none of us will completely understand everything you are feeling and experiencing. I do know that HisHelper and I care VERY much about you – and that we have both been in very painful places in our marriages, too, and that we desire you to experience God’s healing, hope, peace, joy and contentment.

            I believe this is a safe place – but I guess I need to define “safe.”

            If you want to just vent and experience only sympathy – that is not the purpose of this site. However, if you want to vent and share your struggles and have women come alongside you – albeit imperfectly – who will seek to understand, to hear, and then to share what they have learned and to point you to the power of Christ Jesus and His Word – I think you are in the right place. My prayer is that this will be a place of encouragement, love, prayer, support, respect, edification and spiritual sharpening.

            We are ALL wretched sinners!!! Romans 3:23 and Isaiah 64:6 make that very clear. None of us are “better than” any one else. We all have tendencies to wrestle with pride – which I believe is the root of practically every other sin. God greatly humbled me 5.5 years ago. I had been so blind to my sin for so many years – it was pretty shocking. And PAINFUL! I don’t believe anyone is singling you out. These are the issues that practically every wife I have ever met is dealing with. What you do so beautifully – is you articulate your feelings and thoughts very well and you are sharing in a deep way. Which is a GOOD thing, in my book. I promise you that many, many other wives are experiencing similar struggles, temptations, frustrations and pain. So, I am always glad when you share.

            But – I don’t want to leave you in this mess of ickiness, pain, frustration, loneliness and struggle. You don’t have to stay there. I am praying that God might help you to see – that all of this that is so painful that you are dealing with – is really about you and God, not about your husband. And, if you are willing to trust Him, He can and will heal you and lead you through this and use it to refine you.

            If you are not sure what it means to find all of your identity in Christ, Crazy Love by Francis Chan, The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee and Radical by David Platt would be great places to start.

            For me personally, I didn’t even realize that I was putting being in control, feeling happy, feeling loved and my husband and his attention above Jesus in my heart for so many years. I had no idea. I thought I loved Jesus with all my heart and thought I was living for Him as Lord. But – then God showed me that I justified many sins in my heart because I didn’t have what I most wanted. He showed me that my motives were very sinful. I was not seeking just to honor and love Christ and to honor and bless my husband and love Him with God’s love. I was doing things because I wanted to control Greg and get my way. And when I didn’t get what I wanted, I believed (subconsciously) that I was justified to hold on to bitterness and resentment and to condemn Greg, judge him, criticize him and look down on him. If something is so important to me, that I am willing to sin in my heart to try to have it – that is probably an idol. Something I desire more than Jesus.

            My prayer for you is that God might work in you. We can all explain things every day for months – but until God reveals this stuff to you – it won’t make sense. I did spend every day explaining and explaining all of this stuff to one wife for 7 months last year. She never did understand. Because I don’t have the power to enable anyone else to understand. I don’t know if I would have understood if anyone had tried to explain these things to me years ago. So, my greatest prayer for you is that you might realize that Jesus is the Greatest Treasure there is, and that you might seek Him with all your heart and that you might lay all of these dreams, hurts and expectations at His feet and be content in Him alone no matter what else may happen.

            I’m really proud of you for not defending yourself. I’m glad you clarified some things. Thank you!

            I am so sad that you hate compliments! I pray that you might be able to receive your husband’s compliments as gifts and appreciate them. His words could bless you so much if you choose to allow them to. 🙂

            I also vote to not read posts about marriages where the husbands want more sex. That is depressing for a wife whose husband is not as high-drive as the wife. I know that from personal experience! That is why I always try to address wives on both ends of the spectrum if I address sex, because I know how much it hurts a wife who feels undesired to read about “every other husband” wanting sex every single day. That is the situation for some couples, but for about 40%, it is the wife with the higher drive. And that is ok. It is part of the spectrum of normal. But it will require a very different mindset and approach for us as wives to be able to learn to accept this and to handle it in a God-honoring, husband-honoring way.

            Thank you for receiving what HisHelper said so graciously. I don’t ask you to accept every single point she made. They may not all apply. But I do think that you can take these issues before God and ask Him to show you what He desires you to focus on and work on and what needs to go.

            You are not dragging anyone down. This is exactly why I write this blog – for women just like you! I want to see you living the abundant life Christ has for you right here right now in the midst of all the trials. I can’t wait to see you filled with God’s Spirit, peace and joy.

            There is a lot of painful “open heart surgery” to go through first, before the peace and joy come. And there will be a time when you commit to submitting completely to obeying Christ and His Word, even if you don’t know if you will get the results you want. There will be a long time of just you and God hashing through things, lots of prayer, lots of repentance, lots of learning and growth and stumbling and getting back up. That is normal. This is a slow process – but, you have total control over the pace. If you resist God, you can cause this to stretch out for many years, or even the rest of your life. If you are willing to seek Him and do things His way even though you have to give up your dreams and desires (at least temporarily), He can really begin to get some work and change done in your heart. You can be content in your situation – and you can even thrive there. By the power of God alone. Not in your own strength.

            Let’s keep talking when you are ready. Take all the time you need.

            Much love to you my precious sister!!!!!!! Sending you a huge hug!

            April

          13. Self loathing is actually a form of pride. It is insidious. But, the idea is, “I am not content with how God made me. What God has given me (my body), is not good enough. God was not good to me.”

            THankfully, even if a woman is “the most ugly woman in the world” by human standards, she can be beautiful in God’s sight and she can develop the beauty of a gentle, peaceful spirit that does what is right and does not give way to fear. She is just as equally precious in the sight of God as every other person on the planet. She, too, is “made in the image of God.”

            The only one who benefits when we hate our bodies and our appearance is the enemy of our souls.

            Why Satan Rejoices When We Hate Our Bodies

          14. Here is a template for how we could approach the body image issues…

            We can talk to God, confessing the things about our bodies for which we are not thankful – and asking His forgiveness. Then we can praise and thank God for:

            – our particular body
            – our hair
            – our facial features
            – our skin
            – our health
            – the gift of this life which is such a treasure

            And we can pray:

            “Dear God,
            Thank You for giving me this body in Your sovereignty. Forgive me for not being grateful. Forgive me for listening to the messages of the world about beauty that are not true. Forgive me for focusing on hating myself and my appearance. Help me to accept that what You have made is good. Help me to see the beauty in this body You have so generously and graciously given to me. Thank You that my worth in Your eyes is not found in my appearance or in the approval of the world, or even of my husband. Thank You that my worth is totally based on the fact that You created me and You love me more than I could ever understand or fully grasp.
            Help me to use this body wisely for Your glory. Show me how I can bless my husband with this body and this life. Show me how I can cultivate the beauty that is so precious to You – a gentle, peaceful spirit that does what is right and does not give way to fear. I yield all of myself to You. I want to be a good steward of my body, my life, my health and my appearance. I want to bring glory to You alone. Help me to see what an incredible gift You have given me with this body. Thank You that no detail has escaped Your notice and that You want to use my body, my life, my heart, my soul and all that I am and all that I have for good and for the glory of Your Name and Your kingdom. Make me fruitful. I accept and receive this life and body You have given me. I want to be thankful for it from now on and I don’t want to complain about it anymore. You give good gifts. I may not understand all of Your decisions and choices at this moment, but I choose to trust You from now on instead of my feelings. And I seek to yield my body, my life and all that I have and all that I am to You. My body is Your temple. I open my heart to allow Your Spirit to have full control and to fill me. I want more and more of You and less and less of me. May Christ alone be greatly exalted in my life!
            In the Name and power of Christ Jesus, my LORD,
            Amen!”

          15. April, it is very helpful for me when you say that the wife has the higher drive with about 40% of the couples. That’s how it was in my marriage. But you would never know that from listening to Christian radio or hearing sermons, because as you pointed out, it seems like every blog makes it sound like the man always has a huge drive, and the wife doesn’t.

            I think that the lower-drive men are ashamed to admit it, because they feel that they won’t sound “manly” if they do. And the reason they feel that way is because EVERY Christian radio program tells them about the poor wives who have lower drives than their selfish, high-drive husbands.

            One of the fears I have had since my divorce is that I will not be the man that my new wife wants and needs, because that is the message I continually received in my first marriage. But I honestly believe that if both the husband and the wife have kindness, mercy, patience, understanding, and tenderness toward each other, they can have a beautiful relationship no matter who has the higher drive and who has the lower drive.

          16. Jim,
            I agree, this dynamic is not addressed much and it makes husbands and wives in the 40% feel like something is horribly wrong with them, when they may actually just be kind of normal.

            Men don’t like to talk about this. And wives don’t like to talk about it because they feel humiliated and like it means their husbands don’t desire them, which may not be the case at all. There is so much shame and so many hurt feelings unnecessarily, many times, in my view, about this.

            A couple will almost never have totally matching drives. And different seasons of life and age and health situations and circumstances may cause one to be the higher drive sometimes, and the other at other times.

            But YES! If we are in tune with Christ and we focus on blessing our spouse, we can find balance and even contentment and satisfaction.

            Thank you for sharing!

          17. Good Morning Becca, I stayed up till 2am typing a reply, and am sending it to you at 10am this morning after reading April’s further replies. It is really neat how a number of the things she wrote are the very things I typed last night. So, not to be redundant, but I’ll leave them in there, and hopefully it will be helpful to hear it from two perspectives!…

            Considering I was concerned that I would be 100% wrong, the 85% right sounds pretty good to me! 🙂 Please disregard anything that I said that did not apply. As I typed, I tried to show my own shortcomings and how the Lord has been working on me, knowing that I don’t have all the facts about you, so that maybe something in what I’ve learned would strike a chord with you! And, by necessity, I did make some assumptions, and I apologize for the areas I did not assume correctly!

            I think it’s very important to be able to share your thoughts here. I certainly don’t want to make you feel uncomfortable and drive you away. What I hear from you in your posts is a lot of anguish and hurt. I can look back to times I thought my heart would rip apart from despair over my marriage, and when I “hear” that same heart wrenching sadness in you over a period of time, the last thing I want to do is just read what you wrote and then move on to the next blog post or website. If there is anything that I have learned that would apply to you to help relieve the pain, I wanted to try. So, please know that is where I’m coming from!

            I want to clarify that I do not believe at all that you are an evil shrew that sucks the life out of people! You sound like a very nice person. It is the extremely narrow context of being at home where we tend to show our darker side with moods and such that I was referring to. In my own home, and I believe it’s probably true for most wives, I have sadly acted at times very differently in front of my husband and children than I ever would for anyone else. (Those times are much less frequent, but still sneak up on me from time to time.) I may be short with my husband all afternoon, and in an instant turn to the nicest person on earth when I turn around and answer the phone and talk to a friend. I would never want anyone to know I actually have bad moods and act on them! 😉 I’m talking about the behind closed doors moments where familiarity tends to breed a lack of respect or cheerfulness that is normal among those who don’t spend so much time together. My friends and family outside my husband and children might be in shock if they thought I was anyone different than the sweet ol’ HisHelper that they know. (And this very contrast used to hurt my husband greatly. How could I treat them so kindly and turn around and treat him so badly, when I claimed he was the most important person in my life!) So, it seemed to be likely that with all these emotional issues going on, I wondered if you are genuinely cheerful in your home. There seems to be some truly depressing thoughts going on in your mind, and I wanted to paint a picture of the contrast between a cold and warm thermostat setting. I only want to encourage you to defy your emotions and choose the warm. Cold and stormy temperatures will never bring a man’s heart closer to yours, and a women’s untempered emotional ups and downs can really wreck havoc on a man’s patience in being a kind, understanding, interactive husband.

            I totally hear you about the Christian marriage blogs! There wasn’t an article on the topic of physical intimacy focusing on a man’s drive being higher that didn’t put a lump in my throat and tears stinging my eyes, and I too didn’t realize there was anything “abnormal” about it until I read about it online! I have recently been seeing the other side of the coin being written about more frequently, and it does help to know there are MANY women out there facing this same issue, and that it isn’t abnormal at all.

            Please know, though, that there is no law of nature or logical argument that proves that low drive in a man = unattractive wife. I’m not sure why you are convinced that it is. Or that physical attractiveness equals beauty. Any decent man, who indeed was created to be visually stimulated, still appreciates the many facets of beauty beyond the external appearance. So, if you are not all that attractive externally, your husband obviously still sees many beautiful things about you. That’s a really awesome man, if you ask me. He’s not superficial.

            Life isn’t measured by sex and appearance. Our society says sex and image are everything. They are not. So, when I suggested that image and attractiveness seemed to be an idol for you, I meant that it seems to be what you always come back to when you are at the pool, when photographs are being taken, when you attempt to surmise what your husband must be thinking about you. (Please just take at face value what your husband says to you as being true. I get myself into so much trouble trying to read things into what my husband says! I do not have a male mind, and I always get it wrong when my female mind tries to interpret what he says!) If he’s telling you he thinks you’re beautiful, then he does. Words of affirmation may be his love language. Don’t deny him the enjoyment of expressing his love this way just because it may not be your preferred way of experiencing love. Maybe his words that express what is in his heart is all he is able to give you right now? Exhaustion has a way of zapping sex drive. Most likely he does not exclusively link beauty with sex, and neither does my husband. That shows real maturity. My husband has said he has no desire for me when we aren’t close in our relating to each other. It has very little to do with appearance and everything to do with him feeling one with me.

            So, the whole image issue-whether it be over a lack of attractiveness or the opposite end of the scale, striving to become more attractive, becomes an idol when it is all consuming, trumping truth, and driving your thoughts and actions. It becomes a god of its own, as it is given more power than God Himself has in your life. It seems like something you have been unable, up to this point, to get past. It seems to be what everything else is hinged upon. So, if only you were physically attractive everything would be ok? Your husband would desire you more? If so, please think again. I can tell you that I am not gorgeous, but I don’t think I’m ugly. Over the years I’ve tried to become very fit, dress well, make sure I look my best for him, and it has not made my husband want me more. I don’t think he even noticed. Not one bit. However, I do not conclude that I am ugly. Coming home to my smile and to a contented wife is the only thing has made him show any more interest, so I conclude that inner beauty is much more important to my husband than external beauty. I am quite certain the same is true for your husband. He is not shunning you, or desiring you to be out of his presence because you may be less pretty than some women, He is actually asking you to be near to him. That is a great sign that he does indeed value you, even if he is not right now fulfilling you in ways that are meaningful to you.

            Be patient, and work on those things the Lord shows you. If He heals everything in your marriage right now, then you may not be very motivated to allow Him to make the changes He needs to make in you! Being in a place of discomfort is often the very thing that ends up driving us to His feet, grabbing our full attention so that He can mold us and refine us. I can’t say that I’ve been all that pliable when things are going great! God has done His biggest work in me in times of great pain. He must have known that, for me, marriage was the best route to get to my heart. A good marriage was definitely something I pursued much more than I pursued God. Even that good thing was an idol for me. Maybe God made you less physically beautiful than some because you personally would not be able to handle being gorgeous in this world. You may not know the reasons in this lifetime, but He made you as you are by choice. It sounds like He is using your level of attractiveness and your feelings about that to teach you some priceless lessons about true love.

            So, instead of lamenting physical attractiveness or your husband’s lack of desire and allowing them to bring you down, why not look to the Lord and see yourself as He sees you? This is what it means to find your identity in Christ. It means opening the Bible and reading what He says about you, and BELIEVING it, living it as if it were true (because it is!), relishing in it. He didn’t just save you to take you to heaven when you die. He wants a relationship with his daughter Becca whom He loves. (Besides the Bible, Crazy Love by Francis Chan is an excellent book to read about this too!) There is so much joy that comes from believing what God thinks about His beloved children! If you disagree with what God has said about you in His Word, then you would be calling Him a liar. You seem at times to loathe yourself very much. So, I could only assume you don’t believe God’s thoughts toward you. The book You are Loved by Sallie Clarkston and Angela Perritt is a Bible study that digs deeply into the scriptures that talk about God’s love for you. It has been very helpful to me. Only God can make you happy about who you are in Him (no longer a wretched sinner, but you are His child). Please don’t place that kind of expectation on your husband or any other person-no human can ultimately make you feel better about yourself-by their words OR actions.

            I know it’s good to be able to vent your feelings, and it’s important that you do so. But, please do more than just that. Please don’t fight what the Lord is doing. Please draw near to Him and allow Him to work in you. Here’s a little video clip to encourage you in this. It’s a got a little humor in there too, and the message is so true: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QCkBL2DfVg

            Please stick around, Becca! We love you and want to be here for you!

            -HisHelper

          18. HisHelper,
            Thank you so much for your love for Becca and for your willingness to pour so much time and love and for sharing what God has done in your life.

            Becca,

            I love you, too! I am so glad you are here. Hearing your struggles and thoughts helps me know some of the most important issues I may need to address, because these are the kinds of things that create much pain in many women’s hearts. You are a blessing to me! I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for you and to watch God use you to share your story and mentor other wives who are hurting in the future. 🙂

          19. April and HisHelper,

            Thank you so much for your love and support and your very thoughtful replies. We are having an incredibly full week, so I will reply soon. I just wanted to check in and say thank you. I will be in touch soon.

            Additionally, my husband and I had the best Sunday we’ve had in over a year. And I prayed about sleeping in bed, went back in there, and today my husband told me how happy that made him. Thank you again and I’ll be in touch soon.

            Love Becca

          20. Someone asked me not that long ago, why do I cling to my unhappiness? Well, I have a thought. When things go well, and I let myself be happy, they always turn bad again. So staying mildly unhappy avoids disappointment. If you don’t expect much, you won’t be let down.

            I initiated intimacy for the first time in months (used to do it all the time or it didn’t get done – but I gave up after so much rejection). He doesn’t outright reject me, he just doesn’t have much interest. I mean, he seldom says “no thanks” he will just go to sleep. If I was more attractive I’m sure he’d stay awake. Or act attracted while he was awake.

            So I stopped initiating, but tried again for the first time, and he “cuddled” but that’s as far as it went. So I left and slept on the couch. I feel less rejected if I’m not in the same bed with him. He has told me he wants me to sleep in bed, and he misses me initiating, but obviously that’s not true or he would have been interested last night.

            So I can see that coming back to bed and trying to initiate was the WRONG choice. I’m thinking of getting a regular bed for the guest room. I’m tired of restless nights on the couch.

            We are supposed to go on vacation and it will stink. There are sure to be gorgeous women everywhere. My family will try to get a picture with me in it, and I will anger them when I delete them. He will act like he’s all into me, but I’m so tired of all this. I used to love sex with my husband, and now I barely even feel pleasure anymore. I guess ignorance really is bliss. Before I started reading blogs about marriage, I thought our sex life was normal. Now that I know how unwanted I am, and how ugly he must find me (obviously if he’s never in the mood I’m not attracting him), and how weird I must be since all other men pursue their wives with gusto, sex has lost it’s beauty. It’s become a measuring tool of my faults and imperfections.

            And I have to keep it to myself or he will get down and upset. This is my only outlet. I know it must be frustrating to read one day things are better and I feel happy, and the next day I’m down again. Imagine how frustrating it is to live this way.

          21. Becca,

            I have been in very similar circumstances. I FEEL YOUR PAIN. I still don’t agree with your conclusions. But, I am praying for God to work in you and to open your eyes and bring healing to you. Sending you a huge hug, my precious sister!

          22. PS Becca,

            This part of our marriage took a long time to “fix.” It was about 3 years into my journey before I was able to trust God and stop trying to control my husband sexually and before I was able to decide to be content in Christ even if my husband rejected me or seemed disinterested in me or was too tired.

            God used this as part of my sanctification process.

            Now, things are very different – because God changed my approach and mindset. I don’t initiate nearly as much as I used to, but he is also much more positive and receptive in his responses now. Sometimes, he even initiates. Not as often as I do, but sometimes he does. Even if he isn’t interested on a given day, I am able to rest in his love and know that he still is attracted to me and our marriage is secure and I don’t have to freak out. Of course, he doesn’t have low testosterone levels or a physical issue, and if there is a situation like that going on, then a husband will need medical help.

            Much love to you!

          23. Becca….take a look at his clip….it might help You https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Tu6WfG7F5W8

            April mentioned that it is possible that there is a medical issue wether with impotence or testosterone levels….it might be good for you to be honest with your husband about how you feel about having sex and ask him if there is any reason why he may be disinterested at this time. Also if you keep mentioning or thinking about your unattractivemess to your husband…he will begin to feel that way about you….remember life and death is in the power of the tongue. Our true security and identity is in Christ…and he is able to give life to the any dead situation. Hope the clip helps…love in Christ.

          24. Becca…I just felt led to listen to that clip I posted above this morning….I had it in mind to look at for over a month but never got to it because I have a few weeks before my exam….but it crossed my mind this morning while I was attending to the kids….and I don’t know if God led me to it so it would bless you….BUT IT REALLY WILL….please listen to the end…it is about 28 minutes long…I know most if not all women deal with insecurities at some point of our lives….you are not alone…but there is a way out…and that way out is in Christ. Don’t despair…..there is hope for your marriage. For now…just focus on your husbands strengths and praise him for that….choose to pull down every negative thught and replace it with the word of God….you are NOT A VICTIM…YOU ARE MORE THAN AN OVERCOMER THROUGH CHRIST….You have a 100% chance of succeeding in your marriage. Please do listen to the clip…to the end…this is the link again https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Tu6WfG7F5W8 Love in Christ.

          25. Becca….April’s post called “My Demon” which she suggested you read….is a good eye opener. i just listened to this message The Hurt Whisperer | Marriage Today | Jimmy Evans
            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=w5J3NQDhuFA which is identical expalining he lies the devil may play in our minds….it is a life changing message….I know it will bless you… I’m praying that God gives you wisdom and understanding as you open up your heart to Him ….all for His honor and glory. Remember God loves you more than anyone in this world will and ever could….he is your Daddy…He sees every where you hurt…and he can change your life and your marriage.

            This one will also bless you Becca… A Daily Dynamic Prayer Life | Marriage Today | Jimmy Evans, Karen Evans – YouTube
            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hO99Z-Vlzio

  13. Nikka….Just to add…some women may choose to stay at home and not work..but how much time is invested in spending time with and teaching them….most times the kids are left to play while we cook…clean…waste time on FB or surfing the net….on the phone talking with friends..watching TV..and the list goes on. While on the other hand a working mother with a career may have someone come get the cleaning etc done for her wether once or a couple of times a week…because she could afford to do so…and then invest that time after work I spend with her kids and husband…and that working mother might actually be putting in more time and effort with her kids than the mother who chooses to stay home full time….just goes to show that the priorities are still not in place here…..just something for us to think about. Working and career mother do as good a job or even better than most of us who choose to stay home full time. We should in no way look down on each other…wether we don’t or choose to stay at home. Hope this explanation helps…..love you ladies.

    1. Wow, this was harsh. How I wish women would stop attacking each other about this, the career women vs. the at-home-moms. I understand that you may be upset with Nikka’s point of view but you are coming across as very judgemental of stay-at-home moms. I’ve done both. When my children were very small I had to work part time. Now I stay home and homeschool them. I’m not even on Facebook, and I assure you, there is very little time for TV.

      I don’t think any one mother is better than another. We are all doing the best we can with whatever situation we are in. Or I should say we are all trying our best. Let’s try to understand and support one another, instead of getting defensive and/or judgemental.

    2. Princess,

      I know this is a very, very sensitive issue for many women. I have known Nikka for almost a year now, and I know her to be very humble, compassionate, caring, loving and understanding with women. I know that her heart is that she desires God’s best for all women.

      I do not believe there is a one-size-fits-all about wives/moms working. But rather, I believe this issue is something each wife must hammer out on her own between her husband, herself and God.

      Nikka did have a very prominent career. She felt God’s calling to give it up. It has been a great blessing to her to be able to be home.

      God may have called you to be a doctor and a mom. That is totally fine. I do not believe Nikka is judging you.

      I think that it may be possible that there could be some women who could give up their careers who may not realize that they could. And for many, it would relieve a lot of the time pressure and stress that they are experiencing and their sense of not being able to get the things that are most important to them done each day. I actually have a post about some of our material and financial priorities in this regard coming in the next week or two. There are other women who believe they are called to work. Yes, it is much harder to achieve balance with our time when we work full time, but if that is something you believe God is calling you to do and you and your husband are happy with your life balance, that is great!

      I think that the key is our motives and how we are godly stewards with the time, talents and resources we have. And we must each be sensitive to God’s Spirit and our husbands, as well, not to mention our own mental health, ability to balance things and sanity.

      Nikka is sharing what she learned the hard way in her life. I don’t see her condemning anyone, just asking women to prayerfully think and consider this issue in the hopes that women will have no regrets. A fantastic resource for this issue of work/life balance for Christian women is Shaunti Feldhahn’s book The Life Ready Woman.

      I personally work part time as a pharmacist. I would love to be home all the time. But my husband prefers for me to work some. Does God use me to bless people at work? Absolutely!

      Can women who are home all the time waste time? Yep. My prayer is that we each might use our time for God’s greatest glory and our family’s greatest benefit and for the benefit of others around us, as well, no matter what God has called us to do.

      It is my prayer that this forum might be a place where women can find refreshment, support, love, encouragement, respect, prayer and edification.

      Thank you for sharing your perspective. I praise God for what He is doing in your life and I can’t wait to see all that He has in store for you!

      Much love!
      April

  14. My precious sisters,
    These are difficult, sometimes gut-wrenching topics, we are talking about. I know that each of us probably agonize over our decisions as we long to do what God desires us to do in each situation – for our marriages, in our walk with Christ, for our children and for our careers/jobs.

    No human person can dictate what we each ought to do at any particular time in our lives. These are individual convictions that we must come to on our own, with the guidance and leadership of our husbands, with the power of God’s Word and His Spirit.

    Thankfully, no matter what choices we believe God is calling us to make – we can stand united as sisters in Christ, supporting, loving and praying for one another as we walk this road together.

    I want all women to feel welcome here- full time working moms, single women, stay at home moms, part time working moms, housewives without children, retired women.

    As believers in Christ, we have much more in common through Jesus than we have differences.

    Much love to each of you! I’m glad we can talk about difficult things and I pray we might be a blessing to one another and that Christ alone might be exalted here.

  15. In talking about whether to take part in ministry activities or not, I’m feeling like a current activity is a real test for me! Our church is going through a huge campaign right now for something that will be awesome, and my husband and I are on the planning committee. He and I are in charge of one aspect of the campaign. He is taking leadership (my husband is an amazing leader!) and I am sort of “working” for him in my administrative gifting.

    And I am realizing just HOW MUCH PRIDE I still have! As he shares ideas with me, for some reason my initial instinct is to “offer a different point of view” and say why that may not work, or why something else might be better. As he gives me directives, I feel myself tense up at having to take on that task. As he says he will email this person or that person, I feel myself growing indignant because I could just as easily send that email and show how involved I am too.

    Interestingly, we’ve talked about our dreams for years from now, starting our own business where I work from home part-time helping him, sort of how thejoyfilledwife talks about helping her husband with their business. If I am getting this riled up over one small aspect of a short-term ministry activity, how on earth do I think I can be humble enough to work for my husband in the future?!

    Perhaps it’s more my hormones making me feel this way, but oh how I want to cry thinking about how little I’ve actually grown when put to the test. Please pray for me to let go of ALL my pride, to trust my husband’s leadership and decisions, and to know when to voice my opinions versus when to be quiet!

    1. M,
      Please don’t be so hard on yourself and do not get discouraged but rejoice and praise God because you know He IS doing a great work in your life!! You are growing and changing and, obviously, the Lord is revealing things to you. (And that is what our loving heavenly Father does because HE LOVES HIS CHILDREN!!) All that is required of you is to agree with the Lord about the things He is showing you (in prayer) and ask Him to make those changes in you. We only slow down God’s work of sanctification in our lives when we try to make the changes instead of just agreeing with God when He shows us something and then repent and ask Him to change us. Don’t take on that burden because it is God alone who can change you. Just continue to fellowship with the Lord by spending time in His Word and then praying according to what He reveals to you through His Word and through your life experiences. This is the sanctification process. It is a beautiful thing when we realize that the reality is that the Lord is doing the great work of conforming us into His dear Son. We have many good things to look forward to by faith because we know God loves us and He is the BEST Father there is 🙂

      1. Eliza, thank you so much! I think you’re right, I’m trying to make the changes myself instead of thanking God for revealing the need for the changes to me and allowing Him to make those changes Himself. I need to just relax and let Him do His thing. Thank you for your wise and encouraging words!

    2. M,

      I am so glad God allows us to see sin like this. I know it is so very painful to see that it is there, but what a blessing to be able to repent and ask God to take it. Away and help us. Learn and grow! I am so thankful He prunes us.

      This may be a great preparation for something in the future. I am praying for you!

  16. I haven’t commented on April’s blog in a while; I have been reading the posts and comments ,but I have really not commented. I usually always have an opinion, so for me, it’s pretty odd for me to not be commenting (even though I am basically pretty new to this blog). I have been seeking God for His direction on an issue, and for w/e reason, He has not spoken to me. Today when I was reading this blog post along with all the comments, the Lord started speaking to my heart. (I’ve been going through a very quiet phase, but content just to wait on God.) The thing is, there are so many women on this blog who are coming from different places and stages & seasons of life. We are not all going through the same seasons of life or seasons of learning and growing. Also, some are believers with believing husbands, some are perhaps not believers yet but have saved husbands, or maybe also some are saved ladies but have unsaved husbands. Some have children, some do not, some have young kids, some have already raised their children. Some are now grandparents, some don’t have grandchildren. I am now a middle-aged woman who has already raised five children (but I’m not a grandmother yet.) What I can tell you is that we are all on a journey where we are learning, and growing, and changing. We are all not in the same season of life nor do we all have the same type of husband or even same types of children. I am now in my sixth decade of life, and what I can tell you is that we are all at different levels of growth and learning. This last season I have gone through is a season of being still before the Lord and being silent and listening and waiting on Him. I have learned, and grown, and changed so much (but the Lord is still not done with me yet!!). The woman I was in my 20’s is not the woman I was in my 30’s. The woman I was in my 30’s is not the woman I was in my 40’s. And now that I am in my 50’s, I am different even now. What I have learned is to love and respect every woman’s stage and season of life and to give room for other’s levels of growth and learning and seasons in the Lord or (just by living life and gaining wisdom by experiential knowledge). Believe me, you will have different convictions about motherhood and life in your 20’s or 30’s or 40’s or 50’s. So, we need to be loving, kind, and gracious and be more willing to listen to and respect other’s opinions and convictions as long as they do not interfere with Scriptural sound doctrine. I used to get really hurt and upset if somebody disagreed with me or didn’t support how we were raising our children. Now, I hardly ever get hurt because I have learned through the life lessons the Lord has given me that I should only be concerned with what God and my husband think ~ not what another person thinks. That took years of learning and growing in the Lord, and HE did the work and made the changes and taught the lessons and accomplished the growth & conformity to His will. We are all learning and growing, Ladies. And life is very short, so we should all strive to love and support one another and not take things very personally or get so easily hurt or wounded or offended. We really do have a choice because we really do have the power we need. We can do this with our husbands and others if we walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh. We can be content knowing that we are exactly where God wants us to be in life if we know that we are fellowshipping with God in His Word and in prayer, and we know we are obeying Him in every area as He is leading us. God will give us power to walk in love and do His will. God will direct us through His Word and our husbands as we seek Him and yield to Him. We all need to respect the place the Lord has each of us and be very careful to not speak or share in way that might hurt or wound another brother or sister in Christ (or even an unbeliever for that matter). ~ We must learn to respect that we are all not in the same place in life at the same time. God is working in each one of our lives in different ways at different times. Our circumstances and needs are all different, Ladies. I know I have changed many times on my convictions and beliefs as a mother and wife. That’s what “growing in grace and knowledge” is all about. I also used to be harsh and speak very strongly about what I believed. But I hurt people. And that was another lesson and time of learning. Now I try very hard to walk in God’s power and speak in love so that I do not hurt others or offend them when I try to share a belief or conviction or Biblical principle. We don’t have to hurt one another when we share. We need to think of others as more important than ourselves and be careful to not speak out of emotion bur rather just speak based on truth and in love and with respect. God bless us all on this wonderful journey called LIFE!!

    1. Eliza,
      Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and perspective! I love this!!! I want to keep your words in mind all the time as I seek to address such an incredibly diverse group of women – different ages, different backgrounds, different cultures, different stages in life, different challenges, different world views…

      Beautifully stated! Thank you!!!

  17. Thank you for this post, April. I have been meaning to comment for a few days but I was not able to until now. I am relatively new to your site but I love your posts and I just wanted to let you know you have been a positive influence in me and my marriage. God bless you and your family.

    I have been asking God for direction in my spiritual growth. This post really stuck with me. For three days in a row, starting with your post, I heard about “wasting” myself for God, spending more time with Him, and really just seeking His guidance. When a same topic pursues me for days, I know God is telling me something.

    I know I need to spend more time with Him and dive into His Word more than before. Sometimes I think I need to do more to feel I am serving God, but many times, all I need to do is stop and listen to Him. Many times I get ahead of Him because I am not patient or quiet enough to listen to His full answer.

    Thank you for helping me see that seeking God is not always about doing more but about listening to Him and following His guidance; whatever that looks like to me, not for what anyone else is doing.

    1. Aixa,

      I am so excited about what God is showing you! It is very much the “Mary and Martha” story, isn’t it? We want to DO stuff for God (and our husbands) – and that is good – but how much better to actually be still sometimes and enjoy and know them. 🙂

      Thank you so much for sharing!

  18. I really enjoyed this post April!! I just wanted to thank you for being so obedient to God. Your wisdom has changed my life and influences my thoughts and even my prayers!!!

  19. I am finding this blog very helpful. Thank you! Regularly my husband asks me to leave the mess and relax. He doesn’t like the noise of me washing up after dinner when he’s trying to relax and he’s tired. This is so hard to do as I know it makes the next day harder. I admit I sometimes get cross as I just want help and I do it anyway with a bad attitude, but your post encourages me to reprioritise what I deem important.

  20. April,
    PLEASE post this article on your singles sight. I have this book, and the “wasting” chapter is tremendously important for single women in Christ. I am one of those in obscurity right now, waiting on the Lord, “doing nothing” in the eyes of others. We must learn to minister to the Lord first before we can effectively minister to others.
    Thank you for this post!

    Renee

  21. After reading the comments from just this post I wanted to tell you Becca that you’re not alone in your struggle with accepting your appearance. I am 37 & have struggled for many years with mine. Sometimes I feel it is my thorn in my flesh as the apostle Paul talks about. What’s even more disheartening is that when I talk to my husband about things I learn from this site the thing he most wants me to change is my confidence in myself. Growing up with a mother who called me names & being made fun of by kids in my school that I haven’t seen in years didn’t help. I get angry at myself because it’s so ridiculous to still hold onto things like that.

    The Lord blessed me with 2 boys. And with having boys I really didn’t think I would have to “worry” about how they thought of their appearance. But last week my 7-year-old & I were talking before his bedtime. He told me that when he looks in the mirror he doesn’t think he’s handsome. And it totally broke my heart. I’m not one of these people who talks about my appearance out loud. It’s mostly the dialogue in my head. So I was totally surprised when he said that to me. And then I questioned my parenting like what am I doing wrong? Am I not praising him enough? Does he not know how special he is regardless of his looks? But my response to him was, “I know how hard it is to care what others think about you. Mommy still has problems with that. But really we should only care what God thinks about us and in the bible He says you are wonderfully made.” What a blessed reminder for myself. God is using my son to help me. It’s very humbling.

    Hugs to you Becca. And thanks always to April for her commitment to this site.

    1. Tiffany…read you comment earlier….and I do think everyone …including men have struggled with the issue of comparison in one way or the other….so no one is alone on this….just listened to this message and it will really bless you…and I think all the wives here…..including you Becca…as it covers a few of the topics April posted….it is truly an eye opening and freeing message…I know it will bless anyone who hears it….only 20 something minutes long…you will be glad you did…
      Overcoming Comparison| Marriage Today| Jimmy Evans
      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gHOf6jn5srs

  22. This was such a great post!! I, too, am a busy, busy want to bring always productive “do-er” whose hubby is blessed when I sit and just relax with him. Thank you for reminding me that often this is the *most* important thing and not a waste at all!

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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