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Am I Giving “Marriage Advice” to Non-Christians?

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My purpose is to teach biblical principles about marriage (and living for Jesus Christ) to women who have given their lives to Jesus as both Savior and Lord. The only wisdom I have comes from Scripture. God’s wisdom is “foolishness” to the world. It goes completely against what is politically correct, what is intuitive to us and what comes naturally to us as sinful people. He calls us to forgive those who hurt us, to be kind to those who mistreat us, to pursue Him above worldly things. His design for marriage seems backwards to our human  minds. But His wisdom works because He created us and knows what we need and He knows what is right.

EVERYONE is very welcome to read here – from any background and any faith. If you are discouraged, frustrated, lost and looking for hope – I believe you will find it here! I deeply desire EVERYONE to come to know Christ. And the great news is, everyone CAN come to Christ! The principles of God’s Word always work, but the promises of the Bible are for believers in Christ:

ROMANS 8 applies to those who love God and know Christ. I want EVERYONE to experience the blessings and promises of God!

 

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And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:28-39

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The promises of God’s Word are for those who are willing to obey Jesus in everything. He asks for our total surrender. He gave up His life completely for us, now, we give up our lives completely for Him:

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? 26Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” Luke 9:24-26

MY AUDIENCE:

I am writing primarily for those women who love Jesus wholeheartedly (or who want to learn to love Him this way) and have been called according to His purpose. I am also writing for those who are hurting, lonely, lost, discouraged, depressed and searching for answers who desperately need to hear about Jesus – as we ALL do!

Some of the principles from God’s Word may be of some benefit to unbelievers – like a wife showing respect to her husband. Men are generally hardwired to desire and respond to respect more than to respond to disrespect, just like women are generally hardwired to desire and respond to love. And reducing sin (things God says are wrong in His Word) always blesses any relationship. But the reason biblical submission “works” is that we are first completely submitted to Christ as Lord. Then we can receive His promise to use all things for our good and for His glory – even if a wife’s husband is far from God.

Will submission “work” for an unbelieving wife?

For many women, the definition of these things “working” is that they can control their husbands and make them do what they want them to. That is not what this journey is about at all.

The principles of the Bible always work – whether a person is a believer or not. So, any wife may benefit to some degree if she honors her husband’s leadership (although, if he has an active addiction, or is being very abusive or is mentally unstable – please seek godly, experienced help from someone you can trust!) But when a believer obeys God and walks by faith in Jesus Christ, that person can trust God’s sovereignty and cling to God’s promises all throughout the Bible. That is what I want for each of you!

  • However, sometimes God will use a person’s willingness to try to obey Him to bring them to Himself. I don’t ever want to discourage anyone from attempting to obey God even before they come to Christ.  EVERYONE is welcome and invited to read my blog! (please check out this post for an incredible testimony about this issue and how God used her submission to her husband to bring her to Christ!)

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

Please catch that. God rewards those who earnestly seek Him.

If someone is just trying to get “marriage advice” and they are not trying to earnestly seek Jesus, they miss out on the greatest blessings and promises of God. They may benefit from the principles to a degree. But I long for each of you to experience the greatest blessings!

It is my prayer that each person who reads my blog may come to know Christ Jesus. But, if you try to apply what I talk about apart from living fully for Christ, I think you may be frustrated. As you are willing to put your faith and trust in Jesus, He is able to empower you so that you can do this thing!

If a woman does not know Christ Jesus as her Savior and Lord, that is her greatest need! This one decision determines each person’s eternal destiny. Then, once she comes to know Him and yields her life to Him, she can begin to apply biblical principles through the power of her faith in Jesus and God’s Spirit living in and working through her. It is IMPOSSIBLE to be a godly wife in our own human strength.

I want marriages to be healed and saved. That is one of my goals, prayers and desires here. But if all I do is help some marriages, but I do not offer the Life of Jesus to women and if women don’t turn to Jesus and find His eternal Life, I have failed! That is my greatest goal, to shine the light of Jesus Christ brightly, that many may come to Him!

“I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through Me.” John 14:6

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” John 17:1-5

If you have never received the gift Jesus gave to you – how He died in your place for the wrong things you have done, and how God raised Him back to life so that those who trust in Him might also be raised to life forever with Him in heaven, I invite you to check out this post. You may also want to check out www.desiringgod.org or www.radical.net and search “salvation.” And you may want to read the gospel of John. You can find it at www.biblegateway.com. 🙂 You will NEVER regret giving your life to Jesus and claiming Him as your Master and Lord. If you want to talk about this, please let me know!

59 thoughts on “Am I Giving “Marriage Advice” to Non-Christians?

  1. Wonderful April! I so agree with you that a non believer would have a very hard time with the teachings of respect/submission.

    Even those of us who are believers have to come to the realization that our purpose is to obey God. It we come to respect/submission table with the purpose of changing our husbands or pleasing our husbands so they will act differently, we leave discouraged, disappointed and confused.

    By ONLY coming to please God and God alone, do we find the peace that we are desperate for. If in the end God blesses us with a better marriage, then we see it as a blessing for our obedience to him not something we did in our own power.

    Right now I am having a lot of discouraging days. My surgery was postponed because I had an infection. I am basically stuck at home because of the heat that I can’t tolerate right now and my weakness. My husband’s job is not what he needs or desires to provide for our family. But because of this journey, my focus has changed. Now I am thinking everyday how can I please God through these hard times. Sure I get down. Last night I sat on the patio and cried and talked to God. But it was just different. I am off the roller coaster of emotion that ruled my life for so long. I was able to come back inside and laugh with my family. When my focus was on fixing my marriage and fixing my life, I never could have done that.

    1. Daisymae,

      Thank you so much for sharing!

      I think even believing women go through that stage at first where we REALLY begin to try to obey God only in order to try to change our husbands and get what we want. And I think we all learn, eventually, that it doesn’t work.

      It is such an incredible moment when we realize that this journey is about us and Jesus. And when we realize that the marriage is a testing and training ground for us to grow in our faith in Christ and to practice obedience even if we receive no earthly reward. There is such freedom, peace and joy as we realize that our only goal is to please Jesus and to honor Him ultimately.

      Thank you so very much for sharing! You are such an inspiration and encouragement to me!

      I pray for healing for your infection and for wisdom for the doctors as they do surgery. I pray for God’s encouragement, hope, peace, power and joy to flood your heart, mind and soul. I praise God for the different outlook He is giving you now and how you are taking your pain to Him, but how you are trusting Him even in these discouraging days. I am so proud of you and so thankful for what God is doing in your heart!!!!!

      You are precious to me!

  2. Ken and I were just talking about this very topic yesterday. He told me I should make it clear on my blog somewhere that my message is for Christian women! God’s principles probably do work for everyone since He is everyone’s Creator but without the Holy Spirit living inside, it is almost impossible to live them out. It would probably be an exercise in futility and His promises certainly do not apply to unbelievers. Great post, April!

    1. Lori,

      Thanks!! I was thinking about you a lot the past few days, and praying for you as you seek to honor and exalt Christ and as you face great opposition. I read some pretty strong criticisms against both of us by a particular group online yesterday, and realized – I need to clarify that I am not writing for unbelievers!

      Even women who are believers, if they have sinful motives as they seek to apply God’s principles, are probably going to be very frustrated and stuck. I know I have been any time I had impure motives! But for unbelievers to attempt to apply biblical principles without the power of the Holy Spirit, without a relationship with Christ and without the wisdom of God’s Spirit – I sure can’t make any guarantees of anything. I can’t tell them that God will lead them through their husbands and cause all things to work for their good if they attempt to submit to their husbands apart from faith in Christ Jesus. The only guarantees I know of are the promises of God to those who love Him and are completely devoted to Him. Even then, we are not promised that we will get what WE want. But we are promised that God will use all things for our ultimate good to make us more like Christ and for His ultimate glory. What a source of peace and joy!

      Our purpose as believers in Christ can’t just be to improve our marriages. Our purpose has to be to bring the greatest glory to God!

      Of course, God’s design is always good and even those who don’t know Him often greatly benefit when they accidentally obey some of His commands.

      But, the reason we can have peace, joy, hope and abundant spiritual life is only because of Jesus and His position as both Savior and Lord in our lives. Many people think they can make Him their Savior without making Him their Lord. That is impossible. He has to be both! I long for every person to find life in Christ now and forever. I don’t want to see anyone separated from Christ – not here on earth, and not in hell after this life is over. The greatest blessings in our marriages and in every aspect of our lives come only when Jesus reigns as Master and Lord in our lives on a moment by moment basis.

      I’m so thankful for you and for all that God is doing through you, my beautiful sister!

      Thanks for sharing!

      1. Yes, I am well aware of groups out there who hate me and my message. In fact, Cabinetman gave me the title of the most hated woman on the Internet! As I was reading my Bible this morning, I read this verse, “Take no part in and have no fellowship with the fruitless deeds and enterprises of darkness, but instead expose and reprove and convict them”{Eph. 5:11}. They hate our message. It is foolishness to them. Their eyes are blinded by the prince of the power of the air. {Unfortunately, many Christians even hate my message since the church has become so lukewarm and doesn’t like to hear everything God teaches us in Scripture.} All we can hope and pray is that their blinders will come off and they will believe God and His ways. For they are LIFE! Thank you for your prayers, April. That means a lot to me. I will pray for you also.

        1. Lori,

          I have very similar experiences, of course! But, the real hatred is for Jesus and His Words. Jesus did tell us to expect persecution in this world – as He was also persecuted. I can’t wait to stand in heaven and see all the lives He touched through you! How I pray for those who are far from Christ, who don’t know Him and to whom this message is foolishness, that God might draw them to Himself and that they might experience His eternal life.

          Thank you for your prayers!

    2. I would really prayrfully consider whether or not you should do this, it is your blog of course, and if you feel led to do that then I can not say it is wrong. But if you read my testimony below you will see that I was one of those that submitted prior to being saved, but it was through the act of submitting that the Lord was able to speak to me, and He saved me. I think that any non Christian reading your blog is already feeling desperate, as it is not common for non Christians to want to submit. And your blog may be the only place where they can go and really see the truth. Please don’t discourage them from doing so. Always spread the truth of God, and His message, but please don’t discourage the lost from hearing it.

      1. I am not sure it would prevent women who were seeking Truth from reading our blog, Sarah, but it may challenge them to know God in a personal way so they may have what we have! We can’t do what we teach on our own. We NEED God’s Spirit working mightily within us. We want others to know living our lives in obedience to God never comes from our own power.

        1. When i was lost I wasn’t seeking truth I was seeking happiness, and a message that advice was only for Christians would have turned me away. If someones lost I can’t see any more harm in them taking your advice and staying lost then to take any other marriage advice, but what can be gained isn’t just a good marriage, but being brought to the Lord. With the amount you speak about there is no doubt that your advice is meant for Christians, and I think you should never stop spreading that message exactly as you do. The harm I see is stating that non Christians aren’t welcome, I know thats not what you mean, but it is how it sounds. I know what its like to be lost and searching, and those need you more then even they know.

          1. I would NEVER say non Christians weren’t welcome and I don’t think that is what April meant either. Simply, that our message is geared to Christians and this is why it sounds so foreign to most.

          2. I was just going to say the same thing to Sarah! I have many women from different religions reading my blog and I would never want them to not feel welcome reading my writings. I, too, want to thank Sarah for her words and giving me something to ponder. I will discuss it with Ken and get his opinions.

          3. Sarah,

            If you have time, I would love for you to re-read my changes and let me know if you believe that all women would feel welcome reading here. Thank you so much for sharpening me!

          4. I think it looks great April. I do agree that there is much more to be gained when you are submitting to your husband as an act of submission to Christ. I have found that since submittig to my husband this way my husband has been even more receptive, and been more open with me. Trusting in Christ has helped me to love my husband even more deeply, in a way I never imagined possible. So I do agree that the blessings are even more abundent for those who put their faith in Him.

          5. Sarah,

            I totally understand! For me, the more I learned about my husband, the more I understood about Jesus’ love and my relationship with Him. And also, the more I understood about Jesus, the more I understood about my marriage and my husband. How amazing to get to explore the riches and depths of the mystery of the intimacy between husband and wife and between Christ and His followers and to get to learn more about both at the same time!

            Thank you for re-reading the post. I can’t thank you enough for your contributions!

  3. Thank you April, for everything you write! Jesus revealed Himself to me after 7 years of marriage and now I fully devote my life to Him. You have helped me realize the mission I have in my marriage, being unequally yoked is difficult but Jesus gives strength!

    1. Melanie,

      I am so excited about what God is doing in your life! WOOHOO!!!!!!!! I’m not sure if you have seen any of my posts for wives who are unequally yoked. I can get you some links if you are interested. I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for you, my precious sister!

  4. When I was first married I believed in God, but my own fairy tale version of Him. I was raised catholic, going to church and Sunday school every week, being confermed into the church and everything but had never been encouraged to read the bible, to study scripture, or to learn His word. I knew about the submission part of the bible, but thought it was culturally irrelevant. My mother was quite a feminist and although she loves my father and they’ve been married for over 30 years she treats him with little respect. And he just takes it.
    My marriage got off to a very very rough start. I wanted very much to be in control. And I thought my command man husband was just mean and awful because he wouldn’t yeald to me. I was better of course (even if only in my own mind) so he was wrong, and I thought I had just made a bad choice in marrying him. It was often times more like a war zone then a marriage. Regardless in 2 years we had our first daughter and I accidentally got pregnant again (I love how God works). Things in our marriage were spiraling even farther downward. I was depressed, hurt, angry and lost. I remember just calling out to God and asking for help. I still wasnt a true believer but I was desperate. First I stumbled across the love dare, and started to try it. Not out of faith, but because it was either that or divorce and through it all i was still desperatly in love with my husband so I did not want divorce. My hsband responded very positively to the first few dares. It wasnt long after that that i stumbled across the book the surendered wife. I decided I had nothing to lose and gave surrendering everything I had. It was remarkable the change I saw in my husband. It was like night and day. And there was an even bigger change in me.

    When I saw that this part of the bible I had despised so much was actually a very powerful truth my whole world started to change. All these ideas I’d had about the bible and my false image of God started to crumble. I started to listen to my husband. Just many little things here and there. My husband had a deeper faith and understanding of God then I ever did, that I never knew about. All along I had believed I was superior to him in spirtuality even when I was so far away. All these lies I had believed started to crumble and I started to see the truth.

    It still took a little while before I gave my life up to the Lord. But I believe that it was submitting to my husband that brought me to where I am now. I believe submission is a powerful truth, something that anyone can benifit from, so I do hope that those that don’t believe, but want to improve their marriage give it a try. In this submission I hope it opens their eyes to the glory of our Lord as it did mine.

    I know that the Lord led me on this path, I needed a husband just like mine that didn’t give in. I needed to see that His word was true, even before I believed. My marriage is now amaizing. I adore my husband and see him in a whole new light. And he adores me in return. We now have 4 beautiful children, and have chosen to let the lord bless us with as many as he sees fit. We have chosen to homeschool our children so now I get to raise them with the truth of Jesus. Maybe an unbeliever doesn’t get to reap all the rwards from submission, but in my case I got the greatest reward. I was saved, I was given a relationship with God, and a love that I never knew existed. This brings tears of joy to me as I type.

    1. Sarah,

      WOW!!!!!!! I wonder if you might allow me to share your story anonymously as a post?

      What an incredible blessing and inspiration! I have to praise and thank God for what He has done in you and your marriage!!!!!!!! WOOHOOO!!!!!!!!

      1. I would love of you would share it April, and i do understand that you want everyone to feel welcome. I just felt urged to share this this morning.

        I feel so thankful that you shared this this morning. It brought me back to a place where i remember feeling so lost and alone, but now I cam see that the Lord was there leading me all along. And it humbles me. It reminds me that none of us are deserving of His rewards. And how blessed I am and we all are for the blood Jesus shed so that we could live.
        It breaks my heart for all of those that are still lost. I remember what it felt like to be seperate from Him, and searching for the joy and happiness and peace that can only come from Him. And it brings me so much pain and sorrow. I didn’t realize how much I needed the Lord until I found Him.

        While there may be some that try your advice, and aren’t ready for it, and will hate you for it, please know that they hate because they hurt, because even if they don’t know it, they need the Lord as much as we do. And I have read through your blog enough to know that you do lead people to Christ. Both those who call themselves Christians, and those that dont.

        1. Sarah,

          YAY! Thank you so much for allowing me to share your story. I know that God inspired you to write that this morning and I am so very thankful!!!!

          You are so right. All of us are in desperate need of the grace, love, truth and mercy of Christ. NONE of us deserve anything good from Him. And yet He lavished His love on us even when we were His enemies. Amazing!

          I am VERY burdened for those who are still lost and in darkness. How I pray for each of them to find the hope that is in Christ. I long for Him to use me in any way He is willing to do so to bring many to Himself.

          I love your heart for Jesus and for those who are still lost and hurting. What a blessing and treasure you are to me!!

          There are many who do hate me and my message. My heart breaks for them. They don’t know what they are missing. And they don’t know what lies ahead when this life is over. The stakes are so very high. I NEVER EVER want to put a stumbling block before anyone that might keep them from coming to know Jesus.

          And yes! I have seen many people come to Christ here who called themselves Christians before – just like I did – but who were not living for Him.

          Thank you very much for sharing. I needed to hear from you today!

          Much love,
          April

    2. Sarah,

      I don’t want to discourage anyone from obeying God or from seeking Him. I am so thankful that God drew you to Himself the way He did!

      A number of women try to apply the practical suggestions I give without receiving Christ. And they get really upset that “it doesn’t work” and talk about my blog (and Lori’s) being “dangerous.” And, without a person having God’s Spirit, God’s wisdom does look like “foolishness” to the world. So, I am not surprised by the intense opposition we face. I expect it. But, maybe I need to temper this post a bit.

      I really appreciate you sharing more than I can say!

  5. Sarah,
    I can totally relate to you! I am Catholic. So technically I am a Christian. I never know if other Christians count Catholics as one of them. I always feel like they don’t so maybe you can clarify that for me April?
    I don’t agree with everything in the Catholic Church. One thing I struggled with growing up is the denial of women to become priests. I also wish they would allow priests to marry. I would never think to go to my parish priest for counseling because how could he possibly relate to any corner of my life?
    I also struggle like Sara with a “command man” husband. (I love that label btw). We have had such horrible fights because I like to take control. I am the oldest child, and a teacher. I clearly see the most efficient and best way to do things. If only my husband listened to me in all things!!!! LOL
    We fight over the little things: driving, housecleaning, how loud the music is, etc…ridiculous really. Actually quite embarrassing how intensely we fight over the craziest things.
    Want I really want you to know April is how much your blog has helped our marriage. I will never forget how quickly and kindly responded to my first comment months ago when I was so angry at my husband! You really gave me some things to think about.

    So I would say that women of all faiths can benefit from this forum. The principles still work, maybe not on the deepest level, but they still work. I don’t think it is all or nothing. I have changed just a few ways I respond and react and have seen our relationship improve.

    You let your faith lead the way and it shows. I think Christians are known for their acceptance of others. Thanks April for being so willing to share your experiences and your honesty. You are making a difference!

    Amy

    1. Amy,

      I know plenty of Catholics who are disciples of Christ and who live wholeheartedly for Him! And I know some who belong to every denomination who claim to be Christians but who do not live for Christ as Lord.

      The denial of women being able to be priests is actually biblical. I Timothy 2:12 – women are not to have authority over men. But the thing about priests not being allowed to marry is not scriptural – I Timothy 4:3.

      I am so excited about what God is doing in your life, Amy! Thank you very much for sharing!!!

      All women are welcome here from any faith – absolutely. 🙂 I’m so thankful that many women from almost every country in the world read this blog. I pray God might speak to them through me and draw them to Himself.

      But the greatest blessings in every area of life will come when a woman puts her faith in Christ. That is my prayer for every woman who reads my blog. If they have a better marriage, that is awesome. But even more important than that, I long for each one to know Jesus personally and to be part of His bride, the church, in heaven with Him forever! 🙂

      Much love!

    2. Amy, the biggest thing that ended up turning me away from the Catholic Church was that I believe it does not encourage and in fact almost discourages a personal relationship with the Lord. Its not that it is not Christian in general. Because I do believe it is, they believe in God, Jesus as our savior, and the holy spirit. But like many other Christian churches they are leading their members astray. I was a good catholic, but I wasn’t saved, I didn’t have Christ at the center of my life. I hadn’t given my life to Him. I wasn’t born again. I feel that many people that call themselves Christians of any denomination are still lost. I think it is possible to be saved and Catholic, but you still must give your life to Christ, and submit yourself fully to Him, which is quite contradictory to what the church calls for. Have you ever read the bible, the whole thing?
      If not I would encourage you to set a plan to read it from cover to cover. And pray for the lord to reveal himself to you through it. I like reading one chapter from the old testament then one from the new. I am only 3/4 of the way through it but I have learned so many truths. One thing that I found very revealing through the new testament is the similarities between the church leadership and the Jewish pharassies. As for priests not being allowed to marry it is completely un biblical. Though the men only is not. But those were 2 things I used to question as well.

      I am so glad that things in your marriage are improving from aprils advice. It really is incredible to me that something written so long ago is still so full of powerful truths, and when I live accordingly I feel a joy that o never knew possible! I pray that you continue to grow with Christ!

      1. Sarah, I know what you mean about the Catholic Church. It is so hard to explain it to people who aren’t Catholic. I was raised Catholic, and my parents are very strict followers. They haven’t missed Mass in YEARS! It would break their hearts if I changed religions. I see the faults, the pointless rituals, the similarities to pharassies….I totally see all that. But I do get a sense of comfort in my church since most things are the same since my childhood and sense of community.
        I have not read the Bible, even after 9 years of Catholic school! shocking? maybe. I will have to give it a try.
        Thanks so much for taking the time to respond. Everyone on here is so helpful and kind.
        PS:
        I used to think it would be demeaning to let my husband “be the boss”. But there is such wisdom in letting him lead. I get so much more! It goes against all logic. Give up control to get more of what I need.

        I don’t really understand why it is wrong for a woman to have authority over a man. I see how I shouldn’t have authority over my husband within the confines of a marriage, but I don’t feel that way about all men. What about a woman governor or even president? A woman police officer? Women teach college courses and can be parole officers, construction workers, coaches, etc. Just wondering…..
        Amy

        1. Amy,

          You may enjoy reading http://www.peacefulwifephilippines.blogspot.com. Nikka was raised Catholic and still does go to the Catholic church, but she is a completely committed and devoted follower of Christ now. She began about a year ago to really hear God’s heart and voice and Spirit and to begin to read His Word. I am amazed at all He has done in and through her. 🙂

          Another resource is http://www.reflectiverevert.wordpress.com. Thomas is a marriage counselor. he left the Catholic church, accepted Christ, and was studying to become a Protestant minister, but felt God calling Him back to the Catholic church.

          The Catholic church does have some weaknesses – as do all denominations. But, the truth is there. Sometimes it can be hard to see it. But it is entirely possible to follow Christ and be Catholic. 🙂

          God decreed that women were not to have authority over men in the church. His wisdom is infinitely higher than our own. I don’t know all of His reasoning. I do know that there are some men who are distracted when a woman is teaching them – particularly if she is beautiful. There are also some men who bristle at being told what to do by a woman. They are often more easily able to receive instruction from other men. I actually did an informal survey about this issue a year and a half ago. I would love to do a larger scale survey. Maybe one day! 🙂

          For now, I simply accept that God restricts women in this way and wants men to be the ones in positions of authority in the church. I actually used to write posts for men. But then God brought me to that passage (and one other in Corinthians). I couldn’t get past it. I saw that God didn’t want women assuming positions of authority over men in the church and I publicly repented for attempting to teach men and took all of my posts for men down. My experience was – many men began to email me or write to me about their problems in their marriage. Then, they would see my respect for them and for my husband. They sometimes began to look to me for the respect they weren’t getting from their wives. It was way too easy to get emotionally connected to these hurting men. I could see their needs. I knew what they needed from their wives. I knew how to give the respect they needed. It was a RELIEF when I just stopped all the emails with men – even though I had been copying my husband on every one of them. It would have been much healthier for them and for me if they received spiritual instruction from godly men.

          Much love to you!

        2. Amy I completely get it. And honestly I still haven’t found a church I feel completely comfortable in. I personally couldn’t stay with the catholic church because it just didn’t fit anymore, I couldn’t be a part of a church that doesn’t promote a personal relationship with Christ. I still haven’t found a church where I really feel at home though. I dont find it shocking in the least that you have never read the bible. I know at my church it was never encouraged. I went through Sunday school, confirmation classes, confirmation, etc. Without ever owning a bible, let alone reading one! The church had it covered for you!

          As for the female church leaders I am not sure I get it either, but I didn’t get how submission could be true at one point either. It’s one of those places that I’ve just decided I need to trust the Lord as He knows far more then I. I think April makes some very good points about It.

          Submission is incredible isn’t it? I believe that deep down most of us, if not all of us women have a deep desire to be taken care of. To be protected, and treasured. When we submit we make it possible for our husbands to do just that, and they feel powerful and fulfilled that they are providing. It’s a win win all around. When we try to control and be in the lead there is no chance for them to fulfill that role, it leaves us both feeling unfulfilled.
          I will be praying for you Amy!

        3. Life has gotten a little busy lately, so I’m catching up on reading Peaceful Wife’s blog and felt compelled to reply to your comment. I was raised Methodist and fell away from the church as an adult. After having my own children I desperately missed the message of God and wanted to find my way back (because we all get lost sometimes). However, the Methodist Church no longer met my needs. I honestly can not say why, there was SOMETHING I was looking for and I knew I would know what it was when I found it. I attended mass at several denominations and even a couple non-denominational churches but even though the communities were welcoming and the pastor’s words were eloquent, I still felt empty. My husband was raised Catholic and suggested I go to mass with him. I can not describe the feeling I experienced. It was like God unlocked my heart, walked in, and made a home there. We each find our way to God and Jesus upon our own path. I happened to find it in the Catholic Church and I find great comfort and solace in the masses. But my path is the one God set me upon and only I can walk it. There are some who say Catholic’s are not real Christians and that sentement saddens me because that was not the message Jesus taught and lived. I do not harbor ill feelings towards those who do not believe Catholics are not Christians, or do not practice my religion, they must walk the path God set THEM upon and I must love them as God loves me. I do wish the Catholic Church would encourage more bible study, and there are a few views which the church holds that I do not agree with, but it is not enough to make me turn my back on the church. I study the bible on my own and have wonderful discussions with my priest or deacon when I have questions and I encourage my children to study as well. We pray as a family and worship as a family. My children may decide that the Catholic Church is not right for them someday, and that’s okay! As long as you have found God then that is all that matters regardless of what Christian sect you are a part of.

  6. Hi April,
    I think that biblical principles, which detail God’s laws, ways and will, work for unbelievers as well as believers. Gravity works on unbelievers, as well as believers too. God sends His rain on the just and the unjust. The crops of unbelieving farmers produce high yields just as well as those of believers. That can change of course as soon as God intervenes in a specific person’s life and ordains circumstances designed to get that person’s attention. In fact, one or more of the books written on letting your husband lead and honor him is written by a non Christian. Non Christians are capable of submitting to their husbands just as they are capable of submitting to their bosses at work or to the policeman who pulls them over to give them a ticket for speeding. However, only a Christian is capable of doing it out of a heart that is ransomed and redeemed, out of a life whose lawless deeds are forgiven. An unbeliever may follow biblical principles and be blessed by “the rain falling upon his crops, resulting in a good yield”, but is still unsaved, still facing a lost eternity and still without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, and fellowship with the Father, still outside of the kingdom.

    A little joke: God sends His rain on the just and the unjust. But especially on the just, because the unjust steals the just’s umbrella.

    1. Patricia,

      I agree that God’s principles are always true. And, there can be blessings even for an unbeliever who applies God’s principles. But, the greatest blessings certainly come as we follow Christ Jesus wholeheartedly.

      How I long for everyone to know Jesus and experience His greatest blessings!

  7. April,
    I am so sorry others are belittling your efforts here. I agree that God’s spirit enables us to do what we never could on our own–especially over time–but I believe also that witnessing how well godly principles work to make marriages wonderful for Christians can draw others to want to enjoy the same benefits in their own marriages, even before or without making a full commitment to God as Christians.

    Women may never have understood the concept of truly respecting their husbands, for example. Yet when they do, it usually brings almost immediate improvement, whether or not the woman is a committed Christian. Many non-Christian women also want to do whatever they can to improve their marriage because they believe in keeping their commitment and don’t want divorce. Experiencing the wisdom of following God’s commandments–no matter what one’s initial motive is–can be a powerful witness that his way’s are best and lead one to want to cultivate greater closeness with him, as Sarah’s experience shows.

    Please don’t let the negative comments of others ever discourage you from your ministry, April. God’s principles for marriage need no defense from those in darkness, for so many shining examples exist that they work!

    Much love to you, Elizabeth

  8. Thank you so much April for this beautiful reminder…we submit to and give respect to our husbands…TO OBEY AND PLEASE OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR….not for what we can get ….or try to control….thanks for reminding us that our devotion is to Christ….first and foremost. No matter the outcome…we find that true joy and peace that comes with putting our assurance in Christ and Christ alone. Rewardingly….we reap the benefits in our marriage that comes with following Christ and obeying His word….what ASSURANCE….LOVE …JOY AND PEACE THAT SURPASSES ALL HUMAN UNDERSTANDING. Love you much….the bible also reminds us to REJOICE WHEN WE ARE PERSECUTED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS SAKE….FOR GREAT IS YOUR REWARD IN HEAVEN APRIL….the human or carnal mind can never comprehend the things of God….it is only through the power of the Holy Spirit. Our prayer is that the unbelievers would also come to the healing light of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ…for it is us….sinners He came to save. So expect criticism….and rejoice when it comes…you are storing up treasures in heaven…..and most importantly leading others to walk truly with Christ. Thanks for setting a Godly example for us as wives to follow…and for teaching us to live as God would have us…as the scripture commands mature and Godly wives to do. Sending Huge Hugs Your Way.

  9. I find it sad to read these comments on the Catholic Faith. I think it is completely inappropriate to discuss a fellow Christian religion in this light on a blog that is meant to be uplifting. I am a proud Roman Catholic and have a very personal relationship with Jesus. If that has not been the experience of others, then I am sorry, don’t blame the Church for not fully embracing what She teaches.

    1. Mrs. G.,
      I am truly sorry. I had no intention of discussing someone else’s religious beliefs in a negative light!!!! I was just voicing some doubts I have had. Maybe this wasn’t the place for that! I struggle with my faith so sometimes it comes out. I am sorry if you were offended.
      Amy

      1. Thank you, Amy. I am a cradle Catholic. For most of my life I just went through the motions of my faith, not really understanding why I did certain things or even what the Mass meant. There are so many misconceptions and misunderstandings about Catholicism. Sadly, some of the older churches do not promote a learning of the faith as they should. I am now very fortunate to be part of a parish that really explains the faith to the fullest.

    2. Im sorry Mrs. G I really didn’t mean to offend. It’s not the catholic church in general that I have issues with. I felt as if the churches I attended growing up did not promote a personal relationship with Christ. I see this as true in many Christian churches not just catholic. I do believe it has more to do witht the individual parish or church, and I’m so glad you found one that isn’t like mine was. I think its a sad reflection of a church, when you can to through years of Sunday school, confirmation classes and so on without being encouraged or even required to read Gods word. I no longer feel as if its a good fit for me. But I have dear friends who are catholic and do have a deep love and commitment to God, and share that with their children much better then it was ever shared with me. My dad is also very much commited to the lord, and catholic. I didn’t mean to make it a debate about the church in general. I guess what it comes down to is that Christ reveals himself to us in his own way and own time, and no religion can do that for us.

    3. Mrs. G.,
      Thanks so much for sharing your concerns. It is my desire never to run down any Christian denomination or undermine the authority of a church. However, there are many lost and confused women who come here and I do want them to be free to share their hearts and experiences. I believe that we can have a discussion about these kinds of painful issues that leads toward healing. I don’t believe the comments were said out of spite or hatred. I want to be available to reach out to women who have legitimate questions and concerns.

      I praise God for His work in your life and also for what He is doing in the parish where you attend!

      I long for EVERY church to fulfill her duty to teach and preach the Word of God accurately, with power and by the strength of God’s Spirit, that the church might be strong, vibrant and ready to accomplish all that Christ has called us to. Thank you for praying with me for a Great Awakening among all of God’s people in all of His churches. The current spiritual condition of many churches is quite terrifying to me. As a whole, we are weak, spiritually sick and many are far from God. This should not be! I am praying for a massive movement of God’s Spirit to bring us back to full Life in Christ, that we might walk in faithfulness, love, obedience and reverence for God and His Word as we hold out the Word of Life to a lost and dying world.

      Much love to you!

      1. Sarah and Amy,
        Thank you both for displaying such humility and a Christlike response. 🙂 I appreciate that so much!

        You are both welcome to share whatever is on your heart here. We can prayerfully seek to work through it together for God’s glory.

        1. Mrs. G.,
          Since you had a similar negative experience in the past, I am sure that you could offer a lot of support and encouragement to those who had this type of situation in their churches. It sounds like you may be able to share a lot of wisdom, nurturing and blessings with those who have been disenchanted with Catholicism to help them see the beauty and truth of God’s Word there. 🙂

      2. Yes, April, I agree that women should feel comfortable to voice their concerns and questions about other religions. However, when a statement is made that the Catholic Church does not encourage a personal relationship with Christ, and in fact discourages a personal relationship, and that it is leading it’s members astray, I will wholeheartedly defend my Catholic religion and ask that generalizations not be made about the Catholic Church. After all, I think we can all agree that it is not Jesus and His Church that is flawed, but rather us as humans.

        To say that one has left the Catholic Church because the people running the church are flawed is one thing. To say that the Catholic Church as a whole is not promoting a personal relationship with Christ is a generalization.

        Perhaps it was a misunderstanding in the way it was worded and it appears that Sarah and Amy were drawing from their own personal experience within a certain parish.

          1. I also grew up a cradle Catholic with my dad reading from the Bible, lots of service opportunities, lots of mass and church attendance, etc. I left not really knowing what the Catholic church actually taught and I was curious about other denominations. What I found were others who were experiencing God in different wonderful ways and who also engaged in their own select socially-approved sins and Biblical perspective. People are people. The more I learned about the Bible and what the Church actually taught, the more difficult it became to stay away. The Bible – all of it- brought me back to the Catholic church. If God calls a person to serve in the Catholic church they will see how all the teachings are scripturally sound. If one is not called, they can serve in another part of the body and wrestle with other issues there. Jesus prayed for unity among His followers. I do not object to legitimate questions but I am certainly thankful the focus landed where it did. I felt like I was at the play ground and a kid was bad-mouthing my mother. Something in me wanted to jump up and say, “Don’t you bad talk my mom!”

            We each have unique contributions to make in our collective experience of God and His grace is sufficient to fill in any gaps.

            Catholics who have a saving knowledge of Christ are Christians just like Protestants or anyone else under any label who also live in that saving knowledge. Pursuing a life of holiness has improved my marriage. I had to shed my American culture that colored how I understood scripture to get there and keep walking this way. It’s a path that many a saint has taken. It’s the path of dying to self (April says this so well).

            What a lovely post. Our God is so good.

          2. Refined,
            Thank you so much for sharing!

            I want all churches and all believers to feel welcome here. I want everyone to feel free to share. But I do greatly appreciate when we can all speak respectfully to one another and about each other’s denominations. My goal is to strive for unity in the Body of Christ here – in reverence and obedience to Christ.

            I appreciate your story so very much, Refined! I am sure it will be a great encouragement to other wives.

            Much love!
            April

          3. Perhaps I’m beating a dead horse, but here’s another thought…

            In some ways the Catholic church (Greek Orthodox, Ethiopian, Copt, Roman Catholic, etc) reminds me of the take on family that can be seen in traditional Asian homes with so much focus on community, honor, duty, joy in serving, long held traditions that tie us to our roots, etc. These are good things and are seen in the way many of their elderly are cared for in old age. Some, however, might say that these families are more emotionally distant than the typical American family where we focus more on things like individual potential and expression, physical touch and affection, etc. But it is my view that families are just different and can learn much good from each other especially if what we have in common is Christ. I hope I do not offend with this example in its simplicity. I understand culture is much more dynamic. I do count it a blessing to have a bridge via this site that allows Christians to understand each other better and move forward as one body for God’s glory.

            Thanks for allowing me to share.

          4. Refined,
            You are most welcome to share! I’m glad that you and Mrs. G. and everyone have been sharing about this important issue.

            Yes, there are different church cultures just like there are different national cultures and different family cultures. I think that is a great way to view things.

            Thank you for joining with me to seek the unity, healing and growth of the Body of Christ!

  10. I find this blog to be very insightful and take comfort that God is in the heart of it. Christian or non Christian all people are capable of showing respect. I have in my life seen good people and bad people in all walks of life. God calls us to love one another not judge them. If this blog calls out and ministers to someone’s heart and grows marriages then who is to say how God uses someone to minister to someone’s heart ? To me if a marriage is saved or healed through scripture then how is it that it would only be beneficial to Christians solely ? We are all called to be his children. If God led me to this blog and is pulling my heart to work on being a proverbs wife then who is to say it’s not for me also ? Tonight I feel abit conflicted about who is viewed as worthy by status alone to recieve Gods grace and teachings.

    1. Jennifer,
      Thank you so much for sharing!
      None of us are worthy of God’s grace and teachings. None of us deserve His wisdom. I sure don’t! We are all in desperate need of the blood of Jesus to cleanse us from all the wrong we have done against God and to make us right with God. WE can never be good enough. God’s standard is total holiness and total sinlessness. None of us can achieve that. And so our sins separate us from God. But God loved us so much that He wanted us for Himself, so He decided to become a man Himself and lived as Jesus – a totally sinless life that we could never live. And He died in our place, absorbing all of God’s wrath against sin in Himself. Now, if we are willing to receive that gift He gave us, put all of our faith and trust in Him and live with Him as our Lord, we can have real life both here and after death. We can be part of the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ. We can be the children of God!!!!! How amazing is that!?!?

      “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

      “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord.” Romans 6:23

      “For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes on Him may not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

      You are absolutely right, He is calling ALL of us to Himself. He wants ALL of us to come to Jesus and to know Him and to be His children.

      “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” II Peter 3:9

      You and everyone else are most welcome here. My desire is that you might not only experience a healed marriage, but that you might experience Jesus – the Greatest Treasure there is, and that you might not only benefit from His Word in your marriage on earth, but that you might receive the greatest benefits of all – to have a relationship with Jesus, to be made right with God and to live with Him forever in heaven. I pray that you might hear God’s voice calling to you – not only to be a godly wife – but to belong to Jesus and to receive Him as your own Savior and Lord. 🙂

      Much love to you!

      1. Jennifer,
        I wrote this post primarily because there are those who try to take the practical advice from my blog without putting their faith in Christ, and, it is very difficult for them to put God’s principles into practice without God’s power in their lives and they get very frustrated and discouraged. Removing God from the picture means taking out the most necessary part of this journey. And, apart from God and desiring to know Him and His wisdom, what God says to do doesn’t make sense to our natural human minds. It is completely counterintuitive to us to do the things He calls us to do in our relationships. But His principles do work.

        I receive quite a lot of opposition and hatred for my message. I expect that. I usually don’t address it in posts. I know that if I stand for God’s Word and for Jesus, there will be some degree of persecution. And I understand that. I pray for those who hate me. I long for each of them to find the love of Jesus!

        I don’t EVER want any woman to feel she cannot come here. You are always, always welcome here. My hope when writing this post was – in part – to address those who greatly oppose me – that they might understand that I am not writing from my own wisdom or merely giving “general marriage advice.” And that if women hate God and hate the Bible, which my critics do, they will probably not benefit from what I write. It will look like “foolishness” to them.

        Healed marriages are WONDERFUL! And that is one of my desires here – to see thousands of marriages healed. And I have seen God heal many hundreds of marriages that I know of here. WOOHOO! But more than that, my goal is to exalt Jesus and to point women to Him that they might find Him. If all I do is help marriages a little bit, but I don’t offer the Life of Jesus to women, I have failed. I would be doing such a grave disservice to women! Ladies who are searching for hope and answers are VERY important to me. You are very important to me! I hope you will hang around and keep reading and that you might find healing for your marriage and that you also might find the forgiveness, mercy, grace and abundant spiritual Life that Jesus offers to you!

        I can count myself as “chief of sinners” – you can read my about story to find out more if you would like. And yet, God opened my eyes so graciously and has radically changed me and is still changing me. I will never be perfect in this world. But how I long to be more and more like Jesus. That is my prayer for you and every other woman who reads my blog, too!

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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