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Do I Condone Marital Rape or Abuse?


Spoiler alert – ladies, I am going to be talking about godly husbands in the last half of this post. Please don’t read this post if that is a trigger for you.

My blog is written for women. It is my desire to fulfill my calling in Titus 2:3-5 to point other wives to Christ and His Word and His design for us as wives in our marriages. Of course, lots of men read my blog, too. I welcome them here. Many of them have found hope and healing in Christ. And many husbands use my site to “reverse engineer” things that are helpful to them or to better understand the challenges their wives face. I have seen God heal quite a few marriages and work miracles when a number of husbands focused on walking in obedience and submission to Christ themselves and on loving their wives in a godly way –  and I am so thankful for that!

However, there is a small percentage of men who twist my blog and my words  to attempt to force and demand respect and submission from their wives and to justify marital rape, violence and corporal punishment of their wives.  And there are some women who think that is what I am saying, as well. How anyone could read what I write and deduce this, I truly cannot imagine. I know that it is only a small minority of people that I am addressing here, but, this issue is too important for me to ignore. I have addressed it before. I am sure I will need to address it every so often again, unfortunately.

This upsets me GREATLY.

Let me be as clear as I possibly can about this.

  • I NEVER condone violence, abuse, screaming, cussing, throwing things, insults, hatred, threats of divorce, threats of violence, unforgiveness, resentment,  disrespect, manipulation, control, deception, addictions of any kind, bitterness, cruelty, self-righteousness, pride, idolatry, apathy, passivity, greed, pornography use, self loathing, arrogance, malice, slander, gossip, infidelity or any sin of any kind being committed against any husband or wife.
  • God hates all sin. I hate all sin. I don’t want anyone to be sinned against. Sin always hurts the sinner, the one being sinned against and grieves God’s heart. Any sin is destructive.
  • I don’t condone one spouse trying to force or coerce the other spouse to do anything against his/her will.
  • I don’t condone any spouse withholding sex to punish, using sex as a weapon, demanding money or things in exchange for sex, or using sex to manipulate his/her spouse.
  • I NEVER condone marital rape.
  • I do NOT give permission to anyone to use my words to support these selfish, destructive, abusive and sinful acts.

My prayer and desire is that every husband and wife would give and receive love, honor and respect to and from each other.

I want everyone to have healthy, joyful, vibrant marriages! And I want everyone to grow and flourish in their walk with Christ. That is why I do this ministry. We are ALL wretched sinners, desperately in need of Jesus in our lives. He is able to give us victory over sin as we fully submit to Him as Lord and yield control of our lives to Him!

I write for women, primarily for women with a tendency toward being Type-A, controlling, outspoken, take-charge, dominant and assertive. I have never been abused by my husband. In fact, he doesn’t even raise his voice at me. And he didn’t raise his voice, even when I was at the height of my disrespect.

I am not writing for women whose husbands are abusive, violent, mentally ill, addicted to drugs/alcohol or involved in active infidelity. I know that God’s Word always applies to all of us. But I don’t have the experience or the training to handle severe situations and I know that my blog is not a good fit for many wives in such situations. These precious women are going to need very specialized, experienced counseling that I just cannot give.


Every husband and wife could put his or her name in the place of love in the passage below. That is how God wants us to treat our spouse.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails. I Corinthians 13:4-8

This is the “agape” love of God with which God commands us all to love every other human being. And this is the word for “love” that is used in the commands God gives to husbands in Ephesians 5 to love their wives as Christ loved His church and gave Himself up for her.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her  to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.  In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.  After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body.  “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”  This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.  However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, Ephesians 5:25-33a

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35


THE EXAMPLE OF CHRIST (So that I present a balanced view of marriage for any wife who may have missed this, husbands have responsibilities, too. Many more responsibilities and much more accountability to God than wives have)

  • A husband is to imitate the very example of Christ’s selfless, humble, powerful, sacrificial love for His church in Ephesians 5:22-33.
  • Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. I Peter 3:7
  • Jesus is always a Gentleman. “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” Rev. 3:20

Jesus doesn’t force Himself on us spiritually. He does not force spiritual oneness and intimacy on anyone. He waits for us to invite Him in.

A godly husband never forces himself on his wife physically. He treats her with honor and gentleness because of His love for Christ, his willing submission to Jesus as Lord and out of obedience to God’s commands for him as a husband.


We don’t get to force our decisions on other people! Each person has his/her own free will given to him/her by God. Each person has the right to make his/her own choices.

I do write about women joyfully and voluntarily respecting and honoring their husbands’ leadership. But that is not something that a husband can force his wife to do. He can ask her. But he is not free in Christ to beat her, sin against her, abuse her or rape her to make her do what he wants. Her respect and biblical submission are an act of her free will and these are to be based on her love and reverence for Christ, not because she is being threatened with violence or some kind of awful punishment.

Please note that in Ephesians 5:22-33, wives are given commands to do certain things of their own accord in the marriage. Husbands are given commands to do certain things themselves in the marriage. There is no command for “husbands to force their wives to respect and submit.” And there is no command for “wives to force their husbands to love them as Christ loves the church.”

A wife who is forced by violence into “respect and submission” is being mistreated, not like a woman with equal dignity, value and worth. That is very wrong! That is NOT God’s design for marriage. A wife in a situation like this needs to seek godly, experienced help. If anyone, a husband or a wife, is actually being abused, please seek safety and appropriate counsel ASAP!

I do write about wives seeking to be available sexually to their husbands, in accordance with I Corinthians 7:1-5. But…

There is a world of difference between a wife voluntarily making herself available sexually to her husband and a husband forcing himself on his wife.



Here is an email from a husband who has had an amazing marriage with his wife that spans many decades (40+ years). He and his wife got the love and respect stuff right from the beginning. This is how marriage is supposed to be. They are such a beautiful example for us to emulate. Thank you to this husband for sharing this story of a healthy, vibrant marriage!

April — Your article on keeping the marriage bed pure is sooooo very on target.
I wanted to just share with you personally that after the words “I love you,” spoken to me by my wife, one other statement stands out as supremely important.
On one occasion after we had been married a couple of months I asked her if she might be available that night. Then the wonderful words:

“I’m always available for you.”

What a joy to my soul! (And she has always, always been true to those words!)
Now, that works perfectly for us because I try to be very sensitive to her, to her emotional and physical state, etc., and to avoid “wearing out my welcome.” Yet the confidence, and I took it as a matter of respect also, that those words instilled in me have been a solid and much appreciated rock in my relationship with my dear wife. Just wanted you to know.

PS — I don’t believe that most wives have a clue as to how much their willing availability to their husbands would mean to the quality of their relationship. It is HUGE.


There are at least three requirements for an individual to properly operate as a delegated authority.

1. He must remember that all authority comes from God. They are therefore only a representative of God.

2. As God’s representative, the person must deny himself.

3. The person must constantly keep in fellowship and communion with God.

We should always remember that since we are only representing God and not ourselves, that all individuals in authority will be held to a higher standard of accountability for the proper conduct of their responsibilities in leading others.

The most comprehensive statement defining the basis of the levels of authority is stated in the I Corinthians 11:3 passage quoted above. This is a principle of Scripture that transcends time and culture. This delegated authority by God is based on His sovereignty, His glory, and for our good. It is not based on the value or merit of any individual over another individual or one gender over the other.

A godly man will respond to being in a position of delegated God-given authority with great humility.


Please note how gentle, kind, thoughtful, loving, soft-spoken and humble my husband is in his post.

Gary Thomas – Enough Is Enough about how we should look at abuse in marriage. God hates abuse and He loves people, even those who are being abused. Let’s seek to get people to help and safety. No one should be unsafe in his/her own home.

Nina Roesner has a powerful e-course called, Becoming a Woman of Strength and Dignity, that is especially helpful for women who are experiencing some kind of abuse in their marriages. It directs women to healing in Christ and then He gives them the power and wisdom they need to deal with the challenges in their marriage. She is seeing a lot of women’s lives transformed and marriages healed by God’s power.

78 thoughts on “Do I Condone Marital Rape or Abuse?

  1. I know it is hard to guard your heart and emotions when your sharing from your heart and being slammed in the process. Stay true to your calling, stand firm in the truth. Truth hurts sometimes, but wounds from the truth break so He can heal. I think there are times (many) where all you can do is not approve the comment and or block the reader. The underlying intent of the deceiver is to distract you from the message, and discourage you from sharing. It is right for us to compare what all teachers say with scripture and to privately speak if we feel there is something unscriptural BUT the key is my motivation and the spirit I do it in should be lioe and that love will be evidenced by our words and the spirit in which we come to each other. Praying for you and your readers!

    1. Waterthecamels,
      Yes, I do not approve vicious comments. Greg asks me to focus on those who want to learn. And there are some comments I just don’t post. But – I do want to make it very clear where I stand on this issue so that, hopefully, there is no room for anyone to use my words to justify abuse.

      Thank you for the encouragement!!!

  2. April,

    The husbands who apply biblical counsel in a twisted manner no doubt have emotional and/or mental disorders. It’s sad you had to clarify your beliefs for this reason but you did it beautifully. Thank you so much for the shining light of truth you hold high! Much love!

    1. Elizabeth,

      So true! And it is my prayer that they might find Christ and experience His grace, forgiveness, mercy, freedom and healing, too. And that God might be greatly glorified in their lives and marriages.

  3. In a world and culture where love is wrongly defined, some may actually need to hear it this black and white to understand the difference. When someone’s in the dark, accusations may actually be considered a cry for help and more understanding. This could be light to someone who is being abused or who is the abuser. You show here how upside down appetites can imprison our thinking and allow behaviors that are brutal. That’s not love! We are not and never -on this side of heaven- will be perfect but what direction are trying to go in? You help us, April, to continue growing in love and saving knowledge as we follow after Christ.

    Thank you ever so much.

    1. Refined,
      Yes, that is my hope! To portray biblical marriage in an accurate and balanced way in case there is any confusion.

      The human heart is deceitful above all things.

      My desire is to shine the Light if Christ and truth in the darkness. Yes, I think this post may give hope to some who are being truly abused.

      Thank you!!

  4. April you are spot on, regarding the personality characteristics of some women (type A, assertive, controlling . . .) says this strong willed, first born with only brothers, Naval officer. You’re my BFF, you sing my song!!! I love and thank God for you and your e-wisdom. I read, research, and apply your knowledge daily. May God give women like us the strength to submit to Him first and foremost and to our husbands (current or potential future).

    1. Nurse of Marines,

      I’m so thankful God uses my story to bless you somehow. I praise God for that! This is the stuff I WISH I had understood 20 years ago, or even before that!

      I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for you!

  5. This is beautifully written and so inspiring. I’ve encountered some online (never in real life) who believe the total opposite is biblical and it blows my mind.

    Thank you, April. I’ll be saving this post for future reference.

  6. April, this post was a great blessing to the men who want to live godly.

    I have a couple of comments:

    1. It is the husband’s job to lead and direct the wife, but it is not his job to try to make her submit. If she chooses not to submit, then she will be accountable to God for her decision. She may in fact have a valid reason for not submitting, such as his asking her to sin in some way. She will have to deal with God about her decision whether or not to submit.

    2. You spoke of Jesus being a gentleman. In fact, an example that Jesus gave of just how much of a gentleman He is is that He washed the feet of His disciples. This should be the attitude of a godly husband — to have a servant’s attitude toward his wife. A good leader will lead with humility, not with arrogance.

    I’m really glad that you were presented with the opportunity to comment on the responsibilities of the men. What you said was very helpful and right on.

    1. Jim,

      I’m so glad this was helpful. I appreciate your insights! Yes, there are times when a wife cannot submit to her husband because he is asking her to clearly sin. For anyone who wants to read more about that, the post at the top of my home page “Spiritual Authority” goes into much more detail. Great point!

      And, yes, a wife will be accountable to God for her obedience or lack of obedience to God’s Word in her life.

      Isn’t that incredible, the way Jesus was willing to take on the duty of a slave in order to show His love to His disciples. I am in awe of Him and the way He completely blows our human wisdom out of the water!

    2. Jim those are wonderful comments and reading them made me smile.. I love how succinctly you state things.

      April – I’m glad you wrote this. It’s well written and well timed. It’s always been pretty clear to me that you do not condone abuse or marital rape or any of that awful stuff. In fact, I have always felt strongly that abuse of women literally breaks your heart. I feel bad when you get attacked as if you do not care. I just know from personal experience that you care deeply. I know I haven’t commented in a while but only because I have been working thru some stuff.

      I think when women are faced with abuse from someone they love and trust it makes them throw up walls. You have to because there’s a lot of hurt and anger to work thru. Dodging flaming arrows day in and day out is hard work. It would be far easier to take if a stranger came up and punched you in the face for no reason than it is for someone you love and trust to hurt you. Especially when that is the person who should be protecting you and not someone God needs to save you from.

      It gets hard to see where men are good or even that God is good when you are in the thick of it. I’m not going to lie, it makes me very angry when I see / hear abusive men twist scripture.. It is inappropriate on so many levels for a man who beats or rapes his wife to quote 1 Peter 3:1 – 3:6 to her.. It’s also inappropriate for pastors to use “The Love Dare” or “The Respect Dare” type solutions to address this issue. It just gives an abuser another tool to manipulate with. Those are both awesome for normal marriage issues when implemented by good willed normal people but abuse is a personal issue. It has little to do with the marriage.

      Pastors need to get better at dealing with this issue because it is rampant in their congregations. But women also need to start thinking for themselves as well. I have to wonder if women are attempting to submit themselves in their marriages BEFORE the act of submitting themselves to God?? I’m just guessing here but I would imagine that would not work. Believe it or not, women can handle dealing with abuse without compromising themselves. While still doing what God wants them to do. It’s a process. I can assure you that God cares more about the people in the marriage than he does about the “institution of marriage”. Just like he cares more about the people in the “church” than he does about the establishment or the building. And it takes being able to resist the lies the devil wants to tell you. Cause the devil will lie and lie and lie when it comes to this. It’s important to know, really know, what your identity is in Christ before you start fighting this battle. Because you will have to remind yourself daily. You have to listen to who God says you are and not who your husband says you are. God does not tell you to follow him or submit to him if he’s behaving like a non believer and abusing you.

      I went thru months and months of this. Hence, why I have not commented. The enemy wants you to believe that God wants you to be in an abusive marriage. That is why there seems to be no out. Or at least it can be made to seem that way when scripture is twisted. Seems to be but that’s not true. Chances are God didn’t tell you to marry that person in the first place. He specifically laid out the type of husband we should have. And God did not say, “Marry a guy who is hot and sexy”.. Nor did he say, “Marry a guy that has lots of money, a nice car and a boat”.. 🙂 I think you and Jim articulated very, very well the type of husband God told us to marry. And when we make a mistake and don’t listen to God he tries to work with us on that. But there are also times when you have to get out and let it go.

      I know for myself, I feel 150% ok with steps I took. I went to people who loved my husband and me. Believers who would not judge but would try to help in an honest, loving way. People who were for and not against our marriage. I maintained a level of respect and decorum even tho I wanted to rip his face off.. ( YEA NEW ME!!) Seriously, the old me, when I was an atheist, would have shredded him and not even felt bad. But eventually, separation had to occur. It’s been 2 months and now I have to start the divorce and move forward. I waited as long as I thought God was telling me to wait. But I don’t think that was for him like I originally thought. I think it was so that I could see clearly why I needed to take the next steps. I kept praying that God would save the marriage and help him. I still pray that God will eventually help him. Because it cannot be pleasant to be him either.

      I know my husband says he prays every day that his marriage will be restored. But why would God answer that? Especially when my husband sends me scripture daily in a twisted fashion or tries to manipulate me into thinking making him leave was somehow going against God. I think miracles can happen in marriages even when they have to deal with abuse, addiction or adultery. I honestly believe not a man or woman should rush into throwing it away. Separating and giving God time to work is a good thing.. But then we need to be prepared to move forward in whatever way God reveals to us. Even if it’s not what we wanted. I know if God wants to save my marriage or if Mark has that epiphany he needs to have it will happen before the divorce is final. And if not, then I have to trust that God has different plans for me and that those plans are so good that I can’t even understand how good they are right now.

      April – I am really sorry that you had to write this. But I am also really glad that you are willing to address it as many times as you need to. You really are just a blessing in so many ways!

      Now, I’m going to go take my grandkids to the spray park. It’s a really nice day and we need some sunshine. But I wanted to type all of this out before I go.


      1. Gail!!!!!
        I am so excited to hear from you, my sweet friend! I have been praying for you.

        I am so very sorry for the pain you have been going through. 🙁 that is not what I would wish for any wife or any marriage.

        Yes, you know my heart for women (and men) – I cannot stand the thought of anyone being mistreated or wronged or hurt.

        Thank you for sharing your heart and your experience. I do want women to know their identity in Christ and to cling to Him. God can empower a wife to know what to do even in an abusive situation and He can give her the strength,joy, power, peace and wisdom she needs. I love that you sought godly counsel and that you wanted to save your marriage and that you value marriage and that you wanted to show respect even when your feelings were screaming not to. I pray for God to continue to work in both of you for His glory. I pray for His healing for you and for Mark. I pray for Him to make something beautiful from the mess.

        I love your heart for Christ, and for women, for men and for marriage.
        I appreciate your sharing so much! You are precious to me!

      2. Hi, Gail.

        I believe that when you are in an abusive marriage and you are the victim, only you can say when you have had enough and when it is time to get out.

        I was in an abusive marriage, and I chose to stay. My then-wife chose to leave. It was my choice whether to stay or to leave, no one else’s.

        I’m sorry that you were in an abusive marriage, and I’m sorry that your husband twisted the scriptures in an effort to get you to return.


        1. Jim,

          Thank you for sharing!
          How I wish no spouse was ever abused in any way.

          I agree, that this has to be an individual’s decision and choice. I pray for spouses in this kind of situation to have great sensitivity to God’s Spirit and to His wisdom. I pray for healing for each spouse who has been mistreated and abused. I pray for wisdom for churches as they must handle many situations like this, that they might offer hope, truth, love, grace and the help that is much needed.

  7. This has absolutely nothing to do with your blog post, but I wondered if you could answer what I am struggling with:

    I feel so incredibly unsafe. I feel like I have to be strong. I don’t want to be strong. I can’t be… I feel like I cannot even trust God anymore… What does my faith really matter? Having faith in God doesn’t mean that my husband won’t be hit by another legal issue, have a major stroke from the stress, die. It doesn’t mean that one of my children won’t die in an accident… Believing in God doesn’t make me safe…if anything being on God’s team makes me vulnerable to Satan’s attacks….. It means that it those attacks are much more likely to happen.. Ever since we said yes, horrible things have happened. Missionaries children and wives die. So how do I ever get to feel safe again… Bad things happen and they will continue to happen… I feel so incredibly unprotected…like my husband and God are powerless.. No, God isn’t powerless, but I cannot guarantee that he will use his power for my good, only His….. So no one has my back… I feel so incredibly scared.

    1. Elizabeth,

      You can’t be strong, my precious sister! You need the strength of God. We are all frail, weak human beings, made of dust.

      God doesn’t promise us that we will escape suffering and trials in this world. We are promised eternal safety and security. But what He does promise, is that when we do go through trials and suffering He will use it for our good if we love Him and are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28-29 If we do not belong to Christ, we do not have this promise.

      Where I think we go wrong, and it is not just you, is that we want to be the ones to define the word, “good.” And we want it to mean that we will always have everything we want and never suffer in the moment.

      God IS good. That is His nature and character and He cannot ever have evil motives toward us. God’s definition of “good” is that He is working for our ultimate good to make us more like Christ, to mature us, to refine our faith, to discipline us and to prepare and equip us to do His Kingdom’s work. He is looking at our good from an eternal perspective. What He allows to happen to His children is always for our eternal good.

      You are not “safe” in this world as far as having a guarantee you will never be sick, hurt, stressed or die.

      You ARE “safe” in the fact that you are in God’s hands if you belong to Him and He will protect you from many of Satan’s schemes and plans. And the things He does allow, you can rest in God’s peace, knowing God will bring good from it. And you are “safe” if you belong to God in that “to live is Christ and to die is gain” as Paul said.

      You don’t trust God. That is a very scary place to be. I have been there. Trusting in self, or other people, or earthly things will always lead to fear, discouragement, depression, anxiety, worry and doubt.

      What gives me great peace is the sovereignty of God. I know that even if our country collapses, or my husband were to die today, or I were to be diagnosed with stage 4 cancer tomorrow, that my life is in Jesus’ loving hands. I know Him well enough to know that I am ok as long as I am in the center of His will. I may suffer. I may hurt. But I know God will use all of my suffering and pain to grow me and make me stronger, to bless others, to produce fruit in His kingdom and to make me more and more like Jesus and to help me grow closer to Him. THOSE THINGS ARE GOOD THINGS! The best things!

      I would like for you to do a word study in Scripture of words like:

      – suffer
      – suffering
      – trials
      – hardships
      – discipline

      God promises to use hardships as discipline for us.

      7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:7-11

      James 1, Job and the book of I Peter are all about how God uses suffering and pain as chisels to create His beauty in our lives and how the proper response of a believer to going through trials is joy.

      We will be talking about “pruning” in Monday’s post as well. 🙂

      I pray that you will be able to study God’s character and learn to trust Him. Then you will have the peace that is impossible to find right now.

  8. Yeah it also says God will not test you more than you can bear… Not true. I just cannot take it anymore. I cannot.

  9. No, not really. I have no idea. My only choice is to continue to put one foot in front of the other. I am doing 30 days of praise book, but my heart is just not in it. I’ve cried and poured out my heart to God and told him I don’t feel safe with him, but like so many other things I feel that I shouldn’t, God doesn’t take it away. I’ll just keep holding the Bible.

    1. Elizabeth,

      What do you believe you need to feel safe?

      Are you sleeping well?

      Is your husband still working tons if hours like before?

      I wish I could hug your neck.

      You may want to search “fear” on my home page, my precious sister!

    2. Elizabeth,

      Have you read Victory Over Darkness by Neil Anderson? I think it might be helpful. It’s available on Audible. Praying for you today, Sister loved by God.


    3. Elizabeth, if I may butt in, I’ve been in your position before where I felt so much anxiety and worry for the future. I have always trusted God to do whatever would bring Him glory. I just didn’t quite trust Him to do what was best for ME at the time (in other words, what *I* wanted). I’ve learned that the best and most effective way to pull it together is to praise God daily. That may sound counterintuitive when a person is down and has trust issues with God yet it truly helps. Also, listing my blessings has enormously helped my attitude. I suggest making a list of things you’re grateful for. Just start with 10 per day, Elizabeth. Trust me, it will help. In addition, choosing to find joy and gratitude EVERY day truly does change the mind for the better.

      I agree with April that focusing on God’s nature will help you understand who He really is. He takes joy in you, he sings over you and he won’t leave you, ever. Nothing you can do will make him stop loving you. Praising God especially will aid you because you’ll begin to see ALL your blessings and you’ll know from where they come. In turn, you’ll begin to have more trust in God. I’ll be praying for you. Blessings!

      1. I’ve been doing that in my gratitude journal, but whose to say that those things won’t be taken away tomorrow..

        1. Elizabeth,

          If you are depending on these things – people, things of the world – for your sense of security and happiness, that is VERY, VERY stressful. Because none of us are guaranteed that any of these things will be with us another day. For me, I had to learn to lay everything and everyone in my life at the feet of Jesus, trusting Him to know what was best much more than I could.

          It is scary at first to trust God. It feels like jumping off of a spiritual cliff. But, the more we know God, the more we realize that the scary thing is not trusting God, the scary thing is to not trust Him.

          Now, I know that the only thing I can cling tightly to is Jesus. The other things have to all be secondary. When I find myself feeling disappointed or upset, I personally have to examine my motives and ask myself if I am putting things or people above Christ in my heart. Idolatry creates great fear, insecurity, worry, panic, depression and anxiety in me.

          I know that you will have to wrestle with these issues yourself. I know you have been wrestling with them. I pray for God’s wisdom and clarity and for you to be able to see just how good, loving, faithful, trustworthy and beautiful God is.

          1. Just Pray for me as I am singing this tomorrow:

            Lay It Down”

            I’ve been lookin’ till my eyes are tired of lookin’
            Listenin’ till my ears are numb from listenin’
            Prayin’ till my knees are sore from kneelin’ on the bedroom floor
            I know that you know that my heart is achin’
            I’m running out of tears and my will is breakin’
            I don’t think that I can carry the burden of it anymore
            All of my hopes and my dreams and my best laid plans,
            Are slowly slippin’ through my folded hands

            So I’m gonna lay it down
            I’m gonna learn to trust You now
            What else can I do
            Everything I am depends on You
            And if the sun don’t come back up
            I know Your love will be enough
            I’m gonna let it be, I’m gonna let it go,
            I’m gonna lay it down.

            I’ve been walkin’ through this world like I’m barely livin’
            Buried in the doubt of this hole I’ve been diggin’
            But You’re pullin’ me out
            I’m finally breathin’ in the open air
            This room may be dark but I’m finally seein’
            There’s a new ray of hope, and now I’m believin’
            That the past is past, and the future’s beginning to look brighter now
            Oh, cause all of my hopes and my dreams and my best laid plans
            Are safe and secure when I place them in Your hands

            So I’m gonna lay it down
            I’m gonna learn to trust You now
            Oh what more can I do,
            Cause everything I am depends on You
            And if the sun don’t come back up
            You know Your love will be enough
            I’m gonna let it be, I’m gonna let it go,
            I’m gonna lay it down
            I’m gonna lay it down
            I’m gonna lay it down.

              1. Yes, God always has me sing solos that deal with issues that I have to deal with. I just don’t know that I will get through singing it without crying…

              2. Elizabeth,

                That would be very hard to sing without crying especially considering how you are feeling right now. I pray God will give you strength and that you might be able to really mean the words you are singing. : )

  10. April: I read this post and I have spent some time thinking about the comments – especially those from you and Lori. I hope that I am not “attacked,” but there are some things I would like to say. Firstly though, let me clarify and amplify that you are very dear to me. I have benefitted first hand from your wisdom and you are a gifted woman who has a lot of wise advice to share. I do not always agree with everything you say (and no one is always right, so it has to be ok for others to respectfully disagree with you or anyone else) – but I know your heart is in the right place, and your objective is honor God.
    I am not speaking about people who are malicious or vicious in their approach here. There is no place for that. I am not speaking about those who try to “tear” you down or to tear down anyone else who teaches something against their own conviction. I am not speaking about those who try to change your words to suit their ungodly agenda. So, hopefully that is clear. However, it has to be ok for others to “dig” into things that are said. I hope I can explain myself clearly.
    Anyone who has the heart of a teacher, should really be open to their “students” challenging what they have to say. I don’t mean challenging in the “harsh” spirit of how we can use the word, but in this case…. by “challenge” I mean that, it has to be ok for others to respectfully say, “Hey…this does not sound right to me, why do you say it is right?” It cannot be that we are only pleased with those who compliment us, and say everything we say is wonderful [though that is nice too!]. I would like to let my child understand “why” I say doing things a specific way is better than another way, and I think teachers of the word, would want to do the same to those who are not where they are in terms of their knowledge, understanding or conviction.
    Before I got saved, I had a friend who was saved – a very matured and Godly person. But this friend was more a turn off to me when it came on to salvation than an encouragement, because each time I questioned something, it was as if I was a horrible person, whose goal was to “tear down” the word. If this friend used those moments as opportunities to gently teach me and not try to judge my motives (that can be left up to God), I probably would have learned some things sooner.
    I now have a strong Christian friend, who is quite the opposite. I completely disagree with some of that friend’s convictions, but I can always feel comfortable respectfully sharing why I disagree and this friend uses those discussions as ways to sharpen me. Sometimes we have to agree to disagree (and that has to be ok), but at least I am not afraid to talk to my friend, and even though I am not as “well learned” as that friend, I have been told that some of my questions has helped to educate the friend as well.
    Even Jesus Christ was falsely accused – I think anyone who accepts the calling to teach others about Christ has to know that it comes with the territory. Is this an excuse for people to be inconsiderate, rude and malicious? Absolutely not…. But I think it is worth seeing how the differences in opinions shared by others can be used for good. Many people who are matured Christians think their years in the Bible automatically equates to them always being right and so they are never open to learning from someone else with less “Biblical knowledge.” I am not saying this is you…in fact, I am saying this is NOT you. I just said that as an example.
    I do not think it is ok to say someone else’s thoughts are silly because they are inconsistent with our own thoughts. I am no Biblical scholar…. But as far as I know, even the disciples themselves who walked this earth with Jesus and saw his miracles first hand sometimes had questions for him, in ways which came across to me as if they had trouble accepting (or understanding) some of his “wisdom!”
    I have NEVER thought that you condone abuse. Absolutely not…. I however understand why some people might think that in some way you are telling women to become doormats. I KNOW that in NO WAY is that what you are doing. I know that is not your goal at all….so before anyone “attacks” me I suggest that they re-read what I said. I said, I can see why “some people might think so.” Why do I say that? Well, when we die to ourselves, when we respect a husband who is not being very nice to us, when we honor the wishes of a selfish husband etc. … it is true that, unless we can see it through God’s eyes, it is “like” we are making ourselves into doormats. This is not about husbands only, the same is true when we reach out to friends we reject us, when we make peace with those who want war, when we do good things for those who are unkind to us. Don’t our friends (who don’t see through God’s eyes) say we are fools in those cases too? Don’t they ask why we allow that other person to treat us that way?
    I do agree that in the flesh those things DO come across as if we are making ourselves into “doormats.” It is really of the spirit and not of the flesh. Why then should we be angry at those who are not yet able to see things of the spirit? If we are not careful we become full of pride and forget that there was a time, when we ourselves could not see the sense in all that God had commanded us to do as well. So we should be careful about how we turn around and “tear down” those who are simply not yet in a place to do what we cannot do on our own strength. Even those of us who are strong believers will start feeling like we are being doormats ** IF** we fail to keep our focus on God. (Oh I really hope my point was clear there…). What I mean is, some things I would not have done in the past because I was not going to let “anyone walk over me.” I don’t feel like that today, because when I do those things it is not me, it is the grace of God that I am allowing to use me. So for others who don’t know God, I have to be able to relate to the reason why they would think my actions are those of one who is allowing others to walk over me (door mat).
    Also, I want to say this… I read Lori’s blog and I like it a lot. There is much wisdom and good teachings there. I don’t agree with everything…for example, I don’t think it is fair to imply that a woman who pursues a college education puts education above family. I certainly would want my own daughters to have college education even if they choose to be stay at home moms, and I don’t think that makes me less of a Godly woman. I also don’t think that there is any problem with a woman not using her husband’s last name if they are both ok with it. I know many Godly wives who keep their maiden names because of various reasons, and I know many ungodly wives who use their husbands’ last name. Those are not necessarily deal breakers for everyone. Anyway, I just glanced through those posts and I am not here to speak against those… I mention that to say those are two things that stood out at me, that I did not agree with….but there are MANY things there that I liked and learned from even in my quick review! I am eager to go back and soak up some knowledge. So my point is, that we cannot “run away” people because they disagree, as there can be other opportunities for them to learn …and let’s not forget, those who disagree with us, can teach us a thing or two sometimes too. We are ALL learning daily.
    I sure hope that I have been able to share my heart clearly. I apologize beforehand for any way that I might have come across harshly or accusatory. I promise that if that has happened, it is because of the medium of communication as that tone/spirit is not in my heart. I will certainly clarify and try to fix that if anyone points out where I have been unkind. My objective is to share that it has to be ok to “live” among those who disagree with us. If everyone here already agreed with everything, then who would there be to teach or to learn from?

    1. PrayinglikeHannah,

      This is why I often do allow comments with questions – because sometimes there are sincere questions and concerns and I know I had tons of questions and things I didn’t understand when I was just beginning this journey. Of course, I had no one to ask – so, I guess it didn’t matter. But, I want women to feel free to ask questions and to disagree respectfully here.

      I do have trolls at times here. I do have certain groups who hate God sometimes who attack or try to cause controversy. I don’t really want to give a platform to people with agendas like that. I don’t want to tear down any of my Christian brothers or sisters or Christian teachers or bloggers or pastors.

      But I do want this to be a place where the really hard questions can be asked. I am not saying I have all of the answers. But I want the chance to point people to Christ.

      Lori has experienced quite a bit of persecution. I have had some – not to the degree that Lori has. It is difficult to balance what comments to allow and which ones not to allow at times. I don’t want my blog to be a place of constant conflict, division and strife. I desire for us to have the Spirit of God’s unity, love and peace here.

      But – I agree with you prayinglikehannah, that these are things that are difficult concepts, especially when women first hear them, especially if they don’t know anything about how to walk in the Spirit and they have been living in the flesh, even if they are believers.

      So, I do want women to be able to ask questions and to disagree. I think there is room for that. I appreciate how you respectfully worded your comment and I know your heart and love for Christ and I know how much He has done in your life in the past year or so – and I am so excited to get to be on this journey with you.

      Thank you for sharing your concerns and your thoughts!

    2. Lori is out so I will try to give a brief response. I almost fully agree with much of what you have written, and Lori allows much discussion and side tangents from those who are not antagonistic, difficult or regularly seeking to be pests.

      As for a wife seeking higher education, this again is an issue of liberty, but Lori’s point would be that she is to teach young Christian women “to be keepers at home” and to raise the next generation of godly offspring. How are Christian wives to do this if the majority are out working full-time? You may need to wrestle with this as you coach your own daughters. Yes, they have the freedom to become a professional, and to work full time, but do they also have the wisdom to seek the mind of the Lord and determine how they will first fulfill their greatest purposes of godly wife and mother, before adding additional responsibilities that God does not call them to do? Can she stand before God and say she was a fabulous doctor but her most important callings she failed? Can she do all three? Few of us believe that it is possible to have small children at home and work, and properly instill God’s life and Word into their souls.

      If you disagree, that is no problem. Post your disagreement and it will be addressed. What will not stand is the silliness of and outright antagonistic remarks. I can list a myriad of them. Lori invites constructive criticism, but don’t you think a Bible teaching blog should argue points with the Bible and not personal views or preferences? That if you want to comment you should keep it within the context of what is being written in the post, and not try to lead the discussion down some red herring just to distract from the teaching?

      Good discussion and comments happen on Lori’s blog all the time, and we both enjoy addressing the ideas “as iron does indeed sharpen iron,” and we do not in any way believe we have all the answers on marriage, family, a husband’s love and wifely submission. We are learning and growing and sharing what we have found knowing that we are Always Learning. But we will never discount the fruit of what Lori has achieved with winning her husband, raising four godly kids and with the fruit of her blog as so many women thank her for their changed lives and marriages.

      It is this last item that most inflames her detractors because they really believe that the plain teaching of scripture that fundamentalist believe should be passe, and that Christians should move into a modern era of melding the scriptures with modern, more worldly life. Here we disagree if such modern life means cutting out certain clear teachings of God’s Word. We use I-Phones, the Internet, drive cars, but are wary of the world and its deluding influences. Our only hope is to be firmly grounded in God’s Word.

        1. April:
          If it is ok with you….. I have one more post before exiting this discussion.
          As Christians, we should react to those who oppose u harshly, differently from the negative way they react. We should have respect, compassion, love and a peaceful spirit in our hearts in the way we communicate with others.
          I’m no biblical scholar, but I’m pretty sure that, those are godly traits that should be in us, even to those that can’t understand our convictions and come against us.
          Many convictions I embrace now were the same ones I challenged years ago. But, the truth is we all grow at different rates.
          Thanks for your patience with those who are not quite where you are as yet. For those who aim to be malicious, what a wonderful reflection of godliness you show, when you respond to them graciously…without using words of attack or name calling. I think that honors God and can only help to show that you’re coming from a higher place (spiritually).

          1. Again I agree with you prayinglikehannah, and I believe if you review the overwhelming majority of our comments to such antagonists, or if you have gone to their site where I have addressed them directly, it is a rare occurrence that you would see any sort of backlash or even frustrations, despite the constant goading to try to get us to respond this way. The challenge was to see if they could get one more fundy to crash and burn in frustration, and I left with a graceful farewell after recognizing that a few were relentless in their pursuit to chase me away.

            There were others who I actually enjoyed the discussion with, even though we had to agree to disagree coming from two different world views. Lori and I have had some good laughs with some of what is written to us and about us, and many other things written are borderline slanderous, innuendo and consistent mischaracterizations. Again this is from a few, not the many.

            There is a mixed bag with these people. Some are hurt by the church, or what they perceive was Christianity. Some are liberals or ardent feminists who really see a traditional biblical message as very dangerous to their long term ideologies. But many are just curious or going along with the crowd who is trying to have snarking fun at the expense of conservative Christians.

            It is the the work some do to try and succeed in shutting blogs that most concerns me. This is a small % but their work was recently completed with getting Aman to shut down his blog, and SSM. Both felt the risk for their children being exposed to perceived danger from any wacko when threatened to expose their address and personal details. They are all about protecting women and children, just not our women and children.They are all for tolerance and free speech, just intolerant of many traditional Christian values and our free speech. They actually have had discussions as to how they might shut us down, or harm my business, because they believe we deserve it with what we teach… no matter how reasonable our approach.

            So yes, we remain gracious as best we can, but then we get faulted for the regular use of the power to delete as if it is somehow unfair to them. It is interesting to me how upset and full of anger a place can be that is all about poking fun with snark. If it’s not fun, or funny, is it really snark? Or is it a way to be a nuisance and threat to Christians under the only guise allowed under the 5th amendment rulings of the Supreme Court?

            It may be their fun, as they certainly spend a lot of time on it, but it is in no way funny. I wonder at times is some are not paid to do this form of destructive perceived ministry. My appeal to them remains the same. Please exhibit the same common human decency that you so desire from Christians. We can disagree and have great discussions, but the disagreement should not end with a blasting comment laced with profanity when they cannot convince us of their worldview. Again, this may be a few, but it happens regularly. We just had one person complain that she had posted a fake comment on a recent post which sounded reasonable and authentic so Lori let it stand. Now she writes that she is upset we did not delete it because it was a spoof, yet it reflects Christian values. We can’t win with the silliness :). You would have to experience it daily for four years to fully understand it, and then offer us advice, as we want to be most glorifying to our Lord in all we do and say.

            1. I would like to add prayinglikehannah,,

              That after many hours of interaction with our detractors Lori and I prayerfully considered and made changes to what we write on her blog. We decided to de-emphasize the things most non-essential to the biblical message and per their requests made it clear that we do not condone marital rape, abuse, or any form of mistreatment of a wife, for any reason. You see more comments to this effect on some of our posts, but as one might suspect, our detractors want us to buy back almost every message of truth from the scriptures by explaining almost all exceptions to the rule in every post.

              We function under the premise that readers are reasonable, logical and intelligent, and that they are not solely depending on what Lori writes to make their choices. Lori sends all readers back to scripture to check out her words. She does not want them trusting her, but instead trusting the Lord. Unfortunately, if we do not add some warning each post on submission many in this group get frantic at the thought that some woman somewhere will read the post, not see previous warnings and allow herself to be abused by a controlling or difficult, maybe even abusive husband. We have no answer to evil in every place and part of the world, and we are unwilling to compromise the clear teaching of the Word on submission, nor do what April has had to do today, much more than once a year or so.

              There are maybe 8-10 changes made because of our willingness to engage our detractors, and some I actually believe we would enjoy an ongoing dialogue with if the drone of antagonism was not so consistently strong from a few. And these few are rarely if ever policed by the blog or participants, so I gave up on them for now, but leave open the option to reengage at any time to continue a reasonable dialogue, if it is possible, and something I sense the Lord wants us to do.

  11. Hi! Thank you, you are doing a great job with this blog! Im a single christian girl in my mid 20’s and would like to ask you a little question about dating. Some time ago I was in church meeting and after the service one guy came to talk to me. That was an accident because we didnt know each other. From the back I was looking like one of his friends so thats why he came. We both got a bit confused, had a little conversation and then walked out from the situation. The problem is here: I know who that guy is but he doesnt know me or even my name. At the time we met I felt like there is something special in him. I would be interested to go for a coffee or something with him but Im too shy to ask. And I know that even if he is feeling the same he cannot take the first step cause he doesnt know who I am. So, what do you think? Is it proper for a christian girl to ask a guy out? Should I write to him and tell Im interested? I’ve been praying about this but dont know what do. I really want holy spirit to take the lead in my life, so thank you so much if you have time to tell your opinion and many blessings to your life!!

    1. meme,

      Wonderful to meet you!
      I think it is great to be very friendly and to show him that you are receptive to him talking with you. I don’t know that I would ask him out. But I think you can show interest and make it clear that you smile a lot when he is around, that you enjoy talking with him, that you are safe for him to approach.

      How often do you think you will see him?

  12. Although I see positives in this article it over simplifies sex. What if you have a husband that isn’t sexually available to his wife or shall we imagine this doesn’t happen.

    Finally no real man wants a woman that is simply available to him! A real man wants a woman who without shame initiates sex. There is a lie going on in churches that if a women initiates particularly more often than her husband she does so out of fear. If she isn’t fed with the lie that women aren’t sexual beings she will. Glad I didn’t get that memo !

    1. Lauren,

      Thanks for your comments! This post isn’t intended to address all of the issues in regular, normal sexual relationships between husband and wife, it is primarily about that I don’t condone abuse. And it is about that I don’t condone marital rape. I teach that believing women are to obey I Corinthians 7:1-5 (as are husbands) – and some people misunderstood that to mean that I was endorsing marital rape. NOT AT ALL!

      But I do have some posts about these other issues where I address them specifically, if you are interested. 🙂

      You may search my home page for:
      – the devastation of sexual rejection
      – initiative
      – when your husband rejects you
      – I feel like a piece of meat

      It is my understanding that in about 40% of marriages, the wife has the higher drive. That is absolutely within the range of “normal.” 🙂

      Much love to you!

  13. Thank you peaceful wife. Your words and scripture references are beautiful and a great encouragement to me. I watched my father viciously abuse my mother for years all the while they were members of the church. The verses in Ephesians about the wife submitting were always horrifying to me. I really thought God didn’t love or care about women for the longest time. However, Christ Jesus, in his grace and mercy always brought me back to the gospels. There he shows his love and compassion for women, even sinful women. God incarnite demonstrates we are all precious in his sight. He is a just God. He is not cruel, he does not excuse men who are cruel to their wives and children.

    1. Angel,

      Oh no! I am so grieved about what happened in your parents’ marriage. How awful!!!! 🙁 My heart just breaks for you and for your mom. 🙁

      I’m so glad that you are seeing that God is not like your dad was. No, God does not excuse abuse – He will hold people accountable for abuse. Those who are in leadership positions have greater responsibility and accountability than others do.

      How I pray your father will repent if he has not – and that God might change his heart and life.

      How is your mother?

      Sending you the biggest hug, my dear sister!

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