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The Wrong Counselor Can Be More Dangerous Than No Counselor

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There are many Christian counselors, pastors, friends, family members and godly mentoring wives who do great GOOD, who help to point hurting women and men to Christ and to His Word and who help people walk through difficult trials. These are the people who help people to primarily look at their own lives and their walk with God and help them evaluate anything God may want them to work on, encouraging them to trust God to work in their spouse’s lives as they focus on their obedience to God and their walk with Christ. I would like to encourage women to seek out godly mentoring wives or female Christian biblical counselors if at all possible.

There are also many counselors and friends, even some Christian ones, who do irreparable harm and who undermine people’s marriages and give unbiblical, ungodly advice. A wife shares her story and warning in today’s post. I appreciate her willingness to share so very much! This is a really important topic – one I have seen come up countless times. 

I personally didn’t have a counselor or godly mentor on my journey. It was just me, God, the Bible, about 30 books on godly femininity and being a godly wife and a bunch of college ruled notebooks. I spent a good 2-4 hours per day most days for 2.5 years reading, praying, searching, studying, begging God to teach me, begging God to change me, asking God to remove the worldly ideas I had absorbed and give me His wisdom. I did have the advantage that I had a solid Bible background. So I was able to evaluate the books I was reading in light of the Bible to weigh what was being said, rejecting things that were not biblical. Not everything that every Christian writer says is biblical! We are each responsible to carefully weigh whatever anyone says against Scripture. It takes the Spirit’s power and wisdom to do that properly, not my own human wisdom.

God, His Word, His Spirit’s power and our faith in Him are the real keys on this journey.

A WIFE’S STORY (the same wife who shared in the post last week about the idol of happiness):

When my husband said he wanted out of our marriage, but would stay while I “got help and fixed myself”, I looked for a counselor that specialized in family issues and someone who had a base of Christian faith. He told me that he had helped many relationships that were in the same place. I felt safe opening up and sharing with him. He had some suggestions that seemed very good and practical…..except every single one of his suggestions backfired.

My husband refused to go with me, but went solo once to explain his side of things and his frustrations. I went twice a week for six months and I noticed that my husband would get extremely touchy and easily agitated on my therapy nights. I would try one of my therapist’s suggestions and my husband would blow up and tell me that I was not a psychologist and I was not going to control him with my “cult techniques” that I learned from my therapist.

I would relay this to my therapist and he would get very angry with my husband.

  • He then started to blame my husband for all that was wrong in the relationship.
  • He would bash my husband and call him derogatory names in our sessions.
  • He kept telling me that I deserved better. That became the theme of our sessions.
  • He would tell me how wonderful I was and how I was doing all the work in this relationship and that I was probably always going to have to do that.
  • He would compare his marriage to mine and tell me how respectful and kind and loving he was to his wife in the same situations I was facing with my husband. He told me that’s how “normal,” healthy couples are and that I was never going to have that with my husband.

The last few sessions became all about him pressuring me to leave my husband. He told me that if I stayed with my husband, I was dooming myself to an unhappy, unfulfilled existence and that I was selling myself short if I stayed and put up with it.

Notice a theme? Every session was all about feeding the monster of SELF….the very thing that had brought my relationship to the breaking point. :-/

I left the last session in tears.

  • He had told me there was no hope.
  • That I was doing everything right, but my husband was a lost cause.

I called my mom and she joined me in prayer. It’s too long to go into, but she did some spiritual warfare on my behalf and my eyes were opened to what had been going on in those sessions and why it was having the opposite effect…..because my SELF could not die while it was still being fed so heartily. (From Peacefulwife – PRAISE GOD for this godly mom!!!!!!)

I shared the experience with two close friends, who have been my prayer champions and encouragers along this journey. They told me that they both (independent of each other) felt strongly in their spirits that I should not go back to this counselor. My mom confirmed it when she said God had spoken the same thing to her. I never went back…..and I was afraid to tell my husband, because he was only going to stay while I “got help”….but he was relieved.

I had to give it all to God and trust Him to show me what I needed to change.

I started listening to sermons on my way to and from work…..praying with my mom or my friends when I wasn’t doing that…..and slowly, God began to reveal the problems and sins that were inside me. There were a TON of them. As I gave those things to God, He would start to heal them. Some of the things were healed almost instantly…..some took longer…..some are still in the process of being healed. As God heals those ugly things inside of me, I am noticing a healing in my marriage and I thank God every day for this. He has done SO MUCH healing. There is still A LOT of healing that needs to happen.

The process of God bringing things to the surface to be healed is very painful, but it is worth it.

Sorry for the long story, but I am very passionate about this. Counselors are trained a certain way. I do believe they can be helpful in many different circumstances and situations. If the problem is a spiritual/sin issue, (some counselors may) make things worse because of they way they are trained. I would encourage everyone to get a spiritual mentor and and check what the counselor tells you with God’s word. God will speak to you if you earnestly seek Him. He may tell you to do things that don’t make logical sense, but they will be exactly what you needed to do for healing. God sees the whole picture….the past, the present, the future. He made us and our spouses. He knows the deep hurts, the buried fears, the reasons we do the things that hurt the ones we love. Always, always pray about what your counselor tells you and make sure it is supported by what God says in His word.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

1. Here are some things I would want to see from a godly, biblical counselor or mentor for a wife – someone who…

  • upholds the covenant of marriage and respects it deeply
  • does not consider divorce to be an option
  • wants to help a wife focus on what she can control – herself – and her walk with Christ
  • shows respect for a wife’s husband and does not speak disrespectfully about him to her
  • does not tell a wife what her husband should do
  • is able to be impartial and willing to ask questions to better understand the husband’s side of things, too – there are always two sides to the story
  • encourages a wife to seek God with all her heart, to feast on Scripture and to pray fervently in faith for God’s will and His healing – not for her will
  • is willing to address any sin in the wife’s life gently but firmly and who is strong and courageous enough to give life giving rebukes when necessary
  • can help a wife identify idols or sin in her heart, pride, self-righteousness, unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, gossip, slander, hatred, etc…
  • will love a wife with the very love of God and stand with her compassionately, praying with her and walking beside her when things are hard and painful
  • encourages a wife to find all of her peace, joy, acceptance, purpose, identity, hope, faith and strength in Christ, not in her husband or her marriage or any worldly thing
  • can help explain the biblical concepts of respect, submission, I Peter 3:1-6, godly femininity and godly marriage and who is living these things out herself in real life 
  • can point a wife to valuable resources if a wife is truly in danger or a husband is involved in serious sin or abuse
  • can recognize when things are too dangerous for a wife and/or children to stay in a home and help them get somewhere safe quickly
  • seeks to honor Scripture and to use Scripture to give godly counsel 

Ideally, husbands would also receive godly, biblical counseling from a male mentor or pastor or counselor, as well, who would do these same kinds of things for him. But even if a wife is seeking God alone for healing in her marriage, God’s power is able to change and heal!

If a couple is being counseled together, I believe it is best for them to have a male counselor (or, even better, a godly mentoring or counseling couple) – because of Scripture’s admonition that women are not to have authority over men in the church. If a wife is being counseled separately, I believe it is generally wise for her to have a godly, experienced, wise, female counselor (as described in Titus 2:3-5). I want us to be cautious about being alone with men talking about marriage problems and deep emotional and spiritual struggles. That can easily be a recipe for infidelity. Please check out this pastor’s guest post “Pastors Are Human, Too

2. Here are some things I want to see in wives who are receiving counseling or who are having problems in their marriages…

  • You must be willing to put in time daily (unless providentially hindered, of course) with God for your own Bible study and fervent prayer, seeking to abide in Christ and to be filled with His Spirit. This is your power source – If you are not plugged in, a counselor cannot possibly begin to help you. You won’t have the strength to do the things God asks you to do.
  • You must be willing to believe that the Bible is the absolute truth of God and His wisdom and that all ungodliness and worldliness has to go and you must be willing to toss out everything you think you know about marriage, being a woman, God and living as Christian and build your life on Christ and His Word alone.
  • You must be willing to focus on asking God to change you, not your husband. This is ALL about you and Jesus.
  • In time, as you are able to check your motives and be sure you are praying from pure, not selfish, motives – you can start asking for more specific things in your husband’s life in line with God’s will (please check my response to PrayingLikeHannah in the comments about this one and, “Praying for Our Husbands So That God Will Hear” and “Praying with Respect” may be helpful).
  • You must be willing to want to learn to find all of your contentment in Christ alone and to completely submit to Him as LORD of ALL in your life – even if you don’t know how right now, you must be willing to want to do this.
  • You must be willing to stay in this thing for the long haul, realizing it is a lifelong journey, not a quick or instantaneous process to become a godly wife.
  • You must be willing to do the hard, painful work yourself. A mentor/counselor can point you to Christ, but he/she cannot change anyone or open anyone’s eyes. Only God can do that. And a counselor cannot do the actual wrestling with God for you. That will be for you and God to hash through together privately.
  • You must be willing to accept that your husband may not ever change. If you want to do this journey with Jesus – your prayer has got to be “Change me, bless my husband.” There are no guarantees here that your husband will change. But if you are willing to seek God with all your heart, I CAN guarantee you that He will radically change YOU! 🙂 And that is the whole point!
  • You must be willing to accept biblical truths and be willing to repent of any sin in your own life. If you refuse to repent of sin, a counselor cannot help you. You will be stuck. If you hold on to pride, bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, gossip, lust, greed, idolatry, envy, materialism, worldliness, etc… you cannot have the full power of God’s Spirit flooding your life and you won’t have the power to be the wife God commands you to be. Every trace of sin has to go. Will we stumble? Yes. At times. Then we confess our sin to God, repent and ask Him to empower us to live and walk in obedience again. God can give us the power to walk in victory over sin as we allow His Spirit to flood our hearts and allow Him to regenerate our souls.

RELATED:

Giving Godly Marriage Advice to Friends

Don’t Expect Outside Support

Choosing Our Counselors Wisely

Husband Bashing Is SUPER Contagious 

 

79 thoughts on “The Wrong Counselor Can Be More Dangerous Than No Counselor

  1. Yes. Yes. And Yes some more!! The Bible is THE first and foremost authority. Even well meaning godly friends, mentors, pastors, etc… are still able to trip up sometimes so it is important that we go to the Bible ourselves and prayerfully consider advice given to us.
    I was doing a study on the Bible’s authority with my kids and they called this “putting on your Biblical glasses.” That’s how we need to filter information… with our Biblical glasses.
    I don’t always do this when dealing with conflict in my marriage and find that when I don’t I get myself in nothing but strife and more strife.

    1. p31mariec,

      I know you speak from experience and I greatly appreciate your words of wisdom to our sisters. 🙂

      I like that description of biblical glasses. How beautiful!

      Much love to you, my precious sister! I pray for God’s continued work in your life and in your husband and marriage and children’s lives and for His greatest glory!!! 🙂

      1. I love your blog so much April. My internet has been sceychy for over a month so it’s been difficult to read. The enemy is working with ferocity on our lives right now and I am desperate for prayer support from th community of Godly women here. Please read other posts if you need back story insight. I am thankful for this bit of time to read and pray now, have to continue before work. Love you for your heart for God.

        1. P.S. A good resource on the sovereignty of God, a book called Trusting God When Life Hurts by Jerry Bridges (pretty sure). It has been a recent companion and help to me.

        2. Nontdoneyet,
          Praying for you, my precious sister!!!! Praying for God to conform you more and more to the image of Christ and for His greatest glory in your life and your marriage and family!

  2. brilliant post…thank you to this wife, she is doing amazingly well on her journey, I do feel so supported here, like I am not alone. Even though each wife’s issues are different, we are all trying so hard. My husband is now following God and its amazing, but I still struggle with old doubts and fears, I know that God can take care of these issues and everything else is lies from the enemy. Sometimes its so easy to just start going backwards again though….just to say, thank you Peacefulwife, I feel calmer when I have your blog to hand, and know that I am not to become ‘worldly’ and feel unplugged from God, i must remember all my husbands good points etc…sorry rambling now, I just love this wifes journey….love to you all xxxkeep praying!

    1. JuR,
      I am so glad to see what God is doing in your life and that your husband is following God now!!?!? WOOHOO!!!!!! PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!

      Praying for you to keep your eyes on Christ and rest in His sovereignty and love. It is very easy to go backward or to keep your eyes on the waves and the storm and circumstances. But we have the power of heaven when we focus on Christ and abide in Him. 🙂

      Much love to you! i am so glad this blessed you. 🙂

  3. Glad I had s chance to read this one. I can relate to this post a lot. Two questions April:

    I COMPLETELY agree that the focus has yo be on praying for wisdom on how yo change ourselves. We can’t focus on the changes we think our spouses need…even when we desire a change that’s consistent with God’s words. However … are you saying it’s not ok to ask God to work on some things in our spouses?

    I focus on me….I know I can only change me, I have no control over anyone but me, I want to please God in my actions even if my husband never changes. However I also humbly submit my requests to God about changes I’d like to see in my husband. I pray for God to change his heart of stone into a heart of flesh.. I pray for God to bring a good Christian friend in his life, I pray for his sensitivity to God’s words to increase etc. I spend hours talking to God about flaws, and I work at myself really hard…But I also think it’s fine to ask him for things on my husband as well….as long as my heart is in the right place in doing so. Doesn’t make sense I hide it from God…he knows I desire changes in my husband too.

    Secondly…. is it always wrong/inappropriate to have Godly counselors of the opposite gender? If I found the ideal counseling qualities you discussed above in a male counselor, should I run away because he’s not female?

    Thanks to the wife who shared this very powerful post.

    1. PrayinglikeHannah,

      I do think we can ask for God to work on our spouses – however – it took a long time for me to get to the place where I could ask for God to work in Greg and have pure motives in my heart. I spent 14+ years praying for God to change Greg – really, kind of demanding that God change Greg. My motives were selfish, prideful, self-righteous, judgmental, critical, condemning… They were not pure. Once a wife can get to the place in her own walk where she can clearly see her motives and she can pray from pure motives – loving God and loving her husband – then I believe she can pray things for her husband in accordance with God’s will. But, I think we do have to still be very cautious about wrong motives.

      You can see an example of this in the wife who wrote this post about praying for her husband’s salvation – “My Secret Idol.”

      The only thing I could personally pray for for Greg at first was prayers of thanksgiving for his strengths and prayers for God to bless him and accomplish His will in Greg’s life. Maybe other wives are able to pray for things with pure motives immediately, if so that is great! I love the things you are praying for your husband – and I know that you have been allowing God to purify your heart so much this year. There is much power in prayer when we are abiding in Christ, filled with His Spirit and praying with proper motives. 🙂

      I cannot say that it is always wrong to have a counselor of the opposite gender. What I can say is – it is very easy to develop an emotional/spiritual connection with a man in such a situation, and to begin to desire to submit to him and be close to him – especially when a husband is far away. There can be strong temptations.

      It could be wise to have another woman in the room – like the man’s wife or if it is a pastor – his secretary or something – if you believe you can trust them. Ultimately, this will be a decision for you to make through prayer and seeking God’s will.

      Praying for you today! 🙂

      Much love!

      1. To clarify…. I have no counselor. Male or female. The question was asked for clarity, since I noticed you specified the gender. I love to understand 🙂

        I don’t know that I was saying wives can “immediately” have the right motives in asking God to work in their husbands. However, it sounded as if you were saying wives should “never” pray for changes in their husbands, so I just wanted to clarify.

        I agree that all power is in our hands when our focus is changing ourselves and not the other person. It is true even for relationships outside of marriage.

        YOU’RE PRAYING FOR ME TODAY??
        Yupee! I so love to know that someone is helping me in prayer. You can’t imagine how it excites me! Thanks for the players!

        1. PrayinglikeHannah,

          I corrected a bit in the post about wives praying for their husbands. I don’t intend to say we should never pray for them. So, I definitely appreciate you bringing this up! I was hoping to communicate that there can be time, especially in the beginning of this journey, when our focus will need to be on us first. THEN, we will be able to see clearly to pray for our husbands in a godly way. But I see that I did not communicate that clearly enough. Thank you!

          I have a post “Praying for Our Husbands So That God Will Hear” that may be helpful for some of the ladies. 🙂

          I am sure there are male counselors who would be wonderful. I do think that men should only be counseled by men due to the restrictions in Scripture about women not having authority over men. Women can learn from men – but Titus 2:3-5 is about older, godly wives counseling the younger wives. I think that is generally a very good model.

          Of course there may be times a wife may need to go to her pastor – but I would like for women to guard their hearts and set some clear boundaries.

          Here is a post by a pastor that may be helpful. “Pastors Are Human, Too.

          You are most welcome for the prayers, my precious sister! 🙂 I am so excited about all that God has done, is doing and will do in your life and in your husband’s life!

      2. I feel like I have to cover my husband in prayer because that is one of my responsibilities as his wife and one flesh. I’ve been told over and over again that in our situation, I’m fighting the enemy, not my husband, so if I’m not praying for him, then who is? I struggle with “how” to pray for him because God doesn’t “need” my prayers per say but what gives? My prayers consist of praying scriptures, turning his heart back to God and his family, victory over sin etc…
        I struggle with motives but I feel like I have to pray daily. What if I don’t ?
        Does prayer really change things?
        It’s all so confusing sometimes.

        1. PLM,

          It is fine to pray for your husband – if you are praying from the motives of loving God and loving your husband and desiring God’s will – not seeking your own selfish desires. I hope that makes sense. 🙂 Those prayers sound wonderful!

          God’s Word says that the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective in James. As you are seeking God with all your heart, trusting Him in faith, seeking Him above all else – YES! Prayer changes things and brings about the promises of God into reality. 🙂

          1. Such a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing your testimony on marriage. Reading your message and giving good advice has been a blessings to me. I seek God’s grace though this difficult time in my marriage. I will continue reading your post. In prayer and reading God’s word and apply to my life. God bless

  4. Wow! This is so common and so true! Many Christian counselors are not biblical counselors but psychology based counselors even though they may have gotten this training at a Christian school. And many of the founding fathers of psychology were avowed atheists, some of whom had as their stated purpose the eradication of belief in God and Christianity.

    I’ve observed that what passes for biblical counseling in many settings is psychology based talk therapy that is victim and wound oriented, with some verses and prayer to open and close the session. The church has traded its wells of living water for broken cisterns that cannot hold water. Most pastors now refer their members to a psychology based counselor and don’t believe they can counsel from the bible and many have no idea how and don’t think there is enough depth in the bible for “real” problems. They trust vain philosophies of men over God and His word.

    Many people like me have taken some serious life issues to church based counselors and even tried counselors outside the church. What a conundrum! I’m generalizing, of course there are some notable exceptions which some have been fortunate enough to find. However, often, the outside the church counselors aren’t afraid to talk about thorny or scary issues and think they can handle them successfully and can be quite accepting and non judgemental, but don’t ultimately have anything real and lasting to give you other than better coping mechanisms and human compassion and refer to various life management skills training.

    The church based people often avoid difficult issues, denying real problems and sweeping them under the rug, can react with judgement as if this ugly sin problem isn’t something that can happen to them, and don’t believe they have the resources to handle such real problems, even though they DO. The trouble is that “lite Christianity” never helped anyone. A watered down gospel is a different gospel other than what Paul taught.

    Good for this wife, and what providential mercy to have been able to see even in the midst of her pain and no doubt anxiety that there was still truth to be pursued beyond the false course being pushed on her. That counselor’s motives sounded a little creepy to say the least.
    I

  5. This was a very interesting post.

    I totally agree with not having a counselor of the opposite sex. Unless it is your Pastor and you and your husband are seeking counsel together. This has been covered in the post and the comments, but I just wanted to say I agree.

    I would also like to add, be very careful with what blogs you read, or go to for advice, especially if you are struggling. I almost destroyed my marriage with “Christian” marriage blogs. Now obviously, I’m not referring to this blog, or I wouldn’t still be here reading and/or commenting. Not every “Christian” blog approaches topics from a biblical point of view. In fact, one of the most destructive to me personally was one that directly called itself “Biblical” but it tore me down daily. The writer, perhaps unintentionally, posts about how wonderful they are, with countless perfect photos of themselves and their family, photos of what perfectly put together outfits they wore, all of the perfect things their spouse does for them daily, their perfect home, perfect parenting skills, and oh yes – how perfectly Christian and humble they are. It was not the blog for me. I shared with a friend one day, and after she checked it out, she told me to stop reading it immediately. She felt that whenever someone seems that “perfect” there has to be something amiss. She had a bad feeling about it all, and so I took her advice and stopped reading.

    Other blogs helped me create issues in my marriage that weren’t even there. Or they were minor and I made them major. You know what – my issues were countless – but I’m not feeling led to get into all of that right here, right now.

    On the flip side, there was a great blog started by a certain man and his wife that was very helpful to me. Sadly, it no longer exists, but it was some of the most helpful advice I ever received. I felt much more comfortable knowing that he AND his wife were involved, and my husband knew all about it, and appreciated the advice as well. It was he (the blogger) who pointed out to me that I was having an issue of pride. Now at first that seemed odd, because I tend to think lowly of myself, have issues with confidence, photographs, etc. I certainly wasn’t proud of myself, so how could I have issues of pride? But after I turned that over in my brain for a while, I realized, although I wasn’t stuck on myself POSITIVELY – being stuck on my flaws and faults and shortcomings as I see them is STILL being stuck on ME and so yes, it is very much an issue of pride. Just not as you would normally think of pride. So some blogs can be very helpful. (Like this one – thank you, April!)

    I also get tripped up by the comments of other readers. That’s my issue, and I need to be careful. I try just reading the post and avoiding the comments, but it’s hard. Especially if the commenter is someone who is pleased with themselves. It just rubs salt of my feelings of not measuring up. But that’s my issue, not theirs, and I’m working on it. (For example, in the post about triggers, someone commented that they were so little and perfect that everywhere they went men stared at her and she found it unsettling. Now those were NOT her exact words – but that’s how my brain read it and replayed it for days. Since I’m tall, and have always been envious of petite women, for days I stewed on that, thinking “see – men only like tiny little women. How could you even think your husband liked you?”) Ridiculous, right? I agree. But it happens and I need to be careful where I let my brain go.

    The wrong counselor is the exact reason I don’t go to counseling. My husband and I had discussed going to talk to one of our most recent Pastors, but before we did, the Pastor had a major breakdown and upheaval in his own life, and he is in no shape to counsel anyone. We have been praying for him, but neither one of us is comfortable going to him for counsel at this time. I would not be comfortable with a secular counselor, so we are trying to find some good preaching and we have been spending a lot more time praying (separately) and talking (together).

    Well, I’m not sure I even made a point. But I felt led to share these thoughts today. April, thank you for your post. Have a blessed day!

    1. Becca,

      WOW!

      I think you made some amazing points and I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts. I love what God is doing in you and what He is showing you and the healing that is beginning to take place. I know there is much healing to go, but I can see you making steps in a great direction and I praise God for that!

      I miss that blog, too. And his comments here!

      False humility, insecurity, self-deprecation and self-loathing CAN be forms of pride – a form of expecting to meet our needs for ourselves or to have value in and of ourselves instead of depending humbly on God for our fulfillment and for our value, purpose, beauty, peace, joy, strength and identity. I’m super excited that you are beginning to see some of that. WOOHOO!

      Thank you for sharing your struggles. We all have certain areas where we are weak and easily get tripped up and have to guard our hearts. We are ALL desperate for Christ!

      You are most welcome. I’m so thankful that you have been blessed by some of what has been shared here. I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for you, my precious sister in Christ!

  6. Such a good post. I have booked sessions with a counsellor after asking my husband if he will go. He changed his mind at the last minute both times and eventually said no he didn’t want to rehash arguments and talk in circles and that it was too stressful. With all the importance that is placed on counselling these days I felt that if we weren’t going to go our marriage was doomed. I was so upset. I went to God and I strongly felt comforted and reassured that He would be my counsellor and true to that promise The Holy Spirit has come to help me, convicting me of sin, leading me in truth. I’d never understood the important role of the Holy Spirit until this experience.

    1. Charli,
      Isn’t it awesome that Jesus promised to send us the Comforter, the Counselor, the Holy Spirit?!?! Ultimately, unless He is our true Counselor, any human wisdom will lead us the wrong way. I’m so excited about what He is doing in your life! And He is way more important than any human counselor. That has been the truth in my life! That’s for sure.

      Also, I can tell when a wife is really seeking God and trusting Him – that GOOD THINGS are going to happen. It may be awhile. But, God always honors our faith in Him. We may not get exactly what we think we want when we want it – but when we want Him above everything else – we have all we need and He will accomplish His greatest purposes in our lives – which is always more than we ever could have imagined or asked for. 🙂

      Much love!

  7. hi april,
    im so thankful for this blog, as i am moved away from home and have no godly councelor or mentor, i consider you and these girls who respond with godly advice to be that for me. I am still praying for that. It is so nice to feel safe here.
    I loved this post and am so happy to hear this wifes journey.
    I need advice on this one..
    My husband did something today i did not like, it was no big deal and he saw it as playful but i didnt like it So, i told him “okay, don’t ever do THAT again..” (it was kind of forward and disrespectful tone) So he then did it again!. I was aggravated and upset. He started making jokes like its no big deal, i said you know instead of jokes you can just say sorry. He said you get upset so easily, the smallest thing sets you off, i said i am not upset? Just telling you you can say sorry, he said fyi i know this is wrong but the way you told me not to do it, made me want to do it again. I said, oh, ok nice. he was very aggravated at this point and said fine you want me to coward down and say sorry to you so sorry. I said you think saying sorry is cowardly?! He shut down. I started talking in a calm voice about the incedent and how it could have went differently and i could have been more respectful and said sorry and told him what he could have changed and theres no need to argue about something small and so forth, he did not respond.

    Finally when we got to where we were going he said some things that worried me… he said exactly “STOP talking about it. Ive told you this before, when stupid things happen you STOP talking about them, plain and simple. We are going to move on and forget about it and be happy , we are NOT going to talk through it like you think we are, it waste time, its pointless, just DROP it, always drop it. Move on, dont bring it up i dont want to hear it (i TOTALLY disagree with this method) He continued, we dont talk about my dad and how he died a few years ago, and what i regret and what i could have done to save him and all that, if your mom dies, we dont talk about it we get better and move on, you dont bring up the thing that is hurting you!!”
    -Does he have some sort of emotional issue? This seems very weird to me, does it seem weird because i am a woman and talking through it helps? I dont see how this can be normal, and it sort of worried me like he must keep things so bottled up inside.
    -Why would he not want to talk through things that are bothering me? He’s told me this before and i cant seem to understand…
    he then said “I will probably regret saying this but since you havent had a job and ive been home a lot we are together to often and we are bound to get on each others nerves.” – this hurt me a little.

    I said ok. we got out of the car and went about our day. I spoke maybe 5 words the entire time, but i had a happy countenance about me. I did not want to speak about anything after what he had said but still tried to be respectful, When we got home I went out side and called my friend, then my mom, then went to my neighbors to check on her (shes been needing a lot of prayers lately for family issues). I was trying to give him space and keep myself busy since he made it seem he was sick of me. He called me while i was there and said did you still want to go to blank with me (something we had planned earlier) I said thats okay, im trying to give you space and time away from me so you can go alone, he said ok, bye and then he left without me. I didnt think he would go without me. I am now trying to spend time away from him, i wish i had somewhere to go because i dont want to be near him so he can maybe miss me? I keep praying to God to show me my sin and what i need to change and what i’m doing wrong, but i just cant help but see all the things my husband should change. He’s even told me his prayers are hindered recently (i didnt tell him but its obviously because he’s not being the best christlike husband he can be) I just want to talk about somethings and feel like i can’t because of what he said…

    1. Learningwife,

      I’m so glad you shared! 🙂

      Oh how my heart aches for both of you!!

      I can see why you both were hurt. I can see exactly why you both tried to handle things the way you did. But you just have such different perspectives – it didn’t work out for either of you. So frustrating! And I have been there many times.

      So – do you have any idea at this point where things began to go wrong and how you maybe could have approached things from your end before it all spiraled out of control?

      Have you read Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs or For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn yet?

      I’m going to let you think for a bit about ways you maybe could have handled things differently – and we will discuss that.

      But, a few answers to your questions from my perspective:

      1. It sounds to me like he is a man and you are a woman. I don’t think he necessarily has an emotional issue from what you have described. I think it is just that you seem to expect him to think and act and process like a woman and he seems to expect you to think, act and process like a man – and that is a recipe for many misunderstandings!

      2. Most men do not process things by talking through them. That is often a really foreign concept to a man. A man, from my understanding, would rather have time to himself to process his feelings and thoughts or go DO something about his feelings or go DO something to burn off his energy to clear his mind. Talking about painful issues is like pouring salt in a wound for a lot of men. It HURTS. Why prolong the pain? Why poke around and dig around in a wound? Why not leave it alone and it will be less painful? That is the mindset that I understand some men to have about such things. He is trying to tell you that talking through painful things doesn’t bring closure or healing or help to him. It makes things hurt more. And I don’t think he understands that it does help you.

      In a situation where a husband begins to feel really disrespected or where a wife continues to pressure and pressure and force an issue – most men will eventually either blow up or leave. The more you continue to try to force him to talk about something he doesn’t want to talk about, the more destruction and damage you are probably going to cause.

      You may want to check out this post:

      “When He Suddenly Walks Out or Hangs Up”

      And “Why Your Husband May Not Immediately Do What You Ask Him To”

      And “The Voice in His Head”

      And, if you haven’t, please read “My Demon”

      I need to put my little girl to bed. Looking forward to continuing the conversation, my sweet friend!

      1. Good morning April!
        I am always so thankful God gives us new days and brand new starts every single day!!

        Yes I do see where things probably went wrong, on my end, I see now my husband was just being playful, he wasn’t meaning harm or meaning for me to be upset. I just wish I could see these things BEFORE I do them. It’s like I act and then think about what I just did or said. I want to be a pleasant person, a pleasant wife, a safe place for him. I sometimes wish I wasn’t so strong willed, such a “strong woman” with strong perspectives. Sometimes I wish I could be more meek and quiet and open to my husband, and letting him fully be just who. he. is. I don’t feel like I’ve let him become the full leader entirely, I feel I am still holding onto a piece of it, and I want to let go..
        I have not read those books, or those blogs yet, besides my Demon, I will re- read it though to refresh my mind 🙂

        As always, your advice, kind words, guidance and friendship is so appreciated 🙂
        ps- I am almost in tears about “Why” from your contact me post. Thanking God for sending her to your blog because I feel you are just the person she needs to help lead her to the truths of Jesus. I will be praying for the both of you as you work through that!!

        Much love!

        1. Learningwife,

          You know what? At first, we see what we did wrong after the fact. Eventually, we begin to see it as it is coming out of our mouths. Then, we begin to see it before we are about to say it and we stop ourselves. And, in time, God changes our hearts and thoughts and many times we don’t even think the disrespectful, controlling things anymore. THAT is a blessing! But it is a process. A long one, most of the time.

          The being strong willed and having strong perspectives and opinions isn’t a bad thing – it is just that our wills must be broken, like a wild stallion – and we must come under the control of the bridle of the Holy Spirit – allowing Him to lead us and to use our power and strength for His purposes. 🙂 That is meekness.

          I’m glad that my response was helpful. At first, we just don’t know what we don’t know. Then, as we continue to learn, we have many, many lightbulb moments along the way. 🙂

          Yes, my heart is very heavy for “Why” as well. I pray she might allow me to share – but more than that, I pray God’s Spirit might open her eyes and help her to see who God is, who she is and that she can trust God and can find total healing in His love for her and that she doesn’t have to continue to suffer so. THANK YOU for praying for her with me!

          Much love
          April

  8. I saw a counselor for awhile. She was a christian counselor and for the most part, she met most the criteria listed in this post. However, when something would happen in my situation that wasn’t so good, she would remind me of things that maybe weren’t necessarily “wrong” in most peoples minds that I hear often, but to me, it was too much. I’m still married , but she said said I could always find someone else if we divorced. She said many times God let’s things play out in divorce and doesn’t stop it. Free will came up ALOT…but not in a hopeful, faithful sort of way.
    She was sweet and meant well but to me, I felt some went against what We have in Gods Word.

  9. My goodness, what an amazing story. Sad to say it doesn’t surprise me, as I’ve seen things happen to others. 🙁 It is unfortunate (to say the least) that even marriage counselors are trained to man-bash, and Christian counsellors are no different. To be honest, I’m not sure “Christian counsellors” are that much better than secular ones; you get a lot of the same stuff, though IMO and IME (my parents took me to several Christian therapists when I was anorexic), they actually shy away from a lot of serious issues, which is no help at all!

    I’m glad this wife has come to see the truth about this. We really cannot be too cautious—wise as serpents and gentle as doves!

    1. Thank you for sharing, Jen!

      Man bashing is so “normal” in our culture, it is practically expected. That makes me very sad. 🙁 I would want any counselor to be careful to speak with honor and the love of God about any client’s spouse and to pray with them for God to work in the situation. Our God is a GREAT God and He is able to do many miracles! How I long for us to put our trust squarely in Him!

      I’m sad to hear about your experience. It sounds like you are doing better now. What was it that helped you heal and overcome your struggle with anorexia? How did you begin to see the lies you had believed and discover God’s truth about you?

      Much love!

      1. I am doing better now, but it really is only through God’s care and grace. It’s still something I occasionally struggle with, and probably always will…it was a process. The health problems due to my anorexia were what finally got my attention to the point I could not ignore it any longer (the warning system God has given our bodies!), and it was just a journey from there. I had friends keeping an eye on me, family, and that counsellor who just helped talk through and understand things. Some of it is, honestly, a blur, because I was a very sick young woman (68 pounds at 21 years old), but obviously the combination of things worked.

        It’s a miracle, really, because I come from a deeply charismatic/Word-Faith background and family, so of course I was marinating in all kinds of lies about God…It is a wonder, it really is! What’s funny is maybe that is in part what led me to the truth—I listened to a lot of the horrible ‘preaching’ and decided to really study my Bible *hard* so I’d understand it all. Did I ever…Ha! The Word of God is alive and active indeed! That struggle has also allowed me to help others fighting with the same illness. It’s still difficult for me to see myself as valuable as a child of God, as someone created by His hand, instead of being “only worth how you look”, but…I don’t know. If He can still love Israel (I’ve been studying Isaiah), I think He can love all of us when we repent and seek Him, no matter what we look like.

        Also…any counsellor that seems in any way to be encouraging the wife to usurp, disrespect, control, dominate, or manipulate her husband is suspect. If he/she says, “Be kind to your husband. Remain calm during disagreements. Don’t cut him off from physical affection,” that’s great—but to call him names? That right there is a HUGE red flag! The counsellor & the patient are not a team—the husband and wife are! Any time a healthcare professional of that sort seeks to align the patient with themselves against the patient’s spouse or drive a wedge between them—unless that spouse is beating the daylights out of the other—gosh, that’s a huge problem, professionally and personally. (Nearly the same goes for family & friends who try to do the same thing.)

        1. Jen,

          Goodness, you were VERY, VERY sick. I praise God that He brought you through that and maybe even used it to draw you to Himself!

          Thankfully, our worth comes because God made us – it is not in our looks at all. In fact, God purposely gave Jesus a body that had nothing about it that would attract us to Him. Have you read Isaiah 53? Absolutely, He can love all of us when we repent and seek Him. He does not show partiality or favoritism and He loves each of us the same. The things that He values are so different from what people value. He values a woman with a gentle, peaceful spirit that does what is right and does not give way to fear. He esteems a person who is humble and contrite in heart. And He HATES pride.

          Yes. I would be very concerned about a counselor or friend who advises a wife to do those things. Those are sinful approaches – and sin hurts us and our husbands and God. Sin never brings good results. Yes, the marriage covenant must be respected and honored far above the relationship between the counselor and patient/person receiving advice. Thank you for sharing!

  10. Ok, I am so utterly confused. I am seeing a female counselor because I am in such a dark place. She has talked to me about setting boundaries with my husband since he will not take no for an answer. Are you saying that is not right???? Some days I long not to get out of bed. She says it is because I am not allowed to say no. I might be tired and my feet hurt, but he wants us to continue on the hike. He is never mean about it. She says it is ok for me to say, “Honey, I love you very much but I am very tired. You and ( my son) can go on and explore and I’ll just wait for you until you get back.” Right now if I say I am tired he jokes me into keeping going and it is like that in all areas of our life. She said that not only is he running himself down, but that I am emotionally, physically and spiritually dry running after him. I worry way too much about disappointing him.

    Is she wrong and if she is, now what. I’ve been trying to do this with God and myself and was sinking only deeper into despair.

    1. Elizabeth,

      It’s totally fine to have a female counselor – if you find one who upholds Scripture, and who lives a godly live filled with God’s power herself! I think you were wise to seek help because you have been in despair for a long time now.

      There are times when our husbands may ask us to do more than we physically can. There are times we may need to say, “I really am too exhausted.” That is not wrong.

      How is your time with God going, my precious sister?

      How much sleep are you getting?

      Much love to you!

    2. Elizabeth,

      There tend to be two extremes that we take things as wives when we are not filled with God’s Spirit and we are trying to do the whole godly wife thing in our own power. Either we tend to become dominating, controlling, disrespectful and unconcerned with our husband’s feelings – OR – we tend to become overly concerned about pleasing our husbands, giving up our ideas, needs, feelings, thoughts, abilities, perspective and influence.

      There is a place in the middle when we are seeking God first, not self and not people pleasing where God can give us the power to soar high above our own fleshly abilities to become the wives He calls us to be.

      A wife in your situation would need to probably focus on learning how to speak up and how to share her needs and desires and ideas more. A wife coming from my background would need to focus on cutting down how much she shares and on learning to be more respectful.

      Sometimes, if a wife who needs to speak up more reads things from the angle of a formerly controlling wife, she may think she needs to be totally quiet and only say yes all the time to her husband. That is NOT at all what I am advocating or what it means to be a godly wife.

      Praying for you my precious sister!

  11. I’ve been going through the 30 days of praise challenge in my quiet time. At this point, praise is just a complete step of obedience. I have no happy feelings of praise just a praise for what is supposed to be true regardless of how I feel. Sleep, I can’t. I go to sleep easily, but wake up many times a night. First I try praying for my husband…then my thoughts go round and round.. Today I woke up with my heart pounding at 2. No reason. I recited Psalm 27:! and 46:1-3, but it doesn’t seem to help..

    1. Elizabeth,

      If you are not sleeping – you are going to have no strength physically, emotionally or spiritually. To me, the first priority right now has got to be to get you some rest. Do you know why you are not sleeping?

      1. Elizabeth,

        I don’t know if you have ever looked at all the adverse health effect to chronic insomnia – but they are pretty major. Depression is one of the issues. And difficulty concentrating, increased risk of heart attack, much greater risk of being in an accident when driving.

        I have insomnia myself.

        Last night, I only slept 3.5 hours max. Thankfully today I don’t have to work. I am usually awful at taking naps. But, I told Greg today I was going to try to take a nap. So, I am going to have my quiet time and breakfast and try to sleep for awhile. If I can’t – oh well. But I am going to try to get what I need so that I have something to give to my family later today.

        Much love!

      2. I don’t have a clue. I normally go to bed between 9 and 10. I have no trouble most nights going to sleep. I just cannot stay asleep. I can’t take naps. I try, but my mind races way too much. That said, if we sit down to watch something on DVD then I can be asleep instantly. Some nights I get up to turn on the news and that helps me go back to sleep. It is the only thing that stops my mind from turning.

        1. Elizabeth,
          Wow. The news would definitely not help me go to sleep! It would get me thinking about all the awful stuff going on in the world!

          Are you able to have some kind of background noise or music on? 🙂

  12. No background music is just white noise and so my thoughts just continue unabated down wrong paths. I need something that I can concentrate on that gets my thoughts out of being stuck like a record player. I don’t know, national news just doesn’t bother me because there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. Plus, in the middle of the night they do a lot of fluff stories like the Clintons becoming grandparents or some cute animal story or human interest story. That works best. I can’t do the old tv shows on METV because I will sometimes get interested in the story lines. ( We don’t have cable, so there are only a few channels to pick from anyway. It is almost the only time I watch network tv.)

  13. I will replay conversations in my head or I will have the conversations I want to have and play them out different ways. If I am conversing with someone by email or on a message board, I will be figuring out exactly what I want to say.

    Lately it is the what if game, which of course you can never win. What if I had done that…would that have been better? Maybe this?? What if I did that?? Perhaps if I had said it in that way?

    Things are much better now in many ways. We have been getting weekly dates for 6 weeks. But what happens if that ends.

    Uggh.. I have to stop. I’m off to read my Bible, just writing all of this makes my heart pound and me feel like I want to run and run and run and never stop or just go to sleep and never wake up. I hate it. Off to read Bible verses.

    1. Elizabeth,

      I used to have that issue, too. This is where it is very helpful, for me, at least, to dissect my motives and what I am believing by writing it down. And then I write down the things I am telling myself and compare that to scripture. Then I have to consciously tear out anything that is not true and consciously replace it with the truth of God’s Word. In this way, I can take my thoughts captive and not let them run away out of control like that.

      It takes some practice, and a lot of power of God’s Spirit and some wrestling through my deepest thoughts and ideas and the power of God’s Word- but it is such a blessing not to constantly have my thoughts out of control and running away into worry or fear.

      I pray God might help you wrestle through these types of things, too, my sweet sister!

    2. Elizabeth and others that have trouble sleeping,

      I had trouble with my mind racing too. A few years I starting something that completely changed my sleeping.

      I started developing a story that I continue each night. If I wake up in the middle of the night, I continue my story. It is like writing a novel in my head.

      My story right now is a trip out west in a covered wagon. I went through the journey of traveling and now we are on the homestead building a house and building a cattle business. I needed some help feeding the hands so I went to town and went to the brothel and hired a woman who wanted to get out. Oh boy, did that cause a rise in the town! I reminded that Jesus probably would have done the same thing.

      Anyway, instead of my mind racing on thoughts and problems of the day, I go to my story. I get very little done on my story each night because now I fall asleep so easily, but that just makes it last longer.

      *Caution…. Makes sure you do not get into a story that involves fantasizing about another man. If you are not comfortable with your husband in your story, then make yourself a young person going on a journey. My husband is in my story but our names are always different to fit the time period and so my mind can completely be away from the here and now.

  14. Well said, April. Thank you for coming back to this topic and being so clear. God literally ensured I couldn’t go back to the male Christian counselor who told me my marriage was headed for divorce through no fault of my own. At the time I didn’t know what to make of a new, major scheduling difficulty after only 1 session. I let it go, pursuing it no further, trusting that God would simply help me put one foot in front of the other. And that’s just what He has done. I praise the Lord for this new day and my wonderful husband! I am so glad He leads even us simple ones with what the world calls foolishness.

    Wrestling is painful, Elizabeth but the rewards are great! Be encouraged.

    1. Refined,

      That was a blessing that you couldn’t go back to that particular counselor. Interesting that you are able to see it now in hind sight. God is so good to give us glimpses to understand things later sometimes. I love what God has done in you! I praise Him for His faithfulness. 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing! And thanks for encouraging our precious sister, Elizabeth. 🙂

  15. So let me ask a question from a different perspective. I am taking a Stephen Ministry training course at my church, where we’re admonished to not consider ourselves counselors or anything like that (I have an interest in possibly going to school for Christian counseling and so I thought being a Stephen Minister might be a good transition for me). Instead, we are to walk alongside our care receivers through their trials, simply being a shoulder and ear for them.

    If I am a caregiver to someone and I feel strongly that there are sins that need to be addressed (of their own, things the care receiver could do to change), but our guidelines tell us that we are not to offer any “counseling” or advice or things like that, am I then just enabling or coddling that person by only listening to them?

    I guess I’m trying to determine if this is something I really should do. My husband and I have discussed it, and I think I did begin the training with the wrong motives, which my husband recognized and pointed out to me himself, but he also feels strongly that I should not quit, but finish the last bit of the training. I just don’t want to put myself in a position where I’m responsible for giving care to someone, but then not be free to admonish them if I truly feel there are areas of sin that need to be brought to light.

    1. M,
      That is a great question. As believers in Christ, I do believe we are responsible to speak the truth in love and to seek to restore our brothers/sisters who are stuck in sin.

      Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Galatians 6:!

      That would be something to prayerfully consider and I am glad you discussed this issue with your husband. I am praying for wisdom for you and your husband!

  16. Interesting similar to my story. We are married since 2 years and almost an half. My husband thinks I have a lot of problems unresolved from the past. I’ve been in an healing process since about 20 years now, mainly though a direct therapy: I and God. I might agree that there are still things unresolved (but who has resolved every problems?) but my husband as well will definitely need to see a professional to deal with his wounds, which he refused.

    I read a lot of books on the topic, even had sometimes people whom I could share with. I did “saw” a christian therapist few times but it was online and I realized she was starting to give me ungodly counsels. So I stopped.

    When we arrived here in Brazil, about 2 years ago, I had a very tough cultural shock adding with being in a marriage with both lack of respect and living with in laws.
    My husband pressured me to see a psychologist. I wanted to see a christian one but couldn’t afford it as my health insurance was giving me the opportunity to see one but non Christian.

    So I went there maybe 10 times. I was mainly speaking about the relationship with my mum, which is quite complex but sometimes, I also shared about the difficulties in my marriage which were (some are still) heavy for me. And she was telling me things like “you need to see if this relationship is good for you”. I tried to explain her than, as a christian, goof or not I will still pursue the relationship.

    But she was still giving me the same advices. At that time, I felt it was releasing me. But my work schedule and unit work change and I couldn’t go cross over town to go there.

    I think this is the best for me having stop it and I pray that God will heal me of the things that still need treatment. I don’t want to see anymore somebody who doesn’t share my christian believes and don’t want to open anymore to woman who don’t share my learning process of respect. Because I know that the answers will be in direct opposition of the word of God and this blog.

    Sometimes, just us and God is the best solution. 🙂

    1. In the very early days and weeks of my marriage breakdown last fall…..I opened up and sought advice from pretty much everyone. WHAT A MISTAKE! It was SO confusing. People projected their hurts onto my situation and got me feeling worse and angrier at my husband. Guy friends started hitting on me. It was terrible. What I learned through that experience is it is best to keep confidence with just a few CLOSE, TRUSTED people. I have my mom and a few prayer partners (female) that pray with me and ALWAYS point me to God. That has made all the difference. If your friends don’t have a relationship with God that bears GOOD FRUIT, do not invite them into this. It will only make it harder.

      I had a friend that was counseling me in the early days and weeks (mostly because she was one of the few Christians I had regular contact with) Well, it turned out that she was in love with another man and wanting to leave her husband because she believed God gave her this other man. She was refusing to forgive her husband for hurts, because she was being led in another direction by the enemy. Her advice was tainted by this.

      Judge the fruit of someone’s life before you take any of their advice to heart!

      1. NW Girl,
        I made the same mistake just weeks before God opened my eyes. I told things to family and friends I should NOT have. I regret sharing too much. What I did only caused MORE damage in our marriage and made the path to healing much longer. Family and friends are probably not going to forgive your husband as quickly as you will if he has done something against you. Or if he has responded unlovingly, even if you were disrespectful first and that was what triggered his response.

        AMEN! Only share with just a very few women that you can trust and who will point you to God. And YES! Look at the fruit in someone’s life before you take their advice. You will probably get the same results they do from what they are doing if you take their advice. Don’t take advice from wives who are bitter, controlling, disrespectful, or far from God!

        I wonder if you might allow me to share these two comments in a post, please? They are so helpful!

        1. Of course! I want to help other wives learn from my mistakes and help them avoid the traps I fell into. You are welcome to use anything you see fit. Love you!

  17. How do you explain to friends and family a sudden, drastic change in your behavior when you start trying to live right? My mother doesn’t doesn’t believe in feminism per say, but most of us have absorbed more than we like to think. How do you combat loving resistance?

    1. Hi Southern Wife!

      I ran into this when I first started leaning hard on God to change and heal me from the inside out. I KNOW my husband was curious about what was making a difference, because he started showing a lot more interest in what I was reading online. He saw the Joyce Meyer app on my phone and asked who she was. I was able to BRIEFLY tell him that I was trying to be a better wife by being a better Christian and so I read and listen to a lot of sources that help me do that. This was months ago and he hasn’t asked for a while, but I have noticed that his antagonism towards me about Christianity and God has lessened SIGNIFICANTLY. He will still occasionally say something, but he doesn’t go on and on about it and the meanness and bitterness behind it has lessened. I wonder if this has something to do with “winning them without a word”? I have faith that someday, he will ask me about God with an open mind and heart. In the meantime, I am doing my best to follow God’s leading and be the best example of His love that I can be…..which is QUITE different from the very selfish way I used to live my life.

      One of the things he used to say to me when we would be fighting about my distrust of him or my jealousy of his female coworkers was “you have faith in this invisible man in the sky…..your God…..but you can’t have any faith in me, your husband, who is right here with you every day. That hurts.”……and you know what, now I get it and I hurt right along with him. I believe God’s love heals…..so I try to invite as much of God’s love into our lives as possible.

      That probably didn’t answer your question very well. It’s just how I am handling a similar situation.

      1. Hi NW Girl,
        Just wanted to say that my husband used to say the same thing! I followed this blog, listened to Aprils advice, prayed , went back to church, and win hubby without a word! This year he gave his life to Jesus, has been Baptised and we now have His in our marriage !Amazing ,I still can’t believe it! A couple of tips are to cook for him every day, less comments or arguing, let his comments, let some of the stuff he says/does go and trust God with the issues! Keep going, don’t look back! So excited for you!xx

        1. JuR,

          WOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

          Would you like to share your story with everyone sometime? No pressure. But I would love to share it. Thank you for your tips. I have a feeling you have a lot of godly wisdom to share with many other wives who are struggling.

          Sending you the biggest hug! And PRAISING GOD with you! YIPPEE!!!!

          1. Of course April, I’m here with my story whenever you need. I love it when a wife might suddenly realise she may be responsible for some problems in the marriage, its very hard to see and admit that we are being hideous sometimes! I will add that my husband was a nightmare to deal with at times, but it wasn’t until I tuned back in to God and my saviour Jesus that things started changing. It was MY HUSBAND who found your blog and led me to it! GOD is good. Thanks for being there for me xx

          2. JuR,

            Every husband is a sinner, too. We all have plenty of reasons to blame our husbands for our marriage problems when we begin this journey. But, almost no one is talking with wives about the things we do to contribute to the problems or talking about our sin. It is very empowering to begin to focus on what God wants us to change – instead of trying to demand that our husbands change. 🙂

            I’m so glad that your husband found this blog and that God used it to begin to heal your marriage. What an incredible answer to my prayers – and to yours, I am sure!

    2. Southern Wife in Training,

      This is an excellent question! For me, I personally had to take a few big steps back emotionally from everyone in my life and just spend time with God for awhile, asking Him to get rid of all the filth in me and rebuild my thoughts, my priorities, my ideas, my plans, my goals, my understanding on His Word alone.

      I had to put a bit more space between myself and my family and friends and not talk about my marriage for quite awhile. It took time for me to be able to have enough wisdom and discretion to be able to say good things and not go too far into saying sinful things.

      I have a post “Do Not Expect Outside Support” that may be helpful.

      And, “Respecting Our Husbands Around Extended Family”

      We have absolutely absorbed more feminism than we would ever have imagined. A book that really helped me understand exactly which of my ideas were from feminists was “Radical Womanhood” by Carolyn McCulley.

      I personally had to apologize to all of my family and friends for being disrespectful and controlling toward them. And for being disrespectful toward my husband to them. And for gossiping and complaining and being contentious and prideful and self-righteous.

      If your mom tends to be overly involved in your marriage or controlling, you will have to say things like:
      – Mom, I wish I could talk about this, but I can’t. I would appreciate your prayers, though! 🙂
      – Thank you for loving me so much and caring so much. My husband and I need to work this out privately.
      – Please don’t say anything negative about my husband.
      – I’m focusing on my walk with Christ right now. I was wrong to talk negatively about my husband before. I can’t do that anymore. I’m sorry.

      If there are specific issues, you are welcome to share and we can talk about them. 🙂

      Much love!
      April

  18. Would it be appropriate to share a praise report here?

    Last Friday, I went to pick up my husband from a bar he was drinking in with a couple of guys from work. One of those guys is consumed by the spirit of lust. He is always going to strip clubs and hitting on girls at work. I HATE it when my husband is around him, but I have been praying about it and giving that situation to God and God IS working. That is a long story for another time. If you think of it, please keep this situation in your prayers. I am praying for this man’s salvation and that in the meantime, God will remove him from my husband’s life.

    Here’s the praise report. When I walked in, this coworker of my husband’s was in his face and I could see the enemy like a predatory animal. My husband immediately reached out to me and put his arm around me. I am not sure sure if it was to protect me or to feel God’s light. I like to think that his spirit recognizes and welcomes that at this point. This cowrker of his antagonized me, but I showed God’s love and light and finally he went away. Yay! Then my husband wanted me to say hi to his boss, who was also there. His boss gave me the biggest hug when he saw me. He said to me “you look incredible. what are you doing?” Now, you HAVE to know that looked beat up! It was the end of the day….makeup and hair were a MESS…..but he saw God’s LOVE and LIGHT shining through. THAT is what he was responding to. This encouraged me more than you could possibly know. 🙂

    1. NW Girl,
      It is always appropriate to share praise reports ANYWHERE on this site. I LOVE hearing what God is doing in people’s lives!

      I will pray right now for wisdom for your husband and for salvation for your husband and for this coworker.

      The joy and peace of God CHANGE your countenance. My twin sister even noticed that my expression looked so different when God began to change me. I didn’t realize I would have overwhelming peace when I first began to seek to obey God and to ask Him to change me. A few months into the journey, I guess, I realized that my mind wasn’t racing and I wasn’t full of worry and fear and anxiety and there was this strange feeling that i didn’t recognize. Suddenly, it dawned on me – OH! THAT IS PEACE! So THAT’S what peace feels like! WOW!

      I’m so glad that your husband reached out for you and what a blessing that your husband’s boss could see a difference in your appearance. SO SO SO BEAUTIFUL! I love it!

      1. Thank you SO much for your prayers, April. My husband used to car pool with this guy. Since I started praying, this guy no longer can car pool. 🙂 Praise God!!!! I’m not stopping there. I have been praying that not only would God remove the bad influences and people that would lead my husband further away from God…..but that God would replace those people in his life with people that would speak God’s truth and shine God’s light into his life. 🙂

        1. NW Girl,

          What a wonderful answer to prayer! Isn’t it amazing?!?! We don’t LOSE power when we respect and honor our husbands and obey God. We gain the power of heaven! We don’t have to force our way anymore. We can rest in God’s sovereignty and watch Him work. That is how we can have gentle, peaceful spirits that do not give way to fear.

          I join you in praying for the salvation of the unsaved coworkers (and their removal if necessary) and also for godly influences in your husband’s life. Most of all, I pray for God to open your husband’s eyes and soften his heart to Himself. Only God can do that!

          Much love!

  19. Ladies, I just want to tell you that many, many times over this last year, when I was frustrated with my husband and our marriage, I would come to this place and read what April had to say……and what many of you had to share in the comments. SUCH a blessing! You don’t even know how much you all have ministered to me. PLEASE, keep sharing here what God is doing in your life and marriage. It matters more than you can know. 🙂

    1. NW Girl,
      What an incredible answer to my prayers. That is my hope – that God might speak to women through this site (and men), and draw them to Himself. The more stories of women on this journey, the better. This is not about me. It is about Jesus! And it is about what He is doing in lives all around the world! WOOHOO!

    2. NW girl,
      I feel the same way!!:D ahh such a huge blessing, I had such a sweet time with God this morning just praising him for many things, and I spent a lot of time thanking Him for April, this blog and you wonderful girls!!:)

      1. learningwife,

        Aw! That makes me cry tears of joy. I’m so thankful for this community of women who are seeking Christ who love, encourage, pray for, exhort and encourage one another. What a blessing each of you are to me!

    3. Amen ! This blog is a real marriage saver! Aprils advice of 1Peter3 as our first assignment,is the first step to freedom. My husband helps on the Alpha course at Church now each week, I have to pinch myself! Our marriage and family life is not perfect and never will be, we are sinners living together trying to get it right, but it’s so much more positive now! All things are possible through Him who strengthens me. Praise God!

  20. Thank you for your answers. I’m just starting on this journey. My natural tendency is to withdraw from everyone for a while, at least till I can get a solid start. I catch myself slipping in and out of “Good Wife” mode when I talk to people I’ve known a while, it’s very inconsistent and confusing. With new people I can start out right and fake it till I make it. Mostly I don’t trust my natural tendencies yet, I’ve been leading myself astray for too long. I feel like I should hibernate this winter and get the major points figured out, make my debut in spring as the new and improved Respectful Wife. I will look for the book you mentioned.

    1. Southern Wife in Training,
      I wanted to go live in a cave for the rest of my life and never talk to another human again when I realized exactly how sinful I was in December of 2008! Suddenly, I saw very clearly that I wasn’t the best Christian wife ever like I had thought I was. I realized that almost every thought I had and almost every word out of my mouth was sin. At first, I definitely didn’t trust myself to talk around anyone!

      But as I studied, and prayed and sought God – He began to change me. THANKFULLY!!

      Here is a post that describes how this process usually goes by my friend, Nina Roesner:
      Learning to Respect and Give up Control Is a Process

  21. i defintely need prayer for wisdom in this area. I have a friend who is a believer. She is dating a man who is seperated but not legally divorced. She opened up to me about her situation and i feel so hrrible that i was silent. I did not speak the truth in love and feel that my silence was condoning. I know He is in the process of getting divorced because of adultry on his wifes part but i still felt that my friend should wait to pursue anything with him. They are already speaking of marraige so i know it is very serious i just dont want to give ungodly counsel.

    1. Hisdaughter,

      Ugh. That could be a very difficult situation. I agree that it would probably not be wise to pursue a relationship with a man who is still married. And, it would probably take quite awhile for him to heal even if it was ok scripturally for him to remarry in such a situation. This would be a good thing to pray about – a lot – and be sure to have God’s wisdom before speaking. But, you could certainly mention the importance of waiting and going very, very slowly, seeking godly counsel from a trusted pastor. The scars and wounds this man will have will be severe. I have a lot of trepidation around the subject of divorce and especially remarriage. The Bible doesn’t speak of remarriage much, but when it does, there are some very strong warnings. This situation would require incredible caution, in my mind.

      Much love!

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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