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aprilnov03 007

What Does It Mean to Be an Ungodly Woman?

Me around 2004 when I was still SO BLIND to all my sin!
Me around 2004 when I was still SO BLIND to all my sin! I was an ungodly woman on a daily basis at this point – even though I THOUGHT I was the most awesome Christian wife ever!

We are going to look at what godly femininity is. But sometimes, a powerful way to study what something is – is to look at what it is NOT. There may be some women for whom all of these things (about being an ungodly woman) would apply – hopefully not! But if any of these things describe our lives now, that is a problem! I don’t want us to compare ourselves to other sinful people, but to the holy standard of God. This may be a bit painful, my sweet sisters. My hope is that we might approach this list prayerfully, humbly asking God to reveal any issues He has in our lives with a willingness to get rid of anything that offends His holiness.

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

I’m estimating that about 60 of the statements below applied to me when God woke me up to my sin in December of 2008. Here is the scary thing – that whole time, I was in church 3 times a week, I read my Bible every day, I prayed sometimes for hours every day. I THOUGHT I was the best Christian wife ever. Yet, my life was overflowing with sin. You can read my story here. PRAISE GOD – HE WOKE ME UP AND CHANGED ME! And He can do the same for each of us! WOOHOO!

Today would be a fantastic day to lay down any sin God convicts us of and to turn completely from our sin in godly sorrow and turn to Christ in faith with a desire to submit fully to Him in trust and to obey Him in all things!

If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9

We are going to go to the Bible for our understanding of what being an ungodly woman looks like.  In our next post, we will look at what Scripture says about godly femininity. Even after we come to Christ, we can choose to have ungodly femininity if we choose to live in our own strength and we choose not to abide in Christ or not to believe His Word or we grieve His Spirit. Not to mention, this is a long process, and there are times, especially in the beginning months and years where we don’t understand and we stumble. But if we are His, we cannot stay in a sinful state for long, because His Spirit will work in us to draw us back to Himself and we will want Him to change us.

The goal is to abide in Him and to be filled with God’s Spirit.

That is the only way to have a godly life. I am not talking about sinless perfection – but I am talking about a generally holy life and a conscience that is deeply grieved by any sin. We can’t do it in our own strength! Only God is good. And only He can produce goodness in us. But praise God He is able to change us and regenerate our souls and transform us to be more and more like Christ! THIS IS SUCH WONDERFUL NEWS! If God empowers us with genuine faith in Himself, He will cause MAJOR and DRAMATIC changes in our lives. We cannot stay the same once we meet Jesus! He changes us. We don’t clean up ourselves. He does all the work. THANK GOD FOR HIS GRACE! There is hope for each of us in Him!

You are welcome to share your thoughts!  (I am very aware that this list is not exhaustive. But – it is already very long!)

UNGODLY WOMANHOOD:

 It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman. Proverbs 21:19

– The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing. Proverbs 9:13

– Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion. Proverbs 11:22

She may:

– do harm to her husband and have hurtful intentions toward him to hurt him spiritually/emotionally/sexually/physically. (Proverbs 31:10-12)

– eat the bread of idleness. (Proverbs 31:27)

allow other people and relationships to be more important than her husband and marriage (parents, friends, children, church, extended family, work). (Matthew 19:5)

allow her husband or other things to be more important than Christ to her. (Matthew 16:24)

– refuse to die to self and to her sinful nature. (Matthew 16:24, Romans 6)

– try to usurp the position of the Holy Spirit in the lives of others as if it is her job to convict people and to make people holy. (John 16:8)

– try to usurp the position of Satan as if it is her job to accuse people and condemn them before God.  (Revelation 12:10)

believe she is good and God is evil. (Luke 18:19, Job 1) She may accuse God of wrongdoing and believe she is right and innocent. (Romans 3:23, Isaiah 64:6)

– not take responsibility for her own sin, but blame others for her sin and expect others to be responsible for her happiness. (Genesis 3)

– think others’ sins are much worse than hers. (Luke 18:11)

– use crude, vulgar language or  cutting sarcasm. (Ephesians 4:29-30, Ephesians 5:4)

– be judgmental, condemning and critical. (Galatians 5:18-21)

– act as if she is sovereign instead of God, as if she is in control over things that really only God can control. (Psalm 103:19)

trust self rather than God. (Psalm 118:8)

– be overcome by fear. (2 Timothy 1:7)

– does not enjoy life.

– encourage others to trust her instead of God or to put her or her wisdom above God and His wisdom in their own lives. She may encourage others to sin in order for her and for them to get what they want rather than doing things God’s way and trusting God. (Genesis 3,  Genesis 16:2)

hate her husband or others and deceive herself into thinking that she can love God at the same time (I John 4:20-21)

– focus on her charm and external beauty. (Proverbs 31:30)

– not fear God in a healthy way – knowing she will ultimately answer to Him for every thought, word and deed she has in this lifetime. (Proverbs 31:30)

bring shame to her husband and is like rottenness in his bones. (Proverbs 12:4)

not trust, believe or obey God. (Matthew 22:37-40) She may believe in God. She may even think she is a believer. But she does not live like she truly trusts God and does not rest in His sovereignty and feels she knows best and has to make things work out herself. This results in GREAT stress, worry, fear and anxiety!

not love others with the love of God (Matthew 22:37-40) – because she has not truly experienced the love of God herself. She cannot give what she does not have. She may try to love by controlling others, by being a people pleaser, by being a victim, by being a martyr or by manipulating with guilt.

– use her power and influence in the marriage to try to tear down her husband spiritually, emotionally, mentally, maybe even sexually and physically – maybe because she feels unloved. (Proverbs 14:1). She may think that if he could just hurt as much as she is hurting, he will love her more. But all she does is destroy him and the marriage.

– use her words to cause destruction and death. (Proverbs 18:21)

– harbor hatred, resentment, bitterness and unforgiveness in her heart. (Galatians 5:20) Maybe she wants to forgive – but it just seems impossible. She feels justified to hang on to grudges and resentment. She doesn’t want to let go of bitterness. She cherishes her bitterness.

– stir up contention at home, in the extended family and at work. She sows strife, gossip, dissension, arguments and discord. (Galatians 5:20)

seek to control her husband instead of to help him. (Genesis 3:16)

– demand time, affection, attention and sex from her husband, wanting desperately to be his first priority. (I Corinthians 13:4-8)

give up her position of influence, her ideas, her thoughts, her strength in Christ, seeking the approval of her husband above the approval of God (making him an idol), or giving in to fear of her husband. (Galatians 1:10)

think she deserves to be abused or mistreated (which is a lie!)  and not know her worth in Christ. (Romans 8)

– be consumed by false humility, insecurity and self-hatred, (a form of pride), accepting lies of this world and the enemy over the truth of the Bible. She leans on her own understanding instead of fully trusting the wisdom of God. (Proverbs 3:5)

– unable to stop the constant stream of worry and “what ifs” in her mind, consumed by fear and thoughts of bad things that might happen.  (Philippians 4:4-8)

– have no godly wisdom or discretion. (Proverbs 11:22)

refuse to submit herself to Christ as LORD and therefore cannot biblically submit to her husband’s God-given leadership either. She is adamant that she will do things HER way. (I Corinthians 11:3)

– answer harshly and stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)

– not honor God’s design for marriage (Ephesians 5:22-33, Titus 2:3-5, Colossians 3:18, I Corinthians 11:3) and she may try to usurp authority from her husband and demand that he submit to her and that she should lead or she may become very passive and go to the other end of the spectrum and become too submissive.

– pridefully believe she knows best, she is right all the time and her husband is wrong unless he agrees with her. (Proverbs 11:2)

May of 2005 - Doing things MY way!!
May of 2005 – Doing things MY way!! I was ALWAYS right. I had to be in control. I didn’t even care that Greg loved my hair long. I didn’t take his feelings into consideration at all. 🙁 What mattered to me then was my feelings.

– bring disgrace on herself, God, her husband and family, and may not even realize it, thinking she is so good. (Proverbs 11:2, Titus 2:5) She may smear her husband on social media or to friends/family/coworkers and say the most hateful things about him, trying to hurt him as much as possible, and not even see how she is smearing filth on the Name of Jesus and how awful her sin looks to God and to everyone else.

– may think that being a godly wife is a way to manipulate God and her husband to give her what she wants. (James 4)

– malign the Word of God by refusing to obey God’s commands for her. (Titus 2:5)

– believe she is superior morally/spiritually to her husband. That is pride and self-righteousness (Matthew 7:1-5, Proverbs 16:18).

use lots of words to try to force her husband to do what she wants and to explain herself. She may believe that if she can just explain herself enough, her husband will see that she is right and will do what she wants.  She believes more words are better. And she doesn’t see the damage her words do.  “Where words are many, sin is not lacking.” Proverbs 10:19 (I Peter 3:1-2)

– gladly or unknowingly disrespect her husband. (I Peter 3:1-2, Ephesians 5:22-33) Respect for husbands is something our culture threw out a few generations ago. Many wives have never even seen what real respect and honor for a husband looks like in marriage. This does not help!!!

– be lazy or be a perfectionist. (Proverbs 31, Titus 2:3)

– be foolish, brash, brazen, loud and arrogant. (Proverbs 9:13)

not guard her heart and her marriage inviting flirtation from other men, moving carelessly toward adultery. (Proverbs 2,5-7)

– believe that if she is sinned against, she is justified to sin against her husband or others even though God gives no free passes for sin and God calls us to overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:9-21)

– be unruly and defiant, with feet that never stay at home. (Proverbs 7:11) Or, she may flirt a lot online or have inappropriate relationships with men at work, church or social media.

dress immodestly – purposely or unintentionally. (Proverbs 7:10)

– have no problem reading and watching sinful things, feeding impure thoughts. (Galatians 5:20) She may be addicted to pornography or the fantasy of romance novels.

– be filled with jealousy and yield to fits of rage. (Galatians 5:20)

– be selfish. (Galatians 5:20)

abuse drugs or alcohol. (Galatians 5:21)

set her heart on many worldly things other than Christ to try to find fulfillment in them – which is idolatry. Friendship with the world is enmity toward God. James 4:4 (Galatians 5:20)

– have a husband who does not feel safe with her spiritually, emotionally, sexually and/or physically. (Proverbs 31:11)

not have dignity or honor. (Proverbs 31)

not be trustworthy. God cannot trust her. Her husband cannot trust her. (Proverbs 31)

not care about her husband’s feelings, needs or desires, placing her own feelings, needs and desires far above his. (I Corinthians 13:4-8, Ephesians 5:22-33)

– be harsh and aggressive. (Proverbs 15:1)

– be filled with anxiety, fear, worry and stress not the power of God’s Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23, I Peter 3:4-6)

– be rude. (I Corinthians 13:5)

– be power-hungry and harbor selfish ambition. (James 3:14, James 4:1-10)

– decide to have an abortion because she is more afraid of the consequences of having a child than she is afraid of God. (Proverbs 1:7) Or because a child is not convenient. Or because she submitted to her husband /boyfriend even though what he asked her to do was clearly sin against God. (Isaiah 57:5, Exodus 20, Psalm 139)

– she may think God cannot forgive her – but He can!!!!! (I John 1:9)

push for divorce against the teaching of Scripture. (Matthew 19:3-12, I Corinthians 7)

gather ungodly counselors to give her the advice she wants to hear. (2 Timothy 4:3)

argue and complain often and have a lot of negative things to say which causes her not to be able to shine for Christ. (Philippians 2:14-16)

– have no grace, mercy or forgiveness to offer to anyone, but she may hold onto grudges, resentment and bitterness. (I John 2, James 2:13)

– constantly dwell on all the things people have done to hurt her and keep score of exactly what others, especially her husband, have done to wrong her. (I Corinthians 13:5)

love sin and evil and hate what is good and right in God’s sight. (I Corinthians 13:6) It is often VERY hard, scary even, for a lot of women to give up their bitterness, pride, control, self-righteousness, gossip, idolatry and sin – until we realize that our choice is that we can keep sin or we can have Jesus. But we cannot have both!

– be irreverent and disrespectful toward God, toward her husband and possibly to others, as well, particularly those in positions of God-given authority. (Titus 2:2)

withhold sex from her husband or use sex as a weapon or as a means of bribery. (I Corinthians 7:1-5) Or she may use her husband’s willingness to have sex with her to determine her self worth and make sex an idol.

– set an ungodly example of femininity, marriage and motherhood. (Titus 2:3)

give ungodly relationship advice to others. (Titus 2:3)

– try to set herself up as an authority over her husband and maybe over men in the church which maligns the Word of God. (I Corinthians 11:3-16, Titus 2:5. I Timothy 2:12)

reject her husband’s God-given leadership and God’s leadership. (I Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 5:22-33, I Peter 3:1-6, Titus 2:3-5)

despise God’s Word, His wisdom and godly correction. Or she may distort God’s Word, ignore God’s Word, choose parts of God’s Word that she doesn’t agree with or  she may just not be able to see or hear God’s Word. She may bristle if anyone dare rebuke her because, after all, she is always right! (Proverbs 1:7)

– be insecure because her security is not in Christ. She may have idols in her heart – self, romance, happiness, control, having her way, her husband, beauty, thinness, wealth, children, etc… Things that are more important to her than Jesus. She cannot find contentment or joy in these other things. She knows she does not measure up and is not finding enough acceptance or validation in them. She is looking to worldly things and people to meet needs that only Jesus can meet. The results are always going to be anxiety, fear, depression, loneliness, discontentment, insecurity and/or bitterness. (Galatians 5:20)

– be involved in any kind of sinful thoughts, words or behavior.

– not have any prick of conscience about staying in sin. Thinks her sin is “not that bad.” (1 John 4, James 2)

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

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10

PRAISE GOD! THERE IS FORGIVENESS, GRACE HEALING and MERCY available for all of my sin and your sin in Jesus Christ!!!!!!!!! His blood can cover ANY sin! When we turn to Him in faith, He can and will cleanse us from all of our sins and filth and He will give us a new heart, mind and soul. He can give us NEW, ABUNDANT LIFE! He gave all for us, now, we surrender all to Him and make Him our Savior and LORD. To find out about having a relationship and being made right with God, please click here.

Me in May of 2014 - full of the love, joy, peace and presence of God. Living in Him is SO much better than clinging to all my pride, self-righteousness, bitterness, unforgiveness, idolatry of self, idolatry of happiness, anxiety and fear!!!!!
Me in May of 2014 – full of the love, joy, peace and presence of God.  I still have thousands of miles to go on this journey to become a godly woman and wife. I’m not perfect. But I am not at all the same person I was. I can’t wait to see all that I get to learn and all that God has in store. 🙂 Thanks for being on this journey with me!

140 thoughts on “What Does It Mean to Be an Ungodly Woman?

  1. Thank you for sharing this list. Although I have grown a lot, I still see myself doing some of these things. I am going to go back over the list slowly and write down any that hit home. I will then give it all to Jesus and nail it all to the cross! “There is power in the name of Jesus to break every chain!” 🙂

    1. Blesseddaughterofaking,

      We have all seen so many ungodly examples. And we do battle our own sinful nature and the sinful, ungodly culture. So, that was my hope! That we might look at this list and ask God to help us see any areas that are snares that we might yield to Jesus and allow Him to change. As we lay our hearts totally bare before Him and yield fully to Him – He can absolutely transform us to be more and more like Christ. This is the lifelong process of sanctification. It is painful – but SO WORTH IT!!!!!!!!!!

      I’m so glad this was a blessing and that you are seeking the power of Jesus to break these chains. WOOHOO!

  2. “we lay our hearts totally bare before Him and yield fully to Him –”

    I’m still struggling how to do this!!! A christian my whole life and I don’t even understand. I want to change and have been working hard and praying for it. I feel so attacked by the enemy that I can’t form words to pray. I read and pray and listen to nothing but KLOVE and I can’t change things I’m trying to change in myself. I surrender every morning and throughout the day. I’m trying but losing.
    I don’t understand how to do all of this so change can take place. I’m fighting the enemy constantly with my mind. I try to be still. I try and rebuke the enemy. Everything is coming against me and I talk to God constantly. It feels easier to give up.
    Thanks for this. I’m going thru each verse.

    1. PLM,

      You are not experiencing God’s power for some reason. I know you have been stuck in this same spot for awhile. I know you want to experience God. I know you are so frustrated. Are there sins you are holding in to and cherishing in your heart? Sometimes a secret pet sin that we won’t let go of can grieve God’s Spirit and we forfeit His power. It has to be ALL HIM doing the changing. All we can do is be willing and trust Him and desire and seek Him, humbling ourselves before Him with the desire to obey and be made holy. But in our own power, if we are trusting ourselves to make ourselves more holy, we can never do this. He is the power source.

      If you have not read The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee, I invite you to! 🙂

      1. PLM,
        This is much more about laying still before God and listening and waiting on a Him than it is about frantically trying to fix things ourself. I hope that makes sense!

        1. I have definitely experienced a sorrowful heart from when I started. I really did want to go in hiding. I’m actually going thru that right now and I’m only on point 4 of this post!!! I can’t stop crying thinking of everything. I’ve changed my thinking in many areas but sometimes things creep back in. Some things are overwhelming in my heart and in the flesh, physical stuff. I
          I just feel like I’m hitting a wall. I am so open with God. I tell Him everything. Even when I’m struggling and doubting. I don’t know how to see or feel God working. I lay things down multiple times. Why do things seem to go right for the ones being disobedient?
          Does God bless my efforts?
          I just want to believe that God will give me a chance to get this right. I don’t want to live my life feeling regret and shame and guilt. I want a chance to get it ALL right…GOD too!

          1. PLM,

            I know you have had a lot of sorrow. We have been talking about these things together for a long time. There are actually two kinds of sorrow. Worldly sorrow that leads to death and godly sorrow that leads to repentance. If your sorrow is leading to despair, ask God to give you His kind of sorrow that leads to repentance and then embrace His promises that He has given to you in His Word.

            This change that a God does in us is done by His power as we trust Him and yield to Him. It is not something we can achieve by “trying harder.”

            Praying for you and sending you a huge hug!!

      2. I am going to get that book! Thank you for the suggestion. Right now, God is really working on me in the area of bringing my thoughts into submission to Him. It takes a lot of effort and mindfulness to NOT automatically go to the dark side with my thoughts, but to actively choose to think of the best case scenario. Do you have any resources that you can recommend for this?

        With regard to feeling His power and victory over some of the same battles we fight over and over, I have found that it’s a ALWAYS a certain thought or assumption or feeling that I cannot let go of. When I am able to let go of it, I am free to grab on to what He has been trying to show/teach me…..that is when I notice forward movement. It feels so good to let go. I wish it were more natural to do so

        1. NW Girl,

          This is an area where we as a church do not seem to focus much. Or, I haven’t seen a lot of emphasis on taking thoughts captive for Christ in the churches where I have been. If we do not do this, we can be blissfully unaware of just how sinful our thoughts and motives are. It is not until we examine our deepest beliefs, thoughts and motives under the intense and blazing light of God’s Word that we can see how filthy and sinful our thoughts can be. And if we allow sinful thoughts and desires to fester, they will bring about sinful words and actions.

          II Corinthians 10:3-5
          For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

          What comes naturally to our sinful nature is sinful thoughts. As we learn to count ourselves dead to sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus (Romans 6-8), God’s Spirit begins to fill us more and more. As we are acting in the nature of God’s Spirit, our thoughts, desires and priorities will be different. He will give us HIS desires, His thoughts, His mindset, His wisdom.. Then that becomes “natural” to us as we are living in the power of His Spirit. And then the old sinful ways become repulsive and unnatural to us. But it is all by God’s power and His work in our lives. There is also a conscious element of practicing. And at first, it is awkward and unnatural to examine our thoughts. At first it is hard to see our true motives – but as we allow ourselves to lie still under the Light of God’s holiness and His Word – He will reveal things to us. Often, He does this in layers. I am not sure we could take it if He showed us ALL of our sin at once!

          Much love!

  3. What a powerful revelation! Praise God for using this forum to confirm so many of the words my husband has said to me so many times!
    While I am struggling through mountains of emotional pain and feel the intense agony of rejection, I am unknowingly doing so many of the things on this list.
    My husband has spent countless hours rebuking me and telling me I am doing these things but I have been blind to my own sin! I know I fall short in numerous ways, but I have seen myself as loving and kind and submissive.
    Last night my husband of just 3 months said he can’t take it anymore and he is just about to end our brand new marriage 🙁
    I love the Lord with all my heart and cant imagine life without this man I adore.
    Bless you for sharing this list as it confirms what I am doing and must lay before the Cross TODAY!
    I want to please God above all else and I want to submit to and honour my husband.
    Please pray for the Lord to bring healing and restoration to my heart and marriage.
    In Christ Jesus
    Tracy

    1. Tracy,

      The first 3 months of our marriage was the hardest by far! Things went really wrong in many ways and my response to not getting what I wanted and to all of the circumstances I didn’t like were awful!

      I am praying for you, my precious sister! It is painful to see our sin. It is painful to realize we are wretched sinners. But – there is hope in Christ! I pray that you might genuinely repent and allow God to work His miracles in you. 🙂 I wish I had understood this stuff 3 months into my marriage – instead of not seeing it for 14.5 years.

      Praying for wisdom for you both and for healing and restoration for your heart, your relationship with Christ and your marriage. Please let me know how you are doing, my precious sister!

  4. Hi April. I really didn’t like a lot of what I read in your post today, BUT I know God is working His truth into me thru you and thru His Word. I am sooo looking forward to meeting you in a few weeks down here in sunny Florida for the ladies conference you’re coming to at my church. I’m working with Susan on the facility end of things. My marriage situation is a really strange one, so I’ll pray we can make some time together so I can glean some wisdom from you. Also please be sure to bring cards or flyers about your blog with you that I could hand out to the ladies at my church because there are several of us that would enjoy getting together and going thru these principles. Have a great weekend and a safe drive down. Love, Lori

    1. Lori,

      It is some ugly stuff. And it is VERY hard to read! Yes. I totally understand that. But I love your willingness to allow God to work in your heart. That is a beautiful thing! I can’t wait to meet you and I hope we get some time to chat.

      Much love to you!

  5. Tracy,
    prayed for your marriage and will continue too.
    Luke 18:27 The things that are impossible with men are possible with God.”

    Lord Bless,

    Amy

  6. Thank you so much for this list & the scripture references. You are a blessing to the body of Christ. I love how the Word of God opens our eyes to our own sin, it challenges us & it changes us.

    1. Crystal,

      God’s Word is alive and active and sharper than any two-edged sword. It is able to divide our thoughts and feelings and expose the true motives of our heart. Hebrews 4:16.

      This is the painful part – but until we see our sin and how desperately we need Jesus – we can’t truly love and appreciate the enormity of all that He has done for us. When we really see what wretched sinners we are, then we can see a glimpse of the depth of His love and the extent of His sacrifice and the magnitude of our debt to God that Jesus’ blood paid for. THEN, we can joyfully, willingly submit to such a God as He melts away our fears. Then we want to obey and love and please Him out of gratitude and joy – not out of drudgery or duty.

      I’m so glad this is a blessing – I pray God might use it for the good of many – to draw many to Himself. 🙂

      1. I forgot to mention how helpful the Scripture references were, and the other ladies are right about their helpfulness in such a list. It is funny…it’s painful to read, and you sort of wince, but…it’s good, too, isn’t it? I wish I could explain it but I can’t. Perhaps the best explanation is when C.S. Lewis writes about Aslan clawing the dragon off of Eustace—it hurt like the dickens, it was terrifying (I do not want a lion clawing me!)…but it was good. It was a good and great thing. So maybe that’s how such convicting verses are, and that’s probably God’s intent. I think if we read these and feel that twinge or shame or guilt…that’s good, because it says we’re sensitive to God. Still going through the comments but I am praying for the troubled ladies as I read!

  7. Oh April! This is hard for me. I WANT to change. I want to let go of my insecurities. But it is so, so, so, so hard. I think, “do I even deserve to be happy?” I don’t know. Life isn’t all about happiness. You even did a post about the idol of happiness. I sometimes think that i am so bothered and worried about not focusing on happiness, that I go too far the other way and keep telling myself a good woman does not focus on her own happiness. In fact, she runs from it. This is crazy because when I ask my husband what he wants, his reply is often, “I want for you to be happy.”

    Then I start to think, I’ll be happier when I’m thinner, smarter, get a career, become more attractive, have some purpose in life, be good at something, do anything worth doing, etc., etc., etc.

    My husband thinks I am fine just the way I am and tells me I do a lot, but I don’t think so. I’m just a mom. Let’s face it, the truly godly women do it all, run the home, run a business, dress well, etc. think of the Proverbs 31 woman who is everything I could never be.

    Okay, I’m stopping with that cause I’m going off track.
    I wonder if the enemy knows my weakness and so he keeps bludgeoning me with it. He’s not going to get to me through drugs or alcohol (Lord willing) so why not kick me where it hurts? My insecurity. To the point that I even get mad at people who are secure. I feel like what right do they have to be secure when I have to be so insecure? Why do I have to be the stupid, grumpy one? I get it, I don’t have to be that way. But I have no clue how to feel any differently.

    I am not making excuses, but I was put down constantly as a child and teenager, and I think stuff like that sticks. I know I need to let it go. What’s even weirder and more annoying is if someone compliments me I reject it immediately because I know they are lying or buttering me up for something. If someone insults me or puts me down I accept it as absolute truth. I’m nuts. I know. I get all the “Dr Phil” type stuff about why I’m acting stupid, but I can’t change. I simply can’t.

    I am saved. I know that. Am I living 100% for God? Obviously not or I wouldn’t be feeling this way. I once had a Pastor who said the happiest people are those who know God and are living for Him. The next happiest people are the unsaved, who just don’t know any better, and the unhappiest people are those who are saved but not living for God. I never thought that was me, but here I am.

    What makes me insane is all the talk about “find your worth in Christ. Find your security in Christ.” What does that even mean???? Christ is worthy. I am unworthy or I wouldn’t need a savior. Believing in Christ and what He did for us does not make a person prettier, or thinner, or more attractive to their husband.

    Here’s what’s even crazier. What I have, most women would probably be happy about. My husband loves me. I know that. Why he loves me I have no clue. I’ll even ask him why and he says “I just do.” That’s a pretty evasive answer if you ask me. That just proves to me that there’s no real reason to love me.

    I just deleted the bulk of my comment, because really, who needs to hear me whine? I have no one to talk to. I put up a very happy front most of the time, but yes, I’m still hurting. My “friends” are all busy. They have lives, perfect lives, and businesses to run, and important jobs. And how do you confide in someone with a near perfect life? They will just judge you and think you are a loser who cannot handle life.

    I went to a Bible study once, but I didn’t share much because most of the women were pretty close to perfect, far more mature and spiritual, and they would have most likely been appalled by my feelings. I don’t like many women, I don’t trust them. In my experience they gossip far too much and make themselves feel better by putting others (me 🙂 ) down.

    So from your list, here is where my main struggles lie:

    – demand time, affection, attention and sex from her husband, wanting desperately to be his first priority. (I Corinthians 13:4-8)

    I wouldn’t call myself demanding, but I do get annoyed when I’ve missed him all day and he comes home and that stupid cell phone starts going off from this crew or that crew. I get it that he has to work, but he thinks about work all.the.time. He’s gotten better. He used to work 7 days a week, but he stopped working Sundays most of the time. I’m thankful for that, but he is an admitted workaholic. I always figured he just wanted to spend as much time away from me as possible. (And reading this people probably think who would want to be around me I complain so much, but most of this I keep bottled up inside, so complaining isn’t a huge issue, most of the time.)

    I don’t demand sex, in fact, I refuse to initiate anymore due to past hurts. But once a week does hurt. It’s like I’m not good enough to be wanted as much as regular wives.

    – think she deserves to be abused or mistreated (which is a lie!) and not know her worth in Christ. (Romans 8)

    I wouldn’t use he word abused, but it’s a tough world out there. Why would I deserve to be treated any better than anyone else? I’m not really good at anything. I’m okay, but I don’t stand out anywhere. And there’s that worth in Christ thing again. I don’t get it. Christ is worthy. We are not, which is why we need Him as our savior. I think I’m going to have to write this down and pray and pray about it and ASK God to show me what this means because I just don’t get it. Running around saying I don’t need friends or I don’t need my husband to want me because I’m worthy just makes no sense in the world to me.

    – be consumed by false humility, insecurity and self-hatred, (a form of pride), accepting lies of this world and the enemy over the truth of the Bible. She leans on her own understanding instead of fully trusting the wisdom of God. (Proverbs 3:5)

    This is me. There’s not really any defense here. This is where I’m stuck.

    – unable to stop the constant stream of worry and “what ifs” in her mind, consumed by fear and thoughts of bad things that might happen. (Philippians 4:4-8)

    This used to be me, but by the grace of god this one I have been slowly overcoming. I still worry, but not as much as I used to. This I contribute somewhat to having a great deal of responsibility starting at six years old, when my mom went back to work, and getting in BIG trouble if I got something wrong (ie, forgot to lock the door, forgot to make sure my older sisters curling iron was unplugged, forgot my homework, etc.)

    Sorry for the long winded response. I’ve been feeling pretty down lately. My husband is healing for our previous rough stretch and I want to heal, too. But I can’t. I just can’t seem to move forward.

    1. If I could be so bold as to request prayer – for what I don’t know. Healing? Understanding? I often feel like crying but I won’t. I refuse to cry because we all know crying is weakness. Sometimes I’ll cry a little if I’m alone but then I hate myself for giving in.

      And I cannot bring myself to sing. Something is wrong as I’ve always been a singer. I’ve been asked to sing at weddings, funerals, etc. But recently someone close to me said they thought they didn’t like my voice. And just like that I lost all interest in singing. I’ve sung for years. I cannot even sing during worship in church. That concerns even my husband. What is wrong with me? Maybe it’s just all part of getting old. It’s weird though, I’ve been saved for about 15 years, but these issues have only been bothering me for two or three years. Maybe it’s middle age. 🙂

      1. Becca,

        Where does God’s Word say that crying is weakness? God asks His people to repent in tears and mourning over their sins. Jesus wept over His dead friend Lazarus. Crying is not weakness. Crying is vulnerability. And I think that is something you are afraid of. But you don’t have to be.

        It’s ok to cry out to God and to cry when you are sad. You are human. You have emotions and feelings. That is a good thing. Expressing your feelings is good!

        Thankfully – the only one you need to focus on pleasing is God. Not that person who said he/she doesn’t like your voice. Focus on what God thinks about you, not what some person thinks! A person’s opinion should not sway and alter your whole life. They are not God. That was just a person’s opinion. It’s fine to listen and prayerfully consider what people say. But then reject the things that are unhealthy and not true and only keep the things that are true and honoring to God.

        God commands His people to sing joyfully to Him. Check out the Psalms and Ephesians 5:1-21 and I Thessalonians 5:16-18.

        You are giving other people and their opinions more weight in your life than the Word of God. This should never be!

        I am praying for you – for healing and understanding. I pray you might cry today as God shows you His truth and His heart for you – that you might run out of that awful prison and into the Light Christ has for you. 🙂

      2. Hi Becca,

        I am praying for you, because I know exactly what you are feeling. Insecurity and never feeling like I was “good enough” have plagued me since childhood. It’s exhausting to always worry about being as “normal” as everyone else and trying to find ways to “fix” everything wrong with you that is holding you back from enjoying the happy, “normal” life that everyone else enjoys. It’s only been in the last year, since I started this journey, that I realized “normal” is a big lie. No one is “normal”…..no one has a perfect, happy life. Everyone has struggles and imperfections…..and most everyone hides them.

        I feel like middle age intensifies those insecurities that live inside us. It’s no longer as easy to…. lose weight, or look good in the latest fashion, or have a great hair day, or even take a good photo on the first try! LOL! There are things that are BETTER about middle age, though. I think it’s easier to step out of yourself and make new friends. It’s easier (financially) to do the things and see the places you have always wanted to. There’s actually a lot of advantages to being in this stage of life. The hormone changes are NOT one of those advantages, though. Feeling like you could cry at any moment……being grouchy and irritated with everyone for no good reason……overnight acne eruptions (seriously? I have to do this again?) Ugh! It’s almost like going through puberty again, isn’t it? Even if you’re not going through menopause, these little drops and peaks in the different hormones can do a variety of nasty things to us.
        I KNOW this sounds cliche and I rejected this advice as cliche for a long time, but it really works…..TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOURSELF. I have noticed that running or exercising for just 30 minutes a day REALLY helps. Pedicures, facials, shopping, lunch at a place you have always wanted to visit…….these things all help! I went on a business trip with my husband earlier this year. He was consumed with working long hours (and it didn’t help my mind that he was working with some young, attractive women in the store)….so, I spent those days doing all these type of things for myself and I had the BEST time ever, without him or his attention. When we did get together at night for dinner, he noticed how happy and refreshed I was. He just invited me to join him on another trip he is going on soon…..and I will be doing the same, exact thing…..and I can’t wait! Just remember that you are kind of going through hormone hell again and be EXTRA KIND to yourself.

        I’m wondering if any ladies here have made it through this time of life and have any suggestions for things that helped? I’m taking Vitamin D and B, along with some herbs for hormone balance and I feel like that has helped a lot……but I am always willing to try something that has helped someone else. 🙂

          1. Awesome posts! Thanks for the links!

            Is it possible that men might have physical/hormonal causes for lowered libido? One of the expectations I have to keep giving up to God is the idea that normal men “want it” all the time. My husband is not in the best physical shape and he takes on a lot of work stress. When we are on vacation, things are a lot closer to my idea of “normal”, though he is still not an “all the time” guy. I’m working very hard to give that expectation to God and was just wondering if maybe some additional info from a medical perspective might help me put that pesky idea of “normal male libido” to rest. Thanks for any info!

          2. NW Girl,

            Absolutely, it is entirely possible for men to have physical/hormonal causes of low libido – and emotional or spiritual causes, too.

            There is a wide range of normal. Obesity, many RXs, stress, exhaustion and low testosterone are some of the things that can contribute to low libido in men.

            In about 40% of marriages, the husband is the lower drive spouse and the wife is the higher drive spouse. And my suspicion is that this is more common among husbands who tend to be passive. I think part of them being passive is that they may have lower testosterone. High testosterone husbands tend to respond to a controlling wife with anger, not passivity. It would be fascinating to do a study on this!

            I have a post about this, let me find it!

          3. Thank you!!! I am going to read this and absorb.

            In my husband’s first marriage, his wife NEVER wanted to be intimate and he learned to live with that, never cheating on her. I think that should probably tell me two things……he is an extremely loyal man (praise God)….and he may have a lower T-level, which allowed him to do that.

            Once again, I know you hear this all the time, but thank you for this ministry. Between you and the other ladies that post here, I am so encouraged!

          4. NW Girl,
            I am so glad you are encouraged! Sometimes, when we read even Christian marriage books, they make it sound like every husband wants sex twice a day or at minimum once a day. But that is not reality. No one talks about this. But we need to!

            I’m so thankful we can be on this journey together!

      3. Dear sweet sister Becca, I cannot begin to imagine how sad you’re feeling when you berate yourself about so very many things. Believe me when I say, I am not a medical nut and certainly not advocating medication, BUT have you had your hormone & thyroid levels checked recently?? There could be something really, easily adjusted in your body that is making it hard to stop focusing on only the negatives. The comment you made about being “just a mom” is one of the highest callings God can bless you with. Lead your babies by example and get your beautiful song back!!
        I will pray for you look forward to hearing how God leads you out of this darkness and brings you to the place where you can offer encouragement to others that are struggling – hear me – THE SAME WAY YOU ARE!
        Please don’t give up.
        Love, Lori

      4. Becca,

        You have been, and will continue to be, in my thoughts and prayers. You are very dear to my heart!

        Love,
        Heather (HisHelper)

    2. Becca,

      My precious sister! I love you so much!!!!!! And I hurt for you. I don’t look down on you at all. In fact, I praise and thank God for you because you are so good at articulating where you are stuck, what your deepest thoughts are and how you are feeling – and that is an important thing. Many women can’t get to that step and stay stuck not even realizing what their deepest thoughts are.

      Let’s put a few truths out there, ok, my sweet girl?

      – NONE of us deserve anything good. We all deserve hell. We are all big time sinners and “the wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23
      – Yes, Jesus is worthy. We are not. You are correct there.

      – None of us “deserve” to be happy – as in “we are good enough on our own” to deserve everything we think we want and to never have to ever suffer in this cursed world. It is not necessary to run from happiness. It is a good thing to enjoy happiness when it comes. It is bad to make happiness your entire goal in life. Happiness is not “bad” in itself. The issue is our motives and our priorities and whether we are seeking to find LIFE in Christ or in something or someone else.

      – It IS possible to make misery an idol, too, you know. Some people love to be miserable. Greg actually told me that he thought I loved to be miserable one time. I got SO offended! But you know what? That is all I focused on. I focused on the 5% or 1% or 0.00001% of things that were “wrong” in my view instead of being thankful for all the blessings of God that I had. That is what being a perfectionist does.

      Here is where I believe you are veering off into very dangerous territory. (I am praying that God will open your eyes because I can explain this for hours every day for a year – but until God opens your eyes, you will not be able to see it.)

      – I wonder if you are not changing because there are lies that you cherish greatly that you are not willing to let go of? Maybe your identity is “I’m not good enough. I’ll never be good enough. I can never be like a ‘normal’ wife.” And maybe you are terrified to let go of this identity? Is that a possibility?

      – What if some of your expectations of yourself are wrong or destructive?

      – What if some of your beliefs about yourself are wrong? Are you willing to examine that in depth and discard anything that is not true? Even if you have ALWAYS believed it was true and even if other people reinforced those lies to you for years? Are you willing to throw out everything you think you know about yourself, your identity, your worth, your value, your abilities and chunk it all in the trash and burn it – and rebuild your life on the truth of God’s Word alone? We all have to do this when we come to Christ.

      – What if you are buying the lies of the enemy and sabotaging yourself? Are you willing to stop listening to him? Are you willing to consciously choose to reject his lies and consciously choose to replace them with the truth of the Bible about yourself? You CAN change – but it will mean that you take this step that I don’t know that you are willing to take. Maybe the lies feel familiar and “comfortable” in some way?

      – Of course the enemy knows your weaknesses and is willing to exploit your insecurities. YES! And he will continue to do so. You have rolled out the red carpet for him and are serving him tea every day listening to everything he has to say to you while you are keeping Jesus on the porch and refuse to let Him in and listen to Him. Please understand, those are your choices. You can have these lies that feel comfortable and familiar that come from the enemy of your soul, or you can have Christ. But you can’t have both.

      – You are so intent on accusing your husband and finding fault in his love for you that you won’t even relax and enjoy the fact that you are loved deeply. You won’t rest in God’s love and you won’t rest in your husband’s love. Why? Unbelief? Again, you are choosing to believe the lies and refusing to believe the truth, even though the truth would heal you and set you free.

      – God loves you because He is love. You aren’t worthy of His love. You don’t deserve it. It is because of His character. He made you -and He loves you. Your husband loves you because he does. He is a pretty remarkable man. You are greatly blessed – but you don’t want to embrace that. I think it terrifies you to accept that you are loved and that you are blessed. Why is that? What would happen if you received these good gifts?

      – NO ONE is perfect on this earth. Only God is perfect. Maybe women seem perfect from a distance. But we are all wretched sinners. The only good in us comes from God. No need to compare yourself to other women. Compare yourself to Jesus and allow Him to transform you to be just like Him. 🙂

      – Maybe your husband has his own sin issues to work on and maybe being a workaholic has more to do with him than it has to do with you? Is that possible?

      – You are thinking these negative, toxic thoughts all the time – you may not be verbally complaining – but I am sure that your spirit does not show the joy and peace of Christ. You cannot get the joy and peace of Christ from a heart that is full of a toxic mess of untruths.

      To find your worth in Christ means that you have value because He made you. You have value because He loves you. You are loved and accepted and forgiven entirely because of Him and not because of anything you have done. It is ALL about Him!

      – Yes, insecurity and self-loathing is where you are stuck. It makes me really sad. Because this is not where God wants you to be. God wants you to live in Romans 8. Here is what God says about you. You can call God a liar – which is really what you have been doing. Or you can decide that He speaks the truth, and if what you believe doesn’t jive with His Word, then YOUR thoughts are the ones that need adjusting.

      Your dungeon door is wide open now. Jesus opened it. Your shackles have fallen off. You are free in Christ. But you do have a choice to stay miserable in that dungeon. OR, you can get up and walk out of there and run into the glorious freedom, joy, peace and abundant spiritual life that Christ has already provided for you. You CAN change. Jesus is able to change you. You just have to be willing to let go of the old ways of thinking and embrace God’s truth. You have to be willing to stop depending on your sinful human wisdom and to begin to lean on the wisdom and power of God that is far above your wisdom and understanding.

      Much love and a big hug to you!

      1. Two things…. one, I have a friend who is a working mom and has a very good, ‘prestigious’ job. She is insecure and feels she cannot measure up. She feels like she is not important or good enough because she is stretched so thin. Satan will attack ALL of us, working mom or stay at home mom. None are above that.

        Secondly. Please read Goodbye Insecurity, You’ve Been a Bad Friend by Beth Moore. Such a powerful book. I really think it could help you right now.

        1. I am sorry- I just want to tell you I had the title wrong! It is “So Long Insecurity, You’ve Been A Bad Friend To Us”

          1. You are so welcome! I hope you enjoy it. I actually pulled my copy back out to read again after mentioning it here.

    3. Becca

      I am not April and I don’t claim to have even half the wisdom that she does but I do want to reach out to you.

      I want to tell you that you can find your worth in Christ because He finds you worthy. So much so that he was willing to die on a cross. Just. for. you. Drink that in, sister.

      You are worthy because you are HIS creation, beautifully and wonderfully made. You are worthy because you are an heir and joint heir with Christ.

      Finding your security in Christ….. a note about that…. it means that you don’t rely on your husband to get your needs met- you don’t make him responsible for this. (And I am right there learning with you! It is a PROCESS)… it means that we find all our joy and contentment in our relationship with God. We get to where (I’m not totally there yet, either) we turn to GOD for our unmet needs- for love, support, priority. We can know that HE treasures HIS time with us.

      If you are not in God’s word daily, get in. It makes SUCH a difference in the condition of my heart and my attitude toward others. This is a must!

      You know what? I am ‘just a mom’ too. But God has graciously allowed me the privilege of staying home to raise my children and make a home for my husband and our children. It is easy to feel like you are not as important as others because you don’t work. I get that. But that is LIES. We are all on equal standing. Don’t allow Satan to tell you that you don’t matter! You matter very much in the corner of the world God has placed you in.

      You sound as if you may be a bit lonely…. if this is correct, do you have a sister or other family member you can spend time with? Some good girlfriends? Going out to lunch even once or twice a month can really lift your spirits. My sister and I can talk non-stop just about beauty, makeup, clothes and hair when we are together! Fun girl time.

      I am praying comfort for your hurting heart. And I am on this journey right along with you. It isn’t always easy! But it is THE best way. It is the only true path to peace. Taking our eyes off of everyone else and putting them squarely on Christ!

      1. Thank you, A Fellow Wife, for reaching out to Becca with me. And for praying for her – and the dozens others just like her – who are stuck on these sinful ways of thinking. Please pray with me everyone that God might use His Word to reveal true beliefs, thoughts and motives and that we might consciously choose to reject sin and evil and lies and consciously choose to build our lives on the Rock of Christ and His Word. Then our lives will be prepared to stand firm when the crashing waves and winds come because we will no longer be building our lives on sinking sand of human wisdom and sinful lies.

        1. April – Did you also find it a big turning point when you could actually FEEL the grief and pain that your sin had caused? For me, a LOT of dying to self (ugh) had to happen first……but when I finally got to that point, it was such a relief (!!!!), because to me, being able to feel that meant that God had healed my scarred, hardened heart. If you cannot feel pain in your body, you run the risk of doing something that injures it. I believe it is the same with our spirit. Being able to feel that pain is a gift because it makes you sooooooo not want to do that thing that caused the pain ever again! The longer I stayed in self-protection mode and focused on the injustices or what my husband was doing/not doing…..the longer I had to live with those scars and callouses on my heart…..and God HAS to remove those to transform us.

          It seems like the opposite of what the world tells us to do, but go for it and embrace the pain. Ask God to show you what He wants you to see & learn from it. HE WILL!!!! After a while, you will see why it was necessary and you will be thankful for it. I know, it seems crazy, but it is true!

          1. NW Girl,

            I accepted Christ at age 5. I never was involved in any “awful sin.” I was a “good girl,” a straight A student. I waited to have sex on our wedding night. I didn’t drink and never did drugs or smoked cigarettes. I only got in trouble once at school and that was for waiting for my friend at her locker before lunch. We were late to lunch – and we both got detention. I cried and cried. My Daddy laughed and laughed. I played flute and piano and practiced an hour on each one each day and won competitions. I was talented, smart, had plenty of friends, was careful to try to include everyone. I was a leader in the youth group at church. I was always very involved at church. I read my Bible every day and sometimes prayed up to four hours per day.

            What I did not understand was that I was a WRETCHED sinner. I didn’t understand that until that moment in the bookstore in December of 2008. That was HUMBLING. I was mortified. I was finally confronted with the enormity of my own sinfulness and wickedness. I was in shock. I thought I would never be able to love Jesus like “those sinners who had to be forgiven for a lot of sin.” Because I “didn’t really owe Jesus that much”. Um. Wrong! Turns out I owe Jesus just as much as any other sinner in the world. But, realizing that has freed me to love Jesus so much more and to be so much more thankful.

            Yes, I had to see my sins clearly. And see just how wicked and evil my heart is. I had to mourn over my sins and realize how desperately I needed the blood, mercy, grace and forgiveness of Christ. I didn’t owe Jesus $200. I owed Him billions of sin dollars in debt. It was a debt I could never ever repay.

            Thank you for sharing this, my precious sister!!!!!

    4. Becca,

      My heart is hurting for you. I have far less wisdom than many other women here, and April and A Fellow Wife have both written so much good meat to chew on, but I had one thing that I thought I’d share. This helped me get over a big hump that seemed to be blocking my faith. I’m not saying that I’ve completely overcome that hump, because a lot of what you said sounds so familiar, but this is one thing I’ve tried to do:
      – “Stop asking ‘why?’. Try to “fake it till you make it.”

      This was essentially the advice of my mom and another godly woman who counsels me, both around the same time (God thing?! I’d say so). They said, just for, say, a month, see what happens if you act like you believe everything God says about Himself and about you is all true. “On the days when you’re tempted to stop and question how/why it’s true, live as if it is anyway. Choose to believe Him. Live as if you believe it with your whole heart, not just little bits and pieces, here and there, or only when it seems like it makes sense in your own head.”

      This is I suppose what 2 Corinthians 10 refers to in “taking every thought captive.” It’s a process of disciplining your own thoughts, to where they are obedient to God and aligned with His word, no matter what you feel like doing or dwelling on. I think David does a lot of this in the Psalms; he seems to wrestle with trying to figure out where God is, and then all of a sudden in the next line he praises and thanks God for being there. Did God change from being absent to present? I don’t think He does that.

      God has said and promised that His love for you is real and infinitely vast and covers all your sin and unworthiness. He loves you as He loves His own Son. You are His precious child! Is it hard to believe that? Yes it’s hard! Choose to believe it anyway. Do you believe Him? Has He ever lied? I know that God is only truth; lies are never from Him. So if He has said this, do I believe it? I can choose to obey Him and believe it.

      Your thoughts and feelings and “happiness” are constantly being barraged by Satan (yes, that is absolutely his tactic), and if you focus on what they tell you, you are not focusing on Christ. He is the only thing you can truly put all your trust in. You can NOT put it in yourself, strange as that sounds.

      Thinking through this issue, I was reminded of something I printed out and put up on my wall, because I need to read it often. It sounds a lot like what April wrote, but I’m going to repeat it anyway. Charles Spurgeon wrote a beautiful piece of commentary on Hebrews 12:2, which says in part: “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith…”

      Spurgeon wrote: “It is ever the Holy Spirit’s work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus, but Satan’s work is just the opposite of this, for he is constantly trying to make us regard ourselves instead of Christ. He insinuates, ‘Your sins are too great for pardon. You have no faith… you have not the joy of his children. You have such a wavering hold of Jesus.’ All these are thoughts about self, and we shall never find comfort or assurance by looking within.”

      He goes on: “Therefore, look not so much to your hand with which you are grasping Christ, as to Christ. Look not to your hope, but to Jesus, the source of your hope. Look not to your faith, but to Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith. We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings – it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul. If we would at once overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by ‘looking to Jesus.’ Keep your eye simply on him. Let his death, his sufferings, his merits, his glories, his intercession, be fresh upon your mind. When you wake in the morning look to him. When you lie down at night look to him. Oh! Do not let your hopes or fears come between you and Jesus – follow hard after him, and he will never fail you.”

      I hope that none of this sounds like I’m giving you some trite answer: that you just have to do this simple thing, and if that doesn’t work then you’re hopeless. That is the opposite of my intention!! We all struggle with our faith! The man in Mark 9 cried out, “Lord I believe, help my unbelief!” Paul laments his own destructive sinful nature in Romans 7 (and to me it sounds a lot like he’s crying, talking about doing what he does not want to do, and calling himself a wretched man), but then Romans 8 immediately recognizes that as believers we are NOT condemned, because of Christ’s work. “If Christ is in you, although the body [this includes our thoughts, heart, feelings, words, and deeds, everything that is part of our sinful nature] is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of [Christ’s] righteousness.” You are absolutely not alone in this. It will continue to be hard while we are in this body, but the grace of God is about changing our earthly bodies to be like His glorious body, in every way.

      Sorry for the long comment, but I am praying for you, dear sister. I hope that God shows you more of Himself to where all the negative voices are drowned out by His loving voice, and you sing for joy.

      1. Carol,
        Please don’t apologize! This is such a blessing. I hope you might allow me to share it as a post, please! 🙂

        Thank you to everyone for reaching out to Becca – and not just to her – but to all who are feeling discouraged like she is.

        1. You are absolutely welcome to share it however you feel is appropriate. I think these are some ways of looking at God’s truths that have helped me personally, and I would love for it to be a blessing to someone else! 🙂

          1. Thank you so much, Carol! I can’t wait to share. I love the way everyone comes together and encourages each other and shares what God teaches her. So beautiful!

    5. Hi Becca,
      I hope you see my message even though its kind of a late reply. I can relate to you so much! Just last night I was telling my husband again that I really wish I could see myself as special and of some sort of worth (of course in God’s eyes) because I struggle with very crippling insecurities. You can seriously email me at cristis86@yahoo.com if you ever want to talk. I will pray for you. I totally understand you on not knowing what to even ask for prayer but it’s nice to know that God does know our deepest hearts pain and struggles and He is faithful. I could write a ton of stuff on here and share my struggles to let you see that you’re not alone in this, but there’s just too much. I just want you to know that there is freedom and God can help you and me get out of this!

    6. Had to weigh in….truly godly women don’t “do it all”. I hate the fact that we equate success with being able to “do it all”. We do what we can, and we do our best. Please don’t feel that being “godly” means doing it all!

  8. In school, my girls and I are reading about the Roman empire. We are in a section contrasting Mark Antony’s wife, Octavia, and His mistress who later became his wife, Cleopatra. And boy was there a stark contrast. I believe Cleopatra is the epitome of an Ungodly woman. She had a desire for power that destroyed not just marriages but many men and women. She was manipulative and vain. She used her beauty, wealth and sexuality to get what she wanted. She captured the hearts of powerful men and then used them to do her bidding. She is a picture of a Woman using her God-given power (which we all possess as women) for evil.

    Then there was Octavia. She desired peace in Rome and she went about that by being a wife, mom and homemaker. A quote from the book says that “Even though i cannot help protect Rome as others do…here in my own home i can do my part.” Then it goes on to say that she dedicated her life to making a comfortable home for Antony. Wow! What a mindset. Later in their story he ends up leaving her and going to Egypt to be with Cleopatra. Everyone around her tells her to leave his home and move on but Octavia stayed and didn’t want to give up hope unless he gave her a bill of divorce.(I’m not advocating that women who are dealing with a spouse’s adultry should do this, I’m just admiring her commitment as a wife.)

    After we read that part my 10 year old daughter said, “Mom, Octavia seems like a Godly woman.” My thoughts immediately went to this post I read earlier and I had to ask myself, “Who am I more like – Cleoptra or Octavia?” No, I dont have a desire to rule the world and establish an empire where I reign as queen. But before God opened my eyes to my sin on a daily basis, I struggled with my husband for the control of my home. I wanted things to work out the “right” way a.k.a. “my” way and when they didn’t i would resort to manipulation. Either through crying, nagging, or screaming. Because of deep fear and pride, I usurped my Husband’s position.

    Though I could quote the verses and say, “My Husband is the head of our home,” I tried to run things behind the scenes. So though my husband made the decsions it was really him doing my bidding. And the sad thing is that until God convicted me of my sin last year, I didn’t think anything was wrong with this. I operated in most of the things on this list. I wanted to decide everything and I did not have a gentle and quiet spirit. Fear was the driving force in my life instead of being filled with the Holy Spirit, I was filled with worry and anxiety all the time.I meditated day and night, just not on God’s word. Instead, I meditated on all my husband’s sins and the ways he had hurt me.

    I was so ungrateful. I was not content in my God-given role and I really didnt understand it. I have learned that as women we have power. Immense power!!!! We are gonna either surrender to God and allow Him to use us the way He designed us to be used and build up our homes or we will be foolish and tear it down with our own hands. All of God’s Word is true and in Proverbs 14:1 says “the wise woman builds her home but the foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.”

    I can tell you that Gods word is true. When I did marriage my own way and did not give God full control, I was an ungodly, foolish woman and I tore my home down. My husband left and my children suffered much. But GOD!!!!!! He opened my blind eyes and convicted me, led me to repentance, forgave me and then empowered me to bring glory to His name. He rebuilt my marriage on a firm foundation and is making me into a wise woman who builds her home. I can look at this list now and because of the amazing GRACE God has bestowed upon me and only because of his Grace and Mercy, I am no longer that woman. She is dead and Christ lives in me!! I still stumble I am far from perfect but He is transforming me now there is immediate conviction thanks to His Spirit that dwells in me. Praise be to our awesome, merciful, faithful God!!!!

    1. Jessica…
      Oh I soooo needed this today.
      I’m kinda like Ovtavia right now.
      I hope I get a second chance at this!
      Thanks for sharing!!!

      1. PLM ill be praying for you. Our God is a redeeming God. He is the God have a second and third and fourth and fifth and…….chance and if he can restore my marraige He can restore any marraige.My husband and i were seperated for about a year and during that time he met someone else, So i coould kind of relate to Octavia too. God used that time and the whole situation to bring to a place where i looked to Him and Him alone to meet every need and then he taught me how to pour out that love taht he had poured into me.

        1. Oh I’m responsible for lots of the damage…now I’m just waiting on a God. He’s the only one that can do anything with all of this mess but I stand on the Word for my marriage and family as I work through done things with God. Some things I don’t understand how to stop the enemy and get rid of the junk. It always desks back!
          Keeping faith , hope and trust in all of this. Sometimes it seems easier to give up when no prayers get answered. I feel like I’ll never get where I need to be send this will be the rest of my life.
          Thanks again

          1. PLM i know how it feels to want to give up
            when you dont see answered prayer, but my sweet sister God is working. I love a qoute that i read once by John Piper that said that “even when the circumstances don’t add up, God is always at work. God is always doing 10,000 things we can’t see.” The battle is not yours its the Lords He will bring you out. With your hand in His He will take you where He wants you to be in His timing.

          2. A very close friend of mind has been in spiritual bondage and darkness for years. At least 7 years, maybe more. She is a believer. I have been praying and praying for her fervently for healing. Just this past weekend, God opened her eyes to her sin, that she had been blind to. And He opened her eyes to Himself. Woohoo!!!!!

            God’s timing is perfect. I praise and thank Him for her deliverance. Sometimes prayers are answered quickly. Sometimes it takes years, maybe decades. Sometimes we may not see the answer until we are in heaven. Sometimes the answer to our prayers is “no.” If something is not God’s will, or we are praying with wrong motives. Sometimes the answer is “wait.”

            Praying for God’s will and His glory for your unanswered prayers, PLM! 🙂

          3. Thank you for sharing about your friend, April. That’s a huge praise! Thank you, Jesus!! Such a powerful reminder to never give up in praying for others.

          4. Julie,
            This friend could not hear me. I tried to explain and explain many times. But, she could not hear and would respond with anger and criticism. My words cannot win anyone. My words cannot convict anyone. There have been women I shared with and witnessed to multiple times a day every day for over 6 months. But, until God’s Spirit opens a person’s eyes, they cannot see. Praise God that He is able to open the eyes of people!!! We can share. But it is God who does the work, the convicting and brings others to genuine repentance. Such an amazing thing to see!!!

  9. Praise our AMAZING, Merciful, Loving Father, who never gives up on us and gives us everything we need to fully experience life the way He originally intended.

    I LOVE reading all the stories of victory that you ladies have shared here!!! I am learning SO MUCH from all of you. Thank you!

  10. Thank you, everyone, for your kind words. I need to reread all of this and digest it. There’s a lot here! 🙂

    FellowWife, I had to smile to myself when you asked about my sister. Yes, I often feel lonely. I am envious of people with sisters who love them. I have one sister, and I love her, and I realize she is human, and being unsaved she has as many issues as I do if not far more. But she has never liked me. I was born just before Christmas when she was 5 years old, and to this day she says I ruined her life by being born. She has even told her own children that. How could I control being born? She took every opportunity to tell me every day how fat I was, how “Amazon woman like” I was, how ugly I was, how no boy would ever really like me, how incompetent I was at everything. (BTW, I was athletic in hs, not really fat or ugly, although at the time I believed her.) Because (and I’m speculating the reason here) I tried to be strong and keep going, while she had so many issues, my mom catered to her and still does to this day. They both look down on me. We are the “religious nuts” in the family. My mom will drive three hours to do something for my sister, but when I asked her to come stay with my kids for a night so my husband and I could go and celebrate our 20th anniversary, she was too busy. For multiple weekends. That was hurtful. We just won’t celebrate. Some people are worthy of a celebration, some aren’t. But that’s an issue I thought I’d let go, so… Moving on! 🙂

    Anyhow, I have a lot to think about. I think I need to spend less time praying by talking and more time trying to listen.

    I don’t want to be miserable, I want to change. I want to find strength and worth in Christ. I think I need to stop thinking about everyone else and start examining my own heart. Painful and ugly as that may be.

    It’s not easy. I have so many thoughts and I hate dwelling on them. I’m not making sense. I don’t want to think too deeply because it hurts so much.

    We recently started attending a new church. The preaching is amazing and it’s like fresh water pouring over you. I feel like breaking down and crying. But I can’t. Not in front of people. Not in front of my kids. Everyone gets all freaked out and concerned and it’s annoying. So I do my best to push it down and to bury it. I cried a lot as a kid and was always told to group and knock it off. You can only cry if you’re badly hurt (physically). It’s getting harder and harder to hold it in, though. I got teary eyes in church the second week, and my family was all worried – I quickly brushed it off the best I could. Let’s just say crying is not where I want to go right now.

    I’m going to go for now and reread all of this again tonight. Thank you, all of you, for caring enough to reply and share truth.

    1. Becca,

      Your sister and mom are sinners. What they did and said show how far they are from God – they are not accurately reflecting your value in Christ to you in the ways they have treated you. And one day, they will regret their sin against you deeply.

      I kind of wish I could shake you just a little – very gently, of course – when you say “Some people are worthy of a celebration, some aren’t.” Maybe it didn’t work out to have the celebration you wanted. That is frustrating and disappointing. That does not mean it’s wrong to want a celebration or that you are “not worthy of a celebration.” And it doesn’t mean your mom is right to not help you. How I pray you will find freedom from this self-sabotaging, destructive mindset, my precious sister!!!!!!! It is hard to see someone thinking lies, absorbing lies, believing lies, making themselves miserable, suffering so much and to see the path to freedom, peace and joy but not to be able to get them there. But I can’t get you there. That is not something I can control. I can only point you in the direction. Then it is all up to you and God.

      I think focusing on your own heart is a REALLY good idea. Yes. It will be painful. But when you have gangrene in your foot – and you find out about it. Having your foot amputated is painful – yes. But it is not nearly as painful as letting the gangrene go and destroying your life. I hope that makes sense! The pain of not addressing the issues in your heart will be greater than the pain of allowing God to address the issues now.

      You are making sense! We have ALL been in a very similar place. This is where we all start.

      I cry every week in church. Every week. When we sing about God’s love and what Jesus did for me – I am overcome with emotion, thankfulness, sadness, joy, worship, praise… My kids worry about me. I keep tissues in my purse. I tell them to focus up front. And then I cry. Sometimes I sob. Yep. SOB. Especially when we sing Power of the Cross by the Gettys.

      Who cares if people get freaked out. You are a human being and you are a woman and you have emotions. God gave you emotions for good reasons. Your emotions are a blessing – if you are willing to listen to them – but not let them consume you. They can point you to God. They can help you know when you are being taken advantage of. They can tell you that you are sad and need to talk to a godly friend. God gave them to you to be a warning system and a blessing.

      It is not a gift to our families for us not to share our feminine perspectives, our emotions, our gifts, our personalities, our ideas, our feelings and our needs. Our children NEED to know that women have feelings and needs and desires. They need to see us express those things in a godly, healthy way. Our sons need to see that. Our daughters need to see that.

      What you were taught about expressing feelings was not biblical or godly. It is ok to reject the ungodly things from your upbringing and from your past experiences and to choose healthy, godly, beautiful, powerful ways of relating to God and to your husband and children. Every day that goes by with you still trapped is just another day for you to continue to model an ungodly example to your children. And it is another pointless and unnecessary day of misery.

      This is going to be painful. That is ok. Pain is not always the enemy. We are all right here beside you. You are safe and loved here. And you can cry any time you want to. You know what you will find? We will be ready to give you virtual hugs. And we may even cry with you.

      You are precious and valuable because God made you.

      You love your children just because they are yours, I am sure. God loves us because He made us. We are His beloved children.
      Take your time. Ask God to help you have a teachable spirit to be able to absorb what He desires you to absorb. I am praying with you for healing.

      Much love!

    2. Becca

      A few quick things I want to say…

      One, you DO have sisters! MANY sisters in Christ. You may have to step out of your comfort zone to find one you can be close enough to be a friend with but ask God to bring one along and then wait for that to happen.

      Secondly… I deeply, DEEPLY understand having family wounds. I wish I had the time to explain my situation more in depth….But here is what I have learned:
      1-Hurting people hurt people. There is something very wrong with them, NOT you. They are broken. It is sad. But you can’t get stuck in their web. Sometimes we have to move on and set boundaries with others, even family members.
      2-You get 2 families in this life… if the first doesn’t measure up, you have another beautiful family to enjoy.
      3-We all have to decide to be a Victim or a Victor. It is hard to not be the victim! I fall in that trap even sometimes now! But there is SO much of a blessing in being a Victor. You can do it!
      4- We rarely EVER have a chance to go out alone. So, we have learned to have a honeymoon in a crowd…. meaning, we don’t let that stop us. We take our kids out to dinner with us on our anniversary. We have movie nights with the kids. And we enjoy our nice master bedroom with a lock on the door. 🙂 You can do this. Nurture your marriage anyways!

    3. To Becca, for the past three and a half years, I have cried every single week in church. At first I cried out to God telling him how sorry I was that I couldn’t do what He wanted. Then I cried because I was in so much emotional pain. Then I cried because I was so sorry grieving my sins. Then I cried because God was so good to come and find his little lost sheep. Then I cried out of gratitude for God giving me another chance. Now I cry because He is healing me and giving me small bits of joy. Interestingly I never cried once when I had open heart surgery five years ago. But yeah, I sing and raise my arms to Jesus in heaven right in front of everyone (freakin’ ’em out) and tears stream down my face while I worship. “When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them…”

  11. Becca – You are in the perfect position for change. You want it. You have realized that your old ways are not working for you and you want to embrace something new. 🙂

    You may find that once a week is not enough spiritual feeding for your hungry soul. Find some church podcasts with sermons that speak to you and listen to them every day, if necessary. Just today, I listened to the same sermon about defeating toxic thoughts 3x! I got more from it, each time. I have found that listening to God’s word…..and celebrating His goodness every day makes a HUGE difference in your mindset. 🙂

    Praying for you!

    1. I love listening to the sermons from Brook Hill Church where David Platt was pastor until recently. But the other pastor I have heard there has been very good too. Great idea, NW Girl!

    2. You know what I am excited about? I believe Becca is ready for God to work in her heart. And – I know He has such amazing plans to use her in the future to minister to many, many wives who are stuck exactly where she is right now. And she will be able to describe the process of how God opened her eyes and helped her to understand. I can’t wait to see how many women are going to be blessed in the future by Becca’s ministry one day to wives.

      It is through our deepest pain that God often births our ministries.

      I know that is far in the future. But – I couldn’t see that far when I was at the stage where Becca is. Now I can. I know God is able to bring such beauty from your life, Becca! I am excited and already thanking and praising Him for what He is going to do in your heart.

      Much love!

      1. I know that God opened my eyes when He did so that I could minister to wives who were suffering in similar ways. If I had learned this stuff the first summer I got married, I wouldn’t be able to have this ministry now! God’s timing is perfect. He is even able to use all of my sin and messed up junk for His glory. He is soooo good.

  12. April, this is just such a great post! I can definitely see areas God and I need to work on. You have put some things I have spent time studying and wondering about but remained confused with into plainer English for me. No doubt there are Biblical topics we all have puzzlement over.

    If we Christian ladies began acting in accordance with God’s plan, just imagine the light and orderly example that would bring to a dark and traumatic world, maybe even helping some see Christ!

    I wonder…You are right about there being so few examples of a wife respecting her husband & submitting to him these days. It seems especially that it would be easy for a woman to become a doormat in her attempt, which is not exactly correct, either! Are there any, for instance, movie or television wives who’d be good examples? We might have to go quite a ways back to find them, but surely they must be there, even a few. I adore old movies but am actually drawing a blank at the moment—the closest that comes to mind is Irene Dunne in “I Remember Mama” and the mother in “How Green Was My Valley”. Also, maybe Greer Garson in “Mrs. Miniver”, though IIRC, her husband is gone for much of the movie. I’d have to watch the films again to be sure. And there’s Ma Ingalls from “Little House”—I’ve not read the books or seen the show in ages, but remember admiring how hardworking and dedicated she always was, and usually pretty calm in even the worst situations (I do think Mrs. Oleson was a pretty blatant example of an ungodly wife—controlling, domineering, gossiping, proud, even cruel). I just wonder if having a sort of cultural touchpoint that way might be helpful to wives. Being Hollywood, it’s tough, but just a thought.

    1. Jen,
      Now you are catching my vision – and, I believe, God’s vision! That is exactly my prayer – that God’s women all over the world in every church of His would hear His voice clearly, would repent of any sin in our own lives, would wholeheartedly submit ourselves to the Lordship of Christ and would shine brightly for Him! I can absolutely imagine the changes that this would bring to the world. And, of course, I pray the same for our brothers in Christ, as well. It is my deepest prayer that God might send a Great Awakening to His people. That we might forsake friendship with the world and cling to Him and rise to become the holy, godly, Spirit-filled generation that He calls us to be for His greatest glory!

      I haven’t watched Little House on the Prairie in a very long time. But, I do believe that Ma Ingalls may be a pretty good example of godly femininity, respecting her husband and submitting to his God-given leadership. And, you are right, Mrs. Olson, was a vibrant example of an ungodly woman.

      The Duggars offer a pretty good example of the husband leading the family and the wife honoring, respecting and submitting to her husband’s leadership.

      Thanks for sharing these other movies. I am not familiar with them, but they may be helpful to other women, as well.

      It is painful to read this kind of a list – but – until we see our sinfulness, we cannot fully appreciate the grace, mercy and forgiveness of Christ. I sure couldn’t. When I thought I wasn’t really that “bad of a sinner” until about 6 years ago, I didn’t value and treasure the grace and blood of Christ nearly as much. That is very sad. 🙁 But when God showed me that I was a wretched sinner – then the grace, mercy, forgiveness and blood of Christ took on a much deeper meaning and significance for me. I had to see clearly first that I didn’t just owe God $200. I owed Him BILLIONS. Every waking moment for decades, I lived as if I was sovereign and as if I was in charge, not God. I trusted self so much more than God. I carried constant bitterness, unforgiveness and resentment. I put many things above Christ in my heart – my happiness, romance, my marriage, my husband, my will, being in control… Every waking moment my heart and mind were just overflowing with sin. I was so prideful and self-righteous. I tried to demand that Greg and God do what I wanted and felt that they needed to do whatever I thought was best. Ugh. My motives were almost all sinful. And I had no idea.

      We have to see the depths of our sin the way God sees them before we can truly understand what Jesus did for us and how precious His sacrifice is. It does hurt – but our response to these things is a good indicator of where we are spiritually, for sure. Are we sensitive to God’s Spirit, or are we spiritually dead? But once we do see our sin and the entirety of it accurately and we are deeply grieved over our sin and turn away from it to Christ in faith, THEN, we can be completely filled with awe, thanksgiving, joy, gratitude, praise, worship and blessing for God. That is what motivates us to want to honor, love and submit to Jesus. Then we are not obeying Him out of drudgery or ritual but out of genuine love and joy.

      That is my prayer for everyone on the planet. I want everyone to get to experience the abundant spiritual life that Jesus has made available to each of us!

      Thanks for praying for the ladies who are hurting and struggling!

      Much love!

  13. Thank you so much for sharing your testimony. I have too been pressing in to God and the holy spirit has been showing me these same things you have brought up. I just want to say how much I hate Satan and how much he robs us women of the joy and peace God has intended for us….society tells us of a feministic way of life that strips us from the gifts of God but Gods word teaches us the righteous way so that even if we live with a non christian husband or one who is not as close to God …. we don’t have to be afraid and think that we will miss out from the joy of the Lord in marriage because that comes from within not from circumstances but by obey Gods word….praise God cause he has made it so simple …. our husband or fathers (head covering) problems are not our consern for that’s between God and him…our consern as women is do we help them are we gentle quiet meek loving …. do we honor them 🙂 oh how the stress and worry of them is gone…..I no longer look and focus on their sins or issues but focus on my own sins and how I can bless them…and I’m so free to be joyful in the Lord! I get so blessed seeing God work in my life and in my families in Gods timing and not mine 🙂 and what’s most important I no longer get the glory for teaching them the way of God or telling them how to act because God does …he teaches them and through that he teaches me …. God is so wonderful I love Him so much and I have so much love for my family more then I could ever imagined . Praise God his word is perfect right to the last full stop.

    1. Naomi,
      I had no idea how much feministic thought I had absorbed from the world and our culture. I read a book, “Radical Womanhood” by Carolyn McCulley” about 5 years ago or so. She was a radical feminist atheist and took women’s studies in college, but later came to Christ in her late twenties. She talks about the history of feminism and the founders of feminism and shares quotes from them and their agendas and talks about their own beliefs about God and their marriages.

      I wept and wept as I read that book. I recognized so many thoughts in my head that originated from these feminist atheist women about 100 years ago. If I had known where these ideas had come from, I would never have accepted them. But they became so mainstream, I just absorbed the poison without even knowing what I had swallowed. I got angry. Really angry. I felt so robbed. The ideals of a handful of women, most of whom completely hated God and the Bible, had greatly wounded my femininity and my marriage and family. And I had allowed that to happen.

      God’s way is the only way that brings peace and joy and that brings harmony, light, fellowship and beauty. I’m thankful for the chance to rip the lies and the ungodly ideas and ideals out of my soul with the help and power and light of God’s Word and to rebuild on His Word alone. That is my desire and goal.

      Yes, God’s ways bring such peace, joy and fulfillment as we trust Him and long to know Him more and to honor and please Him.

      That was one of the first steps I had to take too – was to focus on all the things I was thankful for about Greg and to focus on my own sin and my own obedience to God and how I could be a blessing. Such a better focus!

      I am thrilled about what God is doing in your heart and soul and in your marriage and family! WOOOHOOO! Praise God! Thank you so much for sharing!

  14. Daughter,

    I talked about grace right at the beginning of the post! In fact, if you go back and look at it, I said almost everything there that you just said here about that it is all by God’s power and grace that we change, not of ourselves. I want to balance this with grace. I believe I did. I also talked about grace at the end of the post. But I will add a few verses about grace. 🙂 The post on Monday is about being a godly wife completely by the power and grace of God. And I talk about our motives being thankfulness and joy.

    Thanks for bringing up your concerns. 🙂

  15. Hi April,

    I’m glad you posted this list. I wish I could say it was painful to read but I need to be honest and say I simply feel numb. The list stirred nothing in me even though I could recognize my guilt in nearly every statement. I’ve simply built up so much anger, bitterness, and hurt towards both God and my husband (which I know is sinful).

    Oddly enough, I’ve been praying about whether I should attend a spiritual healing/recovery group at my church. This numbness when seeing my sin so clearly seems like a pretty direct answer that spiritual healing is needed and now is the time.

    God moves in mysterious ways.

    1. Sadrianazea,

      Bitterness and resentment are unbelievably toxic. I held on to both for many, many years. 🙁 I don’t want anyone else to do that! It destroys our fellowship with God and destroys relationships more than almost any other sin, in my view.

      I’m glad that you can see your guilt. I’m glad that you can see you are numb. And I am VERY glad you can see that this is a problem.

      Praise God, He is able to heal you and restore you to Himself if you are willing to let go of the bitterness and anger and turn to Him in faith and trust!!!!

      I have some posts about bitterness and forgiveness if you are interested. You can search my home page search bar for “bitterness” and “forgiveness.”

      Much love! Please let me know how you are doing, my precious sister!

  16. Dear sisters in Christ
    This post has been so powerful and opened my eyes in so may ways! Just yesterday I shared the pain and struggles of my 3 month old marriage and I was amazed to read how many dear women feel so many of the things I feel every day!
    We love the Lord and desire to serve Him but cannot get past our hurt and bitterness and sinful thoughts.
    We are so blind-sided by the Enemy and allow him to enter our lives and thoughts in countless ways!
    I just began a Bible Study based on the book “The Excellent Wife” and it is life changing!!
    As I read the posts this morning, the Lord suddenly opened my eyes and I feel such intense conviction!
    Last night my beautiful Godly husband sat before me and with tears in his eyes told me how I have torn him down and made him feel worthless. He said that he had fallen so far from grace in my eyes it was unbearable. Initially I had showered him with praise and told him how incredible he was and now I can only see what he is NOT!
    Just now I feel this tremendous compassion and love for him and my spirit is so grieved for the pain I have caused him and God!
    I have been acting and reacting out of a lifetime of pain and rejection and abuse and I have been “giving” it all to this dear man I claim to love and adore!
    I surrender this to my Heavenly Father and repent of my ungodly ways!
    I pray and humbly ask my fellow sisters in Christ to pray that the Lord will change my heart and teach me new ways going forward.
    I have been that foolish woman in Proverbs who has been tearing down my house with my own hands!!
    May my Lord forgive me and continue to transform me for His glory!!
    Blessings to you all for your honesty and vulnerability in sharing your struggles!
    In Christ
    Tracy

    1. Tracy,

      This brings me tears of great joy! True repentance is so beautiful! And it is the beginning – a doorway – to many more beautiful things and powerful, heavenly things to come!

      I love that you feel compassion and love for your husband and that you are grieving over your sin and the pain that sin has caused God and your husband. I pray that God might powerfully work in your heart and life to continue to draw you to Himself, to refine and purge you of the sinful dross and lies and ungodly ways of thinking, and to cause you to become mature, complete and lacking nothing in Christ.

      This attitude – this humility, godly sorrow, godly love, desire for God and desire to obey Him is exactly the state of mind – the being “poor in spirit” – where God can and will begin to work mightily for His glory.

      I praise God for what He is doing and birthing in you. I wish I could hug your neck, my precious girl!!!!!!

      WOOHOO!

    2. Tracy,
      I am praying for you, Dear Sister! Sure sounds like you are moving in the right direction. That’s such a praise when God shows us our blind spots.

      Being humbled in the face of our sin is so painful, but once faced, there is such a tremendous liberation that we now can move forward in positive ways to mend the hurts and to find ways to bless instead of hurt others.

      I wish I had read Shaunti Feldhan’s book “For Women Only” early in my marriage. It’s recommended on April’s fave book page. It really gave me more compassion and understanding for my husband in a gentle fashion. It is one of my fave books now.

      Radio talk show host, Dennis Prager talks about “The missing tile ‘syndrom'”. We walk into a room where everything is in place except for one tile missing on the ceiling. Where do our eyes focus? On that one missing tile. Our eyes go directly to it immediately. We easily do the same when we look at others. But praise God we don’t have to!

  17. Really awesome post April! And a little off topic- but … i am on a particular facebook group for organizing and saw a post with a lot of women bashing their husbands for being “another child” “immature” “slobs” and some even saying they need “daddy chore charts” I was so appalled! A while back I would have read it and just brushed over it. I wouldn’t have laughed or took part but I wouldn’t have thought twice about it. (it is so common now-a-days!) BUT after reading your blog for a while now and a couple books (Love and Respect and The Surrendered Wife) I actually noticed it right away and was appalled/shocked! I did comment back and said I couldn’t believe how some were talking and im sure their men work hard and would like to lounge on weekends and they shouldn’t demean them! Not many liked my comment but some said “yea but we women work too, its very disrespectful to us” I just said that im sure they do things that annoy their husbands too we aren’t perfect, and their husbands arent on facebook demeaning the wives! It wasnt a very popular comment that I posted BUT I just want to thank you for your blog and all that you do- through you I actually see it so much now, right away where as before I didnt even think twice. And its mainly your blog, not the books, b/c you give such good practical application. So thank you!! 🙂

    1. Shana,

      This breaks my heart. Insulting and disrespecting men, especially husbands, has become so mainstream, that we don’t even see we are doing it, as a culture. Even among Christian women, man bashing and husband bashing is just “normal” and expected. How sad is that!? But when God begins to work in our hearts and shows us His design for marriage and how He wants us to treat others, including our husbands and men, we realize just how messed up our culture is and how wrongly we are treating our men. 🙁

      I am proud of you for not just ignoring this. It is possible that as we speak up a bit more about showing respect to others, including our husbands and men in general, that maybe other women will begin to see what we are doing and how destructive it is. Many women have never questioned the way things are and don’t realize how poorly men are often treated in our culture and in our marriages. But maybe God would like to use us to begin to shine His light and set an example of how we can treat our husbands with honor and respect. It won’t be popular. But maybe God might use us to bless other marriages.

      I praise God for what He is doing in your life!

  18. Hi April,

    Firstly love your boldness to step out and share what has been laid on your heart, that’s seriously awesome!

    I’d be lying if I said your post didn’t challenge and wrestle with me.
    I guess where I am finding dissonance occurring, is in the striving to be a godly woman/wife.

    What I’ve learnt and experienced about the nature of who God is, is he longs after us. Longs to be able to journey with us through the daily struggles and battles we face, in the similar way David, in spite of his ungodly ways still sought out The Lord.
    I guess the part I find hard about this post is that it appears almost like striving towards giving God the perfect temple/life or areas of life, when God knows that we actually don’t have the capacity or strength to do it ourselves.

    Furthermore, I also find it difficult to understand what defines a godly woman and ungodly woman, in that, the only way to tell would be based on works and even then we don’t truly see the heart of that woman in the same way God does, which can be a slippery slope as we begin to judge others (in turn leading us into what is labelled as an ungodly woman.)

    I say this out of love and experience, that in striving to be a godly woman in my own life, God has been quick to remind me that only in Him do we find our worth, identity and value. It is when we understand that, in which the other areas like peace, patience, faithfulness etc. just become fruit of that relationship.
    Maybe rather than striving for the fruit of relationship (or the benefits of a relationship), we need to embrace the essence of being in relationship with Him. What are your thoughts on that? 🙂

    As I said earlier April, I really appreciate your heart and discipline to write blog posts that challenge and encourage other women. It’s really cool!!

    1. Aspenbruce,

      Thanks for sharing your concerns.

      I have a post about godly femininity coming on Monday. There was way too much to attempt to address both issues in one post. Really, even each of these posts are probably too long. It is difficult to be thorough and brief at the same time. That is why I am thankful that I can write more than one post!

      I completely agree with you that God longs after us and that He knows we cannot possibly do this ourselves. That is why I mentioned His power and His grace before and after the list of ungodly traits. And that is why I will be addressing that issue – that it is all His power working in and through us as we abide in Him and His Word abides in us and how this is a life-long journey of sanctification in Mondays’ post. It is not about us trying hard enough – which I mentioned in the beginning of the post. 🙂

      I am not attempting to say that we should judge other women. This post is about us examining our own lives and hearts under the brilliant Light of God’s Word and His calling for us. That we might identify sin and agree with God about our sin and turn from it and turn to God. That is my prayer and goal here.

      Yes, it is His Spirit abiding in us, living in us, dwelling in us as we build relationship and yield to Him as LORD that gives us the power to obey Him. We have no power on our own – as I mentioned in the post.

      I believe we are actually on the same page. My deepest apologies if I did not explain this clearly enough! I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for you!

      Much love!

      1. Thanks for the prompt reply, so cool!

        Thanks for the clarification it really did help to bring light to it all 😊

        In fact, looking at it again with that clarity in mind I would have to agree with your last comment, I do think we’re on the same page, but just share the message to different audiences/types of people 😊 (I blog for a site called Mainstream Detox; which looks at encouraging women in who they are/embracing their uniqueness, rather than striving to meet the media’s ‘ideal’ 😊 the link is http://mainstreamdetox.com if you wanted to check it out).

        What I think that is so cool about the nature of God is how He uses different people to share the beauty of who He is!

        Keep up the awesome work April, purely based on the earlier comments from others above you’re doing some seriously awesome stuff for God 😊 proud of ya!

  19. “Not trust, believe or obey God”. Matthew 22:28
    Is that the correct scripture for this point? I couldn’t connect the two.
    Thanks!

  20. Wow. This list really hurt, because I fall into so many of the things written here.

    The funny thing is I see it when I do it, and I do it anyways because it’s easier to sin than to follow what is pleasing to the LORD.
    E.g If i get in trouble, the easiest thing to do is to lie and not take responsibility for my actions or lack of.

    Thank you for this list. It has just reminded me of the need to arm myself and not rely on my own strength, or take lightly just how much God hates sin.

    1. Smilinghope,

      I think that as sinful humans, it is easy for us not to understand how much God hates sin. We are prone to justify and rationalize our own sin – after all, “The human heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.” Jeremiah 17:9

      It is “easier” and “more natural” to our sinful nature to do what comes naturally to that nature. THANKFULLY – when we allow God’s Spirit full control and we are completely yielded to Him, trusting Him and committed to obeying Him no matter what the cost to us – He is able to create new and different desires in us that match His own. He is able to help us hate sin the way He does and to love righteousness and then He even gives us His power to do what is right and good. I’m so glad for this! WHAT GREAT NEWS! If it were not for Jesus – we would all be in a heap of trouble.

      I’m so glad that this list accomplished its’ purpose – it is a bit of a mirror that reflects back to us sinful things that we may unknowingly or knowingly be clinging to – things that need to go if we are to become the women God desires us to be.

      Much love!

  21. I’m not even half way through this list and I am a hot mess. I have prayed about some of these things thru your other posts I’ve read but they still cut deep. I’m looking up scriptures and repenting for some and then others …I sit here sobbing.
    It hurts.
    I just want a do-over.

    1. PLM,

      My precious girl!!

      Take a break from the list for a few days if you need to.

      But, I am actually extremely encouraged that you are sobbing over your sin! That is the first step to healing!!! It is the first step toward becoming a godly woman!

      This is called, “being poor in spirit,” and it is the first of the “beattitudes” Jesus describes. The key here is to allow God to cause your sorrow to be godly sorrow that leads you to turning away from sin, not worldly sorrow that paralyzed and depresses you.

      When I first saw my MOUNTAIN of sin and realized that I didn’t owe God $200, I owed him billions of dollars of sin debt, I was mortified! I had accepted Christ when I was 5. I hadn’t committed any “big sins” in my mind at that time. And I was always a “good girl” growing up. So this was the first time it ever truly hit me that I was a wretched sinner. Wretched.

      I cried and cried for days. I apologized dozens of times to Greg. I couldn’t forgive myself. I wanted to go live in a cave by myself and never talk to another person for the rest of my life. I realized that almost every thought in my head and almost every word out of my mouth was sinful. That is how bad it was. How could I have been so blind to all that awful, ugly, nasty sin!?!?!

      Then I was upset. Why hadn’t God opened my eyes 14.5 years earlier when we were first married and I began doing all of these sins? Why did I go on like this for so many years!?!?!

      But now, I know.

      If I had not gone through those years of sin, I could not have this ministry now. God is now using my sin to bring glory to Himself and to draw hundreds, maybe thousands of women (and men) to Christ and to heal many marriages.

      So, I did mourn over my sin. I still hate hate hate my sin. But… God used even that for His glory in ways I never could have imagined almost 6 years ago. I just have to praise Him! he is SO good and I am totally dependent on Him every moment for the power to be a godly wife. I cannot do anything good in my own strength. Not one thing.

      There is hope! Jesus has all of the resources of heaven ready and available for you. he has already paid for your sin. There is no sin in your life that His blood cannot cover. But, the beautiful thing is, when you truly see your sin and hate it like God does, and you see the magnitude of your debt to God, you are free and empowered to love God so much more than ever before!

      The pain is excruciating. I think of it as if I had gangrene in one of my legs and had to have it amputated. But the pain of the amputation is much less than the pain and results if God didn’t amputate the gangrene. And the pain of conviction when God convicts us, gives way in time to joy, growth and maturity. It is such a blessing that He is willing to show us our sin so that we can turn from it and not continue on that destructive path.

      This is the path we must all go down. This, in my view, is one of the most painful parts. Don’t worry, it gets better!!!

      Standing you the biggest hug and bunch of tissues!!!

      Much love
      April

      1. I’m trying. I’m just trying to figure out what it looks like in my mind and my day when I let go and let God. What do I think about ? What should I be praying about my marriage? How do you shift your mind and heart to put God first? With all my circumstances, how do I NOT think about them? When I feel like no prayers are being answered and I don’t know if God hears me, I am not sure what to think or feel or do. I want to give up sometimes because I don’t see or feel anything. And everything I pray is unanswered and everything he wants falls right into place. What gives?
        I feel sorrow for what I’ve done. I just want a do-over for my husband, family and marriage. I want a chance to get it right.
        I ask why God (if it’s God) is showing and teaching me all of this only to live the rest of my life alone and full of guilt. My relationship with God is just a part of my day because I talk to Him a lot. He’s about all I’ve had. So He HAS been enough. He has provided. He has protected. I get signs but honestly I am not sure what is from God
        So what’s wrong with wanting a restored family? My kids and I are miserable. We see him daily but we want him back. 🙁
        I have been cleaned of so much. I wonder how there is SO MUCH. Lol. It ALL looks hopelesS
        I see progress in this list. I’m moving onto the feminity
        Thanks for all you do!!

        1. PLM,

          It’s not that you don’t ever think about your circumstances. It is that you don’t set your heart on them being a certain way. It is fine to want your marriage restored. We have talked about this a lot, before. The problem is when you make your husband responsible for your emotional well being and say he must do something you want him to do or you will not be content in Christ. I hope that makes sense.

          Please look up Philippians 4:4-8 and you tell me what things you should be thinking about. Please make me a list of things you can think about that would honor God.

          You let go by saying something like , “God, I want my husband to return to me in every way and for our marriage to be healed. I believe that is Your will. But, I choose to be content in You no matter what my husband does or does not do and I am going to drop all of my expectations of him and lay down my dreams and depend on You to take care of me and provide for me. I want to be the woman You desire me to be no matter what my husband does. Show me the way. I need You desperately! You are all I need. You are the Greatest Treasure there is. Change my heart to be like yours. Change my desires to match yours. Cleanse my heart of every sin. Show me any idols and every trace of sin. Change me. Make me pleasing in Your holy site. I want to know and love You more and more and I want to please You and love others and bless them no strings attached.”

          Much love!
          April

          1. I sat to do a list and I don’t even know where to start!!! My mind is my worst enemy. Am I listing things about God and my circumstances? My marriage?
            Just God alone???
            I over-think. 🙁

          2. PLM,
            How about start with answering the questions from the Test where I asked you about your definitions and don’t worry about this post for right now? 🙂

  22. I can’t do it any more. Last night, she made cupcakes with the twins, left a mess, everyone jumped ship and at the end, 11PM, after my grad school work was done, she expected me to clean kitchen. I refused since I am training for Half marathon (my only de-stressor since being fired 5 years ago) I need to get up at 5AM to run in order to get kids up at 7. So I am the one who is unloving and selfish! She slammed and threw dishes around for an hour while cleaning!! She was correcting me and mad at me for disregarding her early time for work this morning!! Later she falsely accused me of (AGAIN!) of verbal abuse on our 20 year old autism son, which is very untrue…I got lectured and accused. No wonder men die and never reach an elderly home!
    Oh, I’m not stressed, no job for 5 years, dignity and manhood non existent. No money, no one will read resume. can’t do this.

      1. I was thinking of the same recommendation. I don’t see his email address on the blog any longer, but he may give it to you, Jeff, if you’d rather contact him privately. Just leave a comment on his blog.

  23. So, as a stay-at-home-dad, how am I to deal with my controlling wife? She often does not follow the methods of child discipline that work and which were developed with help from our pastor. She changes much of what I have done to make the household run smoothly. It’s difficult discussing issues with her because she either makes light of an issue by joking or becomes standoffish. I have little input in purchasing birthday and Christmas gifts even though I’m home with the children most of the time because my wife is in pharmacy administration. She spoils them because she feels guilty for not being with the children enough. I have an EdD and could earn a decent wage (not close to what she makes) but she won’t move away from family. Help!

    1. Jack,
      Being married to a controlling wife is very challenging, to be sure. My husband never confronted me about my disrespect and control, and, I actually wish that he had expressed his concerns. Could I have heard him before? I don’t know. I know that I would have been upset if I knew I had hurt him. I have seen some husbands simply press in closer to Christ and pray, and I have seen God speak to wives without a word from their husbands. I have also seen husbands pray and gently, lovingly, firmly confront their wives.

      I don’t attempt to tell men what to do. I believe that sensitivity to God’s Spirit and being filled with His power and continuing to be the husband, leader and msn God calls you to be is powerful.

      I know of one man who has s blog about this issue, after spending ten frustrating years seeking God, loving his wife, seeing no results and trying to lead. http://www.amanhiswifethebible.wordpress.com. You are welcome to check out his posts and his story. God has radically changed his marriage now.

      Praying most of all for God’s wisdom for you and His greatest glory in your life, marriage and family.

      Most wives who are controlling do so because of huge fear. Often, we don’t understand God’s sovereignty and are afraid to truly trust God. You may find posts here that help you understand where your wife is coming from. A lot of husbands read my blog and use it to “reverse engineer” s godly approach from their end.

      1. Jack,
        If your wife is willing to read some marriage books with you, I would highly recommend Love and Respect by Dr Emerson Eggerichs. That is the book God used to open my eyes. Then, I would also recommend Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn’s books For Women Only and For Men Only.

  24. April,

    Thank you for posting the link to this post from your response to my questions on your Ask April post. I just got done reading all of these Scriptures and biblical descriptions and I am overwhelmed by how much I have been sinning against my husband. Many of these verses I have read recently because I have been on this journey towards biblical womanhood/godly femininity for a little while now. Usually I’ll come across one or two at a time but having all of the verses together and reading them one after the other has opened my eyes to how much wrong I have been doing.

    Before I got married, I knew I needed to learn about submitting to my husband and was eager to read the book “Love and Respect” because I knew I did not have a good example of being a Godly wife from my mother or many women I knew. There were a few women I saw that showed me glimpses but I didn’t know HOW they did it. I didn’t know what it took or what exactly it was that they were doing differently than others. I just knew that I could see a difference between how their husbands responded to them and how husbands of ungodly women responded. I kept asking myself, what is the stimulus? What makes them different? In my small minded understanding, I figured it had to be that they read the bible with their husbands, prayed together, and everything worked out perfectly for them. So those were things I set my mind on. I purposed in my heart that when I got married I would make sure my husband and I read the bible together every night and prayed together. When that didn’t come to fruition, I didn’t understand why my husband wasn’t stepping up as the spiritual leader of our home.

    There were a few times that we did sit down and read together, but they always turned into HUGE fights. We even were gifted with a couples study bible that had questions to answer after reading certain passages. The one time we sat down to read that bible ended horribly. I don’t remember the passage or the question but it was definitely the first time my husband told me I was a disrespectful wife. I was shocked. I thought I had honestly answered the question, but my husband felt so disrespected. Now, I know I had brought something up from the past and was using it as weapon against him. I didn’t intend to do that and didn’t even know that I was.

    Other times we have sat down to read the bible it was not much different. One of the problems was going into it we both had different expectations. My husband was just interested in reading while I thought we would read a little and then discuss. When I kept stopping to talk about what I thought, he would get frustrated. I was so confused and would say he wasn’t being a good spiritual leader. That is when the attempts to pray and read stopped.

    I would ask if he was interested in reading the bible but he was no longer interested. I would ask why but he was not very open to answering. This stonewalling would make me so angry and then I would snap and say something so disrespectful and walk away so hurt. I just couldn’t understand why this was happening. I wanted to live a submissive, respectful, God honoring life. I just didn’t know how.

    One day we were at a housewarming party for some friends and my husband had a conversation with a couple of women from our church. Both have been married for close to or over 20 years. I don’t know how the conversation started, but they got on the topic of wives being submissive to their husbands. On our way home from the party, my husband told me he was proud I was his wife. I asked why. He said because even though I don’t know exactly how to be a submissive wife, I was trying to. He knew I had been looking up Scripture, reading books, and searching for blogs I could learn from. He said the two women he had been talking to said they thought being submissive was archaic and meant they were doormats in their homes. I was shocked because these were Christian women who were married for a long time.

    After that conversation, I talked to some friends closer in age about the topic and only one said she was interested in learning how to be a submissive wife. She is also the only friend whose parents were divorced and living so far from God, she knew she didn’t want a marriage like her parents’. The others grew up in Christian homes and felt they had it all figured out. Sadly one of these friends got a divorce within months of getting married, and others are really struggling in their marriages. I am struggling in mine as well and I want to get away from it as quickly as possible. And I know it centers around Ephesians 5:33. I need to respect my husband unconditionally. No matter whether he responds lovingly or not, I need to ALWAYS give him respect because that is what I am commanded to do. I know what I’m supposed to do, it’s the how to live this out on a daily basis that has me in a quandary.

    I have a list of Scriptures I plan to commit to memory over the next year that I hope I can use to encourage me when difficult situations arise. I also plan to read as many books as I can. But most importantly, I know I need to strengthen my prayer life so that I can be in tune with God and His Holy Spirit. I need Him to point out to me the things I am doing or saying or about to say that are not honoring Him or my husband. And simply I just want to be the wife that God has called me to be so that my husband and children can one day say that I was a blessing to them.

    Crystal

    1. Crystal,

      You remind me a lot of myself! Greg and I didn’t read the Bible together or pray before we got married, but I expected us to every day after we got married and I reamed Greg out over and over for not being a good spiritual leader because he didn’t initiate Bible reading and prayer. 🙁 That disrespectful approach did not have productive results.

      I think we as wives get so caught up in how WE think our husbands “should” lead. We don’t allow them to lead the way they believe they ought to. We don’t even recognize what they are doing to lead us spiritually and we often rebel against them because it is not how we want them to lead.

      Your husband actually WAS leading you spiritually by just reading the Bible. It’s not wrong to want to discuss things. But it’s also not wrong just to read the Bible together – or separately. Jesus actually valued prayer that was in secret more than any other kind of prayer. Some men don’t like praying in front of other people. My husband told me once that he felt like he wasn’t sure who he was praying to if he prayed out loud in front of me. If his motives in praying get messed up by praying out loud in front of me, I would rather he not pray out loud with me. His motives and his walk with Christ are most important to me. If he did decide to pray with me, that would be awesome. And, occasionally I will ask him to pray for me about something urgent, and he will. But, I can also be just fine spiritually if I pray alone and study alone and seek Christ in secret. That is the most important thing! That I am abiding in Christ and seeking Him on my own. There is no Scripture that specifically says husbands must read the Bible with their wives daily and discuss. Or they must initiate praying out loud. We have these high and very specific expectations of our men – but where do they come from? Are they truly necessary expectations?

      Your husband was also leading you spiritually when he told you that you were being disrespectful – if you were, in fact, being disrespectful. It would not have been strong, godly leadership for him to say nothing and act like sin was fine. Your husband has his own way of leading. He is not wrong. The question is, will you follow him? Will you choose to obey God and follow your husband’s way of leading even if he doesn’t go the exact same place and take the same route that you would? Are you willing to accept that God is SO sovereign that He can lead you through this imperfect man?

      There are extremely few Christian women who practice biblical submission and respecting there husbands. There are many churches were there is no one to look to for a godly example. That breaks my heart! The older Christian women have really dropped the ball on this in recent generations. They have not been modeling godly femininity or biblical womanhood. They have not been teaching the younger women to honor and respect their husbands. And, as you can see, marriages are suffering greatly in the church today because of this.

      I’m really glad some of these posts are exposing truth in your life. I praise God for what He is doing in you! This is a life long journey of learning and being sanctified – made in the image of Christ. These are the resources I wish I had when I was learning about all of this stuff 6 years ago. And it is the kind of thing I wish someone had shared with me 20 years ago when I was a newlywed and everything was falling apart and I had no idea what to do.

      Yes! I have some posts on prayer that may be helpful. You can search “prayer” on my home page.

      I’m so happy to get to be on this journey with you! 🙂

      Much love!

  25. Hi April- wondering if you can give me some insight/opinions….Like you said in this post I too go to church regularly, read my bible almost daily, listen to mostly christian music, etc., YET I have one HUGE problem that I cannot for the life of me get under control and that is……sinning in my anger with raised voice, put downs, possibly name calling and curse words. This mainly only happens with my husband. I have prayed about it before and realize this isn’t something God will take from me easily…it is going to require work on my part. but I do not know HOW to change this. How do I get rid of this and get some self-control?! It’s like once my husband has me to that point, that is it. There is no thinking clearly for me or calmly. I have gotten a tiny bit better but nowhere near where I want or need to be. To try to pray when I first feel angry just does not seem to work b/c by then it is too late and there usually is a convo going on with my husband so I keep the responses coming. Is there ANYthing I can do while not in an argument, day-to-day, that would help me?! What am I missing?! Can you offer any practical advice? I assume I curse/yell to feel like my point is getting across and to “show” my husband how angry I am. If I were to be super calm I feel he wouldn’t take me serious or see how hurt I am. Help!

    1. S,
      This is the hardest part of ourselves to control. James 3 talks about it:

      1Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.

      3When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

      7All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

      9With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

      The issue here is what you are telling yourself about your right to talk to your husband like this, I believe. And, it is also about your sinful flesh taking over instead of you being filled with God’s Spirit.

      Are you holding on to any bitterness, resentment or unforgiveness?

      Do you believe that you have the right to be hateful to your husband and to be verbally abusive?

      What does God desire you to do?

      Your husband is able to understand your point without you sinning against him. In fact, you are sabotaging yourself by this sinful behavior. I used to do similar things. I didn’t curse, but I raised my voice and verbally blasted my husband to try to force my way because I thought I was so “right.” Now, I see that even if my point was correct, my motives, attitude, and behavior were so sinful, that it didn’t really matter that my point was “right.” I made the little issue more important in my mind than my obedience to God, my respect for my husband, my intimacy with Christ, and my marriage. I was the foolish wife in Proverbs 14:1 – tearing my house down with my own hands – or words.

      The only way to overcome this kind of sin is to be filled with God’s Spirit – which means, totally turning away from everything that offends God, and fully submitting to Him in total trust, and allowing Him to radically change you.

      If you look up my Youtube channel, “April Cassidy” – check out the video about non-verbal disrespect.

      This requires much prayer, evaluating your deepest motives and your understanding of God, yourself, godly femininity, marriage, and your husband. And it requires a lot of practice.

      But with Christ, it is possible!

      Your husband is not an unintelligent man, I am sure. Your point will be much more powerfully made if you make it calmly, with respect. Probably just once. Now, all I have to do is mention something once in passing, and my husband tries to do things for me just to please me. Before, when I tried to force my way, he would NEVER do what I asked him to do because I was so disrespectful. I’m glad now that he didn’t cave in to me with my awful behavior.

      I have a LOT of posts that talk about the issues behind this issue.

      We will continue to talk, if you would like to!

      Much love!
      April

  26. Daughter,

    Yes, Jesus loved me back then, too – praise God!!!!

    But, I didn’t want to put up pictures of someone else as if to label anyone else an “ungodly woman.” I was allowing my sinful flesh to have control back then. So, that qualifies as ungodly. I hope that makes sense. 🙂

    If you have pics you think would be better for this post – I would be glad to consider them! 🙂 I used to be able to get free pics from a site – but I am having trouble finding as many free images as I used to. So, I have had to resort to using a lot more of my own pictures.

    1. Daughter,

      I don’t intend anyone to compare themselves to me! My hope is that God might be exalted in my life and that people might see how radically God has changed me and how He continues to change me. But, please do not put me on a pedastal!! I am only a human. On my own, there is no good in me. Anything good in me is from Christ, and you have just as much access to Him as I do! 🙂 Victory is in Him!! When we give Him total access to everything we are and all that we have, He is free to make our lives so beautiful for Him.

      Thanks for sharing your struggles. I don’t want to set a stumbling block in your way. Choosing pictures is my least favorite part of blogging. Many times, there is not a free picture that really captures what I want to portray. So, I do my best, but I don’t ever want to discourage anyone.

      You are free to not compare yourself to me. You can’t ever have the whole picture of my life in a blog. I vote to focus on Christ and allow Him to make you the woman He desires you to be. 🙂

      Much love!!!

    2. Daughter,
      Please also keep in mind that I am now entering into my sixth year of this journey. You were not there to see me spend hours per day studying, seeking God, praying, and begging Him to change me for almost 3 years before I even began to feel like I had any idea what respect and biblical submission meant. It was PAINFUL. I stumbled constantly. I felt like I was trying to reinvent the wheel. I am still learning. Right now, I am focusing on my tone of voice with our children even when they are running late in the mornings before school and even when I have only had 2 hours of sleep and am sick. It is only through God’s power that I can have the fruit of His Spirit.

      I had no one to mentor me. It was just me, God, thirty books, the Bible, and tons of notebooks. I threw away my journals from the first few years because the things I wrote were so awful and my motives and heart was so sinful, i didn’t want anyone to read them. Of course, now, I wish I had those notebooks, because I could share in a lot more detail how God changed me and the thoughts I struggled with most.

      If you find yourself feeling jealous or like a failure, or disappointed in yourself or your husband, those are flags to get your eyes back on Christ. Negative feelings are my flag to check my motives and to allow God to check my motives.

      This is a lifelong journey. Take it slowly. Chew over everything thoroughly. Be still and listen to God. He knows how to do this. And He knows exactly all the beauty He plans to continue to form in you for His greatest glory!

  27. Hello, and God Bless for sharing this post, very helpful. Question: what do you mean when you say that an ungodly women makes others “responsible for he happiness”, taken from your Statement below.

    “– not take responsibility for her own sin, but blame others for her sin and expect others to be responsible for her happiness. (Genesis 3)”

    I couldn’t find anything in Genesis 3 that supports that idea.. the closet thing to it that I found was from verse 16, “[..]Your desire will be for your husband[…]”.

    Thanks.

    1. Jay,

      A woman who doesn’t have healthy boundaries and doesn’t take responsibility for her own emotions and spiritual well-being in Christ will tend to blame others when she is unhappy – as if her unhappiness is their fault and responsibility. Of course, we are each responsible for ourselves. When we expect others to meet our needs rather than finding our deepest spiritual and emotional needs met in Christ, we can easily make them into idols and not even realize it.

      Check out this post about how women might make their husbands into an idol.

      And this post about healthy vs. unhealthy relationships.

      And, Are We Responsible for Our Spouse’s Happiness?

      Perhaps that will shed a bit of light on things.

      Ultimately, our contentment must be in Christ alone – Phil. 4:12-13. In Genesis 3, Eve did not take responsibility for her own sin. But there are more verses later in Scripture about idolatry and about trusting men rather than trusting God. I hope the other posts I shared might clarify. 🙂

  28. Hello, ma’am. Thank you for this post.
    I…I saw myself in a lot of the points you made here. I feel convicted, and I am not married, but I’ve acted this way towards other people, and my current significant other…where do I start?

    1. Samedispringtime,

      It is great to meet you! 🙂 It can be pretty shocking to see all of this sin in our hearts. I know it was for me when God showed me my mountain of sin 7 years ago.

      What is your relationship with Christ?

      Let’s start from there and then I would love to show you the baby steps toward a new life and healing in Jesus. 🙂

      Much love and a huge hug to you!

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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