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A Wife Responds to a Sister in Christ Who Is Feeling Insecure

This is from a reader – it was one of the comments on Thursday’s post “What Does It Mean to Be an Ungodly Woman?”

————

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.”

(FROM PEACEFULWIFE – I am not advocating “fake faith”-  but I do love the approach this wife shares below)

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 for Christ.” 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.”

“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.

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.

 

ROMANS 8:31-39

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.  Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

58 thoughts on “A Wife Responds to a Sister in Christ Who Is Feeling Insecure

  1. That is such great advice. I’ve been reading through a lot of your articles and the comments and I’m still stuck. I would very much appreciate your advice. My husband and his family did something which led me to have an incurable disability because they didn’t stop an activity when I asked them to. This has completely changed my life. I can’t work or see anyone.

    He’s never asked me how he can help me with it, what makes it worse, nor has he apologized. He’s lied to me that he even told his family what happened. He constantly puts his family before me. He will yell and blame me for asking questions that he doesn’t want to answer, then ignore me for a week.He did that before this incident too. Otherwise, he’s a great husband.

    I try to respect him and do what God commands, but it’s so difficult. Is this something I should just “love him through”. Am I being blind to something more serious? (Btw, he’s an unbeliever.)

    Thank you for all your advice and your blog.

    1. Elizabeth,

      Oh goodness! I am so terribly sorry to hear about what has happened to you, Elizabeth! Is there any way you could share a bit more detail possibly about what is going on? I am a bit confused, I think. Does he know that he caused this? Has he tried to apologize in some way without words?
      What do you mean that you cannot see anyone?

      Are you receiving any assistance, medical support, counseling of any kind or disability payments?

      Has he hurt you before? Does he have any mental health issues or history of abuse himself? What have his family said about what happened?

      Do you have any godly wife mentor or church family?

      I wish I could give you a big hug!

  2. Hi April, I’d like to share some experiences and thoughts regarding the issue of security and truth. As usual, feel free to edit away if need be.

    I’ve tried a version of fake it until you make it, with fairly successful results once. Years ago I took a program of study that involved two practicums. The first one was lot of fun and in a very positive, supportive environment run by people who loved what they were doing. There was such life in this place that I quite naturally enjoyed it.

    But something about the second practicum placement rubbed me the wrong way. I felt a lot of inward resistance to taking part although my grade was hanging on how well I did so. The “feeling” of the place reminded me of the staid atmosphere of a bank and the person running the place, while nice and good hearted enough, was so serious, with a bent towards rigidity, that I just didn’t want to be there. I think her way of being resulted from having experienced a very chaotic and devaluing childhood, which she had shared about and which she had chosen to overcome and had done so fairly well. Vestiges of it remained, however, in that she needed things to be predictable and constant and under control. It really rubbed her the wrong way if unexpected things were sprung on her and she coped by establishing order and routine and felt disrespected for instance, if management changed things in her area without telling her first. It was a case of a person trying to produce health and wholeness by doing the best they could do, outside of God being the healer and source of power.

    Finally after a week, I realized that I had to find a way to either get in or get out. So it came to me that what I needed to do was to act as if there was no place on earth I’d rather be and to invest myself in this practicum as if I felt it worth my best effort. Somewhere I’d heard that what we invest in, we value. The person had been talking about marriage and had been dealing with people who had come to believe their marriages were bad marriages and were no longer making any attempt to make it work; rather they were on the way out the door. The counselor gave very similar advice; he had folks agree to treat each other as if the person already was the man or woman of their dreams and they were so very truly grateful to be in that marriage there was nothing they wouldn’t do for the other person – he had them invest in the marriage. Well, shocker, in a month each person felt radically different about life with the other and the marriage in general and had left off any plans to divorce.

    My experiment with myself and this practicum met with similar success. As I threw myself into it, I began to look forward to being there and in the end I got a very excellent review. I learned to ask the director ” how can I best be of help to you today”? and then put myself at her disposal in a supporting role. It didn’t change the elements that were negative for me but it did negate much of their power to determine the outcome. I never felt as naturally delighted to be there as I did in the first environment, which had made it so easy to be buoyed along to success . But I did experience a level of self respect because this one I had to earn. And I wound up genuinely liking the director.

    I think one area where most of us fall down is in the area of what thoughts we admit to our minds. A friend of mine commented to me once that she had been shocked when she realized that she was responsible for her thoughts before God. Not that she could control random thoughts that popped up but she was responsible to be like a security guard who stopped the thought at the gate and frisked it to see if it belonged or not. Living consciously and on guard knowing the days are evil, takes vigilance and effort that the flesh doesn’t like to make. Yet we are responsible to contain our “vessel” in honor.

    I don’t suggest at all that because I know this fact, that I am now a together, secure, self contained woman. Hardly, in fact at the moment my life is an insecure mess and it all began ten years, when I uncritically accepted thoughts, ideas, spiritual suggestions, advice and counsel. I had just experienced the victory of surrendering to Christ but pretty soon I got taken down through familiar pathways in my life that had not been scripturally disassembled. I had surrendered to Christ but was still in the habit of being impulsive, led by emotions and needs, and very undisciplined and uncritical in my acceptance of whatever thought or impulse came to mind.

    Somewhere I had absorbed some false teaching about personal authenticity and intuitive wisdom and other related rubbish, that had a kernel of truth to it but was not a reliable and godly way of life. It basically resulted in my locating the source of truth within rather than within God and His word, though I didn’t notice this little factoid at the time. This is not how to succeed, its how to be defeated over and over again. Scripture says ” Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. (your own sensibilities, thoughts, feelings, values, etc.) In all of your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.

    Much of our security has to do with our foundation. If our foundation is divided or cracked ( a crack is a division is it not?) we can experience some success by acting ” as if”, in various areas as I did, but the foundation will still remain in need of repair and the same problem will keep reoccurring. And the enemy of our souls is quick to exploit any crack in our armor or foundation to his advantage. We don’t want to be basically rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic and feeling more comfortable now that they are arranged to our liking, when all the while cold sea water is pouring in through a massive hole in the hull below decks. We will be doing just that, if we stop at being content with the results of tweaking parts of our lives so there is less pain and more contentment.

    Scripture says the double minded man is unstable in all of his ways. Instability always leads to insecurity. Anything not stable is by definition, also not secure. When someone’s foundation has been eroded, or wasn’t in Christ in the first place, they are in pitiful shape, blown about by various winds of doctrine, unable to defend themselves against anything that comes against them because they are no longer rooted and grounded in truth. It is a very painful place to be and its as if sea of spiritual evil is flooding into the crack . We can become vulnerable to old things we once would be untouched by. Scripture says “Great peace have they which love thy law and nothing shall offend them”. The word offense doesn’t merely mean something rubbing you the wrong way; it means causing to stumble as well.

    Being double minded involves believing lies along with truth, in effect having your heart affected by two different kingdoms. Asking the Holy Spirit’s help in seeing where we are trying to straddle two very disparate kingdoms is necessary. Along with the diagnosis of the problem given here, is the solution as well. Remove the double mindedness. Pull your heart and your head back from the world and its false foundation and from people whose hearts and words are part of the world’s kingdom, and build your foundation in Christ, who will never lie to you nor falsely blame you for anything. Get the lies out. This has to be a choice to act on truth, not emotion because as someone once said, emotions are inveterate liars at best. “hear o Lord and answer, I am poor and needy, give me an undivided heart”. Besides, emotions almost always result from what we hold to be true.

    Hope something is helpful here; I am no stranger to being spiritually and emotionally ravaged by something that is attacking you on all fronts until you are a blob of quivering worthless jelly and all around you it seems that even those who wouldn’t ordinarily have the guts to say a word to you, suddenly are acting like sharks who smell blood in the water, emboldened to walk all over you and take advantage of your defeated state. Its not fun. It is however, spiritual warfare and removing double mindedness is the surest way to solve the problem. Comfort is needed in these situations but unless the root problem is solved, it will just repeat all over again.

    1. Patricia,

      Wow!

      Thank you for sharing all of this wealth of wisdom God has given you. I would love to share this as a post. I need to reread this one about 5 times to really glean all the meat that is here.

      I appreciate your willingness to share!

      1. Hey, thank you April! This kind of wisdom only occurs when I am seeking God and repentance and thus pointed in the right and only authentic direction. The rest of the time I can’t see spiritually worth beans, but glad I could share something helpful:)

    2. Patricia – Thank you for posting this! Right now, I am trying to learn how to bring my thoughts into captivity and fight the wrong ones with God’s truth. It has been incredibly frustrating to STILL be bombarded with very specific thoughts…..which turn into worry….which turn into anxiety….which turn into me acting towards my husband as if he has already done the thing I worry about most. It’s incredibly damaging and that’s probably why the enemy uses those same specific thoughts.

      I have found some relief and made some progress by “acting as if” (something I heard in a sermon about faith) . It really does help grow and strengthen your faith when you act as if God has already done something or is doing it now. Many times, I have found out much later that God was, indeed, working that miracle while I was acting as if He already had. It is a powerful tool.

      I would like to enjoy even more freedom from these thoughts that pop up to torment me, which is how I came to focus on the scripture about taking your thoughts captive. What you posted really resonates with my soul. I am digging in and asking God to show me where I am “double minded”, because I believe that it must be lies about marriage, relationships, myself that I have believed for a very long time that God must uproot! Thank you for shining a light on this.

      This is all so very timely. My husband leaves for a work trip tomorrow. I will be joining him later in the week, but it is those days/nights when we are apart that the enemy bombards me with those anxiety-causing thoughts, all centered around the wrong he could be doing while away from me. I am preparing for battle with the enemy and would appreciate prayers. There is a praise report in this, though……God has been working ahead of this upcoming struggle. My husband came to a charity event that I hosted Friday night and he could not have been more supportive or loving. He even told me how proud of me he was. Just one year ago, he refused to go and we had a big fight on the event night. I praise GOD for how much healing HE has done so far….and I thank HIM for showing me that, in advance of the coming battle over my thoughts. 🙂

      1. Hi NWgirl,
        I might be too late with this but I’ll be praying for you when your husband is away and you go to join him. I can totally relate with you on the thoughts that creep in and cause anxiety and then living in those thoughts as if they are really happening. I’ll be keeping you in my prayers! I have really been seeking God to help free me of this and it’s been such an ugly struggle because He is truly showing me how much I need to change. I am hopeful because I have Him though because without Him who knows where I’d be. My husband is super supportive as well but he can’t be my savior. Thank you for sharing and know I will be praying for you!

    3. Thank you for articulating so well this horrible struggle. I have prayed this past year for God to ‘unite my heart to fear your Name’, and been convicted about double mindedness as well. I feel that I am JUST NOW starting to give up on that ‘personal authenticity’ deal and hear the word that says ‘trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and do not lean to your own understanding’. I have dealt with bi polar disorder and been accustomed to mood swings of varying intensity. And even repenting more recently of entertaining the ‘highs’ and believing my mostly false emotions. Then the depression that follows (what goes up…) is devastating. Learning that my faith is so mixed with feelings I’ve relied on that are less now also due to menopause, is making me that exact quivering blob of jelly you described. Jesus help me. He is doing a work in me. I pray for strength to resist the enemy and actively combat the bombardment I’m experiencing lately. Our God is faithful. Hallelujah.

  3. Elizabeth,

    What do you mean a permanent disability? Physical disability? It seems that would be the case since you say you cannot work. What does it mean specifically that you “cannot see anyone”? To me, what you seem to be describing is abuse, whether the act of making you disabled was intentional or just plain reckless. People with any consciousness would still feel sorrowful that they caused such a thing.

    You are describing big deal things. I’m not sure what you believe “God Commands” you to do in this position.. But my God.. The God I know.. cares a lot more about the people in a marriage than the institution of marriage itself.. He cares more about the people in the church than he cares about the church.

    I don’t believe for a minute that God wants women to be in horrible, dangerous, abusive marriages. Anyone who would tell you otherwise is plain crazy. It’s bad enough that you are clearly unequally yoked. I’m not sure if that was the way it was when you were first married but it sure is now.

    Based on what you have said in this post and a few others that I have read… I would say yes you are being blind to something way more serious.. WAY more serious. I honestly think there is no way to serve an abusive husband and serve God. You can’t live out your purpose with someone’s boot on your throat.

    Sorry if anyone thinks that my post is blunt but this post scares me for Elizabeth. It is one thing to honor your husband and be respectful.. It’s quite another to do so at the risk of self destruction. I know plenty of women who are Godly women and are strong, independent, outspoken, full of fire and still manage to be Godly women who honor their husbands. Sometimes that means not condoning his sin against you. You may not be able to speak out against it. Depends how safe you are. But you do not have to live with flaming arrows being shot at you daily. Examine your resources. Examine your options. Examine why you are staying. Sometimes we stay even though God is telling us not to because the flesh doesn’t want to let go.

    Gail

    1. Gail,
      I believe this is a different Elizabeth from the two others we have heard from often.

      But, yes, it sounds like things are very serious and I appreciate you sharing your concern.

      Thanks!

    2. Hi,

      Thank you for your advice. I do feel better knowing I’m not crazy now. Yes Peacefulwife, I am a different Elizabeth.

      I have hyperacusis because his family wouldn’t turn off the loud music. I was out of my home country and it was winter at night, so I couldn’t leave. They all have hearing loss because they play loud music. Normal sounds are like daggers in my ears now. Conversations are painful – even the vibration of my own voice at times.

      I am seeing a sound therapist to hopefully improve my sound tolerance but there’s no cure as of yet.

      I was a false convert and just left the church I was at because of the teachings. I’m without a church now and I don’t know any Godly women to give me good advice. The ones I do communicate with say things like, “I will pray for victory for your healing” – Word of Faith sort of approaches. I would love to find a new church, but the noises terrify me. I listen quietly to Grace to You now.

      No, he hasn’t physically or emotionally abused me in any other way. I know this wasn’t on purpose which is why I have a difficult time drawing a line. If he ever raised a hand to me I would instantly leave. Perhaps I am justifying this situation.

      Thank you Mcsprite for your honest assessment. I needed to hear your words. This marriage is only 9 months old, so I think a part of me assumed marriages are just hard this way. He wasn’t cold like this before. Do men change that much after marriage? I have a lot to examine and pray over.

      Thank you very much for your care.

      Elizabeth

      1. Elizabeth,

        That sounds like quite a challenge. I have not heard of this disorder before. How is your prognosis? Is this something that might heal and improve or diminish over time? How long ago was it that this began? Was your husband present with you at the doctor’s appointments? I would imagine that not a lot of people would know about this issue and may not understand it. So, I wonder if that could be part of the issue with him not taking more responsibility?

        I wish the family had turned down the volume. Although, if they all had hearing loss already, they may not have realized just how damaging the decibel levels were. That kind of noise is not good for anyone. How has his family responded to your condition?

        How is your sound therapy coming along?

        I am so sorry to hear about the issues at your church. And with your medical issues with noise, I can understand that you are not excited about going to places with a lot of noise. As a pharmacist, I do wonder if healing protection or ear plugs might be useful to decrease the sensitivity you are experiencing? But I am sure your sound therapist has many suggestions and ideas to try.

        Marriages can be very hard. I don’t want husbands or wives to stay in a situation where they are unsafe. It does’t sound like that is your situation at all, and I am very thankful to hear this.

        What would you like to see happen in your walk with Christ?

        What would you like to see happen in your marriage?

        What does your husband say he needs?

        What do you believe you need?

        How are you doing financially if you are unable to work?

        I would love to suggest reading John Piper’s and David Platt’s sermons online as a great way to read sermons without having to hear them in a way that might be painful.

        How is your husband responding to your need for less noise now?

        How do you respond when you are frustrated with your husband or feel he is not being sensitive enough?

        Much love!!!!

        1. Elizabeth,

          I wonder if your husband feels you might resent him? Or if he feels guilty but doesn’t know what to do?

          How does he usually handle situations where he is in the wrong?

          1. Elizabeth,

            If he is not in the habit of taking responsibility for wrongdoing – this may be something that he is afraid to do or doesn’t know how to do. But – I wonder how you might be able to help him be a hero in this situation instead of the bad guy? Obviously, the music being too loud did damage your hearing and auditory nerves. I’m sure he is aware of that. He may not feel like he has the tools to try to make things right. Or, he may be beating himself up, and any mention of it from you may make him feel like he sinks into despair.

            I wonder if that may be why he is cold.

            Check out this post and see what God might reveal to you. I believe you can bring out the best in your husband as you become more and more the wife God desires you to be – and that it would be a win/win. How can you bless your husband? How can you show grace to him? What does he need? Obviously, he needs Christ. What if seeing your forgiveness and grace and your cheerfulness and joy in Christ is the thing that will most draw him to curiosity and to a desire to want Christ, Himself? It will take God’s power working in you to do this. You cannot do this in your own strength.

            But what if God desires to change you first, and then begins to draw your husband to Himself? I have total faith that He can do that and that He is able to heal this marriage, as well.

            Much love!

        2. It may improve over time to where I can be with people. I’m really optimistic about that. Not sure about restaurants, but conversations, definitely.

          Before I forget, I do want to thank our faithful and loving God. He has shown me great comfort and brought me out of false teachings and false conversion through this. I can honestly say that if healing came at the expense of being where I was spiritually before, I wouldn’t want it.

          Yes, it’s very rare. I have shown him articles, which he says he read before I gave them to him. He came to the emergency clinic when it first happened, but not to any other visits to the audiologist. I would think the seriousness of it would be apparent to him due to my quitting everything. I was volunteering at a couple of places, bible study, church, toastmasters…

          I don’t think his family knows about my condition. We don’t speak. Not because we don’t like each other, it’s because they are all out of state or country. I only got to see them a couple of times before the wedding. I was at their Christmas gathering last year before this all started and they pretty much ignored me the whole 9 hours because even though they speak english, they prefer to speak in their native language. According to my husband, “it’s just easier that way”. When I asked him what his brother said about my hyperacusis (it happened at his brother’s house) he exploded verbally and said, “I already told you”, then said I ruined the night and ignored me for a week. He never told me and I don’t think he told his brother. I’m hesitant to approach that again.

          I only just began the sound therapy. It could take up to a year to notice improvements. I’m can tolerate 35-40 decibels. Conversation is at 60.

          I wear ear plugs for quick shopping trips. It’s not good to keep them in because then my brain “turns up the volume” even more and I experience a set back.

          In answer to your questions:

          I would like my walk with Christ to be one of sacrifice. I want to serve Him fully. He has granted me true repentence this summer, so I’m really learning about that now and sanctification.

          I would like to see my husband come to Christ and for me to be a Godly wife. I thought if I could demonstrate gentleness and forgiveness, he might see Christ. But I’m too sad to demonstrate much of anything right now.

          I believe I need a miracle :). I just need God to do His thing. I can’t even imagine what I need. Other than peace.

          Financially, my husband supports the house. We don’t have any children.

          Thank you for your online sermon suggestions!

          My husband is very good now with being quiet.

          When my husband is insensitive I leave him alone because he just ignores me anyway. Then he starts talking to me again in a few days and we ignore what happened. He used to talk about things, but since we got married he just walks away. It’s always when he knows he’s wrong or lied. He shifts the blame. Not that I’m innocent in all of this. My tongue can be very harsh at times.

          Thank you, much love to you too!
          _______

          To:

          Patricia,

          Thank you for the advice – you are not off about my boundaries. I have always been a people pleaser (yes, I read Peaceful Wife’s post on that :)) I’m praying for sanctification and have repented. It’s a daily thing with that. Lots of guilt issues and a “nice girl” complex. I figured everyone deals with challenges and I don’t recognize what is evil vs. what is life circumstances. You’ve given me much to think about.

          April,

          I apologize, I meant to thank you earlier. I want to read your response slowly and digest it. I appreciate your time and effort in your response.

          Thank you all so much!

          1. Elizabeth,
            I praise God for your spiritual healing and for God bringing you out of false teaching and a false conversion! WOOHOO! That is the best possible thing that could ever happen in this life time. How I celebrate and rejoice with you and all of the angels in heaven and with God! I can see Him smiling over your repentance and your faith in Christ, running to hug you – one of His children who has returned home!!!!

            Goodness, how frustrating that earplugs make you end up ultimately regressing.

            Have you thanked your husband for all that he is doing to support you financially?

            You may have already read my posts at the top of my home page about respect and disrespect, but if not, they may be a helpful place to start.

            I am thrilled about your faith journey with Christ and about His process of sanctification for you.

            You are sad about your situation? Your condition? Not being able to work? Not feeling close to your husband? Him not being saved?

            Are you having times where you and your husband do well and enjoy each other?

            What do his parents do when they don’t agree or have a conflict? What is his parents’ marriage like?

            What is your parents’ marriage like?

            Have you repented for any hurtful, disrespectful, unloving things you have said?

            I am praying with you for your husband’s salvation. I’m sure you are aware that God can and does use wives to draw husbands to Himself many times – I Peter 3:1-6 is our assignment in such a situation. I am praying for spiritual strengthening and healing for you!

            You are most welcome. Take all the time you need.
            May God continue to draw you to Himself and may you cling to Him alone.

          2. Thank you for celebrating 🙂

            I haven’t thanked my husband in a very long time 🙁

            I will read your respect and disrespect posts. I am printing all of these responses out to examine and pray about.

            I’m not very sad about my condition. God allowed it and has already used it. I know it’s Him giving me the strength to be isolated but still be content- I’m also thankful he made me an introvert!

            I am sad about our marriage mostly. My husband took early retirement, so we’re around each other 24/7. That’s difficult. We used to have date nights, but we just end up fighting.

            His parents are still together. From what I’ve seen (I’ve only seen them 3 times) they appear okay – but they speak another language most of the time so I’m not really sure what goes on. His mom has told me his father disregards her (hmmm, “sins of the father”…)

            My parents marriage is great, however, my mom wears the pants in the family. It’s all backwards. They are unsaved as well.

            I need to truly repent for things I’ve said. I think I half heartedly cry out to God and say I’m sorry, it’s more anger and regret than repentance.

            Thank you for your prayers and your servitude. You are a blessing to many.

          3. Elizabeth,

            I’m glad you are taking time to digest and pray over things. See what God wants to shine and illuminate to your heart and mind. 🙂

            What did you fight about on date nights?

            Whatever his parents’ marriage was like is going to seem “normal” to him. We all have wounds from our childhood and then our own sinful bents and tendencies. And, a man who does not know Christ, is spiritually dead. So he cannot love with the love of Christ. But – we will pray that God will draw him to Himself. 🙂

            You will also have a lot of dissecting to do about what you have learned, what you believe about marriage, God, masculinity and femininity. As you examine your beliefs in the light of God’s Word, you can choose to reject any worldly, ungodly, unhealthy lies and ideas and you can purposely choose to rebuild all of your thoughts on Christ and His Word. This is a process. There is a lot of wrestling and praying and seeking God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. And there is waiting and being still. And there is His power working in you to regenerate your soul in ways you cannot begin to fathom as He breathes healing into your life. 🙂

            I’m so excited to be on this journey with you! I can’t wait to see all that God has in store!

          4. We fought about old issues – because they are always ignored!

            Great points and great questions. You have made me realize I have a ton of beliefs that need to be questioned. Apparently reading great information doesn’t mean the old lies get automatically pushed out.

            I will share what does with this!

            Your guidance has meant so much,
            Thank you.

          5. Elizabeth,

            If you want to talk about these issues and how you approached them, we can! I’m right here. 🙂 We can brainstorm together about different ways to approach them and possibly what your husband may be hearing that you may not have realized.

            We ALL have tons and tons of beliefs that we have absorbed from our imperfect families and ungodly culture that we don’t even realize we have – but they all need to be questioned in light of the Bible. I personally process best by writing things down. So I spent hours almost every day for 2.5 years at the beginning of my journey studying, reading and re-reading, praying, writing, examining my deepest beliefs and thoughts, questioning where my ideas came from and ripping out the ungodly things and carefully seeking to lay down a new foundation on Christ alone and building on it with the truth of His Word, carefully screening and testing everything I was reading and thinking.

            This is a total renovation of our hearts, souls and minds that God desires to do. It requires very painful ripping out and very careful, tedious, patient building.

            Much love!

          6. Oh, I forgot to mention that God has been softening my heart towards my husband this afternoon. Thank you for your prayers.

          7. Elizabeth,
            WOOHOO!
            That is awesome!

            By the way, if you have bitterness or resentment in your heart and are hard hearted to him, that is so toxic and you will stay very stuck and miserable. I know from quite a bit of experience, unfortunately. I don’t know if you have any of that in your heart, but just a tiny little bit of it, a small root, grows into an evil tree in time that can consume your whole life. You can search “bitterness” and “forgiveness” on my home page search bar if you think those might be issues. They tend to be fairly universal issues that we all must deal with.

            As you allow God to work in your heart, He can absolutely soften your heart and help you to see your husband the way He sees him and love him the way He loves him. It’s a beautiful thing!

          8. Regarding your response above this one, thank you for the heads up. I thought I’d have a busy week with this, but fully expect it to take a lot longer now :). Yes, “ripping”, shredding so much of my bad foundation. He rebuilt my foundation of lies on His truth earlier this year, I pray He finishes this year rebuilding this foundation.

            I have tons of bitterness. It is consuming. Thank you for the additional suggestions and resources, and your time 🙂

          9. 🙂

            I repented of my bitterness and anger and asked God for forgiveness and guidance. He has unburdened me! I feel such joy and hopefulness now. My husband even went out and got us dinner and called me an affectionate name. I haven’t said anything to him! I was sobbing just hours ago, but God is so great! Thank you all!!! <3

          10. Elizabeth,

            Woohoo! Getting rid of bitterness and choosing to forgive is a massive step toward God and toward healing! I am so excited!!!!!!! Praise God!

            I pray you will ENJOY and SAVOR your husband tonight. 🙂

  4. Elisabeth, your husband’s behaviour sounds abusive though without specifics its hard to help or give sound and accurate advice. I would suggest perhaps if you feel uncomfortable with disclosing the details that you might email April privately with them. I am concerned that your boundaries may have become so eroded that you are tolerating evil under the belief that you are to blame for it and deserve it somehow, and need help. Even if you have contributed to the situation with sin of your own, I do not believe that the biblical response to abusive behaviour is to tolerate it. I urge you to tell your pastor and elders what has happened and to perhaps share with April what advice you have been given. Some churches have been known to give advice to abused women that is actually quite horrifying. And some give advice that is quite worldly and feministic, crushing any possibility of restoration. There is biblically mandated protection and churches out there that are capable of and willing to biblically help. Please save yourself and act immediately. Do not confront this alone.

  5. Elizabeth,

    So glad its not deliberate abuse in terms of the disability occurring! It seems we were posting simultaneously so I missed your reply before my post went through. There’s a couple of church finder tools on the internet, I think one of them is 9 marks church finder, and Grace to You may be able to direct you to a good church in your area. I hope you are able to find a church that will give you some support and help, this would seem to be an urgent need. Its not easy to find a good church, as many are compromised with worldly teaching and way out there stuff.

    The yelling concerns me a bit, as yelling is a form of aggression and can be used to intimidate someone into submitting or backing down, not to mention that pain that would cause you with your hearing condition.

    When things affect us so badly that they compromise our basic abilities to function reliably,then they are serious issues. So its totally okay and necessary for you to take some steps to protect your hearing from further damage and do what you need to do to stay well and safe. Others may not understand ( you know, major pain is when I have it, minor pain is when you have it ). Just curious if you’ve ever heard of Hallelujah acres and other raw food and juicing based programs? While I don’t agree with George Malkmus’s theological conclusions in entirety, the fact is that when you give your body what it needs to rebuild itself from a cellular level, you can actually reverse some supposedly irreversible conditions. The human body is incredibly designed and fairly self healing when it has what it needs to do the job. The website is http://www.hacres.com. if you are interested. I wish you well Elizabeth and send you hugs. 🙂

    1. Thank you Patricia! My apologies for not replying correctly – I sort of just unloaded my responses in one reply to Peaceful Wife.

      Thank you for the church finder suggestion. I have been meaning to start getting off the processed foods – you have given me the start I need!

      Thank you for the hugs – they were awesome. I’m sending some back! 🙂

  6. Just caught your latest post Elizabeth, so glad to hear of how God is helping you – got to laugh sometimes at the internet version of telephone tag, lol. I can relate to people pleasing. I have huge stripes of yellow in certain areas of my life because of this and regularly wind up in the spiritual weeds because I let others intimidate and frighten me or manipulate me and then I wind up acting against my own integrity and values…and that always leads to a loss of self respect and moral authority . Basically I wind up a powerless 90 lb. weakling who constantly gets walked on and pushed around. The costs to my life have been so huge, so its a serious issue from which I need some saving Right now my prayer is for God to deal with this in my life so that I am not the same person in this regard. I hope God really does something big in my life about it in response to my prayers. Prayers welcome 🙂

    1. Ha! Internet telephone tag – perfect.

      I’m sorry to hear the costs have been huge in your life. It’s not fun being chained to this. I will pray right now for God to release you from this and make you a new creature for His glory!

  7. I need some advice. I didn’t want to interupt the conversation you all were having earlier, so I waited till now to ask.

    I’m just starting out trying to improve my marriage, after years of doing it my way and failing. The specific problem I encountered today is: I landed myself in an argument this morning (before breakfast which never helps). Nothing new, same old routine.

    I mess up/ forget to do something/ do something I shouldn’t have…
    He calls me on it.

    Normally I would get defensive, make excuses, shift blame, bring up past arguments and generally make the mole hill into a mountain. The new improved me knows to keep my mouth shut. He lectures a few minutes, I accept responsibility, we go about our day. Sounds good, right?

    Well unfortunately, we’ve had these same old dust-ups so many times I could just about write you a transcript. I know his lines, he knows mine. Therein lies the problem…

    Even though I’m not speaking except to answer yes/no to a direct question, he knows exactly what I’m thinking. So he’s still responding to my unsaid accusations. Only now he reads my silence as “sullen” or “having an attitude”.

    What do I need to do to difuse these situations?

    Even with this new wrinkle, the arguments end sooner and are much less damaging. At least we’re only covering a current event instead of dragging up every fault from the last decade.

    It’s not so bad I can’t just wait it out. I imagine he’s waiting for me to get back into character. Maybe he’s testing my resolve?

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    1. Southern Wife in Training,

      I have a post about something like this. Hmm… Now, can I remember where it was is the question!

      I believe you will have to have some new dialogue and facial expressions to add to the mix. It is a good thing that you are taking responsibility and not defending yourself when you mess up. Woohoo!

      Now, if you really did mess up, thank him for calling you on it. That is godly leadership. Thank him for it. Thank God for your husband’s gift of being willing to give you a life giving rebuke. I have a video about accepting husbands’ constructive criticism on my YouTube channel, April Cassidy. I also have some videos about the importance of non-verbal disrespect and body language and tone of voice.

      Ask God to give you wisdom and sensitivity to His Spirit, as well. he can give you the exact words you need.

      If you would like to share how the normal script goes, we can talk about healthier ways to respond, if you would like some specific examples to prayerfully consider.

      I am glad the arguments are easier to overcome. That will continue in general. It is such a blessing!!!

      Much love!!!

    2. Hi Southern Wife! Your assertive wife/dominant husband dynamic sounds a lot like mine. In the beginning of this journey, I would still try to defend myself, like a lawyer, using evidence and examples…..trying to prove to my husband that he was wrong and the way he acted/reacted towards me was at least half the problem.

      Big fail, even though by the world’s standards, I was right. The more I argued my case, the more he dug in and refused to see my points.

      Finally, God showed me that I was focused on the wrong things and that if I would TRUST GOD to deal with my husband, I would be free to focus on what GOD wanted me to focus on. I was so fearful and controlling, I was trying to do God’s job for Him. Crazy, right? Once I gave God His job back, I was able to start seeing my husband the way God does. I started to see that his lectures and scolding were really coming from a place of concern for me. What I used to see as unnecessary and controlling, I now see as my husband wants to protect me from anything that would hurt me. It’s one of the ways he shows love.

      I decided that I could let him be in charge of things and if things didn’t go “perfectly” (according to my definition), it would still be ok. Well, a funny thing started happening. When he made mistakes, he couldn’t blame me and he had to start accepting that responsibility. I never made him feel bad about those mistakes…..most of the time, I would just smile and tell him it was no big deal (most times, it wasn’t). It didn’t take long for him to start admitting mistakes and apologizing to me for them without me ever saying a word. A miracle! 🙂

      I don’t know if that helps you at all. I hope it does. I know that it helped a lot when my husband realized that I do understand why he gets upset about certain things and I wasn’t just dismissing him or his concerns. Praying for you!

      1. NW, this is great! I’m like this as well, arguing fiercely like a trial lawyer with all the facts to prove I’m right. However the more I do it, the more my focus is on trying to make and even control things into being right and the less I am actually concerned with what God thinks. It eventually degenerates to the point where I’m so locked into the struggle to win that I’m more concerned about what I believe should happen and am no longer even asking God what He wants to have happen. This amounts to waging warfare with carnal weapons. Thanks for posting this!

  8. The worst part about this morning is I really was being falsely accused!!!!!
    I wanted to get righteously indignant!! Take the moral high ground!

    Unfortunately it was something I am guilty of so often it never occurred to him that I wasn’t wrong. I had to think really hard a few minutes to make sure I was right.

    It started out so stupid. He did apologize when he got home from work.

    A little background…

    We are not the dominant wife/passive husband dynamic you specialize in.
    We are an assertive wife/dominant husband.
    The unstopable force meets the immovable object.
    It is VERY difficult for me to back down. He doesn’t even consider backing down.

    Our saving grace is we love each other as passionately as we fight.

    He knows how much I’m going to have to relearn and he is ready to bear with me as long as it takes. We’re both hoping for sooner rather than later.

    Accepting constructive criticism and body language are my two gigantic problems.

    I have a wonderful, kind, loving husband.
    He has a hard headed, forgetful, defensive wife.

    I cause majority of my problems just by how I react to simple, true statements.

    This is the most wrong I’ve admitted to all at once.
    I want better, our good days are amazingly wonderful.

    1. Southern wife in training,

      That is a difficult dynamic,a strong willed wife and a dominant husband, a recipe for fireworks, to be sure!

      It is possible that some other wives her have more experience with this dynamic.

      This will take some humbling yourself and a willingness to back down. I think that as you see that you have much more power as a godly wife than you do if you are powered by your sinful nature, that will help you learn to back down and not escalate.

      In a situation where you are being falsely accused, but it is something you have done many times, I wonder if you gently say something like, “honey, I know. I have done this so many other times. And that was wrong of me. This time, I actually didn’t do this. And I want to not do it anymore. Thanks for bringing up your concerns…” Might be an interesting approach to prayerfully consider.

      Accepting constructive criticism and controlling body language, which, eventually means actually controlling your thoughts and attitudes, is a more advanced level of self control. First we learn to not say the sinful things. The attitudes and thoughts come later, many times. This will absolutely take the power of the Holy Spirit working in you to accomplish.

      I did something forgetful at work this past week. My boss called me out on it. I said, “Oh no! I don’t ever want to forget to do that. Thank you so much for letting me know.” And then I made myself a few notes so that I will hopefully not forget to do that thing again.

      You don’t have to admit guilt if you are not guilty or apologize if you didn’t do something wrong. But you can respond gently and with softness. And if you did do something wrong, you can thank him for bringing it up. Or you can ask him to help you figure out a way to remember things better. I tend to be forgetful, too. Probably in part due to chronic sleep deprivation. I have to have notes, alarms and reminders about things or I will forget to do them. I ask Greg and our children to help me remember.

      You have tons of power here to redirect the emotional temperature and make the thermostat more welcoming, safe, nurturing, inviting and calm.

      It will require admitting fault when you do sin or make a mistake and it will require chunking the pride and any self-righteousness. God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. James 4:7.

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

  9. Good advice, thank you. It all comes back to pride doesn’t it?
    I
    Normally in my pride I say anything that comes to mind.
    Now I’m proud of myself for not SAYING the things I shouldn’t.
    It’ll be a major breakthrough when I don’t even THINK sinful thoughts.

    It’s amazing to me how men and women think so differently. If I knew a friend was angry I would give her credit for not saying the hurtful things I knew she was thinking. Just knowing I’m thinking disrespectful thoughts is enough to cause trouble with my husband.

    The problem is my thought life has always been allowed to run riot. I always considered my thoughts to be my own. I will submit my behavior in the physical realm, but I maintain the right to stay myself internally. So again pride added to rebellion. Good grief, this is going to be harder then I ever thought.

    I thought I was signing on to get meals ready on time, keep the house clean, and speak kindly. This is turning into a whole life transformation!

    I may have just seen a little ray of sunshine peaking through the storm clouds… So by holding back my thought life we will never truly become one. We’ll always just be two people that decided we’d try to put up with each other our whole lives. Now I understand why the Bible calls it a mystery.

    Okay, I have to come up with a new strategy…

    1. Southern wife in training,

      This is a process. It takes time, fervent prayer, total submission to Christ and a complete willingness to give Jesus access to the darkest corners of our souls.

      I had to laugh when you mentioned what you thought this would be. YES! It is a complete and total heart, soul and mind renovation by God’s power.

      Jesus wants us to take every thought captive for Him. This means we evaluate every thought and motive by the blazing light of God’s Word and we reject any thought that does not line up with the Bible. We do not allow ourselves to luxuriate in sinful thoughts anymore. That is what fuels sinful words and behaviors – sinful thoughts. They are the source. When I spent all day every day rehearsing every sin my husband had committed against me ever and focused on what I didn’t like and what I wanted him to change, that created disrespect in my heart, pride and self-righteousness, not to mention contempt, bitterness and resentment. Those sinful attitudes and motives led to sinful words and behaviors. There is nothing else they could lead to.

      When Jesus is Lord in our lives, we recognize sin and immediately repent or stop it when it is still in temptation stage by God’s power, recognizing the source and the consequences of giving our minds over to sinful thoughts. We focusing Scripture, meditate on truth and replace the lies and temptations with praise for God, thanksgiving to God and the truth of God’s Word that counteracts the lie or sin that is knocking at our heart’s door. Through His power, it is possible too have victory over sinful temptations in our thought lives and to focus in Philippians 4:4-8 instead and to focus our attention, worship, submission, devotion and all of ourselves to Jesus. He transforms our thoughts and desires to match His own. He gives us His mind, His heart and His eyes. We begin to care less and less about worldly things because we know we are dead to sin and this world and we begin to care more and more about what Jesus cares about and about eternal things.

      One of my favorite descriptions of this journey is this post by Nina Roesner.

      I am so excited about the discoveries you are making by God’s Spirit’s help. I can’t wait to see all that He has in store!

  10. Time to really roll up my sleeves and get to work.

    I started ordering some of the books you recommended.
    Of course, I’m reading my Bible as well.

    Thank you for being an inspiration.

    1. Souternwifeintraining,

      What makes me sad is that most of us never had an example about how to be a godly woman or wife. This is all new territory for most of us. I know for me, it felt like trying to learn Chinese without a teacher for a long time. It took me over two years to begin to feel like I had any clue what it meant to respect my husband, and another 6 months to a year before it began to come more naturally and I didn’t have to consciously think through things every time before I spoke.

      The thing that surprised me most was that as I repented of my mountain of sin, I began to experience the absence of worry, fear, bitterness and anxiety. I was so confused at first when my mind wasn’t racing with “what if” and “how am I going to make this all work out ‘right'” and began living in faith and trust in God and His sovereignty. It dawned on me eventually, “Oh, this must be peace!” It was the most addictive thing ever, being filled with the peace and joy and love of Jesus. How I long for everyone to experience this incredible Treasure of Jesus and what it means to abide in Him and allow Him to transform us.

      I couldn’t possibly keep this gold mine to myself.

      And now, God gives me a front row virtual seat to watch Him transform hundreds of other women (and men) – it never gets old. I love to see Him open wives’ eyes and to watch Him heal life long wounds and scars and create beauty in lives and marriages and families. I get to see so many miracles. I am the most blessed woman on the planet!!!

      I am so glad you are spending time in God’s Word, that is our food. I have had women tell me they wanted to be peaceful, but they spent no time with God in His Word or prayer. That does not work! Doing this in our own strength is completely impossible.

      Woohoo!!! Your story is about to get really good, I can tell!

      Much love!
      April

  11. This is a timely and great article as insecurity is something I struggle with. I have an inner critic voice that clobbers me so severely that I feel utterly to a place in which I feel unworthy of God’s love and grace. I need to continuously learn to look to God in faith rather than the sufficiency of “self”. No human is ever worthy of God’s love and grace based on our own efforts. Although I know that in my mind, to really know and believe that is another issue altogether.

    1. eien897,

      It is a pleasure to meet you!

      That voice that you are hearing is such a destructive one. It is not of God, my precious girl! You are right – we are NOT worthy of God’s love and grace. He chooses to give those things generously to us because of His character and His love for us. It is a totally different thing to know this intellectually vs. living it out in reality and resting in this truth.

      I pray that God might help expose any lies or sinful motives or destructive ways of thinking and that He might help you to take each thought captive. Write down the sinful thoughts – and consciously trash them and replace them with the truth from God’s Word.

      Check out this post:

      What Does God Say about Me?

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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