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Don't Worry, I Am Not Perfect! Some Encouragement

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(In case any of you are feeling discouraged after the posts about being an ungodly woman, and godly femininity part 1 and part 2)

I don’t want any of you to think that I am perfect or to put me, my husband, our marriage (or any sinful human) on a pedestal.

I am nothing and can do nothing apart from Christ.

I am a long way from where I was 6 years ago. PRAISE GOD!!!!!  I have thousands of miles to go on this journey myself. I will always be learning and God will continue to refine my faith and to work in me to make me more and more mature in Him. God continues to work in Greg and in our marriage. I’m so thankful. We won’t be perfect until heaven – BUT – God can empower us to live holy lives where sin becomes more and more out of character and becomes more and more rare. Isn’t that the best news!?!? God will always be the expert. I will always be the student.

My goal is not to be perfect, but to love Jesus with all my heart, mind soul and strength and to seek to please Him because I love Him so much. It is all about RELATIONSHIP with Him.

Also, please keep in mind, there are some things about my marriage and my thoughts that I keep very private – things that I don’t even share with Greg or my prayer team, much less with y’all. Certain prayer requests, desires and some of the wrestling I do in my heart, mind and soul are just between me and God. Only God has the full picture of what is going on with each of us. If you try to compare yourself to me – you won’t have all of the information. Plus, you weren’t there to see how difficult the struggle was for those first 2.5 years. You are seeing me almost 6 years into this journey. I am in a very different place now than I was those first few years. And in a few more years, I will be in a very different place from where I am now.

I try very hard to be as transparent as I possibly can. But I only share my own sins here. Greg doesn’t sin a lot against me. But we are both human, of course. You are not going to see me talk much about his sins or weaknesses and any wrestling I do about that specifically. I try to be very careful about what I share and how I share it to guard my marriage and respect Greg and God. I seek to even careful how I speak about Greg to God and in my own mind and heart.

  • I don’t ever want to discourage any wife who is beginning this journey. I don’t want women to condemn themselves or feel like failures or beat themselves up. That is not productive, and it is not of God.

If the blood of Christ is effective to cleanse me from every sin in God’s sight, then I must accept that His blood is sufficient for me to forgive myself, too. Otherwise, I am pridefully putting myself above God and saying that Jesus’ blood is not enough to cleanse me of my sin. That is sin!  There is no need to flog myself anymore. When I belong to Christ, His payment for my sin was more than adequate. I don’t have to try to punish myself. Praise God for godly sorrow – that we can see our sin, turn from it and receive full forgiveness in Christ and we can be made right with God!!!!!! All because of Jesus!

(You may read more about what I was like before God opened my eyes and how He opened my eyes in the “about” section at the top of my home page.)

THE FIRST 2.5 YEARS OF MY JOURNEY

I struggled and wrestled with God and His Word for literally HOURS almost every day. I journaled. I examined all of my thoughts and motives under the blazing light of God’s Word. I cried. I prayed. I read around 30 books about being a godly wife and about godly femininity.  I begged Him to change me to make me more and more like Jesus and to make me into the woman and wife HE wanted me to be.

During those first 2.5 years, learning to respect, to give up control and to submit to Christ often felt like extreme spiritual contortion or like learning Chinese without a teacher. I had no mentor except for the the books I read. It was SLOW progress. I hope I can explain this better this time.

As God changed me and His Spirit filled me more and more, temptations began to be more obvious – eventually.

  • Before, when I was walking in darkness, I didn’t even notice the snares of temptations or realize why I was so miserable. I was blind to my sin.
  • As God’s Light shone in my heart, I began to see temptations more quickly. In the Light of God’s Word, I was able (at first) to see temptation right after I stepped into it. Then I would repent right away.
  • Over time, as He continued to transform me, God helped me to began to see temptations right before I stepped into them many times. And God gave me the power to stop before I stepped into the snare – sometimes, stopping my words mid-sentence!
  • Then, in more time, God helped me see the temptations from farther away so I could avoid them completely many times.
  • Sometimes I mess up.  I want to repent to the people I offended and to God as soon as possible then get back up and move on. I want to keep short accounts.

THE PAST FEW YEARS

I have spent the last 3+ years writing (for 20-40 hours/week) about godly femininity and being a godly wife. I have the things of God on my mind and heart constantly. When I am not writing, reading God’s Word, singing praise songs or hearing sermons, I am talking with God or thinking about things God may desire me to write. That is a GOOD THING.

It helps me continue to grow, learn and mature as I write about these things, keep them in the forefront of my mind, meditate on them continually and teach them.  God, His Word, Greg, believers and unbelievers continue to sharpen me. It has been a very good thing to know I am accountable to God, to Greg, to my children and also to my readers for what I think, say and do in my marriage. Knowing that I have hundreds or thousands of people watching my every move and motive helps increase my awareness of the importance of my decisions and how significant the consequences of sin could be. Do I really want to have to explain falling into a sin to thousands of people? YIKES! I also know that plenty of people will rebuke me if they see sin in me – and that is a good thing, too! I try to share when I get myself into sin – often on my Peacefulwife Blog FB page, but also sometimes in posts here (like the one about Triggers for Sinful Thoughts), so that I am transparent.

  • I constantly monitor my thoughts as I seek to abide in Christ. I examine every thought, holding it up to the Light of the Bible and God’s Spirit to check it for sinful motives or sinful desires.

Often now, after just a sentence or two – God’s Spirit puts His finger on a potentially sinful motive or thought. When I see a potential sin or temptation, I stop. Here is an example: “Ooh. That thought sounds prideful. Lord, I repent of all my pride about this issue! I humble myself before You! I do not know best. You do!” I go to my prayer journal if I need to and write out my prayers and any confessions, temptations or struggles. I also share temptations I am wrestling with either with Greg, my prayer team or on my blog. I make myself accountable.

Repenting  is WAY easier when sin is just a few sentences or a few minutes of thoughts rather than months or years of  sinful thoughts, sinful words and sinful actions.

Of course, if  I stop receiving nourishment from Christ, His Word and God’s Spirit, or if I simply allow my sinful nature to take over – I am perfectly capable of sinning. I can quickly take my sinful nature out of the tomb where it was buried with Christ, rip it off the cross, if I choose to – and it can go crazy. But when God’s power is flooding my soul, I hate sin. It repulses me. It doesn’t look very tempting at all. I long to please my Lord and to obey Him no matter what it costs me.

WHAT TEMPTATION LOOKS LIKE WHEN GOD’S SPIRIT IS IN CONTROL

  • Now, a temptation looks like a bear trap that has a piece of juicy meat on it. The meat may look and smell good, but I can see the metal jaws of the trap. I can picture exactly what will happen if I try to take the meat off of the trap or step in the trap. I rehearse all of the consequences of that particular sin in my heart. Then God can give me the power to turn away from the temptation and to choose to obey Him.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21

Does that mean that I will never fall to temptation or sin? Nope! If I react in my flesh, I can sin. We all can. Is it possible for some temptation to blindside me and for me to fall? YES! I am very aware of exactly how capable I am of sin, how deceitful my sinful heart can be, and I seek to be vigilant to guard my heart and thoughts. Is it possible for God to empower me to walk in victory over sin? Praise God, YES!

I believe we will all always have wrestling to do. And that we will all need to evaluate ourselves spiritually on an ongoing basis – really, a daily basis – but then periods of even deeper self-examination. And we will all have temptations for the rest of our lives. Of course, temptation doesn’t = sin. The sin only comes if we choose the wrong response to the temptation.

Normally, the wrestling process happens more quickly these days than it did at the beginning of my journey, although a major trial may necessitate a lot more wrestling. My faith is much greater now  – and that is a God thing, too.

MY GREATEST STRUGGLES AND TEMPTATIONS NOW:

  • wanting to rush ahead of God and Greg and DO MORE STUFF for God. Sometimes it is a challenge for me to be still and wait. But then I remind myself that God can bring these things about in His time, and I don’t have to try to pressure Greg about them. God may have reasons why I need to wait. I rest in His sovereignty.
  • handling those who oppose me in a godly way
  • making sure I don’t put ministry above God, Greg or our children
  • watching for idols in my heart
  • whenever I find myself feeling disappointed or upset – I go write down what I am thinking and feeling to clarify my thoughts and examine my motives and pray before acting on things whenever possible
  • watching for prideful, self-righteous motives
  • monitoring against allowing any little root of bitterness – in fact a month ago, I struggled with some bitterness for days. That was unusual. But it inspired me to write about triggers for sinful thoughts.
  • there are times when I speak a few sentences to Greg – then realize – OH NO! Wait, that might have been disrespectful!  I apologize right away and try to have some time in prayer before addressing that topic again. I know I need to check my motives.
  • when someone sins against me – depending on the severity of the sin – I may have to wrestle quite a bit with this, but I go through the scriptures and the process I need to go through to work through my emotions and thoughts and to extend grace, mercy and forgiveness
  • when I focus on my needs and desires too much, I can easily get ensnared into sinful thoughts of entitlement, pride, bitterness and self-righteousness,
  • thoughts sometimes pop into my head, “I wonder what it would be like to be married to so-and-so…?” And then I quickly think, “Ack!!! What am I doing!?!? I can’t go there!” And seek to quickly focus on being thankful for the blessing my husband is to me and for all that Christ is to me.
  • responding to people in real life in a godly way who attack me with criticism and contempt is a much bigger challenge for me than responding online because I don’t have hours to pray before I respond.
  • knowing that thousands of people are going to read the posts I write keeps me extremely humble. I am in awe of this opportunity. But the weight of responsibility and accountability is very heavy. I allow God to carry that weight. I know I can’t do this on my own. I am totally dependent on Him to speak through me. I don’t want to mess this up. I don’t want to hurt or discourage anyone. I don’t want to misspeak or mislead people. I want so much to point people only to Christ and His Word.
  • when I am rushing and hurrying, I am much more prone to sinful thoughts, words and attitudes
  • I do feel the temptation to want to control or pressure Greg at times (not constantly like I used to, just occasionally) – but usually God quickly helps me realize how counterproductive that would be before I say something – what a praise!
  • responding with the right balance of God’s truth and love to those who are hurting – I agonize over this at times
  • honoring Greg’s request of me when he asks me to stop being in contact with someone who may be consuming too much of my time. I hate to “give up” on anyone. This is hard for me!
  • making sure I don’t allow myself to become overly emotionally/spiritually attached to other men – guarding my heart. One way I do this is to copy Greg on any emails to men. But, I also try to keep other men at arms’ length. I love my brothers in Christ deeply. I want very much to bless them. But I don’t want to foolishly fall into temptation
  • balancing my time wisely
  • not getting upset when we are running late (Usually, I stay totally calm, but there are exceptions! I know I need to be extra careful about my tone of voice and facial expressions in these moments.)
  • figuring out how to begin to transition into treating our almost 13 year old son with more respect and less directives
  • wanting to try to open someone’s spiritual eyes myself. It is frustrating at times. I have to consciously redirect my focus to God’s sovereignty and trust the person to Him, allowing Him to carry the weight of that situation and to determine how and when He opens each person’s eyes.
  • being patient when the kids are whining/arguing a lot – finding the right balance of love, nurturing, discipline and firmness.
  • men trying to flirt with me occasionally, I don’t want to entertain any ungodly ideas
  • I think I do a lot better with tone of voice, attitude and body language these days – but Greg and our children would probably be better judges of that than I am!
  • when I am exhausted, in pain, sick, or very sleep deprived, I know that sin will be a lot easier to fall into – the flesh is certainly weak!
  • when someone is disrespectful to Greg, I want to jump in and defend him and have to wrestle at times with holding my tongue and allowing him to handle the situation himself
  • sometimes, I struggle to come up with exactly how to express my feelings or needs in a respectful way to Greg on very sensitive topics – I have to pray a lot about this
  • responding with grace when someone is screaming/cussing at me (at work or on the blog)
  • figuring out how to avoid listening to gossip that someone is intent on sharing  when I cannot leave
  • when someone falsely accuses me of sin or wrong motives in the blogosphere or accuses my husband falsely, that is hard! I want to defend myself, but that just tends to make things worse – so I have to learn to leave it alone

And please keep in mind, if I was being abused or severely sinned against by someone – I would be wrestling over that a lot right now! Or if I was facing a tragedy or great trial, I would be wrestling for weeks, months, or years depending on the issue. Also, if I had been abused as a child or had a lot of baggage from my childhood or teenage years or an abusive marriage, I would have a lot more wrestling to do. Also, our children are not teenagers – yet. That is coming very soon at our house, though!  And I haven’t entered peri-menopause yet. With each new phase and stage in life, there will be new obstacles, challenges and temptations. I want to put my trust squarely in Christ, not in myself!

Please pray with me that God might cause me to be faithful to Him and that I would be a good steward of all that He has entrusted to me. I appreciate and need your prayers! And I will continue to pray the same for you. 🙂

0 thoughts on “Don't Worry, I Am Not Perfect! Some Encouragement

    1. I have a question.. I like your blog a lot btw. 🙂 how can I convince my fiancé to wear skirts and dresses only.. We r both Pentecostals, but she does not see the need for wearing them, and resents the thought of wearing a dress.

      1. John Frank,
        I ‘m glad the blog has blessed you. 🙂 it is a pleasure to meet you.

        You can share with her how much you love seeing her in skirts and dresses. And you may want to share The Modesty Survey results with her – or the book For Young Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn – to help her understand how men think. She likely has no idea that pants and jeans may be a stumbling block for many men. If she understood more about how men think and about the blessing modesty can be to herself and to others, she may be more willing to change her wardrobe. However, ultimately, this will need to be her own conviction. But you can help by exposing her to how many men think and helping her understand the attractiveness of feminine dress to you.

        May God richly bless your walk with Him and your future marriage. 🙂

      2. If it’s ok for me to comment on this…
        I think if a spouse desires that his wife wears dresses or skirts exclusively, then that is an excellent reason for her to wear those exclusively. However, I also believe that one needs to be careful of legalism when it comes on to this (speaking generally here, not specifically to this man, whose heart I cannot judge).
        I certainly think in most cases, the decision to don dresses only, should be based on conviction. If the Word speaks that to your heart, act accordingly. I wear dresses as well as pants and I feel comfortable doing so. I have many Christian friends who wear dresses only…and I respect that too. I would not stop wearing pants, because of others…it’d have to be a burden in my own heart. I see so many variations of this issue….some women feel that Godly women should not wear high heels because it causes their hips to sway in ways that are tempting to men (that one was extreme to me personally, I must say! I don’t believe I should put temptation in the path of men or anyone else, but I can’t prevent every sin in another person’s heart! And forgive me, but that high heels one is beyond my level of comprehension).. .Anyway, others feel that modest women should not wear make up, others believe that women should not enter a church without having her head covered.
        There are so many beliefs!! So yes, I agree that if a wife is convicted that the authority (Word of God) speaks to her heart about wearing dresses only, she should definitely honor that. I feel the same about if that’s a request from her spouse, as that’s a way to honor him. However, I caution those who might just be displaying legalism, or those who think they are “better Christian women” than women who are not convicted that they are wrong to wear pants…..high heels…make up etc.
        To be clear… I certainly support modesty in dress and I am not saying a woman should wear revealing clothes etc. I dress modestly…unless of course you think only dresses and skirts can be modest. I’m just saying, the reason for heart we do, need to be as pure as what we do as well. We can do a good thing with a bad motive….

  1. This makes you very relatable! Thank you for sharing that you do still struggle and that we should never expect that we will get to a place where we won’t.

    I think one of the most POWERFUL points in this post is “if I stop receiving nourishment from Christ, His Word and God’s Spirit, or if I simply allow my sinful nature to take over – I am perfectly capable of sinning.” I am seeing the importance and truth of this more and more as time goes on. My sinful tendencies are so much greater if I have not had time with God to read, pray, journal and meditate! That is what keeps me centered. I HAVE to have that!

    Progress can seem so very slow at times. Our time is NOT God’s time. I want to sometimes ‘rush’ this process and be so much further ahead and spiritually mature than I am. I have to remember that I am in God’s very capable hands and He will mold me at the rate He knows is best.

    I do think as you journey in this, it does get easier- somewhat…. like Kayla says in “My Demon” and the Part 2 to that post, it never goes away… but we can become wiser at seeing it and resisting it.

    Last night, something came to my mind I thought about addressing with my husband. But THEN I felt my heart race and my hands grow sweaty at the thought of the fight that could follow- and I am NOT afraid of my gentle husband-there is no reason to be- but I am afraid of lost closeness. I KNEW that was God’s way of telling me not to go there, at least not right now.

    2 and a half years ago before I ever began that journey, I wouldn’t have felt that warning or if I had, I wouldn’t have heeded it and would have charged on into what would have became a fight. Probably a year and a half ago, I would have felt the warning but ignored it and charged on…. Last night when I was able to resist that temptation (and I am not always that strong nor do I always make the best choice), I knew God’s spirit was guiding me and I have grown enough to listen. (At least this time)

    BUT that was a beautiful reminder that I am growing! I am also still struggling! Still falling and scraping my knees on this journey. But perhaps not as much…. now it doesn’t feel like a 2 steps forward 3 steps back process, it is more like a 3 steps forward 2 steps back process- at least most days. I see progress but EVER SO SLOWLY!

    It is difficult to remember this is a life long sanctification process. I do think as you get a little ground under your feet you can look back and see where you have come from even though the path ahead may seem gigantic.

    1. A Fellow Wife,
      Thank you so much for sharing this!!!! I always love to hear what you are learning. And I am glad that you were sensitive to God’s nudging last night. Praying for wisdom for you and for the light you need to see to take each step God has for you.

      Much love!!

    2. A fellow wife- I am very encouraged thinking how I am ‘only’ 3 steps forward and 2 steps back most of the time when I falter as opposed to the previous 2 steps forward, 3 steps back that used to be disheartening at times. God is great! He opened my eyes to the great sin sitting in my heart and I felt convicted. I’m not perfect but thank God I’m not where I was!

      Peaceful wife- thank you always for your ministry and your honesty. You never say you are perfect but it is nice to be reminded you are human 😃 and falter at times. I’m so excited I found Love and Respect at the used book store today AND For Women Only!

      1. Prayingwife79,

        You are most welcome! Love and Respect was the book God used to open my eyes in December of 2008 in our church book store. That book has a special place in my heart! And For Women Only taught me to understand men so much better. I love both of those books! Let me know what you think! 🙂

        I am so excited about what God is doing in you!!!!! WOOHOO!

    1. iwanttobethemoon,

      Are you talking about spanking and things like that?

      If that is what you are asking, Greg and I do not support that line of thinking at all. Thanks for the question!

  2. Thanks so much April. This has been really encouraging. Lately I have been feeling very low, about the shortcomings I have as I relate to my fiance. When I read those posts on godly feminity they made me feel like I really have a long way to go. However, you sharing your struggles has made me know that only when we fully surrender to the LORD, will we be able to be the wives that God desires us to be. Kindly pray with me, that God may mould me into a godly woman and even be a blessing to my fiance.

    Much love.

    1. Purity,

      We all have a really long way to go… But, the destination is not the most important thing. The journey and relationship with God and your heart to want to know him and love Him is the most important thing. Realizing God is right there with you, helping you, loving you, molding and refining you is so amazing. He will not let us go. This is how all the waiting becomes so precious and sweet as we are just still before Him, yielding to Him and trusting Him to remake us as we get to know Him better.

      I will pray for you right now that He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it for His greatest glory. That is a promise! We will pray it together into reality for your life. 😉

  3. Thank you very much for your ministry. I’ve been reading your posts for a few weeks and they verbalize my own struggles over our 20 year marriage. We are doing fine, but you have helped me see my weaknesses are common and how better to control my thoughts. Btw, I have teen boys and am trying to remember to treat them respectfully because they are young men. It’s a tough balancing act as mom when I get frustrated: ). Have a blessed day!

    1. Shannon,

      We had our 20th anniversary this year, too! Happy 20th!

      I praise a god that He is using these posts to bless you and to draw you closer to Himself and to help you see more clearly what is going on and how to capture your thoughts for Christ. That is awesome! Thank you so much for sharing!

      Nina Roesner, author of The Respect Dare, talks about this transition with her son, he is an older teenager now. I am just beginning to enter into this new phase. It is certainly going to require me to be very sensitive to God’s Spirit and to my son’s needs and how he is changing during this time. I pray God will give us all wisdom with our precious sons and daughters!!

  4. Thank you for sharing your heart, April!I never saw you as perfect or without struggles. I just see you are farther along the journey than I am.

    I am a tad bit farther along than my journey partner but she knows that I struggle too with going backwards. Often she will repeat back to me something that I said to her when I am struggling. 🙂

    I will be forever grateful that you did take this journey and are so willing to mentor me and the other women here. It has changed my life. It has given me peace and hope. I love you my dear sister in Christ!

    1. Daisymae,
      I can see all the way from here how much God is changing you. It is such a miracle and a blessing to get to have a little glimpse now and then into what you are learning and how God is changing your heart and healing you, strengthening you and your faith. I love it!!

      It is good to have other women to walk with us on this journey who are seeking Christ with all of their hearts, too. We can encourage each other, point each other to Christ, exhort one another, pray for each other, love each other and help each other up when we stumble.

      I am so excited to see all that God has in store!!

  5. Thank you for your transparency and also for modeling the wisdom of not oversharing personal things.

    Thank you for protecting us from the nasty comments some leave. It’s such a safe place here because of your willingness to do that.

    You are prayed for with much love!

  6. April, God is right on time, I just had to respond, and be so thankful right now for His words of truth, about temptation, I really understand now, ty for posting.:-) some of your struggles are mine too, especially on the balances of raising children.

  7. I thank God for your life. Continue to live a life of purpose in Christ. We are loved by our Father, lots of love and prayers all the way from the UK.

    1. Shinga,

      Thank you so much for this encouragement and exhortation! I pray that God will richly bless your walk with Christ, as well, and that you might continue to grow in Him for His greatest glory!! Much love and some big hugs to you from across “the pond.” 🙂

  8. Thanks so much for the post, April. I don’t ever feel that you are placing yourself on a pedestal; however, it can be discouraging at times to see how much I need to change. This post was perfect timing for me. Thank you for sharing your walk with Christ with all of us. You are such a blessing to me. I will continue to pray for you on your journey. Much love you you!

    1. Courtney,

      It is definitely shocking at first to see the magnitude of our sin and the lack of holiness and righteousness in ourselves. That can be pretty depressing. But it makes the joy all the more great when we see just how good the Good News about Jesus is for all of us!

      Thank you for your prayers. I appreciate that so much! Please let me know how you are doing and if you need to talk about any struggles. I am right here!

      Praying for God to continue to cause you to grow and to have great faith in Him and to shine brightly for Christ.

      Much love!
      April

      1. Hi April,

        I tried to post this earlier, but in don’t think it went through. Could you help me see if I am being sinful in something I did today?

        I met my husband at the store he was working at, so we could go and catch our plane home together. The plan was to meet at the hotel, but I went to his workplace because I was tired of spending so much time alone. I missed him and wanted those few extra minutes to be together. He was saying goodbye to the crew and the manager, a female, hugged him goodbye and I immediately went up to her and introduced myself. My husband was furious with me because he said that I acted insecure and gave the impression that I wanted to kill her for touching him. He said I embarrassed him and this is why he doesn’t want me around his coworkers. He is always afraid I will do something like that.

        I apologized fir embarrassing him, as that was not my intent. I told him that I understand that intent doesn’t matter, what matters is the effect and that I was truly sorry for embarrassing him. Beyond that, I need to know what the sin of my heart was that caused me to do that. I think because he was so focused on work and left me all alone so much this week, I was extremely jealous of his work because I felt robbed of what is rightfully mine. When I saw her hug him, the thought flashed into my head that while he was working and leaving me lonely, he was befriending this woman and giving her the companionship that rightfully belongs to me. So, that’s where my head was at.

        Now we are on a plane, sitting separately and I know that I should probably spend this 3 plus hours praying. That’s probably why God did not allow us to sit together. Is there something in my heart or motives that was wrong and is that why that situation turned so horribly bad? I really want to be clean and set free of whatever it was/is and just need help seeing it.

        1. NW Girl,
          Did you see my response earlier? 🙂

          I’m glad you apologized.

          From what you are describing, I am having a hard time telling what your husband’s motives are. They may be fine, or they may be sinful. I cannot possibly judge his heart.

          How exactly did you act and what did you say, what tone of voice, etc… when you introduced yourself to your husband’s coworker?

          What else did he say?

          Do you believe you can trust him?

          Has he ever done something to make you believe he is not trustworthy with other women?

          Are you insecure in your marriage?

          How is your time going with God?

          Your husband hugging a female coworker doesn’t necessarily mean anything. I don’t know that it is wise to do that, but it may mean nothing.

          You introducing yourself is not necessarily wrong. It depends on your motives and how you did it.

          Is he super sensitive to your responses?

          Do y’all have a history of issues with similar situations?

          Much love to you!

          Yes, I think spending some time praying would be very, very wise. I would like to see y’all salvage things when you are able to speak again.

          If you really do trust your husband, maybe you can be prepared to be pleasant, calm, friendly and non-demanding, non-needy, non-pressuring when you get to be together and just enjoy him?

          Much love!

          1. HI April,

            We have never had an official discussion about boundaries with the opposite sex because he believes that you should “just know” what is right and no discussion is necessary. I am not comfortable with that level of vague, so I have tried to get clarification, much to his annoyance. He agrees that going on “dates” with members of the opposite sex is off-limits, however, he feels like a work dinner with a member of the opposite sex is ok, because it’s just work and I should trust him. After all, he chooses to trust me. It’s a very difficult situation to navigate. He doesn’t do work dinners with females except when out of town on work trips….and he says he doesn’t have coffee or lunch with just a female coworker alone. It’s guys or a group that may include females. I would love to have an effective, clear discussion about boundaries with him, without him thinking I am accusing him of wrongdoing. He always wants to know why I am wanting to have this discussion if I trust him. Frustrating.

            I have never caught him cheating, nor do I have evidence of it. The thing that bothers me have several components. Before me, he always met his girlfriends/partners through work. They were coworkers who were friends and then became more. He was always in another relationship when he became friends with the girl who would be next. He is a very attractive, charming, and friendly guy. Women and men are naturally drawn to him and enjoy his company. He has no shortage of work friends. I have no problem with the male friends, unless they are someone who would be a bad influence.

            I think the root of what was bothering me with this woman yesterday was that my husband had been working long hours in that store. He had no energy left for me at the end of the day….and then it was up before dawn and back in for another marathon work day. When I saw her hug him, I realized that all of that companionship that I had been missing all week from him…….was being enjoyed by all of his coworkers in the store. I then felt like I had been robbed all week. I think there likely was anger and resentment inside when I forced myself into his space and forced an introduction.

            He forgave me last night and things were healing…..pretty good, even. Then, this morning, I really wanted some attention from him before I left for work. I should have just let him sleep in, but I tried to force it and of course, he wouldn’t give it. the more he rejected me, the more I hurt, so I tried harder and it ended up with me crying and him yelling at me and I feel like such a failure. I don’t know why this need to feel loved and appreciated by my husband is so strong. I know God loves me. I know my family and friends love me. I know that God’s love, alone, should be enough.

            Sorry for the rambling. I don’t know if any of it makes sense…..but would you, at the least pray for me? My heart is really broken today and I just don’t know what to do

          2. NW Girl,

            How has your time with God been going this past week, my sweet sister?

            It sounds to me like your husband has been pretty trustworthy, but he has different standards from you about what would be appropriate/inappropriate with the opposite sex at work.

            What if he truly IS trustworthy?

            If he IS trustworthy and you are needy, insecure, panicked and untrusting – what will your behavior and attitude do to the intimacy in your marriage, do you imagine?

            What would happen if you decided to actually trust him for real?

            Your husband’s standards about how to handle the opposite sex in work situations sounds very similar to my husband’s standards. He and I do not have the same exact convictions about these kinds of situations.

            Greg has never given me any cause to doubt him or not to trust him. So, I choose to trust him. He does sometimes have to ride in a car with a female coworker alone when they visit sites. I personally try to avoid being in a car alone or a room alone with another man – but I trust Greg and I understand that is part of his job that he really can’t change. Your husband’s standards about not meeting with women alone for coffee or lunch sounds very good and then he is in a group setting when women are there for dinner. All of that sounds very above board.

            I personally have convictions to try to not touch other men or hug them. I used to hug other men all the time – but have decided that is not wise for me to do. That is my own personal conviction. I don’t have a super strict rule about it. Of course, if a man at church or somewhere does approach me for a hug – I do not give a full body hug or get very close. If I felt uncomfortable about the situation, I may reach out my hand to shake hands instead. But – my husband and I may not have the exact same convictions all the time. That does not necessarily mean he is “wrong.”

            I know my own heart and am more aware now than ever before how easily I could slip into temptation or how easily another man might slip into temptation – so I am quite vigilant – much more so now than ever in our marriage. But just because Greg is not as vigilant and doesn’t have convictions that are as strict as mine doesn’t mean he is untrustworthy. I hope that makes sense.

            It sounds like your husband may have felt disrespected by you in front of his coworkers.

            How do you think you could have handled that situation in a way that honored your husband and God?

            Men are kind of like cats, my precious sister. The more you try to force them to do something, the less likely they are to do it. Just to show you that you can’t make them do something.

            At what point do you think you could have gone a different direction so that you didn’t continue to try to force or demand his time, affection, attention or sex?

            Do you understand why he yelled at you? (Not to justify him yelling, but just to try to help you understand his perspective?)

            What are you plans for when you see him later?

            Are you willing to back off- not in a pouty way – but in a friendly way. And give him a bit of space to regroup and allow him to come toward you when he is ready?

            Are you going to have some serious time with God today to pray and study before you see your husband again?

            If you get a chance, please search “needy,” “fear,” “discontentment,” “contentment,” “husband rejects” and “husband idol” on my home page, some of those posts may be helpful.

            What would have happened if you tried to initiate affection or sex this morning, he wasn’t responding, and you backed off? How would you have felt?

            What are your greatest fears?

            Are you trying to control your husband?

            What would happen if you stopped trying to control him?

            Much love to you!

          3. April,

            These are all fantastic, thought-provoking questions.

            It’s interesting that you asked how my time with God had been this week because while I did spend about the same time reading and praying this last week……I felt a blockage. Something was in between me and God and I could not hear His voice like I wanted to. It was frustrating. It was really bad when I was with my husband on his work trip and it seemed like the more nice things I did for myself (shopping, spa stuff, going to nice restaurants)……the more frustrated I would get with my husband for not paying attention to me. I got all dressed up/glammed up and as I walked around town, I got attention from random, total strangers, but it made me really upset that I still could not compete with my husband’s work for his attention. I now realize that all the things I was doing to make myself feel good was only feeding the self monster we have talked about before. 🙁
            That’s how I got into the unfortunate headspace of yesterday and this morning.

            Yes, I know my husband felt very disrespected by what I did and it breaks my heart. 🙁 I should have just met him at the hotel, as originally planned. I never would have experienced that trigger and we probably would have had a wonderful trip home. Any time I am around his coworkers (or anyone for that matter), I MUST see them the way God sees them. This is so tough for me when the self monster has been fed. I now see that I need to pray for this in myself every day.

            Yes, I do understand why he yelled at me. I have learned that he does this (and says the ugliest things) to get me to stop talking. It is his way of trying to control of the situation. It is SO hurtful to hear these things he says and I believe that someday, when God gets ahold of his soul, he will see that and find a more mature way to resolve differences with me, instead of just trying to shut down any conversation about them. It is really tough to know when to just be loving and turn the other cheek…..and when to speak up about hurts, needs. He has told me that he wants me to “use my words” and be direct with him if I need something. Having said that, this morning was NOT an appropriate time to do that. I believe he would have been more receptive if he had not been so tired. I know better. I totally allowed the enemy to push my buttons and use me in a destructive way. My heart breaks for this as well.

            Yes, I am probably trying to control my husband…..trying to make him give me what I feel I need to be happy. I did hug him while he was in bed before I had to leave. He wouldn’t hug back, he was just trying to sleep in a bit and that’s part of what caused the meltdown. I felt he should be up at his normal time and that he should compliment me on how I looked in my new outfit that I got on the trip. I was completely oblivious to the fact that he was exhausted from his marathon work trip and probably dreading going back to the office after having no time off. My heart breaks over this selfishness as well.

            My biggest fear…..is him leaving me and finding someone else. That would mean that he chose someone else over me and that would hurt a lot. I know that I have no control over that and what I did yesterday/this morning only makes that more likely. Once again, my heart is breaking over this. I am so very upset, disappointed, and frustrated with myself.

            My plans for later tonight when I see him are still being formed. I know that he needs space and I am planning on giving him that space. Honestly, I need space from the hurt as well. I am afraid to go home and have him be distant/ignoring/mean……so, I am trying to prepare myself for that possibility and plan accordingly. I will probably stay here at work until I have everything for tomorrow finished, so I may get home late. I was thinking of picking up a pizza for us to eat while the football game is on. I am preparing for a lot of silence from him, but I am praying for an opportunity to apologize. I was praying with my mom about this situation this morning and I felt like I heard God telling me that I need to be completely honest with my husband and tell him that the reason I had the meltdowns and reverted to my old ways is because I took my eyes OFF of following God and allowed my focus to be on mySELF and what I needed. My husband is not a Christian and is very negative about Christians and Christianity, so I have been quiet about my faith……BUT, any and all changes for the good in me have been due to following God’s lead. I don’t want to come off as self-righteous (especially after my sinful display), but this is the whole, honest truth behind what happened. Thoughts? Please pray that if this is truly what God wants me to do, that He will give me the right words and opportunity to do so……and that He will prepare my husband to really, truly hear it.

            Thank you for listening and for asking these questions. It really helped to write out my answers to them.

          4. NW Girl,

            I am glad you have had time to think through these really important issues today!!!! WOOHOO!

            Are you seeing what was blocking you from God now? It seems like you are seeing things pretty clearly now.

            Thankfully, even if your husband were to leave you – God is able to work all things for your good because you love Him and are called according to His purpose. But, right now, I don’t think it is necessary or healthy to think about your husband leaving you. I vote to rest in his love for you – but even more, rest in God’s love for you!

            Are you willing to lay down your fear and trust God with it? Holding your husband loosely instead of having your hands spiritually around his neck?

            I would love to see you be friendly, smile at him – apologize for being needy/demanding (briefly and without justifying yourself). Then, enjoy the evening. Even if he is quiet. Don’t force yourself on the man tonight!

            But – I am not sure about talking about spiritual stuff with him. Your husband is not a believer, God’s Word is pretty clear about wives not using words about spiritual things but using their godly attitudes and respectful behavior to draw their husbands to Christ. I Peter 3:1-6 is your assignment until your husband comes to Christ. Check out this post “When I Shut Up, My Husband Heard God” and “My Secret Idol.”

            I think you could do something like, text him to let him know you are picking up pizza then walk in – smile. Ask about his day. Get him his favorite drink.

            Sit wherever you would normally sit – but don’t smother him or make any demands. Drop all of your expectations of him and appreciate just being in the room with him. Ask God to help you see when a good time to apologize might be.

            You could even do it by text before you see him, “Honey, I am so sorry I was selfish and demanding this morning. Looking forward to just enjoying the game together this evening. :)”

            That would probably be all you would need to do.

            Of course, be sensitive to God’s Spirit! That is the most important thing.

            Much love my precious girl!

            Please let me know how things go!

          5. So, I posted a long update on how it went last night and it’s not showing up here. So weird! I’ll try again from work.

            Long story short…..I did not have a chance to apologize because he was acting as if things were good…..overly so. It was like he was chatting so much with me so I wouldn’t have a chance to bring up the hurt of that morning. He has said before that he doesn’t like to hear apologies because they just remind him of the pain. I still believe I need to confess my selfishness and sin and my remorse for it. Thoughts?

          6. NW Girl,

            I don’t see your other post. 🙁 I am so sorry!!!!

            I have heard a number of men say similar things – that they don’t like verbal apologies and would rather just see a change in behavior and attitude.

            If he doesn’t like to hear apologies – then, maybe you can focus on speaking his language and doing what is meaningful to him. You have repented to God. That is the main thing. And you confessed your sin here – I think that is a good thing, too!

            If he doesn’t like apologies and it reminds him of the pain, then, you can respect his request and not verbally apologize. It sounds like he was trying to make things up to you and seeking in his own way to restore the fellowship between you. That is a good thing!

            I know it is not the way you want to handle it. But, he is the one you are trying to reach for Christ, so – I vote to honor the way he prefers to handle things right now. I think that will mean a lot to him. Maybe God will inspire you today about something you can do to demonstrate your resect and love for him in a way that would be most meaningful to him. Some kind of action or gesture that will communicate your good will for him and your good intentions? And, of course, be prepared to have a Spirit-filled attitude and heart when you see him tonight. 🙂

            Much love!

  9. April,

    I just want to thank you and let you know what a blessing your ministry is to me. As I read your list of struggles, it was like reading my own. We are all in a struggle, as the evil one continually seeks our destruction, but praise God, we have His word and Holy Spirit to accompany us on this journey, and His mercies are new every day!

    Sanctification is indeed an ongoing and frustratingly slow process, which due to my own impatience, seems to be even more difficult some days. In my own case, at times I feel empowered and able to follow the words of our Lord Jesus, but as you say, when we are tired, sleep deprived, in a hurry or sick, our defenses are down and I become more susceptible to sin.

    I too struggle with handling people that are disrespectful or oppositional in a godly way (it is so hard to love a porcupine, isn’t it?) Recently, I have also suffered from bitterness and discontentment in my marriage of 30+ years. I have a wonderful husband, kind, gentle and treats me like a queen. I pray for his growth in Christ and tend to want to rush things along. However, when I step back and read God’s word and pray, things come back into focus. Mainly I see that I am the one who is in disobedience. I need to learn to take every thought captive and to be quick to hear and slow to speak.

    May God bless you abundantly, dear sister.

    1. Jan,

      I’m so glad that this post and blog is a blessing to you. 🙂 That is an answer to many of my prayers!

      God does not allow us to rush through this process. I know for me, I had to learn to embrace the waiting and be content even if it seemed I was “not moving forward” at all.

      I praise God for what He is doing in you and your husband, for His wisdom and His perfect timing.

      Much love to you!

  10. I thank God for you and your ministry. I have prayed for years to find a woman to teach me to love my husband as the bible does instruct women to teach the younger women this. I had mentioned it to women in my church, but no one seemed to want to do this. I had felt a bit lost in this area. Your ministry is such a blessing. So clear and so helpful. My prayers are with you. I also want to add that I have read some of your responses to negative comments. I have been blown away by your gentleness and kindness. You handle them beautifully which is such a lovely reflection of Jesus. Thanks for the inspiration and example. God knows I need it.

    1. Charli,

      It is my prayer that God might raise up godly women to be beautiful examples to the younger women in every church of His around the world (and for godly men, as well!!). I am all too well aware that many women have zero godly examples to look to in their lives and even in their churches. And, sometimes when there are women who are more spiritually mature and who do know how to honor and respect their husbands, they may not know how to break it all down into the baby steps that many women just beginning this journey need.

      I am so thankful that God is using this blog to bless you and to help you grow. That amazes me!

      Thank you for your prayers – I need them! And thank you for the encouragement. I long to reflect Christ to everyone and to “gently instruct those who oppose” me.

      Much love!

  11. April, I just wanted to let you know what a blessing you’ve been to us over the last several months. I really have grown so much as a result of reading your blog. Thank you so much for being courageous and allowing yourself to be vulnerable enough to be able to open up and share your story to help others in the same situations!

    I wrote a blog post about my experience and you can read it here: http://beingbethanykerr.wordpress.com/2014/10/03/have-you-had-marriage-struggles-i-have-too-heres-what-helped-me/

    1. Bethany,

      I am so glad you shared this with me! WOW! WOW! WOW! I just have to praise God as I read your story. I never ever get tired of watching Him do miracles. What a gift that God allows me to have this “front row seat” to watch the way He changes lives for His glory.

      Thank you for sharing your story and what you are learning. I know God will use you to bless many more wives. I can’t wait to see the ripple effects that spread around the world from what God is doing in you. 🙂

  12. A bit off topic, but what would you suggest in terms of biblical submission in a dating situation? How much submission should be reserved for marriage? It’s hard to find advice on this subject because dating as we know it now wasn’t practiced in Bibilical times. Thank you in advance for your insight!

  13. Hi April, like so many others, I appreciate your work here. Your posts (and the comments from others) have helped me grow. I really like your honest, gentle and humble approach – and especially how you guide us to the Word and to prayer. I look forward to continuing my journey with you all.

    You are in my prayers! I am Canadian, we are celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend….I am very thankful for you and your blog. 🙂

    1. Melanie,

      Oh wow! Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to you! What do you do to celebrate in Canada?

      I’m so thankful God is using the posts here and the comments to bless you. What an incredible answer to prayer. I appreciate your encouragement and willingness to share. I hope you will give us updates about what you are learning! 🙂

      Much love!

      1. Good morning April 🙂
        Thanksgiving is celebrated with a family meal, my sister is cooking a turkey today. We have tomorrow off from work and will have a lunch with some of my inlaws.

        I will definitely continue to post on my progress, I’ve been learning so much about letting my husband lead. He is not a believer so this summer I struggled with letting him lead in our finances regarding my tithing. You have so many great blogs archived and with lots of prayer and Bible time was able to submit that area to him and God.

        Have a great day!
        Blessings….:)

  14. Good Morning, April.

    Last night was…..interesting.

    I spent as mush time as possible in study and prayer yesterday….mostly prayer. A friend of mine prayed that God would lead me, like Esther…..and that He would give me the exact words to say and the right moment to say them. That sparked an interest in Esther. I read about and studied her story yesterday. I sure can learn a lot from her about trusting God and obedience to him, no matter what the situation. I think God wanted me to see how trying to take over His job and do things in my own strength and out of my own understanding (yet again) had failed miserably. I thanked God for all the healing He has done so far and I repented of forgetting all of that and trying to let self run the show again. One of my biggest fears yesterday was that my husband would not come home and finally (after much prayer and giving that to God), God used Esther to remind me that His timing is everything in difficult situations and that I needed to trust Him and still be obedient…..that if my husband was late in coming home, it was because God had held him back for a reason. That God would send him him when the timing was perfect….and God would let me know when the timing was perfect for my apology ( I REALLY wanted to do it as soon as possible)

    I took your advice and got pizza on the way home. I felt like I needed to not call or text him, but to give him space. I headed home. I soon got a text from him that he had just left work. I texted back saying I was going home as well….and I was bringing pizza. He texted right back and we had a bit of a text conversation. He was excited that I found a place with deep dish (his favorite) and was bringing that home for us. I didn’t call him, but spent the drive home listening to my newest sermon podcast (which was all about giving up anxiety to God and trusting Him) and then I prayed once again for God to give me the right words and opportunity for apology.

    Well, we both got home at the same time and he was going out of his way to be helpful (carry in anything I needed). We got inside and he got me a cold drink to go with my pizza. We watched football together and he was uncharacteristically chatty. He talked/interacted with me a LOT. It was very pleasant and nice and completely unexpected. He seemed to be in a very good mood. I never got the ok from God to apologize……every time I would start to talk about something, my husband would start talking or sharing, so I would let him take the lead in that conversation. I took your advice and enjoyed the evening with him. After football, he watched his other shows and I fell asleep on the couch. We went to bed and he thanked me again for the pizza. I gave him a kiss goodnight and I noticed he was a little tense and definitely holding back, but I let it go and told him I loved him……and went to sleep. It was in that moment that I realized that he had been trying to act as if things were good until his feelings have had a chance to catch up. I think maybe he was talking so much (not like him) so I wouldn’t have a chance to bring up that morning’s hurt and reminding him of it. I remember now how many times he gets mad at me when I apologize for something and he tells me that he was almost over it and then I had to apologize and remind him of it and make him mad all over again. He’s trying to forgive and move on the only way he knows how and I don’t know how healthy it is to move on without my apology…..but I do know he is a guy who places more weight on actions than words.

    Now, what do I do? Can he truly forgive without me acknowledging that I was selfish and wrong? I still feel like I need to confess that to him and ask for his forgiveness. I just don’t want to take things into my own hands and force it and possibly make him mad again. I know him and I know he is not completely over it, nor has he forgiven me yet for hurting him. Thoughts?

  15. This is going to sound like a very base question, but how can I get closer to God? Much, much closer?

    I have been a Christian most of my life. One of my spiritual gifts is faith. I have so much faith in Christ, His sovereignty and power and love and wisdom, that I’ve been accused of being naïve when I don’t express concern over situations.

    I have a “read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year” program that has Monday-Friday readings. I’ve kept up with that for the first time ever this year, waking at 4:30 a.m. each morning to read and pray before my workouts. Half the time I end up not having time for my workouts.

    I listen to worship music all the time. I sing on the worship team at church, so I constantly have worship music running through my head, the lyrics that speak to me and the truths of their messages.

    I pray throughout the day. I try to take every thought captive. God has been revealing hidden sins to me more and more. Your blog has taught me so much about the pride that I have, which truly is the root of all evil and causes most of my sins. I have repented of that, though it’s something I still struggle with (and my pride is the self-deprecating kind, where I constantly think about how much less worthy I am than other people and I try to find ways to validate myself all the time). I’ve been getting better, now that I recognize it almost every time I think or say something prideful.

    But I feel so far from God and I don’t know why. I feel like I can’t hear Him. When I pray and try to listen, I feel like I must have ADD because my mind starts wandering and I end up thinking about something that has nothing to do with anything. Focus is very difficult for me. Several times lately I’ve prayed over how to approach my husband regarding a situation, and then the situation blew up and I can’t figure out why I can’t hear God’s instructions on how to handle things correctly. Other than those times, our marriage is amazing, my husband is incredible, and though there are stressful things happening (of which you are well aware!), we have much to be thankful for.

    So why then do I feel so far away? Why can’t I hear him?

    1. M,

      This is something I think we all struggle with at times.

      I know that for me, if I do have sin in my life, even sin that I am not aware of, it keeps me from hearing God for sure.

      But then there is also a process of learning to discipline our minds to be still and quiet before God so that we can hear Him.

      You are on the right track with evaluating your motives and asking God to show you sin and repenting of any sin you see. That is AWESOME!!!!

      I don’t know if you journal as you pray? I personally have to do that or I can’t focus well. I feel like I haven’t “really had time with God” until I can write down my thoughts and prayers. It keeps me much more focused and on track and I can go way deeper with God that way. Everyone is different, but this is how it is for me. 🙂

      I hope this might be helpful.
      Much love to you!

      1. I haven’t journaled. There have been times I’ve opened my iPad and typed in huge, long prayers in a Word document, but it doesn’t feel natural to me (even though I love writing/typing). I feel like I’m trying to be flowery and articulate. So…I’m not entirely sure how to journal. Do one sentence prayers count? “God, I pray for the so-and-so family, that you would work in their situation.” It doesn’t seem sufficient to me.

        Maybe I’m trying too hard!

        1. M,

          I just write down what is on my heart. My concerns, my questions. I write down my feelings and ask God to help me see my true motives. I write down verses that speak to me and prayers – whether one sentence or longer. I write down praises for God. Thanksgiving. Confession of sin. Requests for myself and for others. I write down things that stand out to me as I read God’s Word.

          Much love to you!

  16. A Fellow Wife really got the wheels turning in my mind…. For the past few months there have been topics I brought up with my husband and the results were very bad, but before I would bring anything up my adrenoline would start pumping, my heart would race and my stomach would knot up. I always interpreted it as my gut telling me he was doing something wrong, her post stopped me dead in my tracks, what if all the ill feelings were Gods way of telling me no, be silent but I wasnt listening? I was far from God & hadnt read my bible in months so I had shut the door on Him and became blind and deaf to Him. My light bulb just went off and im so happy I finally got an answer to why I was feeling that way when my husband wasnt really doing anything all that time. I think in my sinful ways the devil put thoughts in my head, God was trying to tell me not to speak on it but I didnt listen and as a result I put those thought in his head and the devil tempted him to act on it. It was my sin that started it.

    1. Nicole~~

      I am so glad that was helpful to you. I interpret all those feelings of anxiety as a sign not to bring up a subject.

      Of course there are times we do need to discuss things and they can’t be let go… but usually when that is the situation- something truly needs to be addressed, I don’t feel that nervousness or anxiety. If all those feelings DO hit me, I can pretty much count on it blowing up into a big fight where I will regret EVER saying anything!

      Staying in my bible daily REALLY helps me. It keeps me centered in Christ and helps me keep my motives refined. It isn’t always easy to do but I do try my best. Sometimes I have my daily bible time when I have lunch because I am already sitting down.

      Best wishes to you!

      1. Nicole – I am so glad you posted this. This is exactly what would happen to me before I would bring something up and it would go HORRIBLY wrong. Now, I see it as God’s warning to me. I heeded it the other night when I really wanted to apologize to my husband for a selfish outburst. I stopped and waited….prayed for God to give me the words and opportunity. The next morning, I was able to say “I know I am a pain sometimes and I can be very selfish, but you are a wonderful husband to me and I really appreciate that. Thank you.”. He said “my pleasure”. It wasn’t how I would “craft” an official apology, but it was apparently what God wanted me to say. I didn’t have the pounding before I said it. I was nervous, but I also had a peace. I’m learning that peace is also a sign from God. A good sign. 🙂

    2. Nicole,

      I am really glad you got to read a Fellow Wife’s comments. Sometimes, our emotions are screaming that we MUST speak our feelings immediately, that it is critically important that we do it RIGHT NOW. That voice is rarely from God. It is usually from my flesh. How much better to go journal our thoughts in a moment like that and really listen and study God’s Word and evaluate our own hearts and motives and any sin first. Then we can approach our husbands from a place of spiritual strength, peace and godly wisdom instead of tearing them down with our fleshly ideas.

      I’m so excited about what God is showing you!

      1. I recognize this compulsion to speak NOW all too well. It is a trap and it’s completely selfish. Even if you are correct in what you need to say, if your husband isn’t prepared to hear it, he won’t react in the “right way” that you are expecting he will…..and then the temptation is to push even further to get him to do/say what you want him to. Something God has been teaching me lately is that HIS timing is perfect and that even if I am 100% certain that what I am saying/doing is what He wants, I STILL need to wait for God’s timing and that perfect peace that lets me know it’s the right moment. I experienced that with an apology to my husband last week. God’s timing and words were perfect, even though I felt like maybe I didn’t go far enough with my apology. My husband responded well to the first part of my apology and then yesterday (days later) I got another green light from God to apologize deeper and more specifically (accepting responsibility for wrong behavior). It was almost as if my husband had been waiting for that and was relieved when it came. Had I pushed forward in my time, I would have wanted to get a massive apology out there and then leave it to him to process. I then would have been mad when he didn’t forgive me right away. I am now seeing that God needed to prepare my husband’s heart, in stages….for this apology, in stages. God also needed to put me in the right frame of mind, too. I needed to be able to see the hurt/disrespect and to SINCERELY apologize with humility. It makes sense now….and it requires me to trust God more than I trust my own “understanding”

        BTW…God is showing me how ugly my Self monster really is and the “acceptable” ways in which I feed it. Please pray for me as I seek to starve the Self monster and my pride/ego. I can now see what a huge turnoff to my husband (and others) it is and I don’t want to give the enemy that destructive tool to use any longer.

        Praise God for never ceasing to pursue us!

        1. NW Girl,

          I experienced this a couple of weeks ago, when I felt a quickening to ask my husband about something. I was so gentle and respectful in my approach, entirely non-confrontational, understanding…and yet it still completely blew up and the rest of the afternoon was ruined! And that was AFTER I’d prayed about it all morning, truly believing that the insistence I was feeling was God telling me to go ahead and ask about it. I was so wrong! This thread has taught me that next time, that feeling is an indication that it is the WRONG time to bring the situation up.

          I’m impressed with how much you’re learning and growing, and I want to encourage you that your example has blessed me. I also understand how difficult it is to starve the “Self monster” but with God’s spirit and power, we can do it!

          1. Thank you for your encouragement and prayers, M! So many times when I needed encouragement or insight into something I was dealing with, I would come here and find that in April’s posts and ALSO in the comments from other wives who were struggling, but learning, and willing to share what God was teaching them, so that others could benefit. I am blessed beyond belief that God has used any part of my struggles to help you.

            That waiting on God is soooo hard, because you just want to get it done with and move on….but once again, that is for self gratification, not necessarily the other person. I find that I desperately want healing and forgiveness as soon as possible…yes, for my husband, but more importantly, because I want to feel better and move on. That was an ugly realization! This week, I tried to take April’s advice and to just enjoy whatever time/interaction I had with my husband while I waited on God. My husband was doing such a good job of outwardly putting everything behind him, that I was honestly surprised when God opened a second door of opportunity for a deeper apology….but God had been preparing my heart all of last week for that moment. I told him that I hadn’t formally apologized for my disrespect in front of his coworker because I hadn’t wanted to dredge it up and cause him to re-live it, but that I felt he needed to hear how deeply sorry I was for doing it and for hurting him that way. I was able to open my heart and share that I was completely wrong and that I love him so much that I don’t want to cause hurt like that ever again.

            It’s important to point out that had I attempted this apology when I wanted to, it very likely would have been tainted by some self justification. I would have told him about how lonely I was while he was working such long hours and how hurt I was when I did see him and he had zero energy left to interact with me. I would have told him how seeing this woman hug him goodbye made me feel like he had been giving away the companionship and connection that I so crave from him to this “insignificant” person….and how very angry I was in that moment. I would have tried to force him to see things my way…..to see WHY I did it…..to somehow make it seem less wrong. The truth is…..what my husband saw in that moment that I forced an introduction with her…..was the raging self monster in all of it’s horror……and there is no justification for unleashing that on anyone, even if they were wrong. I am called to a higher standard. I am called to represent GOD and I was NOT doing that when I approached his female coworker with so much ego, pride, condescension, and yes…..even hate. 🙁 I had to see it and be truly ashamed before my apology could even approach being what God wanted it to be.

            I will pray for you and the defeat of your Self monster. Pray for me in my battle with mine? Thank you!!!

          2. Thank you for sharing this!!! I am incredibly amazed and blessed by your heartfelt apology towards your husband, and I am convicted by your statement that had you apologized when you wanted to, you would have included justification.

            I think that’s a lot of my issue – when I apologize for something, I feel like it fosters communication and it is a GOOD thing for me to “share my heart” with my husband so he can better understand my motives and triggers. I need so desperately to be understood by my husband.

            It’s a difficult balance for me. I’m never sure if I should provide that justification so that he sees where I’m coming from and he won’t do whatever it was that hurt me in the first place again. I feel that if I don’t share my reasons with him, he won’t know that I was hurt by what he did and he might be inclined to do the same thing again and again.

            And I can’t apologize with no excuses, but then later bring the situation up again simply to share my hurt feelings. Once I apologize, it should be done and over.

            So that’s my conundrum. Do I stuff my feelings in the name of giving a pure, excuse-free apology? It feels irresponsible of me to hide those feelings from my husband.

            But perhaps that’s my Self monster making another appearance, thinking that my feelings are so incredibly important! Or maybe that’s my Self monster telling me that only I can reveal to my husband when something is wrong.

            NW Girl, your comments have been so very helpful to me. It would be an honor to pray for you in your battle with your Self monster! 🙂

          3. M,

            Sometimes things don’t go “well” from our perspective even when we believe we are prepared and acting in accordance with God’s will. We may own some of it. But our husbands may own some of it, too. There are some things that will be painful for our husbands to hear even if we say it “perfectly.” I hope that makes sense. Praying for wisdom for you to know when to speak and when to wait on God longer.

            Much love!!

  17. I also want to share something God showed me yesterday. 2 Chronicles 20:15-17 “He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen? King Jehoshaphat. This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Do not be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but Gods. tomorrow, march out against them. You will find them coming up through the ascent of Ziz at the end of the valley that opens into the wilderness of Jeruel. But you will not even need to fight. Take your positionsK than stand still and watch the Lords victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, For the Lord is with you.”

  18. Job 36:15-21 “But by means of their suffering, he rescues those who suffer. For he gets their attention through adversity. God is leading you away from danger, Job, to a place free from distress. He is setting your table with the best food. But you are obsessed with whether the godless will be judged. Dont worry, judgement and justice will be upheld. But watch out, or you may be seduced by wealth. Dont let yourself be bribed into sin. Could all your wealth or all your mighty efforts keep you from distress? Do not long for the cover of night, for that is when people will be destroyed. Be on guard! Turn back from evil, for God sent this suffering to keep you from a life of evil.”
    Sorry for multiple posts I couldnt fit it all in one.

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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