Skip to main content
FullSizeRender-1

I Am Still on Such a Learning Curve! And That is OK. :)

 

Greg playing ping pong with our son
Greg playing ping pong with our son

 

I know it must seem – to some – like I am some kind of expert (or like I must think I am some kind of expert – ha!) on the whole respecting our husbands thing. I have been studying this topic for over 6 years, yes. And I have been writing about it for almost 4 years. But I still have SO VERY MUCH to learn and thousands and thousands of miles to go on this road! Please don’t put me on any kind of pedestal. We are all learning on this journey together! Anything good I have learned is by God’s grace and I am thankful for all that He has done, is doing, and will do in my life and in yours, too. Every husband is unique and has his own particular preferences, his own leadership style, his own desires, his own personality, and his own needs. Respecting our husbands is not a one-size-fits-all thing. I have learned a lot about what husbands find respectful – in general. Now, I am doing a lot more honing to understand Greg’s needs and personality in particular.

What matters most is what our husbands need and that we are the wives God desires us to be to our particular husbands. It is ok that our marriages are unique from other people’s marriages.

God’s principles are always the same – but how we apply them and live them out will look different many times. We don’t have to compare our husbands to others. It is ok for our husbands to be themselves and not to fit into a specific mold in a blog post or a book. It’s ok for wives to be the women God calls us to be and we will not all be cookie cutters. ๐Ÿ™‚

What I am learning may not be what God has for you to learn. It will depend on the dynamics in your marriage and on the personalities of you and your husband whether what I am sharing today would apply to your marriage in any way.

GREG SHARED HIS HEART WITH ME (and I made sure to get his approval before sharing with y’all)

I was really surprised to learn a lot of new things about Greg a month or so ago. I would have thought that after 6 years of dating and almost 21 years of marriage, 6 of which I have been on this journey to become a godly wife – that I would know Greg and his preferences really well by now. I found out that some of his preferences have changed.

Wow.

I had no idea that was a possibility with those particular issues. Most of them were small things. For instance – there are some things he likes but they are just not a huge deal to him. He often doesn’t want me to change anything just because he mentions, in passing, that he likes something. I had always tried to pay close attention to anything he mentioned because he says so little about his preferences, that I wanted to honor his preferences if he did actually say something!

The things he shared took me by surprise and threw me for a bit of a loop. It was good to find out that my husband’s preferences about some things may change at times or that some preferences are “minor” vs. “major” that I didn’t understand before – and to allow him the freedom to change without putting him “in a box.’ He doesn’t think in a black and white way nearly as much as I do. That is ok.

A few things I have been doing for Greg to bless him that really don’t do much for him:

  • Asking what he would like me to change once a week or once a month – He doesn’t really like change! So, that kind of stresses him out.
  • If I try “too hard” to be a good wife or mom – He feels that stresses out our family. And his definition of me trying too hard does not match my definition at all!
  • Asking him what I can do for him that week to bless him – ย He would rather I not ask him what I can do for him. I will trust him to let me know if he needs something.
  • Dressing up every day – He is fine if I do but it’s not a big deal to him if I don’t. He likes me to be comfortable. (I actually did the dressing up thing more for my own benefit than for his, but it was interesting to hear his take on it.)
  • Makeup every day – “If it makes sense to wear make up and you want to, that’s fine. I have no problem with that. But I don’t usually care if you wear make up or not.”

These are things that I know that many husbands do like. My husband doesn’t say much about what he likes – so I sometimes would just try to guess and try to do things that might bless him because I knew they blessed other husbands. But – if what I was doing to try to bless him really isn’t that big of a blessing to Greg, or it stresses him out – well, it’s time to revamp my ways of seeking to bless him!

So – I am still learning. In fact, I am sure that I will continue to still be in the learning phase for the rest of my life! Some of Greg’s preferences haven’t changed. He still loves my hair long – for example. I hope to have more conversations like this. I was thankful that Greg was willing to share these things with me because I WANT to know Greg more.

It was kind of unsettling to think that these things I thought I understood about my husband that I thought would bless him really weren’t that important to him.

I am wrapping my head around the concept that many times – with my particular husband – “less is more.” That is not how I think. I would like to shower my husband with lots of attention and DO many things for him to bless him. To me “more is more!” But that isn’t really what he wants. So, showing him respect means, in this case, that I back off. It’s weird because it can feel like I’m not “doing anything special” for him. Then I think things like, “How can I be a helper if I am not helping him in some way?”

  • Greg values me not being stressed.
  • He doesn’t want to burden me.
  • He doesn’t like to ask me to help him (which I can understand – I don’t like asking for help too much, myself!)
  • He doesn’t want to be demanding or tyrannical (not really a big danger for him with his particular personality, in my view).

Of course, I don’t see doing things for him as a burden. So it is an interesting time of transition while I try to take my foot off the gas pedal and slow down even more. I had already been going MUCH slower than ever before. Going slowly does NOT come naturally to me!

I found out that sometimes Greg hasn’t really wanted to share small preferences with me because I tend to abruptly change if he mentions something – and he doesn’t want me to change too much. I tend to be an all-or-nothing kind of girl. It is difficult for me to change things “slightly” or “barely” – or to just hear Greg share how he feels about something without feeling like, “Oh, I could easily change that thing just to bless him.” But apparently, what my husband would most appreciate would be tiny changes – occasionally – not big huge dramatic changes.

He feels that I “over-correct” or “over-steer” a lot of times. Hmm.. I can’t really argue with that observation.

I was thinking about my walk with Christ, too. About Mary vs. Martha. And how easy it is to get caught up DOING STUFF for God – important ministry stuff, even – and miss out on sitting with Him and just soaking in His presence and love.

I don’t have the whole “relaxing” thing down. I like to serve. I like to DO things. Important things. Things that matter in light of eternity. But I think that God is using Greg to help balance me out and help stretch me in areas where I am not strong. I am peaceful. I have God’s peace every day. But I tend to push myself a lot. I don’t like to just “sit and do nothing.” This probably sounds weird but relaxing (well, certain definitions of relaxing) can be more stressful to me than doing things like studying, praying, reading the Bible, doing ministry, or even doing chores. I think I could sometimes miss the idea of resting that God talks about often in Scripture. So, thankfully, I do cuddle and rest with Greg many times.

I haven’t really counted a lot of things I do as being a blessing to Greg. Does that make sense? He counts some things as ways that I bless him that just haven’t been on my radar. I mean, I am really self motivated. I would keep the house clean, take care of the children, cook, do the shopping for the food, cuddle with Greg, and enjoy him without him asking me to. So it is hard for me to feel like those things would “count as a blessing” to him. It doesn’t seem like that is “enough” in my mind sometimes. But to Greg – those things are the things that bless him. He is content and really doesn’t want me to try to do a lot more. For me to pile on a bunch of more things to try to bless him that don’t actually feel like a blessing to him – would be a big waste of time and energy – and it can stress him out!

One of the things Greg values most is just me being there. He is happy to have my friendship, love, respect, and support. I don’t really have to DO anything for him. He just wants to be with me. He values my company, companionship, and friendship.

I asked Greg the other night when we went out to supper, “Doesn’t it get frustrating to you that I still am not really wrapping my mind around the things you shared with me last month and that I am trying to process all of it but I am not sure I am completely ‘getting it’ yet?”

He said, “No. It doesn’t bother me that it is hard for you to understand me. You wouldn’t have a ministry if understanding me was easy for you.”

Um.

Well, that’s true! ๐Ÿ™‚

APPLICATION:

I want to be very purposeful about slowing down and just being still before God, spending time listening to Him in silence, praying more, being in God’s Word even more. I want to stop rushing around DOING so much for Him, and actually enjoy Him and sit at His feet much more than I have been.

I also want to be very purposeful about slowing down and just enjoying Greg (and our children). I’m sure some husbands are different. Some husbands probably have a long list of things they want their wives to do – and many wives probably feel very overwhelmed by that. I’m extremely thankful that Greg is not demanding. He never raises his voice. He is the farthest thing from a tyrant. For some wives, what Greg talked about with me would be a super easy assignment – but for me, it is very hard and extremely counterintuitive! I am excited about God and Greg stretching me and helping me to slow down more and to enjoy both of them more.

SHARE:

What have you been learning in your walk with Christ or in your marriage? You are welcome to share!

GREG’S PERSPECTIVE:

Here is a peek into what Greg has been learning latelyย in our marriage – kind of eye-opening stuff, in my opinion!

94 thoughts on “I Am Still on Such a Learning Curve! And That is OK. :)

  1. The biggest thing I have learned lately is what respect looks like to Ken. I asked him to tell me whenever he felt disrespected by me and it has helped SO much! We mustn’t guess what makes our husband feel disrespected since all husbands are different.

    1. Lori Alexander,

      That was the hardest thing for so long for me, Greg wasn’t able to articulate what felt disrespectful or respectful to him until several years into my journey. I had to do a lot of guessing and assuming. Not the easiest way to learn, that is for sure! And it turns out, I was still doing things I had assumed years ago would bless him.

      I am thankful Greg is able to articulate his feelings much more openly to me now, and thankful for each step that moves us to greater unity.

      I am glad Ken has been able to share when he feels disrespected. That is a huge help! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Much love, my beautiful sister!

      1. I pray that one day my husband will understand that I cannot automatically know what makes him feel disrespected. He believes that because of the learning and studying I’ve been doing for the past couple of years, I should know what makes him feel that way. He believes I should understand him well enough and if I do something that is disrespectful, it’s because I was thoughtless or careless or inconsiderate of his feelings. For my husband to know my heart as well as he does, and for him to think that I could be thoughtless, careless, or inconsiderate, just breaks me.

        1. M.,

          I certainly don’t know Greg’s thoughts unless he tells me. And even then, I don’t always “get it”! I hope your husband can have some grace for you as you are learning. Yes, you are learning some general things. But you cannot automatically know his thoughts unless he shares them. Praying for wisdom and healing for you both!
          I know that you are not every acting purposely to be thoughtless, careless, or inconsiderate.

          It’s easy for us to judge other people’s motives as evil – but we don’t know their hearts! This is an area where I pray we will all tread very carefully.

          Much love and a BIG HUG to you!!!!

  2. Wow. This is awesome. I have learned that when I stared this journey backing off is huge to my husband. He revealed that a while back. In my head I thought he hadn’t noticed but he did. I still have some more backing off to do. I tend to slip at times but I learn from every slip.

    The weird thing us that me backing off had relieved some stress for me. I used to nit pick about everything and that changed. Wow what a difference when I back off. Sometimes I think of saying something but I just dont. I’m learning that I can’t be all up on him as if I was his mom. He has to learn certain things on his own with God. We are two different people. That’s a big obstacle for me to understand that we think differently. It would sometimes frustrate me when he wouldnt think just like me. It’s a good thing he doesn’t. God knew what he was doing when he gave me my husband how he is.

    1. Kat,

      Absolutely, when we stop pushing ourselves so hard to use up a lot of energy unnecessarily – it does take stress and pressure off of us. That is good for us and for our husbands. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thank you so much for sharing!

      Yes – if only I had understood that we thought differently when we got married. I think that would have saved us a lot of frustration!!!!

      Much love to you!

    2. So how do you back off when you are wanting to “make up” for being so disrespectful in the past. I understand I may have been suffocating him with my big personality swing. but I feel like I would be unloving if I didn’t do the things that would be a blessing to people. He feels I am still too controlling. I don’t wan to seem uncaring or distant either. How does keeping that in check look in the real world?

      1. LMS daily,

        I know this question is for Kat… but, if you don’t mind, I will take a stab at it.

        I believe that what is most loving to do at this time – is to do what your husband is able to receive most as loving and respectful. Right now, he has a lot of misunderstanding about your motives and he is stuck in assuming that you haven’t changed, but that you are manipulating him. Until he is able to receive your gestures in a positive way – it may be the most loving and respectful thing right now to lay low and allow him some time to heal and get his bearings. Maybe it is too much change at once? I’m not sure.

        Over time, as God continues to work in you and your husband sees that you continue to be this new way, he will eventually feel more safe.

        I am sure God will help you know when it is time to add a little more blessing and positive action into what you are doing.
        There can be a lot of waiting in this journey.

        It took Greg 3.5 YEARS to feel safe with me again after I began this journey.

        I wish I could hug your neck, my precious sister!

  3. I love this post! It’s awesome! ๐Ÿ™‚

    To be honest, April, I asked my husband after I started reading your blog if he’d prefer me in skirts… he said no, and I said, “Whew!!!” I hardly EVER wear skirts; they drive me crazy and I definitely can’t imagine wearing ’em in the winter! We went shopping together for some pants and I noticed that he liked almost every pair of jeans I tried on, but was far less likely to say “yes” to slacks or any other kind of pants. I finally said, “You really like me in jeans, huh?” and he said, “Yeah, I do!” Then I thought back to how rarely I’d worn jeans (I wore whatever people gave me since our funds aren’t always the best… and the ones that fit me well just so happened not to be jeans) and thought, “Well that was an epic fail on my part.” LOL and then I made a mental note to wear more jeans.

    As far as Mary and Martha go, though, I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum (even more so when pregnant and in my first trimester!) I have NO problem relaxing… but I’m not so good at the “keeping the house up” thing. I think part of it may also be due to the fact that I’ve been homeschooling my daughter (something I’m still praying about), so that diverts a bit of my energy and attention.

    I greatly appreciate your prayers as I learn and grow as well! Let’s continue lifting each other up! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. blessedout,

      Greg was never adamant that I wear only skirts. I decided to do that for a number of reasons, and he was supportive. But it really wasn’t something he ever said I needed to do. Well, he did mention in college a few times that he wished I dressed up more. I know he likes skirts – especially ones that go about to the knee. He doesn’t want me to “look Amish.” I’m not sure that I will ever go back to wearing jeans. I used to wear them every day – but now – they are so uncomfortable!!! And – I don’t think I can forget the things I read about the temptation that jeans can cause for a lot of men. But – I will wear yoga pants around the house if we are not going anywhere. And I guess I will prayerfully consider some loose/flowy pants. Not sure yet!

      Pregnancy can be so hard! I know many women who are completely exhausted – that first trimester can be rough!

      I think that homeschooling would definitely divert your attention and energy a lot from house-keeping. And when children are home, why is it that if you clean up everything, it all gets messed up again in about 2 minutes? ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thanks for sharing! I’m glad that you are discovering what your husband likes and I am so excited about what you are learning in Christ!

      Much love!

  4. Hi April, What did you mean by “If I try โ€œtoo hardโ€ to be a good wife or mom” and that his definition is different to yours? What does it mean to Greg for you to “try too hard”? It sounded like for you, trying too hard means doing too much “good stuff” and ministry and not resting in God…?

    1. Tjwithersryan,

      If I keep the house “too clean” (and get OCD about it, in his view), or try to restrict the kids’ screen time “too much,” or talk about a much healthier diet (getting rid of preservatives, chemicals, sugar, food coloring, etc)… That stresses Greg out and he feels it stresses the kids out. I believe that is the kind of thing he means about me “trying too hard.”

      To me, some of those things could be very good things. But I am going to rest in Greg’s decision and trust God to give us both wisdom about each issue. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Oh wow, that’s really interesting! Thanks, that kind of lines up with what my husband says about how if I try to keep things super-clean (which I unfortunately have to because of severe dust allergies). We still haven’t worked out a good solution for weekends where we both get to spend time relaxing and also get the place clean. Working on it ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. Tjwithersryan,
          I have major dust allergies myself and chronic sinusitis and tons of environmental allergies. So, I feel you on that!! I like having as little clutter as possible so that dusting is as quick and easy as possible. We can’t have carpet or heavy drapes. Can’t run the heat at night in the winter. Yep. Severe allergies can make things a lot more complicated.

          I have learned to let things go sometimes and to focus on family rather than things being clean. I really learned to have a lot of patience during the 3.5 years of constant renovations Greg and his dad did on the old house we bought when our 8 year old was a baby. Dry wall dust is not my friend!!! I had to learn to accept a lot of chaos and disorder for a very, very long time. But, I am thankful not to be as OCD as I was and I try to remind myself that my family is much more precious and important than a clean house. I try to keep it fairly clean. But I don’t stress over it like I used to. So freeing!

          Praying for wisdom for the right balance for you and your husband! ๐Ÿ™‚ Relaxing and resting is important, too. Even if I have not mastered those concepts yet!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Hi April. Thank you for all the work you and Greg are doing in this ministry while raising a busy family AND being employed. I know just two of those things can be a huge undertaking but I so appreciate the sacrifices made for this blog!!

    We met last October when you were down at my church for the ladies retreat and I wanted to update you on my marriage stuff. I’m the one with the husband living and working up north while I’m down here in Florida taking care of my mom. I did write a letter to my husband at your suggestion and asked him to come up with a way to be able to spend some more time with him without abandoning my mom. While he didn’t get all super elated about the letter (at least not outwardly) he did tell me months later that he ‘re-reads that letter frequently because it made him feel so good that I still want to be close to him despite our current living arrangement.

    One thing I would never say to him years back when he decided to accept a job up north even though my pastor was so incredulous abou it, is pointing out to him that he chose this living arrangement. It was not thrust upon him by God, nor was it born out of any necessity. It was something he chose due to him not wanting to live in FL any longer and his definition of success being the larger paycheck. (That’s over simplifying it a bit, but those were the two biggest factors.) I just did NOT feel that it was my job to convict him that way, it was the job of the Holy Spirit.

    So recently when having a very painful family discussion with our son and his wife about their definition of how they need us to treat them more like adults, my son actually tearfully told my husband, “Dad, you basically left us when I was 16. I still needed a dad around and you left and moved up north for a job.” The response from my husband was not a huge revelation by any means, BUT I was encouraged to see that the HS is using our son to bring my husband along on this journey.

    I don’t know how this will all turn out but immediately following that trip God has brought some things into our lives here in FL that has caused my mom and I to make a huge change in our living situation that seems pleasing to my husband because my unhealthy hold of the house and property here is being reduced and simplified and in a few months time will allow me to visit back and forth a little more frequently with my husband.

    All that to say that even though our husbands may not be able or willing to articulate their respect needs, God is so faithful if we are patient to wait and see how He sets our path. Love and hugs to you April!!

    1. FLgirl,
      I am so excited to hear from you!!!

      I’m glad that you showed your husband you were willing to follow his lead about how to make things work. And I am also glad that you didn’t try to convict your husband, but allowed the Holy Spirit to work in him. After this winter, I would imagine lots of people living up north might be ready to move to FL!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

      I’m glad that your son was honest with your husband. Goodness, how painful!!!!!

      Praying for God’s wisdom for you and your husband and for His clear leading and direction, my beautiful sister!!!! I loved getting to meet you!

  6. Interesting post, April! My husband is very similar to yours (although he is an unbeliever). I kind of picked up earlier on that he would not want me to be probing him about specifics and trying to change too much for him. As a matter of fact, we went through that “stage” sometime last year and it just felt….weird and not very comfortable. I think in one sense, it can also give kind of a false impression to a husband that we don’t have our own personalities and that we want to be controlled by them. During that stage, there were times that my husband started being slightly controlling about little things that I knew that he didn’t really care much about. I think he was confused as to his role in the marriage (so was I) and since then, we have found more balance. Something I thought of as I read this post was that our husbands really do just want us to be the women they fell in love with. So, when we are in good balance with each other, I am respecting him, but still really letting my personality show through, I’m at ease with who I am and we joke and tease each other much more than when I’m too worried about getting my every move right around him. Also, I think that asking my husband too many questions about what he wants done today or trying too hard to bless him stresses him out a little – he doesn’t want to have to think in those ways. He’s a simple guy and is happy if I would just do the basics like be happy, have the laundry room clean, bed made with nothing on top, simple dinner and calm with the kids. And yes, my stressing about the way we eat and media time seems to do nothing positive for our family. :/ Those areas are a continual struggle for me to learn to give those areas up to God rather than cause unnecessary tension and discord in our home.

    My husband very much likes for me to just relax and hang out with him. I remember even before really starting my respect journey that the whole idea of just watching tv with him or sleeping in with him on a Saturday while the kids were already up and watching tv was hard for me. God showed me that it was respecting my husband to give in to those preferences and so as much as I can, I do.

    I just thought of something my husband said to me last week. We were going to one of our children’s practices or games and I had mentioned bringing a book and then said, “No, I don’t need to bring a book to read, I have you there.” to which he replied, “Yeah! I’m your book, read me!”. I thought that was so interesting that he expressed in those words this idea of getting to know him, reading him. He said those right around the time I had read some information about really listening to our husbands as they talk to hear the ideas behind what they’re saying, to hear the man they really are. They don’t talk and lay out every emotion and feeling for us like we women do naturally, but if you listen as they talk, you can “hear” that they do indeed run just as deep as we do. ๐Ÿ™‚ Last night, I realized how very little I have done of this in our marriage – really trying to understand who he is and his desires, his feelings, etc. Well, I have wanted those things, but I have wanted them to be done in the way that I was familiar with (that laying everything out in a long emotional talk kind of way that is not who our husbands are!) And, I have been hurt that he hasn’t probed deep with me. Something seems to be shifting in me regarding this – just laying aside my desires to be heard and understood and giving that instead to my husband. The verse “Do unto others as you would have them done unto you” really rings true here. I believe God showed me several months back that whatever need I am most feeling strongly about (wanting to be heard, understood, valued, physical affection, etc.) is something that my husband needs as well and I can do unto him these things that I am wanting. “The Son of Man came to serve, not to be served.” And, while the motivation should not ever be for results, it’s true that if you meet that need in your husband, many times your desires and needs will be met by your husband in reciprocation.

    Sorry for my long post. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for your honesty, April, about your struggles and where you are.

    We know that marriage mirrors our relationship with God – it seems like God is definitely showing you that both He and Greg just love to be around you without having to “do” anything. Beautiful. Enjoy the process.

    1. Jennifer,

      I love this!! I think you have shared some really valuable insights here. I am going to re-read your thoughts and really meditate on them later today. Thank you! I love how we can bless and encourage each other and how we can learn from one another.

      Much love to you!

      1. Much love to you, too! One thing I would probably add to my comment is the fact that when we try to take the focus off our need and decide to meet it in another person we should obviously do it in a way that is tailored to them, not necessarily the way we would want that need met personally for us.

        Love this blog, it’s obviously a huge blessing to so many of us. And you are such a passionate person, it’s so fun to read your posts and the way you write. ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. Jennifer,

          You know – this is so important! I used to read The Golden Rule and think, “I AM doing for Greg what I would want him to do for me.” I was showing love the way I wanted to receive it. But I had to mentally rewrite the golden rule to be “Meet Greg’s particular needs like you would like him to meet your particular needs.” Me trying to love him in ways that were meaningless, or worse, to him – was not a blessing. But as I get to know him and his particular needs, his heart, his mind, and his personality – I can meet some of his needs in the ways that really matter to him. Of course, I cannot meet all of his deepest needs. He cannot meet all of my deepest needs. Ultimately, only Christ can do that! But we can learn to bless one another in meaningful ways.

          So much fun to get to know you and the other ladies here. ๐Ÿ™‚ I can’t wait to get to heaven and to get to hear everyone’s stories and all the behind the scenes details about what God was doing and how He weaves our stories together for His glory.

          Much love!

    2. Jennifer,

      So much meat here. I really love your comment so much! I wonder if you might allow me to share some of your comment in a post, as well, please, ma’am? ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. April, yes, you are welcome to share with others what has been freely given to me. ๐Ÿ™‚ I can’t wait for heaven, either! It’s going to be so amazing…

    3. Wow!! What a beautiful piece. Thanks for sharing Jennifer. There are so many nuggets of wisdom in what you wrote <3

      Thank you and April for your honesty and ability to articulate your journey so well that we can learn.

      I heard a fab sermon on the prodigal son a few weeks ago which started me thinking about how much I do and how little I rest! I am like the son who stayed at home working diligently but never understanding the Father's love. It's so interesting to read this blog entry which further enforces what I've been learning- that there is a time to just rest and let God lavish His love on you.

      X

  7. This was so good to read – thank you for sharing! I’m still a new wife (coming up to our first year here! ๐Ÿ™‚ and this is one of the topics I’ve been thinking a lot about recently. Growing up in a strong Christian community and reading a fair bit about marriage before hand made me impose some ‘good but not accurate’ ideas of what my husband would like and what would bless him. It caused a little confusion on my part when I would follow things that I had heard or read about and it just won’t seem as if it was really making the big difference others said that it would. ๐Ÿ™‚ I like to have clear, conscise lists to follow but am learning more and more that I am called to bless and serve *my* husband – and to expect that it will probably be different and unique! What’s fun is that often it’s things that I don’t even think of that would be a blessing that he likes and enjoys the most. ๐Ÿ™‚

    And on a separate note , your ministry truly has been a God-send into my life. God had been revealing lack of respect on my part – but I felt so absolutely helpless and didn’t know what to do or if it was too late or any hope for change. I know it is a process but even over the last few days God has been doing such a work in my life – convicting of sins, idols and fears – providing much time alone with Him and already the change is much more peace and joy in our little household! Thank you so much for your time that you’ve invested into this ministry! May God continue to richly bless you ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Nicole,

      I love that – “good but not accurate.”

      It can be so confusing because sometimes our husbands aren’t able to articulate what is disrespectful or respectful to them – and sometimes we just don’t hear them when they do try to explain it. I know both of those things have been true in our marriage many times.

      I’m glad you are seeing already that it is not about what a book or blog post or what other husbands like – but what your particular husband likes that is important – and what will most please God. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I totally relate to realizing you had been disrespectful but not knowing what to do or how on earth to change. That was me! How I praise God for what He is doing in your life. I’m so honored and blessed that God allows me to be a little part of His work in so many women’s lives. It is the greatest joy and a way that God allows me to “repay” Him a bit – of course, I can never ever repay Him – but I love that He is willing to pour through me to heal and bless others. I’m also thankful that Greg is very supportive of me doing this ministry. Otherwise, it couldn’t happen!

      Much love!

  8. Hi April,

    I like this post. Some of your posts are so timely for me! It’s a God thing, like when you hear a sermon and it feels like the Pastor MUST have been peeking in your windows or your brain!

    I have been taking one step forward and two steps back. And as the song says “nobody gets too far like that.”

    My husband gets frustrated with me when I believe what I read (in a book, online, magazine) more than what he tells me. I learn by reading, and although I know you can’t always believe what you read, so often I do! Why would anyone take the time to write things that aren’t true? Drives my husband insane.

    And I tend to be an all-or-nothing, black-or-white, kind of person. So if I read “what all men wish their wives would do” I start to believe that every man wants “x,y, or z” from every wife or girlfriend.

    Take make up. I wear very little. I have been blessed with great skin, and I’ve never worn any kind of foundation. I do wear mascara, but not much else. I was a lifeguard when my husband met me, and I’ve always been blessed with the blonde “beachy” look and my husband seems to like me that way. (Trying to work on my self loathing issues and accept what he likes, WHICH would explain his aggravation when I insist he likes brunettes and keep asking him if I should dye my hair brown). Anyhow, ever since the mineral makeup and the airbrush makeup and the tinted this and that all came out, and I’ve seen all these women with perfect, flawless, china doll faces, I thought I’d better get on the ball and start putting foundation on my face. My husband gets mad if I even suggest it. Like, really upset. I could not understand why. Who wouldn’t want a wife with a “perfect” face? Why would women spend so much time and money on all of this if it didn’t make them better somehow? Even though my skin is really clear, every spring I get a smattering of freckles across my nose and cheekbones and it makes me look like I’m 15. What beautiful woman looks like that??? I just turned 40, so I feel kind of goofy when my freckles pop out. My husband loves them. Weird. ANYHOW, all of this to say that my husband likes my face as God made it, even though every magazine and ad and real life women make me feel as though I should be covering it up with product. I really need to listen to my husband and honor what he likes, and stop believing everything I read.

    There’s so much more I could say on the subject, but I’m trying to keep my comments to a minimum. Plus I always fear that my struggles will cause another sister to stumble, and I don’t want to do that, ever.

    So thank you for this post. It’s another one I will reread and ponder.

    Love Becca

    1. “Plus I always fear that my struggles will cause another sister to stumble, and I donโ€™t want to do that, ever.”

      I understand exactly your fear on this! But if you don’t mind my two cents: I am learning that being real and sharing our struggles and temptations with one another can be vital to spreading the love of Christ. If we never reveal our shortcomings, how can Christ be shown in our lives? We’d only come across as perfect people who have it all together when we most definitely don’t. That said, I believe there needs to be discernment with who and when we share our hearts, but don’t be afraid to show your true self at a time and place when help can be obtained and encouragement shared. I relate so much to your whole comment, thank you for sharing.

    2. Becca,

      I love your long comments. Comment away! ๐Ÿ™‚

      I really appreciate you sharing about the makeup thing. It sounds like you have glorious skin. I’m glad you have learned to be content – or more content, at least. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have lots of freckles, too, especially if I get in the sun. Of course, being allergic to the sun now means I don’t get as many freckles anymore. But I am sure you look beautiful!

      Much love!!!

      April

  9. Thank you so much for this post April. My DH has been saying things similar to what Greg said for so long. I just have not been able to truly hear him, to wrap my head fully around those words and what they really mean. Like you, I am a doer, an all-or-nothing type personality, and I want to jump right to the end of this journey and just be 100% the godly wife I am supposed to be. So for me to learn to be patient and study my husband over a period of time is difficult for my proud spirit.

    I have tried serving with actions like cleaning, cooking, and dressing up, but to no avail because those aren’t the things that my husband sees as showing respectful, and he is indifferent to them. Being relaxed and joyful around him is what he appreciates most, but stressing myself out with all of the doing is stealing that relaxed wife from him and therefore disrespecting him. It sounds so simple when put together into a sentence or two, but it’s taken me more than 3 years to start to grasp this concept!

    Your words in this post just clicked with me, and I think I understand a little bit more about where my DH is coming from. You are a blessing to me, and I love your heart for learning and understanding God’s will for us as wives.

    1. LifeofGrace,

      I so relate to you! I can totally understand wanting to just skip a bunch of steps and get to the end of the journey. Of course, the process is necessary and we will always be learning. So, it is pretty pointless to imagine we don’t have to go through the whole maturing process. ๐Ÿ™‚ I appreciate you sharing so much!

      Yep. I should probably have figured this stuff out a long time ago, but I just couldn’t understand. But I am thankful God turned some lightbulbs on for me now. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Much love to you! You are a treasure and a blessing to me, as well. I’m so thankful we can share together!

  10. April, I laughed throughout this entire post. Besides the fact that I’m not married, what goes on in your head so close to what goes on in mine. It’s funny I was just having a conversation with my bf today and he said that he doesn’t like you mention his preferences or voice his decisions to me all the time because he feels like I make 180 degree turn and move towards those things like a rocket when it wasn’t that big of a deal in the first place. At first I was I couldn’t understand why he would verbalize something, but not take action on it. To me, knowing I want something, but then having no movement behind that thought or idea drives me nuts!
    But now here I am reading your blog and understanding this whole ‘slow down and take life easy’ thing a little bit more. Praising God for all these new revalations. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Julie,

      Ha!!! That is so funny! It really does stretch us to learn to understand how differently our men think. Glad this was a blessing!! Maybe it will save you both a lot of frustration. ๐Ÿ™‚

      May God richly bless your walk with Christ and your relationship. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Thank you for this post, April, for your humility and for sharing your heart. I like what Greg said: if you knew him so well, you would not have a ministry! Neither would either of us, as being a wife is a ministry! I have been meditating lately on becoming more of a student of my husband, meaning being more intentional about knowing him. I confess I have not been too good of a student in that respect and that is something to work on. It really is a lifetime task!

    Ironically, sometimes I get so caught up in the doing that I forget of just being. Even if I am doing something for those I love, sometimes I feel I am missing out on spending time with them. I have not found that balance but am taking baby steps towards it. At times I want to do everything at once and can get so frustrated… God is teaching me some patience and endurance, and I know He is guiding me.

    Thank you again for this post and for the encouragement!

    1. Aixa M.,

      This seems to be a common theme for many of us wives and moms. It seems that we must be very purposeful about just being and enjoying God and our husbands and children rather than being so busy doing things all the time. Could be easy to miss what is really most important if we are not careful!

      Love this!!

  12. Great post, April! Such an foundational piece of the puzzle (!), but one I think we struggle with because we try to do it for not just our husbands, but also our children, siblings, very close friends. . . . . Sometimes I think our husbands get lost in the shuffle.

    1. Free Indeed,
      I think I need to include something about this in the book!! Maybe some of the reason Greg didn’t articulate all the things that were respectful to him was that he didn’t have a long list of things that would show respect to him. Maybe it is a lot more about attitude and not using our words to cause harm, and maybe it is a lot more about very simple things than we sometimes imagine.

      I am going to continue chewing on this. I definitely think it is a very important post and information for wives on this journey. ๐Ÿ™‚ and I think it will help take a lot of the pressure off that we may put on ourselves. I don’t believe most husbands expect their wives to be perfect or super mom. I know Greg often talked about he doesn’t expect me to be perfect and that he has plenty of grace to give to me. Such a blessing.

      Thank you for sharing! I think this is a really important discussion! Can’t wait to see what else we will all learn together!

  13. April,
    I do love your posts. My husband has told me several times (I’ve only been on this journey for several months) that he feels like I am a “yes” woman and doesn’t necessarily believe me. He believes in Christ, but thinks its unattractive for me to talk about Him. I am just sort of curious as to how I can let him into this part of my journet with Christ without pushing him away. He comes to mass with our family every Sunday and we even pray together (sometimes, he doesn’t feel too comfortable with it so I try to be brief and I forget sometimes too) In his family growng up, the most they did was go to mass together. I just want to make sure I include him enough without pushing him away I guess without me playing Holy Spirit (I’ve tried that before, Now i know better) ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks if you can offer any advice,
    LMD

    1. LMD,

      Such an important issue!! I actually have a number of posts in winning a husband without a word (under categories on the right side of my home page.)

      I Peter 3:1-6 contains God’s commands for wives in this situation. Husbands do not usually respond to a wife’s words about God and spiritual things. They are much more prone to respond to a wife’s godly attitude, Grace, humility, forgiveness, respect for him, and cooperation with his leadership.

      I suggest that you not talk wtih your husband about God and not try to get him to pray with you. If he goes to mass, thank him with a big smile and tell him you appreciate him going.

      We will pray together that God draws your husband to Himself and opens his eyes.

      Much love!!!!
      April

      1. Thank you, April!!! I will check out those posts too!
        I was away this weekend and he took our son to church without me even being there. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. This was so good to read and has been something that God has been revealing to me over the past couple of months. I’m still a new wife (just ten months! ๐Ÿ™‚ and at first it was a little confusing to me when I tried to do things that I heard bless husbands. . .that didn’t really bless mine. Or when he would compliment me on something that was opposite of what I had heard or read! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m learning more and more that God has called me to serve and bless this man – and I get to learn how to do it specifically! ๐Ÿ™‚

    And I just wanted to thank you too for all that you have invested into this ministry. It has been such a blessing and a strength in my life. Just a few days before finding your website, the Lord convicted me of a lack of respect and submission. I was so horrified to see that in my life, and honestly didn’t know what to do or where to turn. So thankful for Jesus knows when we don’t! It seemed so hopeless – I wasn’t sure if anyone had ever made the same mistakes and how to see change in this area. And I found your website off a random google search! In just the few days that I have known about it, I have learned so much and been so encouraged. Already, there is fruit of peace and joy in my life and marriage. I know it will continue to be a process – but I know God has grace for that! Blessings to you and your family!

  15. Some things I have learned about my husband in the past year, since working on respect:

    * Complaining stresses him out. Even if it is about something he can’t control (like the weather), he really just can’t take negatives! His work life is all the stress he can handle.

    * When he comes home, he needs to be greeted and feel relaxed, because he comes home to de-stress. Lists or the kids’ schedules are stressful.

    * I have learned to email him our kids’ sports schedules and not talk about the schedules. This way, our conversations don’t have to be centered on driving/schedules/etc.

    * He likes being around me more when I am quiet and peaceful. (sense a theme here?)

    * He now sees his friends less (because I am more of a friend to him now, not a needy, complaining wife) and takes me out more and spends more time with me.

    * He calls me “Babe” now & is much more romantic with me…since he feels more relaxed and respected around me, I am much more appealing to him.

    How does my husband reflect Christ to me?

    * My husband wants me to trust him in everything.

    * My husband wants me to be thankful for all the good in our lives, and not complain about the bad.

    * My husband wants me to just be with him, not just asking for things.

    * My husband hates worrying and fearfulness.

    * My husband truly does love me and wants the best for me.

    * My husband’s timeline is not my timeline. I need to trust his timeline.

    What have I learned about myself?

    * When I try to “do everything” to “help,” I’m actually trying to control everything…which makes my husband and children resentful.

    * I can let go of control, and the sun still shines…and I’m a whole lot happier and less stressed.

    * When I was seeking perfection, I was not happy, and neither was anyone else…even though I thought I was doing everything for the family’s “common good.”

    * The more in love with Christ I fall, the more peaceful and joy-filled I am.

    * Being gentle and quiet and waiting is not weakness or laziness. I am actually a better witness when I am “resting” in Christ…a breeze kisses, whereas a tornado disturbs and destroys. Lord, make me a gentle breeze.

    1. Renee,
      Wow!!!!
      How I love this!!!!

      I wonder if you might allow me the honor of sharing this as a post? I believe God will use it to bless many, many women and marriages. ๐Ÿ™‚

      So beautiful and powerful!!! Love it!!!

      1. Yes, of course! God continue to bless and guide you, April…I love to know that you are still learning – I feel the same way – each day is a new day. Thank you for saying “yes” to God and ministering to so many marriages.

        1. Thank you so much, Renee! Would you like me to use your first name, or would you prefer to be anonymous? I’m so grateful for all that God laid on your heart to share!

  16. Love, love, love everything I read on here! You and your husband sound so much like my husband and me in your personalities and preferences.
    Yesterday I was reading my daily devotional and felt like part of it was to encourage you. It’s from “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers: “True surrender will always go beyond natural devotion. If we will only give up, God will surrender Himself to embrace all those around us and will meet their needs, which were created by our surrender. Beware of stopping anywhere short of total surrender to God.”
    You’ve done an amazing job of surrendering and teaching us how to surrender as wives with the help of the Holy Spirit. May you be encouraged that you don’t need to understand the “why” to embrace the “do”.
    Praying for you, April!

  17. I am very much like this, and it also stresses my husband out. He is not quite as easy going as youre husband, and is much more the command man type that wants certain things done a certain way, but for everything else he really could care less, but I asume he wants me to do the rest in a specific way and get caught up in it. I want so much to be a good wife that I try too hard and make it worse.
    My husband who is not much for revealing feelings, let me know a while back that his biggest goal is to make me happy. That everything he does is for that reason, even when I might think its something for him. This really touched me and made me realize that the most important thing I can do to make him happy is to be hapoy, content, not complain etc. I think when I start trying too hard it makes me seem discontented with things just as they are. I definitly just need to relax and stop trying to do do do to make things”better”, and be thankful and happy with where things are.
    I think my biggest struggle is perfectionism. I want so much to be the perfect wife, that I kind of lose track of being the wkfe I am, if that mskes sense.
    I do this with God too. I heard a quote that brought tears to my eyes recently. “There is nothing you can do to make God love you more, and there is nothing you can do to make God love you less” so somple, but something I need a reminder of often.

    1. Sarah,

      I understand struggling with perfectionism. I have some posts about it because it has been a struggle for me, too!

      It is absolutely possible to focus so much on being a “perfect wife” that we miss the things that are most important in life and in our marriages. It is easy to make our definition of “perfection” into an idol or to make it more important than Christ or more important than our husbands and marriages. It is easy to make it more important than loving people.

      So sweet about what your husband shared. I think my husband would say the same thing.

      So excited about what God is teaching us all! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Much love to you!

  18. April,

    I enjoyed this thought-provoking post very much, and it brought back such powerful memories of life at home with my mother.

    Mom was a perfectionist, and insisted that everything she–and we–did be done absolutely right. However, after my dad left our family when I was ten, we lost the easy-going, charismatic parent I had loved so much, the parent that loved having friends over for a meal and making music together afterwards. People stopped dropping in and coming over for dinner on Sunday, and when I got a little older I began to understand why. My dad had known how to make people comfortable by simply enjoying them. Although he loved to cook a turkey and make a huge pan of dressing, he never let the physical details of a dinner distract him from paying attention to our guests themselves, and simply enjoying their company.

    My mother, however, would follow a strict regiment of what she considered necessary to have a “successful” meal. She began by taking everyone’s wrap and hanging in in the closet. If someone wanted to just put a coat or sweater on the back of their chair, she said no, that won’t feel good on your back, etc. Next, she inquired whether they were too cold or too hot, and assured them she could turn the thermostat up or down to make them comfortable. Next, she explained that she had laid food out a certain way on the kitchen counter (buffet style), and that the man and his wife should go first, and that the children should wait, and that the children should sit in the “hard” chairs and give the softer chairs to the adults because that was respecting their elders, etc. She would watch over the guests serving themselves to see if she had forgotten to lay anything out they might need, etc., and at the end of the meal she hovered to see that when they helped clean up that none of the flatware accidentally got scraped into the garbage with the trash. If they offered to help with dishes she insisted that they wash on the right drain board, rinse in the middle, and let dishes drain in the rack because it was more sanitary. She would run over and wipe up a bit of food immediately if anything fell to the floor, etc., and comment that anytime she fed such a large family it almost had to be run like the army, and then she would laugh nervously. People rarely returned.

    I know my mom meant well and truly did love people, but all this embarrassed me so much. She never understood how to ENJOY someone. For her, love meant doing something for them absolutely “right.” But it was, and is, more important to listen to people, interact with them in a relaxed way, and stop worrying about “doing” everything exactly right. In our house, this created an atmosphere of constant tension, and I think in a marriage in can do the same.

    Trying to maintain the right balance in my own life and home has been difficult because my mother is in me–but so is my father. I want so much to be a wonderful wife, hostess, etc., but must keep remembering that this means loving my husband and family FIRST by simply spending time with them and not “sweating the small stuff.” Thanks for a wonderful post, April, and for letting me share my story. Much love to you and my sisters here! Elizabeth

    1. Elizabeth,

      Thank you so much for sharing!!! I think this is very powerful! Sometimes when we see perfectionism in someone else, it helps us to see that perfectionism is not really the best way to love others with God’s love. It makes the event or everything being “right” by our definition, more important than people. That is stressful for our families and those we love!

      I have seen women who are so intent on getting the meal together and then cleaning up afterward, that they don’t enjoy their family and guests and the rest of the people there feel more like an inconvenience than a blessing. I don’t want to go there anymore! I know that I could go there if I am not careful and not listening to God’s Spirit of love.

      I love how you shared about your dad and how he could get the meal ready but also enjoy people – and what fun to have music afterward together!

      We went to my twin sister’s house yesterday – my parents, my brother and his family, me and my family – and my sister and her husband did such an amazing job of getting the meal ready, but not making that the most important thing. They enjoyed all of us. Many of us helped with the cleaning up, too. But it was relaxed and we were able to talk and enjoy each other. I love that! I don’t want the details or having to have things be a certain way to come before loving people.

      I do know that this is an area where I have to be vigilant. I want to do better at making sure my husband and children (and others) know I love and enjoy them. Not in a perfectionistic way!!!! But in a relaxed, loving, Spirit-filled way. I’m so thankful God is so gracious in allowing us to learn more and more and in allowing us to grow together. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I think your story is going to be such a blessing to many other women. I know it is a blessing to me!

      Much love, my precious sister!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. Elizabeth, thank you so much for sharing your story. The way you told it so perfectly illustrated what makes others feel relaxed and enjoyed. Bless you!

  19. Excellent post again, April! Thank you for sharing your heart with us!

    I think the hardest thing for me is giving up my independence and letting him do thing for me, even though I want and like to do things all by myself…almost all the time. I tell him I WILL ask for help when I need it…but he tells me I never ask (which isn’t true). I believe that I just don’t ask ENOUGH for him. That is probably the hardest thing for me.

    What irks me is when you feel like your having this “outer body experience” where you see yourself behaving in a specific manner, and then you’re like… UGH, I WANT TO STOP…I’m acting like a child…you’re making him upset. And then you don’t stop… and then you feel horrible. Ya know? It’s that pulling between selfishness and selfLESSness.

    HARD HARD HARD.

    Thanks for your encouragement and this blog!

  20. This article is totally me! I try so hard to anticipate his wants and needs, making things “perfect”, and doing it all so I don’t have to burden him,(he works ten to twelve hrs a day. Six sometimes ,seven days a week.) That I end up stressed and grumpy.

  21. Your husband sounds very much like my man-love. He concerns himself with his discipline in mind and behavior and treats me like a Queen. Unlike you, this easily lures me into being slothful. I do much better at managing the house with the help of Flylady.net who does call it blessing our homes.
    My journey is only beginning but I am so excited to gradually learn to be the wife who meets my husband’s desires.
    It is very easy to respect him tho, because of who he is, it is the natural response to him. For that I am thankful and blessed.

  22. I joined not even a month ago, but since I am disabled I have a lot of time to spend learning.

    I think I would have to say my husband won me back to faith without a word. His steadfast mind and actions reflecting Christ to me.
    Now I want to discuss things with him all the time but restrain myself.

    I showed him the “disrespectul list” and he said he got a visual of our neighbors. I knew of one time in the recent past that I disrespected him & apologized. I don’t think I am blameless but we did already have a foundation of mutual respect. He did not offer me any pointers from that list.

    Then I showed him the respectful list and he said I already did those things. I HAVE been working on areas that I know I may be weak in due to my past.

    I am celebrating the solid foundation!

    I told him how always in my past I felt so lonely in my faith..my parents must have thought it a phase, The husband/father of my children hated it, I was a religious fanatic and he wanted a party life.

    I reminded him that from the very beginning that we agreed there must be 3 in a marriage.

    We agreed upon watching an online sermon together each day..which leads to discussion. Sharing openly and learning more of each other and sometimes touching base on things we hadn’t talked out for a long while…all while snuggling on the couch.

    He did not care for John Piper at all.So I questioned his beliefs to try to find a denomination that fits him better.
    He preferred a Methodist pastor but I am asking him to bear with me for the manhood/womanhood series by Rev Piper anyway. I found the Methodist pastor for him as a trial run and he liked that Pastor. He did a great piece on modesty that we have been talking about, a compassionate perspective and I put that in the 30 day challenge.

    He says that perhaps much of the overdone beauty thing is likely a compensation for insecurity because we do not believe that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. A lot of food for thought there.

    These last 2 weeks have shown me that if we open the door, Christ is ready to come in and bless us wherever we are.

  23. Last evening, I was praising my husband. He told me to not put him on such a high pedestal as he would surely fall. I know I idealize him, I am an idealistic type of person. But do I make idols of him and of marriage?

    FWIW, we are talking a lot more, sharing and learning about each other. We started doing a daily devotional together.

    I was too ill to do much housework for an extended period of time and realized yesterday that this IS God’s assigned work to me.

    Flylady.net helps immeasurably.

    I have a chronic condition, so please pray for me that I can get the house pulled together as blessings for both of us.

    1. Tena,

      I know I am prone to make my husband and marriage into idols. I did that for many years, unknowingly. It is possible to respect our husbands too much. You may search my home page for:

      – idol
      – idols
      – idolatry

      for posts about this important issue!

      Praying for God’s wisdom and strength for you!!

  24. It is so hard for us “doers” to just be…I can completely relate to this… I want to please my husband, do things for him, make his life easier and it used to really bother me when I would ask for his preference and he very rarely would voice one… he would just say “whatever you want”…
    I now just smile and let it go… I am learning, that it doesn’t mean anything and the reason I got so upset about it had more to do with me trying too hard to please him when I should try a lot more to please HIM!

    Thanks, April, for sharing…. always great stuff!!

    A Lifelong Learner

  25. I have reached a point of starting to catch on to this disrespect and understanding how horrible I have been. I hope it is not too late. I am afraid to say anything, and find I am more and more silent out of fear of saying the wrong thing. My husband has pulled away, our conversation is superficial at best, it has been weeks since we were intimate, even then I was the only one initiating for a couple years, but even then it was what his preference was. I stopped initiating and even talking about sex after he angrily said “that is all you think about.” That was after 2 weeks of me saying nothing. He says he can’t trust me with anything he says because I repeated something to his sister months ago. There is just so much going on, I know my jealousy has been a major factor, fear insecurity mistrust anger all balled into one giant shaky ball of yuck!!!!! I don’t even like myself anymore. Please pray for me!@

    1. Dear God It’s ME:3M

      There is sometimes a “frustrating quiet phase” but that should be a temporary thing as you figure out how to stop the disrespect, and then you will learn to begin to speak in respectful ways and share without control or insults.

      Would you be interested in doing a spiritual check up with me where I ask some general questions and maybe I can then point you to some resources that may be a blessing?

      Much love to you! I want to see you living in the healing that is available to you in Christ!

      1. Yes I can do a spiritual checkup. It has been such a crazy time 6 years. I was married 30 years to another man 6 years ago, after he had several dozen affairs I had to ask him to go. I discovered God and became Born Again and met my current husband, we married a year later, almost on the 1 year anniversary of when my first husband left. I would advise everyone never to do that, take a year to get to know who you are!

        I married a wonderful Christian man, who had been divorced from a repeat adulteress for 15 years. He is stable and God runs his life, he is in peace. I brought with me toxins I had built up over the years, from husband #1 and from my parents who were addicts and very abusive and passed us kids around as toys for amusement, they also did sacrifices. Evil incarnate, yet we were at church every Sunday with a pedophile priest at our Saturday dinner table.

        I went thru counseling to the point it does not work. Only God can heal that pain. So there is a lot of defenses and distrust and neediness and control issues and fear and jealousy and misunderstanding and skewed realities.

        Husband #1 used my past to enable his abuse toward me. My wonderful husband keeps teaching me to give it to God and keep reading God’s Word. It helps, but I get confused and feelings whip in and cripple me and it takes days to crawl away. I have idolized this husband and expectations of mine were not met, they were very self centered. My husband is sticking with me, I can’t even stand me.

        Last year my husband’s son died of drugs, it has been 14 months, he got his family through it and now he is hanging by a thread, and praying and asking God why. His other son is now heavily into the same culture and we are so afraid for him. I read and reread and reread your posts on respect and sexual rejection on husbands part and trust issues….etc. I do not want to be my self I was for 50+ years. I want to be who God created me to be. I want that peace!!!!!! I want my husband back. I want to be a Godly wife for him!

        I am also a nurse, I have to be there for my patients, I am good at it but too emotional to be Godly. I feel a call to minister to women and girls. I have such a long way to go before I can help others. I am a mess, I need to understand fully how to rely on God to turn my life into His message. I want to thank you for your site. You saved my life thru God working thru you. Thank you for obeying His call. Someday I will write you and say I did it! I did all things thru Christ in me.

        1. Dear God It’s ME:3M,

          Goodness, you have been through a lot! I am so very sorry to hear about what you endured in your first marriage. That is NOT at all what marriage is supposed to be like. ๐Ÿ™ SOOOO heartbreaking!

          And what a toxic childhood, too. And church experience. ๐Ÿ™ OH NO!!!!!!!

          It sounds like you have an amazing husband now. That is awesome! PRAISE GOD for that! I am so very sorry though to hear about his son and about his other son.

          God can heal you and I would be honored to walk beside you on this amazing journey. So here are a few questions. Take all the time you need:

          1. How do you believe you can be right with God?

          2. What are your greatest fears?

          3. What are your most precious dreams?

          4. Do you believe you may be holding anything back from God?

          5. Do you ever have a nagging feeling that God is really not looking out for your best interests, or that He might do something to hurt you, or that He is not really good?

          6. What do you look to for security in life?

          I invite you to search my home page for things like:

          – insecurity
          – husband idol
          – security
          – lordship
          – fear
          – control
          – needy
          – emotions
          – healthy vs unhealthy relationships
          – laying down husband to God

          Much love to you! ๐Ÿ™‚

          1. OK, I am working on it. Pray I can stop overreacting my marriage, Ed today said he needs to get away from me, don’t I trust him, why is it always about our relationship, just relax! He is friends with women and I go from calm to very suspicious in 2 seconds. There is no evidence of infidelity. Ugh

  26. 1. How do you believe you can be right with God?

    By fully putting my trust in God and understand how He loves me, by being in peace at all times in Christ. By being alright and at peace with God even if I am rejected by everyone, even if I am hated by everyone, even if I am misunderstood by everyone. By preaching His word and being able to stand behind His Word and not wavering. By ridding my heart and soul of all sin, and right now it is full of sin as I am committing idolatry of thinking of my feelings a lot so I am putting my self as an idol, to quote Joyce “what about me.” Idolatry of husband as I worry and think of how to please him so I am not rejected by him. (That in itself is exhausting, remembering everything that he dislikes or likes and making it so. That is not something he calls for me to do.) I committ the sin of fear and jealousy and insecurity and distrust daily to a paaralyzing point. I occasionally still tell lies out of fear, little ones, but they are just as much poop in a cake as big lies. I committ the sin of not being gracious to everyone and those I distrust and hold anger towards them. I am analytical and overthink everything, even answering these questions I have to struggle not to put the “right answer” and open my heart. It takes real effort to shut the mind down and concentrate on God, then like an ADHD brain I start to get it and **poof** it’s gone….oh look, a butterfly….and then I try to capture they gyst of understanding God’s love and grave and mercy and how to be a Christian wife and how to put God first and lay aside sin so the Holy Spirit will come in and I can make real progress.
    2. What are your greatest fears?

    I fear I am ruining my marriage, the respect is so low, trust is low, he does not desire me at all.
    rejection, especially my husband prefering another person over me to confide in, look at, and the obvious. Rejection of my kids prefering their dad and his girlfriend over me. Rejection from my stepkids and step grandkids. Mostly my husband rejecting me in ANY way, especially sexually and as a trusted partner, and wanting to spend time with another female.
    not being loved, I still have love and sex and spending every minute together all mixed up, this one is a gut clencher
    being labeled a liar, I really fear that, and yet I can’t help telling little white lies.
    not being understood. I am very afraid of this, I usually say things and they get twisted and not understood. Best intentions forward and worst result.
    Going to Hell – I am terrified of this, really really terrified
    3. What are your most precious dreams?

    Not sure I have any dreams left. They have all been dashed, all my dreams from the time I was a baby. I gave up dreaming to avoid disappointment.
    I want a trusting happy joyful marriage
    I want my husband and my kids and his kids to get along really well and his grandkids to accept me as their grandma.
    I want my husband’s broken heart mended.
    I want him to desire me and to share secrets with me.
    I want to be a writer and speaker and educator to women and girls
    I dream of knowing peace and joy and a steady emotional base, that place where nothing can hurt me and disturb my peace.
    My most precious is to be in Heaven flying around God Triune and singing to them for eternity.
    4. Do you believe you may be holding anything back from God?

    Yes, it is like if God knows this or that about me He will reject me, SO STUPID! God knows ALL.
    I am holding back FULLY trusting and leaning on Him, I keep holding on and trying to run things. I so want to stop that. Fear is powerful. Can He who is unseen really be there and stop the assualts that keep being thrown at our marriage and our lives? How how how do I get to that point
    5. Do you ever have a nagging feeling that God is really not looking out for your best interests, or that He might do something to hurt you, or that He is not really good?

    God is ALWAYS good and He doesn’t want to hurt me, but look what happened to Job? Sometime I feel He is testing me, but right now I just want to be the sheep on His shoulders. There is more than I care to handle right now. I am getting bungled and stuck. Paralyzed in the quicksand that has engulfed me. I do not understand His ways. I need to get unstuck so I can beyond this testing period.
    6. What do you look to for security in life?

    My husband to protect me in all ways. In the ways I have predetermined, HA! This is unrealistic and crushed to pieces, he is hardly handling this second year of his son’s death and his other son in jail then rehab…again.
    I am now looking to being at peace undescribable no matter who or what is against me. I will be secure when I learn to trust God no matter what. I so want to get there. I read scripture, I reread it. I pray, I petition. What am I missing?
    Money and stuff have never meant much to me, happiness is from feelings to me and being wanted.

    1. Dear God It’s Me:3M,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions. The more deeply and honestly you are able to dig here, the better – because it is only when we can really get a good look at our deepest motives, fixed beliefs, and thinking that we can begin to allow God to help us tear out anything that is toxic and rebuild on His truth and His Word. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Okay, when you are ready, let’s dig a bit deeper, my precious sister:

      1. Who does the work that makes you right with God? You or Jesus? And who has the power to keep you right with God, you or Jesus?

      2. Are you to the point where you are ready to and want to give up the lying, idolatry, and unbiblical, toxic thinking you may have about God, yourself, your husband, marriage, etc…?

      3. What are you doing with all of this fear? Is the fear what motivates you in your relationship with your husband, children, and step children? Are you ready to throw the fear out the window and learn to entrust all of these things to God even if it feels scarier at first?

      4. Do you know what you are doing that is contributing to your husband feeling disrespected and untrusting toward you?

      5. You “can’t help telling little white lies”? Do you tell them out of fear of rejection? Do you truly believe you have no ability to stop yourself?

      6. Even if you are living in the center of God’s presence and peace, things will still hurt you. God, Himself, is perfect and holy but our sin hurts Him. Are you willing to accept that loving other people can involve being hurt – but that if you have God, He can give you the strength, wisdom, and power to deal with it in a godly way? Are you willing to accept that the goal of not feeling any pain or hurt is not a reasonable goal in this life in relationships with imperfect people?

      7. How much time are you spending with God? What do you pray for? What do you desire most in your walk with Christ?

      8. What specifically are you holding back from God?

      9. Is your primary goal to get out of the testing period or to learn what God desires you to learn and to grow in spiritual maturity and be closer to Him?

      10. Where do you go for your source of absolute truth? Would you say that you trust God’s Word above all, or would you say you depend on your feelings?

      11. Where is your worth as a woman?

      Here is another assignment when you are ready. Please read this post Identifying the Lies We Have Embraced – and let me know which ones you believe you are dealing with.

      If you are ready to give up your sin and you truly want to learn to fully trust God – I can show you the next steps.

      Much love to you!

    2. Dear God, It’s Me:3M,

      Thank you so much for answering these questions. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Just a few more…
      1. Who makes you right with God? Is it what Jesus did for you? Or is it your work and your goodness?

      2. Are you ready to get rid of the sin and allow God to radically change your heart?

      3. Is people pleasing a big issue for you, would you say? Do you think sometimes you may seek people’s approval and acceptance over God’s?

      4. Are you willing to lay these dreams on the altar before God and leave them there? Allowing Him to determine what will happen and what is best? Do you believe you can entrust Him with your greatest dreams?

      5. So you are ready to fully trust God now? I believe first you will have to be willing to look at those lies you believe and trash them, replacing them with the truth of God’s Word. Are you ready to do that?

      I’m excited about what God is about to do in your heart if you are willing to take the baby steps in His direction! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Much love!
      April

  27. 1. Who does the work that makes you right with God? You or Jesus? And who has the power to keep you right with God, you or Jesus?

    I know the right answer is Jesus. Jesus died and His blood covers all my sin and keeps me right with God. I feel so responsible to do all the work. I do as much as I can for everyone, a Martha rather than a Mary. I have to earn love, earn respect, earn ….I am so tired. My lovely Catholic confusing upbringing. My parents made me earn any kind of love. I was not worthy. Why would God love me? I keep screwing up and fill my heart with sin, fear, jealousy. The Bible says you can’t be filled with God and also sin. Shouldn’t I fell something other than alone, feel God? I did when I was first saved. I don’t feel anyone working in my life right now, other than me, and I am not doing a good job at all. Today my husband said he wants to run away from everyone, including me. He is sick and tired of it. Is it really supposed to get worse? Is God really REALLY working to make this good?

    2. Are you to the point where you are ready to and want to give up the lying, idolatry, and unbiblical, toxic thinking you may have about God, yourself, your husband, marriage, etcโ€ฆ?

    YES!!!!! OH DEAREST GOD YES!!!!!!! I want peace and calm, I want to trust God to handle it all, and to keep Satan and all evil far away from me, my husband, my marriage, our kids and grandkids. I want to be trustworthy and not be ashamed of my self. I want a clean brain and conscience. I want to trust my husband and not be jealous of the women who text him, who he has been friends with for years. I want him to trust me and desire me, to share with me, not be distant. I want God in my life!!!!!!!! #1 before all else is God. YES!!!!!!!!

    3. What are you doing with all of this fear? Is the fear what motivates you in your relationship with your husband, children, and step children? Are you ready to throw the fear out the window and learn to entrust all of these things to God even if it feels scarier at first?

    I keep handing it over to God, all my fear, then rethink of what I should do, taking back my fear. It really does drive much of or all of what I do with relationships, Thank you! I never realized how much the fear of rejection, loss, being chosen over others, not being chosen motivates me in my relationships. I do not want to lose anyone else or be thought of as less. I am so much more than ready to throw fear out of the window, I would love to learn how to and to entrust it all to God. I do not think it can feel scarier than where I am at right now. But I have to learn to trust God, and if that means better will be scary at first, than OK. I really want to have God as my all, have His peace, feel His love, be His bride/daughter/beloved.

    4. Do you know what you are doing that is contributing to your husband feeling disrespected and untrusting toward you?

    Shamefully yes. I behave like my mother, I never wanted to. She is a spoiled brat who is used to having things her way at all cost. My father still beat her and belittled her and made her cry all the time, she in return let him know he did not act the way she had anticipated, therefore he was wrong. Dad mellowed over time and she is a horrible monster tearing us all apart. We are wrong no matter what.
    I was married 30 years to a sweet man who was a total narcissist. He comes before everyone, no exceptions, not me, not our kids. He also loved his porn and other women, blamed me for each affair. Brought me to XXX to learn and wanted me to take stripper lessons for extra money. He even sold me for a sum when we were strapped for cash to a his brother, resulting in my daughter. I admit I was no angel, I flew off in rage a lot, I was depressed and I was very exacting and blaming and a shrew. I was awful, but reckoned it was OK and acceptable.. I didn’t know where to direct my anger. I wanted out, but when I tried once before my parents hired lawyers to give my kids to my ex-husband. I love my kids, I can’t live without them, I stayed. After 30 years I told him enough! One more time and we were through. He took is seriously and we had about 3 months of quiet, he still rejected me sexually. We bought his dream country home in February and I went to work making it a home I could like. The kids were grown and gone at this point. I knew something was very very wrong soon after and in May got on my knees and begged God to heal this marriage or take me to heaven or anything other than the pain I was feeling. The next week he told me he was in love with another women “but you will be OK with that, right?” I called her a whore, he spat in my face and I knew we were done. He moved out.
    I went to a friend of mine who invited me to church, I was finally ready to try God and Christianity. I had been Catholic, read about scientology, wicca, eastern religions, and followed the advice in some movie The Secret. It was all so wrong for me. I was blessed the fall prior to have read The Shack, that was where God planted His seed. So I went to church the following week with my friend, she couldn’t wait to introduce me to this guy. I was not happy about it. BUT as soon as I met him I felt he was it! We dated over the course of a full year, we had sex at first, then I felt it was wrong and we stopped. I went through emotional roller coaster but was a baby Christian and was generally riding a high with God and this great guy. He was there to save me from poverty and hunger and cold. He cared about me and for me. I felt safe.
    One year later he went on vacation to his family, he returned after 3 weeks and called me several days later, I was very hurt. I had also been told he may have been seeing another woman. He had not yet said he loved me and he called me his friend, but he was so caring towards me. The night he came over I said “I love you” he was so silent. The next day I stopped talking to him. I was devastated, I didn’t know what to do. A week later he called and wished me and my new guy good luck. There was not any other man!!!! I told him I love him, there were no other men, I was so hurt he couldn’t love me. He flew over to my house and he told me he loved me, but was so scared at being hurt again. Then he went home, as my kids were coming over for dinner. A week later he asked me to marry him. Due to financial reasons we were married before God by a minister in a ceremony, but not before the state. It was like our great-grandparents had done it, before God. I was just so happy to have him I went along with it. He is Christian and took ministry courses, he knew, he would be our leader, I would be a good Christian wife and all would be perfect.
    We were married before our kids and grandkids by an ordained Minister. That night I got all dolled up in a nighty I got, and he said he was too tired. I cried, I was so upset. I begged. “NO! Let me sleep.” The next morning his buddy showed up and we rode motorcycles all day, and he was too tired again. I was so upset, not this again!!!!!! No sex in a year, why is he rejecting me? He had promised great sex. We finally had sex, he was having issues, and after a week told me he had “lost his desire.” It was not good, and I was crying all the time. I smiled all day, was as obedient as I could be, went to work, gave all my money over and let him handle finances, rubbed his back at night until he fell asleep. We were adjusting to this new marriage, and not doing well. He is exacting and I was going crazy trying to do it all his was down to minute detail. The sex became patterned, I initiated, he rejected me, the next day we would. this would be maybe weekly and getting less. By mid summer I found the card, photos, and momentos of his ex girlfriends. I felt as if I was having a heart attack, it hurt so badly. He assured me that it was just memories. It meant nothing. My ex had hooked up with all his exes, no I overreacted. I was starting with the bursting out over little stuff. I was crying a lot. I was also starting to tell him to buy me flowers and cards like he did when we were dating. He started saying he had dated crazy women, asking me if I was one. I felt he was visiting his female friends too much, he reassured me they meant nothing, just friends for years. On our first anniversary he got me a card a month early, I was angry he got the date wrong. For our first anniversary I got nothing. Just the Valentines Day before he was so excited to get me 3 cards and flowers. Oh boy! He had stopped saying he was so glad he married me. We were still a great couple as far as I was submissive and obedient, but I was giving him those looks, rolling my eyes, waving my hands, crying, having outbursts. I was not very attractive, I haven’t been since I first broke up with him with the silent treatment and the first cry after we were married. I started reading your blog over a year ago, things were starting to improve, then his son died and we have had this year of strain. I found his old girlfriend is still texting him, she also knows when he is having coffee with the guys and goes there. She calls him and stops over. He swear it is nothing, she is psycho, I have been told that by his sister also, she says he is very in love with me. Actually a lot of his old girl friends text him and call him. He says ‘do you think I am sleeping with any of them? I dumped them for being psycho. I chose to marry you.” A year after his son’s death my husband began having a really hard time, I am supportive and I am destructive. I checked his phone and found she is still texting him, trying to get him to lie about where he is to visit her for coffee. She had even asked me to let them have coffee. I also visited his FB and email and found while we were dating (he was still not sure I was the one yet) he had been dating online and when we were broke up he had sex. I held all this in, what I had done was so in violation of trust. I confronted him about being my suspicions of his cheating while we dated, said I was told about it. I almost hounded him for a month. He was so hurt and angry, saying he did not cheat on me. Then he really has been shutting down, asking for time for him to figure out how to handle his son’s death and another son now also on drugs and in the legal system. I was so good, the every so often would go crazy. He told me he no longer erases his texts so I can read them. He is not happy about me snooping, though. He no longer trusts me. He won’t tell me anything in confidence. He loves me and wants our marriage to work, but wants to run away from me.. I am shutting down, yet on my birthday I got angry because he made me pick out my own flowers and chose my birthday card from a box of cards we have in the house. He did not get a gift, our dinner out will be his gift. I gave him suggestions for gifts for Christmas, he let me know he hates the was I keep nit picking at him, pressuring him, I am so stringent. Where is my smile? It is almost like I am autistic, one line of thinking (my Aunt and others in my family have Aspergers, so please do not get upset at the reference.) I am disgusted with myself, I am also
    paralyzed with fear he is unfaithful, then I realize I am so wrong, my kids even tell me they have friends of the opposite sex and I am making way too much out of it. I tell myself it is God who will deal with him, I need to deal with me! Yes, I have been a horrible belittling stringent difficult emotional spoiled brat terrible wife and I am so sick of it. I told my husband I am going to change and I am working at it. He used to say ‘just be yourself’ now he says ‘maybe I wouldn’t like the real you.” I told him he wouldn’t, please let me change in to a Godly wife. I am terrified out of my brain, but I don’t know what else to do, change or lose this great husband I love dearly, even though I act the opposite.

    5. You โ€œcanโ€™t help telling little white liesโ€? Do you tell them out of fear of rejection? Do you truly believe you have no ability to stop yourself?

    I do lie out of fear of being found to have done something wrong, like his a garbage can with my car. I want to avoid anger, my dad was very mean, but I usually got beaten even if it wan’t me who did it. Lying became a defense mechanism. Yes, I lie to protect myself from rejection and anger which cripples me in fear. I have no choice but to stop lying and face reality head on. My husband always tells me he respects people who tell the truth no matter what. He even points out when he tells a lie and says “see, we all lie.” I am not sure if he is trying to make me feel good and encourage truth or if he is letting me know he lies, which makes me feel I can’t trust him now.

    6. Even if you are living in the center of Godโ€™s presence and peace, things will still hurt you. God, Himself, is perfect and holy but our sin hurts Him. Are you willing to accept that loving other people can involve being hurt โ€“ but that if you have God, He can give you the strength, wisdom, and power to deal with it in a godly way? Are you willing to accept that the goal of not feeling any pain or hurt is not a reasonable goal in this life in relationships with imperfect people?

    Will I be less hurting than I am now? Will I experience peace? My husband says”once you find that peace with God, you will hold onto it and never let it go.” He holds that peace even now as he struggles with his son’s death and another son’s drug addiction. I will have to accept it as Job did, with the grace of God through His strength, wisdom, and power to deal with it all in a Godly peaceful way, in calm. In maturity. Let it wash off my back like a duck with water. Remain in God and understand it will hurt but cannot hurt me. The Bible tells story after story of people, like the great Paul, who suffered greatly for God. That pain and other pain cannot be as bad as this mental emotional pain. If my husband is indeed cheating on me, I am ready to forgive, I just want him to be truthful. Secrets are hurting our marriage. If he is not, then I need God to help me change. Either way I need to change. I need to have God work on me. My husband says of some things “I cannot sleep as it is, I do not want to sin and add more things to have me lose sleep.”

    7. How much time are you spending with God? What do you pray for? What do you desire most in your walk with Christ?

    I spend a little time with God daily, I am taking Old and New Testament Survey, I watch Joyce Meyer and Pastor Prince and 700 Club daily, I read scripture sent to me daily, I read the Bible, I am also setting a few moments each time I stress out just praising God. In my car I listen to Christian talk radio. At meals and bedtime I say prayers of thanks and protection. At night after dark sets in I have to fight the fear, I now keep my phone bedside to read scripture when it begins, but I also check FB, so I need to discipline myself more. I pray in the shower, if I am not having a pitty party and crying. I feel alone, poor God must be frustrated by my horrible wishy washy behaviour, He will spit me out of His mouth for I am luke warm. I want to be hot. On fire for God. All the time. Consistent.
    I pray for a healed marriage that is in the image of God’s idea for marriage. I pray that I grow up and be a woman of God. I pray this fear leaves me. I pray for my husband’s heart, for healing for his heart. I pray my husband and I will get close and we have a great marriage. I pray for my children and step children and grandchildren. I pray for clarification as to my path God wants me on. I pray for my own healing, I have been ill for months. I pray for understanding as I take Ministry courses. I pray for my parents and family and healing in my family. I pray for wisdom, guidance, understanding, and calm consistency. I pray for strength.
    In my walk with God I most desire wisdom and clarity and understanding and maturity and strength like Paul to carry out God’s desires in my life. I desire a clear picture of what God wants me to do, my ministry.
    I desire a whole healed marriage and we are a team performing God’s will. I pray to be there fully for my husband at this terrible time, I want him to trust me to tell me anything of what is going on, he stopped sharing anything with me. His feelings of his dead son, what is going on with his other son, who is on the lamb and missing and on heroin.

    8. What specifically are you holding back from God?

    I am holding back fully trusting God will handle my life and my husband’s life and I am to rest on God. I am not trusting fully. Perhaps I am not fully believing. I do believe in God, but it is evident that I do not fully totally believe, or I would rely fully on God to handle everything in my life. I am holding back control from God, not handing Him full control of my life. I so desire to have full trust and belief and give over all, all control. Let go of the doubt that the unseen is more powerful than I am or anyone else is. Fear. Fear. Fear is driving me to hold back, will God handle it? Will He refuse? Will it come out OK?

    9. Is your primary goal to get out of the testing period or to learn what God desires you to learn and to grow in spiritual maturity and be closer to Him?

    My primary goal is to learn what God desires me to know, to become a mature Christian woman, grow closer to God. I want to be calm and consistent in the face of everything. As much as I really am not comfortable in this time of testing, if I do not learn God’s message for me then I will not get out of being tested until I go through the fire and learn. I want to learn, I do not like being in the fire. I am not blessed with innate wisdom, and I was cursed with a very analytical questioning mind, so when I learn to trust and rest on God and stop nit picking and dissecting everything to infinatum then I will progress forward.
    I will accept what is God’s will, and pray for strength to endure and not waiver so God can work through me and make and mold me into His Beloved in every way. I pray for strength to grow in maturity and consistency, to stop putting my fears before I put God in my mind, heart, and life. I want to be what God wants me to be!!!!!! I want to be strong to spread His word and help others to find God and to minister to those in need.
    I want forgiveness and more, I want a special bond with God, I want to feel His presence, be filled with peace and joy inexpressible. I want to glow with Christ. I want to experience His outpouring of love and feel it rather than wishing and wondering what it is. I want an intimate relationship with God, Jesus, Holy Spirit. I want to walk with Him, talk with Him, hear Him, be His beloved. I want to hear His voice clearly, and reply “Yes Lord, as You wish!”

    10. Where do you go for your source of absolute truth? Would you say that you trust Godโ€™s Word above all, or would you say you depend on your feelings?

    Oh boy. This is a biggie. The Bible is the source of all truth, absolute truth. I need to study, learn to study it to glean God’s Word from it and apply it to my life. I would be lying if I said I do not depend on my feelings, that is what got me to this neurotic state I am in now. I spend the day vacillating between trusting God and thinking of other things I should do to prove my husband is true to his word. Awful sinful terrible. I want to go only to God’s Word, it is consistent, unwavering, all inclusive, absolute wisdom, the only right way to think, the only real answers to all of life’s concerns.

    11. Where is your worth as a woman?

    My worth has always been tied up in how well I serve others, my husband, kids, bosses, coworkers, …. My value comes in what others think of me. I don’t think much of myself, I don’t even look in mirrors. Sound funny, because I am obviously very much tied up in myself “what about me?” “Don’t forget me.” Hey, what about my feelings.” In nursing school I was second from the top and never thought about it or bragged. At work I am well liked, and don’t think too much of it. Yet, I guess I still want attention, all my answers above reflect that. I am a whiny self-centered doormat.
    If you are ready to give up your sin and you truly want to learn to fully trust God โ€“ I can show you the next steps.

    Yes, Yes I am April.
    Here is another assignment when you are ready. Please read this post Identifying the Lies We Have Embraced โ€“ and let me know which ones you believe you are dealing with.
    I AM WORKING ON THESE NOW.

  28. OK, Part two of above note: The lists:
    Lies about Perfectionism/People Pleasing: I TAILORED THE LIST TO APPLY TO ME

    1. I should be strong enough to work at and become perfect in God’s eyes, I should do the work, earn His love. Even though I am a wretched sinner. I am not a good person.
    2. Other peopleโ€™s approval is very important to me. I judge myself through their eyes. If I see disapproval in their eyes or body language I adjust my ways. I want people happy with me, anger scares me. I want God pleased with me. BUT I feel I have to do the work, earn His approval.
    3. If I can do things perfectly in my eyes, I can control everything and I will be safe and can be guaranteed the outcomes I desire.
    4. I am responsible for things that really arenโ€™t my responsibility. Gotta make life better for others, they will see what I am doing and like me.
    5. If I am not worried, afraid, and trying so hard that I am exhausted, I donโ€™t really love other people. I am constantly trying to analyze every relationship, how to make it better, what have I done to screw things up. I tense up even with the tiniest wrong thing.
    6. I canโ€™t relax and enjoy intimacy with God or with others. I have to constantly earn love. Who wants me, look at all the better choices.
    7. My value is in what I do โ€“ not in who I am or in what Christ did for me.
    8. If I donโ€™t ever make mistakes, other people will love me and never be upset with me. This is a reasonable plan. Keep analyzing how I do, keep adjusting until I see right results, intimacy with husband, love from kids.
    9. Perfection, in my definition(i.e.: how clean my house is, how closely we follow the rules of relationships, or how much I follow a list of man made rules), is more important than people and relationships.
    10. I am the key here, not God. I cannot deny this, God IS the KEY, but it seems I live as if I am responsible completely for all relationships, including my intimacy with God. MAN! I am exhausted and confused.

    Lies about God:

    1. He is very good, but also like a father will severely punish sin and reject sinners and cast luke warm children away, preferring obedient children.
    3. I have to earn His love.
    4. God is holding out on me until I prove myself to Him
    8. God is letting Satan tempt me, like He did with Job.
    10. God wonโ€™t help me, He is testing me and will help after I pass the tests.
    19. God is not just, He judges unequally and can do what He wants to us. He is God.

    Lies about Self:
    2. I am worthless/ugly/unloveable.
    3. Even if I am in Christ, I am still a wretched sinner, I cannot receive my new identity and new self in Christ…. until I stop sinning.
    3. I am not a โ€œreal personโ€ or a โ€œreal woman.โ€ I admit there are times I wondered…
    4. Godโ€™s promises and His Word apply to other people, but not to me until I earn it.
    5. I canโ€™t ask for help I don’t want to bother others or be a burden. I will hep others gladly
    6. I am responsible for othersโ€™ decisions, choices, and the consequences they experience.
    9. I canโ€™t forgive myself.
    10. I am having trouble learning to hear God.
    11. I must earn peopleโ€™s love.
    20. I canโ€™t be beautiful in Godโ€™s eyes.
    22. Other people are important but I am not important at all.
    23. I can be close to God and strong spiritually without allowing God full access to the darkest places of my heart.

    Lies about Others:

    1. they are more important than I am.
    4. I am to serve people.
    5. I have to avoid conflict at all costs. YES
    10. Others do control me. And I am afraid to use my voice. I tend to be wrong.
    12. Othersโ€™ feelings donโ€™t matter or my feelings donโ€™t matter.
    13. I have to disrespect myself to respect others or I have to disrespect others to respect myself.

    1. Dear God It’s Me:3M,

      I have received your responses. Thank you so much for responding in such detail! I may keep your second reply to me unapproved – just for your privacy and your husband’s privacy. But I hope to respond in the next day or so when I can thoughtfully and prayerfully mull over all that you have shared.

      Much love to you!
      Great job on these assignments! Seeing the problems is the first step toward healing. ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. Dear God It’s Me:3M,

      I have been at work or with my grandmother recently – she seems to not have much time left in this world. I have not forgotten you and have a reminder to myself to hash through your comments with you – but it may take me a bit longer than I had expected. Thank you for your patience with me!

      In the mean time, if you would like to do something to get started, the book Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss may be a very helpful place to start. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Much love!

  29. Dear Sister,
    How is your Grandmother? How are you doing with all this? My grandmother was so near and dear to me, I always looked at her as my hero. My heart goes out to you, but is joyful for her, as she gets to live in glory with God. I continue to pray for you and your family. I still miss her, and always will. You are such a special person, I am sure your grandmother must be as well. Be glad you have such love in your life. Thanks you for sharing all that love with so many of us women who needed the wisdom shared by generations. God Bless You. Love your sister in Christ,
    Beth

    1. Beth,

      That is my sister’s name! ๐Ÿ™‚ Love it.

      I got to be with my Mom mom, we call her, 5 hours Wednesday and 9 hours yesterday. Hoping to be with her today, as well in a bit. She is still hanging in there. Her health is deteriorating greatly. She has many of the signs of “the active dying phase.” I have never been around anyone who was dying – and was expecting lots of pain, agony, and suffering. I have been praying for peace for her. And was amazed the last two days to see that she has been seeing a lot of people in the room that we can’t see and people/things on the ceiling. She has been smiling at them many times and laughing and having conversations. Sometimes we can’t always understand her words. Sometimes she can’t explain what she is seeing. She has talked about angels flying above at times and about angels taking her hand, but she has been fighting them and not willing to go yet. I wish I could see what she is seeing. She says she knows the people that she sees in the room. They seem to be friends and maybe family. There have been a few times of anxiety and agitation, but mostly, she has not been in pain the past two days. Mostly she has just been looking up and saying things like, “Wow!” and pointing at beautiful things she can see. I know she will be in heaven because she loves Jesus and has lived for Him. But what a blessing to see her so at peace and enjoying this time even now. It has been such an honor to be there with her.

      Thank you so much for the prayers. I can feel them. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Much love to you!

        1. Beth,

          That is so precious. Thank you for sitting with those who had no one with them. Do you have any words of wisdom to share with me – this is the first time I have been with someone who is dying and I don’t know what to expect.

          Much love to you, my dear sister!

          1. Hold MomMom’s hand, stroke her arm and hair. Brush her hair and help keep her clean and beautiful. Ask her what you can do. And just love up on her. Ask her if she has anything she wants to impart, stories or wisdom. Tell her it is OK with everyone here for her to go Home to God. Lots of time they need to know you will be ok so they can go in peace. Let her talk and listen to her. These are the words, the wisdom, the stories you will cherish and in turn pass on. Read to her, sing to her, tell her all your best memories with her. Pray with her. Tears are OK, cry over this and laugh … don’t hold back. God bless you. Let MomMom know how special and precious she is and will always be in your heart. Live and strength to you. Love Beth

          2. Beth,

            That is exactly what I have been doing. Love it! Yesterday and today, she was not really “with me” very much. The people and things she can see now that I can’t see are more real to her a lot of the time now. But I am so fascinated to watch her explore the new beautiful sites and to hear every word and try to understand as much as I can. I sit and hold her hand. I hug and kiss her. Sometimes she realizes I am there and smiles so beautifully. Other times, I know she doesn’t realize I am there, and that is okay. I listen. I ask questions about what she says and what she sees. I have let her know that it is okay for her to go home. Yesterday one time she said very loudly, “NO! I AM NOT READY!” Super crystal clear. She was not talking to me. I tried to ask who she was talking to, but I couldn’t understand. The aide who was with her last night said that later she said, “I’m ready now.” Today she actually ate a few bites of pureed food, for the first time in days. She really perked up a lot this morning for awhile. Then she slept a lot this afternoon. I want so much to be with her every moment.

            I cried a lot two weeks ago and last week. This week, I have just been in total awe of what God is allowing us to experience with her. There is so much joy and peace. Such treasures and gifts!

            She waved and said, “Hi Larry!” today. Larry is her son who passed away 10 years ago. And then she waved again. Big smile. She has talked about angels at times, and animals. Today she said it was snowing and she held out her tongue to catch the snowflakes. Last night she saw Christmas presents and lights everywhere. I hope to get to be with her tomorrow afternoon again. I just sit and listen and watch and love her. My mom is having a much harder time. But to me, these past few days have been a sacred, precious gift. She hasn’t been in pain. She has been reaching out to touch things and is looking up constantly at so many things. Sometimes she will say, “WOW!” Or “Ooh!!!” Like she is seeing things that are so beautiful. I wish I could see what she sees.

            I love her dearly. I will savor every moment.

            Thanks for the wisdom, Beth. ๐Ÿ™‚

            Much love!

    1. Thank you so much, Beth. ๐Ÿ™‚ Mom mom has been mostly asleep the past few days. I am not sure if she will really wake up again. I want so much to be there every moment and am having to accept that I can’t be there 24/7 for over 3 weeks. It could even be another week or more, I suppose, before the end. I do hope I can visit with her for awhile today. My sister, Beth, is planning to come up later today, too. So that will be a blessing.

      Thank you for the prayers!

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.

%d bloggers like this: