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April and Greg - August 2002

Do You Have to “Lose Yourself” or “Be Fake” to Be a Godly Wife?

My twin sister and I turn 42 today!!!!

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Can you tell which one is me? πŸ™‚

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April and Greg - August 2002

April and Greg – August 2002

Sometimes, when we are first studying about being godly wives – and we read about respecting our husbands and honoring their God-given leadership – we might be confused. There is a danger in seeking to become a godly wife that we might think we must suppress our personalities, stuff our feelings, pretend to have no opinions, ignore our needs, trash our emotions, become fake, act happy while we are dying inside, and give up our influence as women in our marriages.

You may be very relieved to know that that is NOT AT ALL what the journey to become a godly wife or woman is about!

Our brothers in Christ have the exact same journey to make. We all learn to count ourselves dead to our old sinful selves and to this world, to take up our crosses daily, and to live by the power of Christ for His greatest glory. None of us can do this in our own power. We desperately need Jesus to change us for us to be the godly women He calls us to be! It is only as we discover that He is Real Love and Real Life and that we fully surrender ourselves to Him that we can experience His spiritually abundant life.

WHAT DO WE LOSE?

– We lose the power of our sinful flesh. That includes things like: pride, self-righteousness, a critical spirit, covetousness, idolatry (putting something above God in our hearts), lust, the power to destroy others, gossip, slander, disrespect, contentiousness, argumentativeness, a divisive spirit, hatred, resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness, attempting to find security in things other than Christ, lies, ungodly ideas, unbelief, lack of faith, complaining, a desire to control, worrying, fearfulness, lack of love for God or people, apathy, addictions to anything, worldliness, etc… These things are all garbage in God’s sight. They are toxic poison to us – and He wants them gone for our own good and the good of others and for His pleasure.

The main things we need to focus on giving up are sinful things. Sinful words, sinful attitudes, sinful thoughts, sinful motives, and sinful actions need to go. We lose the warped and distorted version of femininity (and masculinity) that we had before.

We also lose our previous understanding of men and women being exactly the same in how they think, process, and communicate.Β That is what our culture teaches us, but it is just not true. Men and women are very different in many ways. That is not a bad thing. But we do need to lose the idea that men should be just like women. That is not going to happen. It’s good that God designed us to be different. As we begin to understand how men really think, feel, and talk – we can see them with God’s eyes and with His love.

Apart from Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit, we tend to go to one of two extremes:

1. Too aggressive – we tend to become controlling, disrespectful wives who attempt to destroy our husbands and who try to usurp their God-given authority in the marriage.

2. Too passive – we tend to become quiet, voiceless, opinionless slaves who cannot think for ourselves and cannot or will not share our hearts or thoughts.

Neither of these extremes honor God. God desires His beloved daughters on both sides of these extremes to come to Him and to find healthy balance through the power of God’s Spirit to become the women He desires and commands us to be.

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want…Β Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:16,17,24

WHAT DO WE RETAIN?

We retain our identity in Christ, our personality, our abilities, our interests, our feminine perspective, our womanhood, our dignity, our self-respect, our personhood, our sexuality, our bodies, our feelings, our thoughts, our intelligence, our talents, our resources, our free-will, etc… All of those things are still ours. But we bring them all under full submission to the Lordship of Christ.Β We begin to understand God’s definition of femininity, masculinity, marriage, and we begin to understand God’s heart and wisdom for every aspect of our lives.

That is what Christ Jesus asks of ALL believers – total submission of all that we have and all that we are to Himself. We lay down our will, our wisdom, our time, our health, our money, our desires, our sinfulness, our weakness, our worldliness, our sinfulness – and we receive Christ’s death for us, His victory over sin, His victory over hell, His righteousness, His power, His holiness, His will, His wisdom, His desires, and we seek His glory above all else.

WHAT DO WE GAIN?

This is my favorite part!!!!!!

We gain the Holy Spirit, the power of God, the resources of Christ, the spiritual riches of heaven, and all that belongs to Christ Jesus. When we are in Christ, all we have is His, and all He has is ours. What an amazing thought THAT is!

So, we do lose our sinful power to destroy our husbands and marriages. Some women worry that if they don’t have that sinful power anymore, they will have no voice and be powerless. Not at all! We gain the power of God’s Spirit to enable us to bless, build up, encourage, respect, honor, and empower our husbands. We gain God’s power to bring healing into our marriages and families. We gain the power of prayer and access to the throne room of the omnipotent, omniscient, wise, holy, loving, righteous, just, merciful, gracious God of the universe!

When we walk in obedience to Christ and to His Word through the power of His Spirit filling and transforming us to be more and more like Jesus – we have the power to be godly women.

We gain:

  • the power to be partners with God to draw our husbands to Himself. We don’t get in God’s way anymore.
  • the power to receive eternal rewards for our obedience to Christ no matter how our husbands respond here on earth.
  • the discipline, pruning, and refining of God as he purifies our hearts, minds, and motives on this journey.
  • We lose the desire to change our husbands so we can get what we want (romance, love, happiness). We gain God’s desire to walk in obedience to Him just because we want to please and honor Him, and we want to bless our husbands. We begin to want God’s best for our men.
  • God’s agape love for our husbands and others. I Corinthians 13:4-8
  • God’s design for us as women and as wives and mothers.
  • the capacity to be real, authentic, and vulnerable without destroying our husbands.
  • the ability to share our hearts, minds, ideas, thoughts, needs, and concerns respectfully, humbly, and gently.
  • the ability to influence our husbands in good ways that honor God and our husbands and that ultimately bless us and our families, as well.
  • the mind of Christ, the heart of Christ, and the eyes of Christ.
  • the power to walk in victory over sin, trials, obstacles, frustration, and opposition.
  • the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control – when we are walking in the power of Christ living in and through us, and we are abiding in Him (John 15).
  • a thankful spirit.
  • power and victory over our fear.
  • greater faith and trust in God that replaces our worry, anxiety, and doubt.
  • We gain an understanding of the amazing, beautiful differences between masculinity and femininity.
  • We get to learn the mysterious (to us) masculine language of respect.
  • We gain the ability to communicate with our husbands in ways that build them up and bless them, rather than tearing them down. (Proverbs 14:1)
  • We learn to embrace godly femininity

SHARE:

I’d love to hear about what you had to give up on this journey, what you retained, and what you have gained!

RELATED:

How to Have a Relationship with Christ Jesus

Spiritual Authority

A Husband’s and a Wife’s Authority in Marriage

127 thoughts on “Do You Have to “Lose Yourself” or “Be Fake” to Be a Godly Wife?

  1. My goodness April, this is amazing!!! not one minute ago I was pondering about raising a question for you and your readers but was worried that it would be completely unrelated to what you might be talking on today….I’m in Australia so your email alert came through in my evening and I couldn’t believe my eyes that it was on the exact subject I, as a husband, wanted some wifely understanding upon!!

    A quick snapshot, I am separated from my wife for six months after thirty years of marriage. Whilst not unfaithful in the traditional sense I basically removed any form of security for my wife primarily financially but I was shiny on the outside and demonic on the inside and the end result is an enormous amount of distrust and resentment due to the never ending duress I put her under. Whilst a Christian the whole time I was RADICALLY transformed very soon after separation. My entire life is completely opposite to what it was, I have been completely set free from lying, deceipt, lust, anger and fear, pride – it is so exciting but came at a very high price.

    I have to lay down my life for my wife and willingly, gladly will. I was fortunate enough to have inherited a property which sold for a great profit and cleared all the main debts but i still must work hard to give her the security back she deserves. It will take time to earn the trust back and my next step is to give her power of attorney over all my income and to sign over the house to her to allow her to have the choice on finances. She has always been at my mercy which I am so disgusted with myself about but the question is would women see my intentions as something positive or is it just smoke and mirrors. All the men I have discussed it with talk about it being courageous and manly but I am not interested in doing something for the sake of being courageous or manly – I am hoping from this to learn what it feels like to be at another persons mercy to better understand some empathy for my wife and secondly to demonstrate that I am serious about trusting her with everything in the world that I have which is the opposite to how I treated her before…..any thoughts…?? So the question really is one of allowing myself to be sanctified as the husband I hope to be and considering what is necessary to be laid down to reach that…so stoked you brought the question up!! Bless you…

    1. Gary,

      I’m so glad that this post blessed you, my brother! πŸ™‚

      How I praise God for what He has been doing in your heart, life, mind, and soul!!!!!!

      I love that you want to earn your wife’s trust. I guess I am confused about something, though. It seems to me that you could financially provide for your wife and regain trust without putting her entirely in charge. Am I missing something possibly? I love that you want to show her that she is safe with you and that you care about her needs and want to provide well for her and protect and nurture her. That is AWESOME! But – by giving her the power of attorney over all of your income, she would be completely in charge financially, is that correct?

      Would it be possible that she could regain trust and a sense of financial security and understand that you are for her and that you are providing well for her and protecting her if you have a joint account with joint access?

      Have you already promised her that you would do this?

      I assume that you plan to seek to be a humble, gentle, loving, servant-hearted leader in the marriage as God brings healing. And that you don’t intend to make your wife the leader – but rather, to treat her as your dearest friend and most trusted advisor, always seeking her ultimate good above your own interests. I assume you plan to be transparent and truthful and willing to allow your wife total access to your finances as well as to your intentions and to not hide anything from her again.

      If you haven’t read this book yet, I invite you to get this free download “Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood” edited by John Piper and Wayne Guram, and read chapter one. I think it may help to give some clarity.

      I pray for God’s heavenly wisdom for you and for continued healing for you both!

      1. Thanks April – That is such a big help! I read Sarah’s reply below as well and between the two of you I have learned something so important but you hit the nail on the head – I had previously well and truly abdicated my position as the head of my family and my wife but that role is exactly as Paul describes it – a servant leader and I never understood that before. So my idea is that at least for six months I giver her complete authority over the finances. We came into this marriage as those dea friends you were describing and I truly believe that can be recovered if I can get back to that point of humility and she can gt back to that point of trust. I know that money is not the most important thing in her life but if she can physically see that I am giving her absolutely all of MY security then we can then work through learning to communicate easily and honestly. I have seen her frustration when we have talked with male marriage counselors and they are giving a mans perspective on what they THINK a woman needs but I can see o her face that she feels they don’t get it. They applaud me for all the important changes that I have made but this just makes her feel more alienated.

        1. Gary,

          I love your heart for Christ and for your wife and for your marriage. I am sure that He is able to give you the wisdom about exactly what to do in your particular situation to win back your wife’s trust and to help her feel secure. I love that you are willing to be humble and to do whatever it takes, in the parameters of God’s Word – of course, to seek to bring healing to your wife and marriage.

          I pray for both of you and for God’s will and His glory!!!! πŸ™‚

    2. This is so beautiful to read how you are ready to give up everything to youre wife! God is so good, and can transform us so completly!

      Its hard to say without knowing the whole situation, or youre wife, but I would take this completly to God, pray, fast ask if this is his will. As a wife to a husband who has complete control over finances (im still on all the accounts, but dont have anything to do with them) I cant even begin to express how greatful I am to my husband for taking on that burden. It makes me feel safe, cared for and provided for. Have you tried just pooring youre heart out to her, being completely honest, and showing her the change thats happened in you. As a wife this is all I want. But again its hard to say without knowing the whole situation. But the most beautiful thing is God does know exactly what you need and youre wife needs, so I would completly surrender the situation to Him, and do whatever it is that He wants you to do!

      1. Hey Sarah, thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I want to get back to that position of looking after all the finances but I realised you were right – I have never been completely totally unreservedly honest because i didn’t really trust my wife but the REAL reason I didn’t trust really trust my wife is because I didn’t trust myself so there was always going to be something held back – she perceives those things straight away and so distrust rightly develops. But after my encounter with God I now easily and wonderfully trust God and so I trust myself and so now I can go right out and be totally honest with my wife – wow! one thing I know is she will be able to tell straight away….thank you so MUCH!!

  2. Thank you for such s timely and detailed post. I have been battling this fear all week. Happy Birthday April to you and your sister! I think you are the one on the left???? God is so good.

  3. I had to give upp to not have desires but to take time to think and decide on what I wish and not leave all responsebility to my husband and afterwards sulk if he did not guess right and do things my way. Though many times I do not care either way but to my husband that was disrespect for I seemed not to care att all. To overcome my indecisiveness is not easy for it is actually a form of lazyness.
    I also had to learn to share my heart as to my wishes but to stop vocalize my opinions outloud and with that interrupt my husbands listening and give him time to built his own opinions and respect that. For I find it hard to know my wishes and speak for myself, but easy to be opinionated in things outside my control. In films and politics I seem to know it all πŸ™‚
    And I had to learn to accept it is allright if we have different opinions for we do not have to agree in everything.
    Some days ago I discovered It was natural to bring forward my wishes about how to do something and to be both comfortable that he leads and I can and do have thoughts of my own and can share that natural withouth freaking out and we can come to a decision together.
    It made me soo happy, look how much I changed. And nothing felt like acting anymore.
    I just stood there with silent glee and happy and thanking God, I really can change, wow.
    I have learned to show when I am unhappy and say that in words, wich for me is huge for I hid everything inside.
    It has strengthend my confidence in my martiage and trust in my husband and I cannot thank you enough for your blog it has made a major difference in my marriage and my personal live.
    And I learned that my husband is an amazing guy. My love for him is growing and that at over 30 years of marriage.

    1. Tabitha,

      I’m excited to hear all that you are learning! And that you are learning to share your ideas and feelings. That can be really hard if you were used to not making decisions or sharing your heart.

      I praise God for the healing that is taking place in your marriage and that you see your husband in a new light. WOOHOO!

      Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

    1. April Jo,

      The one in blue is my sister. πŸ™‚ that pic is particularly difficult. I am not sure I could tell us apart if our names were not on the back! Ha!

      Glad the post was a blessing. πŸ™‚

  4. I’m perplexed….I have been doing my best with God’s help to be a godly respectful wife for two years now and my husband told me two days ago that he’s noticed that I’ve become what he craved me to be years ago but now it only makes him resent me more and pushes him away. How did I react to that? I said “thank you for explaining that to be, otherwise I never would have figured that one out.” Then he said that in counseling they have figured out his being rejected by his drug addict mother is why he is having such difficulties forgiving me for when I rejected him sexually even though he knows it was due to zero hormones and endless financial stress I was under. He can’t forgive me and as I’ve learned, harboring unforgivness allows satan a foothold to torment you. He is one miserable Christian right now. He looks so beaten down with bags under his eyes. I have moved to the upstairs of our home to give him space from having to look at or be around me so God might be able to deal with his hardened heart. Prayers for me to remain strong and for my husband to surrender this hurt and anger. I bind satan in the name of Jesus!

    1. LearningtoLean,

      Goodness!

      Well, I am really glad he is seeing a counselor and pray for God’s wisdoms for the counselor and your husband. Hanging on to bitterness, unforgiveness, and resentment is a really miserable, painful prison. I pray he will turn to God to help him find victory over those sins.

      Sometimes as a wife becomes more godly, a husband has to face his own sins. It can get difficult when that is happening. Suddenly, he can’t blame you anymore and has to look at himself. Most people would rather be able to continue to blame someone else for their pain rather than having to repent of sin themselves. That is human nature. So, if he can treat you poorly, and you sin against him, then he gets to resent and blame you and not have to focus on his own sin. Does that make sense? Sometimes that is the dynamic that can be going on at a time like this.

      My prayer is for you to abide in Christ and be filled with God’s Spirit and power and for you to allow God to convict your husband.

      Praying for God’s greatest glory in both of your lives!!!

      1. April I have really seen God dealing with him and I have no intention of stopping being the respectful and loving help mate God requires of me just because it is “pushing him further away.” I at peace with the Lord Jesus Christ and yes it is very hurtful when he says those things but I just have to continue to believe this isn’t about me it’s about his childhood rejection which is not my fault. Yes his counselor is an amazingly insightful Christian and I am in sessions with a wonderful Christian woman at same place. I’ve told her all about how I happened upon peacefulwife.com and how much I’ve learned from you during these last two yrs. The problem now is hubby is getting so close to a breakthrough he is missing his appts and says he may not go back! I bind Satan on a daily basis because he is fighting tooth and toenail to destroy our marriage. Hugs and thank you. .I covet your prayers and the prayers of the saints everywhere who might be willing to pray for my husband.

        1. LearningtoLean,

          I am really excited about the counseling you are both receiving. I know that conviction is REALLY, REALLY painful. Many people do run from it at first. I’m so thankful for your commitment to Christ and your willingness to stand firm even as the enemy does try to destroy and steal.

          Lord,
          We lift up LTL and your husband to You in the highest heavens. We praise You because You are GOOD! We thank You for Your sovereignty. We adore You for Your love, justice, holiness, power, might, omnipotence, omniscience, mercy, forgiveness, and grace. We thank You for Christ Jesus and His finished work on the cross for all of us. We thank You for the grace and mercy that we do not deserve whatsoever that is available to us all in Christ.

          We know that this is an extremely difficult time for LTL’s husband. And it is a challenging time for her, as well. It is confusing! Lord, we thank and praise You that You are able to open people’s eyes. We cannot even open our own eyes. We cannot open other people’s eyes. But Your Spirit is able to convict and bring people to godly repentance. We see it here every day. Thank You for Your power! Thank You that we are all totally desperate for You and can’t do anything good on our own. Thank You that we can’t be God to anyone and we can’t do the work of the Holy Spirit. We trust You completely with this precious prodigal son of Yours. You love him dearly and want to see him return to You. Draw him to Yourself as only You can.

          We surround our dear sister with Your love and pray for You to fill her with Your courage, agape love, patience, joy, peace, and power as she waits on You expectantly. Use her to bless her husband. Give her Your wisdom. Give her husband the courage to face his deepest fears and his sins and maybe idols. I know it is terrifying to rip out bitterness and idols. It feels like jumping off of a big spiritual cliff to begin to trust God after years of trusting self. Help him to see that trusting self is the most dangerous place to be and fully submitting to God is the pathway to the treasures of heaven and to healing and to real Life and real Love and joy, peace, and Living Water! We pray for the enemy to flee. We pray for her husband to submit fully to You by Your power. We pray for You to use him in mighty ways in Your kingdom.

          In the Name and power of Christ,

          Amen!

          1. Amen! Thank you Heavenly Father for April and her willingness to be mentor to me and so many many other wives who are on this journey. Lord you know my heart to its core and know that I didn’t intentionally reject my good husband You gave me 21 years ago and you know the internal pain that had surfaced over the last few years regarding his now deceased mother and her drug addiction and rejection of him and his siblings. please ease his burden and help him shed this turmoil and stronghold satan seems to have over him. Release him and set him free to love me and forgive me and all the others he is angry with. You Word tells us unforgiveness in our hearts allows Satan to torment us. I rebuke him now and lay my precious confused angry husband at your feet because you are the only one who can fix this. I claim it all I’m the precious Holly name of Jesus…Amen

          2. LearningtoLean,

            AMEN! AMEN! I stand with you in agreement in this prayer for your husband. I can’t imagine how scarred and wounded he must be after feeling that he has had a lifetime of rejection. I pray he can see that your rejection wasn’t intentional. And that his mom’s rejection was because of the drugs, and if she were in her right mind, she would not have rejected him like that. SO PAINFUL!!! πŸ™

            How I praise God that He can heal your husband. We will trust your husband to God’s care and healing together.

        2. My heart breaks for the pain you and youre husband are going through, I will be praying for you both! I believe that God will heal youre marriage! And youre husbands hurting heart.

    2. Curiously, I’m just wondering if it’s possible that you’ve become some sort of “perfect wife” that has lost a little bit of herself (as the post talks about). I think that sometimes if you are too much of that perfect wife, it can turn a man off, in a sense. They feel like they are not seeing a real person. They want to be able to rescue you and to earn a smile from you, or for you to show happiness at something they did for you or provided for you. They also actually want us to express our opinions if they have acted out of line (but with respect and after prayer as to when this would be necessary, of course!) They don’t like when we are so strong on our own that it looks like we could handle life totally fine if they weren’t around. Yes, we know that by God’s grace, if He called us to that, we would….

      Are you able to express your emotions and disappointments (not necessarily about him) to him or around him so that he sees that you aren’t some perfect person with no problems at all? Sometimes, that can come across as self-righteous, I think, and really isn’t a very intimate marriage if you can’t be honest. As I’ve heard someone say, we want to “know and be fully known”. Ultimately, only God can fulfill this deep longing in us for that kind of relationship, but marriage should still be a reflection of that and there should be a working towards that in a marital relationship.

      I’m not sure how long your conversation went with your husband when he told you what he did recently. It’s great that you had a respectful and calm response!! At the same time, I wonder if he was looking for a more “emotional” response – something that showed that you were hurt by what he said or that you truly cared about what he shared about his past (even if you’ve expressed it untold number of times before). I don’t know if that makes sense or not. I’m just thinking to how my husband reacts to me in these hard conversations. If I sort of get in protective mode and close my feelings off, that comes off a certain way and seems to do nothing to draw us together. If I remain open with my feelings and emotions, but still respectful no matter what I say (and staying humble and admitting any responsibility or sin on my part), we seem to do much better and those times are even used to draw us closer together.

      I realize that none of this might apply to you, so please forgive me if so! (Maybe this will be for someone else, then!) πŸ™‚

      I’m so sorry for what’s going on in your marriage right now. I’ll pray for you right now – for wisdom and for God to soften your husband’s heart.

      1. Jennifer,

        Great point that if a wife is not being vulnerable and authentic – that can definitely be an issue. Thank you for sharing. I am sure this will bless many wives!

        1. God calls us to be Holy. Amounting up to what God desires us to be, is what are husband’s desire as well.
          Our husbands are used by God to purify us Until we are Holy without blemish or spot. We are called to be sinless without a desire or a longing for sin. God changes our hearts and minds daily. Repentance leads to perfection, holiness, love, righteouness, purity, with no justifications when we do fall, but getting up and striving to be Holy and pleasing through Him.

          Oh God open us up, reveal truth, disclose lies, in Jesus name I pray.
          Let’s look at the scriptures
          James 1:4 But let patience have its perfect work,that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
          James 1:12
          Blessed is the man who endures temptation;for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
          James 2:22
          Do you see that faith was working together with his Works, and by forks faith was made perfect.
          This is not saying we are perfect now, but God says be Holy for I am holy, and that He will finish what He started in us.
          I’m praying for God to speak, and confirm only truth within all of You.
          God Bless U sll.

      2. Jennifer,
        Oh no, I’m certainly no where near the portrait of the “perfect wife.” I’ll give you a little short timeline of what’s going on so you will know where I’m coming from.
        Been married to this wonderful man for 21 years. We had what I thought was an awesome relationship. We always did things together and were each other’s best friend. He was rejected by his mother when he was growing up.. she would get mad at him for something and give him the silent treatment for up to a month at a time in which time he would do everything he could to get her to “love him again” or get back in to her good graces. It wouldn’t work and she would just put her nose in the air and not speak to him. I can’t imagine. She was a prescription drug addict as well which he didn’t know until he got on up to late teenage years. She has in the past stolen pain meds from him as well as replaced pain pills with her potassium pills in her daughters pill bottle and almost caused her some serious health problems before she figured it out.
        This hateful woman had to come live with us for 2 years and during that time I can’t even tell you what we went through with her in our home but was ultimately moved to a nursing home at 66 yrs old. She died a year ago.

        During all this and for about 5 yrs prior to her coming here, my husband and I were in a mountain of debt and I was the one juggling bills at his insistence, my hormones were very low and I didn’t know it because I was just too busy living life and taking care of everything. There were some stressful issues that had happened with my grown kids where my husband and I had disagreements, but that was 10 years ago…long forgotten by me, but found out he is still harboring un-forgiveness over that. There were times that he would approach me intimately and i’d be so exhausted both physically and mentally that I would say ‘can we wait till tomorrow?” He’d say yea that’s fine. Well apparently he was mentally keeping his feelings of rejection to himself and never really said that he was getting to a point of no return feeling rejection from me just like he did his mother who he will tell anyone he still hates even tho she is dead. He shut down on me and although to the public we appear the happy couple but he has not touched me in 2 years and says that he loves me but is not in love with me. I’ve ask for forgiveness and tried to explain that those times were not that I didn’t love him or want to be with him, but that my hormones were zero and I got that fixed, we got out of debt and things should he great but he can’t forgive me or let go of that feeling of rejection.

        After all this started coming down, I found peacefulwife and started studying and reading all I could about my role as a wife. Before I was criticizing sometimes and just the normal “i can pay bills and handle things better” attitude. I gradually started being respectful and thanking him when he would do something for me or for us..things like that. I’m not a “yes” person and certainly will tell him what I think but tell him whatever he decides about something is fine with me. I listen to him when he comes in from work and tells me all about his day and when he asks how mine was I have learned to make it a summary not details because if I start telling him too much his eyes glaze over. Just things like that that i have learned over the last two years.

        We are both saved people and are active in our little church. But my husband just has a zero tolerance for people who aggravate him the least little bit, very prideful and bull headed and thinks he is always right!! But cute as a button,.. I love him with all my heart and soul. We have had brief talks over the last 2 years where I’d have a meltdown and leave for a few hours or he’d beg me not to leave and we’d talk and he’d share a little more of what was wrong..for the longest I didn’t even know. I’ve told him even today when we talked that I can’t do anything more to make him hear me say i’m sorry nor can I make him forgive me and that it’s between him and the Lord. He told me he couldn’t bear seeing me cry anymore and would move out. I just told him to do whatever he had to do to get peace,

        I so appreciate your prayers. I feel them. I gain so much strength through prayer and just sitting quietly in a room alone or playing my piano and singing praises to God. HE is ultimately the one that is going to melt his heart and take this anger from him not me.

        1. Hey,
          We must grow in Him.
          You have been through alot.
          God is so good and faithful, thank you for sharing your story.

          He is holy.
          May we be Holy without spot or blemish, cleansed, His son died to take away our sins.

    1. Beth,

      How awesome is that!?!? Congratulations on being a triplet. πŸ™‚

      And thank you for the birthday wishes.

      Thank you for sharing. I’m so glad the post was helpful. Much love to you!

    1. Thanks so much, Free Indeed!

      We got to all visit at my sisters house 2 hours away this past Saturday. It was the first time our whole family had been together there – so much fun!!!! πŸ™‚

  5. Yes, Happy Birthday, April! May God abundantly bless your year ahead as you continue to grow in His grace and learn to rest in Him.

    O.K., so now I have a question…my husband seems to THRIVE on admiration and sympathy. I was wondering just this morning if this can get out of balance. Does anyone else have a husband like this? He is not a believer. I know that I am not responsible for meeting all of his needs nor can I. Just wondering if you, April, or other wives can speak to this and provide some insight. Thanks so much!

    1. Jennifer,

      Husbands can make their wives, or feeling respected – or almost anything else – into idols just like we wives can make almost anything into idols. Yes, it is possible for a husband to want his wife to go too far with respect or submission. And yes, it is possible for a husband to expect his wife to meet needs that only Christ can meet. Of course, that is impossible!

      Would you like to talk a bit more about how it seems like it may be going overboard? Maybe we can talk about this together. πŸ™‚

      1. The only way I know how to word it is that it seems that he has a high need for me to show admiration (so that many times, he will tell me certain things he did during the day and almost wait for me to give him some sort of positive reinforcement or admiring phrase) πŸ™‚ Also, if he is feeling down at all – depressed or physically – he has a very high need for me to dote on him and express sympathy to him. Of course, for most of our marriage, I had no desire to meet this need. These days, though, I do, but sometimes, it just seems that it could be out of balance and I don’t want to get to a place of feeling resentful about it. Is this normal for husbands to really need so much admiration and sympathy? And, of course, now that I’m typing this all out, I’m thinking that it’s possible that he is just so happy to get some loving attention from me that he is just soaking it in after the years of deficit. πŸ™ So, maybe I just need to keep giving him these things at this point and not worry so much about it getting out of balance. It might balance out over time as his needs are met more and he feels more secure with me.

        On a separate note, the other night, we had a wonderful afternoon and evening together as a family. Something happened that made me angry towards my husband (he didn’t respond to me a specific way). It was a little thing, really. I was able to spend a few minutes rationally thinking about the fact that his intent was not to hurt me, he has been a model husband and father the last week and God reminded me that “love covers over an offense”. It was so freeing to move on from that, not say a word about it to him and carry on with our night in peace and joy. A year ago, or even less, I would definitely have spoken my mind and have brought the whole mood down. Even if I had said it respectfully the other night, it would have been the wrong thing to do. One of the things my husband used to say to me was that he felt that no matter how hard he tried, he could never do anything right or please me. Imagine if after all the positive things he had done over this past week, I would have brought up this silly little thing (seriously, it was very minor). I would have just reaffirmed his feelings and thoughts. I’m so thankful for what God is doing!

        1. Jennifer,

          I am sure that he has been starving for these things for a long time. So, I would imagine that things might settle out a bit in time – when he realizes that this is for real and it is permanent and that he has access to your admiration and genuine respect all the time.

          I love how God empowered you to recognize that your husband did not intend evil toward you. That is SO helpful in not holding on to bitterness, to realize our husbands’ intentions were good.

          Oh, that makes me so sad – Greg used to say that too – that no matter how hard he tried, he could never satisfy me, I was insatiable, he was never good enough. πŸ™ Breaks my heart!

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

          1. Thank you, April!! Love you and your heart for God and marriages! WOOHOO back at ya!!! πŸ™‚ (Love your WOOHOOs) πŸ˜€

          2. Happy Birthday April! Just read these comments and this has been something i have been wanting to ask you about for awhile. I am struggling with submitting and showing admiration and praise as of realizing last year that my husband most likely has NPD (narcissistic personality disorder). I feel like I am feeding his insatiable need for admiration and attention and only making things worse for him. But then i think how this is a need that men have in general and I shouldn’t stop if I am to be a Godly wife, which I want to be. I guess I am confused and struggling with knowing the limits. I try to give genuine praise and affection and look at the good traits in him and also show him respectfully the sin i am not so happy about however he does not accept responsibility for his sin. It is really hard as I could see how building him up makes him feel really good however it feels i am just feeding his ego due to his issues if that makes sense? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated! p.s We have been separated for over 1 yr now and I am still feeling unsure whether to reconcile.

          3. M.,

            Oh goodness! Such a painful, difficult situation. πŸ™ How my heart breaks for you both.

            I am familiar with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Quite honestly, in my view, idolatry of self is at the heart of this mindset (along with selfishness, pride, lack of empathy, etc…).

            I don’t know the extent of what your husband has done. I am not sure what his relationship is with Christ. I don’t know your specific situation. I don’t have personal experience with such a difficult situation with a husband who is acting in this way. But here are some general guidelines that I pray will point you to Christ and to finding His will:

            1. This is going to require MUCH prayer, maybe even fasting, and great sensitivity to God’s voice.

            2. If he is willing to read something about being a godly husband, there is a free download at Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood called “Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood” by John Piper and Wayne Grudem. Chapter 1 is an excellent summary of what mature masculinity and femininity look like. And the bar is set for how a godly man is to behave toward his wife. God’s standard is that there is no room for harshness, idolatry of self, selfishness, pride, etc… for husbands. Of course, wives are not to do those things either.

            3. What does he say about his sin? Does he ever apologize? Has he ever repented for anything?

            4. Are y’all seeing godly mentors or a godly counselor?

            5. If the sin is severe, and you are seeking to hear God’s voice, and your husband is unrepentant, it may be wise to wait to reconcile. And if you do reconcile, it may be wise to have a godly mentor or experienced godly MALE counselor (or couple) to lead you both through the steps to regaining trust and to having a healthy, godly marriage.

            6. No matter what he does or does not do, please keep pursuing Christ with all your heart and allow Him to transform you to be the woman He desires you to be. You may have to have boundaries and separation in some situations until true repentance happens. But you can still allow God to work in your soul and find all of your purpose, hope, strength, joy, peace, and fulfillment in Christ alone.

            Praying for God’s wisdom and direction for you both and for God to draw you both closer and closer to Himself!
            Much love to you!

          4. Hi April, thank you for your reply. I have actually emailed you in the past about some of the issues and abuse in the marriage but it was quite some time ago and i know you receive alot of emails! I agree with you that NPD is idolatry of self as well as the other symptoms that stem from that. I knew from the beginning of the relationship that he had these symptoms and overlooked them as I thought we can all have these traits when we are not walking in the spirit however i knew there was alot more to it and finally last year all the pieces of the puzzle came together.

            It is heartbreaking because now I always wonder what is real. Like when my husband seems sorry over things it is usually because he has been found out and has no way out so ‘has’ to say sorry rather than having true guilt and repentance. I never know what to trust or what to believe. Whenever I wanted to reconcile last year i would pray and then God would reveal something new to me showing me I couldn’t trust him. It’s really hard. One thing I am sure of is that I do not want to divorce and that was something I did want to do before seeking God wholeheartedly.

            I married him believing he was a Christian because he told me. Not because I saw fruit in his life. I have not seen him have a relationship with Christ and so I really don’t know. He will say all the right words and tell people what they want to hear. That is why counseling in the past has not really gotten to the core of things. He has had some vulnerable moments with me when he has told me that he tries to be the man he wants to be which is a Good husband and father but he fails and so tried to cover up his sin. The thing is I think he does everything in his own willpower and has serious issues that he is suppressing. (Please don’t get me wrong, I have my mountain of sin to deal with also)!

            What scares me is his ability to sin and have no apparent guilt over it until found out and also what has angered me is the standards he has held me to yet he has not kept himself at all. (Hypocrisy). It is complicated because he seems to be a great husband alot of the time that i feel confused and as I said unsure of what is real. Now I am struggling to submit freely and love freely as I am unsure how to handle the relationship. I don’t want to hinder God’s plan in my husband’s life. I would like to find a Godly counselor who may understand our situation.

            Yes my husband is open to reading books and even going to counseling however I am not sure if he actually accepts any of it. Sorry for this long comment, so much I could say!

          5. M,

            I do pray that you will find a godly counselor who can help you both walk through this – especially with a man who may be deceptive or for a man whose conscience may have been seared. It would be SO difficult to know what was true and what was not in a situation like that. πŸ™ Breaks my heart!!!!

            How I pray that our single sisters and brothers will listen to your words of wisdom and look for the FRUIT of Christ in a man’s or woman’s life before getting married.

            I am praying for you both, my precious sister!

          6. Thank you April you have been such a support and encouragement in the past through email and also through your blog. Yes it is SO important to really pray and look at the actions of your boyfriend rather than the words before deciding on getting married. I was a fairly new Christian when my husband and I started dating and i thought that the only thing i needed to worry about was if we were unequally yoked. Well saying you are a Christian doesn’t make someone a Christian but i did not know that at the time. It may sound harsh but there are wolves in sheeps clothing and so we need to be really careful.

            I didn’t seek God’s will as i assumed if we were both Christians it was fine despite the very ungodly dynamic of our relationship even prior to marriage. God had even given me warnings and shown me things that weren’t right but I was caught up in the romance. Also sexual immorality plays a BIG role in how we become attached and blinded to things so that was another HUGE error.

            Now I am in a marriage that is quite a tangled confusing mess and I am suffering the consequences. Now I am just trying to work out how respect and submission plays out in our marriage. (I had also written a long comment on your BDSM post but it didn’t post. That was another dynamic that thankfully is no longer a part of our marriage. I do feel like I have lost hope as I read Christian blogs on narcissism and they all say that it is a hopeless battle and you must abandon the relationship/marriage. I am yet to read anything positive about it. However our vows say in sickness and in health till death do us part and if we are to respond as Jesus does to us then he doesn’t abandon us because we are in sin. Very hard to figure this out.

          7. M.,

            Yes! How I wish young believers had this information before dating and before deciding to marry! And I agree, getting involved sexually can make it almost impossible to be objective before marriage. It’s easy to assume that your guy will change or that you can change him with your love. We can influence our men, but we cannot change them or convict them. And that character we see before marriage is something that will likely stay the same after marriage – unless God intervenes, of course.

            I’m so thankful that BDSM is no longer part of your marriage. I’m so sorry it didn’t post! Sometimes comments go to spam, and I try to rescue them each day. I hope I didn’t miss yours!

            Narcissism is hopeless in terms of human solutions, I would agree. But we can lay your husband at God’s feet and pray for Him to work in his heart.

            I’m praying for wisdom for you, and for tremendous spiritual healing and regeneration by God’s power for you both!

          8. Hi, M! I’m so sorry for what you’re going through. I have wondered, as well, if my husband has NPD, but if he does, it is much, much milder and honestly, like you, I’ve thought in some ways we all have NPD unless God has changed us (and even then, can still live from our flesh too often). I completely relate to your comment of “I feel like I am feeding his insatiable need for admiration and attention and only making things worse for him.” I think that was my concern when I posted my question.

            To me, it sounds like you are keeping a good balance of giving him admiration but you are still showing when you are hurt by his sin. I think sometimes I can get a little caught up on “I should be admiring him” and then I am looking for too many things and then it is, in a way, feeding that part of him and also not sounding very genuine, probably. But, if I don’t let that become my focus, but am just willing to affirm my husband when God has shown me something he’s said or done that is worth admiring or when God’s revealed something in my heart about my my husband’s character, etc……well, that seems more genuine and of course, if the Holy Spirit is leading us in even this part of showing admiration for our husbands, He will bring the right balance and we can leave the outcome in God’s hands at that point. Even if things get worse, we can trust that God has a plan.

            I know for my husband it’s been very, very hard for him to hear anything at all from me that makes it sound like he’s “failing” . I’ve finally figured that out in the past few months or so. It didn’t seem to matter how I said it, to him it sounded like disrespect and he took it soooo personally, like I was attacking who he was as a whole person, not just bringing him one simple problem or issue. I think in another comment you mentioned that your husband is scared of failing and I am beginning to see how real this fear is in my husband and many men. I’m trying to be more and more careful about the way I say things – IF I even feel like I should say something about particular issues that pop up. I think the realization that he is so scared of failing and he has this deep-rooted insecurity in him has given me compassion for him and has been a huge help for me as I look for the deeper meaning behind words and actions, etc. There has been some lying in our marriage that has made it very hard for me to trust him at times, but again, this idea that he is so scared of failure has given me compassion for those times. It doesn’t take away from the fact that the things that he did was still sin and serious before God, but it does give me a different perspective. You hit on this, too, when you said, “He has had some vulnerable moments with me when he has told me that he tries to be the man he wants to be which is a good husband and father but he fails and so tried to cover up his sin.” This is something I believe God has shown me about the lying that has happened in our marriage. My son is very similar – he is a perfectionist and it just seems to be very, very hard for him to admit when he is wrong and take responsibility. And, of course, we could say that is pride and yes, it is….but saying that doesn’t help me as I try to love and forgive. Remembering the insecurities that my husband and son face because they don’t know the love of our God does help me and drives my desire to forgive and love unconditionally much better than focusing on how they are sinning.

            Praying that God will continue to give you abundant wisdom, love and compassion for your husband.

          9. Wow Jennifer! Thankyou for sharing your thoughts and experience with me. Yes I do believe we can all be without arcissistic without walking in the spirit however NPD is sort of a loss of reality in that the person truly believes in the persona they have created. They have an identity crisis as such. It is based on shame at the core and having to hide and pretend. Knowing my husbands childhood has helped me to have Compassion and understanding and react differently to him however it’s also not healthy to overlook everything trying to protect his pride. It is a hard balance and I’m praying that I can be more sensitive to the holy spirit. What hurts most is not knowing what is real and what to believe. Yes I agree that men in general have a sensitive ego especially in regards to things like failure. In the past even while learning about respect and submission I have had times where I tore my husband down with my words thinking that he needed to hear the truth and hoping he would wake up. Unfortunately it pushed him to seek out attention elsewhere in moments of pain which I found out later. He is very insecure and it feels like he needs my affirmation and reassurance constantly. Now after things that gave happened I am also insecure but realize that God is the only one who can meet all our needs as humans fail us! I really want my husband to find his identity in Christ. I want him free!

            Thankyou so much for reminding me not to focus on the sin and that I can genuinely compliment my husband without fear or worry and its really helpful hearing how you respond. Thankyou!

          10. M,

            If things are truly difficult, and I know they have been very hard – I do think that an experienced, godly, mature, wise, Christian counselor may be helpful in some cases like this. Praying for wisdom for you both!

          11. Hi April,
            I agree on finding a counselor and have been putting it aside as at the moment dealing with painful Ostetitis pubis which isn’t healing well, seeing physio, specialists etc. Do you think it would be better to see a counselor together? Have both seen counselors separately in the past and although it helps individually it doesn’t really resolve things in the relationship. Finding a good Godly counselor will be a challenge so will have to pray about this too.

          12. Wow. Reading all this and doing my own research is making me think this is what’s going on with my husband. Very similar stories. Incredibly discouraging. There seems to be no hope outside of a miracle of God.

          13. B,

            My heart breaks for your pain. πŸ™

            But – maybe this is good news, maybe not – There is no hope for any of us outside of a miracle of God!!!

            Ladies,
            Join me in lifting up M and B and their husbands to the Lord – let’s pray for God’s Spirit to break through and for His will and His greatest glory!

          14. B, yes initially it can be very discouraging and sometimes I wish I didn’t discover what I have, however I believe for real healing things must be brought to light. It can be discouraging because what now? Take it to the cross. If it is narcissism I don’t believe anything other than a miracle from God can heal it. Therapy helps to modify behavior in the narcissist but God changes the heart. Actually I had to stop going to other forums on narcissism even Christian ones because I felt completely hopeless and headed for divorce. You need to seek God’s will on how to deal with this and as April recommends seeking a Godly Counselor for yourself if you are struggling. I have been having a conversation on here with Gary, a man who has been transformed from the symptoms of narcissism. All things are possible! Most important is to build strength in yourself through Jesus so that you don’t become defeated.

    1. Thank you, Vinodhini! That is my prayer – that God’s kingdom might come and His will be done here on my blogs and through the book and in every area of my life – that He might have full Lordship and that He might use me to be fruitful for His kingdom.

      Sending you a big hug!! I can’t wait to meet you one day, dear sister!

  6. Hi April

    I’ve been recently discovered your blog and have been very very blessed by it….!
    I myself write a blog about Christian marriage but in… Polish! God has led me to do it since there isn’t much written about marriage, from Christian perspective in my native language.

    I was wondering if you would allow me to translate this post and put it on my blog, obviously pointing everyone to the source?
    I would love my readers to be also blessed with your wisdom.
    Thanks so much in advance. Blessings, Marta
    (www.zonaimaz.com)

    1. Zona&Maz,

      How wonderful to meet you!!! I am so excited!

      Of course you may translate any post of mine you would like into Polish and share with our sisters there. Please extend my love to each of them. And I would appreciate if you would share the link to my blog.

      I know there are some women translating my posts into Japanese, Spanish, and a few other languages, I believe. I think that is great!

      I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for you and for our Polish sisters in the Lord!

      Much love,
      April

      1. Thanks so much for getting back to me so quickly and allowing me to translate your posts – that’s amazing!
        I am sure my Polish readers will be so blessed….! Thank you again and please continue to share your Godly wisdom with us!
        ;*

        1. Zona&Maz,

          You are most welcome. My prayer is that God might spread His message worldwide according to His will. I am thrilled to get to share God’s goodness and His truth with ANYONE and EVERYONE! I want Him to pour through me and through you and many others to reach all the people He wants us to reach. I pray that His Spirit might draw many of my dear Polish sisters to Himself, and that He might richly bless their walk with Christ, their faith, their husbands, their marriages, and their families for His greatest glory. Makes me cry tears of joy just thinking about my sisters who will read your words. I can’t wait to see how God will use you and me together to impact many for His kingdom!

          I have had over 5000 hits from Poland here so far. And I am beyond thankful for God to use you to share with those who cannot read English.

          THANK YOU so much for your willingness to share with other Christian women.

          1. This is very touching… thank you… they do need that, as most of them come from ‘religious’ backgrounds and don’t know about Christ’s mercy and His tangible power that is available to us in everyday things… so I need a lot of wisdom on how to write, not to ‘scare them of’ with Jesus’ ‘radical’ teachings….!
            But then I know that God’s word can defend itself and will speak to the right person in the right time…

            thank you so much again April. it means a lot to me! Marta

          2. Marta,

            I came from a Christian environment, an evangelical church, Christian parents – and I STILL missed all of this somehow!?!?!?! I love your heart for our precious sisters in Christ and for God’s Word and for Christ!!!!

            You are a treasure. Your willingness to do this means a great deal to me, too! πŸ™‚

            Much love,
            April

  7. Happy birthday, April! Love that darling picture – no way could I guess which one was you!

    And thank you for this post – so much wisdom and truth in it.

    1. Renee,
      You are most welcome. πŸ™‚

      I love that pic of me and my twin sister. My mom always talks about the four big blue eyes that followed her everywhere when we were little. We both have one child with hair that curly, too. So does our younger brother!

      Do I have some twin stories I could share sometime! Being identical twins makes life a lot more interesting. πŸ™‚

      1. But how do you know who you even are?????? I am so incredibly weary: am I saying this in a way he would like…no wait, am I pleasing God or my husband? Both? Do I speak, no do I stay quiet? I can quote Bible verses for both options. What do I think? Is that what I think? What God thinks? What April thinks? I am so incredibly tired of trying to figure this out? Am I being fake? Am I being real? Am I following the Proverbs 31 model???
        It makes me so incredibly uptight. I pray…Bible verses float through my head…. I just don’t get it.

        1. Elizabeth,

          It takes time to discover who you really are in Christ…a lifetime really. But when you keep going, you realize the way you might bite back or go on a rant to your girlfriends about how horrible your husband is or allow your self to cycle downward when you don’t really know the facts reminds you of your mother. You might see that saying things differently actually helps your husband hear your heart rather than get caught up in what you didn’t say – and don’t mean. Respect gives you the opportunity to find the authentic you and separate out the culture, native family dysfunction, unchecked sin, etc. But there are many layers so give yourself time to work through them and expect our Lord’s guidance. It’s actually a good thing you feel some confusion. I remember thinking I had it all together and was sooooo unaware. That made me not just disrespectful -to myself and others – but dangerous. Going through the Respect Dare last year was also very helpful. It was like a practical lab. I personally have needed a lot of practice falling down in order to know better how to stand. I hope that helps. But it’s ok to take a step back to refresh yourself. Even Jesus needed that.

          1. Oh and God can even use your well-intentioned “mess ups” for good. He is really that sovereign. It’s neat to watch Him have your back!

          2. Refined,
            YES!!! And He is now using my 14+ years of sin and my 2.5 years of confusion and slow learning to bless hundreds or thousands of women around the world. He IS sovereign, even over the yucky stuff and He IS able to use it all for our ultimate good and His ultimate glory! Praise God for His sovereignty!

          3. Elizabeth,

            I know that you were having a lot of doubts and problems trusting God in the past. How is that going? I’m glad to talk about it and hash through things with you if you would like. πŸ™‚

          4. Refined, I have never, ever talked badly about my husband. I don’t need to. I’ve never said a disrespectful word to him either… I did do the REspect Dare group online, but so much of it didn’t really apply. I asked my husband if I ever nagged…no, absolutely not. I asked my husband what I did that he found disrespectful, nothing.

          5. Elizabeth,

            I’m so thankful that respect hasn’t been an issue for you. πŸ™‚ How is your husband’s health? How may we pray for you?

            I’m happy to talk with you about how things are going with God if you are up for it. πŸ™‚

          6. We are dumb and broken sheep. Some women focusing on honoring God with their marriage may learn more about self respect or the difference b/w faith and religion or how to simply rest in the Lord than about respecting their spouse if they already do that well. I spoke with a man today who’s been married 40 years. He told me there were moments when he wanted to leave but his wife didn’t and so they continued. Then she wanted out, but he wasn’t ready, so they continued. He told me right around the 20th year things began to click – they just knew each other so well and he began to understand all that he’d read in the Word. When he looked up, all he knew is that he and his wife were on solid ground -after about 20 years – when MANY other couples were crumbling during midlife crisis. This walk is about learning to lean on God- in many ways. It’s not about perfection because that’s an illusion. There is no one way to do this right but there are a million different ways to do ‘good nuf’. Our Lord loves His silly little sheep. He delights in us and isn’t surprised when it takes us 20 years to get things. My prayers are with you Elizabeth.

        2. Elizabeth,

          If it is becoming that burdensome – it can mean you are not empowered by God’s Spirit. Or, it can mean you are trying to do this in your own strength, or that you are trying to change everything at once rather than accepting that this is a slow process. Sometimes that feeling of being overwhelmed can happen if we make this about lists of do’s and don’ts and turn it into something legalistic. Or, it can feel very overwhelming and impossible if we are still holding on to sin. i.e.: if my real goal is to change my husband, I will continue to stay stuck. And I did in my journey, for a long, long time!

          This process is much like eating an elephant. It has to be done in small bites over a long period of time. Jesus promises His yoke is easy and His burden is light. I know you have been struggling for a long, long time. I long for you to be able to find rest and renewal for your soul!!!

          Maybe it could be good to take a bit of a break from trying to understand all of this right now – and just focus on resting in God’s love and learning more about Him and His character?

          I am really enjoying Wayne Grudem’s podcasts (Systematic Theology). I wonder if listening to something like that might feed your soul and help you find areas where maybe you are believing things that could be destructive? Or, I wonder if focusing just on seeking God with all your heart might be good?

          How is your time with God going?

          His Spirit is the source of fuel and wisdom that will help you discern your motives and help you know when to speak and when to stay quiet. Of course, it also takes some time and practice, as well.

          I’m so sorry things are not yet clicking for you. How I pray that they will soon. We will pray together for God to make things clear, to give you His perspective and vision and for His Spirit to break through in your soul in a new and powerful way to draw you to Himself!

          Sending you the biggest hug!

          1. Elizabeth,

            Please also keep in mind – there is a LOT of prayer and wrestling that goes on in this journey, too. And I know you have had extenuating circumstances and huge stress in your life, as well, which makes this much more difficult, I am sure.

            But – it took me over 2.5 YEARS to begin to feel like I had any clue what I was doing. Respect did not come naturally. I had a lot of impure motive to refine that made things take longer. And I kept clinging to idols and having to repent and making other things more important than Christ. So, this is a long process. Even in the best of circumstances.

            I don’t want you to feel discouraged. How I pray you can rest in God and just ask Him to do the work in you because you cannot do it yourself. You cannot force yourself to understand. He has to open our eyes. And sometimes there are layers of things we discover over time.

            Here is a post about how this journey often goes.

            If you are in Christ, here is what God says about your identity.

            Praying for you today! Much love to you!

        3. Elizabeth, if your total trust is in Christ for your salvation, then know that you are righteous in His sight, right now- if your trust is truly in Christ and not in any works or behavior that you will perform, that is. I think this is something that every Christian needs to understand and sadly, it is not a message that is taught very much. To live the Christian life is not having Jesus save you at the beginning point of your salvation and then trying hard to be a good Christian and to follow all God’s commands. The only way we can live the Christian life is if the life of Jesus (the Holy Spirit) is in us. And, once you have His life, you have everything you need for life and godliness. The perspective changes from that of trying to earn God’s pleasure, to knowing that, already, we are pleasing to Him ONLY because we have placed our faith in the finished work of Christ at the cross and His resurrection. God says that if we have done this, our old man has literally died with Christ on the cross and we were joined with Christ and raised to new life with Him. So, now Jesus is truly our life now (regardless of our feelings). So, we are secure in who we are in Christ, we are secure that even if we step out of line, the Lord is Our Shepherd and He is able to finish the work that He began in us. He is able to lead His sheep. We trust and rest in that and His love for us. He is not out to get us if we say or do the wrong thing. Knowing these truths and living from this awareness does not increase our desire to sin, it is exactly what growing in grace means. It’s hard to grow when you feel scared, confused and beat down.

          I think that when we know these truths, the enemy has a harder time throwing us into confusion. Just surrender it all to God and trust that He will lead you in ALL of life (not just this marital stuff). Believe Him when He says that you can come to Him boldly (I love that! We can come bodly because of Jesus!) to find grace in your time of need. Pray for His wisdom and grace, but pray with faith – waiting in expectation to see how He will work. This kind of faith pleases Him.

          Also, someone told me something a few years ago that just totally changed my perspective on my marriage. They told me that God is FOR my marriage. It was a realization that God is, indeed, for my marriage; I can trust Him, He is holding us together, the pressure’s not all on me (or us).

  8. Happy Birthday, dear April! I’m especially thankful for you today and so grateful for your life and ministry. And I really love this post. Have an awesome day!

    1. Anon,

      You are most welcome. This is something I HAVE to do. I WANT to do it. I can’t not do it. God has put this passion in my heart and such joy and thanksgiving for all that He has done for me – I have to share this incredible treasure with my sisters!!! How on earth could I keep it to myself?

      How I look forward to heaven and finding out all about each of you and how God worked in each of your lives!!! What a glorious time of rejoicing we will share!!!!! πŸ™‚

      1. Yay!! I hope you HAVE and WANT to do it for a long time, because I’m pretty sure this community is a lifeline for so many people! πŸ™‚ We love you! πŸ™‚ I often think, “What would Jesus do,” but in certain marital situations, I think, “What would the Peaceful Wife do?” πŸ˜‰ It’s actually been very, very helpful to ask that question!

        1. Anon,

          I know that it would be helpful if we had some more wives with different personalities and dynamics share more, too. And, of course, some wives have husbands with very different temperaments than Greg does, too. So please pray that God might provide that if it is His will. πŸ™‚

          But, I love the community here. I think it is much easier to ask questions and be real here than it could be in person wtih people you see every week.

          I didn’t have any mentor or community whatsoever as I was learning, and I think it would make things a lot easier. Not easy. But easier. My prayer is that God would speak through me and that He might help me put the dots closer for those who come behind me than they were for me. I felt like I was trying to reinvent the wheel. SO frustrating! How thankful I am for the large number of women (and men) whom God is changing and drawing to Himself!!!! πŸ™‚ so beautiful!

  9. Happy Birthday April πŸ™‚ I couldn’t tell either which one was you! Are y’all going to do something special for your birthday this year?

    I’m still far too new on this whole journey to even be marginally getting it right yet although I managed to refrain from saying some sharp words in retaliation to my husband’s words the other day and expressing loud irritation over some things. We had two recent conversations that went well and seemed to lead in a positive direction spiritually, and I apologized to him for being so difficult a wife and for helping to drive him far from God with my sinful example. He has been helping me and serving me because of my injury as best he can though he himself is off work with an injury. So this time is challenging in many ways for us but also seems to have a hidden silver lining.

    I have to laugh, because of a line from a movie; ” an accident can be an unhappy woman’s best friend” – from an awful movie whose main character was named Delores Claiborne I think. Never saw it, but the desire for her husband’s death as a way of escape from a wretched marriage was part of the theme. In my case, the line is true though not for reasons of death or murder, lol! I think this slip and fall accident was both discipline and providence from God. I’ve actually gotten real rest that I desperately needed. I had several part time responsbilities between house, farm and work but each interfered with the other, leaving me divided in heart and life and utterly dissatified and worn out. However, its as if I’ve literally been plucked right ouf of all of it and sidelined for a time. Because of this I have time to really focus on and contemplate my walk with God and seek Him.

    I learned from visiting sites like puritan board, that religious or spiritual feelings can deceive us as to our true state and the righteousness of our actions, while in fact God has nothing to do with it, because it’s coming from the flesh and leaning on our own ideas and understanding and that waiting prayerfully on the Lord is important. May I successfully redeem the the time and remove my heart and mind from the things of this world. Prayers appreciated from anyone willing πŸ™‚ I have several more weeks in a cast and then five weeks more of restrictions from heavy lifting and probably physical therapy. I will be praying for God to realign my heart nad life so that I am where I ought to be.

    1. Patricia,

      I’m so excited that you had some productive conversations and that God empowered you to stop yourself from caving into the temptation to lash out verbally. WOOHOO! Goodness, you are BOTH having a difficult time!!!

      I’m thankful you can already see that God is working through this time of recovering from your fall and that you are resting and having more time with God. That is awesome and will make it all worth it!!! πŸ™‚ So helpful to be able to see from that perspective in the midst of the trial.

      Yes, we have to be so careful. It is easy, especially for us as women, to rely on fleeting and changeable feelings. Sometimes feelings deceive us! It is so important to focus on God’s truth and His Spirit and prayer and allowing Him to have full control.

      Praying for continuing spiritual and emotional healing for you and for physical healing for your foot – wasn’t it?

      YES! I pray with you that you might have the power to redeem this time and use it for God’s greatest purposes and for HIs glory and that you might get every possible drop of blessing and benefit from this time of inconvenience, suffering, and imposition.

      I love you, my dear sister!

  10. Oh my! The one in the yellow looks just like you! That is cool that you are a twin…very cute picture. Happy Birthday to you and your sister πŸ™‚

  11. This is a great post. I definitly had a lot of similar fears, but I found that submitting to my husband I have become more of my authentic self. The person thay I always was underneath, but my fear based controlling behavior was really a mask. I dif though have to fake the nice even when I didnt feel it at first, when we were on a crazy angry cycle, I had to be nice when he wasnt and when it wasnt really in my heart. Now my responses come from a deep place of llove and respect that Ive gained for my husband.

    1. Sarah,

      Thank you so much for sharing! I agree that this journey empowers us to become our very best and most authentic selves. πŸ™‚ But – it is scary especially at first. And stopping the sinful stuff and starting the respectful stuff feels very awkward and foreign at first. Sin is what feels natural when we begin. So, there is a time of transition and learning – a lot like learning a new language, in my view. It takes time for the new language to become natural – not to mention, it takes the power of God’s Spirit or we can’t learn this new language!

      I love hearing how now your responses to your husband come from a deep place of love and respect you have gained. That is exactly how I feel. I had to purposely focus on the good things in my husband and purposely not focus on the bad things I had been focusing on. I had to learn that what I focus on grows in my mind. And, I had to purposely kick out any sinful thoughts and negative thoughts that were not productive and not honoring to Christ. It was a VERY, VERY painful process at first. Very slow. But God helped me learn to take each thought captive for Christ. That is so critical! And we have to allow God to show us the lies we have believed and we must purposely and consciously choose to replace my old sinful and hurtful ways of thinking and purposely and consciously cling to God’s Word and believe God’s truth even when it seemed counterintuitive, unpopular, and not very politically correct.

      Thanks for sharing!!!!!

  12. Happy Birthday April,
    I have such gratitude for you. You are such a blessing to me and everyone you help. Thank You.

    1. Thank you so much, Rebekah. I’m in awe and so very humbled that God allows me to be a little part of what He is doing in so many of your lives. God is so good! I am thankful every day. I feel like I am the most blessed woman on the planet to get to know each of you and to get to see God work in your lives.

      Much love to you!

  13. April,
    Happy Birthday to you and your sister if she reads this!

    I typed a comment answering the questions at the end of today’s post. Just as I hit the button to post my comment I realized I’d wriiten a BOOK the length of War and Peace!!! lol. God has given me so many things to be thankful for in my respect and submission journey!…..My comment didn’t post, but if it turns up in your spam folder, please leave it there. lol.

  14. April, you and your teaching are such a humongous blessing! It is exactly what I need to hear. I sought a mentor from my church for my marriage issues and unfortunately, though she was very well-meaning, she advised me out of her own experience and marriage and it wasn’t Bible-based wisdom, but went against it. My point is that lots of what we hear about marriage is totally of the world, and even when trying to get godly advice it’s not the best advice. Your teaching, on the other hand, is so perfect for what I need. I feel like I need to just get your teaching and the Bible IN my head, meditating on it all and getting inundated with it so I can clear out all the wrong / selfish / worldly / sinful ways of thinking about marriage.

    How silly that, a few months ago I felt like you’d covered just about everything. And since then so many posts have expanded or been practical or gone deeper and have been such a blessing. I guess, as you write, it’s a lifelong journey and there’s still tons to learn.

    Thank you!

    1. Hey there, me again. So I wanted to share a specific prayer request and see if you had any additional wisdom to add. My husband is currently having a hard time in just about every area of life.
      – He’s never been good at making friends and feels a great social void in his life, though he doesn’t have the energy or guts to call up the guys he knows (husbands of my friends, guys from church) to try and make connections.
      – He’s often very very tired. He’s had some sleep problems his whole life, but never diagnosed with anything or found something that really helps.
      – He’s not exactly in love with God right now, or walking closely with Him. I know I need to be careful to judge his walk and that it often looks very different from mine. But it really saddens me.
      – His job stuff is up in the air, so he feels purposeless.
      – And very unfortunately, our marriage struggles over the past year have definitely added to his overall feeling of depression. It really saddens me to know that I have not only helped, but actually really hurt. :~(

      Thankfully we’re doing much better now, seeing lots of improvement. I’m much much slower to defend myself even when he’s still critical, I’m letting him lead, I’m holding back on negative thoughts about him and just trying to build him up, I’m praying for him lots.

      I think I mostly just need to keep praying and really trust that God’s got him. My natural way to respond is to try to get him moving by making an action plan, and that doesn’t seem to be what he needs. It’s hard to sit back and watch him having a hard time and try to support him but also not let myself get dragged down and depressed.

      Thanks for reading.

      1. BrokenbutGrowing,

        I hope to get to respond to this later, maybe tomorrow am, when I have more time to properly respond.

        Much love to you!!! I am praying for you and your husband!

      2. BrokenButGrowing,

        What kind of personality does your husband have, my sweet friend?

        How much is he sleeping, would you say?

        He doesn’t have a job at all right now? Or his job is precarious?

        You know what? When Greg and I got married, Greg had just graduated 2 weeks earlier from Chemical Engineering school. We thought he would get a great job right away. It took over 6 years for him to get an engineering job. He got dozens and dozens of rejection letters every week for months and months. He tried to interview for other positions at the insurance company where he had worked since high school, but they wouldn’t hire him for a degree-requiring job because he was “overqualified.” He even worked as an engineering tech for a few years. And worked for my parents’ business. In the mean time, we had a lot of other very hard things that happened the first summer we got married. He shut down. I took over. Everything I did – looking back – I know now made his situation much worse. πŸ™

        I don’t think I could possibly have appreciated at the time just how devastating the job thing was for him. Then the next year, I graduated from pharmacy school and promptly had a very well-paying position waiting for me. That helped our finances, but it did not help Greg’s sense of purpose and being a good provider. πŸ™ It became very hard for Greg to hear God. He was very low spiritually and emotionally.

        It is possible that your husband may be quite depressed. I love that you are making some very positive changes. I’m especially glad you are praying for God to reach him and heal and guide him to Himself.

        If you take over, you will communicate to him that you don’t believe he is capable of taking care of these issues himself. That will demoralize him further, I would imagine. But you can share your confidence in his ability to handle things and to look for a job and to put together a great resume.

        It is VERY, VERY hard to have a depressed husband and to not become depressed yourself. Yep. The only way I know to do this is to stay very close to Christ and to find all of your identity, worth, value, purpose, joy, peace, strength, acceptance, etc… in Him alone. As He fills you up, you will overflow with extra to bless your husband.

        There is a certain amount of spiritual distance that I had to learn to keep from my husband. I don’t know if that makes sense. But – I had been enmeshed before. Idolizing him and trying to depend on him to meet my deepest spiritual and emotional needs. I realize I needed to be that close to Christ alone and I needed a bit of space between me and anyone else, even Greg. So, I don’t depend on him for my mood. I have to learn to separate his behavior and attitudes from myself. Sometimes I might do something that upsets him, and I need to apologize. But sometimes he may be upset about something that has nothing to do with me. So, I have to learn to lay him at God’s feet and trust God to work in him. I can seek to bless him. But I cannot change him. I cannot be responsible FOR him.

        You may find a few other posts to be a blessing, you can search my home page search bar for:

        – job
        – work
        – husband emotions
        – husband distant
        – paradox
        – control and boundaries
        – people pleasing
        – perfectionism
        – fear

        Much love to you!!!!! I am praying for you both!

    2. BrokenbutGrowing,

      Sadly, the church has been so infiltrated with worldly ideas, we don’t even realize what it means to live out God’s Word many times today. Breaks my heart!!!

      I am thankful that God has used this blog to bless you. What an answer to many, many prayers!

      There is always more to learn. I love it! We get to keep learning here and then we will continue to learn more about God in heaven! πŸ™‚

    3. I have had the same experience. Well meaning believers at church can still have lots of worldly thinking. It makes me sad that so much of my growth has happened through a few blogs rather than people in my life. I guess I should be thankful rather than sad!

  15. wow! I had no idea you were a twin.
    my mother is a twin. My wife’s mother is a twin and my youngest 11 year olds are twins.

    1. Jeff,

      That is so neat! πŸ™‚

      Being a twin definitely has its interesting moments. Even our children had trouble telling us apart when they were little. We have definitely caused some chaos – often very unintentionally! πŸ™‚

  16. April this was awesome and so timely!!! As a former control freak, I flipped over to the other extreme – this blog is very helpful. Loved it! Very excited about your book. You are doing a beautiful work and God has used your ministry to bless my marriage and I know many others.

    1. Aliene,

      I think that is always the tendency when we are beginning to learn something – we overshoot one way, then overshoot the other way, and go back and forth like a pendulum for a long time until we find that place where we are empowered by God’s Spirit to be the women He desires us to be. It can sure be a frustrating process!

      So thankful that God has used the blog to bless you. What an amazing God we serve! I will keep y’all updated with book news. πŸ™‚

      Much love!

  17. Happy Birthday,dear April! Wishing you many years of fruitfulness, peace, joy, and love!!! It’s so nice to get to know you through your blog, would be nice to meet you some time either on this earth or in heaven πŸ™‚ Be blessed abundantly! By the way, I turned 30 on 18 March:)

  18. Hi April,

    I have a couple things I have questions/comments about. The first is going to seem totally random, but it’s something I’ve been wondering about for a while.

    #1: What do you think of certain Biblical commands that are interpreted as “cultural,” namely, Paul’s commands that women cover their heads in church (to show that the husband is the head of the wife), should have long hair, and remain silent in the church (asking spiritual questions of their husbands at home). Every time I read these verses in my fire Bible, the footnotes say “Paul wrote this because the culture of the day…” However, I’m not totally convinced it should be written off so easily. I don’t think that women are less than men are, and I don’t think Paul did either… but I also believe that this leader had a good reason for the things he wrote, and maybe that went beyond culture. Don’t we say that God’s Word is 100% true and accurate? And isn’t God the same yesterday, today, and forever? For that reason, these verses really have me curious. What do you think? (If you’d prefer, feel free to PM me about it.)

    #2: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Thank you for being such an encouraging, truthful voice to us! And tell your twin I said happy birthday, too! πŸ™‚ I’m gonna guess you’re the twin with darker hair, because your hair seems naturally dark and also because you said you were the more aggressive twin, and the way the darker haired girl is going at that popsicle, it looks kinda aggressive. LOL Whereas the little blondie seems more passive in her popsicle eating. I could be wrong. Maybe your sister’s the aggressive eater. πŸ˜› haha

    #3: It’s so exciting to me how faithful God is to us when we’re on this journey and we’re serious about it. I brought up some concerns to my husband last night and his response was a little heartbreaking. Without going into too much detail, not only did he misunderstand my point, but more importantly, he misunderstood my heart. His reaction was sort of incredulous, like he was disappointed in me for feeling the way I did. (If I ever hated it when my parents reacted like that, it’s even worse when it’s your husband…) I immediately regretted telling him what I did, but at the same time, I didn’t get what I came for. See, ultimately, what I needed in that moment was reassurance and a good hug/cuddle. Rather than say that, though, I came at him (without an accusatory tone, but certainly saying some things that could be taken as accusations), expecting him to “decode” me and figure out what I meant and what I needed. What I ended up doing was apologize to him, both for saying what I said (because I didn’t REALLY mean it) and for sending my message poorly. I told him, “What I really need is reassurance from you and to be held for a little bit.” It took a little while to convince him that it wasn’t his fault I needed reassurance (he sees things very black and white). I tried to explain it to him from a man’s perspective, but that didn’t really work either. Finally, I got to the point where I said, “Maybe this is just a woman thing. (He kept saying he didn’t understand why I needed it. I figured he maybe didn’t understand because it’s one of those things we’ll never understand about each other.) I asked him if he wouldn’t mind holding me, and because he’s amazing, of course he didn’t mind. I just laid next to him cuddling and I felt so much better. I learned sometimes I need to do what my dad used to get onto me for (“Cut to the chase! What’s the point?”) when I’d be telling one of my long-winded stories. I don’t necessarily need to go into detail… and sometimes, the reasons/excuses are things he’s not going to understand or be receptive to anyway. Then I just end up exasperating him!

    Anyway, I just wanted to say how cool it was that the Lord allowed me to find that solution… because for a while, I was stumped in the other room, trying to figure out what went wrong. I believe God gently spoke to me in that moment, saying, “Don’t give him REASONS for your feelings… that just feels like an attack to him. Just ask for what you want/need right now.” πŸ™‚

    Thanks, April!

    1. Jenn,

      1. I have a post about that! I came to the same conclusion that you did, that these verses should not be written off so easily. And, I love the http://www.headcoveringmovement.com site, as well. πŸ™‚

      2. Thank you so very much for the birthday wishes. πŸ™‚ Ha!!! We actually both have the same color hair. But that is hysterical – yes, I am sure I was the more aggressive popsicle eater. πŸ™‚

      3. Men and women are SO VERY DIFFERENT!!!!!!! It is very hard for men to understand women. And it is very hard for women to understand men. We think totally differently on many things. BUT- I am glad that you eventually figured out to just ask fro what you wanted. I hope you shared how much better you felt after cuddling. πŸ™‚ My husband figured that out about me even before I began to study respect and being a godly wife and realized that if he could just get me to cuddle with him, I would calm down very quickly!

      I agree that telling them why you want what you want or why you feel what you feel is probably not productive, but, just saying what you want/need is helpful. Husbands don’t need reassurance of our love. They don’t think in those terms. They think of their love as being solid and unchanging, from my understanding. So a husband probably doesn’t understand that a wife needs reassurance, and that that is just how wives are – it is not personal against him. But, if that word reassurance messes him up, just ask him to hold you, and thank him and tell him how much better you feel. πŸ™‚ And, thank him for always loving you! πŸ™‚

      THANK YOU for sharing what you learned! That is awesome!

  19. I know that we are called to honor and reverence our husbands at all times in this command is not conditioned on their behavior. I think we are most tempted to sin when we are sinned against. When my husband does something that hurts me it can very much feel like being “fake” when i seek to respond to him in a godly way. I think this may be because my emotions are screaming so loud and i have a lifetime of practice following them so it feels normal to be emotion led. following the Spirit is something I am learning and can feel foreign or “fake” . I too am learning the balance.

    I began this journey 2 years ago. i used to be extremely controling and so controled by fear that i emascualted my husband. When God graciously opened my eyes to my sin and the destruction that i caused as a foolish woman tearing down my house i became so determined with God’s grace not to be that woman anymore. I think a fear of making those mistakes again caused me to swing to the opposite end of the pendelum. Now by God’s grace I am learning to hear his voice moment by moment.

    I do have a prayer request though ladies and maybe to ask for some advice. My husband decided to go to Hooter’s with a friend. When he told me where he was eating lunch, it really hurt to hear that he would choose to go there knowing how i feel about him being around half naked women. How would you handle this in a reverent way?

    1. Hisdaughter,

      The ways I’ve handled similar scenarios is to express my hurt. The best time to do this is as close to the circumstance as I can get, that way I don’t build up resentment from weeks of thinking about it. I think my husband appreciates this, too. The conversations usually entailed me having to explain how he wouldn’t like it if I went to a place geared toward women where men were put on display, etc., etc. It’s when I put it in those terms that he seems to be able to understand better how I feel. I believe he still has a double standard in this area which is just blindness from the enemy – but doesn’t make it less painful. πŸ™ But, also, he has steered his friends towards neutral places now many times and I am very thankful for that. Actually, typing that out now, I realize I need to be more vocal about that thankfulness to him.

      I’ve really struggled with jealousy and insecurity in the past (some of it my own stuff and some of it from things that happened early in our marriage), so this kind of thing really bothers me – can stay with me for a long time. If you’re the same way, you’re probably still feeling hurt. Praying that God will give you wisdom to know what to say and how to say it and that God will enable your husband to hear you and to understand what he is doing before God and you. And, that you will know your worth in God’s eyes.

      I guess one thing I would say is that I need to work on loving my husband actively even through the days where there are issues like this….so, even though you may be more quiet and not feeling especially close to him, you can still serve him and be intentional about choosing to forgive him whatever the outcome of the conversation would be.

      Hope this helps a little. One last thought is that I think you can take a little comfort in knowing that your husband told you the truth about where he was going. He could have lied and been deceitful. I think the way you approach him and the way you react will have an impact on whether he feels safe to tell you something like that again. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t express hurt – just back away from those old fleshly ways of handling conflict and ask God for ways to show your husband the utmost respect as you bring your hurt to him.

  20. Hi April!

    Happy birthday again! πŸ™‚

    I think for those of us convicted very recently, it takes quite a while before we go back to our “real” self with all our quirks, while we are still being molded by God into Jesus’ Image. For people like me who tend to go to the extreme rather than be at the center, one can really “lose” one’s personality for a while until such time, that one feels “safe” to go from “so scared to hurt anyone so I will just hide from the world and shut up” to “Oh, I can open my mouth and NOT HURT people?!” πŸ˜‰

    I am currently “going back” to my previous quirky, fun self… while not really going BACK to my old, dead self. No zombies for me, no thank you. But, I am still a work in progress while a great part of me still wants to act like a cloistered nun.

    What’s great about this post is that it just confirmed for me that I need not be a totally different Nikka to be useful for God’s Kingdom. He doesn’t want clones. He wants me! He will use me and my personality and talents and strengths for HIS GLORY!

    Amen and amen! Thanks for this post, dear April. Have many many more beautiful God-filled years to come! <3

    Love,

    Nikka (Peaceful Wife Philippines)

    1. Nikka!!!!!! πŸ™‚

      I am so excited to hear from you again!!!!

      Thank you for the birthday wishes and thank you so much for sharing your heart. Yes, there is a tendency for us all to swing way too far one way, then too far the other way – it is confusing for a long, long time, sometimes.

      I am so excited you are finding more balance and finding your authentic self. THAT IS WONDERFUL!!!!!

      Much love to you!!!

  21. April, I have been coming to your blog for a while now and on a journey of becoming a godly wife for 1 year and 6 months and I am just so discouraged. I am beginning to not like who I am and I feel like one day I walk by the sprit and the next by flesh.
    But a lot of it is my husband – I have negative feelings towards my husband , I think he thinks he knows everything he seems prideful to me and not humble, I feel he is lazy in our marriage as well.. He is a STRONG believer and makes me feel sometimes it’s him and God against me.. He will say I need to pray or he will pray for me. He is a know it all and I’m losing respect for him, he is not gentle towards me, but comes across brash. He gets mad so easily. and is rude and not helpful. I feel I can’t talk to him about anything bc if it doesn’t line up with what he thinks or believes then it’s wrong and “I need to pray.”
    He says I am disrespectful, argumentative, too competitive, critical, always bringing him down or challenging him, he says if he said the sunset was orange I would say no it’s yellow and argue on it till I prove him right.

    Sometimes the things he says just seem so wrong to me and I feel like I need to correct him. Especially when it’s pertaining to God, like he always says God wants us to be happy, I try to tell him that’s an idol and not true he wants us to be holy and he says no God wants us to be happy he gives us the desires of our hearts blah blah blah he always brags about having so much faith, even in front of other people and it’s embarassing to me bc I feel like he should let others bring him up not himself ..we are trying to start a ministry together and I don’t see how we can if every time we talk about anything or disagree on anything we fight and ESPECIALLY when we talk about God or ministry we ALWAYS disagree or argue and both turn unloving and mean? It’s like we’re supposed to be Christians?

    We are very similar and I know I need to back down but it’s hard I feel like I can’t.

    Some good things about my husband
    Everyone who meets him loves him
    He’s outgoing
    He’s very forgiving
    And he loves God but I feel needs more wisdom if he’s gonna do “great things for God” as he says and doesn’t he need to learn how to treat his wife?
    I just feel like I will never be a good, respecting wife who agrees with him about everything he said

    ” one day your going to have to realize I am your husband and you are going to be a part of this ministry and whatever I decide you are going to stand behind me”

    We argued more and then finally he said ok then u keep your job I’ll do my own thing and we won’t do ministry together and I said we need to just get a divorce and fine someone more compatible to us then everything will be fine. I immediately felt horrible and like I offended God. And then my husband left the house. He always leaves anytime he can’t handle a situation. I hate that about him .

    I know I sound mean but I am fed up and feel like being a godly wife is becoming so hard πŸ™

    Yes I am seeking Christ, everyday! And I will be on cloud 9 and want to change my ways and draw near to Him and please him and then I get around my husband and it’s all ruined.

    1. Idkanymore,

      My sweet sister! I can definitely feel and hear the pain and frustration you are experiencing. I’m so very sorry that things are so discouraging right now.

      If the fruit of your husband’s life seems to be telling you that perhaps he is far from God, what do you believe God’s Word instructs you to do, my beautiful friend?

      Does submission and respect mean agreement?

      What did you do after you talked about divorce?

      Perhaps your husband leaves because he needs space to calm down and doesn’t trust himself to maintain self-control after something very harsh was said to him? Perhaps he is protecting you from his anger?

      Your husband cannot ruin what God is doing in you, precious sister. God can empower you to respond in His Spirit’s power Galatians 5:22-23 no matter what your husband does or does not do.

      Is your arguing going to convict and change your husband?

      Can you regenerate his soul?

      Are you willing to release your husband to God to work in him and to bring conviction?

      Do you believe that you are more mature and more spiritual than your husband is?

      Are there ways you can gently share your thoughts in a respectful, humble, soft way, rather than arguing?

      Happiness can be an idol, yes. When we follow God and fully yield to Him, He does give us great joy – which is better than happiness. But – if your husband says something like God wants us to be happy, and you disagree, how could you share gently? Or, is it always necessary to attempt to correct him?

      Much love to you! I am praying for you both!

      1. Oh boy… It’s hard to admit bc I know God is so big and gracious to change my husband but it’s hard for me to let go and let that happen bc I also feel like we have to be willing and to me it looks like he thinks he already knows everything and doesn’t look like to me he’s seeking change from God or that he would allow God to do that.

        I know God wants me to submit and respect my husband but if he wants me apart of a ministry I don’t agree with how can I? (He wants to start something up that he feels like God is saying to do and I dont, I feel like that puts him as the leader and no one pouring into him and I think he has a lot to learn!!)

        I know I don’t have to always disagree and some things don’t need to be said and I can work on that but if I even respectfully disagree he gets irritated..

        He loves to be the leader but doesn’t take constructive criticism well so how could he ever grow or learn if he’s constantly in that position

        I do believe I am self righteous and prideful and I want to change so bad I have been spending time around Godly women and trying to change and learn but I adnit that and know that, my husband does not.

        I am just worried about our future…
        I need to pray about it and pray for my husband..

        1. Idkanymore,

          All leaders start out with a lot to learn. They make mistakes. They learn from their mistakes, hopefully. And then they grow in maturity by falling and having to get back up.

          You fighting your husband and his calling to do ministry for God is not going to bless your husband, in my view, and does not honor God.

          If he is truly spiritually weak and filled with sin, God is able to convict him. God is able to work in his heart to reveal his sin to him. I think we wives get confused a lot of time about our role. Sometimes we go from “helper” to “accuser” or from “helper” to attempting to be the Holy Spirit. If I am filled with accusations, bitterness, contempt, judgment, and disrespect for my husband- I am working on the enemy’s side, not God’s side. I have done that. I did that for over 14 years – and how I regret that now, my dear sister!!!!!!

          I kept my husband from growing in Christ by my disrespect, control, contempt, condemnation, negativity, blame, critical and judgmental spirit. I blocked the sound of God’s voice and made it very difficult for Greg to hear God. My disrespect and control were all that Greg could hear. He grew farther and farther from God the more I fought him and tried to tell him all the ways he was wrong and needed to change to be more godly.

          He told me later, when I stopped all the disrespect, nagging, bossing, controlling, preaching, lecturing, condemning, criticizing, etc… that it was like someone took the static off of the speaker with God’s voice on it in his life. And then, he said, as I gradually began to add true respect, honor, affirmation, and biblical submission as a wife – it was like someone added an amplifier to the speaker with God’s voice in his life.

          My sweet sister! Your methods are not getting you or your husband where you say you want to go. Please learn from my example! Don’t keep going down this road. This road you are on leads to the destruction of your husband’s soul, his faith, and your marriage. It leads you to be far from God and filled with bitterness, resentment, hatred, unforgiveness, pride, and self-righteousness. I know because that was me!

          I pray you will allow God to shine His truth and His light on your soul and focus on sin in your life. If you are like me, there will be plenty to keep you busy in your own heart. You don’t get to make your husband’s decisions or control him. What if God is truly calling him to ministry, and you are fighting God? What if he does mess up? God can correct him. Your role is not to correct him or to squash his vision. You can gently, respectfully share concerns, probably just once – in a non-accusatory, humble, Christ-honoring, husband-honoring way. He will hear and care much more about your feelings and concerns if you are his biggest fan, on his team, kind, faithful, loyal, loving, and respectful toward him. You can influence him for Christ much more powerfully when you are walking in the power of the Holy Spirit yourself and in obedience to God for your life.

          He needs your support, faith, trust, encouragement, affirmation, respect, and honor.

          Please don’t ever mention divorce again. I hope you have repented about that.

          You are worried about the future, in my view, because you are trying to place your trust in your human husband rather than in the sovereign God of the universe. When you walk in total trust and faith in Christ, you realize that He can change your husband, He can change your circumstances, He can lead you through this sinful, imperfect man. You realize that even if things don’t go the way you would like, God will use it for your good and your husband’s good. His perfect love casts out all fear. When you are filled with faith in God, there is no room for worry.

          Here are a few posts that may be helpful:

          Are Women Morally/Spiritually Superior to Men?
          But, I’m a Good Person!
          Why Do I Have to Change First?
          How Can I Tell if God is Working in My Life or If I Am Trying to Do This on My Own?
          Do I Have the Right to Punish My Husband?
          For Minister’s Wives
          How Do You Stay Filled with the Holy Spirit?
          What Does It Mean to Be an Ungodly Woman?
          Godly Femininity

          Much love to you! Please let me know what God is revealing to you. πŸ™‚

          1. Oh! Idkanymore,

            Please also check out Titus 2:3-5 and see what the consequences can be when a wife does not honor and submit to her husband for the Gospel, and for Christ.

  22. april,
    it definitely never ceases to amaze me how much thought and care you put into each comment, even after all these years you’ve been doing this blog. Please don’t ever think any time you spend putting into one person isn’t worth it, because even though sometimes i feel like giving up, you really help me and convict me to keep looking to christ and keep striving for this, because he who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus, and i truly believe that.. times will get hard but i have to keep my eyes focused. I have repented about what i said and feel horible but can not go on in guilt so i gave that to jesus and repented to my husband as well. we had a good bible study this morning and talked about how satan is really going to be out to get us and break us apart, so we need to let this stuff strengthen us and bring us closer together and closer to God and not give the devil a foothold. so thank you for being there for me when i need it. I am going to re read what you said to me, re-read that verse and check out your posts you sent me.’

    bless you april <3

    much love, friend

    1. Idkanymore,

      I remember the feelings in the beginning days, weeks, months, and years of this journey pretty vividly. I know how dark my confusion was and how painful it was to live and think the way I did. I didn’t have a mentor or a counselor or godly friend I could talk to about things. I just had God, the Bible, and about 30 books about godly marriage and godly femininity over 2.5 years. Of course, that was enough! God is enough. But, I’m thankful that God allows me to do this and gives me the honor of “putting the dots a bit closer together” for those who come behind me. He is SO GOOD! I want all of my dear sisters (and brothers) to experience the treasure available in Christ Jesus!

      I’m so thankful you are willing to put your eyes back on Christ! That is the best place to be in the world! And YES! He will carry out that work until completion. πŸ™‚ WOOHOO! That is a promise!

      I’m glad you repented to God and to your husband. GREAT JOB!

      And I am so thankful you spoke together about that you will be a target. You absolutely will. If you are aware of the enemy’s tactics and how he wants to turn you against your husband and get you to be on Satan’s side, you can fight against this together in the power of God’s Spirit and with the truth of His Word!

      Sounds like you are on a healthy, godly, wholesome path now, my sweet sister. Sending you a huge hug!

      Much love!
      April

  23. Hi April,

    My fiance and I are getting married next month, your article was the breath of fresh air I needed during this stressful season..

    From the moment we got engaged, I have felt so overwhelmed with the expectations and opinions of people about what being a wife means. To be honest, I’ve had trouble sleeping for the last few months because of advice, comments and opinions of others (some close to me). I was beginning to feel like I have to give up everything and look after someone else; and therein lay the purpose of my existence.

    Your article was so encouraging. It really brought about perspective. People can have their expectations and opinions, but I choose to be the wife God desires. I know my Fathers heart is for me to be like Jesus. I know He gifted me for a greater purpose than simply cooking and cleaning. Thank you for the dose of truth.

    God bless.

    Your article was so timely. It reminded me that ultimately Jesus is my head. He is the one whom I serve. And moreover, that being a wife is more than what most people have advised me.

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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