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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

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

  1. 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.

    1. Jessica,

      Yep! I’m the one on the left! πŸ™‚ I’m impressed!!!! πŸ™‚

      I’m so glad that this post helped you. I am praying for you, my dear sister!

  2. 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™‚

    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!

  3. 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™‚

  4. Wishing you a very very happy birthday!!! May God use you more and more for the extension of his kingdom. God Bless:)

    Hugs and Love
    Vinodhini

    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!

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

    2. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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

            1. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

            1. 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!

          2. 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.

            1. 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™‚

            2. 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!

        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).

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

  12. 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™‚

  13. 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!!!!!

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. 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. 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™‚

    2. 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!

    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!

  17. Julie,
    I am sad!! Your comment isn’t in the spam folder. πŸ™ I would have loved to read it.

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

  18. 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!

  19. 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:)

  20. 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!

  21. 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!!!

  22. 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.

    1. Sammi,

      Congratulations on your upcoming marriage! I’m so glad this post was a blessing. πŸ™‚

      You may also want to search http://www.peacefulsinglegirl.com for “Preparing to Marry a Man on a Mission” and “Red Flags” and “Am I Ready to Be a Godly Wife?”

      I love your perspective, though. It sounds very good now! πŸ™‚

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