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April and son - September 2004

“I Thought You Were a Bit Too Extreme for Me… I Kind of Hated Some of What You Had to Say”

 

 

April and son - September 2004
April and son – September 2004 in Pittsburgh, PA

From a precious single sister in Christ, I greatly appreciate her generosity in allowing me to share her story – I think a lot of you may relate to it:

I just wanted to know how much God has used you to shape me….

How I would have described myself in the past:

I am, how shall I put it… feisty. I am quick to share exactly what I think is wrong with a situation that involves me. I am even quicker to jump to my own defense, when I feel wrongfully judged, mistreated, or hurt. I forgive easily, but I have been blessed with an amazing memory. I remember every detail of every hurt – down to the clothes I was wearing when the hurt occurred. I am very hard on myself (harder on myself than others). My memory also means that I remember every detail of every sin. If I have to be corrected, I will beat myself up over it. My boss told me that she has never had an employee who dwells on their own mistakes as much as I do. I am determined NEVER to repeat mistakes. I am compassionate, but very guarded. I am consumed with my own world. I prefer solitude over group outings.

The paragraph below is how I would describe myself now:

If I feel wronged, I fight to take these thoughts captive. I pray, pretty much every single day, that I would see others through the eyes of Jesus (not my own eyes and not the world’s eyes). I forgive quickly and truly forget the offenses. Sometimes folks have to remind me that they should apologize, because apologizes truly do not matter in the grand scheme of things. Yes, I appreciate an apology, but they do not change my level of forgiveness or love for the person. I forgive because that is what I am called to do- no more, no less. God has graciously allowed me to forget some vivid details of my past sin. If someone criticizes me, I do not immediately jump to defend myself. I thank the person for pointing out what they see as sin, something I need to correct, etc. I then take what they say and compare it to the Word and pray about it. If I feel they were correct, I approach them and thank them again and tell them how I have weighed their words against scripture and truth and what I have taken away from it. If I disagree, I generally do not respond unless a response is warranted. If it is, I thank them for loving me enough to want to point me to truth, but tell them that I have read and prayed and cannot accept their words as truth and explain why if asked. I do not hold this against the person and truly move on quickly. I have allowed others into my world, giving them access to my past. I don’t pretend to have been or currently be perfect. I don’t divulge every detail, but I want others to see the transformation power of Christ. I daily pray for others and am burdened for the souls and hearts of others. I cry with my sisters in their pain, and rejoice in their joy. I truly love people.

NONE of this was done by me, or in my own strength- not even a little bit. It is as if the Holy Spirit transported me to be a new person. ALL of those things were painful to change. I am not bragging. I am thankful, so thankful that He never gave up on me. I am in awe that He would care about a girl like me and remain diligent about changing me.

So… what does this have to do with you, April? Well, more than you know.

I thought you were a bit too extreme for me. Actually, I kind of hated some of what you had to say. It made me angry. But, finally, I decided to compare what you had to say to Scripture. Yikes, you weren’t too extreme and my anger was a result of the conviction of the Holy Spirit. I studied a lot, because I wanted you to be wrong about quite a few things. Well, you weren’t.

Then, I read silently, but I watched. I read every single comment and every single response from you. I never once saw you lash out, and there were some folks that would have gotten an ear full from me. You took the time to respond to every single comment. Every. Single. Comment.

A light bulb went off:

You weren’t writing to make ladies feel less than.
You weren’t writing to build yourself up.
You weren’t writing from a pedestal.

You were writing because you love us. You want us to understand the love of Christ, the sovereignty and holiness of God. You want us to be sensitive to the Spirit. You were writing from the trenches WITH us. You wanted to be that hand to reach out when others were helping dig the grave. You wanted to be that ear when we needed one. You wanted to be the light in the darkness that radiated the love of Christ. You wanted to point us to Jesus. You loved us with no judgment. You rejoiced with us. You prayed for us.
Thank you for loving us. Thank you for being a safe place… I am not sure I have ever shared this with you and just wanted you to hear my heart.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:
This dear sister truly gets my heart for each of you. This is EXACTLY why I do this ministry. I found the Greatest Treasure there is in Jesus Christ – I cannot possibly keep this to myself!!!! I know how awful it is to live without His power – how miserable, lonely, scary, painful, sad, and frustrating it is. I want each of you to have every opportunity to get out of the dungeon cell we all start out living in – to find the light, freedom, grace, mercy, and beauty available in Jesus. I don’t want you to have to learn the hard way about a lot of this stuff like I did. I want to spare you much pain, many tears, and literally, I also want to spare you hell (in this life and after this life).

How I pray that you might know God’s love for you and that you might experience it here through me. I pray daily for each of you to experience the abundant life that Jesus Christ has to offer you. I long for you to personally experience His Love, His truth, His peace, His joy, and the Living Water that He is that will quench the deepest thirst in your souls.

Much love, my dear sisters!
– April

38 thoughts on ““I Thought You Were a Bit Too Extreme for Me… I Kind of Hated Some of What You Had to Say”

  1. April,
    I spoke you to about my husband a couple of months ago. He was on cymbalta and drinking. He has turned his back on God. I continue my journey with God, Christian counseling, and daily support from Christian friends, and daily Bible Study. I completely desire to confess my sins for our hurting marriage. His drinking is being addressed somewhat. He moved out and came back within the same day. I ask you to join me in prayer for our marriage. I am so wanting to put Jesus first in my life for my peace and joy and trust. I pray the texting to other women will stop. I dearly love my husband and believe his depression and adjustment disorder and drinking are some of the causes. I believe there is more going on April. He is distant and off even to his college aged daughters. If you have any guidance please direct me. I am being advised to be cautious of him though he returned home. He has blamed me and verbally abused me while drinking. I know now, through counseling, I am to never stand there but, to leave. So, I am learning skills to handle the situation. This is a man I met at Bible Study. He is not the same. He is having surgery soon. My daughters believe he did not return home to have the surgery and leave again. I trust God April. I seek His protection and His words.

    You have been there in this journey.

    Thank you,

    1. Vickie,

      My precious sister! Such a painful mess. 🙁 I am very glad you have Christian counseling and support from believing friends and that you are focusing on your walk with God. That is SO IMPORTANT! Al-Anon may also be a helpful resource for you – because you may be dealing with the addiction more than your real husband in some ways, I hope that makes sense. But I also think you are dealing with a man who is very depressed, and that can change things as well.

      Are his counselors addressing the texting and the drinking? Is he cooperating?

      This is going to take MUCH sensitivity on your part to God’s Spirit for you to know exactly what to do. I don’t have the wisdom you will need. But I do know God is able to give us the wisdom we need each moment.

      I love your heart for God and for your husband. I am absolutely praying with you!

      1. oh my God, I just wish I could speak to this sister. I’ve have been on cymbalta a year ago for depression and believe me when I say I am a believer in Jesus and I have been all my life. I was on this medication for two months. I changed it was not nice at all. I was agressive, full of anger. I wanted to drink and fight! If you knew me I am very gentle and sweet and it was toxic. When I told my doctor about these symptoms he gave me another kind of pill. A couple of days later the woman who was agressive and wanted to drink WAS GONE.

        If only this husband could try something else. Depression is a very touchy subject when we are christians but I believe that even though God is there with us we just turn to doctors BUT sometimes they have to change prescription a couple of times before it works. I will pray for this sister and I’m hoping she will never give up on her husband, because even though it was hard for my husband we are both thankful that God was there with us throughout this hard time.

        1. Julie,

          Yes, as a pharmacist, I am also very familiar with the side effects of some of these meds. They can make a person act like someone they would never be on their own. Praying for wisdom for her and her husband and the doctor.
          Thank you so much for sharing your story!

    2. Dear Vickie

      Praying for you. My husband has been distant for 2 years and completely shut me out the last three months. I know the pain. I too suffered his verbal abuse and believed it until now. God has revealed his sin and it all makes sense. During this time of complete rejection-God led me to a godly counselor who loves marriage. He taught me to stand up for myself. Now my husband is going to him by himself and realizing his sin. It will be a long path back but I keep reading on this blog the stories of redemption!! Our husbands know he truth. Praying they will turn to it and be completely transformed. God has shown me my sin from following April and found her 2 yrs ago. This journey is long but worth it cuz Jesus is the great healer and daily he gives me hope in little things. Too many to name! Stay in Gods word and prayer and surround yourself with friends and a counselor who is cheering u on for your marriage.

      1. Carla,

        WOW! Thank you so much for sharing this encouragement with our dear sister, Vickie!!!! I praise God for what He is doing in your life and in your husband’s life. I rejoice with you in advance for the glory He will bring to Himself in your lives.

        Much love to you, my dear sister! It is so good to hear from you!

  2. I thought I would write as a husband and it may help some of your readers who have written in today with husbands in some difficult places. I want to encourage them not to give up and to understand some things I learned along the way.

    My wife has this extreme level of integrity and truth which has been such a battle for me because I grew up in a shame based environment that developed into powerful strongholds through my married life. Coupled with some equally powerful generational sin I was at church regularly but completely hamstrung in every area of my life and getting worse. I have been married thirty years but my wife and some believing friends took seriously to prayer with some seemingly disastrous results. They were praying for our marriage to be fixed but I rapidly degenerated to a blatant lying, deceiving, controlling and probably abusive husband (by name only ) and we soon separated.

    The separation shook our family, friends and church because nobody was aware of it coming. Most of all it shook me – down to my innermost being and in a series of terrifying encounters with the Lord He has progressively chastened, scourged and smashed out every conceivable area of my life not given over to Him. My life has been transformed in less than six months but only to the point where I am now being rebuilt to be the man capable of leading my wife with a similar level of integrity and character. I could never trust my wife because i could not trust myself and I was incapable of truly loving my wife because I was so ashamed of myself. In doing this I have been considered “extreme” but it is only because i am now so desperate to reach the picture the Lord has painted of whom I can be which is so ridiculously different to the one I grew up with.

    As a husband I knew the world that I was in but had no idea of its effect spiritually or emotionally on my wife. I am now just getting the faintest flicker of concepts like “truth”, being truthful and trusting and being trustworthy. There could be nothing more exciting for me than the realisation that i could become this type of person!!
    My wife did not “deserve” this but her pain has been the catalyst not only for my change but literally for my salvation. I can never repay that and at this point in time my wife is not even aware of the profound depth of change in me so the roles have reversed and now I am praying for her healing – with everything I have got but what I would say is that if my wifes prayers can press God to get me out my mess then He can and will do it for others but it does require an obedience that many think is “extreme”

    1. Gary,
      WOW! I love this!!!! Thank you so much for sharing, our dear brother!!! I believe God will use your story to bless many wives and to encourage them to hang on when things seem to be getting worse – knowing that God is still sovereign and He is still able to draw people to Himself and He is mighty to save!!!!!

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

      And yes, truly following Jesus does require an obedience that seems “extreme” even to many in the church today.

    2. Wow Gary your post really spoke to me as i can see the things you are saying as issues my husband is struggling with such as growing up in a family with a shame based environment. This happens to be the core of his lying, deceiving, pretending and extreme control etc. I only realised this a year ago. When i bring out truths it actually angers him if covering it up doesn’t work. He seems to have head knowledge of the Lord but not heart change. He won’t surrender and so nothing truly changes.

      I have no idea how best to minister to him without appearing self righteous. I can’t trust my husband and he has no concept of how this affects my security. We have been separated a year but has not felt like separation as we still spend so much time together. Recently something happend that meant we couldn’t see eachother or have contact. I felt that God was leading me to let him go even though he was going down a bad path. Instead i gave in and contacted him and embraced him. I am not sure but i think i may have hindered God’s plan for him by ‘rescuing’ him myself instead of leaving it over to God.

      Your story really spoke to me. Now that my husband feels we are okay now I dont think things will change except superficially because I don’t think he has surrendered his own issues to Christ. I know I can’t heal his childhood wounds and not sure how to respond apart from prayer. Thank you for sharing and it’s truly amazing what God can do when we surrender ALL of ourselves and our darkest places to Him. Praying for you and your wife and continued healing for the both of you.

      1. M that is EXACTLY how it has been for my wife and for me – exactly!! When she finally “let go” I don’t think she was running away, she was just exhausted from firstly believing in me, then giving me the benefit of the doubt when things didn’t look right, then covering for me and it just got worse and worse. You are completely right about the head knowledge – my hear wasn’t completely disconnected but I only seemed to react to extremes so I would either push my wife to get a visible reaction because that was all I understood or I would react when she got angry. The day I got water baptised (a few months ago) something broke and it was the first day I understood “joy” – even though my wife didn’t come to see me get baptised I understood joy and have ever since but had never understood it for over fifty years!!
        My wife wanted desperately to help me and minister to me and whilst I struggle with fact that she wanted to separate and divorce me I don’t believe I gave her any other choice and I don’t see any other road that God could have used! There have been some excruciatingly painful times in the last few months but I am so thankful for them, I really am, so thankful.
        Our separation has been the same, I know my wife would still like a more defined separation but she does not yet know what has happened to me. If I have a choice, I am going to stay separated until at least i am sure I am providing a stable financial future and I am putting things in place for her to never again have to suffer the shame. fear and embarrassment I have put her through. I must say though that it was my wifes love that she deposited into me over so many years that gave me the courage to face myself but the Lord seems to know how to push you to that very very edge where you are just not sure you are going to make it but it is there that all the serious transactions with Him take place. Keep praying, it really is everything….if it is any help, I have become crazy about praying, I cant wait to get to the prayer room every morning around 5.30 and then at night I am either in prayer meetings or we started a six hour prayer meeting on Friday nights and sometimes I just go right on through the night praying….now, if He can change me like this, He can change anybody…bless you M, stay strong…

        1. Thanks so much for your reply Gary. Yes every thing you are saying sounds so very similar to my husband and myself. It’s like he has feared me separating and wanting a divorce and yet still not had a breaking point of change although he would change things on the outside I could still see right through which has left me quite discouraged at what to really do. As i had said I do think I had hindered God’s plan when i contacted my husband and sort of covered everything up and comforted him when really I think I was meant to let go as he was sort of spiraling out of control and when I did see him after some weeks he was quite a wreck. I have kind of picked him up again and he is now wanting to reconcile and start a fresh. I feel I’ve mucked up and we are just going to stay on the same track so all I can do is pray.

          Yes as you described yourself in one of your posts as fine on the outside but a demon on the inside (hope I got that right) and that is how i have come to see my husband and he has even said similar in the past. He just keeps covering up the deceit and not really facing anything unless he ‘has’ to by a sorry and lets move on approach. I feel as your wife does, exhausted and over it. It’s hard when on the outside he is appearing to be a loving thoughtful husband but I have not seen any ‘real’ repentance or work done over this past year that shows a realization or commitment of the problems. Trust is the huge issue, he isn’t transparent or open with finances, females and sort of acting like 2 or more pple depending on the people he is around. This is frustrating!

          I am SO SO glad to hear that you have come to know the Lord and that He has broken through those barriers and opened up your eyes to the truth! I was reading about Kind David in the bible and about his spiritual blindness and how he was ready to murder a man committing adultery when he was told ‘that man is you’! Only then could he see his condition and sin. My husband critically and angrily condemned men for the very things he has been doing. I believe he is spiritually blind. Only God can open our eyes to our own sin. I pray that your wife will be able to see the very real and genuine change from God in your heart and life so that she may be able to learn to trust again. Yes prayer has become such a big part of my day and night also and I am growing closer to the Lord and learning to put Him first despite the outcome of my situation.

          1. Wow M – (I feel like I’m taking over Aprils Blog here – I am so sorry April) Ha – I’m not feeling so unique anymore M. I was going to say I was so ashamed when i “realised” my sin – I didn’t realise it all – the Lord literally gave me verses to look up that were so confronting and frightening describing my end if i didn’t stop…so I stopped. I’m probably a bit too zealous at the moment but that will settle. Handing over complete control of our finances was extremely difficult but allowed me to face the fact that they stood in the way of my trusting my wife and being truthful with her and that is why i decided to hand over all my income for the next six months straight to her and she can decide what is important and see that I will decide to trust her in my weakest areas. One of my greatest revelations was that God is sovereign and wonderfully jealous for us….the difficulties we face are actually His amazing grace in action. I’ll be praying for your husband….I’ll write in to April in a few weeks and let you know how things are progressing because it looks like your husband is going to learn the same things….

          2. Gary it is truly amazing what God can do! Yes it must of been hard giving over control in an area you have held on to so tightly. It may take time for your wife trust or believe this is for real but leave it to God as you have been doing. Would love to hear an update of how you are going in the weeks to come. Thankyou for sharing your journey and thankyou April for having this place for us to share in safety and honesty. It has been such a support and help for me as I have been going through a lonely time without Godly support and wisdom and your blog has helped me to grow in my walk with Christ in so many ways.

          3. Hey M, April – I wasn’t going to add any more but I just read a bit more of your story M from Aprils Post a couple of days ago about the narcissism etc and of your husbands visits to the counselor – my wife has actually lost MORE trust in me through the counselors because i also would say the right things and so everybody thought I was this responsible hero and I have to be so careful not to do that now.

            On the one hand I am acting out of serious repentance now and a very strong fear of God but on the other hand it still looks like I am just “ticking boxes”. So for me, I just now signed everything I own or we own over to my wife for six months and gave her all the passwords etc to all my computers, phones etc so that she can check on any conceivable thing that she wants to about what I do, where I am and who i talk with (including these talks here). Obviously this, as April, you pointed out, wouldn’t be necessary often times but it was the only course I could follow to try and regain trust.

            A massive thing I learned M is that whilst I was living in what i called my “shame bucket” ie my life before repentance, it is impossible to be intimate in any shape or form because shame and intimacy cannot live together. So my wife who is such an open and true person had enormous difficulty in communicating with me because I was based in shame. The narcissm thing was certainly out of control too but now – its gone, I don’t think it can come back because its’s all been brought in to the light, so yep, God can remove these things but I sure couldn’t on my own.

            I still take precautions for sure to make sure I don’t go anywhere around those old tricks. I have communion every day too – that’s powerful …and my goodness, I love reading the Word now…funny thing was i used to carry my Bible around but not read it that much. I could write for hours on the changes that the Lord has blessed me with and in saying that He can and will bless anyone else for the same reason He has healed me. I had a ton of generational sin mixed in there as well and I’m never sure which comes first so i’m glad thats gone too..hope all that helps.

          4. Hi Gary, wow, yes i can certainly relate to your wife with the counselor and losing more trust. We had done counseling together with a church pastor (not our church but a pastor his family and I knew). Unfortunately I don’t think they believed things were that bad as they had known my husband since he was a teenager and on the outside he seems to have it all together and doesn’t show anger or control or anything in front of certain people. So even though he would say yes i did or do this or that it still seemed like i was exaggerating and I would hold back abit too as i felt bad bringing out all this sin in front of people we knew especially. So yes they saw him as a responsible Christian who maybe needed a mentor while I may be a bit too sensitive! This left me frustrated and quite bitter to be honest as it seemed only I was experiencing the real person behind the mask.

            My husband had had similar issues in past relationships and so I knew it wasn’t just me over-reacting and that people couldn’t see the full picture. Gosh even I didn’t know the full extent of things until God answered my prayers for understanding and truth as well as trust. God certainly gave me the missing pieces to the puzzle but then I was left wondering what now?

            My husband comes from a family who are active Christians in the church but at home is a different story. They have a sort of unspoken code that you just keep sin hidden and secret and put on a ‘good godly’ show to the world. I was the problem daughter in law because I distanced myself from his family as it was truly unhealthy the way they were treating me and I lived with constant guilt because I couldn’t fully honor my husband by letting his family be a bigger part of our life and our daughter.

            However now that his sister is married they are having the same issues as the son n law is repeating my exact words about the lack of boundaries and respect from my husband’s mother. So finally my husband is admitting that yes it isn’t healthy and I am not to blame.

            Sorry this is so long! Just a background to some of my husband’s shame issues you mention. Not sure if your upbringing was similar. Yes that is what I see with my husband, a ticking of boxes which at the moment is not enough for me to trust. You are right, it is impossible to have real intimacy when you are holding back things and putting up a mask or wall. This is why I doubt my husband has a true relationship with the Lord at this point in time due to his hiding from the truth. It is funny that the holy spirit has been guiding me to pray for all things to come to light, my sin also.

            Due to the lifelong pattern my husband has been in of manipulating and lying I think it just comes naturally and that he needs counseling and to be in the word daily to make sure he doesn’t continue in his old ways. Right now and in the past also he has believed he just needs to try harder which of course in our own flesh is too difficult. Sorry again for the long post, don’t want to take over this topic April.

          5. M.,

            I am thankful you can have this conversation. I haven’t experienced what you are experiencing and can’t imagine how frustrating it would be to feel like you are maybe crazy because no one else saw behind the masks your husband had.

            Dealing with lies, manipulation and deception would be very difficult. It would be hard to trust after that has been going on for so long. And it will take something dramatic to rebuild trust in cases like this, I would think.

            No apologies are necessary. 🙂 I am thankful we can have a community of believers here and share safely and anonymously here.

            Much love!!!
            April

          6. M
            I think it was exceedingly difficult for my wife to have to admit that the “amazing” man she had married was a “fraud” and things kind of collapsed around her when she did. But recognising the level of self deceit and dishonesty now is still very overwhelming for me. At the end of the day it was straight out cowardice and selfishness and as time goes on I have left behind the “reasons” which undeniably contributed very strongly to who I was and from which I was very very swiftly delivered from but now I try and put myself in my wife’s shoes and see it from her perspective.

            If you are like my wife I would imagine you have had to adjust your values and own moral compass so many times that you may not feel you are true to yourself anymore and lose your own sense of identity. i think that is the time the devil will have most authority because the same lies he tells your husband he may now tell you so it would be so important i would think that you get your identity from God and His word and not your circumstances and not your husband. Check with April on that because its not for me to say but I have observed that my wife suffered in this area and it did badly affect her self esteem.

            Only God knows whether your husband has a real relationship with Him or not but someone did say to judge myself by my fruits and whilst the relationship was there it was so fragmented that the fruits sure weren’t and it is what people use to determine their own “truth”. God took this coward (me) and blew him out of the water so did He with Gideon, Paul, Zacceus, Jacob, Abraham etc I think he actually LOVES rewriting someones life and transforming it. But it is the Holy Spirit who does it all as we yield to Him and you are right that “trying harder” is such a doomed process because you just get caught up in a shame cycle of works…..

            I am realising M how long it took for me to actually take on April’s premise which was instead of looking to God to change Greg she looked to God to change her which is now the stance i take for my realtionship and I think everybody that follows April’s messages will be on that same path, whatever our particular situation or pain we are all placing ourselves at the alter, submitting to God and saying Lord change ME.

            My wife, like you, completely lost hope of anything being redeemable, but you, thanks to April’s amazing blog, can now be assured, firstly that you are not crazy but secondly, your husband can be set free because i have been! and i NEVER want to go back..Please feel free to ask me any questions, any time…Its really important in the body of Christ that truth is allowed move and Aprils blog is such an amazing platform because it does allow such a unique level of honesty to operate which i am so grateful for April.

          7. Gary,

            I LOVE this!!!!! Thank you very much for sharing with M. And YES!!! This is the place to which we all must come – that point of desperation and trust in God where we stop pointing at someone else to change and we stop being a victim and we ask God to change US!

            How I praise God that He is able to redeem anyone! I love what He is doing in your heart, Gary!
            And I love what He is doing in your heart, M.

            I am praying for Him to continue to heal both of you and your spouses for His greatest glory!!!

          8. Gary, thank you for this! I had read this a few days ago but didn’t get to sit down and reply but it actually brought tears to my eyes. Everything you have said is so very real to me especially in regards to how this has affected your wife. I had known there with issues with my husband like control and lying etc but once I was confronted with the fact that he was really not the man i thought he was I was devastated. Exactly as you put it that the amazing man I had married or fallen in love with was a fraud. I went through a mini breakdown last year when i found out things (was also going through a health crisis) but thankfully I had God to pick me up. However I then went into a sort of denial as my husband came back reassuring and showing me love etc. I let him move back in but it was for a short time as a few months later I was having to face the reality and then things went bad (long story) and he moved out again. The double standards all the time is very hard for me to deal with. He isn’t accountable but everyone else is. Yes Gary I totally agree that like your wife I have had to adjust my moral compass as boundaries were constantly pushed or broken and then I would readjust and accept a lower standard. Not good. My self esteem has been damaged and yes I do feel I have for alot of the time become rapped up in the lies and distorted views of my husband rather than walk in absolute truth. I didn’t want to be self righteous or prideful by rebuking my husband as though I were perfect. However we all need to face our sin and repent not quickly excuse it away. I agree that i must keep on seeking the Lord and find my identity in him alone, this really does help me not to be affected by my husband’s actions as I was. I have always been asking God to change me and not focused on my husband being changed however now I am thinking that if I continue to do that I will be oblivious to what he is actually doing. That is where my confusion comes in with how to be in regards to submission, respect and reconciliation. For if I only focus on being changed myself then I would be with my husband and maybe continue the same cycle. Sorry not sure if this is making sense? I think it is truly amazing what God is doing in your heart and life and yes I do believe anyone can be changed no matter how dark or deep the sin. It is a matter of US surrendering to have our hearts transformed. Praying for healing for you and your wife and your continued walk with Him. Thankyou for taking the time to write as it has been an encouragement and a help hearing from a man who has been going through the things I believe my husband is going through.

          9. M,
            Sometimes I wish I had a magic wand, but in God’s wisdom and sovereignty, He did not equip us with something like that. I am always happy to pray with you and for you and for God’s strength, power, wisdom, direction, courage, boldness, hope, and ever increasing and maturing faith for you and spiritual healing and regeneration for your husband, as well, my precious sister!

  3. I too share your journey. My husband and
    I were born again 20 years ago and we walked with the Lord and He did mighty things in our lives. Most everything my husband was delivered from and even preached against according to God’s word has slowly made entrance into his life again.

    Over the last 5 years, my husband has become dependent on opiate pain medication and is getting it from a friend , has started to sneakily pick up alcohol again and is lying, angry, deceitful, out of control shopping for every new thing that he sees on the web or stores, etc. and the Lord has specifically assured me that He alone is in control of eveything and that I am to draw close to the Lord, trust Him alone to bring us through, and that I am to go through this “without a word” unless it is a word of encouragement, and not to confront anything or everything that I see my husband doing that is wrong and inconsistent with following Christ.

    It is hard and I feel that the devil keeps dangling some new evidence in front of me to get me to doubt my faith in Jesus to bring us through and to verbally explode at my husband and to “take charge” of this situation. It is painful and i know that the Lord is using all things to also work on me to answer my prayer to be conformed to the image of Christ.- which also means being rejected, betrayed and dying to myself.

    My husband is a good man who loves the Lord and the Lord has used him mightily in the past to share his testimony of how the Lord saved him, delivered him from alcohol, drugs and set him free. The devil wants to destroy the testimony he has in Jesus. You are all an encouragement to me. This is the first time I have written. Thank you April for your transparency and devotion to the Lord and those who read your testimony . Please pray for my husband and that the Spirit of the Living God will so restore the joy of his salvation that the chains the enemy has bound him with will break away. Please pray for me that the Lord will become my all in all. God bless you all

    1. Your post is a blessing and it is so encouraging to hear how God has worked in your heart to be able to say that you know that these things are conforming you to the image of Christ. That is amazing. To me, this is the ultimate calling of being a Christian that is rarely spoken about, but once your eyes are open to the idea of allowing Christ to live through you His sacrificial life of love and forgiveness, you see it all over the Bible.

      The passage in 1 Peter (the verses that talk about Jesus entrusting Himself to His Father and not retaliating when He was mistreated, etc.) leads right into the verses to wives….”Wives, in the same way, be submissive to your husbands….”

      2 Corinthians 4:11 fits right in with this idea. “For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.” To me, this means that we are submitting our will to the Father – we are in the garden, we are on the cross dying as we go through these painful circumstances where others are hurting us and betraying us, but trusting that God has a plan and that the life of Christ is at work in us and through us as a sacrificial life to bring life to someone else. In this case, it is your own husband.

      I’ll pray for what you asked. You are more than a conqueror through Christ and I pray that you will have joy and peace that is beyond imagination even in the midst of such painful circumstances.

      1. Thank you Jennifer for your encouragement with scripture., and thank you for your committment to pray for me and my husband. I cherish that more than anything as we serve the God of all comfort and He is the God of the impossible! God bless you

        For now, Private will be my blog name

    2. Private,

      What an amazing history you and your husband share!!!

      My heart breaks for what has been going on these past 5 years. As a pharmacist, I see so many people get addicted to prescription pain medications. Saw a number last month that it is about 30% of patients become addicted to them. 🙁

      I do wonder if you and your husband might need some help from Celebrate Recovery or from some godly mentors or accountability partners? There are times when we do need to address sin. “Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin.” Of course, when drugs or alcohol are involved, things get much more complicated. Al-Anon may also be a very helpful resource, as well as the Salvation Army for both of you.

      I pray that God might give you wisdom about what to say and do and when not to speak. I also pray you’ll have wisdom about if/when you might need to remove yourself from the situation if things are getting out of control.

      How I pray that God might deliver your husband from the enemy’s snares and that He might give you the wisdom and resources you need to make choices that will most honor and glorify Him in this painful and fiery trial. I pray that God will draw him back to Himself, convict him of every sin, and bring him to true repentance and also that He might provide the resources your husband needs spiritually and medically to walk in the victory that Christ has died to provide!

      I pray for you both that the Lord will become your all in all – that is my prayer for every one of us.

      Sending you a huge hug, my sweet sister!

  4. Yes, we love you April!
    I am so thankful the God lead me to you, so that he could show more of his love for me through you!
    You are a true blessing!

  5. This was beautifully wrote & brought me to tears. I love what she said about when you respond to people it is always out of love & never judgemental. This is consistent in your blogs. You will never know how much you have helped me. A year ago my husband & I were headed for a divorce. You reminded me during this time to look at the “log in my own eye.” Even though I was a Christian wife, I desperately needed examples of what respect looks like. You did this for me. Thank you for teaching me to live out 1 Peter 3. Today God has restored our marriage. I am more in love now than our wedding day over 20 yrs ago.

    1. Chris,

      Wow! How I praise God for the healing that He has performed in your life and in your marriage! Thank you so very much for sharing. I LOVE to hear what God does in people’s lives. What a blessing that He allows me to be a little part of His transforming work in your heart and marriage.

      I rejoice greatly with you and praise and thank God for all He has done, all He is doing, and all He will do in your life, your husband’s life, and your marriage!!! WOOHOO!!!

  6. I am one of the men that lurk out here reading your blogs, mostly as a way to help understand my wife as best I can. You indeed do bless many lives actively here on the blog and I’m sure the ripples from those people’s lives that you affect bless even more people.

    You do good work, April.

    A favorite priest of mine who does radio shows, podcasts, and men’s conferences (he does a great job speaking to the masculine spirit), Father Larry Richards has a great thought. “When someone interacts with you, did they interact with you, or did they experience Christ?” April, you do a good job of making sure they experience Christ. That’s a true mark of humility.

    1. AnonyMan,

      If people experience Christ here, that is because it is Jesus who is most powerfully at work here, I cannot take any credit for that. I am so thankful that He lets me be a little piece of concrete pipe through which He pours His treasures. I long to be as open to Him as possible so that as much of Him as possible can come flowing out.

      I am in awe that God lets me be a little part of His work in so many lives. Very humbling. How I long for Him to empower me to be faithful with every word!

      I am thankful that you and many husbands are blessed here as well as my sisters in Christ. God is so very good.

      Thank you for sharing! We appreciate a masculine perspective here, too. 🙂

  7. I have NEEDED so much of what I’ve seen in your work too, mostly from my earliest encounters with you on PSG. I’ve had to cycle and cycle it with tremendous effort for healing I needed for such a long time, battling to stand upon firmly, as well as with other work in my life.

    I’ve considered a lot that it’s so important for men to learn from the culture of women. Therein, the true struggle for a man is different:

    *To know that hurts are nothing to be ashamed of
    *the hurts matter
    *the feelings matter
    *the sin against you matters
    *your protection matters

    And realize just how extremely conducive the culture is for enabling women to get this, and–compared to men–how easily it seems they grasp such things for themselves. (even if/when the factual validity is disputable: they care about themselves in this regard). But, that’s what I got a taste of because of you, mostly back then, that I have to work extremely hard to make a steadfast habit.

    Such things are just such crucial first steps not just for healing, but also for overcoming anger, and forgiving others. It brings me overwhelming despair, sometimes, to realize that the reason this is so unbelievably hard to get (and an extreme struggle to learn, desperately trying and trying to practice learning) is truly because I was born a man in this culture: men’s modern culture as a demand for outward results without the spirit of support, healing, and protection. And I’m realizing more and more the effect this has on men everywhere, explaining so many things about other men and impasses they have as well.

  8. Dear April,

    As I read through God’s word it is more evident to me that God is not asking us to be something that he thinks is impossible to be. He has also been open enough to share with us how to be what he expects of us. I watched your video on Fear vs Faith again and you said you were excited when you found out that there was something you could control; how much of Gods spirit we want to be filled with.

    Of all the roots of sin, I believe pride is one of the most dangerous spirits that must be held captive. It delays progress, it hinders blessings, it blinds us from seeing our sin, it causes us to be critical of others, it has a gift in itself of self exaltation and most detrimental of all, is that it strips us of Gods covering.

    One thing I love so much about Christ is that you are never too late to his table. It doesn’t matter if you come right at 6pm, or you lazy around and come at 3am; he is always sited patiently waiting for you and best of all is that you would have missed nothing. As women, we often carry a lot of emotional baggage from our past and some of the demons chasing us today are a direct result of that. I read Ezekiel 36:26 this morning and I’ll like to report and share with all my sisters here that there is good news; God can give us a new heart, a new spirit, and a new life if we ask him.

    IF we only knew how much power we have as women of God, we would never spend another second trying to gain power & control. God has given us so much power that the temperature, the volume, the structure, the atmosphere and the relational binds in our homes depends on us. I noticed that when I am calm/quite, my husband looks for me; when I wake up early; he’ll do the same and he’ll often come and ask me what the plan for the day is, when I smile; he feels relaxed and free to share.

    I never learnt this growing up and I certainly did not learn it looking at the world. I am learning it now with God’s help, my husband’s love, from the teachings in my church/fellowship, my bible, blogs like yours, you tube videos, online resources and that is very much OK. The weight of glory is more now than it would have been then so i thank God for the experience.

    I believe that we all can get there if we don’t quit. Yesterday I listen to 3 part series video by Gary Thomas and it’s a recap of the message behind your blog:

    Getting The Husband You Want – 3/3 – Gary Thomas

    God will use you to reach millions, sell out domes, pack out conference centers, change women, redefine women movements, rebuild dead marriages, teach Gods truth and bring souls to Christ. I’ll be applying for a position in your soon to be global ministry and I hope I get hired. 🙂 It would be such an honor.

    God bless you & your family.

    Happy Easter.

    1. I Choose to Respect Him,

      When we have God’s Spirit in us, this is not impossible! You are absolutely correct! Of course, if we try to do it in our own strength, we will crash and burn.

      I completely agree – pride is very dangerous and leads to many other sins. It does blind us from seeing our own sin and repels God. Not good!

      I love this, too – you are so right – we are never too late. When we come to Christ in faith, He receives us – no matter the hour. 🙂 PRAISE GOD for that!

      YES! God has given us so much power – we can either use it to destroy our husbands, marriages, and families, or to be a source of incredible strength, blessing, encouragement, good, stability, sanctuary, and peace. I’m so glad that you shared about how things are when you are calm and peaceful. Beautiful!

      I praise God that you are learning now. It’s so exciting!!! I praise Him for what He is doing in your life!

      Than you of sharing Gary Thomas’ message.

      Wow. I don’t know exactly what God’s plans are for me. I lay myself and my life before Him in surrender and tell Him I am available to do whatever He desires me to do for His glory. Please pray that He might empower me to be faithful to whatever He calls me to do. I know that we will be able to be co-laborers for Christ together in some way. I look forward to finding out exactly what that will mean. 🙂 You are such a blessing and a treasure.

      Much love!

  9. I am this woman. I can totally relate to her old self. I make the money in our household, My husband is unemployed. He wants to start his own business, but we sorely lack the funds. I know I have disrespected him. And I need to change.

    I know, April, you will ask if I know Christ, and this is something I have struggled with all my life. I envy those who have this peaceful way about them. How do I know? I thought I knew, but I wonder if I truly do……

    I have let myself go, no longer feminine, barely making myself presentable for work. I work full time and I am so tired when I get home. I try, I think, But I know I don’t always. I need peace. I need to be peaceful.

    My husband gave himself to Christ when he was 12. But he does not go to church. Neither of us do and he won’t. When my MIL lived with us before needing to go to a nursing home (dementia) I took her to church on Sunday. He would not go.

    I love your video’s and I have watched most all of them. I hunger for what you know.

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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