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"God Showed Me How to Approach My 'Command Man' Husband"

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This precious sister in Christ responded to “A ‘Drill Sergeant’ Approach VS. a Godly Feminine Approach.” I’m so thankful she allowed me to share. Please seek God’s Spirit’s wisdom and prompting above any human examples you see here or anywhere else. God is the One with ALL wisdom and ALL power. He can give us exactly the best way to approach our particular husbands in every situation. We all need His power in order to be godly wives. We can’t do this in our own strength!

This is so true – our approach matters greatly.

My husband is constantly reminding the children and me at times that it’s often not what we say but how we say it. My husband is a “command man” and used to be a bit harsh when I was controlling and disrespectful. I smiled when I read your examples because I struggle with saying, “You need to…” to my husband a lot and he will usually respond by raising his eyebrows and jokingly saying, ”I need to?”

It took me a long time to learn how to approach my husband without him becoming angry or feeling as though I wanted to control or change him. It also took the power of the Holy Spirit to renew my mind and give me a heart that desired my husband’s good above my own.

God, through the Apostle Paul, exhorts us to “let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). This was what changed my marriage – when I laid down my desire to have my husband act a certain way and began to seek how I could love him and encourage him and meet his needs. This was and – at times still is – a struggle for me. But when I approach my husband like a drill sergeant its mostly because I want something really bad that I’m not getting and I’m not living out Philippians 2:3-4 which I believe describes the mind of Christ that we are to let be in us. ”In whatever you do, don’t let selfishness or pride be your guide. Be humble, and honor others (your husband) more than yourselves. Don’t be interested only in your own life, but care about the lives of others (your husband) too.”

A lot of times we feel justified in the way we speak to our husbands thinking thoughts like. ..

  • “He needs to do this”
  • “God wants him to change in this area and its my job to let him know, if I don’t, he will think this behavior is okay.”
  • “Why do I always have to humble myself and build up his ego? I am just helping him be selfish.”

(please see comment from Peacefulwife about these statements at the bottom of the post)

These thoughts do not come from Christ, He doesn’t think like that.

He wants to use [us] to love our husbands with His love, and if our goal is to love our husbands, our approach will glorify God. I remember one time God helped me to approach my husband in a feminine way that he still mentions at times. I spent many years trying to be my husband’s Holy Spirit, I would see things that “I” felt needed to be changed or did not meet “my” standard of what a godly man is and tell him what he needed to do. I thought I was practicing Galatians 6:1 which says, “Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.”

My problem was that I skipped over the gently and humbly part and you know what – I fell into sin big time and usually we ended up in a huge argument. I would walk away thinking, “See, he just can’t take correction.”

The truth was my approach was not godly – it was self-righteous and I had deceived myself, just like the next verses say (Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.) I was fooling myself.

So after God revealed this to me, I begged him to help me – and He did. The time I mentioned earlier where God helped me we were laying in bed and I looked over at him and asked,

“Baby, may I have your permission to speak into your life?”

He grabbed my hands and literally almost cried. He responded, “Of course, Baby, the way you just asked me – I am open to hear whatever you have to say.” He said he felt respected. Then I proceeded to tell Him what I felt the Lord had showed me and he received it. I knew this was God and I went to sleep with a joyful praise to Him in my heart.

If we ask God for wisdom on how to approach our husbands, He will give it to us. We just must be open and humble to obey God when He speaks and be led by His Spirit. From my experience, God’s ways work – and usually (not all the time) –  if you go to approach your hubby and it ends up in an argument, you are trying to get a result using the means of the flesh instead of the Spirit.

I think a good and very godly and feminine example to study is Esther when she came before the king. She didn’t demand that he not kill her people, she sought the Lord and approached her husband in a way that allowed God to move on Hs heart. She didn’t have to rely on her flesh using manipulative tactics, she trusted God. And when she approached the king, it was with honor and respect. She said, “If it pleases the king….” And He responded by offering her half the Kingdom.

This is God’s way a wife is to be gentle and meek [meek = bridled strength] – this is precious in the sight of God. It doesn’t mean that you are a doormat, it means you are wise. If we feel that our husband doesn’t deserve to be talked to this way, then it is our heart that need changing.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

I do want to note – that if this wife had used that respectful approach with her husband with her words, but really held contempt or bitterness in her heart – it would not have worked. God had purified her motives and her approach and motives were working together by the power of God’s Spirit – THAT  combination greatly impacts a husband for Christ.

Let’s talk about the thoughts this wife was having…

  • “He needs to do this”
  • “God wants him to change in this area and its my job to let him know, if I don’t, he will think this behavior is okay.”

The problem with these statements are, we could set ourselves up in our hearts as if we know better than our husbands what they “should” do. It is possible that we may see something they could do better. That happens sometimes, but if we are not careful, we could be approaching our husbands with pride, self-righteousness, judgment, or contempt when we focus on what they “need to do.” What are our motives in wanting to address sin in our husbands’ hearts? Our motives are so key! Are we listening to God’s voice or to the enemy?

There are times when we do need to speak into our husbands’ lives, but it needs to be only at God’s prompting and our motives must be pure.

God actually can speak to our husbands even without our help. Sometimes He may prompt us to silently wait and pray. Other times He may prompt us about exactly when to speak, what to say, and how to approach our husbands. This requires great sensitivity to God’s Spirit and a constant “abiding in Christ.” (John 10 and 15)

If we go off in the strength of our own flesh, we will probably either respond in ways that are too passive or too controlling. Both of those things are destructive. The goal is to be Spirit-filled and Spirit-led, sensitive to God’s voice, and totally obedient to His Word and His prompting for us in each situation.

It is easy for wives to try to assume the role of the Holy Spirit in their husbands’ lives. That role is already filled by the real Holy Spirit. He does an excellent job at convicting and changing people. We do not. We are not deity. If we try to be God to our husbands, our approach will be destructive. We must be careful not to exalt ourselves above our husbands or as equal to or above God in our own hearts. If we approach our husbands about a sin in their lives, it must be with great humility on our part.

It is also easy to fall into the role of the accuser in our husbands’ lives. That role is also already filled – by Satan. Let’s not cooperate with the enemy! If we try to join forces with Satan, our approach will also be destructive. Our husbands need loving, respectful, humble, gracious teammates – not a prosecuting attorney.

May God give each of us His wisdom about how to approach our husbands and if we should approach them about various issues as we seek Christ with all our hearts! (To Speak or Not To Speak, Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin)

  • “Why do I always have to humble myself and build up his ego? I am just helping him be selfish.”

If a wife’s goal is truly to help her husband be selfish and prideful, that is a sinful, destructive goal. The real goal here is that we would seek to walk in obedience to God in the power of His Spirit, being filled with His Word, treating our husbands with honor and respect because we love God and love our husbands with God’s love. God does not call us to condone sin or endorse or respect sin. The goal is for us to build up our husbands, to encourage them, to inspire them, to bless them, and to do good to them according to God’s definition. The wife who wrote this post was describing her view of respecting her husband from a worldly standpoint in this thought. Before we understand God’s design and commands, we may misunderstand His Word for us. But as we seek Him and walk in obedience, we realize that He is not asking us to stroke our husbands’ ego, inflate his sinful sense of pride, or promote sin at all – but to bless our husbands and to be instruments in His hands for our husbands’ benefit.

RELATED:

How God Used an Old Truck and a Wife’s Faith

How She Apologized for Her Disrespect – Calming the Storm

Biblical Submission Does Not = the Husband Is “Always Right.”

Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin

REMINDER:

If you have severe issues in your marriage – actual abuse, uncontrolled mental illness, active drug/alcohol/gambling addictions, criminal activity, unrepentant infidelity, etc… – please don’t read my blog but seek godly, experienced, trustworthy, one-on-one counsel.

The Salvation Army – resources for those in addictions and in abusive situations

Celebrate Recovery – Christian addiction recovery

www.xxxchurch.org – for Christian porn/sex addiction help

The National Domestic Violence Hotline (not a Christian based site)

 

0 thoughts on “"God Showed Me How to Approach My 'Command Man' Husband"

  1. I wholeheartedly agree here.
    However, this is where I struggle. Do speak like that takes some self-respect. It is so hard for me to have self-respect when I feel so rejected and u nloved. Its not that I dont want to be respectful to my husband, its that ive been chewed up and spit out. Im not thinking, “he doesnt deserve this”. Its more like, “how do I consistently show him respect when I dont even respect myself”? My husband has made me feel very rejected, very unlovable, very worthless. I WANT to change the relationship and dynamic, but im hurting so much. Sometimes its all I can do to just smile at him and try to be positive in my demeanorn. Cuz I certainly dont feel like that. Its not an excuse, its just where im at right now.

    1. HDHC,

      My precious sister!

      I believe that God desires us to respect Him above all, to respect ourselves, and to respect others – in addition to loving Him above all, loving ourselves, and loving others.

      Have you ever read Lies Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss?

      I would love for you to check it out if you have not.

      The good news is, what your husband says doesn’t need to be (and shouldn’t be) the measure of your worth. What God says about you is the truth! He gives you your value – not your husband. I long for you to find all of your identity, purpose, security, contentment, strength, confidence, and hope in Christ alone!

      Then you will be overflowing with the power of God’s Spirit and you will have the wisdom and power you need to reach out to your husband as God desires you to – from a place of infinite strength in Christ, not from a place of human weakness, or being curled up in an emotional ball.

      How is your time with God going this week? I promise that you MUST have that time with Him. You will have zero power apart from God’s Spirit, His Word, and His regenerating and renewing your heart, mind, and soul.

      Much love and a HUGE HUG!

      1. My time with God is going slow. I am trying to get in more scripture reading. Yesterday I came home from work and instead of spending time with God-or my kids- I crashed in bed and napped while my husband laid next to me and slept (he works the night shift). I pray consistently. I am trying to spend time with women who can encourage me in prayer, and in being a good wife. U am attending church regularly.

        My husband doesn’t say much- not even in criticism. But thats part of the problem. He says nothing. And then when tempers flare frustration rises to the surface and argument ensues, he says “I dont love you”. This is hard to get over. It was 8 months ago that he said this. And even though he says now, “I love you”‘ his actions tell me he is resentful and unloving.
        I try to be loving, peaceful, positive. But through it all I feel rejected. Im trying to show grace, im trying to trust God for a future of love and healing for our marriage. I am giving my husband the freedom to make his own decision to love me. But the waiting really hurts.

        1. MHMC,

          I’m glad you were able to sleep yesterday. I am sure you were exhausted. The things you are doing are good. The pain you are experiencing is real. And only Jesus can give you the power you need to overcome victoriously. You must have that time with God alone in fervent prayer and Bible reading. I pray that you might make that your greatest priority. It is the only way you can abide in Christ and be filled with His Spirit to have His wisdom, love, power, strength, courage, joy, and peace to handle this situation well and to respond in His power instead of in the flesh.

          How are you doing with bitterness, my sweet sister?

          1. I dont know if I feel bitterness. I know resentment pops Up on occasion, but its short lived. Im trying not to focus on his neglect and silence. Im trying to go along my merry way, enjoying my kids and my time without him. Im trying to praise him when he joins us for activities. Im trying not to criticize, but rather just remain silent when he does hurtful things. Its not easy. I know that I am susceptible to sin. Im teying not to tear myself down when I screw up, but just move on and try again. Its amazing how much your blog has stuck with me. Im finding myself doing and saying things I have learned herex and then seeing the results exactly as they were described. (Positive AND negative). I am thankful for your support and encouragement. This would all be so much harder without it.

          2. HDHC,

            You are so dear to my heart, my sister. My heart breaks with your pain. Sometimes I wish I could just sit with you, cry with you, and pray with you. That would be amazing! But I am glad you are seeking God. I’m glad the blog has been a blessing

            There may be times when God may show you that you need to address sin in your husband’s heart. That will take much wisdom and sensitivity to God’s Spirit. It is more complicated because your husband is not a believer, if I am remembering correctly. “When My Spouse Is Wrong” addresses that, and “Confronting Our Husbands’ Sin.”

            There are times when it will be important for you to ask for what you need and desire – but the tricky part is then to be ok with whatever happens after that (unless you are being sinned against in a major way, like infidelity or there is an addiction to drugs/alcohol or something or abuse going on).

            The key to all of this- what you need to do and say and how exactly to respond – will be to be overflowing with God’s Spirit. Then He will speak softly in your ear, directing your every step in the most amazing ways.

            If there is resentment or bitterness- which would be very tempting in this situation – I pray you can lay it before God and allow Him to help you remove all of it – that stuff is so very toxic!

            Praying for you to really focus on time alone with God, opening your heart to Him, waiting on Him, being still before Him, asking Him to increase your faith and help you to grow, receiving all that Jesus has done for you on the cross, and praying for Him to work in your heart.

            if you need some help, you can search “prayer” on my home page, and find some prayers to help you pray.

            Much love!!!!!

          3. I am currently reading Gary Chapman’s “Desperate Marriages”. Like you, he gives examples of how both spouses can contribute to breakdown, and gives examples of changed behavior (even if it is one sided at first). He also gives examples of what motivates our spouses behavior, and why expressions of love and appreciation are so necessary when trying to heal the relationship. So far its a perfect companion to your blog.

          4. This’s where I was for a long time bitterness resentment lack of knowledge and experience I finally find a sin in me and I’ve been praying the last couple days to God to forgive me and opened my heart and embrace Jesus. The short period of time that I have been taking time and study and reflect on myself for the first time acknowledge my fault my..mhmc readying her post I see myself in some of your struggle like peaceful wife said the lord and prayers is the only way..thank you my sister

  2. “Why do I always have to humble myself and build up his ego? I am just helping him be selfish.”

    I realize this is an attitude or thought not from God, but it still seems true to me. Have you blogged on this? If not, would you write about it? Building up my husband’s ego and helping him be selfish just seems to me to be so manipulative and patronizing. To do that doesn’t seem to me to be an attitude or thought from God either.

    1. Deborah,

      If our goal is, “I want to build up my husband’s ego, pride, and selfishness” – that is destructive and would be sinful on our part.

      The goal really is, “I want to obey God and love my husband with God’s love, seeing my husband with God’s eyes. I want to honor my husband because that honors Christ.”

      There is a BIG difference between these two goals. If a wife is seriously attempting to help her husband be more prideful or more selfish – that would be a disaster.

      Some wives believe that if they respect their husbands genuinely, that is what they are doing. But when we obey God, we are not empowering or enabling sin. I am not called as a wife to endorse or respect sin. I am not called by God to stroke my husband’s ego falsely or to flatter him or to encourage sin.

      My calling is to genuinely respect the good in my husband, to inspire him, to bless him, to be a safe harbor for him, to gently, humbly, respectfully confront sin at times when God makes it clear that He is prompting me to do so. But if I do need to confront sin, I better watch my motives and my attitudes, because I could so easily fall into pride, self-righteousness, judgment, contempt, or resentment myself.

      I think what this wife was expressing in these two sentences – is what her perception of obeying God looked like at that moment in time when she was walking in the flesh.

      I hope that makes sense! 🙂

    2. Deborah, I think that when we read blogs about marriage or christian books there is a danger in seeing someone’s results and wanting them so walking away and saying. I want my husband to adore me so I’ll use these things to get what I want. That’s just as sinful as yelling and screaming. Our motives matter. When I began to respect my husband it was so foreign to me because I had gone through my life never seeing a godly example of a woman that respected her husband. So to me it felt like I was just building up my husbands ego. But then God because of his grace began to renew my mind and purify my motives. I saw in his word that if I loved Him I would obey His commandments. He is the one that designed marriage and He says that a woman is to respect her husband. So I began to respect my husband as a way to show my love and reverence for Christ. The more time I spent with Jesus and in His word the more I began to change the way I thought and He truly changed my heart where I actually began to respect my husband from my heart. My respect was not to manipulate Him it was out of love and obedience to God and a heart desire to please God and glorify Him as a wife.

      1. Jessica,

        Our motives definitely matter greatly to God. Many women try to start this journey seeking only to get their husbands to love them more – seeking to manipulate their husbands into doing what they want. Husbands and God can see through those motives. And, at first, when a woman doesn’t understand God’s heart for marriage – many women think things like this wife in the post was describing and think that is what God’s design is about. Thankfully, it is not!

        I’m thankful God is able to purify our motives as we week Him. Then we can genuinely respect our husbands without strings or manipulation. That is a win for us, a win for them, and for God! 🙂

        Thanks for sharing!

      2. All,

        I do want to note – that if this wife in the post today had used that respectful approach with her husband with her words, but really held contempt or bitterness in her heart – it would not have worked. God had purified her motives and her approach and motives were working together by the power of God’s Spirit – THAT combination greatly impacts a husband for Christ.

        1. Regarding motives, and I’m making no judgement here, but simply stating what my wife has said. She likes control, and has literally said out loud “someone has got to take you down a peg.” I’m dying for some kind of affirmation, respect, gratitude for the ways I show my love. Apparently they’re not things she finds loving, so it’s my fault for not tailoring my love in ways she receives love.

          Anyway, even if she managed to be respectful and avoid a conflict, if I can see bitterness and contempt in her heart, I can still feel the emotional atmosphere of “taking me down a peg” and trying to usurp my attempts to reconcile.

          Men can tell when women are acting. Acting in good ways doesn’t make him feel any more secure in the relationship, and it doesn’t make him feel respected. He can still feel the conflict in the air, and he can tell that she resents the fact that she has to ‘act’ that way.

          1. Ladies,
            I am sure we can relate to this – because if we realize our husbands don’t truly love us, but are just acting like they love us – imagine the hurt we would feel. It is the same thing for husbands with respect.

          2. Hi april. It’s the middle of the night and I can’t sleep so I started reading your blog which led me here. I haven’t read this post before. AnonyMans comment really got me thinking and I’m concerned that my husband may think that I’m acting. As many other wives have commented at times, I found your site out of a complete situation of desperation to help my marriage and It has been a struggle to NOT have feelings of hope that my husband notices the chsnges I’m making with Gods help and this blog and it sometimes has felt manipulative on my part. (Shamefully) I truly do desire to put God above my husband and respect and love him because that is Gods command to wives. I know and feel that I have improved so much but my husband made a comment the other day that is playing on my mind. We were actually kind of joking about something that he thought id done wrong but I playfully said that I hadn’t done it because I knew I’d get in trouble and that I try not to do things that get me in trouble. He said something along the lines of that when I don’t have to TRY not to do things that would get me in trouble that I’d be on the right track. I continually ask God to purify my motives. But sometimes it feels like I’m still trying too hard.
            My husband is on his trip I told you about at the moment. I’m doing great actually. I feel content and at peace with it and truly hope he is having a good time. ( what a change in me!!) I’m not contacting him but he has been in contact regularly with me. He msgd when he arrived and has been letting me know what he is doing. He even met a tv star at a restaurant he was eating at and told him I was a huge fan and asked for a photo which he sent to me. I feel encouraged but am wary of getting my hopes up. he didn’t hug me when he left which upset me a lot. I shouldn’t have expected it really. Anyway. Do you think this is positive?
            Thank you for this caring encouraging place to go in the middle of the night when my mind is in overload and I can’t sleep!

          3. Bel,

            Aw! Hey, my dear sister! 🙂 I hope you are sleeping now.

            You know, it takes time to learn this stuff, to be sanctified, to learn to let the Holy Spirit have more control. But as He has more control and as we have more practice and experience, it is our new nature to respond in the power of Christ. 🙂 I think at first, we all go through a stage where our motives are selfish and it really is about trying to change so we can try to change our husbands and manipulate them. But God refines our motives!

            I’m so grateful that you are at peace and content in Christ right now. That is awesome that he has been in touch and so sweet of him to get a photo of the tv star you admire.

            Keep your hopes and faith in Christ alone, my dear sister – hold your husband loosely. Seek Christ with all your heart. Seek to bless your husband and to be the wife and woman God calls you to be. We will trust God to work things out according to His will.

            Much love to you!

          4. I just found your reply but it didn’t come through my emails. I haven’t changed my settings so not sure why. Glad I stumbled across it.
            I get what you’re saying. I’m trying not to get my hopes up. It’s hard with any little positive things that happen. But these little things keep me going sometimes and I wonder if God allows these morsels to help keep us patient and trusting.
            Thank you.

          5. April,
            I would like you to pray for me that I can hear Gods voice and be filled with the Spirit. I want this to be a true and lasting heart change to be a godly wife for God and for my husband. I want my motives to be pure and right. I want God to be proud of me and I want to live my life for Him. But I need the opportunity from my husband to give me another chance. Please pray that my husband turns fully back to God. I’m very concerned for him. I would also like prayers that my husbands solid walls against me come down and we have the chance to live our marriage for Gods glory. I hope this is ok. Thank you for offering to pray. We really need it.

          6. Thank you. My husband has told me in the past that he does things to show his love, but that I just don’t recognize it, which I think is similar to what you are saying.

  3. Funny you should mention “God prompting us to respond in a certain way.” This morning, I was hurting over something my husband did last night and I felt God telling me to write it all out before I approached my husband. I needed to get out all my negative emotions and hurt so I that I could talk to my husband about it in a productive and respectful way. I did that as I was eating breakfast and when I talked to him, my husband was incredibly tender hearted and receptive to what I had to say. God is awesome at this!

    1. Stephanie, If you are willing, I would love to hear more detail about how this looked for you. What you felt as you were writing, how doing that and emptying your emotions and hurt helped you talk to him in a different way. How did God use that time to talk to you, etc.?

      I’m just really struggling with this whole “how to share your hurts” thing and your comment seems very practical and helpful — but I want more details, if you are willing! 😀

      1. Sure! Wednesday night, I was feeling hurt by something my husband did. I felt unwanted and undesirable. It was bed time and I was crying and I knew we couldn’t have the conversation then, mostly because we both needed to go to sleep. In the morning, I usually wake up earlier than my husband and as I was in the shower I was going through in my head all the things I was going to say to him and how I was going to say it to make sure that he knew how hurt I was. As I was grabbing my phone to read the Bible as I ate breakfast, I felt an overwhelming urge to write down all the things I was going to say to my husband. As I started writing, I realized that God was telling me to write it all down and then talk to him – to give it to God before I gave it to my husband. By the end, I knew there were things I didn’t need to say and I knew that I could tell my husband that I felt hurt without disrespecting him. When my husband woke up, he actually asked me first about what we needed to do to resolve the situation. I was able to tell him how I felt and he responded beautifully.

        I know for certain that if I had laid in to him before I wrote everything down and prayed, it would not have turned out as well as it did. Thanking God this week for that!

        1. Stephanie,
          Love this!!!

          Sometimes, we really don’t have to say much, our husbands already know we are hurt. I love that you took things to God and He showed you what to do!!

          Sometimes, all we have to do is say, “I am still upset/hurt about what happened last night.” I think we often think we need to share every detail and every single hurt thought, but, that is often not necessary. Of course, the most important thing is that we share our hearts and hurts with God and listen to Him about when and how to approach our husbands or whether we need to approach them at all, or if we need to just take things to God.

          I used to spend hours detailing to Greg all the reasons I was upset. That only repelled him. Now, if I jaut say, “I am upset about X,” he gets the message and wants to do anything he can to make things better. Way less drama and pain for both of us. There may be times we do need to go into more detail. But again, this requires much sensitivity to God’s Spirit. I cannot say that enough!!

        2. Thank you, Stephanie! That is helpful and encouraging.

          God, teach us to cast all our burdens on You, because You care for us in ways that no one on this earth will be able to. Teach us to desire Your comfort and love over any man’s.

          1 Peter 5:6-7: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

          Psalm 55:22: “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”

          Help us to get our eyes off ourselves and to remember that our marriages are reflections of You and Your bride. Help us to reflect Your grace, mercy, forgiveness and unconditional love to our husbands. Help us, God. Some of us (including myself here!) are sensitive women who get hurt too quickly. Lord, help us to see with new perspectives and remind us during those times of hurt of all that we’ve been forgiven of, of all the patience and gentleness that You shower on us.

          Help us to be more concerned with our husbands and others seeing Christ in us versus concerned about any hurt we have as a result of others’ choices and actions. Make us more and more like Your Son – for our good and Your glory.

        3. This’s where I was for a long time bitterness resentment lack of knowledge and experience I finally find a sin in me and I’ve been praying the last couple days to God to forgive me and opened my heart and embrace Jesus. The short period of time that I have been taking time and study and reflect on myself for the first time acknowledge my fault my..mhmc readying her post I see myself in some of your struggle like peaceful wife said the lord and prayers is the only way..thank you my sister

    2. I started typing a comment in reply to this early, but don’t see it – not sure if it’s waiting to be approved or if I didn’t actually hit the post comment button.

      Stephanie, I love what you shared here and was wondering if you would be able to share as much detail as you can as to how this process looked – what you were feeling, how God spoke to you, what did God say to you that took you from a “here to there” kind of attitude where you were able to approach your husband in a respectful way. I’m not looking for specifics of your conflict, but just any more details you’d be willing to share. Thanks! 🙂

  4. Thank you for posting this. I need to hear godly examples, such as this, so that I can see a practical way to put all that I’m learning into practice. I thank God that my “blinders” are being taken off in regards to my own heart issues! I was always counseled to NOT be my husbands “Holy Spirit”, which is true, but to go to God with the issues that I see are ungodly in him so that the true Holy Spirit can speak to him directly. I now see the error in this!

    I shouldn’t be going to God complaining about my husband and begging him to change him for me. I should be going to God and praying the fruit of the spirit over my husband as blessing over him. There is so much power in words and prayer and speaking blessing even if we don’t feel it or see it.

    My sin is in choosing to stay focused on what I am not getting instead of focusing on blessing my husband for who he really is and praising God for creating him. I need to change my heart and to choose to bless instead of curse even when I’m irritated and angry. I need to ask my self why I am irritated and angry in the first place!

    If my heart is in the right place, then my husband could never reject me or take away something that he never gave me- the love, joy and peace of Christ. Christ alone gives me my identity and nothing can separate me from that, even when I feel offended by something in my husband. I need to stand on truth and not on feelings.
    I’m working on it!!

      1. Cara,
        There are times when we may need to respectfully, humbly approach God about our husbands’ sins. And there may be some times when we would, under God’s prompting, approach our husbands respectfully, gently, and by God’s wisdom and power about their sin – seeking for them to be restored to full fellowship with Christ. But – there will be many more times when we are praying blessing and God’s will and His power over our husbands. Our main focus can be praise for God, thanksgiving to God, focusing on the good in our husbands, and focusing on God’s commands for us.

        How I love that last part of your comment! PRAISE GOD that no one, not even our husbands, can rob us of the blessings of Christ that He has given to us!

        1. I totally agree! Personally, for myself, I’ve been spending way too much time trying to “fix” hubby and being co-dependent. I think I’m being respectful only to get a bad reaction from him. This shows me that my heart isn’t in the right place even if my intentions and actions are technically respectful. What an eye opener! I’ve been going through life thinking that my selfish intentions were noble. Who am I to be the fixer? That’s way too much stress and power for me to handle. I’ll gladly give that up to my Lord and Savior! Lord, help me to do this!

          1. Cara,
            This is so good!

            “Who am I to be the fixer? That’s way too much stress and power for me to handle.”

            Oh, if I had understood this 21 years ago!

            I found this quote this morning from Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend in their book Boundaries in Marriage:

            “Marriage is not slavery. It is based on a love relationship deeply rooted in freedom. Each partner is free from the other and therefore free to love the other. Where there is control, or the perception of control, there is not love. Love only exists where there is freedom.”

            Wow.

            May we yield to God and may we be able to give freedom to our husbands as God gives us all a free-will.

            Yes, so many times, I had to realize my motives were sinful when I didn’t get the “results” I wanted from “respecting” Greg and then had to realize that my disappointment was a flag that my motives needed to be purified.

            Thank you for sharing!

  5. Hi April,

    Thankyou for your Blog, it has opened up my eyes to how much I have disrespected my Husband. I pray that God will change me and fill me with the Holy Spirit. My heart is so broken from the abuse and torment my Husband has inflicted on me in recent years. After a period of separation, I returned to the relationship under Gods guidance. I wish I could see the fruits of the Holy spirit in my life but my Husband continues to accuse me of being a liar, a bad parent, stupid and unworthy of everything he has “given me”. I wish I could receive the unconditional love & forgiveness from Him that I show Him. I feel guilty when my daughter witnesses his abuse and angry outbursts. He abused me for 2 hours last night because she was not wearing a beanie from the car to the house (approx. 10 secs). I am always on trial, He accuses me of lying when I haven’t lied, He says he doesn’t trust me, He calls me names and says he hates my family, he threatens to hit me. I believe God wants to change His heart but the waiting is hard, I feel like giving I up, I am concerned about my Daughter.

    1. Lisa,

      Goodness, it sounds like things are a mess. Would you please be able to describe what you mean by the word “abuse”? I am not sure I understand how severe the issues are.

      1. Hi April,
        He will call me all the names under the sun, you can use your imagination. He uses filthy language and aggressive body language (ie throwing things, getting up in my face, bagging the table with his fists). He says I don’t listen, he has never approached me in a loving or respectful manner, its always accusational which causes me to be defensive. He can’t communicate with respect, he says I am useless, stupid, a bad person, and a liar. I try to approach him with Christ like love and forgiveness. He acts like he has done nothing wrong, that I am all to blame. He blames me because he is frustrated all the time and that I make his blood boil and I make him sick. It breaks my heart, I feel like he spews out filth over me, that is how I feel.

        1. Lisa,

          Yikes. How my heart breaks for the dysfunction and pain that is going on here. 🙁

          What do you do when he acts like this?

          Do you have a godly pastor or mentoring couple or biblical counselor you could see? Would he be willing to go with you?

          Are either of you dealing with mental health issues or addictions?

          What was his parents’ marriage like?

          What was your parents’ marriage like?

          If things are as bad as you describe, this is not a good situation. There can be times when a wife may have to separate. I pray for God to give you wisdom about exactly what to do, how to do it, and when. Do you believe you would be safe if you try to leave?

          If you don’t have a counselor, I wonder if you might want to contact The Salvation Army? They may be able to help.

          1. Hi April,

            I usually try to calmly respond to his barrage of accusations. All my replies or reasons are labelled as excuses. I can’t help being defensive because I am under attack, there is no discussing anything, it’s always him accusing me. I have had counselling, he refuses to come. We were separated last year for 6 months, he showed a slight improvement. He takes absolutely NO responsibility for his behaviour, it’s all my fault. I don’t know a lot about his parents marriage, his mother had severe depression. He has also suffered depression but will not acknowledge he has an anger problem and requires professional help. My parent are divorced. I could leave but I feel God telling me to stay. I find it so difficult to honour and respect him when I don’t get treated that way in return and approaching him with love and forgiveness just allows him to get away with this behaviour. It feel like Gods way works for everyone but me and I feel betrayed. I feel like God gave me this awful man to love because I don’t deserve anything better. I try to apply all the Biblical ways in my marriage but it totally one sided and it hurts. I just want peace and love in my home.

          2. Lisa,

            Goodness, so much pain and frustration. 🙁 My heart just aches for you and your husband.

            What did your counselor suggest for you to do?

            What happens if you respond gently or don’t defend yourself? Is your husband in s right mind, from what you can observe?

            How are you dealing with this bitterness toward God?

            Are these things you are telling yourself about God true?

            Is it true that “you deserve” to be treated terribly?

            Do you know other wives in difficult situations who are seeking to honor God in the face of tremendous obstacles and who are clinging to their faith in Christ and experiencing His peace and joy in the midst of the storm?

            What does your husband say he wants in the marriage?

            How is your quiet time and prayer time going? What do you pray for?

            What do you need from God?

            What do you need from your husband?

            What do you need to be whole and healed?

            Praying for you today, my dear sister!

          3. Hi April,
            My counsellor has not suggest what I do during these episodes. I used to argue back then he would attack harder and I would end up in tears. I now stay calm, respond truthfully and try & explain. He accuses me of lying & making excuses. I request he stop swearing & personal insults, he does it more. He is NOT in his right mind. I never sulk anymore, even though I am hurt, I know I am not going to get an apology. I am the peace maker, I never hold grudges toward him. He brings up things that happened 5 years ago, he keeps list of my “mistakes”.
            When I feel bitter towards God I pray and he always brings me peace, it passes quickly. When my Husband is angry he says he wants to end the marriage.
            I am making time for prayer everyday. I ask God for guidance for the Holy Spirit in my marriage. I ask God for clear signs he wants me to stay in the marriage. I pray for family unity. I pray for peace in my marriage, I pray to Honour God in my marriage, I pray that my Daughter is protected. The only thing I need from my Husband is to stop the verbal abuse, I never ask Him for anything. I need peace and stability in my marriage, God provides me with everything I need to be whole & healed. I want a stable and happy environment for my daughter. I am always content and he is never happy. I still believe he has some kind of mental illness, he denies it. His anger response is not normal and he cannot control it. He refuses to do anything about it, he refuses to take responsibility for himself. He tells me he does not care about me or love me. It hurts me and I don’t want my daughter growing up hearing her Father say these thing to her Mother. I feel abandoned by God when he starts ranting, it’s like God disappears and says your on your own. I have prayed for accountability, I pray that someone would walk in or drive by and hear his abuse and confront Him and say this is wrong, because he justifies himself by blaming me.

          4. Lisa,

            It seems to me that you may still need outside, godly, biblical help in this situation. Was he always this way?

            It sounds to me like you are doing pretty well spiritually in general with Christ from what you are describing. I hope you know that God doesn’t disappear when your husband sins against you.

            I don’t know exactly what God desires you to do. I don’t like how things are going right now. I am praying for God’s wisdom and provision and resources for you. And for His healing for you both. I pray for God to bring peace and stability into your home, as well. And I pray for God to give you wisdom about if you may need to separate for a time if your husband refuses to change.

            Sending you the biggest hug!

          5. Hi April,

            Thankyou. He has not always been this way, after he suffered depression and was medicated things started to go down hill. It’s the only thing I can pinpoint. I have always felt it may have had something to do with the medication. A recent separation did not help much. It made him more untrusting and bitter. Thankyou for your prayers, much love xo

          6. Lisa,

            As a pharmacist, I can tell you that there are medications that can alter people’s personalities. I wonder if he has talked with his doctor? Of course, with men, depression can manifest itself in anger and lashing out rather than crying the way it may with women.
            Praying for wisdom and healing for you both, my beautiful sister!

          7. Dearest April,

            Thank you for acknowledging this as sometimes I feel like I am going crazy. He refused to talk to his Doctor about this. He is now off the medication and has been for a couple of years. The rage calmed down considerably after he stopped taking it. It is still a problem however. He is like a ticking time bomb and is always on edge.

          8. Lisa,

            You can feel like you are going crazy if you have someone reflecting back things to you that are not reality and that are extremely warped and negative. That would require TOTAL filling with God’s Spirit to handle, in my view. I know you said you believe God wants you to stay. I don’t want to ever pressure you to do anything against what you believe God is calling you to do. So, I will pray for God’s wisdom for you in this very difficult situation. There are times when no matter what a wife does, the husband is very unhappy. Sometimes his issues are his issues and don’t really have a lot to do with you. You may just be the target and his choice to blame things. From what you are describing, that may be the case. I am not there. I don’t know either of you – so I can only go on what I am reading. But my heart breaks for you both! I know you both must be in such pain.

            Was he this way before you got married?

            And he is not addicted to any drugs/alcohol, correct? Was he ever addicted to drugs?

            Does he ever apologize or extend “an olive branch” for hurting you?

            Does he treat everyone like this?

            Was he severely scarred or wounded in the past?

            Where is he spiritually, do you know?

            Does he ever talk about wanting to be different or does he ever acknowledge that he has an issue with anger/rage/hatred?

          9. Hi April,

            Thankyou so very much for your support.

            Yes he was like this before we got married, however he showed improvement after treatment for depression and coming of the drugs he was taking (I believe they we part of the problem) He does not have any addictions. I don’t believe he has been severely scarred or wounded in the past. He is Catholic, he believes in God. He has told me he prays for things such as harm to my Brother, and pity on himself such as why did you give me such a terrible wife. He believes that because he is baptized that he will go to Heaven regardless. He does not believe in forgiveness. I fell he is far away from God, blinded by religion.

          10. Lisa,

            He prays for harm to your brother – your biological brother from your family, you mean?

            He does not believe in forgiveness, meaning, he does not believe he should ever have to forgive anyone? Or does that mean he believes no one should ever forgive anyone?

            Do you know if he believes that he is sinful and if he believes God forgives him?

            If I am understanding you properly, that is some terrifying and awful theology. Wow.

          11. Hi April,

            Yes I mean my biological brother (My Mother & Brother confronted Him because they thought I was going to have a breakdown) We then separated. He blames the for separating Him from his daughter for 6 months.
            He believes that if anyone does wrong to you, you should not forgive them. He does not ever believe he is sinful or wrong, therefore he does not require forgiveness. I am always wrong, I make him mad and therefore I am to blame therefore his behaviour is because of me. This is why he refuses counselling, because I am at fault and if I change he will change. Again I am always the bad person.

            I am ever so sad, I so much want to see him healed and made whole through God’s love. We make progress then there is a blow up and we start all over again. His behaviour is cyclic, it usually a 3-4 week cycle. He always blames his temper on something I have done to make him mad.

          12. Lisa,

            Just so I am sure I am getting a clear picture here – do you ever scream, cuss, and/or throw things, as well?

            How do you believe a person is “saved”?
            Upon what do you base your relationship with God? 🙂

            If your husband truly believes what you are describing here – then, it seems to me that there will be no “reasoning” with him. It breaks my heart to hear what you say he believes. The human heart is so very deceitful. Before God opened my eyes to my sin, I believed I was “above” having to forgive – which puts me above God, doesn’t it? Since God forgives us and He is perfectly holy. I believed I didn’t really sin much at all. I had SO MUCH PRIDE in my heart – and self-righteousness – that blinded me to the forest of sin in my eye (it was way more than just a beam, it was a forest). That is what pride and self-righteousness always do – they blind us to the enormity of our own sinfulness and wretchedness.

            The truth is – we are all wretched sinners (Rom. 3:23, Isaiah 64:6).

            The truth is – we are all in desperate need of the blood of Jesus to make us right with God. He is the only way to God (John 14:6).

            The truth is – until we have seen the depths of our sin and received the grace, forgiveness, and mercy of Christ, we cannot give those things to others.

            The truth is – if we know God, we will love and forgive others (Matt. 6:14-15). The whole book of 1 John is about how if we don’t love people we can’t love God and how if I hate a person, I cannot possibly love God.

            I don’t know if it is God’s will for you to continue to stay – only God can show you that. But it seems to me that until God opens his eyes, this is who this man is and he will not change for anyone but God. It will take God’s Spirit to open his eyes to his sin – just like it took God’s Spirit to open my eyes and to open anyone’s eyes to sin. Some questions I would prayerfully consider if I were in your situation (you can answer them privately or you can share answers, whichever you prefer – the main thing is for you to take these questions before God and journal about them and seek His face, His wisdom, and His leading for you):

            – Am I able to accept that I cannot change him?
            – Am I willing to accept, love, and respect him (not his sin – but him) as he is even if he continues to be this way?
            – Am I willing to understand that he is either spiritually dead or in a spiritual coma and completely unable to hear God at the moment? That he is spiritually in very critical condition?
            – How does God desire me to partner with Him (I Peter 3:1-6) to draw my husband to Himself so that I am not a stumbling block and so that I don’t get in God’s way in my husband’s life?
            – How does God desire me to respect Him, respect myself, respect my daughter, respect my marriage, and respect my husband in this trial? What boundaries and limits does He desire me to have with my husband?
            – Am I exposing our daughter to something that will be too toxic for her?
            – What do I need to do so that I am as close to God as possible, being nourished spiritually, abiding in His Spirit, abiding in His Word?
            – Am I able to disassociate myself from what my husband says about me, realizing that he is imprisoned in a deadly, sinful, deceived mindset and that he cannot see spiritual reality right now? Am I able to refuse to absorb the wrong things my husband says about me, recognizing that many of the things he says are lies and are are not true?
            – Am I able to pray for God to give me His mind, His heart, and His eyes for my husband?
            – Am I able to let go of any bitterness and forgive my husband?
            – Is it right for me to trust my husband if he will not repent? And if I cannot trust him right now, but I am staying here – how does God desire me to handle that?
            – Am I safe? Is my daughter safe?
            – Is there anything I might be doing that could contribute to the toxic atmosphere in our home that God desires me to change?
            – What resources does God have for me in this situation?
            – What are my motives in wanting to stay?
            – What would my motives be if I decide I need to go?
            – Am I willing to love my husband with the love of God, holding my husband loosely, allowing God to do the working and changing in him?
            – Am I willing to seek to bless him no matter how he responds?
            – Am I willing to seek to obey and honor Christ alone in my relationship with my husband rather than seeking to please my husband when he is being unreasonable?
            – How does God desire me to respond when my husband blows up?
            – Am I able to reject any lies my husband says about me and any unjust accusations and cling only to what God says about me in His Word? Am I secure in my identity in Christ?
            – Am I able to hear God clearly?

            Does he have any problem with you going to counseling on your own?

            How did he act when you were separated before?

            Why did you decide to go back?

            I don’t have the answers you need – but I know that God does! I am praying for His clarity and wisdom for you. I want to see God draw your husband to Himself. I have seen some husbands for whom it took a wife leaving for them to repent. Of course, I have also seen some situations where the wife stayed and God opened the husband’s eyes. I don’t know God’s plans for you or your husband. But I pray for your husband’s eyes to be open to see his sin and need for Jesus. I pray he might experience the grace, forgiveness, mercy, and spiritual abundance of Christ. I pray for healing spiritually for you and for your marriage. Please let me know how we can pray for you, our beautiful, precious sister!

            Resources:
            Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas – has several chapters on dealing with angry husbands in a godly way
            The Salvation Army – may have counseling that would be very helpful – they are quite experienced in helping women in abusive situations

          13. Sometimes, music can help lighten the mood, can pry open our hearts, can speak truth, when we ourselves can’t. Christian music and lyrics have power of their own. Once, when my husband was furious with me for his personal emotional reason (we were visiting his parents), I simply sang a worship song.

            Here is a Polish worship song that is called: “You, the light of the day.” I love the words.

            If your husband doesnt know Polish, thats fine, too. You can sing it anyway! Here is one version:

            The words are as follows:

            1) “You, the light of the day, have come into my darkness,
            You have given me sight, to see
            Your Face and Look of Love
            with which you melt my Fear.

            REFRAIN

            I am here to worship , to give You praise,
            I am here to testify: You are my God
            Good and full of grace, so totally excellent
            above all things you are valuable to me

            2) You the King of the times, raised for ever
            in Heaven your Throne shines
            You came to Earth, to become man
            so that my home might become paradise.

            3) And I cannot repay you with anything
            for Your love and for Your Cross x3

            Call on the Name of your Lord,
            and He will save you!
            —-

            1. Ty światłość dnia wszedłeś w moje ciemności,
            dałeś mi wzrok, abym mógł
            widzieć Twą Twarz i Spojrzenie Miłości,
            którym roztapiasz mój strach

            Ref. Jestem tu, by wielbić, by oddawać chwałę,
            jestem tu, by wyznać: to mój Bóg.
            dobry i łaskawy, cały tak wspaniały,
            ponad wszystko cenny dla mnie jest. x2

            2. Ty czasów Król, wywyższony na wieki,
            jaśnieje w Niebie Twój Tron
            zszedłeś na Ziemię, by stać się Człowiekiem,
            by rajem stał się moj dom

            Ref. Jestem tu, by wielbić, by oddawać chwałę,
            jestem tu, by wyznać: to mój Bóg.
            dobry i łaskawy, cały tak wspaniały,
            ponad wszystko cenny dla mnie jest. x2

            3. I niczym nie odpłacę się
            za miłość Twą i za Twój Krzyż! x3
            Wezwij Imię Twojego Pana, i On zbawi Cię! x4

            Ref. Jestem tu, by wielbić, by oddawać chwałę,
            jestem tu, by wyznać: to mój Bóg.
            dobry i łaskawy, cały tak wspaniały,
            ponad wszystko cenny dla mnie jest. x4

          14. Hi,

            This was a moment when we were travelling to his parents. He always would blow up on these trips. That time, he got so furious he got out of the car, was stomping around and saying he’s not going anywhere, and it was all our fault (me and the kids).

            Well, I sang this one I think:

            ‘I’ve placed my trust in the Lord and so I don’t have to fear anything any more.
            I’ve placed my trust in the Lord and I don’t have to tremble.
            I believe in Him, because He has the power to be victorious over the sin in my heart.
            I believe in Him, because He has just that power.”

            Zaufałem Panu i już niczego nie muszę się lękać.
            Zaufałem Panu i już niczego nie muszę się trwożyć. Wierzę Mu, bo On ma moc przezwyciężyć w moim
            sercu zło.
            Wierzę Mu, bo On ma właśnie taką moc.



            It’s a good one because it’s a testimony to faith and God’s power, and at the same time points to our sin, without pointing the finger. I sing of my sin, but anyone listening to it automatically applies it to themselves.

            My husband knows these songs, we like listening to Christian music, so me singing it was not like it was my song and not his. The situation did not escalate, he eventually got back in the car and kept on driving.

            I think its important also for us to realize is there some situation where our husbands feel totally powerless/disrespected. For my husband, this is his parents and in groups of people he does not know.

          15. Veronica,

            I think you have some amazing godly wisdom to share. Than you for sharing this song and how your husband responded. I also appreciate how you see that there are certain situations that are especially trying for our men.

            So beautiful!

          16. Dear Lisa,
            I said I would not respond but I think I need to after your response. I am not experienced in helping people in this situation, so please take this comment as a grain of salt. I do not know how to guide you, I will just tell you more of my experience.
            My father ended his life when I was 11. My mother chose to leave him when he started threatening to do so and when he hit her. She did all that she could for him, and loved him very much. He chose his own fate. I’m hoping he made it to heaven because my mother had a dream when I married that he was smiling.
            What your husband believes is nowhere near Catholicism. There is a huge difference between practicing and non-practising Catholics, as I’m sure is the case for any Christian. Practicing Catholics confess their sins regularly and only then can they take communion, otherwise that’s literally called stealing holiness in the Polish language. In Poland you can confess privately at the start of almost every mass there is a priest waiting. In the US I had to make an appointment for confession… Catholicism is all about Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins, what he did for us on the cross. But if we do not accept His sacrifice for our sin, then we condemn ourselves (look at the difference between Judas’ and Peter’s response to their sin – Judas dispaired at redemption, Peter did keep hope, did not dispair). St. Faustina is a famous Polish saint who promoted this emphasis on the Divine Mercy of Jesus, that Jesus wants to save each and every one of us. Her mystical experience was very much of seeing that many baptized people WERE NOT BEING SAVED. Her diary is very sobering from that perspective, and it might be helpful for your family to have around to dip into. If it connects with you, you can look up the Divine Mercy chaplet, part of it goes: For the sake of His sorrowful (actually – the word is painful) Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world. (Polish: Dla Jego bolesnej męki, miej miłosierdzia dla nas i całego świata).
            The bizarre and wonderful thing for me about the Divine Mercy Chaplet is that when my stepfather died during his sudden sickness not long ago, he died the moment I was at mass offering him to the Lord’s Divine Mercy, having said the Divine Mercy Chaplet for him. I was not supposed to be at that mass at that time, but at the last minute the schedule was changed. I literally walked out of the church and got the phonecall from my stepbrother that they were trying to resuscitate him at the same time. I travelled to his funeral and found his notes in his folder that he always kept with him, about what he believed to be true regarding UFO’s (he was a UFO junky) – and it was like he had written his last testament of belief there, days before he died. His protestant minister didn’t even talk to him about Christ at the hospital, I asked her about their conversation later. But Jesus always has the last word, and I believe that my stepfather was saved by the intervention of His Divine Mercy.
            Is there a Catholic church that your husband attends?
            Did he have his first Holy Communion (receiving the offering of Christ) and Confirmation (receiving the Holy Spirit)? Could you ask for prayer from the priest privately? Could you have a mass for your husband?

            Much love and hope for your family in Christ,
            Veronica

          17. Lisa,

            Have you read, “Is This ALL My Fault?”

            Has God ever prompted you to respond without defending yourself, if so – what did He prompt you to do?

            What do you believe God may want to change in your heart?

            How is your walk with Christ going right now?

            Much love!

        2. Hi Lisa,

          I hope that things change for you in your marriage.
          My father was abusive toward my mother when I was a child and at one point we left and hid in various peoples homes which was a terrifying experience for me. I was allowed to visit with him which didn’t make any sense. While my father was sinning in respect to himself and my mother, at that point there was a total lack of prayer for my father from my mother’s church (in hindsight). He was totally isolated from all the people that my mom was contacting with even before things got to the critical stage (he also came from an Eastern European country, so was ‘foreign’) and she had a strong social life at her church. He was the ‘bad guy’ and everyone thought my mom was the good one. But for example at my mom’s church she attended a yoga class during this period, in fact still attends yoga, and I believe it influences her belief system and her spouse’s. Her second husband now deceased had a hard time believing in the Holy Spirit. And I can’t remember her passing on positive emotion toward my father, although she served him and loved him in her heart. Indeed, the one time anyone bought anyone a present for anyone in my memory was when my dad took me to buy a present for my mom.

          So while yes my dad was overtly sinning against my mom, it was not all black and white. I don’t know if that helps at all, and Im only talking about my family situation, not yours!!

          Much love Veronica

          1. Hi Veronica,

            Thankyou for the insight you have given me. I see some similarities and some differences. I have my family and church members & myself praying for my husband. I never speak ill of him, I only speak the truth about his behaviour. He is also Eastern European. I buy him gifts often, so does my family. They have openly shown him love and support up to a point where they were so worried about me that they confronted him. As he is incredibly prideful this did not go down well and now he hates them. It’s very sad. It would be easy for me to be full of anger and resentment toward him but I keep that very much in check. I want so much for his heart to be healed.

          2. Hi Lisa,
            Wow, Ok, I’ll tell you more about my family, maybe this will help because there are some similarities (of course, everyone is different).
            My dad also was very prideful and cut himself off from my mom’s family when he overheard a comment about it “being a shame that he is so poor” at their wedding. My dad was Polish. He was caught after WWII in anticommunist activities and was sent to a political prison as a child of 17. He later did everything to leave the country and had a scientific research career, ultimately coming to the US in search of ‘democracy.’ But first of all at that time it was the Cold War and there were safe Polish people and unsafe Polish people (working for the Communists), so my father restricted his contacts to the safe people which was one family which we saw a few times. He also did not attend church. Partly, he had had a bad experience with his first communion as a child (the priest made him wait a year because of the content of his confession, which was a complete denial of Jesus’ Divine Mercy). The second reason he did not attend church which I have come up with only recently after attending a lecture on the topic is that at that time people connected with the anticommunist underground often did not attend church because they were being observed. My dad was paranoid about spies and read many huge books on the topic. Additionally, his dad was alcoholic. His family had Huntingtons Disease, and he was afraid of getting it. So you could say he was burdened…???!!!
            Then in comes my mom who was English with a difficult time sharing her emotions. My dad started abusing her before the wedding. She was shocked, and thought he was ill, but she loved him so much that she did not draw any lines. She now says she should have been much more up front with my dad. Ultimately, when things were getting worse, she started to lean on the Lord, and ultimately when she decided she needed help, she says she experienced miraculous situations, and came to believe God was helping her. I remember she had quotes from the Bible posted on her bedroom wall.

            This was their particular situation, but there are some general details about Polish families that I see my relationship with my husband is very, very different from the American guys I knew. The huge plus for me is my husband’s faith, the importance of marriage and family in the culture, and the strength of the RC church here and sacraments which makes the tough times much more easy going, plus the standard is generally no-divorce, although that is changing fast.There are many preset expectations as to how things are done because there is huge attention to detail. Polish people demand alot of themselves, and are amazing at how they juggle everything, and so I think that the element of pride may creep in here. Celebrations for every occasion, cakes, hospitality, cooking, all of these things are very important. Polish women pay alot of attention to how they dress and look. Peoples apartments are spotless. Men expect to be doted on because that is what Polish moms tend to do. Generally that means that food is immediately served when the man gets home, and the marriage bed is cultivated. There may also be a strict division of gender roles, depending on the region where people come from. I do all the shopping and food preparation, cleaning, preparing the children for school, sleep, every situation. (For his end, my husband is an amazing fixer-upper, he can fix anything, and works very, very hard, because its nearly impossible to earn a living here.) Which means if the wife works she must have extra help from somewhere to make this all possible, and as Polish families generally operate in the extended fashion in the smaller cities, the grandparents play a large role in cooking for the family and taking care of the children because women often work full time (part of the Communist history). I have chosen not to work for these reasons and we are working on bringing my mom and mother and law over to help so that I can work too. My husband enthusiastically plays with the children and plans family vacations.
            Very much love,
            Veronica

          3. Hi Veronica,

            Thankyou for your openness, I appreciate that very much. It sounds like you have a wonderful family life and relationship with your Husband. Blessing to you xo

          4. Hi Lisa,

            Sorry to be a bit over-the-top, but I’ve got my last batch of ideas, and then that will be it. I really identify with you in the situation, the fear, and being very afraid for your daughter as well. I was also a single child.

            When I look back at the situation of my mom and dad, these are some reflections:
            1. My dad was depressed. He lay in bed alot. He lost his job which there were not many such jobs and that was that.
            2. My dad was isolated. He did not connect with my mom’s friends. BUT I have read his letters where he was quietly financially supporting his cousin to study in Poland and also financed the publishing of a religious book for his mom’s friend (while being atheist). These people had no idea how poorly he was doing, it was so ironic. If only his contacts could have been fired up…
            3. The one time when my parents actually got into a fistfight, it was bc my mom was afraid my dad was treating me badly. I had no idea I was being treated badly, and really didn’t like the fight bc I was worried about my mom. So the fear dynamic in general was a funny one – my mom worried about me, me worried about my mom. If your husband is not physically abusing your daughter then maybe don’t worry so much about her and work more on your closeness with your husband?
            4. Ultimately as the child in the situation, looking back, whatever happened is not as important as the resolution. I’ve gotten over it all. I have a great husband and three wonderful kids. I found God. What is important to consider is, what is most important ultimately? Ultimately, you will all hopefully meet in heaven. THat is the goal. Heaven for all of you. It would have helped me alot if my mom had earnestly prayed with me about the situation we were in, if people at church had pulled me into their prayer group, if they had laid hands on me and prayed for God to release me from any fear I might have been experiencing, to pray together for my dad to be happier. I totally was not being helped to have a relationship with God at this time, it was all about what to do logistically to survive. It could have been a great opportunity for me to learn to trust in God and see the church as a true help and haven.
            5. With my husband, the start of our marriage was rocky. We got into alot of escalating situations where no rational dialogue helped. I often felt condemnation that I had chosen someone like my dad, and now what about my daughter… Going to confession and taking communion regularly (communion daily) really helped disperse the bad stuff. Additionally, my husband had freelance jobs which means he would wait for a phonecall for a job – total powerlessness, and when he did not have work he had a hard time getting up in the morning. He was not a proactive person, to this day cannot promote himself, and hates to have people supervising him. Ultimately we wanted a second child and I made the decision that I shouldnt work full time as I had with the first, and began helping my husband to find other, fulltime, regular work. We prayed for this, we had a mass just for this to which his best friend came, I went to a work fair for him, I found the Holland character test and he took it…until a friend called and offered him a fulltime job in another city. We took the opportunity and left everyone he knew. We chose not to move to the US despite the economic opportunity because a psychologist advised us that that would isolate my husband even more and make him feel more powerless. Having the experience with my dad, I took this seriously. Its turned out that my friend no longer wanted to run his business…and we are buying it from him! So over 12 years my husband has gone from being a quite isolated, hermit type person to the boss of his own business with several employees. Praise God! We still get into bad arguments but I am learning to loosen my expectations in these situations and that helps.
            6. The other thought I had is, could you help his mom get help for her depression? That might be easier to do at first than to help your husband, and give you more understanding about what helps in these situations, give you a win, and also place the emphasis somewhere else.

            Much love,
            Veronica

          5. Dear Veronica,

            Thankyou for your kind insight. I totally agree with you about the fear dynamic. I am not fearful as I pray over my daughter and request God protect her from harm. I constantly pray that God give me wisdom in each situation and act according to His will and not my fear. I also explain to her that when Daddy is angry it not her fault or Mummy’s fault and his behaviour is wrong.
            I have helped him a lot with his career, he is always dissatisfied. We owned a business together and he turned on me harder that ever, he cannot handle the stress. We are very blessed financially, but he is never happy he always wants more. He makes me work full time instead of staying home with our daughter. I would rather make the sacrifices and be with our child, I struggle with the guilt. He refuses to support me financially, we can afford it. Unfortunately I cannot help his Mother as she took her own life 3 years ago, something I also struggle with.

            Blessings xo

  6. This is very good stuff. 🙂 I really need to keep thinking about this topic as I have a lot of growing to do in this area. I just watched the video you did, April, about confronting your husband.

    This whole respect journey is so….interesting. God keeps opening up new doors for me to walk through and showing me ways that I need to work on respect.

    April, at the beginning, did you still revert back to your disrespectful ways at times? Or, maybe I should say….even in your attempts to be respectful, did it come across wrong at times and kind of backfire?

    Also, after I watched your video about confronting your husband, I had this question.

    What would you do then, after you have told your husband how you are hurt by something he did (and I love the reminder not to argue, that we don’t have to go there!) and then walk away….how do you act afterwards? For me, I can’t just act and pretend that everything is o.k., but what I’ve been doing for the last many months as we have gone through different conflicts is still to make sure that I’m getting his favorite drink in the morning, still packing his lunch, even offered to bless him the other day in the middle of this conflict we are having by taking a big burden off of his shoulders for the day. I’m doing those kinds of things, but I’m very pulled back emotionally and I also find it hard to talk to him in a sweet way. Very hard to say the usual “I love you” when I’m hanging up the phone. Although I did add an “I love you” to one of my emails yesterday.

    My husband responds pretty well to this, some days it takes several days of this kind of behavior from me for him to be ready to talk and hear what I have to say.

    But, am I being manipulative? Am I being Christ-like? If I forgave him, would that mean I should be acting like everything is normal? Oh, I just got a picture of Jesus preparing a meal on the shore for Peter after his resurrection – after Peter had betrayed him. So, what if I prepare a meal, so to speak….what if I’m operating in that kind of forgiveness…..and my husband partakes of that blessing but ignores my hurt? What would you then do?

    I am starting to see more and more how and why you are always reminding us on this blog that you have to be filled with the Holy Spirit to live this kind of life out the right way. Your reminders of this are for good reason, April. Thank you for reminding us of the most important relationship.

    1. Jennifer,

      Oh my – I didn’t even know what respect was for the first 2 years of this journey. So, it wasn’t like I fell back into disrespect – I was still in the midst of it, not knowing what was respectful or disrespectful. I tried to make changes, but without guidance and without feedback – it was VERY, VERY frustrating. I felt like I was trying to learn Chinese without a teacher. And even as it became more clear to me what respect was, I did stumble and fall back into disrespect – and then would repent and get right back up.

      This past weekend, I stumbled in my thoughts – and then said one sentence that could have been taken as disrespectful. (Times like that are pretty rare, normally – maybe a few times a year in the past year, that I have actually said something I regretted. Usually, God’s Spirit helps me catch tempting thoughts as soon as they pop up. This time, I ruminated over a comment where a wife was very critical of my site, claiming that I teach wives to be passive and not confront sin. The more I thought about her long, critical comment, the more I allowed myself to think about negative things about my husband and whether I should speak up more than God has been prompting me to. I began to swell with pride and self-righteousness. It was not good. I don’t want wives to be passive, but I also don’t want them to be controlling. There is this Spirit-filled place in the middle where we are listening to God and sensitive to His prompting that is the goal!) Thankfully, Greg was already asleep and didn’t hear me. I had to repent to God, share my sinful thoughts and temptations with my prayer team, repent to my husband, etc… I do approach Greg about things. I did two months ago about a topic that is big for me – but that time, I knew that God was prompting me and that my motives were right. That is where I want to always be.

      I am fully capable of sin. If I don’t have the time I need with God, if I focus too much on “what Greg should do” or “what I think we should change” if I am not filled up with Christ, if I allow myself to focus on negative things – I can and will fall. I do best when I focus on God’s will and seeking Him for myself. The only good in me is from Christ – if I pull away from Him at all – I will crash and burn.

      I think that choosing to do kind things for your husband in that situation is great. I am sure you can’t pretend things are ok, I don’t think you have to do that. Pulling back emotionally when he has hurt you and hasn’t yet apologized is ok – but you will probably have to guard against bitterness.

      Forgiveness is not the same thing as trust. A lot of us get that confused. I have a video about that on my Youtube Channel “April Cassidy.”

      Love that picture of what Jesus did for Peter. So beautiful! 🙂 Jesus did not ignore Peter’s sin. He did confront him about each denial. But He did it in a godly way, not a bitter, hateful way.

      The only way to know if you are being manipulative or Christlike is to ask God to help you examine your motives.

      If your husband continues to ignore your hurt – it depends on what the hurt is. If it is something small, it may be time to let it go so that it doesn’t consume you and create bitterness and resentment and a foothold for the enemy in your heart and marriage. If it is a big thing, then you may need to confront him again when God prompts you to – and if he still won’t repent, then it may be time to involve a trusted pastor or a godly male mentor kind of guy (again, with much prayer and with God’s prompting). Of course, if your husband is not a believer, he may not be willing to be part of any of that. Again, it will take God’s wisdom to know exactly what to do and how to approach your husband in each situation. He can tell you when to wait and pray or when to speak up and exactly how to approach him and what to say.

      Much love, my sweet sister!

      1. April, thank you so much for your reply and for being vulnerable and honest.

        I saw the comments you are referring to and knew that that must be very painful and would occupy your thoughts. But, interesting how Satan used them to cause your thoughts to start accusing your husband.

        I remember some months ago having this revelation of sorts of how Satan is the one who holds people captive and blinds them to sin and to the love of God. Then, he plays on our minds and starts accusing them to us – reminding us of all they’ve done that has hurt us, etc. If we listen, we fall into his trap and lose an opportunity to show God’s mercy, grace, love and forgiveness.

        I read Sacred Influence (after hearing about it from you) the other night. I think it was the first book I’ve read on marriage that talks about how we as wives should influence our husbands in the way he was talking about. I mean, I’ve read before about a wife confronting her husband’s sin, but the way he wrote or the way I read seemed to show me how my influence can be very great and positive in my husband’s life. In some ways, I felt God was comforting me with that as I’ve wondered for a while now if the verses in 1 Peter are saying that really, as a wife to an unbeliever, I should just keep my mouth totally shut about any and every thing that I think is wrong. To be honest, I’m still struggling with that. I just don’t know. I keep thinking I might be getting in God’s way. I mean, Sarah is held up as our example – and I keep thinking that she had a pretty respectful attitude as she called her husband “lord” or “master”. If we really had that attitude, I wonder how many hurt feelings we would actually end up sharing with our husbands? Well, if we did share, our words would be chosen very, very carefully.

        Oh, God has so much work to do in me! I desperately need to learn how to forgive before I’ve gotten my feelings validated and give grace more.

        I feel like I am at a crossroads of now. I have so many emotions and thoughts all running around. My husband is such an amazing husband, even as an unbeliever, that when we are close, it is very good. The only thing we really lack is emotional intimacy, which is, of course, very important in any marriage. I can see that when I am very close to my husband, I’m pulled away from God. For years, I’ve known that the more filled with God’s Spirit I am, I am kind of pulled away from my husband. When God prompts me to work on respect to my husband, the results are so good in our marriage that my affections seem to lean heavily towards my husband. I don’t know if this is making sense or not….but I know that there is a better balance there. I know I need to be seeking God more, that’s for sure.

        1. Jennifer,

          Yep, Satan knows my weaknesses. A few little thoughts like, “Hmm… am I teaching wives to be too passive? Should I be telling women to confront their husbands more often? Am I not confronting Greg enough? I wonder if I need to talk about X again? Maybe I should talk about it right now.”… And I can get into trouble. I didn’t have the right motives. I had really been through a difficult month this past month with rewriting half of my book and doing intensive revisions for over 3 weeks, sickness in our home, Spring Break, extra work in the pharmacy, medical issues… It was a spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausting time. I was running on empty and my flesh was weak. It doesn’t take much to tip me back toward control – especially if I allow my thoughts to begin to drift from God. It can also be easy to fall toward passivity. It takes such sensitivity and the power of God’s Spirit to stay centered and balanced in the right place.

          I know that there are times when I need to address things with Greg. I actually shared some things today that I would like to do in our family. But – I knew my motives were right, and I am not feeling that sense of, “I need to pressure him to make this happen.” When I begin to feel like it is up to me to pressure Greg – that is a flag that I need to stop everything and get with God.

          I love that book! So glad it was a blessing.

          I appreciate you sharing your struggles and thoughts – many wives have the exact same issues. I don’t know exactly what God wants you to do about every issue. I think that passage is talking primarily about spiritual things.

          Greg and I have more emotional now than I think we have ever had in our marriage – these past few years. But – even when a marriage is doing REALLY, REALLY well – a husband can never begin to remotely meet all of your emotional and spiritual needs. Greg meets a fraction of my needs for emotional/spiritual connection. God is the One who can satisfy my deepest needs. God alone. I have a post about that on http://www.peacefulsinglegirl.wordpress.com. A healthy, godly marriage is a great blessing – but it cannot be the ultimate goal. Greg cannot meet my needs to always feel connected every moment. God can do that. I can’t smother God. 🙂 Here is one post, Thankfully, God Doesn’t Need Space. Here is another post about that only God can meet my deepest needs “Desperate for More.”

          Thankfully, as God totally fills you – you can be closer and closer to God and you can also love your husband more with God’s love and see him more from God’s perspective. You don’t have to leave him behind for you to grow in Christ. I promise! I used to believe that, too, but as God’s Spirit floods your soul, you can have His peace, joy, contentment, power, strength, wisdom, etc… AND you can be a better and better wife.

          There does have to be some degree of separation from your husband emotionally/spiritually. I know that seems weird. Here is a post about The Separation-Leads-to-Greater-Intimacy Paradox in case you haven’t seen that one.

          I love being on this journey! Praying for you to really throw yourself into seeking Christ with all your heart!

      2. I pray a lot but the Bible study I really fail at. I have tried for years to learn to read and study the Bible. I want the relationship that you describe with Jesus but I just never feel like it is happening. Over time I have tried less and less, I guess from discouragement. I know in my head the Truth but the relationship part where His Spirit changes me is what I hunger for. I do have a fear of God and hell that keeps me from straying when I feel discouraged. I just keep praying for him to show me how. I wish you would do a post for beginners on how to read and study the Bible.

        1. Linda,

          I’m so glad you WANT that relationship with Jesus! That is the first step. 🙂

          Are there things you feel like you might be holding back from God?

          What are your biggest fears?

          What are the things you believe you need/desire most in life that you can’t live without?

          I would suggest watching/listening to David Platt’s sermons about studying the Bible. You can find a lot of his sermons at http://www.radical.net. Many are also on Youtube. You can google “David Platt how to study Bible.’

          Here is a post about how to be filled with the Spirit that may be a good place to start, as well.

          Much love to you!

  7. Thank you April. I do have my church for counseling but they require u to go to a life group to get more than 1 counseling session which is fine but with kids and possibly being separated and workin more i really cant right now. Maybe ill check out the sal. Army. Can i ask that you delete my previous post on here if at all possible, if not i understand. Just feel funny having that much personal details out there forever. Thank you. 🙂

    1. S,

      I can delete that comment, of course!

      I think that it would be good for you to have someone to help you walk through this – and to help him, if he is willing to receive help. I can’t imagine the pain you must both be in – I want to see God heal each of you individually and heal your marriage and family. I’m sure your children may need some godly counseling, too.

      Much love to you! I am praying for God to show you the resources and to help you have His wisdom about exactly what to do, how to do it, and when. Most of all, I pray you will be close to Him and Spirit-filled so that you can be very sensitive to His voice.

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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