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The Dirty Garage Epiphany

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From a wife who has experienced great difficulties in her marriage and has continued to abide in Christ:

You know, I was cleaning out our garage today (part of me working on my own habits), and it taught me some lessons. One was on that question that always pops up…

“How do I respect my husband if he doesn’t deserve it?”

So my husband likes his stuff. He has boxes of stuff that he never touches and won’t part with. Much of it sits in our garage, but he is often aggravated by the messy state of our garage, as am I. God has been speaking to my heart about the appearance of my home and my physical appearance. That it would convey respect to my husband if I kept up with these things. And, we’d all be happier.

So I cleaned and organized and donated for 5 hours today. And in the end, the garage looked 100x better. But – a good 30-40% of the floor space is still covered with his stuff, stacked and arranged as it may now be. Old books, DVDs, exercise equipment, etc.

It’s not as good as it could be. And, it’s his stuff to clean up. Only he can do it.

And so goes respect. You can and should clean that up and keep it up the best you can. It’s 100x better than a disrespectful relationship. But. If he still has junk (sin) to get rid of, it will prevent both of you from enjoying the beauty and freedom of a truly working, effective environment. One that is in order–as it should be.

But I’d say the chances of him cleaning up his stuff now that I’ve cleaned the rest of the garage are much much greater! I mean, it’s not all scattered around and mixed in with all the other stuff. It’s a clean, neat garage with a big pile of stuff in the middle!

And that is just what happened to us as I tried to respect him. After about a year and a half, he really hit his bottom, and really was not able to blame anyone for his poor choices.

Respecting a man in sin is quite, quite difficult. Kind of like cleaning a garage around a big pile of junk you know will still be there for an indeterminate amount of time afterward.
But, I’m still so very glad I did it. The respect and the garage. 🙂 It was the right thing to do.

 

RELATED:

Why Do I Have to Change First?

My Husband Doesn’t Deserve My Respect! – VIDEO

My Level of Respect Has Nothing to Do with My Husband – it is about my character and God working in me

Godly Femininity

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46 thoughts on “The Dirty Garage Epiphany

  1. As quoted:

    “And that is just what happened to us as I tried to respect him. After about a year and a half, he really hit his bottom, and really was not able to blame anyone for his poor choices.”

    please share more about that!

    1. Dear broken, this is my story and I’m happy to share more about my journey. Of course, over a year and a half— the details could be a book! But on the issue of the results: my respect empowered him. Not everything he chose to do with that power was good. My decision to obey God became the equivalent of cliff-diving as my partner indulged in controlling behavior at home, leaving his steady job when I was 9 months pregnant, lying to me, and more. Remember, the Prodigal son wasn’t so bad until his father gave him some currency- some power. Then we really saw what was in his heart, and where his character was. But it wasn’t until he was sitting in the mud wishing for pig food that he “came to his senses”.
      So my respect, even as imperfect and stumbling as it was, empowered him and therefore raised the bottom for him. He hit it sooner. But we are partners, so I had to go there with him. But now, though he is not “mature and complete” yet, he has “come to his senses”. He sees the error of his ways now, and is working very hard intentionally and every day to become a godly leader for our family.
      God is good!

  2. Funny. About a year ago, I felt God strongly encourage me to ‘build my home’ meaning, put things in order. I’ve been chipping away at that command with obvious things like unfinished projects and rooms to clean but also with the not so obvious like getting books on teaching life skills to my children and walking daily. Currently I’m also looking to modify not just what’s disrespectful but also the be personal habits that tend to create even mild discomfort for my spouse so as to demonstrate greater thoughtfulness overall. What I’ve noticed everytime is how my husband seems to step up in those same areas AFTER I get my end taken care of. I don’t have to say a thing. It’s as if he really couldn’t see his part to work on until I moved my junk out of the way. And then I praise him like mad and we both feel awesome! Keeping things in order, however, is a whole other challenge…probably for another post!
    It’s nice to know other women have similar experiences.

  3. I love this analogy. It really hit home for me. So many great principles…dealing with your own sin, taking the initiative to reconcile or do the right thing, not covering for your husband’s sin or making excuses for it, waiting on God/husband to make changes on his part. Thanks to the wife who shared her story!

    1. The Peaceful Wife ministry, which I just recently discovered through an Internet search, has changed my life completely. Thank you so much for this ministry, April! God convicted me of the dirty garage syndrome the other day – I show disrespect to my husband when I don’t keep an orderly house, especially our bedroom. To any of you homeschool moms who have the special gift of managing a home and keeping it liveable: Do you have any tips for cleaning and keeping a house together on top of homeschooling. I know this is no excuse, but I didn’t grow up in a Christian home in which I could observe or learn how to manage a home and children. I constantly ask God for strength and wisdom to pull everything together, but I fail miserably. Any tip that has made a difference in your life to get it all together is greatly appreciated! I know “I can do ALL things through Christ which strengthens me!”

      1. Ann,
        Praying for wisdom for you about this. Being home with children 24/7 and homeschooling makes it especially challenging to keep things picked up and organized. I hope some other homeschooling moms/wives might share some suggestions. 🙂

        Much love! It is so wonderful to meet you. I’m excited about what God is showing you! WOOHOO!

      2. Hi Ann,

        This will be the tenth year that we have homeschooled our daughter. It took me a long time to come up with a system that worked for me…and I was raised by a mom who taught me to clean and manage a home. Here are a few suggestions that work for me:

        First and foremost is meal planning. It requires wise time management to plan, shop, prep and cook meals for a family. It is also one of the ways that I demonstrate to my husband that I want to provide good, healthy meals for him to show my gratitude for his diligent work. I grocery shop on Saturday mornings so I plan for one week at a time on Thursday evenings or Fridays. I have a blank calendar that I use to write the meal for each evening in advance. When I plan, I look at our weekly schedule to see what kind of time I will have for prepping and cooking the meal. For example, if I know I will be out of the home on Tuesday afternoon, I plan something on Monday that will provide leftovers for Tuesday…or I make a very simple meal on Tuesday. I have an app, Grocery IQ, that allows me to manage my grocery list and access it from my phone or tablet. I add to the list throughout the week as I run out of items. One trip to the grocery per week has freed me up to have extra time for cleaning my home and saved money.

        I have had to make peace with the fact that the entire home will not be spotless all at one time. (I do keep our bedroom in order for my peace of mind.) Homeschooling is a season in which it can’t all get done. I don’t know any homeschooling mom who is able to pull that off! We may dust one day, change sheets another day, vacuum and clean floors on a different day, clean the bathrooms on yet another day. For a year or so, I kept a cleaning calendar on the refrigerator. Mondays were for dusting the entire house, changing sheets. Tuesdays were about cleaning/vacuuming all floors except bathroom and kitchen floors. Wednesdays we cleaned the bathrooms. Thursdays were dedicated to sanitizing the kitchen and meal planning. Fridays were for meal planning or off days. Saturday mornings were for grocery shopping. I decided early on that I didn’t want my Saturdays to be dedicated to cleaning…I wanted to have fun with my people! If something happens and I don’t get finished, I know I’ll get to it next time.

        Train your children to help! Set a timer each day and have everyone put things away for 10-15 minutes. This is great to do just before Dad gets home. You will be surprised by what gets done…even the youngest can pick up Legos and put them in a bucket. Praise them over and over for their work. We make it a race to see what we can do in ten minutes. Organization and decluttering have to happen first in order to properly clean or sanitize. It’s too much trouble to move piles of stuff around the house when cleaning. I trained my daughter to dust, vacuum and clean bathrooms fairly early on…I just couldn’t do it all by myself. Plus, my daughter will someday manage her own home and I want her to be prepared. We talk about what a privilege it is to care for what the Lord has given us and how hard my husband is working every single day to provide for us. We work together and laugh and have great conversations. When we are working separately, my daughter will listen to music. Whatever it takes to make it more fun. I praise her for all of the work that she is doing. If she struggles to do a good job because of laziness, then we talk about that heart issue. If it is just a difficult task that she hasn’t quite mastered, then I praise her and work with her. I always thank her and tell her what a huge help she is to me. Our kids want to be appreciated just like we do. We do not “pay” our daughter to do chores. Work is a part of life.

        Bedrooms: This may vary according to the ages of your children, but children are capable of being responsible for their own room. Before breakfast, we make our beds, make sure the floor is clean (no random socks, toys, books), make sure clean clothes are put away and dirty ones are in the dirty clothes basket (daughter has a small laundry basket for dirty clothes hidden in her bedroom closet). I make up my bed as soon as I get out of it…it really gives me a feeling of accomplishment and makes the room look tidier immediately. I try to keep all surfaces in the bedroom clutter-free by dealing with them each day. I have learned that it is so much easier to spend five minutes a day (because it is a manageable chunk of time) than decluttering once a week for 30 minutes or longer in the bedroom.

        Bathrooms: I keep a surface cleaner and paper towels in the bathroom to wipe down the sink and counter each morning after I’m done with my hair and makeup. If the mirror has spots, I might also swipe it too. My daughter knows that “her” bathroom better have towels hung up to dry and dirty clothes in the basket.

        Laundry: I feel like I am constantly doing laundry…”The days are long, the years are short and the laundry goes on forever.” : ) My daughter learned to fold her own clothes when she was five… It wasn’t perfect but it was good enough. I fold my husband’s clothes and mine; she folds and puts away her own. That is not to say that I never do it for her, but it is normally her responsibility.

        I hate waking to a messy kitchen, so I always try to go to bed with the kitchen clean and ready for a new day.

        So, this has turned into a cleaning novel, so sorry! I just really empathize with the struggle to maintain a clean home while homeschooling. When I first began this homeschooling journey, I was more than exhausted. Show yourself plenty of grace as you figure out how to make this work for you and your family’s needs. Ensure that you give yourself a quitting time…spend time with your husband in the evenings. It is possible to keep the house tidy AND enjoy your husband. Most men want a well-rested wife.

        In His All-Sufficient Grace,
        Martha

        1. Tears came to my eyes as I read the very helpful responses to my request for tips in “pulling it all together” on the home front. You blessed me with your responses. I knew that in order to lead my children, I must practice what I preached, but failed miserably with each attempt to get my house in order. My biggest fear was that my children would become slobs as adults because of my imperfections. However, in spite of me, my youngest son maintains a room that is the epitome of neatness. This brings me hope! I’m claiming Ephesians 3:20: “God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above ALL I could ask or think.” Okay, I’m off with renewed strength, thanks to those who responded to my post, to tackle my two big projects for today – the kitchen and yes, the garage!

        2. Thank you; I love this! My mom homeschooled me (and is homeschooling her other six) all the way through and I have witnessed her continually renewing her decision to let some things go. It is a grace–not initially built in, but given by God. In this new season of my life, I am going to be there for her and make it as easy on her as I can. But it will still be only a small thank you, a drop in the bucket compared to what she and all you other wonderful homeschool moms are sacrificing… including spotless, immaculate houses.

          By the way… I had to smile at seeing some of my mother’s tips appearing in your post. Especially the one about leaving the kitchen clean every night…

      3. One thing I do is get up 2 hrs before the children. I then have time to shower, bible study, and feed the baby his first meal. I also get a head start on chores and breakfast. We do a top of the hour pickup and straighten whatever room we r in every hour (or before we switch subjects/ activities) and Flylady. her methods are the base of my housekeeping. Try her way then make it your own. A awesome Titus mom told me “you have 2 options, lead or chase the kiddos” I chose to lead by waking early… its easier that way 🙂

      4. Ann,

        I’ve always hated to dust. Then, VOILA! I found out how to make it fun! Put on some roller rink music, like Irving Berlin, and dance as you dust. Use a feather duster that magnetically catches dust as a prop, and just like magic, a chore turns into a performance! The children would laugh at me, then wanted to join in the fun. Music as you clean is wonderful! Make it a regular part of the day, almost like one of your classes. When I taught at a Christian High School, my students and I also cleaned our classroom in the same way, with music, and sometimes dancing as we cleaned. These are all wonderful memories now. 🙂

        1. Elizabeth,

          Love this! Our children were doing the dishes tonight and put on their Bible School music on Youtube while they worked. They sang, danced, and occasionally did some dishes, too. So sweet! Thank you for sharing this beautiful approach that creates such precious memories!

  4. What a great analogy! By extension, it could even be applied to putting an entire house in order–and then keeping it that way. I always seem to have a “junk room,” which isn’t terribly messy or dirty, but which isn’t as neat and orderly as the rest of the house. In our quest to be godly wives, maybe that’s where we keep our greatest weaknesses. 🙂 It’s where I put things when I “stash and dash” before company comes, things I have no other place for or haven’t yet processed to give a place of its own or throw out, like new mail. Maybe being a wife if like that, too. We are all works in progress, but when our home is clean and neat, we feel so much better and the entire household is happier and runs far more smoothly. I love this conversation!

  5. Thank you to the writer of this post! How very inspiring! I am going to clean the house and exercise today with renewed enthusiasm!

    Over the weekend I was listening to some lessons from Francis Chan. He has one particular video where he talks about the brevity of life and how this life impacts our lives for millions of millions of years and beyond. When marriage is challenging or any number of things are getting our focus on this present life, an eternal perspective can be quite motivating to live well to His glory with a sense of urgency.

    One particular video has a wonderful illustration of eternity using a rope as his prop. It’s less than 4-1/2 minutes long if anyone is interested. It’s inspiring!

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=86dsfBbZfWs

    By the way, Francis Chan’s early life was filled with losses of family members and he learned very early that life is brief. It brings his message deeper meaning to know that beforehand.

  6. I love this analogy too.

    However, as i think about what that might look like for me, I am sitting in Starbucks with the man who is responsible for most of the clutter in our house. (We don’t even have a garage.) He would not at this time want me to go home and organize that which is my responsibility, because he has issues with us running the air conditioner. Because he works as a substitute school teacher most of the year to supplement (greatly) his retirement and social security pensions, and during the summer it’s hard enough for us without a higher power bill. But seriously, I think we spend more at Starbucks than the AC bill would cost.

    It is a struggle for me to organize my summer days in a way that makes me feel productive, so I for the most part let him call the shots. If I need to go to a committee meeting with my volunteer work, or to my part-time job, I do. If I want to work out, I also do that provided it doesn’t interfere with his plans. But if he wants to sit quietly at Starbucks, I work on things involving use of the computer. If he wants to sit at home and play his stereo all day, I find activities that don’t require a lot of mental concentration. Organizing my craft room or the kitchen would probably be good choices, but even in the kitchen he’s responsible for a lot of the clutter.

    You have inspired me to take on these home organization projects as soon as I can. Perhaps tonight even. But pray for me to incorporate this without feeling overwhelmed, or feeling “what’s the point?”

    1. Ellen,

      One of the most disrespectful things I ever did was to organize and straighten up Greg’s messy garage years ago – after he explicitly told me not to. But the AC guy was coming the next day and couldn’t even walk to under the stairs in the garage the day before because of the mess in Greg’s side of the garage. So I defiantly cleaned up his part of the garage against his will. He was SO UPSET! I did a good job of organizing his stuff and labeled things in boxes. But he was upset and felt that he wouldn’t be able to find things.

      If it is your husband’s clutter – and he doesn’t want you to straighten it up – that is something to pray about. It would be good if he handles it or if he says it is ok before you donate or organize his stuff.

      Some husbands feel very respected when the house is very clean and organized. Some feel stifled by having a home that “looks like a museum” where everything is always perfectly neat and clean – they feel like they can’t relax.

      So this is a matter of knowing our particular husbands and what might most bless them. 🙂

      Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. Ladies,

    Let’s also keep in mind that some men really feel respected/loved when the house is very organized, some hate it being super organized. There is room for different husbands to feel differently toward clutter.

    My husband likes our house to be relatively in order, but I used to be perfectionistic about it and stress everyone out about having things super clean. He prefers that I not go to that extreme so that we can all relax and have peace. 🙂

  8. This post is adorable and I absolutely love it. 🙂

    My husband and I took our youngest to an MRI today (our oldest came too 🙂 and while we were there, the Disney Channel was on. “Jessie” came on, and though it’s a show I don’t usually pay much attention to (the premise doesn’t interest me a whole lot), I watched it because it was on. I found myself bursting out in laughter at one of the lines that was said.

    (There’s a man in the show who’s a live-in housekeeper/butler, and this episode showed what his room was like. It was filled to the brim with stuff… creepy stuff, weird stuff… a stuffed badger and lots of boxes. The kids had gone in there to take their things back from him, as he was known for confiscating them fairly often. Anyway, the kids had to come back to his room, with the housekeeper/butler, later, and they said, “You’re a hoarder!” His response was, “I’m a collector!”)

    It just made me crack up so badly, because my husband has hoarder tendencies as well, and although we’re definitely not going to end up on “Hoarders” any time soon (his is a relatively mild version), it has driven me halfway to madness at times, the things he thinks he needs to keep. I responded to the line by gasping (and I guess it sounded like he’d said something wrong, like a bad word or something, because it immediately perked my husband up and made him wonder what had been said). I then launched into uncontrollable giggles, because my husband has said to me (repeated times now) “I’m a collector,” when I chuckle at how he seems to want one of everything sometimes. 😛 It was just too perfect not to think it was funny. He responded with mock anger, glaring blankly at me for a few seconds. I said, “Oh, come on, you know that’s funny!” 🙂

    ANYWAY, all of that to say that I can definitely relate with the person who wrote this one. I’m really grateful because over this summer break (I work during the school year, and that’s also when I home school my oldest), I have been focusing a lot on keeping house better and being way more consistent than I have in the past. (Every other summer break, I started strong but then began to wane in my responsibilities, to the point where my husband would come home sometimes and say, “What did you do all day?” I used to get really irate about this question, but then I realized: he is still working his butt off over the summer, and the least I can do to show my gratitude for his sacrifices is to try and keep the house up. It really is a legitimate question, when one has absolutely nothing to do work-wise and the other works 8 hrs and comes home to a messy house. Not relaxing for him in the least bit, I’d imagine.) Anyway, as I said, I’ve been much better at it this summer than I have in the past, and I’ve noticed something else: I used to get really resentful of his little messes (“I clean up ALL this, and he leaves messes everywhere!”) to the point where it truly bothered me and caused me to lose my focus on what MY responsibilities are. Those voices have tried to come creeping back at various points during this summer, but this time I have been combating them, using encouragement from God’s Word, Love and Respect, and this blog.

    When I start to feel frustrated, I remember I’m not doing this for just me, or just him even (though as I said earlier, it would be really considerate of me, when I think of his work hours, to keep the house up regardless of his messes), but it’s an offering to the Lord. I know He wants me to keep my house in order (he is not the author of confusion or chaos), and that, as you so well stated, his messes aren’t really my problem. If he needs my help with something, of course I will do my best… but sometimes he just wants his things left alone and promises to pick them up later. Sometimes that doesn’t happen for a REALLY long time… but that’s OK! I can chose to create conflict in my home by nitpicking about something the Lord led me to do (which is just crazy talk, when you think about it, since God is all about our attitudes and our actions working together positively), or I can chill out a little bit, realize there’s gonna be a bit of a mess, but it’s not the end of the world, and just focus on fixing ME.

    The second approach allows my house to be (mostly) in order while also maintaining a peaceful environment, while the first approach has served to undermine my efforts in the past, causing me to give up on my responsibility because I’m too busy comparing myself to him, AND causes unnecessary strife between my husband and myself. I am an absolute nut job for ever choosing option one! 😛 I suppose I didn’t truly realize that there COULD be an option two, but wow, I’m glad I found it! 😀

    Thank you again for your beautifully written post. (Our garage is a mess too… I should probably go in there and organize after I have our baby but I’m kinda worried about the spiders in there! We’ve seen black widows on multiple occasions… if I do it, I’m gonna need some leather gloves at least. 🙂 )

  9. I am glad I was able to read this ave so many other women’s comments on this issue of his stuff. It really makes me look at the “plank in my eye”. Our home has basically 90% of mine and children’s stuff and 10% is my husband’s. Lol. So his little “collections” lol shouldn’t bother me when I have half the yarn and fabric store and a good part of the toy store scattered everywhere! Lol

    Its funny because I used to scream and nag through the house about his pile of things on the coffee table while standing in a room boobietrapped with yarn, legos (ouch), leftover pizza, crayon on the walls, etc. I only did it when my mom would come to help clean my house (did I really need her help? No) and should complain about his stuff too!

    Learning now not to let outside influences make a mountain out of a molehill. Be it the exterminater, a.c. guy, mom, neighbor… God is the only director of my life and I have learned I need to “first remove the plank from my eye” and rely on Christ for my strength to keep the house clean. And he does give you that strength you just have to realize it. 🙂

  10. I love this discussion! Thanks to the wife for a great post, and for all the comments. I especially identify with Ann’s comments about.
    Aargh this is such an area of struggle for me. God has been convicting me about keeping the house tidy and ordered over the past few years, but it has only really started happening for me since I recognised it as an area of disrespect to my husband (and therefore to God Himself!)

    I don’t homeschool (hardly anyone does in the UK) so I don’t have that extra burden, but I do work, and my husband does long hours but will always help in the house when I ask him to. I try hard not to, obviously.

    Some people are naturally tidy and organised (I am not) and so they probably wonder what the big deal is, but for me keeping on top of mess and muddle takes a massive effort. Like Ann,and some of the others here, I was not brought up to keep house or have any examples to follow so I have been making it up as I go along for years!

    My husband, bless him, does not make a fuss about tidiness, would HATE me to tidy his things, and actually finds a very clean house somewhat ‘unrestful’. In fact, he calls one of my (slightly obsessively tidy) friends “Mrs Perfect House” ! And he doesn’t mean it as a compliment. Lol.

    Anyway, all I would say to encourage anyone who, like me, finds this area a struggle, don’t try to do it in your own strength, and don’t compare yourself to others. But do it to honour the Lord and He will honestly enable you to gradually get on top of things. My home is far from perfect, but it IS much much better than it used to be, and this year I am making real in-roads in this area! Praise God!

    One tip I have discovered: I have found that doing mind-numbing tasks like cleaning the bathroom can be amazing times spent with God. I make up songs and sing to Jesus while I’m cleaning, and have begun to look forward to bathroom cleaning as a time spent with God! I have honestly heard from God so clearly many times whilst cleaning, and this has become a precious time where before it would be a total chore to be bourne with gritted teeth.

    Thanks everyone, God bless, and have a great summer! Happy cleaning 😀

    1. Thanks so much for these suggestions, Sunshine! I love to listen to podcasts by Wayne Grudem or David Platt while I do chores if no one else is around, or sing praise songs at the top of my voice. Fantastic suggestion to use that time doing chores to connect with God through prayer or praise.

      Love this!

  11. This analogy was a very good one. It’s one that I’m going to think about for awhile. At the moment I am quite upset over my husbands deepening dependence on alcohol. He doesn’t get drunk, but its daily multiple beers and in front of our children and drinking with non Christian friends multiple times a week. He denies its a problem and points out all my failings when I talk to him about it. Maybe as I clean up the sin I am responsible for then the things he needs to change will become clear and won’t be hidden. Its all a bit overwhelming as I never thought I’d be in such a situation. If anyone has advice on this I would appreciate it. I don’t talk about it to anyone as I don’t want our church to judge him and if he isn’t telling people it’s not my place to do so.

    1. Anonymous,

      I can definitely understand your concern. 🙁 That would be a difficult situation for a wife. I do think it is possible that as you focus on allowing God to change you, he may eventually have to see that he has a problem. If things are out of control, please contact Celebrate Recovery in your area, there may be some support groups for wives. Also, The Salvation Army may have resources, as well.

      Praying for God’s wisdom for you! And for God to speak to his heart, as well.

      Another resource that may be helpful: Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas.

      Much love to you! And the biggest hug!

  12. Just wanted to add that my husband, while not a neat freak, has thoroughly enjoyed getting hired help to straighten up the house. He seemed to feel like he was caring for me -taking that burden off of me- while also enjoying a refreshingly clean house. I knew of one mom who hired help for housekeeping on a weekly basis. I must admit, the few times we’ve done it, felt awesome and it certainly inspired us all to keep things picked up.

  13. Thanks to all who have shared on this post! I just love how efficient God is in teaching us – opening our eyes – while we are doing things like cleaning garages, toilets, etc. it’s almost as if the physical work opens up the spirit to be open to God. Today as I walked the dog and mowed the lawn I had the best prayer time.

    1. Renee,

      Love this!!!!! 🙂 I agree, when we are working with our hands or exercising, or out walking in nature – sometimes, if we are willing to listen – God has a lot to share with us. 🙂

  14. Thankyou for your prayers, a couple of days after that post that I had such a problem with, God relieved me of anger, bitterness and resentment that I had been praying to get rid of, and the relief has stayed. I have been able to enjoy life and happiness since then. It has been a long process and before it happened I had to resign myself to just accepting that I could never change. I feel like it was a demon that left that has been torturing me since I was 12. After I felt a change, my mind was so used to thinking in a bad way that I had to keep reminding myself that I had no need for that kind of thinking. Pray that it can continue. I have been a Christian for 20 years.

    1. Katy,

      How I praise God for this release from that spiritual prison!!!!! THANK YOU for sharing!!! 🙂 I know that our God who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it. 🙂

  15. This is a wonderful example of respect and denying self, and spoke to me since (currently) cleaning is my weakness. I work full time, my husband and I have a ministry to the homeless that requires several hours/week, and my morning time with the Lord is usually about an hour or two. I think “someday” when my life isn’t so full, I will have more time to clean. Sometimes I wonder if I’m being lazy in my quiet time with God, because I love it so much, but I’m wondering if He wants to shorten it a little and have me clean part of the time each day. My husband and I left the house this morning at 5:55 to drop me off at work while he goes to a men’s shelter to sing worship music and share a devotional. Anyway, as we were walking out of the house, he mentioned in a polite way that the house was getting a “little” messy. (he is so sweet, it’s actually a disaster). I probably need to be way more grateful and make a habit of cleaning something every single day. Thanks for sharing this post! Praying God transforms our messy house and uses me as a vessel. 🙂

    1. Amber,

      It’s hard to stop having time with God to clean the house!!!! I am SO with you on that! But maybe you can find a way to praise God or listen to amazing sermons even while you clean. That will definitely make it a lot more interesting. 🙂

      But I have to say – working full time and then hours of ministry each week makes it really hard to have time to clean!

      I praise God for what He is doing in and through you!

  16. This is where I finally had to draw the line in my own situation. I lived for years in clutter and stuff, a lot of which was my husband’s accumulated things from his family that we moved twice and never used. I went through depression, I didn’t have room to accommodate the situation for our babies, and finally after a while I started decluttering. 99% of the stuff he didn’t miss. The 1% he did miss, I finally stood up and said I couldn’t live like this anymore, and someone had to do something. I couldn’t school in a mess, operate in a mess, function in a mess, and that was all there was to it…..if this be treason, make the most of it, was pretty much what I said. I had had it up past my ears.

    I know that was probably extremely wrong, but I could no longer handle it.

  17. I found this site from a video on the Headcovering Movement. It is very difficult for a man to read much of this without almost feeling guilty. How much more a man will appreciate and cherish a woman who has this attitude towards God and her husband. It is amazing how easily it is for a man to lead if he realizes that he is leading a wife who is first submitted to God and then to him. When a wife constantly contends, she demonstrates that she isn’t really interested in what Scripture says and her husband will be reluctant to trust her with most anything as he knows she is not truly following God. Certainly this is not a license for the husband to be unloving, but he will none-the-less want space between him and his wife (instead of closeness) as being around her produces constant friction and her demands are likely driving him to the point of madness. Thanks for your witness and dedication to follow God’s perfect plan.

    1. Tim McMeans,

      It is wonderful to meet you! Men are welcome here, too – even though I teach women. A lot of men read my blog and use it to “reverse engineer” things. We always appreciate hearing a masculine Christian perspective in our discussions.

      Thank you so much for sharing how difficult it is for a husband when a wife argues or fights against him. I think it is important for us to think about what a frustrating situation that would be for our husbands. And thank you for sharing your honest response as you read the posts here – how a Christian man seeing wives seeking to honor Christ points him to long for more godliness in his own life, too, it sounds like.

      May God richly bless your walk with Christ and your marriage – for His greatest glory – my brother!

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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