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“I Won’t Give up My Bitterness!”

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We Have All Been Hurt by Others:

Sin against us HURTS. Deeply.  Sin is always wrong. God always hates sin. He hates every sin people commit against us – whether it is in thought, motive, word, or deed. He hates the sin people commit against Him. He hates our sin, too – even the ones we think are “trivial” or that we justify to ourselves. God is absolutely holy and cannot tolerate any sin at all. (Verses about God’s holiness)

We all have reasons to be bitter – reasons not to forgive – that the world would say are “justified.” The more mistreatment we have endured, the more “right” we have to cherish our bitterness. We may even (wrongly) think we have the right to be bitter against God if He allowed something awful to happen and didn’t stop it, or He didn’t answer our prayers the way we thought He should have.

  • The problem with this worldly wisdom is that our bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness is major sin against God. 

God Commands Us to Let Go of Our Bitterness:

If you want to see where bitterness leads – observe someone who has been holding on to bitterness for many decades. Unrestrained bitterness leads to hatred, contempt, malice, a desire for revenge, and a desire to hurt or even kill another person. It completely consumes a person’s life and becomes their sole idol, many times.

There are few things that can kill a relationship as effectively as bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness. In fact, God can and does often heal marriages from infidelity, pornography addictions, alcoholism, and drug addictions when people repent from these sins and allow Him to change their lives. But unrepentant bitterness causes a marriage to be unable to be healed. I held on to bitterness myself for many years, until God showed me that I had to choose – Jesus or my bitterness. I could not have both.

We may think that if we forsake our bitterness, we are saying that another person’s sins were okay, or that it didn’t hurt us. But that is a lie! God never glosses over sin – and yet He forgives, though He is perfect. We are certainly not above God. We can affirm that someone’s sin against us was very wrong, hurtful, and destructive and that it was not at all okay. And then, in God’s power, we can forgive. If we don’t forgive, we open a door for the enemy to enter and conquer our souls.

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32

“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:26-27

A wife wrote to me a few years ago, “Don’t take away my bitterness! It’s all I have left!”

Bitterness Is a Deadly Poison to Us:

Bitterness must be quickly tended to as soon as it sprouts. It is evil – and it grows rapidly. The longer we allow it to grow and the longer we water, feed, and nurture it – the more painful it is to tear it out later.

Bitterness is a terrible trap, my dear sisters (and brothers)! It is a device of our enemy to attempt steal the gifts Jesus has provided for us through His death. Bitterness grieves the very Spirit of God and we lose His power in our lives – then our sinful nature has more and more control, not God. Bitterness hardens our hearts until we can no longer even hear God’s still small voice.

God commands us to forgive and to let go of bitterness – not because the person who sinned against us deserves to be let off the hook, but to bless US so that we can stay in close fellowship with Him and experience all the fruit of His Spirit and abundant spiritual life (Gal. 5:22-23).

We forgive because God forgives us. It is a decision of the will – not the emotions. We forgive because we love God and want to obey Him in everything. We forgive because we need to be forgiven by God. We forgive because forgiveness sets us free from Satan’s snare! Our goal MUST be to get rid of every trace of bitterness so that we can experience the power of God’s Spirit working in and through us to enable us to live holy, godly lives.

In releasing those who have hurt us and what they have done, and in deciding not to make them pay us for their sin – we can have God’s peace in our hearts. God says that it is His place to take revenge, not ours. (This doesn’t mean we trust unrepentant sinners or stay if we are not safe or the other person is not willing to rebuild trust.)

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse… Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:14, 17-21

  • Either those who sin against us will turn to Christ and Jesus will pay for their sins against us with His innocent, perfect, holy blood – and He will change their hearts and they will grieve over their sin.
  • Or those who sin against us will pay for their sins themselves in hell forever.

There will be justice, ultimately, for the wrongs we have suffered. And there will be justice for the wrongs others have suffered at our hands, as well. God never ignores sin or sweeps it under the rug. He is just. He is righteous. He is holy. 

Replacing Bitter Thoughts with Godly, Holy Thoughts

We must take each thought captive for Christ. Every time I realize I am thinking a bitter thought, I must repent, turn away from it, confess it to God, and replace it with the truth of the Bible.

ie:

Bitter thoughts: “My husband doesn’t really love me. He hasn’t done X for me in years! If he loved me, he would know I want him to do X. I’ll show him! I’m going to give him the cold shoulder for the next 3 months. Let’s see how he likes that!”

Holy thoughts: “Let me write down the ways my husband has shown love to me lately. (If he is in unrepentant sin and has truly not been loving, I may need to write down that he is ensnared in sin and that he needs deliverance and needs me to pray for him. I may need to pray about confronting my husband about his sin if he has not repented. It is not a godly thing to pretend that sin doesn’t exist.) I can also write down what God says about me and my identity in Jesus. I can focus on all of the good things God has done for me. I can sing praises to God. I can write about my pain. I can pray about my pain and ask God for healing. I can ask God to show me how He might want me to bless my husband and how He might give me the power to overcome evil with good. I can ask God to help me better understand my husband if I am misunderstanding his masculine perspective. And I can seek ways to do good to him just to please Christ.”

When we realize just how much God has forgiven us and the great price for which He paid for our sins – Jesus’ death – we cannot help but respond with humility, true repentance, and gratitude. And when we have received the mercy, grace, and forgiveness of God for our billions of dollars worth of sin debt – we cannot help but respond with mercy, grace, and forgiveness toward those who sin against us (Matthew 18:21-35 – the Parable of the Wicked Servant).

God Uses a Believer’s Forgiveness for His Glory!

What an incredible witness for Christ it is when believers extend mercy, grace, and forgiveness, rather than hatred and bitterness. Think about the example of the church in Charleston, SC a few months ago. What a glorious testimony to Jesus that these believers forgave the man who murdered their loved ones. That didn’t mean that what he did was okay with them at all. What he did was awful – the very epitome of evil! But what they did was supernatural. Because of their beautiful example, the gospel was proclaimed and exalted around the world on secular news stations!!??!? Are we ready to allow God to use us to shine for Him, too?

What miracles might God have in store in our lives and for His kingdom and to bring the lost to Himself if we are willing to obey Him and not hold on to bitterness?

SHARE:

Is bitterness ever attractive to others?

How have you been tempted by the enemy to cling to bitterness, hatred, resentment, or unforgiveness?

Was it worth it?

Can we possibly bless others with the Gospel and love of Christ if we are consumed by bitterness?

How has God empowered you to experience His victory over bitterness, if you have experienced His deliverance? We’d love to hear your story!

RELATED:

Christian quotes about bitterness

Bible verses about bitterness

Forgiveness

Forgiveness Stories

A Daughter’s Incredible Story of Forgiveness

Righteous Jealousy and Anger

43 thoughts on ““I Won’t Give up My Bitterness!”

  1. Thank you my dear sister for your willingness and honesty.you have encouraged me and I will continue to pray with you for your husband and for you as you walk this journey with Jesus. Thank you for taking time to share.you are a blessing. much love to you

  2. Hi Ms April

    Thanks for blessing me this morning with words of wisdom.

    I think for me the ways I hold on to bitterness are :

    I get stuck in a pattern of familiar negative thinking about myself, and dont trust the process of God renewing my heart little by little. I really struggle with knowing how to be vulnerable to God, and I’m sure it comes from not knowing him very well.

    Please pray for me that I would humbly seek him! And learn how awesome and loving he is so I can have assurance that I’m growing, and not just in a perpetual cycle of unforgiveness, bitterness.

    I long to be 1000 % open with God and other people. (Without getting overwhelmed in my prayers of all the sin I need to confess).

    I believe God will bless my heart, my husband and children , and others in my life as I do this.
    I see tiny steps of change but would love to grow in great strides .

    Thanking God for you,
    Raq

    1. Raq,

      You make a good point! If we don’t know God well, we can’t trust Him. I would encourage you to study the attributes of God and the character of God. This will give you solid facts about God so that you can trust Him more.

      Some great resources:

      – David Platt’s youtube video “Who Is God?”
      – Wayne Grudem’s podcasts from Systematic Theology “The Attributes of God”
      – John Piper’s sermons at http://www.desiringgod.org about the character of God (you can search this at the top of the site)

      I pray that you will continue to humble yourself before God and allow Him total access to the darkest corners of your soul so that He can help you tear out the gangrene and sin and replace it with His glorious truth and Light!

      Praying for God to help you grow greatly in your faith! What a wonderful thing to pray that you will grow in great strides!!!! I pray that with you, my dear sister!

      Much love!
      April

  3. “also started to focus on learning about boundries and emotional detachment, self-control and what I am responsible for and what I am not. I learned that I am not responsible for my husband’s reactions, feelings, sins, salvation, actions, words, happiness, success, depression etc. I have enough of my own”

    This is an awesome comment and I sadly relate much more than I would like. What materials or reading were instrumental in your learning process? Blessings!

  4. Broken,
    Wow! Your story really blessed me! Thank you for modeling Christ honoring ways of obedience in the midst of really hard circumstances. Praying for you and your loved ones today.

  5. broken,

    WOW! Thank you SO much for sharing all that God has been doing in your heart, our dear sister! What a challenging and fiery trial you have been facing. But what beautiful things God is doing in your soul!!!!

    I praise God with you for the way He is getting glory and honor from your painful experience. I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for you!

    Sin does lead to death and condemnation – and hell – if we don’t have Jesus and His forgiveness. And if we do have Jesus and His forgiveness, then He is LORD of all in our lives, and we cannot and dare not hold on to any sin.

    Much love to you! Thank you very much for sharing your story!!! I pray for God to continue His good work in you and for you to choose to continue to allow His Spirit to work in you full blast. I pray for your husband to come back to God and to repent. I pray for healing for your marriage. I pray for healing and spiritual life for your children. I pray for God’s strength and wisdom for you as you navigate each day.

  6. Excellent post. Bitterness is so subtle. I had no idea I was even bitter; in fact, I would have ‘preached’ against it before my eyes were opened. And yet, I was holding on to anger and resentment of things that happened YEARS ago, and dredging them all up in my mind continually, feeding my anger and justifying my willingness to disobey my husband….in subtle ways. I have felt nothing toward him but numbness and anger for years. Almost no hope. Now that I have forgiven him, God has truly given me back my love for him and has allowed me to see him with compassion and mercy. He has given me hope where there was none. Praise God that He forgives even the worst sinners! Unfortunately, though, my husband will not forgive me. He says he is full of bitterness and can’t see getting past it (though he is a believer) 🙁

    1. Hummingbird,

      Praise God for what He has done in your life!!! And I am so thankful that the same God who helped you see and overcome your bitterness can open your husband’s eyes, too, in His timing. And He can heal your marriage and make something so beautiful from it. 🙂

      We will pray for this together, and for God’s greatest glory!!

      Thank you so much for sharing your story!

    2. I am going to be praying for you every day, dear sister, as we walk through this together. What a work He has already done in your life!

  7. I know of people who harboured bitterness and wouldn’t let go of the past. It ages a person. and they are also suffering major health issues as well. I am not saying sickness is always a result of sin. but I believe in this case it is. It also pushes people who love you away. So sad when this happens.
    Great post April! Keep ’em coming!

    1. Anon M,

      That is a really good point, actually, about sickness. I took a continuing education class one time (I am a pharmacist) about chronic pain. The MD who was teaching the class actually said that chronic pain is often associated with high levels of bitterness and unforgiveness. She talked about the measurable differences in pain perception and also in the immune system for people who are content and who forgive vs. those who hold on to unforgiveness. It was shocking to me – but interesting.

      Bitterness is such a prison – but the key is on the inside of the cell. It is a self-imposed prison. I don’t want anyone to have to suffer like that – and it is contagious and can contaminate whole families, churches, or work environments.

  8. Hi April,

    Thank you so much for this platform – its amazing! Its eleven months since my wife separated from me – the smartest thing she has ever done which started me on the craziest journey of repentance, humility, faith, fear, truth and love bringing me into a world I had never known.

    My life is transformed in nearly every area. I went from a lying, deceiving, financially irresponsible and financially dangerous, mind polluted, arrogant, self sufficient pathetic excuse for a husband who looked so shiny on the outside but was filled with shame and fear on the inside from my childhood and which controlled every area of my life.

    My life today is just amazing only because of the love of Christ, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, amazing believers who have stood with me and fervent desire never to go anywhere the person I used to be. After fifty years I just walk in righteousness, I lied for the first time in five months yesterday when I said I had four people working for me not three and it cut me to the core and I am confessing it now.I don’t live on credit anymore, I pay my bills, I spend two to three hours a day with the Lord which goes in no time, I have been healed of several ailments and have an extraordinary relationship with my children which i never believed possible.

    I learned that when a man has trouble being intimate and transparent with his wife shame has an awful lot to do with it and when I finally allowed Jesus to take my shame my world just changed in an instant and literally gets better and more truthful every single day – no lie – it really does. There is such a life in me now I have total strangers crossing the street to ask me what is in me – true story!!

    I said all that to now ask – how can I help my wife to forgive me but its more her friends – they are really bitter. I understand their hurt- seriously – especially because they are often angry that the “perfect” husband every one used as an example had to face his own truth.

    Years ago I put the daughter of one of my wife’s divorced friends through private school. The daughters life got turned around, I think she became a missionary but when the girls mother she recently found out that it was me – I think she wants to kill me, they are all so bitter towards me and I was he last person on earth that she would have wanted the help from But I was messed up like everyone else – it just came out in different ways. Do i just keep praying, are there practical ways to show her? I just don’t want to waste another moment without my wife who I have so seriously fallen in love with now that I have fallen out of love with me!

    1. Gary,

      I LOVE your story! I praise God for what He is doing in your life – it is so amazing!

      I know when God showed me my control, pride, disrespect, self-righteousness, gossip, resentment, bitterness, etc… I had to go to almost everyone in both of our families and repent individually to each one for my sin against them. God showed me I needed to do that to begin to make things right.

      A possible idea to prayerfully consider:

      It may be that you could go to her friends and share that you get what a wretched sinner you were and how God brought you to repentance and is changing you. And then, you can explain that you understand that they will need to see the change continue over time to rebuild trust, and that you would appreciate them praying for you and for your wife and that your prayer is that God might miraculously restore your marriage for His glory. Not that it would be the same as before, but that you would be a husband who brings great honor and praise to Christ and love and care for your wife in a godly way.

      I don’t know if they will forgive you. You don’t have much control over that. If they want to hold on to bitterness – they will answer to God for that. But, perhaps as they get to see God changing you and see that it is real and lasts over a long period of time, they may be willing to begin to rebuild trust?

      And yes! Definitely please keep praying!

      1. Thank you so much April – how many lives you must have saved or turned around through your blog – everything has turned around so significantly for me I can understand that people must be really cautious, I’m sure i probably would be too. Nearly all of my wife’s friends now are divorced or badly hurt by men – and these are Christians!! So they are going to be exceptionally cautious for sure. Because i have been so set free from so much baggage by His Grace I have to be careful not to expect everybody else to be on the same page. I can’t wait to be the husband that I was meant to be and seriously had never realized it was possible…one most incredible thing through this is that I actually start to “get” Jesus love for his people and the vaguest semblance of understanding how much He must hurt and ache for us to be reconciled with Him.

        1. Gary,

          God is SO gracious to allow me to be a little clay pipe through which He pours His love, truth and healing. All of the miracles here are certainly God’s doing! I never tire of hearing how He is healing and working in people’s lives. 🙂

          Perhaps God will use the dramatic changes He has brought about in your life to be a gateway of blessing and healing for your wife and her friends. We will pray for God to open their eyes to Himself and that they might be willing to release all of their bitterness and find healing in Jesus!

  9. Give us this day, our daily bread,
    And forgive us our trespasses,
    As we forgive those who trespass against us….

    In the Lord’s prayer, if you listen to what you are saying, you are asking for God to give you as much grace as you give others.

    1. Anonyman,

      Yep. And Jesus even goes into a discussion on that topic right after the Lord’s Prayer about how if we will not forgive others God will not forgive us.

      This is BIG stuff! We ALL need God’s forgiveness desperately. So, we must all, in God’s power, become master forgivers. It is at the very heart of the Gospel and God’s will for us as believers.

      Great point, my brother!

      1. Having it explained to me that way reeeaaally made me revisit the way I felt about others. Great post, BTW.

        1. Anonyman,

          What blows my mind is that we can sit in church for decades and read the Bible every day and pray every day and think we are serving Christ, and yet hold on to bitterness dearly. I sure did. How is that possible? How are we missing something so foundational? That is scary.

          God showed me in His Word that He counts the way we think about, speak to, and treat others as if we are acting in those ways to Him personally. “whatever you have done (or have not done) for the least of these, you have done for Me.” He showed me that the way I treated my husband and thought about my husband, and loved and respected my husband (and others) – He counts as the way I love Him. That is sobering!

          When we realize it forgiveness and unconditional love and respecting others is not about if they deserve it, but if Jesus deserves it, that changes everything!

          I’m glad this was a blessing. 🙂

  10. Please pray for me. God keeps chipping away at my bitterness and I thank God for what bitterness He has taken away from me, but I am finding that I have bitterness in other areas. Thanks

    1. Katy,

      Bitterness is insidious. Just the tiniest root left somewhere in our souls can quickly grow and spread much poison. Sometimes we think we have ripped it all out, but if any trace of it remains, it comes back.

      This is something we must constantly be vigilant about and ask God to shine the blazing Light of His truth and His Word into the darkest corners of our souls, so that He can help us find every bit of bitterness and we can tear it all out.

      There is such peace and joy in Christ when the bitterness is all gone! I can’t wait for you to experience this freedom!

      Much love, my dear sister!!!

  11. Hey April 🙂 Just thinking about codependecy/idolatry. I remember reading once that when one person in the marriage begins to pull out of the codependent patterns of relating, and begins to get “well”, it is not surprising when they other person starts getting worse. Sometimes that’s because as long as we are still spiritually sick, they can focus on what’s wrong with us which blocks their vision from seeing what’s wrong in them. But when the “other” person gets healthy, that cover or prop is removed and they are left alone with their own stuff. At some point they will either choose to seek wholeness for themselves too or remain in denial about their own sin and wounds. Of course much of the literature on codependency is written from a secular standpoint, so outcomes can follow a predictable pattern unless God gets involved. That’s why I think it is hugely critical to have someone praying with you and for you who has faith and real expectation for God to move, someone who has seen God do the seemingly impossible before.

  12. Beautiful post. Bitterness in marriage is not a good thing because it causes contempt and contempt is the opposite of respect and also the leading cause of divorce, according to some studies.

    As to bitterness, I have really struggled with that one in some challenging situations. The thing is, the enemy comes to kill, steal,and destroy. Even when one’s bitterness is justified and valid, you have already been robbed once. Allowing the wound to fester is like enabling yourself to be robbed over and over again. That’s like letting the enemy steal your peace, kill your grace, and ultimately destroy some of the beauty in life that you may be missing.

    1. insanitybytes22,

      Thank you for sharing! Your perspective is so powerful. Yes, if only we can see the cost of bitterness. It costs us our fellowship and intimacy with God, our abundant spiritual life in Christ, our relationships, our marriages, our sanity, our health… And it empowers us to become partners with Satan to destroy our own families.

      May God open our eyes to the heinousness of all sin – even our pet sins – and may we hate sin the way He does!

  13. April I just want to thank you for always reminding us of the seriousness of sin. The whole Ashley Madison hack has given me a jolt. I realized that I may not do a lot of outward, obvious sins, but I tend to nurse sinful thoughts (such as bitterness). They may or may not be exposed in an obvious way in this life, but nothing–not even our thoughts–are hidden from God and they will eventually be exposed and judged. This is very sobering to me. I love the conviction you have that God doesn’t wink at our sin which I think the church at large often does. Thank you for challenging us!

    1. Anon,

      For some reason, there are some sins that we (corporately) just don’t preach against anymore. Some people talk about the G sins – gossip, gluttony, greed. But there are others that we don’t really talk about too much anymore – pride, self-righteousness, unforgiveness, grudges, hatred, dishonesty, unbelief in God, lack of faith, being afraid of people (rather than properly fearing God above all things), idolatry, taking God’s Name in vain, coarse joking, …

      This is very sobering – to understand that we are much more sinful than we ever imagined – and much more desperately in need of the blood and cross of Christ than we ever realized. But how wonderful to know that God’s love and provision for us is also much greater than we can fathom!

  14. Thank you April for your prayers, and thank you for reminding me of God’s promises ! I forget about this. My faith is still small.

    Yes, I think my husband is still conducting an affair. I was advised not to talk about it, to continue with my efforts, and be aware of my own behaviour. You speak also about 1 Peter 3 : 1-6. I do not know how many times I would lash out at my husband in the beginning if God was not with me. I decided to forgive my husband about the affair from the very beginning. My biggest sin is still judgement which creats bitterness. I have to continue to forgive him. I learned that when I think about my sin I’m more humble and I love my husband better.
    But I still have many conflicts within me.

    One thing I would like to say here… During this time I had a big temptation for an emotional affair with a married husband. I very much enjoyed his attention in the very beginning (I was very weak), but then it got really dangerous. It was a really big struggle. I started to stay away from him, and prayed and decided to obey God and stick to my marriage. I praise God that he was so graceful to me. Now when I think about this I feel disgusted. I know that if I have another temptation in the future, I will have to stop it immediately. I would really like to encourage everybody to pray and obey God if this happens. God is able and He is good !

    Thank you for your support and encouragement.
    I pray that God will heal and restore our husbands, wifes, us and our marriages.

    1. Ev,

      Are y’all still living together or are you now separated, my dear sister?

      It is right to be angry about a husband breaking the marriage covenant. Righteous anger is necessary against sin. But – the temptation will be to slip into sinful anger and bitterness. But if the affair is still going on, there may need to be separation until he is willing to repent and begin to restore trust.

      I’m so thankful God empowered you to walk away from the temptation! I pray for God’s continued healing for you and for Him to bring your husband to Himself and to bring healing to your marriage.

  15. whattheheckthisisridiculous,

    It’s great to meet you. 🙂

    I don’t know much about your situation – but I do know that wives tend to respond well to absolute transparency and to a husband who is willing to rebuild trust and demonstrate accountability and keep promises. Perhaps she is willing to share with you the things she believes she needs to feel safe and secure?

    And, yes, sometimes small things – from a husband’s perspective – can seem like big things to a wife. She may feel that they are indicators of where his heart really is.

    The more one spouse can get rid of all the sin in his/her life and focus on walking in obedience to God and in the power of His Spirit – the easier it will be for the other spouse to trust.

    If she has been feeling that there were big issues for a long time, she may want to see a lot of changes for a long time before she feels that she can trust again.

    If you’d like to talk more about her concerns, I will be glad to offer any insights I can.

    What is you relationship with Christ?

    What is her relationship with Christ?

    Praying for God’s wisdom for you, my brother.

  16. Thank you so much for your response peacefulwife, I will try to respond to some questions however I can.

    Is your husband trying to rebuild the marriage? I believe he is, he has agreed to go for biblical counseling and prayer with me.

    How long ago did he stop the affair? I am really not sure how long ago the affair stopped because at first he would not accept that what he was doing was wrong, it is only recently that he has admitted everything and seems to be noticing taking responsibility for his actions.

    How is your walk with Christ going? I have been so hurt that I was angry at God. I have been swimming in a pool of depression that seems like was just getting worse, until i decided to consult our spiritual counselor.
    I have come to the Lord in confession as I realize how much I had turned away from Him due to the hurt and I how much i blamed Him for my hurt through my whole life.

    What do you believe you need to heal? I believe I need to surrender my will to protect myself and check out whenever life gets too hard.But it is so painful and I do believe the Lord wants to heal me, I do.

    Has your husband been transparent and trustworthy since all of this happened, to your knowledge? I think my husband has been honest, but I really don’t believe he has been all transparent, it is hard to fully trust him now, this is someone i thought I knew 🙁 I just realized that I really don’t.

    What do you want in your walk with Christ? I really want God to take over and to enable me to let go of my marriage. In the sense that I will be letting Him control and determine how he uses it to transform me. I think my main disappointment is from the fact that I had idolized my marriage s much and felt it could shield me or save me from my childhood pain, I did put it above God and God has been showing me that as we process things together. But it has not taken away the pain and feeling that I gave my all for my marriage to someone who has intentionally rejected me.

    What do you want to happen in your marriage?I feel tempted to say I don’t know because of how much I have shut down, but the truth is I want to heal, I want to look at my marriage the way God does and treat it that way.I want peace and total forgiveness.

    What kind of support do you have spiritually?My spiritual counselor is very supportive and we are also meeting with another couple for prayer.

    What are you doing to feed your soul and to help you recover and grow?I have decided to let God talk to me through His word.I do feel like i have been hurt for so long or toiling in depression because I am missing something that God wants me to get, a bigger picture if you will.

    I have shut down so much that I really don’t have anything to say to my husband-nothing. Sometimes I feel like I will lose it completely, just wake up take my child and leave….I have never felt such devastation in my life.

    Thank you so much for this site. God bless you. I really just need God to break through my pain, I pray that I allow Him to.

    1. I Need God,

      My heart breaks so much for you!! I hope to be able to address the things you have shared later today – but I am wondering – what does the counselor suggest you do at this point?

      Because this is relatively recent – I wonder if you are still in shock? Are you familiar with the stages of grief?

      I look forward to talking more with you in a bit!

      Much love!
      April

    2. Hi April

      We went to see the counselor last night. After that meeting I had a bit of clarity on what to do. What I would ask for you to help me pray for and what I feel that God is saying to me in the midst of everything is that His purpose is bigger than me and my marriage. In the ways I feel I have judged my husband through this process I also realize I have judged and blamed God. I need God to turn me around and restore my relationship with Him.I need God to slay my will,layer by layer and cause me to surrender it everyday as I feel anger or pride kicking in.

      I do see that what happened in my marriage touched parts of me that I had not surrendered to God and therefore have not been regenerated – parts of me that I felt i still needed to protect myself and therefore would shut down when i get hurt, part of me that is so afraid of rejection that I have guarded even against God.I believe God is good in answering one of the questions you asked me. I do believe He wants to come through, my prayer is to allow God to come through for me.

      thank you so much for following up on me.Much love and God bless your heart

  17. Hi April and other wives! I wanted to briefly share an experience I had today with quick forgiveness towards my husband. I wont go into too much details but today as I was reading my husband decided to play a not so funny joke on me. He caught me off guard and in reaction to his joke, I broke out in tears because I was so insulted, even though it was not his intention, nor was it sinful. I was bitter over his joke, even though he lovingly apologized for offending me, I reacted poorly and coldly towards him and he silently left the room and went to lay down. Within a few seconds, I felt Jesus tell me that my husband was only joking and was trying to make me laugh rather than offend me, and I felt pretty bad about the way I handled the situation. I decided to go lay beside him and hold him, and when he asked me if I was mad sympathetically I told him I wasn’t anymore and that I was just momentarily insulted and reacted poorly. I gave him a kiss and left the room so he could sleep, in a much better mood. My conscience was clear and it felt good to quickly forgive him and not allow something as small as a joke create resentment towards the man I love. Bitterness only really hurts us, and others in the end, and it hurts our relationship with Jesus. If he could forgive our trespasses, how much more should we be willing to forgive? 2 Corinthians 2:7-8 is a powerful scripture about forgiving others. It says:

    7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.
    8 Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.

    (this scripture is referring to a specific situation in the church regarding a brother or sister sinning against us) however, it greatly applies to us today and how we should be quick to forgive!

    I love my husband, and I don’t want him to swallowed up with overmuch sorrow, and I also believe if we do not forgive, we too, will be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow caused by the bitterness in our hearts.
    When we hold onto bitterness, we leave less room for the Holy Spirit to dwell within us. Bitterness chokes the Spirit from being able to truly work In our hearts. I encourage any wife struggling with bitterness towards their husband to forgive them, and make room for the Spirit to reveal to you how much happier and peaceful your life will be when you let Jesus dwell in your heart rather than bitterness and resentment.

    1. AshleyB,

      Thank you so much for sharing this example! I’m very thankful you listen to God and y’all had peace and harmony so quickly again. That is awesome! I don’t want any of us to be swallowed up with overwhelming sorrow – but to live in the freedom, light, and Life of Christ!!!

      Much love!

  18. If the families of believers in Charleston, SC werre an example of the godly power and glory of forgiveness, the news from Virginia today are a terrible and sobering warning about the destructive power and progressive nature of unforgiveness and bitterness. 🙁

    How I lift up the families of the murdered news anchors to God and seek for God’s kingdom to somehow be glorified in this tragedy. May God use this somehow to bring many to Christ in ways we cannot begin to fathom.

    1. April,
      Thanks for sharing this video. Quite amazing. I don’t understand how he could teach that fast. My brain struggled to keep up. Am looking forward to watching the rest of the series.

      Also, last night I was reading through the comments on this post. Some really great conversations, especially between you, Prophet, and hh. Was thanking God for gifting you all with the ability to articulate things so clearly. I was so blessed!!

      One other note: On another blog this week I read a warning of the dangers of getting into the habit of joking or teasing with someone of the opposite sex and how that can open up the door to infidelity. I thought it was inspiring to use that info to tease and flirtatiously joke with my husband. It effectively lit the sparkle in his eyes. I think it’s part of that idea of being your husband’s “girlfriend.” 🙂 I think one of the gentlemen mentioned being his girlfriend on this post, or maybe I’m wrong.

      1. Julie,

        David Platt does go very quickly!

        I’m glad that those discussions were a blessing to you. 🙂

        I agree – it is good to be careful about teasing – which can easily lead to flirting or be confused with flirting – with other men. But sweet to flirt with our own husbands. 🙂

  19. Wow! I was just looking up bitterness on April’s blog and read your testimony! Brought tears to my eyes. God is amazing! Thank you for sharing all the details also. I am so glad you have found such joy amongst the pain. I will pray for restoration of your marriage, there is so much hope in your story. You have also encouraged me to keep seeking the Lord and obey his leading. God bless you dear sister. x

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