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"I Was SURE I Would Never Make My Husband into an Idol!"



A reminder – please always check anything anyone (including myself) says against Scripture and remember that ultimately we must each seek to do what we believe God desires us to do and we are each responsible for our own decisions.


From a dear sister in Christ whose marriage is facing many extreme difficulties right now:

It’s funny how God works.

Circumstances, test and trials send us fleeing to the Father’s feet for help (usually to tell on and get Him to “fix” someone else for what they did or are doing to us). Such was the case for me. And, while my case is quite legitimate and my need dire, He still has managed to take my focus more and more OFF my dire and legitimate need/case. As I looked up through teary eyes–with every intention of seeing the sympathy and pity in My Father’s eyes, I so desperately needed–I saw myself…MY SELF…broken, yes, but in my true state…as a sinner.

He’s been a mirror to me; and is showing me some things about myself that I just didn’t even know existed. I’m sitting here–having put away (for the time being) every print out and book on marriage, relationships, winning my husband over, etc. It’s not that those aren’t of interest. On the contrary. They are medicine to my aching heart, and aid to my searching soul.

However, the Lord showed me one shocking thing yesterday. The reason I had thoughts of killing myself over this whole thing is because…my husband is my IDOL!

I couldn’t believe it, when God told me. I’m sitting there like “umm…no, Sir!! Thank YOU very much. I don’t even do that!!” Soo… (and don’t laugh), to prove myself right (since I just couldn’t bring myself to even think I was going to prove God wrong) *smh*, I googled “tear down the idols in my life.” That search yielded, among other things, one of your posts “The Biggest Problem in Our Marriages and Our Spiritual Lives” and a few questionnaires.

I printed your post, and glimpsed one of the questionnaires entitled “How Do You Identify Your Idols”. One of the lines in the post is “Are you ready for some painful examples?” I thought, “Ha! I’m ready, because I KNOW, I’m not going to fit into any of these scenario questions!” Imagine my surprise when I saw questions like

  • “What are you most afraid of?”
  • “What do you long for most passionately?”
  • “Where do you run for comfort?”
  • Here’s the one that kicked me in the rear… “What do you complain about most?”
  • “What do I want to have more than anything else?”
  • The one that brought tears to my eyes is “What do you make the biggest sacrifices for?” That one got me at my core, because I knew the answer was NOT “Jesus.”

The answer to all of those questions is – “my husband.”

*Silent awe.*

I couldn’t believe it. I hadn’t even realized this is what I’ve come to.

Before my husband and I reunited, I was SOOO close to God. He was my everything!! It was me and Him all the way. I’d look forward to our time together at the end of the day. He’d be the last thing on my mind, and I’d truly rest in Him every night and wake up to/with Him each day. When my husband came along, none of that changed. As a matter of fact, I drew closer to God, because I was so grateful for the blessing of my husband. I remember seeking God for our son, when everything said having him was almost impossible. God blessed us abundantly!

But then… somewhere along the line …I took my eyes off of Jesus and placed them SOLELY on my husband. Instead of God being the one I rested in and the last voice I heard, it was hubby. When God woke me up in the mornings, hubby (and what he was or wasn’t doing) was already playing through my mind, as if somehow there was a movie that never got turned off. Instead of running to the Word (like I used to…even sleeping with it like a teddy bear in my arms), I’d reach for the cell phone to see what text my “heart” sent for me.


I’m sharing this with you now; but it’s really humbling and heart breaking to see all the damage I’ve done to my ONE…my Savior…my FATHER…my Friend…my true LOVE. I left Jesus for my husband; and propped that man up on God’s throne in my heart (like it was mine to give). Then, I ached literally (almost) to death, because hubby wasn’t doing/being/giving all the things that role requires. I just didn’t realize what I was doing…what I’d done, until God showed me.

So, while I am still praying and waiting for The Lord to redeem me and my husband (and restore our marriage), I am donning my yellow rubber gloves and doing some soul cleaning with God. I need to truly be transformed (from glory to glory) by the renewing of my mind–becoming more and more like Christ each day.


How to Make Your Husband into an Idol

My Identity and Security Is Found Only in Christ!

81 thoughts on “"I Was SURE I Would Never Make My Husband into an Idol!"

  1. Reminds me of this from Tim Keller: I also remember him once saying, “when you lose something close to you, you grieve. When you lose an idol, you want to throw yourself off a bridge.”

    “A counterfeit god is anything so central and essential to your life that, should you lose it, your life would feel hardly worth living. An idol has such a controlling position in your heart that you can spend most of your passion and energy, your emotional and financial resources, on it without a second thought. It can be family and children, or career and making money, or achievement and critical acclaim, or saving ‘face’ and social standing. It can be a romantic relationship, peer approval, competence and skill, secure and comfortable circumstances, your beauty or your brains, a great political or social cause, your morality and virtue, or even success in the Christian ministry.”

    “When your meaning in life is to fix someone else’s life, we may call it ‘codependency’ but it is really idolatry. An idol is whatever you look at and say, in your heart of hearts, ‘If I have that, then I’ll feel my life has meaning, then I’ll know I have value, then I’ll feel significant and secure.’ There are many ways to describe that kind of relationship to something, but perhaps the best one is worship.”

    – Tim Keller, Counterfeit Gods, Introduction

    1. “when you lose something close to you, you grieve. When you lose an idol, you want to throw yourself off a bridge.” This describes exactly what I am dealing with. I have actually thought of jumping off a bridge. If you realize you are making your husband (craving his attention and intimacy) an idol, exactly how do you stop doing it and get over it? If you want to stop but nothing has helped, including lots of prayer and Bible reading.

      Exactly how do you stop the longing, hurting inside, the desperation? I have asked/begged God to help me stop this. I know logically this is wrong and pathetic but I am stuck and desperate. I started this after 40 years of marriage and I have been doing it for almost three years 43 years of marriage and I am a hot mess.

      I wasn’t like this before. I thought I was a great wife but I was horrible and I am working on changing that. I have the most wonderful husband in the world but since I have been reading these blogs I feel like he must not love me and desire me sexually. I keep reading sex is so important and vital to a man and it shows his love for his wife. I have become obsessed with this and it basically is ruining my life. I am so deeply hurt and feel like he would rather do without than be with me. I just want relief from this hurting.

      1. Still trying to get it,

        You may search my home page for:

        – idol
        – idols
        – idolatry
        – desperate
        – clingy
        – discontentment
        – contentment
        – insecurity
        – security

        It is absolutely possible to idolize having sex with your husband, and to use that as a measurement of his love for you. I vote for you to stop reading about men wanting sex so much. Some men want it a lot, some don’t want it so much.

        I’d love for you to focus on Christ and your walk with Him and getting rid of all of this toxic stuff in your soul for awhile before you do anything else.

        God can heal you – if you are willing to lay down all of your desires, dreams, idols, fears, expectations, all that you have, all that you are, etc… and trust it all to Him and seek to obey and please Him alone.

        There is EVERY reason for hope in Christ! God healed me of these idols – and many other women here, as well.

        Much love to you!

        1. “God can heal you – IF you are willing to lay down all of your desires, dreams, idols, fears, expectations, all that you have, all that you are, etc… and trust it all to Him and seek to obey and please Him alone.”

          Well, I AM trying, I want relief more than I can express. I guess I just do not know how to do this. I pray constantly, I just do not know how to do what you say to do. I am trying, I just do not know how to NOT want and how to just say oh well, here it is God, nothing here on earth matters. I wish I was that spiritual but I am not. This will be the last time I post here ever, because I can detect that I am unnerving to you because I cannot do what you and many other women here have done.

          1. Still Trying to Get It,

            No! I am not at all upset with you! This is a difficult and painful process. It involves a lot of wrestling and frustration. It is that way for all of us, please don’t stop posting here. I invite you to check out the posts I suggested and just keep seeking God, allowing Him to speak to you. I believe that as you continue reading and seeking God – things will begin to click.

            I am always glad to hear from you. I totally understand that this is hard and scary. That is why i do this ministry, because I didn’t have anyone to help walk beside me on this road. and it was so hard!

            I want to walk beside you. I am not at all unnerved by anything you are saying. I have been where you are – and I am reaching out a loving hand to bring you hope, not to hurt you. 🙂 Sometimes it is very difficult to communicate without tone of voice and body language, but I have nothing but love and patience for you. I know the pain you are in. I want to help point you to Christ and offer you support and encouragement.

            Much love to you!

          2. Still Trying to Get it,

            I’m so sorry that me capitalizing the IF caused you to feel like I was condemning you. I changed it to smaller case.

            One of my favorite posts about laying down idols is this one, written by a single sister in Christ – “Please, God! Ask Me for Anything But This!”

            I have a video about tearing out the idols in our hearts on my Youtube channel, April Cassidy.

            And here is a post about overcoming idolatry.

            Getting rid of idols looks like – laying things down mentally and deciding that you will be content in Christ alone whether you have those other things or not. It is PAINFUL! But it is SO SO SO worth it! Don’t be discouraged! You are on the right track!

            Sending you the biggest hug!

          3. Still Trying to get it,

            Struggling with the mechanics of “how” was (still is) one of my sticking points, too! I’m absolutely a rule-follower and by-the-books sort. I mean, there are all these women overflowing with the fruits of the Spirit, in passionate love with Christ, and what goes through my mind is “what am I doing wrong? Am I still such a sinner that God won’t even answer my prayer, which is merely ‘God, let me love and desire You above everything else”? HOW do I remove these idols from my heart? I WANT to! I want nothing more than to desire God and to cling tightly to Him. I want no more pain from making my husband god of my heart.

            After months of praying for this, I hit rock bottom, where I no longer even had the strength to think of suicide. THIS is when God reached me. I started hearing the word “patience” and a certainty entered my mind that He is a good God, full of love and mercy, for me, personally. At this point, I also reached out for intervening prayer (on this site, from a friend, and from my pastor) and I feel this made all the difference in the world.

            I hope you will take April’s words and those of others in the spirit of love in which they’re offered, that you aren’t alone and your struggle to abandon your idols isn’t unique. Be patient, read God’s word (Habakkuk really hit home with me, a book about questioning God’s goodness and obeying despite worry and confusion) and know that He is NOT abandoning you to your own devices to figure out how to destroy your idols and replace them with Him in your heart. My pastor assured me on several occasions that God doesn’t play mind games and doesn’t sow confusion. God will take responsibility if you can sit back and let Him, sister! All you need to do is relax, breathe, and get to know Him.

            1. Peregrine02,

              Thank you for reaching out to our precious sister!!

              It takes TIME, tears, struggle, much prayer, and often many failed attempts at this to get to the place of total surrender. And even then, there is a daily total surrender and a moment by moment total surrender and a continual monitoring of thoughts and motives every day for the rest of our lives on this earth.

              So, yes, there is often a climactic big surrender. But then it is a continuing process. There will always be temptations to make other things more important than Christ in our hearts. We must always be vigilant and we are all totally dependent on the Spirit’s power every day to do this.

              When I see disappointment, fear, bitterness, or resentment begin to pop up in my mind, I know I need to hit my knees and my prayer journal and dissect my thoughts, purposely trashing the ungodly ones, asking God to help me examine my heart and mind for sin, and then purposely realigning myself with Christ and His Word and purposely setting Him on the throne.

              I think listening to sermons and reading about God’s character and who He is is really important in this phase, so that we understand how trustworthy and good He is and what it means that He is sovereign.

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

              All of us have been through a long period of struggle, that I know of. The ones who are experiencing God’s peace and joy right now usually didn’t get there in a day, a week, or a month. It took me a few YEARS of wrestling and struggling and seeking to begin to feel like I was starting to get this stuff.

              I don’t want anyone to be discouraged! None of us are beyond the reach of Christ. We are all on level ground at the foot of the cross. We are all desperately in need of Jesus.

              Praying for Him to open eyes and bring clarity.

              Much love!

            2. This is excellent. I have to come to understand my husband has been my idol too.

              I tried so hard to overcome the possessiveness, anger, constant push to resolve issues, etc. I begged God to free me and nothing ever worked. Then God said to me RRR- Rest. Respect. Rejoice. I laughed at how easy He had to make it for me lol

              1. Rest in Him- like you said Be Patient. The harder we push the more entangled we become. These roots go deep and we need to give God time to pull out the root not just take away the symptoms.

              2. Respect- short simple sentences of respect for hubby. No more long winded convos.

              3. And then Rejoice as things calmed down.

              When I applied these principles things changed but then I’d go back to fretting and freaking out and getting angry …but cycle after cycle after cycle God is taking me deeper and deeper into the roots and I’m beginning to see the pain and trauma and lack of trust in Him that leads to rebellion at the root of my idolatry.

              Hang in there ladies! God is for us. And for our husbands and for marriage.

              1. Nicolemannwatt,

                Wow! What God is doing in you is so beautiful. THANK YOU very much for sharing! What a blessing!

                Not only are we fighting idolatry of our husbands many times – but remember – as daughters of Eve – we are also fighting the curse in Genesis 3. I think that is some of what Nicole is describing with the possessiveness and the desire to do things our way and to pressure and push our husbands. I know that was an issue for me. And it still is a temptation – to just run ahead of God and Greg and force my way through. Part of that is that we are going to have an intense longing for our husbands that is coupled with a desire to control him.

                Thankfully – God is able to reverse the curse as His Spirit fills us and we allow Him to transform us. But we must keep our eyes on Christ every moment. I am not exempt! If I take my eyes off of Christ or don’t immediately shoot down sinful thoughts – I will absolutely crash and burn.

              2. Nicolemannwatt..what you shared is SO true.

                With the teachings from April and other blogs I follow I have changed my approach with my husband and things have calmed down. There are days when I want to throw a VERY BIG temper tantrum, but I go up to my closet and cry …or pray, breathe, and tell myself to hold on..God’s got this.

              3. Betsy,

                Woohoo!!!! I am so glad you are not throwing a tantrum!! I know it is tempting. But it will only set you back many weeks or months. So not worth it!!

                Good job turning to God, to prayer, to breathing :), and to the truth about God’s sovereignty, goodness, and faithfulness. 🙂

                Love this!!! What big steps God is helping you to make!

              4. Wow, nicolmannwatt. This is exactly what I needed this morning. I copied your comment onto a 3×5 card so I can keep it with me today. I especially needed to hear the part about “possessiveness” and the “constant push to resolve issues.” Thank you! And thank you peacefulwife!

              5. This is great. I fall into.the trap of freaking out and thrn it is a major step.backwards. Unfortunately my husband holds this over my head and threatens divorce. We r not in a good spot. I.need to trust god more than ever and rest in him.

          4. Dear Still Trying,

            I am praying for you. Prayed for you last night and will be praying again today. Speaking of still trying, I replied to your comments four times last night, and each time my iPad locked up on me. But I feel so strongly about encouraging you that I’m still trying! (Pun intended :))

            Please don’t give up. I am struggling, too (and I’ll admit a lot of it is of my own making). This journey is hard, but very worth it.

            First I must reassure you that April is not unnerved by you. Trust me, if she can deal with me, she can deal with anyone! 🙂 April is a blessing to so many, and I believe God has blessed her with an abundance of patience, love, and a desire to help her sisters in Christ. If you go back a day or two and read some of my comments and our conversations you will see what I mean. I have a good or bad (depending on how you look at it) way of spilling my guts to our sisters here.

            Please keep trying. Keep praying. Keep reading April’s posts. Stay away from other blogs that discuss men’s need for sex (those drove me into a deeper hole) – each marriage is different and has unique issues. I too have idolized my husband and our sex life. I am just now realizing that, and Ive been working on this for a loooong time.

            I can feel the pain in your comments. I have been there, and I slip back there, a LOT. This is a journey, I don’t think we will ever “arrive” this side of Heaven. But we can keep trying, keep pushing towards the goal, keep encouraging each other, keep leaning on Jesus.

            One more thing I wanted to share. I struggle with a lot of issues. For a long time, April kept telling me I had to find my worth in Christ. I’ve been a saved believer for 15 years, but I’d never understood that. She’d say it and I’d get so frustrated because I could not understand it. I even asked one day “what does that even mean!!!” That’s a hard question for a believer to ask, to even admit I didn’t know. It took me a loooong time, but I finally understood. I don’t get it right every day, and I have to focus on my worth in Christ a lot – and I still struggle with that concept a LOT. But I pray my struggles and my journey may encourage you, sister, you are not alone. I am praying you will read our replies and keep reading and keep trying! Please let us know how you are doing.

            With love,

            PS – I haven’t commented much in the last few days because I have been reading, and rereading, and trying to digest so much of this. It’s a lot, it won’t happen overnight. Sometimes the pace is frustrating, but even slow growth is so worth it!

          5. Still trying to get it,

            I just wanted to say that though my situation is different, I feel for you. My marriage is hurting too, and though I keep trying, I find little solace. Remember that your mind is a battlefield, and that ultimately things will work out the way that they should.

            1. Meghan

              Thank you for the reminder that our mind is the battlefield. I can’t begin to describe how my mind works overtime thinking, creating scenarios, planning, scheming, seeking revenge, fearing, and pretty much all dark thoughts.

              In my 12 step recovery world we call that ” the itty bitty sh***y committee “. This is the committee that influences how negative and poor our thoughts can be, thus creating negative and poor outcomes. It’s is SOO easy to join this committee, rather than turn our will and our lives over to a loving God and to extend a hand of love and grace over to our husbands( especially) and to others.

              1. Betsy and Meghan,

                That is why it is so critical that we learn to take every single thought captive for Christ – or our thoughts will go to very destructive places. This, of course, opens the door wide for the enemy to come parading in to ensnare us.

          6. I am sorry to hear your struggle. And believe me when I say it is possible with God. I read in a ministry book called overcoming life by witness lee on livjng stream ministry that we can’t do these things in ourselves. He writes about the Lord allowing us to fail and actually wanting us to fail so we can relise we can’t make it and that we need him to do it in us. By releasing the burdens and struggles to Him he can then take over and then it becomes his reposibily in us to do it not ours. I struggled for ages wondering how on earth you let go! But you simply say I can’t that’s it! Then the Lord has ground and it will be simple and easy for Him to do it. when it’s a struggle it’s us trying when it’s God its a weight lifted off our shoulders and onto His. My experices was my job as an early childhood teacher. This became a big idol for me and i never in a million years could have given my job up I loved it so much. I was then faced with a difficulg situation were i was forced from my home having to leave my kids my job became the only thing I had left to hold onto but It was too far to get too. I said to the Lord you have taken everything don’t take my job too I can’t give it up. Then that week I told the Lord I give it to you bring me peace if this is of you. The next day I handed in my notice and the week I left I was overwelmed with peace within. I didn’t do it the Lord did it in me.

            I hope this helps a little, trust in what the Lord can do in you:)

      2. Still trying to get it,
        Our dear sister, I can assure you April would never be unnerved by you! I’m sorry it felt that way to you, though. I hope you will be open to the idea that she is incredibly kind and patient and LOVES to help all of us when we’re hurting.

        I identify with that incredible agony you described and also the pleading with God to fix things and take away the pain, and yet not understanding why He seemed to not answer those pleas and send quick relief. Maybe He is saying, “Not yet,” because His plan is so much bigger than you currently see.

        Maybe you are already doing this? But if I may offer you a couple of ideas based on what has helped me?

        When you are in the most intense pain, if you can get alone with God where you have privacy and can even cry freely if that helps you….pour out your heart to Him and tell Him everything that is troubling you. I found getting into my car in the evening and parking in a safe place but where no one could hear me worked well. I didn’t hold back anything from Him, I even told Him if I was struggling not to be angry with Him. Then, I’d put in some music that had words that preached God’s faithfulness into my heart. I often played those songs over and over again as I put my head on the steering wheel and just bawled.

        Sometimes I would remember Job’s words, “Though He slay me, yet will I praise Him.” I preached God’s truth to myself over and over and began praying that I would desire whatever He desired for me, because I wanted to learn what He purposed in that pain. I never want the pain He sends my way to be wasted.

        Satan may desire it to crush us, but God is stronger than Satan and God means it for our good. Sometimes we don’t see what that good is in the middle of our darkest hours, but we can cling to God because of who we know Him to be.

        I would encourage you to listen to John Piper’s messages on suffering and joy, or other resources that will fill your mind with God’s truths in an encoraging way.

        And please continue to comment. You have others praying for you and desiring to support you!!

        1. Still trying to get it,
          My apologies– I fear after rereading your comments more carefully I really missed what you were saying. I trust others will do a better job of reaching out to you. But I am praying things start to make more sense for you.

  2. I have made my husband, food, exercise, alcohol, shopping, facebook, approval from others, hiding, denial, fear, worry, social media, anger, codependency, my parents approval, my weight, my appearance, my pride, material possessions, friendships, my marriage, shame, sweeping things under the rug, my treadmill, anti aging skin care, and so much more….my idol. PHEW!!! Not all at once, praise be to God😂

    I do know that I have felt like jumping off a cliff or having a diagnosis of a few months to live as a better way to live than the fear of my husband leaving me. How pathetic.

    1. Betsy,

      I did so many of the same things. But there is so much good news! In Christ, there is healing and hope! He can change us and give us new hearts, new minds, new spirits and new desires as we fully yield to Him.

      We give Him all that we have and all that we are. Then He, unbelievably, gives us all that He is and all that He has spiritually – and one day, in heaven – we will also share all of His inheritance in heaven!

  3. Hello, I need help so bad, after 40 years of marriage, it ended in divorce last September…
    I feel like I’ve been ripped in half, my wife was my idol, she divorced me for my infidelities, even though I never had intercourse with any females, I did have them do somethings to me which were very inappropriate and of the sexual nature… I have repented to Jesus and her, and she has told me, she forgives me…
    I believe her sin of constant rejection of me, over the years, caused my sin of infidelity… It didn’t mean that I didn’t love her, it just meant that I was lonely and evil senses lonelyness and attacks you when your most vulnerable… i realize that now, but she says im to late…
    My wife is a Christian woman, how could she be so cruel…
    I wish somebody could send her the information from this site… I still call her my wife, not my ex, because Jesus said till death to us part…
    If I try to email her this site, she would just delete it, she doesn’t want to hear anything from me, I love her so, I need her so, I can’t explain to you what it would be like to live with someone for 40 years and then have them tell you they don’t love you anymore and divorce you and not even talk to you anymore….Jesus said, You say you hate your brother ((or spouse ) and then you say you love me, I say, you are a LIAR !!! For how can you hate your brother or spouse whom you have SEEN and say you love me whom you have NEVER SEEN …you are a LIAR !!! And Jesus also “ALLOWED” her to divorce me because of my infidelities, but he ” ASKED ” that she not… because he said, I DISPISE Divorce, so i ask anyone that claims to be a christian, would you rather do something Jesus ALLOWED you or what he ASKED of you, and why would a christain do something he DESPISED ???
    It’s overwhelming. I don’t believe she’s getting the right spiritual leadership at her church, they shunned me and never once counseled me, ever,
    I fully believe, they took her side, because of the generous tithe checks she sents to the church with her name on them and not mine, even thou it was my money too… The pastor and his “pastor wife” (not biblical ) took the side of the money, theres no doupt in my mine….
    So what I have read here on this site is seems so true, so real….
    I believe it’s inspired by God , could somebody, anyone, please help me and send my wife the testimonies and instructions of whats a peaceful wife is from this site, The Peaceful Wife and try to get her involved, without her knowing that it was my idea…
    Please, I beg of you in rhe name of Jesus, anyone can contact me e-mail @ ( ) thank you so much.. Iam praying for Jesus to soften her hardened heart, and sweeten her bitterness toward me and i beg Jesus and her for full reconciliation of my marriage to my wife of my youth.. The one i even taught how to drive a car… Please, I am losing all hope… Joe

    1. Apachejoejoe,

      Goodness, I can feel the pain in your heart and soul so strongly. I can feel your wife’s pain, too. Such a mess. 🙁

      There is every reason for hope for healing for you in Christ, Joe! I would love to encourage you to focus on your walk with Him right now and find healing in Him alone – laying down all of your dreams, desires, idols, sins, all of yourself at His feet, yielding control to Him as Lord. He can heal your soul! He can heal your wife. And He can heal your marriage. But healing for you is going to be necessary first.

      You are welcome to search my home page search bar for some terms that lead to posts that may be helpful:

      – security
      – contentment
      – idol
      – idolatry
      – idols
      – desperate

      Until you are in right standing with Christ, healed from your wounds, free from your sins that are so toxic – you probably cannot move forward in a healthy way.

      I invite you to listen to as many sermons from John Piper and David Platt as you can.

      You are welcome here, my brother. Many men find healing here, even though I teach women.

      Much love in Christ to you!

  4. Still Trying to Get It, please try not to be upset with April. It is so very hard to interpret feelings and emotions in writing. I totally get where you are coming from. Especially, when you feel like you are already doing what is being asked of you. I struggle with this. I have watched every single one of April’s videos. It work to change and so hard. I here to pick myself up all the time because I trip and fall every day.

    1. Kim and still Trying to Get It,

      Revelation about what this means, to tear out idols, often comes in phases or layers. We seek God desperately, we don’t understand how to let go of some things, we ask Him to help us let go. We lay things down. We panic. We try to trust. We pick things back up. We realize we picked them up again, we lay them down. We pray. We repent. Sometimes, at first, it can seem so impossible! And sometimes, we are too afraid to really lay things down. There is a lot of wrestling with God that we must do.

      I personally had to write down all of my deepest fears (these were the things that were the opposite of my idols.) and I had to decide, is God who He says He is? Is His Word true or not? If it is true, I must choose to believe Him and trust Him even if He takes me through my deepest fears. Am I willing to decide to trust God and His sovereignty even if He allows my husband to die, or my children to die, or me to get cancer, or our country to fall apart, etc…? Will I trust Romans 8:28-29 that God will use all things for my good and His glory even if it is something I dread?

      You can search my home page for “fear,” for a number of posts on this topic.

      It felt like flinging myself off of a spiritual cliff. I thought I had trusted God all my life. But I really trusted myself and lived as if I were sovereign, not God. I had to study a lot about God’s sovereignty and His character. David Platt’s series “Who Is God” is very helpful for this.

      It is terrifying at first because you don’t know for sure that God will catch you and you don’t know for sure that if you give up all of these things that are most important to you if God can really satisfy your soul and be enough. But you don’t get to begin to experience His peace, joy, power, hope, and the blessings of His Spirit until after you yield to Him. So it feels very scary. The scariest thing I can remember feeling as I started to do this. But then, He catches us. And He begins to allow us access to ALL of Himself. We give all of ourselves to Him, the. he gives all of Himself to us. He replaces the things we thought were such a sacrifice to give up with real treasure. And we realize that we actually didn’t give up anything of value – not compared to what He gives us in return. Then He leads us in what is best for us. We might not see how it is best at the time, but we can trust Him to lead us and we will be able to see it later how His wisdom was much higher than our own.

      Once we do begin to yield to Him and allow him into the darkest corners of our soul to help us tear out all of the toxic sin, and then we begin to obey Him and seek Him wholeheartedly and allow His Soirit to fill us – then we experience His unfathomable peace and joy. It is the most addicting thing ever! He is the only source of Real Love and Real Life. He is the only source of true contentment. He will not let us find contentment and peace and purpose in a thing but Himself because that is the only place those things can be found. He is the greatest Treasure!

      Then He gives us the power to do the things He asks us to do and He gives us the desire to do the things He wants us to do. It is a total renovation of the soul. It takes time, many times.

      I am very patient with those who are struggling because I know how much I struggled and wrestled. And I still have TONS to learn! God is not remotely finished with me yet!

      Much love!

      1. April,

        This was so well said! Thank you.

        One of the future blessings of this journey is that it builds spiritual muscles. So when other hard things come into our lives, our experiencing His faithfulness and joy here, reassures us that He wants to and will do it again.

        I keep a list of the most remarkable things God has done in my life and in my family’s lives. I refer to it when I have doubts or fears.

        Do you know that each situation on that list had some tremendous pain associated with it? Those are the times we get to know and trust Him most! They also are the times our love for Him grows deeper if we desire to honor Him no matter what. It is so richly rewarding!

        1. J,
          I’m glad that was helpful. 🙂

          What a wonderful thing about your list! Thank you so very much for sharing. Yes, it is through the most painful times that we often see God at work the most and that we learn and grow the most, too.

          Love this!

  5. Hi again April,

    I don’t think you can hammer away at this idolatry thing enough, because its not only a prevalent problem in marriage but in the church overall these days. I am guilty of this sin, over and over and it is so frustrating when no matter how much I want to follow Jesus and be competely sold out to Him, I always manage to get sidetracked by my need of a man’s love and all the fearful and hurtful things that has been connected to. It’s a dark idol for me, entwined with the pain and abuse from a rejecting and abandoning father, and the fear of abandonment, which only fuels the intensity so that it can become a very controlling obsessive bondage.

    It is an issue that I believe provides the enemy with strongholds that have to be taken down if we dont’ want to be continuously reinfected by this spiritual malady. I’ve noticed some odd things about how control functions. Control and responsibilty and subsequently blame are close cousins to each other; when we are taking responsibilty and trying to control something that is not our responsiblty, problem or fault, our hands wind up so full of false responsibilty that we have no room for our own actual responsibilty. We can take false responsibilty and we can be given it through false blame or accept it but it works out the same as far as the outcome goes. Hence the importance of being sober minded and walking in inward truth.

    It’s like we are riding horses side by side and I decide that I need to rescue you or take control because I think you are riding recklessly, maybe i am afraid you’ll cause an accident, so I reach over and grab your horses’ reins. I’m no longer paying attention to the responsiblty to direct my horse and keep a proper hold on the reins because I am busy trying to grab your reins and steer your horse and my eyes are no longer on the road ahead. Unless I am a particularly skilled horsewoman, I run the risk of either dropping my reins altogether in favor of possessing yours, which means I’m basically on a horse with no control, or because I kept hold of my reins whilst grabbing yours, I have turned my horse’s head the wrong way and headed him straight into your horse’s side, resulting in us both going down in a wreck and risking serious injury or even death to us and our horses. Trying to control results in being inceasingly OUT of control. It’s a counterintuitive thing, and the scripture that speaks to me at the moment about just HOW counterintuitive it really is is this:

    Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. That’s where i am at the moment, having to admit that I have sought something other than the kingdom of God and need to turn back. |Of course I’m not saying that if you can prevent disaster for someone else you shouldn’t act in real life, such as maintaining control over a horse you are riding whilst grabbing the reins of your temporarily off balance friend whose horse is freaking out, if you can do so safely. The opposite of not controlling isn’t passive inaction, I think. But when our boundaries are distorted by sin and pain and its a way of life, the comparison fits.

    So I’ve much seeking and musing to do, for I’ve nearly gone over the edge because of this. April you can post as many more articles on idolatry and how to defeat it as you like. It’s needed medicine for septicemia of the spirit.

    1. Patricia,

      Thank you so much for sharing! I love the horse riding picture. Very helpful! And I agree about the relationship between control, responsiblity, and blame. I think a place where we get messed up is undestanding where our responsiblity ends and others’ and God’s begins. I know that was a problem for me. I have a post Control and Boundaries that may be helpful about that.

      Our childhood wounds definitely play into these issues, as well. I actually have a series from last week and today on about healing from childhood wounds that may be a blessing.

      Thank you so much for sharing! Praying for God to help us all get rid of all the idols and every trace of sin and to walk by the power of His Spirit in holiness – filled with His joy, peace, and overflowing contentment.

      Much love!

    2. Beautifully written Patricia. I can relate so much. Yes…keep the conversation and writings going about making the wrong things our idols.

      Everyday I pray for Gods will and ask him to keep my eyes focused on him and not my husband.. Seconds later I am consumed with grabbing my husband and the horse he is riding and stearing for both of us..I should say all 3 of us – ME, MY HUSBAND, AND God.

    3. Patricia,

      What a great analogy! Letting others control their own lives is such a relief, isn’t it? I enjoyed reading your thoughts on this.

  6. I really like the idea of writing down my fears. I am going to do this and listen, as Lori suggested to Romans. I know that my of my fears are impeding my walk.

    1. Kim,
      Romans 6-8 is pivotal doctrine for us as believers in Christ! I have some info about that in the post “My Identity in Christ.”

      But studying those chapters in detail would be a REALLY good place to start. 🙂

      And read those posts about fear. The more we know about God, the more we realize how BIG He is and how small we are. And the more we know about His love and sovereignty, the more we realize that the scariest place to be in the world is to trust self or something or someone other than God. The BEST place in the world is to be in the center of God’s will, trusting Him fully.

      Much love!

  7. Sorry to butt in here but, April, can you recommend some works on the sovereignty of God? I’m a believer in free will and I’ve always struggled with the idea of absolute sovereignty.

    1. DW,

      So many people think that either God is sovereign or people have free will. But the reality is that both are true at the same time. People have free will AND God is ultimately sovereign over all. God holds people accountable for their choices. And at the same time, He causes all things to ultimately work out for His purposes. Wayne Grudem has podcasts from his seminary textbook, Systematic Theology, that you can download and listen to about God’s sovereignty and man’s free will.

      The problem with believing that people have free will that overrides God’s sovereignty is that then you have a very wimpy God who can do nothing. And that is not our God! But then if you believe only that God is in charge, and people are robots, then people have no choices and everything is determined by God in a very fatalistic way. But Scripture does not support either of these views. God is always portrayed as absolutely sovereign – over people, nations, nature, demons, and Satan. And people are portrayed as having real choices, responsibly, and consequences for their choices.

      You can also search John Piper’s site for “sovereignty of God” or “character of God.” And you can search David Platt’s site, “Who Is God” and “sovereignty of God” or “character of God”

      Much love!

      1. Thank you April. I had started reading and listening to John Piper, however, I’ve recently stopped and have been focusing on my marriage and my walk with the Lord.

        Can I share something here? I’m 4 months into this new way of looking at things and tearing down the idols. My husband has been an idol since day 1, over 20 years ago, and I must admit, it’s daily laying him down and giving him back to God, . We have such a very long road ahead of us but I just wanted to say that after starting to respect my husband and accept him and love him in spite of his recent lapse of sobriety, he is softening towards me. Last night after an amazing day with our kids and grand kids, my husband confessed to me that he was falling in love with me all over again. He said he was so scared though because he knew he would get hurt again. I tried to reassure him but all he could do was bring up my past track record. At first I felt utter panic but took a deep breath and silently told God, “I give him to you, Lord.” I know that only God can change his heart, I am powerless to do that. All I can do is seek Him and let the Holy Spirit fill me and spill over onto my husband.

        1. DW,

          I’m so glad that you are focusing on laying down your husband before God each day – and each moment, when necessary. That is BEAUTIFUL! I love what God is doing in you both. You can’t guarantee him you will never ever cause him pain. But you can continue to be the woman God calls you to be and to be filled up with Christ and to trust your husband to God.

          Much love, my precious sister!

        2. DW. Reading that your husband said he was falling in love with you again gives me hope. Can I ask what happened between you to that caused him such pain?

          I am new to this as well. Early this summer, a wise woman that I “met”through an online bible study suggested I follow peacefulwife. I am so thankful that I did. I want the healing in my marriage to happen yesterday. April reminds me that it takes a LONG time.

          Everyday I make an attempt to give my husband to God. After 22 years together trying to control him and get what I wanted, handing him to God is most difficult.

          My husband my leave me. I face this uncertainty daily. However what is certain is that God will never leave me

          1. Betsy,
            I had 2 affairs (short-lived and only one consumated one time) earlier in the marriage. He forgave me and stayed but I believe my total disrespect caused him just as much pain, if not MORE.

      2. Hi April 🙂
        Okay so maybe this is realllly dumb question but its something i wonder about in my secret heart of hearts. If God is sovereign and peope have free will so that God can make all things work out to His purposes, does this mean that even if I sinfully, seriously screw up, God can use even THAT for His purposes in my life? I’ve wondered the same thing about the verse that says nothing can separate us from the love of Christ; even my failures? Even on my good days my spiritual driving seems to be all over the road and I struggle alot in the same old areas; the idea that it all depends on me being able to manage somehow not to fail or seriously sin somehow is kind of scary, that I could remove myself somehow from God’s love and control through some serious lapse of judgement; not thinking of course of someone who willfully and determinedly over a long course of time, knowingly chooses to walk away from God.

        1. Patricia,

          Well, He has sure used my 14.5 years of sin at the beginning of our marriage for good. He is using it to help bring thousands of women from all over the world to Himself. I believe He used Saul’s persecution of the church for good. People praised God when they saw that God was able to transform Saul to Paul, knowing all of the evil he had committed against the church.

          Don’t put your faith in anything you do, put it all in the work Christ finished on your behalf on the cross! 🙂

  8. This is such a great post and agree with the ladies- please keep these coming. I didn’t realise how big idoltary was until started reading April’s blogs. I used to skip over those verses because I assumed they didn’t apply to me because I am a Christian. I have been feeling so overwhelmed over the last few days and just hopeless about a lot of things- I checked the blog this morning for some encouragement and read this and thought “oh no!!! I have fallen into idoltary again” I am so mad at myself hahahhaha it is crazy how easily we slip in and take our eyes of Jesus!!! I said to God yesterday “why does it feel like your grace has been taken from me!!” because nothing seems to be working- and then He gave me his answer this morning through your blog. I am praying to Him but looking elsewhere for my answer. Wow. Thanks as always for your timely posts. This is a real heart wrenching struggle. I was hoping I would learn it once and be “perfect” but alas it’s a continual surrendering process. Praying for you all and ask also for your prayers as I continue to grow in Him. Lots of Love xxx

    1. HappyWife,

      It is shocking what a constant struggle this can be, isn’t it? It is a daily process of total surrender to Christ, and a constant process of taking our thoughts and motives captive for Christ and shooting down those sinful thoughts and motives – yielding to the power of God’s Spirit rather than allowing our crucified sinful flesh to get back off the cross and take over.

      I’m so glad this was a blessing. May God continue to refine your faith and draw your heart to Himself, my dear sister!

  9. A reminder for everyone – please check everything that anyone says against Scripture. And remember that ultimately – you must decide what you believe is best for you and what you believe God desires you to do.

  10. These beautiful comments and encouraging words to “Still trying to get it” have touched me so much. I have read this whole post just bawling my eyes out because I, too, am struggling with idolatry and it hurts me so much to betray my Lord this way. I take one step forward and two steps backward and it just seems to go on forever. It’s very, very painful, as many posters have said. And I feel so bad for our sister “Still trying to get it.” Please don’t give up hope, sister.

    There is a beautiful, simple song in Spanish by Hermana Glenda entitled “Nada Es Imposible Para Ti,” which might soothe your heart – it really soothes mine. You can find it on YouTube. Here is the translation:

    Why am I afraid, if nothing is impossible for You?
    Why am I sad, if nothing is impossible for You?
    Nothing is impossible for You, nothing is impossible for You.

    Why do I have doubts, if nothing is impossible for You?

    Show me how to love, because nothing is impossible for You.
    Show me how to forgive, because nothing is impossible for You.
    Nothing is impossible for You, nothing is impossible for You.

    You became man, because nothing is impossible for You.
    You overcame death, because nothing is impossible for You.
    You lived among us, because nothing is impossible for You.
    Nothing is impossible for You, nothing is impossible for You.

    Why am I afraid, if nothing is impossible for You?
    Nothing is impossible for You, nothing is impossible for You.

    God bless you, April. You are a shining light. I pray for your ministry all the time. You have been such a wonderful source of comfort for me and share such important information. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    1. organiccatholicmom,

      I Pray you might be greatly encouraged in Christ! Thank you for sharing your heart and for reaching out to Still Trying to Get It in her pain. That means so much to me!

      Please do continue to pray for God to work in and through me and for His Spirit to speak to each woman. I need to decrease much and He needs to increase greatly in this ministry and every area of my life. I long to be faithful to Him and to share hope with women who are hurting like I was for so long.

      Thank you for the encouragement!

  11. I just have to say, since I have been studying about my husband being an idol and asking God to take that from my heart my life has done a 360. I have been happier, more peaceful, more filled with God’s presence. I am tearing up thinking about this right now because of how trapped I used to feel by constantly putting my husband as an idol in my heart and being let down by him, because he is only human.. That the fact that I feel free from that has lifted weight off my shoulders, thank you Jesus!!!😊

    I wanted to write into you though April because I am slightly concerned about something my husband told me today. Now my old self probably would have freaked out, yelled, possibly cried, and not talked to him for days and cried myself to sleep. But today when he told me something alarming and hurtful, I was able to share what was worrying to me about it, have him disagree and then go about our day, laughing and loving each other ! It was great. But I still want to mention it to see if I should speak to him about this further…

    I have been married for 3 years.. My husband is an AMAZING man. He is God fearing hard working and loving. He loves to put a smile on my face, and while I was always let down (when he was an idol in my heart) he’s never truly done anything that bad and my expectations were out the roof. Over all, we have an extremely healthy marriage.. His background- his real father is dead but his mom has told me multiple times how physically abusive his dad was to her. He was an alcoholic. She says he would beat the crap out of her. She is now with a very loving man. He has 2 sisters both of whom have serverly physically hurt their boyfriends. Putting them in the hospital/going to jail ect. However- my husband has NEVER hurt me or laid hands on me even when I was being crazy! I would say before- he would NEVER hurt me no matter what. He has absolutely never ever laid his hands on me.

    However- today we were talking about a 13 year old boy who we know who is in trouble with the law for hitting his stepmom who punched him in the face. he told me that the boy was just defending himself and that if a woman were to hit or hurt him he would “pin her to the ground” out of self defense. I said what if I punched you in the face though, you wouldn’t do that to me?! He said yes I would have to out of self defense. And that your body goes into fight or flight mode during things like that and just out of a reaction he would fight because “running away is not in his blood” I was very taken back, knowing his families past. I made a few comments about me being scared (sort of kidding) and he acted like i was crazy that I didn’t understand that. I want to honestly say deep down I know he would never hurt me and I understand he’s saying self defense but no woman wants to hear that…. I would rather hear no matter what you do ever I would never hurt you! But that’s not what I got….

    Is this my old self creeping up or is this something I should talk to him about me really not liking….

    Thanks for your time!

    1. WonderingWife,

      What a terrible background your husband came from. That just completely breaks my heart! But it sounds like you have a really great guy.

      There is a big difference, in my mind, between hitting/punching someone vs. pinning them down in self defense so that the person can’t keep hitting you. I would sure HOPE that you would never punch him in the face! That would be very unwise. It sounds to me like if you don’t punch him, you have nothing to worry about. I can’t imagine a reason you would need to do that. And, even if he did pin you down, that doesn’t mean that he would hurt you. It’s not like he said he would hit you back or punch you back. Restraining someone is not at all the same as purposely trying to hurt that person, in my opinion.

      Honestly, this is all rather theoretical – and not likely to actually happen – and, in my view, probably not a super necessary conversation.

      I don’t believe you need to continue discussing this, myself – unless you are planning to punch him in the face.

      But those are my thoughts.

      Much love to you!

  12. So I went on facebook and left a very positive and loving happy anniversary message honoring our 19 years. Most people congratulated us. I did not say any untruths. I stated how generous and patient my husband is.

    My best friend called me up very concerned about me basically calling me a liar. She thinks I should leave him since he says all the time he doesn’t love me. I tried explaining my stand. Unconditional love, respect even if he doesn’t deserve it. Looking at the positive things about my husband. Giving time. Basically she thinks I’m crazy. She is a cristian, but I feel she doesn’t understsnd. Then my mom texted me that she thinks I am putting my fantasy marriage out there. I did it because I wanted to declare the things I value about my husband. I am not boastong. I am not trying to paint a false picture of my life right now.

    Is this the enemy using my mom and BFF to try to sway and discourage me? Do I have a blind ambition I am not seeing? I don’t understand what might be going on? I have never felt better about my self esteem, but why would my BFF, who is a Christian try to encourage a divorce? Seems to be I ticked off Satan today….good. but at what point do I re-evaluate if I am chasing the wind or not? I see very small changes in my husband. I see him slowly checking back in with the kids. I am ready to admit it may take years, but I can’t shake the idea that we can work this marriage out. I’ve begged God to take it from my heart if it is not meant to be. Then I think, am I still making my husband my idol? I didn’t think so. I am looking to honor God.

    Even if my husband said he wanted a divorce right now, I would not fight him. I am struggling, but succeeding (I think) on waiting on God. I don’t see a way that this can heal, but I know God can find a way. I feel I need to stay, but those that love me are feeling worried about me. Am I missing something?

    1. LMSdaily115,

      I believe that the enemy could absolutely use your mom and BFF to try to discourage you and frustrate you. The enemy love to speak through the mouths of our closest family and friends. We are much more likely to receive the toxic messages that way.

      I feel like I have a pretty good gauge on where your heart is right now, my sweet sister – based on all you have shared in the past 9 months or so. I know that your motives were good. I know you seek to honor Christ and to have pure motives before Him.

      Keep doing what God calls you to do. Of course He can save this marriage. 🙂

      Those who love you hate to see you hurting. They want you to be treated well. So do I! But it may take more time to get to that place. Sometimes, friends and family are more interested in trying to see us temporarily happy right now this second – than in waiting to see all that God has in store.

      Keep your eyes on Christ, my dear sister!

      Sending you the biggest hug!

      1. LMSdaily115, may I offer you some encouragement and support? I don’t know your situation, but my husband has always been kind to me and yet dozens of well meaning, and not so well meaning, family and friends have tried to get me to divorce him over the years. It is now some 30 years later, there has never been any abuse and yet the number one criticism I still get on facebook and blogging is that I’m faking it or engaging in magical thinking or that I can’t possibly be happily married.

        When I was younger these messages would really mess with my head and cause me to doubt myself. It took years for me to recognize that other people sometimes have their own agenda and do not always know what’s best for us.

        Either way, you can never go wrong seeking to please Christ, desiring His favor, and letting Him lead you and guide you. He will always steer you in the right direction.

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