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aprilnov03 004

My Husband Said, “You Worry Too Much!”

Me with our son many years ago

April in 2002 – a few months after our first baby was born

I can’t remember Greg confronting most of my sin earlier in our marriage. But one thing I do remember him saying fairly often was, “You worry too much.”

I knew that was true and I couldn’t argue with his observation. But in my mind at the time, worry meant that I cared about something or someone.

Telling me, “April, don’t worry,” was no help. I didn’t have any other way to think. I had no idea that I was worrying because (in my case) I wasn’t really trusting God and didn’t grasp His sovereignty. I thought I did trust God. I said I trusted Him. I convinced myself I trusted Him. I did acknowledge Him with my mind and words but I did not fully trust Him with my heart.

In my understanding at the time, the only way I could think of to not worry was “to not care.” I certainly couldn’t do that!ย So I continued on in my worry, fear, and anxiety. Such a miserable way to live!ย But God, in His great love and mercy, did not leave me in that prison of the enemy! How I thank and praise Him for waking me up in December of 2008!

aprilnov03 004

April in 2003

We must all guard against worry and fear each day. I know I will always need to! That is why it is so important to take my thoughts captive for Christ and to shoot down ungodly or unscriptural thoughts. Even then, sometimes I have blind spots. I’m thankful for my accountability partners who are willing to lovingly let me know if they see me begin to slip into fear/worry so I can repent and refocus on trusting God – like they did for me just this past month.

If we are not careful we can create a belief system where we give SELF and human will more power than God and His sovereignty.ย A minister I deeply respect at our church recently said that this kind of theology can create a “spirit of independence” from God in the people who hear it. That is what I had.

I believed that people and situations depended greatly on me and my powers and that God was rather small and wimpy.

It is also possible to give God’s sovereignty too much emphasis over human free-will. This can be taken to the point where we believe that people become robots with no real choices or accountability. When people go to extremes with this idea, they may adopt a fatalistic approach and decide it “doesn’t matter” what we do as people, because God is ultimately deciding outcomes without any input from us ย When we focus only on God’s sovereignty and negate the concept that God has given us a choice to obey Him or not is destructive and unbiblical as well.

The reality of what Scripture describes is somewhere in between – and is a bit of a mystery to our finite minds. God is totally sovereign AND we have free will. There is no conflict!

Scripture presents both of these concepts as being true. That is often how God works – in His wisdom – He puts things in a delicate balance. Love and justice. Grace and wrath. Omnipotence and gentleness. Healing and Suffering. Mercy and Holiness. Generosity and discipline. When we lack balance in our understanding too far one way or the other, we end up with a warped view of God and ourselves.

  • We are responsible for our own choices, obedience, and sin. All adults have God-given free will to make their own decisions. I can influence people, but then I must trust God to work in their lives and allow the person to make his/her own decisions.
  • God is sovereign ultimately over all things in ways that I will never fully grasp while I am on this earth.

There is freedom and peace in understanding where our responsibility ends. I will answer to Him alone. Other people will also answer to God ultimately. God will handle people and situations. He took that heavy load of the world off of my shoulders.

Combatting worry:

  • I think of myself laying my burdens down at the feet of God in the throne room of heaven in prayer. Then I don’t carry the spiritual and emotional weight anymore.
  • I love to turn on praise music and sing at the top of my lungs. It is truly impossible to worry and praise God at the same time!

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

Verses about worry

Verses about God’s Sovereignty

Verses about Free Will

Posts about Worry on Peacefulwife

Fear Fuels Our Need to Control

Experiencing God’s Victory over Fear

MORE RESOURCES:

Please check out the things John Piper, David Platt, and Wayne Grudem have to say about God’s sovereignty, His character, His attributes, people’s free will, and election.

 

14 thoughts on “My Husband Said, “You Worry Too Much!”

  1. This is a very important balance to understand. God is in control while we have a free will. I have been in situations where I felt unprotected by God for letting others, in their free will, hurt me. As a result, I developed an extreme sense of responsibility trying to control everything in my life, in order to ensure that all turns out alright. Exactly like you said, not to worry was equal to not care.

    Though trying to control everything gave me a false sense of safety, I would still suffer because I acknowledged my inadequacy to protect myself from the mistakes that can result from my OWN free will. I knew deep inside that I am not wise enough to run my life on my own, so I was worrying about missing God’s plans for me because of my inadequacy. Yet, I didn’t know how to really trust God to be in charge and relax that He will take care of me. What a miserable way to live!!

    Now I am in a process of healing and learning God’s truth. God is above my mistakes and above others’ mistakes. The safe place for me is to surrender my free will into God’s control.Then, He WILL use my and others’ mistakes into fulfilling His original plan for my life. He wants to help me rest and enjoy the life He has given me, and enjoy Him and His tender love for me. He is taming me, like when you try to get a wild and wounded animal to trust you, because you want to feed and caress it and bound its’ wounds. I am learning day by day, that my Lord’s hand is a safe hand to hold..and He is winning me back slowly, patiently and
    steadfastly. What an experience!

    1. Silvia B.,

      Our free will has a large price tag. We can choose to sin and grieve God and hurt ourselves and others. But God didn’t want robots who had no ability to choose to love Him freely. He wanted people to love Him voluntarily.

      But what great assurance we have, as Romans 8:28-29 promises, that God can and will take evil in this world and all things and use them all for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. It helps me to think of Joseph in the Old Testament, and how what his brothers intended for evil (selling him into slavery), God intended for God. And what the Pharisees and Jewish leaders intended for evil, crucifying Jesus, God intended to use to save millions of people from hell and bring them into right relationship with Him.

      God holds people accountable for their sin. We will each pay for our sin in hell if we do not turn to the gift Jesus offers to us. So either people will pay for their sin against us or Jesus will pay for it. But God does not wink at sin. He is just.

      It is so wonderful to know that God is sovereign and that when bad things happen, and even when people hurt us – God is so powerful that He will use even those things for our ultimate good as we trust and love HIm.

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience! ๐Ÿ™‚ Love it!

  2. Well said! Perfect love casts out fear, indeed. I have learned that you cannot be in fear and faith at the same time. They are opposites of each other. Worry is a form of fear. To surrender fully to Christ, to recognize His authority over all things was a huge help for me. Later to submit to my husband, lifted yet another burden off of me. He is responsible and it is not my job to worry about it. Also, my worrying makes him think I doubt his abilities.

    I laughed at the photos, because I too actually look better now that I am older. My younger photos show that worry, that weight of the world on my shoulders. God’s ways are not our ways, so the world teaches you that the bloom of youth makes you beautiful. Not always true, some of us actually age backwards ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. insanitybytes22,

      I always love it when you share the things God has shown you. Such a blessing!

      It was interesting, some time after God convicted me of my sin, and I repented and began to allow God to transform me, even my twin sister noticed the change in my countenance. She could see the peace on my face.

      I’m so thankful that God didn’t let me stay where I was.

      Now, I am actually in the best shape of my life – at 42 years old. Very thankful to God for all He has given to me and done for me – and for His peace and the fruit of His Spirit. I don’t deserve His goodness – but He has been so faithful and merciful to me, a wretched sinner saved only by the blood and grace of Christ.

  3. You know, I think just having a blog and a Youtube channel kind of invites personal insults somehow. This week I also heard from a man on Youtube whose only comment was:

    “You look average. Kind of big nose. Dry hair.”

    Thankfully – I realize that I am only doing what I am doing for God’s praise and approval, not for the things people will think and say. I am grateful for my body and don’t have a complex about my looks – which is sure a good thing. I pray God might empower me to respond even to insults with His love.

    When people insult me – they go on my prayer list. There is probably something pretty significant going on spiritually in their lives for them to feel that they need to say such negative things. I pray God might draw them to Himself and open their eyes to the life Christ has for them.

    A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Luke 6:45

  4. Thank you April. I’m finding God’s sovereignty very reassuring at the moment. I am at the stage where I am realising I don’t have too much more time to give my children spiritual teaching. I have always struggled with it as my husband doesn’t help me. My son is reasonably open, but my daughter is getting harder to teach. Sometimes I try and there is like a spiritual battle. If I have both kids together they have ALWAYS started fighting or being silly when I begin to read or speak. I then get angry and the opportunity is gone. I tried in the car yesterday to speak about how our identity is in Christ not our clothes/ cars etc and as soon as I mentioned the name Jesus my 13 year old blocked her ears and started saying ‘ lalalala.” Both say that Jesus is their saviour, but with a Father who has one foot in the world I realise that our influence is weak and almost futile. I have to give my worries to Jesus. Only He can capture their attention and hearts.

    1. Charli,

      My dear sister! Read I Corinthians 7… one believing parent sanctifies the house and has enormous influence to teach and draw children to Christ in the power of the Spirit. I pray for God to empower you to teach and that He will empower your children to hear and receive His truth!

      Our children tend to start acting up sometimes when I teach them, as well. It is spiritual battle no matter what the family dynamics are, I believe.

      But you are right – only God can bring conviction and only He can change lives.

      Much love to you!

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