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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.

 

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

  1. April,
    You said that you used to think the only alternative to worrying about things was “to not care” about them… but what is the right way to handle worry?
    This is a struggle of mine, especially relating to marriage. My tendency is to over-think and worry about things, whereas my husband is much more laid-back. He does quite often say to me “don’t worry about it!”. And I think, but if I don’t worry about it, then who will?
    Sorry if I missed it in the post, but could you spell out practically how you handle these moments?

    1. seriouslyserving,

      Please check out the posts I linked about worry in this post. I think you may find what you are looking for there. ๐Ÿ™‚ If not, let me know and we will hash through it together!

      Much love!

  2. “Scripture presents both of these concepts as being true. That is often how God works โ€“ in His wisdom โ€“ 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.”
    So beautifully put April!

    About the worrying, you could’ve been describing me here instead of yourself as I am – and have been – exactly the same! I have really been working on this in recent months, but I still worry quite alot. But I am getting better, and actually through my teenagers God has been teaching me SO MUCH about trust!! I am having to trust them in situations that are out of my control and God has shown me about trusting them more and trusting Him more at the same time.

    Also one thing that helped me recently, when I was re-hashing some of my worries out on a dog walk, was a sudden mental image of my putting all the people and situations that I was worrying about into Jesus’s arm – he was bending down towards me with his arms out but he was MASSIVE! I had never thought about it visually before and obviously I always picture Jesus as a man, and therefore man-sized, and of course we don’t know what he really looks like, but picturing him so huge really really helped me! I know this all probably sounds so silly, but I literally visualised myself giving the whole lot to him and walking off down a sunlit path with Jesus holding all my worries for me!! It really helped me, and I have thought back to that picture several times since, when I catch myself worrying ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Sunshine,

      Love this! Thank you for describing how letting go of your teenagers is helping you learn to trust God more. And I love that image of you picturing Jesus carrying the weight of your burdens. His shoulders are plenty big enough to hold the heaviest weight of our cares and concerns. Ours are not. I love to picture laying all of my concerns before God. It helps to focus on His omnipotence, sovereignty, majesty, and greatness. The more I understand how BIG God is, the more I realize that my problems are not worrisome to Him. He knows what to do and He is already in the future making a way for me. I can rest in His peace in the midst of uncertainty because He is sovereign, good, loving, and kind. And He is a promise keeper!

      Much love!

  3. God encourages us 365 times in His Word NOT to worry! He knew we would need to hear it every day of the year! This life can be so frightening but whenever I am tempted to worry, I quickly think of a Bible verse to overcome my fear! Many times I remind myself that this world is NOT my home as we see the moral degradation happening around us so quickly. Jesus called the generation he lived in as wicked so it hasn’t changed much. We are still commanded to overcome evil with good and be salt and light. “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me” and “He will never leave me nor forsake me” always brings comfort to me. Bless you, dear April, for continuing to speak Truth.

    1. Lori Alexander,

      That is awesome! I am so thankful for all of God’s commands for us not to worry, not to be afraid, to be strong and courageous. I am so thankful that He does not give us a spirit of fear but a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind! How I pray we might meditate on God’s promises and provision and focus on praising Him and thanking Him.

      Thank you so much for sharing this encouragement!

  4. Love this post! Due to difficulties in my family when I was a child I started thinking that too many things depended on me; only recently I started to realise that there are actually so many things that are out of my control, and that I should really trust God with my heart. It’s very difficult not to jump in into everything and “do it myself”, but I hope that eventually I will find this balance of trusting God and stop insulting Him with my worry and hasty actions without becoming passive.

    1. Anna,

      I developed a similar “overly responsible” outlook when I was a child. I believed I needed to be responsible FOR my twin sister, rather than being responsible to her. I thought I needed to be a mother for my younger brother. I used to cry every night in 3rd grade because people around the world were starving and I wasn’t feeding them. I did NOT understand God’s sovereignty or where my responsibilities ended. That lack of understanding set me up for a lot of worry, fear, and anxiety throughout the rest of my life.

      Thank you for sharing! Yes, there is a balance where we take responsibility and initiative for what God wants us to do. We walk in active obedience. But then we also rest and trust in Him and don’t worry or freak out.

      Praying for God’s wisdom and healing for you!

      1. April,
        I need your prayers. My husband’s school has just lost official recognition, but he insists on continuing to study there. But what for? The diploma won’t be recognized anywhere… It will be just a waste of time and money. I totally lost it. I have already been waiting for him for 4 years to get his act together, but the more time passes, the more problematic it seems. Besides, my mum funded his schooling. What shall I tell her? Now I really feel like giving up and going home, probably this will make him think more about his family, not just his desires? Sorry, I just needed to vent.

        1. Anna,

          I don’t know what the answer is. What a difficult situation! ๐Ÿ™ But I do know God can lead you and your husband in the way He desires you to go.

          I wonder if your husband needs a bit of time to gather his thoughts? Perhaps you can take the next week or two to pray and lay this situation before God?

          Also, check out this book by Andrew Murray – Absolute Surrender. Here is a link to a free download.

          God is sovereign, even in this moment. And He may have plans that you don’t know anything about to use this problem for His good purposes. Let’s pray for the wisdom to hear His voice and to follow Him and for His will to be done!

          1. April, thank you very much for encouragement! Yes, I shall be praying for that and I will definitely read this book! Thanks! You’re such a blessing to me ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I think you’ve written before, April, about the perception gap between a husband and wife on this issue. At the beginning of my marriage (and while we were dating before that), I would frequently encourage my wife not to worry so much about whatever issue had her preoccupied. She wouldn’t push back, but she didn’t quit worrying either.

    Years later, I remember a conversation where I specifically asked her how I could help her trust God more (in that instance, something I had done innocently had triggered an unexpected negative reaction from a creditor; out loud, she complained about not being able to trust God; internally, I found out later, she blamed me too, and held that grudge forever after). She had no answer.

    Within not too many years after that, she was contemplating divorce (which she later followed through on) because (in her mind) she couldn’t trust me and she couldn’t trust God to take care of her in spite of me. I wish I had money for every time she accused me of not caring about something (an issue with our special ed daughter, a financial issue, etc.) because I wasn’t worried sick about it like she was.

    During the divorce litigation she filed, my Christian attorney commented several times on the fact that she clearly believed that if anyone wasn’t as invested in or concerned about something as she was, she took that to mean they didn’t care. It’s a very dangerous way to perceive what is usually nothing worse than a difference in personality and may in fact be a demonstration of stronger faith in God.

    1. David J.,

      A wife in this situation may want to stop worrying – but doesn’t have the tools to be able to stop. It requires great conviction by the Holy Spirit, repentance, excavating motives and wrong fixed beliefs and the entire regeneration of our souls. It is a PAINFUL path to tear out all the old sinful thinking, and the idol of self, and rebuild on Christ alone. Of course, some women don’t want to stop worrying because they equate worry with love – which is unfortunate and destructive. ๐Ÿ™

      When we are trusting self, not God – we don’t have the power not to worry, we truly believe we are responsible for making things turn out right, and we don’t have the power to forgive or extend grace. We haven’t seen the depths of our own sin debt to God and we haven’t received His mercy and grace so we sure can’t share it with others. It is a really lonely, scary, miserable place to be.

      I have seen many times that a woman with beliefs like this gets upset if others don’t worry the way they do because they believe it means that others don’t care as much. This can be the source of a lot of friction in marriage and many other relationships, too. It’s so sad, because, it may well be that a husband has genuine faith and that is why he is not so worried.

      I believe that Nikka shared a very similar dynamic in her marriage in one of her 3 interviews with her husband.

      Thank you for sharing your perspective, David. I pray it might bring an “aha” moment for someone. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. 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, so very true! I also fell into the trap that if someone didn’t seem worried that means they just don’t care, but even if I tried to bear all the weight of my problems alone, I just got so tired and stressed and burnt out. I often wondered how giving everything to Jesus felt. And it’s scary to let go of control. I’m thankful to God that He is showing me these glimpses of truth through April and all of you!

      1. Anna,

        It IS scary to let go of our perception of having control at first. I felt like I was jumping off of a spiritual cliff. But then, when you begin to really trust God, you realize that you never had control before – and that when you trust in yourself, you are cursed, but when you trust in God, you are blessed.

        This is what the LORD says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the LORD. Jeremiah 17:5

        When we trust in God, we are in the shadow of His wings. That is the best place to be! Eventually, we realize that trusting ourselves or other people is the scariest place to be.

        1. Yes, thank you, April! ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s easy to get disillusioned by the fact that we are capable of so many things that we may even forget that we should be grateful to God for everything we have because of His blessings and mercy. I was really depressed in August due to our bad financial situation, but suddenly I got a job for 2 months with a good pay, and I saw clearly that it was from God because in the midst of a raving crisis these emloyers didn’t even think of hiring anybody, but suddenly they needed a person and took me straight on. I finished this job last week, but now I feel less stressful as I have seen God’s mercy and provision so clearly ๐Ÿ™‚ And it’s not my abilities that gave me work for 2 months, it’s God!

        2. Thanks for posting this verse and comment. I’ve seen that this is very true. Very scary. I’m doing it right now. Something happened that really scared me. Husband was very angry about 4 different situations. And harbored this anger tho I had no clue about until he started ignoring me and showing me contempt. Very unmerciful. Even if he is hurt- where is Grace for me? He refuses to talk about this outside of counseling but won’t make an appt. that made me furious bc he holds his stance against me without giving me a chance to speak. I feel like he’s trying to control me by not finding the help he says we need! I made the counseling appt today. It’s a week away ๐Ÿ™ How do I stop this – what the verse is talking about? This is the one thing I can’t deal with- contempt/ no grace/ resentment/ ignoring and then I doubt his love for me which is very painful. Of course I don’t want to respect him them (above basic respect). He’s can be a bully. It all happens so subtly and I feel like I’m stuck in a sticky pit with no way out. The BIG fear is that he’ll leave or cheat emotionally or physically.

          Today was just awful. The kids were bouncing off the walks and I was hurting and stressed. So insecure since this started and can’t think straight. I feel like the worst daughter to God, wife and mom and neighbor. I think my dog is the only one who likes me!

          I want the joy peace and freedom and relationship with God you talk about. I believe I’ve experienced it before. What did I do wrong? ๐Ÿ™

          The big fear with God is do I really know Him and am I really saved? How I wish He would talk to me and let me know He’s given me the faith that pleases Him. He spoke to people in the bible why not me :(? That makes me so deeply sad. When I think of relationship I think of a dialogue. A back and forth. He talked to Job! Why won’t He tell me plainly what I’m doing wrong? I need to know I’m His and to know what He wants me to do. How does He hear everyone in the world at the same time?! Who is God? When I watched a Lou Giglio DVD I was mad for weeks. We are so tiny in the really big picture of God’s creation. Why is He so big? How can I know Him if He’s so big?!

          I believe that Jesus is Lord and He’s the only way to God. I know this is right. But I feel like have such little faith and knowledge about who God is.

          I want the faith from Him and for Him that pleases Him but I fear I just jumped on the “Jesus bandwagon”.

          Even the devils know He’s The Lord. How do I know I’m His now? I can’t hear His audible voice! This is my biggest problem btw. I believe the gospel is true and I want everyone to hear it! But why these questions then?

          I know there is power in His name- I know He is the only answer- but somehow I’m so far from Him and ,Peacefulwife, I want the relationship with Him you speak of.

          I know then I will be more able to be the mom and wife and daughter of the King (I hope) he’s called me to be!

          I don’t want to be a “false convert” and hear Him say He never knew me and send me away :(!

          1. Hi,

            Let’s back up just a bit, if that is okay. Do you know what your husband is angry about specifically? Do you believe you understand what you may have done that hurt him or made him feel disrespected? Have you taken ownership and responsibility for your part in causing him any pain? (I don’t know what the situations are, I just want to guard against assuming that we understand his heart and motives or assuming evil motives. I am trying to approach this situation with an open mind to the pain both of you may be experiencing.)

            Maybe he should have more grace for you. That is entirely possible. But you can’t control him. You can only control you. I know that for me, focusing on what my husband “should do” is not a good road for me to take.

            Is it possible that he felt that you showed him great disrespect or contempt? I don’t know your husband’s personality or your personality or the dynamics in your marriage. But I wonder if he is reacting to what he perceived your motives were?

            He told you that you may not speak with him about this? Had you tried to – and it upset him more? If you would be able to share some of what happened, I may be able to help you hash through the conversation and may be able to help you determine what he may have heard you say.

            Has this ever happened before?

            Does he tend to be more passive or more of a “control man”? Are either of you dealing with any addictions or mental health issues? Is he under a great deal of stress? Have you ever doubted his love before? Did he say that the marriage could be over or are you projecting fear into the situation?

            Most men love their wives on a pretty consistent basis that doesn’t really change a lot over time. If a man is feeling extremely wounded or hurt by his wife, he may shut down and shut her out. I don’t know if you have read Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, but he talks about how men need respect like they need air to breathe. If a wife inadvertently steps on his air hose, he will react in a big way just like someone would react who was suddenly deprived of oxygen. A wife needs love like she needs air to breathe. If her husband inadvertently steps on her air hose, she will react in a big way.

            Here is the problem. When a wife feels unloved, she tends to have a knee-jerk disrespectful reaction. When a husband feels disrespected, he tends to have a knee-jerk unloving reaction – and that continues to spiral round and round – the Crazy Cycle, Dr. Eggerichs calls it. It will spin until someone, the more spiritually mature spouse, begins to meet the other person’s needs even if their own needs are not being met at the time.

            Sometimes a man can feel so wounded and hurt that he can’t meet his wife’s needs for love and assurance. Is it possible that is what is going on? I don’t know if he is a bully or if he is just deeply emotionally/spiritually wounded?

            I would love to invite you to read Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray. As we completely give God access to all of our hearts, minds, and souls, and allow Him to transform us – we do hear His voice more and more. Not necessarily in an audible way. God speaks to us powerfully through Scripture, and when we are listening in prayer sometimes, and through praise music, sometimes through other people, and sometimes through thoughts in our minds that are not actually audible. At first, it can be hard to discern God’s still small voice. But as we draw nearer, yield ourselves fully to Him, and get rid of sin in our lives, His voice becomes more and more clear.

            There is wrestling and struggling and there are questions on this journey. That is normal!
            How do you believe you can be right with God? What do you believe salvation involves?

            I hope you will check out that book (the link has a free download). Let me know what you think!

            Much love to you!

            April

          2. He smokes pot and gets drunk on occasion. Both I’m uncomfortable with. No, both I hate. His mom and brothers and all of his friends smoke pot.they have lots if money and pay for everything from the house we live in to his car repair bills, etc etc

            I’m fasting this week and he just said I’m fasting bc I’m a fat pig …not to be closer to The Lord. He doesn’t seat and eat meals with us. He smokes cigarettes and drinks beer and stays outside.

            He’s mad I haven’t apologized to his mom about something in the past. He’s been angry at me and giving me the silent treatment for weeks now. In reality his mom is the one who did something against me and I’m not “making” her apologize. Yet my husband and his step dad believe I should say something. Mother in law and I had plenty of time to talk alone this last visit but it was either not the right time or she didn’t need to. She was sarcastic and sometimes rude to me but I was gracious and didn’t take offense. My husband was connected with me there so with his support and The Lord I was very secure. This until we came home. My husband started the silent treatment and was obviously very angry with me. This has not gone away for a month now. This is how things were before we reconciled and moved in together again.

          3. Hi,

            What did the counselor say when you went to your appointment, my sister?

            How often is the smoking pot and the getting drunk happening? I can understand hating those things.

            Is there any degree of responsibility you had in the situation with your MIL for which you may need to apologize? Was it 100% her fault?

            How is your time with Christ going? ๐Ÿ™‚
            Much love to you!

          4. What did the counselor say when you went to your appointment, my sister?
            He said he like to see my husband separately. That he’d fight for me and this marriage.

            How often is the smoking pot and the getting drunk happening? I’m not sure as he’s been lying to me about it. I think he’s been in a dry phase since we reconciled and now it seems he’s relaxed about smoking and drinking whenever.

            Is there any degree of responsibility you had in the situation with your MIL for which you may need to apologize? No she came over unannounced before my very first court date. She said to people later in that she was going to babysit! We had never talked about that. I had cried out to her and his family for help and they threatened me with attorneys if I didn’t leave my home and go back to where they lived. Was it 100% her fault? Sounds crazy but yes I think it’s 100% her fault but I’m not holding it against her.

            How is your time with Christ going? ๐Ÿ™‚
            It’s been good I think. Today was great- worship songs, ran an errand and felt like I was being authentic with Him, crying out and rejoicing in Him.

            I was fasting and tonight he told me I’m fasting bc I’m a fat pig ๐Ÿ™

            Thank you for reading my mess and replying. I feel really awful and afraid and fake- as in if I obey God then he says I think I’m so perfect. This makes me think I’m not a real believer.

          5. Letโ€™s back up just a bit, if that is okay. Do you know what your husband is angry about specifically?

            He says it’s bc I didn’t apologize to his mom while on visit recently. Although he gave me lots of grace about this issue and said it’s up to his mother and I to talk on our own. This issue is about when he and I were separated and she paid for his high attorney ( 10 days after me giving birth ) and decided she’d drive 4 hrs to come drop by before court. I was in the shower. She was sobbing like a lunatic while holding my 10 day old baby. She teamed of alcohol and was dressed in barely anything.) I calmly reached for my baby when she grabbed my arm and shoved me away. I called the owner of the home who asked her to hand my baby to me told her she was trespassing and to leave. She refused. I then called the police.

            2. He says he made plans with a neighbor lady who I never met to walk our dogs together so they get to know each other. The digs this is. I was not comfortable that he’d even plan this with another woman at all. Not appropriate and he quickly apologized and agreed it was not ok. Yet after visit at his moms he takes that all back and is mad at me for not being ok with his plans with this woman.

            3. A young woman in town has an obvious crush on my husband. She hangs around whenever we go for walks. Ignores me completely but stares at him. She was holding my daughter’s jacket at one point and saying to my husband “when are you going to Mcd’s is I can pick in you again? Then she asked me over and over “where do you live- I want to come to your house.” Only words she’s ever initiated me. This made me VERY upset. He says she’s “retarded” but obviously she knows what she’s doing. He refused to talked to me about this. Completely shut me out. But he’s absolutely mad at me about it.

            Do you believe you understand what you may have done that hurt him or made him feel disrespected?

            No, not at all.

            Have you taken ownership and responsibility for your part in causing him any pain?

            I have no clue what they are- he refuses to tell me

            (I donโ€™t know what the situations are, I just want to guard against assuming that we understand his heart and motives or assuming evil motives. I am trying to approach this situation with an open mind to the pain both of you may be experiencing.)

            Maybe he should have more grace for you. That is entirely possible. But you canโ€™t control him. You can only control you. I know that for me, focusing on what my husband โ€œshould doโ€ is not a good road for me to take.

            I can deal with the occasional moody remark or disappointment but this is everyday now and it’s the nice things that are occasional now. Those even seem fake.

            Is it possible that he felt that you showed him great disrespect or contempt?

            Sure but I have no clue how. I keep asking. He says I haven’t disrespected him.

            I donโ€™t know your husbandโ€™s personality or your personality or the dynamics in your marriage. But I wonder if he is reacting to what he perceived your motives were?

            Perhaps. I’m not sure what he’s thinking though :(!!!

            He told you that you may not speak with him about this?

            He just refuses. Had you tried to โ€“ and it upset him more?

            Just refuses and like tonight he said nasty things and he left.

            If you would be able to share some of what happened, I may be able to help you hash through the conversation and may be able to help you determine what he may have heard you say.

            Has this ever happened before? Yes this was what our while marriage was like since we married up until recent reconciling. ๐Ÿ™

            Does he tend to be more passive or more of a โ€œcontrol manโ€?

            Control but passive with punishment like silent treatment or actions of revenge.

            Are either of you dealing with any addictions or mental health issues? Him- pot and drinking though he refuses to admit it.

            Is he under a great deal of stress? He says he is.

            Have you ever doubted his love before? Our whole marriage.

            Did he say that the marriage could be over or are you projecting fear into the situation? I’m fearful bc of his contempt and lack of respect and anger and bc of this being just like the past. He left several times.

            Most men love their wives on a pretty consistent basis that doesnโ€™t really change a lot over time. If a man is feeling extremely wounded or hurt by his wife, he may shut down and shut her out. I donโ€™t know if you have read Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, but he talks about how men need respect like they need air to breathe. If a wife inadvertently steps on his air hose, he will react in a big way just like someone would react who was suddenly deprived of oxygen. A wife needs love like she needs air to breathe. If her husband inadvertently steps on her air hose, she will react in a big way.

            I understand and I love to respect him! I make mistakes and quickly apologize while heartedly!

            Here is the problem. When a wife feels unloved, she tends to have a knee-jerk disrespectful reaction.

            This is possible but I just don’t see it! And he won’t tell me.

            When a husband feels disrespected, he tends to have a knee-jerk unloving reaction โ€“ and that continues to spiral round and round โ€“ the Crazy Cycle, Dr. Eggerichs calls it. It will spin until someone, the more spiritually mature spouse, begins to meet the other personโ€™s needs even if their own needs are not being met at the time.

            How can I meet his needs when he shut off from me completely?

            Sometimes a man can feel so wounded and hurt that he canโ€™t meet his wifeโ€™s needs for love and assurance. Is it possible that is what is going on?

            Sure.

            I donโ€™t know if he is a bully or if he is just deeply emotionally/spiritually wounded? He’s a bully. He’ll admit it. He could be wounded. Idk

            I would love to invite you to read Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray. As we completely give God access to all of our hearts, minds, and souls, and allow Him to transform us โ€“ we do hear His voice more and more. Not necessarily in an audible way. God speaks to us powerfully through Scripture, and when we are listening in prayer sometimes, and through praise music, sometimes through other people, and sometimes through thoughts in our minds that are not actually audible. At first, it can be hard to discern Godโ€™s still small voice. But as we draw nearer, yield ourselves fully to Him, and get rid of sin in our lives, His voice becomes more and more clear.

            There is wrestling and struggling and there are questions on this journey. That is normal!
            How do you believe you can be right with God? By believing in Jesus. What do you believe salvation involves? Believing in Jesus to be God’s Son who died and paid for my sins so that I can have eternal life and not go to hell which is what I deserve

            I hope you will check out that book (the link has a free download). Let me know what you think!

            I’m reading it still. Will do

          6. Hi,

            Well, I would guess that he could be upset about you calling the police on his mom. Or about maybe feeling controlled by you regarding the women who are talking with him – who he may think of as “nothing” possibly? Or maybe he feels controlled because he knows you don’t like the drinking and pot smoking. That would be my guess.

            That was a LOT of drama regarding the separation and your in-laws. It seems to me like things were very much out of control. I don’t like the drinking and pot-smoking situation. That is certainly not helping things. At this point, the situations with the women don’t sound like they are dangerous. Yes, they could become an issue. But, to me, those things seem relatively minor compared to all the other drama and mess that is going on, from what I can tell.

            Of course, these are some pretty serious issues you are dealing with. What did the counselor suggest for you to do at this time? Is your husband willing to go, as well?

            How do you believe you can know that you are a real believer? ๐Ÿ™‚
            Much love to you!

          7. Well, I would guess that he could be upset about you calling the police on his mom.

            But it was her fault!

            Or about maybe feeling controlled by you regarding the women who are talking with him โ€“ who he may think of as โ€œnothingโ€ possibly?

            He wouldn’t like it if I was doing that.

            Or maybe he feels controlled because he knows you donโ€™t like the drinking and pot smoking. That would be my guess.

            Maybe but he’s not honoring that I HATE it and can’t be around it. I don’t want our kids thinking it’s ok.

            That was a LOT of drama regarding the separation and your in-laws. It seems to me like things were very much out of control. I donโ€™t like the drinking and pot-smoking situation. That is certainly not helping things. At this point, the situations with the women donโ€™t sound like they are dangerous. Yes, they could become an issue. But, to me, those things seem relatively minor compared to all the other drama and mess that is going on, from what I can tell.

            I don’t trust what he’s “putting out there” to other woman that they are comfortable to speak with him that way. Also the fact that he’s so angry at me tells me he’s guilty in some way.

            He slept w another woman while we were separated and told me that he chose to do it and that if we weren’t separated it wouldn’t have happened. The tone he used and words he said sounds like he blamed me for his actions. I also caught him flirting online before we separated and constantly talking about another woman at work as well. It was very hurtful. I felt terrible about myself even being his wife in general let alone being around him. He’d leave for weeks to stay at friend’s houses. I was alone with the baby and pregnant.

            Of course, these are some pretty serious issues you are dealing with. What did the counselor suggest for you to do at this time?

            Nothing ๐Ÿ™ !

            Is your husband willing to go, as well?

            I have no clue if he’ll go as the counselor requested him to go alone now. He won’t tell me his plans. He avoids me at all costs. Now if he sees anything that gives me hope or security in us he takes it away. Little things and big things. He’s sarcastic, rude and critical. “Why would you buy us that? What were you thinking?”(no joking tone) – this some time after he’d complimented my choice- then he’d say I’m too sensitive. “Can’t you take a joke?” I know he wasn’t joking though.

            How do you believe you can know that you are a real believer? ๐Ÿ™‚
            I don’t know ๐Ÿ™ I don’t know if my faith is real or something I made up. I’m afraid I think I believe but then I’ll find out when I meet Him that I’m not and be cast away forever. Why don’t we hear His voice? I want to really know Him! I feel so alone being separated from God on earth- so I think if I feel alone then I must not really be in “relationship” with Him. I talk to Him but it’s deeply frustrating talking to Him when He doesn’t “talk” back.

          8. Hi,

            I certainly understand why you didn’t want your MIL in your house and that it was not right for her to be there drunk or to take your baby. I am trying to look at things from his perspective – that maybe he could feel upset about his wife calling the police on his mom. I am not saying what you did was wrong. I am saying, he may feel upset about someone calling the police on his mom. Does that make sense?

            And I am not saying that you shouldn’t feel upset about him talking with these other women. I am trying to help you see his possible perspective, since he won’t talk about it.

            I totally agree that there shouldn’t be pot smoking or drunkenness. And, if that is out of control, it is not at all okay. I am trying to help you see his perspective. Not that he is right – but he has his own perspective that is different from yours.

            He may be responding in anger because he feels controlled or feels that you don’t trust him. I don’t know if you should trust him. But people do sometimes respond in anger when they feel they are not being trusted.

            Yikes! Well, if he slept with another woman while you were separated, that is an important piece of information. ๐Ÿ™ And that would certainly make trusting him much more difficult on your end.

            Are you able to meet with the counselor again?

            THankfully, our feelings don’t determine truth about our relationship with God. His Word is our source of truth. I do pray that you will seek Christ with all your heart and seek to grow in Him – because as you are able to hear Him more clearly, He can give you the wisdom and insights you need about how to handle each situation and whether to stay and wait and pray or whether to separate for a time and continue to pray for healing.

            He does speak to us in His Word. Sometimes some people “hear” an audible voice. but many more times, it is more like God speaks to us in our thoughts as we seek Him. Not in an audible voice.

            Praying for God’s wisdom and healing for you, your husband, the family, and your marriage.

          9. He says our huge problem in our marriage is that I need to apologize for hurting his mom. I tried opening up dialogue with her on our visit last month. She was sarcastic, critical and rude. At times we had nice short conversations also. Nothing that would lead to knowing her hurts.

            I will not apologizing for calling the police in her. She was out of line, trespassing on someone else’s property, uninvited, violent, and completely disrespectful of me as a mother. Also she was manipulative as she paid for my husband to go against me in court, never helped me when I cried for help before all of this. My husband had lashed out verbally at me when I was 9 months pregnant and he decided we’d take a “vacation” at her house. The morning his parents left he said ” I hate you. I hate my life bc you’re in it. You ugly fat b****.” This was out if the blue. Completely. Well, I packed up and went home. He then told me he’d never return to our home. Weeks had passed I needed food for the baby and gas money for Drs visits and I was about to have another baby! I had to seek shelter. I gave birth on my own. After this is when she randomly showed in our 1st court date. She lives 4 hrs away. And yet I’m supposed to apologize to her? Please help me understand…

          10. Hi,

            It is really just mind-blowing to me how much drama is going on here.

            You don’t have to apologize for anything. But – if you want to try to move forward with your husband – apologizing for playing a part in the hurt that is in the family now may be a step in healing if you are able to understand why he might be upset – even if you were justified in calling the police. That’s his mom. He loves her – apparently – even if she was very out of line. I don’t know any husband who would be super excited about his wife calling the police on his mom. Even if his mom was wrong.

            “Honey, I can understand why you felt angry that I called the police on your mom. I’m so sorry that it hurt you that I called the police.” Then maybe – stop talking. You don’t have to say that you shouldn’t have called the police. But you can admit that he felt it was hurtful to him that you did call them. You can appreciate that he is upset about what happened even if you felt there was not another good option at the time.

            You could even ask him, “How would you like me to handle a situation like that if something similar were to happen again in the future?” And you could at least listen to his ideas. I’m not saying you have to do what he says in such an extreme situation – but you could listen and hear him and let him know that you care about his feelings on this issue that is very important to him.

            I would very strongly recommend godly, experienced counseling to help you sort through all of this. There is quite a lot going on here.

          11. He’s demanding that I apologize to her not him though.

            He’s ignoring me and being angry and not including me in plans etc etc. It’s all about him everyday. He call me names and then points at me when I eventually react.

            We were just in counseling but he justified himself and shut down about this. I couldn’t stand to hear him talk about me the way he was- judgmental and critical and defending his family. Counselor wants to see him alone. So far he’s rolling his eyes at that. In the meantime I just started seeing another Christian counselor for 3 sessions (she has a different style).

            But right now I’m discouraged and angry at him for demanding things of me instead of entrusting me to The Lord.

            He won’t admit the things he’s done so I can bet apologizing the way you stated will not satisfy him but I can and will do that. However he doesn’t want the apology he wants me to give it to his mom. Should I do that? I don’t even know if the cop thing is what she’s hurt about! She won’t talk to me.

          12. He should have been home by now and he’s not answering the phone or texts. Today was a war of terrible words back and forth. He always has to go there and it isn’t long before I react just the same. He’s used to do this all of the time. I can’t live like that. I knew this was bad the first day it started after leaving his mom’s.

            I have no help- no one to talk to. I’m just sitting here while he pays me back for reacting to his hate for month.

            Why is it ok for him to essentially say do this or that or I’ll refuse to love you?

          13. Hi,

            It’s not okay for any spouse to be hateful, unloving, or addicted to drugs/alcohol, or to sin against the other. God does not give any of us license to sin – even when we are sinned against. We will each answer individually for every bitter, evil thought and every careless word spoken.

            My prayer is for you to abide in Christ and to walk in obedience to God no matter what your husband is or is not doing. Perhaps you need to be separated until there is more healing and trust. I don’t know what God desires you to do. But I do know that you don’t have to yell at him or say hateful things to him. God can empower you to respond without sin as you cling to Him. The posts this week are about this very thing.

            I vote to give him some space to cool off. Right now, I doubt you can say anything that would draw him to you. Perhaps it could be wise to prayerfully consider allowing him to initiate contact?

            I am so sorry you feel so alone. ๐Ÿ™ I’m glad you are reaching out for help. I pray you will use this time to draw near to Christ and to allow Him to begin to transform you.
            Much love to you!

            Ladies,

            Let’s surround Hi with prayer, love, and support!

          14. We have to give an account? Even though we have Jesus we still have to give an account? I’m afraid I’ll be in big trouble. What happens after we give an account? This is scary to think about! I’ve heard the verse before but have always been scared by it.

            I believe what your saying is true. Pastor’s wife out here was saying the opposite tonight. She was saying how when you’re poked and pushed and prodded so much for so long you snap back. Give it to him. That it’s healthy to have boundaries. The boundaries thing I agree with but what about turning the other cheek? Didn’t Jesus say that? How does that fit in line with snapping back? I don’t like how my husband treats me. We do have baggage from our separation and trust issues. I do need practice in speaking up respectfully and in a simple way. I know the answer is in Christ alone and I need my whole heart to be His. Other wise I’m at my husband’s mercy.

            He just came home tonight. Turns out his schedule was changed at work. That was really crazy as I thought he was gone- out- etc. His prior comments made it seem that way. He came in and laid right down and snuggled me. That’s great right? But I’m so confused. I don’t understand the vile words and the withholding and expectations. I’m not safe with him emotionally and I need to know why I struggle so much. Why can’t I let his garbage be his even when he makes it about me? I have to refuse to believe the nasty things he says about me. This is all very very hard.

            I don’t want any more things to have to account for to God. As it stands now I’ll be accounting for as many years as I’ve been alive. This is overwhelming to think about.

            Thank you for your patience and loving kindness in this time you’ve taken to think, pray and reply to my comments.

          15. Hi,

            Matthew 12:35-37
            A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.โ€

            For believers, we can repent of sin and God cleanses us from it with the blood of Christ – but then we do not continue to live in sin. Please read 1 John this week to see what our lives should look like. We will be judged, though, and we will be rewarded for the good we have done in the power of Christ for the kingdom.

            1 Corinthians 3:1-3, 10-15
            Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldlyโ€”mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?… each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each personโ€™s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be savedโ€”even though only as one escaping through the flames.

            You can set boundaries without cussing, calling him stupid or a jerk, or without being hateful. You can set boundaries and even confront his sin without sinning against him. You don’t have to scream or lose control. You don’t have to raise your voice. You can be calm, gentle, respectful, poised, and self-controlled by the power of God’s Spirit living in you. You can calmly say, “This is not okay. Please don’t do X.”

            Here is what Jesus says about how to treat our enemies – wouldn’t this also apply to your husband?

            Romans 12:9-21
            Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lordโ€™s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

            Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

            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 Godโ€™s wrath, for it is written: โ€œIt is mine to avenge; I will repay,โ€ says the Lord. On the contrary:

            โ€œIf 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.โ€
            Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

            You can respect your husband and love him with I Corinthians 13:4-8 love. You can be filled with God’s Spirit and full of the fruit of His Spirit no matter what your husband does.

            He may be a very spiritually wounded man. He may be far from God. Don’t receive any words that Satan tries to speak to you through your husband’s mouth. Reject any words that are not of God and replace them with the truth from God’s Word.

            Much love to you!

          16. Wow! Is everyone reading what April just posted? This makes me think of why we are take every thought captive to Christ. This is extremely important.

            My husband and I just had a conversation about this (I just read April’s response and he had been listening to sermons on the way to work) Well, time to grow up in Him. No room for jealousy, hatred, vile words. It’s over. Judgement is coming and how will it be to have everything I built burn up because I didn’t yield my way, my heart, my tongue to Him. We will not be judged with the wicked. Believers, judged separately, will be saved! Praise His Holy Name! And I don’t want to narrowly escape those flames either. You know what I mean?

            Today, my husband (on his own) said he understands that he causes me to sin when he lures me in with his nasty words. I have to account for joining in that sin and he has to account for causing others to stumble. This is serious stuff!!!! Reminds me of my responsibility as a mother also. And What about little thoughts and complaints inside the heart that never come out? God surely sees everything! This is something… that He CLEANSES us from our sins….that means I can trust Him that He gives me His victory over them, right?! That I may truly GROW UP in Him! That i don’t have to constantly struggle and fight with sin, right? That I CAN live FREE from confessed sin in Him, right? (I will read 1 John again also)

            April I can’t thank you enough for this godly wisdom. Thank you for hearing me, responding and laying it all out clearly. I hope others are blessed by this exchange as I know I have been in reading what others go through and ask as well. I have a BIG responsibility and that is to FOLLOW my LORD and Savior and that means to yield to Him in everything no matter who spits in my face or curses me. Bless them…Jesus did!

            I live in an area where many Muslims live. I used to be afraid and so angry at their persistence with their false god and hatred of Christians but you know what?… 2 days ago I kept running into the same Muslim woman and small child. From one place in town to another. I couldn’t help but pray blessings over her again and again. I know that’s His Spirit doing that. Because surely God loves this woman and child deeply. Now I pray for Muslims with love and deep affection in Christ. In Christ we don’t take offense and I don’t take offense to them or fear them in the crippling way I once did. – that’s to God’s glory not mine. God knows what will happen in my town. If we will ever be persecuted for this faith. He knows. And everyday I have to trust Him and know Him more. He is all I have. And I better be loving my enemies in that day because my LORD did even unto death.

            So I had the very challenging and humbling chance to reach out and ask questions and reach out to another believer here when no one else was there. Oh to be corrected and taught with His wisdom and His grace and His love and understanding. Thank you, sister.

            Proverbs 9

            1Wisdom has built her house;
            she has carved its seven columns.
            2She has prepared a great banquet,
            mixed the wines, and set the table.
            3She has sent her servants to invite everyone to come.
            She calls out from the heights overlooking the city.
            4โ€œCome in with me,โ€ she urges the simple.
            To those who lack good judgment, she says,
            5โ€œCome, eat my food,
            and drink the wine I have mixed.
            6Leave your simple ways behind, and begin to live;
            learn to use good judgment.โ€
            7Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return.
            Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt.
            8So donโ€™t bother correcting mockers;
            they will only hate you.
            But correct the wise,
            and they will love you.
            9Instruct the wise,
            and they will be even wiser.
            Teach the righteous,
            and they will learn even more.
            10Fear of the LORD is the foundation of wisdom.
            Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment.
            11Wisdom will multiply your days
            and add years to your life.
            12If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit.
            If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer.

          17. Hi,

            WOW. I can see that God is clearly speaking powerfully to you today. That brings such joy to my soul and the biggest smile to my face. ๐Ÿ™‚ The lightbulbs have gone on for you. WOOHOO!

            I am so excited to see all that God has in store for you. Please let me know how we can pray for you and your husband.

            What a beautiful heart for Christ and love for others God is developing in you, my dear sister! ๐Ÿ™‚ LOVE IT!

          18. Any suggestions on what to say to his mom? I texted her asking her to call. Not because my husband has been demanding it but because if there is something that needs to be said we should say it. She did call but I don’t really know what to say! I want to have a respectful woman to woman conversation. Something short and hopefully meaningful and with dignity. But I certainly don’t want to gravel at her feet as my husband once put it. I don’t think she is a follower of Christ. It’s late here now so this call would be more for tomorrow.

          19. Hi,

            Perhaps you can simply say, “I’d really love for us to have a healthy, respectful, loving relationship. What do you feel like I could do to help begin to make that happen?” And then listen and let her know you will consider the things she shared. No need to defend yourself. No need to attack her. If she is open and asks you what she can do to help strengthen the relationship, you can gently, respectfully share in a calm voice what you believe would help without attacking or condemning her.

            ๐Ÿ™‚

          20. Hi April
            Thank you for these suggestions. These are wonderfully respectful and loving words and I look forward to using them with her. I thank our Father in heaven for this help that has come through your ministry. I have been cared for, held up in prayer, encouraged, corrected and edified in Christ here – what more could I ask for?

            His peace to you.

          21. Hi,

            You are most welcome. That is what the Body of Christ is for. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love that this is a safe place to share where women (and men) might find encouragement, prayer, friendship, acceptance, hope, exhortation, and edification.

            Please let me know how you are doing, my dear sister! ๐Ÿ™‚

          22. Hi April

            Prayed. Trusted Him. Had the talk with my MIL and sincerely said the words you wrote . She was offended (although denies it) and basically spoke the entire time about how she’s always loved me and always been there for me and that we are not “getting to know know each other” but that we’ve known each other for years. Bizarre. Very bizarre to me. The sacrasm was very intense. I had to excuse myself and out the phone on mute just to get relief. She denied being offended at all. No room for sincere talk (she brought up the past and even called me “self righteous” about it.) I didn’t have anything to say. It seemed fake and all about her. As we were talking she said I acted as if nothing had happened in the past. Although I had not one opportunity to say that or even act that way. I had only said one sentence. Feels like nothing was accomplished ๐Ÿ™ if anything I just took a sarcastic backhand or ten from her. Frustrating. Annoying. I VERY MUCH HATE SARCASM. I can see where my husband gets it from ๐Ÿ™
            She literally judged everything I said and them slaps “I’ve loved you this whole time.” on the end of every criticism.

            What on earth do I do now? Any suggestions or insights?

          23. Hi,

            You do what God calls you to do. Check out Romans 12:17-21. I Corinthians 13:4-8. Galatians 5:18-25. Philippians 2:14-16. Ask God to change you. Ask God to give you His love and perspective and wisdom. Seek to honor and please Him. You can’t change her or your husband. They may have quite a lot of dysfunction going on. She probably does love you as best she can right now with what she knows and understands. She is probably doing all that she knows to do to love – even if it is a far cry from real love. She may be blind to God and may be walking in the flesh and can’t love with God’s love yet because His Spirit is not in control.

            You continue to shine and let God work in you. Seek Him with all your heart. Realize that sinful people who are controlled by the flesh are slaves to sin and can’t love with God’s love. If they could love with God’s love, they would. Pray that God works in their hearts to open their eyes. Realize they don’t know what they are doing – but one day they will see. Seek God’s prompting and wisdom about how to proceed.

            The book by Leslie Vernick may be helpful – How to Interact with Destructive People.

            Thank you for trying to humble yourself and reach out to begin to bring reconciliation. That is awesome!

    2. 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!

  7. 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.

      1. 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

        1. Yes, and the lady above wrote that she was just teasing, but anyhow, commenting on someone’s looks sounds a bit distasteful to me, besides it’s not a make-up or beauty blog, peple should already be grateful for what you do and the fact that you were brave enough to share your life with so many of us.

          1. Shining example for everyone to see.

            Very grateful to see how you responded. I want what you have! -That peace and joy and love in Christ and for others ๐Ÿ™‚ !!!!

          2. Hi,
            You can have it! God gives Himself freely to all who surrender their lives, hearts, and minds completely to Him and who seek Him wholeheartedly. Then He does the work of changing us. ๐Ÿ™‚ We rest in Him and trust Him to do in us what we cannot do for ourselves.

  8. April you are beautiful inside and out, and there is nothing more beautiful than someone who shines out for Christ. I want to shine in my love for Him as much as you do!
    God bless you and your family, and your ministry. You will never know it’s true worth in this life – worth more than precious jewels and fine gold, and more beautiful and lasting than any vain and shallow ‘beauty’ that this world applauds! xx

  9. 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!

      1. Charli and peacefulwife,

        I appreciate you posting this. I needed to hear it. I forget too often about Ephesians 6 and spiritual warfare. ๐Ÿ™ I need resources and wisdom raising my kids, patience with them, parenting, discipline, discipling, and homeschool etc. Any recommendations?

        What does that mean- one believing parent sanctifies the household? I thought sanctification came after someone believes? Just curious bc I’ve been wondering about this. Thanks, ladies, I’m very grateful you all are here to share and correct and pray and “talk” and encourage each other in Christ. Grateful that we see it all on here from attacks to praises and in between. That’s what really happens in life, doesn’t it?

        1. Hi,

          I would suggest first focusing on your own walk with Christ. Then His Spirit can give you the wisdom you need and the power and love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control you need to address various situations.

          Sanctification in the Christian walk comes after someone comes to Christ as Savior and LORD of their lives, yes. But the sanctifying a household means that the children are exposed to the gospel and taught God’s truth and love and that they have the opportunity to experience God’s love and a godly example through one parent.

          Yes, there is absolutely spiritual warfare going on. Your husband is not the real enemy. Satan and the sinful nature are the real enemies. It is so important for us to see the true enemy and to fight him, not to fight the people we are called to love.

          Much love to you!

          1. Hi April

            Thank you for explaining about sanctification. Very grateful for the help you’ve offered me on several posts. Reading in the ebook now.

  10. “In my understanding at the time, the only way I could think of to not worry was โ€œto not care.โ€ I certainly couldnโ€™t do that!”

    Oh… my…. goodness. This is my beautiful wife’s life motto. Either total obsession or completely not care & give up on something. No moderation.

    It’s okay to care about something, but you can’t control everything. In fact, in trying to gain the control, you usually end up feeling less in control because you simply can’t control everything. Then you’re left with a failure (because you didn’t control it well enough).

    1. AnonyMan,

      Yep. That tends to be what we do – especially when we don’t have the tools to see how to fully trust Christ and we are depending on ourselves and trusting ourselves to make things “work out right.”

      True. We don’t actually have control like we often think we do. It is mostly an illusion. And sometimes, the more we try to control things, the more we mess them up!

      1. It’s funny, something so incidental that this pattern comes out is the carpet. When the toddler gets spots on the carpet from snacks, milk, etc, it’s bound to get dirty. I clean up the best I can usually. If the cat barfs, I pick it up, do a spot cleaning, and move on. But on frequent occasion she’ll be on her hands & knees, doing an “all over” spot clean, then shoot me daggers and accuse me of “not caring” because I’m not all bent out of shape along side her. I tell her to relax (mistake – instant fight). Heck, I have even borrowed the inlaws carpet cleaning machine and deep cleaned all the carpet, but I still hear the accusation about how I “don’t care” unless I’m all emotionally lathered up with her.

        I don’t get it, April. I am thankful you are here to demonstrate that it’s nothing new and I’m not the only guy in this position.

        1. Anonyman,
          And that is one reason I don’t like to own carpet! ๐Ÿ™‚ Ha!

          But I hear you – my brother – I truly do.

          When we believe – and this is a core fixed belief – that love=worry and stress, anyone who doesn’t react with the same intensity we do must therefore (in our paradigm) not care as much as we do.

          Unfortunately – we don’t understand at that point that there are different ways to think and better ways to care and love. But those fixed beliefs about our sovereignty vs. God’s sovereignty and our definition of love must be addressed – as well as our faith in God. We can so deceive ourselves. I did! I was convinced I loved and trusted God – but a casual glance at my life showed that fear, control, worry, and pride were driving my train. The flesh was in charge – and the fruit of the flesh was evident in my life (Galatians 5:18-21).

          I have tried to approach various women about their worry – it often does not go well. It is SO HARD to know that there is freedom from that prison and to watch someone insist on staying in the dungeon when Jesus has opened the door and already removed the shackles! But we can’t open other’s eyes.

          I wonder if it may work – with the Spirit’s prompting and power – to gently talk about alternate definitions of love and that there are other perspectives that are legitimate. That there is even a way to have such faith that worry is completely unnecessary – and that God doesn’t want us to live in worry but to live in faith and trust in Him?

          Ultimately, only God can open a person’s eyes. But I pray He will give you wisdom as you seek to gently share with your wife.

          Another approach I have tried is to say, “Let’s pray about that right now! God can take care of this. That is too heavy of a weight for a person.”

          And then, I wonder if she might be open to listening to David Platt or John Piper sermons on the sovereignty of God.

          Or, perhaps she might be willing to read Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray with you? (link contains a free download) I just started it this week. AMAZING! Every Christian needs to read it, in my view!

          No, you are not at all the only husband in this position. This is an issue of faith and an issue between a woman and God primarily.

          1. I truly empathize with Anonyman, I was once one of those carpet idolizing wives, totally frustrated because my hubby “just didn’t care.” The poor man, I am so sorry. I really have no idea what I needed from him, but it had a lot to do with feeling out of control, unable to control the silly carpet and the damage being done to our home. Somehow Christ lead me to finally let it go and hubby eventually ripped all the carpet out and put in laminate floors.

          2. insanitybytes22,

            I was that way, too. I made little issues bigger than my obedience to God, our marriage, how I treated my husband – I was so laser focused on “fixing the problem” and making it “perfect” that I missed the real important things. Perfectionism and people pleasing (what would someone say if they saw my house like this?) drove me a lot of times – along with fear and pride – as I look back on it.

            Thank you for sharing! And hooray for no more carpet!

          3. I’m going to write down some of your core ideas here and boil them into language she might find non offensive. Thanks for the ideas to chew on.

          4. I keep thinking about what you’re saying. The idea of “controlling” would NOT be a word she’d use to describe herself. No matter how graciously I could discuss it, I think if I was trying to convey the idea of “controlling” would startle her and she would think the idea was ludicrous. In fact, she calls me “the boss” because if something needs to get done, I have to cease arguing and just make a decision. Often times her decision making skills move too slow for the speed of life. So it looks like I’m “bossy.” Anyway, my point is that she would tell a tale that she is under my thumb, and under my control, and that I’m controlling. So I’m stuck in this catch 22 where she’s a self described victim that controls nothing.

            But I keep circling back… it’s a control issue. She’s crabby, angry, and “frustrated” constantly, like her normal static state is “frustrated.” It’s stemming from this idea of controlling everything, and failing to control, and then resulting in “frustration.”

            Is this making sense? Am I on the flow chart correctly?

          5. AnonyMan,

            I think there can be separate issues between control and worry.

            There is the kind of control where a wife takes over and usurps her husband’s authority and makes the decisions herself. I did that. Although, if Greg really stood up for what he thought, I would – eventually – very reluctantly go along with his leadership. So, in my mind, I “had” to take over because he “wouldn’t” lead – of course I didn’t really give him much of a chance. If I asked a question, I expected an answer in a few seconds. He needed a lot more time than that – which I know now.

            Why does she believe she is a victim, do you think?

            Your wife may not participate in overt attempts to control you. But she may have an issue – as I also did – with trying to control God or trying to be in charge of things that were not really in my control. Or there may be unbelief or a lack of trust or a lot of fear. Control almost always – no matter what kind of control – has a root in fear. Of course, worry, does, as well.

            Being a perfectionist also results in frustration because nothing is ever perfect – and a perfectionist focuses on the things that are not perfect. If things were perfect, that is not a cause for celebration. It is only what is just “barely acceptable.” And if anything is not perfect, then there is always cause for negativity and frustration. It is a truly miserable way to live.

            Not sure if this is helpful?

  11. It is in my experience and observational opinion, that her biggest root that seeps into different areas of her life is insecurity. Insecure about making the “right” decision (so she avoids making one entirely until it’s too late, then an opportunity has passed, or someone else has made a decision, or because life has happened).
    Too insecure to show unconditional love, because that is “vulnerable.” So she controls (or maybe copes???) by not showing love at all.
    Too insecure to express an opinion because someone might disagree and that would be devastating and permanently add baggage to a relationship.
    When I’m saying control, I think about control as a way to cope with insecurity (what will people judge if my carpet is dirty?) not as an end in itself.
    She even loves a certain sport, and loves the local team, but she lives by a motto of “don’t get your hopes up because you’ll be crushed if they don’t win.” The insecurity of a silly sports team ruins her ability to even enjoy it, so she controls/copes by not investing any emotion at all.

    It results in a very black & white way of living. All in, or nothing.

    I am as clear as mud?

      1. I used to be rather shy, a bit submissive, and perhaps insecure. It took awhile for Christ to convince me that was actually an issue with pride, that pride does not always show itself as arrogance. Pride is nearly always the flip side of shame,and shame is what lead me to try and control our silly carpet. Pride is also what lead me to “never get your hopes up,” to believe that I had to be in control of many little things because if I didn’t, no one else would and the whole thing would crumble.

    1. AnonyMan,

      Greg often described me as being totally “black and white” earlier in our marriage. Something was either right or wrong (although sometimes, I was basing my understanding of right and wrong more on my own personal convictions than Scripture). I tended to be very condemning of myself and Greg. I didn’t have grace to extend to Greg and was resentful and bitter. Of course, I didn’t have grace for myself, either. I think we have to see the depth of our sin and then experience God’s grace before we can give a lot of grace – or, at least, I needed to do so.

      I find that insecurity is one of the greatest struggles many women face. Also bitterness, guilt, people pleasing, perfectionism, worry, and fear. It is scary to be vulnerable – especially if you don’t have grace. A lot of people try to protect their own hearts in relationships – but they don’t realize that self-protection means there is a wall up and you can’t have vulnerability and intimacy.

      Have you seen my post about the snare of people pleasing? It is very easy to forget that God is the only one we ultimately need to please and to torture ourselves trying to make other people happy (especially strangers and even acquaintances) in order to avoid judgment and people thinking less of us. There is so much freedom in letting go of seeking the approval of people and just embracing seeking the approval of God. We think we can enjoy and live life by protecting ourselves from emotional pain – but we end up just missing out on the very things we long for the most – real connection, intimacy, and authenticity.

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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