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"I Wanted So Much to Respect My Husband – but I Just Couldn't"

http://simplegreensmoothies.com/green-smoothie-101
http://simplegreensmoothies.com/green-smoothie-101

Sometimes it can be so difficult for us to tell the origin of a problem in our thinking and behavior. Is it a spiritual issue, a medical issue, a side effect of a medication, a nutritional issue or a combination? These things can be tough to discern – which is probably why Jesus instructed us not to judge others. How can we possibly know all the things that may be going on in a person’s soul, mind, and body at a given moment?

As a pharmacist, I am aware that sometimes behavioral/emotional problems can stem from people eating things with food coloring (especially red #40), preservatives, or just a lack of a healthy diet in general (our normal Western diet is probably the worst diet in the world nutritionally, unfortunately). 

Sometimes emotional/behavioral issues come from things like thyroid problems, messed up hormone levels, PMS, brain cancer, sleep deprivation, not enough time in the sunlight, other kinds of tumors, strokes, low oxygen levels, illness, pain, low blood sugar, low blood pressure, and a whole myriad of health problems. Of course addictions to drugs/alcohol or to anything, really, can greatly affect mood and emotions, often creating irritability or even hostility.

Other times medications create mental/emotional/behavioral issues – antihistamines, decongestants, birth control pills, narcotics, prednisone, energy drinks, and others. Sometimes the first few weeks someone is on certain meds for depression or bi-polar or other psychiatric meds can create major mood issues and even thoughts of self-harm, the same can also happen when these drugs are quickly discontinued. (My purpose in this post is not to give medical advice. I just want people to realize that there are many medical reasons for emotional/behavioral issues – please talk with your doctor or pharmacist about medications or diseases that may be causing a problem for you. Some medications cannot be abruptly discontinued – especially psychiatric meds, some blood pressure meds, prednisone, some narcotic pain meds, etc… Talk with your doctor before discontinuing any prescriptions.)

Some people find great improvement in their mood and attitude when they “eat clean” – you can google that phrase or “clean eating” for lots of resources. The basic idea is that you try to eliminate preservatives, artificial colors, refined sugar, refined white flour, genetically modified foods, unhealthy fats, additives, and chemicals. Instead, the goal is to eat lots of fresh vegetables, some fresh fruits, certain dairy products, fermented foods that have naturally good bacteria, whole grains, low-fat meats, and healthy fats. (I have actually started doing this myself in May of this year.)

Sometimes there are things that are solely spiritual issues. We are going to be talking more about how to address spiritual issues in future posts. And sometimes it can be a combination. I have seen wives with major health issues improve physically as they dealt with lies they were believing spiritually and I have seen some women’s health issues improve dramatically when they release bitterness. It is all connected – body, mind, and soul in ways we will never fully understand in this lifetime.

I believe that this wife’s story below is an important one for us to consider together. The root of the problem that God showed her may not be the same issue for every woman experiencing difficulty showing respect to her husband – but I think it may help us to consider when a medical/nutritional evaluation may be in order.  I pray this post may be a blessing to many:

——–

I guess I feel really conflicted and confused about my experience with peacefulwife.com and the way God used it in my life. As you know, when I first found your website my husband and I were basically starting over completely as far as having dealt with our past and learning to be real and intimate and close again. I had to learn how to relate to him through negative moments while staying close, and your website offered a lot of constructive advice on how to do that.

The problem I had, which was a very serious one, was that I could not live it out. I would read your website, feel like I had learned a lot, totally agree with the solutions and ideas you were offering, commit to putting them to action, and then when a negative moment came, I would completely and totally lose it.

In fact, I lost it a lot, even in moments that didn’t seem to be negative or have any real significance at all.

It would be like a storm cloud appearing on the edge of the horizon of my emotions, and I would self talk and self talk and pray and negotiate with it but it would finally overtake me and I would completely freak out. I would perceive my husband to be my enemy and he always knew I was “altered” when I told him “You’re my enemy” and then would spend the next few hours in a dark, miserable mood.

I could usually hear my smothered voice trying to self talk myself through it saying, “You should really apologize!”, etc, but it didn’t matter. I could not do it, and even if I somehow managed to get some humble respectful words out, the darkness would not lift off me and inevitably the next moment I would continue lashing out at my husband.

I was so angry with myself for failing at being a respectful wife.

I didn’t understand why this advice worked for everyone but I was so unusually, wildly sinful that I couldn’t even learn helpful strategies and use them. I beat myself up for days after every failure and sometimes wondered if I was even saved because I wasn’t growing in this area at all. I wondered why God was ignoring my constant prayers begging for His help.

It got worse and worse until I had an episode that lasted about a day and a half. Then my therapist referred me to a psychiatrist with my husband’s full support. Unhappily, I waited for the day of my appointment.

During this time, I developed aspirations of getting back to my “dream weight”. This led me to totally overhaul my diet, go back on weight watchers, and this led me to drinking green smoothies for breakfast.

After a week of green smoothies for breakfast, I suddenly realized I hadn’t had a single episode all week. Then another week. Then another! My husband even let me cancel the appointment with the psychiatrist because he noticed such a change in me!

It’s been a few months and I no longer have these episodes. I still struggle with respect in my words and actions sometimes, but now it’s on a “normal” level, and I am actually capable of listening to my own self talk and modifying my behavior.

A little trial and error has revealed that the key is the green smoothies. A few times I have not had them during the weekend or missed a day and would quickly slip back into perceiving my husband as my enemy.

I have a friend who is finishing up school to become a nutritionist and I recently asked her why I needed 3 cups of spinach a day to stay sane. She told me, “B6 and Magnesium! It’s like psychiatric medication when taken together!” Well, everything in the smoothies I had been making was a huge dose of B6 and magnesium.

After she told me this, I did some research online and found out the B6 and magnesium are hugely effective in dealing with a lot of emotional problems including “hyperemotivity”. I was really amazed that God had led me to effective, affordable medication with no side effects!!!

So now I’m not sure how to think about the year I spent struggling desperately and failing consistently to be a good submissive and respectful wife. I was SO angry with myself and SO sure that I was the most grotesquely deformed sinner in the whole world and America’s worst wife and everything I hated and didn’t want to be.

In reality, the whole time it was a health issue, probably related to the fact that I had just gone through my second pregnancy.

The other night I was talking to my husband about all of this and he told me that over the last year my respect had been what enabled him to grow so much as a man. I was like what respect??? I was such a failure! However, even though I completely failed at the letter and law of being a submissive, respectful wife, because respect and submission were in my heart that was enough for him and he responded to it.

I guess the biggest part that confuses me is why (I felt) God asked me to do something (be a respectful wife) that I physically could not do, and let me struggle with that for a year before actually enabling me to do it. It was a very rough year for both of us.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

I pray this story might be an encouragement to you. I’d love for us to take good care of our bodies and get the healthy nutrition, sleep, and exercise we need. I would also like to see us take good care of our souls and spend a lot of time resting in Christ, depending totally on Him to work in us not on our own self-effort, and living in constant and total surrender to Him.

The truth is that none of us can be godly wives or women on our own. We are all completely desperately in need of the Holy Spirit to work in and through each of us. And, we may need some medical help or nutritional support, as well – depending on our unique circumstances.

Much love to each of you!

THIS WIFE’S SMOOTHIE RECIPE:

half an avocado, juice of one lemon, a cup of frozen mango or pineapple, a frozen banana, three cups of tightly packed fresh baby spinach, and a cup of water. That makes two servings 🙂

85 thoughts on “"I Wanted So Much to Respect My Husband – but I Just Couldn't"

  1. I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome in January this year, and was told to go on a low fodmap diet, and I can tell you that it kinda was a weight off my shoulders. I have had stomach issues for years and had no idea really why. I have allergies in the family and already knew I had hay fever and had a allergic reaction to Valium. I would eat something sometimes and I would get the most ill feeling and the food would go straight through me and it was horrible, it wasn’t something I could pin point of what it was but I know now that certain fodmaps are triggers. I felt tired all the time I felt bloated and just not 100%. But since doing the diet and going through the elimation phases and re introducing foods again, I know now what things make me feel bloated or tired or make me sick I now know that gluten, lactose and too much sugar make me feel sick, so I eat a lot of veggies know and love eating radish to snack on.There is so much junk out there it does not surprise me that food can alter your moods etc. like they say you are what you eat.

    1. Bec D.,

      I have IBS, too! Have had it since middle school. I also have lots of allergies. So you are feeling a lot better now? That is awesome!!! 🙂 Thank you for sharing. I am doing a lot better since dealing with some abdominal adhesions, muscle spasms, dietary changes (an anti-inflammatory diet), and exercises, too.

      Much love to you! 🙂

      1. I have been dealing with IBS for 30 years also and I have found that eating very little fructose of any kind has helped a ton since most with IBS don’t do well with much fructose.

        I’m glad you addressed the health factor in your post today, April. The farther we have gotten away from the Lord and His ways in our lives, including the food He created for us to eat, the worse off we have become!

        1. Lori Alexander,

          That is interesting that you have had IBS, also. Thank you so much for sharing about how lowering fructose helped.

          I love the thought of approaching this from all angles – spiritual, nutritional, and medical (when needed). 🙂

          Much love to you!

        2. Lori, yes fructose does seem to be a issue for me too. Fructose is in a lot of things. I even found that if I eat pineapple it makes me sleepy and I mean sleepy lol. If I eat too much sugar I find that it makes me feel sick , but everyone reacts different. My mother has celiac disease and IBS and is lactose intolerant so it should come as no surprise for me. So cos I have two daughters I am watching for signs with them too.

          1. Bec D,

            My grandmother – who is 93 – gets VERY sick on her stomach if she has any sugar. I think if we all had that reaction, it would give us a lot of motivation to avoid the stuff!

            Thank you so much for sharing. Interesting about the fructose.

      2. Yes I am feeling heaps better. I feel blessed to know that I know now what it was and that there is other Christian women out there too. I have been enjoying your blogs and videos on YouTube.

        1. Bec D.,

          So glad you are feeling better! That is awesome! 🙂 Thanks for letting me know that the blogs and videos have been a blessing. I pray God might continue to speak and work powerfully in your life. 🙂

  2. April,
    This article hit home for me. My husband is undergoing FCR chemo treatments for CLL. He does have an 11q deletion. He ordered his records for me to review as he can no longer work and is attempting to apply for SS disability. I found he labeled an alcoholic. Why wouldn’t a health professional inform his family and help us deal with his anger or help him being informed? It says alcohol related issues and limits to BHOP and ETOH abuse. It also states he had alcohol withdrawal. I don’t know what this means. He’s off of the alcohol but, how can the healthcare system be so cruel as to not help his family? It also says he has INHC adjustment. What is an audit score of 8 for alcoholism? Also it was suggested he read “Keep Your Love On”. What do you think of this book? I am in the word everyday and pray continually. I appreciate your help.

    1. Vickie,

      I can’t begin to imagine all that is going on in your husband’s body physically. I’m not sure how it works when someone is diagnosed as an alcoholic. I know there are HIPPA laws that prevent medical professionals from sharing anything about anyone’s medical situation unless that person gives permission for it to be shared. I am not familiar with these terms or with the book you are talking about.

      But I would suggest that you contact Celebrate Recovery and check out the resources they have for wives. You can also check with the clinic he has gone to and ask them for resources for spouses of alcoholics. I am sure that the alcoholism and withdrawals would TREMENDOUSLY impact your husband’s personality and emotions and the way he treats others.

      I’m so glad you are seeking God with all your heart, my precious sister! Sending you the biggest hug!

  3. Oh wow , she should have shared the smoothie recipe with us.

    I changed my diet a few years ago after reading a book called the makers diet. I stopped eating many things and I’m happy with that . I do have a problem with binge eating at times when I’m stressed. I’m working on not doing that. My focus is to eat real food that God said is good to eat 😁

    1. Shy,

      Thank you for sharing! I’m so glad that has been a blessing to you. 🙂 Yes, all of the processed foods and chemicals we eat were certainly not in God’s original design for our diet.

      I saw a program about a cat behaviorist – Jackson Galaxy – where he was helping a man whose cat was out of control attacking everyone who came to his apartment. Jackson asked what the man was feeding the cat. And it turns out the man was giving him doughnuts, pizza, all kinds of human junk food and sugary things. Jackson, shocked, explained that cats aren’t meant to have sugar and junk food and that it messes with their blood sugar levels which creates aggression.

      When we eat things we are not designed to eat – there are ramifications on many levels, too.

      Much love, my sister! 🙂

  4. April,

    I am reflecting anew, continually, really, on what a blessing this site is, in helping us all benefit from each other’s experiences and insight, both physically and spiritually. Our sister’s story is very interesting to me, and substantiates the importance of a healthy diet. What cause for celebration that she found the cause of her misery and that it’s gone!

    I’m fortunate at age 59 to have no health issues, but I’d also like to mention, in case my story might help others, the importance of natural light in my life. I didn’t put it all together until adulthood, when what I thought was post partum depression made me so miserable for months I just wanted to die and could barely function. In retrospect, the hormonal surges of pregnancy surely aggravated the way I felt, but lack of exposure to natural light proved to be the root cause.

    I hated the overhead light in our home then (we had very little money for nice home furnishings back then), and went out and bought two beautiful Stiffel lamps that provided soft, indirect lighting in the evening. Then I sat in that room every time I nursed my daughter and as much as I could all through the late afternoon and evening. Surprisingly, I began to feel better immediately! Then I remembered that as a child I had also felt extremely depressed in our living room in the winter, which had no lighting except for two florescent tubes in the ceiling. THEN, I realized that the house we were living in was in a valley between two other tall houses close to ours that blocked out the sun very early in the day. It was also November, when the days are short. When I realized it was natural light I needed, I spent more time outside too, even if it was just taking a drive with my children in the middle of winter and being in the sun.

    Years later, I read about SADD, Seasonal Affective Depressive Disorder, and had a name for what I’d experienced–also an explanation for why the florescent lights had made me feel so sad: they provide light on the blue end of the light spectrum, which can cause brain chemistry changes that produce depression in sensitive people. I haven’t suffered this way for years because I escaped that steep valley and now live in a house full of windows with warm, indirect lighting at night. Our creator really designed us to benefit from the natural light he surrounded us with, and when we live differently it can cause depression. Hope this may help some to recognize the need for light in our lives, both spiritual and physical.

    1. Elizabeth,

      Yes SADD affects a lot of people, especially those who live in areas that have much shorter days in the winter (farther from the equator). There are full spectrum lightbulbs that can be helpful. And there is light therapy available, as well. But for many people, just getting out into the sunlight when possible makes a big difference.

      Thank you so much for sharing! 🙂

      I love that! Yes! We need physical and spiritual light in our lives. 🙂

  5. Thank you to this wife for sharing! I recently started drinking green smoothies and homemade veggie juices – big improvements!

    God bless you all.

  6. Here is the wife’s recipe from the post:

    Half an avocado, juice of one lemon, a cup of frozen mango or pineapple, a frozen banana, three cups of tightly packed fresh baby spinach, and a cup of water. That makes two servings 🙂

  7. Green Smoothies are great! I did the Hallelujah diet for a while, which is basically 85 percent raw, 15 percent cooked, all whole grains, daily fresh juiced carrots/vegetable juices, no refined/white stuff or animal products and experienced fairly impressive results; skin cleared up and looked 16, brain fog gone, bowel cleared out, head aches and depression gone. The only issue I had with it was that I didn’t get enough energy from it.It may have been that at that time I was not able to afford to have a greater amount of foods in my house and so my healthy choices were limited. Although they insist that all animal products are bad, I suspect that in at least some cases, its man’s tampering with God’s creation that is the culprit in terms of pasteurization, refining, altering animal’s diets so they are not eating and behaving the way God designed them. I am planning to do Green Smoothies again.

    1. Patricia,

      The anti-inflammatory diet I have been on is similar to what you were on. Although, there are some lean meats and certain dairy products. I noticed if I only ate meat 2 time a week the way the diet suggested, I felt like a zombie. I also noticed that if I cut out grains completely, I felt exhausted and no energy. So I had to modify things a bit to be sure I get enough grains and protein for my body.

      Yes, I think we have altered things so much and added so many chemicals and changed proteins so much that what we eat is often very different from what God designed for us to eat.

      Much love! Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂

  8. I just typed a long, long post and lost it! Waaa (that’s me whining!).

    I believe God is confirming to me to continue with my increase in B6 as I have just started that a little over a week ago based on information I kept coming across in researching health info for myself. I think the last couple of days I have started to notice a difference.

    Also, I truly love the perspective, April, you gave of how we don’t know what people might be dealing with as far as mental things that just need to be tweaked or horrible childhoods that they are having to overcome, etc. I was just thinking last week that one day, we will discover that some people that we thought weren’t living up to their true potential were really doing amazing living for God when we see what the challenges they were facing. The perspective that the wife gave about knowing what the right thing was to do and just not being able to do it made me think of this line in Matt Maher’s song “Deliverer” : “Every angel I knew was singing son come home, But the melody was hard to sing along”. I really can understand exactly what she’s saying because this is also how I’ve felt at times. I know what the right thing to do is, I know what God has shown and called me to, yet sometimes, it feels like the melody is hard to sing along to.

    I have been going through quite a health journey myself the last few years and have found that going on an ancestral diet (paleo style, but without the emphasis on evolution!) has helped in many ways. God led me to a book that He used to get me to effortlessly go to this kind of eating. It’s also been confirmed to me that my mental/emotional health suffers when I try to go back to eating wheat, processed foods, etc. He’s also led me to some knowledge about my genetics that I wasn’t even looking for (dr ran some tests on me without really telling me what they were) and I’m starting to piece together some puzzle pieces. I believe my zinc/copper ratio is off (copper is high, which is known to cause mental disorders/problems) and that I might also have mercury or other heavy metal toxicity. I’m basing this on the results of the genetic test and the fact that tests also showed I had high oxidative stress. All of this has been on my mind a lot the last several days and last night I just prayed that God would lead me in my researching and going forward in this area. I don’t want to be carried away by all the unknowns and what-could-be’s, but I do believe He is guiding me to answers.

    Just a slight word of warning on green smoothies. Spinach is high in oxalates and for some people (not all), this can cause problems with kidney stones. If you’re prone to kidney stones, I’d do some further research into whether it would be good to do this on a daily basis. It might be wise to rotate your greens (maybe using steamed kale to take the edge off the raw flavor). And some people with digestive issues (like me) may find that they can’t tolerate raw vegetables very well. Cooked vegetables are best as you’re healing your digestive system (lots of info on the web about doing this if you’re interested!). As with everything, balance and moderation is key.

    1. Jennifer,

      Thank you so much for sharing! I hate that you lost your last comment. 🙁

      I’m so thankful for the things God is showing you. I love what you said –

      I was just thinking last week that one day, we will discover that some people that we thought weren’t living up to their true potential were really doing amazing living for God when we see what the challenges they were facing.

      Wow! Yes. I think you are right!

      So glad that God is leading you to some answers. Genetics do play a big role in how we metabolize food and medications – and it also can affect what diet we would best thrive under. I have read about this, too. That people with Eskimo ancestry don’t do well if they cut out meat and just do veggies and carbs. And that people of European ancestry (like me) don’t do well if they have no carbs.

      Thank you for sharing about the idea of alternating greens for those prone to kidney stones. 🙂

      Some people have a hard time digesting raw greens. Taking digestive enzymes can help, or some people marinate their greens first to help them begin to “predigest.”

      Much love to you! 🙂

  9. I had these exact same issues! Moodiness, explosive anger with my kids and husband, terrible PMS, lethargy, weight gain, etc. I am drinking green smoothies from Purium now and they have made a huge difference in my overall health and mood. My husband has even started drinking them with me. And I know this is not the place for a commercial but I believe in this product so much that I am now a vendor. If anyone would like to try, please send them my way. Blessings, sisters! Brooke.Bacon@gmail.com. 623-216-8817.

  10. Thanks for this guest post. I won’t be doing the green smoothies, unless my husband wants to invest in a juicer or daily trips to Jamba Juice, and I think he thinks I’m not so full of vitrol neither one of these are necessary. But I do have that same wish that I could communicate to him more respectfully. Sometimes, I think it is him, I mean it’s hard when I can’t use a soft voice, but must speak slowly and loudly to him because of his hearing problems. And his controlling nature too. Sometimes, I think it is me because of health and age-related issues I have, maybe if I didn’t have them, I could be a little nicer. All I know for sure is if I take the focus off of his controllingness, stubornness, his legitimate hearing issues, my legitimate health issues, and put the focus on Jesus, we get along just fine.

    1. Ellen,

      I eat spinach salad instead most days. So, that is an option, too, thankfully. 🙂

      We all have issues and battles in learning to respect our husbands and honor Christ – but we don’t all have exactly the same issues.

      I agree – I do MUCH, MUCH better if I don’t focus on negative things about my husband or what he “should” do for me and if I focus on Christ and what God wants me to do. Then I have God’s Spirit’s power instead of operating in the power of my flesh.

      Much love to you! 🙂

    2. It doesn’t have to be juiced, Ellen 🙂 I use a cheap blender and like it better than my juicer. I think I paid about $30 for it and Ive had it for about 3 years. We do a lot more with it than we do my juicer. Hope you find the solution for you!

      GREAT article, April! I was just discussing this with my sister, as her husband is bi-polar and they’ve recently started the Paleo Diet. It’s all so true. Most doctors, if they were truly interested in their patient’s health, would overhaul the diet first.

      Incidentally, I’m joining the IBS club that is forming here today- lol. I was diagnosed in college. I can DEFINITELY tell a difference in myself when I’m not on the right fuel. It’s hard to stay patient and generous when you are not feeling well. And most of us, if we are honest with ourselves, are not at our best.

      1. FREEINDEED!

        I’m so glad that your sister and her husband saw a big improvement. YES! So many diseases and problems would be prevented, treated, or at least greatly helped with proper diet and exercise. I would almost be out of a job as a pharmacist if we all worked on getting the junk out of our diets first, I think!

        So interesting about the IBS stuff. Seems like there are a lot of us here with that issue!

        Much love to you!

  11. Note – It is possible to turn clean eating, good health, and exercise into idols, too. So – we do have to be sure we don’t put a healthy diet above God. Just a word to the wise. 🙂

  12. Thank you April, I sooo need to do this. I eat waaaayyy too much junk. And hubby is always on at me about needing to eat more veggies or make up green smoothies. My kids love them, I guess I struggle with them because I am soo used to satisfying my sweet tooth with sugar. No wonder I feel soo tired all the time and struggle with emotions! Will try this! You Can also add Apple, mixed frozen berries, kale,celery,carrot,the possibilities are endless. But make sure you add enough water! We also add a green powder called ‘vital greens’. Not sure if you have it there in the states. But definitely worth adding!
    God bless you!
    Megan.

  13. I have an old fashioned bee hive blender, think its an oster, and use that to make my green smoothies. It does a pretty good job; spinach and other leafy greens and fruits like bananas, even frozen ones are soft enough that an expensive blender isn’t necessary. Since this is a health discussion, thought I’d share something. When I was in my twenties, someone recommended that i read the book “Sugar Blues”. The author had done research on refined sugar; when it was first available, it looked more like the sugar in those little packets “sugar in the raw” that you sometimes get in restuarants, because they hadn’t started using chemical bleaches yet. Sugar was only available at first to the very well off. Once refined sugar became available to everyone and hit the open market, there was a rise in the number of commitals to insane asylums. The author was able to correlate the sudden spike in folks who’d apparently lost their marbles with the time that sugar hit the open market and began to be consumed in almost everything. Pretty interesting!

    1. Patricia,

      That is interesting! Thank you for sharing about your blender. 🙂

      I hadn’t seen any information on the correlation between sugar and psychiatric issues like this. Would be a good research topic. 🙂 But I do know that sugar is super addictive and that the quantities of sugar we are eating are not healthy for us at all. All this sugar (and artificial sweeteners) contribute to obesity. Sugar has been implicated in an increased risk of diabetes, cancer, and all kinds of things.

      The awesome thing is that once you get off of it for even a week or so, you don’t crave it. I love not having sugary cravings! I can watch people all around me eating cakes, cookies, doughnuts, whatever… even took my daughter to the state fair last week – and did not feel tempted. I didn’t eat anything there at all – went back to the car and had my stash of nuts and Cheerios and then ate some veggies at home. Not a big deal!

      1. April,
        I got loads of help from the website trimhealthymama.com. I enthusiastically recommend it! Not only are the ideas delicious, but the ladies who started it are awesome. 🙂

  14. Aspartame (sugar substitute) is also a bad substance to consume. A good healthy brain is to avoid daily irritants.
    I have a wife who corrects me constantly, even today. I am constantly corrected and instructed in; child rearing, biblical teaching, prayer, relationships, social media, language arts, clothing, food choices, sexuality(gay/straight psychology), amount/type/frequency/duration of sexual intimacy, movie selection, church volunteerism, bible study attendance and amount of sleep.
    We are on a reduced sugar diet. Mostly natural foods in all meals we consume.
    So, how does she assume she is so smart? If I complain she says I am a grouch who can’t take criticism.
    (yet, she is one of those shoppers who indifferently block the isle with her grocery cart in Costco.)

    Please tell me how to answer. Silence is an answer. The word ‘disrespect’ is redundant and meaningless to her.
    She will never come to this page. Ever-never!

    1. Sounds to me like she may feel insecure?
      How is her walk with Christ?
      How is your walk with Christ?
      What kind of friends does she have?
      What influences her?
      Do you pray for her?
      Do you lovingly point her to Gods word?
      Do you have any suppor’from friends,family pastor etc?
      I’m sorry you feel that way. I pray that God will do agree at work in your marriage!

    2. Jeff,

      Yes, sugar substitutes are not good for us at all, either.

      When I used to correct Greg all the time, I thought I was “helping” him. I think that most wives believe they are truly being helpful – and that they are “fulfilling God’s call for them to be their husband’s helpmeet” when they do this. Most of the time they are not purposely being disrespectful.

      The problem is, we sure sound disrespectful to our husbands – and sometimes, when God helps us examine our deepest motives, we can see that there are issues God wants us to address. For me – I had a lot of pride, self-righteousness, bitterness, and trusted Self rather than God in many ways. But I couldn’t see that for the first 14.5 years of our marriage. God had to open my eyes.

      Sometimes a husband can let his wife know that this approach doesn’t feel like help, it is hurtful. Sometimes wives can hear that. Other times God wakes wives up in a different way – like He woke me up with the book Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.

      One thing I have seen create a lightbulb moment for a lot of wives is when I ask them to think about how they feel when there is a woman in their own lives who is very controlling toward them. Interestingly, I had such a woman in my life for a long time, and I could not STAND the way she tried to control me and was highly offended by her telling me what to do and acting like she knew so much better than I did. I thought, “How DARE she treat me like this!?!?” But when we wives think about how we feel around a controlling woman and how we just want to get away and avoid her – that is a very similar feeling our husbands have when we do these things to them.

      We can’t control others. We can’t make them see their sin. But we can seek to become the people God calls us to be and to respond in ways that honor Christ and to abide in Him and be filled with His power and His Spirit so that He might use us to bless others and draw them to Himself.

      A husband’s godly love is so powerful. I have seen God wake up husbands first many times, and as they focus on their own walk with Christ and their own obedience to Christ, I have seen God bring healing to some very difficult situations. I have seen God open wives’ eyes through the God-filled love of their husbands.

      I pray for God to draw each of you to Himself, my dear brother. If you get a chance, check out Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray – it is AMAZING! here is a free download.

  15. Blackstrap molasses is high in both B6 & magnesium. A tablespoon in your coffee and another over oatmeal, and you’ll get a decent bit of your RDA for both nutrients. Do another tablespoon in milk near bedtime, as the calcium & magnesium combo works as a sleep aid.

      1. Have you ever tried bulletproof coffee? I started drinking mine like that. There are tutorials online for that. I started using stevia for everything as much as possible lately also, as I can’t handle coffee without sweetening.

    1. unwobblingpivot,

      Yes! It can be a bit harder to find blackstrap molasses – but Trader Joe’s has it in our area. It is full of many nutrients and is a great way to add a bit of sweetness without using refined sugar.

    2. What deja vu this was for me! My father, always way ahead of others nutritionally in the 60s, insisted that my little brother and I take a tablespoon of blackstrap molasses and a tablespoon of cod liver oil, five alfalfa tablets, and a vitamin C tablet every morning right after breakfast (oatmeal and homemade whole wheat bread). We grew up very healthy, and are still healthy in our late 50s. 🙂

      1. Elizabeth,

        How cool is that! Your dad was very wise. 🙂 Sounds like a really yummy breakfast. Too bad you couldn’t put the molasses ON the oatmeal – I did that this morning and it was YUMMY. 🙂

  16. Hi April 🙂 Sugar is a big problem for me; despite my knowing what is healthy and what is not, I find myself having gained a lot of weight and consuming way too much of it and am addicted to it most likely. I was just reading that sugar affects the same receptors in the brain that drugs like cocaine do , in a similar way and is truly addictive though legal. I’d agree by experience that this is so. When I think of going sugar free my first reaction is like ” Accck! How will I LIVE???”. Sad but true. I am wondering if you use any alternatives as far as treats or snacks go that are sweet, and what you do about baking?

    1. Patricia,

      One time, I was determined to break our children of their sugar addiction a few years ago. We went to Wal-Mart and I explained on the way that we were not getting sugary things and we would be looking at labels. One of our children, 12 at the time, started crying. I had told them about how addictive sugar was. This child cried and cried and said in the saddest voice in the middle of sobs, “I’m not addicted to sugar!”

      It is hard to break a sugar addiction. But I think we would all feel SO MUCH BETTER without it! 🙂

      For my children, I use whole wheat flour and make clean muffins and cookies. I don’t eat them much myself because the wheat seems to be an issue. But I use honey and/or coconut sugar in baking. I also sometimes purchase pre-made snack bars that have cane sugar, veggies, fruit, and whole grains. Like Go bars – found them at Walmart.

    2. Try stevia for sweetening. I noticed a couple other people recommending trimhealthymama.com; YES, YES, YES to that. Great website. The book they self-published is great; they recently came out with a new book that’s a little thinner in the spine (the original one is huge). The thing I’ve noticed is sugar. Of course I’m a fine one to talk because I admit to being a sugar addict myself. We were out of town all week and I brought the book along with me to read. Now, of course, what are we doing? Eating a bunch of junk food because all our clothes are dirty, the kitchen needs to be cleaned up and we haven’t gotten back to school yet. I’m hoping to go shopping tonight in peace and quiet to see what superfoods Wal-Mart has to offer….virgin coconut oil, flaxseeds, whatever….aaakkkk.

      Oh, for some extra time….

  17. Just to offer a word of hope: One time I gave up sugars for Lent. It was very difficult for a few weeks, but after you get used to it, the refined sugars don’t even taste that good. Then after Easter, I didn’t crave it at all. Once you power through the initial change, it will be no big deal. You can do it!

  18. I made the green smoothie after work today—so delicious & I feel better! Thank you for sharing this recipe and encouragement on eating healthier!

  19. I’ve started introducing fermented vegetables into my diet and I’ve been having kefir on my porridge for years. I think these are great things for gut health. I’m a gastro nurse with ulcerative colitis myself so it’s all been a special interest of mine. We don’t have enough good bacteria I believe.

    1. Anonymous,

      Yes! We don’t eat many fermented things in our culture with healthy bacteria – and most of us have taken antibiotics often and the foods we eat in our Western diet coupled with the antibiotics kill off the friendly bacteria in our intestines and promotes inflammation, disease and obesity.

      That’s wonderful that you have learned the benefits of friendly bacteria and how to help with your UC. Thank you so much for sharing! 🙂

  20. April, I can’t find your comment, but you gave a list of things you would like to do, but your husband leads you and it’s good, or you might drive your poor kids crazy. The list included things like, sell 3/4 of your stuff, get a smaller house, adopt a child, do mission trips instead of vaccations…and not celebrate Halloween. It was this last one that keeps “haunting” me (haha).

    Anyway, I have been struggling about my husband and his issue with me and my daughter enjoying scary movies, haunted houses and Halloween festivities. My son and my husband hates scary movies. Sometimes my husband will come home and we are watching something like hoarders, or my strange addiction or even a scary movie together and he gets really irritated. I have generally decided he is struggling with his controlling attitude and is having a hard time understanding and accepting people’s different likes and dislikes. He watches shows I don’t like too, but as long as they are not porn, I don’t really say anything. We both agree on not letting kids watch senseless cartoons that have no real plot. I’m sure we can all do with much less tv, but some programs are good.

    Anyway, I gave been resistant to “caving in” about these scary shows and just let him deal with his controling attitude, but I started to wonder what it was about Halloween you disagreed with. As I learn about living for God. I thought about the origins of Hslloween. I am guessing it is the pagan and demonic roots.

    This thinking led me to ask myself this question:” is my husband trying to lead my family away from these types of movies and activities because the Holy Spirit is working in him? Am I resisting out of flesh? Am I thinking there is no harm in these shows or activities because they are so widely accepted? Where is the line drawn between letting people live their lives and controling them? I watch the shows as well to monitor the program and be part of any duscussion, but is my unbeleiving husvand actually leading us and I am not recognizing it?” It’s very hard to trust due to my lack of boundary setting in the past. I’m not sure how to be able to “guess” what shows would be acceptable, and what would not…seems like way too much pressure to be able to honor my husband on that, even if I want to. If he didn’t like us watching cooking shows and expressed his dislike, do I have to honor that, or do I understand that is his opinion, not watch them when he is around, but be okay with watching them on my own? I don’t want to “sneak” behind his back to watch scary shows with my daughter, but how do I know if it is just a controlling attitude of his or real godly leadership on my husband coming thtough?

    1. LMSdaily115,

      I love fall. I love the pumpkins and fall decorations and beauty God created in this season. I’m not so excited about horror, demons, witches, murder, blood, gore, Satanism, tons of candy, evil, or scary stuff. It is just part of the world’s system, in my mind. We have a Fall Festival at church where children dress up (not in scary costumes, but friendly ones). They love it. There are games and rides and candy. I have been trying to have our children eat “clean” and avoid lots of chemicals, processed sugar, food dyes, and junk. But I don’t want to be the food Nazi, so I am doing a lot of not-sharing-my-preferences and letting my husband lead about this.

      THE FOLLOWING ARE MY PERSONAL CONVICTIONS AT THIS TIME – EVERYONE DOES NOT HAVE TO AGREE:

      But the whole secular Halloween thing – and even the secular Christmas and Easter thing – nope. Not very excited about that stuff. It places the focus on things that are just not very honoring to Christ, in my view. Halloween glorifies a lot of sinful things and ideas. I personally can’t watch horror movies or scary movies. To me, that is not entertainment! It is torture! Maybe I have too much empathy? I don’t really like watching TV or movies at all. It seems like a waste of time when I could be drawing closer to God or using that time to build relationships or share Christ. But again, that is me. To watch a scary movie would give me nightmares for a long time, but it would also put things in my head that don’t really fit the Philippians 2:8 pattern of things we are supposed to think about.

      As far as Christmas and Easter – the closer I am to God, the more I just don’t care about all the trappings of this world and all of the commercialism, the stuff, the selfishness, the greed, the ungodly things, the things that aren’t about Jesus but distract from Him. It seems to easy for the decorations, the tree, the food, the gifts, the Easter Bunny, the eggs, Santa, etc… to become the main thing. To me – this is part of James 4 where God calls us to be friends of God, not friends with the world.

      THE SUBMISSION ISSUE

      In my understanding of submission to our husbands, even unbelieving husbands, the only time we would not honor their leadership is if they are attempting to lead us to condone or participate in clear sin. What if God is trying to lead you through your unbelieving husband? What message is your husband receiving when you don’t honor his attempt to lead spiritually away from things he thinks are bad for his family?

      He is not asking you to not go to church, right? These are scary movies we are talking about. Couldn’t it be part of dying to self to honor him in this and thank him for his leadership? What if God uses this one topic and your cooperative spirit to soften your husband’s heart to Christ?

      Why would you need to sneak scary movies behind his back? There is nothing to be gained in light of eternity by doing that – and there may be much to be lost. It could destroy your witness to your unbelieving husband.

      I don’t want to encourage husbands to try to micromanage and control every little thing. But are they a little thing? What is God’s perspective? We can pray for Him to help us hate sin as He does.

      (My personal convictions again >>) Couldn’t scary movies, perhaps, be a gateway to demonic or evil influences? And even at best, they promote fear – which is not of God, but of the enemy. It would be easy to slip from scary movies to horror movies where murder and gore and hatred are glorified and people are desensitized to watching people be chopped up and to watching blood spew everywhere. I can’t think of a good thing that comes from that.

      It seems to me like a fantastic opportunity you have to thank your husband and show appreciation for his leadership and his desire to protect his family from influences he believes are unwise. But that is my opinion, for whatever it may be worth.

      Much love to you! 🙂

      1. LMSdaily115,

        You could even say, “Honey, I love scary movies. I don’t think they are a big deal or problem. But I can understand that you may have different convictions about this and that you may see where they could be a bad influence on us. Thank you for wanting to lead us in what you believe is right. If this is important to you, then it is important to me. I will honor your convictions about this issue and stop watching these movies with our daughter.”

        1. Thank you April. I, too was wondering if this is a way God is leading us through my husband. I was very surprised that this line of thought sprouted from reading your blog entry that was somewhat unrelated to what I was struggling with. I am finding it to be a slippery slope to honor my husband who is clearly struggling with many issues, and to just let him feel convicted with his own issues of mictomanaging and control and pride. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference and what I should do.

          I also don’t want my kuds stifled in their own growth and discovery of the world around them, but see the very important job (which I feel late in the game) of instilling good and Godly values into their lives. It is a parents responsibility, but how to do that and give kids room to discover their own callings is hard as well.

          I am trying to bring God into my home. “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”. But it is a giant mountain to influence and not control. For example, should I just insist they go to church or youth group, and not let them decide, or should I let it be their choice? What teen gets up to go to church if they have never really been taught about its importance? I know I should’ve started this early on, but my husband and I were not really believers then. I want to just make them go, but then am I trying to control it?

          I brought up the subject this morning with my husband, although very weakly. I am trying to overcome my assumptions that he will be against church, although he had not told me I couldn’t go. I would like his support and direction, especially with the kids, but he does not really seem to think it is important…he is just NOT telling me I can’t go. Kids are 12 and 13. They don’t know what is good for them, heck, us adults don’t either, so what power do I have to help bring my family to God?

          I know that getting family to church, youth group, their salvation is not under my control, but I AM responsible for my kids. At what time do I become responsible TO them and not FOR them anymore?

          1. LMSdaily115,

            It is difficult to figure out the balance and the line – impossible without God’s Spirit every moment, really!

            At our house, we have a 13 year old and a 9 year old. Unless they are sick, they go to church. That is just how it is. Of course, it has always been that way, so maybe they are less likely to argue. I pray for God’s wisdom for you!

            I am so thankful your husband doesn’t say you can’t go to church. So, why not make use of this opportunity and ask your children to get up and take them and show them what an honor and blessing it is to be able to go? They are still too young to know what they need for themselves. I take my children to get flu shots even though they object. Why? Because I know what is ultimately best – avoiding the flu. All they can see is the momentary prick and pain. That is why I am the parent and they are not in authority over themselves.

            You still have much time to influence your children while they are still under your roof. Take advantage of this incredible and short-lived opportunity, my dear sister! It is hard as a mom of almost teenagers, or teenagers – to find that balance between control and mothering. Again, we are completely dependent on God’s wisdom and His Spirit for this.

            Much love!
            April

          2. LMSdaily115,

            You can certainly ask for their input about the church you go to and their feelings about each one – and then, prayerfully seek to take them where you believe God desires you to take them.

          3. Hi, LMSDaily –

            I just wanted to share my experience with a couple of things as I’m married to an unbeliever as well.

            I wanted to encourage you to submit to your husband as much as possible – I would say especially on things he feels strongly about. A lot of tension can start to dissipate and healing begin to happen between the two of you just when he sees your willingness to submit to his “control” . My husband definitely falls into the command type personality so I understand the struggle here. My husband has opinions on everything — even things that should be my jurisdiction (laundry, dishes, homekeeping, etc.) and it can be very frustrating.

            For a time, I submitted without expressing my desires ever as much as possible in every thing but I would say as our relationship has grown deeper and I have learned ways to communicate to him my needs and desires, I am able to say when those kinds of things bother me. I explain that sometimes it makes me feel like he thinks I’m not smart enough to handle things on my own (really, most of these things are just preferences that he has and I have a different preference). As I’ve shared those things, I can see that he genuinely does not want to make me feel that way and he has backed off quite a bit on some of those minor things. However, on bigger things that affect our children, if he has strong preferences, then I believe it’s very important to honor those. I do believe that God is leading your husband in this specific area regarding scary movies.

            As far as church going….this has been a difficult one for me to navigate as we’ve gone along. At the beginning, my children were very young and my husband supported me taking the kids to church. As my oldest son started to hit his teens, he (my son) pushed back and it started to become an issue. At that time, I could see my husband was not giving me the support that I had had when our son was young and I kind of gave that over to God and felt that I would do more harm to my son to force him to go than to let him decide for himself. In the end, I have to remember that going to church or any other spiritual sounding thing in the world does not ultimately save anyone. He could go sit in church and his heart be as hard as a rock. I believe in the power of God to change a person’s heart in a split second and I am confident that He is gracious and does this in many different ways and places (some that would be considered far from spiritual places even). This confidence and trust in God’s power to save brings me a lot of peace.

            I’m also keenly aware that sometimes, God will give us over to our rebellion and that at times, people have to go to those depths to truly understand their need for a Savior. There is a verse that says “God has bound all men over to disobedience so that He might have mercy on them all.” A strange verse that probably too many don’t meditate on, but it gives me hope. I know that God did that for me and truly – all of us. My son has been very honest with me about where he is spiritually and, as hard as it is to know that right now he is not convinced about God’s love for him in Christ, I would rather him be honest than to become a hypocrite that sits in church and has never truly been born again – just going through the motions and convincing himself that he is a good person because of the spiritual practices that he takes a part in.

            O.K., sorry for the length. I just wanted to share those things with you. In the end, this will be a decision that, as April always says, must be guided by the Holy Spirit. He may very well lead you differently than He has me on this issue. You will know what the right thing to do is when the time comes.

          4. I was homeschooled, and I do not believe it is the best method of education. My husband was private-schooled and he has the opposite opinion. So I homeschool. But I disagree with him. I don’t believe he particularly cares. So it is an issue over which we do not discuss. He sometimes grills the kids on studies, usually for the purpose of finding if there are gaps so he can lecture me on that subject. I taught school for ten years prior to our marriage, and have insight on child development that he does not have. He has always pooh-poohed all insight I have, particularly on how girls and boys develop differently, so we just don’t discuss any problems anymore, and when he asks questions I just tell him everything’s fine (even if it’s not). He also does not see that a woman who homeschools sometimes does not have enough time in her day to cook and clean like his mother. I nearly lost my health pretty bad to constantly doing for everyone. I wrote about that in another comment, about how I finally handled it. I didn’t need hypertension and diabetes, so I finally did something about it.

            I would hasten to point out that I would be happy to homeschool (which I do anyway because he ordered me to do it) if he would simply acknowledge that I also have some needs and I cannot do everything. But that’s a moot point.

            A lot of people, especially Titus 2 women, would reprimand me severely for this. One lady did at one point. I told her she didn’t know my situation enough, and unless she was willing to come to our house and talk to both of us, I did not need to sit and listen to her rebuke me for “lying to my husband”, as she called it. I had enough difficulties without that. I never counseled with her again.

            I finally got sick and tired of all this “women only counsel women” thing, as it never got anything anywhere. I still came home to the same problems and the same lectures over and over about how I didn’t know anything and he knew everything, and finally discontinued Titus 2 counseling with older women because I had to shoulder the entire burden, and with homeschooling, constant pregnancies, exhaustion and further health issues, I couldn’t bear one more burden alone.

            I think it’s more important that people counsel BOTH husband and wife, and that it would benefit some of the husbands if they took the trouble to hear what some of the older women had to say. Most of the conservative husbands though, I’m afraid, strictly adhere to the “women teach only the women” and really have no clue what some of us are thinking and feeling. But I could be wrong.

            Many women, at least among the ones I know, struggle with deteriorating health while their husbands strictly require much of them — and then reprimand them when they struggle with weight that won’t budge no matter what, or health issues that keep getting worse.

          5. Zbexrel,

            Submission to husbands is not absolute. If a wife’s health is seriously in jeopardy or a husband is demanding more than a wife can actually do, that is a serious situation, in my view. It seems to me that a wife in such difficult straits would need to seek appropriate counsel one on one and it would be ideal if husband and wife both went.

            If my husband asked me or told me to pick up something that is 150 lbs, I would have to say no. I am incapable of doing that. If he told me to deal with 2 hours of sleep per night, I would not be able to accommodate his request or demand. If I were sick with morning sickness all day for months and had lots of children to take care of, I might not be able to do the housework, cooking, and homeschool. We do have physical limits.

            It is difficult for me to imagine having a controlling, demanding husband. I realize that there are a number of wives who do. I am not sure my blog is the best fit for wives who have very severe situations because I was the controlling one and Greg was very passive. So a wife with a husband who seems intent on working her into the ground is going to need very different help and a very different approach from a wife who was controlling with a passive but relatively good-willed husband.

            And if a husband is truly a hoarder or has mental health issues or a wife is under extreme stress and feels she can say nothing about what she needs – those are also really serious situations that I don’t address on my blog. I would much rather a wife in such a situation seek appropriate counsel in person than try to make my posts fit. The posts I have about our relationship with Christ might be fine for a wife in severe situations, but the posts I write about submission are not tailored to wives who are suffering like you are describing.

            God’s Word always applies to all of us. But there are times when a husband needs counseling and has issues to deal with, too. And there are times both spouses need appropriate support and counsel. Absolutely.

          6. “If my husband asked me or told me to pick up something that is 150 lbs, I would have to say no. I am incapable of doing that. If he told me to deal with 2 hours of sleep per night, I would not be able to accommodate his request or demand. If I were sick with morning sickness all day for months and had lots of children to take care of, I might not be able to do the housework, cooking, and homeschool. We do have physical limits.”

            In a pinch, though, sometimes we can. I know that in the midst of a lot of these similar scenarios, I just asked God to give me five more minutes, or just one more push, or whatever. Then I kept praying just that prayer over and over, until it was done. Men are strange creatures and sometimes scary. They are very distant and odd and I’ll be the first to admit I don’t understand them. I used to think living at home with my parents (very demanding and cold people) was hard, but this is much more difficult.

            But it’s good because it is all used for good and there are so many lessons to learn….and we have sweet, fat, adorable babies to cuddle.

          7. Anonymous,

            There are times when we may be able to push our limits. But there are limits – and it is okay for us to respect our limits and to let our husbands know if something is beyond our ability or beyond what is safe for us to do.

            I’m really sad to hear that your experience has been to live with family members that are demanding and cold, distant and odd. 🙁 Are you safe, my dear sister? Is there anything you need to talk about?

            Babies are such a precious gift. 🙂

            Sending you a big, warm hug and a smile! 🙂

          8. Hmmmm. When I started counseling, I chose Christian based counselor, but I purposely chose a male so that I could try to understand a mons point of view. I was not aware of men counsel men and women counsel women. What is the basis for that?

          9. LMSdaily115,

            Titus 2:3-5 is about the older women training the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be busy at home, to honor their husbands, etc…

            There can be issues at times with romantic feelings getting sparked between a counselor and counselee of the opposite sex.

            Also, Scripture talks about women not having authority over men in the church, so men would need to teach men.

            Of course, a couple mentoring another couple together might be ideal. 🙂

            Much love!

          10. Ok. Thanks. That clears it up. I still have much to learn. However, I did find that talking to my msle counselor (there was a female in the room with us) was enlightening into the way my husband might be taking my words, asctions, etc and how he, as a man might act in response. For example, the more unloved I felt, the more work I would do for our relationship. I was effectively stripping away any chance for my husband to help in return. It made him feel very unwanted and useless in the relationship. I was trying to show him how much I loved him by doing more FOR him. My husband couldn’t really look at himself in a mirror and be proud of himself because I never gave him a chance to. I was enabling his bad behavior as well. I’m not sure a female counselor would have been able to get that message to me…maybe she would. Bug it worked. I see where some people could get into a bad situation due to such vulnerability, though. I never had my heart bending that way.

          11. LMSdaily115,

            I have no problem with a woman receiving counsel from a trusted, godly male counselor if there is a female in the room and the woman doesn’t begin to have feelings of attachment or attraction to the man.

            I’m really glad it was helpful. 🙂

          12. Jennifer,
            My husband had a lot of opinions on everything, too, and also in areas that were rightfully mine. I did what he wanted until it got to be too much, especially when I was navigating tons of knickknacks all over the house, electrical cords all over the place, etc., getting in trouble because the presence of all the knickknacks made dusting and all housecleaning virtually impossible with trying to manage small children (and crawling babies over electrical cords was another issue). I finally began making changes. I did not consult with him, because when I would bring something up, he would accuse me of “trying to change him”. I made the changes, did not beat around the bush on it, just did it.
            And yes, he accused me of disrespect. I did not listen to him. I simply said that I had had all I could take, and I was tired of living in a dirty, cluttered house. I didn’t actually have the guts to do this until I was trying to homeschool in the midst of the mess.
            His mother saved everything, never threw anything away, and so he thought it was normal to have a house that was crammed full of stuff. Somehow she managed to keep the house meticulously clean in the midst of all of it, plus cook fabulous meals as well, but she didn’t have as many children as we did (and my husband was the youngest, so he had no experience with her trying to dodge small children), and she didn’t homeschool.
            My life was different. I had different requirements and a different situation, and I finally decided I was not obliged to live the life of someone else, no matter how much my husband liked it. I lived it for years, smiled, accepted all his “corrections” with my head down, tried to keep sweet for years. After a while it was time to take a stand. I did. It wasn’t pretty, and it didn’t help the marriage, but it made me a lot happier and made homeschooling WAY easier. .
            Just another example of why counseling needs to be with both husband and wife…and why both ought to have equal time in front of the same person….and why the men-counseling-men and women-counseling-women shouldn’t be the only Christian counseling available.

      2. On the subject of scary movies:

        I used to shy away from all of them because I would have nightmares. However, I have a son who is an avid bookworm and found many children’s versions of various classics. He was very interested in the novel “Frankenstein” when he found a children’s illustrated version.

        I borrowed the full version from the library and expanded my horizons. It turned out to be the beginning of a very fruitful and sobering discussion between me and my oldest two children. We discussed the consequences of Victor Frankenstein’s pride and the disastrous consequences of his attempt to play God and create life. We were able to equate it with pro-life issues when we try to play God and current issues in which we think we know better than God. Drones, cloning, robots, etc. Not too much detail, but an understanding of what the consequences are.

        We also enjoy good slapstick comedy like Abbott and Costello and other things like that; one time we watched the Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein special, which was funny, but also had the horror element with Frankenstein and Dracula. I told them about the actual “Dracula” novel, but I first read it myself before discussing it with him. Heads up — do not give the Penguin Classic commentary novel to your adolescent, the commentaries are not Christian and inappropriate. But the actual novel is basically a dramatization in fantasy of the death struggle between good and evil and the fact that Satan is not to be taken lightly; the very real fact that if we give ourselves over to the influences of Satan, we become Satanic ourselves. After I read the story, I retold it to them in brief and explained how a morbid curiosity in the things of Satan lead to possession. It was a fruitful discussion for us all. I would say it is OK for an older adolescent or young adult to read if that is something that interests them. The old horror novels stick to the theme of Christian values (the crucifix banishing evil for an example), so they reinforce them. There are no blurred lines.

        Under NO circumstances should anything other than a true classic horror EVER be viewed….only when the lines are clear, evil is evil and good is good and there are no compromises. (Another good reason to homeschool your children….no influences from children who are allowed to read and watch everything.)

        We use Halloween to reflect on the very real fact of the reality of death, Heaven and Hell. I have placed a link to an article on my own blog concerning the situation with Halloween, which may be enlightening to many:
        http://stthomasmoreacademy.blogspot.com/2015/10/an-interesting-article-on-halloween.html

  21. Hey April,

    Nothing to do with green smoothies sorry, I just wanted to check in and say thank you so much for the lead in to the Andrew Murry Book/audio – seriously confronting and such critical timing you would not believe!!

    Everything focused in around that one week last week and Andrew Murray’s breakdown of Romans 7 and 8 and the actions of sin in the BELIEVER is absolutely life changing…..

    It is so easy in these confusing and emotional marriage difficulty (or any difficulty) situations to listen to everyone but Jesus and to try and fix things every which way but looking to Jesus . Numbers 11 is really really clear …the bread of life is what we need at these times, Hebrews 12, Romans 5: 3-11 all these amazing passages that say “Trust ME!!”, keep going, it’s all going to be great!

    During this time my wife was able to get really frustrated with me and said to me that I’m controlling, manipulative and she said also that I always agree with her but implied I don’t do anything about it. I wasn’t upset with her, I was actually really excited that she could tell me what was really bothering her and she was so absolutely right….

    Here’s where it gets really great…Normally if she said that I would go all out to fix whatever the problem was but this time because of Andrew Murray’s explanations I was able to understand that God is not requiring self effort He is looking for trust and submission!! and is TOTALLY against my self effort, self achievement, self establishing rubbish. I work hard and all those things but they occur out of relationship and then I started to understand my wife is looking for relationship – not me ticking boxes!

    WOW – I am a long way from reconciled but now I am communicating everything to my wife as if she cares even if she doesn’t care but at least she will know I care..she still tries not to communicate with me but it id giving me such a good and painful understanding of how left out she must have felt for so many years..

    1. Gary,

      Isn’t Absolute Surrender amazing? God speaks so clearly through Murray and really cuts to the chase – but in a loving way. I think all Christians would be greatly blessed to read this book. It is one I will need to re-read over and over again.

      I’m so thankful for what God is showing you in your relationship with Him and your wife. 🙂 Kind of cool the way the lessons intersect, isn’t it?

      I’m excited about what God is doing in your life, my brother!

  22. I too love the autumn with all the colors our Lord has created and given in this season. I didn’t think much about halloween until the Lord saved me and realized how verry dark it is. So me and my family made it a time to hand out tracks with candy and sometimes dress up but not often dress up. We not into scary movies but we were ok with murder mysterys ,I did not realize how even this was grievous until my Mother was killed and when she was found was barely recognizable. Halloween is just to dark for me.

    1. Sashamari,

      Thank you so much for sharing your perspective. It is a great opportunity to pass out tracts about salvation to children. 🙂

      I am TERRIBLY sorry to hear about your mother. My heart just breaks for you and your family. I can see how that definitely would change your feelings about murder mysteries.

      Sending you the biggest hug!

  23. I’m so grateful for this blog, its really challenged my views about my marriage and the problems we are facing.

    My husband and I have been married for a year, but we had been in a relationship for six years before that. It has been a stormy and problematic relationship for years before we were married and I was getting ready to leave. When I prayed about I felt God telling me I had not met this man by chance, and I should trust God’s plan for my life. I really felt God was telling me to marry him, despite my own reservations. I felt crazy, but that was the first time I’d the guts to properly follow God. And despite the problems, I know my husband loves me deeply.

    The first year has been harder than I ever imagined. I spent most of it angry with my husband for not loving me or being the leader like he was supposed to. And if I’m honest, I was angry with God for telling me to marry this inadequate man. I can tell my husband in great detail what his problems are and that its all my fault I dont know my own because he’s not strong enough to tell me. I have considered before that my hyper critical nature may be part of the reason for his passive nature, but I have found it so hard to bite my tongue. We met as teenagers so its hard to know what his nature would be without my influence. Anyway, the point is I only made baby steps with being kinder and more patient with my husband.

    I have read many pages of your blog and I feel like you’re talking directly to me! It makes so much sense! The problem is me. There’s nothing I can do to force him to love me and trying to manipulate him into taking the lead in our life is completely counterproductive. If I wont be led its not surprising he’s given up trying to lead. I have no respect for him. Its hard to even admit that out loud and I am so ashamed, but its true. He’s a caring and thoughtful man but I treat him like the most disgusting criminal.

    I’ve also realised I havent got Jesus at the centre of my life. I’m expecting my husband to fulfil my needs in ways not even the world’s most sensitive attentive husband could come close to. I’ve made my husband an idol and my happiness in my marriage my main goal in life. I cant even claim I’m new to faith. I’ve been a Christian for a long time so I’m just astonished that i could fall so far and not even have an inkling about it. I know now that only by keeping Jesus as the Lord of my life can I hope to experience real happiness, in my marriage or in anything else.

    So thats a very long winded post about my situation. I wanted to post to thank you for your insight and teaching. I will work hard to put Jesus in his rightful place in my life and humble myself before Him. I will also work to humble myself in my marriage. I want my husband to be the leader of our family, but now I realise i have to put an awful lot of work into actually following him! I will consciously try to respect him all the time and be honest with myself about my own shortcomings as well. I think I might start by letting him read this! Thank you so much for showing me God’s truth. I pray I’ll be able to make the positive change the ladies here have managed.

    1. Monica,

      Your comment made me smile. Especially the second paragraph. I can relate!

      Hopefully, you have realized by now that any human man you married would be “an inadequate man.” And that God is bringing your sins to the surface to refine and prune you and to help you grow in spiritual maturity. It sounds like He is showing you that. 🙂

      Our first year was VERY difficult, as well. But God didn’t wake me up until 14.5 years into our marriage. How thankful I am that God is waking you up so much earlier! WOOHOO!

      Thank you so much for sharing. Please let us know how we can pray for you and support you and if there is anything you want to talk about together.

      Much love!

      1. We had the opposite; our first several years were great because I didn’t expect a thing — and didn’t get a thing, either! Now after nearly fourteen years, I am done. Not done with the marriage, I will never divorce — but done with trying to expect anything whatsoever. I’m tired and worn out, and struggling to not become bitter.

        Frustrated Wife

        1. Anonymous,

          Yikes! I missed responding to your comment, I apologize!

          How is your walk with Christ going? Would you like to talk a bit about what is going on? I would love to see you find healing, my dear sister!

  24. Was out of town for a while, but loved this post. I thought I’d recommend the website trimhealthymama.com as another possible option. The principle is both on clean eating but also not spiking blood sugar.

    I had a unique problem in that I was actually discouraged from proper self-care because I would be subjected to “guilt trips”. My health hit major lows after frequent pregnancies with severe all-day (who came up with the term “morning”?) sickness. Nursing and caring for toddlers took up so much time that if I cared for myself adequately my husband would often take a back seat. He would reproach me, so I would immediately put myself on the back burner — I was the only thing that could go there, I couldn’t neglect my babies — and my health would continue to deteriorate.

    In conservative circles, women are frequently chastised for neglecting their husbands and children. The hard fact is that these women often end up putting themselves dead last as a result, and their health deteriorates while their husbands are oblivious to anything else around them, but the women are chastised promptly when they cannot continue the pace. (I want to hasten to point out that that does not happen here on April’s blog, but one lady who comments here frequently is terribly severe to all women who seemingly may neglect their family — but neglects to understand the possibility that they may “neglect” because they cannot go any longer.) Not all of us are married to understanding men who pick up the slack when we cannot. Some of us are married to men who are very vigilant over making sure we do our duties and unleash all severity upon us when we cannot do them.

    Example: I was talking to my husband about how I was planning to purchase some virgin coconut oil and cook some items for myself using that and other superfood oils because I needed to see if I could lose extra weight and boost my health thereby, and he began to unleash the guilt trip (i.e., you should cook for all of us that way, why haven’t you done it before this when I was talking about it, etc.). I just stopped talking and ended the conversation because I could see where it was going. I would end up cooking for everybody else and I would end up on the back burner again. The schedule I’m obliged to keep requires that I keep the schedule tight and I usually ended up not eating, drinking coffee, eating sugary items to function, etc. Don’t communicate a health decision you made on your own if you know you will be bathed in guilt thereby. Keep the decision to yourself, schedule exercise when you won’t be disturbed, and cook for yourself in private where you will not have the guilt poured on you. You must first take care of yourself and get your health back in order so you can take care of everybody — and in my case, stay alive long enough, reduce the blood pressure and blood sugars so you don’t end up with a long term disorder. Don’t allow someone to bathe you in guilt.

    After you have regained your health and energy, then you can start changing the family eating habits. But don’t allow someone (even your husband) to pour guilt on you because “you are selfishly working on your own health and not taking care of all of them”. Sometimes getting your own health out of the quagmire is all you can do at one time, and adding everyone else is not possible without self-neglect.

    Occasionally my husband or I will bring up something that then results in a “guilt trip lecture”, and I usually just either keep quiet, or if I can tell I am about to cave to the guilt trip, I just leave the room. By doing this, I have regained energy, lost a few pounds (not much yet, but it’s coming, I don’t worry about it that much because I know it will take care of itself in good time), and am now in a position to begin to make gradual changes to the kids’ diet. But I do this gradually to avoid being overwhelmed.

    1. zbexrel,

      I think we do need to put some things above others. If I am physically seriously ill – I need to take care of my own health or I will not be able to help others. Kind of like putting the oxygen mask on yourself first in an airplane when the pressure drops so that you can be conscious to put air masks on your young children. I think our spiritual health is also extremely important. If I am spiritually starving and sick – I have nothing of God’s power and love to give to others.

      When our own physical and spiritual health is restored – then we can bless others because we have something to give.

      There are times moms/wives need to carve out time for ourselves to meet our own needs. Not to be selfish – but so that we can be the wives/moms that God calls us to be. 🙂

  25. In case this resource hasn’t been mentioned, the Weston Price Foundation (westonaprice.org) has a lot of great info on good nutrition.

    With all diets, even if you can’t do the whole thing (sometimes organic and whole foods can be prohibitively expensive), if you can do some part of it, that can help. For example, even if you can’t go all out on whole foods, you could add one green smoothie with breakfast several times a week or switch from white sugar to sucanat in baking or go from white flour to whole wheat flour, and kind of build on that. We definitely have to do things partially around my home. Also, for some people too much raw greens in their diet can lead to other issues, so each person is a bit different, and you have to do what works for you.

  26. Wow! I can totally relate to this and feel so bad to fail over and over despite having repented sincerely so many times. Maybe I am gonna give it a try instead of going to see a psychiatr

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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