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Resting in Christ

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When we are on this journey, seeking to become godly women/wives/mothers… it can feel very overwhelming and we may drive ourselves insane sometimes trying to be perfect and trying to evaluate ourselves constantly to see if we are “getting an A+ on our godly wife report card.”

The more you get into this journey and the closer you are to Christ, the more you realize – it isn’t about me trying harder. This isn’t about me being perfect. It isn’t about me making myself crazy with impossible expectations. It isn’t about me beating myself up. It is not about checking off a bunch of boxes on a list. It is not about legalism.(I’m going to share a number of gems from Andrew Murray’s book, Absolute Surrender in this post that I hope may clarify what I am saying.)

This journey isn’t about self-effort or self at all.

This is about yielding control to God completely. It is about resting in what Jesus did for me on the cross to make me right with God. It is about resting in what He did when He was raised from the dead and His Spirit flooding my soul to empower me to live the life He wants me to live. It is about Christ breathing life into me.

If you are getting really anxious about not being good enough or about feeling like a failure – just take a deep breath. Turn from anything God calls sin – confess it to Him as sin and receive His forgiveness, mercy, and grace. Come sit down at the feet of Jesus and rest in His love, provision, care, and sovereignty for you. Stop frantically studying for awhile. Stop reading about marriage if that is stressing you out. Stop “worry-praying” constantly trying to get God to do what you think He should do. Stop trying to fix everything to make it all work out “right.” Just be still for awhile. This is not about you trying to live a perfect life. That is impossible! You can’t do this thing in your strength.

Picture yourself trying to push a car across a 3000 mile journey. It would be ridiculous to even try such a thing. Instead of pushing the car, get in and sit down beside Jesus. God’s Spirit provides the fuel so that the car will go in His power, not yours. Picture Jesus driving and you just enjoying the journey with Him. He knows how to get to the destination. He does all of the work. You get to be along for the ride. But it is all His strength that moves you.

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Only He can live this life in and through you. As you cling to Him and focus on loving, praising, and trusting Him – and as you allow Him to have control and you desire Him above everything else – He can change your heart, your mind, and your desires. He does the work, not you.

He can give you the power to live the life that He wants you to live. Focus on doing what a branch does. Abide in Christ. Just receive from the vine. The vine provides all of the sap, strength, and nourishment the branch needs. The branch only clings to the vine – and fruit appears without striving or effort on the part of the branch. Jesus talks about this in John 15, and Murray elaborates on the concept, as well.

Be still before Him. Worship Him. Praise Him. Sing to Him. Drink in His goodness and His Word. Seek to be close to Him. Give Him access to everything in your life and allow Him to lead you baby step by baby step.

No need to freak out. No need to stress. No need to be afraid. Just rest in His strong arms, His wisdom, and His care. Let His love and His truth overtake you and consume your heart, mind, and soul. Focus on receiving all that He has done for you and all that He has already given you if  you are His. If you are not His, I invite you to come to Him today and follow Him for the rest of your life as your Savior and as Lord of your life.

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Empty yourself of all of your old worldly ways of thinking. Empty yourself of your old self. That old self is now dead with Christ and buried. Allow God to cleanse the darkest corners of your soul. When you are totally emptied of self, you are like a clean tea cup. God can pour His Spirit into you when you are fully His. No one pours tea into a teacup that has something else in it already – like ink or vinegar (a helpful illustration from Murray). Once a teacup is totally devoted to its purpose – and nothing else – it is ready to be filled with tea.

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Another illustration by Murray is that “We all know what absolute surrender looks like in daily life. A pen must be totally devoted to the task of writing. And it must be totally yielded to one person’s use. If more than one person tries to hold and use a pen at the same time, it can’t possibly accomplish very much. But if the pen is completely given over to one person, that person can use the pen to write much and accomplish great things.” (paraphrasing)

We are like that pen – we must be totally given over to God and His control. Nothing and no one else must have a hold on us other than God in order for Him to be free to accomplish His good purposes in us and through us. We yield control to Him and allow Him to do the work.

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Jesus is your Good Shepherd. Run to Him. Allow Him to take you up and hold you close against His heart. He knows how to provide the pasture, water, protection, care, and leadership you need. You don’t have to have it all figured out. You can’t figure it all out. All that is necessary to do is to follow Him and draw near to Him.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.… Matthew 11:28-29

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, Hebrews 4:9-11 (Hebrews 4:1-11 is about the Sabbath rest that believers in Christ enter into in Him)

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. Psalm 23:1-3

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” John 10:27-30

Verses about Rest

One of the best descriptions of how to do this that I have seen so far is in the book Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray.

SHARE:

How do you rest in Christ? What do you do when you realize you are anxious and stressed about this journey or about life in general to get your eyes back on Jesus and to sit at His feet and just receive His goodness, love, provision, and care for you?

What are some Bible verses and worship songs that help you remember to rest and trust fully in Christ that may be a blessing to others who are struggling?

RELATED:

Victory over Perfectionism – Peacefulwife video

https://www.youtube.com/embed/U5riGWJ8U10?rel=0“>

Something that helps me is to focus on God’s character and who He is:

71 thoughts on “Resting in Christ

    1. Bec D.,
      Yes! It can be so tempting to revert back to the flesh and to works or legalism. But that will never work! When we are feeling exhausted, stressed, overwhelmed, and like we are running on empty spiritually – it is our sign to go sit at the feet of Jesus and just receive from Him and to stop depending on our own strength.

  1. How does rest appear? What does it look like in our daily lives? Can those around us see God’s rest? How can a wife put away the cutting comments spurned by hurt and unfaithfulness? I want God’s rest. I want to be Christ’s conduit to my family! Oh, Blessed Savior help me. I seek you daily. Let me change. Set apart because of you! Make a difference in my life that’s real and permanent.

    1. Dear Vickie, The Bible says that God is the restorer of your soul…Go to Him, let him heal your hurt…sometimes it helps to just sit in his presence quietly, allowing him to touch and speak to you…put on worship songs and just be in his presence…choose to forgive and let go off the pain…you will come out of his presence changed and free…
      Love you sis 🙂

    2. Vickie,

      When we are resting in Christ, we have spiritual energy and strength that is beyond our ability. We have His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We have His Spirit in abundance. We have His wisdom. We hear His voice clearly. We have His love and His perspective. His love compels us to move and act – it is a joy and a delight, not a burden or a chore to walk in obedience.

      In you particular case, I think that as you acknowledge that your husband is help captive by the enemy and that he is not able to say godly things or life-giving things, but that he needs deliverance in Christ – you can say along with Jesus, “Father, forgive him, for he does not know what he is doing.” If he knew Jesus intimately and was living in His power, he would be mortified at the sin in his life. He would be apologizing and seeking to rebuild trust. Right now, he is blind and he can’t see.

      Much love to you! and the biggest hug!

    1. Mary,

      Exactly! I must decrease down to nothing – and He must increase and be everything! One thing Andrew Murray says is, “As long as I think I am something, God can’t be everything.”

  2. April, this is a great post, and your timing couldn’t be better. You know I’ve had a rough go of it lately (a lot of it self inflicted, I get that). Yesterday, in church, I felt peace for the first time in a long time. This post was written as if it were a follow up sent to reinforce the message I heard yesterday.
    It was communion, and our church sings a lot of worship music on communion days. Then when the Pastor spoke, he spoke about exactly what you said, that’s it not about doing this in our own strength, or being “good enough” or getting things “right enough” and keeping track of how much we get “right”. Jesus did all the hard work. Jesus is the only way we can be right with God.
    I don’t know what happened, but sitting there, listening, holding my husbands hand, and I could sense he was absorbing it all as well, it was so beautiful, like we were just being drawn together and I actually felt so loved – for the first time in a loooong time, and it was like it hit me in the face “my husband really does love me, and I’ve been wasting so much time.” I had a burning desire to apologize to him. Once the service was over (and it was so powerful, quite a few souls were saved yesterday) I was feeling kind of worn out, but good worn out, does that make sense? Then when I apologized to my husband for not believing that he really loved me, and he hugged me and said it was okay, I just felt so relieved. How could he possibly have been so willing to keep loving me when I was so full of hard feelings?

    We had a great day, and I wish my story ended there. But we went shopping for a few outfits and had a great afternoon. I don’t want to go into too many details, but in the last store, something happened and I was shocked at how quickly my feelings of insecurity came flooding back. I had just spent the whole morning praying, and our Pastor had been telling us to examine OURSELVES, not our spouse, not our family, but OURSELVES. And I did, and God spoke to me. And here I am in this store, and my emotions can tank – fast! So I didn’t react too much, and I wrestled with this most of the way home. When we got home, he asked me why I was so quiet. I told him I was struggling. I shared with him how happy I had been, how great of a day we had, how much I enjoyed it, what I’d been through in church, and how much I didn’t want it to “go bad”. I told him what I was thinking, and how I was wrestling with myself and how I didn’t want to keep going backwards. Here’s the thing. He didn’t get mad. He talked to me about what I was feeling. He encouraged me to go inside and try on the new clothes we had picked out, and let’s continue enjoying the day together. Part of me wanted to, and part of me wanted to be angry. Here’s the goos news – the happy, peaceful side won. We had a great rest of the evening.
    My husband also shared with me that he is taking steps to try to reduce his stress level at work. I’m glad he’s making an effort. I realize it will be hard, but at least he’s trying.
    I know my feelings are not trustworthy. My emotions, I should say. And that’s where this post comes in. I can’t do this in my own strength. I need to rest in Jesus. I need to really concentrate on learning how to do this. I need to let Christ drive the car.
    Two songs were stuck in my head yesterday, and today. “Worthy is the Lamb” and “Lord, I Need You”. I absolutely need to spend more time singing praise music and learning to rest in Christ.

    1. Becca,

      Wow.

      What God is doing in you brings happy tears of joy to my eyes, my sister! WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Thank you SO MUCH for sharing. I am excited about what God has in store for you, for your husband, and for your marriage. How I praise God for your willingness to choose the peaceful side instead of anger and that you rested in God’s love and your husband’s love. I’m so thankful God is working in your husband’s heart, as well.

      Please keep this comment somewhere that you can refer to and remember and savor often! 🙂

      Much love!

  3. The illustration about the 3000 lb car was amazing! That really spoke to me and helped me, and just thinking of getting INTO the car and letting JESUS drive while we just relax and rest in his presence and being with Him, will stick with me forever. <3
    So thankful for the constant wisdom that comes from this blog.
    Bless you,

    <3

    1. LearningWife,

      Yes! It is all about what Jesus did on the cross and what He is doing in and through me every moment. My own attempts at righteousness are like “filthy bloody menstrual rags” Isaiah 64:6. It has to be ALL Him! I just receive what He did for me – and then – miraculously – God credits all that Jesus did and all that He is and all that He has into my account. It is crazy!

  4. I believe in God, His Word and power, in Christ. However, I think saying that I Love the Lord with all my heart, soul and strength is dishonest as I also have a sin nature. If I were to think that, I would feel like I was striving towards legalism.

    Am I missing something here?

    1. Deborah Mangini,

      Thankfully, God counts our sin nature as if it was crucified and buried with Christ. Romans 6. We are now dead to sin and our old nature and this world. We are now alive to God in Christ!

      Three stages of salvation:

      1. Justification – The penalty of sin is removed.

      The moment we trust Christ as Savior and Lord, God puts our sin in Christ’s account and Jesus’ holiness in our account. God counts us as having been crucified with Christ, as if we are dead spiritually to our old self and this world. He gives us a new spirit and a new life.

      2. Sanctification – The power of sin is removed.

      We learn to live out our justification in real life in a process of maturation and growth that goes on all of our lives called sanctification. We are no longer slaves to sin. We can still choose to sin. But we are not slaves to sin. We can choose to be under the power of God and filled with His Spirit. God’s Spirit working and living in us can empower us to walk in obedience and holiness. God commands us to love Him with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength. When we are filled with His Spirit, of course His commands are possible for us to carry out. 🙂

      3. Glorification – The presence of sin is completely removed.

      We receive our glorified bodies in heaven and we are no longer able to sin.

      If you are trying to love God in your own power, that could be legalistic. But if you are loving God out of joy and thanksgiving for all He has done for you and you are abiding in Christ and He is overflowing in your life – that is not legalism to love God wholeheartedly – it should be the normal Christian experience.

      Our old sinful nature can’t love God. But it is dead! PRAISE GOD! When it rears up, we can crucify it and remember to count ourselves as dead to sin and this world and alive to God in Christ.

  5. ” Stop frantically studying for awhile. Stop reading about marriage if that is stressing you out. Stop “worry-praying” constantly trying to get God to do what you think He should do. Stop trying to fix everything to make it all work out “right.” Just be still for awhile”

    These words stopped me dead in my tracks this morning! This weekend was a very difficult weekend with my husband, who reacted hurtfully to what I thought was a respectful, loving, harmless question. As he vented, I heard myself thinking (the Holy Spirit’s voice??) that he’s coming from a place of hurt, he obviously feels unsafe with me, and I just need to BACK OFF and not say a word. I didn’t quite succeed perfectly, but by the end of the weekend, we were back in harmony.

    This morning I’m giving my thoughts to God- those thoughts of “I was the only humble one, I was the only reconciliatory one, I was the only one that took responsibility for my part in the ‘episode’.” I am choosing to let God speak to my husband. I am choosing to keep the peace that surpasses all understanding. I am choosing JOY IN THE LORD!
    And I am praising all my sisters in Christ on Peaceful Wife, who have supported and helped me get here by their comments and sharing! Praising God we have this forum to guide us through this wonderful sanctification that is marriage!

    This weekend’s scripture was 1 Peter 3, Psalm 19:14 and Phillipians 4:8- also sung by Fernando Ortega. They were a balm to my soul!

    1. senterwife,

      SO thankful that you were listening to God’s voice this weekend. That is what we ALL need! Sensitivity to God’s Spirit and wisdom to hear and obey His every prompting.

      I’m so glad you are giving up those thoughts and any pride. I’m so glad you are trusting God to speak to your husband and that you are choosing Christ over sinful thoughts. WOOHOO!

      Thank you for sharing this and for the Scripture references. 🙂

      Much love to you!

  6. Thank you April. As always, your timing is just impeccable. I can’t believe how much wisdom comes from each and every one of your blog postings. Thank you so much for continuing to take the time and energy to put this together for all of us! You have been such a blessing in my life!

    I’ve discovered a new artist, Lauren Daigle, and I can’t stop listening to her music and singing her songs in my head all day. I wanted to share her with you ladies today…enjoy!

    1. Jess,

      My prayer is that God’s Spirit would blast through me like a big open pipe to all of my sisters (and brothers). It has to be ALL Him! Thank you for sharing this song, can’t wait to check it out. 🙂

      Much love to you! So glad this was a blessing and encouragement.

      1. Well, I think your prayers are being answered my friend, b/c he has been using you in an incredible way! I think you will really enjoy Lauren’s music if you haven’t heard her yet. Much love back to you sister!

    2. This is my seven year olds favorite song , we sing it at the top of our lungs in the car
      My Husband left a couple of months ago and when she is having a hard time while we wait on God to restore our family she always ask if we can play this song

    3. Jess,

      Ooh! I love I Will Trust in You by Lauren Daigle. I hadn’t heard of her before. What a beautiful voice and even more – what a powerful message of trust in God! Love it!

      1. You’re welcome April & Elizabeth! So glad you enjoyed it as much as I do. Check out, “I’m Yours” “First” “How Can It Be” all by Lauren also. That girl is just amazing and I can’t get enough of her right now!

        And Jessica, I do that when I’m listening to Lauren Daigle in the car too! 🙂 Now when I hear that song, I will think of you and your little girl and pray for restoration in your family.

        Much love and hugs to all you wonderful ladies…and the few gents too! 🙂 You all mean more to me than I can put into words! <3

  7. Thank you for this post. Very timely. I’m still struggling with my own anxiety as I walk this path. I want to see change on his part but all I see is indifference. I tell myself everyday that this is a new way of life for me, a drastic change from the old me, and I cannot expect my husband to accept me this way after acting another way for 20 years. My moments of panic ( when he disappears for 2 days and doesn’t answer his phone) don’t last as long because I usually throw myself across my bed and beg God to take it from me. Some days I have to take a natural supplement to help with the anxiety. Most days as long as I read Psalms or your blog, I’m ok but if I venture out and read other stuff I have a tendency to start having expectations of him. He is an alcoholic ( which he keeps from the kids), suicidal, bipolar but in a major depressive episode, recovering from a massive heart attack….I cannot expect anything from him. No expectations, nothing. All I CAN do is rest in God. I have NO control and I think this is where God has wanted me for a long time… Complete and utter dependence on Him.

    1. DW,

      You have had quite the fiery trial for a long time, my dear sister. But how I praise God for what He is doing in your life!!! Thank you so much for sharing what is helpful to you and how you rest in God. That is the place we must all end up – total and utter dependence on Christ.

      Much love, my precious sister!

    2. DW, my dear sister…If I could comfort you I would. I have walked closely in your footsteps. There is such pain and suffering. Jesus knows your tears and your pain. He is out deliverer! All things are possible in Him! Find a Christian counselor. Consider calling Alanon. Get the facts on alcoholics. Talk to your doctor. Learn skills in living in this situation. I have a serious time with God everyday. My prayers are intimate with our Father. I make sure Jesus is on the throne of my heart. Believe dear sister and study James. I will pray for you! Hugs dear one!

      1. Thank you for reaching out to me Vickie. I have refused to look into Alanon due to the fact we are Christian business owners in this town and do not want to tarnish my husband’s reputation; however, after the way he treated me last night, I think I need to find some help in dealing with an alcoholic spouse because I have no intention of leaving him. I do not believe he will continue to drink for long. He was sober for over 16 years until recently. I do have a quiet time everyday and it means more to me than anything. Dethroning my husband from my heart some days is a repetitive process. I have studied James many times….I’m about finished with Psalms so I may pick it back up! God bless you.

  8. When I’m overwhelmed and need to rest in the Lord I go and read your old posts, April. I also read on Absolute Surrender, anything by Michael Wells (his books), I journal my thoughts then my prayers of confession and praise, I also listen to Sovereign Grace Music on Pandora or this playlist on YouTube http://youtu.be/hwrGb821RA4

  9. This is an awesome song by Kari Jobe about God being our rest and refuge that really encourages my hearts and leads me to a place of rest and trust in Christhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkamwvEoTXU

      1. Thanks Jessica. This song touched me. I hadn’t heard it before but plan on learning it immediately to sing when I need to rest in Him. God bless you.

  10. Song: Even so come
    By: Passion

    All of creation
    All of the earth
    Make straight a highway
    A path for the Lord
    Jesus is coming soon

    Call back the sinner
    Wake up the saint
    Let every nation
    Shout of Your fame
    Jesus is coming soon

    Like a bride
    Waiting for her groom
    We’ll be a church
    Ready for You
    Every heart longing for our King

    We sing
    Even so come
    Lord Jesus come

    There will be justice
    All will be new
    Your name forever
    Faithful and true
    Jesus is coming soon

    So we wait
    We wait for You
    God we wait
    You’re coming soon

  11. HI April,

    I am so thankful you directed me to that book by Andrew Murray. It was such a terribly important step and milestone that if you had not shown me his book at that time I would not have got. It really articulated so well the different levels of growth and how even though we are filled with the Holy Spirit we are still living by our effort.

    His breakdown of Peter was exactly that of my own life to a T and Jesus recognised that self was still so evident in Peter that He said “get behind me satan”. The life I live now is SO different now, I promise it is ridiculous.

    The great thing now is that I recognise quite quickly when I am stepping back in to self because the syptoms are easy to read. I can now fully appreciate the position in God of rest when we are overwhelmed, the mountain is too high, whatever the situation. There is not one single miracle or turnaround in the Bible where self effort was a contributor, not lone, not even close. God is a God of total absolute miracles. Sea parting, city collapsing, Saviour raising miracles.

    I did not realise how much I have depended on myself for all my life and what a travesty that was from His point of view. I actually thought I was doing the right thing even in how I would get so active about repenting. I still work hard, super hard but the trust is with Him and in His mercy the Holy Spirit will direct me when its not. Finally, I understand why people who have really lived the so called “sinful” life are such amazing Christians – because they “get it” – it is a seriously weird illogical and amazing life in God, why would you be anywhere else?

    1. Gary,

      EXACTLY!!!! This is what I long for everyone to understand and get to live out day to day!

      I’m so thankful God used Murray’s book to bless you. Thank you for sharing what God is doing in your life, I know God will use His power in you to bless many others, as well. 🙂

      We do so much “self living” and “self-effort” even in our churches that it is “normal” in our culture. But that is not at all what the Christian life is supposed to be. May God open our eyes, bring us all to repentance, and change our lives for His glory by His power alone!

    1. In Christ Alone,

      It can be counter-intuitive to rest in Christ when we think our worth is in what we DO. But – how desperately we all need to stop running around like crazy in our own power and to just be still and soak in God’s presence, His love, His Spirit, and His power. It is ALL about Him!

      Praying for you to get away with God and for you to have a time of allowing Him to restore your soul, my dear sister!

  12. Hello April and friends
    I have posted before under the name Private. Please bear with this long post.

    My husband and I have been born again for over 25 years. He has been backslidden for the last 5 years but maintains the external appearance of walking in obedience to our few friends and on his social media. We really do not see our friends much anymore as he really has no interest or maybe it is too hard to keep the appearance. Truth is his life is full of hypocrisy and I feel like I am living a dualistic life. Everything he stood for and stood against is now changed and old sinful habits have returned and have such a stronghold. He walked such a close walk for many years and preached about and against everything he has now fallen back in to. He is critical over everyone, and is no longer sensitive to the conviction of sin, and our lives have reverted back to how we lived before Christ.

    He is miserable in his condition and knows that he is not walking the talk. He loves The Lord and right now is following from afar. He knows he is not in a good place. In order to cope, he will drink some alcohol (was alcoholic and the Lord had completely taken away his desire to drink) and he is now giving all of his time to hobbies, listening to angry talk radio political shows, preaching on facebook, etc… and spending money like water on anything and everything he feels like buying; all without any care or concern for the bill.

    We used to live very frugally so we have some money saved and our goal was to always live beneath our means so that we would always have enough for emergencies and to continue pay for our 3 grandchildren to go to Christian school and to have enough to help others in need. We believed in separating needs from wants and to do without the latest things in order to maintain that balance. Our credit card was for emergencies or to buy things online at a better price than in a local store. He knows how I feel about useless spending and now it seems that his flesh is out of control and if I say anything about the credit card bill he blows up and tells me we have the money and he is not going to save money to leave for the antichrist after Jesus returns.

    Now Amazon.com is his church and boxes come everyday of new things for his hobbies. The monthly credit card bills are between $2500- $4000 each month for hobbies, new guns, throwing knives,and sporting good accessories, and our checking account is nearly depleted and he wont stop shopping. We will soon be having to take savings to replenish checking. He is spending more each month than what we make each month. He gave up the pain pills for herbal remedy opiate like stuff that costs about $500 per month.

    I feel like I am living in insanity. I Have been seeking the Lord and The Psalms are such a comfort. The Lord has shown me that I am not to try to be the Holy Spirit for him. It seems that that all of the scriptures I try to share to help him to see that our lives are not honoring to the Lord and that we need to seek Him first and put away the things of the world only propel him in the opposite direction.

    I believe that the Lord wants to work in me to have complete trust in Him and that without Him I can do nothing. Only The Lord can touch this situation. I have read articles on boundaries and tough love but if you understand passive aggressive behavior you understand the challenges that behavior presents and it would get ugly. No human counselor will penetrate him. We spend lots of time together and get along well on a very superficial level as long as we maintain that surface level, if we do not talk about money, spending, politics, scriptures and church as we are not going to church now. He is rigid in that if the pastor does not preach from KJV that they are seeker friendly and watered down preaching. I am trying to stay close to him and to try to show love and respect but I am exhausted, fearful for our finances and what the future holds. This pattern cannot continue.

    I am so thankful to read “and it came to pass” in the bible. those words give me hope. We are in our mid 50’s and this is way much more than a mid life crisis for him. I know we have an enemy who wants to steal, kill and destroy. I try to speak envouraging words to him and he receives them ; but then persists in his pattern of telling me things I want to hear while doing the opppsite. He lies, deceives and taking blank checks from the end of the check book and I panic until it clears. i never know what his next whim will be to buy fill the void that only the Lord can fill.

    Any words of God’s wisdom for me ? I am resisting the impulse to put the savings acct in my name alone as I do not want to make the money the main thing as he will say that the money is all that I care about, and I do not want to do anything unless I really know it is the Lord speaking or it will just make things worse. I do not want to act in the flesh. I am asking for prayer for both of us. My grestest desire is that we both walk in unity and in obedience to the Lord and to honor Him with our lives.

    Thank you April and friends. I would welcome responses from both men and women who may have some Experience with this and who may have Godly wisdom to share.

    1. Private,

      Oh goodness, my dear sister!

      Has your husband ever been diagnosed with mania or bi-polar disorder or any mental health disorder? How much is he drinking at this point?

      From what you are describing, it doesn’t sound like words from you will be helpful. This seems to be a rather serious situation, in my view. I think it is time for you to reach out for help. I’m not sure that your husband is in his right mind from what you are describing. This is not a sustainable situation if he continues to spend so much more than your income each month. 🙁 I can certainly understand your concerns.

      Is what he is taking for pain addictive? Is there another drug addiction going on?

      You have attempted to discuss the sin you are seeing in his life, and he has not been repentant. Matthew 7:1-5 and Matthew 18:15-17 give us God’s patterns for us to handle conflict with other believers. It seems to me that it is time to involve some wise, godly, experienced counselors/pastors whom he also trusts.

      Praying for God’s wisdom, discernment, power, and peace for you my dear sister!

  13. What helps me to rest in Christ is when I take time to really meditate on what he has done for us through his suffering. I then start to feel his love for me. The verses I read in the moment are:

    Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus;

    Isaia 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed;

    John 14:1 Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.

    What helps me going are your blogs April also. Thank you so much for your ministry.

  14. Please pray for me. After catching my husband with another woman (4th time in 6 months) and a physical altercation (against me) ensued, I told him it was best if we separate. I am regretting the decision because I miss him already. I cannot see the light. My husband has a mental illness and he holds the worst grudges ever. I don’t know of reconciliation is even possible. He just keeps saying he is so sorry for everything he’s done but he cannot forgive me for the disrespect nor the indiscretion I committed many years ago. I need prayers and encouragement that I did the right thing.

    1. DW,

      I do think there are times when separation is most necessary. I could certainly understand it in this situation. I’m sure you miss him. I do pray for God’s wisdom for you. But I also think there are times when the most loving thing to do is to separate. If someone refuses to repent and leave gross sin, separation can be essential. Often, it can be a tool used by God to help bring about conviction and repentance.

      In human strength, reconciliation may not be possible. But we know that with God, all things are possible.

      I pray for some time for spiritual healing for you, my dear sister. I pray God will open his eyes and draw him to Himself!

      All, please join me in lifting up DW in prayer and her husband, as well!

      1. April,

        We have been separated a week now. He is miserable and I am resting in Christ…go figure. Removing him from the home has helped so much. It is quite hard at moments. Immersing myself in God’s Word and wearing headphones with praise and worship music while I go about my day is helping tremendously. I think I read on here somewhere that a lady prayed a daring prayer: God, remove him from my heart and replace that empty space with Your love. I have been praying that so my focus in not on how to love my husband but on loving the Lord Jesus Christ. What a transformation I feel taking place in my heart. No more marriage books, no striving to respect, just loving and resting with my Jesus…Absolute Surrender 🙂

        I would also like to recommend a favorite artist of mine that has been on repeat: Steffany Gretzinger (CD: The Undoing) The lyrics to her songs are absolutely powerful for resting in Him.

        DW

        1. DW,

          You know – sometimes separation is a VERY necessary step toward healing. It can sometimes bring an unrepentant spouse greater clarity about his/her own sin and issues. I’m glad you are resting in Christ. How I pray your husband will respond to Christ.

          I like your plan, DW.

          Thank you for sharing about the CD and what a blessing it has been to you on during this time of trial.

          Much love!!!! Praying for God to continue the good work He has begun in you and for Him to draw your husband to Himself – that he might find conviction, godly sorrow, repentance, and regeneration in the power of God’s Spirit. I pray for God’s greatest glory for both of you.

        2. DW, I feel your pain with the missing him so much, but I believe you have done the right thing. I had very similar issues at the beginning of the year and it got to the point where we had to separate (due to police involvement). However I gave in some months down the track and although he seemed much better I regret that I didn’t stay firm in God and let Him be in control. My husband was sorry etc and I gave in and I don’t believe it was God’s timing. I am not healed, things aren’t really resolved and I don’t know if my husband is truly repentant. Now I feel like things were just brushed under the carpet, again. Sometimes that space is necessary so God can work with you both individually. I pray that you will find all your strength, peace and security in God alone.

          1. M,
            This response was very timely. I was thinking of asking him back home to stay in our basement apartment. I’m no where near healed. I am struggling with loneliness like I’ve never experienced before. Not because he is absent in body but because he is still absent emotionally from me (us). My counselor said to continue to love him but I need to be so tight with God that I know when to speak or answer my husband and when to ignore him. I want him to change so badly. Our 19 yr anniversary is next week. I’m trying to rest in Christ. It isn’t easy here at the holidays.

          2. DW,

            He hasn’t repented yet, correct?

            I can’t imagine the pain you are enduring, but I would sure love to see him repent and both of you begin to heal before you attempt to live together again. I pray for God’s wisdom for you and for God’s healing for you both!

          3. April and M,
            My husband has just repented last week of the affair and the physical altercation. He has asked me out to talk 2 times in the past few days. Both times he has expressed extreme regret over his behavior towards me. He has not brought up my past at all to excuse his current behavior which is BIG! I’m counting that as a small victory. When talking to him I can tell he is feeling just a wee bit safe with me.

            Because of his alcoholism or his refusal to give it up, he does not want to come back home. He said that the kids don’t need to see him in that state. As hard as that is for me, I agree with our decision to stay separated until he WANTS to be a part of our family life. I was totally ready to throw in the towel with “loving” him and just let him “miss” me by being unavailable for him (hoping it would jar some sense into him) but my counselor was totally against it. She believes because my husband already feels unloved (due to years of my disrespect) and has so much shame that my withdrawing could be detrimental.

            So, he is now texting me and wanting to meet up and talk. Before I meet him, I pray and ask God to be with me and that I would be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. I met with him last night and it was good. Not great, but good. It’s like trying to get to know a person all over again except with HUGE walls between us. Last night he told me a very deep dark secret that he’d never told anyone. He said, “you know, I believe even back then God was watching over me.”!! That’s huge in my eyes… He acknowledged God!

            I ran into him today and he was very distant.( I’m learning that he needs time to process our conversations and when he is distant it isn’t always because of me.) When I asked him if anything was going on… He snarled and said ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! At first I was offended but then he explained… We have no business… Nothing on the calendar. So he was consumed with finances, not our relationship.

            I have so much to learn. I just want to thank God for this blog for helping learn about a husband and ultimately how to be all that God has called me to be. (So sorry for such a long post)

          4. DW,

            I am SUPER excited to hear that your husband has expressed extreme regret over the affair and the physical abuse. THAT IS AWESOME!

            I’m also glad that he doesn’t want to come home if he is not willing to give up the alcoholism. How I long for him to have help overcoming this. I wish he was willing to reach out to Celebrate Recovery.

            Does your counselor have experience with helping couples with alcoholism?

            I’m so glad you had such a good conversation – and that he acknowledged God! WOOHOO!!!

            Please don’t apologize for a long post. I’m glad to hear the update. I pray for God’s continued healing for you both, my precious sister!

          5. DM, that’s great news that he has repented and not used excuses or blame. That is major progress! Also glad that you both aren’t rushing things but still being able to take baby steps and he is opening up to you at his own pace. He is obviously feeling alot of shame (I’m sure there was a great post on here about shame and men that April could direct you to?).

          6. DW, April is right, it is very tempting to jump back into things, especially when things seem so bad or out of control you may just want things to quickly feel normal again. What i mean by normal is familiar because what i was going through with my husband wasn’t normal as was your situation. I felt so lost I just quickly wanted routine and comfort back by having my husband back home with us. However I feel by rushing things that we both missed out on the opportunity for God to work in both if us.

            If you let your husband come back based on your feelings then you will continue to question or doubt things because you haven’t waited on God’s timing. I struggle with confusion all the time not knowing if we should be together. It’s complicated. I guess what I’m trying to say is please don’t rush things even if it feels so lonely. I know i was also afraid that if I didn’t allow him back that he would just replace me. I didn’t trust God with that. Before considering reconciling, make sure things are actually resolved. Not necessarily perfect but resolved. Will be praying for you. DW.

          7. M,

            Thank you for sharing with DW. It is VERY tempting to jump right back into living together – but sometimes, that is a recipe for disaster if things have not been properly dealt with before hand.

            Praying for God’s wisdom for you, M, and for DW!

          8. Hello April and ladies,
            Because I read this particular post (resting in Christ) regularly I thought I would update here. My husband and I are still separated. I’ve caught him several more time with her. I’ve even confronted her. She has no soul.

            To be honest, I am at such peace since he has been gone. God has been cradling me in His arms as I reach out to Him and surrender my will to His. Several people have come up to me lately and said, “You are so beautiful, I could just stare at you all day. You radiate such joy that I can’t help but look at you.” This coming from 2 young ladies in my church who did NOT know I was separated…so they were shocked when I told them…shocked because I SMILE all the time.

            I am attending Al Anon now and really loving it…the women and men all comment on the fact that I’m always smiling and that I “inspire” them. I KNOW that is because I seek God’s presence daily. He is changing not only my inward life but also my outside.

            I’m enjoying this time focusing on peeling back all those nasty layers of “self” and letting God heal and prune me. My relationship with the Lord is so sweet. 2015 was a tumultuous year but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. THAT is how God works….all things working together for good.

            Loving my Savior,
            DW

          9. DW,

            It is SO WONDERFUL to hear from you!!!!! I’m really thankful that you and your husband are separated right now. I think that is necessary at this point considering all of the unrepentant sin he has going on.

            How I praise God for what He is doing in your soul! Brings me tears of such joy!!!!!! If there is anything you would like for me to share with other wives who are experiencing tough times or separation, please let me know. I’d love to share it – God-willing. 🙂

            Sending you the biggest hug, my beautiful sister!

            Love,
            April

  15. April…I know you wrote this several days ago, but I just saw it today…and it had to be God. I have commented a few times on your posts, but long story short my husband left me. I made it very clear how i feel and that i am standing in the gap because God intends marriage to be forever. We still speak off and on, but for the past few weeks I haven’t heard from him and I kept asking God over and over to please tell me what to do whether it be to contact my husband or wait on Him instead. I felt I was not hearing anything and I couldn’t understand. Finally tonight the preacher spoke on Mark 6:30-34 and how Jesus told His apostles to rest. It was then I felt God might have been using these past few weeks He had kept things ‘quiet’ in my situation to enable me to rest. So it’s very interesting that I saw this post tonight. Thank you for your encouragement 🙂 God bless you!

    1. BN,

      I’m so very sorry to hear that your husband left. My heart breaks for the pain you are experiencing, my precious sister!!! 🙁 I’m so glad you are standing for your marriage. I’m also glad you did not rush forward with your own wisdom when you felt you were not hearing anything. Praying for you to savor resting in Christ in this storm and to learn the sufficiency of Christ.

      Much love to you!

  16. Hi April,
    Just read through this post and found it really fitting for what we’ve been discussing in the last couple of days. Please pray for me; my husband and I go to our counseling session tonight. I continue to ask God for His guidance and wisdom. Sometimes my typical over-thinking can cloud my mind and probably distorts God’s voice!
    On a positive note….I have been talking with a couple of women I work with about the “surrendered” wife roles. I know one of them was struggling within her marriage so I casually suggested the Surrendered Wife as a book, since it helped me so much. She read it and loved it and I have felt God ask me to be a support to her. She reminds me a lot of how I was before I started this journey. Another co-worker (who is also a friend) happened to be sharing our lunch hour so we all started talking about it together. I was so shocked when one of them came to me and said she texted her husband because they were in conflict and thought about how I would have answered! Over the past several weeks, I’ve shared some of the things I’ve learned and some approaches that have worked for me in my relationship. This is a true testament of God’s work because I’m FAR from being an expert in this but I know God may be working through me now!
    This gives me hope during this difficult time with my husband. Just thought I’d share since the last few posts have been kind of downers.

    1. Novembergirl,

      Isn’t it the most amazing thing to see God working in people’s lives and to see His principles bring healing to marriages and families? And then to see Him being willing to use you to bless others? That is my favorite part of ministry. It blows my mind that God lets me be part of what He is doing in so many lives and marriages. I feel like the most blessed woman on the planet to get a front row virtual seat to watch women and men go from great spiritual and emotional pain and agony to God’s healing and deliverance. Such a joy!

      How did your session go tonight? I pray for you to abide in Christ and to allow His Spirit to overtake you and fill you to overflowing, my precious sister! 🙂

  17. This is such an important concept.

    My early twenties were a time of such intense reinvention. I was aggressively studying my Bible, pursuing Christ and layer upon layer of me was exposed. As that happened my vision got clearer.

    But could Christ finish the job in me himself? The horrifying idea that so many layers of sin hid in my heart to begin with made me fearful of what else I didn’t know. And the sin of others became more and more obvious to me as well.

    Against all sense I got fearful and felt suddenly like I better figure out how to do it myself–one of many reasons for a horrific downfall in my life (not that I was perfect at the time either). After all, how could I explain how (and it’s biblical) some people don’t stand firm to the end? But that’s exactly it: trusting in Christ’s leadership is the entirety of our lives from the very beginning to the very end.

    Romans 2:4
    Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

    Praise the Lord for his grace!

  18. I came across this at a perfect time ,am going through a seperation and i didn’t see it coming. Am in so much pain that am doing ‘worry -praying’.Am so stressed and worried so i don’t know how i can tell myself to Rest in Chtist at this moment in time.Am trying to fix things to go right back by continuously asking for forgiveness from my husband .So does Restin in Christ mean i have to stop praying and just watch what Christ would do?

    1. Chipo,

      I am so glad to meet you! But I sure hate that things are very painful right now. 🙁

      Would you like to tell me a bit about where you are spiritually with Christ and your relationship with Him, then I will be happy to point you to the baby steps to learn how to do this. I have LOTS of posts that I believe will be such a blessing to you.

      Would you mind sharing, what are your greatest fears right now?

      What are you praying for?

      What do you want in your walk with Christ?

      What do you believe you need to be content in life?

      What do you want in your marriage?

      Do you know why your husband wants to separate?

      Is there anything you believe God desires you to repent of?

      Are you dealing with any severe issues with you or your husband – uncontrolled mental health problems, unrepentant adultery, active drug/alcohol addictions, physical abuse, severe emotional/spiritual abuse, etc…?

      Much love and the biggest hug to you!

      1. Thanx for getting back to me,I wouldn’t say i have a very strong relationship with Christ am born again and occasionally go to church .Like I said before I do ‘worry -praying ‘a lot.My husband has actually moved out on me amd my 18month old baby , his reasons were that we argue too much and don’t understand each other so he packed all his stuff and left.My main worry at the moment is losing him and how i will cope by myself with my son.Our marriage suffered lack of communication and transparency that led me to be always trying to ask whats happening and why is it happening that way . In the end that brought thats what made my husband to want to live because he thinks we dont agree on anything.

        1. Chipo,

          Worry praying is completely ineffective and a total waste of time. I used to do that myself. If you are open to God and to developing a strong relationship and trust in Him and you are willing to learn to yield to Him completely as Lord of your life and do things His way – He can heal you spiritually. And He may heal your marriage. I think you are in the right place. 🙂

          Some places to start:
          Can You Pray Too Much for Your Marriage?
          “My Husband Said, ‘You Worry Too Much!'”
          Signs Your Husband May Be Feeling Disrespected
          Husbands Share What Is Disrespectful to Them
          What Is Respect in Marriage?
          What Does it Mean to Be an Ungodly Woman?
          A Spiritual Check-Up
          Godly Femininity Part 1
          Godly Femininity Part 2
          I Don’t Think My Husband Loves Me – How Can I Become a Godly Woman and Wife?
          When Your Husband Says, “I’m Done”
          My Husband Wanted a Divorce
          A Peaceful Separated Wife

          Also, if you would like to, you may search my home page for:

          – fear
          – control
          – conflict
          – confronting our husbands about their sin
          – tone of voice
          – idol/idolatry
          – surprising root of all marriage problems
          – answer to all marriage problems

          Take your time reading and praying. Journal. Allow God to help you examine the darkest places of your heart under the blazing light of Truth of His Word.

          If you are willing, there is MUCH healing available for you here in Christ and in His power and His Word. I would love to walk beside you on this journey. I have seen God heal hundreds and hundreds of women and marriages around the world when they are willing to get rid of anything displeasing to God, trash their old ideas about self, God, marriage, femininity, and masculinity – and rebuild on God’s wisdom and His Word and on Christ.

          Much love!
          April

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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