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25 Ways to Respect Myself

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For a godly woman, respect goes in every direction:

  • respect for God (the highest level of respect)
  • respect for our new self in Christ as stewards of the life with which God has gifted us
  • respect for others (men, women, and children)
  • respect for my husband in particular
  • respect for God-given authority (bosses, teachers, pastors, government officials, etc…)

Some of us respect ourselves but not others. Some respect others but not ourselves. When we are missing respect in one of these directions, things get dysfunctional. Let’s get respect going in every way! 🙂

What does it mean to respect myself?

  1. I acknowledge that I am made in God’s image and have immeasurable worth because God created me and because Jesus loves me and died for me.
  2. I respect my body by acknowledging that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and being thankful for my body, taking good care of it – not hating or abusing it. I live my life to honor God – it is all about Him now, not about me.
  3. I respect my sexuality and my body by dressing modestly and not revealing anything that would be inappropriate in public and by enjoying my sexuality in proper context with my husband.
  4. I respect my life and spiritual, emotional, and physical health by seeking to walk in God’s ways and His wisdom knowing that sin would destroy me on every level.
  5. I am thankful for the gifts, talents, and abilities God has given me and I seek to be a good steward of them all.
  6. I love myself in a godly way, not a selfish way, because I know that God loves me. I receive God’s love for me gladly.
  7. I can receive the love of other people including my husband.
  8. I know that my perspective, desires, needs, feelings, and concerns are often important and I am able to share these respectfully when appropriate at home, church, in my extended family, and at work but I do not have to have my way – I am careful not to exalt self or cater to my pride.
  9. I receive that God’s Word and His promises apply to me, too, not just to others.
  10. I take good care of my body, mind, soul, nutritional needs, and health. I seek to do what is best for myself in all of these areas.
  11. I have healthy boundaries emotionally and spiritually and am able to say, “no,” when this would please Christ as my Lord.
  12. I take responsibility for my own spiritual growth and my own emotions.
  13. I do not take on responsibilities that belong to others and to God.
  14. I do not abuse myself spiritually, mentally, in my thoughts, verbally, emotionally, or physically and I seek not to sin against myself.
  15. I do not subject myself to abuse by others. I know when I need to remove myself from a very toxic situation.
  16. I seek God’s wisdom about how to live my life and I seek to avoid foolish decisions.
  17. I am careful not to put myself in tempting situations. I guard my heart.
  18. I am careful not to have any addictions to anything except for Jesus.
  19. I have a healthy understanding of who I am vs. who God is.
  20. I seek to be a godly steward of my finances and to make wise decisions in God’s sight. I try to avoid debt and manage my finances well.
  21. I am able to stand up for myself if necessary while still being respectful of others, including my husband.
  22. I don’t allow anyone or anything to steal the treasures I have in Christ.
  23. I acknowledge the importance of my influence authority in marriage and what a critical role I play in portraying the gospel to others.
  24. I honor and cherish God’s design of femininity for me.
  25. I acknowledge that I – primarily – set the emotional temperature for my marriage, family, and home as the wife and mom. I know I need to take good care of myself so that I can take good care of everyone else.

SHARE:

What are some other ways you show godly respect for yourself? Ladies and gentlemen are welcome to respond.

FOR THOSE WHO BRISTLE AT THE CONCEPT OF “SELF-RESPECT” – a bit of explanation:

We are all made in the image of God (Genesis 2). We all have innate worth because God made us – kind of like any painting by Picasso would have incredible worth because Picasso painted it.

We all have the old sinful self. There is no good in that old sinful self. We can’t earn heaven. We can’t earn God’s love. The only hope for it is for it to be crucified with Christ on the cross and buried with Him. When I talk about “respecting self” I am not talking about exalting our sinful self. I am not talking about pride or entitlement.

Then we have a new self in Christ when we come to Him and receive Him as both Savior and LORD of all in our lives. We are a “new creation.” Jesus takes away our sin, removes it as far as the east is from the west. He completely pays our sin debt of trillions and trillions of dollars to God on our behalf (this is an analogy, of course – no amount of actual money could ever pay for our sin or explain the cost Christ experienced in dying for us). He gives us a new heart, mind, and Spirit from Him. He gave all of His life for us. Now we give all of ourselves to Him. And He begins to fill us with His Spirit and transform us more and more in every day life to be more like Himself.

When I talk about respecting self, I am talking about right thinking about our new selves in Christ. I am talking about getting rid of any lies of the enemy and sinful or worldly thinking and about building our understanding of God, ourselves, and others humbly on Christ and His Truth from the Bible.

He renews our minds with His Word. He restores our souls with His presence. He causes every fear to flee in the face of His love for us. As we cooperate with Him in faith and allow Him total access to our hearts and minds, He begins to cause us to love the things He loves and to hate the things He hates. He begins to make earthly things “grow strangely dim” and heavenly things seem so much more brilliant and attractive. All that He has is ours. He withholds nothing from us. We are one with Him.

I want each of us to be able to receive all that Christ has already died to provide for us and to live in His presence, love, grace, truth, holiness, victory, and power every moment of every day!

MORE HELP FOR THOSE WHO ARE STRUGGLING WITH THIS:

Please check out RadiantandRedeemed’s comments on this post. She leads many ladies through prayers and an explanation of being set free from spiritual bondage over these issues.

Check out Nina Roesner’s e-course about becoming a woman of strength and dignity.

 

RELATED:

I know Nina Rosener has been writing on this subject, as well. I haven’t read her posts because I didn’t want to copy what she had to say – but you can check out her blog for more ideas on how we can respect ourselves.

Doormats Don’t Glorify God Either

The Pendulum Effect

Biblical Submission Is Not Passivity

Isn’t It Demeaning to Me if I  Respect My Husband?

My Identity in Christ 

Respect for Our Husbands

Humility by Andrew Murray (free download)

Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray (free download)

258 thoughts on “25 Ways to Respect Myself

  1. Great post April,
    But I really shouldn’t of read #2 while eating a cookies and cream ice cream with chocolate crumbled on top.
    ;-P

  2. Very needed post in this moment, April. Thank you.

    My husband wrote to me that he want to talk about our situation. He has an impression that time is running by very fast, and that we are not advancing very much in our marriage … well it’s normal, he does nothing to make things better.. and I think he is trying to make me give up as he did, but I do not want.

    I’m starting to have more faith in Jesus, thanks to God, and I do not want to stop reading and learning about Jesus and the Gospel because of this situation. I will continue to trust God, but any advice or encouragement from the sisters in this moment would be great. Thank you.

    1. Ev,

      You do not have to give up. And please remember, that what your husband’s feelings are at the moment, while important, are not the most important thing. You have a sovereign God who is able to change lives and hearts in supernatural ways. Put all of your hope in Him not in your husband’s feelings, my dear sister! Hear his concerns. Prayerfully think about them in light of God’s Word. Seek to honor Christ and to change anything God would desires you to change.

      Allow this trial to cause you to draw closer to Christ and to be willing to receive all of the treasures He has for you in the midst of the painful time. These are the times we can grow the most if we are willing to fully yield to Jesus as Lord of all.

      Praying for you both, my dear sister!

      Much love to you!

      1. April, I thank you so much for your kind and caring support. I needed to see and hear this through God’s perspective. You have encouraged me so much. I got tears in my eyes.

        I will read it, and reread it again 🙂

        1 Cor 15: 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

        Thank you for praying for both of us !

        <3

  3. Good morning April,

    This is a good list. And I just realized I have almost zero self respect. I always thought I had a lot of self respect but I guess I didn’t really understand what respect was. When I started reading the list I thought “well, I dont do that one, or that one” until it became obvious that I’m only good at like one or two of them. I don’t dress like a tramp, and I don’t physically hurt myself. I always thought that was self respect in a nutshell. Boy do I still have a lot to learn.
    In fact, sadly, I found myself arguing with 90% of the list. With the mindset of “well that’s great for other people, but I don’t like feeling or acting entitled.” I know this is a wrong mindset, and I was working on it, but I get tripped up and it seems so hard to try again. I fail at everything, and eventually it wears you down.

    I read a list the other day, something like “8 ways your husband says he loves you without saying it” and I could argue with every point on that list as well. One I remember was “he lets you choose (the restaurant, the movie, the color of the car)” – and I thought – that is NOT LOVE! That is a mind game he plays for his own pleasure and it is pure torture for me. He loves forcing me to choose things and I HATE it. If I make the wrong decision, and I almost always do, now everything is ruined for everyone, and it’s all my fault. I think he thinks it’s fun to force me to choose and then hope I make the wrong choice. He says this is completely untrue, and that he wants me to be happy, so he wants to know what I want. I say it is pure torture. I have spent a lifetime learning to squash my own wants and make sure everyone else is happy. Now he is trying to make me be a greedy, demanding ogre who ends up making the wrong choice anyway. My husband is a great decision maker, and I don’t know why he insists on inflicting this misery on me when he knows I absolutely hate it. I always choose wrong, always, so it makes far more sense for him to leave me out of it. I’d much rather everyone else be happy. Their happiness makes me feel happy.

    But reading the list above, I get about 20 of them wrong. So my lack of self respect is apparent. That’s sad.
    You know, I was reading some of an old discussion on another post from August, and I was so hopeful back then. I don’t know when or why things started spiraling down again.
    I do find this post interesting. I never thought self respect was that detailed or even that important.

    1. Becca,

      You are coming at this journey from the opposite angle that I did. I had tons of self respect before, but I didn’t have respect for my husband. I thought I did, but I had no idea what all was involved. So what I needed to focus on primarily was to learn what it meant to respect my husband. But for wives who are already being respectful, maybe even too respectful, of their husbands but who don’t have self-respect – they need to heal in this area of self-respect first. I think you made an accurate assessment of your level of self-respect. That is a really important first step! WOOHOO!

      For you to heal – will require you to address the unbiblical fixed beliefs and warped views you have of yourself and God first, and then of other areas.

      Self respect is not about being entitled. Yes, people can be entitled if they go too far. But that is not what we are talking about. We are talking about a healthy place of balance, not the extreme of self-hatred or the extreme of self-worship. We are talking about a place in the middle where there is humility in a healthy way, respect for self and for God and others, where we are able to have healthy relationships and boundaries, where we are able to see the worth we have in Christ, where we are able to acknowledge our needs and concerns and ask for help.

      When my children talk about themselves in ways that disrespect themselves (I’m worthless, I might as well be dead, I’m the worst son ever), I quickly correct them, “You may NOT talk about my son/my daughter that way. My children are precious to me and they are precious to God. I will not allow anyone to speak about them in such a terrible way.” I believe God thinks the same thing about the way you talk about yourself and talk to yourself – that it grieves His heart to see the way you treat yourself.

      You don’t have to go to a sinful extreme the other way – but what God desires and what I desire for you – is that you find His healing. It is available to you as you embrace His truth and what His Word says about you and you reject the lies you have believed that you are an exception to God’s love and to the promises of His Word.

      I am sad about where you are – although I know that can change. It is totally your choice. I know what God can do in your heart. He can do the same thing for you that He did for me! He can absolutely completely spiritually and emotionally heal your wounds and scars – if you will trust Him and allow Him to change you and if you will reject the things that are not true that you have believed for so long and if you will embrace His truth. It is SOOOO worth it!

      Much love to you!

      1. Please listen to the album “LOVED” by JJ Heller. Her music is very healing to the soul and it lifted me up from my low self esteem state and helped me realize the value I have in this world. You ARE loved and cherished and need to see that in order to be whole again. Much love to you. I will pray for you to have God help you learn to be kind to yourself, my dear.

      1. Elizabeth,

        Nina just contacted me this morning about her ecourse. I will be promoting it soon. I think it would be a wonderful idea for women who are struggling with self-respect. Thank you for sharing this! 🙂

      2. Elizabeth, thank you for posting that link for Becca. That course sounds like EXACTLY what I myself need right now. I am definitely going to do it.

      3. Hi Elizabeth,

        Thank you for the link. I looked it over, but I don’t know. I’m not so much into the “self-help” movement. Maybe I’m not seeing it for what it really is. But I don’t see myself studying something and all of a sudden becoming like “I’m so awesome!”

        I have a feeling that the place I am in today, is not the best for thinking on a course like this. I should probably look it over another day and see if I see it differently.

        But thank you for taking the time to share it!

        1. Becca,

          It isn’t that at all. It is very biblically based. Nina was talking about how if we do not have compassion for ourselves then we cannot have compassion for other people. She does everything through a Biblical lens and has studies that back it up.

        2. I learned over this past summer that if we do not possess the k owl edge inside ourselves, then we must find a way to bring it into ourselves. Self help “stuff” can include reading, an ecourse, a counsellor, even talking to a friend. This blog…how many of us went looking for answers when we didn’t have them. Helping yourself is crucial to growing and learning.

          You need to help yourself first before you can ever help others, and THAT is a huge source of energy that you are missing out on. I pray that you can think differently about self help stuff. Even if this course is not right for you, I’m sure April or I can suggest some really sound books. You can climb out of this pit, but first you need to reach for sone thing to hold on to to lit yourself up with. Please don rely on sone one else to save you. O ly you and God can do this. Much love.

    2. Becca, for what it’s worth, my husband has done the same thing to me for many years – forced me to decide things, and then as soon as the decision is carried through he would make me feel like a fool for choosing wrongly. I feel like this is a kind of emotional torture, too.

      What he would always do is tell me “I have no preference, I don’t care, choose whatever you want,” no matter how many times I told him I would like him to choose. Then, once I finally gave up and decided – say, what movie we were going to see – and we would go – he would start sighing tragically and saying things like “this was not the movie I wanted to see,” and trying to make me feel bad for “forcing” my choice on him. (And the sad thing is, I usually would feel bad!)

      It seems to me it is a way for him to feel like a victim or a martyr – he enjoys setting up situations like that where he can feel sorry for himself for how “mean” his wife is.

      Thank God, my husband doesn’t play mind games like this quite as much as he used to. But up until recently he did things like this all the time. So I feel your pain, Becca. I think women in our situations really need to stand up for ourselves and confront our husbands about their behaviour. For too many years I only reinforced this type of thing by not standing up for myself and just going along with whatever nonsense he told me.

      1. Laura,

        Yes, it is each person’s responsibility to say what he/she wants. If one person doesn’t want to see a certain movie- he/she needs to say that. It is not right to give someone else a choice, and then to get upset about that choice. I’d love for everyone to take responsibility for his/her own preferences and for communicating them clearly and respectfully to others. Wouldn’t that make the world a better place? 🙂

  4. April, I really appreciate this post – it is a good reminder for me at this time. Ever since I really started studying your blog, and came to the realization that I had become a doormat – who was so afraid of displeasing my husband that I was constantly disrespecting myself, and ignoring my own needs – I have been trying to do better.

    And I do feel like things are better than they were a month or two ago. I have been taking good physical care of myself, taking up an old hobby again (piano), and I feel my heavy depression lifting. Most importantly, I have been calmly and respectfully telling my husband when I feel he has treated me rudely, or disrespected me in front of the children, and I have found that he responds fairly well to this as long as I remain perfectly calm and don’t get emotional. I wish my husband felt compassion for me when I am upset and/or cry, but he doesn’t, so what works best for me is to just calmly state what I didn’t like, and pleasantly ask him to please not do that again.

    I am trying to accept that my husband may never be capable of real love or compassion, and to stop trying to get love from him, and just make life as bearable as I can, and ensure that he at least treats me respectfully in front of the children. I am also trying to make sure I respect and care for myself, something I often didn’t do. So this list of ways to respect oneself is helpful to me right now.

    It’s funny, but I used to say to myself, “Why doesn’t anyone respect me?” My husband and all of our children used to walk all over me and treat me like a lowly servant. My children would yell and swear at me just like their father did. It has taken me many years to come to the realization that they did not respect me because I didn’t respect myself – I presented myself as a doormat, I never stood up for myself at all, and everyone followed my example.

    One thing I would add to your list is to see to your personal appearance, especially clothing. For many years I wore only clothes that other people would use as rags, because I felt guilty spending our precious pennies on myself when I could spend them on the children instead. I used to think I couldn’t even buy myself underwear when my old ones were filled with holes unless all of our children, and my husband, had a perfect wardrobe first. And it really made my self esteem sink even lower, to have to wear clothes that were literally worn through and had holes in them. One time I was shopping in a pharmacy and one of the employees was watching me like a hawk, and I realized she probably thought I was going to shoplift because I was dressed so shabbily I looked like a homeless person or at least a destitute person. That ripped me apart, I felt so ashamed. But it took me years after that experience to have the confidence to actually be able to spend money on myself. Even now, I still buy all my clothes at the thrift store, but at least I make sure I have clothes to wear that don’t have holes! And just before Christmas, I bought myself some (secondhand) high heeled boots to wear for special occasions and to church – that’s the first time in 15 years I’ve bought something fancy like that for myself – I always felt like, why dress up when it’s “just” me? Nobody wants to look at me anyway…I used to wear old hiking boots even to church, I’m not kidding. But I am starting to feel differently. Having nice things to wear is a great way for a woman to respect herself, I think.

    1. Laura,

      WOOHOO! I am so excited about the changes God is empowering you to make and that you are willing to make. This is AWESOME! Thank you so much for sharing your perspective. I’m glad you realized that you can buy decent clothes for yourself without holes, too, my beautiful sister.

      I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for you. It sounds like you are in a MUCH healthier place emotionally and spiritually now than you were when we first met. PRAISING GOD WITH YOU!

      1. Thank you, April. I am seeking God as hard as I can right now – but it is a very bumpy road and I have a long, long way to go.

        I said this morning that my husband has been responding fairly well if I tell him how I feel about something calmly and respectfully, but today when he got home from work he was extremely rude to me, and when I tried to tell him how much it hurt me, he got really nasty, started swearing and yelling, and then did that thing where he gives me horrible, hateful death-glares over the supper table. I felt sick to my stomach that our children have to witness that degree of hatred at our family meal. (I have spoken to him gently about it many times and he always agrees that it is bad for the kids, but then he always does it again.)

        Maybe the reason he got so nasty was because when I tried to talk to him, I started crying a bit, and I wasn’t completely respectful. It’s so hard though, to stand up for myself and still be completely respectful to him, especially when I feel devastated by the way he treats me at times like a non-person. I mean, he just totally treats me like an object without feelings and it crushes me. The utter void of compassion. He just does. not. care. how badly he treats me, how vicious he is. I know it is possible to not be crushed by this, but I am not far enough in my walk with the Lord for me to let abusive treatment slide off my back. Perhaps with time I will be able to bear up under it better. But I worry about the effects on the children in the meantime. I feel sick with worry that they are absorbing all this toxicity. And it is so hard to convince them to treat their mother with respect when they witness their father (whom they love very much) treating me like dirt, acting bored when I venture to speak at the table, glaring at me with unadulterated hate, and so on.

        But I know I need to try. And I can at least respect myself, if no one else will. I can remember that God loves me. Thanks again for this post, I know I will read it many times over.

        1. Laura,

          Was he sober when he was being so rude?

          It is not a sin to cry, my precious sister. It isn’t even disrespectful to cry when you are sad or upset.

          I want you to remember – you are in an extremely difficult and toxic situation with your husband. You are dealing with a very broken man who is also addicted to drugs and alcohol. I don’t think he has the ability to love and respect you properly even if he really wanted to. Does that make sense? I think that his flesh being in control is all he has to offer right now. If he knew how to love you in a godly way, he would. I don’t believe you are the problem with him. I think he has tons of issues that would be there no matter to whom he was married. You don’t have to own his sin and his brokenness.

          I know you feel that you can’t leave and that he can’t leave. I do pray that if this situation is too toxic, that God might make a way for you and your children to be somewhere safe to heal.

          You do not have to absorb anything that your husband says to you in hatred. Compare what he says and does to God’s Word. Refuse everything that is of the enemy. Right now, probably almost everything your husband throws at you is from the enemy. Your husband is ensnared by the devil and the devil is speaking through him to try to get to you. Don’t receive it. Test the spirits. That spirit is not of God. Reject it and receive the truth and healing of Christ.

          Much love to you!

          1. Thank you April, your words of encouragement make me feel a bit better. You are completely right that my situation is toxic. When my husband is in a bad mood and I try to talk to him, I often feel like there is almost a literal toxic cloud of dark sticky blackness in the room that surrounds me and chokes me and makes it hard to breathe. There is just so much ugly hatred in him that seems to emanate outwards, that after interacting with him I often feel like I need a shower, as strange as that sounds.

            Yes, he was perfectly sober when he was so rude to me yesterday. He is often very nasty when he gets home from work, and only calms down after getting high.

            Thank you for the reminder that it is not a sin to cry. I felt like a failure when I cried yesterday because when I do so it always makes things worse. His worse, most vile and vicious abuse has always been when I was crying. It seems to set him off. Thank you also for the reminder to refuse everything that is of the enemy. I need to pray for God to help me in this because I take the ugly things my husband says personally way too often.

          2. Laura,

            Scripture talks about how holding onto anger, even overnight, gives the enemy a foothold in our lives. When someone holds on to hatred for many years – the enemy has set up a fortress, a base camp – in that person’s life. From there, he can use that person’s words and actions to attack others and to try to destroy them and rob them of Christ’s gifts and of Christ’s presence and goodness. Drugs also open the door for demons to enter a person’s life and to ensnare that person.

            It is important to remember that your husband is not the enemy. He is being held captive. But what he is saying to you is from the enemy. If you don’t recognize the source, you may absorb what he is saying as truth. Please don’t do that!

            This is a massive spiritual battle. There is much darkness in your husband at this point. But he is not beyond the reach of Christ. You are the light in this home. My prayer is that God will empower you to shine more and more brightly, not in your power, but in the power of God’s Spirit.

            I want you to be safe!!!!!!

            I pray for you to be able to reject everything that is not of God and to receive everything that is yours in Christ!!!!

          3. I would like to highly recommend you check out your local al-anon group. My sortahusband and i are both in recovery and one of the best things i could do for myself was begin attending al anon groups. If you are not familiar they are a 12 step spiritual program for peoples whose lives are affected by drugs or alcohol. It teaches you how to break free from codependant behaviors and how to be free of the addiction in someone elses life. Many times addicts whos spouses attend wind up recognizing the need for themselves to change.

          4. Jessica, thank you for your recommendation for al-anon. I am familiar with them. I am not able to attend meetings, but a couple of years ago I did read their “blue book” and it was very helpful to me at a time when I had no idea how to cope with my husband’s heavy drinking. Thanks again, you’re kind to mention it, and I wish you well in your own recovery. 🙂

  5. A confession, my sweet friend April…..

    I have a really hard time with these posts on loving oneself and respecting oneself–not because I’m wanting to achieve those things but failing. But because it makes me bristle to look at self from that angle. I don’t think the church traditionally has thought like this and it seems to me it’s an influenced from psychology in modern times.

    I used to loathe myself in many ways when I was younger. Instead of taking people’s words at face value I assigned them bad motives–trusting my negative assumptions were always correct and I was insightful in reading others motives. Ha! I flogged myself endlessly for every failure large and small. But you know, there was a whole lot of pride behind that. I wanted to be well thought of and have all the qualities the most admired people had. I wanted to shine for Jesus, as well. But I didn’t have an accurate view of self or others. I sure thought about myself an inordinant amount of time though. Everything those around me in my life did were filtered through my lense of how it impacted me or what it said about what they though of me. I viewed myself through the lense of what I thought others saw in me. Yuck. Ick. Gross.

    I don’t do that anymore. But it didn’t change because I now believe I am worthy. It really happened after understanding who God is more fully and focusing on Him. Yes, I’m made in His image, but He doesn’t love me because I’m so lovable. He loves me because it’s who He is and He’s full of grace and immeasurable love for people. It says so much about Him.

    God gave me the measure of the specific gifts I have that He deemed necessary in order to live my life to please Him and bring Him glory—no less and no more than I need. I try to accept that with thanksgiving and ask that I not waste the purposes for His design of me. That leaves no room for comparisons to others. I don’t need to be prettier, more articulate, more talented, more spiritually gifted, more whatever. Just walking close to God and submitting to Him and His calling for my life. When walking rightly with Him in humility and in His power–not self effort–and just wanting to please Him and bless others, it releases self-absorption. When I sin and fail, I generally no longer wallow in it—instead, confess it and accept His promise to forgive me my sin and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness. And this frees those around me to relax in my company.

    I don’t know if this makes sense the way I’m saying it, but trying to convince myself I had worth just used to encourage more thoughts of self and less time understanding that it’s all about God and His glory and His working in us. He must increase and I must decrease. My joy is only truly found when I turn my heart toward Him and others in love. And I don’t need to love myself before loving others. I need to love God more.

    Perhaps we may need to agree to disagree. I’m fine with that!

    Much love to you.

    1. J,

      As I read what you are talking about – it seems to me we have the same message. Our worth is in Christ. My next post will be about respecting God. All of these pieces, I believe, are important. Not to love self in a idolatrous way. Not to be selfish. But to understand our worth and value in Christ and to treat ourselves with dignity, rather than to heap abuse or contempt upon ourselves.

      I don’t recall ever promoting anyone to compare herself to others, to find her worth in her own goodness, to think of herself as worthy and loveable because she brings something awesome to the table apart from Christ.

      As you know, I talk very much about not walking in self-effort, in pride, or in sin. I talk about how easily we can swing from one sinful extreme to the other. Hating ourselves or exalting ourselves. This post is not about either of those sinful extremes, but about respecting ourselves as we would respect others. For our worth in Christ, for our unique personhood that God has given us, for the healthy boundaries that we need to have, for taking care of ourselves in a healthy and productive way by taking responsibility for ourselves spiritually to seek Christ above all else and to yield to Him as Lord, of taking responsibility for taking good care and being good stewards of the gifts, talents, money, and bodies God has given to us.

      I wonder if you are hearing my words through some old filters? Because I really don’t believe I am saying what it seems you are hearing me say. If you are hearing that – I may need to make some adjustments, because I am NOT AT ALL saying that we should find worth in self or focus on self.

      My purpose here is that many women don’t have any self-love or self-respect, as you can see from some of the comments. I want them to be able to see themselves as real people who can receive what God has done for them just like everyone else can. We have many sisters who believe they are not important to God, that they can’t be loved by God, that they can’t receive love, that they shouldn’t have needs, that they should never ask for help.

      I am in complete agreement about us turning to Christ and about us approaching Him in great humility – but it needs to be healthy and godly humility, not false pride and destructive “humility.” And of course I agree that our joy is found when we turn to Christ and trust Him and submit to Him completely.

      When Jesus talks about the Greatest Commandments, there are two:

      1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength.
      2. Love others as you love yourself.

      Love for self is assumed in the 2nd greatest commandment, and in Ephesians 5 when God is instructing husbands about how to love their wives. Love and respect for self in a healthy, godly way, not a worldly way, is needed. We can’t receive God’s love and grace if we believe we are not even real people or that God’s Words don’t apply to us. It is as we learn to see ourselves through God’s eyes and His truth that we can understand we are made in the image of God and we are loved because God loves us and that is His character. Then we can receive that. Then we can pour out His love, truth, and grace to others.

      I realize there is an unhealthy preoccupation with self. That is not what I am attempting to communicate here. I also don’t believe I am communicating a worldly message. Would you be able to show me the points that are unbiblical, in your view?

      Thank you so much for sharing your concerns. What can I do to make this more clear?

      Much love!

  6. April,

    Could you add to #3 something about women accepting God’s design as sexual beings and delighting in that with our husbands, as well, so there is a balance to that point?

    (I hope that’s not too picky!!)

    🙂

    1. I don’t think its picky, but when you’re the wife whose husband isn’t very interested in you that way, it just crushes your self esteem all the more.

      But I know, I can hear you all now, stop looking to my husband for love, only look to God. I wish I could, but my husbands love and attraction are still very important to me.

      I don’t think normal women who are pursued by their husbands can understand pain when it is not that way. I wish all wives who have husbands who desire them sexually would realize that for the beautiful gift that it is.

      Sorry, just my two cents.

      1. Becca,

        I have been in those shoes before many times. I do understand how devastating it can be to feel rejected by your husband (for a variety for reasons). The path for healing for our marriage and intimacy included me learning to find my contentment in Christ alone. It is possible to do this – but there is a lot of heart work that needs to be done through the power of God’s Spirit and with a very through self-inventory in Light of God’s word to weed out all of the lies and to rebuild your life and perspective on His truth that so far you have touched on a little bit, but not in great detail the way that you probably will need to in order to find wholeness and healing in Christ.

        Much love to you!

        1. I hear what you’re saying, but I don’t understand how finding my contentment in Christ alone will help my husband feel more amorous. It will help me, sure, not to focus so much on the negative feelings. But if he’s not attracted to me, I think plastic surgery would be more beneficial than heart work.

          I mean, the heart work will be good for me and best in the long run. Finding my contentment in Christ alone is important, much more important, I get that, too.

          However, if he’s not attracted to me physically, the only changes in me that would help would be physical changes.

          So, the heart work will help me live a contented life. But it will not get me the blessing of being desired by my husband the way normal wives are supposed to be. Perhaps the answer is to learn to live without that. Perhaps it’s a selfish desire of mine, the longing to be seen as beautiful and feminine and to be longed for by the husband I love. Perhaps this is the lesson I’m supposed to learn. To be content without all that. It’s going to require some thought.

          My husband’s constant disagreeing with me about the subject is very non-productive. The sooner that he would realize that his actions speak to me far louder than his words ever will, the better. Perhaps he has some heart work of his own to do.

          1. Becca,

            As you allow God to heal your heart and to radically change your destructive thinking and as you cooperate with God at getting the gangrene and cancer out of your life – LOTS of things will heal because the power of God will be streaming in and through you. Including intimacy with your husband – in time.

            This is ultimately about your walk with Christ. The healing in your marriage would be a side effect of you having healing spiritually for yourself. Then you can approach your husband in a healthy way instead of continually sabotaging yourself with your own mindset. I don’t think you realize the extent of the toxicity of your thought life and self-talk. The things you think about yourself and say to yourself are truly awful. It is way past time to get rid of them.

            You have a massive stronghold of the enemy in your soul for a variety of reasons. I want to see that come out! I would yank it all out myself if I could because I HATE seeing you continue on in all of this suffering unnecessarily. But only you can cooperate with God to yank out the lies. I have given you all of the tools and information that I possibly can. I want to see you free in Christ and embracing His truth. The other stuff is secondary.

            The point is not to just learn to live without your husband’s affection – but to allow Jesus to heal the major spiritual sickness in your heart first. And then as you become more and more whole in Christ, THEN we can talk about addressing the issues with your husband because then you will have clear vision and clear perception and God’s wisdom and power to address them which right now you don’t have. I completely believe that most of the issues in your marriage would be healed in time, once you embrace God’s healing for yourself.

            Much love!

          2. I agree with you that it’s looooooong past time. The fact that I have yet been able to accomplish this makes me feel hopeless. Like giving up.

          3. It seems that so many women feel un-beautiful if we are rejected by our husbands. I am one who gets no affection, looks, hugs, kisses or love from my husband too. However, because my dh has been so put off by my past bad attitude, I could be drop dead model beautiful and still be looked at with contempt from that bad attitude.

            I tell my teen daughter that “beauty sleep is not for the outside, it’s for the inside”. How many great looking guys turn out to be jerk and no amount of physical attraction would keep us with them? Men are cool in the fact that they are also attracted by “inner beauty”. Part of that is the love and respect of ourselves as a valuable part of this earth. Does God love any one of his kids less than the other? Absolutely not! I could have 12 kids and each would be just as valuable as the other to me. Even if they did not respect and obey me.

            Understanding that your life, thoughts and contributions in life are important is beautiful and attractive. It makes you “real” and energized. It is a feeling that makes you a victor and not a victim. People need to feel useful. If a husband constantly gave the gift of love, affection, approval, and it was rejected and not accepted, then why should he keep trying? It would be giving a gift that was unwanted or unappreciated. That would be frustrating.

            I used to have a hard time accepting a compliment too. I didn’t like the spotlight, focus on me and the attention. I was embarrassed because I couldn’t beleive it in myself. But I learned to just start saying “thank you”. Little by little, I started to feel a little bit more graceful and put together and feminine. It’s attractive to more than men. Everyone can start to feel a sense of connection with someone who can be real. It’s not a pride thing. It’s accepting yourself as worthy of love.

            God wants to help you, but you need to be willing to help yourself as well. We are not damsels in distress with no power or influence. We have a voice, a mind, feelings, needs and desires. God gives these to us to use, not have them waste away. It gives Him joy to see us succeed and rise higher! He celebrates our lives like a proud parent at a soccer game when His child scores a goal. He wants the best for us. He wants to see us smile and be secure in His love and know that we feel special to Him. Don’t let the sheer number of people in this world make you feel small and insignificant. He is God! He is omnipresent and omniscient! He can handle having billions and trillions of children and be a huge part of every life. That is why we each have the Holy Spirit indwelling inside each of us. It’s our direct umbilical cord to God. Please see that you are very important to God and many others, and don’t be afraid to beleive that.

            Blessings and prayers to you, my sweet sister.

          4. Becca,

            I don’t know all the dynamics of your marital situation. So, I know that I can’t speak perfectly to it. But….I do know this. My husband is much more attracted to me when I am content in Christ. I have no idea why, but obviously it’s a very attractive thing – probably for lots of reasons: I’m not needy acting/not trying to get all of my emotional needs and every other need met by my husband – he’s not designed to be my total “need-meeter” so when I’m acting like that it turns him way off. When I am resting in Christ and finding my joy in Him….well, I’m joyful. I’m content. And that’s attractive. Men are not so attracted to grumpy, never-satisfied wives who complain about their children and whatever else has annoyed them that day (I know, because I see the difference in how my husband treats me in those times vs. when I am joyful, content and grateful!) Husbands are also very attracted to women who have self-confidence (a healthy self-confidence that for me is brought out more and more as I learn to rest in who I am in Christ). It used to drive my husband crazy when I would bring to his attention the way time has affected a certain area of my body. 🙂 I was so insecure about this and was just positive that it bothered my husband. I finally woke up one day and realized that I was seriously turning him off by bringing that stuff up at all.

            What I’m saying is that your attitude itself can be a huge turn-on or turn-off. We can’t fake good attitudes. It’s a heart issue. I’m sorry that you have such a hard time accepting God’s love and your husband’s love for you.

            I remember one time God telling me that when I chose to believe something that wasn’t true, I was in essence saying that He (God) was a liar and that Satan was telling me the truth. Yikes. Please stop listening to the enemy’s lies. Your feelings do. not. have. to. match. up. but you can still consciously choose to believe God and what He says about you and who you are in Christ. Your feelings will change slowly, but feelings are not always the best indicators of the truth. We don’t walk by feelings and sight, anyway….we walk by faith and that’s why it’s called faith – because it goes against everything we feel at times. Choose to shift your thoughts from lies to God’s truth. You can be honest with God throughout the process about your weaknesses and difficulty believing Him. He knows anyway, might as well pour your heart out to Him and receive His comfort. He will meet you where you are – and moreso! -if you are ready to start believing Him.

          5. Jennifer, and Becca,

            I just found in the Bible that when you are in Jesus you are acceptable to God and approved by men :

            Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking ((or needs met by my husband or the world )), but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.

            Becca, please do not give up. It’s difficult and it will take time, but as April says “allow Jesus to heal the major spiritual sickness in your heart first.” Your healing will enable you to see Jesus more and more, and little by little you will start to see and understand that He is everything you need. When I do not feel this, I try to read and reread many passages in the Bible that speak about Jesus and the cross; and I try to take away my sin (selfishness, pride, etc.) through the word of Jesus, by obeying His word. He is helping me so much. I can not do it myself. When I do not feel well, I read and reread the main passages about Jesus and pray. When you start to believe in His word, Jesus gives you the strength to continue.

            I also have difficulties to ask my husband what I need. I think it’s because I was also not encouraged to ask what I need in my childhood. I think knowing the God’s character can help me to advance.

            April wrote:
            But we are welcome to bring our concerns, feelings, needs, and desires to God. Jonah shared his objections to God that he didn’t want God to spare Ninevah. Jonah was not thinking the way God thought about the situation. But God did not turn him away in anger, He spoke with him and reasoned with him. Moses shared his concerns to God about that he didn’t think he could do what God was calling him to do. God addressed Moses’ concerns. God invites us to share with Him in prayer. I am not suggesting we do that in a prideful or selfish way, but with godly humility and reverence before God.

            Probably I have first to understand how God wants me to ask him and talk to Him about my needs.

          6. Ev,

            This is so beautiful! I love what God is doing in your heart. 🙂

            Yes, the more we know God and His character and truth, the more we heal.

            God also allowed Jesus to share His concerns in the Garden of Gethsemane. He asked that this cup might pass from Him if possible. But then He said, “But not My will but Yours be done.” We can do this, too. We can share our needs and concerns and then say, “But not my will but Yours be done.”

            Much love!

          7. Ev,

            Thank you. Your comment made me realize something that’s been in the back of my mind. Often, I am very afraid to ask God for what I need or want, or even my feelings. Not because I think He doesn’t care, but because I’m afraid. I’m not afraid of being told “no”, but I’m afraid of being punished for asking. I guess the way you could be punished by an earthly parent for asking in the wrong way or at the wrong time. I’m even feeling very nervous about writing this, like if God finds out I feel this way, I’ll get in trouble.

            I know this is crazy, because God knows our every thought. And that terrifies me sometimes, because not every thought of mine is good, and so I feel like a failure, a “bad kid”. In this strange thought process, I am afraid to share my thoughts with God, I know He knows them anyway, so I try to stuff the thoughts in the back of my mind, and it’s all very conflicting. I’m not even really wanting to admit this fear. It’s there, and your comment about Jonah and Moses made it more clear to me. In fact, when I have read of Jonah and Moses I thought they both were NUTS for arguing with God. But maybe they were just being honest about how they felt.

            You’ve given me something to think about, that I don’t want to think about. Thank you for taking the time to share.

          8. Becca, you are welcome. I understand you fear, because I also had an image of a God who is unreachable and a punishing one, even angry.
            I thought also that I did not deserve to ask anything – who I’m to ask Him anything. But through April’s blogs, John Piper’s web page and the Bible, I learn and experience that God is very Good and merciful. And I know that He would like me to ask Him for my wants and needs, but I still have a difficulty to do that, and will have to work on it.

            Matthew 7:7″Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8″For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.…

          9. By the way, Becca, the comment about Johan and Moses was from April.. as you can see in my first reply to you 🙂

          10. Love this, Ev! SO beautiful! Thank you for sharing. 🙂 God IS good and He is approachable. He is a loving Father who is very interested in each of us and who longs for a deep relationship with each of us.

          11. Hi Becca,

            I often read your comments and your comments and questions often resonate with a lot of what I’m thinking or feeling, either about myself or my marriage or my walk with Christ. I don’t want to come across as farther along the journey than you, because I know I’m not… you’re struggling and fighting to find the truth and I don’t think I’m even that far most of the time. But I have something to offer regarding wanting a husband’s physical attention and love.

            I think your heart condition CAN improve your husband’s desire for you, and not because you’ll be settling for less or because it’ll draw him closer to God and God will change his heart for you. Although, these things can happen!! But I think men find a content, self-assured woman whose eyes are on Heaven to be sexy. Yes, really!

            The reason I think this is that we recently returned from several years abroad in a country where most women are only valued for their bodies. In this country where infidelity is rampant, girls are trained from birth that the only way they are of value is if they can please and keep a man. I’d be at the department store looking for underwear for my young daughters and would only be able to find g-string thongs and even training bras for 2 year olds!!! Sex ed starts in pre-school. Women of all walks of life and ages are expected to undergo any sort of surgery necessary to keep young faces and figures, and poorer women often commit crimes from theft to prostitution to extortion to be able to pay for the surgeries. (I met a number of very nice women there, too, and some plain ones… I’m speaking in generalities).

            My husband was targeted by one predatory woman (or maybe “opportunistic” would be a fairer word) and since our marriage was already pretty toxic to him, he chose to have an affair. Needless to say, when I found out about it, I was devastated, knowing how beautiful and talented in bed this woman would’ve been. Self-esteem has never been my strong point, and I’m neither beautiful nor sexy. After his confession, I had a tummy tuck, joined a gym, lost a ton of weight, looked amazing (for me)… and my marriage was still terrible. My husband had lost all interest in me and I kept visualizing him and the other woman. I was so bitter and hurt and threatened, especially after his next few emotional affairs. So… fast forward 5 years and my faith, which I’d waylaid over the years since the wedding, is being renewed by God’s mercy. My marriage is not horrible any more, and it’s been a year since my husband has last said he wants a divorce. I’m trying (not always successfully) to put God first in my heart and rely only on Him for contentment, to free my husband from all expectations and yet to treat him with respect. I’m attending church again, as I used to when hubby and I were first dating (he’s not a believer). Suddenly, a few weeks ago, I realized we’re having more sex again. For the first time EVER, in 15 years of marriage, he’s telling me I look beautiful (even though I don’t – I’m old, tired, and keep adding 10 lbs every Christmas). He loves that I go to church. He loves that I take our daughters, although he won’t join us. He loves that I’ve joined a women’s bible study.

            I firmly believe a husband CAN find his wife physically sexy just by her attitude changing. God has so many layers to everything – it’s never only about what it seems like on the surface, so putting Him first will not simply help you to find more contentment so you won’t rely on your husband, but it’ll also change the dynamics between you and other people, especially those closest to you.

            I’m sorry I can’t keep it short. Hope this is encouraging to you. And thanks a bunch for articulating what I can’t and keeping things real in your conversations here!

          12. This discussion made me think of these verses: 1 Peter 3:3-4: “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

            Peregrine042, thank you for sharing your amazing story. I’m sure you are more beautiful than you are giving yourself credit for. Even if you don’t think so yet, I hope you are able to accept your husband’s compliments graciously and with confidence….don’t give him reasons to doubt what he is seeing before his eyes like I have done in the past with my husband! 🙂

          13. Peregrine042,

            Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so sorry you went through that. I am glad you and your husband are healing. Thank you for the encouragement!

            I will be praying for you and for God to bring your husband to Him.

          14. peregrine042,
            Thank you so much for sharing. I especially appreciate you sharing about the things you tried that didn’t work. And then how much things changed when you began to depend on God and allow Him to work in you. SO BEAUTIFUL!

          15. Becca,

            I so understand where you are coming from. I cry out to the Lord, but he cannot make love to me…. It is like being a plant that is dying from thirst. I come to the found of living water, but he cannot seem to quench that thirst. I still feel unloved.. And I never complain, always smile, try to initiate…. I understand Becca….

          16. Dear Elizabeth,

            It pains me to the depths of my soul that you think this is what I mean. I do not mean what you are saying in any way at all. I cannot even re type or repeat this because it feels blasphemous to me. It grieves me that anyone would get this impression from my pain or my situation.

            Please understand that I in no means expect the good and marvelous God of the universe to fill my fleshly needs in a literal sense. It had never even occurred to me to think that way and I am praying for you to understand that this is not what I want, nor do I think it should be what you want. I think you are looking at it incorrectly.

            I am not good at explaining theological things, but I pray you will share your concerns and desires with a strong, godly Pastor who can clear these things up for you.

            My desire in this area is for my husband and I to enjoy the beautiful gift of intimacy that is supposed to be shared by a husband and a wife, more frequently and without the emotional baggage that he and I deal with. For me, it is not the physical need or “urge” that I am concerned with. That’s a small part, sure, but I am more concerned with the emotional and spiritual bonds between a husband and wife that can be enhanced by the physical.

            I am on this journey to try to learn to be content, to understand how to find my contentment in Christ (something I struggle with a great deal) not necessarily to get everything I want or feel I need. I am so sorry if I have given you any other impression.

          17. Becca,

            You wrote:. That’s a small part, sure, but I am more concerned with the emotional and spiritual bonds between a husband and wife that can be enhanced by the physical.

            That is what making love to me is… it isn’t just an “urge” is is an emotional and spiritual bond, a oneness…. I don’t see it any other way. It is connection.

            I’m thinking maybe you misunderstood me… Sorry about that and if I offended..

      2. Becca,

        Reading your comments is like reading my own words.

        Just yesterday we went out to dinner, and I wanted to tease him so badly — I wanted to order a cocktail with a name I just can’t say — I am too embarrassed. But I wanted to tell him, “I want this drink, since this is the only way I’ll get any.” (You know) We rarely drink, only for special holidays and such, as we are not teetotalers, but I drink even more rarely than he because I really don’t like alcohol….but sometimes I’ll have a cocktail with him for a special occasion. Well, anyway, I just couldn’t. It just seemed so indelicate and inappropriate.

        Later I just started crying. I didn’t want to because I didn’t want to annoy him, but they just came and flowed. I couldn’t wipe them fast enough to keep him from noticing, and he was pretty annoyed and offended.

        He’ll often ask me what I want and I just sit or stand there tongue-tied. I literally *can’t* say what I want. I usually always counter-ask, “What do you want?” which annoys him no end, but I can’t…..because of course the “good” thing to do is do what others want.

        I keep wanting to confront him and really *say* what I want, but I haven’t the nerve.

        I wish guys understood just how difficult it is for us to say what we want…..

        1. zbexrel,

          My goal is that wives will feel safe in their marriages and feel that they do have a voice that matters in their marriages- not in a prideful, steamroller, selfish way. But in a way that acknowledges their own worth and value as women made in the image of God and whose healthy influence in the marriage is important.

          I want wives to be able to say, “I want to be able to share intimacy with you sometime this weekend.” or “I would love for us to have some private time together this weekend. I cherish those times we share.”

          I know that there are times when some husbands are not going to react well. That breaks my heart. Either spouse should be able to confidently approach the other for intimacy in marriage. That is part of the covenant of marriage.

          Scripture doesn’t say that it is always good to do only what others want and to never ask for what you want. There are plenty of verses about the importance of each of us asking for God and asking others for what we need.

          What do you believe your deepest fear is if you were to directly, respectfully, gently ask for sex?

          If you get a chance, please check out what Radiant shared. What thoughts do you have about her comment?
          Much love to you!

  7. April,

    I don’t think I communicated clearly. I didn’t mean to imply you are teaching we do things in our own efforts or that you encourage us to compare ourselves with others, and I understand our identity is to be found in Christ and you teach that.

    Some of the things I said were addressed to readers whose comments have troubled me on previous posts. I don’t want to be insensitive to anyone struggling so I’m uncertain how to say this. I think I had better pray before deciding to say more and cause harm.

    I think some of where you and I differ is an issue of semantics on these subjects when they’re given a post of their own: self-love and self-respect.

      1. April,
        I read the edits you added to the post and think it adds a lot of clarity. Thank you so much for that, and thank you for desiring to handle the Word of God with reverence and great care for accuracy.

        If I may suggest something else to consider, perhaps? Christ coming to earth. living a perfect life as both God and man, being that only perfect sacrifice for our sins, and His death on the cross cannot be accurately spoken in billions of debt dollars. I understand where your heart is in that statement–that it is a debt we cannot possibly pay back. But in my mind it puts all that was accomplished in terms of dollars. Another pinched nerve for me to read. I say this with a gentle voice and much love. xx

        1. J,

          I’m glad that those edits helped to clarify things.

          I agree that dollars are not entirely an accurate way to describe our sin debt. However, Jesus did use parables of servants who owed debts to their masters to explain our sin debt. I don’t believe it is unbiblical for me to describe it in this way – as long as we understand that there are limitations in analogies.

          I’m so sorry that this hits a nerve for you and I am glad you are sharing your concerns. 🙁 I am certainly not saying that enough money would take away our sins. This is an analogy about the great debt we owed and the great cost that it was to Christ to redeem us. Only the blood of Jesus can wash away our sin. And sin is much more repulsive than debt. But it is something we owe to God that is much more than we could ever repay in any way.

          Some of the words in the Bible that are used about our salvation are banking terms or terms that relate to money:
          * Redemption – Hosea redeemed Gomer when he bought her from the slave market.
          * Justification – Jesus puts His righteousness in our account and our sin debt in His account.

          Is there another way of describing this that you prefer?

          Much love to you!

          1. April,

            If we are speaking about the same parable, the message of that parable is being forgiven much but then turning around and not forgiving someone who owes us far less. Anything we forgive others of is worth infinitely less than what we, as christians have been forgiven.

            I often wish there was a way to edit comments I leave. Saying it hit a nerve sounds pevish. I don’t want to be nit picky. I don’t even want you to change a post to please me. I just thought it was something to consider that there is no dollar amount that even begins to describe what our salvation cost. You do what you are comfortable with– without fear of offending me. I’m secure in my personal convictions in this and able to disagree peaceably and always love you!

          2. J,

            Yes, the parable of the servant who owed much and was forgiven his debt by his master was about how he then wouldn’t forgive a small debt another servant owed him. Forgiveness was described in terms of canceling a monetary debt. That is also what I am describing, in my view.

            I am not necessarily going to change the post – but I do want to understand where you are coming from. I completely agree that there is no dollar amount that begins to describe what our salvation cost.

            In my mind, before God opened my eyes, I didn’t think I owed God very much. I didn’t have the ability to see the enormity of my sin. And I didn’t love much either. I used to think I just couldn’t love God as much as those “bad sinners” who really did awful things and could love God a lot when they were forgiven. Then God showed me I was a wretched sinner, too. I owed MUCH. It was helpful for me to think in terms of a debt. That it wasn’t a matter of that I owed God $200, it was something so astronomical that I couldn’t even count it much less repay it.

            But I do appreciate the point about that there is no literal dollar amount that could ever be placed on Jesus’ death and sacrifice for us. I completely agree with you.

            Much love!

          3. April,
            I would say something like, there is no dollar, amount if I wanted to use a money analogy. Billions of dollars is less than the national debt! But then you get into trouble if coming up with an amount larger than that. It truly is beyond quantifying, in my mind, except to say it is infinitely higher than we can ever pay back, or even grasp or understand with our finite minds. 🙂

          4. J,

            Just wanted you to know, that I did edit the post a bit to be sure that people are not misunderstanding me. I depend a lot on feedback just like this to know how people are hearing what I am saying in ways that may be different from my intentions.

            You are such a blessing and a treasure to me. 🙂

  8. You and I were simultaneously typing. I like how you expounded on some things here. Thank you! I want to look at your new list a bit more before saying anything quickly.

    You’re a peach! I love you April.

    1. J,

      I love you very dearly. I appreciate this important discussion! I SO long for there not to be confusion. I want to see healing for our sisters on each end of the spectrum.

      Much love to you!

  9. April and J,

    As I was reading your comments I had a feeling that you two weren’t really on the same page. I mean, not clearly hearing what one another was saying. I think you actually have a lot of the same thoughts.

    Writing is HARD! With no tone, inflection, facial expression, it is very easy for misunderstandings to occur. And April, I understand what you mean about keeping things short and simple. I used to send emails to parents of my students that I thought were abundantly clear and there would always be one parent who didn’t get what I was saying. Technology! 😜

    But J, I TOTALLY hear you with the concerns about the obsession with self-love. I do not want to be a lover of self. Yet, logically I understand what April is saying about going too far the other way and hating ourselves. It’s a happy medium, that unfortunately I am having trouble finding.

    But again, the words “loving yourself” instantly dredge up bad feelings for me and thoughts of “no! You’ll be conceited, egotistical, full of yourself, a snob, putting yourself above all others, self-centered, nasty woman!”

    Let me be clear, I KNOW that is NOT what April is saying. But those are the negative thoughts that those words conjure up in my mind. It’s my own problem with the meaning of those words.

    I just think its weird that even though I have so many of my own issues, I can understand (or at least I think I understand) what both of you are saying.

  10. April, oops – I was commenting again to Becca but the post did not get completed (it was only a couple of sentences long)….something happened with my computer and I don’t know if it tried to post or not. Not sure if it went to your spam folder,but if you find it, you can just delete it! Thanks!

  11. Same thing…not sure where my post to Becca went about not understanding how to get fulfillment in the bedroom from God.

    1. Elizabeth,

      I had a complaint about that comment. I do understand what you are saying – that God doesn’t directly meet our sexual needs. Thank you for your patience. I want us to have this discussion, but I also want to be sure we are treating God with the utmost reverence and holiness.

      Much love!

  12. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head here. We could all use a reminder of what it means for us women to respect ourselves from a godly perspective, not just blind opinion. Thanks for sharing!

    1. The FaithBook,

      I’m so glad this is a blessing. I know I often talk about how to respect our husbands, but if we don’t or won’t respect ourselves in a godly way – it can be dangerous for us to talk about respecting our husbands. That would end up often being idolatry of our husbands rather than godly respect. I want to be sure we are starting from a firm foundation in Christ where we know who we are in Christ and we are filled up with Him. Then we have the ability and power to be the godly women Jesus calls us to be in other relationships, as well.

      1. Totally and completely. I just had a conversation the other day regarding how a sister of mine’s favorite crutch she like to lean on is to serve and push herself so she doesn’t have to deal with what’s really going on with herself. I’m praying she’s getting better at this as Jesus told his disciples how can you take a speck out of your brother’s eye if you have a log in your own. First take out the log and then help your brother. The same could be said for respect. you can’t truly respect others if you don’t have a god-grounded sense of respect for yourself, but also careful so as not to let it become prideful. Once we have the right perspective then its easier to have the proper respect for others, and as you noted, being careful not to fall in to idolizing in the process.
        Thank you so much again for sharing! I really do enjoy your blog and the things God is working through you to share with others. It’s definitely a gift!

        1. Love this, The FaithBook! 🙂 God has amazed me by allowing me to be part of His work in people’s lives. I never get tired of watching Him heal and bless people and marriages. It is such an honor to get to be here. I pray God will be greatly exalted and His work and purposes might be accomplished.

  13. Reblogged this on The Faithbook and commented:
    Another great post from the peacefulwife.com on what it means for us women to respect ourselves from a godly perspective instead of blind opinions with now solid foundation. A great reminder. Enjoy below:

  14. Thank you for this list and may God
    bless you richly!!
    I can’t even think of anything to add to the list, so far.
    Also, speaking of modesty, like you, I wear skirts or dresses and have for many years, being raised that way by my parents who are Christians. And I LOVE wearing them.

  15. Dear Becca and the many, many others who struggle with this; grace and peace to you to be strengthened in your spirit to receive the truth from God in this crucial area tonight. If we can’t get this – we can’t grow, and we are going to stay imprisoned in darkness. Becca- thank you so much for giving a voice to the voiceless – who have such a hard time putting their thoughts and struggles and pain into words. Thank you for this important work of thinking and sorting through the hurts and being able to clearly list them. Thank you for asking and seeking and knocking even when you feel like giving up. (This is from me – so it won’t be short! Feel free to read it in sections and think or pray over each one over a few days. Don’t let me firehose you!)

    April and I come to issues like this from opposite extremes. I felt like you, Becca. And when April or others used certain words – self and love or self and respect together for instance, – I automatically repelled from them like the wrong end of a magnet and could no longer hear what she was saying because my biggest fear was being a selfish, nagging, demanding pig of a wife. And my biggest pride though I couldn’t realize it – was not having needs, asking for anything, and never being demanding like those other people. I tried very hard to be self-sufficient. I thought that was a good thing. But there is a way that seems wise to man that in the end leads to death. That is what my thinking was.

    Self is a confusing idea for us in our Christian culture. We have an old self that we are to die to. It is also called “the Flesh” or “our sin nature” or what is “earthly” or “natural”. (Colossians 3 shows the traits of our Old Self – it’s not pretty for any of us). The only thing it is good for is dying. We are to put it off completely – it is nasty. Like a totally filthy garment of rags. It is completely tainted with sin. It needs to die on the Cross with Jesus and be buried with Him in baptism. I think that is the self we think people are pointing to when they say “love yourself.” We know our old “Self” is disgusting, with nothing good in it – and we have tons of evidence listed in alphabetical categories since we were 4 to prove it. Any self-effort to improve or love God or be good on our own is tainted by this old self.

    But that is not all there is to us as new creations in Christ. And everyone, saved or not – has a spirit. We are all image bearers of God. There is dignity to all of our lives from conception to death, no matter the state of our physical/mental/spiritual well being. We are broken image bearers – but still image bearers. And there is a sacredness and a dignity to human life, including YOU because of that.

    And you – if you are a human and breathing – count as an image bearer of God. And you count as one of the ones in the world that God so loved- that He sent His only Son for. And if you are a believer – you have a New Self. If we could see spiritually what that New Self looks like – as C.S. Lewis says, we would be tempted to worship it. The demons can see the Holy Spirit in us. They see the Light of Jesus’ goodness flowing through us in beautiful glory, ( IF we are walking in faith and our true identity in Christ and in His authority and dying to Self). and they are terrified.

    Most of us in the West have received a gospel that is Non-Good News. We believe Jesus died for us (He probably hated it and felt like He had to), and that He saved us just enough to get us into heaven and dump us at the very outer rim, near the huge walled perimeter, while He moved on to important people and things. Now everything is up to us to make the Kingdom happen and to grow by ourselves (we have been trained to think – or we misinterpreted what was taught).

    So we have the Seed of the Spirit in our hearts which wants to burst open with Life and Light. The Seed of Life. But we are refusing to breathe. The Word is God-breathed – and we need to breathe in His Word for us personally every day and actually absorb it. We are not watering it with Living water, but with the poison of evil lies we tell ourselves. We have hard, rocky, unbelieving hearts in a Church full of unbelief and worldliness. We have choked the seed with the cares of this world and with science, culture, entertainment and busyness. We have stayed in the rotting darkness rather than come out into the Light, thinking we have faith and are doing pretty well as Christians since most Christians we know are in about the same place or have a “Everything is Fine” facade up.

    Of course we are not growing. We are starving and rotting. We have not taken every thought captive for Christ. We have allowed the Enemy to infiltrate every area of our thinking and feelings, and therefore every part of our mind, heart and body – but not our spirit – because that is the Lord’s once we are saved. Our spirit and His Spirit in us long for Him! There is a war within us that isn’t content until we have freedom and life and peace and joy and most of all Christ!

    He desires Truth in our inmost being. Where are these thoughts coming from – ” No one could ever love me.” ” I am the most worthless person ever. I am Nobody.” “Jesus could never love me. I am too far beyond His help.” ” God has abandoned me and left me to rot in a pit/dungeon/shelf” “Jesus would never want to set me free.” “Jesus could never heal me/my marriage” ? Are these the thoughts of God or of the Enemy? If this is what God thinks of you – who is this God? Is God good? Is He love? Is He all powerful? Is this the God of the Bible? If these are lies – what are we doing letting them stay in our brains? Somehow we believe that we can be saved – but still treat ourselves like absolute dirt and not believe anything God says about Himself or about us. Like it is ok to treat the Bride of Christ that way or to treat our Holy Almighty Good Merciful Father that way. Like we are more holy than God in our lack of forgiving ourselves or receiving good? We have been deceived! We have been robbed of so much grace and blessing and truth! Don’t let the Enemy keep gloating over you!

    No, our Jesus is STILL anointed to set the captives free, to bring good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted, and to open the prisons of those who are bound. (Isa 61) Where the Lord is there is freedom! If Jesus has set you free, you are free indeed! But – you have to receive it by faith. True faith requires action. You have to walk out of that prison. You have to come into the light once those shackles are off. You have to breathe His healing Presence in. Breathe in His love and forgiveness and all He has done for you. Receive it. Breathe out the lies and hurts and bitterness and unbelief and feeling abandoned and voicelessness and not counting as a real person and all of the vows you have made yourself to protect yourself since you were little. You have to exchange the lie for the truth. Confess your brokenness, pain, these lies you have been believing, how you have made Jesus small and you and your problems and limitations and weakness big. Confess that you have thought of God as cruel -that He made you wrong and isn’t able to or won’t save you or set you free. Confess that you felt abandoned by God at a crushing time in your life. That you thought God was mad at you, or that you may have been mad at God though you could never admit it. That when everything crumbled to pieces in your life, and God didnt fix it, you tried to step in and save yourself and your marriage and your kids. You may need to write out a list of things to confess to God to get it unjumbled in your head. Your list may look different but we all have a list.

    Get every negative thought and hurt and bitterness and unbelieving thought out into the Light. Reject it in the Name of Jesus. Then – don’t leave yourself empty – receive the Truth about God and you. And know you are truly forgiven, white as snow. Not because you feel it – but because God promised it “If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness”. He is Faithful and True. He does not lie. So our first step is to receive total forgiveness – that there is nothing else we have to do and we do not need to hang on to our guilt or accusing ourselves anymore. The debt is paid. Where that old self was – we now have our New Self – which is Christ in us. His goodness, His perfection, His mind, His heart, His desires, His power. All Him. So we don’t feel it yet – but we receive it in faith. And we receive everything God says is true about His Bride. about His Church. His people. His love towards them – that is His love towards us. It is Christ in us that gives us our identity. Now- we have a reason to treat our “selves” well. Because it is Christ in us. We are absolutely one with Him. Nothing can separate us from His love. Not even our old self! That is the identity April is trying to get us to see. Our New Self that is glorious and one with Christ.

    Then the next time the old accusation darts attack us – we have our armor on, ready for battle. We have the breastplate of His righteousness protecting our hearts. The helmet of Salvation (we KNOW we are saved), the Belt of Truth (so we don’t trip up on all those lies,) the readiness of the gospel of peace on our feet, the Sword of the Word to fight off the enemy, and the shield of Faith. And we reject the lies and accusations in the Name of Jesus and replace them with the Truth. We have been drinking milk like baby Christians, but we start to get stronger and ready to move on to solid food because we can discern truth from lies by lots of practice and being washed in the Word (Heb 5).

    Blessings!!! I am sure that is WAY more than enough for one night!!!

    1. radiantandredeemed,

      THANK YOU so much for this!

      Maybe I need to talk a bit about which “self” I am talking about in the post. I am NOT talking about exalting or feeding our sinful flesh or old sinful selves. I am talking about our new self in Christ and our identity in Christ that belongs to each of us as believers. If there is a way I can explain this that would be more readily received by women who are repulsed by the terms “self respect” or “self love” – I am all ears!

    2. This is such a great comment, radiantandredeemed!

      I was flipping through a book this morning that I bought on Amazon that came in the mail yesterday – Who I Am in Christ by Neil T. Anderson. I bought it for a friend, but this morning was realizing how appropriate his books would be for those who struggle with this issue. A couple of titles from his other books are: The Bondage Breaker: Overcoming Negative Thoughts, Irrational Feelings, Habitual Sins and also Victory over the Darkness: Realize the Power of Your Identity in Christ. Basically, he walks you through the Word and what God says about you as a new creation in Christ and it is very, very powerful. I have not read The Bondage Breaker or Victory over the Darkness, but I have read Who I Am in Christ. and am very familiar with his message. My aunt and uncle were in ministry with him for a time and actually, God used the book Who I Am in Christ to bring me to salvation (I didn’t even get past the preface and my experience from one minute to the next was “I once was blind, but now I see!”). He gives powerful testimonies of others finding their freedom in Christ in his books, all while pointing to our freedom in Christ, the finished work of Christ and exposing the lies of the enemy.

      These types of books and teachings are not “self-help” – they are the very gospel. They are essential to the Body of Christ because we do not hear this message enough. We do not hear that what Christ has done is done!!! We are free and really, no person’s behavior changes that!!! If you choose to believe lies, it doesn’t change the fact that Christ has set you free and that He has declared a love for you that can’t be measured, it is so great. He has declared that there is no more condemnation for those in Christ. And yes, that means even about a sin that you have fallen into again and again….there is no more condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Period. It’s when we believe the truth that you will see the evidence of the truth in your own life and will see strongholds broken. All of God’s children are free and everything He says about us is true whether we choose to believe it or not. It’s just a matter of believing that the chains and shackles have been unlocked. We don’t have to sit in a prison with the door wide open and unlocked shackles and chains.

      May God increase our faith to believe just how sufficient He, His work and His unfathomable love is for each one of us!!

    3. “as He is, so are we in this world.” 🙂

      thank you for such powerful words! Everything has been done away on the cross. It has been finished. 🙂

  16. Ladies for whom “self respect” is a repulsive concept, would it help if I add this to the post? Would this help to make things more clear? This is such a critical conversation! I want to be sure I am explaining these things as clearly as possible. 🙂

    ———

    We are all made in the image of God (Genesis 2). We all have innate worth because God made us – kind of like any painting by Picasso would have incredible worth because Picasso painted it.

    We all have the old sinful self. There is no good in that old sinful self. We can’t earn heaven. We can’t earn God’s love. The only hope for it is for it to be crucified with Christ on the cross and buried with Him. When I talk about “respecting self” I am not talking about exalting our sinful self. I am not talking about pride or entitlement.

    Then we have a new self in Christ when we come to Him and receive Him as both Savior and LORD of all in our lives. We are a “new creation.” Jesus takes away our sin, removes it as far as the east is from the west. He completely pays our sin debt of billions of dollars to God on our behalf. He gives us a new heart, mind, and Spirit from Him. He gave all of His life for us. Now we give all of ourselves to Him. And He begins to fill us with His Spirit and transform us more and more in every day life to be more like Himself.

    When I talk about respecting self, I am talking about right thinking about our new selves in Christ. I am talking about getting rid of any lies of the enemy and sinful or worldly thinking and about building our understanding of God, ourselves, and others humbly on Christ and His Truth from the Bible.

    He renews our minds with His Word. He restores our souls with His presence. He causes every fear to flee in the face of His love for us. As we cooperate with Him in faith and allow Him total access to our hearts and minds, He begins to cause us to love the things He loves and to hate the things He hates. He begins to make earthly things “grow strangely dim” and heavenly things seem so much more brilliant and attractive. All that He has is ours. He withholds nothing from us. We are one with Him.

    I want each of us to be able to receive all that Christ has already died to provide for us and to live in His presence, love, grace, truth, holiness, victory, and power every moment of every day!

    1. Probably, because I didn’t even really understand the difference until radiantandredeemed gave such a thorough explanation. I should, I’ve heard it preached on enough. Sometimes I think I get so stuck in my own thoughts and worries and garbage that I don’t process everything as clearly as I should.

      And, I focus too much on my sinful nature and beating myself up over it. So when I hear “self” – it never occurred to me to think on the “new creation”.

      Part of this stems from some wrong teaching we had as new Christians. Thank you for taking the time to share a much more clear explanation.

      1. Becca,

        YAY! I’m so excited that her explanation was very helpful. Yes, we are to die to our sinful selves, our flesh. No, it can’t ever be good enough. But then we are to be alive to God in our new selves in Christ! That is really important! We don’t just die. We die specifically to the sinful self and to sin and the world. But then we live for God for His glory and by His power. We are a beautiful new creation in Him.

        Much love to you!

        1. Hi, April! From my understanding as I read God’s Word, these things are already true about us. Christ says that we have been crucified with Him and we have been raised to new life in Him and are alive to God. These things are true for those who believe in Him, His death on the cross to take away our sin and His resurrection. We are alive to God. To me, even though I may be coming across nitpicky (and please bear patiently with me – you always do!), it is very important to understand that these things are already true about us. We may not always be living like they are true, but they are still true. They are not things we need to do, they are things we need to believe because God has said they are so. God says we are dead to sin and it is in the reckoning that to be a fact in our lives that we will “put to death the misdeeds of the flesh by the Spirit”.

          I hope I’m coming across the right way and that you understand my heart here. Not to nitpick you or your message at all….but I have a compelling desire for all of us to see the completeness of Christ’s work for us on the cross.

          1. Jennifer,

            YES! These things are already completed history in God’s sight for those who have come to Christ or will come to Christ in the future. From our perspective, we must learn to embrace these things as having happened for us. Did I miscommunicate this somewhere? 🙂 Thank you!!!!

          2. It’s probably my “filter”, as you say at times! 🙂 But, for me, when I read “We are to die to ourselves or we are to be alive to God”, it sounds like something I need to do. Other times you will say to someone that they need to dig the sin out. While I agree that we need to “put to death the deeds of the flesh”, I think most Christians don’t have a firm grounding in the fact that we truly have been crucified with Christ, our old man has been buried with Him, we have been raised to new life in Him, and God says as a fact that we are dead to sin (whether we believe it or see the fruit of that in our lives right now or not). Therefore, I think most Christians will probably hear “we are to die to ourselves” and believe it’s something that they need to do, not something that’s already been done. Or they will go about trying to eradicate sin in their lives by performing better or reading lists (and then trying to follow said list) of how to overcome a sin – versus simply believing what God has done for us on the cross and what is now true about us because of His work.

            I hope that makes sense! Love you so much!! Your ability to humbly communicate with your readers is a gift — a RARE gift in this blogging world. Christ shines through you, April!!! 🙂

          3. Jennifer,

            I will need to be sure to make this more clear – that the work is already finished. Jesus did ALL of the work. It is done.

            The reason I use present tense at times, is because Paul uses present tense and Jesus uses present tense at times – I think because maybe it helps us to think about things in our day to day lives.

            Jesus talked about “if anyone wants to be my disciple, he must take up his cross and follow Me.” It is in present tense, even though, the crucifixion of our sinful nature with Christ on the cross was accomplished 2000 years ago.

            Paul also talks about “counting yourself dead to sin” in the present tense in Romans 6:11 right after he talks about that we have been crucified in Christ and we are dead to sin.

            Jesus did the work. That is past.

            But there is also the act of our embracing His work on our behalf and our receiving it – that is in the present every moment of our lives as believers.

            That is my line of thought, at least. Does that make sense?

            If I can make this more clear, I definitely want to do that!

          4. Yes, it makes sense! I’m glad we’re on the same page! I think my filters are on and I am highly sensitive to anything that sounds like “works” or something I or anyone else should do that seems to be adding to what Christ has already accomplished for us. I do very much believe that there is a general unbalance in the Body of Christ – teachings, etc. that seem to put a heavy emphasis on obedience and behavior. I will admit that I can be very sensitive to that, so I appreciate this openness and discussion on this very issue with you.

            One thing I believe God is telling me…..this is something that is very much a part of me now – a deep desire that I can’t let go (this desiring all to know His finished work and who we are in Christ)….it’s part of how He made me and so I am embracing that. I feel it is a subject that can’t be spoken of enough and I see so many Christians around me that don’t know the truth of who they are.

            Anyway, thanks for listening and engaging with me!

          5. Jennifer,
            I don’t think that this point can be emphasized enough – that the work of Christ on our behalf is finished and done. We simply receive it and then get to learn to live it out in our every day lives. But the work is done and the power is already ours when we are in Christ.

            Thank you very much for this important discussion!

      2. Becca,

        Speaking from my own experience, opinions and beliefs….there is a lot of wrong teaching – even in too much of the mainstream Church. Like I said before, we do not hear nearly often enough about Christ and His finished work and how we are not under condemnation. But unfortunately, we do hear condemnation, guilt and shame many times from the pulpit and Christian teaching. Any exhortation from any Christian teacher, pastor or friend that focuses on your behavior but does not balance it out with the message that this is who you are in Christ now — that you can love and forgive because Christ is in you now and this is who you are now, etc……usually ends up feeding condemnation and guilt into a believer – and of course, Satan loves this. And it is totally counter-productive to what all those well-meaning people are wanting. It just doesn’t work, nor can it because the foundation is not Christ. The focus has to be on Christ (not a believer’s behavior!) – who He is, His character, His love for us that cannot be changed no matter what we do, the reality of who we are in Him, our union with Him.

        Romans 8:38-29: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

  17. I would like to address the idea of other “normal” women. That is a big lie that holds us back. There is no such thing as a “normal” woman or man or child who doesn’t have to deal with struggles, brokenness, pain, sin, their own ugliness and insecurities and a whole lot of junk. There are women who, when we are in a dark place, we compare the good parts of their outer lives/personalities/bodies/marriages/vacations/babysitters/getting “everything they need” with the bad parts of ours. Not taking into account their struggles or the difficulties or pain or what is missing in their lives, or all that is below the surface. When you are hurting – you can’t see other’s pain – yours feels worse than everyone elses -but it’s not true.

    Don’t let all of those “normal, beautiful, not struggling” women out there (an absolute myth and lie from the Enemy) keep you from allowing yourself to be real and have actual struggles and emotions and needs and junk to bring to God. Barbie doesn’t have struggles. Rocks may not have struggles. Living human beings with free will and a sin nature and in a broken world longing for heaven and healing and restored relationships with God, each other and creation – we have struggles!! We will get depressed. We will feel overwhelmed. We will get tired. We will feel like giving up. Our hearts deceive us. We are easily deceived.

    We become what we look like. Lift your eyes off the flesh. No one has ever felt beautiful enough or sexy enough. That is why there is such a high rate of misery/divorce/unfaithfulness /suicide/drug use among the wealthy and famous. They have absolutely no security in themselves or their marriages. The same thing that attracted their man to them last week could attract their man to another pretty body next week. But it won’t keep him.

    Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain – but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised! That is the one whose husband will have the freedom to delight in her, because husbands fundamentally want a woman who can be happy. And me obsessing over every flaw, painting myself into a corner vowing to never mess up x/y/z again, making my goal to never ever mess up and perform right in every way – that is not a happy woman.

    Beauty can only cover deep unhappiness for about 3 seconds or until the woman opens her mouth or has to interact.

    Only Jesus can make us radiant and gorgeous inside.

    And once we have Him – in His Presence is Great Joy!! All of those other urgent needs fade away. We have HIM!!! Nothing else in the universe compares! And when we settle for anything less – it is a huge waste of time and is deeply exhausting and makes us sick. Pursue Him. He wants you to hear from Him. He is a God who is deeply involved, loves to speak and to work. He IS at work. But are our hearts too hardened to hear Him? If they are – ask for grace to HEAR GOD. To repent from evil unbelief. Ask for grace to have the faith and strength to believe that He is who He says He is. That we are who He says we are and that His word is active and alive in us today – and has the power to heal us! (Beth Moore quote there).

    Ask – seek -knock – like a little kid who wont give up on getting something they want – – and we all know how persistent little kids can be! They don’t care what anyone things of them for asking anything! That is how God told us to ask Him for things. He is our good Daddy who loves to give us good gifts. Loves to give YOU good gifts today! So the only one who doesn’t want us to ask God for things would be the enemy! God is pouring out His Spirit all over the world right now in a way we have never seen – and YOU can be part of what He is doing!!

    Today does NOT have to be like yesterday. Just because we have believed and felt this junk from our enemies was true for 25, 40, 80 years, does not make it true! It has been keeping us invalids, paralyzed, deeply sick! Only God’s word is true. We just need enough faith to step one step forward and tell God that – if He says it – we will believe it for US – no matter what we are feeling or all the evidence and lies and brokenness screaming at us right now.

    He is absolutely ready to set you free today and pour so much grace and healing and freedom and love and forgiveness and amazing things into you your mind will be forever blown!! You are not a captive because He wants you to be. You have chosen it (usually not knowing it). He gave us free will because we are His image bearers. He will not violate that. He will not turn you into a robot that has to chose the right things or has to love Him. The truth is before you but YOU have to choose life. Anytime we don’t choose life, we are choosing death, despair, destruction, torture, darkness, hopelessness, self-attack, and a very big pit. If you have strength to do nothing else, put on praise music and just say Jesus’ Name over and over out loud if you can until you have strength for the next step.

    If you don’t even have the strength for that – say His Name over and over in your head. Tell Him the things that are true about Him and His character.

    – Jesus You are the Way, the Truth and the Life.
    – You are the Prince of Peace.
    – You are the Light.
    – You are the Word of God.
    – Your Name means Salvation.
    – You are my only hope today.
    – You are worthy of all praise.
    – I love you, help me love you more.
    – I believe the teeniest bit, help my unbelief.
    – I want to trust and love you but I am stuck.
    – I am so afraid. This doesn’t feel right. I am being held back so strongly. Jesus set me free from my prison, torturers, lies, strongholds, unbelief and darkness. Forgive me for my unbelief. I have been wrong and I have lived like you lie and like the truth comes from the Enemy. Forgive me!

    Now the turning point:
    – I receive Your forgiveness. (before I feel it)
    – I receive that I am 100% white as snow.
    – I receive Your healing work through Your blood and broken body in my spirit, heart, mind and body.
    – I receive Your Spirit in me.
    – I receive the joy of my salvation.
    – I receive Your goodness and perfection in place of my evilness.
    – I receive Your power in my life.
    – I receive Your infinite love for me. (I don’t feel it yet, but I receive it! )
    – I receive who You say I am.

    At this point – you might want to just repeat one of these thoughts over and over until you really do mean it and believe it. (I had to go pray in a corner for 15 minutes saying “I am free” until I could believe it just enough for God to start working and setting me free from 6 years of autoimmune stuff, depression and multiple chemical sensitivity. And that was the beginning of God peeling back lots and lots of layers and healing so many things and me starting to receive!)

    I am FREE. I am Your Bride. I am Beloved. I am Radiant because I am looking to You to save me and not myself. Thank you God. Praise Your Holy Name that You are able and ready and HAVE saved me. I am already healed by all You have done. It is finished and I receive it. You have already promised me Your peace -I receive it. You are my Prince of Peace. You said You are enough for me. I receive that. You said I am Yours and You are mine. 100%. I receive that.

    Remind me to praise you and thank you throughout this day, Holy Spirit – especially as I think a negative thought, have a difficult situation, go back into my old yucky thinking. I reject it and I receive Your truth. I will be attacked – Satan doesn’t want to give up this nice cozy territory he has spent years developing in my heart and mind – but he has no place here – and in the Name of Jesus he has to leave and go to the cross and be dealt with by Jesus.I receive the love and protection and armor and light and truth of Jesus this moment and I am not going back into darkness!
    Amen! 🙂

    Praise You Jesus – our Salvation!! Our Healer! The One Who pulls us out of the pit and sets us on You the Rock. Thank you!

    1. WOOOHOO!!!!!!!!!

      RADIANT! AMEN!!!!!!

      THANK YOU for this!

      My dear sisters who are hurting so much, please take time to really read and digest what Radiant is sharing. I believe she is sharing the keys to healing and to Real Love and Real Life in Christ! 🙂

      1. Beautiful sharing by all, especially Radiant. I understand in my head…however, I sadly keep trying to get what Jesus has for me from my husband. I did it again last night. I met his needs sexually this morning. I have a hard time sorting out my thoughts if I am being used by him or connecting with him.

        So…this weekend he will avoid me, reject me, and I will be alone and full of remorse because I spoke my truth and share myself with him.

        It is beyond crucial for me to know how loved I am by Jesus. Yet…I am still hooked on getting water from an empty well..my husband

        1. Hi sweet Gratefulgal! What is it you are trying to get from your husband do you think? Why will he reject you? How long have you been married? What is your time with Jesus like these days? HUG!! You are not alone!! We will be surrounding you with prayer. Thank you so much for reaching out. Hug!

  18. Here are my thoughts about radient’s post:

    Dear Becca and the many, many others who struggle with this; grace and peace to you to be strengthened in your spirit to receive the truth from God
    And my biggest pride though I couldn’t realize it – was not having needs, asking for anything, and never being demanding like those other people. I tried very hard to be self-sufficient. I thought that was a good thing. But there is a way that seems wise to man that in the end leads to death.

    That is what my thinking was. I guess I do not see how dying to self and putting yourself on the cross of Christ is a bad thing…

    Any self-effort to improve or love God or be good on our own is tainted by this old self. I agreed with that whole paragraph.

    But that is not all there is to us as new creations in Christ. And everyone, saved or not – has a spirit. We are all image bearers of God. There is dignity to all of our lives from conception to death, no matter the state of our physical/mental/spiritual well being. We are broken image bearers – but still image bearers. And there is a sacredness and a dignity to human life, including YOU because of that.

    I agree. I am only worthy because Christ paid his life for me. Other than that I am good for nothing but being burned in eternal fire.

    Most of us in the West have received a gospel that is Non-Good News. We believe Jesus died for us (He probably hated it and felt like He had to), and that He saved us just enough to get us into heaven and dump us at the very outer rim, near the huge walled perimeter, while He moved on to important people and things. Now everything is up to us to make the Kingdom happen and to grow by ourselves (we have been trained to think – or we misinterpreted what was taught).

    I disagree with this… Only the Spirit can change us. All of our self-effort will do nothing.

    The Word is God-breathed – and we need to breathe in His Word for us personally every day and actually absorb it

    Ok, I have tons of index cards. I can quote tons of scripture. I have some that I look at every day. I am currently doing two Bible studies. I do not know how much more watering I can do!!!!!!

    We are not watering it with Living water, but with the poison of evil lies we tell ourselves. We have hard, rocky, unbelieving hearts in a Church full of unbelief and worldliness. Of course we are not growing. We are starving and rotting. We have not taken every thought captive for Christ. We have allowed the Enemy to infiltrate every area of our thinking and feelings, and therefore every part of our mind, heart and body – but not our spirit – because that is the Lord’s once we are saved. Our spirit and His Spirit in us long for Him! There is a war within us that isn’t content until we have freedom and life and peace and joy and most of all Christ!

    No, our Jesus is STILL anointed to set the captives free, to bring good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted, and to open the prisons of those who are bound. (Isa 61) Where the Lord is there is freedom! If Jesus has set you free, you are free indeed! But – you have to receive it by faith. True faith requires action. You have to walk out of that prison. You have to come into the light once those shackles are off. You have to breathe His healing Presence in. Breathe in His love and forgiveness and all He has done for you. Receive it. Breathe out the lies and hurts and bitterness and unbelief and feeling abandoned and voicelessness and not counting as a real person and all of the vows you have made yourself to protect yourself since you were little. You have to exchange the lie for the truth. Confess your brokenness, pain, these lies you have been believing, how you have made Jesus small and you and your problems and limitations and weakness big. Confess that you have thought of God as cruel -that He made you wrong and isn’t able to or won’t save you or set you free. Confess that you felt abandoned by God at a crushing time in your life. That you thought God was mad at you, or that you may have been mad at God though you could never admit it. That when everything crumbled to pieces in your life, and God didnt fix it, you tried to step in and save yourself and your marriage and your kids. You may need to write out a list of things to confess to God to get it unjumbled in your head. Your list may look different but we all have a list.

    I have done this many times. I have handed my list over. What I do doesn’t work, so now I wait…wait for things to be fixed that cannot be fixed until possibly heaven. I have tried with one Bible study ( and still do) to imagine handing over my loved ones and situations and opening my hands… I have written things down and burned them up…

    So that still leaves me with no one to hold me close and to have that oneness with…. I guess I will not experience that until I go into the throne of Holy of Holies in Heaven. Until then I will keep praying and reading and memorizing. It is all I can do.

  19. Dear Becca and the many, many others who struggle with this; grace and peace to you to be strengthened in your spirit to receive the truth from God
    And my biggest pride though I couldn’t realize it – was not having needs, asking for anything, and never being demanding like those other people. I tried very hard to be self-sufficient. I thought that was a good thing. But there is a way that seems wise to man that in the end leads to death. That is what my thinking was. I guess I do not see how dying to self and putting yourself on the cross of Christ is a bad thing…

    Any self-effort to improve or love God or be good on our own is tainted by this old self. I agreed with that whole paragraph.
    But that is not all there is to us as new creations in Christ. And everyone, saved or not – has a spirit. We are all image bearers of God. There is dignity to all of our lives from conception to death, no matter the state of our physical/mental/spiritual well being. We are broken image bearers – but still image bearers. And there is a sacredness and a dignity to human life, including YOU because of that. I agree. I am only worthy because Christ paid his life for me. Other than that I am good for nothing but being burned in eternal fire.
    Most of us in the West have received a gospel that is Non-Good News. We believe Jesus died for us (He probably hated it and felt like He had to), and that He saved us just enough to get us into heaven and dump us at the very outer rim, near the huge walled perimeter, while He moved on to important people and things. Now everything is up to us to make the Kingdom happen and to grow by ourselves (we have been trained to think – or we misinterpreted what was taught). I disagree with this… Only the Spirit can change us. All of our self-effort will do nothing.

    The Word is God-breathed – and we need to breathe in His Word for us personally every day and actually absorb it Ok, I have tons of index cards. I can quote tons of scripture. I have some that I look at every day. I am currently doing two Bible studies. I do not know how much more watering I can do@@@@ . We are not watering it with Living water, but with the poison of evil lies we tell ourselves. We have hard, rocky, unbelieving hearts in a Church full of unbelief and worldliness. Of course we are not growing. We are starving and rotting. We have not taken every thought captive for Christ. We have allowed the Enemy to infiltrate every area of our thinking and feelings, and therefore every part of our mind, heart and body – but not our spirit – because that is the Lord’s once we are saved. Our spirit and His Spirit in us long for Him! There is a war within us that isn’t content until we have freedom and life and peace and joy and most of all Christ!
    No, our Jesus is STILL anointed to set the captives free, to bring good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted, and to open the prisons of those who are bound. (Isa 61) Where the Lord is there is freedom! If Jesus has set you free, you are free indeed! But – you have to receive it by faith. True faith requires action. You have to walk out of that prison. You have to come into the light once those shackles are off. You have to breathe His healing Presence in. Breathe in His love and forgiveness and all He has done for you. Receive it. Breathe out the lies and hurts and bitterness and unbelief and feeling abandoned and voicelessness and not counting as a real person and all of the vows you have made yourself to protect yourself since you were little. You have to exchange the lie for the truth. Confess your brokenness, pain, these lies you have been believing, how you have made Jesus small and you and your problems and limitations and weakness big. Confess that you have thought of God as cruel -that He made you wrong and isn’t able to or won’t save you or set you free. Confess that you felt abandoned by God at a crushing time in your life. That you thought God was mad at you, or that you may have been mad at God though you could never admit it. That when everything crumbled to pieces in your life, and God didnt fix it, you tried to step in and save yourself and your marriage and your kids. You may need to write out a list of things to confess to God to get it unjumbled in your head. Your list may look different but we all have a list.
    I have done this many times. I have handed my list over. What I do doesn’t work, so now I wait…wait for things to be fixed that cannot be fixed until possibly heaven. I have tried with one Bible study ( and still do) to imagine handing over my loved ones and situations and opening my hands… I have written things down and burned them up…
    So that still leaves me with no one to hold me close and to have that oneness with…. I guess I will not experience that until I go into the throne of Holy of Holies in Heaven. Until then I will keep praying and reading and memorizing. It is all I can do.

  20. I have taken a lot of positive from reading and watching your blog and videos. I am truly appreciative I found this website. It’s interesting to me that today I read your post about respect when I’m struggling with giving my husband respect while he allows others to disrespect me and our marriage… he works with a woman about 15 years older than him, he is early 30s, who texts him in ways I feel are inappropriate and attention-seeking. We used to spend time with her and her husband but they have excessive drinking habits that make us both uncomfortable, and her husband referred to me in an inappropriate way the last time we had dinner with them. I guess i’m just struggling with the fact that even on the day we were married, she had to text him and ask him where he was and to please get to work to put her out of her misery. It just really stuck in my side… on top of all that, she used to frequently bring him food at work and call him her work husband. She never has contact with me at this point, only my husband.

    I pointed out this morning to him that I think it’s highly unprofessional and seems weird, I don’t text her husband, and that even though he thinks she is too old to have those intentions, it’s not respectful to respond to her and give her gratification.

    I feel very frustrated and confused by all this… I don’t want to disrespect him or nag him, but I feel hurt and wronged when he allows others to cross boundaries in these ways (it’s not the first time or first person).

    I feel lost right now, I am trying so hard to be a better wife and woman, I know is should feel pity for her as she obviously must be unhappy, but it is very difficult when I feel even my husband is not my ally.

    1. Camellia,

      What did your husband say about your concerns, my dear sister?
      What does your husband believe he needs to do to handle this situation?

      Why do you feel that your husband is not your ally?

      Much love to you!

      1. April,
        Thank you for asking and for the kind wishes… he actually sent me a quick message soon after I wrote this, he said he is sorry and that he understands how I feel, that he needs to change the way he interacts with people to stop this from happening and that he will.

        I love him, but I have a hard time trusting him. I wonder if he’d come to this conclusion unless I pointed it out to him… it’s likely that’s from my own fears in my own mind and heart, and I do work on these and try to give these thoughts away because I know I am loved.

        I guess I feel he isn’t an ally in the sense that I have men who behave in ways that are not appropriate towards me both at work at times, (customers), out when running errands, and I do make it very clear that I am a married woman, so it’s sort of a one-sided feel, where one person is giving and the other is silently taking.

        I worry part of it is that we both have limited close friendships with others, and I’ve talked to him about attending some type of worship or assembly locally but he doesn’t think it’s something he’s interested in. I think he needs more support and I try my best… I’ve just recently started my journey in all this and being a kinder, more supportive wife, (I started several months ago with a copy of Find the Hero in Your Husband I found at goodwill).

        1. Camellia,

          I don’t know much about your personality or your husband’s personality or your marriage. I do know that sometimes men need a bit of time to process things. And that they don’t like to feel controlled or pressured by us or condemned by us as their wives.

          It sounds to me like he is responding in a very sensitive, loving, respectful way to your concerns from what you just shared. That is wonderful!

          The flirting thing gets really tricky. Of course, as believers in Christ, we want to guard our hearts and not participate in flirting at all. And we don’t want our husbands to flirt with other women, either. That feels disrespectful to us. There are some things that are very clearly flirting. And then there are other things that are more along the lines of “being friendly.” Different people interpret friendliness differently. Some interpret it as platonic. Some interpret it as flirting. Then also, some more outgoing personalities tend to be friendly with everyone and feel imprisoned if they can’t talk to lots of people, but more introverted personalities may be offended at their spouse’s friendliness.

          It is easy to take friendliness too far. We do need to have respect for God, our marriages, our spouse, and others. We do need to be careful not to cross these lines and to try to protect our hearts and marriages. But different believers have different convictions about exactly what that means. One person may have the conviction that they should barely smile at a member of the opposite sex and never speak to anyone of the opposite sex unless absolutely necessary and then only the bare minimum exchange of conversation. Another person may have the conviction that there are certain topics they won’t talk about and certain words they won’t use and gestures they won’t use and that they won’t talk about anything remotely sexual, but they will be friendly and pleasant to other people. If they see something seems to be going too far, they will back off.

          One of these ways is not necessarily “more right” than another way. When it comes to personal convictions, we each have our own, and we have to be careful not to try to force our convictions on someone else as if our standard is the Gospel. I hope that makes sense.

          Of course, as a spouse, I do have the responsibility to share with my husband if I am concerned about something. I can do that in a very respectful way that is non-pressuring and let him think about what I said for a bit, and I can pray for God to work in his heart.

          Am I on track with you? Or am I out in left field somewhere?

          Much love to you!

          1. Thanks April, that makes complete sense to me and yes, I agree that he is very understanding and caring in regards to this, as he is with most things. Like I mentioned, I think my fears drive me at times to assumptions that get the best of me. But there is a balance between that and what makes me uncomfortable and talking with him in the ways you’ve described throughout your blog certainly help to convey my feelings in a respectful atmosphere…

            Thank you for the love and response/support, and of course, your prayers.

            Camellia

  21. Camellia, is your husband saved? Have you brought the situation to God? What is your husband’s
    response to the situation? In our culture, we don’t realize how much we allow flirting and over-the-line stepping – and it causes a lot of problems in our marriages. It is a concern. Let’s bring it to Jesus.
    Jesus we lift this marriage and Camillia and her husband’s hearts to You. Bring them to a place where they delight in You, where you bring everything out into Your light to be dealt with and healed. Line their marriage up with with the way You and Your Bride are. Help Camellia lean heavily on You right now to be healed herself and filled up and be able to see clearly and with wisdom. Place Your protection around this marriage and help her husband see You. Help him see the path he could head down and open his eyes and ears and heart to You and his wife.
    Thank You Jesus for Your work here. In Your Almighty Name we pray.

    1. Thank you both for your prayers 🙂 I said my own this morning, asking for more patience, empathy, and understanding for both myself & husband and those around him.

  22. Dear Elizabeth, I did the same thing. For years. What is your goal here with God. What are you wanting to happen?

      1. Ok – so I hear you saying you are totally submitted to what God wants in your life? What does that mean? What does God want?

        1. To love him with my heart, mind, soul and strength and to love others as myself. Other than that, I don’t have a clue….. Be praying. I have to lead a Bible study today and the speakers in the video are talking about wives pursuing their husbands and how they don’t do that enough and how important it is to the men…. I know that is true for most men, just not mine…. It will be really hard for me to listen to, which is why I feel like I am under such attack today and feel really down…..

  23. For those of you who have been stuck for a long time; there is more to your struggle than just you trying to get truth in your brain. More than you just saying the right words or prayers or cramming enough bible verses in your head.
    This is a supernatural battle. There are very real, very evil forces and curses and entities at work to keep you captive. They have been at work in complex ways since the fall, building and morphing and affecting our culture, politics, Christian churches, denominations, the economy, drugs, food, money, marriages, how we think of kids – it touches every aspect of life.They were at work in your parents, and theirs and every other set of parents in your history.
    These powers and demons have done a great job in the States staying hidden behind dollars and science and evolution and abortion and chemicals and wars and weapons and cancer and policies and theology and doctrine and pop-psychology and music and political correctness and entertainment and media and processed food and how we care for land/animals – all the way down to what is in baby formula and what is taught to preschoolers and kindergarten kids.

    You are deeply affected by these things – that make up your worldview. And you are very likely ensnared by generational sin, generational curses and vows and curses you have made yourself. I sure was!!

    It is very possible to read scripture, go to church, try really hard to fix things, want God in your life – and have all of the truth you are hearing be darkness to you. The Spirit is the only one who can open our eyes to the Truth. No amount of our own effort can do it, or the right words from someone else.

    I am fasting and praying for each of you who are stuck today. We will pray for deliverance. But you need to ask God to search your heart. What is the core issue. Where are you stuck? When did you get stuck? Is there a lie you are believing about God at the center? (He abandoned me). Or yourself (I am unfixable) (If I try hard enough, study the bible enough, pray enough – I can fix myself). Ask God – God – where am I stuck? Where do I need grace?

    I think the issue may be – most of us have never seen a Christian walking in freedom in real life!!! When we do – it seems so strange at first. We try to put them in one slot that we understand -but they don’t fit that. So we try to put them in another – it doesn’t make sense. Because we have grown up as Christians, we know the word. We think we are full of faith and truth – BUT we have been deceived.
    Yes we have heard and read the Bible. Yes we have been to church. Yes we have prayed and cried and been prayed for. We may even be saved. We may have trusted God for what felt like big things in the past. God may have healed us from something or helped us through a crisis or 2 in the past.
    But – what about right now? Today?
    If we are not immediately confessing sin, pride, unbelief, negativity, etc as soon as we hear truth – and lining up more with truth every time we hear it – even the light we have is like darkness.

    Matthew 6:23-24

    22″The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23″But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! 24″No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

    In our materialistic culture – we have turned Christianity into – I get what I want and put a little veneer of Christ on it. A little topcoat of Christ over the American Dream is what is often labeled Christianity. We just don’t realize that is what we have believed. We think we have the real thing.

    We think (not in these words -but this is how we live) – if I pray, read the Bible, go to church, try to grow, do some good stuff for Jesus and others, even mission trips, even go into the ministry, or overseas – then God has to bless me. He has to make me healthy. He has to give me a good husband. That husband has to make me happy and lead me the way I think we should go. We need a nice house, at least 3 bedrooms and children when we want them. We need 2 cars that don’t break down too often. We need a good job, good friends, relaxing downtime every night, a date night every week, coffee every morning, 8 hours of sleep every night, 2 vacations a year, a good education, great jobs – fulfillment, happiness. And we think if we just had more of about 6 more of these things than we currently have – we would make it and not need anything else and really be “normal” and not have all of these awful struggles.

    What is our savior in this way of thinking? Where is my hope? Where is the power source?

    Is this how the Christians in Iran have hope when they are being slaughtered? The Christians hiding in North Korea or in prisons starving and being tortured? Is that what they think they need?

    No. And if it is not good news for them, as my pastor says, it is not good news for us as North American Christians. Others around the world may have deep physical poverty, but here in the good old USA we have deep deep deep Spiritual Poverty. And we don’t know it.

    The problem is – we may have dedicated our lives to Christ – or in my case – rededicated my life to Christ every Sunday!! (What – I messed up again this week? I was in so much shock! Somehow I was supposed to get through a week. A day. An hour -myself – without messing up!) And then we start trying to live for Him in our own strength because that is all we know to do. We try to keep His standards, His law, do His work in our own understanding, our own power -and asking for and receiving nothing from Him to do it with.

    Putting ourselves under the law like this puts us under a curse. “Cursed is everyone who does not keep the entire law.” And even if we were somehow able to “not mess up.” Could we delight in Jesus and praise Him and love Him perfectly and live in total submission and unity in His Presence uninterrupted with Christ and the Father and the Spirit at all times ourselves? No – the whole thing is absolutely impossible for us.

    Whew lets take a breath and get lunch!!

    This is a total paradigm shift.

    1. Radiantandredeemed,

      I am fasting now and will enter a time of prayer for these sisters of ours who are hurting and stuck, also. Right now, I am including Becca, Elizabeth, and Laura specifically.

      THANK YOU!

  24. Dear Becca and Elizabeth, and anyone else who resonates with where they have been . Are you ready to receive prayer for deliverance today? You have to be willing – and probably desperate. Ready to put all of your doubts and fears and arguments behind in your past.

    We would love to pray over you if you are. But we can’t force it on you. It is up to you. If you do want us to pray deliverance from bondage and strongholds and lies over you today – are you ready to give up your old ways of thinking? Are you ready to submit to the Truth of the Word and what it really says – not how you have been reading it for years? Are you ready to stop arguing with the truth, to stop believing lies – and to be set free? It is not something you will do – it is something only the Spirit can do and is so excited to do in you.

    And thinking about that idea – please read Ezekiel 37 about the Valley of Dry Bones. Can these dead, dry bones live?
    Oh Lord God – You know.
    You will have about as much effort to put in as these dead bones did when God had Ezekiel prophecy over them and brought them to life.

    Anyone who is really ready for being prayed for – just let us know and we will pray over all of you later.
    Much love!!

    1. Radiant, your comments today have been both fascinating and deeply touching to me. You have many ideas that are new to me.

      If it’s all right to ask, I would very much like you to pray for me as well. I am willing – and desperate. If you have seen my previous comments you have seen I am living in a very toxic situation with my husband. There is so much darkness in him – which I have been absorbing into myself – and I want to be able to resist the darkness and lies and shine with the light of God.

      I don’t think I have ever read Ezekiel 37. How amazing and inspiring. Our God truly is a mighty God! Thank you.

    2. Please, PLEASE include me. I have commented several times in the last couple of years under different titles. I don’t remember what they were but I am desperate and God knows my name. I identify most with Becca.

    3. You are too thoughtful. Are you ready for my list of conflicting thoughts? (Oh if you could hear the inside of my brain, like you can on a TV show, you’d be amazed at the jumbled mess.)

      Problem number one. I’m too honest. I’m not that good at pretending. So as much as I want to change, there’s no way I can say “yes, I’m ready, pray for me and I will be a good girl and everything will be 100% better immediately.”

      BUT, there’s a part of me that knows you are not asking me to be perfect right away.

      Do I believe Christ died to set me free and it upsets Him that I struggle with being free? YES!

      Do I want to be free? YES!

      Do I think I can let it all go in an instant and be successful? NOPE

      Do I appreciate that you all are willing to pray for me? YES!

      Do I think I deserve your prayers? Absolutely not. There are others far more in need than I. I’m saved. I may be saved and struggling, but that’s my own fault. Let’s pray for the unsaved.

      Do I feel God at work? YES! – I write Christian plays and musicals and when they are performed and people ask me “how do you come up with them?” I give all the glory to God. It is only by God that it’s possible. Only by God. I cannot do it in my own strength. People have ben asking me when we will be performing a new one. Sadly, I have been stuck for a couple years. My last musical was a repeat of one we did before. Then last night, a song came to me. A good song. I’ve been at the piano a good bit of today working it out. I am thrilled that I am able to be writing for the Lord again. I pray it’s not a fluke.

      Do I want to answer your questions with a yes? Yes, I do.

      BUT, I am terrified of failing, of letting you down, of not getting it right, of stumbling, of stumbling others, and then you will all be disappointed and sad and thinking your prayers were for naught, when in fact it is just little ‘ol imperfect me rearing her ugly head once again.

      I AM AFRAID TO SAY YES AND THEN LET YOU DOWN.

      I feel as though I am on a precipice, ready to take a leap of faith, and the enemy is clawing at my ankles trying to hold me back.

      That’s how I feel right now. Excited and terrified.

      1. I’m excited that you feel excited! And feeling terrified is normal for where you are. I went through that and I know April has spoken many times about that feeling. As a matter of fact, it was soon after that feeling, that my freedom came. It wasn’t overnight, but it was very soon after. Here’s the deal. None of us are expecting *you* to necessarily do anything other than be willing for God to come in with power and do something big in your life – in whatever way He deems best. This isn’t something you will do or have to do, this is something God is going to do in you! All you have to offer to Him is your willingness for Him to make these truths a beautiful reality in your life. That’s it. But, we are His creations and He is the Creator and He will do it in His time and His way.

        Remember Jesus’ words to the man who was an invalid for many years? He was lying by the pool, but couldn’t get help. Jesus asked him “Do you want to be made well?” I found these articles on that passage in John and they are very good – kind of explain why Jesus might have asked a question like that to the man. http://www.practicingourfaith.org/do-you-want-be-made-well

        So…the question really is simply….Do you want Jesus to make you well?

      2. Becca,

        I’m glad you are being honest and transparent about how you are thinking and what you are wrestling with. That is a good thing!

        This is the place we all have to come to. I did! I can remember very vividly in December of 2008 realizing my sin and realizing that I hadn’t been believing and trusting God but had self on the throne of my life and idols and pride and self-righteousness and all kinds of awful sin. I can remember realizing I had to stop trying to be God and stop trying to be sovereign and that it was ridiculous that I thought I could control so many things over which I truly had no control. But I was terrified.

        God showed me what I needed to do – let go of control. Let go of the lies I had believe. Face my fears and trust God’s Word over my fears and His Word over my feelings. I was so afraid. I felt very much like I was on the edge of a spiritual cliff and God was asking me to jump. I had not experienced God catching me in this way before. But I decided that I believed His Word and would jump.

        Now, I have no problem praying with faith for Him to bring healing to you or to other women. I have seen what God can do. I have seen how He healed me and my husband. I have seen how He has healed hundreds of women here on the blog. I have personally seen the miraculous way He healed RadiantandRedeemed about a year and a half ago. She was in as difficult a position as you are or worse spiritually, in my view. Now that I have experienced God’s answers and trustworthiness, my faith has grown. It can still grow a lot more, of course. But I am not afraid to trust Him with you or with anyone else. I know how good He is and how He is able to transform lives. I know it is my faith in Him not in any person’s ability that brings the healing.

        This decision isn’t about us being disappointed. It isn’t about any of us. We support and love you and the other ladies. But it is all about you and God. Of course the enemy wants you to run screaming to the hills and back to all those “comforting” lies about yourself and God. But God is able and willing to heal you. We will walk beside you each step of the way. You don’t have to do this alone. Jesus is able to do this.

        But I want you to decide this because YOU want to. Totally up to you.

        Much love to you!

        1. Becca,

          Your first comment on my blog was in May of 2014. You have commented 154+ times so far. And you know what? I have loved you every time. You are loved by me and by God and by the other ladies here even though you have been so afraid to move forward and to trust God more. You are safe here. You are loved here. There is no need to be afraid. 🙂

          If we love you when you are too afraid to take a leap of faith – we will still love you if you do try. And we will love you when you stumble. We all stumble at times. None of us are perfect here, BUT – we CAN live in the victory and power of Christ more and more as we each choose to trust Him and to allow Him full access to the deepest parts of our hearts, minds, and souls and we allow Him to be Lord and to decide what stays and what goes and what needs to be built up.

          I know what God can do in your life. I know that His promises and power will work for you, too. I have zero doubt. But I have no expectations of you. I just pray you will be willing to look to God for healing and to ask Him. My expectations are in Jesus. 🙂

          Much love!

      3. Hi Becca,

        I hope you can come to read this. You wrote

        “BUT, I am terrified of failing, of letting you down, of not getting it right, of stumbling, of stumbling others, and then you will all be disappointed and sad and thinking your prayers were for naught, when in fact it is just little ‘ol imperfect me rearing her ugly head once again.

        I AM AFRAID TO SAY YES AND THEN LET YOU DOWN.

        I feel as though I am on a precipice, ready to take a leap of faith, and the enemy is clawing at my ankles trying to hold me back.”

        Becca, I speak as a child and with full acknowledgement that I am a baby on the journey of knowing God, but I feel compelled to say that you ARE going to let people down, you ARE going to stumble but NOONE who truly understands God’s grace and freedom is going to be disappointed or sad!!!!!!! The only one who can condemn you for any failings (Jesus) didn’t!!!

        I have been afraid to say yes to God and then let Him down but guess what, that was pride talking. That was my pride thinking I had even the slightest chance of not letting Him down. It is an immensely free place to be to acknowledge that we will let God down, constantly, but that we rely on His grace and love to live fruitful lives.

        “If any man thinks he has no sin he deceives himself and the truth is not in him”

        “Where sin abounds (in our heart) Grace much more abounds”

        1. Excellent, excellent words! Thank you for reminding me of that last verse! Sometimes, the gospel hits me like it’s all new again and reading that verse just did it again! It seems too good to be true….but it’s true! Thank you, Jesus!

        2. I wanted to add my thoughts to the idea that we might let God down. I think all of that was nailed to the cross – all of it. I think we have to get to a place where we truly understand that God sees those who have put their trust in Christ as “in Christ” and that our sin has been hurled to the depths of the sea. All of it. If it’s gone as far as the east to the west (past, present and future – all our sin was future when Christ died for us), then my personal belief is God is totally satisfied with me – and only because of Christ! Saying all that, though, I do totally understand what you were getting at. 🙂 But, it’s a great thing to know that God is not disappointed with me. If I believed that He could be, well….at what point would I have been good enough on any given day that I could be assured He was not disappointed with me? It would never happen. I would always feel condemned and guilty. No, we are righteous in His sight and totally acceptable to Him. We are His beloved in Christ. There is no separation at all between He and us because He took care of it.

          1. Jennifer,
            YES! There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Because God put us in Christ and He counts the death Jesus died as our death. He counts the life Jesus lived as our life. He counts Jesus’ righteousness as ours. It is ALL Him.

            We receive what He has already done and finished when we receive Him. Then we spend a lifetime learning how to allow His Sprit more and more control so that we live out in our experience all that we already have in Jesus more and more.

          2. April, I’m sorry to bug you about this, but as I have been reading over the comments to this post I have been struggling with something. I hope it’s okay if I ask you some questions?

            Is it really true what you said here, that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus? At all? That His death counts as our death?

            Because you know I keep thinking about how the wages of sin is death, and how maybe it really is fair for me to suffer in my life because of the mistakes of my past…what exactly do you mean when you say “condemntation?” Are you talking about the next life, or this one?

            And also, I keep thinking about the story of Ananias and Sapphira, from the book of Acts. They were believers, yet after Jesus was resurrected God apparently struck them dead because they lied? This seems out of context to the rest of the New Testament and makes no sense to me at all.

            For the record, I am still feeling good and strong, I am not saying I’m falling back into depression or upset in anyway, not at all, it’s just that my mind has been going over all these things and trying to figure out exactly what it all means.

            Thank you SO MUCH for the time you take out of your busy days to help all of us who are struggling with our marriages and even with our Christian faith. You are such a blessing to us all. 🙂

          3. This is where – I believe – we have been trained in our churches for a very long time to take parts of the word, but not all of it – to our detriment and great distress. God does not lie, right? So if He says – there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus – then there truly is no condemnation at all for those who are in Christ Jesus. We FEEL condemnation and accusation – that is from the enemy. We still can sin – that is our flesh – our old nature still there. But our spirit has been made 100% new and joined with Him.
            The Truth is that Jesus’ blood truly is all powerful. If it wasn’t – if He wasnt able to get us absolutely pure, white as snow, without spot or wrinkle – we wouldn’t be able to be anywhere near Him. We couldn’t be in heaven with Him. And we would still be under His wrath. So the really, really great news is – We are absolutely totally forgiven, washed 100% clean, made 100% new with Him and united with Christ – one with Him. Christ in you- that is the hope of glory. His Spirit has become one spirit with ours. We are in Christ. Nothing can now separate us from the love of Christ -not even us!! It is Christ Who holds us in His arms. He knows we can’t hold tight enough and wander off!

            Jesus – on the cross – took our whole entire wages – our whole eternal punishment for all of our sin. All of it was put on Him and He paid it all. All to Him I owe!! He exchanged His perfect goodness – put it all in my account – for all of my sin – put it in His account – and paid it in full! When God looks at us now – we are Justified (Just-as-if-I’d never sinned).
            There is still sanctification – renewing our minds and hearts and being made more and more like Him – which is the long process. But the Justification – being Redeemed, made a New Creature in Christ – happens at Salvation when He puts His beautiful Spirit in us. Hallelujah!

          4. Oh – so for consequences on earth – as far as God is concerned -we are totally forgiven. We need to forgive ourselves too – and be in agreement with God and receive His forgiveness (rather than acting like our sense of justice is higher than God’s – and not forgiving ourselves).

            Could there still be consequences for our sins here on earth – definitely. Do we need to think of ourselves as horrible sinners? No – we WERE horrible sinners – but we have been Redeemed and set free. We WERE in the Kingdom of Darkness, doing all of the dark things we all do there – but now we are in the Kingdom of Light. We are now God’s kids – who can still fall and wander away, but we are longer children of the father of lies. So we need to start acting like we are in God’s family -because we are! We can rest in God’s provision for whether or not we will have consequences for our past sins. Sometimes we will, and sometimes He miraculously frees us from them. But it is always for our good.

            For Aninias and Sapphira – I am not a theologian! But – I do think that as modern westerners -we really don’t take sin very seriously. In fact – I think that is a big part of why I was really sick for years. I was full of unbelief, I was full of complaining and bitterness and fear, I very much believed God abandoned me after we went overseas for Him. We quit tithing. I wasn’t acknowledging the full power of Jesus’ blood and broken body when I took communion – I couldn’t see that He would want to do anything in my life – maybe for other people – but not for me. I made Him small and my problems and my limitations infinite

            In the Bible – people could get sick and die from things like that! I think we still can based on the reading I have done and my experience. Does that mean every sin will cause death or sickness? No – God is rich in mercy -being patient – not wanting anyone to perish, but for everyone to have eternal life. But I would say there are definitely certain sins that can cause sickness or death. Sin is not something to embrace! The further away I am from the Source of all Life, Healing, Breath, Truth and Peace – the more death and sickness will reign in my body. So it makes sense that sin – which separates us from God’s presence – births sickness or death in us. (James 1:15).

            For their particular sin – it reminds me of the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant the wrong way (on a cart on wheels instead of on poles) – and when one of them reached out to steady the ark and keep it from falling – he was struck dead for touching the Holy Ark of the Covenant. God’s presence is Holy. Someone describes Him as a huge orb of bleach – who has accepted a bunch of germs (us) into His family to live with Him. Bleach kills germs on contact. Sinful humans getting too close to God will kill us, too.

            Were they wrong to sell their land and give part of the money to God? No – that is a good thing. But they lied to the Holy Spirit, acting like they were giving all of the money. I think it is an example for us of God’s holiness still being intact in the Church even though we are saved and washed and brought into the Holy of Holies through Jesus’ blood. We can still grieve the Spirit. We can still sin. We can still have consequences. God made us as image bearers of Himself with free will -and He will not violate that. So we can still sin and violate His holy space. That can have dire consequences.

            I hope this helps.
            Feel free to add to my thoughts!

          5. Laura,

            The wages of sin IS death. Jesus paid that price. In full. God counts those who are in Christ as being dead and buried with Christ. You are no longer condemned to hell before God. Jesus took your punishment completely on Himself.

            There are consequences in this lifetime for our sin sometimes. If I stole something last year and sincerely repented of it and turned to Christ – God forgave me. I am not condemned to hell for that sin. But I may still have to go to jail.

            I believe Ananias and Sapphire were used as an example by God to demonstrate to the church that they should have a holy fear, a reverent awe of God and to help them see how serious sin is. I don’t know if they were believers or not.

            Much love to you!

          6. Radiant and April,
            Thank you very much for answering my question so completely. I’m sorry to be a bother – I know you ladies must feel like you can never get off the computer! But this has been a question in my mind the past several days, and I didn’t know anyplace else where I could ask.

            You’ve both given me some good stuff to think about. I don’t feel like I can actually respond with anything intelligent until I turn things over in my mind for a little while.

            Thanks again. You have both been such a blessing to me. 🙂

          7. Laura,

            You are not a bother. You are a precious sister in Christ for whom Jesus died. I’m honored to get to walk beside you on this road. I know Radiant is, too.

            Take all the time you need.

            We are praying for you!

            Much love!
            April

          8. You are not a bother at all but a huge blessing. We all need each other! We all grow together! If one of us hurts, we all hurt with her. Thank you again for being so brave and asking your questions! What a ministry that is to untold numbers of people with the same struggles and questions. We are all on the journey together. Growing isn’t an individual thing as much as it is a Body thing, even though God does reveal many things to us when we are alone. We truly grow as a Body together 🙂

            I pray that the Spirit strengthens you in the inner man to grasp everything He wants you to understand today. And then prepares you for new revelation tomorrow. And the next day! Every day has new mercies and blessings! We don’t have to stay stuck today just because we always have been.
            Everything God pours through me here was poured into me by Him through others. Our pastor says the gospel always passes through you on the way to someone else. How beautiful! It’s the best thing ever to get to be part of what He is doing to set others free when I know what it is like to be a captive in deepest gloom without hope!

            Great idea to meditate and really think over these truths. There is so much here.
            Obviously, I can use prayer for being able to write His Truth in short, clear ways rather than reams and novels !

            Yay!
            So thankful for you

  25. Anyone who feels called to fast and pray with us for these beautiful, hurting girls – please join us. We need the Body.

    1. radiantandredeemed,

      I have asked a number of prayer partners and prayer warriors to also pray with us for these precious sisters of ours.

      Lord,
      I love and praise You! I thank You for what You are about to do in the lives of those who have been in such bondage for decades who are willing to come to You for healing. I thank You that You will set these precious women free from the snares and lies of the devil. I want to just sing your praises at the top of my lungs for Your goodness!

      Thank You for this opportunity for us to gather in this place online. Thank You for Jesus. Thank You for Your Word. We praise You for Your plan of salvation! We praise You for loving us and for making a way for us to be right with You and for making a way for us to be healed of all of our spiritual darkness, sin, and mess. We thank You that You are the God Who Sees. You are the Good Shepherd. You are the Lord Who Provides. You are the One Who can make a way when there is no way that we can see. You are the Great Physician who carries our sicknesses and bears our weaknesses. You are the One who gives us rest for our souls. You are able to cleanse us from every stain of sin.

      We resist the enemy. We acknowledge that he wants to deceive us and that he is the father of lies and he delights when we embrace his lies and build our lives upon them. We submit ourselves fully to You and receive that You alone are the Father of Truth. Jesus is the Truth, the Life and the Way! We receive what Jesus has done for each of us. We reject our sinful thinking and our unbelief. We can’t fix ourselves. We look to You for healing. We look to Your power to change and transform our hearts, minds, and souls, by the power of Your Spirit and of Your Word.

      We praise and thank You for the miraculous healing You have done in my life and in RadiantandRedeemed’s life and in so many lives here on the blog. We can’t wait to receive even more and to see Your power tear down the strongholds of the enemy and tear down the power of every canceled sin. We know that You have already won the victory on our behalf. Help us simply to have the faith to receive what You have done for us and to receive Your love, Your Life, and Your ways. Your ways may seem foreign to us, Lord. But we receive them. We know we are strangers and aliens here when we follow Christ. Open blind eyes today and let each of us see You and see Your truth.

      We thank You and praise You for the deliverance that You will bring about today for these women You love so dearly.

      In the Name and power of Christ,
      Amen!

    2. I was praying this morning about all of this and God reminded me to pray in faith expecting Him to answer. Reminded me of the verses that promise that what whatever we ask in His name will be done. And reading radiant’s and April’s prayers and comments are further affirmation to me that God is moving and we will see His hand. Exciting!! I join with you (already had been praying) in fasting the rest of this day. This is a spiritual warfare, as radiant reminded us, and we are not without weapons! Can’t wait to hear testimonies of freedom! Thank you, Father, that you hear us and give us the opportunity to be a part of your work here on earth. May Your name be glorified through this.

  26. Who is adequate for these things? To receive mercy and forgiveness from God, restoration and healing. To be made 100% right with God and be loved dearly by Him! To be sent on a rescue mission to others who are captive just like we were. To get to rejoice and enjoy God and His presence and His love and care and all He has given us. To get to be His radiant Bride, center stage in the universe with the other Redeemed!

    Was Paul worthy? No, he said he was the chief of sinners
    Was Peter worthy? No, he was proud and denied Jesus.
    Was Jonah worthy? No, he rebelled and ran away and sulked and didn’t want God to have mercy on bad people.
    Was David worthy of the Messiah’s throne and line? No! But God called him a man after God’s own heart.
    Was George Mueller worthy? No, he was a scoundrel and a thief
    Was Brother Andrew worthy? No, he skipped church, lied, stole, grew very bitter and hopeless and had no way out

    Being worthy and following all the rules and getting it all right must not be part of this equation.

    Who in the Bible was perfect and worthy that God used? Only One. And the heavens never stop singing His praises night and day!

    Am I worthy? No. Left to my own devices I would be dead, in a very strained marriage or divorced, extremely sick, unable to be around anyone or anything with multiple chemical sensitivity and panic, an invalid, in a mental institution, in the darkest deepest pit making every possible error and believing every possible lie bound in every available chain by very content and gloating enemies. A year and a half ago I thought there was no hope for me. I could totally believe God for doing things for other people – but not for me. You see, my identity was Nobody. I didn’t count. God couldn’t do things or work in my life. I was too messed up.

    Are you worthy? No. But you don’t have to be. Because Jesus was not sent to set free the free. To redeem the free or heal the healthy. He was sent to heal the sick. To raise the dead. To bring light to the darkness. To cast out fear. To destroy the work of the devil.

    Are you sick? Weary? Heavy laden? Do you need rest? Jesus said “Come unto me and I will give you rest.” Are you stuck, in a pit, in the deepest, darkest dungeon. Do you have 1 stronghold or 1000’s of them? Are you blind to His truth and who He really is? Are your lips unable to sing His praise or tell of His goodness? Are you in darkness? Are you fearful? Do you feel like you are in a grave?

    Then YOU are exactly who Jesus came to set free and who He wants to deliver today!!

    All you have to do is take one step forward – and tell Him that you really do want to be healed. You really do want to be set free. And you are willing for Him to do this in you. That He is the ONLY One who can do this in you. No one and nothing else can save you or heal you or set you free.

    You don’t even have to have enough faith. The man who said “I believe, help my unbelief,” his son was set free from demonic possession. That kind of faith can set you free! But you have to lay yourself at the alter. You have to quit trying to muster up the faith and strength in yourself. You don’t have it. You have to stop trying to be worthy – you aren’t. You can’t make God do things in your life by your effort.

    But you CAN receive what He has already done for you and is holding out to you! He IS Worthy. He IS LOVE. He IS Healing and Forgiveness and Peace and Joy. And He ADORES YOU, broken one. He is close to the brokenhearted. He resists those who are proud who try to save themselves or say they don’t sin or say God couldn’t do anything in their lives or hearts or marriages. BUT He is near to all who call on Him in truth, who humble themselves and don’t’ deny their problems and chains. Who have the tiniest bit of real faith.

    Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen.

    – And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

    Do you believe God can do this in other lives? What is keeping God from doing this in YOU? Jesus is asking you – what do you want Me to do for you?

    You have to ask. You have to have at least enough faith to overcome the doubt and unbelief and guilt and darkness and lies that are trying to hold you in that grave, smothered and silent.

    We will be praying over the people who asked for prayer this evening. We have individually been praying for you today. You are loved. You matter. You are God’s great Somebody.

    This is what God longs to do in your life after you have tried everything else and turned away from Him thinking He won’t love you or He isn’t enough.

    Hosea 2 The Message

    “And now, here’s what I’m going to do:
    I’m going to start all over again.
    I’m taking her (your name here) back out into the wilderness
    where we had our first date, and I’ll court her.
    I’ll give her bouquets of roses.
    I’ll turn Heartbreak Valley into Acres of Hope.
    She’ll respond like she did as a young girl,
    those days when she was fresh out of Egypt.
    16-20 “At that time”—this is God’s Message still—
    “you’ll address me, ‘Dear husband!’
    Never again will you address me,
    ‘My slave-master!’
    I’ll wash your mouth out with soap,
    get rid of all the dirty false-god names,
    not so much as a whisper of those names again.
    At the same time I’ll make a peace treaty between you
    and wild animals and birds and reptiles,
    And get rid of all weapons of war.
    Think of it! Safe from beasts and bullies!
    And then I’ll marry you for good—forever!
    I’ll marry you true and proper, in love and tenderness.
    Yes, I’ll marry you and neither leave you nor let you go.
    You’ll know me, God, for who I really am.
    21-23 “On the very same day, I’ll answer”—this is God’s Message—
    “I’ll answer the sky, sky will answer earth,
    Earth will answer grain and wine and olive oil,
    and they’ll all answer Jezreel.
    I’ll plant her in the good earth.
    I’ll have mercy on No-Mercy.
    I’ll say to Nobody, ‘You’re my dear Somebody,’
    and he’ll say ‘You’re my God!’”

  27. Good good Father,

    We praise Your Holy Name. You are Worthy, Holy, Beautiful, Everlasting, All sufficient. All powerful. All glorious. There is not one drop of evil, weakness, worry, fear, folly or any bad thing in You. We rejoice in You. The Giver of all good gifts. The Father of lights. The One who spoke order into the chaos and swirling cosmos. The One who spoke Light into the darkness at the beginning. The One who spoke Life. The One who breathed Your own breath into man.The One who gave us free will and Who woos us to Yourself, never forces us. You are such a gentleman. You are so kind and patient with us, not wanting any of us to perish. You discipline us so that we will turn away from good things, or awful, worthless, pathetic things and turn back to You – the only One worthy of our hearts and lives and worship and surrender. You alone can rescue. You alone can lift us from the grave.

    If You don’t hold us tight to yourself – we will wander away. But You do hold us. Thank you that You are Faithful and True and You do not lie. Your promises are all Yes in Christ. We are your people, the sheep of Your pasture. You care for us gently, guarding, protecting, nourishing, providing. You are a Giver.

    We lift Becca and Desperate and Laura to You. Does Elizabeth want to join in? Anyone else?

    Thank You for their bravery and this little step of faith. Thank you for the grace You are giving to anyone who needs to step forward for deliverance tonight.

    1. Lord,

      I join with many other sisters in Christ (and brothers) and with RadiantandRedeemed and thank You for Who You are and for Your willingness to love us and to reach down and rescue us. We can’t heal ourselves. We can’t save ourselves. We are all in the same boat. We are all in desperate need of Your love, Your truth, Your healing, Your mercy, and Your grace! No one can help us but You.

      Give these precious ladies (and gentlemen) the strength to reach out and to ask You for help. Increase their faith. Let them turn to You with trust. Deliver them from the power of the enemy and from his lies and the power of the flesh and of sin. Let them experience Your freedom, restoration, transformation, truth, and Light! Thank You that You are the Good Shepherd and that You know what is best for each of Your sheep.

      We praise and thank You for Your work in so many lives in the past and that You are working now and for Your good plans for those who trust in You for the future. Let Your perfect love cast out all fear and set the captives free even tonight.

      In the Name and power of Christ our Lord,
      Amen!

      1. Amen amen.
        So many hurting people, so many needs, so many trials and tribulations. May the good Lord bless each and every one of you.
        A battle rages in our mind, as the enemy attacks it.
        It’s easy to be discouraged and doubt due to our circumstances and listening to the lies of the enemy. God is so much bigger than any and all problems of the world combined; and I know this. Yet…
        I struggle with my faith and I pray that we all learn to only believe Him- take God at His word!
        He cannot and will not lie. With God all things are possible. Only believe!
        Dear God: Forgive any unbelief on our part and help us as we struggle to trust in You and take You at your word.
        Help us to truly trust you and rest in that trust.
        Have mercy on us, deliver us from the sins of worry, fear doubt and unbelief. Without faith it is impossible to please You. Help us to please You in all things,in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen. Thank you, Lord.

  28. For Becca, Desperate, and Laura. (And for any others who want to receive this prayer…)

    We lift up these ladies to the Mercy Seat, sprinkled with the Infinitely precious and powerful Blood of the Lamb. Father, You know their pasts. You know their pain and scars. You were there with them through every moment from conception on. You have never abandoned them or forsook them, even though it has felt like it, and they have believed that You have. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit have wrapped around them like a bubble since conception. At every twist and turn, every abusive word, every negative event, every time a father was not there for them or a mother was unable to comfort them with Your Truth and Presence and power, You were there. Through every unkind word, every tear, every sickness, every sin on their part, every sin against them. You were there loving them, upholding them, sustaining them, filling them with life. We receive that.

    They receive that tonight – that You have always been with them, never left them, and never stopped loving them. Even through dating, marriage, having kids, and traumas and broken hearts. You have been there. They feel shattered into bits, Lord. They are worn out, heavy-laden and desperately in need of Life from You. You know the vows they made to themselves to not need anything. To not be a burden. To not feel. To not have opinions. To not mess up. To not ask for anything. To criticize themselves and punish themselves enough that maybe You and others won’t have to. To try to be invisible. To not count. To be Nobody.

    They have spoken death to themselves, Lord. And others have spoken death over them. And they have absorbed it and absorbed it until their spirits and hearts and minds and bodies can’t take anymore. Their immune systems are unable to fight off the bad stuff, and are attacking themselves. Their minds have attacked themselves, which opened doors for demons to attack and for their own bodies to attack themselves as well. They receive only bad. Only toxins. Only lies. Then their hearts get stepped on and brutalized; self pity, unbelief, hard hearts, and determination to fix themselves ooze out.

    There are blocks in the way of healing and freedom.
    1 – Unbelief
    2 – Unforgiveness

    Holy Spirit, come and fall on Becca, Desperate, Laura and anyone else who wants to pray with us. Send Your fire to soften them, to remove the old self and it’s desires and thoughts and beliefs and opinions and habits, to create a new clean heart within them. Purge them and they will be white as snow. Cleanse them from everything that is not of you. Every belief, every thought, every habit, every thing in the past, every way they think they understand Christianity, the Church, marriage, being a woman, a mother, – make everything new. Set their minds on things above, not on earthly things. Renew their minds by the washing of the Word. Peter refused to let You wash his feet, and you said he could have no part of you if he didn’t let You wash him. Help these ladies let You wash them by Your Spirit. Cleanse way down deep to the inner man inside them. Cleanse their wounds and put Your Blood over each injury.

    First set them right with You. You already made the way for that through Your Blood. Sprinkle them in Your blood and make them clean. They receive forgiveness for all of their past and unbelief and pride and self-pity and not seeing You as Big. For the ruined relationships they contributed to or did not cause at all. For the fear and self-hatred they have been living in. For the constant self-attack. For not receiving good things from You. For being afraid to trust You with their hearts and lives and pasts and futures and pain and weaknesses and failures. For thinking You would be mad at them, Your daughters. For disobeying Your commands for them to ask, seek, and knock. For thinking of You as mean, dangerous, or exacting, and not receiving all You did for them in Jesus. For disobeying the truth you have revealed to them and believing lies.

    They are forgiven. We receive it. They receive it. They are now right with You. They may not feel it – but they receive it in faith.

    They now forgive themselves. For not being God. For not being perfect. For messes and weaknesses and needs and opinions. For not loving well. For not delighting in You with all their hearts. For not being full of joy and thankfulness and peace. For holding on to unforgiveness, fear, bitterness, and hard hearts and unbelief. For attacking themselves so ruthlessly – they would never do that to another person. For holding onto lies like they are truth from You rather than weapons of the Father of Lies who is trying to destroy them. They release all of that pain, all of the guilt and the scars and past to You, their Healer. The Lover of their souls. And You wash them and set them free. They even ask forgiveness of their own minds and bodies – the stress they have been subjected to under constant attack! And You release them and are speaking healing and life over their worn out bodies, immune systems, adrenal glands, minds and emotions and spirits.

    They give You their striving. Their trying so hard to make themselves right with You. Their trying to save themselves and wash themselves and make themselves able to enter the Holy of Holies alone. Their anxiety and worry and depression and being stuck. They give You this rule-keeping, hard-hearted, not receiving good, small and mean god, self-attacking religion. It is NOT of You!! We rebuke the spirits behind it in the Name of Jesus and send them to the Cross to be dealt with by Jesus. This is not Christianity. It is not the truth. It is damaging Your Name and Your glory for this to masquerade as Christianity in our churches and our culture. It is destroying us and making the Church so weak and sick.

    We bind this spirit in the Church in the West and negate its’ assignments and send it out by angelic escort away from these ladies’ lives and the Church in the Name of Jesus. Set them at peace with themselves. Restore their souls. Let them be still and know that You are God. You are fighting for them, they need only to be still. Let there be Truth in their inmost parts so that You can delight in them. The truth is there is nothing good in them – only what they receive from You is good. So when they admit that truth – and receive forgiveness and healing and cleansing from You – You delight in them.

    Renew a right spirit within them. Cast not your Spirit from them. Strengthen their spirits so they can receive You and Your love and power and work. You planted the seed of Your Spirit in them when they were saved. Help it grow and break out of the constraints and scars and hardness around it so that it can be active and working and convicting of truth and reminding them of what You say and speaking to them and directing them. Your sheep hear your voice. We claim that promise for Becca, Desperate, Laura, and anyone else who will receive it. Remove all walls or chains keeping them from hearing from You and receiving from You in the Name of Jesus. Give them eyes to see You and Truth, ears to hear and soft new hearts to turn and be healed.

    Set them free from curses. From the things they have spoken over themselves, that others have spoken over them, and that come down from 4 generations above them from sins of previous fathers. In the Name of Jesus with the Sword of the Word we break those curses and the chains they have held Becca, Desperate, Laura and any others in. Jesus’ broken body on the Cross took the curse for them. Every curse. And they are no longer bound by them in the Name of Jesus. They are FREE. They are FORGIVEN. THEY ARE REDEEMED. THEY ARE LOVED. THEY ARE VALUED AND ADORED by You. They can breathe.

    They gave up their voice years ago, but now they give You their voicelessness, their lack of personhood and their nothingness and hopelessness. You exchange it with Your voice, their new creation in You, their value in Jesus and the Bride and hope, peace and joy. You are near to them, and in the presence of the Lord is great joy. They receive the peace and joy and faith You are giving them. You have every spiritual blessing in heaven to bless them with. They receive what they need today – their portion. They reject any attack or anyone else trying to steal their peace or joy from them.

    Will start the next section in a few moments. Grace and peace to each of you reading and praying or wanting prayer.

    1. RadiantandRedeemed,
      I stand in agreement with you and pray in unison with you for these 3 women and anyone else who will receive this prayer of deliverance from spiritual bondage and who is willing to turn to Christ for healing. Amen!

  29. You are making all things new, the old is passing away.
    Remake everything about their minds, thoughts, emotions, desires, habits and actions in the Name of Jesus.
    Remake their relationships with their fathers and mothers, their husbands and siblings, church and friends. Everywhere there has been a breach in a relationship – place the Cross between them and that person. Build a bridge of reconciliation between them and those people with Your Blood. They are wrapped in Your armor, Your protection. Any attacks against them You will receive as an attack against Yourself. (if you did it to the least of these, you did it to Me -good or bad) You will fight for them. They can rest in Your protection and not receive any negative attacks or curses or words of death thrown at them by husbands, parents, the government, the enemy or anyone.

    These ladies are in the middle of a serious battle and so are all of us. There will be victories and attacks and attempts at kidnapping and trying to place them back in captivity. But we know what to do when we are under attack now.

    Ask, seek and knock. Ask and wait and listen. If a bible verse comes to mind right away- don’t assume it is random. It may be God speaking to you!
    If you hear a verse multiple times in a day or a week – God means it for YOU!
    If you feel discouraged or under attack or feel yourself being fearful/bitter/anything not good – call on Jesus in your distress and He will answer you! If you are still going under, call or email someone to pray for you. Put on praise music. Try to sing to God the best you can. It is an important weapon and draws you close to Him (He is already close to you)

    Ask God for a prayer partner or mentor who knows how to love and trust Him.
    He wants you to have this
    Ask God for a church that will help you grow in the truth and won’t make lies easy to settle for. Or ask God to transform your church! The Church is supposed to be helping all of us grow and mature and hold each other together and accountable and growing up into our Head who is Chirst! A powerhouse of His love and power full of praise and thanksgiving and the Truth!
    Where He inhabits the praise of His people and they know how to enter into this warfare with the weapons He equipped us with.

    What is the will of God for you?
    To rejoice in Him!! Look at all He has done for you!!! WOW!!!! He sure loves you !!
    Let your new language be praise and thanksgiving and singing! Put on all the gorgeous clothes He has for you now that that nasty stuff is off and you are scrubbed clean. (Col. 3 in the Message is awesome for this)

    Col 3:9-16 The Message
    You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ.
    So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.
    Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives.

    1 Thes 5:16-24
    Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.
    Don’t suppress the Spirit, and don’t stifle those who have a word from the Master. On the other hand, don’t be gullible. Check out everything, and keep only what’s good. Throw out anything tainted with evil.
    May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it!

  30. Thank You Lord for grace and your mercy and your truth! Thank You for everything.
    Thank You for all You are doing in our lives. Thank You for April and for this blog and for all the brothers and sisters coming together in prayer. Thank you for the opportunity.
    Thank you that we can call upon Your Holy name at anytime and you are always there.
    You will never leave or forsake us.
    Help us to keep our eyes on you.
    Jehovah Jireh! Thank You Lord!!
    Praise His holy name.

  31. So thankful that we have such a good Father — and that we are loved by Him.
    I’ve been loving this particular version of Good, Good Father by Chris Tomlin.

  32. Can you please pray for me? I’m feeling very down about my weight. And because of it, I have not wanted to go outside our do much of anything. I’ve gone natural with my hair. And my husband has expressed several times that he doesn’t like it. Just today, he called me and asked me to change my facebook profile picture because he didn’t like it. I love my natural hair, but I’m considering getting it relaxed again. So PLEASE PRAY FOR ME!

    It was meant for me to read this article as I am laying here and can’t sleep. Let me clear up, that my husband is a good man. He loves me more than I love myself. He just really doesn’t like my hair. He feels that I went natural out of laziness and convenience. I have explained that it’s because I no longer want to put the harsh chemicals on my hair, but that’s not helping. I also talked with him before I made the decision to go natural. He told me that he could live with it, but when he looks at my hair, he says don’t ever cut your hair again. I told him that I only cut off the processed hair. My hair has grown a lot in a year, but he can’t. Tell because it’s drawn up in it’s natural state. I could flat iron my hair, but being a licensed cosmetologist, I know that wouldn’t be good for my hair on a regular basis. He knows that he hurt my feelings when he told me he didn’t like my facebook picture. But, I know I must do something for the sake of peace concerning my hair. And my weight.

    1. E Dunomes,

      I’M so sorry you are feeling down. It is tough to feel torn between what you believe is best for your hair and between wanting your husband to enjoy the way you look.

      How is your walk with Christ going? He is ultimately your primary source of strength, identity, security, acceptance, purpose, joy, and peace. If you are interested, we could do a bit of a checkup on your soul, and then see how that may be related to the things you are feeling concerned about.

      Praying for you to turn fully to Christ with this and for Him to bring something beautiful from this struggle for His glory in your life. 🙂

      Much love to you!

        1. E. Dunomes,

          I’m going to ask a few questions so that you can think about where you are right now spiritually and you can ask God to help you see anything that may need to change and how He may want to heal you. 🙂

          1. What do you believe you need most to be content/happy in life?

          2. What are your greatest fears?

          3. What are the things you complain about most?

          4. Where do you look to find you worth, identity, and security?

          5. What things do you pray for for yourself? For your husband?

          6. What do you desire in your relationship with Christ?

          7. Where do you go for comfort when you are upset? TV, movies, books, food, a friend, prayer, your husband…?

          Much love to you!

    2. Dear E Dunomes – wow your picture is so beautiful! I am glad you are wanting to do more natural things, and it sounds like you know a ton about beauty and hair. And I am glad your husband loves you and that he cares about how you look. I am sure Jesus has a way for you to please your husband and take good care of yourself and your hair – let’s ask Him to make a way. .
      Jesus -we bring E Dunomes to You – give her and her husband wisdom and direction about each part of their walk with You and their marriage and even things like her hair and weight. If it is a concern for her – it is a concern for you. We cast her cares on You because You care for her. Bring hidden hurts and scars into Your Light for healing in her and in her husband and in their marriage and align them with You, Your beauty, Your truth and Your Word. Let her see the beauty You have put in her spirit. Cup her face in Your scarred hands, and whisper Your love to her hurting heart. Thank you Jesus for your tender care!

  33. All,

    I heard from Becca. She is a bit overwhelmed and is going to take some time to pray and process things.

    Thank you everyone who prayed for her and for the other ladies who have asked for prayer.

    I will not have a lot of computer time today, but will approve things and respond tonight when I am able to. 🙂

    Much love!

    1. Becca,

      Not sur if you will read this or not, maybe April can pass along my message if you are staying away for a time. Please forgive me for my part in overwhelming you yesterday. I can seriously understand how it would. I am so sorry and truly hope that you don’t feel judged or offended by anything I wrote or said. If you do, you are welcome to get it out here in public or privately by email. Either way, I hope that you know that you are so loved here and respected by many for your willingness to be real and honest and put words to what so many of us have gone through or are going through.

    1. Humbled Husband,

      Such a blessing to get to be part of the Body of Christ and to watch the way God uses us, His Spirit, and His Word together to set the captives free and to bring healing. 🙂 I’m glad this was impactful for you, my brother.

  34. I would like to very humbly and gratefully thank everyone who prayed for me (and others) yesterday.

    The prayers posted here were so beautiful, and powerful, and fitting that I too felt a bit overwhelmed, like this was too good of a thing for me to be included in. But I’m very grateful for you, Radiant and April, and anyone else that prayed. Thank you so much.

    I feel a bit embarrassed to tell you this, because I’m afraid it might sound like I’m making it up to get attention, but it’s true so I will say it anyway: Yesterday evening I felt filled with joy. Really! I have been struggling with depression and even despair for so long…felt like my life was not worth living for so long. But yesterday, as the praying was going on…I felt so happy inside. Like there was something so fun and lively inside me and it wanted to bubble out…my husband came home from work and he was just as grumpy and mean and rude as usual. But somehow, it didn’t affect me like it usually does. It hardly bothered me at all. I felt like there was a bubble of joy surrounding me that kept me separate and protected from all the bad stuff.

    During supper yesterday my husband was as sullen as usual, but for some reason I felt like laughing instead of crying. I was very cheerful, and it seemed to me that every thing my children said was so funny and adorable, that I kept laughing so hard! I felt like I was just bursting with love for them. I think my husband had thought I had gone off my rocker because it is rare for me to behave like that, at least not when he is in a bad mood and acting resentful. Normally I am only happy when he is happy.

    Then, last night before bed, he seemed to show me a chink in his armour…he read a chapter of a self-help book he’s been promising me he would read, and when I came to bed and asked him if he felt like telling me why he’s been so unhappy, he said never mind, he realized from what he had read that he was being foolish, that he was blaming me for stuff that was his fault. Wow!

    Today he seems in a better mood, at least he isn’t being angry and resentful, and this is a big improvement over how things have been the past few weeks. I myself still feel good and happy and since nothing in my life has actually changed (other than that moment of humility from my husband), It must be the prayers – and I guess it also helps a lot to know that there are such caring people out there. Honestly guys…it’s like my depression is gone. My life is still has all the problems that were there yesterday morning but it’s just like it doesn’t bother me as much as it did. Thank you, Lord…

    Those prayers that Radiant and April posted are so filled with goodness and truth. Thank you so much both of you. I am going to read those prayers over and over again to just absorb all of that good stuff. I not always confident in my walk with the Lord but I can recognize that there is so much truth in there.

    Sorry for writing so much! I just feel happy and wanted to share.

    1. Laura,

      Please do not apologize, this is AWESOME!!

      Woohoo! I praise God for the healing He is already beginning to bring to your soul and that you are realizing that your joy and security and identity are in Jesus, not in your imperfect husband. so beautiful! I am thankful you were able to receive those prayers and be open to what God wants to do in your life.

      What an incredible miracle about what your husband said. Wow!

      I am overflowing with joy with you, my precious sister!!!!!

      I wish I could hug your neck!!!

      Much love!
      April

    2. Thank you so much for sharing that! What an encouragement! How exciting!! I can’t wait to hear “the rest of the story” that God is writing in your life. I’m so happy for you and what an amazing breakthrough with your husband, as well! God is so good. I can’t help but feel we should offer Him a thank you prayer….

      Father, thank you so much for moving powerfully in Laura’s life. Thank you for the joy that you have given to her and thank you for the way that you are moving and working in her life, her husband’s and her whole family. Thank you, Father, that you love Laura so much and for looking at her with eyes of love and grace, not condemnation and disappointment. Thank you that You will complete the good work that You’ve begun in her and that she will know You in a way that makes every other thing she’s ever put her hope in seem second best. Thank you, thank you…..we praise you, Our Comforter, Healer, Counselor, Friend and God. Who is a God like you? Thank you for lifting Laura out of the pit of depression and putting a new song of praise in her mouth. (Psalm 40). Amen.

      Laura, thanks again for sharing. 🙂

    3. This is a huge answer to prayer!!! Thank you God! Only You can fill us with joy like this!! Thank you!!!!!! You are SOO GOOD!! And Laura thank you so much for reading through ALL of this and praying and letting God change you and absorbing good things and truth!!!

      1. Yes, Radiant, this IS a huge answer to prayer…God has been so good to me. I am in awe of His goodness. I really feel that I was healed of the depression that has plagued me for so long. There is no other explanation. I did all the usual things to battle the depression, and it all did help a bit…I felt a little bit better…but suddenly the other day when everyone was praying – I felt actually HAPPY, deep in my soul…I can’t even say when the last time was I felt like that.

        I still feel happy today. I feel completely different. Lighter, more hopeful. And my life hasn’t changed, and in fact after showing some humility the other night, yesterday my husband totally gave me the cold shoulder, wouldn’t even talk to me, and I had no idea why. Yet, I feel happy and peaceful instead of hurt. I don’t feel angry at him. I can’t explain it at all, unless it is God. I have never felt like that before. I know feeling happy doesn’t sound like a big deal at all, but if you have felt dragged down by depression your entire life (ever since I was a child, since my childhood was not loving), being able to feel joy in the face of hardship is a HUGE deal.

        My heart is filled with gratitude to the great and almighty God. I don’t know what else to say.

        1. Laura,

          I think you are beginning to experience the freedom, joy, and peace of Christ. It sounds very much like God is working to me, my sweet friend. It is very freeing and empowering not to be held captive to the moods of another person, especially a person who is in a really bad mood or addicted to drugs/alcohol. There is so much joy in looking to Christ alone for our identity, security, purpose, strength, power, and contentment. Jesus can meet all of the deepest needs of our soul, even if our husband is a mess. We don’t have to be enmeshed with our husbands emotionally/spiritually, getting dragged down into the mud and drowning with them every time they go in a downward spiral. We are in Christ. Nothing and no one can steal what He has given us or can rob us of Himself and His presence.

          This is the kind of peace and joy believers in Christ can have every day – even in the midst of persecution and trials. THIS is what I want everyone to get to experience – JESUS. He is more than enough!

          Much love to you! I’m celebrating with you, my dear sister!

          1. YES!!! Joy and peace hope and faith and feeling loved and clean and forgiven and made new – Wow! What precious and wonderful gifts are ours when we trust Him to work in us. These are not luxuries, they are our birthright when we are saved! They are what He wants for each of us as His kids.

            I was depressed for 9/10ths of my life too – how precious joy is! We just can’t manufacture these things ourselves. They are found only in His presence. We who have been forgiven and set free from much – we love Him much!

            He makes us all radiant who look to Him. He gives us each a new name. You are no longer Much Afraid or Nobody or Depressed – you are (well – ask Him what your new name is – He has one just for you!)
            So exciting! 😀

          2. Thanks April,

            I will read all of them!! My wife just got home from work now and I nearly vomited with fear wondering what will be unleashed on me now……not a healthy way to be.

  35. I posted a youtube link, but it disappeared. It was of a Natalie Grant song so it should be ok… The one on the other thread didn’t work either…

  36. Something I have been thinking about that I posted on my Peaceful Wife Blog FB page today:

    A few weeks ago, I shared a post by Laura Doyle on my FB page about how femininity can be summed up in one word – “receiving.” She talked about that the most attractive quality about femininity is a woman who receives graciously and with joy.

    God designed the husband to be the giver and the wife to be the receiver in the physical act of intimacy in marriage. But this is a picture of other aspects of masculinity and femininity, as well, in marriage. The dynamics tend to work best when the husband graciously and selflessly gives to bless his wife and his wife joyfully and willingly receives his gifts of love with admiration, respect, and honor. A husband gives of himself fully to his wife and she responds by giving herself fully to him.

    The deepest picture in all of this is that God designed marriage to be a living picture of Jesus and His church where He is the Giver and we are the receivers. How I pray we will receive all of Jesus and all that He has provided for us with great joy! I don’t want us to miss out on anything He has already so selflessly, lovingly, and willingly provided for us at such a great cost to Himself.

  37. This idea of self-respect seems to be impossible to me when I am expected to “joyfully” sacrifice my legitimate needs in order to satisfy the daily desires of another human who has decided to ask for this and that. I don’t see how I can reconcile those things. You say we can respectfully ask for what we need, but if refused, then just accept it. I fail to see how this is not making me a doormat.

    It tells my husband he doesn’t have to respect me simply because he has power over me and he knows I am not permitted to stand my ground. After all, then I am sinning. If God opens up opportunities for me, I must wait for my husband’s approval in order to follow those opportunities. This seems wrong to me, that a husband has power to stop up from following our callings. As submitters, we have no real voice unless our husbands choose to hear us. It’s the choice of another human. So I don’t see how subjecting myself without exception to the decisions of another person is godly.

    I like your blog but I can’t reconcile having value in God’s eyes and then being told by that same God that injustice and inequality is okay for women; that if we are oppressed we should just accept it. If we choose to assert our value when oppressed, we are sinning if we even expect to be heard. So I think the blog is great but not for my situation. It seems your other regular readers are mainly in relationships where their input is valued and their needs are at least partially tended to, and I’m happy for them but this is not a group I belong to. I can see how self-respect would work in those situations but not in mine. I hope you have a good day.

    1. Andrea,

      It seems to me that there is still a lot of misunderstanding between what you are hearing me say and what I am actually saying. I think we have very different definitions of the concepts we are discussing. It sounds like you are hurting a lot and maybe being mistreated?

      Are you in an abusive marriage? Are you safe?

      It would help me a lot to better understand where you are coming from and your background, if you are up for talking about that with me.

      What is your relationship with God like, my sister?

      What do you believe God is like? What kind of character does He have and what kind of intentions do you believe He has toward you?

      Do you believe the Bible is true?

      Do you believe God is sovereign and is able to change people’s hearts, lives, and situations?

      What was your relationship like with your parents?

      What was their marriage like?

      If you are willing to talk about these things with me, maybe we can get to some of the root issues and address those together. You have some really important questions and concerns. I want to address them. But I want to be sure we are starting from the same page – and right now, I don’t think we are to that point yet. But I think we can get there if you would like to try! 🙂

      Much love!

      1. Hi, April. Thanks for responding. I believe in God but I am distrustful and struggling with His view on women. In the same manner as above, I see so many women who are oppressed in the church and we have no voice. There is no hope and we are just told to pray more and trust God. It sounds blasphemous, but how I feel is that it’s hard to be thankful that my sins are forgiven by the same Power that tells me my situation is unfortunate and “too bad”. I don’t see that as being God’s will and yet I’ve always been taught as a woman that this is my job. And that my view of value is worldly and sinful, and God will reward me for being faithful. A faithful doormat. And I don’t see God calling me to do that either. I used to be a teacher and I was good at that, but we moved away from my job so my husband could follow his dreams. I have no opportunities here that he approves of, or thinks suitable for a woman. I don’t know why I have gifts that I’m not allowed to use. I feel caught because if I follow my calling, then I am defying him. If I don’t follow, then I am defying God. No matter what I do, I am sinning. He says he would support me volunteering in the church nursery but this is his idea and I don’t feel comfortable with children (we’re both single children from our families and I have no kids). He says that if I don’t do that, it’s indicative of my rebellion. If I feel God is telling me something, I have been taught I have to wait for approval from my husband to follow it. He usually tells me that I don’t know it was God and I am just selfish. Maybe I am. I am also told that expecting to be respected is not biblically correct for a woman. To me this means that my opinions are not as important as a man’s.

        My parents are wonderful people and I never saw them even argue with each other. But they also believed that women are not blessed with abilities to lead, and should wait for the man to advise them. My mother was invited to give input in decisions, but my father made them. She would never tell me her personal opinions, she would only tell me the opinions of my father.

        I am struggling to see where I have value. I don’t understand why Jesus would redeem humanity only to see women bossed around and subjected to the choices and decisions of other humans. Why are women given the gift of the Holy Spirit if our voices don’t really carry any weight, unless another human decides that it carries weight. Why doesn’t God decide that my hurt matters? I am really struggling with seeing value if God gave me talent but doesn’t give any power to women and we are left vulnerable to the decisions of men.

        I’m sorry this is so lengthy and also sorry if I misread your post. This wasn’t my intent.

        1. Andrea,

          Women are permitted to pray in public and to prophesy in public in the church. We are also able to teach other women and children, and to sing praises to God, to minister to those in need, to share the Gospel, to disciple other women and children… there are TONS of ways we participate in the Body of Christ to bless the whole Body. 🙂

          Your hurt DOES matter. And you DO ABSOLUTELY have value. You have so much value that Jesus was willing to die for you so you could be with Him.

          I did give you a lot to read. Take your time.

          I hope you might also check out:

          My Identity and Security Are in Christ Alone
          What Does God Say about Me?

          I believe there is every reason for hope and that you can find healing for your soul, my sweet sister!

          Sending you a huge hug!

    2. Andrea,

      First of all, let me share that my background was very different from yours. So we are looking at things through very different filters and life experiences. I was raised in a family where my mom was very respectful of my dad, but my dad ultimately made decisions if they disagreed. But I had a lot of input even as a child in the things we would do. I was also the dominant twin. I made all As in school and got a full scholarship to pharmacy school. My husband was more quiet and steady. I was the more Type A, go-getter, independent, overly responsible one. I took over when we got married and tried to make all of the decisions. I was controlling. I was disrespectful, not purposely, but that is what I was – I can see that now. My husband NEVER confronted me. Never addressed my disrespect, pride, control, or lack of biblical submission.

      Let’s address the idea about a husband not having to respect his wife. What does the Bible say about that?

      Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. 1 Peter 3:7

      If a husband dishonors, disrespects, or mistreats his wife, God does not approve. God hates sin. All sin. He hates sin in women’s lives and He hates sin in men’s lives. He never gives anyone permission or authority to mistreat, oppress, or sin against anyone. Not only does God not approve of a husband disrespecting or mistreating his wife, God won’t hear that man’s prayers until he repents and treats his wife with proper consideration and honor.

      I believe that your picture of God may be really small. A sovereign God can and does change circumstances, people, and events to accomplish His purposes. He can change a husband’s heart toward his wife or toward a calling. God is not a little tiny wimp, thankfully! If God opens opportunities to me, He will also open my husband’s heart to them in His timing. God is the sovereign one, not my husband.

      What legitimate needs are you having to sacrifice? Some women might think that a vacation by themselves for 2 weeks in the Bahamas is a “legitimate need” and others might be referring to that they don’t have food to eat or shelter over their heads. Would you be able to clarify that a bit? 🙂

      When a wife is filled with God’s Spirit and abiding with Christ and overflowing with Him, she is not limited by her husband at all. Her husband can’t take her out of God’s sovereign, loving hands. Her husband can’t stop God’s purposes for her. Yes he has free will, AND God is sovereign. But it is important to understand God is the absolute authority, not the husband. The husband answers to God for his decisions and his sin.

      As submitters, we do have a real voice. We can share our needs with our husbands, but more than that, we have access to the Holy of Hollies in the throne room in the highest heaven and we can appeal to God there. Not sure if you have read RadiantandRedeemed’s comments and prayers on this thread, but I would encourage you to read them. Does that sound like a woman who is limited and who has no voice? She has the ear and the heart of the sovereign King of the universe. All of us who are in Christ do. We are not paupers, my dear sister! Our God can and does do miracles still today!

      If you get a chance, I would encourage you to read Spiritual Authority at the top of my home page.

      The God I know is not about inequality for women. Galatians 3:28 tells us that, and so does Genesis 2- women were made in God’s image just like men were. We have equal value, worth, and dignity. 🙂

      If we are truly being sinned against, we can confront that. If we are truly being abused, we have the option to leave (I Corinthians 7).

      God allows women to pray to Him. He allows us to share our concerns and problems with Him. And He allows women to share their concerns and problems with their husbands, too.

      I hope you might also check out this post “Doormats Don’t Glorify God Either.” And “Biblical Submission Is Not Passivity”

      Also, check out My Beliefs, perhaps the Danvers Statement might be clarifying, as well.

      Let’s keep talking! I have a sick little girl home with me today. But I hope to respond in more detail later to your second comment!

      Much love!

  38. Thank you for the response an for your kindness. I used to be an overachiever too (have 3 degrees) but then my husband found that intimidating. I am permitted to educate myself but he thinks that because I have more education, that this is a form of asserting power but I have never bragged about it. I’ve now quit studying so that I do not threaten him. This is an example of feeling like I have to submit to something that is purely for his ego. I never had a high-paying job, I just happen to like school and like learning. As for “needs”, I have a home and food so it is not so severe. I have never asked to have a vacation so this is not being denied, technically. I have asked that my husband spend time with me. I asked for 2 hours a week and he said no. But he doesn’t do anything except watch TV and play games on the computer so I don’t understand. I asked eventually for one day a month that he would spend with me and he said no to that, too, because then he said he would feel trapped. You can put two and two together in terms of what he thinks of romance. Physically it is very one-sided. He wakes me up when he feels the need and that’s it. I asked for maybe some compliments or romance of some kind and he said that was selfish and vain of me to ask for those things but I’m not sure that it’s vain. I think if we are supposed to embrace sexuality (one of your other posts) I think that is also impossible. Sorry, I am such a downer! Those are some of the things I would call “needs”.

    Thank you for the reading suggestions. I will do that today. Thank you for listening and encouraging. I want to work through my views of God that conflict but I’m finding that very hard.

    1. Andrea,

      When you have time, (my daughter is napping at the moment, thanks for your concern), would you tell me a bit about your relationship with your husband before marriage and about his parents’ marriage, please?

      Are you or your husband dealing with any addictions, mental health issues, or scars from abuse?

      What is your husband’s general personality?

      I believe I may have some suggestions that will be very freeing and healing for you, my dear sister. 🙂

      1. Before we were married (11 years ago), he was very kind. He had a lot of goals and such, but they fell through, one by one, after we were married and I think he blames me for that. But I had nothing to do with them. He used to have a lot of friends and now he just watches TV and refuses to make friends because it’s too much work. He would occasionally do romantic things. Instead of doing lots of small romantic gestures, he would do grand complicated ones. There were some issues but they were all things that he explained away (and have now ballooned). He was opinionated but not controlling. To my knowledge, there is no known mental health or addiction issues. I once asked if he would be willing to be tested for at least depression and he said no, and I didn’t ask again. He told me I overstepped my bounds by asking. I read your article on confrontation but he says women don’t have the right to question their husbands, so that doesn’t work. He says that disagreeing (even if I don’t push for my way) is sinful for a wife. That is why I feel like I can’t have an opinion.

        I don’t know much about his parents. They live across the country and he doesn’t talk about them and we don’t visit. He talks to his dad on the phone and they laugh a lot, but I don’t know about his parents’ relationship.

        His personality? He used to be really fun and happy. Now he has no motivation and it’s been that way for years. That was why I had asked him to be checked for depression. He just got more and more demanding and criticizing and I just felt like I had to accept that. He holds it against me that Christian women are “only helpers” and so my job is second-class. My job is to submit. I feel there must be more to being faithful to God than just “submitting”. The church is no help and neither are counselors. I have long stopped going for help because I am told that it’s wrong of me to go for help because it means that I’m trying to change him. The logic the pastor uses is that I’m pursuing help because I’m unhappy, and nowhere are we promised happiness. Then I am accused of trying to put my happiness above the marriage. I’m not sure what that means but my intentions are to have a relationship and not be oppressed. To me, that is not really a goal of happiness. I have been told so often that it is selfish to try and change the husband, we must change ourselves but I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I already do what he wants. Anyways, I’m long-winded again. Thanks for listening.

        1. Andrea,

          You are not long-winded at all. These are legitimate concerns and questions. I do not find support for your husband’s position in Scripture. And from what you are describing, he may be very depressed. Perhaps even oppressed spiritually himself?

          I am aware of some men holding to the belief that a wife is to:
          – never question her husband
          – never disagree with him
          – never voice her needs, desires, or opinions
          – never show negative emotions

          It is so sad to me that anyone would embrace this. Marriage, in God’s design, is to reflect Christ’s relationship with the church. The husband is to be humble, selfless, loving, giving, and available. The wife is to honor, respect, and cooperate with her husband in love, as well. God always allows the church to pray to Him and to ask Him for things. He doesn’t command wives to agree with their husbands. If we agreed, it wouldn’t be submission. If the commandment is submission, it means, by definition, that we do not agree but we are honoring the position our husbands have. So, it is confusing to me how so many people could believe this oppressive variation of God’s design. But we humans are awesome at twisting things and taking them too far to one sinful extreme or the other.

          Another thing is God gives all of us free will. Even women. He doesn’t ever take that away from anyone. The government has the power to take free will away from criminals and put them in jail. Parents of underage children can override a child’s free will about certain things. But God values free will of individuals. HE doesn’t force us to submit to Him. He never demands that we not ask questions. He never lords His authority over us – and if anyone had the right to do that – He would!

          You can’t change your husband, true. But you don’t have to believe the things he believes. You can find healing from Christ for yourself. Then we can pray together for healing for your husband, as well.

          I have been on this road myself and God has done much transformation in my soul already. There is still lots for me to learn! I have walked beside thousands of women on this journey. I would be honored to walk beside you if you are interested.

          This is not about your husband at all. We will not attempt to change his heart or mind or to change him. This is all about you and Jesus. Just say the word, and we will get started.

          Much love to you! 🙂

          1. It made me cry that you say I don’t have to believe what he believes. I feel so powerless because I’m told not to disagree.

          2. Andrea,

            He can tell you that – but he is not God. His word is not the Bible. God has given you a free will. You are allowed and responsible to make your own decisions. You will experience consequences for wrong decisions just like he will. You are not powerless, my sweet sister. He may some oppressive and distorted views of Scripture. But you are not bound by those.

            Of course, it would not be wise to start screaming at him and being hateful to him.

            My prayer is that you will find spiritual healing for yourself and the freedom that is yours in Christ and that you won’t allow anyone to take away the things Jesus died to provide for you. No one may steal Christ or His truth or His peace and joy from you. Not even a husband who has messed up thinking about God’s commands for marriage.

            I vote for you to do some studying quietly and a lot of wrestling in prayer over what God’s Word actually does mean and what God says and has for you. Experience Christ for yourself. Then He can give you wisdom and He can reach your husband, as well.
            Much love to you!

  39. Also, I’m sorry your girl is sick. I will check back another day – I don’t want to presume that this is more important. Plus there is lots of reading. Thanks again.

  40. I had written a response to your questions and I’m not sure if I accidentally deleted it or what, but it’s not showing. I apologize if this is a repeat, then.

    Thank you for the encouragement and for the reading suggestions. I will do that today. You have given me some new perspective and I need to work on that.

    You had asked what I define as “needs”. First, I have a roof over my head and food to eat, so it’s not that kind! Also, I have not asked for vacations, so technically that hasn’t been denied. It’s a bit of a “side-need” but I used to be an overachiever too. I ended up with multiple degrees but he found that intimidating and he said it was wrong of me to continue (not for financial reasons). I never had a high-paying or powerful job, I just like to learn. I had 2 degrees before we got married and it wasn’t an issue then. Giving up education would be an example of having to give up something that I think is unnecessary, because I feel it is just to protect his ego. I do not display my certificates and diplomas and I don’t even tell people when I achieve something new. I don’t feel like submission in these ways is particularly godly. I am also not allowed to show emotion other than happiness because he says it is stressful for him.

    Other needs would be relational. I asked him to spend time with me twice a week for an hour or two. He said no. Then I asked for once a week and he said no. Then I asked for one a month and he said no to that, too. Since we don’t have kids, we don’t engage any other way than if he chooses to give up his TV for an evening. He says even once a month is too much because he feels trapped and this is demanding. You can guess his views on romance. I asked for compliments and romance a few years ago (several times) and he said it was vain and selfish. He has not complimented me in over 3 years now, other than twice when it was about my body. But I’m not sure that asking for occasional confirmation of my value is really selfish. Or maybe it is. This is again where I get confused because I am told that wanting to have value is worldly. But I don’t think that wanting to feel valued in a relationship is bad. I don’t know. So those are some examples.

    I hope your daughter feels better soon!

    1. Andrea,

      No wonder you think that submission is oppressive. What you are describing does sound oppressive. I’m so glad to introduce you to a new, life-giving way to think about God, yourself, femininity, masculinity, and marriage! 🙂

      1. Thank you. It looks like an interesting program. I’m not sure about how “boundaries” work if my husband doesn’t agree with them? But I’ll have a look at the materials. Thank you.

        1. Ah… that is the most important part about boundaries!!!! No one has to agree with them… Right now we are NOT working on telling our husbands about the boundaries…we haven’t even come up with them yet…. She even says to wait to talk to your husband about the fact that you will be setting boundaries.. Please, pray about taking the course!!! It is free. We have been working on our vision statements. She has you look at a list and see what you need to work on and then you create your statement based on how you think God wants you to be…. Here is mine

          :I AM A WOMAN OF STRENGTH AND DIGNITY WHO OPERATES FROM A PLACE OF GOD-GIVEN STRENGTH, NOT FEAR. I GENTLY TELL THE TRUTH AND ASK FOR WHAT I NEED. I DO NOT JUDGE MYSELF OR OTHERS IF THEY HAVE A POOR REACTION TO THOSE TRUTHS/NEEDS. I ADDRESS PROBLEMS WHEN THEY ARE SMALL AND WORK KINDLY AND GENTLY WITH OTHER TO SOLVE THOSE PROBLEMS. I DO NOT FEEL RESPONSIBLE FOR FIXING HOW OTHERS FEEL OR MAKING THEM HAPPY. I LOOK ON MY WEAKNESSES AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO DISPLAY GOD’S STRENGTH AND GRACE.

          Of course, yours will look different depending on what you need to work on.

          Please consider it…

          1. Honestly, with my voicelessness and receiving only bad from God and my husband for years (because I couldn’t receive good) – I couldn’t focus first on what to do differently (i.e. boundaries, changing how I spoke, etc), in my marriage at all. That is still hard for me! I couldn’t read April’s blog or talk to her about marriage for years. It would make me feel even more scared to try to have a voice and speak if I had to get it just right too and be respectful and only say all the right words and conjure up strength out of nothing. I was already having panic attacks about talking at all!!
            I have to focus on Jesus and me. My identity in Him. I can’t make myself into a strong ( or wise or fun or anything else!) woman by myself. But God said He gave me His voice in exchange for my voicelessness. He exchanged my weakness and all I felt I lacked in value – for His strength and His infinite value. And He made me one with Himself! I never need to think of myself apart from Him again! Because I am not!
            Grace and peace to each of you!!! You are loved!!

          2. radiantandredeemed,

            Yes, for women who are so spiritually broken and oppressed by wrong thinking, talking about how to have healthy boundaries or the mechanics of speaking respectfully is probably not where they need to start. Finding healing in Christ and knowing who we are in Him is the foundation for everything else.

            How I praise God for what He has done for you!

          3. I have to focus on Jesus and me. My identity in Him. I can’t make myself into a strong ( or wise or fun or anything else!) woman by myself. But God said He gave me His voice in exchange for my voicelessness.

            Radiantandredeemed,

            Yesterday, I thought about how Jesus gives me strength, AND how He gives me His voice in exchange for my voicelessness 🙂 Wow !

            Yes, He gives me also His value (a value I had in my eyes before and lost it) through His true word.

            I started to follow Nina’s ecourse, but I have still a difficulty to write my vision statement because I’m afraid it can become self-confirming without Jesus. I still need to think about it. But I like Elisabeth’s statement.

          4. radiantandredeemed,

            If you don’t mind, what is it you mean by saying “receiving only bad from God”? Surely, I must not be understanding you correctly. If I am correct in hearing “God sent you bad things”, can you give some scripture reference that supports that, please?

          5. It was my way of seeing God and life and trials and my husband that was broken. I am the one who abandoned God, believing He abandoned me as things in my life fell apart after coming back from going overseas for God with my family. I had been healed and grown so much with God and believed His promises the 3 years before – and then things all crashed. I based my idea of God on my feelings rather than His promises. I couldn’t see that God would want to do good things for me. My health spiraled, my marriage struggled terribly, 3 of my 4 kids health kept getting worse and nothing could be fixed. The 4 of us developed many health problems – especially multiple chemical sensitivity. I felt absolutely alone, hopeless, full of despair. And even when God and my husband would do loving things for me, speak truth to me, give me gifts and help me – I felt too hopeless or worthless to receive them. I couldn’t see any good in my life even though it was there. I could only see what was missing, trying to get back to the way things had been when I used to hear from God and be close to Him and to my husband. My way of trying to force things to work just made things worse. I pushed away from everyone – feeling like a huge burden, a curse and not worthy of help. I believed I just had to deal with it all on my own.

            Of course -when we wander away from God and look to ourselves or other things to save us from pain- we feel the pain of not being near Him, because it is only in His presence that there is fullness of joy. He disciplines us for our good, and it does hurt – not to wound us – but to wake us up to come back to Him. (Prodigal son story, Luke 15 The son had to hit the bottom before he woke up to how good his life was and his father was to him.)

            God disciplines those He loves (Heb 12:6, Prov 3:12, Rev 3:19)

            He was near the whole time, in love, breaking me of self-dependency, pride, selfishness, addictions, idols and all kinds of nasty things. He let me know we were going into a season of Him ripping out things that didn’t need to be in my heart – and boy did He ever.

            But I couldn’t see that it was His loving hand at work. I thought I must have done something wrong – or that He was mad at me. I felt completely shattered – and it came in the form of broken relationships, a whole lot of health problems and many trials of various types. It is easy for us- if we don’t know what to look for – to think it is a sign that God abandoned us when really He is very much at work for our good.

            Watchman Nee says that is God’s goal – to shatter the hard seed of our soul (outer man – emotions/thoughts/self) that encases our spirit (our inner man) which now is united with His Spirit. It is only when our outer man (soul) is shattered – that His Spirit can break out of the little seed form it was when it was planted in our hearts (the good seed of the Word in the good soil of our hearts that grows and bears good fruit Matt 13:8 )(http://www.ministrybooks.org/books.cfm?cid=2B some of Watchman Nee’s book – an incredible Christian full of God, from the persecuted church in China) Andrew Murray – a wonderful man of God from South Africa 100 years ago describes the same idea if you look up some of His books on the Spirit and Abiding in Christ) Hinds Feet on High Places is a really powerful book (there is a picture book for kids, and a long chapter book version that gives us an allegorical picture of our journey from salvation to this idea of complete surrender and being broken before Christ).

            It is only after His Spirit breaks out of the hard shell of our selves – that He can reach through us to touch others in His power. It is then – after we are broken – that He can use us to give good gifts to others as He sees fit through us. It is then that He receives the glory and not us. It is then that our selves our out of the way – and people see God in and through us, rather than just a good person or a great speaker or a prideful worker for the Lord. So it is worth the cost! But there is a great cost!

            Does this make sense? Thanks for asking for clarification if I am foggy!

          6. Yes I thought if God loved me – He would bring the things I equated with love and Christian success. I thought I would grow and not struggle and not have trials thrown my way. I had gone overseas for Him. I thought He would “bless” that with meaningful ministry and growth and close relationships and health.

          7. Not in a “Prosperity Gospel” kind of way – just in a typical Western view kind of way. I didn’t believe I could “name it and claim it” and He had to give me anything I wanted. But, I didn’t realize that I felt like if I sacrificed and loved and obeyed Him – He kind of owed me to make things go “well” in my life. I think it is a common belief in the US – not spoken – but believed.

          8. This is very powerful. I reckon I’m right in the middle of the breaking of self and glimpsing the freedom I have in Christ. I hope I can see more and more each day.

          9. “And He made me one with Himself! I never need to think of myself apart from Him again! Because I am not!”

            Yes! Amen! We are united with Christ – like dye in water, no separation.

            Radiantandredeemed (and anyone else interested!), I think you would love to hear this pastor’s sermons. 🙂 God has used him in my and a couple of my family’s lives. http://stevepettitmessages.com/ (Come and See: The Life That Abides is one I listened to recently – very good)

            Have you ever read The Rest of the Gospel: When the Partial Gospel has Worn You Out by Dan Stone? Just curious. Bet you’d like that, too. :)….or writings by Norman Grubb….

            Loving reading your comments and being encouraged to deeper faith!

  41. Wow! I love this list especially #25. We “set the emotional temperature” – so insightful. We also often tend to be the thermometer, measuring and evaluating the temperature…..Such a great analogy. Thanks for this

  42. Precious Andrea, Isaiah 43 is talking about God’s people. If you are saved, YOU are God’s girl. You belong to Him – and every promise He says in His word for believers applies to you.

    In Isaiah 43:1-3 He says, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; i have called you by name (Andrea), you are Mine.”

    It sounds like – like all of us here – you have received some words that spoke death to you. Words said to come from God. Words said to be truth. Words from people who are supposed to love you and speak truth and life over you.

    In the Name of Jesus, we reject any words or ideas or thoughts that come from anything but the Truth. Jesus is the Word of Life.Only Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Jesus is the Prince of Peace -and You speak life over Andrea today.

    Jesus, we receive Your words and thoughts towards Andrea today. Your ways are not our ways, and Your thoughts are not our thoughts – they are infinitely higher, more lovely, more pure, more just and more caring and beautiful than ours. Infuse Andrea with a download of Your character. Your love. Your ways. Your heart today. Reveal Yourself to her in a living way today, Jesus. Thank you so much for your absolute, infinite love for her and for her husband. Thank you for your plans to bless her and their marriage and him.

    Where the Lord is there is freedom – we speak freedom, peace, truth, joy, healing, life and breath over Andrea, her marriage, her husband and her church today. In the Name of Jesus we cast out any thoughts that do not align with Your ways and Your thoughts. We send those to the Cross to be dealt with by You, and we receive Your truth alone for Andrea’s life today.

    Thank you Jesus for Your work already. Thank You for all You have done, are doing, and will do in Andrea’s heart and life. We praise You! Thank You for her willingness to talk about her questions and receive prayer and encouragement. That is a gift from You and in Your perfect timing. You know her tears. You know how she longs for You. You care deeply about her and You always have. Thank You that You are going to show her that.

  43. Radiantandredeemed, April, thank you so much for your prayers ! When I first read them I was a bit afraid, but now, thanks to God, I’m well 🙂

    I think I had a breakthrough in January of this year. When I understood that I’m not condemned, that I’m not under the low, that Jesus loves me, that He gave His life for me (and “worked” on my pride), I started to become free. But thanks to God who shows me His Truth through the Bible, this blog, John Piper’s web page, and also the book “The Absolute Surrender” of Andrew Murray.

    1 Cor. 1: 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

    There were so many moments where I would go down then up. At one moment of struggle I had to decide whether I will believe or not that Jesus crucified Himself for me and gave His blood for me. I’m not sure exactly the words I said, but I said: I BELIEVE that Jesus gave His life for me on the cross ! He is enough !

    The following days I had to stay again close to Christ and His Truth. His our food.

    I see more light now, which gives me hope. I thank Jesus for that. I give all praise to Him ! Thank you Lord !!

    1. Yay!! Thanks for sharing this with us, Ev!

      Thank You Jesus for bringing light and freedom and love into Ev’s life and heart. Thank You that You are faithful to complete what you have started in Ev’s heart. That YOU hold her close to Yourself. You establish her in Christ. YOU reveal truth and help her understand and open her eyes. Thank you that You are working so mightily in her life. Thank You for what You will be doing today, this week, this month, this year! We praise You and celebrate with her!

    2. Ev,

      How I praise God for what He is doing in you!!! I know He will continue this good work, my precious sister. Thank you for sharing and for describing the resources that were a blessing. I pray that the Light continues to expand and fill up your whole life and that it might chase all the darkness away.

      Much love!

  44. I wanted to mention – each of our journeys looks different. Sometimes as you are being set free or delivered from something – it will feel sudden or you can actually feel a weight lift off or have a vision or fall over – being so overwhelmed by the Spirit. Sometimes we won’t feel anything. But it is still being done! And the same with the filling of the Spirit: some people feel it like a warm blanket of love or tingling or a racing heart or a buzz – others don’t.

    If you know you are saved, are moving towards things of God, are hungering for Him, are wanting more of Him and less of you. If you are reminded of verses during your day, or after you pray or ask God a question, If you are being convicted of specific sins and able to move away from them and towards God, if you are able to praise God or thank Him more throughout your day. If you are less anxious and more at peace. If you are able to see others with more compassionate eyes because of your own struggles – and desire to pray for them. These are all different signs that the Spirit IS at work in your heart.

    Don’t feel like the Spirit isn’t at work, or God isn’t answering your prayers – based on not feeling things yet. Don’t let satan get in there and discourage you. Our journeys take time. There are often many, many layers that God will work through. Sometimes He blows away 20 in one evening. Other times He slowly peels back one layer at a time to gently deal with us about things we have been stuck in. He knows what is best for you. He is able to get messages to you that you need today. Rest in Him. Don’t feel like you have to somehow strive and make Him fill you or heal you. And there will be setbacks and attacks sometimes. That is ok. God is with you and greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. What He started in you, He is faithful to complete it! This is why we need each other and Jesus’ intercession and the Spirit and the Word. We need equipping. He knows how to equip us even if we don’t! So we can give that impossible burden to Him too.
    Blessings to each of you!

  45. How did I forget the passage at the end of 1 Corinthians 6 about how our bodies are the temple of God? That is another reason why we are to treat ourselves with honor and respect in a healthy, godly way – God’s Spirit dwells in us! We want to take good care of His temple. 🙂

  46. April. I have not posted much lately, but have been reading the comments and new posts. I wanted to give an update, but also seek perspective. It seems my husband is getting worse. Just the other day, he blew up about how one of my kids’friends was eating his food. He swore at my son and embarrassed him and me in front of this friend. Later, after the friend was taken home, my husband explained to the kids that if they were going to act up and do things that irritated him or he disliked, “don’t be suprised when I remove myself from all of it and go in my room.”

    I prayed on this, woke up at 2 am the next morning flooded with conversations in my head. I knew I had to talk to my husband about how he came off. Here are some of the thoughts in my head about it all:

    1) because other people have habits, quirks or styles that are not what we do, does not mean they have no good upbringing…they just do things different.

    2) by threatening to “remove yourself” from us when things don’t go your way is very unloving and hurtful. It feels like if we do not act, think, say, or feel just like you, that we will not be accepted and we will be punished by the removal of your attention, affection and love.

    3) our kids are not going to be perfect and I do not want them to think they have to be in order for dad to stay or love them. I did this for 28 years trying to be perfect for others and especially for someone who could never be satisfied and it nearly broke me. It also turned me into the exact same type of person and I hated myself for it.

    4) I am very concerned about the effects his bad attitude will have on the kids. I was raised with a step father who had “tantrums” if he did not get his way and would hole up in the den for days until we all begged him to come out and we said we were sorry over and over. I hated it. I don’t want to just be fearful of this behavior because of my own past, but I DO think that it can be very damaging right now…it tends to create people pleasers who are destined to fail and lose their self esteem because they can never succeed at being perfect enough to be accepted by the person they are looking for acceptance from.

    5) my son now knows that dad does not like this friend (and he really is a good, sweet, funny and respectful kid). So my son will have to choose to either not have this friend around so that dad isn’t irtitated, or have him over and risk losing dad’s acceptance and love. And I know my son will chose to not have the friend because “family is more important” but my husband stays at work 16 hours a day and when he is home, he holes up in his bedroom. My husband yells at my son because he is fidgety and noisy. He’s 12. He’s a boy. He has all kinds of energy and is craving his father’s attention. So will my son feel like a failure…can’t have friends over cause it makes dad mad and dad won’t even play with me because of I am not parent enough for him. This totally brake my heart because I lived this with my husband for so long. But as an adult and recently, with God’s help, I was able to shake off this wrong thinking and start putting up boundaries and stop trying to be responsible for my husband’s actions, attitudes and reactions. But I don’t know if kids can overcome that..especially at the ages of 12 and 14. This scares me.

    6) it feels like my husband is trying to put the responsibility for his happiness on others (us) and in that way, when he is not happy, it can be blamed on us rather than himself. I refuse to live this way and my “mama bear” is creeping out to protect my children from this unfair burden. I told him so. He got mad.

    7) if he decides to “remove himself” because we are living our lives, then I’m okay with him if he just keeps on walking out the door and doesn’t come back. I know it will hurt the kids. But maybe he needs to see that there is a consequence and I am not accepting this kind of tantrum, my way or the high way attitude. Not talking divorce, but if he chooses that, too, fine. I’ll help him pack.

    8) how do I say all this in a loving and respectful way. How would Jesus handle my husband if He were me? What can I remove from my eye first before I address this?

    So. I calmly told him I wanted to discuss a concern I have. I told him that his talk with the kids could be interpreted as putting the responsibility to keep him happy on us and that’s not fair. It forces people into a losing situation because we will be trying to “perfect” everything so we don’t wake up the dragon and make dad go away. I did not scream. I did not cut him down. I was respectful about sharing my concern.

    He got mad and defensive and told me that there are certain values that he wants our family to have and I am too soft and will accept anything and if his daughter brought home someone out of her race that she better be prepared to lose her father over it, because he does not need to be around that. He’s okay with not having a daughter if she did that. I was also accused of being “perfect” in a mocking way. I told him I understood that he wants certain things for our family and he is welcome to talk about it. He then said “what if the kids didn’t want to be Christians?” I explained that it is their choice as a grown up. I would prefer that they were, but I can’t control that. I knew at this point that he was not hearing my concern and that he was looking to argue. So I simply said I just wanted to point out my concern. I would hope someone would point it out if I came across in a bad way and I thanked him for giving me some time this morning.

    Then he mocked me and said, “Oh, yeah. Thank you for your time,” in a 5 year old sneering sarcastic way. Childish.

    Basically, I have noticed his irritation with me growing as I refuse to engage in fights and arguments. I am not fighting eye for an eye anymore. With God’s help, I am able to stay and peace. My courage is growing. I tried to talk to my husband about a concern I have, but I am still in enemy to him. He “removed” himself from me a long time ago. I complained about it in the wrong way for a long time. I get how we both hurt each other. But why would that wrath and cruelness be directed now to the kids? I can’t stand for it!!! I am angry and want to protect the kids.

    My husband acts like he is mad and irritated at me because I won’t react like I used to. I’m “too good,” he says. I’m not trying to be self-righteous, although he calls me that. I’m far from perfect, yet he accuses me of acting like I am. I am not demanding he change, or go to church. I have given him space. But, I cannot be a doormat either, so I am very careful and I pray a lot before I need to confront him. My fears of making things worse seem to be coming true, but I know my motive is to please God.

    “Love your God with all your heart and soul and mind. But love others as you love yourself”.

    I love my husband and it hurts to see him so angry…at himself, that he cannot love others. He cannot love himself. I don’t know how to help him. Do I really need to ask him to leave the home? How is that being loving, kind, respectful or patient? There is no drugs, alcohol or infidelity as I know of. It’s just wrong thinking. I did all this in the past and I feel trapped because I really do understand why he feels the way he does. I know he is hurt, angry, bitter etc. But he refuses to get help. He won’t read, learn or seek to better himself. He throws it in my face that I saw a counselor 3x or read self help books. I am working on me. I am growing, improving and seeking God’s love. I know there is a huge spiritual battle going inside him, but what do I do now?

    Sorry so long. I have really been struggling with my husband’s decline. I feel full of joy for life, so full of peace and calm, but I’m sleeping next to a raging storm. Prayers needed from my friends. Thank you in advance!

    1. LMSdaily115,

      Goodness, when I first read your husband was getting worse, I was expecting something truly awful.

      This is a pretty normal kind of issue. Not a DEFCON 1 (nuclear war is imminent) situation, from what you are describing to me.

      It sounds like you handled it well. His reaction does not mean you mishandled the situation or that you were disrespectful. He is mocking you because he does see the goodness in you and the light in you, I believe, and because he may feel convicted when he looks at his own behavior.

      You can talk with the kids about healthy vs. unhealthy relationships. You can model a healthy relationship. You can pray together for their dad.

      Is this the worst incident? Why do you feel like things are worse? This seems pretty mild compared to some of the things y’all have been through. I think your husband wants to be upset about things and is looking for a fight. He is maybe looking for justification for his behavior.

      How is your time with God going, my dear sister?

      It seems to me, from what you have written, that you are doing a great job. He is responding in the flesh. Yes. But it is not super abusive, from what you are describing.

      What do you believe God is calling you to do at this point?

      Have you read any of Leslie Vernick’s stuff about emotionally abusive relationships and dealing with toxic people?

      I pray that God’s Spirit breaks through to him and wakes him up. I pray you will continue to cling to Christ and continue to shine for Him even though you are experiencing some mild persecution by your husband.

      Much love to you!

      1. Yes. I have endured worse. I am doing spectacular with joy in life. My heart breaks at the possible decisions I may have to make. I am trying to muddle through what God is asking me to do. Many people who care for me say I need to kick him out of the house. It just doesn’t feel loving to do so. I am concerned for how that will affect the kids as well. I keep trying to view things as if he is an “-aholic”. I know thst I need to get stronger about healthy boundaries. I have been reading and working on not letting his lies get inside of me. I am ashamed to say that I would feel so much relief if he just left. He could work on him and we could have a break from his constant criticism and brow beating. I’m still not looking for a divorce, but I’m okay if he walks away. I feel that if he said he was going to file today, I would not stand in his way. I can give him PLENNNTTTYYY of space.

        I think I am frustrated at how much he needs help and won’t seek it…although I know I can’t do anything about it.

        I think I am starting to wane on persistence because he seems like he is regressing, not at all interested in trying to heal our relationship and it is now spilling over to the kids.

        I am waaaay concerned about how this will shape the emotional growth of the kids.

        I am with God daily. All day. I am helping others and I really feel at peace. But the idea of kicking my husband out seems to nag at me and I don’t know if it is from God or the flesh or satan himself. I don’t know how to judge that.

        I seem to settle on staying out of the way and letting him leave if he wants to. I don’t feel like I need to push him. I don’t see him improving, but I know I gave grown in leaps and bounds.

        I think I am struggling with what to do while I wait and recognizing when God wants me to take some action. Not just the flesh talking.

        There are times I want to just let it all fly and volcano blow…but I know that is not right. Jesus never had a tantrum, haha, what a vision. But how much goes to patience, loving responses and respect, and how much goes into confronting sin?

        I get into a mindset of “take it till I make it” and I run into doormat dangerville. I know that is not good either.

        I sigh at the thought that he may be like this forever. If God wills it, oksy, but I cannot see where our loving God would want that for me…or for my husband to stay miserable the rest of his life.

        I get hung up on the fact that he USED to be such a loving, caring man…and now all that is gone…hardly a trace. How does someone so far away from God ever get his compassion back?

        I realize this is totally out of my control and I don’t even want the control back at all. But I don’t want to be “lazy” and not do what God wants me to do if I am supposed to do or say something.

        I feel I am supposed to focus on being a good mom and supporting my kids. Be the taxi, housecleaning etc. “And do all things without complaint”. I am to let my love overflow to others. I feel I need to put my foot down on his childish behavior and declare I won’t stand for it any longer..but I don’t know how to do that in a calm way.

        I guess I could use some advice on how his behavior fits into what is going on. What can I expect? Is this a normal male reaction? What usually follows (I know that it would be a generalization), am I thinking right or should I consider something I am doing wrong? Am I on the right track and still following God even if I have to (gasp) kick my husband out of the house? It seems so wrong. I have sympathy for him, but is it to my detriment? I feel so unsure.

        1. LMSdaily115,

          I am obviously not the one living in the situation. The challenges I faced as I began my journey were a bit different. It was Greg being totally shut down, completely emotionally and verbally unavailable. He was all the time shut up in our bedroom with the TV or working on house projects.

          I do understand that you don’t want your children to see his tantrums. I understand you don’t want to tolerate sin or toxic behavior. The particular situation you are describing doesn’t send up flags to me, “It’s time to kick him out.” Yes, it would be frustrating. No, it is not ideal at all for you, the kids, or your husband. But you handled things well, it sounds like, and with God’s wisdom. He complained, but that is okay. He is far from God. He is not going to be excited for you or give you a high five when you handle things in a godly way. He is ensnared by the enemy and views you as the enemy. His vision is distorted.

          Only God’s Spirit has the wisdom you need about exactly what to do and when and about exactly what to say or if you should kick him out of the house. I pray you will hear God’s voice clearly.

          Ask God to show you any sin in your heart. Only God knows what is coming. Only He can tell you if you are on the right track exactly. Be sure you are listening to God not the people around you. 🙂

          Praying for God’s wisdom, my dear sister!

          1. LMSdaily115,

            I will fully support whatever you believe God is calling you to do. If you believe you need to address that this has been going on for over a year and that you would like peace and a healthy environment for everyone in the family, I can certainly understand that and pray for God’s wisdom and for you to have great sensitivity to whatever He is prompting you to do.

            This post by Leslie Vernick may be helpful, can’t remember if I gave it to you before or not? http://www.leslievernick.com/pdfs/How-to-handle-toxic-and-critical-people.pdf

        2. Hi, Lmsdaily115 –

          I just wanted you to know that I’m so sorry for the ongoing non-ideal situation. :/ I know it must be very, very painful and hard.

          I was wondering if you’d ever had a chance to dive into 1 Peter – especially the passages to those of us with unbelieving husbands (but really, the whole book is perfect for someone who is undergoing suffering and trials and you are!). I think it’s important not to separate out the verses that are addressed specifically to the wives, but to read the surrounding passages (especially the ones previous) so that you can get an idea of how they all fit together. In my opinion, God is drawing some very clear parallels to slaves, then to the sufferings of Christ and His submission to the Father and entrusting His life to the Father and then to wives with unbelieving husbands. All about suffering even when we are walking and living in obedience.

          These passages have given me comfort and courage and I pray that God provides that to you today – whether it’s through these passages or another way He sees fit.

          I pray that God will give you His perfect wisdom and that you will know beyond a shadow of a doubt what it is He is calling you to – and I pray that until you receive that answer, you will be able to set your mind and eyes on Christ and just rest peacefully in His love, trusting in His timing for the next step to take – the next step that Christ will take through you, let’s put it that way!

          I have a friend who is good at reminding me in these trying times when my fears start to seem very real and scary that God is able to….(fill in the blank)…..God is able to….turn your husband’s heart back to you & your children. God is able to…..protect your children from any harm from their dad’s behavior and words at this time….God i able to….cause your husband to see one more aspect of his sinful behavior and to see the damage that he might be causing his family and children and give him grace to overcome that…..God is able to….make it very clear to you how to speak to your husband and when to say something and when not to say something……you WILL hear His voice, He is your good Shepherd and He is leading and guiding you, even now. Even this time of questioning and frustration, He is using for your good and you can trust Him. Isn’t it great that we are allowed to *feel* as His children and He never condemns us for feeling hurt or angry or sad or frustrated. Pour it all out to Him on your knees – I’m always amazed at how He seems to meet me when I finally just get on my knees and pour it all out and how I seem to hear His voice again clearly.

          Anyway, I think of you and your situation often and you are in my prayers today.

          1. Jennifer. Thank you for your prayers and reminders of who our Lord is. He is the great I Am. I have just started to read the bible over this past 6 months. I will turn now to 1 Peter as you suggested. I am trying to stay strong and increase my faith. Sometimes the weight of all of this is so crushing.

            I never realized how easy I had it before. I regret all the time I wasted outside of God. Although I am glad to now have God in my life for the last year, it saddens me to see my husband destroying all he ever wanted in life. I thought he was strong and would help me become a better person, but this was NOT at all how I had pictured it. I had hoped he would bring me up, not swap places with him.

            I ask for prayers thst God can draw my husband to him. Open his eyes to his sin and save him. I pray my prodigal husband realize that his Father loves him and wants to put s robe of honor on him and celebrate his return home. I pray that God remove the bitterness, anger, guilt and doubt from my husband’s soul and chase away the demons that are at war within him. I give thanks that He who is for us is greater than he who is against us and that God is on the throne. Even satan had to ask the permission from God to test Job, I know in my heart that God can chase this darkness from my husband’s soul. I pray for the strength and courage to keep steady on the path of Christ during this trial and all of my life. I ask the Holy Spirit to speak loudly to my aging ears so that I may turn from sin and honor God. I pray that all of us sisters (and brothers) in Christ are like the moon, reflecting the light of God into the night. I am thankful for all God has given and will give as well. He is a loving and just God and no weapon formed against me shall prosper!

            I needed some encouragement from you and I thank you for taking the time to reach out yo me. I look forward to 1 Peter and will pray for you as well. God works through every one of us if we listen and obey Him! Much love and gratitude, respectfully yours…LMS daily 115 (Love My Savior daily starting on 1-2015)

            Amen.

          2. Hey LMS, you really encouraged me just now. I hadn’t connected that Satan had to ask God’s permission to test Job! Wow, that’s such a good display of God’s power.

          3. HH, I’m glad to hear that that statement touched you. About 1/2 way through last year, I felt pulled to read about Job. Having “The patience of Job” was a cliche my grandma would say about raising kids and a quality she admired in others, so u wanted to know what made Job so patient? Satan challenged God and said Job was a good follower because he never had any challenges. No hardships or trials, so satan was betting that if Job were to be tested, he would turn from God. Well, God accepted the challenge, but stipulated that Job was not to be destroyed…meaning satan could not end his life. But Job lost all his family, his livestock, his business and then even his health. Job was angry about it. Didn’t understand why this happened to him, but he still never lost his faith in the power of God to deliver him from all of it. He stayed faithful to God and still knew He was on the throne. He let God know how he felt, though. He wasn’t afraid to question things and work through it in his mind. His friends tried to comfort him, but blamed his suffering on sins he must have committed. But Job knew he served a loving and forgiving God. In the end, God’s faith in Job proved to satan that Job would be faithful even during tough times. God rewarded Job for his troubles with double what he had before.

            In the same way, it seems these trials and hard times are our own challenges to prove our faith. To put satan in his place and call the bluff. God has much more faith in us than we have of ourselves. If He beleives in us like that, he is the greatest cheerleader to each of our lives, don’t we owe it to God to at least try? Just be seeking Him, we are blessed. Just by trying to live in God’s way, we are then blessed and it feeds into more and more desire to seek Him more.

            For a little lost soul, it impacted me alot too and gave me the strength to get out of the ashes and carry on with my race.

            Thank you for your comment and for your time. I hope we can all help inspire each other. Respectfully yours….LMS

          4. LMS (like the “new”name!) –

            You are such an encouragement to me and others. God is using and has big purposes for this trial you are in. This is not the end of the story. There are so many things He is doing, He is so multi-faceted….we will be blown away one day when we look back and see all He was doing in our trials.

            You asking for prayer for your husband was like saying “Amen” to the thoughts I’ve been having the last few days about coming together in prayer for our husbands (for some here, their wives) who are in the far country living their prodigal lives.

            Father, You are so good to us, the perfect Husband/spouse to us. You never leave us, You never forsake us. Nothing can separate us from Your perfect love that you proved to us by sending Your Son to die our death, to take on all of our sin and to give us new resurrection life in Him. You have adopted us and we can call you Father! You have seated us in heavenly places. You accomplish all things according to Your counsel and will. Father, help us to be still and know that you are God. To know that means to know that You are in control, You are on Your throne and yes, nothing comes to us apart from Your permission. You have good plans for us – plans to prosper us and not to harm us, regardless of what the enemy whispers in our ear during our times of suffering. Thank you that you are such a good God and we can have confidence in that. Help us to rely on, remain in and rest in the love that You have for us.

            Father, You have said we can come boldly and with confidence and freedom before Your throne because of what Christ has accomplished for us. So, we do that now. We come before You with hearts that are full of gratitude for Who You are for us and what You’ve done for us, but we also come with heaviness and sadness in our hearts for the situations that we’re in. Thank you that You ask us to cast all our care on You because You care for us. We do that now. We unload all of our feelings and hurts and disappointments because You can handle it — and not only can You handle it, but You desire us to have this kind of relationship with You. We can be weak in front of You and as we submit to Your will and ways, Your strength will be made manifest in us. Thank you that it is in quietness and trust that we are strong, not in any attitude or behavior we can conjure up in ourselves. You are our Strength – now and always.

            We come together as Your children – sisters and brothers in Christ – and we lift up our spouses that are in the darkness. Remind us that it is only by Your grace that we are not in their place – it is only Your mercy and grace that we are on this side of the equation and not by any good in ourselves. Father, our spouses have literally been blinded by the enemy. Remind us of the war we are in and that our spouses are not our enemies – we do not war against flesh and blood but against the rulers, authorities, powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Thank you that You live in us and Your life is now ours. We can repay evil with blessing rather than with more evil. Thank you that what You did on the cross for us was an example of how grace and mercy overcomes sin, evil and darkness. As we allow Your life to flow through us in this way, Your kingdom is coming into dark places – even into the lives of those we love so much. Father, come with power into our spouses’ lives. Take away the noise of the enemy and help them to see clearly their need for You. Bring them to an end to themselves so that they can see their need for You. Take away any self-righteousness they may have so that they will see Your beauty and be captivated by Your love.

            Give us wisdom, Lord, for times and places in our marriage that are confusing and hurtful. Even as we bless our spouses in repayment for evil they might bring us, give us wisdom that comes from above regarding words that might need to be said in love or any other action You want us to take. Help us to relax in knowing that You can lead us in the best way and we don’t have to be stressed or worried about our every move as we rest in Your love, trusting in You moment by moment.

            I pray specifically for LMS and her husband. I pray for LMS to be able to be vulnerable, honest and real with what she is feeling when the timing is right and when You call her to do that. I pray that her husband will be able to hear her in a way he hasn’t before and that he will long for reconciliation with his wife and start to examine his ways that are holding that back. I pray that you will give her husband a new love for his wife and that he would begin to pursue her. I pray that You would help us all to rest in the timing of when You do things and to trust Your good plans and purposes during the waiting time.

            Thank you, Father, that You have heard these prayers. We look forward, in faith, and with anticipation to see how You will move in the days to come and how You will bring glory to Yourself.

          5. Jennifer,

            I pray these things with you! AMEN!!!!!!!

            I would love to share a bit of this prayer on my FB page if that would be okay, my dear sister. 🙂 (the general part, not the part for LMS)

          6. April, I think I may have already replied and said yes, but I don’t see it so I’m not sure if I finished the reply or not! 🙂 Anyway, yes, you may share and you may delete this comment if there’s already one out there in cyber-space that will eventually get posted. Love you, sister!

          7. Thank you so much, Jennifer. 🙂 I found the other one. Sometimes regular reader’s comments go to spam for some weird reason. I fish them out every day.

            Much love!

          8. I read 1 Peter last week. Thank you for that suggestion. It was very helpful to see a whole chapter just on suffering. I think I understand most of this and am in agreement. My pain is more FOR my husband right niw. Not FROM him. I want to help him, and I cant, really. Sure, I pray, I am kind and respectful. I also remember God is not so interested in changing other people as He is in changing ME. My prayers and control are best served when I try to better myself.

            My husband said yesterday that it felt like I didn’t care about him or anything when things were really bad..not sure if he still thinks I ferl that way after being on my respect journey; but the reality is I think I was caring waaaay too much. Trying so hard to show my love by doing things and helping and talking to him (or more likely complaining and harping). I just couldn’t understand how I was driving him away…and he thought I didn’t care?!? I just wasn’t caring about things in a way he could understand and about the things he expected from me. Disconnect. Not lined up.

            We are still not lined up, but I’m trying to be a less-moving-target now. Only God is keeping me centered.

            I am brimming with joy about life even in spite of these troubles. It gives me strength. I just pray my husband can open that first door somehow and experience all the joy life and Hod can offer as well. I would like to see him be happy again. To be excited about life and get his creativity moving again. I know I will be okay and survive and thrive…even if all goes south. I have God. The rest will come as long as I trust in Him. It hurts so much to see loved ones struggling and feel useless at trying to help them. Especially when you watch them self destruct. My husband must have felt this. God feels this daily, over and over with his unbelievers and lost children. How utterly sad. Who does God go to to be cheered up? Who loves Him unconditionally? Quite a thought. God I’d God, though. He is perfect. He probably doesn’t have those struggles as he is not from this earth. Ok. Lots to think and pray on. Again, thank you for your guidance. Much love and respect.

  47. Respecting yourself is a BIG deal! It’s true that if you don’t respect yourself, then no one else will respect you. Saying “no” has always been a tough one for me. Over the past few years I have gotten much better at it though. If you say yes to everyone that you end up giving the best of yourself to everyone else and your family only gets whats left.

    1. Jennifer Thomas,

      You know what helped me regarding saying “no” to people? It helped me to realize that I had to say “no” to someone. If I said “yes” to someone at work to work extra, I was saying “no” to more time with my family. It is important that we know what our priorities are and that we align our commitments to match our priorities.

      Love this!

  48. Hi April,
    Thanks for your blog and this article. I have a question about the last one, #25, taking good care of yourself so you can take care of others. I need sufficient sleep (7-8hrs) or else I am grumpy and negative and it affects my kids. But I struggle with the fact that it seems the Bible frowns on getting sufficient sleep. The Bible is replete with examples of glorifying people who sacrifice sleep for God. For example, after bringing them out of Egypt God asked the Israelites to follow him for 3 days and nights before allowing them to camp and rest. The Proverbs 31 woman burned the candle at both ends. Proverbs talks about the slug turning in his bed, about folding the hands to rest. God told Joseph to wake up in the middle of the night to go to Egypt. Jesus stayed up all night long on many occasions. Paul preached until midnight (until the lad fell out of the window) and he awoke early to go on a journey. Samuel cried out to God all night long and arose early ne next morning. Many verses in the bible start with “…and he arose early the next morning…”. I don’t want to make sleep an idol, but I physically cannot get by for long periods of time on insufficient sleep. I don’t understand why God created some of us to need a certain amount of sleep yet I can’t find anywhere in the Bible where getting enough sleep is supported and condoned. Sometimes when I am too tired to pray and instead choose to sleep, I feel like I am making it an idol because I am putting it ahead of God. Can you help me with this quandry? Thanks,

  49. I have been reading Andrew Murray’s book, “Humility,” the last few days. WOW! I think all believers in Christ need to read this book.

    Here is a quote I came across today:

    “I fear that there are not a few who, by strong expressions of self-condemnation… have sought to humble themselves, and have to confess with sorrow that a humble spirit, a “heart of humility,”… is still as far off as ever. Being occupied with self, even amid the deepest self-abhorrence, can never free us from self. It is the revelation of God, not only by the law condemning sin but by His grace delivering from it, that will make us humble…. It is the singer dwelling in the full light of God’s holy, redeeming love, in the experience of that full indwelling of divine love, which comes through Christ and the Holy Spirit, who cannot but be humble. Not to be occupied with your sin, but to be occupied with God, brings deliverance from self.”

    And here is another quote:

    Every Christian virtually passes through these two stages in his pursuit of humility.
    In the first he fears and flees and seeks deliverance from all that can humble him. He has not yet learnt to seek humility at any cost. He has accepted the command to be humble, and seeks to obey it, though only to find how utterly he fails. He prays for humility, at times very earnestly; but in his secret heart he prays more, if not in word, then in wish, to be kept from the very things that will make him humble. He is not yet so in love with humility as the beauty of the Lamb of God, and the joy of heaven, that he would sell all to procure it. In his pursuit of it, and his prayer for it, there is still somewhat of a sense of burden and of bondage; to humble himself has not yet become the spontaneous expression of a life and a nature that is essentially humble. It has not yet become his joy an only pleasure. He cannot yet say, “Most gladly do I glory in weakness, I take pleasure in whatever humbles me.”
    But can we hope to reach the stage in which this will be the case? Undoubtedly. And what will it be that brings us there? That which brought Paul there – a new revelation of the Lord Jesus. Nothing but the presence of God can reveal and expel self… The presence of Jesus will banish every desire to seek anything in ourselves, and will make us delight in every humiliation that prepares us for His fuller manifestation. Our humiliations lead us, in the experience of the presence and power of Jesus, to choose humility as our highest blessing.

    Here is a link to a free download:
    https://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/ted_hildebrandt/spiritualformation/texts/murray_humility/murray_humility.pdf

  50. I found another wonderful book by Andrew Murray. His books Absolute Surrender and Humility were so powerful and life-changing! This is a free recording online of his book The School of Obedience:

    The School of Obedience by Andrew Murray – a free recording of this book online

    Andrew Murray describes the necessity and benefits of absolute obedience to God. He goes on to explain the way to achieve this level of obedience, which is required of all believers, and attainable through God’s provision.
    (Summary by Joy Chan)

    https://librivox.org/the-school-of-obedience-by-andrew-murray/

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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