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How Satan Would Love to Destroy Your Marriage Through Your Thought Life

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If you want to see Satan’s plans for you as a wife and mom and some of the tactics he uses to try to destroy your marriage and family, please read this post!
We MUST take every thought captive for Christ. Spiritual battle takes place in our thoughts and self-talk! The following post was written by Kelsey Shade
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Moms, Satan’s looking for ways to destroy you—and this pretty much outlines his plan, right here. Written in C.S. Lewis’ “Screwtape Letters” style, it’s absolutely chilling!

My Dear Wormwood,
I was thrilled to hear you have been making progress with the mother. You have a good lead, from what I hear. She’s feels over-worked, unappreciated, and discouraged? I’m so glad to hear it. If you tread carefully, this can be a great opportunity. With the kids waking her up every hour last night, we already have an advantage. A tired Mom makes for a more emotional Mom, and an emotional Mom is a vulnerable one.

I do have a few tips. First, aim your best efforts at her marriage.

As you know, we cannot do much with a unified marriage. Luckily for us, a cranky and exhausted wife can do wonders to change that. We must convince her that her husband is no longer the friend and ally she first married. Instead, we must reveal every sin and selfish habit, especially drawing attention to his thoughtless actions (mal-intended or not) against her.
Sometimes it’s the less obvious things, things the husband doesn’t even realize, that we can use to offend her the most. When he comes home from work and dumps his things on the counter nearest the door (instead of hanging his coat or putting away his keys), let her think of it as a direct assault on her work as a homekeeper. When he treks mud in with his shoes, let her think it is because he does not love her. Such extremes of thought may seem ridiculous to you or I, but to the exhausted mortal woman, it can seem possible. Your goal is to make her think the husband does not notice, or even better, that he does not care about her efforts at home.
Secondly, do what you can to keep her focused on her troubles and pains. Remind her how much her back aches, how draining the children were all day, and how many undone tasks still beckon her. Do not let her wonder what difficulties her husband faced that day or whether his back might also be aching. Valuing others above oneself is one of those silly, though strangely effective, tactics of the Enemy. If she stops to make him a cup of coffee, the next thing you know she’ll be rubbing his shoulders and flirting with him on the couch. It can progress out of your control if you’re not careful.
Along those lines, be sure the Mother starts to value productivity above everything else. Have her wake up early and work non-stop until bedtime. If the husband relaxes in the evening with an hour of computer gaming, be sure the wife notices the pile of unfolded laundry or unswept floors. Do not let her grab a book and relax alongside her husband. Diligence, often one of the Enemy’s virtues, when overdone can be used to our advantage as well. Convince her that as long as there is a shred of work to be done (and there always is), no one should be resting.

Then, as she folds and sweeps and he sits, you can introduce the sweet bitterness of resentment.

A word of caution here. Remember, the love of a husband can be dangerous to our cause. If he senses her unhappiness, he may begin to help or (even worse) show her affection. This is where previously planted seeds of resentment can be guided into full bloom. Make her think that his displays of affection are because he “only wants one thing”. Do not let her view his help with the dishes (or kisses or cuddling) as having pure motives. If he shows his desire for her, convince her that she is being used, not loved. As we both know, the ultimate Act of Marriage can bond them together in a way that can undo much hard work on our part. Because of this, do not allow her to prioritize that Act on her mental to-do-list. It is in our best interest to keep the wife busy, busy, busy and be sure she’s far too exhausted to consider it by the end of the evening…

If there is any last piece of advice I have for you, Wormwood, it is to keep the Mother looking to her husband or family for her fulfillment and comfort.

We know that the Enemy is always watching and willing to take the burdens of his children, but if we divert the Mother’s attention well enough, this fact can be forgotten. Make her look to her husband for worth and affirmation. Then, when he lets her down (as he is sure to do), she will be ours to torment. Yes, the worst thing that could happen would be for her to turn to Him with her needs and inadequacies. Once she realizes that the Enemy offers a peace that transcends her situation, our work could be utterly compromised.

Your Malevolent Uncle,

Screwtape

by Kelsey Shade

For the entire post, please click here.

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On my Peaceful Wife Blog Facebook page this past week – over 15,000 people saw that post. That is a record by a long shot. After 4 years of blogging, I know ahead of time that certain topics are going to create challenges for me in my personal life. Any time I post about spiritual warfare issues, I have to be ready for anything. The enemy does not like his tactics to be exposed.

This past week, I have had food poisoning along with 3 other health issues being majorly exacerbated. But Tuesday, the day I posted the above post to Facebook, things got interesting:

  • I went to the Franklin Graham prayer rally fine and came home. But when I tried to leave to go pick up my children from school, my power steering fluid was in a big puddle all over the driveway and I couldn’t drive my car. Thankfully. Greg’s parents were able to get our children from school. And they even loaned me a car so I could drive the next two days while my car was in the shop. We were concerned that it might be the rack and pinion which would cost $750 to fix.
  • We had www.peacefulsinglegirl.com, www.peacefulhusband.com, and our new site that is almost finished for peacefulwife.com crash for two days starting on Tuesday. We thought we had lost all of our files. That would have been a bummer.
  • I picked up my car Thursday and had it back in my possession less than an hour and was on my way to get my son from school when I heard a familiar sound from the back right tire. A thumping sound every time the tire spun around. Last spring, twice in a month, I got a piece of metal in a tire and had a severe flat right away. I stopped to check the tire. It was inflated. I picked up my son, then my daughter. Then I inspected the tire, there was another big hunk of metal in the tread. But the tire was not losing pressure so we went to the tire place right away. They fixed the tire in 15 minutes and didn’t even charge me!
  • Greg went by to pay our mechanic friend for my car, but he said it was just a clamp that had come loose on a hose and he didn’t charge us a thing.
  • Thursday night, the help desk got our files for our sites that had gone down. Everything was still there! WOOHOO! So thankful to God! I think that what we saw happening this week will push us to find a different solution for managing our sites that might be a much better thing in the long run, so I am grateful!

I seriously laughed every time something else came up. These were small things. They could have been much worse. Maybe they are not related to what I am sharing in the ministry this week – but I have found that we tend to have weeks like this when I post about spiritual warfare or about exposing strongholds of Satan in our lives. So I was not surprised. I sang a lot of praise songs to God at the top of my lungs. My favorites this week were “Total Praise,” “Agnus Dei,” and “Worthy Is the Lamb.” My goal is to thank God for the good things and to thank and praise Him in the trials. I want to learn to respond to trials with joy – the big ones and the small ones!

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

I’m so thankful that God is sovereign, even over Satan, and that Satan can’t do anything to me without God’s permission. And then, when he does attack, my Lord will use even the bad things for my ultimate good and His glory. I see Him doing just that even this week.

Much love to each of you!

RELATED:

For those of you who haven’t seen it, if Valentine’s Day tends to be a sore spot for you, please check out this post, Valentine’s Day Expectations.

 

 

137 thoughts on “How Satan Would Love to Destroy Your Marriage Through Your Thought Life

  1. April. Wow, what a week you had! You must have really woke the dragon with this one! I praise God that He is in complete control and will fight your battles for you (and us).

    This subject could not have been better timed. This is pretty much what I am fighting every day. But I seem to get through each one. Some take longer, some have me reaching out for encouragement and advice to just help me keep my thinking on the right track. God offers one lifeline. If we keep holding on and trusting in Him, He will pull us out. But there are so many attacks. What jumped out to me was the predatory nature toward our vulnerabilities. “Hit em while they are down” type of attacks. A marriage is so precious to women, so attacking that part of us is really undermining our foundation..if we are only built on our marriage. But if we build our foundation on God, He cannot be undermined by satan. We stay on strong ground.

    Thank you for this post. By seeing an example of how the enemy thinks and plans, my defenses can be more efficient as well. I will read this post many times over, whenever I feel confused, upset, and dissapointed. I pray your week goes better from here on out and that God keeps his angles close by you. Respectfully yours…LMS.

    1. LMSdaily115,

      I’m glad this was a blessing. A friend in my SS class shared it with me last Sunday and with my small group women’s book study last Sunday night – and I knew I had to share this with as many women as possible. Of course, Satan has different tactics for our husbands. You are seeing some of them every day at your house. It would be interesting to look at some of those, as well, so wives can be more prepared.

      You are most welcome, my precious sister!

  2. Satan has got a hold of my marriage and family. My relationship with my husband continues to get worse and worse.

    He shuts me out, blames, calls me abusive when I very calmly tell him how I feel and ask questions that need answers.

    I am at a loss as to what to do. How do I be a peaceful wife and be true to myself and how I feel?

    I am tired of being nice and kind and not getting anything in return.

    I feel like our marriage is over. We need help, but he refuses counseling. I am in counseling, very active in small groups, pray daily, ask God for clarity and wisdom.

    I am at a loss.

    1. Dear FaithfulGal,
      Keep returning to God for you peace and strength during this time. One of the hardest things during this type of trial is to stand strong in the battle. We cannot do it on our own. I pray that your small group is a resource for you and that they are there to pray with you and support you. That is where the Lord helped me when I was waiting through my trial. It was years before our marriage was healed from my husband’s infidelity, it was THE most hurtful thing I have ever experienced. But God in His grace provided what I needed to persevere. The hardest thing to remember is that your husband is also being attacked. He is also precious to the Lord. Work daily to give him and this situation over to the Lord. He is faithful in all things. I am saying a prayer for you now. May God give you peace, strength, patience, comfort and love.

      CG

      1. Thank you CG..How is your marriage now? And how long did it take for you to trust your husband. This is the most difficult trial I have been though. We really need help. My husband needs help.

        I am blessed to be surrounded by many women who love and pray for me.

        I change my name alot here. I notice that we have the same name.. I may change again. I started out as Betsy but was afraid someone would know me. BETSY is my real name.

    2. “I am tired of being nice and kind and not getting anything in return.”

      I know how you feel.
      I do not say that lightly. I actually know, and understand, how you feel.

      That said… the above quote is where your hitch is.
      You do it b/c God wants you to, and ONLY for that reason, not w/ the expectation of “getting anything in return”, which is…. very, very difficult. Especially if you’ve been at it for a while. :o/

      It is hard, but not impossible.

      It is painful. And you have to push through all kinds of garbage in you, that you probably don’t even know is there, yet.

      You just have to keep working on your own self, your own issues, and leave your husband at the foot of the Cross. Which is easier said than done, I know.

      1. RamonaQ,

        It is impossible to do this in our own strength, but in Christ – these things are possible! Painful, still. Yes. But very possible! WOOHOO! 🙂

        Some posts about this topic, Faithfulgal,

        Why Do I Have to Change First?

        I Really Want Him to Change, Too! by GraceAlone (note – now, about 3 years later, GraceAlone’s husband has begun to change, and God has changed her SO much from when she wrote this post. But God wanted to change her first.)

        Greg didn’t feel safe with me again until 3.5 YEARS into my journey. During that time, he stayed pretty shut down a lot. Sometimes I would get frustrated that he wasn’t changing. God would take me aside and gently say, “Why are you doing this, April? Are you doing it to get what you want from Greg or to simply please me and bless Greg?” He showed me that my two motivations need to be to please God and to bless Greg. When I felt disappointed, He helped me look at my motives. It’s not that it is wrong to desire to feel loved and safe in our marriages. Those are good things. But sometimes our husbands are so wounded that there is a very long healing process. Are we willing to allow God to change us first and pour healing through us? Usually God changes husbands eventually – but, even if He doesn’t, my prayer is that we will do what God calls us to do and that we might be faithful to Him. He will reward us in heaven! 🙂

        1. Ramona. ..letting him go and leaving him at the foot of the cross is beyond hard.

          I am 54. I don’t have a lot of time to keep waiting for him to decide when I get to earn his trust. He seems to be relishing in seeing me in pain.

          I do what I do for God’s glory only. And yes…it is excruciating to be rejected.

          1. Faithfulgal,
            It is hard to leave our greatest dreams and the most important people in our lives at the foot of the cross. It is dying to self. It is taking up our cross and following Christ. It is laying our Isaac on the altar, not knowing if we will receive him back or not – and when.

            What is going on with you and your husband? Would you like to talk a bit more about what is happening? And remind me how long has this been going on? Much love to you!!!!!

          2. Peaceful wife..we still live in the same house, sleep in the same bed. He was the husband that has threatened divorce since July 2014. The last time he threatened it was October 2015. We have had some very tense moments because I am finally sticking up for myself and being direct with him on feel and how I see things. We are pleasant, there is very minimal displays of affection by him. He actually hugged and briefly kissed me this morning. I have idolized him and made his approval way beyond what God can give me. It seems like my obsession to get his approval heightened when he asked for a divorce.

            I do not see my husband doing much to chage himself. He thinks that he is okay just like he is.

          3. Yep. Got one here too. Pride. Control. Path of least resistance. All traps. The more we can walk the goid walk, the more we can stay out of God’s way and let Him work on your husband. I am venturing to guess you didn’t think anything was wrong with your behavior at one time either. I know I sure thought I was completely right and he was wrong. It took at least 18 years for me to see the log in my eye. We may never know just what it will be that wakes him up to turn his microscope inward.

            Idolatry of our husbands approval is so common now that I understand what it is. It’s so much imprisonment that we put on ourselves. Why did we ever think our men could possibly be everything and all to us… Disney Princess movies? Who knows. But these crazy, unrealistic expectations sure screw it up for the men. Impossible expectations and incredible amount of pressure. It’s no wonder they break, get so discouraged, feel like failures and die inside. I think it is because I feel this pain of his that I struggle to stand up for myself and set good boundaries. I really do have fear about bringing up the hard subjects. I can talk about them if someone else (him) starts the conversation, but to start it myself, seems so darn awkward and unsure. Ugh.

            I know that hammering my opinions and viewpoints at him just shut him down more. So I stopped trying to make him see my point or hear me. I gave him the stage…niw he seems to have stage fright. Mute, frozen and not moving forward or back. Any suggestions?

          4. faithfulgal,

            What have interactions been like recently? I’m glad you are sharing your feelings and perspective. That is important. I pray for God’s wisdom for you about exactly when and how to do this in a way that honors Christ and your husband and marriage, but that is also vulnerable and authentic. That balance is so tricky for all of us, but especially in a tense situation like this. I pray for the Spirit to direct you!

    3. Faithfulgal,

      I’m so sorry that things are so painful!!!!! 🙁 That is heartbreaking!

      How is your walk with Christ going?

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

      How bad are things with your husband?

      What is your counseling advising you to do?

      Lord,
      We lift up Faithfulgal and her husband to You in the throne room of the highest heaven. We thank and praise You that You love both of them so dearly and that You sent Jesus to die for them. We don’t know all that is happening, but we know the enemy wants to destroy this marriage. We appeal to You for help, Lord! We are not stronger than Satan and his demons, but Jesus is! We lay this family before You and ask for Your intervention, Your healing, Your victory over the enemy. Give this dear wife Your Spirit’s power, Your wisdom, Your strength and Your perspective. Let her hear Your voice clearly. Let her be faithful and obedient to anything You ask her to do. Let her seek You with all her heart! Help her to resist Satan and fully yield to You. Let her savor the treasures You have for her during this fiery trial.

      In the Name and power of Christ,
      Amen!

      1. How do I know when I have waited long enough? I keep trying to get him to acknowledge me and pay attention to me like he use to..yet I would push him away….isn’t this crazy?

        Did your husband come to you one day and warmed up to you? How did you know that you were in a better place in your marriage?

        My husband won’t talk to me at all about or marriage. He stonewalls, stares at the tv, or blows.

        1. gratefulgal,

          How long you need to wait is something only God’s Spirit can tell you. Here is a post that may help you prayerfully consider that question.

          How is your time with God going?

          What are you doing to try to get him to pay attention to you? Are you trying to control or manipulate him? Are you willing to just be still and wait if necessary – if that is what God desires you to do?

          I had to get to the place where I said to God, “I am willing to wait here until I am 80 years old if I have to. I am not running ahead of you or Greg any more. I am going to wait until You clearly lead me. I am going to trust Greg to you. I am going to accept him as he is, even if he never changes. I am going to become the wife You want me to be even if he continues to ignore me and shut me out. I want to do things Your way from now on.”

          It was a very slow process. It took Greg 3.5 years to feel safe with me again. He gradually warmed up to me. But in the beginning, he was still extremely wounded and shut down. When I would feel disappointed, I took my hurt to God. He reminded me that I am doing this to please Him and that obedience to Him is not time wasted. And I continued to wait and to focus on allowing God to teach me and to change me. I am so thankful for that long period of time when Greg didn’t change now. That is the time God taught me the sufficiency of Christ and to trust Him – not Greg. He used that time to greatly refine my faith and my motives. I am extremely grateful Greg didn’t suddenly change. I would have missed out on so many spiritual treasures and growth in Christ.

          Greg stonewalled and stared at the TV and ignored me a lot in the beginning. That was where we started.

          What is your main goal now with God?

          What is your main goal now with your marriage?

          What are your fears?

          What do you believe you need to be happy?

          Much love to you! I do understand how frustrating this is and that it feels like “a waste of time” – but check out this post about waiting.

          1. “”When I would feel disappointed, I took my hurt to God. He reminded me that I am doing this to please Him and that obedience to Him is not time wasted. And I continued to wait and to focus on allowing God to teach me and to change me. I am so thankful for that long period of time when Greg didn’t change now. That is the time God taught me the sufficiency of Christ and to trust Him – not Greg. He used that time to greatly refine my faith and my motives. I am extremely grateful Greg didn’t suddenly change. I would have missed out on so many spiritual treasures and growth in Christ.””

            I like this 🙂

      2. My counselor is not a Christian. She wants me to be able to stand my ground, be honest about how I feel and of course does not want to see divorce. However, she knows the depth of pain that I feel and will support whatever I decide to do. My walk with Christ is very strong. I am grateful that my marriage is in this condition because it has brought me closer to Jesus and the journey has been awesome.

        I am not sure what God is calling me to do. Some days I hear God say “WAIT !!! and let me work it our for you.” Other days I am just so tired and worn out that I visualize life with out him. When I read your blog and Rejoice Marriage Ministries I feel hopeful and will persevere. When I read other blogs and a support group that I am in through Leslie Vernick ( she is awesome), I see myself in the many posts of broken hearted wives, and I just want to end and start over.

        1. faithfulgal,

          I would love for you to have a strong Christian counselor. But I pray for God to give you and this counselor the wisdom you need. Would you please remind me, is your husband involved in any major addictions or unrepentant sins at the time? Is he a professing believer?

          My prayer is that you might be as close to Christ as possible and that you will hear His voice clearly and that He might empower you to do what He is calling you to do – for His glory. I pray for continued healing for you and for your husband and your marriage, my dear sister!

    4. Faithfulgirl. This is defiantly a tough place to be. I have been and still am in the same place with my husband. Everything will try to knock you off track. The goal is to please God. Not your husband, your kids. Your inlaes, your friends. We can only understand how to do that as we learn to be thankful and grateful for what God has given us today. Even though there are areas in our lifves and marriages that are not good, perfect or at all where we would like them, what IS goid in your life? Friends that support you? Health, beautiful kids, a job, a house to live in, basic needs, the ability to walk in the sunshine….? If we focus on all that we are not getting, we are blinded to what we already have right niw…don’t lose that too. I would pray that God can help you cherish and love what you have right now. Even if it is less than what you used to have or wish you had. Be responsible with little so you can be trusted with more. The parable of the 3 talents is a beautiful example of this. The link is below.

      https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+25%3A14-30&version=ESV

      At sone point, you will realize that what you are doing, even if it is good, helpful and right, may not be being appreciated by those who should appreciate it…but do what’s right anyway. The more blameless you become (not arguing, fighting, complaining, moping, being spiteful or bitter, stomping around or fuming) the more he starts to realize how much of a jerk he is being. But IT IS NOT OUR JOB TO POINT THAT OUT. This part needs to be left to God and the Holy spirit in your husband. Basically, he will start to ferl condemned because he knows he is not treating people well. Especially sone one who is being kind, loving and respectful. However, only God can convict him and bring him to right thinking.

      For example, my husband refuses counsrling, won’t read or talk to anyobe. Refuses to hear even the suggestions of anything he is doing wrong or hurtful to me or the kids. Yet, the other day after he yelled at my son, he was muttering to himself about he just crushed his sons soul effectively for the day. He was mad at himself for reacting and lashing out, but just doesn’t know or understand how to NOT do that when he is irritated or upset. He is living totally in the flesh and has no self control over his feelings and emotions. It’s instant think-spew.

      Many men seem to feel that asking for help shows weakness. They think all the answers are within their own power. This is actually pride and self-reliance…not trusting God. Howevwr, like an obstinate teenager or todfler, sometimes we need to let “life” (really it’s God) teach them the lessons they need, it’s not our job.

      I am looking at my husband like this right now:If he wants to be mean and hurtful to everyone around him, be miserable and bullheaded and grumpy, then that is his right. But it does not mean I have to be that way too. Someone told me a quote “he may not want to ho to Heaven with me, but I am not going to hell with him”. Now, that is rather blunt, but the point is, don’t stoop to his level here. Be better than playing fair. Be kind and nice because you can be proud of yourself for that and God can too. It is by being a good ambassador of God do people see His way.

      My husband is wrestling with himself. Angry at himself and so desperately wants to place the blame anywhere but on himself. If I act angry and spiteful back, I’m no better than him. Instead, I try my best to be patient and loving. If my teen was doing this, I would not stop loving him or her, but I would allow time and space for him or her to learn and grow. I would not stand by and be called names or slapped or spit on…I don’t need to tolerate that, but I can understand that there is a real struggle inside them. Your husband is there too. However, we still have things to struggle with ourselves as well. I see other posts pointing to whom are you trying to please. Are you being nice to win your husband back? To make him feel proud of you? Olto make him ferl guilty for his behavior and ferl vindicated which is really just spite? Can you do the right thing simply to have God be proud of you? He should be first in your heart, not your husband. This is so hard for wives. We all know what he SHOULD do, but we cannot make our husbands do them. What kind of love is love we have to force out of someone? God does not even want that kind of love.

      I pray that you focus on your own path. Of helping others that may be more receptive to the gifts you have to give. Focus on others and your problems will shrink. Wake up everyday talking to God and saying good morning to Him. Thank Him for a good night’s sleep or pray to Him for help to make goid decisions, to give you extra self control if you are PMS-ing, if you have an important meeting-so you can be prepared. At night, thank Him for all the blessings and good things that happened in the day. Reflect on things you did good and maybe ways you could have done things different. Ask for forgiveness for the sins of your day and thank God for His mercy and grace.

      Walk your own walk. Let God handle your husband. If you need to talk to your husband about something…say a prayer before and ask God to help kerp you calm and under control. Ask him to only let you say things that are goid and build up and not things that destroy and cut fown. Pray for help to be respectful and not pick up the tug of war rope if things get heated. Pray for you to speak clearly and for your husband to hear you. But also pray for the same in reverse. Be willing to listen to what he says and how he feels. Even if you don’t agree with it or understand it. Just simply acknowledge how he feels.

      If your husband seems to care less about your feelings, points or what you say, then don’t force it. It’s falling on deaf ears right now. Don’t waste your breath. But try to step higher and model what you would like from him. Take your hurt to your support group, this blog, a counselor, to God. You will grow and find peace. Much love and prayers your way, my sweets.

      1. How do I know when I have waited long enough? I keep trying to get him to acknowledge me and pay attention to me like he use to..yet I would push him away….isn’t this crazy?

        Did your husband come to you one day and warmed up to you? How did you know that you were in a better place in your marriage?

        My husband won’t talk to me at all about or marriage. He stonewalls, stares at the tv, or blows.

        1. It’s a tough call. I can only suggest to pray and really follow where the Holy spirit leads you. I am pretty at peace right now weather my husband walks or stays. I’ll be honest, there are days that I think I want him to go. But I have to keep my goal in mind. To treat my husband with respect, love, kindness and understanding. This is not easy at all, especially when you hit a stone wall everytime. It’s important to learn how to walk away from trying to “get” him to do anything. You have no control with his thoughts, feelings and actions…only yours. It’s like trying to grab at a caged bird. You want to take him out of the cage, but as you grab at him, he pecks, bites and tries to flee, but if you rest and let him step onto your hand in his own timing, a trust will be built and after you don’t flinch, even when he pokes and nips at your resting hand, he starts to feel safer. Eventually he will step onto the hand and let you slowly take him out of the cage. It will take a long time. I am set up in my head for 3-5 years. I am impatient, though and get discouraged.

          Pray to God that with thanks that He is helping you. That your marriage is healing, even if you can’t see it yet. If your husband needs time to get away to process and work though his emotions, then giving space and time is the most loving gift you can give. Stop chasing him. I know it seems utterly unloving and backwards to women, but guys think different. As you give your husband up to God, you can focus on living life, learning how to evaluate yoursrlf and ask God to show you how to get rid of your sins, wrong thinking or other areas of growth. You have enough of your own stuff to dealvwith. Let God and your husband deal with your husbands stuff. It is not your job. Your job is learning to stay on the good path. To focus on making God proud of you first, not only your husband proud of uou. Hope that helps. Prayers are being sent to you my sweet.

          1. LMS – Thank you, I like the idea to pray to God with thanks that he is helping me and thanking him for what is is working out that I cannot see with my human eye. Sending you prayers that tonight you sleep peacefully and that tomorrow your courage and wisdom is strong. You have great wisdom for me and I am very grateful for that.

          2. Faithfulgirl. I’m so there with you. Some days it feels like a new start would be wonderful. But then I realize I DID have a new start…in God. I realize I am still dying to my old self, the part that wants the quick fix, the affirmation of my pain, the wide, easy road. It keeps its tendrils around me, but one by one, i am shaking them off. But 1 year ago, I carefully dedicated myself to the narrow, hard to see path. If I step off now, I will be lost in the woods, having known the joy and peace God has given. I know that the easy path isn’t a choice that will lead me to my ultimate destination.

            Our world tries to vindicate our anger and egg us on. It loves the drama and gossip..like watching a fight on the playground. This world is ruled by the enemy and God is training us for the next one. At least I can feel good knowing that THIS is the real way to make a difference in the world we live in. This is the legacy worth leaving behind for our children.

            I feel like I have arrived to a place where I am more stable…not going to fall apart all the time. So now God says “okay, enjoy this sunrise and all these beautiful things I made for a bit while I work on your husband for a while”. “Be good” (as he has his ‘stay’ hands up at me). Okay, God. I will. And look at all the beauty He has here for me!

            Today, I walked into a room at my nursing home to do a routine contract. I really didn’t want to, but I promised my coworker I would help her cause she was swamped. The patient was awrnry, tired, sick and grumpy. His buddy told him to give me a chance. I took a deep breath and dove in. I listened, I helped answer questions. Half way in, the friend quoted the bible “something about forgiveness and seek to understand” I asked him if they were Christians. The flood gates opened. We talked and quoted favorite verses and started gaining trust and respect with each other. I promised to bring my bible and read to him the next day. They both stated that they feel safe and confident they made the right choice to come to our building because there are people here who know about taking care of others in God’s way. I’m not a nurse. I have no applicable medical skills. But I am a God loving Christian and can help heal souls with God working through me.

            This happens more and more lately..it’s some kind of calling for me…not sure where it is going, but I know I go to work trying to help others, but I end up being helped more….by giving myself in God’s name. It’s a huge rush. It turned my ho-hum day into one filled with joy. I look back and sa that God worked that out just nicely. For the two men and for me. We were supposed to meet and help each other, encourage and show love. Complete strangers, bonded together like fraternity brothers through Christ. What an awesome group to be a part of. It felt magical!

            The cool thing is it is a great distraction to the junky marriage problems and other things I could be hyper focusing on. By helping others, so much garbage and evil fades away. My mind quiets and my joy returns.

            Anyway, I pray for you right along with my own prayers for all us wives to be led by God and stay on the narrow path. Sending much sisterly love out to you.

      2. LMSdaily..thank you. I know we share the same sadness and frustrations in our marriage. I know that my husband has fletcher the same way that I feel now. There were years where I completely shut down and was in turmoil with him. This is where he blames me and in a very hurtful way reminds me that these are my consequences. He is very punishing to me.

        Each day that I get through that I haven’t had a fit is a good day. I am doing better at going to God and staying glued to him and not trying to get my husband to approve or connect with me.

        1. Make sure to keep your progress in front of you. Baby steps are still steps forward…like ants build cities…one grain at a time.

          I think my husband, and maybe yours too, just don’t really know how to forgive. A kids show that was trying to explain why it is important to forgive talks about how we can’t really forgive unless we are trying to understand their side of things (Girl meets world). I saw lots of biblical truth in that. To live in peace as much as it is up to us. Unforgiveness is the poison we drink hoping to hurt the other. It really only hurts themselves. There was a time I begged for my husband’s forgiveness, he wouldn’t give it, still wont. But I realized forgiveness is a gift you can’t demand or take. God gives His forgiveness as a gift to us…only through His grace and mercy. If you have God’s forgiveness for your sins, and have sincerely apologized to your husband, then you already have God’s and it trumps. You may NEVER get forgiveness from your husband. Can you forgive yoursrlf and stand tall knowing you have ways to learn and fo better now? You have God teaching you and the truth to follow from the bible? Your husband may be way to hurt to forgive, or like mine, feels that forgiving is approving the wrongdoing and his pride can’t let him do that.

          I will pray that our husbands hearts soften and they start yo see the other perspective and as we grow in redpectful and honoring God, we can be positive influencers. Much love.

          1. I have Gods forgiveness – as far as the east is from the west.

            Psalm 103:12 “As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.”

            My husband says that he has forgiven me..however his actions do not match. He is stubborn and does not let go of offenses easily. Pride is in the way.

            Even with the strongholds in my home and the spiritual battles I am facing as well as my husband, I am willing to do the right thing, and live to please God. Some days are very hard as you know.

            YES !!! I pray too that our husbands heart soften, that they begin to honor us a wives and honor God. Much love to you as well.

          2. We are sisters linked arm in arm understanding exactly were we both are. It is really quite amazing how similar our stories and timeline are. It makes me realize how many marriages are needlessly suffering in this world. So sad, but also so full of hope. God is up there watching His children’s lives in all of this. Celebrating our victories and crying right with us when we are broken hearted. God’s love is greater than anything we could ever, ever understand. Hallelujah!

  3. Hi April, love this post – the Screwtape style is great. Your blog has really helped me – whenever we rowed my husband was literally telling me that I wasn’t respecting him. He knew what was wrong even if it took me a long time to realise it (doh!). So thanks for all you do. Was praying for you Tues, specifically for protection, as I am sure were many others. Have a great weekend!
    Ps also thanks to the person who posted the link to the nina roesner strength and dignity ecourse (sorry , couldn’t find the post again to see who it was)

    1. Cariad,

      You are most welcome, I thought the style of this post was extremely powerful – and, of course, the message. Thank you for praying for us!

      Elizabeth posted about the ecourse with Nina Roesner. I will be promoting it again in the future. I think it will be a blessing to many wives.

      Much love to you! 🙂

  4. If you’ve never read/listened to The Screwtape Letters, you should. It’s extremely interesting/eye-opening.

    My personal favourite is this one, narrated by Joss Ackland. His voice does it great justice. You can listen to a sample here:

    http://www.audible.com/pd/Classics/The-Screwtape-Letters-Audiobook/B008VGM2UG/ref=a_mycart_vi_c2a_1_3?ie=UTF8&pf_rd_r=0DREXSHMJGJ01THV5D13&pf_rd_m=A2ZO8JX97D5MN9&pf_rd_t=3201&pf_rd_i=1000&pf_rd_p=1586733822&pf_rd_s=center-2a?ie=UTF8&pf_rd_r=0DREXSHMJGJ01THV5D13&pf_rd_m=A2ZO8JX97D5MN9&pf_rd_t=3201&pf_rd_i=1000&pf_rd_p=1586733822&pf_rd_s=center-2a

    Oh dear, that’s a long link! Sorry!

  5. Yes, April!! I’m becoming used to the spiritual attacks that happen when we expose sin in other’s lives by writing about simply how to love and respect our husbands, and the criticism and slander we’ll get for it. It’s mind blowing!

  6. Well, now wait a second, we must be extremely careful about “exposing sin in other peoples lives.” There may well be a time and season for that once in a rare blue moon, but that is the wrong heart and spirit to have in general. In marriage that can be even more destructive, the blame/shame game only serves to wall off and harden hearts.

    Our own walk with Christ, our own marriages, should strive to reflect something positive, should embrace the verse, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”

    Meekness and fear. I have a wonderful marriage, I have been greatly blessed and learned a few tricks along the way, but I am only a receiver of the blessings God has granted me. Others will face challenges far more difficult than I have.

    As to spiritual attacks and the plain old human kind, yes, I have been there many times and I empathize, we just have to very careful about where our heart is in the midst of those battles. It’s very easy to begin to forget the One who grants us victory and to start to believe that we’re doing it ourselves.

    1. insanitybytes22,

      My perspective is that I seek to write about God’s truth with His love for others and that I share what He has shown me and done in my life. Yes, it is critical that we share with humility, gentleness, and respect.

      But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.… 1 Peter 3:14-16

      I depend on God to do any convicting. I realize that is not my job!

      Thanks for the great reminders, insanitybytes22! Love this!

    2. I think I understand what your heart was saying here, insanitybytes22. For me, I think it’s a matter of how we deliver the truth. I can read two different blogs or writings from different authors and one will be delivered with grace, gentleness and humility. But the same truth delivered from an attitude of “Why can’t people figure this out?” or not giving appropriate patience and time as Christ works things out in another person’s life in His own way can do great damage. Let’s not be the ones that hinder others from coming to Christ because of arrogance, lack of mercy or pride in our own walk.

      I think we all need to be very careful in remembering that it is only because of God’s grace and mercy that we’ve been set free and are able to see the Truth. God is Truth, He is the revealer of Truth and we need to remain humble before Him and others as we speak the Truth in love, asking that He will open the eyes of those we speak with….and remembering that it is the enemy that has blinded them.

      1. Thank you for understanding and for your kind words. Speaking the Truth in love is what it is really all about and so much harm can be done in the world when we forget that. Also, I like to always remember, it is God’s grace and mercy that has blessed my marriage, not me, not even my husband. It is our ability to come together with humility, with Christ at the top, that has saved us.

        1. I am rethinking my reply to you insantiybytes22! First of all, I don’t even know if what I replied was related at all to what you were trying to say! 😀 Secondly, I think my main thought was that we don’t want to be coming across in a way that gives someone a reason to want to persecute, criticize or slander us. Sometimes, I think Christians complain about those things happening to them when, in reality, it’s the way they’re coming across that is inviting those things – not necessarily the truth that is being told.

          All that said, though, it is clear that there will still be times when we will be persecuted, slandered and criticized even when speaking the truth in love and humility.

          And, April….please know that these are just my rambling thoughts and not at all an indictment of any of your actions. I’m very grateful for the fruit of gentleness and humility that is in your posts and replies to your readers.

          1. Jennifer,

            I definitely hear what you are saying. We do need to be careful as believers that we are not unintentionally being abrasive, condescending, judgmental, rude, etc… because people will respond very negatively to that and will miss the heart and message of Christ if that is our approach.

            Of course, even if we are truly speaking the truth in love, yes, we will still be persecuted and slandered, at times. That is to be expected. But we want to be sure we are not approaching people in a callous, hateful, or unChristlike way.

            Thanks for the encouragement! 🙂

          2. “Sometimes, I think Christians complain about those things happening to them when, in reality, it’s the way they’re coming across that is inviting those things – not necessarily the truth that is being told.”

            Amen! That’s exactly what I was speaking of. April does a lovely job of showing those fruit of the spirit, love, kindness, gentleness, etc.

            My comment was simply a side issue about some of the harm that has been done by people more motivated by a desire to point out the sins of others. People will reject the entire biblical idea of submission for example, because they have seen such concepts presented in the wrong spirit. That creates an additional stumbling block that need not be there.

  7. Hey April

    This post is very timely. Just a few minutes ago a was asking my husband to help me during weekends because there is too much to do in the house. Even though I did it respectfully, after reading this post I notice it describes exactly how I felt when I asked my husband for help. I felt there was more than enough to do in the house, yet he was relaxing and I am on my toes. Well, he responded positively, possibly because of the manner with which I asked. Thank God for this post. May God continue to use you to minister to us.
    A very big hug from me. And I thank God for seeing you through all the attacks.

    1. Gee,

      You are most welcome. I had no idea that thoughts like this were spiritual warfare for so many years in my marriage. What an important thing for us as believers to be able to see! So thankful this was a a blessing. Much love to you, my dear sister! And thank you so much for the prayers!

  8. I absolutely loved this post. Satan does work well when we lack sleep. Lacking sleep means lacking of serotonin levels and we are primed for attack. Perseverance is key and we are constantly being tested almost every day. That is why God does not want us always to get “our way”. He wants “His way” so that we can get rid of the dead branches and bear more fruit. It also helps us become more empathetic and humble in our walk with Him. If bad things never happened, then we wouldn’t know how much we NEED God and understand that He has His very best in mind whether we like it or not. Amen to this post. It pretty much describes what happens to all of us from time to time.

  9. Hi April,
    Wasn’t sure if I should laugh or cry after reading this post. I’ve got a lot on my plate right now. (Despite being a mother to 8 kids and pregnant again. )

    Last night I had a dream that I was going on a journey with a friend. Not sure where we were headed. Or who I was travelling with, but everywhere we went satan would appear, dressed in white and try and cause problems. And he always had one or two other beings with him. I’d tell him to bug off, but he kept reappearing.
    Then the topic of our sermon today at church was facing trials with a biblical response. All the while at least 4 of my 8 kids mucked up more than usual and my husband wasn’t available to help. And I found myself feeling angry with him. But managed to remain silent. And then I read this post. So timely! A strange string of circumstances. But I felt it all kind of tied together. I’m not sure what’s going on, but I’ve never had a dream like that before. It wasn’t scary. Just bizarre and a bit concerning to me.
    Anywho, thanks for the post. We love the screw tape letters! We listen to it on cd in the car sometimes.
    Blessings,
    Anon M

      1. I am so excited!! I just got your book in the mail. This requires tissues, a pen, lots of chocolate,comfort food, a hot drink and my bible. Jumping up and down here. (Even my 12 year old DD is jumping up and down. Lol.)
        Love your work April.

  10. April, I was wondering today, whilst it is good and right for you to focus on who you are and your responsibilities in marriage did Greg ever have a wake up call as well?

    1. Humbled Husband,

      I talked with Greg about this question today after church. 🙂

      He didn’t have a big “awakening” moment like I did. But he described having a gradual process of being able to hear God’s voice more clearly as I changed and then smaller light bulb moments about how God might desire him to be a better husband in response to the changes he saw in me over a long period of time.

  11. What a week, April! Praise God for revealing His sovereignty and goodness in everything. Thanks for the reminder to keep praising Him.

  12. Wow, this is such a great word, and so timely for so many of us! Its comforting to know I’m not in this alone! I am learning so much about myself and working hard at changing what I say, think and do. I would just like to add that I have read an amazing book on the Power of the Blood. We need to keep claiming the Blood of Jesus over our selves, husbands, marriages and families. Life is in the Blood. There is power in the Blood!! Satan and his cronies can not stay when the Blood is honored and praised, they have to flee! Thank you Jesus!

    1. CurlyLoxy,

      Thank you for your comment! That sounds like an awesome book. Yes, as we praise God and yield fully to God and resist the enemy – he will flee and God will draw near to us. That is what we all need! Jesus’ blood is very powerful – much more powerful than anything we have in our own strength. 🙂

  13. Thanks April (I can’t reply directly to your answer from my phone).

    Did you have days when you were particularly discouraged and seeing no progress? I had a rough one yesterday.

      1. I was told yesterday that I “never help out around the house or with the kids”. I was chairing at church and couldn’t look after the kids whilst leading. I felt like giving up then so much!

        Have the last seven years of service meant absolutely nothing? Has every time I’ve mopped or vacuumed meant nothing? I bath the kids and put them to bed EVERY single night while she watches TV! So discouraged right now!!!!

        I am thinking of this at the moment “For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil” but not feeling it much

        1. Humbled Husband,

          When your wife criticizes you, my dear brother, I would love for you to evaluate the truthfulness of the criticism in the eyes of God and in reality. Please don’t absorb a criticism that is not true. Is it possible that she may be saying this to try to get you to do even more and to feel guilty so that she doesn’t have to take care of the kids while you had responsibilities at church? Is it possible that she could be baiting you?

          From what you have described in the past, sometimes the things she says to you do not match the things she later tells others. There are people who say things they don’t mean to their spouse in order to get what they want. I don’t know her heart. I don’t know your wife at all. But I would hate to see you absorb that kind of criticism as truth when – from everything you have described – it is simply untrue.

          Praying for you today!

          1. I don’t think she is baiting me. I think she becomes overwhelmed with the children and struggles with their behaviour and just loses it and lashes out at me. Thank you for your prayers.

          2. HH,

            Okay. Maybe she doesn’t have the tools yet to be able to love and respect in a healthy way. I know I sure didn’t for so long in our marriage. Maybe there is also a lot of fear?

        2. I used to say comments like that to my husband….and it hurt him, of course.

          Now, there are times that my husband will accuse me of something that I do not feel is true at all. And then there are other things that he’ll say that I do know I need to ask for forgiveness for and verbalize my commitment to keep working on that area. But other things, I know that I am actually doing a really good job in that area. In the past, I really took too much responsibility for some of that. I absorbed all of the negative comments and felt that I was to blame for everything in my marriage. These days, if an incident like that comes up, I stand tall and will most of the time respectfully verbally respond with a refusal to take that on because I know that it is not true. I don’t know why it’s gone down this way in my marriage, but somehow, that standing tall and strong on certain areas, but also being willing to admit that in other areas, I am wrong, has worked. I’ve seen a little more humility and a willingness to apologize more quickly in my husband after my refusal to own things he is accusing me of that are not true.

          I truly believe that sometimes, those attacks are coming because the one doing the accusing actually has a pretty guilty conscience. If they can push some of that back onto you, it helps them feel a little better about where they are emotionally and spiritually. In our marriage we have both operated in this way at times – feeling so bad about ourselves and the way we’re doing life that we’re just trying to drag anyone else into the pit with us so that we can feel a little bit better about ourselves.

          I really believe that God has gently led me over the past few years to see some of the ways I was being manipulated and to now be able to respectfully speak to those things when issues come up. They are hard conversations, but there is a way to have these conversations while still speaking lovingly and respectfully. It doesn’t mean that my husband always wanted to hear what I said, but I knew that once I had said what I needed to say in the right spirit, I could walk away from that conversation (whether we were “fine” and reconciled or not) and trust God with what happened next.

          Sorry for your pain, HumbledHusband. Your Shepherd is guiding you and is walking before you. You have all of Him inside of you – everything that is in Christ is in you and He is doing something good right now in this situation, even though it is hard to see it!

          1. Jennifer,

            I love that you are able to not take responsibility for things that are not your issues and that you do not absorb untrue comments or complaints anymore. That is awesome! And I love that you humbly take responsibly for things where you do need to change. That is beautiful!

            It is important to respectfully confront sin/lies in the right spirit as God prompts us to.

            Thank you so much for sharing with HH and thank you for the reminder about taking responsibility for yourself, then trusting God with what happened next. Love that.

          2. Thanks Jennifer. I suspect that there is partly a guilty conscience at work. It can be hard to see the light through the clouds sometimes.

          3. HH. I was just like your wife, by the sounds of it. I would get stressed and acuse, blame, criticize. My husband was great. But I didn’t see it. I am a recovering perfectionist. I wanted to be the perfect wife and mother. When I “failed”, I would be so frustrated. The person closest to us seems to get the brunt of it. Is it because we feel safe in their life? Feel they know me better than my actions or words…know my heart’s real feelings?

            Is she asking for help but feels like a failure if she does because she wants to show you she can be perfect for you? Does she know how to accept that mistakes hapoen and to expect them? Does she get your approval..even when she is being a “mom-ster”? If she feels accepted, even in her worst times, she will feel more support and understanding. Is she PMSing? One thing that helped me was to focus on the 80% of good stuff and not dwell on bad or imperfect stuff. Is there a way you could help guide her thinking there? I wish I could have helped my husband understand these needs of mine. I pretty much pushed him away and wish I had been taught a better way to be a wife. I am learning, though. Every day is better than it used to be. I will pray for you both.

          4. LMS, thank you for your prayer 🙂 I will pray for you also!

            I’m not sure how similar she is to your character but I will think it through.

          5. Jennifer, could you please give some ways you learned how to stand tall and speak up to your husband, but still be respectful? I am struggling with understanding his pain to the point that I am stymied into not speaking up about the hurtful, difficult things, but I’m beginning to see a monster of a spoiled child having tantrums if he doesn’t get his way now.

            I feel this is an area that God is leading me to develop to better stay in the middle of the pendulum swing. I was too vocal begore, now, hardly vocal, how can I learn that precious middle ground? Much thanks.

          6. LMSdaily115,

            I am wondering – is it possible that this is some intense spiritual warfare, and that the enemy has your husband captive? It seems that the enemy is speaking through him so many times. What are your thoughts on this? How familiar are you with spiritual warfare?

          7. April, I understand the concept…a little. I know that the enemy tries to destroy, kill and steal. I know that there are battles. I am not sure I completely understand it all. I would love direction. I’ll admit, it’s a far out concept for me…but then, God was too, until I was renewed and then I felt I had instant knowledge, incredible, really. But I know I am still very new as a Christian and have much to learn.

            I really don’t know what to do with spiritual warefare. Doesn’t God have control over that as well? Can’t He send the demons into the pigs and run them into the sea? Even satan had to ask God permission to test Job. Why would He allow this? I talk with God all day. I live for Him. I am so alive and full of joy…Then there is my husband:/ I don’t know what else I’m to do or learn while I’m waiting. I want God to know I am willing to be used by Him in whatever way He needs, but I’m afraid of “getting lazy while waiting on God” I seek others to bless, it’s one reason I stay active on this blog too. I am so energized by being able to help people who WANT help.

            I feel like I’m missing something and I pray to God to show me what’s next…what else can I learn, what sin is next to rip out…I actually am now excited to go through this painful stiff because I know how much better I feel after I have learned and died to another abominable part of my old self. Yet, I certainly don’t want to get crazy and ask for unnecessary hardships eotger, but if God wills it, I want what He wants.

          8. LMSdaily115,

            Yes, God does have ultimate control and authority over Satan and demons. They can’t do anything apart from His permission. All unbelievers are held captive by Satan. There are varying degrees of demonic activity. And there is the sinful nature in people, too. It can be difficult to tell sometimes exactly what is happening on our end of things.

            But I believe that your husband is not the real enemy. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood:

            For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12

            For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

            I hope you will check out some of the resources on spiritual warfare – I think they may give you a better idea of how to pray against the real enemy. I pray with you for your husband’s deliverance and for his salvation and spiritual healing, my dear sister!

            I totally understand being thankful for the pruning and dying to self so that you can enjoy the greater closeness to God and the growth that happens. 🙂

          9. LMSdaily115,

            I’m sure Jennifer will have some insights to share… but I just want to affirm that there have been so many times, my sister, when you have listened to God’s Spirit and you have been in the center – sharing what God wanted you to share in a respectful way. I believe that being sensitive to God’s Spirit and filled up with Him is the primary key.

          10. Bear with me, Lmsdaily. I have a feeling this reply will be really long. I’m trying to even know where to begin with all of the thoughts that your request set off in my head. 🙂

            I have always believed that a lot of people don’t deal with issues in relationships mostly because the hard conversations that need to be had are, well…..hard. Probably since I became a Christian, I have noticed and been aware of relationships that stay stuck or worse yet disintegrate into relationships full of bitterness, regret, unforgiveness, walls of pride, etc. I believe most of these have been because both parties (or even just one) have refused to be vulnerable with how they are feeling or refused to speak the truth in love to someone. I’m sure there are many factors that cause people to fear the process – probably the biggest one being rejection.

            For myself and my particular situation, we were in a place where I had been hurt by some ongoing things that my husband was doing. Then one big event kind of magnified it all and really was the catalyst that God used to get me on the “respect” road. I started off thinking that I just needed to learn how to respect my husband, but I learned so many more things in the process – as you know and have gone through yourself. Interestingly, during the time of major conflict that we were in, I tried to confront my husband about the things he was doing that were causing me pain, but it never, ever went well….(that would be an understatement!).

            As God showed me how to respect my husband and as I dealt with working on myself, I went through an internal struggle about whether I should ever say anything to my husband about issues in our marriage or if God was trying to teach me to just be completely quiet and trust Him, waiting on Him to show my husband in His own timing. What would happen was that my husband would respond negatively to me during those times of bringing things to him (even after I was learning respect), so I would decide I was going to be quiet from then on. The problem was that as I shut that part of me down, everything else would shut down, too – my emotions, my vulnerability, everything that made me *me* and that drew my husband to me.

            One of April’s recommendations for reading is some material by Bob Grant and his writings really helped me to understand that emotions aren’t wrong and also that our husbands desperately need to see our emotions and emotional side. It is one of the things that attracts them to us. I think God was also refining me more and more (and still is, of course!) as we would have these hard conversations so that I was learning a better way each time to approach these kinds of subjects with my husband that wouldn’t trigger a huge defensive reaction from him so that he would be able to hear my heart. But, there were times, too, when I really felt like I was doing the best I could at the moment and it would still shut my husband down. And, that was a whole other area of learning where I had to figure out how to react when I wasn’t being heard, when he didn’t seem to care or understand or even want to. I would be so tempted to shut down completely.

            Many times, I have needed days or longer to just be quiet and process. During those times, God gave me grace to be respectful, but respectful does not have to mean that we act like everything is perfectly fine and we are not hurt. (That is not real love, either). It is very possible to be respectful, to bless our husbands in our pain, but to not be living a lie and being fake and acting like everything is completely ok. I don’t believe God is honored by that kind of behavior, and I believe Satan has tried to manipulate and lie to wives on this respect journey that that is what a good wife should do/be.

            You know, even with the spiritual warfare possibility, we know that the darkness hates truth. Satan will do everything he can to suppress the truth – and some of that could mean manipulating you into a place where you believe you cannot speak the truth in love. Or telling you that you can’t tell your husband how much you miss him and need him because he might respond negatively or reject you. Anything that gets on a heart level.

            Being vulnerable and dealing with our issues sometimes means me having to take a stand on certain things in our marriage that my husband was not wanting to see. We are still living out that process, but in the last couple of months, I have seen a humility in my husband – not as determined to defend himself at all costs or to push the blame back on me, but willing to hear what I’m saying and to understand my pain and hurt and even to take a little ownership. This is not a result of him feeling pushed into a corner and just giving up for the sake of peace because my husband would never go for that – he’s not that kind of guy. 🙂 It is a result of me following the Spirit and being willing to fearfully bring my hurt again to my husband – even when he had shut my heart down so many times in the past. I can’t tell you how many times I would say to him things like, “I want to shut down, but I know that you don’t want that out of me. I know that you don’t want a wife who is shut down and is only going through the motions in our relationship. I know that we both want a good marriage.” And I knew that. I really knew that he loved me and wouldn’t want a shut-down wife — because as soon as I did start putting a wall up to protect myself, you could see his hurt.

            I think it’s also important to say here that being vulnerable with our feelings shouldn’t mean that every single time we get our feelings hurt, we have to discuss it and be heard and understood. There is definitely a beauty to “covering over sins” and “bearing with each other” – and so many of the things that women get hurt about aren’t even sin, it’s just a different way of operating. Wise to take our hurts immediately to the One who will never get tired of hearing our hearts, our hurts, etc. and ask Him what to do with them. Many, many times, just knowing He knows and understands is enough to help me move past it and not even have to bring it up to my husband at all.

            Confrontation before God teaching me all He has taught me in the last few years was me trying desperately to hang on to and grasp control of our relationship and of my husband and being angry when I didn’t get the response I wanted and needed. Now, God is teaching me how to let go of the expectations of those conversations and so when I come to my husband with something, there is a peace and a security in me that even if my respectfully spoken words hurt him and even if he decides to be silent to me for days or whatever at a time, I will be o.k. My security isn’t wrapped up in him any longer and my desire for love from him is balanced now that he’s not my idol. If he rejects me – even if he rejects me in an ultimate way….I will be o.k. God had to take me to that place.

            I wanted to say also that I couldn’t count the number of times that we’ve had conversations about the same issue in our marriage…..it took numerous, painful conversations to get to where we are now. And, I know that we are still working through this. There will be more to come, I’m sure. For some reason, I knew that we weren’t meant to go get counseling together. We had a couple of sessions early on in the process and I just knew that God was blocking anything good from happening there. I don’t really know of another way to explain it than that. I could tell my husband was resentful of going and I felt like respecting him was letting go of that expectation of needing counseling in our marriage. I feel like everytime I think we have to go to counseling, God reminds me that He is my Counselor and that if I trust His leading, He is enough. So, we have had the hard conversations on our own — without a human someone there overseeing and guiding us….but with the best Counselor overseeing and guiding us.

            Sorry for the length and that thoughts are jumbled. If you need me to clarify anything I’ve said, let me know and I’ll try!

          11. Jennifer,

            This is awesome! THANK YOU for sharing with our dear sister! 🙂 I believe it all comes down to being filled with the Spirit, hearing Him clearly, obeying His prompting, and focusing on our walk with Christ. He can give us the words, timing, and wisdom about how to address things and when. Sometimes husbands will not respond positively. We are responsible to share our concerns, needs, and desires appropriately and respectfully. But sometimes the things we share may not be received well. That does not mean we shouldn’t share them necessarily. If our hearts are right and our motives are right and God is giving us the green light – we do need to share concerns and even respectful rebukes about sin at times. Then we trust God with the results.

          12. And, thank *you* for breaking up my big long paragraph into easier to read paragraphs! 😀

            Yes, it really is all about following Him and His promptings. Every situation is different, there are no formulas or right answers for each time (except always right is to be respectful, loving, blessing those who wrong us, etc.)….but there are a lot of ways this can be worked out and God had me do specific things at one time and the next time would change my heart to go a different way. A key for me during this process has been to really trust that He is leading me and not getting too self-absorbed and questioning whether I am “making the right move”. And, also remembering that conflict isn’t always pretty during the process. He is big enough for our mistakes, it is our heart that He’s after.

            Love you much! It’s so amazing to come and read and see how God is working and moving in so many lives and marriages.

          13. Jennifer,
            I am using your prayer on my FB page today. Thank you!!! I wonder if you might allow me to use any of this comment that you shared as an anonymous post? 🙂

          14. Either way is fine, April. Maybe InHisGrip for a pen name, but that might have been taken by another of your readers by now.

          15. Jennifer, that was a BRILLIANT series of thoughts and explanation. Wow! So many good things you have written. The truth shines through these words.

            It is definitely true that people don’t deal with issues in relationships because the conversations are hard and definitely true that there is no formula that works in a particular situation! We had three marriage counselling sessions and my wife said those exact words “Counselling is too HARD, I’m not going back”. And yet I felt convinced in my spirit that whilst the three counselling sessions we had were of great benefit and pointed her to some of the real issues it was right to stop the counselling at her request. I felt that the love of Christ was most displayed to her by not asking her to continue the counselling.

            So helpful to see your journey. May God bless you greatly!

          16. HH, And God bless you and your family, as well! I’m looking forward to hearing in the future about God’s working in your family!

          17. Oh Jennifer, I really needed this today. This is great stuff! The hard conversations…the staying quiet too much…the shutting down of emotions…I’m right there…THAT what I feel, but couldn’t put my finger on it. I am so much more secure in myself as far as the rejection now. I’ve basically lived through that fear and am doing better than I feared. Idolatry of husbands…I was soooo hung up on his approval. I killed myself trying to be so perfect for him.

            I never thought about the counselling issue. Granted, my husband could probably really use one for his isdues, but as more counselling for “us”, I was ready to give an ultimatum, either let’s see a counsellor or he can move out…but I couldn’t feel at peace with that type of response. It made me feel inflexible, like a bully. My husband won’t go. But I can let that go now. Your insight was God sent to my struggle there. I went to one a few times. Although he helped some, you are right, God is the great counselor and has helped me soooo much more that a human. Thank you thank you for that.

            I thought about something today. I thought about how of all the people in my husband’s life, I was the one who wouldn’t put up with his particular brand of manipulation when we first met. I would stand up to him, but it was respectfully. We were so much more equal ad partners and friends. After time went on, and kids and the strongholds of perfectionism and control and pride drilled in deep, my confidence turned into sass and disrespect. I’m still the best friend he ever had because I am the only one willing to point out his wrong. But learning to do that in love and respect and kindness was the missing link. He loved my opposite magnet, but not when it destroyed his own.

            I know there is no guarantee that he will be okay. I could wait till I’m 80 or more if I knew he would turn around. The waiting is so hard. I just want to see progress in him, even tiny bits. If I knew the general path men took from their side, I could rest. There are so many possibilities it makes my head spin. I know I just need to stop micro analyzing it all and just reat in God. Trust him. Turn in to me and accept God’s leadership and teaching. But I don’t want to let the enemy have him. I want to fight for him. I want God to get His son back. I’m begging Him as my coach to put me into the game and stop benching me. I really need some ways to wait productively. I can help others, my kids etc, but it doesn’t feel like enough. Sometimes I feel I am drifting away from my husband. I am not sure how to share my hurt and feelings for him without sticking my neck out. I have been brutilly decapitated the last few times I tried. How long has it been since the start of your journey until you started to see the humility turn in your husband?

            Thank you for your lengthy message. I’m honored you took time out of your day to help me. I am very grateful. Much love and prayers for the continued healing of your marriage.

          18. LMSdaily115,

            Keep in mind that each husband, each person, has his own journey. It will be different for each one. There may be some similarities. But we don’t get to know the outcome ahead of time – that is so that our faith has to grow and God can be most glorified. 🙂

            I’m so excited about all that God is doing in your life. I know He is at work behind the scenes in your husband’s heart, too, my dear friend. Praying for God’s victory over the enemy in your marriage!

          19. I’m glad that what I said helped, Lms. I know that you will take it all to the Father and He will use anything I’ve said to help you go forward and anything I said that is not for you, He will help you to know that that’s not right, for you. (Does that make sense?)

            I think it’s interesting what you said about how you were the only one that would stand up to him in a respectful way at the beginning of your relationship. I have been really surprised that God has led me on this journey to see how much influence we as wives have in our husband’s lives. Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas is another good read that really helped me to see more clearly about this role. This was kind of a big game-changer for me this past year as I saw that God was not calling me to lay down and never say a word and only love and only bless and only say sweet, neutral things that wouldn’t cause conflict. I think I had to really be convinced that it was o.k. to share my emotions, my feelings, my thoughts, my concerns and even respectfully confront at times – no, really, I would say that it’s not just o.k., but it’s GOOD. I feel like God has convinced me of these truths in no uncertain terms for me and, again, Him taking me there has been a big surprise and kind of smashed to pieces a bunch of unhealthy views I was buying into about what submission and respect look like. I also see how God has used me to stand strong in certain areas in my husband’s and my 18 year old son’s lives. It’s like they need that…..but I want to be cautious in saying that because I think God had to teach me His grace and love and how to operate in grace and respect before it was effective in their lives rather than shaming and damaging.

            As far as how long it has taken my husband….I guess I would say just in the last 4-6 months I feel like some of the willingness to listen to me, to not defend as quickly and to see his part has come. Before that, he was responding positively to me in response to the changes I was making like showing him respect, giving space, praising and affirming him, etc. So, I know that our situations are somewhat different.

            You know, this thought has occurred to me a few times thinking of you and your situation. The idea of blessing our husbands in a way that is basically calling the good out of them. April has a post on that and she linked to it recently, but I can’t remember what it is. (April, I’m sure you’ll know what one I’m talking about….you were watching a tv show, I think, and it was about a dog trainer?? I think you had a picture of your cat at the top of the page). I saw this post on Laura Doyle’s blog recently and it made me think of April’s post. (This doesn’t have to apply to just those with controlling husbands, you’ll get the idea as you read). http://lauradoyle.org/blog/controlling-husband/

            This might seem wrong and weird to do this, but I believe there is a biblical basis for doing it which I don’t want to get into now because I need to wrap this up. I have seen my husband and my children respond very positively to my speaking into their lives this way and begin to live up to what I speak over them. Just wondering if that’s something that you might find helpful.

            I’ll be praying for you and your family today. I know that God is working in your family and I do pray that you find encouragement and new hope today.

            Romans 15:13: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

          20. Jennifer,
            I know the post you are referring to! 🙂

            I’m so thankful for all that you are sharing. It is VERY beautiful and powerful!

            Totally Change Your Reality

            There are certainly times wives must stand against sin or stand respectfully against something in their husband’s life. Of course, we need to be sure we are hearing God’s Spirit clearly and that we are filled with His Spirit, respectful, and speaking the truth in love. What could I do to help prevent this misconception that submission and respect mean we should never disagree or never share any negative feelings or input?

            Much love!

          21. I don’t think you need to do anything differently; I think you speak to that issue very well and are very balanced in your advice and writings. I think that a lot of it for me was just lies that I was buying into and maybe some unbalanced Christian writings that I’d read right after I became a Christian. God has been showing me the last couple of years that I need to really seek Him while reading scripture and not necessarily automatically buy into the general interpretation that a certain verse or passage might have had in the Church even for years and years.

            I also think God didn’t reveal some of these newer truths to me until I was ready and able to handle it. If I had known some of this earlier on in my journey, I might have used it in a negative way. I believe so strongly in the sovereignty of God that I think even my wrong thinking in that area was used for good to enable me to keep quiet and give us some healing time before the next phase.

          22. Jennifer,

            I have had to learn that, too. To take everything to God and to be careful about what interpretations I listen to. I want to understand God’s meaning, not just a popular current interpretation of a passage.

            Thank you for sharing! I try so much to be balanced, but I know that some women still mishear me at times. I never want that to happen! Or, I want to prevent it as much as is possible on my end, at least. 🙂

            Much love!

          23. April,

            I think you could speak the truth in love and still have someone mishear it. We all hear things through the ‘filters’ of our own minds.

            Personally I think you have a very balanced view on most issues and you are willing and open to be challenged, which in my humble opinion reflects a person who is genuine. God deserves the praise for this!

          24. Humbled Husband,

            I greatly appreciate your insights. Thank you, my brother! I desire to handle God’s Word rightly, to share it clearly and plainly, and with His love. I don’t want anyone to mishear – but I do have to keep in mind that people misunderstood Jesus, quite often. I want to do all I can on my end to share in God’s love. I want God to be pleased with my work for His kingdom.

          25. Yes, I’m telling you, Humbled Husband, the fact that April is humble and willing to hear other points of view is a clear mark that the Holy Spirit is working through her. It’s incredibly, incredibly rare these days in the blogging world – or maybe the world, period. 🙂

          26. I wrote a long reply that will probably show up later….but in the meantime, I remembered this radio program that I heard several years ago that really impacted me. It might be more appropriate than the Laura Doyle link. The title of the specific radio program was “God Is In Your Most Desperate Situation” . It was from a series called “God in the Negative” by Ney Bailey. I really like what she talks about regarding blessing/cursing in the latter half – the first half is great, too, talking about giving thanks in all circumstances. I need to take some time myself and read it slowly today.

            https://www.reviveourhearts.com/radio/revive-our-hearts/god-your-most-desperate-situation-1/

          27. Jennifer. I just listened to Ney Baily. I am so convicted right now. I have been totally cursing my husband. It needs to stop. I feel very compelled to put this onto action. I really want to absorb this concept. Unbeknownst to me. I had turned around my thoughts and actions towards my 2 teenage children. Instead of complaining (cursing them) for their moodiness, disrespect and bad attitude, I have been trying to compliment my daughter in front of others and privately in very sincere ways. I have been backing off my son and encouraging him to do his homework his way and telling him I know he will do well on his tests and how proud I am of him for seeking to understand and being respectful. It seems I “try” stuff out on the kids first. Kind of a safe trial subject. Sometimes i try it out on everyday people i meet too. Then it gives me confidence to approach my husband.

            I knew I was missing a component in what God wanted me to do or think. I feel this is a big one. Thank you again for your patience and advice. It just feels right when God jumps inside your heart and you feel that quickening that screams “eureka! ” I will pray on how to apply this concept in a way that fits our situation. Thank you. I’m looking forward to sone peaceful sleep tonight. God blesses you and uses you to increase His kingdom!

          28. LMSdaily115,

            So excited about your breakthrough! Praying for God’s wisdom, strength, love, and power to carry out what He is calling you to do, my dear sister!

          29. One more thing…LMS, you mentioned that you’d tried to be vulnerable and that didn’t go so well the last few times. What did that look like and how did things look immediately after the incidents? Just thinking that it might be helpful to process some of that here. Sometimes, for me, just processing with someone else can be very helpful and I can even see things on my own I didn’t see before just by typing it out or talking to someone about it.

          30. Jennifer,

            This is an awesome idea. Sometimes things don’t go well because we are inadvertently disrespectful in some way. But other times things don’t go well even though we were very respectful, our husbands just don’t want to receive what we share well. Other times, our own motives may be an issue. Confrontation can get really dicey – but it also can move us to much deeper levels of intimacy. I have a whole chapter on this topic in the book – which is $1.99 on Kindle until Monday! 🙂

          31. I was looking up your book last night on Amazon and saw that price and immediately bought it! But I feel bad for buying it so inexpensively! 😀 And then I reminded myself that you would not care – your heart is so sweet. I have only read a little bit of it so far, haven’t had a chance to really get into it yet.

          32. Jennifer,

            Please don’t feel badly! Kregel, my publisher, is running that special through this coming Monday. They do that for lots of their books, apparently, for a brief time after launch. Enjoy it! 🙂 And, as you know, I have not done any of this for money. My goal is to get God’s message out to His ladies.

            Much love!

          33. Oh, and yes, definitely I agree that things can be done all right and still get a bad reaction. Have gone through it myself! I’m looking forward to reading your book and getting to that chapter!

          34. Jennifer and April. The times I tried to be vulnerable was when I shared with my husband in a calm respectful way what I was feeling. Not blaming, criticizing or anything. I wanted to approach him in a way that was night complaining, yelling or revengefil. I felt that I needed to be honest with him on how I was feeling, because I was just stuffing my feelings and saying zero…pendulum swing to the mute side from the constant verbal vomit I had going on before. I felt I was not being fair with him. He had stonewalled me for years and never told me when he was upset, hurt, or dissapointed, so when he blew up about stuff, even he knew it was like lobbing a grenade into a peace rally. I didn’t want to do the same. I was trying to NOT become a doormat. I felt being vulnerable and trying to trust my husband was extending an olive branch type of move. I approached in humbleness and respect.

            I ended up getting told how just me breathing or what pj’s I chose to wear irritates him. He thinks I purposely chose to hurt him all that time, and because he doesn’t understand that I didn’t my actions hurt and could not “get” what he tried to explain, that I was not stupid and thst I knew eat I was doing. The paradox is he is doing the same thing I did, but can’t see how hippocritical he has become. I know he is blinded to his sin…just like I was. Nothing I say gets through, so I try to focus on my actions. My husbsnd is emotionally uneducated. He has never really took time to consider this other aspect of life. He is routine and black and white. Logical and it’s not real if you can’t prove it. Talking about the “intangible” and invisible God is like a fiction story to him. He says he beleives in God, but that God has more important things to worry about than him or this stuff. He doesn’t communicate and all of it is just a way the kings and queens controlled the poor people so they didn’t rise up and attack the leaders. I’m ashamed that I agreed with him at one point, but it never felt right.

            Anyway, I ended up feeling very ran over and emotionally kicked in the stomach as he reacted out of anger, sneering and mocking me, calling me names and accusing and blaming him more. This has only shut me up more. I figure he will let me know when he wants a change. But just this morning, he described living like a martyr. He has resigned to giving up his wants, needs and desires for the sake of the kids. Can’t punish the kids for his or our mistakes. So he has basically “given up hope” of happiness to let others be happy. He’s shrinking into the background. This screams depression to me, but he denies he’s depressed because he feels great at work but only feels hopeless at home. The control and criticism has stopped as much as I can…huge changes. He seems so lost in space. No energy, or excitement. No smiles, doesn’t enjoy things he used to enjoy and generally uninvolved. It’s no wonder he feels no connection. He works 16 hours a day, 6-7 days a week, and is not trying to Perdue a relationship…even with the kids.

            I keep trying though. I find little ways to bless him like rub his feet, pick up his favorite gum while I’m at the store etc. Means nothing to him.

            I read the Lara Doyle blog, though about speaking a positive prophesy into his life. I will really think on what that will be and try it. Why not?

            Thank you for the direction. God sent many people my way today all giving me hope. The resounding message today was to “stay in the game” by new friends, radio messages, songs and other media…like 5-8 messsges. ToO many to call a coincidence…it was God speaking to me in my baby language so I don’t miss it. Thank you all for the prayers and insights. Much love.

          35. LMS, I’m so sorry that you were treated that way after being respectful and vulnerable. I know the temptation to shut down must be HUGE. And the enemy would love nothing more than to get you to do that. I know you’ll remain open to the Spirit and be ready to speak again when He asks you to.

            I just want you to know that you are an inspiration. You know that God is majorly at work, don’t you? To be able to bless and see your husband’s hurts right now even though things have been very painful for you is truly God and God alone. No human loves or blesses when they’ve been hurt like that. Wow. Only Christ in you. God has given you great insight and maturity for as young of a believer as (I think) you are. Suffering will grow someone up fast, especially if they are moldable and not fighting God’s hand.

            I’m glad that the Ney Bailey talk encouraged you and that God spoke to you through it. I think God had more in mind than just you when I shared that. The last 24 hours at my house haven’t been so peaceful and I believe He wants me to listen or read that again and apply it afresh in my own life.

            I just heard a song a little bit ago on the radio called Trust in You by Lauren Daigle. Oh, wow. You have to listen to it or at least read the lyrics. God encouraged my heart again listening to that. You said something in one of your posts about how He had encouraged you and that He did it for you in your baby language. I think those are all ways He speaks to most of His children, babies or mature adults. I remember early on in my Christian life basically telling God that I needed Him to really make things clear to me when He was speaking to me because I was so unsure if I was hearing the Spirit at times or not. He was and has been faithful to do that still.

            Oh, and thanks specifically for what you said about God blessing me and using me for His kingdom. I have specifically felt like I haven’t been of much use to Him lately, and those words were very encouraging to me.

            Love and praying for you today!

          36. Jennifer and LMSdaily115,

            God is using both of you in a mighty way here! Thank you for being co-laborers in Christ with me to share His love, truth, and hope. Thank you for sharing your struggles and the treasures God has given to each of you along the way. It is so beautiful and powerful what God is doing in each of you!

            I’m honored to get to “see” it all unfold.

            Much love!
            April

  14. A dear friend sent me a link to your blog and I have been encouraged in my role as wife and my husband’s best friend. I am new to the latest blogging world would love for you to drop by and visit my blog sometime.

  15. I read the Screwtape Letters many years ago, and the book was eye opening. This post written in mom style rendition is so right on target! We as women and busy moms have alot of time where our hands are busy but our minds may not be occupied. I find the worst times for me is when I’m washing dishes. My thoughts can quickly turn to negativity, and even my kids will ask me what’s wrong by the expression that’s on my face. So,I am still learning how to take every evil thought captive. My first line of defense was to turn on praise music, but that became background noise. I then watched the movie, War Room. That really spoke to me on how I wasn’t taking advantage of one of my most powerful tools, prayer. I also had a godly sister in the Lord tell me that you don’t need to listen to satan’s lies. When he whispers in your ear, you need to tell him that in Jesus name, I’m not listening to your lies and to get away from me! Greater is He (Jesus) that is in you, than he (devil) that is in the world. Grab hold of that promise. I’ve also begun writing Bible verses out on cards and placing them in eye view, so that I can read Scripture while doing dishes. These are some of the things that are personally helping me, although some days can still be pretty bad. It’s a day to day struggle, but in Christ, we can all have victory in this area.

  16. Here is an older post that may be a blessing to those whose spouses are not believers. This wife was praying for her husband’s salvation, and was shocked to realize that her husband’s salvation had become an idol to her. Check out what God showed her:

    My Secret Idol

  17. April and others,

    I wanted to say thank you for all the comments and the beautiful sense of community that happens here. There is so much that y’all share that blesses me in so many ways, way beyond my married life. Last night I was reading through the comments and felt incredibly grateful for what God does here. It really reflects how the body of Christ should work.

    With love.

  18. Hi Sis!
    How are you? I’m not married (obviously) but I can relate to how Satan uses your thought process to destroy, well in my case, not your marriage but your self esteem, your day and all that.

    Take last week for instance. I had to go back to school and I couldn’t find my phone. I looked all over and I still didn’t find it. I was really frustrated because my mom bought me this phone just a year ago and she already buys so much for me. I feel as if she has too much stress already and it affects her health. Anyway, I began to lash out at God, tell him He didn’t love me, I obviously wasn’t important to him and all that. I told you previously that I have strayed a little from God and I want to try to get close to him again. I have had these type of outbursts quite often, either I tell God he obviously doesn’t love me because if he did he’d solve my problems, how if he can do all these great miracles for people, he can easily solve my problems so why doesn’t he OR I sarcastically begin to “thank” him for not solving my problems. Afterwards, I feel so guilty I can’t even pray for forgiveness, especially when right after I say all these things to him, the problem gets solved.

    Sometimes I start to pray for forgiveness and then halfway, a voice tells me that God must be tired of hearing me say sorry and that he doesn’t buy it anymore cause I do it all over again so I stop praying. I know it’s horrible but (you’ve probably deduced this) I am a very intense person and I can go from 0-100 really quickly. Because of that when bad things happen, it’s easy for me to think everything else is going to go wrong.

    Like something that happened in high school for instance: I used to have nightmares that my mother had died-she’s had very serious medical issues-and I had no one to take care of me. One day I woke up after one of these nightmares and I thought it was true and it had happened. Mind you, I’d heard from her two days earlier and she was actually doing a lot better. But that little voice wouldn’t stop telling me she was dead and I was all alone in this world. When I tried to pray, the voice told me it was no use and that it had already happened. Finally, I couldn’t handle it anymore and I called her after class and she was just fine.

    I am generally a good student but I have suffered a lot with Linguistics which is one of my main courses and I can’t tell you how many times that at the very beginning of the paper or even as I was studying for the paper, the little voice has told me “forget it. You just aren’t meant to do well in this” and I’ve tried to pray but this little voice has nagged me so much that I’ve given up. I’ve had moments where immediately I saw the paper, I said “I’m going to fail at this,” felt too hopeless to pray and actually failed like I felt/knew I would. And it didn’t matter that I stayed all night to prepare for it because so much of the time I was awake was spent being confused, not getting anything, starting to pray, hearing that nagging little voice and giving up.

    I never thought I was a radical feminist that hated men but I’m discovering as I go along that deep down, I don’t think men are very useful or needed. As much as I hate to admit this, deep down I think husbands are more of a liability than a good thing. I’ve never said this out loud and I’m not proud of it. So sorry for the loooooooong epistle and I know it doesn’t really have a lot to do with this post but for some reason, this post triggered all these things.

    1. Mia,

      I think you are right that you are listening to the voice of the enemy. The awesome news for all of is is that as we resist him and yield fully to God, the enemy’s voice has less and less power over us and we begin to hear God’s voice more clearly. 🙂

      As soon as you realize you are thinking these destructive lies. Stop. Shoot them down and acknowledge their source – from the enemy. Then focus on Scripture that is true about whatever it is you are thinking about. Memorize it. Meditate on it. Sing praise songs to God. Focus on things to thank God for and on His promises to you.

      If you need more help, check out this post about taking thoughts captive for Christ.

      If you still need to talk some more, let me know and we will hash through this together. 🙂

  19. Can I add something else? I know I’ve already said a lot but…
    Sometimes I think I’m crazy. Because I feel as if I have too many issues and that no one else has them. Other days, I think I’m just a complainer because I feel like surely, other people have issues too but they don’t allow them to affect them the way I do. Am I too sensitive? Do I take things too personally/ seriously? Because there are so many people who have had, you know, traumatic experiences, self esteem issues and all that but they don’t seem to have the questions and negative thoughts that I do? Or do I just come across as self absorbed?

    I know that everything could have been worse and that there are SEVERAL people in MUCH, MUCH worse situations than I am. I try to be thankful, positive, not worry as much-I worry a lot-and so on but it seems that I fail all the time. And yet, a lot of people would never guess that I have all this anxiety because I come across as very confident. Mom says it’s my age and that at my age she had a lot of angst as well but I think I’m just overly sensitive and need to snap out of it. And yet when I try, things go wrong and then I worry all over again. Am I making any sense? Please say you understand me

    1. Mia,

      I do understand you. I used to be filled with worry and fear all the time. I thought I was trusting God but I really was trusting myself to do things that only God can really do.

      Please search my home page for:

      – fear
      – worry
      – anxiety

      Let me know what God speaks to you, my precious sister. You are not alone, I promise!

  20. April, Jennifer and all who helped. I am commenting here to describe a discovery for me. I’ve the last month or so, I have been struggling. But it’s been vague and I couldn’t understand what God was leading me to. Jennifer suggested a few sites on blessing not cursing my husband and speaking out loud the qualities I would like in him. It made sense, but I don’t think I really had much faith in it….until last night. It was my daughters birthday and we went to dinner with in laws. My husband came home in a rushed mood while I was getting last minute items together for after dinner. I did not blow up, but I politely asked for 5 minutes. He was ancy. At dinner he was ancy. He was cutting down my son and generally being ornry. But at some point, he did some little thing that was generous. One of the kids commented. I also said out loud “Your father is one of the most generous people I know”. Although I felt like I was lying a bit, the truth is, he always HAD been one of the most generous people I know and I always admired that in him. I looked at his face when I said it. He looked down. I saw shame, guilt, disbelief. It shocked me. I saw a small smile, though at the last instant too.

    A few night previous we had been talking about our marriage. I’ve been so upset at how to help him or stay out of the way. My husband described his feelings as without happiness or hope. He is just putting all that aside for the sake of the kids. He is in the house for the kids. He won’t move us closer to work because of the kids. The kids kids kids. He also said, he had made a choice to work where he did and can’t punish others. Anyway, it struck me that he is acting like a martyr. He feels unworthy of happiness. Feels it would be selfish to do things for himself. I described how it is healthy to take care of yourself…like putting your own mask on in a decompressing plane before helping your kids with theirs.

    I have been operating on some “stinking thinking ” lately. I have been focusing on trying to get my husband to understand how much it hurts right now, every day with his continued shutting down and avoidance. Trying to help him be positive, not speak so harsh to kids, spend time with them. All these ideas of what he needs to do. But God placed in my heart the reality of where my husband might be. He KNOWS the pain he has caused. And he feels unworthy of firgiveness. I’ve been trying to help my husband learn to forgive others, but he really doesn’t know how to do that. And he won’t until he asks God for forgiveness and then Gid can help him learn to forgive himself. He is in a headlock by the accuser. I ferl this is accurate by the feeling of “anxiety and frustration melting away and disolving like fog by the sun”. Peace.

    As I spoke a positive at dinner, I saw my husband relax a bit. Words are so powerful. They hurt so easy and lift up as well. I think that a crucial change in thought for me has happened. A new way to be able to bless my husband. Not “doing” more, but blessing in a more effective way. I have read April’s husband’s blog and article reference on husband’s and shame. I just really didn’t know how to help with it. I was so wrapped up in his pain, I felt useless. I wanted to do “something”.

    I still kerp thinking that I will be able to see signs of progress in my husband. Recognize a period of thought I had gone through. Thinking I know what his next struggle is going to be. I thought he still hadn’t seen his own sins, but instead, I’ve been hammering him with them. Basically pushing the drowning man’s head under water…exactly what I was afraid of doing in the first place. Satan is so wiley. From this day forward, I am choosing to speak the positive in plain sight to my husband. To help build him up, no matter what I see or feel today. Sometimes it may feel more of a lie, but faith makes those feelings change and builds on them. Having faith that God will answer those spoken prayers and fulfill those positive declarations is very important.

    I am convicted of trying to “help” my husband in ways that God is responsible for. I see now how I was also trying to be his Holy Spirit, focusing on his conviction, trying to save him and help him get out of his depression and turn him “good”. My motive may have been good, but one of my big 3 struggles found its way in…Control. I struggle with Perfectionism, Control and Pride. They seem to sneak back in and surprise me often. I pray one day God will help me disolving those strogholds from me as well. I know I do waaaay better at it than I did in the past, and I can only give the Glory to God for His works in me.

    I see how us as hurt and struggling wives can focus on all the wrongs our husbands are doing, but it just brings those things into more prominance. I don’t need my husband believing that he is those things, so why try. I need him to beleive the good things in himself, so that he strives to become them. We all seem to need that motivation and belief in us. It starts with God…He beleives in us. We have what we need for today. Tomorrow we will be given what we need for tomorrow. God never leaves us unprepared. But sometimes we just need to get up and search inside us for what He has placed there and use it in His name.

    Thank you Jennifer and April for your help in this area. You may never realize how God used your words over the last few days to help this little neck of the woods of His Kingdom. Praise our good Lord and many prayers and blessings to you.

    1. Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this, LMS. I’m joining April in her excitement!!

      Really, God is using this whole back and forth conversation we’re having in my life, too. He is saying….”These truths are for you, too.” I am realizing that I have been focused on an issue in our marriage that does truthfully need to change and God is even leading me to take some steps towards that; however, I have not been focusing on the good in my husband, for the most part.

      Please pray that I will also be able to bless my husband in my thoughts, conversation with others, in my prayers, out loud for no reason and directly to him.

      He is my husband, the man that God has given me for life and there are many things in our marriage that are wonderful and good because of who he is.

      Love y’all much!!!!!

  21. I am seeking some help to understand what a man goes through after his wife has learned about respect, living for God and being renewed. My husband feels that religion is just an archaic way that the upper echelon controlled the poor masses. He says he beleives in God, but that he has no time for our little stuff. My husband is very logical and numerical in thinking. If he can’t see it, touch it feel it or hear it, it doesn’t exist.

    He may think I’m an emotional wacky job right now, but he is very relationally stunted. Now. He is a very emotional man as well. Usually very loyal and caring. Some friends had accused him wrongly in the past. Along with my disrespect and bad thinking, and his huge people pleasing, I think this is what sent him spiraling. I know his disatisfaction in life is more than just about me, but I suspect I am the obvious and easiest target.

    I am standing for this marriage because I can’t shake the feeling I am to stay, wait it out, better myself as much as I can during the process and somewhere at the right time. My husband will also wake up and realize how much he is loved and cherished and see all the goodness God has given him in his life. I believe in my heart he will wake up to his foolishness and “grow up”. I don’t know if he will ever come to The Lord and see it all.

    For those wives whose marriages are healing, did your husbands come to know God before this started? Especially those who’s husband’s don’t believe or are very far from God? I get that believing husbands have a leg up, understanding how God’s ways work, but what phases did the men go through before they could trust again. I have read April’s lists, but I’m trying to understand a man’s point if view. Maybe there are some men here who could give some insight, too.

    I have read some on midlife crisis too, it seems a very similar description of “discovering your self” and learning your worth in God. .

  22. You have had more positive impact than you realise 🙂 I know your ministry is for women but I am positive that the Lord is using you to bless men as well. Reading your book has opened my eyes to a godly marriage and encouraged me so much! You are very much on the right path in my humble opinion. When I read your book I am drawn to Christ through your words. And your reccomendations for other readings have blessed me greatly, particularly Absolute Surrender! I would humbly still bounce thought’s off you and the other women,

    1. HH,

      I understand that commenting publicly online about very sensitive issues can be a problem. I have no qualms with ever deleting comments that my readers ask me to take down. I will just take the ones down from this conversation. 🙂

      Thank you for sharing that you are being blessed in your walk with Christ by this blog and my book and other recommended books. Please continue to share insights and lightbulb moments. And if you need prayer, please let us know.

  23. Thank you April. I honestly don’t know how much longer I can bear this situation 🙁 Your prayer and intercession for me is valued tremendously. “The fervent prayer of a righteous man (woman) achieves much”. In His service.

  24. April. As I am praying this morning, I asked God if it will always be this hard? Will it always be this hard to discern the Holy Spirit vs. The enemy voice? Will I ever be able to get to a point of secure confidence that I know what I am doing in this marriage in a respectful way? Not a prideful way that says that I have nothing left to learn about, but rather, a place of confidence that I am in fact, learning what I need to know? I feel like I am trudging upholl, pressing on and may never see the top of the mountain. Is there a time when this becomes more second nature and it won’t take me weeks to see my sin and correct it, or contemplate for so long on something before I get the nerve or the right words in my head?

    I understand being a christian is not easy. I’m okay with that, but I’m just wondering if the intense thinking and analyzing ever eases as time goes on in this journey? It is disheartening to think I may have to live inside my mind in hyper drive for the rest of my God given years. Will I reach a point that it isn’t so hard and if so, how does that look from your perspective and others who have “reached the top”? Thank you.

    1. LMSdaily115,

      I know that for me – the REALLY hard part was the first 2.5 years. My situation was very different from yours. But things began to make more sense and get a bit better from 2.5 years-3.5 years into the journey – and then they got much easier, in that I understood how to let God’s power work through me and wasn’t trying to do this in my own strength. And I had had so many lightbulb moments and had some practice so it wasn’t like constant emotional and spiritual contortion.

      Of course, each woman’s journey is unique. It took Nina Roesner, author of The Respect Dare, 10 years to feel like she “got it.”

      But she and I are still learning. There is always more learning. And there are new temptations and challenges. There is still pruning and refining. But it took me that long to feel like I got my spiritual bearings and my foundation “set,” if that makes any sense. It is not a matter of reaching the “top.” We will all continue to learn, grow, and be refined by hardships and trials all of our lives on earth. But there are milestones and there are deeper levels of understanding and deeper levels of allowing God’s Spirit to take over as we allow Him more and more control. You have been facing some pretty fierce spiritual warfare and opposition. That is extremely tiring and exhausting spiritually.

      For me, I don’t have to so consciously think through every single motive and thought usually now. I know if I start to feel negative feelings, disappointment, fear, worry, anger… I need to go to my prayer journal and allow God to help me examine my motives. But I have very solid new paradigms that I spent years building about how to think about God, Greg, marriage, masculinity, and femininity. So I don’t have to constantly reinvent the entire wheel all the time like I felt like I needed to earlier. Also, the fact that I have spent the past 4 years teaching this stuff for hours every day has cemented a lot of truth in my heart and keeps it always in my mind – that has helped me grow greatly – and answering people’s questions and having to have my faith and ideas challenged and stretched… that has caused me to grow a lot. You never learn anything as well as when you are teaching it. 🙂

      Now, I am usually thinking about posts, or about praises, or praise songs, or thanksgiving, or ideas for videos. I HAVE to have my time with God daily. I also usually notice if I begin to head the wrong direction with my thoughts right away and can repent as soon as the tempting thought presents itself or immediately after. It is much better to repent or turn away from the sinful motives the second it enters my mind than to let it fester. As I don’t keep sinful thoughts and motives in my heart, and seek to repent of all sin, it is easier and easier to hear God’s voice and Satan’s voice becomes more obvious, too.

      There are still very difficult challenges. I know I will face many more in the future. But now my temptations and challenges look different from what they were a few years ago. Now I have multiple ministry platforms to tens of thousands of people around the world. Every word needs to be honoring to God. I don’t want to fail Him or fall into sin – and have to guard my heart diligently from any temptation. I know I am a big target for the enemy and that he wants to destroy me, Greg, our family, and this ministry. I know how completely dependent I am upon God for any shred of goodness to be in my heart and life. I watch my motives very carefully because I know I can deceive myself. I want so much to be completely obedient and faithful to all God has called me to do. I don’t want to mis-write or mis-speak one word. I long to reach everyone who comes to my sites. I don’t want to cause confusion, division, misunderstanding, or to cause people to fall away from their faith. I understand the very heavy responsibility and honor God has given me of teaching so many women – and I know how much damage I could do if I don’t handle His Word rightly. So – even though things are “easier” in my marriage in many ways at the moment – there are many challenges and there are temptations. My goal has to be to abide in Christ every moment and to allow His Spirit to do all of the work. If I forget that, I will crash and burn in my ministry very quickly but also with my husband and children.

      Did that answer your questions? 🙂

      Have you read E. M. Bounds The Necessity of Prayer? That helped my prayer life grow like nothing else. It is MEATY. But it really stretched me so much. I need to reread it often.
      Much love to you!

      1. LMSdaily115,

        Having the Holy Spirit is VERY key, but there is also an element of just having experience and practice, too. To me, this journey was a lot like learning a new foreign language. Or it was similar to learning to drive a car or play the piano or roller-skate. At first, it was VERY easy to make mistakes and it took so much effort to focus and concentrate on how to do every single tiny step in the process. But as God continues to transform our minds and conform us to the image of Christ, He changes our desires to match His own and He also continues to empower us to apply what we are learning and it begins to make more sense.

  25. Thank you, April, for everything. I felt always drawn to your blog. I feel the peace behind your posts, and I thank God for that.

    LMSdaily115 wrote: Will I reach a point that it isn’t so hard and if so, how does that look from your perspective and others who have “reached the top”?

    It was un answer I need to hear. Thank you, and I thank God who lead me here today.

    2 Cor 9 Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us,

    12 Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity[b] and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace.

    Thank you, April, for being a godly example.

    2 Cor 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.

    1. Ev,
      I’m glad that was a blessing to you. 🙂

      We are all totally dependent on God’s grace and the power of His Spirit to work in us. We have nothing good to offer on our own. But with Him in charge and His Spirit filling us, all things are possible! 🙂

      Much love!

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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