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When a Husband Is Negative, Critical, or Hurtful

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NOTE – if there are really severe issues: adultery, drug/alcohol addiction, severe porn addiction, criminal activity, uncontrolled mental health issues – please seek appropriate one-on-one godly counsel. This post doesn’t address severe issues.

This is a spiritual battle we are fighting. Our husbands are not the real enemy, even though it sure seems like they are at times. What does God call us to do when we are mistreated? What is an effective approach when someone is being hateful? How can we respond in God’s power and not in sin?

  • Romans 12:9-21 is about how to approach our enemies/those who mistreat us and how to overcome evil with good
  • I Corinthians 13:4-8 is about how we are to love everyone with the agape love of God – that would include our treatment of our husbands
  • Galatians 5 is about what the Spirit filled life this will be true no matter how others are treating us.
  • Matthew 7:1-5 is about examining any sin in our lives before we attempt to address sin in another person’s life. I believe we should always seek God’s heart about if there is any sin from which we need to repent before we humbly attempt to approach someone else about his sin.
  • Matthew 18:15-17 is about how to confront those who sin against us.
  • But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, Matthew 5:44
  • A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Prov. 15:1
  • Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. Philippians 2:14-16
  • What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. James 4:1-3

Verses about handling conflict
As our husbands watch us respond in the power of God, with genuine respect, honor, poise, dignity, peace, joy, and love – as we respond with grace – God works in their hearts. Greg was talking with our teenage son about how to treat some other boys who are mistreating him. He advised him to treat them well and then he said to our son…

“Being shown ultimate grace is like being shown a mirror.”

(Sometimes he just comes up with the most profound things that blow my mind!) There is nothing more convicting for a husband who is mistreating his wife than to see her living out godliness, love, and goodness – and extending God’s grace to him when he knows he doesn’t deserve it. We don’t have to preach, lecture, nag, or try to verbally force our husbands to God. Our attitude and God’s power in us speaks a much more powerful sermon than any words ever possibly could to our husbands.  (1 Peter 3:1-6)

Sometimes if a husband gets too upset, a wife may find that simply distancing herself in a respectful, loving way may be helpful. (This does depend on the husband. Some want to calm down and resolve things right away. Others need to have space to calm down before they lose control.) It is important that this space is not “the cold shoulder.” It is not done out of spite. Times respectful, loving space may be wise:

  • If a husband was very hurtful and the wife shares respectfully that his words or actions hurt and he refuses to apologize.
  • If a husband is upset and needs time to think and is not ready to try to reconcile verbally yet – like when a wife tries to apologize and he cannot yet receive her apology.

Some men need space for a time when emotions run high before they can articulate their thoughts and feelings well. I personally believe this gives our men a chance to hear God’s voice of conviction and helps us not get in God’s way in certain situations.

A wife giving respectful, loving space as a gift may want to:

  • smile when she sees him
  • kiss him in the morning and in the evening
  • continue cooking and doing chores, maybe even cook her husband’s favorite meals if she feels led
  • allow him to have space to process his thoughts and any sin
  • spend extra time with God in prayer for herself, her husband, and her family
  • be content in Christ and joyful in Christ
  • be approachable when he begins to draw near her
  • be ready to extend grace and forgiveness when he verbally apologizes or extends an “olive branch” without words
  • if he is interested in sex but hasn’t apologized for a genuine sin against her, she may want to be ready to say, “I want to be available to you sexually, but I need to know our relationship is stable and secure first. Then I will be ready to give my body to you freely the way I want to.”

It is helpful to remember that our real battle is fought and won in prayer, not necessarily in conversation with those who oppose us.

God’s Word and His power are what is most needed. Our words and our human effort will not produce effective results. Our sinful power can only tear down and destroy. But as we allow God to work in and through us, He can pour healing into our lives, our husband’s lives, and our marriages in His timing.

As we are filled with God’s Spirit, He can prompt us about when to speak, what to say, how to respond, when to respectfully confront, and when to wait and pray.

RADIANT’S THOUGHTS ON DEALING WITH A LEGALISTIC, NEGATIVE HUSBAND:

“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Prov. 17:22

It may be that your husband is crushed under guilt and shame, trying his very hardest to be good in God’s holy eyes. It is drying up his life and joy because that is what the law does. It is impossible for us to find life in the law – the burden is too heavy. If we break even one commandment we are under a curse.

I think if he sees joy, light, life and grace in your eyes; sees that you have peace and a nearness to God that he is trying to have – God will use that more powerfully than words can ever convey.

When we only receive negative (wrong, twisted messages) from the Word, we are also only receiving negative from everything, including our spouse and environment, even food. (I started reacting to everything with increasing allergies and health problems too. I attacked myself, and that allowed the enemy and my body to attack me too). We are very toxic and find it impossible to get clean because we are trying to do it ourselves rather than receive what Jesus already did. When others point out “more faults” to us trying to help us be set free, we feel more angry and more guilty and fight back, since we are already drowning in failure and really think we know God and how to be close to Him if we just tried harder.

Only God can open our eyes to His goodness and grace. He gets us to the end of ourselves and any kind of thinking that we have any ability to save ourselves or have any teeny source of good in ourselves at all.

Two things that convicted me when I was so bitter and hurting and full of unbelief were:
1) people full of powerful faith for themselves and those around them
2) people who did not speak negatively at all, but rather Scripture, thanksgiving, and praise

Jesus has given you huge authority to speak mighty things into being as a believer.  Say:

“I speak freedom, life, for eyes to see and ears to hear and a soft heart that can turn and be healed for my husband.”

Speak in prayer to his unbelief and inability to receive grace and love to really decrease and his faith to increase. He needs deliverance from old sins, old habits, lies, attack, generational sins, and curses. So get your Spiritual armor on each day for this battle, and with the sword of the Word cut those curses and lies and sins in the Name of Jesus that have a hold on your husband, you and your kids. Kick those demonic forces out of your house. “In the Name of Jesus I cut all demonic assignments against me, my husband, our children and our home. I bind them and send them to the Cross to be dealt with by Jesus.” “I loose His love and power and blessings and His Spirit to work in our hearts and our home and to reign with His peace over us and our marriage.” Or if that feels too strange to pray at first – find prayers like Ephesians 3:14-21 and Col 1:9-14 to pray over him.

When you pray, thank God that He has already done these things instead of asking God for these things – because Jesus said “It is finished” on the Cross and that He has already blessed believers with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms (and many other verses and promises for believers).

“Thank You, God that my husband already has freedom in Jesus – for ‘if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.’ Thank You, God for deliverance from lies and strongholds in my husband’s heart and thinking, for Your arm is not too short to save, and You still set the captives free, and those who look to You are radiant and will never be filled with shame. Thank You that I am radiant because I am trusting in You. Thank you God that You are working in our hearts and our home.”

And then praise Him! He is worthy of it! He is Faithful and True. He is the object of your faith – and worthy of our trust. He is infinitely good and way more interested in us loving and growing in Him than we are. And He inhabits the praise of His people. Our praise is a weapon that opens new pathways and routes the enemy.

Blessings!

SHARE:

Ladies,

Is there a time your husband was being very harsh and God prompted you to respond in a godly way? Would you like to share what you did and what happened, (if you believe it would be honoring to Christ for  you to share without too much detail – we want to be respectful of our husbands even as we share)? Thank you so much!

Husbands,

Would you like to share how you believe wives can approach their men during conflict in a godly, constructive way? If a wife giving the gift of space for a while is a blessing to you, we’d love to hear more about that. 🙂 Thanks!

 

RELATED:

A Beautiful, Feminine, Godly Example of How to Conflict

A Wife Responds Well to Her Husband’s Bad Mood

Responding to Insults, Criticisms, and Rebukes

A Godly Wife Confronts Her Angry Husband Respectfully

Some Things God Has Shown Me about Conflict with My Headstrong Husband

Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin

Why Your Husband No Longer Respects You – by Nina Roesner

for wives whose husbands are emotionally/verbally abusive – www.leslievernick.com

 

79 thoughts on “When a Husband Is Negative, Critical, or Hurtful

  1. April,

    This post is just the reminder I need in my particular marriage. It seems more often than not that my husband is on the negative side, and a lot of times I take it personally. Before finding your site I would either go into “man mode” when he expressed his negative feelings (which is my name for when I try to solve all his problems and give advice and try to be the leader)—- or I would just shut him out and tell him to “man up”. Well, after finding your site a few months ago, and really going through all the things I needed to change, etc…. A few weeks after God started revealing a lot of the things I was doing wrong, like going into man-mode all the time, the perfect divine test came……. it was time to see what I would do! My husband works away during the week, so we were talking on the phone one night, and he was very upset. He was upset about a work situation and very stressed about it, and just basically spiraling into negativity and hopelessness. For the first time EVER, I LISTENED to him tell me all about it, and I just let him tell me all of it. And I had to consciously make a point to be quiet and just affirm his frustrations and build him up and be on his side about it all……well after a while, he calmed down, and he was definitely shocked that I didn’t storm into man-mode and go off about what he needed to do in that situation. haha. Not long after, he said something like “maybe I’m exaggeratting”….after he got it all out, he realized that it would be ok! And the next day he handled the situation at work and everything was ok! And I told him I was proud of him and that was that!! He even told me that I “handled him very well”! and he expressed that he would like me to be like that whenever he gets upset about work or anything!

    I’ve noticed that over the past 2 months of this journey, my husband has DEFINITELY responded to me NOT giving him advice, any bible quotes or anything of the sort in these types of situations, AND just in general in our marriage. He is beginning to say things out of the blue like:

    “My attitude is bad”

    “I need to stop treating you like that”

    “I’m going to be thankful instead of complain”

    This is only the beginning. I still mess up every now and again and fall into man-mode but THANKFULLY, The Spirit of God will not let me go on in it for long….there is very deep conviction when I do it, and if it happens when my husband is home I immediately say “wow i’m sorry i don’t want to be like that!!!” and he is very forgiving.

    I can confirm in my own experiences so far just in these 2 months that responding in love and/or being quiet, and just allowing GOD to convict him has done miracles!
    actions truly speak louder than words to men!!! 🙂

    Love,
    Amanda

    1. Amanda,

      This is awesome! Thank you SO Much for sharing! I wonder if you might allow me to share this anonymously as a post? No pressure, of course! But WOW! What an incredible testimony. I love what God is showing you. WOOHOO!!!!!

      Much love!

      1. April,
        Please do! God IS working in my marriage and life more than I could have EVER hoped or imagined, and thanks be to God that he has used YOU in all of it to bring to light these amazing truths!!!! Praise God!!!

        Love,
        Amanda

        1. Amanda,

          I’m so excited about what God is doing in your life! WOOHOO! What an honor that I get to have a “front row seat” to see His power on display in your life. I love it! Thank you for allowing me to use this. I can’t wait to share it!

  2. Great post. For some reason, and I hope I’m not the only one suffering from this, I cannot shut my mouth. When my husband is being mean or rude or starts getting upset about something small and I feel the heat rising I cannot shut my mouth. I literally go into fight mode. He’s a fighter too so as you can imagine it does not end well. I have shut my mouth 1 time that I know of and maybe a couple others. Sometimes he would come to me later, apologize, etc. sometimes not. but for some reason, if i feel his anger/annoyance in any way towards me or maybe something I asked that triggered him, etc. I just cannot shut my mouth and back off and wait until another day or time when he’s calm. I have to have the issue sorted through right then and there and fixed and I push and push which only makes him more mad. I dont know what it is.

    I want to be wise. A wise woman would say, ok I brought something up and he’s getting upset, maybe its not even about the issue at hand, let me back off and address it another time and/or pray about it. I just CANNOT do it. I dont know what it is or what it stems from. I cannot just relax and wait. And I definitely cannot keep my calm if he’s aggravated or mad. and it just keeps happening! I start to blame my husband, then at the same time I think there has to be a lesson here, for me. Maybe once I overcome that and learn the lesson, these things wont even come up anymore. its so frustrating.

    1. frustrated,

      You are not the only one who has this issue! Never fear! When we react in the power of our flesh, we will think the best thing to do is to lash back with words or to argue our case until our husbands “break.” Of course, this is not an effective approach. I never stopped talking when there was tension earlier in our marriage. I kept hammering my point and filibustering my case because I was “right” and I just knew if I explained enough, Greg would see I was right, he was wrong, and he would change his mind.

      Somehow, that never did work!

      In the flesh, all I can do is destroy my husband and marriage. I have no power of God to pour healing and life into anything. (Check out Galatians 5 for more on the flesh vs the Spirit)

      Yes, you are right about a wise response. The problem is, we can’t just “try harder” to do this. It takes a complete heart and mind change. It takes tearing out our old ways of thinking and our old self, dying to that, and purposely building on a new foundation in Christ and allowing Him total access to everything in our hearts, minds, and souls.

      Let’s take a little time to do a spiritual check-up, if that is okay with you? I think we may be able to get to the root cause if we do this. 🙂

      How is your walk with Christ going?

      What do you want in your relationship with Jesus?

      What kinds of things do you pray for?

      What do you want in your marriage?

      What do you believe you need most to be happy?

      What are your greatest fears?

      How do you believe you can be filled with the Holy Spirit?

      I believe you have been dealing with really severe issues in your marriage… what help have you been able to receive? Are y’all still together? Are you able to trust him at this point? Has trust been rebuilt? Is your husband still involved in major unrepentant sin or the appearance of major unrepentant sin?

      Much love to you! 🙂

  3. What about hurtful comments on the husband?
    I have done as much as I can and she now really blames me for my unemployment. Any shortfall in anything and she considers that I am not doing enough. Or instead of having a cup of tea I should be applying for a job. Or I went to the gym, I could have been applying for a job. (I will NOT drop dead from being out of shape). 90% of the jobs I apply for require Spanish. (welcome to southern Cal).
    I often think of the repercussions of her ignorance and like most men, I argue my points and remain withdrawn after.

    Please tell me how much responsibility I have over her neck injury/soreness when she refuses to schedule an appointment for medical or chiropractic care? Then calls me “uncaring” for refusing to rub her neck all day while special needs kids are running about?
    reality is a harsh circumstance and this unemployment is on Gods “do later” list. 6 years is enough.
    Why do I still attend church?
    I see why men become so withdrawn from their wives by hunting or golf!

    1. Jeff,

      I have a lot of posts about that.

      Our Words Can Cause Catastrophic Damage
      What Does It Mean to Be an Ungodly Woman?
      Godly Femininity

      Also, you may search my home page for posts about:

      – conflict
      – healthy vs. unhealthy
      – disrespect
      – respect
      – control
      – insult
      – tone of voice
      – the smile challenge
      – welcome home plan

      Do I Condone Sin or Abuse Against Anyone?

      I know things have been extremely painful for you both in your marriage for quite awhile. I hope that you might reach out to a godly male pastor/mentor/prayer partner who might be able to walk beside you through this time of great trial.

      I pray that you might each discover healing in Christ individually and that He might also heal your marriage and family. I believe there is intense spiritual warfare going on in your family and against your family. I want to see the enemy’s plans defeated and God greatly exalted!

  4. From a husbands perspective, the gift of space may not be wanted if the wife is normally a reserved person. My wife was brought up in a home where difficult things were dealt with by ignoring them and she finds it extremely difficult to talk about anything at all and ‘space’ is what I get most of the time. I am naturally a communicator and want to talk lots and to be able to talk freely.

    Also, sometimes we can identify what is a godly approach by understanding what is not a godly approach! On the occasions that there is actually discussion in our home, instead of actually talking about the issue my wife very quickly hides behind personal insults which make me feel very defensive. I think perhaps part of a godly approach is to deal with the issue and not the person.

    1. Humbled Husband,

      Yes, it is important that we wives realize that the space thing is for times when our husbands need some room to process and think. It is not about ignoring our spouse’s concerns. It is not about avoiding conflict out of fear.

      On the post healthy vs unhealthy relationships, I talk about some of these healthy relationship building blocks. We don’t attack the person or the person’s character. We deal with the issues – AND we keep the small issue in perspective, realizing that the small issue is not as important as our relationship with God or as the unity in our marriage.

      Very good points! Thank you so much!

  5. This blog post mentions Ephesians 3:14-21. I LOVE this passage! Have a look at some of the beautiful truths in it 🙂

    14-15 “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.”

    A child is not born of it’s own will! None of us can say that we chose to come into existence, a child is born by the will of the father. It is the same with our heavenly family, we are family only because of our Father in heaven! He has given birth in us to new life through Christ!

    16-17 “I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith.”

    It is HIS power and from HIS riches that we are strengthened to love. Do not look into your own heart to find the strength to face your situation, look to Him. What is our part? FAITH! Christ dwells in our hearts by FAITH. Forsaking All I Trust Him, receive by faith what Christ has done for you.

    17-19 “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

    What is the basis for our strength? Love. We are rooted and established in love. “Herein is love, NOT that we loved God but that HE loved US”. Get a hold of that, it’s His love for you that defines you, not your love for Him. Our love for Him is the natural response to the love that we receive from Him, and the more we understand His love the more our love grows and is spread outwards. And guess what? Paul writes to the Ephesians as a ‘Holy People’ even whilst they may not have yet grasped the fullness of Christ’s love.

    20-21 “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

    What is God’s limit? Nothing! He is able to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine (some versions have think here). So basically, anything that your mind can imagine God can do He can do more. And HIS power is in YOU.

    I’d better stop writing now 🙂

    1. Don’t stop, brother! Preach it! Love this – thank you so much for sharing. It is all Him. All Him. So grateful that His love is constant and unfailing, even when our human love in response is the opposite at times.

      1. I was about to say “Preach it!!!” too! 🙂 Love it!! Thank you God – You are SO SO GOOD!! There just aren’t enough words!!

        1. Radiant, I posted up a question for you in this thread about prayer. If April is happy to share it I’d value your thoughts on it?

          1. Hi – I can’t seem to find your question? Can anyone point me to it? Thanks!

          2. It may not have been submitted properly. I asked how you could claim freedom in prayer for someone when they are clearly in bondage and don’t want Christ?

          3. We will need to define our terms. In our Christian culture – many of us are used to praying with (honestly) weak faith. I sure was – and I had been on lots of prayer teams and taught all kinds of classes. So we are used to asking something like, “Jesus, please help Susy if You want to. Help the doctors help her. Amen.” We have all seen some pretty crazy looking people “Name it and Claim It” – saying if they want a car, house, money, health etc – they just have to have enough faith and then it is theirs. The focus is themselves, what they want, their own wisdom, and not the Word, the Spirit, our identity in and unity with Christ, or exalting Jesus at all. BUT – in James 5, the prayer of a righteous man avails much. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick. Does that mean our faith should be in ourselves and our faith? No. We have nothing good in ourselves. If I have to have faith in my righteousness or goodness, I am doomed. Our faith isn’t in ourselves or our abilities – it is in Jesus – who is Faithful and True. We lift our eyes to Him – our Redeemer, Sustainer, Author of our faith, the Name above every thing that is named and with authority over everything. When He was here in his body on earth – sometimes He went to people to set them free or heal. Sometimes people came to Him themselves to be healed. Sometimes friends or family brought someone too sick, or demon-possessed – to be healed. And it was the faith of the other people around that person that brought them to Jesus. He always healed and set them free! The person in bondage is blind, in the dark and dead to Christ (if they are unsaved). They can’t desire Christ until the Spirit raises them from the dead and gives them life. So we speak His life, healing, freedom, deliverance, love, power, conviction over them. What was counted to Abraham as righteousness was his faith in God – he believed in the God who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist! We don’t have to have faith for what we see. We have to have faith for the things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Our faith has been so weak and anemic. God already gave us all a measure of faith – but our unbelief is so big. When the father with the demon-possessed son brought his son to Jesus – Jesus said all things are possible to him who believes. The father said – I believe – help my unbelief – and that kind of faith set his son free!! Faith the size of a mustard seed. So we want to fill our thoughts and meditate on who Jesus is. Who we are in Christ (we are never seperate from Him – we are His Body, His Bride, His ambassadors. His priests) and when He was on earth His anointing was Isa 61 –

            to bring good news to the poor;[a]
            he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
            to proclaim liberty to the captives,
            and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;[b]
            2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
            and the day of vengeance of our God;
            to comfort all who mourn;
            3 to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
            to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
            the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
            the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
            that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
            the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.[c]
            4 They shall build up the ancient ruins;
            they shall raise up the former devastations;
            they shall repair the ruined cities,
            the devastations of many generations.

            Jesus is still anointed to do that today – and He still does it through His Body -but His body is now US.

            Also – none of us desire Christ, we have all turned away – so there is no hope for any of us apart from the mercy and grace of God. BUT what is impossible with man is possible with God !

            Does that answer your question or did I totally miss what you are asking?

            Grace and peace to you

          4. Oh!! And -it’s NOT that the person we are praying for already IS free or healed etc (they are not!!) – it is that Jesus already did and gave everything needed to do it. So the prayer of faith is receiving all of His work that is finished on our behalf, rather than us trying to make it happen in our power. But we need to receive His work and power and promises before we see the results – in faith.
            He is the One in charge of timing, what it looks like and details in their lives. But He has given us His authority – we are one with Him – to speak life and light and good into dark and death and evil places. Satan has no authority over Jesus’ realm and kingdom. We are just used to thinking he does – so we give it to him, not realizing what we are doing when we complain, speak badly about others, attack ourselves, stay in shame and condemnation, react in anger/wrath, feel hopeless, base things on our feelings – we move ourselves to Satan’s authority when we do things like this and believe his lies. Then he can move in with death/sickness/destruction/strongholds.
            But as believers – when we stop -and reject or rebuke what Satan is doing in our lives/thoughts/bodies etc – and we receive the truth and Jesus’ authority and the Word over us – we are not bound by Satan’s chains. His power is a lie over us when we are believers. Jesus disarmed the powers and principalities on the cross. They lost their sting. They may put up a fight and keep attacking – or our deliverance may take awhile. God may want us to persevere in prayer! But whatever our course is – God is tailoring it precisely for meeting our needs, making us more like Him (or manifesting more of Christ in us really), and for His greatest glory. At the end – we will see and know it is good. Right now – that takes faith!!

            There is so much to unlearn and relearn – for me anyway!! Putting off lots of old and putting on lots of new!! I pray this helps!
            Thank you Jesus!

          5. Prayer is truly a weapon that is under-utilized and I speak for myself here, too. There are too many promises that we have been given that “whatever you ask in my name, it will be done”. Those promises are real and it is time we stepped into our God-given authority to bring the kingdom of heaven to advance in the dark places in our own situations and realms of influence that God has placed us in.

          6. Jennifer,

            My understanding is that there are over 8000 promises in Scripture. Some are conditional – they are for us when we walk in obedience. Some are unconditional. I want to know ALL of them and experience EVERYTHING that Jesus has promised to me! 🙂

          7. I think I understand what you are getting at.

            I have heard both sorts of prayers, from claiming a million bucks coz faith says I can or praying if it be your will with zero faith.

            I read what you wrote that we can ‘have faith for another person’s salvation’, in other words that God will save a person from their sin based on US having faith for THEM. This bit “They can’t desire Christ until the Spirit raises them from the dead and gives them life. So we speak His life, healing, freedom, deliverance, love, power, conviction over them” is what confuses me!

            So when you wrote in the blog post “Thank You, God that my husband already has freedom in Jesus – for ‘if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” you’re not saying that the husband (or wife) is actually partaking of the freedom that Jesus has bought, you are saying that Jesus has already done all necessary for them to BE free?

            You are thanking God for completing the work of salvation for that person. But clearly they cannot receive of that work until their eyes are opened by God’s grace and they receive by faith for themselves. Yes? No?

          8. Yes everything is already done for them – to be saved, healed, set free. God has already given us every spiritual blessing in Christ. But the obstacle of them receiving it – is not a huge obstacle to God like it is to us! God is already handing it to the person – but they have to receive it. They already have the key to come out of their prison, but they are staying in their prison like it is locked from the outside.

            I am still new at explaining and understanding all of these things -but maybe some Andrew Murray quotes on prayer will help. It takes a lot of digging and asking God, seeing how great prayer warriors pray (Paul’s prayers, George Mueller, Andrew Murray, Brother Andrew, Watchman Nee, Brother Yun, Brother Lawrence, Madame Guyon) – to change our normal way of thinking and praying from the flesh and our own strength with our typical Western modern thought (being careful not to ask too much and basically only praying for things that might happen anyway!), to praying with great faith in who God is and who we are in Christ.
            Jesus intercedes for us at all times, and His Spirit is in us- groaning and praying for us and through us. We are one with Him. The Father loves to answer Jesus’ prayers, right? To glorify His Son? That is what He is all about! The more we die to ourselves and sin, and let Christ live more fully in us by His Spirit – the more we will be praying according to His will, His promises, His desires. God loves to give good gifts to His children.
            You are right – we can’t say “Every person that is ever prayed for in faith will always become a Christian”
            BUT – if God has placed a faith-filled Christian in that person’s life to pray over them – our first thought should not be “God probably won’t do anything here.” That is not faith! The prayer of a righteous man is effective. God knows how to bring Christians into someone’s life to pray, or how to come to people in dreams when there are no Christians for hundreds of miles or how to bring just the right verse to their life – and how to use that one verse to open their eyes to Himself. He even uses miracles to draw people all over the world.

            God doesn’t promise everything will be answered right away or how it will be answered. Sometimes He wants us to ask and keep asking. Seek and keep seeking, Knock and keep knocking – in faith – and persevering prayer to grow our faith muscles. And then we will find, receive and it will be opened to us. And we do know that it is not his will that any should perish – but that everyone should have everlasting life. He does not override free will -but at the same time He is sovereign. He has ways of convincing us to trust Him! And of reaching out to us in our pain with little bridges and signs and kindness and miracles and truth – He knows how to get our attention when we are far from Him, lost or in bondage.

            There are so many promises about asking in faith. Just because we aren’t used to thinking this way (in our whole Christian culture for hundreds of years) -doesn’t mean we are right and the bible is odd. Let’s ask God to teach us what His word really says and means – to let His Spirit open our eyes to this very important aspect of our walk,- even if we have read those parts for years, thinking we understood them. There is so much we don’t understand, but He loves to give us truth and His Spirit and to help us grow in faith and prayer and love and hope.

            Andrew Murray says
            We must begin to believe that God, in the mystery of prayer, has entrusted us with a force that can move the Heavenly world, and can bring its power down to earth.

            Here are a few quotes from him about prayer that may be encouraging. This isn’t usually a quick journey -but it is worth it!!

            http://prayer-coach.com/2010/08/23/prayer-quotes-andrew-murray/

          9. Here are a few examples: maybe that will help us wrap our minds around it.

            When the first intercessor I met prayed over me – she prayed freedom and healing and then she actually did say “Now you are free. Walk in it.” That confused me so much! I didn’t feel anything! I was still in unbelief- and still had weakness/symptoms etc. I was actually kind of mad at her! How dare she say that?!?

            But – then God worked over months and multiple prayers and rebuking/rejecting satan’s work in my life after that to set me totally free. I think the process started with her short prayer that I didn’t understand and that I thought did nothing.

            A formerly Muslim man who God is now using like crazy in Africa, said someone literally dragged him to a church and dragged him up an aisle to pray with the pastor. He did not want to be there, didn’t really mean what he prayed, but repeated the “sinner’s” prayer and ended with “In Jesus Name” following the pastor’s lead. He wasn’t saved right then – but it started God’s work in his life -and later Jesus came to him in dreams and he was saved.

            It’s like a seed – the potential energy is now inside us after someone speaks truth over us

            Isa 55:11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
            So especially when we pray the WORD over people -that is the most powerful thing to pray.

            Something awesome to pray is for God’s kingdom to come in this person, and His will to be done in them, in this person as it is in heaven.
            There are many books that are divided up with verses to pray over people. That is a great way to pray.
            May God continue to build us all up into the Head which is Christ – for His glory!

          10. Great post, radiant. Love it – I understand Humbled Husband’s struggle here because I still struggle with some of it myself. But, it seems God keeps pulling me more and more to the side of believing prayer. What you wrote resonates in my spirit with what God has been speaking to me about prayer for the past few years. I love that Andrew Murray quote.

            I have to believe that God knows what He’s doing when He brought me to faith years after marrying my husband. He has put me with this family that doesn’t know God at all. I believe in His goodness and mercy and believe that there is a reason for that. I believe that God knew that the natural love I have for my own family, my husband and his family would lead me to cry out for their salvation. I am believing God for the salvation of my husband’s father even now as he is getting close to the end of his life.

            I truly believe that there are people I have met in my day to day “doing life” in the past that have stood out to me – it seems God has highlighted them in my life and whether we could have a deep conversation about God or not, I have prayed for their salvation. I believe that God is the One who has laid those people on my hearts and that I will see those people in heaven one day. I really believe that. Not because of my perfect prayers or any power in my prayer, but because the Spirit of God in me is my reality and I trust that His Spirit leads me and impresses on me to pray. We get to be a part of it.

            I think a lot of prayer shifts for me when I began to really understand and believe that the old me is gone and dead and I am one with Christ. If I am one with Christ and I am living from that reality, then my prayers are effective because the Spirit of God Himself is acting upon/in me to pray and intercede for others.

            How many times, too, do we not even go to God in prayer asking because we try our other methods first? I was watching my niece the other day who had an upset stomach and her mama was out of town. I tried to assess, called my sister-in-law to see what I should do, but ultimately didn’t come up with a solution. Then remembered the verse….”You have not because you ask not.”. I prayed for her right then and there, and within minutes her stomach was feeling better and she was not complaining. I wonder how many times we don’t have simply because we didn’t ask (or as James says, we don’t get what we wanted because we were asking for selfish motives).

          11. Thanks Radiant! (Hopefully this post replies in line)

            I’m beginning to see something here and I think God is trying to tell me something. Yesterday I was told by an older Christian brother that it would be of great benefit to read George Mueller’s autobiography. Today you mention him as well. I’m partway through Andrew Murray’s “Total Surrender” and as a result of your post I’ve just ordered Watchman Nee’s “The Normal Christian Life”.

            I am so grateful for the prayer that you have offered on my behalf. I hope that I can break through into this prayer freedom in a much bigger way soon.

            HH

          12. Radiant,

            “Yes, everything has already been done for them – to be saved, healed, set free. God has already given us every spiritual blessing in Christ…..But they have to receive it.”

            That implies that each of us have the final say, not God, in our coming to a saving knowledge. However, He gets credit for every part of our coming to Him because He initiates and enables all of it. And still, in a mystifying way that we cannot fully understand, at the same time, we must respond to His calling and accept Him.

            It is not that God just offers out the invitation and passively sits by waiting politely for a response. We don’t invite Him. He is actively initiating, enabling and calling those Whom He has chosen.

            As christians, we have already been given every spiritual blessing in Christ–but not before salvation. Unbelievers do not have every spiritual blessing in Christ but actually have no power to obey Him.

            We may need to disagree on this if you see differently, but I thought I needed to clarify how I understand God’s role in salvation, election, predestination.

            (Said with a gentle spirit, in case my clumsy style speaks otherwise. And with love, sweet sister!)

          13. Trying to respond inline to J – Yes I believe – and it says in Romans 3
            ” None is righteous, no, not one;
            no one understands;
            no one seeks for God.
            All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
            no one does good,
            not even one”

            The Holy Spirit is the only One who can open our eyes, bring us from death to life, and put His new life in us and make us new creatures in Christ. And yet – God, in His sovereignty also gave us free will – as a sort of God-imager (created in His image). So He is absolutely sovereign – and we also have free will at the same time. I do not claim to understand it – but I don’t understand much ! He has predestined us, yes! And He has predestined good works for us to do. Our justification is entirely God’s doing, as will be our glorification. Our sanctification – in a mysterious way – is both God working in us and us working out our salvation – at the same time.

            And yes I agree – unbelievers are not already free and do not yet have the promises of Christ. They are still in the kingdom of darkness under Satan’s authority as all of us are before we are saved. When we fell – we as people – gave Satan the authority God gave us (is what I have learned recently). Satan has no authority over Christ and believers -but we can give Satan authority as believers by not resisting him and by thinking and doing things his way.
            God does very actively woo us to save us and when we wander from Him.

            Thank you for your points!! This is a lot of heavy stuff to wrap our minds around. I do not understand it all but I press on to know Christ! We need each other to sharpen each other and help us grow up into Him who is our head.

            What I don’t want for us -in our not being able to understand – is to miss out on growing our faith and focus on Christ and His power in us and to bring His kingdom and will in this world. To put our focus on our own abilities rather than the all-sufficiency of Christ, the Spirit, the Word, the Blood and faith in Him.

            I hope I explained things ? (I can ramble if you haven’t noticed!) So glad we can have these discussions.
            Grace and peace!

          14. Radiant,

            Not being able to reply directly from your response, hopefully this posts in the proper order here.

            Thanks for your thoughtful explanation. I think we agree on all points mentioned. 🙂

            Love to you!

          15. Amen, that really was awesome from RadiantandRedeemed! Something I often struggle with is praying, and than accepting my prayers have been heard, walking in victory, and letting go of the problem. I ask God to handle something, but than I keep trying to handle it myself. It’s a trust issue, rather than leaning into Christ, rather than accepting that He will take care of it, I have a tendency to doubt, to qualify, to fear. As if worry adds one day to your life, as if God’s will is not going to prevail anyway.

            In marriage this letting go and trusting hubby to handle something has been critical. He might mess it up, he might not handle it quite the way I want, but the alternative is to make myself absolutely crazy and to not avail myself of peace. Often, even when I cannot see things going the way I want them too, if I am patient, they actually turn out even better than I imagined.

          16. There is a great need for a forum such as this for men. I am inspired by the female insight on this forum but there is a great need for robust discussion amongst men about these principles practised as a servant leader!

          17. HH,
            I totally agree! Perhaps God might lead you to one, or to begin one, sometime. 🙂 I pray for God to raise up places like this for our brothers in Christ. In fact, my prayer is that God will provide at least one couple in every church of His across the world who can mentor, disciple, and teach other believers in these issues.

  6. Very good reminders and things that God is personally dealing with me about in my life currently. It’s so interesting how He keeps showing me more and more and taking me deeper and deeper into this. Every five or six months, I feel like I am “starting all over” because the revelations seem so new and fresh. I know that I have even written that in past comments. So, here I am again.

    I think this new place started when I read one of Lori’s comments a few posts ago about how she does not argue with her husband. Wow. I didn’t even like that comment at first (really, I just didn’t understand it at all! I read it as just being a doormat, but now I understand much better!) — Sorry, Lori!! 😀 But God has used it and I started reading her blog and have been soaking things up over there. 🙂 I’ve read several posts about conflict over there and some of her husband’s responses which have a lot of wisdom in them. God has used all of it to show me that I have still been trying to get my way in certain things.

    Some of our conflict comes from a place of not knowing how to communicate really well with each other. I get hurt by some insensitive things he says, I try to respectfully bring it up to him and somehow it ends up even worse – me feeling even more unloved and insecure in our relationship and him feeling attacked again. In my mind, I’m not even close to attacking him (and I’m not); I’m merely sharing how I was hurt by something, but for him, he is reading it as me being unhappy again with him.

    There’s so much history and tangled up stuff it would take forever to unravel it all here, but just lots of hurt feelings on both sides.

    Anyway, after I started reading about not arguing anymore and just processing that with God, I realized that things needed to change. Also, God showed me that I have not been treating my husband with the respect that he deserves when my emotions get heated. Now, in my mind, I thought I was doing pretty good. I was holding my tongue a lot, not saying things that would have been natural months ago, etc. But, now, I can see that I need to be very, very careful about how I say things to him, treating him with the utmost respect as I share something like hurt feelings or something that I disagree with him in. And, realize that if the conversation is starting to get heated, then I can respectfully submit to what he is saying and give greater heed to the things he is saying to me (putting aside my own thoughts, need to be heard, etc.). I know this is going to be a battle and the enemy is going to throw everything my way to get me off this path.

    But, so far, we have had a couple of conversations that have gone much, much better because of the things God is showing me and I am encouraged!!! Yesterday, my husband pursued reconciliation with something and I believe part of it is because of the changes I’m working on. This is huge to me, because I feel like I have always initiated conversations toward that end in the past. (I also have recently told him, though, that I feel like I have done that too much and that I was going to let him lead in that area….even if it meant waiting days for him….and sometimes, it does – double ouch). It hurt me to think it had to be me always initiating that and so yesterday, when he did and I hadn’t had to wait 72 or more hours for it, it really touched me and I thanked him a LOT for doing that.

    I love Greg’s comment about how ultimate grace is like a mirror for others. That is so true.

    I think I need to work on smiling more at my husband when I’m waiting on him to be ready to talk (this is hard because sometimes, when I am waiting for a long time, I start to get angry because it feels very unloving….however, maybe if he sees me smiling and maybe with my better respectful responses while we are discussing tough stuff, he will be willing to come to me quicker).

    I’m the world’s longest commenter here, but just wanted to share where I’m at with all of this. 🙂 I still have lots to learn and God is patient and seems to keep showing me more and more as I’m ready.

    Thanks, April!

    1. Jennifer,

      This is very much a process of swinging too far one way at first, then too far the other way… too much talking, not enough talking, too controlling and disrespectful, too doormat-like…

      My prayer is that you will hear God’s voice clearly and know when to speak and how to speak in a way that honors Christ and your husband and that you will know when and how to share your feelings and concerns respectfully without arguing or complaining – and that you will learn how to handle things when you are feeling very emotional. Not to stuff everything, but to process things with God, and then to have His power and His wisdom about exactly how to proceed.

      If you don’t agree, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share. Sometimes, you still do need to share. But there are ways to do that without arguing, tension, or strife – as you practice and as you allow God to work through you. It takes time, or it sure did for me. If there is something that is clear sin, there are times you will need to respectfully stand against that, even if your husband doesn’t like it. The ultimate goal is to please Christ, not your husband. But if you can please both, that is ideal. I hope that makes sense. Don’t compromise on things that are clear sin. “Oh, you want me to let our daughter have an abortion? Sure, Honey!”

      I’m really glad to hear that things went so much better yesterday. It takes Greg days, sometimes longer, to make decisions, depending on the decision. This does require a LOT of patience! But he also helps to keep me from making hasty decisions and rushing into something I will regret. I appreciate that about him!

      I used to get really upset when Greg wouldn’t answer me in 10 seconds. Or 5 minutes. Or 30 minutes. Or an hour. Of course, now I know the more I pressured him with negativity and tried to force him to decide, the more paralyzed and disrespected he felt. he just needs a lot of time to make decisions. We think totally differently. Now, I can give him all the time he needs without me freaking out or getting impatient. THAT is awesome! I love being able to have peace while I wait. It took time to learn to do this. A LOT OF TIME!

      I think you can realize you are on his team, and that he just needs a lot of time to decide, and you can just leave it with him for however long he needs, generally. If you want to talk more about this, please let me know. 🙂 It helps me to remember that we are a team, the marriage is more important than the individual decisions we need to make. It helps me to remember I want God’s will ultimately, not mine. It helps me to remember that God uses Greg to stretch and grow me – like my level of patience! And God’s timetable is often much longer than mine. So Greg taking a long time to make decisions reminds me of how we wait on God and His timing is often “slow” in our eyes, but perfect!

      Have you read, “When She Surrendered” that Greg wrote about how he felt as I was changing? Might be helpful.

      I’m so proud of you and your openness to God and to allow Him to change you and heal you and your marriage. What He is doing in you is beautiful!

      Much love!

      1. April,

        My waiting on him is when he has shut me down because he doesn’t want to handle a hard conversation with me (by hard, I mean when I bring an issue up that he doesn’t want to face). This has been an issue all of our marriage (him having a hard time discussing anything that has any kind of emotion other than happy, happy).

        One of the things I used to do was to pursue reconcilation with him – sometimes at all costs (letting go of the issue that really needed to be addressed)….but now God has had me tell him that he is the leader of how our relationship will be played out, too, so if he leads us in our marriage to not work things out, then that is where we will go. Or he can lead us by deciding to talk through an issue in a respectful way, even though it’s very hard for him to have hard conversations. Or he can lead us to silence in our marriage by deciding he doesn’t want to talk to me for days because he didn’t want to face my hurt (even though said respectfully) or didn’t want to have a hard conversation. So, I think when I told him that I was stepping back from taking the lead in keeping our relationship going forward the way I have in the past, it might have had the effect of helping him to pursue me after some recent conflict in a faster way than before. I’m hopeful that this is what happened, anyway!

        So, not really waiting on him to make a decision….but then again…..maybe the same thing? Is this the kind of waiting that you learned to do with Greg, as well? I guess I always thought you were talking about waiting for him to make a decision on issues like child-raising or financial, etc.

        I will re-read “When She Surrendered”. I know I’ve read before, but it’s been a while.

        Thanks!

        1. Jennifer,

          I think sometimes we wives expect verbal reconciliation and maybe even compromise or agreement on all issues. Sometimes, there are differences that we will not reconcile. The issues won’t be reconciled, but we can have unity in our marriage and harmony in our relationship even as we don’t agree on an issue. Does that make sense?

          We take a long time to make decisions at our house – even about what we are going to do that day. I have learned that it is often going to take an hour or two from the time I bring up what we might do on a Saturday afternoon before we have a decision. But if I am patient, we do eventually make a decision, and we enjoy each other. I don’t ruin things like I used to by getting exasperated with Greg for taking a long time to say what he would like to do, or to respond to something I would like to do.

          The phase you are in is frustrating at times, because there are a lot of unknowns at this stage – and it is difficult to get your bearings. But I know as you continue to pursue Christ first and seek His voice and His heart and wisdom – He will be the still small voice behind you saying, “This is the way, walk in it.”

          As you continue on, most likely, you will have less and less conflict and when you do have conflict, it will be resolved more quickly as you both realize you can trust each other and you are on the same team.

          Much love to you!

          1. April this subject has surely opened the way for lots of women to comment….am wondering what are you most popular blog post titles, interested. As human beings we have to overcome our egos, selfishness, blindness and hard hearts. When that happens we may be a little more like Jesus Christ.

          2. Angiecliffordskitchen,

            On the right side of my blog in the column is a section with the most popular posts. 🙂

            There is much we need to overcome – for all of us. Thankfully, Jesus has already overcome all of the obstacles if we will allow Him to work in us and transform us, He can give us victory!

          3. Yes, it does make sense that we can have unity and harmony in our marriage even though we might not agree on something or even if something isn’t brought to the conclusion that I wanted. I think the most difficult thing for me is when I feel he has personally attacked me, that is something that I feel needs to get cleared up before I can just go forward. But, I do believe and see that God is taking us into that new way of doing things where we may not always agree, but can still have harmony. This is what we experienced last week and it was soooooo nice!!!!! I hope and trust that God is going to be doing a lot more of that in our marriage as I learn how to show my respect to him more and more and as he also learns to listen to me without being defensive. I see both of those things happening in our marriage right now and it gives me so much hope!

            You know how so many of us start this journey with kind of showing respect but not necessarily respecting from the heart? It’s been hit on so many times as you counsel us and as we wives struggle through the different stages. Well, I *think* God has done something in my heart that feels different with that. Things just feel different and I have no one to thank and praise by God because I know I didn’t conjure it up. We step out in obedience at first without feelings many times in many areas of our Christian walk and God comes in and does the heart work. I think that is what’s happening. Yay! And, as the intimacy in our marriage has been closer this past week, I’m reminded by the Holy Spirit not to put my hope or trust in my marriage, but continue to look to Christ to meet my needs and be all to me. In the past, as soon as things got better, it seems I would cling to that idol of my intimate marriage or my husband as my idol, but this time feels…..different….and great….and yay!!!!!!

            Love you, so thankful for God’s patience and continuing work in all of us.

          4. YES!!!!!!!!!!!! Jennifer! YES! You are getting to a deeper level – this is such an exciting part of this journey!!! You explained it very well. We start by obeying, but we don’t start with the feelings of joy and peace about it. But then God does the heart work in us by the power of His Spirit. Exactly!

            And YES! Even as our marriages are healed, we continue to totally depend on God and His Spirit, not on our husbands. We must guard against making our husbands idols, even when things are healed and going well. No one can be Christ to us. Only Jesus can fill that spot.

            This is awesome!

            Yes, it is important to address a personal attack, I believe. But in time, you will be able to both share your views respectfully and not attack each other at all. That is the goal. Then there is cooperation and collaboration with mutual honor, love, trust, and respect. That is how we can have harmony even when we disagree about a particular decision. It brings me such joy to get to watch you experience these blessings and to reach new levels of understanding and joy. 🙂 PRAISE GOD!

          5. Thanks for being excited for me!!! 🙂 Yes, praise God from Whom all blessings flow!!

            April, even when my hubby and I are getting along and things are peaceful, I have been realizing for a few years that we don’t have a lot in common, don’t have much to talk about. I prayed about that issue this morning and felt God saying that I need to serve my husband in this area, too….that even though I want him to show interest in me and my life and things that make me *me* (something I’ve felt pretty hurt about over the years), that I need to serve my husband here and learn to enjoy things he does (NASCAR, here I come, haha….maybe not, but whatever God points to, I know He’ll give me the grace for!)….and also I would like to learn how to invite some deeper conversation where he feels safe to talk to me. I need to learn more about this man somehow – this man who doesn’t like to talk but probably also hasn’t felt safe to share with me for many, many years.

            So,I was curious if you had any resources, books, ideas to share. I know that I need to let go of some of those female expectations of intimate emotional talks, but I *think* I’m talking about something different here. I’d love to hear from other husbands and what they would prefer their wives to do to show interest in who they are as a human being.

            Thanks!!

          6. Jennifer,

            Greg loves football and many sports and NASCAR. Those things are not my cup of tea. But I can sit with him for awhile and read beside him. Or I can sit and cuddle and ask questions now and then about his team or about a play or something that happened. Or I can ask him about the strategy he thinks his team will use, or about why he loves that sport. I can invite him to share about things that matter to him – just like I would seek to listen to my children talk about the things they are interested in – because I value them, even if I am not very into what they love.

            The book How To Talk So Your Husband Will Listen and Listen So Your Husband Will Talk by Rick Johnson is quite good and may give some helpful ideas. 🙂

  7. Hi, April. I just wanted to say hello and tell you how blessed I still am by your blog! I have had many things going on, so I really have only been able to read the posts and comments but haven’t been able to comment. I am so blessed by what all the women are sharing and what God is doing! You are continuing to stay true to God’s truth and message to wives regarding His plan and purpose for us. I thank you for that! My husband just ordered your book for me and I cannot wait to read it :). Thank you for all you do and please know you are loved and appreciated by many! God Bless You, Eliza

  8. Once I was sitting in a church meeting, but my thoughts were racing on how mean, spiteful my hubby had been behaving recently. I glanced down and saw a bible under a chair and felt compelled to pick it up. It fell open to the scripture which said ……is anybody treating you badly? Pray for them and ask God to bless. Why should you receive a blessing if you love only those that love you, even sinners do that. Love those who treat you badly, then you will receive a blessing…Angie

  9. I grew up in a home where my dad was the boss. He screamed and shouted, ranted and raved and I watched my mum endure a lot of abuse especially verbal. She said what she needed to say and then said nothing despite how much he attacked her character. She was Christian and he wasn’t. I hated that he was ‘allowed’ to do this. It made me so angry. I guess I vowed to myself that I would never allow my husband to do that to me, and that I would always have a voice no matter what! Fast forward many years and I am now a mother of two, married to a man who is soft spoken and gentle, but also has a side of him that’s very quick to shut down and shut me out at the first sign of conflict and I can’t handle it. I never know when to just shut up and let God take over. I go on and on and I know it’s not honouring toward him yet I can’t find it in myself to just be quiet and pray like people have told me I should. He grew up with an incredibly loud and controlling mother which may explain why he shuts down and now I am becoming a mix of both her and my own father. I would love to learn and recognise more, the nudge of the holt spirit telling me to stop and pray because we are not fighting against flesh and blood……

    1. Laura Doyle has written a brilliant book called surrendered wife….. She talks a lot about put the duct tape over our mouths honestly this book is worth reading the bible teaches a godly wife won’t need to say a word her behavior will allow God to work in his heart
      Angie

      1. angicliffordskitchen,

        God used that book to impact me so mightily – even though it wasn’t written from a Christian prospective and I did have to constantly filter things out that were not biblical. It was super helpful. I do think there are times a wife may need to speak up. But there are also times when our respectful, kind gift of silence may be more powerful. I personally did way too much talking earlier in our marriage and needed to learn how precious my not speaking could be – when I used silence with God’s Spirit not out of spite, of course. I pray we will be sensitive to God’s Spirit about exactly what to do and when! 🙂

    2. Daughter of the King,

      Yikes. We can carry so much baggage from our imperfect childhood examples. It is critical to go through the things to which we were exposed and to evaluate those things based on Scripture – then to carefully tear out all of the ungodly lies and sinful ways of thinking and very purposely replace them with the truth of God’s Word and His design. This takes time. And a lot of wrestling in prayer. It is SO PAINFUL! We are not blaming our parents, but we can ask God to help us see any scars or warped thinking or distorted views of Himself, ourselves, marriage, femininity, and masculinity that we may have embraced and then we can ask Him to help us reconstruct our core beliefs on His Word.

      The dynamics in your marriage sound similar to ours in the first 14+ years. I believe there will be a lot of posts here that may be such a blessing to you as you seek to unlearn some of the old ways of thinking and learn to die to your old sinful self and live for Christ as your new self in Him!

      How is your walk with Christ going?

      What do you desire to have in your relationship with Him?

      This will take baby steps. If you are willing to decide to totally yield yourself to Christ and to allow Him to transform you radically – your mind, heart, and spirit – I would be honored to walk beside you on that journey. I can point to the baby steps and point you to Christ. I can pray for you and support you. I can’t do the painful work, or the wrestling that is going to be needed. But I can love and cheer you on and seek to encourage and bless you on the journey.

      Much love to you!

  10. my husband had finished a training course and had to look for a job. He began attacking me and generally being quite mean and emotionally/verbally abusive. I was FURIOUS. I went into the house and in a few moments cooled off enough to think. I realized that what was going on was that he was feeling afraid and insecure about having to step out into a totally new field and succeed. instead of being able to process those feelings, he was taking them out on me, making me a scapegoat as he has often done. Is this right? No, not at all. It actually says some things about his level of emotional health and maturity that are not very good.

    But at the moment, I was feeling fiercely determined to respond differently so I thought for a moment. I realized I was the one who actually understood what was going on and so i decided to respond on the basis of what insight i had and not his behaviour. So instead of giving him the fight that he wanted that would allow him to blame me for his poor behaviour, I decided to give him grace. I went out and showed him a bible verse that spoke of God being with us and helping us succeed. Then I offered to pray for him which he accepted. He seemed to calm down.

    I wish I could say that this had one of those wonderful War Room style endings but it didn’t at that moment. Instead, he rallied and threw a bible verse in my face about how I was like rebellious women who eat their own placentas, seizing on it as if he had to have some demeaning victory over me that proved I was the problem. It was a very discouraging and disappointing moment to be on the receiving end of such persistent spite and a refusal to respond in truth and maturity. My heart and spirit sank into the ground with a dull and heavy thud and I turned away in great consternation to go back into the house. Later on he somewhat apologized though at this point there isn’t any willingness to see himself realistically.

    That is hard because it is pretty impossible to have a relationship with someone who is not open to truth about himself and who refuses to seek God with any determination, and so my dream of having a godly mature christian husband is gone save that God chooses to do something incredible. All I know is that I cannot do this for him. Or myself. As much as his sin stinketh and is rather offensive to behold, mine is also rather ugly. But in a way, like idolatrous Gomer in the book of Hosea, it seems that God needs to hem and hedge me in so that I cannot find my pathways ( seeking love, security and fulfillment in the love of a man). I accept gracefully this much needed defeat and will continue to seek God intenselyl until He has burned all the idolatrousness and willful sin out of my heart and restored me to His paths for His name’s sake. That’s all that really matters, this business of eternal things. May God work in us both so that we are sold out to Jesus and seek God’s kingdom first.

    1. Somewhat Anonymous for This One,

      Ugh. It is so painful to be sinned against and attacked like that! But how I praise God, my sweet sister, that God empowered you to get away and think and get your spiritual bearings so that you could see the situation more from God’s perspective. That is awesome!

      Sometimes, when a husband is far from God, it seems that they just cannot hear spiritual truth from us or God’s Word from us. The closer they are to God, the more likely they can hear these things from us, I believe. But when they are far from God, it can be almost like pouring gasoline on a fire when we try to respectfully share God’s truth from Scripture with our men. (I Peter 3:1-2)

      He may not be able to hear from you – BUT – God can reach him! The amazing thing to me, is that sometimes as we don’t talk about spiritual things, and we focus on living out a godly example in our own attitude and example by the power of God’s Spirit, God often convicts our husbands and opens their eyes in ways that are so much more powerful than anything we could do!

      There are times we do need to speak up. There are times we do need to share God’s truth. There are times we do need to respectfully confront sin. There are also times to respond without words about spiritual things and to pray. How I pray God will give each of us the ability to hear His voice clearly in each of these difficult situations. He has the wisdom we need in each moment and circumstance!

      Much love to you! I love your heart for Christ and your heart for your husband and marriage. 🙂

  11. 1 Peter 3:1 Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, !!! they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives!!! (And the rest of the chapter too…)

  12. Ladies and Gentlemen, I would also like to point out an often overlooked part of the bible regarding families in the last days. (Luke 12:49-53) Yes, we must do all we can as Christians to be Christ-like in our dealings with our mates, however, that is no guarantee that they will respond in kind.

  13. “Being shown ultimate grace is like being shown a mirror.”

    I sure loved this! That is exactly what my husband granted me, grace, unmerited favor, and it just softened my heart. That is what Christ offers us too, in an even more profound way, but when you see that reflected in a spouse it is just compelling.

    “Is there a time your husband was being very harsh and God prompted you to respond in a godly way?”

    Yes, and since I am a fighter, it is totally counter-intuitive, but I soften my voice, defuse my tone, do not respond emotionally, try to portray a sense of calm. Sometimes I must be quiet and say nothing at all. My husband is always quick to catch himself, his frustration blows over quickly, and he is an all round good guy, so it is not all that difficult. But before, I would go into attack mode and he would escalate and pretty soon we were screaming at each other. It’s against my nature to soften myself when under attack, but it’s even more against his nature. It works however, just being that calm, non judgmental witness, goes a long way towards bringing peace. My husband always regrets it when his tone has been too harsh or he speaks out of frustration.

    1. insanitybytes22,

      Thank you so much for sharing how God has shown you to respond with gentleness and how to calm the situation in yourself, which helps him to calm down instead of pouring gasoline on his fire! That is awesome! Praise God!

  14. This is so hard but Gods truths are the only thing to encourage us. Just this morning my husband said to our 9 month old ‘stupid mummy’ and in front of our 6yr old because I had not noticed that I had put the baby in his highchair properly. Immediately there is a pang of pain in my belly and then the rage and fury at the injustice (now my responses are probably greater than someone elses just due to my own issues) but a major row was averted (after a few heated words) as I tried to ask him not to speak to me like that, and he actually apologised. I think it was partly me being quiet that gave him the space to apologise. (A quiet answer turns away wrath)It doesn’t feel like progress but I know it is!

    1. Liz,

      I can understand that no wife would appreciate her husband making a comment like that. I sure wouldn’t! But I am glad that you tried to respond calmly and asked him not to speak to you like that. That is awesome that you are learning and sounds like you are both making some progress! 🙂 WOOHOO!
      Thanks so much for sharing!

      Much love!
      April

  15. April, I just read your post “Some Conflict Is Inevitable”. There are SO many profound things said there.

    I love what you said about how we have to be bold for Christ as His Spirit empowers us and fills us.

    2 Timothy 2: 1You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. 3Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. 5Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. 6The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. 7Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.

    8Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, 9for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. 10Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.

    Praise be to the God and Father our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Ephesians 1).

    Amen !

  16. I am going to be brutally honest this was hard to hear at the at the moment. for I felt I had to give back a foster dog that I adopted, back to its Foster home, because my husband was abusing the dog, he would beat on his head, slap him on his head or muscle when he would not get down when asked the first time, and this last time was the last straw for me because he was choking him because he was getting into it with the other dog that we have even though the other dog started it. the dog I adopted would get punished badly I could not stand by and watch him do this to my dog every time the two male dogs would growl at each other so I came to the decision of giving the dog back for the dog’s sake. and right at the moment I am still sad, angry, and resentful towards my husband right now this happened about 2 weeks ago give or take. and still have been crying off and on because I miss the other dog. every time he would do this I would ask him and beg him not to treat him like that, but he continued and did not respect my boundaries on it. I do not agree at all that you train a dog in that fashion. please pray for me in this difficult time.
    Thank You April and God bless.

    1. Pamela Stoltz,

      I can understand why you would have given the dog back if you felt he was being abused. 🙁 I’m so sorry to hear about this and can understand you would be heartbroken about having to give the dog back. How may we pray for you? How are you and your husband doing at this point?

      Much love and a huge hug!

  17. this one was a hard one for me to hear at the moment.
    because I have to I had to give my dog back to a faster than I adopted him from a year ago.
    because my husband was abusing him horribly. my pleas of him to not do this went unnoticed. and boundaries were crossed.
    please pray for me for I am feeling resentful,
    and angry at my husband over this.
    thank you very much April your sister in Christ

  18. My husband isn’t exactly mean and critical. However, he ignores me. He spends so much (all of) his time looking at the TV and his phone. He even talks back to the TV, and not to me. He simply doesn’t hear me. I can’t bring up my feelings and how it hurts me because he insists always that he is right, and if he thinks I’m disagree with him, he simply ignores me or refuses to “fight.” In the past I would try to talk to him about things I am struggling with (addiction, i am almost 5 years sober, but have been struggling with cravings and nightmares) separate from him and he changes the subject or gets frustrated. When he watches things on tv about people with similar issues he says such hateful things. He knew when I married him that I am in recovery, and it hurts on a deep, painful level when he does this. It feels like he is talking to me.

    And when I feel pain and sadness, it quickly turns to righteous anger. We’re both sinning. We’ve only been married 1.5 years, and before we were wonderful friends. I tend to be antisocial and isolate myself from other relationships and friendships out of exhaustion and fear, and at this point, I feel incredibly lost. Your blog has been a great encouragement to me.

    My husband and I did not rush into this marriage. We were friends for 10 years and dated for several. We both know Jesus, and did not move in together until we were married. We both have been divorced and committed that this marriage would work.

    His children Are grown, but I have an 8 year old son and I worry about the example we are setting for him. Please pray over our marriage. Please pray that I would have a heart ready to love and forgive and cherish, when my mind tells me to walk.

    Thank you for your posts.

    1. Michelle,

      My husband used to spend all his time watching TV or on the computer – and I felt very ignored, too. I can definitely relate to feeling lonely and neglected. Now, he still loves to watch TV or spend time on his tablet – but he feels safe with me and I am always welcome to talk with him. Things have changed so much in the past 7 years.

      How is your walk with Christ going? What do you want in your relationship with Him? How do you handle your disappointment and anger? Have you ever worked through laying down your expectations? If not, here is a post that may be a great place to start.

      Much love to you!

  19. Hi April. I was really hopeless these last weeks and even think about getting separated to my husband. I didn’t do it because of our son. So many things happened (my husband even beat me once in the shoulder) in front of our son. I waited two weeks to confront him. I told him that we had too many problems and we needed to see a couple therapist. Then I exposed the main struggles in our marriage: first, he hasn’t forgive me and he has a bitterness root which is an open gate for the devil. And he is a spiritual leader: pastor and missionary in full time ministry! Then, he hasn’t cut the umbilical cord which his mum in every aspect. I told him that he won’t be able to get attached to me as he doesn’t do it. And do you know what he said? “You have nothing that I want to get attached to you”. 😱 Then, I spoke about his violence sad that comes from his dad and he told me that if I disrespect him again, he will beat me again!!! Without speaking our his sexual problems (low hormones) which mean we are more than 8 months without having sexual relationships. But we had one week of teaching about spiritual warfare last week and it really gave me hope and hep to focus on the spiritual side and not the human side. But please, pray for us. We gonna celebrate 4 years of marriage in 18 days but I won’t do nothing to celebrate. I just want to do my part and trust God asking him to give me promise regarding our marriage. Big hug

    1. Sonadewonderful,

      Oh, man. 🙁 my sister! I am so concerned about you. I have been and continue to be extremely concerned for your safety. These are serious issues and they have been ongoing. From your description, there has been no repentance at all on your husband’s part. The dysfunction is very severe. 🙁

      I am glad you are studying about spiritual warfare. There is certainly spiritual warfare going on. I really want you to get somewhere safe and to reach out for the help you need.

      Have you read any of http://www.leslievernick.com at all? Or http://www.focusministries1.org?

      Please be safe, my sister. I want you both to find healing in Christ. It seems that it is too toxic for you to be together right now. 🙁

      Thank you for the update!

  20. This post has helped soften my heart in a major way….a couple of days ago my husband just randomly said some really mean and hurtful things to me out of nowhere.I’ve had 3 children back to back and put on a lot more weight.He rudely bashed my weight and my unwillingness to work out,and even went as far as comparing my sex to other women he’s been with because he doesn’t like sex with me.I was beyond crushed and devastated….but the spirit in me guided me to respond to his comments in a calm and respectful way.Once I was no longer around him the anger,bitterness,hurt and resentment set in.We’ve been together almost 5 years anf this isn’t the first time he’s verbally attacked and verbally abused me for no reason.He’s an awesome father and husband,it’s just sometimes he reverts back to old ways and becomes really mean.It still makes me cry and my heart ache when I think about it because I know that’s how he really feels.I struggle with low self esteem and it’s due to how he’s treated me in the past.I would go into depressions so deep that sometimes I would starve myself for hours and barely eat.I haven’t had a desire to eat since that day.I’m asking for prayers and healing over my heart to help me to forgive and move on.

    1. Anonymous,

      It is so good to meet you, but how my heart aches for your pain. 🙁

      I want you to receive the healing that is available in Christ! How is your relationship with zjesus going? 🙂

      I invite you to search my home page for:

      – 25 ways to respect myself
      – radiant (Her posts will be a blessing)
      – insecurity
      – security
      – bitterness
      – contentment
      – godly femininity

      Much love to you! I am excited about what God can do and wants to do in your heart and the healing He can bring to your soul. 🙂

  21. Was wondering if anyone struggles with a husband’s anger due to health issues? My husband is diabetic. He is usually a very calm and loving person, but when his blood sugar rises he morphs. He becomes very harsh and very mean. Then he blames me stressing him out for his higher blood sugar levels. I try to extend grace at these times, but his comments hurt.

    1. Thyfuel,

      As a pharmacist, I am familiar with this happening. Yes, when blood sugar is not right, it can dramatically impact the way a person relates to others – in a negative way. 🙁

      Would you like to share an example of how a conversation might go, maybe we can talk about possible ways to handle it?

      Does he apologize later? Or are you able to realize that he is not himself at those times?

      Much love and the biggest hug to you!

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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