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InHisGrip Talks about Not Shutting Down Emotionally

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Today’s guest post is by a believing wife, InHisGrip:

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.

FINDING BALANCE

What would happen was that my husband would respond negatively to me during those times of me 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 (necessarily) wrong and also that our husbands need to see our emotions and emotional side (from Peacefulwife – unless they are motivated by sin). 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.

CHANGES IN OUR MARRIAGE

We are still living out that process, but in the last couple of months, I have seen a humility in my husband – he is not as determined to defend himself at all costs or to push the blame back on me, but is more 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.

A NEW WAY TO THINK ABOUT CONFRONTATION

Confrontation in my mind – 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 okay. 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 okay. 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 every time 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.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

(Some couples will need a godly, trusted, experienced counselor to help them with issues – and that is fine, too!)

When I talk about sharing our emotions, feelings, and thoughts on this blog – I am talking about sharing them after we examine our hearts for any sinful motives. We don’t want to just blast our husbands with thoughts that we should have taken captive for Christ. And if our emotions are not reliable at the time, we want to consider that prayerfully before we address anything or share anything. We can share our new self in Christ. But we do not want to share our old sinful nature freely. I hope that makes sense!

Also, if a husband is severely wounded spiritually/emotionally (or is in the middle of a state of rage or something really severe, or is not in his right mind) – we may not be able to share as much detail as we would with a husband who is more healthy emotionally and spiritually. He may need healing first before he is able to hear and absorb information about our pain or concerns. This all requires the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit for us to know exactly what to share and what not to and when and how, etc…

RELATED:

The Frustrating Quiet Phase

To Speak or Not to Speak

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

The Pendulum Effect – being too dominating and controlling or too passive and shut down are both sinful distortions of godly femininity or godly masculinity

Posts on Conflict

Taking Our Thoughts Captive

Posts about Emotions

 

93 thoughts on “InHisGrip Talks about Not Shutting Down Emotionally

  1. Oh man. I read this previously, but just yesterday, while walking in the woods, I was praying to God “what do I do now? I feel we (my husband and i) are soooo far apart. Farther than ever. I don’t know what you want me to learn, God, I need help, I need YOU!”

    Them this post. I am in the super quiet phase. So is he. And I’m tired of getting my head chopped off. I’m tired of bringing up problems that affect “us” snd him continually saying that they are “me” problems…something I just need to accept, or stuff away or get over or I’m stupid for feeling that way. I even tried to recognize fear in them, but it’s not even that. They are true concerns. I asked him to please come together with me to work together in this marriage with me, and he sits there, in a wallow of mud. Stagnate. Unmoving. Slapping away any help, conversation or approach. I am losing hope…which, if God wants this marriage to end, then I am for whatever God wants…truly, His will be done. I just didn’t want it to be something that ended because I wasn’t trying to “live on Peace to the point that it depends on me” as I am instructed in the bible. I see no movement, yet I know God may be working where I can’t see, so I choose to keep on keeping on. Why? I have no idea. Only cause I want to obey God, but in my flesh, I totally want to throw in the towel.

    How do I prevent from shutting down, putting that wall up for protection, yet be vulnerable and loving? They seem opposites. I am trying so hard to be respectful, but not to neglect respecting myself in turn. I really need some help and work here. This is a tough, tough subject for me and it is beating me down trying to learn the God way. Help!

    1. LMSdaily115,

      I can certainly understand that you are weary and tired of being treated harshly. 🙁

      I don’t believe that “God wants” this marriage to end. God’s perfect will is for us to have healthy, godly marriages, and for all of us to walk in obedience to Him and to be filled up with Him and to not live in sin. But – is this something God may allow in His permissive will if your husband doesn’t repent? Yes. Possibly.

      I love that you want to obey God completely. I pray for God’s wisdom for you and His continued healing in your life and for Him to reach your husband. I don’t know exactly what you should do in God’s sight, but I do know that He is able to communicate His wisdom and direction to you and I am trusting Him to do just that each step of the way. And I will support what you believe He calls you to do.

      The only way I know how to balance these things is to be filled with the Holy Spirit and to listen to His prompting – as you watch your own motives and seek to do what He calls you to do.

      Praying for you, my precious sister!

      I am praying for God to provide all of the resources you need and wisdom about boundaries, as well as exactly how He desires you to act and respond in this extremely difficult time.

  2. I believe our emotions can absolutely be wrong, especially if they are contradicting the Word of God and causing us to be unkind towards our husband and fall into a pit of self-pity which is Satanic. The more I have allowed the Word of God to rule my life instead of my emotions and feelings, the better all of my relationships have become.

    There is nothing in the Word about trusting our emotions or feelings, unless they are feelings of empathy, compassion, mourning with those who mourn, rejoicing with those who rejoice, etc. Unless I am misunderstanding what you wrote about “emotions aren’t wrong” I completely disagree with this statement since my wrong emotions and feelings almost destroyed my marriage.

    1. Lori Alexander,

      I agree that we can’t allow emotions and feelings to rule our lives. I have a few posts about that, actually! (Ladies, you may search my home page for “feelings” for some posts about this very thing.)

      I have edited the post to say, “emotions aren’t (necessarily) wrong.” And to say that sharing our emotions (unless we have sinful motives) is important.

      I think there is a delicate balance here. As with almost everything in the Christian walk.

      Some wives go totally silent and don’t share anything of themselves. They lose themselves. They become doormats. They are so afraid of “saying the wrong thing” that they say NOTHING. At all. They become empty shells. They stuff a lot of toxic feelings and thoughts deep inside themselves and become emotionally, spiritually, and physically very sick. They give up sharing their influence at all. They totally give up their voice and any participation in the marriage. I believe that is what this wife was doing. So she had to “course correct” toward being sure to speak up more.

      You and I, I believe, were on the other side of the continuum. I shared every single thought and feeling, including a lot of sinful, destructive ones, with Greg – without any kind of filter on my mouth or any kind of discretion or realization of what I was doing to Greg. I depended on my feelings more than I depended on Christ. That is also a BIG problem!

      Thank you for sharing! 🙂 I hope this may make things a bit more clear.

      1. I have a friend married to a very angry man. She is not a doormat in any sense of the word but strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. These are her words how she handles her very difficult husband (All to say, April, I understand what you are saying and how you changed it makes a lot more sense but it seems like it is more sharing our thoughts with our husband than our emotions since they are so very unpredictable! 🙂 ):

        “I have found that my husband’s moods can be very unpredictable. He has in the past become very angry and even hostile quite quickly. It is a challenge never knowing which man I’m going to get when he comes in the door, or when he returns from a trip. However, there are some strategies that I’ve learned from the LORD for dealing with my husband.

        When he is operating in anger, I remain very calm and peaceful. I pray in the Spirit as he is speaking in anger. If he escalates, I say something like this; “I need to go pray now. I’ll be upstairs because I don’t have the proper discernment now to answer your questions, or continue having this conversation.” Sometimes, he follows me. If he follows me, I remain utterly silent or actually pray in the Spirit as he continues to rage or speak angrily, even if he mocks me. He eventually leaves, because the fire goes out without two people throwing kindle on it.

        If my husband wants to argue, I simply refuse. Sometimes he is overcome by an argumentative spirit, due to wounds of his own, and he reacts out of these wounds instead of out of the Spirit of God. I respond to him, “I will not argue with you” and then I continue doing whatever it is that I was doing before he attempted to begin a debate of some sort. He may stand next to me and continue to try and pick a fight, but I exercise self-control and remain utterly silent. He will eventually excuse himself. If he needs to be “right” I do not agree with him if I don’t agree in my spirit, but I say nothing and allow him to “be right” in his anger. Later, he is either convicted and changes, or I continue to pray for the Holy Ghost to convict him privately.

        Prayer is my biggest strategy and I spend many hours in intercession weekly for our family and others, and God is faithful! I may see small changes, or change and then regression. It doesn’t matter what I see with my eyes; God’s Word is true and unchangeable. We are one flesh. I continue to war for my husband and trust God with the outcome, as I pour out love upon him at every opportunity, never repaying evil with evil, but overcoming evil with good. I lean into my Bridegroom, Jesus, when I feel I have no earthly husband to lean into. I am His. He enables me through grace to love my husband.”

        1. Lori Alexander,

          Thank you for sharing this. If a husband is in a state of uncontrollable rage – that is NOT an appropriate time for a wife to do much sharing about anything, I would imagine. I love the way this wife has learned to respond in the power of the Holy Spirit! That is the goal for all of us!

          I added a bit more to the post:

          When I talk about sharing our emotions, feelings, and thoughts on this blog – I am talking about sharing them after we examine our hearts for any sinful motives. We don’t want to just blast our husbands with thoughts that we should have taken captive for Christ. And if our emotions are not reliable at the time, we want to consider that prayerfully before we address anything or share anything. We can share our new self in Christ. But we do not want to share our old sinful nature freely. I hope that makes sense!

          Also, if a husband is severely wounded spiritually/emotionally (or is in a state of rage or something severe at the time or is not in his right mind) – we may not be able to share as much detail as we would with a husband who is more healthy emotionally and spiritually. He may need healing first before he is able to hear and absorb information about our pain or concerns. This all requires the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit for us to know exactly what to share and what not to and when and how, etc…

          1. Lori Alexander,

            Oh!

            And I do believe we can share our thoughts, feelings, emotions, ideas, concerns, perspectives, wisdom, etc… with our husbands – AS we listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. There are some things we don’t need to share. But there are a lot of things, as we learn to walk in the power of God, that we can share in constructive, respectful, edifying ways. I believe the key is the power of the Spirit and our willingness to check our motives and our husband’s receptivity at the time.

            Our emotions are not the source of absolute truth. No. Of course not! But they are part of us, and there are times we can certainly share them:

            I’m feeling afraid about X.
            I am sad about Y.
            I am so happy about Z!

            Much love!

          2. April, I like how respectful, courteous and Christ-like you are even when others share opposing views on your blog. That distinguishes you. I’ve tried to read a few other blogs by Christian women, and they make me appreciate you even more. It perplexes me when they teach women about being Godly wives, yet show absolutely no Godliness in responding to those with opposing views. Anyway, we all fall short sometimes.

            You truly draw people to what you teach with your positive response to any type of feedback. You are truly a blessing. I have learned so much from you. Thanks so much for clarifying for us and for letting us know that there is room for our emotions, and that sharing our emotions in a way that pleases God is okay.

          3. Prayinglikehannah,

            I am so thankful that people are willing to share different views. We all sharpen each other. This helps us all to grow stronger in our faith. It has been the times when I have received criticisms, that I have learned to better explain my perspective and that I have learned to better understand other people’s perspectives. What a valuable experience! I have learned to view disagreements and even conflict as a vehicle for spiritual growth many times – if we are willing to engage in it in a godly way.

            I actually ask God to send people to help me see areas where I am not explaining things clearly or there could be misunderstandings so that I can correct things. I want to represent God and His Word rightly. I am fallible. So I appreciate other people sharing – even those who share in anger – God often uses to help me better understand where other people are coming from.

            Emotions – like everything else, it seems, in the Christian walk – are about balance. We can make them the most important thing. That is really destructive! Or we can completely suppress and ignore them. That is also destructive. If we are walking in the Holy Spirit’s power, God can use our emotions and feelings kind of like warning signals on the dashboard to alert us when things are not right and to nudge us to go to Him in prayer.

            Thank you so much for the encouragement, my sister. I pray that God will empower me to be faithful and to respond with His wisdom, love, and truth to everyone who comments.

            Much love!

          4. Lori Alexander,

            These are such important topics! We all have our own filters coming into a discussion like this. So I want to try to be as sensitive to all of the different paradigms women may have as I can be. 🙂 I appreciate you sharing so that I could clarify things. I am sure it will be better for everyone and I appreciate the sharpening. 🙂

            Much love!

        2. How would this relate as far as the 1 Peter 3 command to win our disobedience husbands without a word? Wouldn’t saying, “I need to go pray now…” or making any mention of discernment be a version of bringing up spiritual matters?

          I know there have been a handful of times I have said something about trusting in God, or needing to pray about something, and my husband would sarcastically call me Mother Theresa or tell me how righteous I am, but follow it up by telling me that I’m a far cry from the godly woman I try to portray myself as.

          I have often considered it being persecuted for Christ’s sake, as He warns us that we will be. He says the world will hate us for His sake.

          1. Victorious Wife, it’s okay if your husband says things like this to you. You don’t need to let them bother you since you know who you are in Christ and find your worth and value from Him. Winning him without a word doesn’t mean you never say anything to him. It means you don’t preach or teach him, you don’t nag or manipulate him but you cast your cares upon the Lord and allow Him to convict and change your husband. You continue to treat your husband with respect. Nothing is more powerful to convict someone of their sin than for them to witness the power of a transformed life in you.

          2. So it’s still technically “without a word” when I say that I need to pray, or I say I need to go study the Bible? Because I’m not telling him that he should do that, and I’m not berating him with scriptures that he isn’t following, correct?

          3. Lori, thank you for this clarification and distinction! I felt like I shouldn’t mention God at all in our home, unless my husband does, which happens occasionally because he is a believer, despite the disobedience. Thank you!

          4. You’re welcome! Since Jesus is your life, of course you will mention Him often so your husband and children will see how much you love Him and hopefully draw them to this amazing Jesus that you serve. Remember to be cheerful and joyful! This will draw them to Him almost more than anything else that you do.

          5. It is easy to be joyful and cheerful most of the time, but when my husband is angry with me, or with my daughter, or is moody in general, he sometimes takes my cheerfulness as lack of concern for what is bothering him. He finds that very disrespectful. Misery loves company, or such. In those cases, I try to just be quiet and peaceful.

          6. Victorious Wife,

            It seems to me that you could mention you need to go pray or study the Bible. Or, God may prompt you to say you need some time alone to regroup or recharge or replenish your soul – whatever seems to fit. There are some times when I think a wife can mention Jesus and not be “obnoxious” about it. There are other times a wife may mention Jesus but have motives of trying to change her husband or purposely trying to aggravate him. That would probably not be productive. There are times when it is best not to mention Jesus or God or the Bible to a husband.

            In my view, exactly how much to say and how much not to say requires the discernment and wisdom of the Holy Spirit in each particular situation – and it may change over time in a particular marriage.

            Much love!

          7. Yes, this is true. It’s definitely something I need to be in prayer about. He does often ask me how he can handle things better, or why he isn’t able to handle things very well, and I feel like I can’t tell him the reason is because he doesn’t lean on Christ. He thinks that’s a cop-out answer. But what he’s been doing hasn’t been working, so perhaps it’s time to try it? I will pray for God to show me if and when I should speak that suggestion to my husband.

          8. Yes, thank you for this clarification. I have felt like saying God, pray, spirit or Jesus are like swearing to my husband. Although I feel proud to say them in public, in my hone I have not because of this “without a word” scripture. I feel more free now. Thank you.

          9. I think I’m still really confused about the “without a word” phrase there, too! I have taken it to mean that I should never ever speak to him about Christian things, but my mom thinks that I am reading that verse in an incorrect way. I’d love to hear others’ thoughts here.

          10. From what I understand through Lori’s and April’s replies, it means to not ask your husband to read his bible or do devotions or pray or anything pertaining to spiritual matters, not to quote scripture to him in hopes of teaching him something or showing him where he is sinning. However, we are, in certain cases and using discernment, able to state that we are going to pray, or need to study scripture, or spend time with God. It probably depends a lot on the husband, whether they are vehemently opposed to anything related to God, or if they are simply disobedient or blind and uninterested. As April said, it requires a lot of prayer and discernment and guidance from the Holy Spirit.

          11. What about shutting down because no matter how many times you share your need for connection, nothing changes..? Hopes being dashed. Eventually you shut down because you can’t take the pain of dashed hopes one more time.

          12. Failed Wife,

            I am so sorry to hear about this, my dear sister. 🙁

            Would you like to talk a bit about what is going on?

            Sending you a huge hug and praying for God’s wisdom, power, strength, and direction for you!

          13. Victorious Wife and CIC,

            There are a number of interpretations of this passage. It can be helpful do to a word study on it. Ultimately, I do believe it requires us to have God’s Spirit leading us to know exactly how to carry it out in a way that would most bless our husbands and most please Christ. 🙂

          14. ContentinChrist, I’ll repost my comment here for you:
            I think the King James version offers an important clarification on this subject. It says “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without THE WORD be won by the CONVERSATION of the wives;”
            This to me sounds like if our husbands aren’t being fed THE WORD (bible), then the CONVERSATION of their wives becomes very important.
            I believe it was a great loss to have newer translations replace “the” with “a” in this verse for this reason. It makes women think they have to win their husbands without speaking, when really it’s saying they can by their conversation win their husbands, even without THE word (bible).
            I hope this makes sense.

          15. I think the King James version offers an important clarification on this subject. It says “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without THE WORD be won by the CONVERSATION of the wives;”
            This to me sounds like if our husbands aren’t being fed THE WORD (bible), then the CONVERSATION of their wives becomes very important.
            I believe it was a great loss to have newer translations replace “the” with “a” in this verse for this reason. It makes women think they have to win their husbands without speaking, when really it’s saying they can by their conversation win their husbands, even without THE word (bible).
            I hope this makes sense.

          16. Jenny,

            Do you take that to mean if our husbands are not in the Word themselves, that our conversation should include the Word? We should discuss scripture and God’s commands and things like that?

            My concern is that that would repel my husband right now. He’s made comments to me about how I can abide by that, but he is going by what works in the “real world.” It makes me so sad, because he IS a believer who wants us to attend church together, and he does so many generous, selfless things for people anonymously because he knows God doesn’t want us doing things for show…but when it comes to obeying some of the more difficult things, like forgiving others and laying our burdens down, trusting God when life gets hard, he feels like those aren’t “real world” applications.

          17. Victorious Wife and Jenny,

            Here is a post that may be helpful about this passage written (at least in part) by Wayne Grudem (general editor of the ESV). The original language, not a particular English translation, is what we really want to deeply understand, in my view – sure would be easier sometimes if we all knew New Testament Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew! This passage has so many important concepts- I want to be sure we do rightly handle and understand it.

            https://bible.org/seriespage/10-wives-sarah-and-husbands-who-honor-them-1-peter-31-7

        3. Lori, this was super inspiring for me to read how to deal with an angry husband. I have been totally buffeted by the waves of his anger and overcone. I know God helps, but to have some “real life” examples of how to respond in a godly way is invaluable. Thank you thank you for this. I am putting those tools onto my “batman gadget belt” (I added this one to my armour of God). Bless you!

  3. Ladies,
    I am struggling today with this very thing as well. My husband made a MAJOR decision yesterday that effects our family, and at first, I just supported him and told him that I was going to follow him and take his decision as God’s will for us. I refrained from telling him how I felt about his decision, and felt that I really shouldn’t give any input or anything because ultimately, it was his decision.

    Well, Now that he made the decision, and now it involves some major changes on my part as well, I am feeling very sad. I got upset earlier and went to my husband and told him how I truly felt about his decision and he wasn’t really understanding what I was trying to say.

    He quit his job again, and he really feels it will be better for our family if we BOTH get FULL TIME jobs. Before, I was home and he worked, but his job was so unpredictable and he would often have to move out of state. I agreed COMPLETELY that his career needed a change so that we could have a more stable life together. So it’s not that I don’t want to work, I am just struggling because I am afraid if I start working again I will go back into “man-mode” and become resentful. At the same time, I really can’t find my contentment in whether I work or not, so I know that isn’t a question. I guess I am just sad and feel like my husband wants me to shoulder a responsibility that is not mine to bear 🙁

    I need a renewed mind about this, perhaps. Does anyone relate???

    Love,
    Amanda

    1. Amanda,

      Yikes! You know, I would have to say that I would appreciate a heads up and maybe a conversation about something that big before it happened if possible. I can totally understand you are feeling sad and maybe overwhelmed.

      One of my greatest fears when I began to honor Greg’s leadership was that I believed he didn’t want me home with our children (which I thought was God’s will for me) and that he would want me to work full time as a pharmacist because I could make so much more money that way. I was TERRIFIED. I was convinced that he didn’t really love me for me but just for my paycheck and that he couldn’t hear God’s voice clearly and he wouldn’t know God’s will for me like I felt I knew it.

      Have you read about the tests God sent me every month for 5 months about this very issue? If not, I will be glad to share again. It may be a blessing to you. 🙂

      My prayer is that you might get some time alone with God to really pray over this and to seek His wisdom, direction, and power – so that you can have your heart and mind right before you do a lot of talking about this with your husband, if possible.

      Much love to you!
      April

      1. Amanda,

        I do think you can say, “You know what, Honey? I totally want to support whatever you think is best. This is going to mean some really big changes for our family and for my life. Right now, I’m not sure what to think. My head is kind of spinning. I feel kind of sad about things at the moment. I think I need to take a few days to really pray and seek God’s wisdom and perspective. Then I may be ready to talk more about things. I will pray for God’s wisdom and provision for all of us. I know we will face this thing as a team together and that God will help us see the best way to go.”

      2. April,
        Thank you for the support! I actually do remember reading that post about the tests on this and how you felt Greg wouldn’t love you if you didn’t work more! But I also remember reading in your book the interview with Greg and his response when you asked him WHY he didn’t ask you to work more then you decided to submit and follow him! That is definitely helpful and I am so glad you can relate to this issue!

        This is the 4th time he has quit his job since we’ve been married, and more than once he has decided that we should BOTH work. He truly believes that if he quits this line of work, the only way for us to survive is if we BOTH work FULL time. He doesn’t have an education and he just doubts that he will be able to find any kind of decent job. Last year when this happened, I really sought God and that is when He started showing me what it really means to be a godly woman, and what my role is as a wife, etc. And I had been offered a full time job that time, and after much consideration, I declined it because I was convinced that it was not God’s will for me to be the provider, and my husband agrees that I am not the one who should be the provider.

        BUT- My husband is unknowingly putting this on my shoulders when he believes that if we don’t both work full time jobs, then he can’t quit the field of work he has been in for 10 years. When I talked to him about it last night, he said “don’t worry about it, don’t go to the interview, I will just go back to my old career I don’t want this burden to be on you in any kind of way”…and I cried, because I really don’t want him to go back to that job type because we are always apart! So I asked if I could just go to the interview and see what they offer me and he agreed.

        I feel as though if I DON’T get a job and work full time, he will never get out of that other kind of work. I am willin g to do whatever it takes, I am just scared. And I also want my motives to be right!

        It was all just kind of really fast!!!!

        Love,
        Amanda

        1. Amanda,

          I’m glad y’all talked about it. I am praying with you for GOd’s wisdom for you both. Praying for your motives and for God’s clear direction and provision. And that He will use this for much good! That was really fast. I can understand if you need some time to reframe things in your mind and to seek God and ask Him to help you hash through all of the emotions and concerns you have.

          1. April,
            This morning God clearly opened my eyes to the motives behind how I was feeling and I realized I was clearly trusting in a few other things except Christ, and I needed to turn from that!!!! I went to the interview, but my husband changed his mind and really does not see any other way except he goes back to his line of work. I’m upset that he quit his job again, but realize he made his choice and he will have to figure it out between him and God. All I can do is try to encourage him and support whatever he decides. I just wish things could have stayed the same, but oh well, I can’t have everything I want 🙂

            I am being tested on the very things I “surrendered” to God about a month ago…I’m writing my own post about that lol!

            TY for the support here! 🙂 I believe God will use this for good and do a work in our hearts that will increase our faith even more!!!!

            Love,
            Amanda

          2. Amanda,

            These tests are HARD! BUT – the are good. They help us see where we have “dross” that needs to be refined. They help us grow and mature in our faith. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for His glory in your family!

    2. Hey Amanda,

      I can definitely relate to what you are saying. My boyfriend and I will be getting married in about a year and have been talking about our future. He told me that his preference would be that we both work full-time if we don’t have young children, and that if we do have young children, that I work at least part-time. At first, I felt A LOT like you do. Here are some things that helped me think about this issue. Of course, I don’t know your exact situation, so please take everything I’m saying with a grain of salt.

      1. My man is a protector, and very cautious. After asking questions, I realized that it wasn’t that he was afraid of shouldering the “man’s burden” of providing for his family; in reality, he looked at my work as a safety net. If something happened and he got fired or injured and couldn’t work for a while, we would still have my income until he could work again.

      2. I like the work that I am trained to do and I am outgoing. I personally would enjoy working, interacting with various people, and not being in the house all day, as long as I had sufficient time with my family when I came home. (I realize that this is not every woman’s personality type.)

      3. My man does not expect me to shoulder the burden of full-time work, plus taking care of a house / meals / kids almost entirely by myself. After asking him, he made it clear to me that he would want to do those “household duties” with me, not make me do them alone in addition to working outside the home.

      4. I started to think more about what helpmeet means. I thought that men’s work has not changed much since the beginning of time – men still have to work pretty much all day to take care of their families. Women’s work, however, has changed. Most women don’t have to wash their family’s clothes by hand, scrub floors on their hands and knees, sew all of their family’s clothes from scratch, etc. It used to be a “MUST” that a woman’s work took all day – there was simply no other option. Now, with modern technology, (and of course, depending on the woman’s situation), it is possible for a woman to work outside the home (again, depending on her situation). So then I thought that, if I could have time left over after those womanly duties, maybe it could bless my family if I used that time to work outside the home (again, I know that different families will be blessed by different things). Then I wondered if maybe “helpmeet” has a definition that can be tailored to each particular husband. (I’m not completely sure about that, it was just a thought.)

      5. I realized that my boyfriend really did have respect for stay-at-home moms. At first, I wasn’t sure after he said he wanted me to work. But then, he made it clear to me how amazing he thought those women that do it are and how they were blessings to their families. But then he said that, for him personally, he would feel more blessed if I worked instead. Again, not him trying to “cop out” but viewing it as a safety net for our family.

      6. I realized that I could still respect him as the man of the house and he could still love me as the woman of the house, even if the way we chose to deal with work inside and outside the home wasn’t 100% traditional.

      Again, I don’t know what God’s will is for you and your family, these are just some things that helped me think about my own situation.

      April, I have not read about the tests that God sent you about this issue and I would really be interested to! Would you please include a link to the blog post that described them? 🙂

      Much love, <3
      Flower

      1. Flower,

        This is awesome about the discussion y’all had. What an incredibly important conversation to have before marriage!!!!

        Here is my story:

        I THOUGHT that a lot of bad things were going to happen when I began to try to trust God to lead me through Greg. I was sure Greg was going to make me work full time again and that he didn’t care if I was ever home with our children. This isn’t the same as a separation, I do understand. But one of my biggest fears was that God would force me to work full time in a very, very stressful job (at Walgreens) that I hated where we were extremely understaffed and I got cussed at all day long and that I would miss most of my children’s younger years. Every month for 4-5 months after I decided to submit to God and to Greg’s leadership, I got a new job offer out of the blue that I hadn’t asked for that was a lot more hours and a lot more money. I was so terrified that Greg would just want the money. I thought that was all he was interested in at the time – thankfully, I was wrong. Every month for months I would have about 2 weeks of not knowing what would happen. I shared about the offer with Greg and he would quietly think about it for 2 weeks or so and say nothing. Then eventually, he would say I could do what I thought was best. By the last 2 months this happened, I learned to trust God and to trust Greg and to rest in God’s sovereignty and love whether I had to work more or whether I could be home more. I wanted so much to quit pharmacy and just be home all the time. But Greg felt that wouldn’t work. Even though I was just working 8 hours/week at the time, I was bringing in well over 1/3 of our income.

        So, when I say my fears didn’t happen… they ultimately didn’t – although I am still working part time in the pharmacy even though I would rather we radically downsize our lives and spending personally. I didn’t end up having to work more hours – but there were a lot of unknowns and there were many times I thought Greg may decide I should work a lot more even though I didn’t want to and I would have to cooperate with his leadership about it. So, I was tested a lot.

        1. Thank you for sharing, April!! 🙂 That’s amazing how God used those job offers to teach you! It makes me wonder if God is using anything in my life as a test that I just haven’t picked up on….

          Blessings,
          Flower

      2. Flower,
        I totally understand your’s and your boyfriend’s points of view. I was a single mom for 5 years before I met/married my husband and quit my job that I had for 5 years after graduating college. After I had my son, I finished college while working 2 jobs. My parents ended up raising my son for the first 2 years and honestly, it is the biggest regret of my life. I made the mistake of thinking I needed to get out there and get my life on track and successful more than I needed to be home taking care of my son. It still breaks my heart 🙁

        When I got married, my husband and I agreed that I would quit my job and move where he lived 2.5 hours away. I had already been desiring to be able to be home full time with my son, so it was no question for me!

        Only 2 months after we got married, my husband quit his job the first time and we moved to his home state and it was just a mess and I was not a happy camper b/c I was placing all of my contentment in everything and anything but Jesus! After that, we landed where we live now, and he worked for almost a year, and quit that job. Went through that all over, except this time I was totally blaming him for our life and just not happy once again because I was trusting in his job to satisfy ME. Here we are a year later, in the SAME SITUATION!!! Repetition much?! I know this is a test. And of course it is coming right after I’ve seen how Jesus alone is my heart’s satisfaction and my contentment will only come through HIM , no one and nothing else!

        I went on the interview this morning and my husband told me he doesn’t want me to work and that he’s just going to go back into his field of work again. I am honestly at peace because I realized this morning all of my wrong motives and have turned my heart back to Christ!!

        ty for your insights!!!

        Love,
        Amanda

        1. Amanda,

          WOOHOO! So thankful you went to the interview. But even more thankful you are at peace and have turned your heart back to Christ. There are lots of tests. They help us to see our true motives and where our faith really is. Praying for God to empower you to be obedient and faithful to Him wherever He may lead!

          1. April & Flower,
            I was thinking about the past week and how things actually played out between me and my husband and I felt led to share, as I think it will bless!!!

            After the immediate shock of the situation, I can honestly say that by the GRACE OF GOD, I did not “freak out” at all about my husband quitting so abruptly. I seriously went to God in my journal every time I started feeling a fearful or upset, etc. After only a couple days, my husband fell face first into despair and regret. God had opened His eyes to the bitterness he had acted off of in his heart towards the company he worked for, and he was truly sorrowful and repentant. I heard from God and felt led to tell my husband that the devil led him to make that rash decision, and now the devil was tormenting him with fear and guilt and shame…..( I read peacefulhusband’s blog posts about shame, VERY insightful!!!) 🙂 And at first he could not let it go….. I seriously just kept my eyes on Christ and just kept going to Him with all my own fears and stuff and I was able to see where some of my faith was except in Christ, so this was definitely a heart test for me too!!!!!

            Well, not even a week went by, and my husband already got offered another job in the same field, but doing a different job that he enjoys way more than what he was doing before!!! WOW!

            To top it ALL off……… just yesterday, I woke up to a note left on our table where I spend each morning with God alone before everyone wakes up!!! my husband wrote me a letter about how I was supportive through this past week when he was losing hope!!! He even went on to say that he wants me to be confident in him and to trust him to be the protector, provider, and to cherish what God has given him (me)!

            WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! When I read it, the first thing I said was “THANK YOU JESUS!!”

            This was CLEARLY a TEST!!!!!!! A test to see what was really in my heart….if what the Lord showed me about being truly content was going to actually be what I lived upon through this uncertain time!!!!!! 🙂

            Thank you sisters for the support! I truly am so blessed to be apart of this body here! 🙂

            MUCH LOVE!!!!!!!

            Amanda

          2. Amanda,
            WOW!

            This brings tears of joy to my eyes! PRAISE GOD that you were willing to take your fear to God and to not freak out in a very easy-to-freak-out situation for any wife. Praise God that you allowed your husband time to hear his own conscience and to realize what he had done. If you had been arguing with him, he may not have been able to see this nearly as quickly or as clearly. THAT IS AWESOME!

            And what an incredible gift from God – a new job that he really likes a lot more. WOOHOO! PRAISING GOD WITH YOU and smiling from ear to ear, my sister!

            Yes – this was a test. A big one. What God is working in you is so beautiful!

            Much love to you!

            And THANK YOU for sharing this incredible experience that is so faith-building for you and for all of us who get to hear it!

          3. oops, hit enter by accident lol don’t mind that.

            April,CIC,LMSdaily,

            Thank you for the support! It has been much better to seek the Lord about it all and to try to stay focused on Him instead of getting angry, fearful, upset, bitter, and definitely losing intimacy with my husband and joy. Even though things went well and ok, I have to be honest. Even though he wrote me that letter and things definitely turned out ok only by God’s grace, I guess I got a little on his nerves the past few days about minor things, (I saw a few ants randomly in our house and he said I “freaked out” about it…)….and a few other things, some major, some minor. And just last night, when we were about to go to sleep, he started saying that he thinks me starting my own blog about being a satisfied wife is a joke! 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 I was definitely taken back, and was like “what are you talking about?!”…and he said I’m claiming to be “Satisfied”, yet I am still “freaking out” about “everything”……………….He said I freaked out about the ants, and some other things.

            I asked him to please stop talking and that I didn’t want to talk anymore because he was hurting my feelings.

            Everything is worked out now, it didn’t turn into a fight or anything.

            It was just another opportunity to separate his feelings,actions,words,choices apart from myself…and not internalize all that.

            He really makes it seem like unless I am :::::perfect:::::: I am totally unacceptable and not satisfied and unhappy, not living for Christ, etc. etc.

            Point of this story—my marriage is definitely no where near perfect and I am no where near the end of this journey…I have ONLY just begun!!!!!!!! But I am thankful, and blessed to have opportunities to truly experience Christ being my all in all….because without the experiences to make it a reality, it is merely just knowledge/doctrine!

            Love all of you!

            Love,
            Amanda

          4. Satisfied Wife,

            You are not going to be totally perfect until heaven – but I can sure tell you have come a long way from where you were. 🙂

            The peace is not because of my husband. The satisfaction you have is not because of your husband. These things are ultimately our goals in Christ – for us to be satisfied and at peace in Him. We will all trip and fall at times – and we will repent if we were wrong, get right back up and continue to pursue Christ with all our hearts.

            You are both on a journey with a steep learning curve. I pray you will both have grace for each other. Do what God is calling you to do, my dear sister. Please do not be discouraged!

            Much love!

          5. April,
            I know exactly how you must have felt!!! It must have been so ackward! I would have been hurt too!!!

            April, Your blog/ministry is totally out from heaven! It is an Isaac miracle…totally out from God! 🙂

            That’s why I felt a little dumb when he said that to me because I seriously don’t want to do anything that is not truly of God!! But he encouraged me to do this too so I will just leave it all with God to do as He pleases in and through me! I am learning that I can’t hold onto anything here in this life!

            Thank you for sharing your experiences! It gives us true hope sister!!

            Love,
            Amanda

          6. Amanda,

            Ultimately, we are doing what we are doing to please Christ. If we stumble, we just get right back up and ask God to continue His work in us. My prayer is that God might clear my life out of everything that is a hindrance to my faith and His work in me and that my life might be a wide open pipe through which His love, truth, grace, mercy, and power pours out into the loves of all I meet and touch.

            I pray the same thing for you and for our other brothers and sisters.

            Much love!

          7. Thank you so much for sharing, Amanda! Rejoicing with you in what God is doing in both of you!

            Wow! Yes, Thank you, Jesus!!!!

          8. Satisfied Wife. What a wonderful example of waiting on God. It was very inspiring to see it all play out. I sincerely beleive that you standing by your husband and not against him will strengthen the connection between the two of you. Praise God for His ways and may God bless you with continuing love.

  4. InHisGrip,
    Thank you so much for this. I have been talking to God about this for about 2 weeks.
    My husband would not call or see me for 12 days after a conversation about an issue we have discussed a number of times.
    I can’t be afraid to bring something up in fear of the silent treatment again.
    This is such a delicate balance & requires so much discernment from the Holy Spirit.
    The New Testament says a wife may win her husband without words by her behavior. The New Testament also says we are to exhort each other in love. There lies the balance.
    God our Fathers continued blessings, grace & peace to you.☺In Jesus name. Amen.☺

  5. I think this a good topic for this question.

    What is the difference between weakness and meekness?

    HH

    1. Weakness is where we have no strength. Think of a very sick and weak horse that can barely even walk.

      Meekness is “bridled strength” or “strength under control.” Think of a strong racehorse that has been “broken” so that it can be ridden. It responds to the bit and to the reigns. The horse’s strength is fully at the rider’s command.

      God calls us to be meek – so we have all of His strength and power in us – and all that we have is under the control of the Holy Spirit to be used to accomplish His purposes.

      Of course, as believers, we have weaknesses, too. Physical weaknesses and others. But God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness.

      1. How does that fit the context of the scripture “for I am meek and lowly in heart and you shall find rest for your souls”?

        I have been a doormat. Lots. Thinking it was meek. It’s not meek. It’s weak. HH

        1. HH,

          This is an important distinction! Jesus allowed the people to crucify Him for a very specific purpose. Not because letting people abuse Him was something He couldn’t stop, or not because He couldn’t get away. He could have called a legion of angels to destroy them all. But it was God’s will for Him to die. He died from a position of meekness – of great strength. He died from a position of willingly laying down His life, not having it taken from Him, not being taken advantage of. He knew what He was doing. He did it purposely to save millions of people. His strength was under control and used for God’s purposes.

          He was not a wimp and a coward who had no choice.

          Jesus had a Spirit of humility, that “equality with God was not something to be grasped.” He submitted to God even though He was equal to God and was God.

          Sometimes we think humility is about treating ourselves badly or abusing ourselves. Or that meekness means we have to just do whatever people want – that we have to be people pleasers. No! Not at all!

          For Jesus, meekness meant He had all of the power and authority in the universe and chose to do God’s will even when He didn’t have to and even when it took sacrificing Himself.

          Passivity and being a doormat seem holy to us many times. Because we are not being dominating or aggressive. It can seem like the “peaceful” thing to do. But Jesus was not passive about sin. He confronted it in love. He never ignored sin. He spoke His mind freely to those who opposed Him. He didn’t cater to the large crowds who came to see Him. He didn’t try to be “seeker friendly.” He offended a lot of them and didn’t go running off after them begging them to come back.

          We think Jesus was “nice” – meaning, He never tried to offend anyone. That is incorrect! He was not “nice.” He had no problem offending people. His desire was to please God and obey Him – and if that involved upsetting people, He had no problem doing that. But His motives were never evil or hateful.

          Jesus was not “nice.” He was good. And strong. And holy. BIG difference!

          1. Further to this. The secret then is to discern WHEN to speak the truth in love and WHEN to let love cover sin. That sticky wicket again 🙂

          2. Yes, April. My sticky wicket as well. I’m all ears…. the bible seems to give conflicting instructions. Thank you in advance for being so willing to help answer these all important questions!

          3. LMSdaily115,

            To me, this requires discernment from the Spirit. If the other person is not a believer or is very spiritually sick, sometimes it is not helpful to confront every single sin. They really need Jesus! They are spiritually blind. So if they speak in a harsh way sometimes – is it really productive to call them on that every single time? Sometimes, God may help us see that it may be more productive to just continue to treat them with grace and unconditional love. But there may be times when we occasionally address the general issue as God leads us to.

            If there are more serious sins, or if a person is a believer – there may be times we need to confront the sin.

            I don’t think it will be helpful to confront someone 87 times per day. Especially about minor things. This is my understanding.

          4. I’ve struggled with this as well. Still do. I’m just beginning to understand some of this. I’m leaning towards the idea that it’s time to speak in love when you see major strongholds going on in a person’s life that are destructive to themselves and harming others and relationships with others. My husband getting angry at the kids and losing his temper when normally he doesn’t? Love covers it and there’s probably no need to say anything, and I can (and probably should) even go to my husband to see if something’s wrong and bothering him to show support and love.

            My husband losing his temper over and over and over and everyone’s walking on eggshells constantly? Time to cover that with love, too….by speaking the truth. Why do we think speaking in love isn’t covering over a sin? Maybe that’s the best way we cover over that sin. Just a thought, have no idea if it makes sense or not. 😀

            When we’re afraid to speak the truth in love out of fear, something’s probably not right.

            And, at some point we are enabling others if we won’t say the hard thing that needs to be said.

          5. Oops, that was supposed to line up under HH’s “B.R.I.L.L.I.A.N.T.” comment to April’s comment about Jesus having meekness, but not weakness and how passivity and being a doormat are not being holy.

          6. I have been thinking a lot on this. I had a solid session with my counsellor yesterday talking about this (and guess what, he picked up that I am struggling financially since my wife left as I’m paying the whole mortgage and lots of child support etc and told me he wouldn’t accept any payment for counselling, wow 🙂 ).

            Anyway. I have concluded that displays of weakness or meekness are directly related to how we view ourselves.

            Jesus was able to be meek because He knew who He was (Son of God, all powerful etc). So his humility was voluntary and meek and powerful!

            I think weakness comes from not understanding or accepting who WE are (also Sons/Daughters of God, power of the Holy Spirit etc). When we can’t see who we really are we can fall into a trap of becoming weak in front of our spouses. It can seem like holiness because it isn’t aggressive as April wrote above but I suspect it is rooted in a flawed view of ourself.

            I have written a lot about feeling shame lately and I have realised afresh how strongly shame is linked to weakness. I suspect this is why my mind keeps coming back to the thought of “are you really forgiven and made new, look at who you were”, the enemy wants to keep me in a place of weakness not meekness. I’ve overcome SO MUCH this last year and as I overcome one thing another arises.

            I suspect that the enemy wants me to keep feeling this shame and is using my wife to promote that shame and keep me from enjoying my true identity. This has a two fold effect of making me deal in weakness not meekness to her and also keeping me from enjoying God’s power and love to its full extent.

            Weakness isn’t love. Meekness is love.

            Brothers and sisters, we are all growing so much and have dealt with so much. Let us pray again for a renewed understanding of who we are in Christ and to move forward again in His strength.

            Love in Him, HH

          7. HH,

            YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            I think you’ve had a big lightbulb moment!

            This is what I try to explain to women about living in submission to Christ and to our husbands – we don’t lose power. We gain the power of heaven. Then we have all of our strength, but more importantly, all of the strength and power of Jesus living in us. We are not doormats when we are living in submission to Jesus. We are meek. Not weak. We are totally at God’s disposal for His glory and to accomplish the purposes of His kingdom.

            And YES! I agree that when we live in weakness, it is because we don’t know our identity in Christ and we are not abiding in Him and filled up to overflowing with His Spirit’s power. In the sinful flesh, all we can do is swing from weak to dominating. We can’t achieve holiness, godliness, or being Spirit-filled and meek. So people think that if they were controlling and overpowering before, they need to swing to the other side. But there is much needed balance that only comes through God’s Spirit living in us. That is true in so many areas of life – that delicate balance between two opposite extremes.

            Of course the enemy wants you to feel shame and will do anything to try to keep us from living out our real identity in Christ.

            YES! Meekness is love. Not domination and not passivity/weakness.

            Thank you SO much for sharing. I love seeing so many lightbulbs going off. Fills my heart with great joy!

          8. Bring on more light bulbs 🙂

            I want light bulbs to keep going off every day!

            That is one advantage of having so much time alone, much time on my face praying and seeking Him 🙂

            HH

          9. HH,

            You are right! I think of this time that you have to yourself and that I had to myself for so long while Greg was still shut down – as a time when God has gotten us off by ourselves so we can better hear Him and learn and grow faster. For me, it was about 3.5 years. Makes me think of the 3 years the disciples were with Jesus, or the 3 years Paul was in the desert with God learning to understand how the Old Testament all pointed to Jesus and preparing for his future ministry to the world.

            God used all of that time that I was just trying to allow Him to change me and heal our marriage to prepare me to reach tens of thousands of women around the world (and many men, too). It was a bit of a spiritual bootcamp. Of course, I had no idea what God’s plan would involve. But He knew the whole time and He gave me such a hunger to really “get” this stuff and to live for Him alone – I couldn’t get enough of Him and of learning His ways. It is all I wanted to do – just be in His presence and allow Him to change me and to teach me.

            This is a PRECIOUS, sacred time.

          10. That is EXACTLY how I feel. I am DRIVEN to understand truth, walking in the Spirit, headship, love and so on. I am waking at 3 every morning with so many questions. It feels like I’m having a renovation of the heart! A very painful renovation with brief snatches of pure joy. Yesterday morning I had a couple hours praying and for almost half an hour I didn’t even say anything, I just let the love of God wash over me. It was awesome 🙂

          11. HH,

            This is AWESOME! It brings me such joy to hear what God is doing in your heart and how you are using this time wisely and the hunger you have to know Him and His ways more. WOOHOO!

          12. HH. This is a very lovely understanding. Well written. It is a shame how much we allow the enemy to hold us down and not live like a child of our God. Amen.

  6. Oh, their you are …lol… Would love to learn more about this subject … I’m REALLY lost in My very new marriage . He’s grate , I think I’m the one with the most problems and past baggage. I don’t know how to except that he loves me and I’m afraid i’ll lose him because of me being sooo immature at 44 . iI you feel lead Please help …..

  7. well my shutting down is affecting our intimate lives (my husband and I). i just don’t want to respond! i feel like i would be pretending if i respond because I’m so emotionally drawn away.

    1. kozie,

      Are you able to say that you want to respond to him sexually but that you need some help emotionally reconnecting? Would you like to talk about what is going on? I would be glad to help point you to the healing that is available for you in Christ, my precious sister. 🙂

  8. Hello, I have read your blogs for a while now. About three years or so, roughly. But I am now really coming into the light of marriage, submission, people pleasing, honoring God, honoring my parents, but putting God, my husband, my child, and everyone else in that order. Whew!

    My question is a biggie. I’ve been getting counseling from a few in my church because my husband (from a different continent) told me not to take our now-9 month old baby to my parents’ house because of something they did, he feels. He said if I do, he would divorce me. My son has not seen my parents since last year. And I have been filled with fear, worry, doubt, etc. I am getting to a place now where submission is to God and not man and I am trying to not fear anyone: my parents wrath (I grew up in a mother-led household and my dad was a bit in the background) and I’m trying to grow in God.

    What would you do April with this situation?

    Thanks.

    1. FirstPeterWife,

      It is wonderful to meet you! 🙂 I’m excited to hear about what you are learning.

      I am not really sure what the exact situation is, which makes it difficult for me to know some important details – the kind of details which would change my answer about what a wife should do in such a situation.

      1. Did your parents sin and are they unrepentant?
      2. Does your husband believe your son is not safe with them?
      3. Is your husband being overly controlling?
      4. What are his motives – if you know? Is he truly trying to protect your son or is he acting out of fear or contempt?
      5. Is it possible that God may be leading you through your husband on this? Are your parents too toxic for your son to be around?
      6. Do either of you or your parents struggle with an uncontrolled addiction, uncontrolled mental health issue, abuse, or other serious issues?

      How is your walk with Christ going now?

      What do you pray for?

      What do you believe you need to be content?

      What are your greatest fears?

      Are you hearing God’s voice? Do you have a sense of what He is prompting you to do? That is the most important thing!

      Much love to you!

      1. It is wonderful to meet you, also. Thanks for the help.

        The situation is very, very long. We will be married 5 years this year and before we got married I put my parents/family opinions first. My mother and I would talk up to four or more times a day and I was in a very enmeshed relationship with her but I didn’t know that it was unhealthy until we started to argue/debate over my husband and our relationship. I always agreed with her to the detriment of my relationship and thought my husband was wrong. He was wrong sometimes, so was she, but I treated her like a god/like she sat next to God and that wasn’t right. She didn’t tell me that I should control him outright but she was angry that I wasn’t doing some things she wanted me to do. I realized last year after a big phone call blowup between my husband and mother that I needed to reevaluate my life and who I am living for. I am reading a book called Boundaries and it has opened my eyes greatly. People in my church told me to submit to my husband and continue praying about it/another told me to sit my husband and mother down and lovingly confront them.

        To answer your questions.

        1. Did your parents sin and are they unrepentant? They have been Christians forever pretty much, but currently they are not in church bc of past hurts and they believe that them having Sunday worship/church at home is fine and they don’t have to go to a building to have church because they are the church. I believe we are the church, too, but don’t forsake the assembly…

        2. Does your husband believe your son is not safe with them? He doesn’t feel that way, but they made a promise to watch him while we went to work but my mother then said she couldn’t due to certain physical ailments that triggered an old injury — he called baloney on that.

        3. Is your husband being overly controlling? I feel like he is but I’m trying to learn to trust in God and not man because I was close to calling it quits.

        4. What are his motives – if you know? Is he truly trying to protect your son or is he acting out of fear or contempt? I think he is acting out of contempt because of the way she treated him and how my father backed her up without really stepping in.

        5. Is it possible that God may be leading you through your husband on this? I feel like God is leading me through him because I have grown so much from this! I was allowing the devil to put suicidal thoughts in my head last year when I was pregnant (hormones?) but I can see how much I have grown through His Word, Boundaries book, praying, getting counseling, stopping idolizing things. But it is still hard. If I was still in my flesh, I probably would have divorced him if I stayed around my family and did my own thing. My parents and husband don’t call each other. So that is hard, too.
        Are your parents too toxic for your son to be around? My mother, it seems, has a narcissistic/princess syndrome so it is hard to spot but she makes it about her, what have you done for me lately, why aren’t you honoring me type of personality. My entire marriage I have made it mostly about her and a bit about my dad, no fault of her own, I need to check my own emotions — but when I put myself first and my marriage, she began to be angry and tell me my husband is making a fool out of me. She would say really hurtful things when I set boundaries. They don’t know that my son can’t come over I just have told them that I am busy, etc. But they know something is wrong.

        6. Do either of you or your parents struggle with an uncontrolled addiction, uncontrolled mental health issue, abuse, or other serious issues?
        No. My mother is just a bit selfish and my father is not that expressive/emotional.
        How is your walk with Christ going now?
        I am struggling a bit with depression, possibly, and overeating. I need to ask God to help me and just trust him.

        What do you pray for?
        God’s will, restoration in my family, my husband’s heart to be turned to flesh and have a deeper relationship with God. I pray for my marriage, my child, my life, my home, my mind, so much more.
        What do you believe you need to be content?

        What are your greatest fears?

        Are you hearing God’s voice? Do you have a sense of what He is prompting you to do? That is the most important thing!

        Much love to you!

        1. FirstPeterWife,

          How is your relationship with your husband generally? Are you safe with him? How often do you see him? How do you both relate to each other? Do you feel like you can share your concerns and feelings? Does he try to keep you from seeing anyone else at all? How do you speak to each other?

          Much love to you!

  9. Hello,

    I realized that I did not answer your last two questions:
    What are your greatest fears? Divorce, infidelity, losing my family (which seemingly happened.)

    Are you hearing God’s voice? Yes. He is telling me to not fear and trust Him.

    Do you have a sense of what He is prompting you to do? Submit and trust Him above all else.

    To answer your other questions:
    How is your relationship with your husband generally?
    It is great. No one is perfect, he tends to shut down, I tend to talk a lot. He was my college sweetheart, essentially. We have a lot of fun together, relate in many ways. He is a great dad and husband.
    Are you safe with him? Yes. No doubt about that.
    How often do you see him? Everyday, sometimes I feel like we’re passing ships in the night with our work schedule, but could be worse.
    How do you both relate to each other? OK. That could be worked on but we’re civil and we laugh a lot but we don’t share our feelings, really. I do a lot he rarely does. I told his feelings to my family/others and he was hurt so that may be the problem.
    Do you feel like you can share your concerns and feelings? No. I have in a disrespectful way but now working on that but I am in the middle of reading your pendulum effect because I am too quiet now and don’t tell him anything.
    Does he try to keep you from seeing anyone else at all? No. Just don’t take baby to parents house. I take him to my other sibling’s place. But my parents can meet baby in public, but that hasn’t happened yet. They don’t feel invited over our place and I don’t invite them.
    How do you speak to each other? OK. Respectfully, but still needs work.

    1. FirstPeterWife,

      I’m so thankful you didn’t act on your suicidal thoughts and that you are seeking God with all your heart now. 🙂 Praise God for that!

      It sounds to me like you know what God is calling you to do. 🙂

      Is there anything you feel like you want to hash through together with me?

      Much love!!! 🙂

      1. Thank you, me too. It was a like a fleeting thought, but I knew it was from the devil. I am trying to love him without bitterness and anger. Love my parents without letting them influence my marriage but I don’t know who to handle this journey so far. I ‘m trying to be positive around him, but I feel fake.

        1. FirstPeterWife,

          SO THANKFUL you didn’t listen to the enemy!

          I have some posts that may be helpful. If you are still feeling unsure about things we can hash through some more issues together if you would like to. But the most important thing is that you seek God and seek to hear and obey Him in everything. 🙂

          You may search my home page for:

          – bitterness
          – anger
          – fear
          – forgiveness
          – healthy vs unhealthy relationships
          – control
          – controlling mother
          – fake
          – stages of this journey
          – learning respect is a process
          – staying filled with the Holy Spirit
          – martyr
          – guilt
          – shame
          – my demon
          – Satan thought life
          – people pleasing
          – feelings
          – emotions
          – lose my voice

          Much love to you!

          1. Hello,

            Thank you. I have read many of your articles listed here, but it is always good to reread because another viewpoint could pop up.

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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