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WorthyofLove Realizes What This Journey Is All About!

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Worthyoflove shares some insights God has been showing her:

Yes, there is hope. And I am finding that God is intervening more and more quickly when I start to put my husband up as an idol again, or anything else.

I am learning first hand now that God will NOT allow any competition in our hearts. It is practically a guarantee that if I begin to idolize my husband, our marriage, people pleasing, control, or self again, then my husband will immediately withdraw from me and I am right back to where I started – alone, upset, and feeling pretty bad. And as much as I want to change, want my husband to change, want our marriage to be “good” – I am seeing that I can do nothing. I am powerless without GOD working in me to WILL AND TO DO of His good pleasure!!!!

Most importantly, I am seeing now for the first time, with the eyes of my heart, that this journey is really not about MY MARRIAGE OR HUSBAND at ALL! It is about God changing me and my heart to worship God and to Obey Him and please Him!!!!

I admit, when I first found your site and God opened my eyes and I began to really trust God and saw Him working in me, it took a few months, but my true motives were exposed when things did not really pan out as I would have liked – and I was immediately devastated.

But it is coming down to THIS:

  • I can either Trust God completely, letting go of all control, my own ways, all my desires for a good marriage, etc….I can trust God to deal with my husband and work in Him, and totally trust God for the outcome, whether my husband ever truly changes or not, whether he one day decides to leave, or whether he ever does anything I desire or not..I have to decide, Will I trust God with everything?

OR

  • I can continue to try to make things happen how I want, only losing more and more of my intimacy with my husband, and push him so far away that only a miracle could save the relationship, if at all. And not only that, I will be far from God, sinning, living in the flesh, and miserable!

Hmmmm….I think the choice is CLEAR!:)

I will TRUST IN THE LORD AND LEAN NOT ON MY OWN UNDERSTANDING! (Prov. 3:3-5)

I pray that God opens the eyes of all of our hearts, that we may see that HE ALONE IS WORTHY!!! And that we may TRUST IN HIM with all of our hearts! In the Name of Jesus! Amen

Other Posts By WorthyofLove:

A Wife Finally “Gets” Her Husband’s Text Messages

Without a Word

A Big Lightbulb Moment about True Contentment

 

92 thoughts on “WorthyofLove Realizes What This Journey Is All About!

  1. April. Thank you for this post. -And it is practically a guarantee that if I begin to idolize my husband, our marriage, people pleasing, control, or self again, then my husband will immediately withdraw from me and I am right back to where I started – alone, upset, and feeling pretty bad. -yup, that’s where I see the pattern too. He is a jealous God. I am 1.5 years into this journey snd have come so, so far, yet have so, so far to go. The light bulb moments seem to never stop if I am seeking God’s way, but the light bulbs burn out and I am left in the dark when I try it all in my own power and fkesh…then I cannot see the path. God is good if we trust Him, He will show us the path. No matter the outcone, we can trust it is for our good. Thank you April.

    1. LMSdaily115,

      I totally agree, my sister. I am still learning 7.5 years into my journey. And I still must be sure not to idolize my husband or anything else. It is so important that we take our thoughts captive for Christ and yield fully to Him every moment. That never changes.

      Much love to you!

    2. LMS,
      I realized that it is ALWAYS connected to my thoughts and my feelings whenever I am idolizing something again. I can go from 100% ok to 10% in a matter of minutes if I start focusing on something other than God. It is amazing really. And it happens to subtily. And it seems that the longer it goes unnoticed, the more blind I get to it, and don’t realize why I’m feeling this way again. It’s like I can’t see anymore. It is especially hard when I don’t have time to myself and time to actually sit down and think about what I’m thinking about, lol. When life gets thrown at me, I start moving in the wrong direction very quickly!!!

      Thanks for sharing!!

      Love,
      Amanda

  2. I’m at the point too, of seeing to clear paths; either I can trust God completely, no matter what the outcome, or I can continue to try to control things out of my flesh and create misery for me and my family.
    My problem is, I’ve tried in the past several times to definitively choose the first option of handing everything over to God and trusting Him for the outcome.
    However, I feel that a couple of years and many failings later, I’m still here, back at square one.
    We recently moved back to my husband’s hometown where all of his close friends are. They all drink, and my husband, despite promises to the contrary, has begun joining in, coming home sometimes in the middle of the night drunk.
    At first, I cried and yelled and made threats to try to control the situation and get him to stop on this destructive path. But I see God wants me to stop, and instead lean on Him. My godly friend even suggested that I shouldn’t even ask him not to drink when he’s headed to a friend’s place, but just pray for him, love him, and trust God for the rest.
    This passivity is so not in my nature. I’m scared that if I don’t try to make my husband stop drinking, it’s the same as just allowing him to slowly become an alcoholic like his friends. I’ve tried so many times in the past to fully surrender to God, and it didn’t work.
    I’m in the terrible place of knowing I need to surrender all, but not knowing how to do that once and for all from a sincere heart, and fully and completely.
    It’s times like this when I feel like maybe I’m just not one of those women who can become a godly woman, totally surrendered to God in all things. It’s just not my personality. I’ve asked God to do this in me, but He hasn’t, and I’m discouraged and doubt He ever will.

    1. Jenny,

      I’m really sad to hear about your husband drinking so much more, especially when he promised he wouldn’t do that. I can understand why you are feeling afraid and why you want to stop this. It is not a good thing – and you can see that. It’s not wrong to want your husband to stop drinking so much. That is a good desire. The problem is that it is his decision to make, not yours. You can’t force him to do what you want him to do even if you are right. God, Himself, doesn’t force us to do what is right. He gives us all free will. We are not greater than God that we should take over and try to make people do what is right.

      But it is sure hard to watch your husband on a destructive path. 🙁 Do you believe that he is battling alcoholism at this point? I would encourage you to read Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas – there is a real life story in that book of how a wife influenced her husband in a godly way who was out drinking a lot. May be inspirational to you. 🙂 And, you may want to check out any resources that are available by Celebrate Recovery.

      It is not in the human sinful nature of any of us to become godly women. I can promise you that. It is not in my old sinful nature to be able to fully submit to God – that is for sure! This takes the power of the Holy Spirit. It is not something any of us are capable of doing. It is not that you need to be passive and do nothing. You will be using your godly influence but you will be using it in a way that is Spirit-filled rather than flesh-filled and in a way that will be more effective. And you will be trusting God and praying for Him to work in your husband’s life. Ultimately, it is the Holy Spirit who convicts people of sin – not other humans. He is able to reach your husband in much more powerful ways than you ever could.

      Your husband is probably a pretty smart guy. I am guessing he knows by now that you really hate that he is drinking so much. Your attempts to cry, yell, and make threats to control him won’t draw him toward you. That is not how men work. In fact, that kind of behavior from a wife often seems to repel husbands and push them more toward the very things their wives don’t want their men to do.

      The surrendering to Christ thing – there is often a big moment where we surrender all completely, but then there is a daily and moment by moment process of surrendering. It is a long process. When new things come up, we hash through surrendering those things, too. God won’t make you surrender to Him. That is your choice. You have to purposely decide to lay all of these concerns down and trust Him. If you feel like you can’t do that, you can ask Him for more faith. But He won’t make you lay down your burdens or idols or fears. He expects us to do that part. Does that make sense? I agree that He won’t force you to change. But you can decide to trust Him and cooperate with Him and then He will be glad to change you. It is painful – and scary at first. But SO worth it!

      If you are interested, please search my home page for some words that will bring up posts that may be helpful, my precious sister:

      – fear
      – control
      – idol/idolatry
      – submission means we hold things of this world loosely
      – lordship
      – security
      – contentment
      – a husband’s and a wife’s authority

      Much love to you!

      1. Thanks for this, April. You’ve given me much to ponder and pray about.
        I guess I need to get to the point where I’m willing to trust God even if it means my husband becomes an alcoholic. Even that could ultimately be worked out for good by God.
        The last time he came home drunk in the middle of the night, he told me the next morning that he had been talking with his unbelieving friends about God and the gospel for hours that night. I pray he continues to talk with them like this, only without the drunk part.
        We both sense God has us in this town for a reason, and also there’s spiritual warfare going on for both of us I think.
        I pray God gives me the faith to trust Him fully and surrender my husband, family, and our time in this town to Him.

        1. Jenny,
          Certainly no spouse wants his/her spouse to become an addict of any kind. We can pray together against that happening. But you are right that you can’t force him to be sober and to choose wisely. The more you try to demand sobriety from him or control him, probably the more he will rebel against you. If we treat our men like they are naughty teenage boys and we are their angry moms, they tend to do the opposite of what we demand just to prove we can’t control them and that they don’t have to listen to us or obey us.

          I do like the idea of him witnessing to his friends – but yes, without the getting drunk part, I agree.

          Have you read Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray? You can find a free download of it at http://www.ccel.org.

          Much love to you!

          1. Hi April,
            Wow, you touched on something with the comment about treating him like a naughty teenaged boy and I’m his angry mother. Yikes. I was totally in that attitude when he first started drinking here. I can see now how he would want to get away from me and do just the thing I don’t want him to do in order to show me I can’t control him. It’s maybe even better than him rolling over and allowing me to be his mother.
            I began reading Absolute Surrender a couple of years ago but stopped. I’ll take another look at it though, and maybe I’m ready to absorb more of it this time.
            Thanks so much for this website. I think it’s the only place I’m getting hope for our marriage from at this point. It’s such a blessing to hear from other wives who have been where I am and who have gone farther along the journey.
            Love,
            Jenny

          2. Jenny,

            I have heard from a lot of men who have shared that they HATE feeling controlled by their wives. (Honestly, I hate feeling that anyone is trying to control me, too! I think we all would hate that.) Many times, a man will go against a nagging, lecturing, angry, disrespectful wife simply to prove to her that she can’t control him. I don’t want to put my husband in that position. I used to do that. I used to try to force Greg to submit to me. I would never have said that was what I was doing. I simply “knew” that I was right and he was wrong and he should do what I said he should do. But no matter what I am demanding that he do – it is my awful approach that will repel him. A man with any spine is going to buck against a wife attempting to be a tyrant or dictator in his life. Lots of times, it isn’t really the issue or what we want that is truly the problem, it is the way we attempt to emasculate our men and back them into a corner that they can’t stand.

            If we allow them to feel the weight of their own decisions and the consequences – they will often decide to make wise choices once we take our hands off of their throats emotionally. A man needs to know that he is free to make his choices and is not being coerced. Women need that too, but men need it even more, I think, sometimes. No one wants to feel like someone’s slave. What husbands often react to is the control, disrespect, domination, and smothering. They will do almost anything to avoid that. “It is better to live on the corner of a roof than with a contentious wife.” “It is better to live in the desert than with a contentious wife.” Proverbs explains it pretty clearly.

            The way to motivate and influence a man in a productive, healthy, godly way – is to seek to show trust whenever possible, to talk about his strengths and gifts, to give genuine respect and admiration, to step back and allow him space to breathe and to think for himself and to make decisions like a grown adult and to let him face the consequences of his choices. If his choices get awful enough, you may have to make your own choices about what you can tolerate and accept. You may have to remove yourself. But you make your choices and he makes his. You can influence him – but influence him by the power of the Holy Spirit living in you not by the power of your sinful nature. The sinful nature will only destroy and kill your marriage. God’s Spirit will breathe life and healing into it.

            Much love! So glad this was a blessing.

          3. This is an interesting discussion. Hmmm….rebellious teenager syndrome happens in women and men IMHO. HH

    2. Jenny,
      That is something I too struggle with—-surrendering, or think I’m surrendering or have already surrendered something, and then the thing happens or comes up again, and I’m right back to where I started. I, too, want to let go for good, always. But I’ve found that when the same situations keep presenting themselves, I have a choice—-this time I can act differently—-or I can try the same old things that I know won’t work. I have found over and over and over with my husband that when I do NOT interfere with his OWN choices, behaviors, decisions, etc….he really does make better choices and actually wants to do the right things on his own.

      There was a time a while ago when he wanted me to buy him some kind of alcohol, and I told him that I would not be apart of that. I didn’t buy it, and I told him that he could do whatever he wanted, but if he chose to drink, I would be sure to leave the house that night with my son, it was his choice.

      I didn’t tell him what to do, and I didn’t agree to what he was asking me to do, and I let him know what MY choice would be if he chose to make that decision. I let him know how it would effect the family, and how I basically wouldn’t stick around for that.

      He ultimately chose not to, but there were times in the past where I took the other route and “freaked out” and preached at him and told him what he needed to do, and not only did he do it anyway, he didn’t care how I felt about it, and he basically shut me out for God knows how long. It wasn’t worth it. He wanted to do it all the more, like April said.

      And there have also been times where I haven’t told me husband anything I think he should do in certain situations, and just told him it was up to him, and he’s responsible for his own life and choices…and I just prayed about it, and watched God intervene and lead my husband to do what was right. It increased my faith, made my husband trust me more, and it ultimately brought us closer.

      He is an adult like April said, and even though we think our husbands should take our considerations into their life choices, sadly, sometimes they don’t. In those times, we need to be set on Jesus in our hearts and not expecting anything from our husbands. They will stand before God one day, just as we will!!

      Blessings,
      Amanda

      1. Amanda, thanks so much for sharing some of your experiences with me. It’s such a blessing to hear, and gives me hope that God is truly at work in our husbands without our trying to interfere in sinful ways.
        I pray God continues to give you wisdom in how you react to your husband and blesses your marriage.

        1. Jenny,
          Thank you! Even when it seems like things have totally gone bad, I just have to wait and trust that God alone has the power to lead my husband and open his eyes to his own sin, etc. If I try to interfere, it only hurts me. It’s much better to step back and just let God be God! 🙂

          Blessings,
          Amanda

          1. I’m beginning to see this from experience, too, and want to get that point of waiting when things seem to go totally bad rather than erupting with fleshly reactions. It’s so encouraging to hear from a wife who is farther along in this regard. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with me:)

          2. Jenny,
            I am glad I can share these experiences and God use them to give you some hope! What it all comes down to for me usually is—I have no power to do anything—I am not God–I can only control my self, if/when the holy Spirit is in charge. It is a very narrow road, and when I focus on this fact, it is a lot easier to step back and allow God do what only He can do! It is definitely only the beginning for me, too. You are not alone! 🙂

            Blessings,
            Amanda

  3. Thank you for this post. I have only just begun this journey and all your words encourage me so much! I know I am in for many tough times and big challenges in the days, months, and years ahead and I know this journey will be life long from here on. I am just so glad that God has given me the realization of where I have gone wrong to play a part in how “we” have gone wrong as a couple, and I am so glad to have found this place to be supported and encouraged on those days that I fail. Thanks again.

    1. Melanie,

      I’m super glad you are with us now! I can tell from the way you are approaching this and your humble, hungry attitude that God is going to be doing amazing things in your life. 🙂

  4. This post is so true!! I’ve just been pondering on this very issue all weekend! And also how bad not trusting in God is. I’ve been reading the psalms a lot lately, and they are full of how the righteous are helped BECAUSE they trust in God. And how the Israelites sinned greatly against God because they didn’t. And what were they not trusting God about? Not having water in a desert, for heaven’s sake. If I compare that to what I worry and despair about, that worry seems very reasonable and allowable. And yet, it really is a denial of God”s love and power and Even of Himself, to not trust Him.
    Thank you for this reminder and encouragement!

  5. i’ve been following this blog a few weeks now, but on a similar journey for a while.

    i just want to ask a question about personality traits…
    i am a leader by nature
    i am outgoing and “bossy” but not in a mean way.. i can’t find a nice word for that but i end up leading every where i go.. i am a nice person though!

    My husband says i always have to get my way.
    he says that even if i disagree with him i should just say something like “whatever you think” and let him figure it out.
    he says i should not blurt out my long list of opinions about every little situation.
    he says i should be slow to speak and quick to listen.
    yes i should, the bible teaches that. however sometimes i feel he does not want me to say anything at all. why would he want me to say “whatever you think” when i clearly know what i think?

    When we are playing a game i am really competitive, not in a mean way! I will say again.. just in a fun-like way, i tend to take over and tell people where to stand, what to say etc. or just give my opinion!
    i have been hearing
    -you always have to get your way- so much that im starting to question something….

    why do i have to become someone i am not at all?
    God made me a leader right? God gave me my qualities, some people are shy and he uses them for certain things, some people don’t have a strong opinion about much or dont know what they personally truly think. I am not like that.
    It is not my personality… it is NOT ME.

    I was raised to believe these are all positive things! My parents loved that i was a leader and taught me how to be the best at it. They always complimented me how all my friends flocked towards me and wanted to be like me, and always follwed me.
    This is a good thing bc i am a christian, and i do my best to exude Jesus in all i do. It is not like i am having people follow me down a bad path and i dont even try but people follow me.

    also my parents always told me to be a strong woman, and i saw my mother be strong and also my dad was strong too, but when it came to my mom he was soft and gentle and so loving towards her and treater her like a princess. I recently told my parents that my husband says i always try to get my way and my parents said there is nothing wrong with that! It is how you are and (i quote) “It is okay to be that way with your husband” As if he should enjoy giving me what i want! but he doesnt.

    he is always putting me down for these qualities and hates them and i feel i have to change myself for him.. im starting to think yes i need to change any sinful behavior in my life but i do not want to change who i am for him. i do feel like God made me how i am and maybe my husband would like a more meek quiet like girl to just obey his every command. that is not me. i want a husband who admires this in me and loves who i am.

    i dont know what to do or how to have this conversation with my husband. we have been fighting a lot lately about this subject

    1. Hi Niki,

      I am FAR from being an expert – as like you I have only JUST started this journey myself. But I wanted to offer some encouragement as I feel you and I are probably similar personalities with similar situations. I was raised to be bold and be a leader. My parents were proud as well I was so strong at leadership.

      What has come to light for me in recent days is that although I am naturally a bolder personality that is not afraid to lead, God has different roles for us to play in life to carry out His plan. That is how I am seeing it anyway, in my simplistic and inexperienced interpretation! At work, I am a get-what-I-want person. I will push to make gains and I am admired for it. However, I only recently understood (as many times as I’ve heard it before I was blind!) that at home, God is calling me to be a wife who takes my husband’s leadership, as God has designed marriage that way, that He will lead through my husband.

      That is why I have had so much frustration in marriage the last few years. The bolder and more demanding I became at work the more I carried that with me into my home life, which is not God’s design for how it should be. I will never be one that can become a doormat and I certainly don’t wish to be, but I realize now that God sometimes needs me to be quiet and gentle, to carry out His plan. I don’t have the right to demand that I be allowed to behave otherwise. I can, but then I try and take God’s power and this I have no right to claim. So He cannot carry out his work in our marriage and hence the struggles and frustrations that result.

      Anyways, I am so new to this myself but I felt like maybe sharing my own thoughts and feelings coming from a similar type background, might be of some encouragement to you. For me, I realize now the choice is exercise my bold personality in every aspect of my life despite God’s desire and against his wishes, and I will sacrifice the closeness and happiness in my marriage. I can’t have it all, and in my case, I have decided to choose God’s way and try and please Him in every aspect of my life and then I know He is capable to make my life better than it’s ever been! I have lived in worry and frustration long enough and I don’t want that in my marriage anymore. If you try and let go and give God a chance to show you, you may find that it is better than you think. At least that’s how I’m trying to look at it. I realize now that I am no one to tell God how I should be living my life. Praying for strength for you to step forward in this new way of thinking as I have, it is a tough journey I have found out already, just making that acknowledgement and accepting the realization that I am wrong and God knows best for me, was the biggest more painful thing I have ever had to do. But I am willing because I love my husband and I love God!

    2. Niki,
      Reading your question definitely describes how I was. My husband pointed out the same things to me as well. And I never understood any of it either because for my whole life, I was in charge. I knew what I wanted. I had to do things my way. I had to get my way because I knew best.

      I never considered that maybe this argumentative opinionation (if thats a word) was all due to my lack of trust in God, my fear, and my controlling behavior. Pride. It was pride. I didn’t trust anyone, not even God to tell me how to do something or what was best, becasue in my mind, I knew what was best for me, since I couldn’t trust anyone to do things “right” or for me. I couldn’t let my husband decide anything because I didn’t trust him to make the right choices. Because I wanted to do everything I possibly could to save my own life, and make sure everything turned out right. So in order to ensure my plans and things would be ok, I always argued my way and had to get my own way to make sure it happened.

      It sounds to me like your husband is a real man and he is not really ok with his wife telling him what to do, and rightly so because that is how God created it to be. The marriage relationship according to Ephesians 5:23 is that the husband IS the head over the wife, and the wife is to respect and submit to her husband. It doesn’t say submit to him only if you agree with him. Also, the definition of love in 1 cor 13 says that love does not seek it’s own way.

      Our culture applauds women as leaders and as strong and all that, but if you really look at where that thought came from, it all stems back to feminism. The usurping of God given authority. Women are taught to take care of themselves because that’s the only way we will make it in this world. We have to toughen up in order to make sure our life turns out the way we want it to.

      All I can suggest is to really ask God to expose your heart and what is really in there and what the truth is about this topic. No one can open your eyes for you, only God can!

      April has some really good posts about control, that is what God used to open my eyes to a lot of the things you are asking about.

      Also, whose word is more important to you, your parents? or God’s word?

      We can’t say we are truly following Jesus is we are not following His words. His Word says we are to submit to our husbands, not argue our own way!

      My husband used to get SO mad when I would start going off about what he needed to do in certain situations, and I never understood why. I told him the same things you said, that I’m just naturally a leader, I just know what I would do in his situation, I am just an outgoing person and it’s “just how I am”…… I was blindly pushing my husband away everytime I acted like that. I also thought I shouldn’t have to change and that it was just how I was, after all, I was just trying to help!!!

      Unfortunately, men think differently than us and they are wired to not be told what to do by their wives. They are wired to receive our joyful, willing submission.

      Also, if you are thinking that you don’t have to change at all in this life, that totally goes against the call of Jesus’ disciples…the bible says that we are to deny ourselves…and that we were predestinated to be conformed to the image of Christ.

      If we aren’t changing, how can we be conformed to the image of Christ?

      Maybe these are just some things to think about. We’ve all been there if we’ve struggled with control/dominance as a wife!

      I hope this helps!

      Blessings,
      Amanda

      1. Thank you for this, Amanda! 🙂

        Niki,

        I invite you to search my blog home page for:

        – control
        – biblical submission
        – the pendulum effect
        – spiritual authority

        I also have a new video on my Youtube channel, April Cassidy, about biblical submission that may be helpful.

        There are so many misconceptions about biblical submission and that it means “doormat” – thankfully, it does not mean that at all! 🙂 It also doesn’t mean the husband is always right.

        I believe there is a lot for all of us to learn on these important topics. And I know that for me, pride was HUGE in my life for the first 14+ years of our marriage until God showed me my mountain of sin that I hadn’t even seen. I know Amanda touched on that. It is really easy to be blind to our own pride. I have to watch for that every day – and I always will. It is the precursor sin to every other sin – that I know best, that my wisdom is above my husband’s, that my ideas and desires are more important than anyone else’s, and that I know better than God.

        Looking forward to talking through these important concepts together. I’m so glad you have begun this journey with us. The first part (seeing what God wants us to change) is painful – but it is VERY worth it!

        Much love!

        1. Niki,

          Oh! Some other posts I think may be helpful:

          A Husband’s and a Wife’s Authority in Marriage
          “Husbands Are Never the Absolute Authority.”
          If I Become a Godly Wife, Will I Be Me?
          I Will Not Be a Second Class Citizen!
          But I’m Right! I’m the Better Leader. I Should Be in Charge.

          You may also search my home page for:

          – lead
          – leader
          – disrespect
          – respect
          – signs your husband may be feeling disrespected
          – husbands share what is disrespectful to them
          – what is respect in marriage?
          – headship

          Much love!

    3. Niki,

      Oh boy, can I relate to you, my sister!!!! 🙂

      What is your husband’s personality? Is he more passive or is he also very outspoken?

      Are you willing to consider that God may want to use some of these conflicts that are coming up to help refine and prune you and to help you grow in spiritual maturity in Christ? And are you willing to entertain the idea that as a grown adult, there comes a time when we do need to question what we learned as children and the things our parents said in light of Scripture? That we want to keep anything they taught us that lines up with God’s Word, but it is now our responsibility to discard anything that dishonors God?

      What are your definitions at this time of:

      – respecting your husband
      – biblical submission
      – humility
      – meekness
      – pride
      – a woman having a gentle, peaceful spirit

      I agree that we are to change sinful behaviors, words, motives, attitudes, and thoughts. We are not to change just because our husbands want us to change. But if our husbands are showing us something that God wants us to change, then God may be using our husbands to lead us toward greater Christlikeness. Could it be possible that God may be speaking to you through your husband’s concerns, at least to a degree?

      If you are interested, I would be glad to help you hash though some of these important questions. They are questions I had to examine in my own soul 7.5 years ago as I began this journey, too.

      Much love to you!

    4. Hi Niki,

      I don’t think that being outgoing and being a leader are bad qualities. However, I think that it CAN be bad how you choose to express those qualities. How we behave around others depends on what our relationship with them is. We treat our supervisors differently than we treat those we supervise, we treat our parents differently than our children, and we treat close friends differently than acquaintances. But ultimately, we are still ourselves. I think your husband is trying to say that he does not like how you express these qualities around him. He may feel that you are trying to tell him what to do, to make things get done the way you think they should be done. He may feel that you are treating him as a son / friend / employee instead of as a husband.

      Your husband married you. He loves you for who you are. He probably likes that you are outgoing and a good leader, but he probably doesn’t like when you try to lead him, if that makes sense.

      Also, something that I have learned through my journey with my man, regarding giving him my opinion: once is enough. I used to (and still struggle with) letting the subject go if he has a different opinion than me. I used to try to convince him of my opinion, by thinking of additional reasons why my opinion was better. In the 16 months since I started this journey, I can count on one hand the number of times that pursuing a subject actually changed his mind. It nearly always only agitated us both. If you repeat your opinion with your husband, it may be the repetition that bothers him, or possibly the way you expressed your opinion (tone of voice, word choice, etc.).

      If the opinion is about something he’s already decided, saying “okay, honey, I trust your judgement,” may be a good option because it expresses faith in him and it can be said even if you would have made a different choice. Expressing your opinion after he’s made his decision communicates disapproval and a lack of faith in him.

      If your opinion is about something he’s in the process of deciding, it may be a good idea to briefly say what you think once, followed by, “I will support your decision and I trust you to do what’s best for our family.” And then do support his decision after he’s made it, without saying why your way would have been better.

      It also may be good to let him completely finish talking, before offering your opinion. With my guy, I used to jump in with my opinion as soon as there was a pause in his words, but I found that if I waited until he was completely done talking, and just listened politely, he usually would ask for my opinion at the end! And if he doesn’t and I really want to tell him what I think, I just ask, nicely, “Honey, can I give you my opinion?” and if he says yes, I tell him what I think and try to let the subject drop without convincing him to change his way of thinking. (I’m still working on this one.)

      Again with the outgoing and leader thing, I think it’s more about learning to be the best version of yourself and expressing those qualities in a godly way. For example, God may desire you to use how outgoing you are to welcome new people to your church, or to host friends in your home and be hospitable. He may desire you to use your leadership to teach your children to become young men and women of God, to lead a youth group, to teach a women’s Bible study, etc. I don’t know what His plans are for you – but I know that they involve you becoming the most godly version of yourself, not the most godly version of someone else. 🙂

      Alternatively, you can use your outgoing nature and leadership to try to take charge in your marriage and try to challenge your husband’s God-given leadership position. That would be bad.

      Nearly all good qualities have a bad side, if used in the wrong way.

      April also has some really helpful posts about what is disrespectful to husbands, which have been very helpful to me on my journey.

      It is great that you are listening to your husband’s comments and taking them seriously by trying to learn more! 🙂

      Much love to you! <3
      Flower

      1. Love this, Flower!

        Something that God helped me see was that I wanted to be “myself” around my husband. But what I really meant was that I wanted to be my sinful old self. I wanted to be able to be critical, judgmental, harsh, condescending, prideful, self-righteous, disrespectful, controlling, etc… But God wanted me to be my new self in Christ all the time. I can actually have a very powerful influence for great good over my husband if I am filled with the Holy Spirit. The way I act and treat my husband is about my character and whether my flesh or God’s Spirit is in control. So I can be myself – but the self that Jesus died to give me, not my old destructive self that was tearing down my husband and marriage unwittingly.

        1. Melanie, Satisfied Wife, Flower & April

          wow- thank you ALL for all your insights…
          there were several things in EACH comment that really stuck out to me and taught me something new or opened my eyes to see something i was clearly blind to.
          some of those being
          -When Melanie realized God has different roles for us to play in life to carry out His plan. Just because it’s how i act and am appreciated at work, with family, friends etc. that is not necessarily what God is calling me to at home. & if i were to truly understand the word i think i would really get that. She also said she realizes now that God sometimes needs us to be quiet and gentle, to carry out His plan. Never thought of it that way.Thank you Melanie.

          Satisfied Wife- you really put it out there for me. & i appreciate the honesty. The main thing you said that almost sort of made me stunned and really ask myself is…. whos word is more important, My Parents, or God? I am very close with my parents and hold their opinion very high in my heart and life but wow, i think i have been putting it first above God. ouch.
          Also sometimes i see it as a weakness that my husband can’t “bow down to me” I dont mean that literally but i mean i think sometimes a real man would give into his wife.. this probably stems from how i was raised and i really need to ask God to re-evaluate this in my heart.
          1 cor 13 says that love does not seek it’s own way.- really spoke to me because i’ve read that verse over and over and this has never stuck out to me more than when i read it here. and i never thought of it for myself. wow. thank you.

          Flower,
          my husband has said multiple times he feels i am mothering him. i thought that that was just crazy but i see now my mother does this with my father and it just comes naturally to me. I should not treat him this way and really desire to change that. i think it will be hard for me though. I want to say thank you to you for reminding me that my husband married me and does love the qualities that are truly “me” but im sure he does not love when i use them for sin, sort of like you talked about. thank you.

          April,

          I am so so thankful for your blog. i dont know where i’d be. I am so thankful for the women who dont know me yet seem to care about MY life. it inspires me. and so do you april.
          My husbands personality is even stronger than mine. its funny how sometimes the thing that attracted you to a person over time can start to annoy you.
          but i am also wanting to start a process of learning to let my husband be HIM since i know how it feels and just love HIM for who he is and not want to change him at all!
          since i know this is not my place it is Gods. but since ive spent so much time beieving im right about everything i never even stoped to think God would ever use my husband and his not accepting me and my pride as God trying to change it in me. but it has led me to God and to repentance and to really trying to figure this thing out, i guess he was using my husband.. wow.
          i still have so far to go but do realize now that i have a great deal of pride in my heart and it scares me and i want it gone now… :/

          i am truly blessed by you ALL thank you!!!

          1. Niki,
            I am so excited for you!!! You remind me of me just months ago when I first was led by God to April’s blog. It has totally transformed everything in my life. I never knew many of the things you are just realizing. Now I understand how April feels when us women on here “see” things for the first time. It brings the heart much joy!! PRAISE GOD! I pray you will really dig into April’s posts and glean all you can from her experiences! God has used her in a special way to reach all of us women here! It is SO worth it, too. Your marriage relationship will probably improve if you implement some of the things you’ll find here.

            Your husband sounds a lot like mine, and I know for my husband, he does not like when I try to take charge and tell him what he should do. I have to totally keep my opinion to myself (hard sometimes). And I’ve also learned that this really is not about doing anything because I want to please my husband. Everything we do is because we love Jesus, and we want to please him!!! 🙂 So happy for you!!

            Love,
            Amanda

          2. Amanda,
            I love watching you ministering to other wives and sharing what God has shown you and done in your life. SO precious! And I love seeing the lightbulbs come on for Niki. 🙂 WOOHOO!!!!!

            Niki,
            At first, I went through The Frustrating Quiet Phase where I kept almost all of my thoughts to myself while I was trying to figure out what was disrespectful vs. respectful. But as you begin to realize the things not to do and say – the unnecessary criticisms, prideful things, really negative things, hurtful things, sinful things, insults, harsh words, commands, controlling things, smothering things, angry mama kinds of things – it gets much easier. Then you begin to learn how to truly be the woman God created you to be – how to use your power and influence for great good and healing, how much more powerful your godly femininity is than your sinful femininity to influence your man. You begin to learn to honor him, to genuinely respect the good in him, to treat him well because that is your character even if he doesn’t deserve it, and to share your feelings and thoughts respectfully. It’s so cool, because eventually, you realize all you have to do is share your feelings and concerns in a very brief, simple, vulnerable, feminine, respectful way – and you will have much more impact than all of the nagging, preaching, yelling, and cutting him down ever could have had. It is a win/win!

            This is a slow process and a long journey. It is the journey of sanctification. We will all be on this road learning together in Christ for the rest of our lives. But I am so happy we get to walk this road together and get to love, pray for, support, exhort, encourage, and bless each other. This is what the Body of Christ is supposed to be. 🙂

            Much love to you both – Amanda and Niki!

          3. Satisfied Wife,

            Oh!

            One more thing – Greg, my husband, has a different personality from your husband’s. He said NOTHING about my disrespect, pride, and control for over 14 years in our marriage – he just withdrew and became more and more passive and unplugged. But he didn’t like for me to order him around and tell him what to do either – turns out! Really, who would like that? I know I wouldn’t!

            At first, I thought I couldn’t say what I thought and couldn’t share my opinion. And at first, I couldn’t do that without being disrespectful. But most men do want their wives to have opinions and thoughts of their own. As they heal from the disrespect, and as they feel safer with us, they will usually be a lot more open to our thoughts and feelings as we approach them in a way that honors their masculinity, autonomy, and personhood. So I don’t want any wife to think she can’t say anything ever. That is going too far the other way into being too passive or too submissive – like a doormat. There is a place of balance between being really controlling and dominating and being a doormat with no voice. It is a place we can only reach by the power of the Holy Spirit – and it is the most awesome place ever!

            Much love!

          4. April,
            I agree. I think I am still stuck in the quiet phase to some degree because even when I think it’s ok to say something, and I do, my husband still doesn’t like it most of the time. Or maybe he just doesn’t like when I speak the truth to him or point out the truth to him, because usually when I do that he starts asking me to be quiet. That is his own issue he might have to deal with! I can see the line more clearly where not totally disrespecting and mothering vs.not saying anything at all is— very good point! Thank you! 🙂

            Blessings,
            Amanda

          5. Satisfied Wife,

            The way I look at it is that a man who has been feeling really disrespected for awhile has kind of a spiritual/emotional “sunburn.” He is overly sensitive to even the slightest hint of disrespect or control for awhile until he has some time and space to really heal and until he begins to see that his wife is truly changing and is not just trying to manipulate him in a new way.

            Eventually, we figure out more about what is disrespectful and how to avoid it and how to speak respectfully in ways that are meaningful to our men. And eventually, they heal, too, and are better able to hear our feelings, concerns, and desires. But this can take quite a bit of time.

            For me, sometimes Greg would shut down because I was still being disrespectful in my approach and didn’t realize it. There is SO MUCH that can come across as disrespectful to our men and we can be pretty clueless. But when we have gotten rid of all of the intentional and unintentional disrespect (and apologize as soon as we realize we have been disrespectful), then there is still a time of healing for most of our men before they feel safe with us again. And they have their own issues with which they must wrestle, too.

            Would you like to talk about how you try to approach him with sharing the truth? I’d be glad to hash through some ideas with you.

            Much love to you!

          6. April,
            Yes! I would love your feedback in this issue. When things are going well with my husband, I am usually about to share with him how I feel about something and he takes it into consideration. However, if my husband is not ok and things are becoming a little tension-filled (not because of me, because my husband is dealing with his own issues/stress), if I speak the truth of God’s word to him about something, he tends to get upset and tells me to be quiet. I definitely don’t say it in a nasty preaching i’m better than you attitude like I used to. I say it pleasantly and offering it in a way that says I care about you and it is my responsibility to share the truth with you as my brother in Christ type of way. When it is the truth, and he is just not in a mood or state of mind to receive it is when he tells me to be quiet. And now I just stop talking when that happens.

          7. Satisfied Wife,

            When a husband is not doing well spiritually and emotionally – he is probably not going to be able to hear things from Scripture from you. God can speak to him, as you have seen, without you reminding him of what the Bible says. What a husband will respond to is your godly attitude, demeanor, Spirit-filled countenance, tone of voice, warmth, and how you give him a safe place to find shelter.

            Somehow, most of the time, a man who is a believer is better able to hear God’s truth from the Holy Spirit than if we try to verbalize it, when they are not doing well. What we think is us just sharing as a sister in Christ can come across as we are acting like a mama or a teacher. It is very easy for our husbands to feel that we are being self-righteous in those moments and for it to sound like a lecture. Words about spiritual things are less impactful on a spiritually wounded man than our attitude and actions.

            I’m glad you do stop when he asks you to. He is trying to tell you that words about spiritual things are not helpful at that moment. Your particular husband knows the Bible pretty well.

            There are probably lots of other topics you can share about respectfully. If we come across as telling our husbands what to do or as if we think they can’t figure it out and we give unsolicited advice, that can feel smothering, condescending, and controlling.

            A lot of men respond better to something like, “I know that you’ll figure this out. I trust you.” Or, “I’m sorry things are so painful right now. I’ll pray for you.” Or, “Man, this is a tough situation, but I know God will give you all the wisdom you need, Honey.”

            Much love to you!

          8. April,
            Yes! I have learned to do just as you have described above! But what I’m talking about is times when me and him are on good terms, everything has been going good and we are connecting on most levels, and he starts speaking to me in a very wrong way or he gets full of doubt or he starts believing the lies of the devil that he isn’t saved, etc. Those times, I have gently tried to tell him the truth, and sometimes now if I do that, even if he says be quiet and I stop talking about it, he will later come around and say God used me to speak truth to him and he is thankful. Other times, even when I stop talking about God all together he doesn’t come back aorund with anything, and he just falls more and more into the wrong path, and those are usually the hard times when I don’t know what is going to happen, and all I can do is pray and trust God to work in him. Eventually God speaks to him in that, but sometimes it takes a lot of hard lessons for him to get to that point, and I hate watching that happen. I guess it all depends on the situation! Does that make more sense or is it still what you are talking about above and I am trying to justify something wrong here? 🙂 which I know is very possible lol

            Thanks!!

            Love,
            Amanda

          9. Niki,

            Aw! I love this! It is so neat to see what impacted you from each woman’s comments. What an incredible treasure that we get to share this stuff together and work as a team like this. Praise God!!!! 🙂

            You are most welcome. I’m honored that God and my husband support me and allow me to do this. I feel like the most blessed woman on the planet that God allows me to have this virtual front row seat to watch Him transform women’s lives (and men’s, too) around the world for His glory! It never gets old. I know this is exactly where God wants me to be. I’m ecstatic that He lets me be a little part of His work in your life, my dear sister! 🙂

            Much love!
            April

          10. Niki, welcome to the truth. You will never regret being humbled by God. You will soar to new heights, strength and joy as you learn self control and how to use your “powers” for good. I’m so excited to have you join us. Thank you for being willing to learn a new way. The payout is so worth it…in this lifetime, as well as the next one. Bless you, sister.

      2. I’d like to chime in as a former leader, outgoing, person as well. Well, not former, but more appropriate. I was celebrated in my family as a leader, too. So was my husband. When the 2 of us got together, I was louder, more demanding and more angry when I didn’t get my way, so my husband submitted to me. This broke him as a man. He felt not good enough, a failure and unable to make me happy. He gave up. I was basically a steamroller to him. Instead of cooperating with my husband, I was in competition with him. He told me over and over that its not about someone winning or getting their way, but i didnt understand that.

        Many times, I have found that our motives are good. We have great ideas and we want what’s best. But the way we go about them is so very off putting and disrespectful. Respect is a foreign concept to a woman in the context of how men need it. Don’t you think our husbands are capable of great ideas and good motives too? If we, as women go whole hog to prove how much we don’t need them in our lives by being Uber independent and self sufficient, then our husbands are left feeling unimportant, unwanted and useless. Who wants to feel THAT? I wouldn’t want that. I think we get so caught up in “doing” mode, that we don’t even give our husbands a chance to take care of their family and we strip them of their dignity and chances to feel helpful and worthy. They look at themselves in the mirror and see a hollow shell. They see someone who can’t do anything right or can’t even be a leader themselves.

        Women can be strong leaders, charasmatic and have an opinion, but we can also be supportive, loving and kind. We don’t need to emasculate our men in order to be strong…that is essentially a bully mentality. Our men need to feel like heroes. They want to take care of those they love. They want a partner they can trust and bounce ideas off of, but won’t take over all the time. They need a copilot.They NEED to feel useful and needed. In genesis, God says after the fall (Gen 3:16)

        “To the woman He said…your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

        This has been discussed as a translation that women have the desire to rule as a man should, but God’s design is not that way. He put men in charge. But it also places the responsibility for that leadership on the men. They are held accountable to God for their leadership. Women are not.

        US women know we can do ANYTHING, but we can’t do EVERYTHING. However, understanding that even then, none of it really happens well without God. He allows it all to happen or not. He is sovereign.

        It is not weak to let a man help us. It is feminine. It feeds their soul a sense of worth and healthy pride that they are capable of providing for us. If we didn’t have our men, we could survive, and vice versa, but why are we here on earth, then? Just to crush others on our climb to the top? That’s not what Jesus taught.

        Jesus explains in the bible that he did not come to judge us. He came to save us. But He also explained that the best leaders are those who SERVE their people. Jesus washed the feet of His desciples, and they followed him and he was their great leader. True leadership is not bossing people around. I used to think I had to enforce my great ideas and always be one step ahead of everyone. But great leadership serves others and helps us to show others the leadership of Jesus. We are to be the “Jesus” to others with love, kindness, servitude and grace, a sort of humility.

        I think perfectionism as a sin comes into play along with pride and control as well. I know I wanted to be the perfect mom/ wife/ employee/ daughter/ PTA president, etc. So I thought my ways were best, I would not consider other viewpoints and I was tired from trying to do it all. Once I realized how imperfect I really was, I felt freedom and was able to relax. Now, each day I get up loving that I have a new day to do my best. Somethings will go wrong, many will go right, but I am human. I am also loved, forgiven and accepted in my imperfection by God. I no longer chug forward insisting on my own way and controlling every aspect of my life aND others’ lIves as well. It is so much sweeter to trust God and enjoy the journey. I still can influence things and say what I want to say, but I think first…”will what I say help build this person up, or tear them down?” Am I listening to understand a different viewpoint, or interupting with my own agenda and listening for a chance to cut in instead? Learning that “different” does not equal “wrong” was a huge light bulb moment for me too, it’s just different. I had to realize that I had a huge, over inflated viewpoint of myself thinking I was better than others and smarter, more capable and a better leader. I put myself on a pedistal, above God and others. When that pedistal was knocked out from under me, I realized how prideful I was. Nowadays, I love myself so much more and am amazed at how strong I have become spiritually. I can stand up to people who try to tear me down in a way that is far better than my mouthy, disrespectful ways before. It’s a “kill them with kindness” type of thing, but in a way that honors God and doesn’t kill them, but lifts them up with us, honorably, and doesn’t make me look like a shrew, or judgemental or above others. It’s a quiet grace that speaks volumes of my charachter. It’s a way that leads with servitude and example. It’s a way that uses love, mercy, grace and kindness, not demands, inflexibility and jugement. It’s way better when its God’s way, and my husband has started to respond beautifully. It has taken 1.5 years for him to just START to trust me, lay down his hurt a bit and pick up his self esteem, but it just takes one person in the marriage with faith and trust in God to turn things around. For 18 years I thought I was the leader, and I ended up walking without anyone following where I was going. Now, for 1.5 years, I follow Christ, and I am surrounded by love, family, friends, and my husband wants to be a part of it. I am leading people to Christ, by serving them. It’s the best.

        I am praying for you to see another side of the dice. To examine a better way. It’s not giving up your identity, it’s more a way of using your gifts in a wiser, more useful way, my sister. I pray that God helps open your eyes to the path you are on and helps you take those qualities and refine them into a more respectful and fulfilling use.

        1. Thank you for sharing this, LMSdaily115! There are a lot of powerful insights here. 🙂

          It blesses me that we get to have this discussion together. It’s one I wish I could have heard 22 years ago myself.

  6. Great post! Amanda, always love hearing your encouragement!

    Pray for me, my friends. I am hurt (again) by an ongoing behavior of my husband’s. I need to look for opportunities to bless him in my pain, but trying to figure out the boundary lines for that. Pray God will show me ways to bless him while not enabling sin.

    And me blessing my husband will be in obedience to God, not for results in my marriage!!!

    1. ContentinChrist,
      I am praying for you as well, I know God will empower you to get through! We can do ALL things through Christ!

      Have you read the Boundaries book by any chance? That really opened my eyes to how to step back from my husband and how to separate myself from his choices, and also how to protect myself from his choices that were sinful. Might be helpful 🙂

      Blessings,
      Amanda

      1. Hmmm, no, I haven’t, but I probably need to! God is definitely teaching me about boundaries…not as a means to control, but for my own self and what I will stand for or not stand for. I used to think boundaries were all about controlling to get a certain result from the other party. And, I didn’t understand how boundaries could be biblical. I thought there was no way they could be biblical or godly. God is working with me on this.

        Thanks for the suggestion! Blessings to you, too!

        1. Cic, I read the Boundaries book. There are two of them. Boundaries, and Boundaries in Marriage. I recommend the marriage one first, but both are excellent by Dr’s Cloud and Townsend. I have read many books by them. They are Christian psychologists. Those books changed my life.

          Understanding Boundaries are more like we each carry a backpack on our shoulders. In it is the stuff we are responsible for. Our attitude, thoughts, actions, words, jobs at work, care for children etc. However, sometimes people try to get us to carry their backpack for them, or they empty the contents of their pack into ours to carry around for them. Sometimes, It’s ok to help someone out and carry it for a distance, but usually for a limited time period. Other times the person never wants it back or keeps dumping it on us and we become burdened down with stuff we shouldn’t be carrying.

          I agree, I think reading that book would really help put some things straight for you. It can help you understand where to stand up for yourself and not be a doormat, but also where we sometimes trample all over other people’s boundaries and put our backpacks onto other people. It talks about healthy boundaries and it is NOT about controling others, but more about learning to control yourself and not letting others control you. I’d love to hear what light bulb moments you experience if you read it.

          I think it should go on April’s book list, but it’s April’s. Not mine. It is very good for those feeling a bit like a doormat or in an eno less circle of chaos. Much love, my sister.

        2. ContentinChrist,
          I feel the same exact way as you. I did not learn healthy boundaries in my life and it came out hard core in my marriage. I didn’t even really look into it until finding April’s blog, and going to counseling. I had read Boundaries in Marriage over a year ago, but it didn’t really click because my eyes weren’t opened to what was going on yet. But now it makes a lot of sense and the Boundaries book has opened my eyes a lot more too, mixed with counseling, and I see now where I need to draw lines for the most part. It is helpful in keeping guard over our own life and what we will expose our selves too. Definitely worth it 🙂

          Blessings,
          Amanda

  7. My comment is not related to this post. I have a question.

    My husband and I are retired. My heart’s desire is to live out God’s purposes for me and to serve Him and others who need help, to serve with outreach in the community and in my church. However, my husband does not seem to have any desire to do this.

    Consequently, I feel guilty leaving the house and he is here alone. I have friends and we get together also, and my husband does not have friends and does not want to have friends. I know my marriage is important and I love being with my husband, but I also feel that God does not want me and my husband to only think about ourselves. I believe God has plans for our retirement, not to just spend it leisurely. I don’t want my husband to feel lonely in this time of our lives. How I wish we could serve the Lord together, that is the desire of my heart, but I can’t make it happen.

    I would love to hear how other retired women have handled a situation like this and what advice they would have for me.

    Also, advice from April? Thank you!

    1. Lindy,

      I can actually relate to this question right now, even though I am not retired. 🙂 I have always wanted to do “big things” for God. I used to – before God opened my eyes to my disrespect and control – try to force Greg into the things I just knew were God’s will for us. I tried to make him give more money to the poor, and tried to get him to do ministry things, and to give more to the church and charities.

      Something God has shown me on this journey is that if God wants Greg to do something and He has a calling on Greg’s life – God will let Greg know about it. I am not the Holy Spirit. I can’t make Greg do things, even good things that I may feel are God’s will. I have had to learn to be really patient and to wait to let God speak to Greg about what He wants him to do.

      God has led me into ministry through Greg but the pace was MUCH slower than I would have preferred. I like to go from 0-100mph in about 5 seconds. I can get excited about something very quickly. I’d be happy to sell our house and about 3/4 of our stuff or more and downsize to a very small, modest house and give all that stuff to the poor. I’d love to adopt a child. I’d love to do family ministry stuff together – more than we do now. I would be happy to sell our TVs and not watch TV, not go out to eat at restaurants, and live WAY below our means. But – I am not single. I am living with my husband and God ordained him to lead me. He has not felt God’s call to do these things yet. So I wait on God to work in my husband’s heart if it is His will for us to do these things that seem so good to me.

      God used Greg to lead me to begin blogging and then to write my first book. Now I am writing my second book. He has been my greatest supporter and he leads in my ministry in quiet, behind the scenes kind of ways that suit his personality.

      If you are open and willing to give all of yourself to God and you want to be involved in ministry – I believe God can and will open those doors for you in His timing and with your husband’s leading and support.

      Does your husband feel lonely when he is home by himself? Does he want you to be home more with him? Is he supportive of you doing some ministry on your own?

      There are also ways that we minister to our husbands at times just by being with them at home or while they are watching TV. In a lot of ways, our husbands are our greatest ministry.

      I pray for God’s wisdom for you. I know that as you yield fully to Him that He will show you the path and how He desires to use you and your husband for His glory. 🙂

      Much love to you!

    2. Dear Lindy,

      I am in a very different place in my life than you are (my boyfriend and I are in college and are planning to get married directly after graduation), but I have been / am in a similar situation with him.

      I am a lot more extroverted than my boyfriend is. He doesn’t really have friends either – he has his parents, his brother, and me, but those few relationships are deep. I eventually realized that my boyfriend and I like to serve in different ways, because we have different personalities. We joke that if we were charged with the mission of bringing Christianity to a country that had never known it, he would be the one planning out all of the logistics and I would be the one handing out Bibles to the locals. I like to serve in ways that involve interacting with people; he’s not really a “people person” – he likes to sit in his room and research and carefully compare charities on his computer and then donate money to them.

      Because my boyfriend is very introverted, he doesn’t get lonely easily. When I joined an on-campus Bible study last semester, I asked him what he thought, explaining that I didn’t want him to feel lonely or neglected if I wasn’t there with him. (Except for classes and him going back to his own dorm for the night, we spend basically all of our time together.) His reaction really surprised me: “Wow, honey, that’s great!! You go and have fun! Don’t worry, I never feel neglected by you and I certainly won’t feel neglected by this. I love you!”

      When I want to do something that involves people (either social- or service-related), I just ask him if he wants to come, and sometimes he does and sometimes he doesn’t. I just make sure to put my relationship with him above my relationship with the other people, and I ask him from time to time if I am giving our relationship enough attention, just to make sure.

      May I respectfully suggest asking your husband if he feels neglected if you do something by yourself? If he’s very introverted like my boyfriend, I think it is likely that he doesn’t mind.

      Of course, I don’t know your husband and there are many reasons why he may be like this. Please feel free to disregard everything I wrote if you don’t find it to be pertinent to your situation. 🙂

      Much love!
      Flower

      1. Flower,

        My husband is quite introverted, as well, and needs a good bit of time alone to recharge. I really like what you shared and your approach if her husband has more of an introverted personality. 🙂

        1. April and Flower, I am new to this and didn’t realize I should have posted my reply here. I added my response mistakenly to the end of the all the posting of comments.

    3. April , I’m sorry, I just noticed that my reply should have gone here. Instead, I put it at the end of the posting of comments.

  8. April,
    I have a random question for you, as I believe you will be able to shed some light on this. When I think about marriage and life, and how God is using our marriages to conform us into the image of Christ, and how He uses all of our experiences for His purposes, to accomplish His will in and through us—— I still wonder—– is there any chance that the things that I think are being sovereignly appointed by God or allowed, are really just the result of our own choices, and perhaps any suffering along that line is really not “God appoointed”?

    Any thoughts?

    Love,
    Amanda

    1. Satisfied Wife,

      The best way I know to think of this is that God is sovereign AND we have free will and make real choices with real consequences. Some people want to say God is sovereign and we are robots. Scripture supports that God is sovereign, but it also shows over and over again that God holds people accountable for our decisions and there are consequences. Some people want to say we have free will and God is a wimp with no power over circumstances – this is more of what I used to believe. Then everything depends on people and their choices and God is helpless and held captive to our decisions. Scripture does describe that we have free will but God is not portrayed as wimpy and powerless.

      I think the most accurate way to think about this mystery is that God is sovereign and we all have free will at the same time and there is no conflict. God causes it all to work together in ways I can’t begin to fathom.

      1. April,
        Thank you! I re-read your book over the past few days, and the part that really highlighted what you said above is the part about when our husbands make a decision that impacts us. You pointed out how we can still trust God ultimately, and laid out the steps for that situation. VERY helpful! Thank you so much! I find peace in realizing God is in control no matter what!! 🙂

        Love,
        Amanda

        1. Satisfied Wife,

          God’s sovereignty gives me so much peace, too! I’m very glad that section was helpful. I tried to design the book with the idea that you could turn to various parts for reference when issues come up.

          Much love!

  9. Hi Ladies! This is unrelated to this post, but I wanted to share a tip that may help you!

    IF YOU SMELL A FISHY SMELL IN YOUR HOUSE, DO NOT IGNORE IT, AND BE AWARE IT MAY BE ELECTRICAL.

    We had a fishy smell start in our basement about ten days ago. Very long story short, we searched and searched and found nothing. No mice, no electrical problems (that we could find), nothing. We cleaned out our dryer vents, I cleaned and vacuumed my basement.

    The smell would come and go. I googled it and read it may be electrical. We checked everything. Found nothing.

    Today the smell came back with a vengeance. I went downstairs and my son and I saw smoke. I called 911, and boy did we have some excitement. The fire department and the police were super nice and super helpful. By the grace of God they got here before the house caught on fire. It took them quite a while to find the source, and I believe their thermal cameras led them to the electrical panel, which we had all checked several times. Anyhow, they pulled the panel off, and BEHIND the circuit breakers everything was melting and smoking. We were probably hours if not minutes from a major fire. They cut the power and an electrician came out and replaced everything. Water had been getting in through a cracked outdoor wire casing and corroding the electrical panel.

    God is so good! I’m so glad we were home. I’m so glad we smelled it. I’m glad my son spotted the wisps of smoke (which prompted me to call the fire dept.). I’m so glad they found the problem before it escalated.

    I’d appreciate prayer. We are safe, but the smell is lingering and I’m a little nervous. I just need to pray for peace and sleep, I am so tired!

    I was upset with my husband and I’d been sleeping on the couch for a couple nights (I know this is not a good idea, I’m headed back to bed tonight). But anyhow, this dangerous experience has put everything back into perspective and helped us all be thankful we have each other.

    I share my story because I want my friends here to know that a fishy smell – even if it comes and goes – may be an electrical issue, so don’t ignore it. Even though we didn’t ignore it, we couldn’t find a thing. If it ever happens again I’ll be calling an electrician sooner rather than later!

    God bless you!
    Becca

    1. Becca, thank you for the great warning tip. I’m so glad that all of you are safe. Gid really looked out for you and your family. He is goid. I pray you get much needed rest and continue to trust in God. Bless you, sweet sister!

    2. Becca,

      Wow! I am so grateful to God that you were home and your son saw the smoke and y’all were able to get help BEFORE the house caught on fire! PRAISE GOD for that! Thank you so much for sharing! I’m also glad this has helped put things into perspective. That is a blessing.

      We had quite a scare Sunday at our church. Our 14 year old son and his best friend are helping with running the big TV cameras for our TV ministry at our church. They were each at different cameras in the balcony. Our son’s friend suddenly fainted and went over the railing of the balcony at the beginning of the sermon. We were below him and all the sudden there was a thump and several screams as we saw his head swinging above us. He was hanging off of the railing from below his hips and was about to fall, unconscious, head first into the pews and people below. A man from our Sunday School class jumped over a pew and grabbed his foot and then pulled him back over the railing by his belt. He was totally fine after he came to. The railings are very low – lower than counter height. I am praying we will do something about that to prevent a potential future tragedy. But we are SO THANKFUL to God that our son’s friend is okay and that he wasn’t hurt and everyone below him was spared.

      Much love to each of you!

  10. April, thank you so much for your input. I relate to you in that I would love to give more of what we have in all areas: money – time – energy – other resources. It is the desire of my heart to be God’s hand and feet and “be there” to help others. But like you said, I am not single, I have a husband and God has ordained him to lead me. It’s not about what I want. April, do you tell Greg about these things you would like to do? Or do you keep them between yourself and God?
    Thank you for helping me to see that I must not put myself in control of my husband even though the things I want to do are good things. That is God’s job. I will seek God’s will for me and let Him take care of my husband. It’s hard. But I must restrain myself. I’m really going to need to pray daily for wisdom. I love my husband and want him to be happy, and I so want for us to be a team and serve God together.

    To answer your questions: I don’t think my husband feels lonely per se when he’s home alone. But I know because he shows me that he loves for me to be home with him even just working around the house together. I love that also. In fact, those are some of my favorite days. He is supportive of some of my ministry work and in fact has gone along with me a few times.
    I have so many ideas of things we could do together if only he was interested or had a desire to serve God. He never seems to notice needs of others or initiates helping others or inviting others to our home, not even our couple friends, which are really my girlfriend and her husband. He has no friends he could get together with, if he chose to and he doesn’t want a friend, which to me, is sad. I love my friends and they mean a lot to me. I need to be careful to not spend too much time with them either. I think he would be happy to never socialize with others.

    Good point also that our husbands can be our greatest ministry, and I certainly need God to do this.

    Flower, I appreciate your response also. To answer your question, no I don’t think he does get lonely and in fact I have asked him and he said no. It’s me I guess, because when I leave the house he always says “I’ll be here”. This makes me feel guilty because I’m always the one leaving. You are right, putting my relationship with my husband ahead of all others is the most important thing I can do and just keep asking him if he would like to join me. Thank you for writing. It sounds like you and your boyfriend have a wonderful relationship.

    I’m so thankful for this blog, April.

      1. Lindy,

        The awesome thing about serving a sovereign God is that He can change our husband’s hearts. He can open the doors to ministry for us or for our husbands or for us as a couple when His timing is right and our hearts are right. I think of it like this – if God wants me to do something for Him, He will work in and through my husband’s heart to desire His will to be done. I Peter 3:18-22 says that all authorities are subjected to the authority of Christ. What incredible news this is! God can change our husbands’ hearts in His timing to align with His will as we fervently seek Him and yield ourselves fully to Him in trust and faith. God’s timing is perfect.

        Much love to you!

  11. April
    Some of the comments you have written to heartbroken about prayer have me worried. I think I’m confused as I thought I was praying correctly but now I’m not sure. I can’t find these comments now but when I read them I was concerned.
    I’m having a really tough day. I’ve been pretty good lately but today is a real struggle. I’m scared to pray as I think I’ve been doing it all wrong. But how can it be so “particular” to pray properly? Surely God hears our cries no matter how we say them?
    Today I feel like i can’t do this anymore. He noticed I didn’t look happy today and straight away asked me if I want him to move out if it’s too hard to have him here but not wanting a relationship with me. I said I didn’t want him to move out but that if it’s too hard for him living here when he sees pain when he looks at me then maybe he should. He says he sees pain when he thinks of having a relationship with me but that he can stay here like this for however long as it doesn’t worry him.
    Now I don’t know what to pray. How to pray. It’s too hard. Hurts too much. I’m crying all day again. Maybe it’s just “one of those days”. Again I’m feeling scared to completely surrender to God in case it’s not His will to restore our marriage. Yes I know thats wrong and ridiculous and obviously still an idol. I’m failing and I don’t know how to fix it. I ask and pray for help. It’s not coming. I feel lost today. Please pray for me.
    Heartbroken. My tears and my prayers are for you as well.

    1. Bel,

      Praying in and of itself is not wrong, of course! But “worry praying” or “obsessive praying” as if I am actually the key and my prayers are actually the key – rather than God actually being the key – is a problem. If I am obsessing over something, it could be that I have that thing above Christ in my heart. I have done this so many times in the past. I would pray constantly all day for hours and hours about the thing I was worried about – trying to be sure God did what I really wanted him to do.

      What I am attempting to advocate is balance. Balance in our prayer lives and trust in God more than trust in constant praying and obsessing over something. I am attempting to encourage us to lay our issues at the altar and leave them there with God rather than feel like it is all up to us and that the answer depends on how many minutes per day we pray instead of that the answer depends on God. Does that make sense? If all I am praying about is what I want my husband to do – which I did for many years – and I am not praising God, thanking God, asking God to work in my heart, confessing my own sins, praying for others, too – it is time to ask God to help me look at my motives that may be hidden even from myself.

      Check out this post, “Can You Pray Too Much for Your Marriage?”

      Much love to you, my dear sister!

  12. Struggling immensely this weekend. I know you’re busy, so I understand if I don’t hear back, but I have nowhere else to turn. It’s been over six months since we have had sex, and it was terrible then. I have changed my whole personality. I have done everything I can. I keep everything to myself. I lie all the time about how I feel to make him feel better. I pretend he’s so awesome even though he isn’t meeting his end. I give him whatever he wants and I just burn. Last night I said it would mean the world to me if we could reconnect intimately. He says “I know that but I’m not there.”
    It must be nice to have such a low drive that you can punish your spouse for so long and just “take care” of your needs privately without her. This is exactly what I was afraid of. I’ve done everything and I’m still alone and miserable in the world. I just can’t even breathe anymore. I’m trying to trust God but I feel like because I have woman parts I’m just doomed to have an unbearable existence. I see why women want to change into men. Ho long is this supposed to go on? Every friend I have tells me to leave him and that maybe God wants me to be with someone better. I don’t want that. Has anyone else taken this long? Maybe he’s gay. I don’t even know anymore.

    1. Michee,

      Oh goodness! This grieves my heart!

      This journey is not about lying, changing yourself to change your husband, pretending, flattery, doing everything he wants as if he is god, and doing nothing to fill up yourself. There are TONS of red flags here, my precious sister. No wonder you are exhausted and completely frustrated. I’m so glad you wrote to me!

      Is it possible that you may be doing these things in your own strength?

      What are you doing to be filled up with God?

      Could we do a spiritual check up together?

      I wish I could give you a huge hug!

      Thank you again so much for reaching out! If any wife is feeling like this, I want to talk about things and hash through them together. Or I want them to go to a trusted, godly, experienced counselor who can help them in private.

      Much love!

    2. Michee,

      I have been thinking of you and praying for you, my precious sister. 🙂

      Here are some posts that may be a blessing if you are interested, please search my home page for:

      – fake
      – biblical submission is not passivity
      – doormat
      – fear
      – husband idol
      – insecurity
      – security
      – contentment

      Much love to you!

    3. Michee, I am going to try to fill in for April a bit here to help, if you don mind. I’m going on 1.5 years in the same boat.No intimacy. It is painful and agonizing to be rejected in this way as a woman. That is why the bible says not to hold your bodies from each other unless agreed upon. It is highly frustrating as I am in the prime of my life and desire that closeness with my husband too.

      I know you have needs and desires. But. If your husband isn’t mentally there with you, what kind of real connection would it be. It would cheapen the act to a degree, don’t you think? My husband is also “taking care of things on his own” and I felt very angry about it when I found out…yet another obstacle and sin to overcome. The enemy uses all our hot buttons against us.

      Yet, when I read your post, I can still see where you may be placing your husband before your relationship with God. Even our marriages, husbands and kids can become an idol. God needs to be your FIRST love, not second oversion your husband. Altjoigh we canmot make physical love to God, it is a connection, a closeness, a feeling of accepted, desired and cherished we long for. THAT is something we CAN get from God. All this change you are doing is not really about “winning your husband back”. If it is, it is a wrong motive to God. It should be more about getting right with God and honoring and obeying Him to our best each day. IF your marriage is healed, it is a bonus not a goal. But the more important thing is obeying God and thanking Him for the blessings in your life. I agree, the marriage might not be looking like a blessing right now, but feelings change, God can and will work inside your husband. It may be in ways you don’t understand or in ways that are not what you want to happen, but trusting that God’s ways are best is crucial. His will is ALWAYS for our good. Yours, AND your husbands.

      It sounds like your husband is working his way through many feelings and emotions. Sex is such a vulnerable thing for a man. It is an act of exposing the soft underbelly of the turtle, so to speak. It takes a certain amount of trust, respect and courage to be intimate. If you have been disrespectful to him in the past, you may be asking for something he might not be able to trust you with right now. Sex is a gift to each other, would you ever demand to be given a gift? Is it really a gift then? Other gifts we don’t think about is forgiveness, mercy, kindness. Demanding it from him will get you nowhere and can pretty much just push him further away. The gift would be tajen, not given. My husband told me if i triedvto have sex with him right now, it would feel like rape to him. Wow. Crushing at the time. Thst was 1 year or more ago. I understand your pain.

      By now you probably realize you have 2 choices in how you deal with your husband. If you continue to act out of your fleshly desires and emotions, you are probably guaranteed the marriage will end. However, there is a small chance that following the path God lays out for you can lead to resolving a marriage. But your motives cannot be for your marriage to heal, ultimately, they need to be for a desire to honor God for your life and his forgiveness and love. If THIS becomes your true reason for obeying God’s way, then things start to fall into place. Weather your marriage stays together or not isn’t really a factor anymore. If God wills you two to heal the marriage, then it will happen. But either way, your life is saved and you will be able to better deal with either result in a way that keeps joy and gratitude in your life.

      Your husband most likely has many issues to work through as well. God has kind of straightened you out to a degree and given you some assignments to work out on your own (you just discovered patience is one of them, idolotry, and trust in God might be 2 more). Think of all the work He has to do in your husband. This is not your job to help God with. He can handle this sort of thing just fine. It’s Gods job and it is between Him and your husband. Can God trust you to wait patiently and let that work be done? Or will you jump in to tell GOD to hurry up already? Your husband has been given free will as well. He may NOT choose to obey God…does that mean his choices will affect YOUR relationship with God?

      One other thing that stood out in your comment was that you seem to be keeping your feelings inside, burning and are “lying” about your true feelings to your husband. This is not what God wants for you either. Although learning to be respectful to your husband has a quiet phase in it, as you progress, there is a time when you start to understand that yes, you have a voice and can use it. Could it be that you are still struggling with some very painful emotions and frustrations that you feel you cannot express in a respectful way, so you bottle them up? Bitterness, resentfulness, anger, betrayal? These are all things that can give the enemy a foothold into your soul and breed more and more discontent and sin. Yes, I understand how hurt and devistated you must feel. But bring those things to God. Ask Him to help you overcome them. I pray God can show you how to forgive even when your husband doesn’t deserve it…it is what God does for us every day. I pray for God to help you be patient and rest. Work on yourself, not on your husband. Give that all to God to deal with. It is too big for you. I pray that He helps you dig deep into your soul to show you sins you may have that you are unaware of even. I pray you can work on you and strive to do your personal best each day. Even if you blow it today, tomorrow is a new day. Run your own race. In the end, it will be only you answering to God about how you lived your life. How you honored and obeyed Him even when you were sinned against. I pray He can bring you discernment so you can know how to speak respectful, yet honestly to your husband. One bible quote that helped me was “when speaking, always build another up, not break them down.” If what you want to say will be damaging and hurtful, then yes, maybe you need to take time to pray about it for a bit first. Listen to the Holy Spirit and feel that still, small voice inside directing you. But if your words are expressing your feelings in a controlled, and calm way, your husband may hear that better. He may or may not agree with you, or even respond in a way you would like, but you are being honest with him about your feelings. You can’t control his reactions or responses, you can only control his. Maybe God is trying to teach you this skill…to speak iup for yourself, but in a controlled, respectful way, not as an emotional, out of control knee-jerk reaction.

      How is your time with God going?

      What are you most fearful about right now?

      Do you feel like you can hear what God is asking you to do?

      April has some posts that address some of these things. Try searching the post for:

      -idolotry
      -Doing the right thing and the wrong things happen.
      -trust in God

      I’m sure she may have some other suggestions. She knows her site inside and out.

      Much love to you. And a big hug and shoulder to let it all out on, my dear sister.

      1. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing from the trenches with our dear sister, Michee, LMSdaily115. I know that your experiences are something she can relate to. I appreciate you helping to fill in the gaps for me!

        1. Thank you both for taking time to encourage me. I was in a very painful place last night. It’s a little better this morning. I’m trying to work on my relationship with God, but lately it feels flat. I go in my prayer closet and just sit there sometimes. I’m so hurt. I feel like since I took responsibility for my part in this that the blame has completely shifted onto me and the urge to fight back is almost unbearable because I don’t really feel like it is all my fault.

          All my friends have husbands who want sex no matter how mad they are. No one in my life has a husband who doesn’t. They all think he’s gay or something. I don’t think it’s that. I think he hates change and once he settles in to no sex it will just stay that way because he’d rather do absolutely nothing than risk failing.

          I want to trust God, but I guess I feel like that will mean I have to choose to be miserable forever. The reason I lie about my feelings is because I’m trying to show him respect and he feels disrespected when I express any kind of unhappiness or worry or disappointment. I have brought some things to him and it’s worked out but when he rejected me sexually I know he wanted me to say it’s ok and be super sweet about it. I tried to do that. He asks if I’m sad and it’s like a trap because my sadness is a failure to him.

          I get the trusting and contentment thing in my head but I’m not there in my heart. I’m very thankful that things have improved so much but we have no children. I’m 34 and he just turned forty. I know if it’s His will it will work out but you know there are two people here and if my husband isn’t willing or on board then I guess God won’t force it. Which means I will get the short end of the deal. I don’t want the short end of the deal. And yeah I know I have Jesus so that’s enough but I can’t force my heart to understand that.

          LMSDAILY115: Youre prepared to have no intimacy for the rest of your life? I’m not prepared for that. I honestly have told God I can’t do that. I just can’t. It’s not fair and it’s not right. I’m wasting away and I feel like he is stealing my good years and then ill be old and no one will want me any way. Yes I know I probably need to work on idolatry again. I just have no energy for it right now.

          1. Michel,

            The blame is not all on you, my dear sister. You BOTH have plenty of things to work on in God’s eyes. We all do! I would also like to encourage you to search my home page for:

            – 25 ways to respect myself

            I also vote to stop talking about this issue with all of your friends. There are TONS of women in this same kind of situation you are in. If you try to compare your husband to your friends’ husbands, it will only make you feel more discouraged. Most women do not talk about this issue. But it is a huge issue. I have seen it many times. You can find lots of women talking about it on my post The Devastation of Sexual Rejection in Marriage. You can also find helpful information about dealing with this in the post, “When You Feel Deprived in Your Marriage.” I know you already saw the post about the wife having a higher sexual appetite.

            I know that it really seems like the whole problem is your husband being selfish and withholding himself. That IS sin against you. It is wrong. He will stand accountable to God for that.

            But I also know that the real answer to the pain you are feeling is in Christ, not in your husband. There are very deep spiritual issues going on with you – some may be related to the abuse you experienced when you were young. Some may just be the normal idol issues and fears that we all tend to face in marriage in tough situations like this.

            What I am talking about is not being fake, lying, and changing yourself for your husband. I am talking about total heart change by the power of God.

            Idols steal our joy, they rob us of intimacy with God. They destroy our spiritual power. They destroy our marriages and relationships. They leave us empty, broken, alone, resentful, bitter, and afraid. You are looking to sex and to your husband to meet the deepest needs of your soul – it seems to me – that only Jesus can truly meet.

            Until you are willing to truly lay down your desires and dreams and expectations and until you are willing to truly begin to trust God and to be content in Christ alone, even though it will seem scary at first, you will stay very stuck. Honestly, where you are now is miserable. But being close to God is anything but miserable!

            LMSdaily115 and I – and I am sure WorthyofLove and others – would love to walk beside you on this road if you are willing. No pressure! It has to be your decision. But if you want the healing that is available to you spiritually in Christ, we can walk beside you and show you the way. There are some really painful parts at the beginning as you tear out the idols and learn to yield fully to Christ – but it is SOOOOO worth it!

            You are not to the point where you believe you can do this yet. I’m glad you are being honest about that. So the thing to pray about and to think about is, are you willing to get to the point where you are willing to do this?

            Much love to you!

          2. Michel,

            I want you to have a happy ending with your husband. But God has a happy ending that is MUCH bigger than what you are dreaming of. I believe that sometimes we go through a really long time of waiting because if we got what we wanted too soon, we would settle for so much less than what God wants to do in our lives. I know that was true for me.

            I want your husband to be intimate with you again sexually. I can walk beside you on this road to do the things you can do on your end to help with that. But more than that, I want you to be intimate with Christ spiritually. That is the much bigger goal. Healing with your marriage may happen as a result of the healing you experience in Christ. But healing in your marriage will probably not happen if you don’t focus on your contentment in Christ.

            I don’t know if you have ever had someone idolize you? But it is VERY smothering. The other person feels like a black hole of insatiable need and pressure after awhile. When we are idolized by others, we are repelled and turned off. Husbands can tell if we are changing just to try to get them to do what we want them to do – it is called, manipulation. And husbands are universally repelled by this. They can see through our motives. Just like wives can see through a husband’s motive if he is acting loving but doesn’t truly love her.

            You can be sad and vulnerable without disrespecting him. But right now – I would love for you to focus on Christ for awhile. Let Him radically begin to heal your heart, mind, thinking, and soul. There are some extremely deep wounds in your soul that He can and will heal if you will trust Him. Living for Christ seems like we will be miserable if we are really depending on other things for our fulfillment, contentment, and faith. But what God wants us to discover is that Jesus is the greatest Treasure in the universe and that He is more than enough. No, you haven’t experienced that yet, but you can! In time.

            Check out “Please, God, Ask Me for Anything but This!”

          3. Michel,

            Oh! A wife may say something like this…. (after praying and getting her own heart right with God and listening to His prompting and His timing):

            “Honey,

            I know you have been very hurt by my disrespect for 12 years. The pain you have experienced must have been just awful. How my heart grieves over the pain I have caused you. I have wanted so much to change and be a better wife for you. I have been trying very hard, but I am realizing that there are some deeper issues I still need to address. I am sad that we are still not able to have intimacy. I miss you terribly. But I appreciate that you are hurting. I want you to be able to heal. I want to be able to heal, too. I don’t want you to feel pressured. I don’t want to hurt you or control you any more. I have some really deep soul searching to do for awhile. I still have so much to learn. I don’t think I understand yet how to be totally filled up with Jesus and how to let Him meet my deepest needs instead of looking to you to fill that role. Thanks for being patient with me as I try to figure things out.”

            You can be respectful and vulnerable at the same time. You can be authentic and not sin. You can gently share your needs and feelings without bulldozing him or trying to force him to do what you want him to do.

            Does that make sense?

          4. Sorry I posted twice. I thought I deleted it. I feel like I have laid it down many many times. And I feel like what God is saying is that he doesn’t want to give me anything. That I totally messed it all up and my only hope at this point is to wait until I die and go to heaven. Maybe that is my hormones talking though. I know I feel crazy right now. I have had a lot of good things happen but just like my whole life it always stops short of being whole. And I’ve gotten to the point where I am angry that I’m a woman. I don’t understand my husband.

            I’ve read books and all they talk about is how men want sex. Well mine could care less so how does that help me? I know healing takes time. I just know my husband. The job he’s at now was supposed to be temporary and he’s been there 7 years now. He won’t make steps to change anything in his life including our marriage. I am at the mercy of his inaction and passivity and I hate it. I really do. I’m going to work on this in prayer today and I know once my hormones subside I’ll feel better.

            Abuse sucks. You are a total victim and then when you’re messed up as an adult it’s suddenly all your fault and a choice you’re making in everyone’s eyes. I guess that’s why I can’t really lay it down. I don’t trust anyone to do anything good for me.

          5. My sweet sister, Michee/Michel…

            It is not at all that God doesn’t want to give you anything – it is that He wants to give you REAL LOVE and REAL LIFE that is infinitely more than what you think you want.

            There are men who want sex daily. But not all men. I have heard from countless men who have felt very disrespected who were totally turned off sexually by their wives simply because of the disrespect. Of course, men have their own issues, too. Sometimes they have sin issues or abuse of their own and scars and wounds to deal with.

            Would you consider doing an assignment with me that I believe may help you begin to heal?

            Yes, Abuse is AWFUL! I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. 🙁 How my heart breaks that you have been through that. But how I rejoice that Jesus is able to heal you and make you whole, my precious sister!

            I’m sure that there are a lot of fixed beliefs in your heart about God, yourself, others, sex, masculinity, femininity, marriage, and love that may be rather toxic after your experiences. Do you believe you may be ready to go through each one and start to question anything that is not of God, tear it out, and rebuild on God’s truth?

            Much love to you!

          6. Okay, Michee. (I hope that is the right name!)

            There are two ways we can do this.

            1. You can read the book Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss (you may skip over the part about children if you would like to). And you can begin to wrestle slowly with any wrong thinking you discover in your heart and mind and decide to trash any unbiblical thoughts and purposely replace them with God’s truth.

            2. I can share a few lies at a time about various topics and you can do some research at sites like http://www.openbible.org and you can search whatever topic we are discussing and find verses that share God’s truth. So you can write down any lies you have embraced and choose to reject them and to embrace God’s Word.

            Much love to you! 🙂 I’m so excited that you want to move forward into much greater healing in Christ!

          7. I think I will read the book. I will stay more on track that way. Can I bring any questions to you?

            I’ve been thinking about what you said about how it might feel to him to be idolized and how I’m a black hole of neediness. I realized that all this time I’ve thought that was what love was supposed to be. I think because I didn’t get love or attention as a child I just don’t understand at all what the expectation should be. Can you clarify that for me? When he isn’t paying attention to me I feel unloved and when there isn’t enough physical contact I assume he doesn’t love me.

            I realize this is exactly how my dad is. He is a black hole of neediness and nothing is ever enough. I want to conquer that.

            I spent a long time with the Lord last night just being honest about my fears and expectations and trying to be willing to hand my heart over. I don’t know how to do anything other than fight to make people love me. I guess that’s my motivation for everything. What can I do to make this person love me? I obey God because I hope I can force him to love me too. I do everything in my life to try to trick people into loving me. I guess that means I don’t think I’m loveable. I’m really confused about everything.

            I’ve begged God to let me feel his love but so far I just don’t. The only time I think I do is when I get what I want.

          8. Michee,

            Sure you can bring questions to me – I will do my best to point you to the Word. 🙂

            NOW!!!!! This is beginning to get interesting. You are beginning to catch a glimpse of what is really going on with your heart and your fixed beliefs and your toxic thinking. THAT IS AWESOME! No human, no amount of sex, no amount of physical contact from another person, no amount of money, nothing from this world could ever fill that black hole of neediness that we all have. You are not alone in having that neediness. We all have a massive spiritual hole that is God-sized. We try to fill that hole with money, career, status, fame, luxury, pleasure, beauty, sex, romance, happiness, stuff, children, accomplishments, education, and everything in the world but God. And we are still empty. Some of these things we desire are good things. But they are not God! They cannot meet our deepest needs for true love, acceptance, worth, cleansing, salvation, purpose, peace, or joy. Those good things (that I just listed) that we are all so desperately looking for from our husbands or from sex or affection are really only found in Christ. He is the only source of real Life and real Joy.

            You have discovered what God showed me 7.5 years ago. I was a black hole of need, demanding that Greg be a god to me. I didn’t realize he was my idol. I just knew that if I was upset it was his fault and he better fix it. I didn’t understand that I was responsible for my own self spiritually and emotionally. I didn’t understand that I expected him to be deity to me and that my expectations were completely ridiculous. God showed me that I was trying to obey Him to get what I REALLY wanted – my idols. But God will not be “a means to an end.” He will not let us use Him to get stuff. He is the greatest Treasure, not His gifts. We HAVE to get this straight!

            Here is some bad news – all of us are wretched sinners. None of us deserve God’s love.
            But here is some awesome news – God’s character is that He IS love. He loves us because that is who He is and He made us. We don’t deserve His love, but He loves us more than we could fathom anyway! Not because of anything we did or did not do, but because of who He is. We can receive His love with thanksgiving and joy and we can allow Him to transform us to make us more and more like Christ. This will involve basically trashing almost everything we thought we knew about God, ourselves, emotions, priorities, love, relationships, femininity, masculinity, marriage, and lots of other stuff – and then we will rebuild slowly from scratch on Jesus and His Word alone. It is a long, slow process. First He shows us the stuff that has to go that is toxic to us that is destroying us, our intimacy with Him, and our relationships. Then we begin to replace that with good things from Him.

            Your feeling loved is not necessary, thankfully. Meaning, that your feelings of not feeling loved don’t negate God’s love for you. One of the sections in the book is about lies we believe about our emotions. We tend to think our feelings are fact or are a source of absolute truth. They are not! They can be helpful indicators of problems. But they are not a source of absolute truth. God’s Word is. We must take our feelings off of the throne, ourselves off of the throne of our lives, and everything else off of the throne, and let only Jesus sit on the throne. Interestingly, feelings often follow obedience. But good feelings and feeling loved is not the goal. Pleasing God and becoming holy by His power working in us are the goals.

            Much love to you!

          9. So as a lifelong believer I know these things intellectually, but since I don’t feel it I assume I’m failing. Personality wise I’m on the line between feeler and thinker, so I tend to be pretty confused about these issues. I hope that what I’m hearing is that there is hope that I can get these toxic ideas out and get to a place where God truly is my number one and I’m not just saying that because it’s the right thing to say. Is the expectation that I just won’t have these crushing desires or that I won’t care so much if my husband loves me anymore? Do you still have these feelings or are over that? I mean, I know no matter what I go through I will ways have the Lord and I know He will help me through. I do truly believe that. I’m hopeful that I will be able to conquer this in the power of Christ. I will download the book today.

          10. Michee,

            YES! There is hope in Christ! Yes, you can ask God to help you tear out all of the toxic ways of thinking that are destroying you. And YES! You can decide and learn how to put God far above all else and to tear out idols. It is not that you won’t care if your husband loves you. But it is that you will be so filled up with Jesus, that you will be okay and content in Him alone no matter what your husband does. It would be awesome if he loved you well, but if he is too spiritually wounded to be able to do that, you will have the strength to extend grace and patience, praying for God’s healing for him.

            If you are willing to go slowly and dig deeply – it is REALLY PAINFUL – but yes! You can choose to ask God to help you see the lies and the wrong ways of thinking and the idols and sinful thoughts. And you can choose to tear all of that out, one thing at a time, and to purposely rebuild your whole life on Jesus and His Word alone. This is the process of sanctification. It is how you “work out your salvation with fear and trembling” it is how you allow God to renew your mind and regenerate your soul. It is how you reject the things of sin and Satan and die to all of that and receive all that Jesus has done and all that He is in your life for yourself to experience and live in His power.

            Much love!

          11. From Satisfied Wife:

            Satisfied Wife

            Michee & April,
            I am so sorry I didn’t see these comments sooner! My heart goes out to our sister, and I can certainly relate to her issues.

            Michee,
            the things you are going through lately are exactly what I have had to face and deal with, ongoing. Even though there were times in my marriage so far that things “got better”, it wasn’t long until something more traumatic came around the corner and totally left me on the side of the road, alone, sad, mad, bitter, questioning everything I’ve learned so far.

            Let me share my own experience briefly, as it totally relates to yours.

            I grew up with an abusive father, and my life long goal has been to find “love” from men. Growing up I went the wrong route of trying to secure it in men and things never ever worked out for me. I finally ended up pregnant and alone at 21, and my life seriously hit rock bottom. That’s when the Lord started drawing me to Himself, and its been 8 years now of Him leading me and opening my eyes. In between all this, I got married to my husband 2 years ago. When I met him, we were both seeking God and we both felt that the Lord had been preparing us for marriage, and we were totally united and committed and just in those glory days of the honeymoon phase. That ended abruptly after we got married, and ever since I have been on a journey with the Lord as He has been showing me what was I was doing wrong (controlling, disrespectful, etc) in my life not only to my new husband, but my son as well, and I’m sure everyone else I ever knew or met for that matter.

            The biggest thing, the biggest issue though for me to work through has been the idolizing of my husband. When I married him, I truly thought my life was going to be perfectly complete then. He was the answer to all of my life problems. He was my “savior”. I didnt actually think that, but the way I’ve acted the past 2 years clearly showed what was in my heart. If I had never been led by God to April’s site, who knows where I’d be today. But here is the thing, even though God has literally opened my eyes to the fact that I have been seeking my “everything” in my husband and being married, I STILL KEEP FALLING FOR IT EVERYTIME THINGS DONT GO MY WAY!

            I feel like the biggest hypocrite right now in my life. After the Lord opened my eyes to this truth, I was seriously like in heaven. I was so ecstatic about the message, and sharing it, and just living it out at that point in my life with my husband and son.

            A week or two later…..my life fell apart when my husband quit his job and got another job offer 20 hours from home. At first I was still standing strong in the Lord but as the days started going by, I started focusing on what God had taken away from me, what I was missing out on, what I was losing…..and here I am in the present day with my husband 20 hours away, totally aggravated with me, withdrawing from me all over again because I have been sharing my heart with him (most likely complaining) about how all i want is to be together, and it seems God does not want me to have a husband or something.

            Before my husband left, he was too stressed to be intimate, and that really hurt, but thankfully, at that time, I was in a place with God that I just let it go and wasn’t upset about it. But here I am now weeks later, wishing I had ;;;;;made;;;;;; him do it before he left. I have serious issues and I need Jesus desperately.😦

            I am having a very hard time accepting that God wants me to be a single mother while I’m married.

            But I have not given up and I’m not walking away from God. I know there is a purpose in all of what I’m gGoing through, but I really feel exactly how you do right now. I feel like I am just destined to be miserable in my life because it seems God doesn’t want me to have a marriage or something. I don’t understand what He’s doing in our lives. It hurts really bad because I know it is God’s will for married people to have a strong relationship in the Lord and be as one, etc. etc. I just don’t understand all of this. It really hurts!

            I guess I have just fallen again into believing that I “need” my husband in order to be content. And honestly, I feel like if that’s wrong, then I’m really not sure I want to be right anymore. I don’t see the point of my marriage if I can’t even have a relationship with my own husband or even see him for that matter.

            I feel that the Lord is showing me today something of His own heart towards his people……that he wants our HEARTS not our WORKS. If He only has our works, there is no relationship.

            This is how I feel about my marriage. My husband bends over backwards to provide for me and my son, and I am so grateful for that. But if he gives me only his gifts and service, but not his heart and and intimate relationship, the gifts mean nothing. Just as if all we do is “serve” God and give him our works, but we bypass the relatiionship, it means nothing to Him. He wants our hearts, and He wants an intimate relationship with us, not just our works.

            I have my husbands rings, but I don’t have his heart.
            I have his provision but I don’t have his presence.

            I feel the same way about my relationshp with God….if He only gives me His gifts, they mean nothing unless I have HIM! I want HIM! I want my HUSBAND. I don’t want the gifts! I want THEM!!!!!!

            And there lies the problem—–I do want one of His gifts. I want a marriage from God that provides my physical needs for intimacy, love, etc. So maybe it’s wrong. I don’t know. I understand the whole priority thing, and we need to make sure we have God first…….. yet I just can’t come to terms either about my own marriage and why it is this way. It’s sad, but I even realize that even if my husband were ‘perfect’ and did all i want him to do, i still wouldnt be satisfied.

            I have 2 choices—- either

            1. change my mind and believe I don’t ‘need’ anything else except God which is a lot harder to actually do than to say.

            or

            2. continue to desire my husband and the marriage and life i want and seek it to no avail and be even more miserable than I’ve already been.

            Atleast you know you are not alone in this, Michee. I am here to talk, I am going through this same thing too. I pray God will lead us forward to a higher place than we are at right now, where His love casts out all our fears!

            Blessings,
            Amanda

          12. I got started on the book! Feeling hopeful because I can relate to everything she’s saying so far. I also have already felt pushback from Satan, so that’s a good sign. This is one thing I highlighted that stood out. “One of Satan’s strategies is to blind us to the lies we have bought into—to make us assume that because we know the Truth, we also believe the Truth.”

          13. Michee,

            That is SUCH an awesome and powerful quote. That is exactly what I did – I knew the truth and assumed I lived it. But what I believed and what I actually lived out were totally different and I had no idea for decades.

            YAY! I’m so excited!

  13. Thank you both for taking time to encourage me. I was in a very painful place last night. It’s a little better this morning. I’m trying to work on my relationship with God, but lately it feels flat. I go in my prayer closet and just sit there sometimes. I’m so hurt. I feel like since I took responsibility for my part in this that the blame has completely shifted onto me and the urge to fight back is almost unbearable because I don’t really feel like it is all my fault. All my friends have husbands who want sex no matter how mad they are. No one in my life has a husband who doesn’t. They all think he’s gay or something. I don’t think it’s that. I think he hates change and once he settles in to no sex it will just stay that way because he’d rather do absolutely nothing than risk failing. I want to trust God, but I guess I feel like that will mean I have to choose to be miserable forever. The reason I lie about my feelings is because I’m trying to show him respect and he feels disrespected when I express any kind of unhappiness or worry or disappointment. He rejected me sexually then asks if I’m sad. It’s a trap. He wants me to be ok with it so if I’m honest then I have failed. I understand all the contentment and trusting God stuff in my head but I’m not there in my heart. In my heart I just want things to be good. I just want God to give me a good life. I have no children. I feel like before I know it I will be old and regret my whole life. I know I have Jesus and that is supposed to be enough. I don’t know how you get to a place where that is actually true. I cannot go my whole life without intimacy or the chance at having children. It just all feels very unfair and awful. I’m trying to be the wife God wants me to be. I’m just struggling with the fact that doing the right thing doesn’t always make our lives better. Sometimes life is still awful and then it feels very pointless to work so hard. For once in my life I want to be the one who gets the happy ending.

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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