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Should You Strive to Please or Keep Your Husband at ANY Cost?

This post is specifically for wives who are disrespecting themselves or disrespecting God in order to put their husband on the throne of their hearts

** (please note the disclaimer about severe issues at the bottom of the post)

IDOLIZING A PERSON

Our culture thrives on encouraging us to idolize our spouses and be enmeshed/codependent with them. Whether

  • I expect my husband to meet all of my deepest spiritual and emotional needs (rather than Christ) or
  • he expects me to meet all of his
  • or both…

We will destroy our relationship if we continue on like that. If the goal is to ultimately to please a person at any cost – myself or my spouse – I am building my marriage on sinking sand instead of the Solid Rock of Christ.

An idol is something or someone I trust to bring me ultimate fulfillment, contentment, peace, joy, and happiness – that is not Jesus. It is something or someone that I place above God in my heart and give all power to in my life. I rest my faith in that particular thing. Some of us are willing to do ANYTHING to save our marriage, for example – even if it meant sinning, condoning sin, or allowing great harm to come to ourselves or our children.

I must seek to please God alone “no matter what the cost,” not to please another person to that degree.

Verses about idolatry:

  • Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love. Jonah 2:8
  • Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Colossians 3:5
  • Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. Galatians 4:8

Idols can’t save us. When we trust idols, we are ultimately trusting in ourselves – what our hands (or minds) have made (Isaiah 2:8, Psalm 135:15-18). Idolatry is slavery. We become hostages of our idols – the things in which we place our greatest faith and hope. When we trust idols, God often uses the things we trust to teach us that nothing is trustworthy except for Himself. We often bring upon ourselves the things we fear the most when we trust other things or people rather than God.  Idolatry and fear go hand in hand because we are trusting in somethings that cannot save us. We are trusting in broken cisterns that cannot hold water.

WHAT GOD REQUIRES:

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ Matthew 22:37

If we love someone or something else with all our hearts and we set our hearts on that thing or that person, we will destroy ourselves. But when we set our hearts fully on God, we are blessed spiritually and overflowing with His Spirit – and then when we are right with God, He can empower us to have right relationships with others – as far as it depends on us. We may even see Him bring about miracles as we trust Him with our difficult relationships and our trials.

FROM THE TRENCHES:

I’m recruiting some help from the trenches from two wives in whom God is doing such amazing things…

Wife 1 whose unbelieving husband left her in the last year or so:

I think a HUGE red flag is fear. If you fear your husband, his reactions, losing the relationship – anything – You need to pray about it. Ask God why you fear, because perfect love casts out fear, and if you have fear for your husband or marriage, that is not love. You are not loving God more than your husband if you let fear of your husband trump your fear and reverence for God.

Wife 2 whose unbelieving husband is rather controlling and difficult at times:

Fear was a huge factor in most of my marriage. Fear of his reactions when I tried to share my feelings. I kept tweaking and tweaking my delivery of that, thinking it must be me, I must be doing something wrong. And, yes, it is true that many times I would come at him in anger after he had hurt me (these weren’t petty things, either – they were things that would make any wife or husband angry because they threatened our marriage).

But, even as I learned more about respect and how to approach these things in a better way, I started realizing that I would never reach the perfection status that would allow my husband to finally listen to what I was saying. My husband was never physically abusive, but I still had a lot of fear because he would shut me out and ignore me for days if I upset him and there were subtle things he did and phrases he used that made me feel really bad for sharing my feelings about something hurtful that he had done to me.

I was full of fear of losing the marriage, fear of losing my family. God had to take me to a place that I had to surrender it all to Him and He delivered me from all of that fear!

Now I can walk in truth and am free in Christ in my marriage! I no longer fear what my husband thinks of my relationship with Christ, I no longer fear his reactions if I speak truth that needs to be said to him (not trying to save him or preach to him, but just truth about things in our relationship or with our kids, etc.). And, my anthem during that whole process became the song, “No Longer Slaves to Fear.” That became like a prophetic song in my life that God made real for me.

God wants His daughters (and sons) to live free in Christ. That’s a huge red flag there, I think – If you do not feel like you have the freedom to be yourself and are always trying to “soften” your Christian walk so that it isn’t offensive, something is probably off (from April – this requires great wisdom and godly discernment to be able to see clearly). I think we are to live boldly for Christ and I also believe that is why those verses are there in 1 Corinthians 7 about an unbelieving spouse leaving…. the Christian’s life will be so different that it will repel some unbelieving spouses and may cause a permanent separation in the marriage. That’s not a popular topic in Christian marital teaching, but it is absolutely biblical.

It is a painful process and doesn’t happen overnight, this being able to get to a place where you are willing to lose it all and you choose to follow Christ wherever He leads and start living from an authentic place instead of sweeping sin and issues under the rug or letting someone keep trying to convince you there’s nothing wrong (when you KNOW there is something wrong). God is the one who has to do it, really, but we have to cooperate and go through the painful places so that He can lead us on to this beautiful freedom!

My husband threatened divorce (not always that directly, but it was very much implied) many times over the last few years as I started getting stronger in Christ and was standing in truth about the things that were happening in our marriage. Of course, this brought a lot of fear in my life – but eventually, I just started to let him know that he was free to go. This took him back every time I told him that. He was so used to me adjusting my behavior to keep that from happening. But, I think what I said and did was rooted in God’s Word and from His Spirit.

As Christian wives of unbelieving husbands, we need to realize that these verses are in God’s Word for a reason. He may be saving some years of heartache and struggle. And, really, those verses are just as much of a command as any other directive/command in the Scriptures. If an unbeliever wants to go, let him go. I know it’s not a popular view in the Christian culture of “marriages are worth saving at all costs”… (April, I know you do not teach this and I so appreciate that). God is infinitely above marriages and our marriage or husband should never take His place.

If you are operating in fear, things will only get more and more destructive. But, when God sets you free from that fear and you are willing to follow Him at ALL costs, then yes, you can move and operate from the power of the Holy Spirit.

It doesn’t mean that things are all going to be rosy and pretty and pain-free, but you WILL have an underlying peace and assurance from the Lord that He will never let you go, *He* will never be unfaithful or leave you, and you can begin to see the reality of the spiritual warfare you are in, as well. May God continue to bring this freedom to many, many more brothers and sisters!

My husband actually said to me as I was getting stronger in Christ and he could sense something was changing, ”I want you to worship me.” Yikes!!!!

God got my attention big-time with that statement. I calmly but strongly said something to the effect that I would never be able to do that for him. I brought that up in counseling and my husband said he was joking, but still. Red flag.

As far as idolizing our husbands so much that we think we couldn’t go on in life, I know another big thing for me regarding this was that I was a very insecure person. My security was resting on my husband’s love for me and that is a very, very shaky and doomed-to-failure kind of foundation. I think equal with dealing with fear is that every Christian has to find their security and worth in Christ alone.

  • God will absolutely do this in His children’s lives, one way or another, I think.

It might come through marital problems or probably whatever it is that you are finding your security in. If we have not come to a place, like Paul, where we can say “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” then this is something that has to be worked out. We have to be absolutely unshakeable and convinced that God is never leaving us and loves us with a love that cannot even be measured! We also need to be convinced of our righteous standing in Christ before God and in the finished work of Christ. Then our foundation is sure and strong.

RELATED

Fully Trusting God with My Husband – Laying Down All of My Fears 

My Security and Identity Must Be in Christ Alone!

Finding Victory over Feelings of Insecurity

Roots of Insecurity Low Self Esteem, Sinful Jealousy, and Desire to Control

Is Divorce the Worst Thing That Can Happen? VIDEO

Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin

Bitterness

Identifying the Lies We Have Embraced

Taking Our Thoughts Captive

People Pleasing

Tearing Out the Idols in Our Hearts

When Would I Not Submit to My Husband

**Note – if you are dealing with severe issues in your marriage (unrepentant adultery, active drug/alcohol addictions, major porn addictions, severe uncontrolled mental health issues where someone is not in his/her right mind, or other very toxic or abusive situations,) please seek trusted, godly, appropriate counsel in person. If you are not safe, please try to get yourself and your children somewhere safe if possible. Please reach out to your pastor, the police, www.thehotline.org, www.focusonthefamily.org has a free Christian counseling service, a trusted doctor – depending on the situation. If you are dealing with emotional toxicity, check out www.leslievernick.com. Please compare anything I or any human says to Scripture. Search for yourself. Seek Christ for yourself. Find the healing and hope that is available in Him!

 

170 thoughts on “Should You Strive to Please or Keep Your Husband at ANY Cost?

  1. Please give me advice on what to do/say/not do/not say….my husband is a Christian. He is an elder at a church we belong to. It is a Cghurch f Christ that believes wrongly about salvation. I am convinced that baptism comes as part f sanctification AFTER salvation but their wrong belief is that baptism is PART of salvation.
    Help! Our children are watching and learning…….
    I want to find another church but continue to go with him and the kids. My older children left the church and attend another church that teaches sound doctrine.
    I love my husband. He is a wonderful father and dad!
    Thank you!

  2. Oh,amen to this. A saying comes to mind, “sheep don’t strive.” It makes me laugh, because they really don’t, they rest in His peace and simply trust the Shepherd to look after them. Something that is sheep-like is to sit quietly at the Father’s feet and simply rest in Him.

    Everyone is different, but I tend to believe we shouldn’t be striving to please husbands at all. Pleasing husbands should be an inadvertent side effect of our own walk with Jesus Christ. Again, each situation is different, but my husband tends to be displeased by my efforts to be pleasing, because they’re often rooted in control and frantic energy. When we submit to Christ we tend to become attractive and pleasing through no real efforts of our own. Where our hearts go, so go we, so when our hearts are with Christ, He leads us to be loving, to be submissive. It’s when we try to do it all under our own steam that we often get ourselves into trouble.

    1. “Everyone is different, but I tend to believe we shouldn’t be striving to please husbands at all. Pleasing husbands should be an inadvertent side effect of our own walk with Jesus Christ. ”

      Amen! Have been on both sides of this. They are two totally different things and the fruit is different (of course!) Great comment here and one I totally agree with.

  3. Thank you SO much for this post! Honestly, this is such a divine appointment that this is the newest post on your blog, April. Wife #2 your part really hit home for me. Today I spoke something that I’ve been trying to speak for months to my husband. I’ve always been emotionally led so God has been trying to teach me let His spirit guide me rather than my feelings. He asked me directly about a situation, and I answered so directly, exactly what I wanted said, in a respectful manner, as the Spirit led. I knew he wasn’t thrilled with my response but God gave me that peace after I said it, almost as if to say “Good job!” Because I finally said something I have been afraid to say, fearing that if I do he may become upset and leave, or shut me out. Fear was holding me back. It feels so good to have let God guide me without feeling like I need to fear.

    1. Ashley,

      YAY! THIS is what I long for everyone to get to experience! WOOHOO! This is awesome!

      Sometimes wives want a list of rules about exactly what to do or what to say and when to be quiet. But there really isn’t a list of rules. I mean, there can be some suggestions that may be helpful. But ultimately – we must be able to hear and obey God’s voice. That is what this is all about!

      Thank you SO much for sharing!

  4. All I can say is Wow! God has shown himself in a mighty way to me this day!!! I have been on this very journey for the past 15 years. TODAY, God has shown his deliverance. My husband who I have been separated from for 2 years (with 3 small boys), he texted me this morning and confessed to me that he has failed me as a husband…those were his words!!! He also confessed and admitted to emotional abuse for the past 15 years. This is a major miracle!!! God had to take me from idolizing him and the fear of losing him to worshiping and fearing God only. He has threatened divorce in a way to keep me in check. But once I found peace in God and my identity in Him only, I stopped fearing divorce. God needed access to my husband’s heart, I was blocking what God was trying to do in my husband’s heart. And God has been so gracious as to confirm everything that has happened through this blog post! Praise Him!

    1. Tammy G,

      Wow! Praise God!!! when you said: “God needed access to my husband’s heart, I was blocking what God was trying to do in my husband’s heart. ” that really helped me see something I hadn’t thought of! I think that is so insightful and helpful when women in this situation are struggling to let go completely, even if it means the husband leaves eventually. I had a similar experience where I thought my husband was for sure going to divorce me after I had set some healthy boundaries, and after I was hit with fear majorly, I had no choice but to let him go, and surrender to God and whatever He willed in that situation. And I experienced the same thing as you, where God got full access to my husband’s heart when I let go and gave it all up to Him!

      I love what you shared, Thank you sister!

      Love,
      Amanda

      1. I love this, too! ! I definitely had that very real sense that God was saying “Stop trying to hold this marriage together…” and that by me getting out of the way, I was letting God deal with my husband and his heart. I also kind of had this mental image of myself just handing my husband over to God that I envisioned a lot while going through this process with kind of a phrase “He’s yours, Lord.”… Which to me meant I knew I couldn’t control or change his heart and I was just letting God do whatever He wanted with us and our marriage.

  5. Wow!
    This has bean great to get me thinking! I’ve drug out my journal and started jotting down some notes in response to your questions. I need to really take some time and ponder these things. I knew as soon as I read ” resentful, bitter and contentious” in your response, it applied to me! Ouch! Thank the Lord Jesus for loving me enough to use you to bring that to light. I’m sitting in a library right now crying. But there is no condemnation in Chtist Jesus, praise God!
    I will take some time to think on these things and respond later.
    Thank you for allowing Him to use you in this way.
    I’m praying for you, your family and this wonderful ministry you have. Take courage! And keep in keeping on😀
    Warm regards,
    Carolyn

    1. April,

      Thank you!
      I’d appreciate any more insight you can give me. I love my husband but realize I’ve idolized him. The Church of Christ believes in baptismal regeneration. I don’t. Thank you for any and all help.

      Blessings,
      Carolyn

  6. Wow! Thank you for sharing these wives’ stories! I respect your views so much, April, but admittedly have found it harder to follow them over time. No matter how hard I try, it has only been years of constant conflict. I feel guilty if I don’t try to be the wife my husband wants me to be but feel disgusted with myself when I do. I have had a hard time reconciling God’s teaching and your advice with the emotional abuse in my marriage.

    These women’s perspectives have been such a blessing for me today, giving me some insight and buoying my spirit. I want so much to have a spirit of joy in everything and as I am going on month four of being separated from my husband (after a three month separation last year), I have found it easier to find this joy without the constant conflict.

    Yet, as the separation continues, I am torn between relief and guilt that I am not working on my marriage more. As time goes on, I want nothing to do with him and do not believe anything will ever change because of the way he views life so differently from me.

    These women’s stories have given me a new perspective for trusting God and waiting on him. It has truly lifted a weight off my shoulders and inspires me to pray for him because the outcome is not mine to bear – it is God’s! I need not fear the outcome but am reminded to remain strong in God’s provision from day to day and let Him be concerned with what will happen. I realize now how much God has been helping me. I used to walk on eggshells to keep from enraging my husband or raged back at him, but now I see that my ability to talk to him neutrally and forgive him for all he has done is solely because of God’s strength and provision of peace.

    Thank you for this powerful message just when I needed it!

    1. Holly,

      YAY! I know God has brought together a group of women to help me cowrite some posts on these issues and I am super excited about it! I don’t have personal experience to draw from in some of these scenarios. And I have to depend on some other wives who are growing in Christ sharing what they have learned in their experiences and sharing insights, as well as helping me to understand the struggles they face. So I am THRILLED that this has blessed you!

      What are some issues that you would like to see us discuss together that women in this kind of situation are facing? Let’s talk about it together, pray together, and seek Christ together on these difficult cases. 🙂

      Thank you so much for sharing. You are so precious to me.

      Much love to you!

      1. April, I think the hardest part of this journey for me has been trying to balance what the world says of emotional abuse and God’s Word. I have had every Biblical reason to leave him – adultery, abandonment, and trying to make me choose him over God, but because I had devolved into a bitter, spiteful, and angry wife, I blamed myself just as much as him for the state of our marriage.

        This created a paradox – he was giving me every reason to separate but I wasn’t living up to the standards I know to be true in God’s Word. Additionally, there is controversy regarding abuse and Biblical divorce. So, I felt guilty for thinking about leaving.

        I think the most helpful part of this post (and would like to see more of) is how to reconcile passages in the Bible that make it hard to determine the right thing to do. For example, as the wife of an unbeliever, I should not seek to change my circumstances and should forgive “seventy times seven.” But…we should also not be unequally yoked, associate with sexually immoral people, or place idols before God and with every day that passed, I found it harder and harder to continually forgive the same sins while committing the same sins myself as I desperately sought some respite, some peace.

        Once I left, I realized that forgiveness does not equal trust and I was able to forgive him while still not trusting him. This simple distinction made a world of difference for me. The second wife’s words reminded me that we should be willing to abandon all to follow Christ. I was so intent on making my marriage work, I falsely thought I could submit to an emotionally abusive man and follow Christ without fear and it negatively impacted my relationship with Him. I would love to see more examples of how to be a good follower of Christ when you are married to someone who is highly contrary, emotionally abusive, and threatened by his wife’s relationship with Christ. I know this is not your story, so I very much appreciate you bringing in perspectives of women who are living or have lived with this!

        1. Holly,

          Had you read any resources like Boundaries in Marriage by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend, or http://www.leslisevernick.com or anything?

          Have you got a place where you are able to receive solid Bible teaching? Or do you watch John Piper, David Platt, Francis Chan, Tony Evans, or listen to podcasts by Dr. Wayne Grudem (his podcasts for Systematic Theology can be really helpful in just building a base of solid Bible teaching).

          Of course, the issue is, you do need spiritual wisdom and discernment to apply Scripture and you need to be able to test what you are hearing against God’s Word. If you are not filled up with the Spirit, things definitely feel extremely confusing. My goal for my sisters is to get them in a place where they can deal with any sin in their own lives and then receive all of the healing that is available for them in Christ, deal with any lies they may be believing about God, self, marriage, or others – and then when they are filled up with Jesus, they will best be able to hear His voice and prompting about how to handle difficult specific situations.

          As a wife of an unbeliever, here is what I understand Scripture to teach:

          1. The verse about not being unequally yoked is about not purposely choosing to marry an unbeliever. If you are already married, then you are to remain in the situation where you are (1 Cor. 7)

          2. You are to be a godly example to the unbeliever (1 Cor. 7) – which is only possible as you are filled up with God’s Spirit and truth.

          3. If the unbeliever wants to leave, you are to let him go in peace (1 Cor. 7).

          4. If things are so toxic that a wife prayerfully decides she cannot stay, separation is permitted. It is not ideal, of course. But there are times separation is necessary (1 Cor. 7) and the goal is to pray for God to work in both parties and for an eventual reconciliation with a healthy marriage. So, repentance would have to happen along with fruits of repentance and a slow, careful rebuilding of trust on both sides before reconciliation would be possible. Sometimes this would require the assistance of a godly counselor. If a husband continues on and on in unrepentant major sin, a wife may have to continue to stay separated until God brings about change in the husband’s heart.

          The verses about not associating with sexually immoral people are about that we don’t associate, as believers, with people who profess Christ but who live a sexually immoral lifestyle.

          Of course, if a husband is living in unrepentant adultery, whether he is a believer or unbeliever, we have some courses of action we can take. Matt 7:1-5 we can deal with any sin in our lives, and then respectfully address the sin in our husband’s life. And Matthew 18:15-17 we can privately (humbly, respectfully) confront our husband, if he won’t repent, we can involve another believer or two that we trust (maybe a pastor or counselor). If he still won’t repent and he claims Christ, at that point, we are to take him before the church to be excommunicated if he won’t repent. But for an unbelieving husband, we may just need to move to separation at that point until he is willing to repent.

          Yes, we forgive unconditionally because God forgives us and commands us to forgive. That is something we can only do by His power. But we don’t unconditionally trust people who are living in unrepentant sin.

          It is possible to make marriage, being a godly wife, our husbands, respect and biblical submission into idols that we pursue more than we pursue Jesus.

          Leslie Vernick’s site is specifically for people in emotionally abusive and toxic relationships. I haven’t read all of her material. So it would be important to carefully compare anything she says to Scripture.

          A few posts on my blog that may be helpful:

          25 Ways to Respect Myself
          Unhealthy VS Healthy Relationships
          When Would I Not Submit to My Husband?

          Some of the posts about a “command man” may be helpful.
          LMSdaily115’s comments may be helpful, and Content in Christ’s comments and Satisfied Wife’s comments and posts.
          Also, please search “Radiant” and check out her posts. They may be a blessing.

          I want to do all I can to put biblical resources and teaching in the hands of my sisters and to point each one to Christ and His healing and power.

          Thank you so much for sharing. If there is anything else you feel we should be discussing, I always am open to hearing your ideas!

          I will think and pray about the issues you have brought up.

          Much love to you!!!!! 🙂

          1. Holly,

            Some more posts that may be a blessing to wives in similar situations:

            Should I Stay or Should I Go?
            Should I Give Him Something for Our Anniversary or Not?
            A Godly Wife Confronts Her Angry Husband Respectfully – this one is a great example, I think, of how to respond in a gracious, respectful way to a husband who is emotionally out of control (if he is not mentally ill, drunk, or high)
            My Two Year Anniversary As a Separated Wife
            Things Got Worse at First When I Began to Change – by The Restored Wife

            There are also categories on the right side of my home page. You could look up “controlling husband,” “divorce,” “respecting myself,” or “conflict.”

            Would it be helpful to have more posts for separated wives?

            Much love to you! 🙂

    2. Holly,

      In your husband’s own strength, he will not change. But he is not beyond the reach of Christ! I pray God will change him and reach him. You don’t have to reconcile with him if he stays the same. But if God changes him, that would be a new man and a new marriage. 🙂

      1. April, so many resources to look at! Thank you! I read Vernick’s blog and book when I first separated and finally began to understand what was wrong with my marriage. I also realized that I had adopted many of the same abuse tactics and have been steadily working to eliminate those behaviors and thoughts from myself. I have also looked at Piper and am going through Grudem’s Systematic Theology – a wonderful resource of who my God is and what he can do within me and my part in His grand plan.

        I’m not sure I have looked at the boundaries resource you have mentioned but have looked at many others and it has been through these resources I have realized my husband may have a mental illness (he even confided to me he may be borderline or schizophrenic) because boundary setting is absolutely unacceptable to him, even when I do it respectfully and compassionately. He seems to have no desire to better himself outside of grand schemes and dreams. He is also an alcoholic and has had substance abuse problems throughout our marriage.

        As for sexual immorality – this one is big for me. I learned just before I left that he had been inappropriately contacting women on social media for at least a year and a half and had fallen in love with another woman during our separation last year – actually it happened before that and he never told me, asserting our separation was all my fault. He regularly looks at porn and has regularly requested immoral sexual acts of me during our marriage (e.g., threesomes, swinging). Ha claims to be a Christian but was raised in the LDS church and has no personal relationship with Christ while holding the Bible over me (such as, I am obligated to have sex with him during our separation and if he cheats, it is my fault).

        More on separation would be great but I truthfully have so many doubts about a Godly outcome to this separation, which is why it is so hard to focus my mind on God and not want to escape this marriage. He displays far too many characteristics of someone with a severe personality disorder and there are few resources to understand a Godly response to these behaviors. Everything I read from a worldly (and often from a Biblical perspective) says the chance for change is very low and trusting God means holding on to hope for someone who seeks to suck the life out of me at every opportunity. It is not an easy road to walk but I will be looking at these resources to see what I can glean for my unique situation. Thank you!

        1. Holly,

          My precious sister! You know that you don’t have to reconcile, right? If he can’t or won’t change, you can remain separated if necessary:

          To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife. I Cor. 7:10-11

          Remaining unmarried and separated is certainly an option. If there is that much uncontrolled mental illness and alcoholism and drug addictions going on – I can certainly understand why separation may be necessary.

          What kind of support are you receiving spiritually? Do you have a godly counselor you are able to talk to? Do you go to any support groups that are helpful?

          There are several possible godly outcomes of this separation.

          Much love to you!

          1. From the first separation, I determined I would stay single and separated for the rest of my life if reconciliation did not happen and since he seems to have no qualms about seeking “love” in the arms of another woman while we are still married, he has no real reason to divorce me and set me free. I believe he will not file for divorce because he is intent on blaming me and is happy to sin in the meantime. Unfortunately, I have succumbed to this “injustice” and have had a hard time continuing to commit myself to this “unconditionally separated” track. I have received Biblical counseling and been advised there is Biblical precedence for divorce but I am not ready to commit to that path either.

            I have not had Biblical counseling in a while and you are right that I need to seek that out but it is admittedly hard to find someone who can enlighten me in this unique situation I face in a small town. I will put effort into looking for someone who has experience with mental illness from a Biblical perspective. I do not believe God allows for divorce because of mental illness but the illness also tends to bring with it the behaviors God does allow divorce for. I struggle on a daily basis to follow the “letter of the law” and divorce him or follow the “intent of the law” and wait on God. It is a daily battle but this conversation has made me all too aware of how easily I slip into finding passages that let me leave instead of the passages that encourage me to stay and wait on the Lord. God has been telling me to wait for years and I must trust He will tell me when it is time to act.

            For clarification, you say two Godly outcomes are possible but is it possible a Godly outcome involves my husband filing for divorce? If he files and I grant him a divorce, must I still remain unmarried? Also, if I file under Biblical precedence, must I also remain unmarried? Do you believe there is any situation in which remarriage is Biblically sanctioned? I am curious as to your interpretation because I separated for Biblical reasons and not just to escape a “loveless” marriage or some other fault not prescribed by the Bible.

            Thank you!

          2. Holly,

            Yes, your husband may choose to divorce you. That is possible, too.

            There is much debate about remarriage after divorce. I don’t believe I have a totally clear handle on exactly what every believer should do in every possible situation. And I don’t want to possibly mislead anyone. I would encourage you to study, research, and seek God fervently in prayer and follow what you believe He is clearly leading you to do. Desire to do nothing apart from His will and His truth. I know He will direct your steps, my dear sister. 🙂

      2. Holly,

        I wanted to share with you this link. http://peacefulwife.com/2016/08/15/the-only-thing-i-have-right-now-is-the-lord/

        Divorce was a big topic in the comments. If you want to see my views, you can search that link for all of my comments to get a better understanding of why I believe you have biblical, undisputed grounds for divorce.

        My concern is for those in your kind of situation who feel they might be outside of the will of God to seek a divorce. It is one thing if you know you have grounds to divorce, but you strongly sense God saying to stay. It is another thing to be in fear of stepping outside the will of God or to be in confusion about the matter.

        For what it’s worth, I feel God has changed my mind on this topic — especially in cases like yours (a year ago, I would have echoed much of the very conservative views on divorce, but I believe very strongly that God has changed my view on this). I also believe that God gives freedom for remarriage in cases of adultery — especially unrepentant adultery, and my personal opinion is that unrepentant ongoing pornography use falls into the “porneia” category that Christ gives as an exception where divorce is allowed. I am starting to strongly disagree with the common view that it is always honoring to God to stay in a marriage no matter what. I believe God’s heart is for you, that He loves and values you and that He is concerned about you. I hope and pray that you are not under any kind of false bondage that you must stay in your marriage to be a godly Christian. I pray God will give you clarity and peace as you seek His heart. I’m praying for you and the Body of Christ in general that God will help us to see His heart in this matter and to put away any false and unbiblical views that keep His children in unnecessary bondage.

        1. I totally agree, April. I’m aware that God may call some to stay in this kind of marriage even when they know they could biblically divorce. The nature of Holly’s questions and her comments in general indicated to me she would never take my personal opinions and run with them without seeking God. And it seems that she does have some confusion on the issue.

          No one should make a move for separation or divorce without having the peace of God in the matter. But, in all the cases that seem to be bringing up divorce lately, I’m not seeing women who are just looking for any excuse to get out of the marriage. The marriage covenant has been broken, the marriage is broken. Divorce papers, in my view, in cases like this, are an outward sign of what has already happened to the marriage. And, thankfully, a divorce doesn’t stop the sovereignty or plans of God, either. If His plan is to restore the marriage, His power is not limited by divorce papers. But, yes! Listen to the Spirit, learn to hear His voice only… God will give us wisdom when we ask for it and believe without wavering that He will do so for us.

        2. Let me clarify. I am fine with people sharing biblical research. But I want to be sure we show strong biblical support for any view that is shared. There are some things that are clearly black and white about divorce and remarriage in Scripture that are not up for debate – other things may be more gray.

          I don’t want us to attempt to justify divorce in cases where there is no Scriptural support. That would be sinful. We do not have freedom to divorce because we are not happy, for example. There need to be biblically justifiable reasons for divorce (possibly Matt 22, 1 Cor. 7). Separation can be for many more reasons (1 Cor. 7). There is debate about remarriage even in justifiable cases of divorce among theologians and respected pastors. The most conservative route would be to avoid remarriage, of course, if we are not sure. But – it is possible that remarriage could be permitted by God in certain circumstances when divorce was biblically justified.

          I do not personally want to make blanket statements about remarriage if I am not completely sure that I am right – and at this time, I am not sure. I have a lot of questions, myself, in many specific situations. I don’t want us to lead anyone astray. Each of us will answer to God, so let’s be careful to seek God and to seek to handle His Word rightly. Please, each one make responsible choices for yourself.

          1. One more comment I wanted to share about divorce…

            I know that adultery is one of the absolute worst, most painful, awful situations. It is a total violation of a holy covenant that is supposed to last a lifetime. This should never be! This is the kind of pain God feels when we put other things or people above Him. He compares adultery in marriage to our committing idolatry against Him. Very sobering.

            Note – porn is certainly a sin and a betrayal of trust. It is an evil that Satan surely loves, one of his most effective poisonous snares. For those whose husbands are involved in porn addictions (or who are involved in porn addictions yourselves), please check out the resources at http://www.xxxchurch.org. There are resources and help available. You may also search my home page for “porn.” I have seen God heal so many people with this situation. I’d love for us to seek to try to work through this, if possible, with God’s help and healing. And I am not sure that porn addiction or porn use would be “biblical grounds” for divorce. But it is certainly significant sin that needs to be addressed. If it is a major addiction and a spouse is unrepentant and unwilling to get help, I could see where in some situations, separation may be necessary.

            But I want to mention, that I know many couples whose marriages have been healed by God after adultery and after porn addictions. Many of them have some of the strongest, most godly marriages I know. Of course there may need to be a time of separation while trust is restored, depending on the situation, sometimes for a very long time. But divorce is never a command for a believer. God can bring about miracles and is able to change people and restore broken relationships many times. Sometimes after many years. It is not always in the time frame we might want.

            Reconciliation is not a command either – there are times it may be an option, but it is not a command. I don’t want spouses to feel they must try to reconcile with a very unrepentant spouse who refuses to change and continues on and on in major sin. There are times when a spouse is unwilling or so toxic that reconciliation is not possible and being apart is the best option. Sin is so destructive. 🙁 I hate seeing sin destroy relationships and families. Trust would need to be carefully rebuilt before a couple attempts to come back together. Repentance and clear fruits of repentance would need to be in place.

            We are also never told to try to force a spouse to stay. I think that is important too. If a spouse wants to leave, I think we can respectfully let him go without clinging or trying to control him.

            In any of these situations, I believe with all my heart that as the believing spouse seeks God wholeheartedly, yields fully to Him, and exalts Him as Lord, seeking to walk in obedience to God’s leading – God will create beauty from ashes and joy from mourning in that person’s life. I also believe He can lead those who have messed up and repent. And I believe He can lead the innocent spouses who have been severely sinned against. I believe He has good plans for all of us and that He is able to use these awful situations for great good and for His glory ultimately (Rom. 8:28-29, Jer. 29:11-13)

            Much love to each of you! I continue to pray for God’s clear wisdom and direction for those in extremely difficult circumstances.

          2. I testify that when our hearts are truly surrendered to God’s leading He will show us the path He wants us to take. I know I have felt strongly in my Spirit when praying that reconciliation is not appropriate right now and that God has more work to do, and yet I also know equally as strongly that He has called me to stand for my marriage. I have peace on both of these issues. These things require much prayer and listening but God WANTS us to understand His leading and will answer and honour the seeker, as He is glorified when we pursue Him and listen to Him. HH

        3. CIC and April,

          Thank you for your comments and the link to the post. So much to think on and pray about! The issue of marriage, divorce, and remarriage are sticky and I believe this is for two reasons. One, God wants us to rely on Him and seek clarification from Him through the Holy Spirit. Two, it is ineffective to base our understanding of His teachings on select passages outside of holistic understanding. I found it interesting that CIC mentioned the passage about God divorcing Israel because no spiritual leader had brought this to my attention, yet it made a profound difference in my understanding of the marriage covenant when I came across it a few months ago. This passage belies the idea that divorce is unilaterally “bad” and should always be avoided (which is probably what attracted me to this post). This shows that even God has limits and while our limits are not perfectly righteous and often enacted contrary to His glory, we have been created in His image and boundary-setting is not contrary to unconditional love.

          As I struggle with the “correctness” of my decisions, I realize I have not been trusting the power of my God nor relying on Him to guide me in righteousness. He has not allowed me to fellowship with Him because of my own hardened heart and fleshly desires. Until my fellowship with God is restored, I will continue to agonize over the gray areas of this situation.

          Now, on an interesting note, I have not heard from my husband for almost a week but he called yesterday. For about ten minutes, he sobbed uncontrollably to me about how sorry he was for hurting me. I have heard this before but for the first time in two years, he showed true empathy. He said he believed I had cheated on him two years ago and stolen money from him and since then, he had worked towards meeting his needs somewhere else as a sort of punishment. He has had a consistent belief that I could not be trusted and my reactions to his withdrawal and punishment were further evidence of my guilt. Not once in two years had he considered he might be wrong (a stance I was aware of and completely indicative of the mental illness I believe he has). Yet, *somehow* 🙂 he was able to finally consider I might never have wronged him or done the things he thinks I did. All of a sudden he was able to accept that the person he thought I was was not true (and I truly had not done the things he accused me of). That thought made him realize the misery he had put me through based on false assumptions and he was able to really feel the pain and suffering a person goes through when falsely accused and punished.

          I did not know what to say because my distrust of him is not alleviated but it gives me hope that even if my marriage is not salvageable, his salvation in Christ may be! I told him to take care of himself and I would pray for him – and I did. I really prayed for him for the first time in a long time! Not for me and not for us, but for his salvation and for him to turn to the only one who can heal him. And then I prayed for me and my sins!

          Thank you sisters for reminding me how important my relationship with Christ is and thank God for reminding me of His power and mercy – how every one of us are His children and He will not falter to reconcile us to Him! To God be the glory!

          1. Wow, Holly! Beautiful… Thank you for all of your words. I will contine praying for you and your husband and God’s glory and purposes in your situation.

            One of the things that keeps coming to mind to me the last week or two is that God is showing me what a spiritual battle is going on in marriages. If we can remember that our husbands have truly been blinded and bound by the enemy in these cases, it gives us compassion (even as we set boundaries). We keep focused on the reality of the situation from a spiritual standpoint, we can emotionally detach to some extent, we keep our eyes on Christ and surrendered to whatever He calls or asks us to do and our prayers begin to be more effective as we battle in the Spirit and not in the flesh. We have to know that the enemy is using our spouse to bring destruction – to us, our marriages, our families and our spouse. Otherwise, we become bitter and become a victim.

          2. YES! We have an enemy – and it is not our husbands. Satan is the one that wants to tear us apart, steal, kill, and destroy… When we realize who the true enemy is and we have the power of God to resist Him – then it is amazing what can happen by His power.

          3. Holly,

            WOW!!!!!!!!!!! Praising God for what He is doing in your heart and for this incredible development in your husband’s heart. WOOHOO! Praising God with you! 🙂

        4. My personal opinion is that we might be so intent on steering people away from divorce as being a godly option in some cases that we then end up hindering the very consequences that God might use to wake that person up and even lead to marital restoration! (and it is entirely possible, that that will not happen). I’ve thought about that very thing a few times last night and today.

          Again, God divorced Israel – in the hopes that they would repent. No, it is not something to be done lightly – not at all. But, again, in extreme cases where a wife has worked on her part of the marriage and has extended grace and forgiveness over and over, but is still being sinned against (and those are certainly the cases that are in my mind as I write my comments), I think we need to be bold enough to discuss *all* options and possibilities, not just the ones that are the popular Christian teachings of the day.

  7. Years of trying to please my husband, show him respect, forgive and overlook and excuse his bad moods…..I realised just this Monday that I have created a monster. He is a selfish and highly manipulative man. Yes he loves me (I think) and I love him, but four days of his outbursts and tantrums towards me while my Dad lay very very sick (almost dying) in hospital, have put a spotlight on the selfish and self absorbed man I am married to. When I told him all this, he tried manipulating the situation and did his usual trick of going on a personal attack on me, stuff like ” you’re a drainer”, “I hate being around you”, etc. You know, just the thing every wife wants and needs to hear from her husband during times of crises. The next morning, I took off my rings and told him I want a divorce.

    1. Anonymous,

      My dear sister! This breaks my heart for all of you. I haven’t heard you sound like this before. 🙁 I can certainly feel your pain and anger in your words. And I am very sorry to hear about your dad and how hard things have been with your husband.

      Would you be interested in talking together a bit more about what is going on? This is obviously an extremely difficult time for you emotionally and probably spiritually. I am sure you are exhausted, too, with your dad being so sick. 🙁

      I would love for you to get the help, support, and emotional and spiritual resources that you need to find all of the healing available for you in Christ. Then, I think you will be in the best place to know how to move forward.

      What do you think?

      Sending the biggest hug, my friend!

      1. Hi April, and thanks,

        I’m not really sure where to go to from here. As I predicted, my husband is playing the silent treatment game. His mind would be going a million different directions on what’s the best thing to do, and that just makes me more upset. More of his manipulations. He is the master of playing games and manipulation, and it has served him very well in life…….up until THIS MOMENT. He’s had me on a string, and I feel sick about it all. I’m sick of walking on eggshells. But it’s such an ingrained behaviour, fostered and built up over 20 years, impossible to break.

        Ps I’m a new anonymous.

        1. Anonymous,

          I just want to send you a *hug* as well, and let you know that a lot of us here can relate to what you are going through. I pray God will comfort you in this time and reveal Himself to you personally like never before, and that you might find healing as you seek Him above all else.

          No one wants to be treated like that.

          The thing that has helped me in this situation has been to realize that I don’t have to subject myself to that type of behavior from anyone. I can step back and evaluate what is going on. And also to see what he is saying and if it is lining up with God’s word or not.

          There is freedom in Christ—and no one can take that from you!

          I pray you will seek God with all you’ve got and look to Him alone for your every need!!!

          Lots of love,
          Amanda

        2. Anonymous,

          Would you possibly have some time to really focus on prayer and your walk with Christ to get your own spiritual and emotional bearings before doing much interacting with him right now?

          (I can see your email, and I read your 3 posts from awhile ago under a different name.)

          Much love to you and a huge hug! How is your dad?

          1. Hi April,

            I had to stop and think about which three comments I had written before, and I remember two about the trip away but can’t remember the third.

            I’ve done so much wrong in my pre- and post-submission journey. The biggest mistake has been idolising my husband. And now I feel so sad about it all. And I’m analysing and reassessing other aspects of our marriage. I feel very rejected by him. He sleeps in a separate bed to me, going on five years. He hardly touches me in a tender loving way, and when we do have sex, he’s up and out of there straight away, no hugs, no tenderness. In my patheticness I’ve recently been begging him to hang around for a few minutes after sex. I am angry.

          2. Anonymous,

            Would you be willing to look with me at how you can begin working on your end of things with Jesus to get you in a healthy place spiritually? In my view, that is the first step to begin to get things back in proper order in the marriage. Then, we can start looking at what your husband is doing once you have clear vision spiritually yourself. 🙂

            There is much hope and healing available to you in Jesus, my dear sister! Are you willing to give up anything God may ask you to give up and are you willing to allow God to change anything He wants to change in your thinking, your heart, and your life? What kind of relationship do you desire to have with Him?

          3. Dearest April,

            My heart broke for you, reading of your efforts to help others. Please know that just writing my comments is a release and helps me to think things through more clearly. And reading others’ stories, with their similarities to my own, helps immensely too. I don’t expect you to resolve my problems, nor directly lead me to the answer to any of my problems. Your provision of a forum for Christian women and wives to share their woes (and their victories) is more than enough – it is priceless. It is a gift, to me and many many others. Please do not wear yourself out, my precious sister. xx. The wisdom contained in each post you write is so giving of yourself already. And it is enough.

          4. Anonymous,

            Aw! Thank you so much, my sweet sister. I pray that God will direct your steps. I’m glad that you are able to be blessed here and you are welcome to comment and share. If you get stuck, please do reach out. 🙂

            Much love!

  8. April, thanks for your response. This is an issue of great concern and spiritual wrestling for me. My remarks about spiritually dead churches weren`t about Carolyn`s church per se; I was thinking about some of the churches we`ve attended, where the stated theology seemed spot on but the `kneeology`was something totally different.

    I suppose what you were saying about how most churches don`t practice church discipline, and the result being tons of sin in churches, really highlights the problem. I`ve been asking God a lot of questions about truth vs. error and noting some truly disturbing trends in evangelicalism. It takes some spiritual maturity and soundness to be able to practice church discipline and since most churches casually ignore clear scriptural directions on how to even choose leaders in the first place,. I am asking God to show us where to go and who to trust and praying that we would find a church with truly godly leadership who take the bible seriously.

    1. lil sheep,

      This is a very difficult issue today. 🙁 There are many “mainstream” Christian church denominations who have completely decided that the Bible is not accurate and that Adam and Eve are a myth and Noah didn’t exist. There is every sort of false teaching going on – so we do have to be extremely cautious. And, there are churches who may have the truth, but who don’t have the Spirit, and who are not living the Word.

      Almost every church has been impacted greatly by worldliness. We have focused so much on not offending anyone and on being “seeker friendly” which sounds great, but was not really Jesus’ approach. When He had a large crowd, He told them that anyone who wanted to be His disciple had to take up his cross and follow Him and should “hate” his father, mother, wife, and children. We have often watered down the Gospel so much that is has no power. People are trusting the Sinner’s Prayer rather than the cross of Christ. We have made grace to be so cheap that no repentance is required for salvation. We have ignored the Lordship of Christ. We have become so contaminated by the world that many believers or those who profess Christ look and act just like the world. 🙁 This should not be! We should be rending our hearts and on our faces before God in grief!

      My most urgent prayer is for a massive Great Awakening like nothing we have ever seen in our lifetimes in the West.

      1. April, couldn`t agree with you more on all the points you have mentioned. I had a pastor tell me a year ago that since there is nothing we can do to make ourselves righteous, repenting isn`t necessary, in a situation where there was clear violation of scripture happening and the person in question was openly defiant and even proud of their sin. They said so..

        Could you even imagine a pastor saying such a thing even fifty years ago. There seems to be a spirit of stupor over people, where they are accepting lines of reasoning that are so absurd and full of obvious holes and miscarriages of logic, as if the falsehood was the truth. Clearly there is something real intense going on in the spiritual realm right now. Part of it is a kind of socio political intimidation, where people don`t want to be outside of what is considered acceptable. I remember reading about the great awakening and one of the things that stood out was reports of ships coming into harbor where unsaved sailors began falling on their faces on the deck, so great was the presence of God in that outpouring. I wish I could find the account that describes this, to know that it is actually so. It was about 34 years ago in a church where I heard a word that i thought was a genuine one , although a lot of what passed for a word from God was pretty fluffy stuff. It said that when revival came it would be like a tidal wave, sweeping across the land. But that first, judgement began with the house of God and that everything that could be shaken, would be shaken, and that those who were strong in the Lord ought to pray for the weak that they would be able to stand in the shaking. This is my prayer also, for the kind of real outpouring of the Spirit that people see t he holiness of God and their own need. That is my prayer for myself, for I am not content to accept what passes for being a Christian in my life as God`s will for me, though only He can really show me what that would really look like. So I definitely hear you.

        1. lil sheep,

          That is my problem – is that there is SO MUCH that is wrong in our churches in the West. There is so much false teaching and worldliness and so few places where people can go to truly hear the Gospel and be discipled properly. We have accepted such grievous amounts of sin and wrong teaching into our midst that – in my view – the church in our culture is dying of gangrene. We have so little of God’s power. We have so little of His love. We see so few people’s lives radically transformed by the regeneration of the Spirit. Something is VERY WRONG.

          We are so far from where I believe God calls us to be that it can be almost impossible to find a Spirit-filled, Bible-teaching, Bible-living church.

          It completely breaks my heart! 🙁

          This is why I pray fervently day after day for a massive Great Awakening. I believe that much greater persecution is coming soon, even in America. And, I suspect that the persecution will take care of an awful lot of the gangrene of sin, false teaching, and worldliness. But in the meantime, I pray for God’s wisdom. I know many who have left the organized church because they feel it is too corrupt. And in places, perhaps it is.

          I hate for believers not to assemble together. That makes me so sad, too. To hear from dozens and dozens – especially from the single men – who have completely jumped ship and forsaken any kind of church in America. They have found it to be too poisoned.

          But yes, we do have to be sure not to add to the gospel. So – it puts many of us in very trying situations, especially as wives, in my view.

      2. lil sheep,

        We are also brimming over, even in churches that do teach the gospel correctly, with unrepentant sin – pornography addictions, drug addictions, pride, self-righteousness, bitterness, unforgiveness, irreverence for God, sexual immorality, greed, gossip, idolatry, hatred, etc…

        All of this GREATLY grieves my heart. 🙁

        How I long for us to see. I pray God will give us eyes to see what He sees so we can turn from this and turn to healing in Christ!

  9. My 39 year old non-believing son was thrown out of his argumentative marriage, and into the arms of a female singer and adultery. I am his only parent and trust God implicitly, but can’t help but feel guilty over the way he has treated his non-believing wife. His father died when he was 11, and he has always been argumentative and rebellious.

    His wife is extremely controlling, and he is a free, creative spirit. Apparently last year after constant arguments, his wife suggested counseling, but my son declined, and his wife suggested separating.They are now separated sharing the care of their dear little two year old boy. Many of my friends are praying that God will reveal His will. Their lovely home has gone onto the market for sale. My son was here with me, and he is now really starting to see the real results of what he has done. He is having extended counseling. I have told him the singer is not welcome in my home, for right or wrong.

    Please pray for the Godly outcome of all this. I have a very great communication with my daughter-in-law, and my darling grandson. My son knows all my Godly views, and that I keep to the word of the Bible. I am not suggesting that I am perfect or that I haven’t been in situations where I needed great forgiveness.

    He told me not to talk with him regarding the girl involved which I see as bullying. Please advise me of any suggestions. This has been taking place since Last December, and it has been extremely painful and stressful.
    God bless,

    Alaine

    1. Elaine Crowder,

      Such a painful mess. 🙁 I am sure this grieves your heart so much.

      Praying for God to work in both of their hearts and in the singer’s heart to draw them to Himself and bring them to salvation and regeneration by the power of His Spirit. And I pray for His wisdom for you as you seek to handle this in a godly way.

      Sending you the biggest hug!

  10. Hello Ladies,

    I really needed to hear this today. I am really sad and heartbroken today because I feel as if when I think I am getting better in showing respect to my husband, I end up saying or doing something that takes this “respect journey” a few steps back. After I found this blog a few months ago and I read April’s book, I have been praying by myself as well as with a good friend regarding this journey. The Lord was teaching and showing me the importance of respect and how much men desires it. I have been trying to be intentional in how I speak or act towards my husband so that he doesn’t feel disrespected but then I would fail every now and again, especially when he is out doing things I have no idea of. If I ask where he has been or with whom, then I am nagging.

    He has been telling me that he does not want to be with me anymore and that he is not in love with me anymore. He has been telling me this each time we get into a disagreement or when I confronted him about something. He says I nag too much and that I am too jealous. He says I nag him about being friends with other women and that I always think he is sleeping around when he is not. Yes, I have questioned him about other women and their intentions, especially those whom he have become close friends with but I have not blatanly accused him of sleeping with them. He says he is so tired of being accused and tired of me making assumptions so he feels that it is best the two of us goes our separate ways. Whenever, I disagree with him about something or confront him about something, he calls me names and it hurts so bad. For as long as I have been married to him, no matter how upset or disappointed, I refused to call him names. He says he is just waiting for our youngest to finish the 12th grade this year and then he is going to leave me. It really hurts me that he has continually said this to me. I am beginning to realize that he means it and maybe I need to start preparing my heart and myself for when that time comes. I want to fight for this marriage so bad. I have been crying, praying and sometimes, feeling like I am a complete failure, struggling to do what is right and yet, taking steps backward.

    My husband and I were forced by my parents to get married when I was 18 and he was 21 years old. We were dating at the time but in our culture, my parents were so traditional, he felt that my boyfriend could not come visit me in our home alone. For that reason, they forced me to leave home to go with my husband. So that was how we got married. We will be married for 24 years this coming Sept. 21st. We both were planning on a nice trip to Hawaii next year to celebrate our 25th marriage anniversary but today, I feel as if that is only wishful thinking. For the last 24 years, he was always bringing up this girl he had a crush on when he was 18 years old and he would often bring up the fact that we were forced to marry and that he didn’t have a choice. Yes, he brings this girl up almost every year and when I confronted him last night about it, he said he brings her up on purpose just to hurt me because she is attractive and he knows it would make me jealous. I was really hurt to hear that.

    My husband has rededicated his life to Christ a few years ago and I can see that he has changed in certain areas but there are certain areas he hasn’t been able to let go and I feel it is hindering us from God’s blessings and from going to the next level in our walk with Christ and in our marriage. Am I living in a fantasy world? Pretending that he really loves me when truly he doesn’t. I am so scared of the unknown, yet I know that if it comes to that, God would take care of me. I am so scared of what other people make think of me or of us, after all, isn’t marriage supposed to last until death do us part? Each time he throws the “I don’t want to be with you anymore”, he would say that he wants to find someone who treats him well and doesn’t accuse him regarding his friendship with other women. I know I am so afraid to let him go because I can’t imagine him being with another woman, loving her, being affection with her, and being intimate with her, doing all of the things he used to do with me.

    I will not mentioned here but I know that sometimes his leadership in our household, doesn’t always make sense because there are things he choose to do that I know it is not pleasing to God and he wants my support. I feel so conflicted because my heart really wants to live a God-fearing, God-honoring life but if I tell my husband that what he wants to do is wrong, he says I don’t support him. Therefore, I am at a lost and do not know what to do anymore, whether to fight for this marriage with all my might or just let him go? I know the Bible said, if an unbeliever wants to go then let him or her leave but what if it is someone who does know the Lord, claims he is a Christian?

    I really need some godly advice today because my heart is broken and it feels heavy. This morning when I went to pick up my dad to take him to dialysis, I couldn’t even speak to him because I was so hurt that he and my mom had forced me into marriage at such a young and naive age, all just to save face, I stuck in there for 24 years and still even today, I feel the need to stay for the sake of saving face. I really do love my husband even after he said all of those hurtful things to me, even after he said that he used to love me but that he doesn’t anymore. For the first time… today, I feel like Job, wish I was never born.

    1. Anonymous,

      Oh, goodness! 🙁 so much pain! I am so sorry to hear how difficult things have been, my sister!

      Would it be okay if I ask some questions to kind of get a “spiritual pulse” on where you are with Christ and maybe share a few resources wtih you to seek to point you to the healing that is available to you in Jesus?

      Sending you the biggest hug! I am praying for you. 🙂

      1. April,

        Thank you so much for praying for me. I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and have been walking with HIM for many years now but it wasn’t until 6 years ago that I really understood what it meant to have an intimate and personal relationship with HIM. What was so disappointing to me was that I had been doing so well in displaying respect to my husband within the last few months but last night, I really messed up. I confronted my husband about something and it turned out to be a disaster, an argument that led my husband to say a bunch of hurtful things. I know I have been making my husband an idol in my life for a long time and I am really trying to give him up to God. One day I was on my way to work, I was talking to God about my marriage and the Lord revealed to me that if I seek happiness in my husband, I will never find it. I have to know that my happiness and joy can only come from the Lord.

        I am learning everyday and trying to live intentionally everyday so I can be the kind of wife God called me to be but sometimes, I fall off the wagon and then I feel like I’m back at square one. Therefore, I really do need prayers because I want to stop pursuing my husband and start focusing on God and His purpose for my life. I pray my husband will change his mind and heart about wanting to leave once our son goes off to college. I pray my husband has the mind of Christ and to seek God with all his heart.

        1. Anonymous,

          I am so sorry to hear about the fight last night. Were y’all able to reconcile some today? Anything you want to talk about together?

          I do have to praise God, though, these are some REALLY BIG lightbulb moments God has given you! WOOHOO!

          You are welcome to search my home page search bar for some resources like:

          – stop pursuing my husband
          – stop idolatry
          – husband idol
          – happiness
          – submit to God
          – hold things of this world loosely
          – lordship of Christ
          – fear
          – when your husband says I’m done
          – my husband wanted a divorce
          – the restored wife
          – insecurity
          – security

          Much love to you!

    2. Hi anonymous, another anonymous here (I’m the one further up the page with a very sick dad and a mean husband!),

      My dad used to say that to my mum all the time. He was very mean to her. That he’d leave her when my youngest brother turned 16. Well he didn’t, but she did divorce him after 45 years of a increasingly miserable marriage, with her body and spirit shattered. Four years on, dementia has taken her over and her life story is almost at its end. My poor Mum. I love you Mum. xx.

    3. Anonymous,

      Just about any wife would be concerned if her husband was talking a lot with other women. It just doesn’t look good. How would you say you approach him about this? What kinds of questions do you ask? How often do you ask? I don’t know your husband, so all I can do is go on what you are sharing with me. But do you believe that he is trustworthy?

      Would you be willing to stop fighting with him to stay or trying to control him and let him go if he decides to go? What would happen then? Do you feel like you are ready to face that fear with confidence in Christ if he decides to leave?

      How severe are the leadership issues you are talking about?

      I hope you will read my posts on fear, my precious sister.

      Sending you the biggest hug! I know God is about to do something beautiful and powerful in your life. It sometimes is in these dark caves that we finally truly see the spiritual treasures He has for us. My prayer is that you will decide to fully trust God with this situation and release your fears. How do you feel about that at this point?

      Much love to you!

  11. Anonymous:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your story. One thing that stood out was you mentioned he stated you were jealous. I have been married 16 years and have a problem with that and it is slowly becoming the death by a thousand cuts. If this is a major issue in your marriage you must battle that spiritual battle with prayer. I am doing the same and saying the rosary for the past few days when I realized how much it has taken over my life.

    One blessed thing I’ve learned from April’s blog is that we cannot control our husbands, or anyone. What we can do is try really hard to find out how to rely on Christ. It’s easy to say but how do we do it. We pray for wisdom, we seek God with all of our hearts! How? We read blogs like April’s, we google things like ‘jealousy marriage christian help’, we read God’s Word!! We seek non stop anonymous. The devil knows women and what pushes our buttons but on my cell phone I have printed out and taped “Satan is powerless against the power of Christ” and “Pray that you will not fall into temptation”. If anyone sees my cell phone at 40 years old I don’t care that they see that, I said the rosary outside today where a year ago I would have been embarrassed. I’m fighting this battle outwardly for even the world to look at me because that’s how much I need God. I have won little victories, sometimes my heart doesn’t die when I see someone a million times prettier right in front of us in the car. I hear April’s words (She’s my age and has been married about as long so I appreciate her wisdom that much more) “I don’t count how many nanoseconds my husband is looking at this woman…I just don’t think like that…” I also say the Hail Mary! Fight spirit with spirit!!!! That is how you fight for your marriage.

    You will get over the hurtful words, in the 16 years of my marriage my husband and I have shared a few, but as we’ve grown in Christ they became fewer and fewer. I’m thinking you may know what triggers his mentioning of that woman and if it is within your power try not to bring about those triggers. If he does mention her again, maybe show the hurt in your eyes and walk away. If there was a trigger that brought her name on maybe say “I understand you mentioned her again because I accused you again of ……I’m working on that, I’m sorry I accused you, I am praying the Lord to help me with that”. (I’ve done this). If you don’t trigger it and it’s random, when he mentions her don’t fight (Oh my goodness that’s so hard i know) but look at him with the hurt in your eyes and say “I’m hurt you mentioned her again, let’s not bring her into the sanctity of our home” and maybe walk away and pray for strength. Do this every time he says her name. Try not to argue when her name is brought up because that will give her power in some way I feel.

    I know it’s not easy when your heart is burning with feelings of envy or hurt to be calm and not reactive but it is ALWAYS worth it to avoid a fight within the sacredness of marriage. God loves a gentle and quiet spirit. (That is something I say to myself frequently). He also hates pride. (I pridefully point that out to my husband sometimes 🙂 big oops there on my part)

    When you say in your husbands decision that he wants to do wrong, do you mean contrary to scripture? Or wrong as in, you prefer it a different way? If it’s the latter, I like April’s advice to humble ourselves in submission as our Lord commands.

    1. Momof2angels,

      Thank you so much for your response and encouragement. You are absolutely right, I have to really give it to God and pray. To answer your question, yes, sometimes the things he wants to do is contrary to scripture. It is when I tell him that I don’t agree that he gets upset and he tells me that I don’t support him.

      1. Anonymous,
        I have found myself in your exact shoes many times. The only times my marriage has problems is when I am bringing up things that I don’t agree with and my husband gets upset and tells me the exact same thing.

        when you said : “Whenever, I disagree with him about something or confront him about something, he calls me names and it hurts so bad.” I felt like I was reading my life story.

        In my own experience, I have had to step back and look at the facts. Is what he is saying true according to God’s word?

        We can not control them, they have free will to choose how to treat us.

        In my life, I have had to realize that my husband is not my god, and trying to please him more than God is what leads to so much unnecessary frustrations. God will not allow us to chase after and catch anything other than Him to bring us life, joy, peace, etc. God alone is our source of ALL things!

        And as much as it hurts in marriage when this happens—— no one can make us feel a certain way, and no person has any power over our attitudes, choices, etc.

        We must focus on Christ alone, and take our pain to HIM—and let Him show us what is really going on in our marriages so that we can separate the lies from the truth, and start living out of the truth.

        We can’t make our husbands hear our opinions, desires, feelings, or disagreements. We can’t force them to accept our side of things. My husband barely gives me any room to do that. I’ve found it’s best to just keep those things to myself. If he asks my opinion, then I go all in on that. But if I start giving him my opinion on things he didn’t ask, then that’s when he gets extremely frustrated. If the decisions have to do with me, our marriage, $, etc. I state my opinions no matter what, and I don’t care if he doesn’t really want to hear it. I remind him that I am not like him, I don’t think like him, and I am free to disagree with him. I also remind him that I am his wife and for him to not allow me any say in important matters that affect me as well, then that is unhealthy and wrong. He usually hears that, and tries to atleast hear my side.

        God is sovereign. ContentinChrist recently taught me that even when we think we are going to mess everything up by doing something wrong, GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL! And sometimes our doing something that causes some kind of disagreement is the very thing God uses to get our husbands alone so He can work in them.

        When we allow the Cross of Christ to truly do it’s work in us—- and we are walking as crucified to the flesh—-that is when we can be sure that God truly is ruling and reigning over our life COMPLETELY—- and we can trust that no matter WHAT our husbands do—- He is in control. We are the Apple of God’s eyes!!!!!

        I pray you seek God alone and see what He ,might want to say to you, sister! 🙂

        Love,
        Amanda

          1. I too can relate. I need prayers tonight. My husband and I have been having a lot of tension lately. He’s been consumed in work (he’s military and usually doesn’t have a choice) and has been avoiding his daughter and I. He hasn’t been helping at all and just wants to be by himself. He’s so negative all of the time. Tonight he blew up and called me a name and swore at me. He used to do this more frequently, before I learned how to respect in a marriage. This last year has been so much better. However, I know lately I havent been displaying respect like I should have, I have been exhausted and have not been trusting God like I should. But this came as a surprise, since it has been a very long time since he has done this.

            I know God doesn’t want me to respond with anger and spite, but I’m having a very hard time just sitting there and not saying anything. I don’t want my daughter thinking it is okay for anyone to call her names. I don’t know if this type of treatment is abusive and cause for separation. Have I called him names and have I said some pretty disrespectful things? Yes, but usually only in response. I’m just really afraid that my daughter will grow up and witness this. Thankfully she’s too young and she was asleep, but I’m very afraid. I want her to think I’m strong.

            I told him I don’t love him anymore, which I’m not sure is true or not. I’m having a real hard time loving someone who would call me names. I know his family has a tendency to blow up at each other and just “get over it” but my family is the exact opposite. They hold grudges and never forgive. I don’t want to be either if that makes sense. I just want to make sure I’m doing what’s right. I want to get a hotel room, just so he knows I won’t tolerate this, but I don’t want to make things worse. I just can’t face myself if my daughter ever hears this.

            Please prayers.

          2. LinseyAK,

            That is a tough position to be in. No one wants to be treated like that. Sometimes, when my husband was having a particularly rough time at work, and working a lot—I’ve found it helpful to remember that, and not take it personally. It doesn’t excuse their behavior, but I have found that if in those times I am especially joyful in Christ and focusing on God alone, my husband has been able to see his wrong treatment towards me when I did not respond to his negativity. When we respond to the flesh with our own flesh, nothing good is bound to come from that.

            If you are feeling like you can’t love him when he is treating you like that, I would dig deeper and seek God about those things!

            You can choose to do what ever you feel is best for you. No one can tell you what to do in that situation, only you know what is going on there.

            All I can say is that if you are seeking God, He will be able to open your eyes and lead you in the way you should go here.

            Praying for you,
            Amanda

          3. Thank you Satisfied Wife.

            I feel much better now that I got some sleep. 🙂 I am not feeling as hurt now, because I know the name he called me isn’t true at all and came out of anger and hurt. When something is bothering my husband or he is stressed out, my husband bottles things up and starts to retreat. He doesn’t share how he is feeling until he blows up. This is not a normal occurrence, but when it happens it really scares me, because of my daughter. He grew up in a family that does this, I did not. I know that he knows that it isn’t okay, but I think he doesn’t feel bad, because he is so angry over my behavior that he can’t really see the hurt he’s causing. Which makes me realize that maybe I’m doing the same. It’s hard to see your own sin, when another’s sin is so shall I say “in your face?” LOL.

            I’m trying to look at myself and how I contributed to the tension and I know that I’m not guilt-free. I have been on his case lately and I’ve been trying to make him feel bad for not helping out as much or seeing his daughter enough. I have been very naggy. We both are so busy and I’m feeling underappreciated and taken for granted, because I do the majority of chores around the house and with our daughter. However, I have not been handling it in a respectful way, due to frustration. I know he has been feeling disrespected.

            The part that I’m having trouble with is that this type of behavior is not okay with me and I don’t want my daughter to witness it someday, but I know I can’t control him. I also do not think he will apologize, because he is angry and will be for awhile. My husband does not verbalize his emotions or feelings very well at all. I want to create healthy boundaries, but I can’t seem to figure out what that is in this situation. My gut tells me to separate until he repents, but my gut usually is fear-based and proud. I’ve been praying, but I’m not getting a clear answer. I’m just not sure if this is a situation that is abusive or that should involve separation. He does not fit any of the description that April has put under abuse. I know abuse is very overused, but it is hard not to feel like it is abusive with such nasty words coming down on me when I’m just sitting on the couch, if that makes sense.

          4. LinseyAk,

            So glad you are feeling better after some rest. 🙂 That is awesome! I think you may be right about wanting to react in fear. So I am glad you are not rushing into separation over an argument when y’all were both just probably very stressed. That would be so sad! Yes, sinful words are abusive – we could say that any sin is abusive. But what you are describing is something that I think y’all can work out with God’s help and power probably without separating. But please pray and do what you truly believe God is calling you to do. At this point, I think the biggest thing is to be able to get to the place where you are hearing God’s voice clearly before you rush ahead – if you are safe.

            I want to be sure I am understanding, my dear sister. You are both calling each other names at times, correct? There is maybe a “culture of disrespect” going both ways?

            I would love to see you focus first on getting yourself right with Christ and cleaning up your “side of the garage.” As we get rid of sin in our own lives, and as we are filled with the Holy Spirit, His truth, and His power – He gives us the clarity we need in order to know how best to handle our husbands. And, it may be, that you find that as you allow Jesus to transform you, that your husband may begin to change as well, in God’s timing. But whether he changes or not, my prayer is that you will seek Christ wholeheartedly and allow Him to radically transform your thinking and empower you to respond in godly ways no matter what your husband is doing.

            Why Do I Have to Change First?
            Where Should Hatred, Sinful Anger, and Rage Fit into Our Lives As Believers?
            Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin
            A Wife Begs God to Help Her Tame Her Tongue
            The Respect Dare – Day 7 – A New Tongue
            Healthy VS Unhealthy Relationships
            Fear Fuels Our Need to Control
            Fully Trusting God with My Husband

            These may get you a bit of a start. 🙂

            The Satisfied Wife’s responses are super helpful, too.

            Much love to you!

          5. LinseyAK,

            I do understand what you are going through and if you are interested you can read about what I shared about this type of situation here : http://satisfiedwife.com/is-it-him-or-is-it-me/ 🙂

            A lot of us here have been through what you are describing, and I believe the important thing here is to really evaluate what is going on in a godly way.

            It is VERY easy to look at someone else’s sin instead of your own! You are right about that!

            Perhaps you might also considering reading some of April’s posts about idolatry, and what to do when your husband is negative and critical. Oh! Also, expectations—she has a lot of good posts about that!!

            If you are looking to your husband to fulfill things that are not his resposibility—-then you are definitely going to be upset and frustrated and putting pressure on him that he in not meant to carry.

            As much as that is true— that also does not excuse his behavior, and only you can decide what you expose yourself to and your daughter.

            I’ve been there before, and I’ve shared openly on April’s blog about what I have learned—- I have learned to address this type of thing, especially if it is out of no where.

            I’ve had to set boundaries for myself—- to protect myself emotionally.

            I think you might be blessed by reading some of those posts. I pray God might use them to speak to your heart!:)

            If you want to talk more privately, you can always email me through my blog, or manduhhh12@yahoo.com!

            Love,
            Amanda

          6. Praise God. My husband came home earlier than usual today. He acted like nothing happened. He wasn’t lovey dovey by any means, but he wasn’t acting angry or distant. A year ago, he would probably lock himself away in the basement for a week if this same fight happened. So even though we took fall, we are still going up in the big picture. He even brought up that he was applying to PA school in Texas, a state he isn’t fond of but a place we both know I love! God must of been working on his heart today!

            I was able to forgive him without an apology. I’m going to continue to give him space. When he gets back from his hunting trip next week, I’ll talk to him or not about the things he said and my worry about him swearing in front of our daughter or maybe I won’t. …. I’ll have pray about it.

        1. Thank you so much April and Amanda! I have a lot of good reading to do tonight! No, I don’t think separation is the answer and not what God wants. I am safe and while name calling is abusive, I don’t think I’m in an abusive relationship. He doesn’t fit any description of abusive, except for these rare occasions of losing his temper and swearing/name calling. He is not controlling or manipulative at all. Yes, we both have created a “culture of disrespect” and I too am guilty of swearing and and calling. Over the last year, these occurrences have dramatically decreased after I accepted Christ and started to trust in Him more and started to treat my husband with more respect. Just lately, with the stresses of work, have we derailed a bit. I know I have a huge influence on the climate of our relationship. Yes, my husband bottles things up. Yes, he’s passive aggressive like his parents. Yes, he tends to blow up like his family does too. But if I remain calm, it usually diffuses the situation a whole lot faster. I know that I can’t personally make him understand his feelings and verbalized them calmly before it gets to that point, but maybe I can pray for the ability to pick up on cues that he is feeling stressed or disrespected, so I know when to give him space. My husband needs a lot of space.

          I never know what to do after these things happen. I get pretty shook up because my family never yelled or swore growing up. His family does. So I think it’s a bigger deal for me. I don’t know if I should apologize for my part or try to verbalized how I’m feeling or just let it go. I’ll start by praying and reading these articles

          Thank you so much for the support!

  12. Hey April, was just wondering about your comments about how overwhelmed you were about keeping up with the posts . Do you have other godly women whom you are able to entrust with some of the respnding, whose level of godliness and commitment to truth and scripture is such that you would not fear that they would give responses you would have a problem with; just wondering, it puts me in mind of Jethro`s advice to Moses about what he was doing with the people, in trying to carry the weight of their needs alone, though clearly God was with Moses. That scripture may be for you today if it fits 🙂

      1. Thank you, HH.

        Certain topics are more intense than others. I knew that the topics I addressed this week would be extra heavy. But I also felt compelled that these were things God wanted me to write about. Please pray for God’s wisdom for me, my brother, and I will pray for you, too!

        1. April, I have literally spent the last half hour praying for exactly that…..before I knew you had even asked!! And your recent posts have been in answer to my prayers also, as well as some of the comments from some of the body here. I have had some questions that have been answered indirectly these last couple of days. Thank you Lord. HH

          1. I was sitting here with my DH as he watches the football game, which isn’t really my thing but I like the time to cuddle with him, and thought I’d check in here to see how everyone was doing since it’s been so long since I had the time to do so. What a pleasant surprise to see an inquiry about me. Made my day to be thought of and with hope I’d return. I really struggle with thinking my words matter to anyone. This proved, once again, I’m listening to an old tape of the enemy. Thank you HH and April for your kind words. I hope you are doing well and I should be able to check in more very soon. 🙂

  13. Wow, April, you really have your hands full! I so appreciate what you do here and how kind and helpful you are. There is so much hope, situations that are filled with frustration really can be turned around. The more I let go, the more I surrender to Christ, the easier it gets.

    1. insanitybytes22,

      Things have been pretty challenging with balancing my time and all that I have on my plate the past 5 months in particular. Now that our children are back in school, I am able to focus on writing my second book again. But 132 comments yesterday in about 9 hours on a lot of really in depth, difficult subjects was definitely a strain. I ended up spending all day on the blog post and then on comments. Easily 8 hours total. I don’t know exactly. I was mentally, physically, and spiritually exhausted by 11pm when I stopped last night. There is a spiritual battle going on.

      I do have a number of women (and some men) who unofficially help me with comments, which I greatly appreciate. I have tried, in the past a few times, to recruit some trusted ladies to help me. But things didn’t work out. I will pray about that idea again – thanks, Lil Sheep!

      I want so much to be as available as possible to everyone. I know how painful and frustrating it is to be confused and to feel like everything is falling apart and to not know how to take the next step. I want people to know they are not alone. I want people to find godly support, love, prayer, hope, truth, and godly community here. I want Christ to be exalted here. And I pray that it will be His Spirit doing the speaking and the working in every heart. It has to be all Him! I just want to stay out of the way and become less and less and let Him be greater and greater. I also want to handle each comment and each precious person rightly in God’s sight. Such a weighty responsibility.

      But at the same time, I know that it is not really me that people need, it is Jesus, His salvation, His grace, His truth, His Lordship, and healing. I need to do some praying about how best to use my time and how exactly God desires me to minister in the way that will most benefit each of my sisters (and brothers), as well as edify the Body. It also needs to be the proper balance of time so that I have the time I need with God, my husband, my children, household chores, book writing, pharmacy, church, conferences, Youtube, the blogs, my FB pages, etc… I want to do everything God calls me to do, but I don’t want to fill my plate up with things that go beyond what He has called me to do.

      I would greatly appreciate prayers for God’s wisdom about how He would most desire me to handle this. The comments can consume many hours of my day. I LOVE comments. I love interacting with everyone. I am thrilled to get to watch people grow and to be there for those lightbulb moments. But I do need prayer for God to direct me. I may have to make changes and adjustments as my responsibilities change. I want to do this His way. I don’t want to spoon-feed too much when people should be seeking God directly for things. But I want to give support especially when people get stuck and need encouragement and direction. There is always that need for delicate balance.

      Thanks for the encouragement. I love that you are surrendering to Christ more and more. Yes! As we yield to Him, we hear His voice more clearly and things begin to click and make so much more sense. 🙂 The Bible comes alive in ways we have never seen it before and it becomes so obvious what He desires us to do in specific situations. That is what I long for everyone to experience.

      Much love!

      1. April,
        i wanted to just tell you, how i am so grateful for you and everything you do for us all!
        I have myself been blessed by your incredible goodness and help, and i so understand how incredibly helpful it is to have someone who UNDERSTANDS
        Thank you again, and i will pray that Gods will be done in terms of how you need to adjust your time going forward!
        Love,
        NB

          1. Just want to let you know that with another family issue you have helped me enormously,
            by ALWAYS putting God first in every situation.Thank you Alison from Alaine

      2. April I’m praying for you too. i was just wondering that with the huge amount of comments you need to pray on and reply to, that maybe you could cut down to one post a month or something like that. You give us a wonderful new post basically each week. That’s such a huge load. I hope I’m not speaking out of turn here or sounding in any way ungrateful. Very much the opposite. But I would hate to see you burn out. Just a suggestion. I always think of you and your family and wonder how you do it as well as spend time with God for YOU. I have trouble finding time for things and I don’t have a blog or a job outside the home!
        Thank you for what you do here for us all.
        Bel.

        1. Bel,
          Over the summer, I had backed off to one post a week. I have been trying to do two posts per week since school started back. But I may have to rethink that until I finish my rough draft of my book. Although, I have some women who will be writing guest posts for me, so I may be able to let them handle comments largely on the days their posts go up. 🙂

          Thank you for your concern and most of all for your prayers for me to have God’s wisdom. I know God will direct my steps as I seek Him and y’all pray with me.

          Much love!

  14. I agree that the sinner’s prayer gives a lot of false assurance and is terribly frightening. But it is equally fearful and dangerous to trust anything other than the full saving work of Christ by grace through faith for salvation. My prayer is that we never minimize anything we see that adds to that in any way.

    1. J,

      Yes, adding anything to the work of Christ is very dangerous. I do agree. So many distortions are out there. But I am trusting God to sweep through our midst. He is certainly at work! He is changing so many hundreds of lives – just that I am able to see. I praise and thank Him for that! I pray that He will direct His church and that we will be responsive to His voice and get rid of the dross and anything that is not of Him so that this generation might rise to become a holy generation, set apart for Christ, who leaves a godly legacy to our children and those who come behind us.

  15. April,

    I just want to send you a hug this evening, and tell you I love you, and that am asking God for wisdom for all of us. How I thank God for you. xo

      1. April,

        Just before bed last night I saw your comment to Carolyn mentioning my rebuke. It pained me to see that because I wasn’t thinking of what I said with that term. But I realized at that moment, that’s what it was. I don’t like being a rebuker. I especially don’t enjoy that with you. I hope you realize my deepest aim is to honor our Lord but to also communicate in a loving manner. You hold a special place in my heart.

  16. Thank you so much for this topic…I can see so clearly now, how much I have been guilty of making my life dependent on what my husband thinks, how my husband reacts, tiptoeing around his anger… fearing what is going to happen next…living in fear and anxiety about an uncertain future, when I should really focus all that energy on my relationship with Him!

    My greatest difficulty is redirecting my thoughts, when condemning, negative thinking takes over, I have to almost say out loud “STOP”!! and refocus on praising God for what is good in my life, and search for something praiseworthy in my husband! I have become calmer, and less reactive, and continuously telling myself that God is in charge… he is the only one who can change hearts and minds… the more I try, the more messed up things get!
    I also see that my staying silent and not having the courage to speak the truth in love, is sinful, and contributing to the whole mess. It is interesting about the husband commenting that he wanted her to worship him like she does Jesus… my husband actually made a similar comment…he said that he couldn’t compete with my relationship with God…
    Surrendering completely to God to work in our lives, and trusting Him alone is so hard… I long for the day that I hear His voice clearly and learn to recognize, that at that moment, I just need to step out of His way… because it is ME that is standing in the way!!

    April, you are such a blessing to all of us, I hope there will be path for you so you won’t get burned out, because you have such a big heart and I pray for you to create a space for someone else to come aside you and lift your load…God is good and I don’t think he wants you to carry it all alone.

    I hope you are spending time with your family this weekend… Hugs galore…

    A lifelong learner

    1. A lifelong learner,

      I so relate to you, sister!!!! Everything you shared–I have been there too. It’s nice to know we are not alone in that!

      God will surely continue to transform you into the image of Christ as you behold Him!!! If you ever would like to talk directly, you are more than welcome to email at manduhhh12@yahoo.com. We have a lot in common! 🙂 And I know how great it is to be able to talk to others that know exactly how you feel!

      But either way, I just want to encourage you and let you know that you are on the right road seeking God alone. I would highly suggest April’s posts if you haven’t already read them about idolatry and fear. They are what the Lord has always used to keep me in check in terms of this situation!!!!!

      Lots of love,
      Amanda

      1. Thank you, Amanda…you are right…to know that we can lean on each others that are going through the same exact thing helps enormously… I really appreciate your offer… yes, I have read and am rereading a lot of the posts on this issue… it is so easy to get sucked into fear and feeling helpless, instead of refocusing and banishing those things head on! I am getting quicker at it though… progress…yahoo!!… I used to mull things over in my head and literally talk to myself out loud, allowing bad conversations to be cemented in my head…what self torture!!…
        Thanks again for your support…I so appreciate this forum, because we are all lifting each other up and hooking arms to march on the same path!

        Love, Almut

  17. April,

    I love your blog and what you attempt to do with it. I cheer you on, praying for extending of your reach and multiplication of your followers, as you share the truth. You are a blessing to many. And with the comments section in your blogs, I suspect you are getting in deeper than you had ever anticipated and this one is a good example. I offer little advice but would recommend that you avoid points of doctrine that are not addressed in your original posts. There are estimated to be 30,000 Christian denominations – it is clear that we are divided on doctrine and don’t take it upon yourself to bring us to one mind. You can’t and you won’t. Don’t feel bad about that. Serve God according to his calling to you. You know when you’re doing that and when you’re not. I’m going to offer two scriptures which seemed relevant to me. I will pray for you and that you are able to navigate these difficult waters you have plunged in to.

    1 Timothy 1
    As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.

    Titus 3
    Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.

    Also read John 15:18 when you are feeling attacked. You are in good company.

    1. SC,

      Thank you for the encouragement and for the Scripture passages! 🙂

      And that is true, I am not going to be able to single-handedly bring everyone into unity over every teaching and doctrine. My prayer is that God’s Spirit might work among us all to draw us to His truth and His Light. I want everyone to get to experience Him. He is the greatest Treasure there is! 🙂

      There have been many discussions similar to this in the past. And I am sure there will be many more in the future – God-willing, of course! But you are right, I must focus on what God has called me to do. I pray God will empower me to point people to Him and to His Word for all truth.

      Much love!

      1. April, can you help me to understand how incorrect doctrine leads to sin and to separation from God? Are you talking about the essentials of the faith (death, burial and resurrection of Christ and things of that nature) or are you talking about other areas that would be considered non-essential to true faith in Christ that lead to sin and separate us from God? Thanks!

        1. CIC,

          As we talk about the most critical elements of our faith – our understanding of who God is, the nature of man, the doctrine of salvation, who Jesus is, what happens to us during salvation, our identity in Christ after salvation, etc… these are some of the most critical issues. Deviations on these topics can lead us far from God. We may even miss Him entirely on the “core issues” if we have those doctrines wrong.

          As we go to more minor issues, we may have less of an impact if we have incorrect understanding. But the goal is that we would seek to have right understanding about all that we can.

          Example: if I believe completely in man having free will but I don’t believe God is fully sovereign – I have a problem. Actually, I did have this problem. I grew up in a Southern Baptist church where Armenianism was emphasized. So we talked a lot about man’s free will. Everything was based on man’s decisions. I was saved because I chose to be saved. I witnessed and won people to Christ because that was totally my responsibility and if I didn’t witness and people go to hell, it is totally my fault. The problem with completely emphasizing man’s free will without balancing it with the concept of God’s sovereignty – is that we end up believing that God is small and wimpy and that we are big and powerful. We can end up with a very prideful spirit – which I did. I also tried to carry the weight of God’s sovereignty on my shoulders and it crushed me. I tried to control everything and everyone because I believed these things were truly my responsibility.

          Of course, if I completely emphasize God’s sovereignty and don’t talk at all about man’s free will, I can go too far the other way and teach that men are robots without real choices and that we are just God’s marionette puppets. We are fated to do what we do and we have no responsibility or accountability.

          But the Bible teaches very much that God is completely sovereign over all things and that He even uses what people intend for evil to accomplish His good purposes. Even the demons must have God’s permission before they act. And yet God is not evil and is not responsible for ever committing evil. And the Bible also teaches that God holds people accountable for their decisions and for their thoughts, words, and actions. There is free will of man and sovereignty of God all at the same time held in perfect balance. If I don’t understand this, if I swing too far one way or the other, I will have a warped view of God and a warped view of my responsibility – like I had. And it led me to not understanding correctly who God really was, not trusting Him, and not living for Him in full submission as Lord of my life.

          With other areas that are more minor, when we believe lies, it causes problems. So – how I decide to define and understand biblical submission in marriage, for example, is an issue. It is not a salvation issue. But my understanding of this issue could either lead me to overrun my husband, as I did for over 14 years, or could lead me to believe I was a second class citizen who should act and be treated like a slave. This causes oppression. Sin, lies, and misunderstandings of God’s truth cause oppression in my life and in my relationships. And if I don’t understand a minor issue like biblical submission in marriage – I may also have problems understanding my submission to Christ as Lord – which I did.

          Does that make sense?

          1. CIC,

            Ultimately, we will all have some areas of misunderstanding because we now “see through a glass dimly.” But the more we understand and learn about God’s truth – the more it sets us free. And in heaven, we will have perfect clarity and understanding. Thankful for that!

          2. Oh! And if I misunderstand how women are to behave when their husbands are sinning, and I think I can never address sin in my husband’s life – or that I have no freedom to leave if he continues on and on in unrepentant sin – that is oppressive too! So when women confuse how to witness to their husband about salvation (without a word) with how to handle being sinned against (Matt. 7:1-6 and Matt 18:15-17), that creates a lot of problems.

          3. I could go on and on about the problems misunderstanding God’s Word (and all kinds of different doctrine) can create.

            Last one…. 🙂

            Think about what Holly shared about not knowing the difference between forgiving someone and trusting someone and the harm that caused her. Just that one little issue of not fully understanding each of those concepts can cause so much unnecessary pain and hurt.

        2. O.K., gotcha! That helps me understand your comment better, thank you! And, I absolutely agree that the things you mentioned are very important and that the way we view those things does then shift our behavior and the way we live our lives in Christ.

          I think it is important to say here that nothing can separate us from God if we are truly born again and united to Him by His Spirit (not even having some of our doctrine or theology wrong). Our sin will affect the fellowship we enjoy and experience with Him, but I believe this would only be sin that He has revealed to us that we are refusing to let go of and cooperate with His working in our lives. I think one of THE most essential truths for a believer to grasp is the truth that God has truly dealt with our sin and hurled it to the depths of the sea — His word says He remembers it no more. We are righteous in His sight and there is nothing that we can do to add or subtract from what Christ did at the cross. We are fully united with Him and nothing can separate us from His love. When you believe these truths, it does not incite a believer to sin more, regardless of the fear of that from some Christians. If you are really one of God’s children, this truth sets you free and you enjoy much more victory over sin. That is a subject I could go on and on about….lol!!! This is one of the things God has made me passionate about!

          I know that when you made the statement that “as we embrace correct doctrine in faith, God opens the floodgates of heaven for the Holy Spirit to pour His Living Water into our lives” you weren’t meaning that people had to get their theology or doctrine totally perfect to have access to the Holy Spirit. As believers, we know that we are united with God at our new birth and we receive the gift of the Spirit at that moment, as we are baptized into Him. God says we have been given everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter). I just wouldn’t want anyone to read that statement and think that we cannot enjoy or experience the power of the Spirit working mightily in us if we don’t have it all figured out. Does that make sense how I am wording things? I know what you mean by it, but it does sound a little confusing at first glance!

          Deep waters we are swimming in here at your blog these last few days! 🙂

          1. CIC,

            We will always be learning and growing. Or we should be! And our understanding should be deepening as we mature and continue in our walk with Christ. I agree if we belong to Christ, nothing can separate us from His love. Yes, Christ has completely atoned for our sins. Of course, we do want to seek to allow God to show us any sin in our hearts so we can repent. We are righteous in His sight because of what Jesus has done for us – yes! Not because we are good in and of ourselves. 🙂

            And yes! The more truth we understand and the more we walk in God’s wisdom and His truth, the more fellowship we share with Him and the more victory, the more of His Spirit’s power we walk in daily.

            There are certain doctrines that would keep us from God’s Spirit – a different gospel, for example, and even things like a very wrong understanding of God. Certain central doctrines are critical for us to understand to have salvation. If we believe certain false teachings or cults, we wouldn’t be able to come to Christ. But yes, when we do come to Christ with understanding of the basic truths of salvation – we can experience the Holy Spirit’s power. We don’t have to have everything figured out – but we should have a hunger to know and live God’s truth and to want to grow. And there should be fruit in our lives. If we don’t have a spiritual appetite for God and His Word and we don’t have any desire to grow, I think we need to ask God to help us see what is going on or check with a godly mentor.

            I don’t intend to cause confusion! So thank you for seeking clarification.

            Justification happens instantly. We come to Christ in humble repentance, receiving His gospel and sacrificial death on our behalf in faith and yield to Him as Lord. God sees us as being buried with Christ. Our old man is dead. We receive a new man in Christ and His Spirit. Jesus puts His own righteousness into our account and pays our massive debt (that is too large to begin to quantify) in full.

            Sanctification happens gradually – it is the process of working out our understanding of sound doctrine and learning to depend on the Spirit and apply God’s truth to our lives. As we continue to learn and as we tear down lies and replace them with God’s truth by His power working in us, we grow and see more and more clearly.

            I hope that makes sense!

  18. So my question doesn’t really deal directly with this post, but I stumbled upon your site and felt compelled to ask you. My husband and I have been married almost 6 years, and I’ve generally been unhappy throughout most of it. He’s not ungodly or anything, but we have essentially no connection, horrible communication, disagree on SO MUCH and my submission has been occasional, at best. We both have prayed and prayed and prayed and have tried so hard to make things better, but they haven’t improved one bit.

    My spiritual life now compared to when I was single is so inferior, and I honestly have been thinking lately that if I stay married to him, I may actually end up in hell due to my attitude toward him and habitual lack of submission. So, I have seriously been contemplating getting a divorce and just remaining single for the rest of my life with the hope that it could help me rekindle my spiritual fervor. I’m sort of viewing this in a Mark 9:43-47 kind of way. I of course would prefer that my husband and I had a marriage that reflects the relationship between Christ and the Church, but after years of praying and trying and getting worse results, I’m truly starting to believe this may be the best route for both of us.

    1. Distressed,

      You are describing the first 14 years of our marriage pretty well. You can check out my “about” page.

      I would encourage you to seek God now – in the midst of this mess. Perhaps part of the reason for it is to direct you to Him. You can have a very close relationship with God no matter what your husband is doing, thankfully! No human can tear us away from Christ.

      Are you interested in finding the healing that is available to you in Christ? I would love to point the way and walk beside you on this journey!

      Much love to you!

  19. Some think that doctrine isn’t very important – it’s just “dry boring stuff.” But the truth is doctrine, what we believe about God, the Bible, Jesus, ourselves, others, sin, salvation, victory over sin, submission to Christ, all of these things – determine our motives. Our motives determine out thoughts. Our thoughts determine our words and our actions.

    Doctrine is extremely important – and it is critical that we choose doctrine that is in agreement with the truth of God’s Word. If we believe lies and build our lives on lies, we will be in a big mess.

      1. Some resources I generally trust for biblical doctrine with what I have heard and read so far – (but always compare everything to Scripture yourself with God’s Spirit guiding you! There may be certain things that you don’t believe line up with the Bible. Ask God to help you handle His Word rightly and “study to show yourself an approved workman.”)

        David Platt – http://www.radical.net
        Francis Chan – http://www.crazylove.org
        Wayne Grudem – Systematic Theology http://www.waynegrudem.com (available in podcasts)
        Tony Evans – http://www.tonyevans.org
        Andrew Murray’s books
        E.M. Bounds – The Necessity of Prayer
        John Piper http://www.desiringgod.org
        http://www.gotquestions.org

      2. May I suggest that they also determine how our other relationships function as well.

        I was considering this morning that Jesus said “with great desire i have desired to eat this passover with you”. He WANTED our company with real passion and real desire.

        I had viewed God for a long time as someone I would creep into His presence with fear and trembling, feeling like I had to be “good enough” for Him before I could be intimate with Him, possibly much like Esther may have felt when she approached the king…..would he hold out his sceptre or would she be killed for presuming to enter his presence?

        Yet through Christ we have CONFIDENCE and BOLDNESS to enter His presence knowing that we are wanted, desired and free to share intimacy with Him.

        This view, I believe, is how a wife should feel when approaching her husband. If a husband truly loves his wife as Christ loves the churchhis wife should feel free to approach him on any matter knowing she is wanted, desired and can have an expectation of intimacy.

        The wrong doctrine that I had accepted, shaped my view of God and therefore my relationships. The right doctrine gives me a very different perspective of human relationships also. Paul wrote that by “sound doctrine we should convince those who oppose themselves”. In gentleness and meekness.

        Some thoughts, HH

        1. HH,

          I had wrong doctrine, too, all those years earlier in our marriage. Lies I believed. Unbiblical fixed beliefs about God, myself, and living for Christ. I didn’t submit to the Lordship of Christ and didn’t even know it. I held on to sin pridefully exalting myself above God – even though I didn’t realize what I was doing. I didn’t trust God because I thought He was pretty wimpy and I was pretty powerful. Because I held on to sinful thoughts and motives and because I held fast to lies – even unintentionally – my flesh was in control, not the Spirit of God. I had the fruit of the flesh in my life – anxiety, worry, fear, bitterness, gossip, pride, self-righteousness, idolatry, disrespect, hatred, etc…

          In order for God’s Spirit to be in control, we must be able to tear out all of the sin and wrong beliefs and replace that with God’s truth and yield to Him fully as LORD. Then He can give us Light and the power to walk in obedience to Himself. We can’t be godly in our own strength. It is all His work on our behalf.

          1. HH,

            And absolutely! We cannot have right relationships with others until we are right with God. Then His holiness, His love, His power, His righteousness, His strength, His perspective, all of His goodness floods through us and drastically changes the way we relate to others.

            The more lies I cherish in my heart, the more false teaching, the more destructive it is. I am building my life on sinking sand. I am listening to and submitting to Satan rather than to the truth of God.

            Also, where do I turn for absolute truth? If I don’t turn to the Bible, if I trust a pastor, a person, another book, a church, myself, scientists… that greatly impacts my starting point and then completely changes the trajectory of my life.

            We can see a dramatic example of this in those who are “radicalized terrorists.” The reason most terrorists today kill people and are willing to kill themselves is completely because of their theology. If I believe that maybe the only way I can be sure I get to heaven is to kill other people and martyr myself in the process, that is a powerful motivation for me to do things that I would not normally do. If I believe God loves those who kill anyone who doesn’t believe what I believe and I believe God rewards those who shed blood in His name – that would change everything about my life.

            We can also see the results of this same truth when we look at the teaching of evolution – which is a false teaching, even possibly qualifying as a false religion. If I believe that the Bible is not true and Genesis is a bunch of myths, and if I believe that evolutionary scientists hold the source of absolute truth, then I can and will explain away God. Then I can completely dismiss the entire Bible and believe whatever I want to and act however I want to. There is no longer any right or wrong or any morality.

            It is so important that we very consciously choose our doctrine wisely. The greater the error, the more devastating the results and fruit in our lives. The closer we are to God’s truth and to Him, the more godly fruit will grow in our lives.

          2. A quote from this article I just linked about doctrine from http://www.biblestudytools.com:

            Doctrine is indispensable to Christianity. Christianity does not exist without it. The New Testament repeatedly emphasizes the value and importance of sound doctrine, sound instruction ( 1 Tim 6:3 ), and a pattern of sound teaching ( 2 Tim 1:13-14 ). The apostles defended the faithful proclamation of the gospel ( Gal 1:8 ). They formulated Christian faith in doctrinal terms, then called for its preservation. They were adamant about the protection, appropriation, and propagation of doctrine because it contained the truth about Jesus Christ. Knowing the truth was and is the only way that a person can come to faith… Pastors in particular were admonished to cleave to sound doctrine so that they could be good ministers of the gospel ( 1 Tim 4:6 ).

            Christianity is a way of life founded on doctrine. Some disparage doctrine in favor of the spiritual life. Paul, however, taught that spiritual growth in Christ is dependent on faithfulness to sound doctrine, for its truth provides the means of growth ( Col 2:6 ). The apostle John developed three tests for discerning authentic spirituality: believing right doctrine ( 1 Jo 2:18-27 ), obedience to right doctrine (2:28-3:10), and giving expression to right doctrine with love (2:7-11). Faithful obedience and love, then, are not alternatives to sound doctrine. They are the fruit of right doctrine as it works itself out in the believer’s character and relationships.

        2. Wow, HH. Really good insights here. When you asked if you had really changed that much in another comment… This right here… This is what I am talking about. I can see that the love of God and the finished work of Christ on your behalf has greatly impacted your theology, the way you think, the things you share with us here.

          I love this perspective of how a husband would welcome his wife knowing this is how God welcomes His bride into His presence. Thank you for that.

          I remember the sweet morning when God told me to come with boldness and confidence before Him. He led me to about two or three verses and did something in my heart that morning that is permanent now. We don’t come cowering, hoping God will accept us into His presence or worrying about saying perfect words to move His heart. He wants us to speak plainly and simply with Him. We can come boldly! That is amazing!!!!! We come only because of the sacrifice of Christ….and His sacrifice was enough!

          1. Thank you CiC 🙂 I am learning so much.

            I actually composed a short text and sent it to DW yesterday sharing how I understand why she left our marriage and sharing how she must have felt. Her response was “that’s bang on”.

            I pray that the Lord will continue to teach me and lead me into all truth regardless of outcomes.

            Much love in Christ, HH

          2. HH,

            WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            THAT IS AWESOME!

            Your wife will need to feel heard and understood before she can begin to take any steps toward you. This is a wonderful baby step! 🙂 YAY!

  20. I know this has been kind of a “hot topic” post (comments mostly). I just want to say that I am encouraged tonight reading the comments and seeing the Spirit of God working. These are important topics that have been raised. We don’t all see perfectly eye to eye on each issue. But, God is clearly at work here. And there is love and grace shared. We can all trust God to bring us to fuller understandings of His heart on all these issues. We keep our eyes on Him, we seek a heart of humility in being willing to let God adjust our thinking or any wrong views we have and He will do it. Our job is to remain moldable and teachable. He’ll do the rest. Thank you, Lord! Everyone that has commented is on my mind and heart tonight. It’s warming my heart to hear each person’s story or perspective and to know that God has brought us all here for His good purposes.

    1. CIC,
      Yes! I am thankful for these important conversations, too, and the desire we all have to seek Christ first and to handle His Word rightly. I am thankful for the respectful, deep conversations, questions, and the responses. What a joy to witness God working yesterday in Holly’s husband’s heart! How blessed we are to be able to share together. Praying with you, my sister, for all of us!

  21. Once again you’ve hit the nail right on the head! It’s hard to love God first when it’s my husband who puts his arms around me and tells me it will be ok, my husband is the one who kisses me on the forehead and tells me I’m the best, when I need to talk or cry It’s my husband who I can visually see stop what he is doing and gives me the attention I need…. I guess It’s just hard to love someone you can’t see especially over the person you feel is a part of your soul.

    1. Sandra Penello,

      The cool thing is, the more you learn about God and who He is and His character, the more you see that He loves you in many ways like your husband does – but on an infinitely grander scale. Marriage points to the love of Christ for His people. Godly masculinity portrays Christlike selfless, strong, holy, beautiful, powerful, tender, gentle, humble, sacrificial love.

      If you are interested in doing a spiritual check up with me, or you are interested in going deeper with Jesus, let me know! He is the greatest Treasure in the universe! 🙂

      1. I really appreciated you replying to my comment but I had no intention of replying back until now. Truth is, it’s been stuck in my head so I’m following my gut feeling.

        I’ve always known my relationship with Jesus is rocky. In fact it goes back and forth like a see saw in a hurricane most of the time and it’s no wonder why. I married an unbeliever (loved him too much to care), every one of my friends are unbelievers, I don’t go to church because I don’t like going alone (REALLY don’t like social situations) and my parents belong to a “church” that I cannot bring myself to step into. So yes when you don’t associate with other Christians it’s hard to keep your relationship with Christ strong.

        A long time ago I prayed for a husband and six months later I found him. I still believe (8 years later) that he is the one God sent to me even though he is an unbeliever. I want very much to give to Jesus every thing in my life but I’m terrified of him asking for one thing… my husband. If I had to choose between Jesus and my husband I know without a doubt who I would choose and that right there is what’s keeping me from him (Jesus).

        If you have any advice for me I’m open to hearing it

        1. SANDRA PENELLO,

          What kind of advice are you looking for here?

          The Bible says to be married only in the Lord and to not become unequally yoked with non-believers. The Lord does not go against His own word and would not send you and unbeliever to marry. That goes against His word.

          You have a divided heart Sandra. That is what is going on here. The Lord requires that we give up all and follow Him.

          All I can say is that I pray you will seek God and His word alone for the truth—- and I pray your eyes are opened and that the Lord reveals Himself to your heart!

          Love,
          Amanda

          1. Satisfied Wife,

            Thank you for reaching out to Sandra. 🙂

            I agree that God would not send an unbeliever to a believer to marry. He doesn’t ever ask us to go against His Word.

            Of course, at this point, Sandra is married to him, so that is no longer a decision to make. At this point, the question is how can Sandra be right with God now and what does He desire her to do on her end of things to walk in faithfulness to Him?

            Much love!
            April

          2. April,
            I apologize if I was a little blunt in my comment. I didn’t realize there were previous comments 🙂 I will pray for Sandra to have opened eyes! The Lord Jesus is what we all desperately need to see!

            Love,
            Amanda

          3. Thanks, Amanda! 🙂 This part where Sandra is right now is, in my view, the scariest part. But I pray she will get to taste and see that God is good and only He can meet the deepest needs of her soul. 🙂

          4. Satisfied Wife,

            Yes! Jesus is what we need. 🙂 Thanks so much for praying with me for Sandra. This is a pivotal moment in her life – perhaps the most pivotal moment of all.

        2. Sandra Penello,

          How about let’s start with this…

          Please read these posts and then let’s see where you are.

          How to Make Your Husband an Idol
          I Was Sure I Would Never Make My Husband into an Idol
          The Idol of Happiness
          Please God! Ask Me for Anything but This!
          Identifying the Lies We Have Embraced
          Fully Trusting God with My Husband

          After you read these, pray about your answers to these questions. Take your time. Dig deeply. 🙂

          1. Who do you believe God is? What is His general character?

          2. How do you believe you can be right with God?

          3. What kind of relationship do you want with Him?

          4. What are your greatest fears?

          5. What do you believe you must have to be happy and content?

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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