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Other People Don’t Always Know What You Should Do in Your Marriage – by The Satisfied Wife

ADMIN NOTE FROM APRIL:

All,

I am having to cut back on my time with online ministry from about 30 hours/week to about 14. I need more time with God. My family needs me more, too. I am hoping to get to spend about 1 hour per day answering comments instead of many hours per day (on this blog, my Youtube channel, April Cassidy, www.peacefulsinglegirl.com, my two FB pages, and my closed FB prayer page).

I am going to be depending more on some of the other Titus 2 ladies to help me write and to help me with comments as you each feel led by the Spirit. After this week, I plan to go back to one post per week. Thank you for your patience and understanding as I try to hash this stuff out and figure out the right balance that most honors God. My goal is to point each of us, including myself, to Christ.

This post is by The Satisfied Wife (AKA WorthyofLove). She is in a very difficult marriage with a husband who tends to be rather harsh at times – and yet, what God is doing in her heart is SO beautiful! I appreciate her willingness to share with us:

ON SEEKING GOD ALONE TO KNOW HIS WILL FOR OUR LIVES

In each of our lives, the only thing we can rely and trust in is the Lord, and His Word. There really are no other guarantees in this life. He is our greatest need, and our only source of life. When you are in a toxic marriage – it really is a great opportunity to seek the Lord with all your heart. I have found in my own life, being around toxic relationships and people is what drove me to Him in the first place. God can use anything to accomplish His greater purposes! Way before finding April’s site, I was driven into the arms of the Lord and His Word. It was the only place I found true rest and hope.

In my experience, seeking the Lord alone for the truth in your marriage is what will matter most in moving forward not only with the Lord, but in your marriage.

THE DANGER OF SEEKING HUMAN WISDOM ALONE
I honestly never sought anyone’s opinion about my marriage or life in the first place. I sought the Lord wholeheartedly, though. And through seeking the Lord above all – that is how I was led to His Body (April’s site). And once led to the Body, the Lord has been able to teach me so much truth and He has truly opened my eyes in so many ways since finding April’s blog.

However – at one point – I, too, found myself relying on what I was learning through the blog, along with what the Lord was teaching me, to direct my steps completely in terms of my own personal life and marriage. Because at that point, I was desperate for answers, and willing to try anything to “fix” my marriage.

When we are desperate for answers—we are at the greatest risk of being deceived about what our next step should be. Especially if we are not truly crucified to the flesh—and we have a predetermined will of our own. We will look for the answers that match our own will—and believe it is confirmation of God’s leading. We must first be truly crucified to our own will and ways—and seek only to know God’s will and ways.

That is the power of God working here. Many women might come there to find answers about their marriage and how to get their husband to love them a certain way, etc… but what they find is Christ Crucified as the Power of God! AMEN!

JESUS IS THE ANSWER
We can read and learn all we want about marriage, respect, submission, how to handle difficult people, how to walk in the Spirit, how to do this, that and the other thing. But knowledge of all that is NOT what will get you through the actual reality of your daily life living within a toxic marriage.

Your Spirit union with the Living, Risen Lord Jesus is what will get you through the toxic marriage. HE is what is needed. Not a list of rules. Not human wisdom.

If I adhered to all the “research” and “wisdom” of this world—I would be divorced already. I would have given up the first time I felt I was slighted or mistreated without a cause. That is the answer that the world gives to women who are in a toxic relationship. And perhaps that MIGHT be the answer that the Lord ultimately leads you to in certain situations (that are biblically supported).

The point right now is that when we are in a toxic marriage, and we are cowering under the oppression and fear of what will happen all the time – the most important thing is not what April says, what anyone human, or book (Christian or otherwise) says – it is what the Lord says. It is what He is leading you to see and do, that matters most. And He is not afar off – if we are in Christ and belong to Him, He has promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us. Christ Jesus has forever secured our entrance into the Presence of God by His precious Blood shed on the Cross! That is a FACT. Your feelings are NOT fact.

If any precious woman finds herself in a toxic marriage after evaluating in a godly way what is really going on – the best thing she can do is truly set aside some time, and seek the Lord. Pour out her heart to Him. Depend on Him alone for guidance, wisdom, and truth. (Maybe refer to Andrew Murrays “Waiting on God” and “Absolute Surrender”).

LOOK AT THE FACTS

Having already been through this more than once, the greatest thing when seeking God alone for truth has been to look at the FACTS.

  • The facts from the Word of God that tell us who we are, who God is, What God can do, etc.
  • The facts about how I am being treated (look to actions of spouse not words)
  • The facts about how I am acting/reacting to this treatment

A fact is a fact. It is what happened. It is what has been proclaimed. The biggest blinders in this process are your own feelings, because we all know that sometimes our feelings are actually NOT facts.

So I’ll say this – in my case, when my feelings matched the facts – I took them as real. If I felt as though I was being manipulated/controlled inadvertently, and I looked at what my husband did, compared to what he said – I found it was true how I felt.

HOW TO SEEK GOD

Seeking God, to me, has meant that I stop looking to anyone, anything, any system, and other source – except God alone to guide me, save me, provide for me, etc…

It means that I pray – I spend time reading His word and other trusted sources of spiritual food. I wait for Him and I depend on Him. Utterly. Wholeheartedly.

  • To speak to my heart.
  • To open my eyes.
  • To fill me with His Spirit
  • To save me from my own self
  • To save me from the fiery darts that are coming at me from the devil.

Be aware – any one who sets their WHOLE heart on God is a target of Satan. Don’t be shocked to find that yes, your very husband can be a tool in the devil’s hands to paralyze you spiritually – to trip you up and stop you at ALL COSTS from seeking God! Because when we seek God alone – we let go of all the things of earth -and when we are in our spiritual position with Christ by faith – we walk in His power and we are a HUGE threat to the Satan and his kingdom.

The Spirit of God is the Spirit of TRUTH. He cannot lie. He will not lead us into lies if we set our heart on Him alone. He will open our eyes, and grant us a revelation of Christ Jesus in our hearts – and when we see Christ alone -we will know Him and the Bible says that Christ is wisdom to us—CHRIST is wisdom! In Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom. So then, more than anything else, we need knowledge of Christ in our situations!

SHARE:

Has God shown you something similar? How have you found healing and clarity in looking to Christ? 🙂

105 thoughts on “Other People Don’t Always Know What You Should Do in Your Marriage – by The Satisfied Wife

  1. Hi April.

    I am so sad to say that my husband served me with divorce papers last week

    I have had do many people praying for my marriage..and they have not stopped.

    I have had many people encoruage me to move on and start my life over.

    I am very confused. Do I let go and move on…let go fo 24 years together..or do I continue to stand for marriage restoration.

    I am.not always clear what God wants me to do.

    Somedays I do nothing. Somedays I pray for my hsuband to repent and come back. Somedays I visualize life without him.

    We are in the same house. Negoitiations havent started. Things will get very tense when they do. I am safe.

    This is not what I have been praying to happen. My boys are upset. My heart is broken.

    Many women from this blog and you, have encouraged me and have loved on me. I am so grateful for that.

    I feel God saying not to give up on my marriage…yet at the same time…divorce is real now. Three years of threats to divorce have become true.

    1. Hope Always, I have wondered how you are. I am so sorry to hear your news. I know how heartbroken you must be and to watch your children’s sadness, too.

      I don’t remember whether your husband is a born again Christian or not. But, I do know that God clearly tells believing spouses to let the unbelieving spouse go. Even if your husband claims to be a Christian, you cannot force someone to stay in a marriage. You can share your hope for a restored marriage respectfully but let your husband go, keeping your dignity.

      In the end, you need to hear from God about what you believe about standing for your marriage, etc. As Satisfied Wife shares in this post, only He can guide you and give you truth. I hope you will run to Him and seek His face. Know that He loves and values you and wants to heal you. I pray that you will be willing to do whatever He alone leads you to do (and that is the key again… only what He himself is leading you to do, knowing you have heard directly from Him).

      Father, our hearts are hurting for and with our sister and her family. God, I pray that you will comfort her and her children and that they will feel your peace and presence in very real and specific ways. I pray that your love will flow like a fountain out of Hope Always so that she will be able to love her children well during such a difficult time. Overwhelm her with your love for her so that her cup runs over. Change her husband’s mind, Lord, we pray. Soften hearts. Where there has been miscommunication and hurt, help there to be vulnerability in saying so and give them each ears to hear each other. We pray against what the enemy is doing in this family and his ways. We ask you to fight for their marriage and to supernaturally change hearts. Break down pride and any walls of sin that need to crumble. Help Hope Always to trust you and your plan and to trust your ways so that she will not be defeated by despair as she looks at the circumstances. Help her to keep her eyes fixed solely on You, Lord.

      In Jesus’ powerful name, Amen.

      1. Hi thank you!!! He is Christian…however has fallen away from church, small groups, accountability partners etc….he has avoided anyone who would hold him accoutable for his actions. He blames me for this and refuses to budge that this is all my fault.

        Tonight after reading the response from everyone, I started to sob and got on my knees pleading with God to help me, to help us..my boy , my husband. Please show me a sign.

        I can’t force my husband to stay. He made it clear that I am not a capable to love him the way he needs to be loved. That’s not true…however I can change what my husband feels or thinks..only the Holy Spirit can do that.

        1. Hope Always,
          I don’t know that God will necessarily give you a “sign” that your marriage will be restored. Sometimes He does that. But what I would love to see is for you to trust Him. This is about faith in Him and trusting Him to lead you when you can’t see up ahead. What He wants to do first, in my view, is bring about great spiritual healing in your own life. We will trust Him together to work in your husband’s life in His timing. I do pray for your marriage to be restored, but even more than that, I pray that you will receive all that God desires to do in your heart in this time. It is going to be glorious if you are up for it! 🙂

    2. I am so sorry for what you are going through. Ive been there. I was served with divorce papers last January, and we were divorced in May. He also lived with me from Oct when he separated from me until May when the divorce was final. It was very hard.

      Praying for your husband will always be right. Please continue to pray for him, regardless of what happens. I pray for mine everyday. Even after girlfriend #2 in 6 months. He is leading a very destructive life and i ask God to change his heart every day.

      Standing for your marriage is also good. I have learned that standing for my marriage does not mean trying to convince myself and others that my husband is coming home. It means believing that my marriage was important to God, it means living my life as if Im still faithful to my husband- and especially God, it means trusting God, no matter what. It means being willing to work through the painful stuff, the hurt, the lies, the false images i had, so that if and when my husband does come home, i am ready to start a new, healthy relationship with him instead of going right back to the old ways.

      And if he never does come home, you have been practicing being faithful and obedient to God, so it wont be hard to move on.

      In my situation, I have sought prayer and emotional support from my church, my family, and my friends. They all support me in moving on. But I know, in my heart, that if God brought my husband to repentance, and he truly sought forgiveness, i would be willing to take him back. I ask God to prepare my heart and give me discernment and wisdom. I dont want to be tricked or fooled, and i also dont want to be bitter or closed off. It is hard. Right now i struggle with trying to convince everyone how bad it was (he was very passive agressive and treated me unlovingly). I know that is not helpful, or necessary, because God knows my situation, and thats all that matters.

      I pray you find strength and encouragement for what you are going through. Many prayers for you to trust God and seek His will. Blessings.

      1. MHMC….wow thank you. How did you function living with your husband when the marriage was over? This is incredibly difficult..lonely…rejecting…painful…etc.

        I am hearing that despite the outcome..In the end…I will be okay because I remain obedient and faithful to God….i

        1. Hope Always,
          YES!!!!!!!!!!! If you have Jesus, you have EVERYTHING! 🙂 Yes, it may be painful, but He will be with you as you trust Him. And He can and will bring beauty from these ashes for His glory.

    3. Hopealways,
      I was actually thinking about you lately sister, as I have not seen you on the blog for a while now! I am so glad you reached out! I am so sorry that this has happened. One thing I do want to share is that in the end—-we must focus on what will increase the measure of Christ in us. If trying to force your husband to stay in your marriage will increase Christ in you—then so be it. But I believe that the Bible is clear that if he wants to go–let him go. That is what will produce Christ in you, sister. Allowing God to work in your life and your husband’s as you yield—which is the art of letting go to God all things, that He may work for the good–and that good is Christ being formed in you!

      Do not let fear cripple you in this time—look behind your husband to the real enemy at work here. Surrendering to Christ as Lord is the safest place to be—because at that point, you can rest in God’s love, and be assured that He is in control–and that He really will work all things for the good!

      Love,
      Amanda

      1. Amanda.. Thank you. I wrestle with continuing to hope and pray for marriage restoration…and letting him go. I am so afraid that I will lose my 2 boys as well. They are naturally more connected to their dad because of sports and father/son bonding.

        God is in control. I have to believe and trust him.

        1. Hopealways,
          I understand, believe me! I know how you feel!! This is when our faith counts, though! It is in the times of complete impossibility from a human standpoint that we need to have a fresh wave of faith come in by the Spirit of God—believing that God is a God of RESURRECTION!!!

          That is His specialty!! And He is truly in control here!!!!

          I want to stir your heart to faith sister, and let you know that through God all things are possible!!!!

          Your faith is being tested—RIGHT NOW—NOW IS WHEN IT COUNTS!!

          Now is when we need to take ALL THAT WE KNOW is true—-and believe with all our hearts that the Lord is for us not against us!!!!! And that He truly can restore what seems to be totally lost!!!!

          Praying for you to not give up that hope—– God is FOR marriage—-He is NOT against it!!!!!!!

          Love,
          Amanda

          1. Satisfied Wife,

            I have a feeling that you may agree with me on this… You and I both know that God can and does heal marriages. But there can be times when God calls us to lay the marriage, lay our dreams on the altar before Him. I believe we may have to get to a point where we are willing to give the dream of a restored marriage to God and be content in Christ with or without the restored marriage before we can really begin to move forward.

            Then after we have truly laid things down and trusted it all to God no matter what the outcome – that is when I think we begin to really grow.

            Does that make sense to anyone?

            Much love!

          2. My husband didn’t threaten divorce. He was just extremely passive and unplugged. Barely looked at me, spoke to me, or touched me for a long time. I had to get to a place where I decided to trust God with the future of our marriage even if Greg never changed, even if he didn’t become the loving husband I wanted him to be. I had to decide I would trust God and let Him direct the outcome even if my greatest fears came true. It was terrifying, at first. I felt like I was jumping off of a spiritual cliff. But that was SO key.

            Then, I was able to begin to learn to pray in real faith. But for a long time, I actually didn’t pray for Greg. I focused on the things God wanted to change in me and on the things I respected about Greg, just trusting that God would work in Greg’s heart in His timing.

            That is a bit of my story, anyway, perhaps it may be helpful to someone.

            It seems to me that this is the point we all have to get to when there are trials like this.

            Much love!

          3. Reading in my quiet time in Habakuk today. The people of Israel had been in great rebellion against God for quite awhile at that point. Habakuk asked God why He allowed violence and injustice to go on in Israel. God answered that He was raising up the Babylonians to come bring His judgment on Israel’s sin. At first, Habakuk was confused about why God would use a more wicked nation to punish His people. But God told him that He would then punish Babylon, too.

            Habakuk was about to face an incredibly horrific time with most of his countrymen facing death and a remnant of Israel going into captivity into Babylon… I love his response of faith:

            I heard and my heart pounded,
            my lips quivered at the sound;
            decay crept into my bones,
            and my legs trembled.

            Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity
            to come on the nation invading us.
            17 Though the fig tree does not bud
            and there are no grapes on the vines,
            though the olive crop fails
            and the fields produce no food,
            though there are no sheep in the pen
            and no cattle in the stalls,
            18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
            I will be joyful in God my Savior.
            19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
            he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
            he enables me to tread on the heights.
            Habakuk 3:16-19

            In the most awful situations, God is with those who trust Him and love Him. He is right and just in His actions. He is good. Always. Will we trust Him even when disaster strikes, even when we face our greatest fears?

            Here is a post by a single Christian sister in her early 30s that I believe is a great example of how God desires us to lay everything down at His feet and to trust Him with all of our dreams:

            I remember when God asked me to give up my dreams. “Okay God, Your will and not mine. Done! I will go wherever you want and do whatever you want,” I prayed. I was excited about the direction God had planned for my life. It took me a few variations of this conversation to understand what He meant. He meant my most personal and valuable dream.

            He wanted me to take my desire to become a wife and a mother and lay it on the altar.

            I begged God to take any dream but that one. I pleaded with Him, offering Him anything in exchange for the chance to hold on to my dream. My terms have never been sufficient. My dying to self had to be on His terms alone. I remember the day, broken beyond anything I can put into words, when I finally laid my dream on the altar.

            At first I laid it on the altar, but I could not walk away. I laid it down, but kept my fingers on it. This was not good enough. He asked me to walk away from the dream, the idol. I turned my back on my dream and felt paralyzed. How do you move forward and away from the only thing you cherished for so long? You see, even though I was not married, I always held on to the hope that I would be one day. I allowed myself to live with the hope of a fairy tale coming true.

            I was confused and did not understand how God could want me to stop hoping. Wasn’t He a God of hope? He most certainly is! He had to teach me, ever so slowly, that my hope is to be in Him alone, not the promise of a man. He did not want me to stop hoping; He wanted me to stop hoping in anything other than Him to fill my deepest desire.

            He wanted to become my deepest desire. Then, and only then, could He fill that void.

            First, I had to realize He was not my greatest desire.
            Then, I had to realize that He was my greatest desire.
            Giving up the dream of marriage and babies was one of the most painful things I have ever done in my life. It forced me to come to terms with the fact that I am no one’s favorite person; I do not have someone to bounce ideas off of; I may die alone. However, I know that I am a child of God; I can cast all of my cares on Him and that His Word will always direct me.

            I may be physically alone when I die, but I will be in eternity with my King.

            My friend, if you are hurting and lonely today, know that Jesus is truly the only need you have. When you give Him full access to your heart, He will consume your life in ways you cannot imagine. He will lead you on a journey that is captivating.

            What dream have you cherished that God is asking you to release to Him?

          4. April, that story of a single woman always has spoken to me since first reading it!!! Thank you for sharing! I believe that is a pivotal point in all of our journeys!!!!

            He must be all—not matter the cost!

          5. Satisfied Wife,

            I know that for me, I wanted to skip over the “laying it all down before God” part and move right to the “Him giving me what I wanted” part. But – it doesn’t seem to work that way. So, I just wanted to be sure we touched on that – because, to me, the “laying it down part” is the beginning of the most amazing journey with God. And that trusting God and leaving the results in His hands – is the beginning of miracles.

          6. April,
            It was definitely the beginning for me, and it continues to be the point that the Lord brings me back to anytime I get sidetracked or off course!!!

            But I have also been there and seen what God can do when I let go for real in my heart and leave it with Him!

            Amen!

          7. Satisfied Wife,

            Yes, I think there are huge times in our lives when God calls us to lay everything down before Him. And then, there is also the daily “taking up our cross and following Him.” It’s not really like we just do this once and we are done. There is a constant desire to say to God, “Not my will, but Yours be done.” Even if it costs me.

            I think the closer we are to God, the more we realize we can trust Him and that His wisdom is truly so much better than our own. And as we practice yielding in submission to Him, and we experience the joy of fellowship with Him and how He takes what we sacrifice and makes it much more than we could have ever imagined – it becomes a lot less scary to trust Him. Not to say that it is not painful. Some tests are very painful. But there is no better place to be in the universe than in the center of God’s will, living in total trust in Him.

            Much love!

          8. April,
            Yes! I agree! I just would hate to see any of our brothers or sisters with any doubt that God can restore a marriage no matter how impossible it seems!

          9. Satisfied Wife,

            I agree with you on that point! 🙂 I don’t believe anyone or any broken relationship is beyond God’s ability to repair. I have seen Him heal so many people – I can’t even begin to count. Sometimes, it is years after a divorce.

            Hope Always,

            Not sure if you have seen this story, but perhaps The Restored Wife’s story may bless you.
            My prayer is not that you would have the same marriage you had before, but that God might heal you and your husband individually first, so that you can come together to build a new, godly, much stronger marriage.

    4. Hope Always. I too have been thinking of you lately and wondered how you are. I actually prayed for you the other night. I’m so sad to hear this. im not so good yet at giving advice, but I can offer you my prayers. I will pray for your husband and sons too.
      I’m reading Proverbs at the moment and a verse from last night has just come to mind. Proverbs 16:9 In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.
      My love and prayers to you. Bel.

    5. Hope Always,

      I love your name! Continue to hope always. God’s prescription for you is 1 Peter 3:1-6. I am sure you are practicing this already so if what I write is redundant, I am sorry. Live a godly life in front of him. Always be kind and warm towards him. Fix meals that smell really good. (Anything with an onion simmering in butter is a great place to begin.) Keep your home clean and tidy. Read Matthew Henry’s book on “The Ornament of a Meek and Quiet Spirit” and always remember that this is a battle being waged in the heavenlies for your husband’s soul. Keep this in perspective and never give up since you are a covenant keeper. Be in the Word daily and allow it to transform you life. Pray for him consistently. Remember, He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

      1. That was beautiful. Thank you for sharing this book recommendation for all of us and for the example of the aroma of food. That was heartwarming.

      2. Thank you Lori.

        I think it’s too late to do any of this. He is done with our marriage. It’s been well over 3 years that he has been done…now the legal part will be done too.

        Despite this….I have held my head up high, have continued to care for him. I am not a good cook..😯😯 I pray daily that I handle the divorce with grace and wisdom.

        What do you mean that ” this is a battle waged in the heavenlies for my husbands soul”

        1. It’s not too late until he remarries. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Eph. 6:12. You are not fighting your husband for your marriage. The enemy has your husband in his grasp. You are praying for his eternal soul. Don’t ever argue with him or be angry. Remember, you don’t want him to spend eternity in hell.

          Learn to cook! It’s so easy delicious, nourishing food and I have great recipes on my blog. Men love good food so this is important.

          Have you heard of Connie Hulquist? Her husband was in and out of prison for many, many years but she would keep a place mat on the table with a dish and silverware every night for when he returned. She trusted in the Lord to return her disobedient husband to her and he finally did come back. She placed her hope in the Lord and prayed fervently for him.

          1. Lori,
            Thanks for sharing. Love the story about Connie Hulquist. 🙂

            I do want to mention, there is such a thing as righteous anger. We are certainly free to have righteous anger as believers – righteous anger would be against sin and injustice. But then we may not lash out in sinful anger or hold on to anger too long, or it does become sinful according to Eph. 4:27.

            When a wife is filled up with Christ, she can act in His power and at His prompting in ways that bless her husband and that allow her to be an instrument in God’s hand to be a partner in drawing him to Christ. Ultimately, only the Holy Spirit brings people to God. But we can participate in that as we learn to hear and obey God’s still small voice and as we shut out the voice of the enemy and his lies.

            Much love!

        2. My husband has told me he has wanted a divorce MANY times. It has been a long time since he last did, because I am not even close to the person I was when this was a common occurrence. After we had our baby a year and a half ago was when he was bringing it up on a daily basis. He was so angry (hurt) all of the time. He ignored me and didn’t seem to care about me at all. Even though we still struggle at times (almost always when I lose sight of God and/or start to be disrespectful), divorce is not on his radar. I think my husband wanted a divorce, because he felt like there was no hope I’d change.
          That’s when I did. All of the pain and suffering from my mom’s suicide and the struggles in my marriage led me to Christ. Instead of focusing so much on him, I started to focus on myself and my relationship with God. I acted the way God wanted me to act, regardless of how my husband was acting. What did that mean to me? It meant treating myself with respect. I started to eat healthy, stop drinking, and go to the gym. It meant getting a hobby that made me happy. It meant acting happy and being a good mom. It meant me hanging out with my friends. It meant me going to church and praising God with or without him. It meant me volunteering. It meant journaling and reading the Bible and books about becoming a better person. I was also respectful to my husband no matter what. As soon as I stopped focusing so much on him and started to be the person God wanted me to be, my husband drew closer to me. Whenever I find myself fixated on my husband and his behavior, things go bad, and it gives me a reminder to start focusing on doing what God tells me to do. My husband and I just had a tough week, because of my disrespect. Now I’m going to do better. 🙂 Much love!

          1. LinseyAK,

            WOW! Thank you for sharing this powerful testimony, my sister. I am sure it will be a blessing to Hope Always and to everyone else who reads about it. How I love what God is doing in your heart! 🙂

            Hope Always,
            I am praying for you, my precious sister!

    6. Oh sweet mama, my heart aches for you. Know you are loved and not forgotten, seen and held and your days are in His hands! I think you answered your own question… The papers are served yes but it sounds like God has you holding on to hope for the restoration of your marriage and ultimately you need to listen to Him however He is leading your heart. It sounds like you have a heart of compassion and love for your husband…. I’ll be praying for you sister! Xoxo

      1. Kristen..my heart has been taken back. I love being called sweet mama. I am so full of pain. I can’t tell for sure if God wants me to stand..or to let him go. I love and adore my husband. He clearly is done. He has been for 3 years.

    7. Hope Always,

      I know this was your greatest fear. I know this is NOT what you wanted to happen. 🙁 I grieve with you over the pain of the whole situation and how I wish I could give you a big hug!

      So, you are hearing from a lot of people. But how is your time with God going? Would you be interested in another spiritual check up?

      Much love to you! I am praying for you, my dear sister! But what I am praying is much bigger than just that the marriage would be restored. I am praying that God will accomplish the larger purposes He has in mind even in the midst of this – for you spiritually, for your husband spiritually, and for His kingdom. I pray you will be open to the spiritual riches that He has for you to find in this dark cave that you will never be able to access anywhere else. This is an opportunity to grow in Christ and in faith like never before if you are willing to grab that opportunity and lay down your fears and dreams and trust God with them all.

      Much love to you!

      1. Hi April. My time with God is good. What is a spiritual check up?

        I don’t want to walk this path alone. Despite the divorce papers being served…I pray for my husbands heart to be softened, and if it stays hard and rejecting of me..which I am sure will happen…I have to rely on God to get me through. I have to trust God. I have to.

        I AM SCARED.

        1. Hope Always,

          I have seen God work in many hearts and marriages even after divorce papers have been served. God is sovereign, thankfully, not our husbands and not the divorce papers. 🙂

          If you are interested, we can do a check up – here are some questions. Take all the time you need, this will help me get a spiritual “pulse” on you, my precious sister:

          1. What do you believe you must have to be happy and content in life?

          2. What are your greatest fears?

          3. What is your relationship with Christ like now? What do you pray for? How much time do spend, what do you do in your quiet time?

          4. What would you like most in your relationship with Christ?

          5. What do you believe God may want to do in your heart during this trial?

          6. What is the enemy whispering to you? Are you able to discern his voice?

          7. What is God speaking to you? Can you recognize His voice generally?

          8. Is there anything you feel like you are afraid to trust God with? If so, why?

          Much love!

          1. Hi April..This is late. The past week has been so painful up and down and all around.I meet with my attorney tomorrow to answer the summons for divorce. On Wednesday, my husband gave me mixed messages, showed me physical attention..and has been hurtful, rejecting, and emotionally abusive ever since. I do not know how much more I can take.

            1. What do you believe you must have to be happy and content in life?

            I must have God. I must have a relationship with Jesus, family, and people who love and support me.

            2. What are your greatest fears?

            Abandonment, rejection, my boys rejecting me.

            3. What is your relationship with Christ like now? What do you pray for? How much time do spend, what do you do in your quiet time? My relationship has grown very deeply in the last 3 years. Quiet time with Christ needs to be increased. I read devotionals every day, read scripture daily…listening..not enough.

            4. What would you like most in your relationship with Christ ?

            i want him to show PROOF…that I am going to be okay, that i wont die from the pain and rejection that I feel, that he will never leave me.

            5. What do you believe God may want to do in your heart during this trial?

            TRUST HIM, LEAN ON HIM, WORSHIP HIM

            6. What is the enemy whispering to you? Are you able to discern his voice?

            THE ENEMY IS WHISPERING TO ME THAT i AM JUNK, A FAILURE, MESSED UP AGAIN, UNLOVABLE, THAT I RUINED THIS MARRIAGE, THAT I MESS UP EVERYTHING I TOUCH…I have a hard time discerning his voice.

            7. What is God speaking to you? Can you recognize His voice generally?

            I cant always hear God clearly. Sometimes i hear him tell me to stand/pray for my marriage, others times I hear him tell me to let my husband go. I hear God telling me that he has my back and will carry me through this. I am not sure how to recognize his voice.

            8. Is there anything you feel like you are afraid to trust God with? If so, why?

            I am very afraid to be alone…I am afraid to trust God with the outcome of my divorce. I am avoiding pain and grief.

          2. Hope Always,

            I know it has been a REALLY, REALLY tough week or two. 🙁 I wish I could give you a huge hug!

            A few more questions, my sweet sister, and then I hope to point you to Christ and the healing that is available in Him for you right now in the midst of this awful trial.

            1. What if people fail you? What if you just have God? What are your feelings about that idea?

            2. If you were abandoned and rejected, what would that mean about you or about God?

            3. What kind of proof do you want God to show you? How would that make things better, do you believe?

            4. Are there any lies of the enemy you are ready to confront with the truth of God’s Word? Are you believing Satan? Or are you believing God’s truth?

            5. Are you interested in learning to hear and recognize God’s voice? Are you ready to be in a place of total surrender and total obedience to Him?

            6. What do you believe God might do to you if you trust Him?

            Much love to you! I am praying for you today!

          3. 1. What if people fail you? What if you just have God? What are your feelings about that idea?

            My head knowledge knows that people are going to fall me. My heart panics. If it is just have God..I will be okay. I am inching closer to the reality that HE is all i need.

            2. If you were abandoned and rejected, what would that mean about you or about God?

            He and I would become closer. He knows my pain.

            3. What kind of proof do you want God to show you? How would that make things better, do you believe?

            The proof would be that I would have an overwhelming sense of his presence and comfort. I would want to know that I will get on the other side of this pain i feel now

            4. Are there any lies of the enemy you are ready to confront with the truth of God’s Word? Are you believing Satan? Or are you believing God’s truth?

            I seem to be stuck on blame, shame, and condemnation. I am stuck on a lie that someone better will come along to replace me…someone younger, fit, beautiful, able to meet the needs that my husband says I will never be able to meet.

            5. Are you interested in learning to hear and recognize God’s voice? Are you ready to be in a place of total surrender and total obedience to Him?

            YES !!!

            6. What do you believe God might do to you if you trust Him?

            Something beyond my wildest dreams. Give me a complete peace with in myself.

          4. Hope Always,

            I think that God wants us all to get to the point that we realize He is all we need and we stop putting our faith and trust in self, others, and things of this world. So I am glad you are moving toward this realization. That is a GOOD thing!

            Yes, you would grow much closer to God as you seek to trust Him. He will use even this awful trial to share treasures of heaven with you that you may not have been able to receive any other way. It’s ironic, but often our greatest and most painful trials become our greatest blessings when we trust Christ.

            Well, if you are in Christ, you have over 8000 promises from God to you. Some are unconditional promises. Some are conditional based on your obedience. If what you are looking for his His presence and comfort and that He will be with you and never leave you or forsake you – you are holding the proof and His love letter to you in your hands when you hold your Bible. 🙂

            Would you be interested in writing out all of the negative things you are telling yourself and hashing through them together? Maybe write out the negative thing and then search what Scripture says about that issue. The key is to identify the lies, tear them out, and replace them with God’s truth. Then you build your life on the Solid Rock of Christ, not the shifting sand of lies or trusting other people or worldly things. 🙂

            You may search my home page for “submission means we hold things of this world loosely,” “why should I submit to God,” and “lordship of Christ. I would also love to recommend the book, Absolute Surrender, by Andrew Murray. It is AMAZING! The link has a free download of the book.

            I am so excited to see you beginning to really turn to God wholeheartedly! THIS IS SO AWESOME! I can’t wait to see what God is about to do in your life. 🙂

            Much love!

          5. Hi April

            i am a week behind in answering your questions.

            1. What if people fail you? What if you just have God? What are your feelings about that idea?

            People have failed me and fail me now..just as I fail people. I feel like I am being failed now..and tested. If I only have God…oh my, that thought scares me.

            2. If you were abandoned and rejected, what would that mean about you or about God?

            I am being rejected right now. It means that I have to run to God and believe what he says I am and believe that he loves me no matter what.

            3. What kind of proof do you want God to show you? How would that make things better, do you believe?

            When I say proof…I want to know that things will work out the way I want them to.

            4. Are there any lies of the enemy you are ready to confront with the truth of God’s Word? Are you believing Satan? Or are you believing God’s truth?

            I feel like I am caught in Satan’s spell right now. And the spell is coming through my husband. I am training myself to believe that what I going on in my marriage is a major spiritual battle. Divorce is winning. The lies that I need to confront are that I am a failure, abusive, have ruined my husbands life, have ruined our children’s lives, incapable of loving, that “should be ashamed of myself”

            5. Are you interested in learning to hear and recognize God’s voice? Are you ready to be in a place of total surrender and total obedience to Him?

            YES !!!

            6. What do you believe God might do to you if you trust Him?

            My fear is that I am going to face more pain, my marriage will end in divorce, I will have to move, and start all over..alone.

        2. Hopealways,

          When you said in a comment above: “and if it stays hard and rejecting of me..which I am sure will happen…I have to rely on God to get me through. I have to trust God. I have to.” You are saying that you are SURE it will happen that he will NOT change his mind.

          Sister, God is ALMIGHTY! THERE IS NOTHING HE CAN NOT DO!!

          Do you believe this?

          God will not be able to work in place where there is ANY unbelief!

          I pray you will get with God and determine to see that He is able to do the IMPOSSIBLE! Even of changing your situation, your husband’s heart, and restoring your marriage/family.

          God is able to do ANYTHING.

          Be He will not be able to do anything where there is UNBELIEF!

          I trust you will seek God on this matter!!!

          Love,
          Amanda

          1. I believe that there is nothing that God cant do..however living day to day with a hard hearted husband who is moving forward with his life and pushing divorce is the proof that in this situation, my husbands free will will win.

            I have to protect myself and take the necessary legal steps..however…I am willing to continue to believe that God is able to do anything.

          2. Hope Always,

            Why is your husband’ current sin proof that your husband will “win”?

            What do you believe about God’s sovereignty and how that relates to man’s free will? Is it one or the other? Or are both things true?

            Much love!

        3. Oh Hope Always,

          Matthew 11:
          28Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

          I was speaking to one of our sisters in Christ about other struggles and that passage came to me.

          You are never alone,
          You will always have the Lord and Holy Spirit that will pour into you.
          As it says in this article, we must rely in Our Savior, He is our ultimate source of support and help.

          Your brothers and sisters in the Lord can help you:
          “Cornerstone” (Hillsong) by The Zoe Group (Acapella)
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4KGkH7naKY

          We may, of course have good and dear friends, but Jesus is our Cornerstone.

          I will pray that healing come to your fear filled heart,
          That you can give all your pain to
          The Only One that will pour balm into your heart.
          Redemption of this situation may seem very far away,
          Take one step at a time,
          Day by day.
          Remember how many are encouraging you and walking with you,
          And the One who wishes to lift the burdens from you,
          In Our Redeemer’s Name.
          Amen.

          1. jesuscenteroflife…such a beautiful post. There is primal pain inside of me that is screaming out to not be left..to not be deserted. I feel like I have failed..in such a way that I wont be able to overcome this.

          2. Oh Sister in Jesus,

            Do not despair,
            Love conquers all, all all!

            I am sorry to have taken so long to reply. The last couple of weeks have been rather and I’d not check my wordpress account till today.
            My dear sister in Jesus, this primal pain is I believe still your compromised self, that is bleeding from past struggles, this is to me like the woman with the hemorrhage.
            You are whole in and of yourself, love and follow Our Savior, you shall be pain free in time, truly I believe that.

            Your brother in Jesus

  2. Oh my goodness! Fantastic post, has helped me today and will continue to help me. Thank you for sharing this precious advice and guidance! X

  3. I have been in a toxic marriage for 8 years and have sought support, advice, basically anything from anywhere I could find it. It has not worked in my favor in most cases. By that I mean my husband found out I was talking to people and feels betrayed. At first I was all “I have to talk to SOMEBODY! Especially when you’re ignoring me!”. Then one day The Lord showed me the truth about what I had really been doing…. Gossiping and disrespecting my husband and my marriage…not to mention Him! I was devastated!

    Since that time I have tried very hard to go to God with my hurts and issues and am working on restoring what I tore down with my actions. I still struggle….being in a toxic marriage is a struggle every minute of every day usually…. but I can honestly say that I have grown so much closer to God and that His truth is what guides me. He is good and His plans are good and regardless of my husbands words or actions I am a dearly loved child of the Most High God and in the end that is all that matters.

    Satisfied Wife, thank you so much for sharing this post. It is really one of the only things I’ve read in the past 10 years from another wife in a similar situation as mine that has provided truth, love, and encouragement on how to actually STAY in my marriage. I appreciate it more than you know.

    1. Carolyn,

      I too have felt that talking about my issues might be gossip/disrespecting my husband. But I also remember that sometimes, at least in my situation, I have needed to to trusted people (counselor, etc) in order to realize when I am the one to blame and when I am not. Sometimes living in a toxic marriage a wife is always blamed for all the problems, and if the wife believes that, she will be operating out of false guilt and condemnation, which have no place when we are in Christ. I think there is a line where we are just gossiping and venting and complaining about our husbands as opposed to where we are truly seeking to know the truth and what is going on in our marriage. It all depends on the motives of our hearts!

      But either way, God is our only true source of wisdom and strength, and it is Him alone that we need in all situations! He is the answer and I am so glad you have found Him faithful as well 🙂

      I see my marriage now as a grounds for the Lord to conform me to the image of Christ, and I believe that even in a toxic marriage, we can learn the ways of God and truly allow God to change us in the midst of it all to become like Christ! That doesn’t mean we have to accept any false guilt/condemnation–but it means that we MUST look past the husband to the true enemy—– and we must see that our marriage is something the devil absolutely hates because he knows that if we were united, we would be a huge threat to his kingdom. It is all about the Testimony of the Lord in our individual lives, and our marriage, church bodies, etc.! All is about the Lord!

      May God continue to Bless you, sister!

      Love,
      Amanda

      1. Love this reply, Amanda and your post!

        I also do not feel that talking to a couple of trusted friends, a pastor or a counselor is gossiping about your husband. I know there is Christian counsel that says this, but I think that is unbiblical and damaging advice that keeps situations like this never changing. This idea is being used as a tactic of the enemy to keep things in the dark so that truth does not come into the light and sin will not be exposed. God never calls wives to not speak the truth to their husbands or to protect their reputations or try to keep their feelings from being hurt as sin is exposed.

        There is definitely a difference between the two things we are talking about. Sweeping sin under the rug in an effort to protect your husband’s reputation sounds really nice, but is not the really the most loving thing to do in the long run.

        Your husband is also using a tactic of the enemy against you when he says he felt betrayed – called blame-shifting – to make you feel bad. It is also him not wanting his sin exposed. You were not wrong for seeking advice and trying to get help in a toxic marriage.

        Carolyn, may God bless you and may He continue to root you in His love for you. I pray that you will be overwhelmed by His love for you and His concern for you and that you will know how valuable you are in His eyes.

        1. I think as this article states that it depends on the situation, and we should trust God’s judgment above all. When my marriage was toxic this would have done more damage than good. The Lord himself restored my marriage, and I praise Him for that! Being married to a man that hurts deeper inside than anyone I know, and who took that pain out on me – what he needed was to feel loved, and like he could trust me.

          So if I had gone and spoke about his issues and our issues with others I know my husband would have felt betrayed, and rather than using me to help restore him, and to be able to begin to feel loved as God has done with my husband, it would have hardened my husbands heart even farther. it’s dangerous to assume we know what a couple needs, if someone is feeling convicted that this is not ok, then they should listen to God above all.

          1. Sarah, thank you for your comment. I will pray about what you said. And in the meantime, I do, however, respectfully stand by the fact that there is unbiblical teaching that tries to portray doing these things as always disrespectful or unsubmissive. I cannot agree with that.

            However, this wife said that God told her that she was disrespecting her husband and so I need to assume that she did, indeed, hear that directly from God and not a book she read or some other teaching.

            I am thankful for the way God led you and healed your marriage! (And would love to hear more of your story if you feel willing to share without too many details/specifics)

          2. Sarah, my husband is also the most hurt person inside that I have ever known, and he takes it all out on me.. because I’m “safe”. I believe he has a personality disorder and I also believe that he feels completely betrayed even if what I have said was meant in a respectful and loving wat. He sees it as a betrayal and a kind of exposure. I am working hard at listening more and speaking less as well as taking our difficulties to the Lord before anyone/anything else. My prayer is for my husbands healing first and then healing for our marriage. Thank you so much for your message! In His Love, Carolyn

        2. ContentinChrist,
          Thank you so much for you encouragement and wisdom. I have really struggled with the fine line between sharing or not and what is disrespectful or not. I have to really continue practicing turning to the Lord first and then go from there in all of life’s difficulties. I very much appreciate all that you said.
          In His Love, Carolyn

      2. Amanda, Thank you so much for everything you said here. I keep coming back to re-reading. 😁 I have to continue the practice of running to the Lord before anything/anyone else in these difficult situations. Sometimes I just feel crazy and so alone and I’ll do anything to get validation that I’m not. Again, I am just so relieved to have read the words of someone in a similar situation as mine. Thank you so much.
        Love and Blessings to you.
        Carolyn

        1. Carolyn,

          When you said : “Sometimes I just feel crazy and so alone and I’ll do anything to get validation that I’m not.” I think a lot of us here know exactly what you mean.

          I am often found searching for any validation to prove that I’m not crazy as well.

          I think lately I’ve had to step back and see that perhaps my own reactions to my husband are in fact a problem.

          God will show us the truth if we are open to hear it! 🙂

          I pray you continue to seek Him and allow Him to grow in you!

          Love,
          Amanda

          1. I can definately say that my reactions to my husband are a big part of the past and present problems..I under reacted and over reacted. I avoiding confrontation and speaking up and i over reacted and lost my control.

  4. Thank you Carolyn for sharing your story. You are an inspiration to all of us and I praise God for your willingness to share. May God continue to bless you, guide you and give you wisdom. Hugs and many blessings, Sabine

  5. All,
    I wanted to share this with anyone who might find themself in a situation with an unsaved husband—-this is from a man of God that I respect—- T. Austin Sparks—he’s referencing 1 Peter 3

    “First of all, you will notice that he has something to say about women who have to live with unsaved husbands. I do not know whether that applies to anyone here. It may be that someone has to live with a not altogether saved husband – a difficult man. But Peter is speaking about a marriage relationship which was contracted before one of the partners was saved, and then the question arises: What should the woman who has been saved since her marriage do? Because she is saved, and her husband is not, ought she to get a separation? Should she find some ground of divorce? Should she live a separate life altogether and isolate him? What is she going to do? That is a practical problem, you know. It may not be in your life, and it is not in mine, but I am constantly presented with that very problem. I have met it only in recent days – a really serious case of this very thing: the difficulty in a marriage relationship because one is going on with the Lord and the other is not. It sets up complexes, strains and difficulties for the one who is. So what are you going to do?

    Now Peter says that in the new Israel that saved woman has to live with her husband, and before her husband, in the grace of God, so that he may be won by her very manner of life; not driven away from the Lord because she isolates him, or nags him, or constantly tries to get at him, letting him know that he is not saved, but just living. Oh, this is a practical problem, for it is not easy to live before such a man in such a way that if ever he is going to come to the Lord, he will do so on this ground: ‘Why, I have seen what God can do. He has done it in my wife. The conviction of my sinfulness has come by the purity, the patience and the goodness of my wife.'”

    I pray it might bless someone today!

    Love,
    Amanda

  6. I had just tried to share a comment, but unfortunately it seems to have disappeared! So I will try again, as I feel the Lord pressing me to share. My marriage was toxic, lots of verbal abuse, online infidelity, controlling, it was agonizing. My heart aches to think about it, but it feels like a different life, a different marriage. The advice in this article is spot on. The Lord should be the first one that we go to, others may have really good advice, but only the Lord knows exactly what you need.

    I was saved by the Lord about 2 years into my marriage, the reason was because of the pain and suffering I was going through, I reached out to the LORD because I needed Him so much! No one can fully understand the pain of a a marriage like that unless they suffer through it.

    When I was saved I didn’t have anyone I could bring my problems to, I didn’t have a church home, I didn’t have godly friends etc. So I spent time with the Lord alone. And He showed me what to do. First I was to submit to my husband, even though I’ve seen people in similar situations told not to. Over the years the LORD has revealed how deep my husbands pain is, and has taught me to love him, as Christ has loved me through all my evil deeds, through all the pain. I’ve caused Him. Having someone love him, has helped my husband heal. The Lord has been working in him over the years, although his heart still isn’t His. There have been times where the Lord has given me glimpses of whom my husband was made to be, and it’s truly a beautiful thing. My husband while still imperfect, like his wife ;), is a different time man. He is a good husband, a good father, he works hard and is trustworthy. He is not the man I was married to so long ago. I am glad that I didn’t have many options other than. the Lord to work in me. If I had taken much of the common advice I would never be where I am now. I was able to fully rely on the Lords bidding.

    For anyone that is suffering through a toxic marriage, I am so sorry for the pain you are suffering, I am so sorry for the pain your spouse is suffering. If you are following the Lord he is doing a good work in your life. It may not end up with you and your husband doesn’t together, God may have different plans, but it will end up for your good. God has a beautiful way of using our suffering, and the works of Satan to be used for the benefit of His children. Keep leaning and trusting in the LORD and he will bless you, He will give you a relationship with Him that is far greater than anything you can ask for in this life. You are so loved by God. He will heal you, he will bring you strength and he will bring you out of this suffering.

    Satisfied wife thank you for sharing this post, I pray for you in your trials, that the Lord will restore you and your husband, that you will be brought out of this suffering, and given a new life.

    1. Sarah,

      Wow! How I love to hear your story! Thank you so much for sharing.

      Interestingly, I didn’t have anyone to go to either. It was just 3.5 years of me being alone with God for hours each day – praying, journalling, reading, studying… I am thankful for that time with Him. I needed it. And He used that time to help me learn to depend more on Him and to become much more firmly grounded in my faith and in His truth.

      I love that you sought to obey God and do what He called you to do and that you were listening and able to hear His voice.

      BEAUTIFUL!

  7. Sarah,
    That is beautiful what God has done! What hope for us all!!! I too found myself alone for the past 2 years of my marriage seeking the Lord and I have to agree that what I found was the LORD Himself and that was better than anything else I could have wanted at the time! He works it all out for the good!!!! I think it is important that we do stay focused on what God wants us to do in our marriages—– we are to live a heavenly life here—- a life that speaks of Christ Jesus—- and even though it hurts when others might be unkind, and it can get confusing if we are not careful to keep close to the truth—- we must still remember that Christ has called us up and out of this world—-to be a living testimony to the LIFE OF CHRIST in us! If we can’t live this first in our own homes—- we will have no effect anywhere else in the world. The testimony starts in our very most personal lives!!!

    God will show us what He is doing if we look at the way He is dealing with us in our lives—– and so far I’ve see just how much He has been doing in applying the Cross of Christ to my very soul and life. He is getting rid of all the things that do not have a place in the new creature in Christ! It is freeing!!!

    I believe it is imperative that we look past our husbands to what the devil is trying to do here. He is trying to steal our testimony!!

    God is greater indeed—and we must all, as the Body of Christ, come together in the unity of the Spirit and pray pray pray!!!!

    Let it be in Jesus’ name!

    Love,
    Amanda

  8. I LOVE the discussion that is going on today! Thank you – to each one of you – for sharing. Makes me smile to see everyone getting to share, learn, encourage each other, and grow together.

    We have a lot of people in very difficult trials this week who are readers here – and quite a few who are often contributors, as well.

    God is definitely at work here, my brothers and sisters. But we are facing great opposition – some are facing extremely intense opposition this week. Would you please pray with me against the plans of the enemy and praise and thank God over what He is about to do in the hearts and lives of those who are here and their spouses – that many wayward spouses would come to Christ? And pray for God to regenerate, equip, and empower His children for this battle by His strength and with His truth that they may be fully armed and prepared? Please pray for my readers, for my contributors, and for me against Satan’s tactics and snares and that we might all yield fully to Christ as Lord and resist the enemy. Let us shoot down his lies by the power of God’s Word. Let us live in the power of His Spirit alone. Let us hear His voice and obey even as the flaming arrows come at us. Lord, make us faithful to You! Let us have more and more of You. You are what we need!!!

    Thank you for praying with me!

    In Him,
    April

  9. Hi beautiful ladies 🙂 I found an amazing example of a woman enduring a horrible marriage and still growing and God using her way beyond anything we could imagine; which really encouraged and convicted me. Eric Metaxas (I love every biography the man writes! God is sure using him for such a time as this in the USA) wrote a book called 7 Women. The story of John and Charles Wesley’s mom – Susanna – is so crazy ,and yet God used her to influence the entire West through her sons and the Great Awakening.

    1. Looks like a good book… I googled it this morning and ran across something about it on Dec Brestin’s blog. In that post, she writes an excerpt from the book when Susannah Wesley wrote to her husband about his wishes that she stop a gathering in her home where she was reading his sermons. VERY interesting and I could relate well to that at this point in my journey.

      Thank you! So good to see you again here, Radiant! I have missed you!

    1. Amber,

      I’m sure there could be many definitions of a “toxic marriage.” But to me, it is where one spouse is going on in unrepentant sinful ways of relating to the other. It is an unhealthy relationship. Maybe there is yelling or cussing. Maybe one is very controlling or dominating. Maybe one is a people pleaser or one idolizes the other. It is where there is unrepentant sin that is not being addressed in at least one spouse’s life that is hurting the other and hurting the marriage. There are many degrees of this, of course.

      1. Thank you, kindly, for your reply. It is along the lines of what I had imagined. Sadly, from where I stand, I think most marriages could qualify for this to some degree or another. The healthy marriages are the rare exception, not the rule.

        1. Amber ,

          Whenever there are people who are living in the power of the sinful flesh, there will be a “toxic” marriage and toxic relationships because sin poisons our relationships. Thankfully, there is so much hope in Christ! He can set us free from the power of sin and death. And even if just one spouse begins to live in the power of the Holy Spirit – God works through that spouse to bring healing to that person first, and then, so many times, to the other spouse (in His timing), as well.

          We ALL have toxic relationships when we are not living in total submission to Christ. But may that pain of being sinned against and the realization of how we can’t love the way God calls us to on our own drive us to Jesus. That is the goal. 🙂

  10. Dear Satisfied Wife,
    I have been going through this also. My husband can be very cruel, harsh, angry & degrating & manipulative at times. Right now he seems to have no shame & little respect for God. He is extremely focused on self & greed. It is all about him. He is buying & doing everything he couldn’t before. (When following God)
    I don’t recognize him anymore most of the time& he truly acts like an adolescent. (Not the “man” I first met)
    Your article is my advice also & what I am doing.
    In the past I made the mistake of seeking God will & the advice of the world & other Christians.
    I now see that people I trusted as Christians did not give me Biblical not true Christian advice.
    Now I trust God & His Word only. (The Bible)
    Thank you for walking in the Spirit with this post. : )
    God’s blessings, grace & peace to you & to all of us & to our precious marriages & children. : )

    1. In Christ Alone,
      I am so glad that you are sticking with our Lord and His word in your own personal life and marriage. It is truly the way to go! I know how easy it is to think I know best for someone, and I really don’t. I’ve also had close close friends that thought they knew what I should do as well—even my own parents—-that was not what I should do, and I’ve had to not follow that advice. We have the Holy Spirit when we are in Christ, and He is the one who will let us know inwardly whether we are heading in the right direction or not! I experience this on a daily basis! I know when I have done something wrong—I get a check in my spirit. I also know when I am not heading in the right direction most times because there is that something in the pit of my stomach that is telling me “don’t go there!”

      It is God teaching us how to discern, and we can trust in Him 100% to lead us in the way we should go. Thankfully, we don’t have to rely on ourselves!!!

      I pray you continue to seek God with all your heart sister 🙂

      Blessings,
      Amanda

  11. I don’t agree that the New Testament “clearly” tells us to let unbelieving spouses go.

    In 1 Corinthians 7:12-16, Paul is speaking to new converts to Christianity who were married before either person became a Christian. Paul also makes it clear that this passage comes from him not “the Lord”. For some reason Paul makes it clear that it comes from him not Jesus.

    Many people believe 1 Corinthians 7:12-16 is not speaking to people who were both Christians when married.

    Were you both Christians when you were married or no? Does the spouse acting as an unbeliever still claim to be Christian? I believe these questions must be considered & taken to God with much, much prayer.

    Also, in the passage before,(1 Corinthians 7:10) Paul is speaking to people of the Jewish faith & says that if you have left your husband, then you need to reconcile with him or remain single & the husband should not divorce his wife. People of the Jewish faith were both following God. I believe this is the same as 2 people who married as Christians.

    Jesus is clear in the new Testament on when divorce is justified. We cannot forget this.

    The new Testament is also clear on wives submitting to husbands even if they are unbelievers.

    I am not suggesting you beg & plead & lecture your husband to stay. I am saying you don’t have to agree to the divorce. You can fight the divorce legally. You can ask your husband to stay & pray for him to stay. We don’t have to sit & watch the enemy steal our families.

    We must consider what the Bible says about our particular situations. If there is more then 1 interpretation of a passage then educate yourself on the different interpretations. Take it to God over & over in prayer.

    1. Please also consider Matthew 5:31-32.

      The Biblical Counseling institute has an article on the internet titled “Marital Abandonment’ by Dr. Ab Abercrombie.

      This is the only article I have read on “The Biblical Counseling Institute” website. Therefore, I can’t recommend or not recommend the site for other articles.

    2. I dont think I can mentally, emotionally, or spiritually fight the divorce that my husband has so clearly demontsrated that he wants. Since being served last week, the wedge between us is worse, his rejection of me is more severe, his stonewalling and ridicule has increased. I am sick over this. How sad that the enemy is destroying my home and my family.

      How and what do I pray for?

      1. Father, thank You that You are holding Hope Always in your arms. Thank You that You are on your throne and in control of this situation. You are the keeper of her heart, Lord. You can hold her heart in this time and you can hold her children’s hearts in this time. Thank you that you will do this. Father, we bring Hope Always before you and pray that you will begin to speak specific words of comfort and healing to her heart. We pray that you will bring light and cause the confusion to leave. Help her to know what is her responsibility and what is not. Lord, help her to know more than ever before that Jesus is enough for her. For today, for tomorrow and for the rest of her life. No matter what comes her way, this is the highest and best thing any of our hearts could hope for – to be able to say with confidence and surety that Christ is enough for me. Christ is enough for Hope Always in her failures in this marriage. Christ is enough for Hope Always even as her husband disrespects and rejects her at this time. Christ is enough for Hope Always whatever the future holds. We pray that You will reveal your Son in all of His glory to Hope Always. That she will know whose she is and that she will know who she is in Christ. Refresh her heart with the knowledge of your love for her that is so high and wide, deep and long that it could never be measured. Remind her of her righteousness in You alone – not in any of her own “goodness” or self-efforts, but only because of what Christ has done and accomplished for her at the cross. Fill her up with your love, Lord, so that no other earthly love will ever compete for that place again in her heart. We look forward to what You’re going to do in this situation. We don’t know what the details will look like. But, you are a good God and we trust You fully. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

        1. CIC

          this is a beautiful prayer..Thank you. i am late getting to all the responses. My week has been very busy with work and life. Your prayer gives me hope the last couple of days have been raw with pain.

  12. It`s true that other people often have no idea what you ought to do in your marriage. I have noticed when talking with other Christians, both individual and in groups,. meetings etc, that when a question or issue is proposed, whether its about what to do with the extra land on the church property, what direction the church is to take or a serious marriage issue, everyone immediately begins to answer out of their own head, what makes sense to them, what bible knowledge they think they have on the subject, what so and so did, what their personal opinion is. In the 35 years since I was first introduced to Christ, I can tell you that it has been a rare thing indeed, for someone to say `Let`s inquire of the Lord`, or `Let`s engage in a time of fasting, prayer and bible reading for a set period`. Believe it or not, this is how churches used to make decisions and not just charismatic ones, either. Even more conservative believers still expected God to lead them through scripture and wouldn`t dream of making a serious decision or taking a direction without seeking God on the matter for an extended, set period of time before coming back together to share what the Spirit had put on their hearts and what scriptures they had been led to or felt the Holy Spirit was saying applied.

    So, if you have a serious issue before you, it probably would be wise to ask anyone who wants to advise you or thinks they have the correct answer for you, how much time they spend in prayer and scripture and then how much time they have spent in prayer before God over your issue. Not ruling out the sovereignity of God, after all He spoke through a donkey so its not that God could NEVER speak through even an unbeliever to us, but generally it`s wise to be careful who we get advice from. While some things require common sense immediate action, like getting a woman and children out of harms way when a husband is dangerous and violent, the vast majority of things have room to seek God on.

    1. lil sheep,

      Yes, some things are clear in Scripture. We are not supposed to have an affair – so we don’t need to pray about that, for example. And we are not supposed to cuss someone out. And I agree about getting people out of harm’s way. But there are other things about which we do need to pray and inquire of the Lord. Such a good reminder!

      I would also consider that perhaps even before we ask others for advice that maybe we might want to seek God in prayer, or just ask others to pray for us.

      Thanks so much for sharing!

      1. Yes, I think you are right. I was thinking earlier about a book you`ve referred to often, one of Andrew Murray`s , Absolute Surrender“. And of how musicians all `tune up`to make sure they are playing the correct scale, etc (not sure if that`s the right word). If you tune to the guy next to you,. .he might be in tune and he might not be. Instead, you need something that is `true“ to tune to.. I think that you are quite correct that we need to seek God first, in order to make certain the instrument of our own hearts are correctly tuned to His, in other words, we`ve reached a place where we have no will in the matter and just want His. Otherwise its just so easy to `listen“ to varioius people but respond to that which is line with what our own will and desires might want. It is very easy to `hear`spiritual leadings, or advice, that lines up with what our wills desire and yet be totally missing God. So to carry the analogy further, If I have first spent the time in prayer to get my heart and will tuned to His, then I will be able to recognize much more easily when what I am hearing is coming from a fellow servant whose instrument is also correctly tuned. Indeed, thou are quite right 🙂

        1. lil sheep,

          OH, WOW! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this analogy! I played flute in high school and college so I can definitely relate to getting in tune with the right note being very important. This blessed me so much. Thank you for sharing!

          Would you consider allowing me to possibly share this on my Peaceful Wife Blog FB page sometime?

          Love this discussion!

          1. Sure, no problem re sharing. If you can stand one more musically related analogy, I once heard someone many years ago talk about a concept that related to being a court minstrel. The minstrel, or king`s musician, would never enter the presence of the king and then wait to find out if his instrument was tuned correctly, fiddling around with it to get it right. Rather he would tune the instrument at the gate, before he entered. That phrase, tune the instrument at the gate, became a euphemism for properly preparing both for meeting the king, and for also worshipping God. I think that the person who used this term was talking about preparing our hearts for worship by examining ourselves rather than just barging into God`s presence. It always stuck with me, not sure why. There is a lot going on in my spiritual life right now and that`s probably why I am thinking on such things. Blessings to yàll 🙂

    2. what a good reminder to be that kind of person when someone asks us for advice as well. TI just say, we’ll I think I’ll pray on it for a bit and come back to you for an answer, or offer to fast and pray with them. I’ve found exactly what you’ve said to be true more often than not unfortunately!

    3. lil sheep,

      I am going to be thinking about this conversation a lot – especially as women come to me for advice. So grateful for this conversation! I pray I might approach hurting sisters (and brothers) with greater wisdom from God because of this discussion. And that I might be careful to go to prayer first.

  13. Thanks satisfied wife for sharing! I think your name is Amanda, I just didn’t want to refer to you as that not being 100% sure! However, this is a good reminder to depend solely on God and the Holy Spirit for answers. So often we are seeking answers from every where but God. I used to have a big problem where I’d bring my marriage problems to friends/family who weren’t filled with the spirit, seeking counsel of any kind. Well, I convinced myself I wanted “counsel” but I think part of me just wanted to gossip about my husband and have someone to vent to, when really all I needed was God for guidance. I still did this until recently, but God has told me to stop confiding in men to solve my problems and has revealed to me also that at times we may “seek answers” but can do so disrespectfully when we share our marriage problems with others. I never realized how disrespectful I was being to my husband until recently, but thank God for opening my eyes to that. Ever since I stopped venting/seeking answers from men, I actually respect my husband a lot more! It turns out my confiding in men was also breathing life into the lies from the enemy about my husband.

    April, thanks for sharing the spiritual check up check list! I’m actually going to save it for personal use!

    Hope always, I’m so sorry to hear about your current marital situation. I am sending prayers your way sweet sister.

    1. Ashley KB,
      Yes my name is Amanda 🙂 I’m glad this blessed you! I am so glad you are following the Lord’s leading in your own life and marriage! He will make clear to us His will and way if we are committed to seeking Him and His way!

      Thanks for sharing!!

      Blessings,
      Amanda

    2. Thank you for your prayers. I am heartbroken. However, this heartbreak has brought me closer to God then I ever thought imagineable…and I am very thankful for that.

      I can so relate to what you have shared. I have much suppport from Christians, from family who are very protective of me, and from friends who want to see me free. I have vented and have said unkind words about my husband. I feel veey badly about doing this.

      When i have zipped my lips and have vented to God..only God…I have much more respect for myself and for my husband.

      These last 3 years I have needed to get my feelings out and share with others what has been going on in my marriage to help me process what is my part to own and what is his.

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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