husband-eye

Approaching My Husband’s Sin Issues – by LMS

I am hoping to share, God-willing, stories from a number of wives who have been truly “in the trenches” in the past year or two. Many of them have very different dynamics in their marriages from the one I had with Greg where I was dominating and he was passive. Some of these husbands are a lot more vocal than Greg was – and demonstrated more direct opposition to their wives as they tried to allow God to change them.  Last week I shared a post by The Satisfied Wife about how really only God knows exactly what each of us needs to do in any specific situation. Today I am sharing a guest post by LMS who also wrote, “My Husband Wanted a Divorce.”

May God lead each of us on our own path of discovering and discerning what He desires us to learn and do in our particular situations that will bring honor and glory to Him. Each of us will have some similarities in our stories, but some unique differences. We ultimately each need to hear God’s voice and follow Him. Some things are very clear in Scripture about how we are to treat others, including our husbands. Other things require close fellowship with God for us to know what we should do. Please pray for the wives who are sharing – and their husbands – for God’s power, love, wisdom, and discernment as the wives seek to honor Christ and as they share with us. Don’t take the weight of their struggles on yourself, but rather, lay them before God. Let’s entrust these precious couples – and all who are here and who are hurting – to His care.

BACKGROUND:

My husband became increasingly angry snd shut down until he asked for a divorce in January of 2015.  At that time, I searched for some kind of answer and truth on what to do in my life. I found Jesus (and became a Christian) and began a journey in learning respect, love, hope and faith. On my way to healing, I also had to learn forgiveness of others as well as myself, with God’s grace and respect for myself as well. My husband was not very responsive to my changes and, in fact rebelled greatly against them. With a non-believing spouse, it has been a very hard road to stay on with God, but it is the only true path to overcoming sin. We are still together, in spite of many friends and family telling me I should divorce him. There is healing, baby-step growth.

I HAD TO DEAL WITH MY OWN ISSUES FIRST:

I had to learn submission (to Christ first, then to my husband), respect, tearing out idols, etc… before I could possibly even THINK about standing up to my husband’s sins. It’s like “Taking the Log Out of Your Eye 101” – like a college course or something. Then, after I had made much progress (by the power of Christ), I started to feel like I was falling out of peace as time would go on. I would get paralized with fear of speaking the truth to my husband in love with respect and honor. I would try sometimes, and I would stress about doing it right, saying the right words, etc, and when it went badly, not as planned, or I lost my temper a bit, (not as badly as in the past) but I could recognize that I didn’t handle something as Jesus would’ve, I would feel panicky that I hurt rather than helped my marriage.

  • I was afraid to make a move in case it was the wrong one. I was still trying to be perfect.

But, I kept saying to myself that God can make beauty from the ashes… and He would. One of my sisters here on the blog helped me relax a bit in the process, as long as my motive was right. Until the pressure from my husband got so mean, sarcastic and contemptuous, and I couldn’t take it anymore – I stayed stuck in misery.

I don’t know if I would’ve moved to the next step without my husband’s attitude getting worse.

I strongly feel God was trying to take me to a new level. One that taught me right thinking about (or “respect for”) self, courage, bravery, confidence in Christ, and being able to face my fears. I grew slowly more okay with my fear of “if my husband left me.” I actually was looking forward to it at some point…  it would have been a relief, not happy to admit, but true. I told him if he wanted to go, he had my blessing. He never went.

DEALING WITH HIS ISSUES:

I learned that standing up to my husband and his sin/horrible, hurtful attitude was actually a LOVING thing to do. The line that hit me from Leslie Vernick’s book, “How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong,” was “ignoring someone’s sin is essentially writing them a one way ticket to hell.” It is NOT loving to refrain from speaking the truth because we are being ruled by fear (of our spouses leaving, getting angry, being more unloving, getting revenge etc.)

But facing that fear was like a 2nd level college course “Speaking Truth in Love 201.” This helped me swing back to center and away from doormat mode. So, now, I knew how to be silent and not complain or bicker or be critical or argue, but I also knew how to stand up for myself and not believe every word my husband said and let him walk all over me. I was more balanced.

I know I very much had my husband as my god and an idol. Every word he said, I would believe. I never thought he would lie to me or manipulate me. So, even though I saw him do that to others, I was naive to think he wouldn’t do that to me. He very much feels he is smarter, wiser, and more aware of things than I am. He judges and criticizes me and others. He feels he is above others.

This makes me disgusted now, but before, I would adopt his ways as my own, but with no real good reason, just because I believed everything he said and did was good and right… just because he was my husband. I let him “own” me and my happiness. Fear kept me in a prison. I think learning how to fight evil fear and knowing the difference between fearing the Lord and what that really means (being in awe of Him) and healthy fear for safety and godly warnings would be helpful (don’t stick a metal screwdriver into a live plug). Not zooming ahead with fear of the future or the lies we tell ourselves because we don’t know what is going on in our spouses minds or suspecting bad motives… it all instills loads of fear.

Fear, fear, fear….a huge roadblock to joy and godly surrender.

Today, my husband is very confused now because he cannot predict how I will react to things that before I would get upset about, or he knows I SHOULD be upset about.

  • I am more direct when I speak and less unsure of myself.
  • I call him out when he is lying and he is uncomfortable. I’m not disrespectful, but I am no longer his starry-eyed groupie who praises every word or thought of his.

He doesn’t understand my calm during the storm, or peaceful joy in spite of our marriage being in shambles. It actually entertains me to watch him try to figure it out now. I have tried to talk about God to him, but it’s lost on him right now. God will tell me when – if I need to. But for now, it’s “winning him without a word.

I also think there is something to the fact that men tend not to respect a woman who allows them to treat her disrespectfully. Much like men don’t respect another man who shakes hands like a wet noodle, or won’t stick up for himself…they are seen as weak, spineless, and unworthy. We women sometimes see our actions (not speaking up when we are being mistreated) as submitting, loving, cooperative, but men don’t. We need a little spark and feistiness for them to know that we have our limits too. I think they feel less-than if they are married to a weak-willed woman with no backbone. But it’s a fine line to walk so we don’t slip into disrespect.

RELATED:

Please always seek God’s wisdom and His prompting for what He desires you to do in your exact situation in each moment. His Spirit can give you the wisdom and direction you need that is so much greater than any human wisdom. 🙂

Biblical Submission Is Not Passivity

When Would I Not Submit to My Husband?

25 Ways to Respect Myself – or “to Thing and Act Rightly about Myself”

To Speak or Not to Speak

InHisGrip Talks about Not Shutting Down Emotionally

The Pendulum Effect – avoiding being controlling/dominating/disrespectful and avoiding the other extreme of being passive, unplugged, defeated, and a doormat

Healthy VS Unhealthy Relationships

How to Stay Filled with the Holy Spirit

A Wife Responds Beautifully to Her Husband’s Bad Mood 

God Showed Me How to Approach My “Command Man” Husband

Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

637 thoughts on “Approaching My Husband’s Sin Issues – by LMS

  1. Great post!!! Thanks so much for sharing. You are so right… it is a VERY fine line between speaking up and disrespect. Praying for you.

  2. It’s still a struggle. Even last night, in an effort to help him understand how his insensitivity to women is affecting our teenage daughter, he had no interest in hearing it. He did his knee jerk reaction and I was left wondering why I continue to try. I want something better for him. To know Christ , to be 1/2 of the kind of marriage God designed for us, to find true joy in this life. But I know I have no power to make him see that. Only God can do that. I have influence, I can be an example of God’s love and grace, I can be used by God to hug, love, speak the truth in love and offer a hand, but free will still holds. The other person would need to choose to either obey God, or to turn from Him. It’s still his choice to make. But for me, I choose to obey God.

    We are all on different time lines of coming to know Christ. Much love.

    1. I’ve decided to take the approach that if my husband doesn’t want to listen to me about something like that, I will still speak the truth out against the darkness as the particular issue arises. So, for instance, if my husband started to hurt my daughter with his words, I would say the truth to my daughter – not directed at him to scold or reprimand him – but from a posture of wielding the weapon of truth into the darkness in this spiritual battle, something along the lines of “______(fill in the name of your daughter), God loves you and you are so special to me/us. You have so many strengths and good qualities…..” and so on with whatever needed to be said to counter the darkness and to bring light to the situation. If, as her dad, he was trying to address an issue in her life that needed addressing, I would do the same thing, not shying away from the fact that an issue did need to be addressed, but just kind of replacing what he just did by doing it with grace and kindness, rather than the harsh way she might have just heard it.

      It is easy for me to do this when I realize that this is a spiritual battle and that the enemy is trying to keep things rolling along in a destructive way to my family. Truth penetrates the darkness.

      This is also an opportunity to be an example for your daughter that she can be a strong woman of God, speaking truth in love and grace, without fear.

      1. I need to research spiritual warfare a bit more. It seems like an “out there” concept to me. But so did beleiving in God before my awakening. I know the bible has instruction on how to fight in this way. I just don’t understand my part in it. What is my part, what is God’s part? I will start to search for wisdom in this. You’re not the only one who has suggested this concept to me. Thank you, Content in Christ. Your friendship is invaluable to me…..you know you are that “other blogger” in this post, right? Smiles, wink wink. Much love.

        1. LMS, I am researching spiritual warfare a lot lately. It has been on my heart and I have spoken with a few people on it recently. I come from a background where it wasn’t really discussed at all. It has always seemed like an “out there” concept to me too….a but ‘weird’. However, I have had the one night where I prayed the whole night through and I had a strong sense of the spiritual battle that was going on and I perservered until there was definitely a victory. The spiritual world is very real. HH

          1. Good counsel, April.

            Ephesians 6:10-18:

            Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

            Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.

            Effective spiritual battle is mostly about standing on the truth and in faith of who God is and what He’s done for us in Jesus Christ.

            Faith, Truth, the Word (Jesus revealed), the gospel, our righteousness in Christ, prayer….these are our spiritual weapons.

          2. CIC,

            I still have much to learn in this area myself, but yes! My simple understanding is that:

            1. We get rid of all of our sin and any lies we believe. Those things open the door to Satan working in our lives and having more influence over us.
            2. We receive all that Jesus has done for us on the cross and we put all our faith in Him, submitting fully to Him as LORD.
            3. We build our lives on God’s truth and His Word, seeking to know, love, and obey Him wholeheartedly – and we allow His Spirit to teach, prune, and transform us.
            4. We learn to put on the armor of God and to handle His Word rightly – which is only possible by His Spirit living in us and pouring through us.
            5. We die to ourselves – we seek only God and His will, not our will.

            When we are in a position like this, we can have the greatest clarity from God, we can most hear His voice, and we can most recognize the strategies of the enemy and have God’s power to counter them.

            We don’t fight Satan in our own strength. That would be a disaster. Satan and his demons are stronger than we are. But Jesus has defeated them all! We must only move and pray in His strength, power, Spirit, and authority – not ours.

          3. April, yes! All of those points tie in together…even #2 with #1. As we come to understand more and more fully what Christ has done for us on the cross, and as we understand that Christ has already dealt with our sin at the cross, we will live out the truth of that in our lives more and more. It is a process, because most Christians will read your #1 and think that they have to do something themselves to deal with their sin. However, the only thing we have to do is to *believe* that Christ has taken care of our sin and reckon ourselves dead to sin because of what He did for us and because our old man was crucified with Him on the cross. That is what enables the victory over our flesh in our daily living. It is truly the POWER of the cross. This is how we “by the Spirit, put to death the deeds of the flesh”. When we do sin, we quickly agree with God that it was sin and remind ourselves that it has been taken care of so that we can quickly rise back up – like Paul we forget what is in the past (even if it was seconds ago) and we press forward. Restore unity and peace in relationships as far as it is possible with you by confessing your sin to those you may have hurt and asking for forgiveness. But, always accepting and relying on the forgiveness that we already have been given by God and pressing forward in Christ.

            (Thank you for always bearing with me as I’m always hammering the same point over and over!)

          4. Hmmm, but I do want to say that I totally agree with you that we need to look at ourselves first and deal with our sin in that faith-postured way. But, even that is a big part of the way we enter into the spiritual battle — by thinking of our sin in the right ways and by putting to death the deeds of the flesh by faith…

            Any action that we take that is faith-filled, standing on the promises of God and who He is and what He has done for us is spiritual warfare. Anyone who doubts this, watch what happens as God starts to make these spiritual realities come alive in your life. Get ready, because your enemy will NOT like that and will do all he can to throw you off of that course.

          5. HH, I don’t know that it’s helpful to try to figure it all out. But we do know that we are told that our enemy is always looking to devour us.

            I think we know his plans for you & your family. But, God will redeem everything he means for evil and use it for good in your life and, I believe, in your children’s lives, too. Our prayer is that this will be for the good of your wife, as well.

            I’m sorry that things seem so dark right now.

            Father, I pray for our brother, HH. God, you know the pain in his heart, you know all the details of his circumstances. You are hurting for and with him. Right now, Jesus, you are interceding for our brother and we thank you for the comfort that brings. To know that Your eye is on us and you are attuned to our needs and hurts. You have not forgotten HH and his family. We pray that you will strengthen his faith and give him fresh hope. Bring him joy that doesn’t make sense in a time like this, joy that stems from the fellowship he is experiencing in Christ. Father, thwart the enemy’s plans for this family. Block all of the destruction he wants to do. Open the eyes of HH’s wife to see her sin and her need for you. Protect their children and hold their hearts during this time. We lay it all down at your feet for your glory and we know that the way You unfold this story will be best – help us all to surrender to Your plans and ways. Amen

          6. CiC, I am ashamed to say that I am angry today. I am ashamed to write this but I am angry at myself even angry at God. I am hurting so much today and I do not understand why the Lord is continuing to allow this. I’m struggling with temptation to just give up, struggling with watching certain things happening. Struggling with living so close and struggling with feelings of total inadequacy and depression. Last night DW said that she was trying to force me to have an affair so she could justify leaving? This morning she rang to ask me some advice. Do you know how much that hurts? I am being used so much. I can’t even pray today. HH

            PS. I’m sorry to everyone who has seen my growth and faith and been encouraged by it, today it is low.

          7. HH,

            Job felt angry. He wanted to present his case to God. In his case, God didn’t answer him specifically but asked Job what his qualifications were to be God, basically. Although, God did commend Job for not sinning because he never accused God of wrongdoing.

            David felt angry at times – with Saul trying to kill him for years.

            Habakuk was very upset at the violence and injustice and sin all around him and wanted to ask God questions. He was shocked at God’s answers, but God did answer him.

            Hosea had to be angry against his wife’s sin, certainly!

            Jesus was angry against sin and Satan.

            God is angry against sin and Satan.

            We SHOULD have righteous anger against sin. I would be really concerned if the sin that is happening against you didn’t make you angry.

            You are allowed to be angry. You are facing some SERIOUS sin against you. This is big time stuff, not wimpy little fluffy stuff that isn’t really a big deal. You are allowed to ask questions. You are allowed to hurt.

            The enemy is speaking through your wife’s mouth right now, it seems to me. He has a direct line to you that way to attack you. He isn’t just launching grenades – it’s more like surface-to-air missiles.

            You are allowed to have tough days and to have days when you have to wrestle through things. What you are experiencing is HARD!!!!!! Kind of like a triathlon or Navy SEALS training – or really – war, itself. It is not just a 1/2 mile jog through a pretty park.

            I’m so glad you are sharing and reaching out for encouragement and prayer.

            I hope to get to pray for everyone in a bit.

            All,

            Let’s surround our hurting sisters and brother with God’s love, encouragement, and prayer!

          8. HH,

            I would sure love to see God provide a way for you to be able to move so you don’t have to be at ground zero of what is happening. I pray for His direction and wisdom and provision about that. I also pray that God might open your eyes to give you very clear vision of exactly what is happening – what the enemy is doing in your wife’s life and how he is seeking to attack you through her and how he wants to destroy your faith and take everything God has given you away. God is not the enemy. Your wife is not the real enemy. Satan wants to steal, kill, and destroy. That is his agenda. He is the true enemy. Satan and the sinful nature. Your wife is a pawn of his right now because she is living in the power of the sinful flesh in clear rebellion against God. That is her decision. She is blind. She owns that decision and she is responsible for her sin – not you.

            Lord,

            So many are hurting tonight. So many brothers and sisters are scarred, bruised, spiritually bleeding, and battle-weary. When we look at the circumstances, they are not good. From a human perspective, there may be nothing that can be done. But praise God! We thank You that You are not a man. You are the sovereign Lord of the universe! You are able to take everything that Satan intends for evil and transform it all into glorious good in our lives. It may take time. It is hard for us to wait patiently sometimes when the pain is so severe. Lord, sin is so terrible. So destructive. It hurts us, it hurts those we sin against. It grieves Your heart. The cost of sin is astronomical. We can’t begin to fathom what Jesus paid for each of our sins.

            How I praise You that Saul was not beyond Your reach – even though he was killing and persecuting Christians as hard as he could. I praise You that Zachhaeus, the crooked tax collector, was not beyond Your reach! Your touch transformed his life and priorities. Nineveh, that wicked ancient city that impaled people on sticks and who skinned people alive and set them on fire on the roads to be “lamps” for the city, repented when You called on them the first time through Jonah. They were not beyond Your reach. King Nebuchadnezzar in all of his royal pride was humbled before You when You decided to humble Him.

            All of us were dead spiritually in our sins. Thank You for waking us up and breathing life into our dead bones! Thank You that You are regenerating us. Thank You for what Jesus has done for us on the cross! Thank You that You have achieved complete and final victory over Satan, his demons, and our sin!!!!

            Help us to see with Your eyes. Help us to see the real battle and how it is already won! Help us to access the cross and all of the power You have given to us there to live in Your Spirit, to be dead to this world and sin, and to be alive to God through Christ. Help us to touch You and know You more deeply. Take us much higher in our faith. Prune us. Purify us. Empower us to be faithful to You no matter what Satan attempts to do to attack us. Let us walk in Your victory and Your authority. Let us completely yield ourselves to You as Lord of all.

            Help each one who is struggling to be still before You today. Help them to allow You to restore their souls. Let them receive the rest that is available to them – as You describe in Hebrews. Help us to stop striving in our power. Help us to wait on You and to hear Your voice clearly. We ask for Your wisdom and praise You that You give generously when we ask and believe. Use those whose faith is strong to intercede for those who are weak today. Use these trials to ultimately bring about healing, strength, increased faith, increased perseverance and maturity. Make us complete in You, Lord! Use us to shine brightly for Your kingdom. Thank You for the Body of Christ. Use us to encourage, edify, bless, and strengthen each other in faith.

            In the Name and power of Christ,
            Amen!

          9. HH. I get it, brother. Sometimes you are trying to hold onto a big box of junk and then you realize you cannot receive the gift God has for you because you won’t set down the box of junk in your arms to accept His gift into your arms. The enemy is after us all right now. Temptations, bad events, accidents, unfortunate incidences, hurt, fear. Remember, you are trying to please God. Of course she would love to place blame on you so she doesn’t have to feel her guilt. Remember, it’s about being an example to her about a better way. A light to follow. You are reflecting God’s love to her. Yet, God loves you too. You are His child and He loves you dearly as well. I agree with CiC that having some healthy boundaries and learning what is acceptable to you or not may be needed. “All things are permissable, but all things are not beneficial.”
            Meaning that everything is not for our good, yet, God allows it all…it is our free will and our choices.

            It sounds like she has the benefits of your advice, love for her, and fringe martiage benefits, etc, without having to do any work herself toward the relationship. She is acting single, you are acting married. It shows your value of your commitment to her and God. She most likely doesn’t respect herself, let alone you.

            Please realize that it is not a personal rejection to you. She most likely would have had this type of breakdown with ANY man she married. I beleive she is really going through a mid-life crisis…which is, in itself, a spiritual battle. She has a path she must take. Sometimes she will stop, go backwards or even sit still for a while along the path, but she cannot skip any parts, or go over or under them. You cannot help her through it or travel it with her. It is her own journey. All you can do is encourage the good and discourage the bad. I do believe that God is trying to push you a bit to learn how to love yourself. I still see glimpses of your guilt for your past actions and trying to make excuses for her bad decisions and attitudes out of compassion. It’s ok to have compassion, but not accept the sin. But you are NOT responsible for her choices…Only yours. The past is the past. I told my husband that I am declaring bankruptcy. I cannot pay him back for the hurt I cost him in the past. I have no more appologies, sorrow, guilt or condemnation to give. I have given it all…all I have. But God has paid my debt for me. I have learned from all of this and I have changed direction. I have turned from that dark, deathly path.

            Now it is up to her to accept your payment….or not. But know that you are paid in full by the blood of Jesus. It’s time to let the past stay there. Tomorrow, when you wake up, is a brand new chance to do your best for God again. Some days will be better than others. It is not a steady line, it us jagged, and inconsistant. So here is what I tell others. It’s like a diet. You can do real good for a few weeks, eating salads, portion control, low fat, losing weight, getting healthy. Then, you get overwhelmed driving by the bakery and you stop, buy a dozen cookies, a chocolate cake and eat the whole thing. Does that mean you give up on the diet over one bad day? No! You make a commitment each day to do your best. You know you are going to have a few bad days, but you persist. HH, keep persisting!!! You will make mistakes. You do not need to continue to beat yourself up. Our Lord is teaching you. You learn every day. You know more today than you did 1 year ago, last month, or even yesterday. You cannot berate a child who doesn’t understand physics at 5 years old. He is too young to understand, but one day he wI’ll be ready to learn…and willl! God is our gentle, loving Father. He knows that we all learn at different rates. We cannot be angry with ourselves because we didn’t know what we didn’t know…at least, now, we know it. And THAT is God’s goal. That we know HIM.

            HH, I pray for you to find peace and love for yourself. I pray God can help you see how to love yourself, respect yourself, and understand your strengths. You are a masterpiece to God. Nothing is an accident. You are deeply loved and cherished. We may not understand why He does what He does, or what His plans are for us, but trust Him. A mustard seed of faith is all He asks of you. Even when all seems impossible, lost, dead and irrepairable. We may not see a way, but trust that God has a way. He knows His plans He has for you. We do not need to know. We just need to obey Him, trust Him, love Him. We are His children. We make mistakes, we learn, we grow. He understands that. We can be mad at Dad, but we know deep down that He loves us and wants what is best for us. He is a good, good father.

            Praying for you, Humbled Husband. I pray for strength, courage and confidence to face fear and overcome it. God is right next to you. Don’t let fear steal your joy.

          10. LMS,

            I wish I could share more of what is happening. But I can’t. It would not be right. You are right, I am acting married and she is acting single.

            But it IS a personal rejection. I cannot put into words how much it hurts to be told that “I wanted you to have an affair, I hope you have. It’s all good if you have, it won’t hurt me because I don’t love you”.

            But I DO deserve what is happening. I do. Her voice catches when she remembers our past and then it hardens again. I feel deep guilt. My journey has not been a nice one and I have deep shame. HH

          11. Beleive it or not, I have heard those words spoken to me too. My husband said he would totally understand and accept it if I wanted someone else. Begged me to go find someone else.That my needs are important, but he is not interested in my needs. It was a knife wound to the heart to hear how utterly rejecting he was of me…just for living. It took a long time for me to see it for what it reslly was. It really boiled down to him not feeling good enough and doesn’t want to think about how he has dissappointed me, yet again in life. If he could release me to go find my happiness, then he felt he could feel like his sacrifice made SOMEONE happy, even if it didnt make HIM happy. So, if he cuts off the judge, he no longer is judged. It’s really a self loathing thing in your wife and my husband. “Without God, it is all chasing the wind.” -ecclesiastes

            Remember, we all deserve death. But lying is a sin punishable by death just as much as adultery is. I pray you can go to God and relish in His mercy for us sinful children. Hugs.

          12. LMS,

            I have been praying for some time this afternoon. I told God I was angry, I told Him I was tempted, I told Him I was scared, I told Him I felt I would never be the man He is calling me to be. I told Him how hard it is to live so close to what is going on. I said “Lord, they (you PW friends) are kind but they don’t know how bad I was”. He said “Son, you don’t know how good I am”.

            I felt kindly rebuked when you said you would hold my shoulders and get right in my face…..you are right, no matter what I deserve, it was paid for. I have nothing to stand on but His sacrifice.

            My brother rang me at the exact same time you wrote that rebuke. We have not spoken in a few weeks. He said that I had been placed on his heart very strongly that morning and he wanted to share something with me. He wanted to share that he felt I was living in fear and guilt and had no need to. He wanted to share that God calls us to live in the now, not in fear of the future but to just walk with Him today, one day at a time, in the presence of his love. He wanted to share that he didn’t think I really understood how much I am worth to God.

            The enemy has been getting to me in a big way lately. I have had so much joy at walking with God and He wants to steal that. As April wrote, the enemy is using surface to air missiles on me at the moment and they are exploding right on me. Boom.

            Thank you for your rebuke. HH

          13. LMSdaily115,
            Thanks so much for sharing with our brother!

            CIC,

            Thank you for praying for HH. I join with you in praying for him and for others who may be living in fear, guilt, and shame. When we are in Christ, those things are now dead! We are no longer condemned. We are more than conquerors – not by our power, but by the blood and power of Jesus!

          14. LMS, how did you approach your husband when he said this? I said to my wife wow, you must really be hurting and shut down to reach the point where you want me to have an affair.

            I read Ecclesiastes through last week and did a study on it. It is full of wisdom, which I would boil down to “enjoy what God has given you but always put Him as number 1 in everything”. HH

          15. Oh…..really??? I thought so when I said it but some folks said that I have owned my sin far too much and I am enabling her sin by that comment…..I am confused. HH

          16. Yes. They felt that I have taken such a low place and basically justified her actions by saying how much she must have been hurting to say that.

          17. Hmmmm……you don’t think she would see that as me saying “I’ve hurt you so much that I understand why you wanted me to have an affair”?

            I remember LMS saying that when her hubby read His needs, Her needs that he almost used the book to justify why a man would have an affair. HH

          18. That is very reasonable……I cannot expect you or anyone to read her mind lol 🙂

            Perhaps the important bit is that it was said with true compassion. Her response is her response, not mine. HH

          19. His needs, her needs book– my husband tried to justify it, but the point is, that it’s still sin, justified in this world or not. Don’t repay sin with more sin.

          20. HH, I agree. I thought it was coming from selfless compassion for someone you love. It hurts to see someone trapped in such a dark place. You want to help her, but you know only her and God can do that. Keep shining your light in her direction. Stop worrying about what others think. They will not understand it unless they are fervent beleivers as well. You are not doing what everyone’s flesh would say to do, you are obeying God.. that is spiritual instead. They and your wife just dont have the wisdom or spititual maturity, or depth to understand it yet. Let’s pray, in time, that they do.

          21. HH. I guess at that point, I could see it for what it was…a desperate attempt to rid himself of his guilt and sin. I knew I had no interest in having an affair, that it would cause much more pain. Besides, if i wasnt going to be his wife anymore, i still was a mother, and a daughter of God. I couldn’t knowingly do that to my Lord either. I pretty much saw it for the lie that it was. I rolled my eyes and ignored it. An affair was not in my plan to serve God. I really dove into the psychology of it all…of guilt, blame, mid life crisis, and parallelled spiritual battles with it. It didn’t phase me as much as he wanted it to because I had compassion for his tactict, but I saw how he was struggling to lessen the painful consequences of his own actions. It was more of a baiting and trying to aggrivate me to sin so that I didn’t look better than him in his eyes. He was very much rebelling at my righteousness in God. He would accuse me of being a goody-goody, self righteous, and all of the sudden “fixed” and he hated it. Because I was obeying God, not sinning back with my usual retorts, disrespect and anger, it made him look like a big jerk instead to everyone. He is very much concerned on what people think about him. He was hating himself.

            Then the comparisons came. He would say things like ” what I’m (my husband) doing now wasn’t as bad as what you(meaning me) did” or “I’m not abusing you, doing drugs or cheating on you.. why can’t you just accept me for who I am?” Satan uses all of this to try to break you. I agree, your wife is a pawn trapped by the stuff of this world. It will crumble under her feet one day. Maybe not soon, but it will happen. I don’t beleive she has hit rock bottom yet. Keep your eye on the promise, not the problems, my brother. You will be victorious in this battle, but then there will be a peaceful rest, and then more battle. But at some point, God will bring you above it all and you will be able to see it all from above and not within it. Keep seeking the wisdom in His truth. You are still doing great. Greive if you must for the loss of her way, her sin, her destructive choices. You love her and want better for her. Just don’t sit still with that grief longer than you need. Hugs to you for support and encouragement.

          22. Wow. Everything you just wrote is exactly, word for word what she would say. Exactly. So helpful to see this. HH

          23. In response to this also LMS…..she is a long, long way from reaching the end of herself. A long way. HH

          24. My brother, I am in the same little lifeboat here too. I pray our spouses could wake up and see the wide path of destruction they are leaving in their wake. I guess all we can do is batten down the hatches, brace ourselves for the long ride, and know it won’t be forever. It may not end as quickly as we would like, but we can just trust God has a plan for us…and it is a good one. He’s pretty busy behind the scenes. We just are not privileged to know or understand what He is up to. But I am confident that one day, we will both look back and see how His plan unfolded and that it was way better than what we could have orchestrated ourselves. I think God had much work to do in our hearts first, so that He had someone on His side and close to our spouses… so that he had His foot in the door to be able to reach our spouses too. He is fishing for them, but they swim away from Him. He is bigger and faster, but not forcefull. We are bait, in a weird way, to draw our sinful lityle spouse/fishes to His loving hook. God asks us to be calm in the storm. To trust Him in the hurricane, to kerp our eyes on Him, not the raging winds around us. Faith.

            Ok, enough nautical metaphores…must be my theme for the day! Ha. All my love, brother, as you sail across the sea.

          25. LMSdaily115,

            Love this. And YES! One day, we will all be able to look back together and see exactly what God was doing and how beautiful His plan was and it will all make total sense. His plans are so much bigger than just the healing of one marriage – He has His kingdom in mind. But I know He can use these trials for His glory, for His kingdom, and I believe He can also use them to bring healing to each of you individually and to restore your marriages in His timing.

          26. Heh, my little boat is in the Arlantic ocean, the oars have fallen overboard, a leviathan has its open jaws beneath me and a megaladon is circling underneath that to devour the remaining pieces………

            ….I am often torn between sharing some things here to ask for practical advice, but every time I go to I have Matthew 1:18-19 come into my heart.

            “His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a just man, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.”

            And so I don’t share. At least not here, in public.

            I am not sure that I am a hook to my wife LMS. I think I am more a hindrance to the Lord.

            I still feel like I will vomit, before I see her. I have to mentally prepare myself for half an hour before I can go and drop the kids off. I have told her that she makes me nervous. It surprised her. I have times of deep peace and faith (such as last night) but I am sure that I must be showing such an inconsistent image of peace to her.

            Do you feel nervous of your husband?
            I like the idea you wrote recently of declaring bankruptcy to your husband. Did you literally say this to him?

          27. HH, ok, so scary bedtime children’s books…a future career? Those are emotional mosters, even Jonah survived the whale! -‘–Lol. Yup. We have trials. I totally respect that you don’t share details on PW or public, I don’t know if they are nessecary anyway. I could imagine the worst or best, it doesn’t matter….it is a hard time, a struggle for you. The wrestling is more in our own heads anyway. I hope you DO have someone you can trust that you can talk these things out with in your area. A counselor, pastor, family member etc. I think it is important to give your feelings airtime. Sometimes, those big scary secrets don’t seem as much of a burden once they are exposed to the light and looked at from a different perspective. The fact you care about protecting her reputation and identity just shows your love….like Noah’s 2 sons who covered him up when Noah was drunk, passed out and naked in his tent…he blessed them for protecting his dignity.

            Bankruptcy. Yes I did say this to my husband. At first, I said it indirectly as I was trying to help my husband understand how his friend will need to learn how to forgive his wife for her disrespect in the past and she will need to learn how to forgive her husband’s infidelity. Then i broufht it home and said we need to do the same. He agreed to let the past be in the past, but he still picks it back up. He cant give it up. But my husband doesn’t understand forgiveness. He feels it is a weak gesture, doesn’t help anything, sets people up to be taken advantage of again. I have been trying to teach him the benefits to the forgiver. Of letting go of trying to get the past righted. We can only forgive if we, ourselves have been forgiven. We get that from God when we go to Him and experience that mercy, grace and love from Him. Then we are to go and forgive others as well. Like the man who owed a huge amount of money to his king, and couldn’t pay it back. He was forgiven his debt, but then went and beat up another who owed HIM a small amount of money. He ended up put in prison for his unforgiveness. My husband wants to just “box up his pain” and put it on a shelf. Occasionally, he opens the box and sees the contents and it hurts all over again. Forgiveness boxes it up, and destroys it. Throws it out, not opened again. Cleans out space for good things to be put on the shelf to admire, be proud of, cherished and loved. Hope this helps.

          28. Heh, I dunno…..are they ’emotional monsters’ or are they real? I do talk to people around me about some of them, but even then I am very careful.

            Boxing it up……I like your analogies! That one works well, I have watched my ……… (I don’t know what to call her anymore, can’t really call her my wife)….anyway, I have watched her open emotional box after box, look through the contents from a decade ago, becoming more and more bitter until eventually bitterness consumed her. And yet, her explosion is in a way a good thing, at least it is being dealt with……although not in a healthy way.

            Been thinking about forgiveness today. You wrote of a friend who was unfaithful to his wife. I put myself in that woman’s shoes and I thought yes, I would definitely be able to forgive him as I know the depths of my own sin against God, but there’s no way that I could ever feel good about myself again once my partner had done that……..

            ……thinking through that scenario helps me see that most of our mental battles are largely about self worth and how others journeys effects that self worth.

            How does one increase self worth? I wrote about that a few months ago and said that self worth is about correctly understanding one’s worth to God. And yet…..we develop so much of our self worth from our other relationships……this is undeniable fact. Take your kids for example, most of their self worth will be given to them by their parents, not by who they are to God.

            I live in an empty house that I have done a lot of with my own hands….it is an expression of who I am and a gift to my family….bam, it’s rejected. My sexuality…..bam, rejected. My work….bam, rejected. My parenting….bam rejected. All that is HH, rejected. Yes, it is only one person rejecting all of that, but is it any wonder a person’s sense of self worth goes down the tube in these situations? I think it is very natural.

            HH

          29. HH. You pose a point that I think is the very crux of all of us. Especially on PW looking for the truth about life, love, happiness, self worth, etc. Over these last 2 years, I realized just how much I had put my husband forth as my god. I came into this marriage 20 years ago as a self- confident, savvy, smart, intelligent young lady. I was self sufficient, energetic, healthy, and decisive. But I didn’t take God in with me. Instead, I put my husband in that position. I took my self worth from him. If he said I was doing a good job, then I felt i was good..this made me happy. If he said I was being a slob, then I WAS a slob. And so on. His word was the final judgement to me. If he felt we needed 10 ft tall ceilings in the house we built then I gave into that. I stopped thinking for myself and submitted it all to him. It was a lazy way of thinking. I lost myself. I probably did this to my parents also until they divorced when I was 12. At that point I trusted only me….until I got married. So, from 12 to 23, I was in charge of myself. I did good in school and succeeded in going to college. My parents poured love into me, but my step patents were not so good in that department. I had to reduce my vulnerability with them.

            As my husband, who is a human, too, began to live more and more in the flesh, he started seeing my faults and differences. I saw his too. We were both critical and cutting. We both were so enmeshed into each other and took our self worth from each other….and destroyed it. I felt VERY unworthy, like the misfit from the other side of the railroad tracks if I wasn’t perfect enough for him. And in fact, I wasn’t…and could never be. This was a huge, sucking, whirlpool drain for me…probably for him as well. We were both people pleasers and looked to things of this earth for our value. I know that I gave all that power to my husband. I trusted him with my heart and soul. But, he is a sinful human, just like me. It wasn’t IF he let me down, it was WHEN. I can say the same with my parents, my best friend in high school, my 5th grade teacher, my boss. Pretty much ANY relationship…no one person can fulfill all our emotional and spiritual needs….except our Lord, Father God.

            Until I asked God to help me, I never realized how in the dark I was. As I learned to understand what true love was, how He loves us and me, I could not love others, let alone myself as I should’ve. I think it’s easier for those who have kids to see the gift that Jesus was to us…Only to the point of trying to envision giving a child up, let alone an only child, to be tourtured, ridiculed and nailed to a cross to die for a bunch of people who don’t deserve life and rejected and hated him. Unthinkable to a parent!!! THAT is sacrifice, and not an easy one to make..for what gain???

            So, for me, I finally understood what God was about and why everyone talked about God and Jesus so much. It finally made sense to me. Then, as I was flooded with His love and peace, I realized how trying to please people was such a self defeating way to live. Trying to live under my own power and out of control emotions was destructive. I started the hard work of surrendering to God. To please God, not people, to see myself through His eyes, not my husbands, or anyone elses. Life. Changing.

            He real issue was I had become a huge people pleaser. I used to think that was a GOOD thing. But it is basically is a slap in the face to God saying “I care more about what these sinful, ungrateful, selfish people think about me more than what my loving, merciful, full of grace, life giving creator who gives me all I have, thinks about me.” How messed up is that???? When I get upset, feel dissappointed, depressed, etc, I have to remind myself that I need to live to please God, not people. He will never let me down, or walk away or reject me. He understands what I’m feeling and knows my heart. There is no miscommunication of my feelings to Him. He gave us the bible as a huge love letter to us. Also, his best advice to live a right life that will lead to happiness, joy and peace. What a wonderful gift! AND he sent His son Jesus to walk this earth to be a living example of how to live a right life!!!! That’s like the teacher giving you the answers to the test before the test (the bible), and a video of how to do the labs and practicals of life(Jesus). And a connection to the Technical department with you at all times (the Holy Spirit).

            Now, no matter who let’s me down, I can go to my Father God for comfort, value, affection, love and approval. I don’t want to give anybody else the power over my joy. If I place that in any human hand, it will get crushed, and damaged…eventually. someone will always betray, dissappoint, die, leave, hurt or reject me. But God will not. As we obey and follow Him, we become more like Jesus. We love as He loves, we accept as he accepts, as we show mercy, grace, love, affection…we are a walking picture of Jesus for those who we interact with.

            People pleasing…not the sacrificial act we were led to beleive when we were young. Even kids want to please their parents, get approval etc. As we mature, and grow spiritually, we can learn to live to please God instead. That’s where our real value comes from.

            I pray that you can look into the sin of people pleasing and where your true value comes from. I pray God can bring to you the wisdom of living a life for Him, and no other. I pray that you can see how utterly enmeshed with each other you and your wife have been. I pray that as you learn more and more to look to God to hear His approval, acceptance, guidance and love, that you learn to let your past stay there, and recommit to following a better path…the narrow one to life.

            If you feel surrounded by endless defeat, dissappointment, discouragement, darkness and self pity, try pouring love, help, kindness and joy into someone else’s life…to plant a seed. By doing so, you can stop focusing on you and your wife and the marriage. You can fight evil with good in this way. Be Jesus, or….an angel to someone. Maybe not your wife…she is not receptive of it yet, but someone safer…a friend, a coworker, a clerk, a postal worker….simple things, HH, it will lift your spirits and God will be delighted in you. My prayers, as always are for your healing and continued growth in God. And for God to chase your wife diwn with His love. Peace, brother, as you enter the end of the day. As you lay in bed, give thanks to God for all you have that is good. In the morning, ask Him for the strength, wisdom, patience and provision you need for this day. He will come to you, my friend.

          30. Oh…..my…..goodness!!! I want some of the faith, insight and Spirit that is speaking through you right now….

            ….I’ve just been praying for a bit before I go to sleep and I thought I’d check my emails before I dozed off…..wow!

            What you wrote made me think of the verse from Ecclesiastes “I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”……achievement is people pleasing too. I got so much recognition from achievement.

            I love this so much “That’s like the teacher giving you the answers to the test before the test (the bible), and a video of how to do the labs and practicals of life(Jesus). And a connection to the Technical department with you at all times (the Holy Spirit).”

            I can hear the truth in what you say. I thank you whole heartedly for your prayer in helping me understand and repent of my people pleasing mindset. May your day be blessed as you start it now. HH

          31. I’m so happy that you found some help in what I wrote. You have a special place in my heart, HH. I love your honesty and thirst for truth. You truly are a humble husband, and it’s a beautiful thing to be a witness if. In my heart, I just ferl thst you will come through this fire and be ok. In fact, better than ok. I think you will kerp growing stronger and stronger. Even if your wife never turns to God and divorces you..its not the end. Your story is not done yet, my friend. God still has many chapters to write. Every goid book has the main charachter dealing with conflict, and usually overcoming it. Right? Look to the promise, not the problem. You, my friend, are going to be a victor and overcome all of this. Not only will you survive, but you will thrive!

            On a personal note, I could use a small prayer. My son will need surgury on his knee. He doesn’t know yet, I found out the results from my friend who works at the office. I’m soooo full of fear and trying hard to beat back satan and his schemes. I’m so emotional over the lack of comfort and support from my husband. I lashed out last night at him like a crazy person…. when I tried to be vulnerable and open to him. I felt totally slapped in the face again. Please pray for a successful surgury for my son and for me to lean into God and control my emotions during this test. I don’t quite understand what I will be learning from all of this yet, but I’m trying to trust in my Lord. Thank you. All my love and prayers.

          32. What you wrote definitely spoke to me. You have grown so much since you began writing here. What you wrote reminded me of the song by Mercy Me called “Thrive”…good song 🙂

            I am certain that the divorce will proceed. She was talking about when she will last night and asking how soon can we split our assets. That’s gonna be hard, I’m not sure I can afford to keep the family home and pay out her share and at this stage not sure I can buy another home with what my share from the sale of this one is 🙁 It will truly be a miracle if the divorce doesn’t go ahead. Some hard waters to swim soon…..many sharks

            Am I still enmeshed? What is Christ like love and what is enmeshment? Thinking about that this morning. When she dropped off the kids last night I just wanted to hold her and never let go. I felt that I would give all I am and have to be able to have another go…….is that enmeshment or is it like Christ wanting to give Himself for us? Since she left she has changed so much, she has gone from a gentle, quiet, long haired, modest girl to a loud, outspoken woman with half her head shaved, tattoos everywhere, lots of piercings and squeezing herself into the tiniest clothes she can find, so my love isn’t based on who she is or what she does, it is based on who I am. OR, is the intensity of my emotion because I am still SO enmeshed that I must have her approval no matter the cost??? Lord, open my eyes to see your truth clearly!

            Yesterday, my best mate (an unbeliever) commented on how much I have changed the last two years….I asked him how and he said “I think you r a heap more humble now. Also, u put ‘others / her’ needs b4 yours – regardless of how it hurts u. Less selfish etc. they r the easy ones to see tho. Actually … a LOT less selfish”. He said I’ve handled this whole thing totally differently to how a person normally would. I asked myself the question, how can she not see that I am genuine? Then he posed the question “Left field thought… Maybe she thinks u deserve better? As in, u love her in a way she can’t replicate?”……hmmmmm, maybe

            LMS, I will most certainly pray for your son and for you. I will pray for strength for you. I often pray for your husband, that his eyes would be opened to see God’s truth and love.

            HH

          33. HH,

            Healthy VS Unhealthy Relationships may help as you seek to determine if you are enmeshed.

            You ARE married. You do have a covenant. She is trying to move toward breaking that covenant and one flesh relationship. That would absolutely be painful. Extremely painful – like part of your heart and soul is being ripped out. 🙁

            I pray God will give you wisdom to examine your motives by the Light of His Spirit.

            What a beautiful thing God is doing through your suffering – drawing unbelievers and believers to Himself through His powerful work in your heart. Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

          34. HH,

            Gary Thomas says, in Sacred Marriage, “We are most tempted to sin when we are sinned against.” But the truth is that God doesn’t give any of us a free pass to sin because we were sinned against. We are to “overcome evil with good.” So even if you hadn’t repented of all of that sin from years ago, your wife is still accountable to God for her sin. But you did repent. Jesus’ blood has completely covered your sin. He has given you a new heart, a new mind, and a new spirit.

            Your wife can choose to leave like she did. It would have made more sense if she left long ago, it seems to me, when you were sinning against her. But she can choose to leave. Of course she would like to blame you for any sin she commits. And it would make it much easier for her if you had an affair, because then she may think she wouldn’t have to feel so guilty. Perhaps she is feeling guilt for some of what she is doing now. It is human nature to want to blame other people for our sin. Look at the Garden of Eden – Adam and Eve each blamed someone else. None of us naturally tend to take responsibility for our own sin.

            She can choose to sin against you and against God. Her sin is ultimately rebellion against God – not against you. “Against You and You alone have I sinned…” – remember David’s quote in Psalm 51, his Psalm of repentance? There will be justice for all sin. Either Jesus will pay for it on the cross or that person will pay for it in hell. 🙁

            God doesn’t give any of us a free pass to sin. We – with our deceitful human hearts – can convince ourselves that our sin is justified in almost any circumstances. But God doesn’t work that way.

            She has told you that her goal is to hurt you as much as possible. That is called “malice.” And when we try to punish someone else for their sin, it is “vengeance.” Both of these things are sin. Vengeance belongs to God alone (Romans 12).

            Yes, she is hurting. She is hurting primarily because she needs Jesus like we all do. She feels that she has freedom now to do anything she wants and make her own choices. And she does have free will to do this – but there are consequences to her choices. On earth and in eternity.

            Once God opens her eyes and she yields to Him – she will be MORTIFIED to see her sin. Horrified. Once she is living in the power of the Holy Spirit, she will hate her sin deeply. But right now, she can’t see.

          35. HH,

            I think there will be such freedom for you in Christ when you are able to receive the fact that you are not responsible for what your wife chooses to do. She left because – according to what you have shared with me – she wanted freedom to sin. There are things she may be saying now that blame you. She may say she doesn’t love you. I don’t even know that those things are true. She may just be purposely saying them to hurt you because of her own spiritual mess right now.

            But I would love for you to be able to release yourself from her sin and from responsibility for her sin. You are responsible for HH before God. You are responsible TO your wife to love her as Christ loves the church. But you are not responsible FOR her sin. That is on her. That is ultimately between your wife and Jesus.

            Yes, time to get rid of all of the fear and worldly sorrow and guilt that Satan would love to use to paralyze you. Time to live in the freedom, joy, peace, and goodness of Christ!

            God is sending in reinforcements for you, our brother! Take up that shield of faith. That is how to deflect the surface to air missiles. Stand on God’s Word and His truth alone. Stand on His promises to you and on the blood of Christ. See the real enemy and his tactics and – in the power of God’s Spirit and His Word and the strong faith He gives you – fight against the enemy for your family.

          36. Praying for each of you here who are struggling and for the spouses who are struggling – that God might bring all to Himself in repentance, humility, and submission to Christ as Lord and that He might regenerate each soul for His glory!

          37. April,

            I think so too. I did a small exercise last night where I wrote down all that I am struggling with at the moment, and over the last little while.
            I concluded that whilst I have genuine reason to hurt and hurt badly and the S.A.M’s are BIG, I still had this subconscious belief that when I reach ‘perfection’ then God will ‘sort everything out for me’. I am still, in some ways, trying to ‘carry’ a big load.

            My prayer is for clarity to understand how my value is not based in what people think of me. HH

          38. HH,

            We are not guaranteed that all of our problems will end or that we won’t suffer in this life. None of us will be completely free of sin in every way until heaven. I am glad you are seeing more of what is going on. I’m glad you see that maybe you are carrying a heavy load your shoulders aren’t designed to carry.

            It is painful to have someone you love dearly – especially your own spouse – to misunderstand you so much and to accuse you of awful things and to make evil assumptions or to lash out to hurt you on purpose. For me, I have to take hurtful words and misunderstandings like that to Jesus. I have to weigh what people said against His Word and the truth. I have to purposely choose to reject the lies and the things that are not of God and not absorb them. And then I must purposely replace those destructive words of death with God’s Words of life.

            Praying with you for God’s clarity and discernment, dear brother!

          39. April, thank you for this comment. I am going to go and sleep. My head is fuzzy and it has been a big few days. Thank you all for your prayers for me. I look forward to meeting you all in heaven one day. HH

          40. HH,
            you are most welcome. Praying for God’s sweet rest for your soul and mind. Then you will be ready to be empowered by His Spirit to face the battle and equipped to march in victory for Christ. 🙂

            All,

            This is a spiritual battle. People are not the real enemy. Those who don’t know Christ and don’t live for Him have been taken captive to do Satan’s will. The real enemies are sin and Satan.

            And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. 2 Tim. 2:24-26

            Anyone born of God refuses to practice sin, because God’s seed abides in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10By this the children of God and the children of the devil can be distinguished: Anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is anyone who does not love his brother. 11This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another.… 1 John 3:9-11

            He stood up to read, 17and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

            18“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
            because he has anointed me
            to proclaim good news to the poor.
            He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
            and recovery of sight for the blind,
            to set the oppressed free,
            19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
            20Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:16-20

            THE GREAT NEWS IS…
            Jesus has come to set captives free!!!! All of us were captives at one time, maybe some of us still are. But in Christ, we can be set free to become children of God!?!?!?! THAT IS SO CRAZY! But that is what Jesus offers to us. 🙂 We can be joint heirs with Christ. Our sin can be separated from us as far as the east is from the west. Jesus is willing to completely cover the price of our guilt and sin – and has already paid it! We can receive this lavish gift and live in gratitude, joy, and blessing – knowing and loving God and His amazing grace. He transforms sinners into saints. He changes us and gives us a new life. We are a new creation in Him! Now, if only we will see that and receive the Treasure He is and all that He has done!!!! 🙂

          41. Our Identity in Christ – ROMANS 8:

            Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set youa free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,b God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.c And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

            5Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

            9You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives lifed because of righteousness. 11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because ofe his Spirit who lives in you.

            12Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

            14For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.f And by him we cry, “Abba,g Father.” 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

            Present Suffering and Future Glory

            18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21thath the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

            22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

            26In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

            28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, whoi have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

            More Than Conquerors

            31What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written:

            “For your sake we face death all day long;
            we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”j
            37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,k neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

          42. HH, so the enemy is trying to make you feel ashamed of being angry? Is it wrong to be angry at what your wife is doing?

            There is nothing wrong with righteous anger. So, don’t be ashamed of your anger. Take it to God and ask Him what to do with it. But, don’t be condemned about being angry!!! It sounds like you have every right to be there! You’re a healthy human with emotions! That’s good – even though the emotions are painful.

            I wonder if it’s time for you to draw some boundaries to help you not get pulled into the emotional games and manipulation your wife, being used by the enemy, is playing? Many spouses who are in emotionally destructive marriages – once the status hits separation – find they need to do this for their health and own well-being. Maybe something to think about, brother.

            I’m going to say something that some might think is blasphemous, but I am confident that God can handle your anger at Him, too. Go ahead and pour it out to Him and let Him know all you feel since He knows it, anyway. I think you’ll find that His arms are open wide, ready to comfort you and readjust your perspective and remind you that He is for you.

          43. CiC, yes, I am ashamed, very! Still! Anger characterised me 8 years ago and when I feel angry now I don’t know what to do with it. I feel like I deserve the way I am being treated. She feels like I deserve the way she is treating me. Her parents have said I deserve the way she is treating me. I am carrying a big, big sack of regret and pain.

            I don’t know how to set appropriate boundaries. Every time I try to it backfires. If I drop the kids off and don’t go inside and act friendly she will ring me, angry that I have been ‘rude’. Even when she said last night that she wanted me to have an affair so she had a better reason to leave I said that she must have been hurting so much to get to that point. And then I was disgusted at myself for being so weak 🙁

            I don’t know how I can separate myself more, living 300 metres away means I am intimately involved with all of the decisions she is making whether I want to see them or not. I have to see her many times a week to pick the kids up and drop them off. Her best friend and advisor (an alcoholic, thrice married, promiscuous woman with kids from three different men) is my next door neighbor and I hear them coming home together late at night from their “nights out” whether I want to hear it or not.

            It is very difficult. HH

          44. If you want to be an eagle, stop hanging with the chickens. Eagles look up and rise above, chickens look down and peck at the ground. Rise above it. Let her live her life. You have thrown out every life preserver you knew how to offer, if she refuses to grab on, that is her choice. Or as I heard a woman say to her unbelieving husband who was sinning profusely….”You may not want to go to Heaven with me, but I’m NOT going to hell with you.”

            Let her live her life. God will deal with His rebellious child. Her salvation is not your responsibility. Think of how many people are in your life. She is ONE. Only one. If you had 8 children, would you ignore 7 of them to to try to win the love of 1? God can do that, but He doesn’t ignore the 7 and He isn’t a people pleaser..He lets each of His sheep choose their own way.

            My heart is with you, HH, but let your guilt go. What really matters is not what others say about you…what they think you deserve…what matters is what God says about you. And He says you are forgiven. Now, its time to forgive yourself. Righteous anger is very different from prideful anger of control, and selfishness. I say the following with love, respect and kindness, but I would hold you by the shoulders and get right in your face if i was standing before you….Stop refusing His gift to you…it’s kind of rude. Show some gratitude. God gave up His only son so that you can be forgiven….will you really refuse that? Jesus was degrafed, whipped, bled. Poked, harrassed, shamed, tortured, to die gor your sins. If you cannot accept this sacrifice, thwn it is all fir nothing. Let us all pray that God help give you the grace and humility to accept His gift to you. Just say “thank you, Lord” and cherish His gift. It is free….you owe nothing for it. The debt has been paid. Today is a new day. Just give thanks. Many prayers for you to look around and see all the gifts you have from God already. Much love and supportive hugs as you struggle to be birthed out of darkness into a world of wisdom and peace in His love for you.

          45. Father, we surround our brother with love and lift him up to you tonight. The enemy is attacking him and doing a number on his thinking, Lord. We pray that you will fight for your son and shield him from these attacks. Lord, you know his pain and hurt and what he has to hear and see every day. The pain is enough, Lord, and we ask that you cause the confusion and the condemnation and guilt to leave. There is no place for those things in his life any longer because the blood of Jesus Christ covers this brother, your son! Your son, HH, has the mind of Christ. This son of yours is righteous in your sight, you are well pleased with him. You are sovereign over all of his past and any past mistakes cannot thwart your purposes and plans. You use ALL things in our lives for good. We thank you that you will do these things!!! In Jesus’ name, Amen!

          46. Hi Humbled Husband, I agree. May I recommend if you have not come across it already, ‘The Spiritual Combat’ by Lorenzo Scupoli (Catholic). A truly amazing spiritual guide that has been very popular for many years. Here is a quote from a chapter on ‘How to rule the Tongue’ which cut me like a knife when I read it (as I recognised myself) and made me laugh at the same time:

            ‘It is usually pride which is at the root of much speaking. We persuade ourselves that we know a great deal, and take delight in our own conceits; and then, we strive by a multitude of words to convey to others the same idea, so as to gain an ascendancy over them, as though they stood in need of our instruction.’

            It’s old fashioned in it’s style but the truths it contains endure. The chapters are short, which I love as it makes them easy to reflect on and there are spiritual exercises to do which help the reader to overcome themselves. It is helping me a great deal.

          47. Hi, HH! I hope you are refreshed physically and spiritually today! I love what God said to you “Son, you don’t know how good I am.”

            Wow. Even though I knew He would do this for you, it still floors me as well how much He loves us. And, He’s right — we don’t really know how good He is. We see him as distant, ashamed of us, annoyed with us, shaking His head wondering when we’ll finally understand…..

            But this is so not our Father.

            It’s just too much, right? 🙂 Love to you, brother!!!!

          48. LMS, praying for your son and for continued strength and wisdom as you face daily difficulty in your marriage. It is not a road any of us would choose, but there is *no doubt* that God is using this in your life to deepen your faith in Him as evidenced by your comments and the wisdom you have in reaching out to help others, even in your own pain.

            Just thought of this while I was typing… my youngest broke her leg when she was not even 2. I was devastated at her pain and the idea of the recovery time. She has always had such a sweet, strong spirit and I still remember her sweet little face in the hospital while in such pain. I bawled myself to sleep that night, away from her face so she couldn’t see me. Anyway….I remember really being in turmoil over it all and the fear of the “what ifs” (a nurse had eluded to the idea that there might be something deeper going on than just the accident that caused the bone break). I remember God led me to something on the internet where it was described how your body starts immediately reparing after injury and how the bone fuses together and shaves off any rough edges. Obviously, I am not doing the process justice with the way I am describing it, but God used that to just show me how amazing our bodies are made! It really blew my mind and just caused all of the fear to melt away. I was in awe of the way God has designed our bodies.

            I’m sorry your husband is not supporting you. I’m sorry for where y’all are. 🙁 Oh, Lord — how long?? I pray that God will shift something in a permanent way that gives you hope — even if it is something very small….

            HH, I don’t know that you are enmeshed. This is your wife!!!! She is part of you. It hurts to see the woman you pledged yourself to go down this painful road. Your family is torn apart right now. Your emotions are valid. Don’t worry about analyzing them too much. It’s ok and perfectly understandable that you are hurting in a way that you can’t even put to words.

            I definitely think there is some truth to what your unbelieving friend wrote. Wow, what a witness to him.

          49. Thank you HH, and everyone for the prayers. Today, I am laid out with a really bad flu. My nerves are shot. I’m in pain, achy, and oh so tired. I feel so much pressure for events to get done at work, I feel like a single mom and my son is injured to where he will need surgury. Satan has just kept punching me down over and over these last two weeks. I was hoping my husband would be sympathetic to my illness and take over for me with the kids, but I was sorely let down. I feel like I really don’t have him for a partner, even though he says he loves me. Just so much dissappointment today. So I went to lay in the sun to stop the chills. After a few hours, a little orange kitty came up and nuzzled me from out of nowhere. Never saw this cat before. He had a tag…his name was Leo. All I could do was cry in grateful ess for the free hugs and loves sent to me through this orange fuzzy animal. In my head popped “the Lion of Judah is on your side”. We have no animals. This cat loved on me for a good 45 minutes. Finally, I told him I was going to be alright, and away he scampered. Was he really Just a cat? My mustard seed of faith is that my son will be ok. And God will handle repairing the broken bridges. Don’t know how. But I will one day roar with God. Peace tonight. Love you all and heartfelt thanks.

          50. Thank you Lord for the cat 🙂 It is difficult isn’t it…..it is my wifes birthday today, I had some jewellery handmade for the occasion a few months ago….but, since a few weeks ago she returned all the jewellery I bought her, I did not give it to her today.

            Hillary Scott’s music has melted me these last few days. The song Still has beautiful words.

            A friend at church shared a scripture he found powerful with me….Jeremiah 32:40….the same one that April shared earlier this week. Is the Lord in that? Does he direct people in that way, to the same passages at the same time? I think so.

            Love to all. HH

          51. HH,

            So thankful that Hillary Scott’s music has been a blessing. She wrote from such a place of pain and grief – but what an incredible blessing her music is to the Body!

            Yes, God does stuff like that. 🙂 Pretty nifty, huh?

          52. HH. Maybe one day, you will be able to give her the jewelry gifts just because, or it might be something the kids can give her. Right now, she is living in spiritual death. I pray you can focus on you, your kids and God. Live simply, but in faith. Hunker down for the storm, but believe you will make it through. One day, the sun will shine again, and it will be glorious. It’s ok to greive your loss, you are feeling part of you tear away, but realize that you can still be a whole person…you were one before you were married. God can and will heal you if you let him. Have you read much on mid life crisis? Just a thought. I can send you some links on it that helped me understand this confusing transition in life if you are interested. Many comforting hugs and blessings out to you. Sincerely, LMS

          53. All,

            If you get a chance, check out this post, “Loving Your Enemy, Even When It’s ISIS.” This post is humbling and inspiring. Join with me in praying for many from ISIS to come to Christ and for God to empower our brothers and sisters (and many of us) to love them with Jesus’ love. I can’t wait to see how God will transform these men and use them for His greatest glory in the kingdom of Christ!!!!

          54. LMS. I am going to keep the jewellery. I am going to do more than keep them, I am going to buy more for each anniversary or event when I would have bought them and store them up in faith 🙂

            She will not accept them from the kids or ‘just because’…..she will not even let me carry any firewood inside for her when I drop the kids off…..she refuses to accept anything at all that may come from me. I have never seen so much bitterness!

            I haven’t read much on a mid life crisis but it does fit. Mind you, I am at least a decade younger than most of you and my wife is younger again, so it is an early mid life crisis if it is!

            I am going away this weekend for 6 days with the kids. I pray that it will be a time of refreshment and refocusing. I pray that the Lord will strengthen us all to trust Him. I pray that our today’s come quickly. HH

          55. HH, thanks for that, I wasn’t sure. How about I get a bit better, looks like I’m pretty sick (pneumonia). And you enjoy your sweet week with your babies and I’ll send them links on in a bit. Let’s enjoy a break from the storm and dance in the eye of the hurricaine for a few moments while we can enjoy the sun. Peace, brother.

          56. LMSdaily115,

            Oh no! Pneumonia? 🙁 Praying for God to use even this setback for His glory in your marriage and in your life and family, my dear sister! I pray for His healing for you!

          57. I hope you feel better very soon LMS, in reading more of your comments I feel inspired by your wisdom and elegance in words. It’s amazing how beautiful someone can be when they live for God.

          58. Oh 🙁 Sad to hear it is pneumonia!!! Agree with April, perhaps God can use this for good. ‘See’ you all later. HH

          59. Time…….I was encouraged this afternoon by reading about Joseph. He was 17 when his brothers sold him into slavery and 30 when Pharoah pulled him out of jail. It seems that he had about 11 years working for Potiphar and then 2 years in jail following the false accusation of adultery. So from the betrayal of his family to his promotion to Pharoah’s manager was about 13 years…..! He was about 41 when he was finally reunited with his father and his relationship with his brothers was restored, so about 24 years without seeing his father…..that is a LONG time!!

            There were many momentous occasions in Joseph’s life, but one of the ones that struck me this afternoon is his promotion from jail to Pharoah’s manager…….it took place in ONE DAY. He woke up that morning in jail, same as where he had been for the last two years…….then, all of a sudden he was called to go have a shave and put on some nice clothes and BAM he is in front of Pharoah!

            I love that he said “I cannot interpret your dream, but God can” 🙂 Then, Pharoah promotes him to look after the whole shebang!! I’ll bet he didn’t wake up in his jail cell expecting that to happen lol!

            One day. How long does it take for the Lord to achieve what he wants to achieve? As long as is needed and when the time is right…..maybe 13 years, or 24 years, but you can be jolly sure that His plan will unfold in the way it is supposed to. And the reality is that in ONE DAY the whole situation could be turned on its head 🙂 Be encouraged all. HH

          60. HH. Thank you for that. Maybe that ONE DAY is today. And if not, we can be jolly sure that we are one day closer to THE day. Peace.

          61. God is a good, good God. My son got good news today. No surgury needed! Praise His name! Thank you all for the powerful prayers! Satan is losing the battle…today IS the day!

          62. Thank you so much for breaking Joseph’s story down like that. I can’t begin to tell you how that spoke to me today. I can relate in ways I can’t explain here. The situation my family has been in has gone on for 28 years. It began when I was 14. I am now 42. The numbers are so close to the same. I will say, yes, that is way too long and YES all God needed was ONE day here. Lord be praised!

            Thank you HH. This gave me more strength today.

          63. LMSdaily115,

            Oh goodness! You really have had quite a beating lately, my precious sister. 🙁 I am praying for you!!!!

            I don’t think anyone with the flu who is feeling that awful should have to drive. I know I had a severe flu in January, 2000, and it was all I could do to get up to go to the bathroom for about 7 days and get back on the couch. I wish I was closer to you so I could take your son for you!

            So precious that this little kitty loved on you. That is precious how God spoke to you through Leo and reminded you of the Lion of Judah being on your side. WOOHOO!!!!!!!!

          64. LMS, praying for you, sister. I’ve also wanted to say this the last few days….you are the queen of analogies. Analogies are not normally my thing and don’t normally speak to me, but YOU are making me appreciate them very much!!! I love how God has made you to just naturally do that. And, I loved your cat story – Leo…..wow. If God can tell the lightning bolts where to go, I think He can direct a cat to you, too!!!! It made me almost cry to think of God speaking to you in that way.

            HH, praying for you, too. Some of your last details about your wife reminded me of a friend who has walked away from her husband, living with another man, she also kind of did some things with her looks that are very different from how she was before. I actually have been trying to reach out to her and we are supposed to go to lunch soon, but I know I am going to be called to speak some hard truth (which I’ve already done a little….). I need to seek God’s Word about what to do in this situation. I know there are verses about not associating with someone who claims to be a believer and is living in immorality. So, this might be our last get together for a while. This is the second time in my Christian walk that a friend has walked away from her marriage and immediately got into another relationship. I lost the first friendship because of my warnings. :/

            Joseph’s story meant a lot to me at various points over the last year or so. I’ve shared before, but have you looked at the verses where Joseph names his two sons and what they mean? God really encouraged me with those verses and then linked it up with a song by Matt Redman
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoRecglINIw (in the song, there is a phrase that says “you make us fruitful in the land of our suffering” which is what one of the son’s names meant) . Charles Swindoll had a sermon series on Joseph was playing on my local Christian radio all around the same time so God was definitely speaking to me through it all! I love how He encouraged you with the timing thing. So true.

            Love you guys. You are in my prayers. God is your Sustainer. (He gave me that word today and I felt that I needed to share that with both of you).

          65. Thanks Cic. My only piece of advice about talking to your friend is that maybe you can bring God’s truth to her without all the biblical references. When I talk to my kids, I try to use “parables” or examples in life. It bores them to hear biblical references. Sometines recognize scripture as a popular saying, but dont realize it cones from the bible. Not trying to be like the bible, so much. But Jesus taught that way to try to reach the people who needed a “bridge” to a higher thinking. Also, challenging their thinking puts people on defense. Maybe form it in questions, listen, and suggest some other ideas, like a debate, but keep it non threatening. You might be able to tell when walls are starting to break down, and you can go deeper, but keeping their trust will keep the door open. Always speaking the truth with love, care for the other and yet, allowing them to keep their choices. Who knows how your seeds will be planted in them? I know when I talk to my husband, he instantly rejects just about anything I say for a good day or two. If I’m lucky, he has thought things over and comes back acknowledging a truth or two. It may not be the whole conversation, but it’s a start. Only God can grow those seeds, He asks you to simply plant them.

            In my own life, my parents had me go to church, catechism, confirmation, Wednesday bible studies till I was 12. I was just doing what my parents wanted me to do. At 12, I chose to stop beleiving. Yet, at 41, all those seeds bloomed and brought me to God in a glorious way. You will never know how your loving and caring conversations may come back later. The timing is His. I will pray for you to reach your friend. Thank you for your compliment today. All of you here are healing my insides and I feel healing on the horizon for my body as well. Leo the cat was definitely God showing up at a low point that day. I have now doubt about it. My husband even saw me petting him and said “he’s a nice cat” note: my husband is very allergic to cats and generally avoids them or chases cats away. Even he approved of Leo. Hmmmm…what does THAT mean????? Much love.

          66. CiC, I hadn’t zoned in on what Joseph’s son’s names meant. Awesome.

            Manasseh – “God has made me forget all my trouble.”
            Ephraim – “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”

            That Matt Redman song is fantastic. Thank you. HH

        2. A book that addresses the topic of spiritual warfare in a conservative way, not delving into the more “eerie”/controversial side of spiritual warfare is Lord, Is it Warefare? Teach Me to Stand by Kay Arthur. The book includes daily “homework” that has you digging into scripture and answering questions about your own life as it relates to spiritual warfare. You will learn how to use the spiritual armor that Ephesians 6 describes. Many women in our ladies’ Bible study group found it very helpful.

          Here is a link to Amazon where you can read sample pages… https://www.amazon.com/Lord-Warfare-Teach-Stand-Devotional/dp/1578564425/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

          Heather (His Helper)

          1. Quoting CIC here:

            “Hmmm, but I do want to say that I totally agree with you that we need to look at ourselves first and deal with our sin in that faith-postured way. But, even that is a big part of the way we enter into the spiritual battle — by thinking of our sin in the right ways and by putting to death the deeds of the flesh by faith…

            Any action that we take that is faith-filled, standing on the promises of God and who He is and what He has done for us is spiritual warfare. Anyone who doubts this, watch what happens as God starts to make these spiritual realities come alive in your life. Get ready, because your enemy will NOT like that and will do all he can to throw you off of that course.”

            YES! We can’t look at our sin on our own and try to deal with it with our power or wisdom. That is totally useless. We must receive Christ as Savior and Lord first. And then we invite Him to shine His Light and truth into the darkest corners of our hearts to expose our sinful thoughts, and any lies upon which we have built our lives. He has the power to help us tear all of that out and to respond with godly sorrow that leads to repentance rather than worldly sorrow that leads to death.

            It is ALL about what Jesus has done for us and what He does in and through us. It isn’t about what we do. We just receive what He has done and stand on His Word and trust in His power to do what He said He would do. And even that faith that we have ultimately comes from Him. We can’t even do that until He breathes spiritual life into us.

  3. I love what John Piper said about women in your position: At the core of all godly women, cemented in the soul, there is a simple but steadfast hope in God. It is from the security of this hope that wives fear nothing that is frightening — even submission to husbands who do not follow Jesus. These godly women adorn their souls with a peculiar beauty: not base servility or brash power, but a combination of humility and lion-like courage that the world cannot explain.

    The world cannot make women this way. Their beauty comes from somewhere — from someone — else. With their souls beautified by God, Christian women display Jesus in such a way that unbelievers may be won to Christ, even without a word being spoken. (1 Peter 3:1)

    1. Wow, this was so beautiful and touching it made me cry just now. I’m so emotionally exhausted and tired, but it’d nice to hear someone put into words what I feel inside, especially the stuff I don’t understand myself. Thank you for this today.

      1. LMS thanks for sharing your story and your heart, very insightful words I love what God is teaching you. It really helped me. Praying for your son and his surgery and for the Lord’s strength for you to carry you through this test.

      1. HH,
        I have been thinking about your comments all day…owning your past sin to your wife, affirming to her all that, and then forgiving yourself as well as having been cleansed through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, you can end each conversation/interaction with, through the grace of God, I am a changed man! Because she as well as YOU need to really hear that and take that in!
        You have no influence over how she is going to take that and how she leads her life, but extending grace to her and yourself will set a powerful example to your children and no matter what she decides to do, you “keep clean” on your end.

        I keep you in my prayers…forgiving ourselves is one of the hardest things to embrace!

        Hugs, A Lifelong Learner

        1. Thank you lifetime learner. I appreciate the thoughts, prayers and advice 🙂 It is interesting, but the more I tried to share how much I was changing the more it pushed her away. I suspect that when a person does not trust anymore any change may been seen as untrustworthy and ‘faked’. HH

          1. HH,

            I think it will take God opening her eyes, and also time to see that you really have changed. But this time is not wasted. God is very much at work in both of your lives behind the scenes. Most likely, this time is necessary to bring about the growth and healing God wants to bring about.

          2. HH,

            Yes, don’t elaborate or rub it in, just say that and then leave…I agree with April, she is feeling guilty about her behavior, so the more fault she can find in yours, the better off she sees herself to be(that way she can justify hers)… remember, you are serving Him, not her…so you need to separate yourself from her reactions and actions… there is NOTHING you can do about her behavior, except sincerely pray for her…and yes, it will take a great deal of time for her to trust that your changes are “real”… and she will pounce on any little slip up you make…

            The only person you can change is you… you are doing a great job in growing in that area… so just be patient and keep working on that!

            I know… a long journey…

            We are all fellow travelers… Warmly, A Lifelong Learner

  4. Your personal/spiritual growth is such an ongoing inspiration and joy to me! I’ve followed your posts from the beginning of this journey to find “true center” in your life and am amazed anew at the changes we can make with Gods help when we seek to live following his wisdom. Thank you so much for sharing with us, and much love to you!

  5. `no longer his starry-eyed groupie who praises every word or thought of his`. Wow, this describes me when I met my husband and for a long time after in our marriage. I definitely had insane stars in my eyes and only had eyes for him when we got together. Now I wonder what on earth was wrong with me, that I was like a little teenage girl with a crush on a rock star. I think some of it is disillusionment.

    He made convincing statements as to having the right beliefs, having integrity, not having any fears about being assertive and setting boundaries with family when necessary, said he wanted to follow Christ and got baptized, assured me he wasn`t doing it for me but for himself, etc. I wanted to believe him so even when there were some good red flags to walk away I didn`t. He has actually in some ways, treated his relationship with me like a joke, a power game, something not that important to him. I think he saw this, a relationship with a Christian woman, as one where things were going to go his way and he would have an adoring wife who hung on his every word no matter what he did and who would always say yes dear to him.

    I think at least in my case, the starry eyed little girl groupie behaviour is possibly a tie to fatherlessness and looking for that man that won`t let you down and will love you as something precious, as well as that love and security one never had. It resulted in my compromising my own boundaries and godly standards to have and keep this man and the relationship.

    Worse, it’s not the first time I`ve been a dumb sheep that gets invited to tea at the wolf`s house and goes willingly with a happy smile on her face, straight into sinful compromise. The first time around I had little insight into how I was acting or what it meant. Fatherlessness can cause huge idolatry issues, which in turn lead to things like moral compromise, putting someone else ahead of God, etc. I think in my case, I really struggle with how to have God first and still have a relationship with a man. The thing is, as soon as we are tempted to compromise ourselves to keep someone or something, we open a door to the enemy to come in and bring shame, disgrace and major havoc.

    1. “The thing is, as soon as we are tempted to compromise ourselves to keep someone or something, we open a door to the enemy to come in and bring shame, disgrace and major havoc.”

      Good word here! Yes and amen to that!

      I know for myself that I also struggled with how to have God first and and still have a relationship with my husband. It was always very clear that as I began to live more from the Spirit, my relationship with my husband would suffer. I didn’t know what to do about that for a really long time. I was enmeshed with my husband and that hurtful distance would drive me back into compromising many times and for many years.

      As you said, it opens the door for the enemy to keep doing his work.

      This verse has come to my mind several times lately:

      “What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they do not…”

      1. Sometimes trying to be a believer is really scary, although I think the evil one amps up the fear quotient so he can mess with our heads. I don`t seem to know how to have relationships that aren`t enmeshed since my entire life was about being bullied and having to be overly involved in my parents emotional problems and needs at the expense of having any of my own met.

        I learned I needed to change myself to gain approval, figure out what mood someone was in and try to please them. In an environment full of fear and threat, you learn to practice what I call ALIGNMENT in relationships. I never thought about that as something that could be wrong or evil. To me it was a matter of survival, a way to try and ensure not being rejected and abandoned and secure belonging. You figured out what to do to be accepted out of fear of losing that love that seems so necessary for survival.

        The thing is, it involves disrespect for self and others and a form of dishonesty and hiding. If we agree to live on these terms we wind up doing to others what the enemy is trying to do to us (with our cooperation and agreement) and can find ourselves practicing witchcraft, where we accept violation and require others to prostitute themselves for us also.

        Even as an adult in her fifties, I find myself feeling sheer terror of being ALL ALONE. I have found myself, all over again, compromising who I am even in areas that, of themselves, don`t involve immorality but are a form of soul prostitution. I sometimes wonder if this is what a spirit of whoredom is really about. We tend to think if it as being sexual in nature and that`s true, its one form of whoredom. That word has such a connection with all that is shameful and disgraceful, and sadly it results in social shaming as well. But it`s the truth about what idolatry does to us. It makes whores of us in many ways.

        But at its base, whoredom is being willing to sell oneself out to have something, in other words – that shift when we love something more than God and are willing to sin to get it.. I can think of many times and ways in which I have sold myself into “prostitution” to get and have love or approval or belonging. I wasn`t even aware of it in my life and when I tried to make a determined decision to walk after Christ, all hell broke loose in my life. I didn`t realize how deeply programmed I was by the life I had led and the warped upbringing I had, which included reading all the porn left laying around our house by my abusive and addicted father. So I am really struggling with the constant failure factor and idolatry this has created in my life. Its especially shameful when you make a serious commitment to follow God, no holding back and then make all the same mistakes.

        The time being short has come to my mind often lately. Time to stop fooling around with idols and relationships. But it makes me wonder too, how much of our problem is about what we think relationships are about and what they are for. And what we think life is about and for. Much to think about here. The scripture about those who have wives should live as if they have none, at first only makes me feel depressed. But I am thinking what he means is not that we should turn away from our spouses, but that our commitment to God should be as strong as if we are single believers. .

        1. “But I am thinking what he means is not that we should turn away from our spouses, but that our commitment to God should be as strong as if we are single believers. .”

          Absolutely! Yes, to me, this is the meaning. Stop focusing so much on pleasing your spouse that you end up selling yourself out for their love and approval in your life.

          “Its especially shameful when you make a serious commitment to follow God, no holding back and then make all the same mistakes.”

          God is with you in your failures. He is not surprised by them. All of your sin was dealt with fully at the cross — *all* of it was in the future when He died for you. Don’t let the enemy use shame, guilt and condemnation to keep you down, sister. Rise up in your righteousness in Christ and wield that weapon with all you’ve got — it will take a lot of faith sometimes, because your feelings and what you see as reality (your failures) will tell you it’s not true. But, you will believe God over anything else, right? What He says is what’s true, right?? That’s why it’s called faith. It will go against everything we can see and sometimes everything we feel to be true.

          It takes time to renew our minds with this kind of truth. God is patient with us. He is for us in our strongholds. He is not ready to smite us when we fail again. He took all of our sin and shame upon Himself at the cross. He is a good God and has promised to complete the work He began in us and we can rest in that. It’s not up to us, whew!!!! We cooperate with His Spirit by believing and taking Him at His word. He does the rest. But, it’s hard to cooperate with His Spirit if we are believing any lies about our sin and our responsibility for it.

          Love your honesty and the truths you shared in your comment. Thank you, it spoke to me.

        2. lil sheep,
          I invite you (and other ladies who are struggling with these issues) to search my home page for things like:

          – fear
          – healthy vs unhealthy relationships
          – idol/idolatry
          – lordship of Christ
          – shame
          – insecurity
          – security

          You may have already read those posts, I’m not sure. But I pray that if they might be helpful, God would make them a blessing. 🙂

          The passage about living as if we didn’t have our possessions and families – is about how short time is and how urgent the need to share the Gospel. It is not about ignoring our families. But it is about having kingdom priorities and realizing we are in a time of war, not a time of peace – that we might make the most of each moment God has given us to shine for Him in this dark world.

          Much love!

        3. LIL SHEEP,
          “The time being short has come to my mind often lately. Time to stop fooling around with idols and relationships. But it makes me wonder too, how much of our problem is about what we think relationships are about and what they are for. And what we think life is about and for. Much to think about here. The scripture about those who have wives should live as if they have none, at first only makes me feel depressed. But I am thinking what he means is not that we should turn away from our spouses, but that our commitment to God should be as strong as if we are single believers. .”

          I have been sensing this for a long time too. I believe that God is in fact leading us “up and out” from off of earthly life and onto heavenly ground where we have spiritual understanding to see through what is merely of earth. And I agree and believe that it is not a means to ignoring our husbands/wives—- anyone who claims to be spiritual but totally ignores their family is false. Paul wrote about the heavenlies in the beginning of Ephesians..and then he talks about the family life—and then he mentions spiritual warfare—– if you look at the order of that letter you see that the Spirit is instructing us in bringing our earthly life up to the same level of our spiritual life where all things speak of Christ and His love! And then how much the enemy will be opposed to this because when we are living in the Spirit, we are a testimony to the Lord in our marriages—and the devil hates that!!!!

          Blessings,
          Amanda

    2. Lil sheep, I so, understand whete this cones from in you. Its so hard to realize that your husband diesnt appreciate our adoration for him. This is a big part of “unmeshing” in a relationship. I had a dad, but he was a workaholic. I was close to him, but never got enough of him. So, when I met my husband, who was very much into family, promising to adore me, cherish me etc, he also said it was his job to make me happy….I beleived it hook line and sinker. It was no longer my job to make me happy and I was relieved of the duty in my mind. What a bunch of stinking thinking. It was the lie o told myself and beleived. As I relied more and more on my husbsnd to make me happy, more and more pressure was put on my husband. And, I was a black hole of need. It eas too much. He failed all the time and there was no satisfying me. He felt like he could NEVER make me happy…nor could ANY man. I never understood how this thinking acted like the death of a star…imploding on itself, then a massive explosion outward, until I realized what it meant that I had put my husband as an idol above God in my life. ONLY God can fill that endless need in our lives of feeling loved, cherished, wanted, needed, worthy, valuable, and accepted. Our husbands are humans too. They make mistakes, have wrong ideas, thoughts and ideas too. They are full of sin and worship idols too. Even if they are christians. Understanding the imperfections of ourselves and others is crucial to the humility we need to feel before God. This humility helps us realize how imperfect we all are, and how perfect only God is.

      One other thing I realized also was how incredibly “lazy” I was in my thoughts. It was very easy to just let my husband tell me how I should think, what to feel, what opinions I should have or to make all the decisions. My family felt like i lost myself when i started following my husbands every thoughts. I looked likeva snob to them because my husband was judgemental, but i thought he was right to be that way. At that point, I stopped being his helper in life, or, I liken it to a co-pilot, and rather I was like an anchor, or another passenger he was responsible for. Draghing me along for the ride and nit taking any responsibility for myself. He had no one to help him think through his ideas, thoughts or to even run things by for a different perspective. I was blindly following him. He may have been questioning his own path, but realized I was no help anyway to him…kind of foolishly clueless and blind in life. So he dragged me along out of responsibility. He didn’t have a helper because I was not interested in doing the brain work of thinking on my own. I am disgusted at my laziness when I look back at it.

      Now, I have started to really think about it all. Even subjects I would avoid in the past, like finances, or deadlines, or cleaning out closets. This is something my husband is not used to. He is used to just making decisions and having no obstacles or contradictions. So, now, he sees me as something in his way. He thinks I’m arguing with him, that we think differently, that we are incompatable. But the truth is, I have good ideas, valid concerns and viewpoints too. My husband, having to now consider them, is irritated with my concerns. It’s like red tape to him. Of course, I don’t demand my way, but I bring up my concern in a respectful way, then leave the decision to him. If he is not trying to break the law or hurt someone, it’s fair to let him decide, but he gets my viewpoint too, nowadays. Not always. If i bring up a goid point he had not considered, he gets irtitated, because it was easier to just make the decision and live with it. But my point makes him have to think more too. His conviction from the Holy Spirit and his responsibility as the head of the family is making him feel uncomfortable and not as sure. As he learns to trust me as a helper instead of an anchor, I hope he will find a value in me again. I’m sure this will take time.

      For too long, in many ways, I think we both lived together, physically married, but really thought more as single people…not really understanding what “two becoming one” really meant. If my ways worked with his, or vice versa, then cool…no problens, but if not, he/I complained. That is a controlling attitude. Now, I am constantly thinking on how a desire or idea I have might affect him, not just me, and I want to choose what blesses him first, then me. I think more “married” than single now. Less self centeted, more wanting what is best for my husband and kids. But there is always a balance that needs to be made. I can’t just ignore my own desires and wishes either…that’s the starry eyed groupie way. More of a doormat. To women, it feels loving. To men, it feels like we are spineless and weak.

      We need to be strong and whole as individuals before we can come together and be part of a unique being in a marriage. Our lack of a daddy figure basically was a hole that needed filling. Ideally, we should have had God fill that father role for us instead of our husbands. Then, we could come together as a help meet in our husbands lives, not a groupie looking for attention from a man. This is why God is the great “I Am”, in our lives. He alone can fill those missing holes.

      I will pray that you can seek God as a Dad in your life and feel the love, protection and attention you crave from Him. In this way, the love, protection and attention you receive from your husband will be extra….icing on the cake….that you can enjoy as a treat, not daily living sustenance.

      Look up the following subjects in April’s blog for more:
      *Unmeshing
      *husband as an idol
      *giving up your marriage to God
      *leaning on God

      Much love and hugs to you.

      1. Thank you LMS, for your comforting words of encouragement. Believing God is definitely a struggle for me. and control is definitely a problem for both of us. He feels entitled to control but doesn`t see his need to submit to God. He has made me as much an idol as I have made him. I think that`s our problem.

        Early in our relationship, he demonstrated a willingness to make up casual stories to gain some benefit. For instance, an offer was made for folks who needed a certain thing but couldn`t pay for it. He wanted me to make up a sob story and go get this thing even though I didn`t need it and didn`t meet the criteria. He thought that was okay and I caught him in several lies of convenience. There has been situations where he has put me In a position where I had to default on a commitment, such as when a commitment to purchase a set amount of animal feed was made and then for various reasons at the end, he decided he didn`t want me to spend that money and did things to block me from following through.

        I wound up lying to cover for HIM even though he was the one who put ME in that position with neighbors who trusted us when we made a commitment to purchase, In another situation, someone bought something from us and paid the high end of the scale for it, really more than it was worth. I didn`t think much of it at time as they could have made an offer for a lower amount and we needed the money. However, they decided the couldn`t afford to keep it and we bought it back at a fraction of what they had paid, because they were just going to give it away. ( an animal) I wanted to pay them back the full amount they paid, which I think is the right thing to do. Sure, by law, they agreed to accept the fractional amount but I am not sure God sees this as right. He wouldn`t allow me to pay them back the full amount. As a result, people think we are shaft artists.but think it is more me who is the problem. They don`t know how many times my submission to him has put me in harm`s way and he said NOTHING in my defense.

        I am thinking of course at this junction of Sarah and Abraham. I think Abraham`s behaviour was rather gutless and cowardly, in that he failed to trust God and he threw poor Sarah under the bus and set her at risk of being raped. Yet she went along with his plan.

        However I wasn`t trusting God to lead. I was just following my husband`s bad lead out of cowardice and approval seeking, not out of any real faith or submission to God, though I had vague ideas of biblical submission rolling around in my head by which I justified it. Clearly I have walked numerous times into real spiritual warfare over these matters. Anyhow, this is a great discussion. Do you have any thoughts on how Abraham and Sarah might apply in situations like this, as in when to say yes and when to say NO WAY?

        1. lil sheep and other sisters,

          Ultimately, if our motives are not right – no matter what we choose to do – it will be sin and it will be destructive. If I am acting out of fear, guilt, idolatry of self, idolatry of my husband, laziness, or spiritual poverty, I will make a mess of everything no matter whose godly advice I try to follow. Does that make sense? It may be less of a mess than outright rebellion against God’s Word. But I have got to be acting in the power of the Holy Spirit to be in God’s will. As I know you well know. 🙂

          First, I have got to get alone with God to ask Him to help me see my own motives and priorities. I have to be right with Him and acting in faith in Him in order to hear His voice. I have to repent of every known sin in my life or my sin will muffle His Spirit in my life. I don’t know a way around waiting on God in much prayer when there is a difficult decision to be made about submission. We HAVE to hear His voice! Some situations are more black and white – “My husband wants me to have a threesome,” nope. I can’t do that! It would clearly violate God’s Word. Other things are more subtle. But those can be the times when we need to seek Him in prayer the most.

          God’s major purposes in our trials sometimes are much bigger than us choosing the right answer for that particular test. Sometimes, what He really wants us to learn is to depend on Him, to wait on Him, to seek Him wholeheartedly in prayer for as long as it takes. He wants us to learn not to run ahead or lag behind Him.

          Sometimes we can receive godly counsel from others, especially if they are prayed up and full of the Spirit or if they have prayed about the situation and are definitely in tune with God. Sometimes that can be helpful. But then I also think about King David and the prophet, Nathan. David wanted to build a temple for God. Nathan told him to do what was in his heart to do for God. That sounds like godly advice, right? But then God came to Nathan later and told him to tell David that He did NOT want David to build a temple for Him because he was a man of blood.

          Let’s turn to prayer first whenever time possibly allows. And maybe we can also ask others to pray for us.

          It is amazing how God protected Sarah in that particular situation where Abraham asked her to omit the full truth because he was afraid Pharaoh would have him killed so he could have Sarah for his harem. But I don’t believe that this is necessarily an example that means we should cooperate with our husbands when they want us to lie. God had already made a covenant with Abraham at that point. He was protecting Sarah to protect that covenant. There are other examples – Sapphira and Ananias – where Sapphira agreed to lie to the apostles with her husband – and God held her equally accountable for sin as He did her husband. Both of them were struck dead.

          There are times it is unwise and even sinful for a wife to submit to her husband. I had a post about that a few weeks ago. Sometimes godly counsel can be very helpful – but my greatest desire is that each of us might abide in Christ and be whole in Him, filled to overflowing with His Spirit, so that we can hear His voice and recognize His prompting. He ultimately has the wisdom we need. And we will ultimately answer to Him for our decisions and we are the ones who will have to live with the consequences of our decisions.

          1. Thanks April! I guess that would fall under whatsoever is not of faith is sin, as far as our motives needing to be right. I don`t have trouble with the more obvious stuff, like being asked to steal or have a threesome. It`s the stuff that you know there could be more than one way to approach it that gets challenging to discern through, esp. when your emotions or blockages due to anything from sin to past trauma create fog and confusion. Much prayer is, has been and is continuing to go up right now in my life as I work through these things. I think what you said about God wanting us to depend on HIm more than come up with the right answer to the `test`is helpful too.

      2. LMS,

        I am still thinking through what you said. I can relate to pretty much all of it. I was really shocked when my husband responded to my adoration and loyalty to him with arrogance and superiority, not appreciation and thankfulness. It`s not that I gave these things solely to get but I think its a natural expectation for some form of reciprocity in the relationship. I think that says more about his emotional health and sense of worth and identity than it does about me but it was still a shock. I expected to be loved and adored in return.

        What man is nuts enough not to value a woman who really values him? I guess the answer is one who has a very low sense of self worth and has some emotional development issues himself. I am also aware that even though I genuinely did adore him and would have done anything for him, that when you have a deficit, it’s always there like a sucking sinkhole that pulls at anything that comes near it. I am pretty sure that we all have our `hidden agendas`that get in on the act. Not that we are trying to be underhanded on purpose, but being the complex beings that we are, there`s often a lot more below the waterline than we think there is.

        You mentioned being a helper and not an anchor. I think that`s a key point. I meant to be his helper but wound up in a familiar role instead, his anchor like you mentioned. It is very frustrating to me because I really wanted a real man like most women do, one who would lead and who had resources of his own instead of one who was always waiting for ME to lead, or asking me what I think we should do, etc. He is often not willing to consider all the variables.

        Like for instance, we are in a situation where with some drive and ingenuity, we could come up with a business. Yet he prefers to believe that everything is a matter of having inherited money or a business from a parent or of having enough start up capital to get something going. He won`t seek God pray or stand on scripture. He wants to sell and move, which is fine, I am okay with that. But I suspect its as much because nothing came of being here. I have had several conversations with him about attitudes and beliefs.

        I asked him to consider if perhaps our beliefs and way of doing life had anything to do with why we haven`t made anything work. Come to think of it, I suspect this is common to many. It`s comparable to the Christian life in that we don`t just get saved one day and ZAP! We are changed and are now suddenly spiritual mature disciplined, wise, holy individuals. Yes, Christ`s righteousness is imputed to us, but we have to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Where this line of thinking is taking me is kind of embarrassing, because as adults we can come up with all manner of reasons for why things are the way they are.

        But I sometimes wonder if at the bottom of it all, is a little child who is having a king-sized fit that things aren`t turning out to be the trip to Disneyland we thought it would be. I remember a pastor once talking about how he thought most Christians reminded him of calves bawling for their mothers. I think he had a major point. It`s quite possible that what`s at bottom of it is that we expected having a miracle-working God would mean being a Christian would be an easy life of instant change and when it wasn`t we thought something had to be wrong. It obvioiusly takes a while for us to get over ourselves.

        You said “We need to be strong and whole as individuals before we can come together and be part of a unique being in a marriage` . I see this as referring to adults who at core, are still needy, hurt, little children. That`s whose really driving the bus and probably what attracts us to various others, looking for a replacement parent figure. Sooner or later the bough breaks and baby comes crashing down. This isn`t fun. Daddy isn`t bouncing me on his knee and buying me pretty dresses and adoring and cooing over me. I don`t want to do this no more.

        I bet this is what co depedent marriages are really made of, inward children angling and tantrumming over unmet needs, retaliating and withholding when they are not met. This is actually quite epidemic nowadays.

        I see men in pulpits who are using the ministry as a means of gaining the missing affirmation and validation they didn`t get growing up, who get angry at anyone who confronts them because its another adult who won`t tell Jack what a good boy he is. Still, I think it could properly be said that this is a flesh thing that gets out of control. Children don`t like being told that they have to work hard to make something happen. They don`t like to help prepare dinner and they don`t like to wash up afterwards. They DO like to be served and handed supper on a platter.

        So I guess the choice for adults in codependent marriages or more properly – idolatrous marriages – is to choose between hanging around waiting for your dinner to be served you, and remain a self-centered idolatrous child, which means staying immature and missing out on God`s work and will in your life, or, cooperate with God and seek Him first and not forfeit the grace that could be ours by clinging to worthless idols. I also believe that this is very much a spiritual warfare issue.

        I am guessing how it works is that the enemy knows the hurt, abuse and unmet needs and he poses behind those things to cause us to sympathize with and pity the image of that poor hurt child. Anyhow, your post was very bang on but this is getting long enough and I have to get outside and catch some critters. Bye for now.

        1. I think our needs aren’t necessarily wrong all the time….but God wants us to get them met in Him alone. We are people made to love and be loved.

          I think God is good to let us come to painful places in our lives if we have tried to get those needs met somewhere else. It forces us to finally go to the One alone who can fill us up and meet all of our needs.

          Isaiah 55:1-3:

          “Come, all you who are thirsty,

          come to the waters;

          and you who have no money,

          come, buy and eat!

          Come, buy wine and milk

          without money and without cost.

          Why spend money on what is not bread,

          and your labor on what does not satisfy?

          Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,

          and you will delight in the richest of fare.

          Give ear and come to me;

          listen, that you may live.”

          As wives, we spend a lot of time trying to “fix” our relationships, fix our husbands, figure out a way to get our husbands to meet our needs. But, if marriage and our husbands are our idols, we are just “spending our money on what is not bread and our labor on what doesn’t satisfy” in the end.

          I love this quote by C. S. Lewis: “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

          God is good. It’s a painful process, this idolatry removal, but it’s so good that He is a jealous God and won’t allow our hearts to find satisfaction in anything other than Him.

          1. CIC,

            What joy to see the love and truth of God that is pouring through you today – ministering to so many hurting souls. THANK YOU for praying for our brothers and sisters. I love the passage in Isaiah 55 and the C. S. Lewis quote! That is one of my favorites!

            Praying with you for our brothers and sisters in Christ.

            I love the encouragement, fellowship, prayer, exhortation, and blessing that goes on here. I am in total awe of God’s goodness and the way He uses the Body to bless and build up each one.

            Much love!

          2. Wow, CIC,I was thinking of that quote from CS Lewis a day ago! ; I read it when I was about 19 years old and never forgot it.With regard to the having no idea what is meant by an offer of a holiday at sea, I realized lately, that I had very little idea of God`s holiness and realized that this is essential knowledge for a believer, not to mention having little experience with any of the good parts of the Christian life.. So I have been asking Him to show me. And finding myself shocked at the amount of resistance I find within to really wanting to know if that makes sense. I find myself continually tripped in my pursuit of that knowledge. If I`m not pushed one way to compromise by intimidation or bullying of some sort, its people pleasing and approval seeking. If I manage to extricate myself from those clinging, grabbing thorny brambles, then I find my desire which I thought was stoked up and full on committed, proves to be weak and half hearted and actually more like a wild horse that is accustomed to running wherever it feels like and has never known a rider nor a bridle nor a rein ( that last part is actually from a poem I like, however in one`s spiritual life it is hardly poetic). If its not that, then I find my own will and desire for other things warring against me. I told my husband the other day that I`m thinking of kicking myself out of the house because I`ve become a real problem 🙂 I feel stuck in spiritual quicksand and worn out from trying to escape, succeeding only a few feet and falling back in.

            It`s like wow, I thought I wanted to be obedient and submitted but when actually there, I find so much resistance and the thought of it is utterly foreign at times. It is a real drag to want to be like David, or Deborah, or Mary, or any godly person in Christian history we`ve admired whose commitment to Christ was noteworthy, then only to find yourself more like Balaam (selling out on God and oneself for love, approval and security) or Saul (worried about approval, insecure, was more loyal to himself than to God) or other bad examples in the bible. So if you were to ask me `How`s the idolatry removal project going`, I might have to say, `well, we hit a seam of granite that is proving tough to budge, and there seems to be some persistent problems with the crew who show varying degrees of enthusiasm for the work but as of yet are rather inconsistent, making me wonder if they really want the job`. But, all we can do is press on and ask God for help, as He specialzies in tough cases`.

            I actually like AW Tozer a lot and one of the things he talked about was the evil habit of “God and…`. For instance, I want to be totally sold out to do God`s will. But I also want…….fill in the blank with whatever is current distraction or pull of the month. Àrrrggg.I am glad that He blocks us when we try to go running off in pursuit of other lovers. I am beginning to realize that as much as it isn`t very complimentary, we are an awful lot more like Gomer than we`d like to admit, some of us more than others, and have great need of being hedged in so we cannot find our paths in wrong directions anymore.

          3. lil sheep,

            This is not just your issue. This is all of us to some degree or another, my sister. Thank you for sharing – I think this will be a blessing because it may force us all to look into a mirror more deeply into this issue than maybe we have looked before.

            May God empower us to overcome the flesh through His power and to continue to pursue and seek Him wholeheartedly no matter the cost and no matter the obstacles.

            Much love!

  6. Wow! Thank you so much for your post, LMS. I just was going to write an e-mail to my husband, as I have been wrestling all night on how to approach him, and battling the FEAR that keeps me in bondage… what a timely post for me! I also really like the quote ” Ignoring someone’s sin is essentially writing them a one way ticket to hell”… that really puts it into a whole different perspective…

    Speaking the truth with love, and then stepping back to let God work is something that I am learning and at the same time struggling with, because, like you say, the fear of screwing things up further just holds me in Satan’s grip and prevents me from speaking out! I know I have to just forge forward and not let the “what ifs” hold me captive!

    God is so faithful with this blog and the topics it raises… I see myself in so many of these posts and it is amazing how much encouragement I get from being part of it. Obviously the timing is not a coincidence! I can clearly see His hand in all of this, and it is such a blessing and comfort. Forging on, staying steadfast in his word, and learning to cling to my relationship with him first and foremost! Even if I am just moving one day at a time, sometimes, it seems, one minute at a time…

    Yes, I also think spiritual warfare is very real…I can feel when fear starts gripping my heart, and negative thinking takes over like a cloud of black ink! At least I am at a point now, where I actively start fighting it, rather than choose to let it go on and on in my head! In today’s world there are so many distractions to invite the devil in…he likes nothing better than gossip, strife and me giving into the gripping fear of failure, to keep things as they are, instead of boldly stepping out in faith and leaving the rest to God!

    Thanks again, sister… much love!
    A lifetime learner

    1. Lifetime Learner,

      I’m so glad this post was a blessing to you. God really has great timing, doesn’t He!!!

      Fear is a HUGE issue especially for women. It often is the real reason we complain, nag, become critical, get angry, feel unloved, act disrespectful or other shrew-like behavior. April uses a term “zooming ahead.” It’s when we don’t really know the facts, and we start “filling in the blanks” about what we think is going on. Assuming, predicting, acting suspicious, lying to ourselves and believing the lies and then acting on it all as if it is fact.

      I assume nothing anymore. When I do, it gets me into trouble and I find out I usually have it all wrong and I make a mistake acting on my idea of what COULD’VE been going on but maybe wasn’t. The result is that I make wrong assumptions, hurt my husband or others, and really don’t give my husband the benefit of the doubt that he has GOOD motives, and not bad ones. Fear is very scary, but overcoming fear by keeping the Word of God and His promises front and center of your focus will empower you to overcome it.

      A few of my favorite fear buster scriptures are:

      “I can do all things in Christ” Phil. 4:13

      “What was meant for your harm, will not come to flourish.”

      “He can make beauty from the ashes.” Isa. 61:3

      Learning to understand what fears are making you feel emotional, will greatly help you gain control over those emotions and approach those situations with grace, calm, peace, kindness, respect and level-headedness. Then, the Holy Spirit can help guide you into responding appropriately in each situation.

      I pray that you continue to seek God for help in recognizing the source of your fears and equating them to the emotion you are feeling. It’s okay to admit those fears to God. He already knows them anyway. Ask Him for help to overcome it. I pray you can learn to discern the voice of the enemy and his tactics of zooming ahead with assumptions, suspicions and accusations vs. the voice of reason from God to know what is true. This wisdom is very empowering and will fill you with strength, courage and confidence to trust in God.

      Much love and hugs.

      1. LMS,

        Yes, I know exactly what you mean with making assumptions…when there is no concrete way to confirm what is being said, and what it all means, we, as women, tend to just set the “story in our head” in motion and it becomes such a huge thing!

        I wrote the e-mail, short, truthful and with a loving affirmation at the end, and low and behold, there was fruit from it… I am encouraged! I just need to learn to hold the truth boldly and not get intimidated by whatever the result may be! That is up to God, and as long as I step away from expecting any kind of result, because it doesn’t really matter what the result is… as long as I stand in the truth, I am serving Him, which is what ultimately is the ONLY thing that is important in the first place!

        Thank you for your wisdom and support, by the way, Phil. 4.13 is one of my favorites, I smiled when I saw that!
        Loving one person at a time…

        A Lifelong Learner

        1. Lifetime, I am so happy that your email produced fruit! I am celebrating today with you in how the Holy Spirit guided you. Sounds like you are on the right track. This will take time and the search for His wisdom. Much love….

  7. LMS,

    I googled the book How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong and it came up as Leslie Vernick. Is this the right one? This looks like a good book at any rate!

    1. Yes, sorry, I was wrong on the author. April, could you correct that in the original post please? I had read about 3 to 4 books all in a row and forgot who wrote which ones. Thank you so much for setting us straight on the author…it really is a fantastic book… by Leslie Vernick 😉

        1. Ladies, another excellent book to read is “Boundaries” by Dr’s Cloud and Townsend. They also have a version entitled “Boundaries in marriage”. Life changing perspectives on what is our responsibility and what belongs to others. It will free you of your burdens and lighten your whole spirit. I think it should be required reading.

  8. This is a great post and good comments to read. Something that has been really helpful to me has been completely letting go of my husband’s “sin issues”. The context is different here, I mean he’s basically a good guy, so the challenge here has not been as extreme as it is for some, but I had to learn to let it go, to set his sin issues down at the foot of the cross and to trust God to handle them without my help. Then I had to go forth and fulfill my own needs in those areas, invest in myself where he was going to be unable too.

    So I take long walks, I spend time in prayer and meditation, sometimes I join a bible study, all things designed to fill me up outside of him, not dependent on his “sin issues” ever being resolved. I think we are called to speak up, love calls us to point out our concerns, but the “fixing it” part does not belong to us. That’s between husbands and God. What we are called to do is strengthen our own relationship with Christ and to be at peace with the work He is doing within our husbands.

    Now of course it is going to be different is there are other issues like abuse or addiction, because those can be very hard to deal with, but even then surrendering to Christ and investing in your own self in some way can be really helpful. Women have a tendency to become emeshed, entangled emotionally in ways that just aren’t healthy for us. Sometimes the best thing we can do is to just drop that rope and start focusing on ourselves.

    1. “..but even then surrendering to Christ and investing in your own self in some way can be really helpful. Women have a tendency to become enmeshed, entangled emotionally in ways that just aren’t healthy for us. Sometimes, the best thing we can do is to just drop that rope and start focusing on ourselves.”

      Love this!!!

  9. Thanks for your post, LMS. I could really use some feedback, ladies. My husband and I have been separated for years, and he is very shut down and bitter towards me because of my control early in our marriage and his own fear issues. I have fought to hold on to our marriage and not divorce after this long. We have minimal contact. But my husband’s behavior is very manipulative–he twists my words so that everything is my fault. In the moment, how do I defend myself when I know it is a manipulative tactic? Right now I feel like no contact is just me avoiding the issue. But when I say, ” This statement hurt me.” I’m told I’m lying or making it up! So then I shut down. He says he wants our marriage to work, not divorce, but I cannot please him (again, manipulation) Thoughts?

      1. Yes, that would be great. I am saved and have prayed about my own sin and gone through 2 years of Christian counseling to deal with my issues during the separation.

        1. shakeo919,

          Okay… 🙂

          Here we go!

          1. What is your relationship with Christ like now? How much time do you spend with Him? What do you read? What do you pray for?

          2. What is your greatest desire for your relationship with Him?

          3. What is your greatest fear?

          4. What do you believe you need to be happy in life?

          5. Are you experiencing much of God’s fruit in your life? Godly love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control?

          6. Are you struggling with bitterness, resentment, gossip, negativity, complaining, a critical spirit, a desire to control others, disrespect, rage, out of control anger, lust, unbelief in God, greed, dishonesty, putting things above God in your heart, fear, worry, etc..?

          Much love to you!

          1. Jesus is the one keeping me and providing for me daily. I need Him like oxygen! I spend 10-30 min a day, (more on weekends, weekly Bible study at church also)and I pray for my husband’s heart to submit to God, for healing of our dysfunctional patterns, and for my heart to be cleansed of bitterness and self pity. I ask God to show me what His will is–is this a case of being no longer bound, or does He want me to stay? It’s been 3 years.

            My greatest desire for my relationship with Him is to honor Him with my life. I want to do His will. I want to fulfill his purposes for my life. I genuinely don’t want a divorce, but I think my husband has some mental issues that I didn’t know of before I married him. He refuses to go to counseling alone or together. I have not heard a clear answer from the Lord and I’m afraid I’m being a coward at this point.

            My greatest fear at this point is continuing to stay in this marriage and then face the Lord and find out He had a completely different plan but I lost out due to fear of failing. ( I have a long family history of divorce, so I don’t want to give the enemy another win, but I also deal with rejection and tend to hang onto things that hurt me to avoid rejection.)

            Fulfilling the plan of God for my life.

            I have grown in some of these areas, thanks to the Lord, but I do struggle with lack of peace.

            I have grown in these areas–2 years of counseling really helped me focus on my issues–but I still have work to do in idolatry and control.

          2. shakeo919,

            My precious sister, do you need any help with dealing with bitterness and self-pity? The enemy would LOVE to keep you stuck there – but in Christ, you can be free from these things!

            It seems to me that waiting and continuing to seek God is never a sin! I’m glad you are not rushing way ahead of God when you aren’t clearly hearing His voice leading. I don’t see where remaining separated is a sin. I Corinthians 7 allows for that. The awesome thing is that as you seek God with all your heart, He absolutely can and will lead you according to His will. 🙂 You don’ have to fear that He will hide it from you or hold back on you. As you desire Him far above anything else and devote yourself to loving and knowing Him and yielding everything to Him in total surrender and trust – He will guide you in His timing and in His path for you. 🙂

            What if – this very spot of waiting – IS God’s plan for you at this time and what if it is the place where He desires to purify, refine, and prune you for His glory? 🙂

            Much love to you!

    1. Hi Shake0919,

      I just want to say that you’re not alone in feeling this way. My mother does this to me sometimes if I try to say that something she did hurt me – sometimes she says I don’t feel that way, sometimes she ignores that I said I felt hurt and instead goes on a long tangent of why her actions are justified.

      Here are some things that help me with this:
      1) Your husband (or anyone else) does not get to dictate how you feel or your reality. The minute you put this up for debate, you give him (or whoever it is) a window for control. Don’t try to justify that you had a right to feel hurt – this is putting your feelings up for debate. You can repeat THAT you felt hurt. Even if he doesn’t listen, changes the subject, or accuses you of not actually feeling that way, he can’t actually disprove what you feel.
      2) Don’t respond in sin, even if he sins against you. I am still struggling with this with my mother, but I can say that the times I don’t respond in sin have much better outcomes than the times that I do.

      Again, don’t know if these will be helpful or not, just wanted you to know that you’re not the only one who has / does experience this behavior from someone close to you.

      Much love! <3
      Flower

        1. Yes I’ve read one of Leslie’s books. It is emotionally abusive. It is toxic. I admit, but Biblically I don’t know what my recourse is, because there’s no adultery. Help!

  10. This is a fantastic post thanks so much for sharing your struggles.

    I saw you mentioned how you tried to talk about God with him but it is lost on him. I am in a similar boat and I am very confused. I committed my life to Christ more than three months ago, and despite the fact that since that time our marriage has been stronger than it has EVER been (thanks to the Lord!) we avoid spiritual discussions in much detail and I have not even shared the real reason yet for all of my changes.

    I wanted him to see the changes first and prayer for God to show me the opportunity to talk about this with my husband but then time has gone on and I still can’t seem to have a discussion. I feel this is wrong, yet my husband says he doesn’t know where he is spiritually and I feel that forcing him to have a conversation is also wrong, and getting on this topic may be very convicting and I believe I am not to interfere with his relationship with God.

    Do you or does anyone else have any insight or direction on this? Again I am praying about it but not having gotten anything I feel is from God on moving forward with this discussion, I am just afraid that I am just not hearing it as I feel this is dishonouring God.

    Were you always a believer while in your relationship or no? If not did you make this known right away to your husband once you had become a believer? I am so confused how to move forward.

    Thanks so much!

    1. Melanie,

      I vote to continue in prayer until you know for sure what God desires you to do. There are times when talking about things just makes it worse – which is why God gave us 1 Peter 3:1-2 about how to witness to our husbands mostly by our own actions and attitudes without words. Then there are times when God makes it very obvious that “this is the time and here are the words I want you to share.” I believe very strongly that as you seek God wholeheartedly and desire to listen and obey Him, He can and will show you the right timing.

      Some posts that may be helpful:

      – Why Keeping Respect Secret May Be Wise
      – Without a Word
      – Apologizing Stories

      Perhaps some of these posts might be a blessing. I pray for God’s clear wisdom and timing, my sweet sister. Congratulations on your new walk with Christ!

      1. Thanks April. Yes I am continuing in prayer until I have a clear direction from God and trusting in Him that this is what He wants me to do until the time is right. It is difficult not to feel as though I am doing a dishonour to God when I whole heartedly believe that it was only through Him that I have been able to make all these changes in myself that have turned things around in our marriage. I believe that He is the one that saved our marriage from complete failure and it is difficult for me to not really be able to share that. But I will continue to wait on the Lord to give me the timing to share it. Thanks for your input and your encouragement!

        1. Melanie,

          There will be a time when your husband may ask about what is going on and God will give you the green light to share – or something may come up that helps you see this is the time! Your husband IS noticing the changes in you – I have no doubt of that. 🙂 You are blessing him and witnessing to him powerfully just by allowing God to transform you. Yes, it is ALL God! 🙂 And I believe He will give you just the right time and approach to share this with your husband. 🙂

  11. Hi April

    I haven’t written in a long while. My marriage had improved a lot and my husband and I were getting along better untill pornography came into the marriage.He bacame obsessed with it because of the guys at work telling him sex acts he should try on me. He manipulated me and degraded me untill after a year I started to give in.

    Long story short… I completely freaked out one night and attacked him in a fit of rage and sobbing. He restrained me and hurt my hand which ended me up in the ER that night. Nurse called the cops and he was arrested. We now have protective orders against us both and I havent seen or spoken to him in over a month. We had to get lawyers and will be going to court in 3 weeks. I did not press charges but the cops did. Assault charges on him.

    I am in therapy now for the trauma that this porn has caused to me. Soo horribly degradeing and demeaning. He was so obsessed with it that my pleas to stop were ignored and my talks with him about it were met with ridicule and critisim and saying all the young girls do this stuff with his buddies so I’m insecure with my sexuality. I don’t recognize my husband at all anymore and am so grateful he was removed from the house.

    WOW! Porn makes a man lose his mind!!! I’m in shock but therapy is helping me and I started going to church again with a very welcomeing atmosphere and they pray over me. Its non denominational born again. I will never stop going to church again. My heart is so broken. How did Porn destroy my husband so badly?

    1. Marie,

      Oh no!!!! My dear sister! 🙁 I am so incredibly sad to hear about all that has happened. Pain all around. Such a tragic turn for your marriage. :'(

      As you look back, is there anything you wish you could go back and share with your old self from before all of this started?

      How are you doing spiritually at this point? Would you be interested in talking a bit about things?

      Much love to you! I am praying for you both – for healing in Christ individually, and that He might create beauty from these ashes.

      1. Hi April, thanks for your reply. You asked if there was anything I wish I could go back and say to my old self before this happened?? YES. I was learning about respecting my husband and things got so much better but it seemed to all go to his head . I became too submissive and he bagan to bully me around a lot. I let it go too far. I was more submissive and a respecter of him above GOD. I wish I said NO to him about the stuff he wanted me to do and do to me instead of submitting to him. UGH. This respect thing is new to me and I let it go too far. I respected him above my own self respect. My spirituality is better than its ever been. I now go to church every sunday and bible study every wensday and I love this new church. It found me and I went. I really need to fully understand my relationship with GOD and others and to also care for myself. I will never leve church again and will forever put God first in my life. Now I understand what can happen when we are not growing continuously. Had I been going to this church I could have spoken with the Pastors wife and other ladies about what was happening , My marriage blew up but my relationship with God has taken on a whole new importance in my life and I am putting my future in his hands.

        1. Marie,

          I am really glad to hear that you are realizing these things now. I don’t want to see women idolize their husbands or go too far with submission and respect to the point that they place their husbands on the throne of their hearts rather than Christ. I don’t believe we have to degrade ourselves in order to respect our husbands.

          SO thankful that you are focusing on God. I pray for healing for you both. I do wish you had reached out much earlier. Other women, I hope you will reach out if you are in this kind of situation! But I am thankful that you are trusting Christ now. There is no better place to be, my precious sister!

        2. Please continue to pray for your husband as much as you can, Marie! I’m sorry you are going through this, and I agree that you will have to now put this in the Lord’s Hands. Hugs to you!

        3. Marie, I’m so sorry for your situation, but so thankful for what God is doing in your life! I pray for God’s wisdom as you go forward from here and for your husband to reach the end of himself and to truly know God.

          What the enemy means for evil, God always means for good. You are in a safe place with your future in His hands.

    2. For anyone who may need these resources, you may search my home page for:

      – porn
      – prayer for those affected by porn
      – when would I not submit to my husband?
      – confronting our husbands about their sin
      – violence, rage, and anger
      – abuse

  12. Hi April,
    I’m reaching out because my jealousy is affecting my marriage. It’s come to the point where even if I don’t say anything, everytime Im with my husband and see an attractive woman or young lady my heart dies and I feel sick with jealousy. I’ve been controlling my tongue but my poor husband gets nervous whenever any young lady passes in front of us or is on the tv, even some sultry voices that sound really exotic and I know do entice men bother me and I’ll ask him to change the station. Sometimes commercials will show women in bikinis and we no longer watch regular tv, just christian channels which we enjoy.

    I am humbly asking for your help as scripture states that it is wise to seek counsel and I fear this is really affecting our marriage horribly. I want to use the sword of the spirit which is the Word of God as Jesus did in the dessert to fight this spiritual battle when I feel those feelings come on when we see someone on the street or on tv.

    Can you help me select Scripture verses that I can say out loud, I need to speak aloud God’s truth and use the sword of the spirit as a sword in its sheath does no good in battle.

    I also read to reward myself with little things when I don’t fall and say things like “Why’d you look over there..”. etc…I know my husband guards his heart and I believe him. We trust our husbands April but as painful as it sounds, what if you saw your husband appreciating a woman with his eyes. I know you don’t assume things, I’m just asking this because your answer to this can be very healing for me. What would you do April? Please don’t feel the need to post this publicly but you have my email and if you can respond privately that’s even better. I’m really hurting inside. I need scripture I can say aloud and I would love to know what you would do if you saw your husbands eyes look a woman up and down with appreciation that was scantily dressed. Please don’t take offense at my asking you not to say you won’t assume he did that, I just need to know how you would respond if he did do that because because that will be my Godly example. What would you say to him knowing without question it was an appreciative glance and would you heart be hurt even for a moment. Thank you April.

  13. SisterinChrist, you are not alone. I have walked this journey and God has done a big work in me with this! There is hope! I don’t have a lot of time to respond right now, but wanted to share these links. The comments at the end are helpful, too….(The second link was a comment I shared on April’s blog and she made it into a post)

    http://peacefulwife.com/2016/01/11/a-controlling-fearful-wife-wants-to-change/

    ttps://peacefulwife.com/2016/01/14/god-helps-a-wife-overcome-destructive-jealousy/

    Since that time, God has freed me even more! Start here and I would be happy to talk with you more if you want to discuss anything that you read there or any other questions.

    A big part of this is understanding that we cannot control our husbands’ thoughts, roaming eyes, etc. It is ok to be hurt. That is natural if your husband has a bad habit (mine did, maybe still does…?) You need to keep respectfully communicating your hurt, but God also wants to take you to a place where your husband’s actions don’t control you anymore!! He can do it. 🙂 The only person you can control is yourself. God will use this in your life to deepen your relationship with Him and so that you find your identity and worth solely in Him! He wants to set you free!!!!

    1. Thank you. I’ve read those links and will reread them. I really can’t keep communicating my hurt because my constant reactions and accusations are what’s driving our marriage to ruin and the problem is not that he’s looking innapropriately because it could be any woman dressed innapropriately that walks in front of our car that he happens to glance at because they are a human being and as he says if it was an old man he would have looked at them the same. I see he is very uncomfortable when women are around because of the way I accuse constantly. I trust he guards his heart and he never ogles or stares. He loves going to mass everyday and his walk with Christ is firm. This is a mental battle Im having and Im losing.I guess I was unclear in my earlier message. Thank you again for taking the time to respond, I’ll read both links again.

      1. SisterinChrist, just wanted to say I have struggled in the past with this as I’m sure many women do, and wanted to reassure you that God is able to help you overcome this as He has helped me. I am finally feeling the freedom of not being jealous of every look, thought, and action my husband did when it came to another woman. The scripture that helped me to overcome this is Phillipians 4:8. When I feel jealous, I remember these words, and focus on what is good, true, right, lovely, admirable, about my husband and my marriage. Reminding myself that my husband is a dedicated man, he has not cheated on me and has avoided the opportunity when it was available to him, he is honest and he has integrity. He is with ME, and not her (whoever). This is his choice. He is choosing to stay loyal to me, which says that he has hope and a desire for us in our marriage. Then I remind myself that when God told me I needed to give up trying to control my life and give it to him, I promised that once I gave my life to Him, I would put all my trust in Him and no longer be afraid of what is “out there” that could hurt me, impact my life, or my marriage. HE is more than capable of handling my life much more than I could ever be. Truth is I have no justified reason to be jealous or fearful and I remind myself this every day.

        I also have struggled to understand why I felt this way when I don’t want to, and God helped me realize how much I had lost confidence in myself, and to the point that I was always jealous because I had convinced myself that I wasn’t worth my husband staying with. I had myself convinced that he would probably go and find better than me so that made me more jealous. Every word, glance, action towards another woman I was fearful that it meant my husband was wanting to find better than me and I would freak out because I felt if I didn’t I would lose control. Now I realize with Gods help to show me, that there IS nothing I can to do control, beyond striving to be a godly wife. If I focus on this and my husband did succumb to temptation or become unhappy and leave, there is nothing I can do about that. So I focus on pleasing God in my role as a wife and let God worry about the rest.

        It is a hard battle to overcome the lies that satan tries to convince us are true. But they are lies!!! We are daughters of God, and That makes us worth more than we ever could imagine!

        I believe satan uses jealousy as a way of driving a wedge in to destroy the relationships God wants us to have. I know for me my jealousy was a huge strain as my husband was tired of every moment being under pressure that he would offend me with something that was completely innocent, and it contributed to his shutting down in our marriage. No doubt he felt like I was not going to trust him anyways no matter what he did so why keep trying. I can see that now, as I realize now so much of my jealousy was unwarranted and unfair. Funny thing is the more confident I become and the more I overcome the jealousy, the less I worry, but the more I see my husband relaxing and just enjoying our relationship.

        Some days are better than others, but I’m slowly getting there. God has shown me so much about myself on this journey and I am gaining more confidence in myself and God is doing a lot of work on my heart. The more confidence I gain as a woman of God, the more I am assured that I have nothing to fear. I will keep you in my prayers that you will also be able to overcome the fear and jealousy that is an obstacle in your life and your marriage.

        1. Melanie,
          I can’t even tell you how much I appreciated reading your post. The only thing I’m noticing however is that I’ve not heard or read on this blog (and i read alot here) of any woman with similar situations that have with God’s healing completely overcome jealousy and that scares me. That’s why I was hoping to hear from Peacefulwife too because she doesn’t have this problem and that’s why I was specific in the initial question with her because I was hoping to use her words as something to repeat when I get those emotions that she doesn’t get so I can get to her place of not being jealous at all when there is a gorgeous woman right in front of her and her husband. This problem is really scaring me.

          1. SisterinChrist, that is great that you are confident in your husband’s integrity!

            I know the heartache of wondering if you can overcome this problem. I remember feeling the exact way! Like, would I ever be able to go out in public without this dreaded fear gripping me? Going out ANYWHERE stirred up fear in me that a beautiful woman would be there, ready to catch my husband’s eye. Even if our situations are a little bit different, the solution is still the same, I promise! Many of the things Melanie mentioned are thoughts that I’ve had to consciously focus on, as well. In the end, it is our security in who we are in Christ that will free us from jealousy and by renewing our minds by replacing the lies we are believing with His truth. Things like this do seem daunting at first when we start cooperating with the Spirit’s work to renew our minds in these areas. It seems like there is a huge, long road ahead of us. But, I think the hardest part really is the surrendering it to Christ and being willing to cooperate with whatever He asks of us in the process. Which, we know is going to be good, because He is a good Father to us! As we begin to take those thoughts captive and as our mind does start renewing, the intensity in the battle does die away and it gets easier and easier.

            I don’t know that I can promise that this temptation will go away for you completely. I don’t think we are promised that in God’s Word. Jesus was tempted. We all will have temptations in this life. Some of us struggle with jealousy, others struggle with a different thing. Sometimes, God takes away a stronghold instantly. Others battle that temptation for years. It is what we do in the struggle and the temptation that counts.

            But, I do believe that as we allow God to do His work on these areas in our lives, then we experience more and more freedom in that area and it won’t feel like bondage, gripping fear, gripping jealousy. It will look completely different and I believe you will even come to a place where those same scenarios that used to trigger such fear and insecurity in you will become sweet places where you remember all that God has done in your life and all that He has rescued you from.

            Psalm 84:5-7:

            Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
            whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
            As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
            they make it a place of springs;
            the autumn rains also cover it with pools.d
            They go from strength to strength,
            till each appears before God in Zion.

          2. SisterinChrist,

            I don’t freak out when my husband sees a beautiful woman, true. Of course, he doesn’t ogle or gawk. But he is aware that beautiful women exist in the world. I don’t really feel like I have to try to be the most beautiful girl in the room or in the world. Here is a post about that.

            When your security and worth is completely tied up in Jesus, not your husband’s eyes and thoughts – I believe you can find total healing for this. I believe it is possible to make our husband’s pure thought lives or whether they see other beautiful women or not an idol in our lives. Does that make sense? Something that I put above Christ in my heart and feel I must have to be secure and whole.

            Don’t depend on your husband’s eyes and his thoughts for your security, my sister! Depend on Jesus! Check out the posts about insecurity and security – as well as the one about “I Don’t Have to be the Most Beautiful Girl in the Room.” And let me know what God speaks to your heart. 🙂

            Much love!

        2. Melanie, thank you for this beautiful explanation and sharing your thoughts here. What a blessing! You are right, fear and images of self as unworthy or not good enough are at the core of that kind of jealousy. It is important to realize that your worth comes from what God thinks about you, not from other people. God loves you deeply….enough to sacrifice His son to save your life. You are written on the palm of His hand. Every hair on your head is known to Him. He sees every tear, every smile. He knows your thoughts and feelings….not big brother style…looking for you to fail, but rather, loving Daddy style, with compassion and love, wanting to hold you in His arms. Once you know who you are to God, you realize there is no other opinion you need to care about. Not the opinion of your spouse, kids, parents, boss, neighbors friends or strangers.

          God is a jealous God. What does THAT mean then? It means He wants you to love no other God before him. If your husband was treating another woman as his wife, attention, physical, love, devotion etc, that would be a godly type of jealousy, because YOU are his wife, not another. But if your husband is loyal, loving and affectionate to you, then rest peacefully in that. Be the queen to your king. You own that place. Have the confidence of that position.

          Yes, men are tempted daily by physical beauty. There are good articles about this. Much of what April has written about it is good too. But I read somewhere that women are like pieces of art to men. There are beautiful pieces of art, and not so beautiful…the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It doesn’t mean he is going to go purchase that art and bring it home and put it on his wall. He may admire it, but YOU are on his wall, bringing him joy, comfort, comraderie, and love. He chose YOU.

          Praying for you to dig deep into your true fear and asking God to show you the truth of how loves, cherished and valued you are by Him. Much love and hugs, my sister.

          1. Thank you. If you have time, I would still like to hear from April, most especially on my previous comment. I wonder if our Lord gets jealous with us if we idolize our husbands/vanities/insecurities. I don’t want to believe something that isn’t true but if I knew Jesus was jealous that I idolized my husband by being so jealous than yes that would help heal but my mind remembers He is no respecter of persons.

          2. Sisterinchrist,

            Jesus is jealous of ANYTHING that we put above Him. Our spouses, our children, money, our marriages, our acceptance of others, ourselves, all of it. He, alone should be our source. If you were to place your priorities in order, it would be God first, then waaay below, our spouses, our children, our families, etc. Then ourselves need to be sprinkled in there as the temple of the Holy Spirit. We need to take care of ourselves to be able to care for others.

            I had to face that I had these things as idols over God in my own life:

            Myself (pride), my husband (he was my god and all he said or did was truth in my eyes), my kids (I even had them over my husband…I cared about their happiness over what God wanted me to do), being perfect (I thought that was the only way I could be loved, which puts Gods opinions of me far down the line by not trusting Him or believing Him) , my job, my acceptance by others (more pride), my marriage (I did not think I was a person if I wasn’t married…this is putting God’s value of me below my own value of me), fear (my idol of being in control instead of allowing God to be in control.

            There was much more. I pray you can really evaluate your motives, expectations and fear in light of this heirarchy. If you have ANYTHING as an idol above God, then God will let you experience the consequences of that. He is a jealous God. Isreal suffeted consequences of idolatry over and over, especiallybif you read the book of judges. He will try to teach you until you turn from sin. God is gently trying to wake you up to your sins. He wants to draw you to Him, surrender your control, pride and fear to Him. He wants what is best for you…always.

            I’m sure April has some good posts to refer you to. In the meantime, search her site for: idols, idolatry, and husbands as an idol.

            I was sinning hard in this area. My husband would comment about other women’s chests even on our honey moon. I still strughle with jealousy because of my suspicions and hurt. It sent me into a downward spiral feeling that whatever my husband said about me….good or bad…was truth. In reality, he is a human too. Capable of sinning, lies, and wrong beliefs just like me. It’s important to search out the truth for yourself, not just be fed others’ opinions. Even mine or Aprils. Look into the bible to either support or refute those things you question and use that to evaluate ANYTHING you read or hear or even are thinking if beleiving. I’m not good at all the scripture references, as far as specific places and chapter/verses, but I know they are there. I will try to be better at the notations to help guide ad well.

            April, the rest is there for your comments as well. Much love, sister.

          3. LMSdaily115, “be the queen to your king!” I love it!

            And I love your analogy about the art… that’s exactly how I think of it… looking at it doesn’t mean he wants to hang it on his wall! I am on his wall, bringing him joy.

            One of the books I read Shaunti Feldhahn’s for women only, has a chapter that helped me understand men and their visual nature and it really did reassure me (be sure to read the whole chapter and in fact the whole book was a great help to me!) I believe it was April who recommended this book on a variety of topics that we have discussed here.

            I believe that jealousy isn’t something we can necessarily be completely cured of, but I believe that relying on the Word and prayer to help us through those times when we feel that monster rearing its ugly head, are what makes us overcome or feelings and gives us that reassuring peace that only God can give us. I do believe that satan can and always will use it as a tool to try and destroy us, and it’s what we do when satan tries to sway us that will make the difference. I do believe that the more we work on it and make that Choice to turn to the Lord to help us when we feel this way, the more we will be able to handle it through the strength we receive from Him, and the more peace we will be able to have with it.

          4. Melanie,

            Love this!

            There will always be temptations, yes. But as we abide in Christ and are walking by His Spirit and His power – He can absolutely give us victory over temptation. 🙂

        3. Melanie,

          This is SO beautiful and powerful! I would love to share it anonymously as a post either here or on my FB page, my sister. PRAISE GOD for what He has done in your heart! 🙂 WOOHOOO!

          Yes it is about taking our thoughts captive for Christ! Here is a video about that topic that may also be a blessing, SisterinChrist. 🙂

          I am so thankful to see several sisters reaching out and sharing hope, healing, wisdom, love, and encouragement like this! PRAISE GOD! 🙂

          1. NB,
            I was thinking about you last night, my sister! So thankful this conversation has been a blessing. It is an issue that impacts many marriages, that is for sure.

    2. CIC,
      Thank you so much for reaching out to SisterinChrist with your experiences! SisterinChrist, if you need additional support, please let me know. But I have a feeling that what ContentinChrist is sharing with you may be extremely helpful in pointing you to the healing that is available to you in Jesus. 🙂

      Some other posts about this topic:

      I Need to Change! I Can’t Go On Like This!”

      “Righteous Jealousy and Anger” may be helpful.

      Please also search my home page for:

      – insecurity
      – security

      Much love to you! I am praying for God’s healing for you, precious sister!

  14. Whatever we focus on, increases… make an extensive list of all of the good qualities in your husband and whenever you feel jealousy creep in, compliment him on one of those, and thank him for being all that!
    Just my two cents worth…
    Love, A Lifelong Learner

  15. Lifetime Learner, I think there is a lot of truth in what you say, about how whatever we focus on increases. This is a bit of `reverse engineering`thinking but it makes me wonder if, when God instructs us to magnify Him, this is part of what He means, focus on Him, because that is the effect. And it gives a clue as to spiritual warfare, in that the enemy also tries to snag a corner of our mind or find his way in through a tiny thought, which he then works on until it is widened to epidemic proporitions. Veeerrrrryyyyy interesting.

  16. Thank you CIC, Melanie and LMS and Lifetime learner. I literally broke down in tears as you all shared what I consider a blessed gift I dint even deserve. So much Godly wisdom. I still have a problem with the whole he likes to enjoy art because my husband looks so sincere when he tells me he doesn’t lust, he tells me that sin is nailed to the cross and Lord help me I believe it. I’m also aging in my forties and these younger girls make me jealoys, even younger bubbly voices irk me because I know that my husband is a man who naturally is attracted to that and he’s my best friend.
    April, are you ok with your husband finding another woman attractive and would you be hurt if you saw him give an admiring look. I just want whatever makes you not be hurt, I want that thought or action or whatever you say to yourself to nor care abut a gorgeous young female crossing in front of you and your husbands path.
    I works really appreciate your personal thought on that and lastly, do you think when I get jealous and accuse my husband of looking and cause disharmony Jesus is upset because I caused disharmony to my marriage because I’m again idolizing my insecurity/jealousy over Jesus?
    Thank you April and thank you again ladies, you broke me down in a beautiful uplifting way.

  17. I meant to say do you think Jesus would be upset over the disharmony or that I idolized my husband over Jesus. And IS my jealousy idolizing my husband over Jesus?

    1. SisterinChrist,

      To God, our idolatry feels like adultery in marriage. Yes. That is a very big deal. I don’t know your heart. I only know what you are sharing with me. But if you are idolizing your husband or this one aspect of your relationship and seeking to find your security, worth, joy, peace, purpose, and contentment there rather than in Jesus, that is a problem. And yes, it would grieve His heart.

      So, it could be wise to ask God to help you see if you are idolizing your husband or some aspect of your relationship with Him so that you can repent.

      Let’s do a spiritual check up on you – would that be okay?

      If you are up for it… here are some questions to prayerfully consider:

      1. How can you be made completely right with God?

      2. What do you most desire in your walk with Christ?

      3. What are your greatest fears?

      4. What do you most need to be content in life?

      5. What do you complain about the most?

      6. What would happen if your greatest fears came true? What if your husband saw a beautiful woman and was attracted and decided to flirt with her or start an illicit relationship with her? What would you do?

      Much love to you!

      1. SisterinChrist,

        One more question…

        7. Have you ever experienced seeing the depths of your sin and the enormity of the amount of grace Jesus has offered to you? Have you ever had to see that you are a wretched sinner before and realize the cost of the blood of Christ on the cross?

      2. Hi April,
        I was overfilled with so much gratitude at the responses for me so far that these questions really surprised me. Thank you so much for caring enough to ask. My heart stopped really and in my mind I answered as I read and will answer very honestly even though some of the answers are sinful, but I must be honest because I do want healing.
        . How can you be made completely right with God?
        Pay more attention to my mother in law who is not a good grandmother and is neglectful. Stop being so prideful and vain. I was very beautiful when I was younger and have used this to give me value, now that my looks are fading and I have a low profile job, I don’t know how to drive and I’ve never been on a plane. These things add but are not the main reason I’m insecure. Aging and losing looks are, and the body changing.

        2. What do you most desire in your walk with Christ?
        I desire with all of my heart to find security and my value in Christ. I want to believe what I read today that stopped me in my tracks “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” From Jeremiah. Is the Lord of the Old Testament Jesus? And is he talking to me, to us when He says this?
        3. What are your greatest fears?
        That God doesn’t see me. I know its a crazy thought since I believe in God. But I’ve always hoped He would ‘turn His ear to me’. On a more earthly level, I fear that as I age I will become very unattractive and my husband would not be attracted to me.
        4. What do you most need to be content in life?
        Fully believing not only that God knows I exist on a personal level(It’s crazy I know) but that He and loves “me” so when I read the Psalms and other OT books I can believe that He wasn’t just talking to them but to me, to us. But I don’t want to believe that if it’s not true.

        5. What do you complain about the most?
        I guess it would have to be how inappropriate women dress CONSTANTLY. We are truly surrounded by that in the summer here in the North east.

        6. What would happen if your greatest fears came true? What if your husband saw a beautiful woman and was attracted and decided to flirt with her or start an illicit relationship with her? What would you do?
        As of right now, I would die inside, ofcourse I would likely start divorce proceedings and begin a separation. I probably would need hospitalization for a day because I would have a breathing attack.
        7. Have you ever experienced seeing the depths of your sin and the enormity of the amount of grace Jesus has offered to you? Have you ever had to see that you are a wretched sinner before and realize the cost of the blood of Christ on the cross?
        WHen I pray I tell God I know I am not worthy even to pray, it is not false humility, I really feel a sense of just how sinful I am and to come into His presence, I feel unworthy. I always say to please give me crumbs as I would be happy with the crumbs from my Masters table. He knows I mean it, desperate that I am to be free of this bondage of jealousy and vanity.
        Thank you April, I know it’s alot. But it feels healing just to have shared that ‘out loud’.

        1. SisterinChrist,

          This is super helpful for me to see where you are coming from. Thank you!

          1. How did you become a Christian? 🙂 What do you believe someone must do to come to Christ?

          2. Is it possible that looks/beauty/youth has been an idol? Here is a post about that. And here is a post about my thoughts about having worldly beauty.

          One of the reasons I think I don’t freak out if my husband sees a beautiful woman is that I never really tried to get my security from my looks. I was made fun of a lot in middle school for my flat-chestedness. So I felt that I was not “a real woman” for a long time. I still buy my bras in the little girls’ section. Seriously. At Wal-Mart – for $6. I used to be very insecure about that. But now I am totally fine with my body. I am an extra small in women’s. I can wear girls’ size 14 clothes – especially the tops.

          For many years, until way after I was 30 years old, people thought I was 12 years old. That was humiliating. But that is just how things were. So – I didn’t ever learn to put a lot of faith in my external beauty. I haven’t worn any makeup for over a year now – and I am fine with that. I don’t feel self-conscious at all. I am thankful for my body and want to be a godly steward of it but I don’t freak out about getting older. I am 43 now. Of course, lots of people think I am in my early 20s still. But my goal is to pursue godly beauty not physical beauty.

          When a beautiful woman walks in front of Greg. I don’t really think anything in particular. I may think, “She’s pretty” for half a second – and then I continue on talking with Greg if I was talking. I am secure in his love. But more than that, I am secure in who I am in Christ. That is totally key!

          3. Check out this post by Radiant about that the goal is not to be a trophy wife. I think she may hit on some of the issues that are at the root of this whole thing for you, possibly.

          4. I would encourage you to read Cinderella and the Gospel by Radiant. Radiant used to believe that she was not “a real person” and that God’s Word applied to other people but not to her. She didn’t receive God’s love, her husband’s love, or other people’s love.

          I would also invite you to read Identifying the Lies We Have Embraced.

          6. Why would you die inside and have to be hospitalized if your husband flirted with another woman? Where is your security? Obviously, if a husband flirts with another woman, that is sin. It is a problem. And if he has an affair, that is a bigger problem. A very painful problem. But do I have to be completely destroyed if my husband messes up? No – I don’t believe so. Not if I am depending on God to meet my deepest needs.

          7. How can you be worthy to pray?

          Much love to you! 🙂

          1. SisterinChrist,

            I know that Greg (and many men and even many women, too) faces temptation visually daily. But I don’t worry about that. I know ultimately what he thinks is between himself and God. But I also know he tries to honor me and God with his eyes. He doesn’t ogle, gawk, or flirt. Very thankful for that. We have discussions sometimes about what it is like to be a guy and to face visual temptation. I really want to try to understand his world and the challenges he faces. I want to be a teammate and friend to him.

            I think it also helps me to realize that I have my own sinful thought struggles. They may be different from his. But they are equally destructive. if I allow worry, fear, a desire to control him, resentment, bitterness, hatred, contempt, etc… to fill my thoughts – I am sinning in my thought life. This breaks my fellowship with God and hurts my relationship with Greg, too. All sin is destructive. Why should I label one sin as more destructive than another? I have a big job just making sure I take my own thoughts captive for Christ and don’t sin in my own thoughts. Greg will answer to God for his. My job is to be a friend and fellow traveler on this road, a safe place for him to share his struggles if he wants to, a prayer warrior, and a blessing to him.

            I have seen women destroy their marriages by freaking out if their husbands saw that other women existed. I don’t see where that approach is helpful. It often creates the very thing they fear most.

            Much love!

          2. Hi April, thank you so much. I wrote a reply but my computer crashed and I lost it. My mother laid the foundation for my faith. I believe one needs to believe in God our Father and creator of Heaven and earth and on His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ who is our salvation and then strive to live like Christ lives in us, as our bodies are a temple.

            I said I would die inside because my husband always says lust is a sin he thanks God is nailed to the cross. I believe he believes that. If that scenario would happen, it would crush me because it would mean he not only lied but that he is far from God.

            If you get a lot of people thinking you’re early 20’s, then maybe all those compliments prevent you from feeling old versus a woman who gets ma’amed all the time and who looks old and feels shes on her wat to being unnattactive to her spouse.

            To answer the last question, scripture says the prayer of a righteous man is worth much, I dint consider myself righteous so when I pray I thank God for all of our blessings first (my husband and I pray together nightly) and then I ask for even crumbs when I feel desperate for help because I always remember another scripture that talks about the man who was persistent in asking for something until finally the master was annoyed and gave him what he asked. I’ll take those crumbs happily and humbly.
            Have a blessed night, thank you and know I will read EVERY link you provided and all of the comments all over again with a meditative heart.

          3. SisterinChrist,

            That is a bummer about the computer crashing! 🙁

            I think it is critical for us to know that it is Jesus who did the work to make us right with God. There is nothing we can do to earn God’s salvation or grace. And then it is ALL Jesus’ work on our behalf that empowers us to live in holiness and obedience to Him. If we are trying to do any of this in our own power, we will crash and burn – as I can certainly attest.

            None of us want our spouses to fail us or to break our covenant. It would be extremely painful – BUT – I believe that God can give us the strength we need to get through a situation even if our spouse failed us. I don’t go around expecting Greg to fail me or to betray me. But I know that our God is able to restore and heal even after terrible situations and sin. I guess what I am trying to say – is that I trust all of that to God. And if I had to face something like that, my prayer is that I would continue to trust God and receive strength from Him and that He would use it all for His glory in ways I couldn’t begin to fathom.

            I live in the South – so, plenty of people call me, “ma’am.” I call my daughter, “ma’am,” and she is just 9. It is what we try to do in the South – but it doesn’t mean someone is old. It is simply good manners and respect. 🙂 But I do remember how offended some of the women up north would get when I lived in PA as a child if anyone called them ma’am. “Are you saying you think I’m OLD!?!?!?”

            I am starting to get wrinkles and gray hair. Don’t plan to dye it either.

            What Jesus does is He takes all of our sin and unworthiness and replaces it with all of His goodness, holiness, and righteousness. Then we can approach God because of Jesus in us, not because we are so worthy. We aren’t worthy in and of ourselves, that is true. But yet, Jesus gives us all that belongs to Him – His Spirit, His goodness, His power, His love, His strength, His spiritual riches, His intimacy with the Father, etc… How AMAZING is that!?!??!?

            When we are filled up with Christ and abiding in Him – Jesus invites us to ask for everything He promises to us. Ask and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be open to you. We don’t need to ask for crumbs. We are not His dogs. We are God’s children! 🙂

            Much love!
            April

          4. SisterinChrist,

            I had many times in my marriage where I felt very rejected by Greg. I thought he seriously wasn’t attracted to me anymore – at the time. In my particular case, it was not my appearance that was repelling him. It was my disrespect, control, pride, self-righteousness, contempt, resentment, unforgiveness, my assumptions of evil motives in his heart, my freaking out over everything, etc… that repelled him.

            The awesome thing about godly femininity is that – in Christ – any of us women can be beautiful to God in our hearts. And – that attitude that is so beautiful to God is also very beautiful to our husbands, even if we don’t look the way we did on our wedding day anymore. When our husbands see that we are overflowing with the love, joy, and peace of Christ, and when we do what is right and do not give in to hysterical fear – that is beautiful!

            But even if a husband truly isn’t physically attracted to his wife anymore, there is still hope in Jesus. Here is a post from a dear friend of mine who is in this very battle.

            But it is my understanding that many men continue to be physically attracted to their wives throughout their marriages and that the wrinkles and gray hair and stretch marks don’t necessarily bother them that much. One husband explained to me that he has “wife glasses” and that because of his history with his wife and his love for her, he may see other women who are attractive and recognize they are attractive, but she has this special place in his heart that no one else will ever have and that she is beautiful to him even with the signs of aging because she belongs to him and they have a covenant together.

            Another thing I was thinking about last night – there IS definitely a difference between a husband noticing that a woman is attractive vs. a husband lusting. I have no problem with Greg recognizing that a woman is really beautiful and attractive. I mean, I have eyes, too, and I can certainly notice a woman is attractive and beautiful. But that doesn’t mean I am lusting after her. So I can deal with my husband seeing other women because that is just part of life and I really trust him to handle things and to seek to do what is right.

            If a husband is ogling and lusting after other women and struggling with that, or with porn, then he may need some help. I have a number of posts on my site about porn, that women are welcome to search. There is one post that is a prayer for those who are affected by their husband’s porn use and for husbands who are addicted. And there are lots of resources at http://www.xxxchurch.org for those who struggle with lust and porn and for their spouses.

            Here is a post by a husband whose wife thinks she is unattractive to him but he really does think she is still attractive and how much her negative body image hurts him.

            There are several more posts ladies can look up by searching “body image” on my home page that may be a blessing. 🙂

          5. SisterinChrist, I have gone through feeling SO rejected by my husband and can agree with April that now that we are on the road to healing in our marriage, I know it was my disrespect, contempt, self righteousness and my assumptions of evil motives in his heart that was a major turn off for him.

            A big one for me was accepting when the Lord showed me how self righteous I was, and how I was too making assumptions of evil motives in his heart. For a long time I couldn’t see how in my heart I was glorifying myself and putting myself on a pedestal that I was better than he was, and believing he just wasn’t capable of the honesty, loyalty, faithfulness and love that I was in our marriage, so everything he did must be evil and a lie! Oh how sinful of me, the Lord has forgive me but my heart still breaks when I think about how hurtful this was to him! No wonder our marriage was suffering… who would be attracted to someone who treated their spouse like that! I thank God for His mercy is all I can say to that.

            I must second April’s words on the beauty of Godly femininity. The more I strive to be a godly wife and respect my husband and love him for just who he is, the more I see the attraction building up between us again. And my husband and I have had some very insightful conversations while we have been on this healing journey, and one of the things he has said that has hit me was how much value there is in a history together, that a physical relationship with your spouse is fulfilling not just because of the attraction but because of the “history” and the life you have made together. It’s so much deeper than what ever could come out of lust. Does that make sense? Anyways I was so struck by the reassurance that husbands really do value their relationship with their spouse it isn’t JUST physical attraction for them, and it has helped to take away the fear of him turning his back on our marriage just to have something out of lust. I can’t believe I was so disrespectful to him that I really believed he was capable to do that and that I didn’t believe he had integrity. I can see now how hurtful that must have been when I treated him like that. My heart would have been broken if he thought that about me that I would be capable of that.

            Now I have never been one who has withheld in the bedroom, treated it as a chore etc, but I can say that the Lord has been teaching me on this journey how to love my husband freely and without condition, and the freedom I have compared to how I felt under the grip of fear, I feel so much more secure to be able to love more deeply than I ever have. I really feel this reflects in our physical relationship, and the more I grow as a godly wife, the more confidence I have in myself, and the more security I have in myself even physically in my appearance and body image, yet also in so many other ways. I do believe my husband sees this difference in me. I no longer fear the “younger, prettier” women like I used to, because I am more confident in what I have to offer my husband not just physically but in every way. And I do believe that our husbands respond greatly in a physical sense to a woman who is confident in who they are and is happy with and confident in their own physical appearance, regardless of what physical “imperfections” a woman may feel she has. If I am doing my best to reflect God’s love and be a godly woman and my husband doesn’t embrace that, there isn’t anything I can do. I can’t force him to love me in every way that is his own choice, all I can control is who I am in Christ. If I am confident in every area of my life, I can be attractive in so many ways, but if I present him with unattractiveness in my spirit, my attitude, my heart, I sure can drive him away!

            In addition, I do believe that God does expect us in every area of our marriage, that we will have to continue to make effort to make things “work” as well. This means physically, spiritually, emotionally, and intimately. I don’t believe just because we are daughters of God we can just expect and take for granted either, that our marriages will just always be fulfilling without any effort to change, grow, and in our marriages, strive to continue to please our spouses and meet their needs wholeheartedly. I would hope that all of us on this journey to being the wives that God wants us to be, can agree on that. Of course God expects that of our husbands too, but as LMS put it we don’t have OTHER CONTROL we only have SELF control. We can only do what WE

            Dear Sister, I pray you will be able to take hope in what we all have shared and release your worries and fears, putting your trust fully in God to help you be as beautiful you can be inside and out, and trust that whatever happens in your marriage, and your life, is all part of God’s plan and that He is working for good for you if you let Him do so. The freedom this has given me I am not able to put in to words. It can only come from God. Love to you, my sister in Christ!

          6. Melanie,

            What a blessing! Thank you VERY much for sharing with all of us and with SisterinChrist. I love getting to hear what everyone is learning and how God is opening their eyes to His truth and bringing healing! 🙂

          7. I have avoided this part of the conversation as I’m a bloke….but I feel led to say something.

            My heart aches for the men who have been honest about their struggles and long for support and compassion from their wife in this area 🙁 If your man is truly seeking to honour you and walk with God on this matter you can DESTROY him by not supporting him.

            If he is actively seeking porn, flirting etc that is different, but if he is truly seeking to walk in a way that honours you but sometimes may let his glance linger a bit long or perhaps not turn the TV off quick enough for your liking, give him some grace! We are WIRED by God to notice a woman’s body, that is a good thing! Without it, we would not notice our wife.

            And in the culture we have, where a woman’s sexuality is worshipped and plastered everywhere it is a daily task to keep ‘monogamy of the mind’. The….single….best….thing you can do is not to hate him for it, not to try to control him for it, if he wants to walk with God he probably already beats himself up about it……be his friend and companion. He probably LONGS for someone who won’t judge him for his struggle but will be there for him as a sexual companion to help him with it. It will draw him to you far, far more than controlling, complaining or withholding.

          8. HH,

            I really appreciate a masculine perspective here! Thank you so much! How I long for us as women to try to understand with compassion – just like we want our husbands to understand (or to try to understand) our issues with PMS and being hormonal.

            We have SO MUCH POWER to bless our men by responding in a helpful, godly way. Not to say that lust is okay. It’s not. No sinful thoughts are okay. Not ours. Not our husbands. That is not the point. The point is for us to be a safe place to share and for us to seek to encourage them in a sea of temptation and for us not to make things infinitely worse by freaking out… I want to see us learn to draw near to our men to be a blessing. I want us to have friendly curiosity to try to understand the issues and struggles they face and I want us to have grace for them just like we need grace so very many times ourselves.

            Now, if a husband is addicted to porn or is living in constant lust and flirting – that is a different situation – although we can still respond without sin in God’s power. But if your husband is truly seeking to honor you and God – I pray for God’s perspective, wisdom, discernment, and power for you to be his friend and teammate in this area – and every other area, too.

          9. Yaaaaay, HH. Thank you for the male perspective here! I don’t think us women realize the struggle men have daily to walk the line of righteousness. Our men are not perfect either. Grace and mercy are the best remedy for this, it seems. Thank you, thank you, HH. You are such a treasure on this PW site! Thank you for helping us lost ladies.

          10. Lms, that’s just the thing though, my husband is very convincing when he says he doesn’t struggle with it. He says he lives so much for Christ it isn’t a struggle. Now I hear from a man and yourself hiw much of a struggle it is and I’m back to feeling insecure about his honesty when I was feeling a bit better

          11. Hi Sister in Christ 🙂 I do not know your husband, he may well be so full of Christ that these things are a non issue! If so, then I praise God for that life in him 🙂 Please do not mistrust him based on my words and assume that he has a deep struggle that he will not tell you about.

            I know that I have had many times alone these last few months, praising God that I am not subject to the power of the flesh in this matter and experiencing great joy! 🙂 And yet, I am also human and subject to the lusts of the flesh and know that my walk is not perfect always. There is temptation and lust is sinful, but praise God that lust is not an omnipotent enemy and has been defeated!

            I fully empathise with a woman’s desire to be the ‘only one’ that her man thinks about, this is a good and right desire!!! I suspect that most men would feel similarly jealous over another man looking at their wife, especially if said wife was deliberately trying to get that sort of attention from another man.

            And I FULLY endorse April’s view that you woman have so much power to bless or destroy your man. Oh, don’t you just!!!!! Don’t ever underestimate the vulnerability of your man and the need he has for compassion, understanding and grace.

            I love the way my brother and his wife deal with this issue! If he is tempted to take a second look at something he will send a quick text to his wife saying something like “Hey hun, I just saw a girl who looked really attractive and it reminded me how much I love what we have together. Thinking of you”….and she is mature and gracious enough to acknowledge that visual temptation but appreciate his heart in reaching out to her in love. Beautiful.

            The key, in my view, is for both husband and wife to have a healthy security in Christ and to live with each other with understanding.

            HH

          12. Sisterinchrist:

            If your husband is dedicated to living for God, then God can give him the strength and will to resist that temptation. However, the natural default in the flesh is for men to be attracted to beautiful women, they truly are wired that way…and it’s ok.

            However, your insecurity and lack of trusting your husband just might end up calling forth curses upon your life. The thing you focus on will become much bigger until it is all you see. This was pointed out to me in this way….if you hold a coin up in front of your face, about 2 inches from your nose, that is ALL you see. However, as you move it farther away, you start to see the trees, the sky, the houses, and all the other parts of life around you. The coin isn’t as big anymore, yet it didn’t change shape. Its all about a different perspective.

            Getting some distance from the problem helps you see it in a different light. You just didn’t have the focus solely on the coin. In the same way, it seems you could be celebrating what God has done for your husband instead. This may not be a struggle for him as it is for others. What a blessing! Instead, ask God to help YOU with what YOU can control, your insecurity, your self love, your value and worth in Christ. If you can accept God’s never ending love and adoration of you, then whatever you get from your husband is icing on the cake anyway.

            However, if you keep suspecting at any moment that your husband is secretly desiring another woman, he may start to feel defeated and unable to make you happy. Accused falsely. He’s doing the right thing, and you are STILL complaining about something that hasn’t even happened! That is very frustrating to men, or anyone. Don’t let fear zoom you into “what if” land. That is a dangerous place to live and will cause a ton of unnecessary pain and regret. Just rest in the FACT that your husband loves you, adores you and is being loyal to you and to God and that he is being accountable for his thoughts to God. What more can you ask for here?

            Focus on all the good, don’t give so much focus on what is not good. I suspect you may have some idols of control as well. I had it bad. But didn’t realize it until I understood how I was being controlling. I think I picked up on it about you complaining on how others dress. Please understand that we live in a very fallen world. Yes, there will be too much cleavage, or skin showing. However, you cannot control that in others. It’s called SELF control, not OTHER control.

            So, make sure you are not dressing proactively and tempting other men to look at YOU. You can only control YOUR thoughts, feelings, actions, words, and responses. Not your husband’s, or anyone else. God asks us to be examples of Jesus to the world. We will never be perfect, like Him, but every day, we are asked to do our best. In this way, we will be able to draw others toward God. If we go around judging, condemning, criticising and berating others, then we will be a turn off to them and they will not see the qualities of Jesus in us. That is why Jesus coming to earth was such a gift to us humans. Jesus was a walking instruction manual to us on how to live a right life that honors God.

            I remember the little rubber bracelets that had 4 initials stamped into them for kids. W.W.J.D. Anyone remember them? Brilliant marketing, but when I feel lost, I actually say that to myself…What Would Jesus Do? Often the answer then presents itself. I pray you do some real self exploration on your true fears and motives. How is your time with God? Do you have sone hurts from your past that are keeping you in fear? Maybe you are beleiving sonething that isn’t the truth and it is keeping you imprisoned in your mind. If you can fully face this insecurity within yoursrlf, I promise, God can help you overcome it and defeat it. It will set you free from the prison you are in right now.

            I pray that you can learn to hear your Holy Spirit and allow Him to guide you and find the wisdom you need. Your everlasting beauty cones from within, from your attitude, your loving and caring kindness, your trust, your respect. The beauty on the outside WILL fade, you cannot control it, but as you mature, spiritually, you will not feel insecure about that. You can have strength, self confidence and security in things that do not fade away on earth. But that means God is your first source of acceptance. Not your husband, or other people. What lasts? Think hard…what can you count on to last forever?

            Much love my sister. We are surrounding you with love and support and will hold your hand as you learn and grow. You are with safe people here.

            “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent-or praiseworthy-think about such things.” Phillipians 4:8

  18. April, I just read your post thank you so much. I will reread, study and meditate on all of my blessed sisters wonderful advice. Thank you, from the depths of my soul to all of you.

  19. All, that’s just the thing though, my husband is very convincing when he says he doesn’t struggle with it. He says he lives so much for Christ it isn’t a struggle. Now I hear from a man and yourself hiw much of a struggle it is and I’m back to feeling insecure about his honesty when I was feeling a bit better

    1. SisterinChrist,

      I think that there is a continuum for men – in my understanding – about how much of a struggle this is. There are some men who struggle very much and some who really don’t. And – thankfully – with the power of the Holy Spirit, there IS victory over any sin. So – perhaps you can simply believe your husband. 🙂

      1. SisterinChrist,

        I also want to mention that facing temptation is NOT sin. Jesus was tempted and didn’t give in to temptation. We will all face various kinds of temptation, but let’s remember that temptation itself is not sin. It is what we do with the temptation that is the issue.

        1. Amen. Thank you April and to all who have comment. I’ve needed good counsel on this for a long time. Now, its time for me to print all the comments and prayerfully read them. I will have a folder dedicated to it until it’s all in my heart and mind.
          I wonder about Jesus being the Lord of the Old Testament, I just learned this and if He loves us all with an everlasting love, if I can believe that with all my heart, that is all the healing I need. That way when I read in the OT of His love I know it’s for us too and not just Israel.

          1. SisterinChrist,

            Of course Jesus was Lord of the Old Testament, too! He is God. 🙂 And YES! So many of the promises of the Old Testament transfer to us as God’s people in the New Covenant. He absolutely loves us with an everlasting love. He is the greatest Treasure there is in the universe! 🙂

          2. Wow. While i read your last response the tears just came and i lost it. The greatest treasure in the universe. Oh my Jesus thank you Father

          3. SisterinChrist,

            I’m so glad that His Spirit is working in your heart, drawing you to Himself. 🙂

            You know what? I actually think it is neat to see how God made men to be visual. Obviously, now that we are in a fallen world, there are problems that come with that. But to me, it is amazing to think about how masculinity reveals things about God and femininity reveals things about the church in many ways – and marriage reveals so much truth about our relationship with Jesus.

            Men are often very visual, women tend not to be as much (although there are exceptions, of course). The way husbands love to see their wives and rejoice over their wives’ beauty reminds me that God is always watching us, that He always sees us every moment and looks on us with love, rejoicing over us. Our spiritual beauty that we have in Christ “captivates” His heart and His attention. He is preparing us to be His spotless Bride – not in a physical sense, but in a spiritual sense. We will all be radiant together for Him!

            The way wives tend to bond with words and emotional connection reminds me of the way that the church right now cannot see God, but how we bond with Him through His Word, through prayer, and through our spiritual connection and oneness in His Spirit.

            I love the work God is doing in your heart, my sister. I know that more and more healing is coming as you continue to seek Him and you desire to learn and grow and allow Him to transform your heart and mind.

            Much love!

          4. SisterinChrist,

            I love your heart for seeking truth and to be set free! I know that God is doing something good here!!! Just wanted to share some verses that speak to Jesus being God.

            When Jesus answered “Before Abraham was, I am” to the Jews, they knew that He was claiming to be God as God had revealed Himself to Moses as “I am that I am.” (Exodus 3:14)

            John 8:52-59
            The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham died, and so did the prophets; yet you say, ‘Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.’ 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets also died. Who do you claim to be?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, he of whom you say, ‘He is our God,’ 55 though you do not know him. But I know him; if I would say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you. But I do know him and I keep his word. 56 Your ancestor Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day; he saw it and was glad.” 57 Then the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?”[k] 58 Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.

            Hebrews 1:2-3a
            “but in these last days he (God) has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. He (Jesus) is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word.”

            John 14:9:
            Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

            John 1:1:
            In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

            Thank you, Lord, for giving us eyes to see! Love to you, sisterinChrist! You’re right — when you learn this, it will be all you need! His love for us is beyond compare and once we get a revelation of that, our lives are never the same. The things of earth grow strangely dim. 🙂

          5. ContentinChrist, thank you for the scripture verses. I love your heart and the wisdom. I am going on a weekend spiritual retreat, I was 16 when I went the first time. As strange as it sounds and although I know I’ll enjoy the company of women seeking the Lord, the truth is I’m looking most forward to the quiet time I’ll finally have during breaks and at the end of the day when I can study all the comments from the printout, go to mass and say my rosary and read the Psalms and have quiet time with God without distractions from my blessed earthly family.

  20. I want to thank y’all for the last couple of days. I can feel the fog lifting a bit today. I have been able to pray with real peace again, to spend time in the word again and to settle some of my fears down. I have been able to hold up a shield of faith at some of the S.A.M’s and find a small centre of peace within the storm.

    “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” Proverbs 29:25

    HH

    1. Excellent! I’m so glad you reached out to the body of Christ for help. You are a strong beleiver, HH. God is very proud of your faith. It is tough, but you are growing stronger each and every day. I absolutely KNOW God is doing great things in you and He will use all of this for good. Prayers of peace to you today.

    2. HH,

      WOOHOO! PRAISING GOD WITH YOU, our brother!

      So thankful we can surround each other as believers and hold up our shields together around those who are weak at the moment. What a blessing to be part of the Body and to see it working so powerfully in the Spirit of God.

      I love that you are trusting Christ wholeheartedly and that He is bringing clarity and peace to your soul. I long for every one of us to find that in Jesus. 🙂

      1. HumbledHusband I am so glad the fog is lifting and you are feeling some peace again. Be strong in the Lord He knows your heart like no one else can.

  21. LMS, thank you so much. Your words are healing, you have a gift because you spoke right to my heart. I am afraid it will be a long battle but I have hope that, maybe not, maybe as I rely on God’s strength I’ll surprise even myself and the changes will be evident from this day firth. It’s not as hard to not say something accusatory as it to actually not feel the pangs of jealousy which is tbe actual prison in me. Holding my tongue is easier than avoiding the instinctual feeling. I believe the evil one has convinced me it will always be there but I’m hoping that as I fight this battle, and with everyone’s blessed words of encouragement through my Lords strength, I can overcome it.

    1. SisterinChrist,
      This is ultimately a spiritual battle – and the battleground is in your mind. As you learn to yield your mind to Christ and not to Satan and you learn to take your thoughts captive and get rid of any sinful thoughts and lies and allow God to transform you – YES! You will change. 🙂 Jesus’ love is stronger than this temptation. 🙂

  22. Reading in Jeremiah today in my quiet time – seeking God with all my heart…

    This really jumped out at me. In chapter 32, the Babylonians were building siege ramps to take Jerusalem. God had already decreed that Judah was to go into captivity. Many would be killed, but the ones who went into captivity in Babylon for 70 years would be spared and God would heal them and then return them to the land of Israel.

    God shares His ultimate plan and heart for His people (and that includes for us):

    “They will be my people, and I will be their God. I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their children after them. I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me. I will rejoice in doing them good…”

    He is my God. I am His. We are His people – those who are in Christ.

    He will give us singleness of heart and action so that we will reverence and fear Him in a healthy way which results in good for us and for our children and future generations.

    God HAS made an everlasting new covenant with us in the blood of Jesus. God made a covenant with me. Wow!!??! That is so crazy!

    He will never stop doing good to us.

    Sometimes His working for our ultimate good involves suffering for a time. Kind of like the way gold is refined by fire but the gold is made to be more pure and valuable through the fire. Or this process is like a sculptor who chisels a piece of fine marble with a hammer and chisel. The chisel is painful – but God is using this process to create beauty and holiness in us that will bring such glory and honor for Himself and the greatest joy to us.

    May we yield to God’s hands and His purposes. May we totally devote ourselves to Him!

    1. I love the thought of singleness of heart. That is beautiful. It is my desire. It frustrates me the fluctuations that I sense in myself. I wish I were like Joseph. I see myself in all of the ‘bad’ biblical characters (Saul more than David, Esau more than Jacob, Cain more than Abel etc). Heh…..sook, sook, moan HH

      I read a devotion recently that used a well known sculptor as an illustration. He was asked how he approached his work and he said “well if I’m carving a duck I just cut away anything that doesn’t look like a duck”……the thought being that God is cutting away anything that doesn’t look like Christ. HH

      1. I think every single Christian can probably relate to what you said if they’re honest.

        But, I also still think the enemy is trying to get in your head.

        Repeat after me…”I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.” 🙂 It really doesn’t matter what you feel, what thoughts you struggle with, what temptations hound you…..this sentence is a FACT. Are you going to believe God or are you going to fall for the enemy’s lies that you really don’t have it all that together and you’re really more like Esau and Cain and Saul? He is very subtle, but really, you can’t even let thoughts like this come in for more than a second. Take it captive, replace it with the truth of what God says about you. Keep the faith!

      2. I would argue that you *do* have singleness of heart, HH. You are a new creation in Christ. If you didn’t have Christ living in you, you wouldn’t even care about your sin. I think that promise of God in the OT has become a reality now that Christ has come and we are united with God. “I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their children after them.”

        I think that even the mere struggle you are talking about means that you *do* have singleness of heart. Otherwise, you wouldn’t even care.

        We are new creations. Our struggles do not define us any longer.

  23. For anyone who hasn’t read April’s book, I highly recommend it. She offers great advice in very specific areas. My husband left for hunting on Monday. Our marriage has been rocky lately, mostly due to me losing my way with God and not treating my husband with respect. It’s been that way for about two months. Before that, things had been going great for a few months, because my relationship with Christ was strong and I was following the advice of those who write about being respectful to your husband in marriage. So, I feel like I have to start back over again, which is worth it. So while he has been hunting, I read April’s book and it has been great.

    I do have one question for April or anyone else that would like to chime in. When my husband has been feeling disrespected for awhile, he clams up. He also does not appear to care about my feelings/opinions on topics and he hates when I ask for help (he says it is a demand) no matter how respectfully I tell him or ask him. I know in April’s book, you offer advice on how to share your opinions and wants respectfully. My question is, should I wait awhile before I tell him what I want or ask him for help (let’s say with chores/children) until I have taken away disrespect for awhile? I noticed in the past (when he was feeling respected), he didn’t seem to mind much if I asked him for help with chores. But lately, he seems very agitated if I ask him to do something, even if it is in a sweet and respectful way. I was thinking maybe I should wait awhile until he seems more receptive. the only problem with that is keeping my feelings of resentment of him not helping around the house at bay.

    Thanks guys!

    1. LinseyAK,

      It is great to hear from you. I’m so thankful to God that the book has been a blessing. 🙂

      What I have seen personally and with many other wives on this journey is that if a husband has been feeling really disrespected for awhile, it can sometimes be necessary for a wife to seek to cut out all of the disrespect (unintentional and intentional) first for a bit. It is hard to care about someone’s feelings and needs who seems to be insulting you on a daily basis. Not that husbands shouldn’t care. But sometimes if a wife can focus on backing off of the disrespect and then begin adding in genuinely respectful things – as he feels more safe with her, he may be able to begin to care more about her feelings and needs.

      Would you be interested in sharing how you have tried to approach him and what his response has been? Do you feel like you know what you have done that has caused him to feel disrespected?

      How is your walk with Christ going now?

      Much love and the biggest hug to you! 🙂

      1. Thank you for your response! Yes, I can share. Usually I will just ask, “Will you please help me give the baby a bath?” or “Will you do the dishes after dinner?” I try to say it in a nice tone of voice. Sometimes in our marriage, he will say yes without any issue. Other times, like the other night, he will say that I’m being “demanding”, because I expect it to be done when I want it done, even though I don’t think I demand that it be done right away anymore. He says I don’t need to ask him to do things, because he can figure it out by himself. However, he never offers to do the dishes if I cook or know when to give the baby a bath. He does do the more masculine duties every now and then when he isn’t busy/preoccupied/stressed.

        I once went without asking him to do things for a month once. Things were better for us as far as getting along, but I was doing all of the chores and very overwhelmed. We both work. When we are doing well, I start feeling more comfortable asking him for help. Sometimes he’s fine with it and then sometimes he acts annoyed. I’m not sure if his attitude on helping with chores changes due to the day he had (he has a very stressful military career) or if it changes based on whether we are getting along or not. I do know that being in the military, he gets orders all of the time and he gives orders a lot of time. Sometimes it is hard for him to leave it at work. I’m just really confused on how to get help if I can’t ask him. Maybe he is still pretty defensive, because for most of our marriage, besides the last year, I was VERY controlling. I tried to order him around and tell him what to do and when to do it and if he didn’t, I’d get upset.

        Even if I don’t tell him WHEN to do it, a lot of times he will say he’s going to do something and then doesn’t do it. If I never ask, things don’t usually get done. Sometimes if I say things like, “How about I clean up the kitchen while you give the baby a bath so we can relax afterwards?” That is usually the most effective, but since he’s not verbal about his feelings, I’m not really sure if that annoys him too and he’s just doing it to avoid a fight.

        Lately, I have been disrespectful by nagging him about things like him giving up on quitting tobacco, not helping enough, and spending too much money. He also says all I do is ask him to do stuff. In response, he has been pretty much avoiding me and on edge. He started a new job in the military again and it has a lot of responsibilities that he didn’t have before. My husband has always been very stressed out with his job performance, he puts a lot of pressure on himself and gets insecure.

        My relationship with Christ is going much better. I have taking this time, while my husband is away hunting, to focus on it more and get back on track. I’m ready to show him a respectful and peaceful wife when he gets back 🙂

        1. LinseyAK, Do you think it is possible that your husband values approval, acceptance and verbal cues on his performance? There is a great book called “The 5 love languages” by Gary Chapman that helps spell out how each of us have different ways we like to feel love… words of affirmation, touch, quality time, gifts and acts of service. It’s a quick and easy tead, but worth it. For example, I am a quality time and acts of service person. My husband feels most loved by a foot massage (touch). I’m guessing you may feel love when someone helps you out with chores…(acts of service). Maybe your husband feels loved with words of affirmation. It may be an issue of not speaking each other’s language. If he takes and gives orders all day at work, where is his “safe place at home?” Is he getting affirmation that he is being a good father, husband, provider? When does he get to do things for others because he wants to, not because it is a request or order?

          It could help if you simply state it like “I’d love to have a clean kitchen before I go to bed tonight.” Or “it would make me happy if I had some help with the baby so I can spend some cuddle time with you.” Then leave it. Dont nag, dont point at the clock. If he wants to help, he will. If not, he may have a reason. Simply stating your desire may clue him into ways to make you happy. But if it’s always a request…even a respectful one…or a demand, a begrudging, huffy response, or such, he may feel like he can’t make you happy anyway, so why try? If he says “no” or doesn’t do it on your timeline, than can you respect his “no”? Does it have to be done your way, your timing, to your specifications? I know I had a real hard time with this myself. I operated on the lie “if you want something done right, then do it yourself”. Guess what…I was doing it ALL myself.

          Often, men give love in ways we don’t see. Is he filling the car with gas, fixing things around the house, picking up milk or bread on the way home? Especially earning money to support his family…that’s HUGE love for a guy to show. We need to be able to respect and be grateful for that contribution. Are you showing gratitude for his help? Does he see his contributions putting a smile on your face? Does he feel honored by you for his hard work everyday? Are you able to encourage him and tell him hes doing a great job? Maybe he needs to feel like your hero, not your minion. (no disrespect intended) He needs to feel loved, cared for and valued just as much as the baby, the house, the laundry and the dishes. He still wants his wife…his partner, his cheerleader.

          I hope this helps with a different perspective. Much love and prayers. So glad you are taking time with God today.

    2. I wanted to add that I have to be careful about my motives when I ask my husband for help. At times, I have found that I ask for help in order to confirm that he cares about me. I know that this is not a good reason to ask for help. I’m just not sure when it is okay to ask for help. Technically I can work, take care of the baby, and do all of the household chores. However, is that a reason to not ask for help either? I want to bless my husband and do things for Christ, but when should a wife ask for help I guess is where I’m getting confused.

      1. I think asking for help can be done anytime. But if the motive is to try to demand help to prove that he loves you…well, that’s more manipulation…and men can smell that a mile away. Annnd they hate it and will rebel. What would you feel if he says no? Does that mean he doesn’t care for you or love you? No, he may be wiped out physically, or feeling taken advantage of, or in pain, or unappreciated. Can you accept it if you don’t get his help? Is the issue only something that bugs you, and no one else? Can you be happy and still joyful even if he NEVER helps you?

        Marriage is not a 50/50 deal. It is 100/100. There are times your husband will need to fill in where you cannot or have failed, or when you are sick, hurt, unable etc. And you will have to fill in for him in the same way. If a score is kept, it will get out of balance quickly. Don’t look at what is lacking…Instead focus on all that already is good and provided.

        I would stop thinking of things you feel your husband “should” be doing or not, and focus on thanking him for what he “is” doing instead. As he sees you smile, appreciative, thankful and happy, he will be more motivated to help more. The payback for him is a happy wife. But if you get mad if he says no or doesn’t do it on your timeline, or the exact way you specify… then it becomes a demand in his head, not a way to bless his wife with a willing and free helping hand. It would be another way of “taking” from him, instead of him willingly giving. I hope this makes sense. Much love.

        1. Thank you soooo much for your reply! While my husband has been very busy with his work, school, and preparing for his hunting trip with his brother, he hasn’t done much help around the house or with the baby lately and maybe that is why I’ve been upset about it lately. I forget that this is not always the case. In fact, three weeks ago we had to move into a new home and my husband basically did the entire move on his own while I took care of our daughter. I think I need to remind myself that there are some times that he can help more than other times. His military job demands are very high and he’s in nursing school. I have a pretty demanding job as well and I’m also taking classes for my Master’s degree, but I work many hours less than he does on most days. I think I should have a better attitude and be happy to pick up the slack with domestic duties. Plus, being a teacher, I get summers off 🙂 I should also remind myself that everything I’m doing is for God or to bless my husband and daughter. This should be a blessing! I should be grateful that I’m able to do these things for my wonderful family!

          Yes, in the past a ‘no’ or ‘later’ was not goo enough. So he’ll either get mad at me for asking or he’ll say he’ll do it and not do it or he’ll do it and be angry about it.

          I have read the 5 Love Languages. I’m definitely an Acts of Service kind of girl. Right now, it is kind of hard to know his, because he’s been so guarded most of our marriage, because of my disrespect. When we were dating, he showed his love with almost all of these! I think my husband just wants to see me smiling and not freaking out. He wants me to not ask him to do things all the time. I’m going to try to add Words of Affirmation, but to be honest, I’m a little hesitant, because I don’t want it to sound fake. I have done it in the past and it sounds fake and he seems kind of annoyed, probably because he is not used to it, because in the past, all I did was complain on the time!

          So I really think I just need to change my attitude. If I need help or I’m overwhelmed, I can make it a respectful statement, instead of a question, since he thinks questions are demands in disguise 🙂 I’ll start thanking him for everything I can in a way that is genuine, even if it is uncomfortable for us both at first.

          I wish I knew all of these great strategies and biblical submission when I was first married. However, I’m so grateful that I’m learning now.

          Thank you so much for your kindness and help!

          1. LinseyAK,

            I am really glad that you remembered what he did for you just 3 weeks ago. And that he is under so much stress with school and work. That makes a big difference, too, many times.

            It sounds to me like you are on the right track, my beautiful sister! I praise God for what He is showing you and how He is working in your heart! WOOHOO!

      2. Linseyak, It’s good that you want to bless your husband. Some of these things get twisted in our minds…I understand. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with asking for help. I do like Laura Doyle’s suggestions on speaking our pure desire and then letting go of the outcome. She suggests that our husbands really want to please us and if they know how to – if they have a “north star” to guide them (our desires), then they usually rise to the occasion. But, the key is understanding that they are separate, free people from us and will not always choose to meet our desires and/or not always choose to meet them in the way we would want them met.

        An example of speaking from your desire: “I’d love for this living room area to be cleaner.” And that’s it – no statements that involve a “you” directed at your husband (as in “I’d love for you to clean the living room”). She says that men will see that as a controlling statement when you add that “you” in there.

        I love LMS’ comments to you, too.

        Gratefulness is HUGE to men. Thank him for any and every little thing he does around the house — even if it’s super simple and you think it’s not a big deal. That whole last paragraph LMS wrote is spot on.

        Start with these simple steps (gratefulness and speaking your desires without a “you” statement) and see if things shift at all.

        If you are feeling like you are shouldering a lot of the work of the family, you can also try the “I can’t” phrase that Laura Doyle suggests. With no complaining or explaining why. Just “I can’t.” Probably, most of the time, we won’t even have to say “I can’t” to anyone out loud. It will be a more internal “I can’t” to ourselves to remind us that this life will go on if we don’t do every single thing on our list. We need to relax and rest in this life, too, and many people have not learned to do that very well. If you have to say “I can’t” to someone out loud, say it with a smile on your face and sit down and take a break and just be if you need to. (I know, this is so counter to all the things we’ve read about marriage and family before, but they work and make sense!!!)

        1. Yes, I have read Laura Doyle’s books. I love her suggestions, even if they aren’t biblical. I’m going to try to be state desires, versus asking for help and see how that goes. I’m also going to verbalize my appreciation more. I’m afraid it may sound fake or uncomfortable at first, because he’s not used to this. I’ll try to be as genuine as possible. It may take awhile for it to be the new “normal” instead of the naggy wife who is always complaining and unhappy. It’s just so hard sometimes to get that voice out of my head that creeps up and says, “It’s HIS child too. It should be equal. You guys both work, so why do you do so much more around the house? You are not his mother or his slave! Everything should be equal.” A lot of these beliefs are so prominent in our society/culture and in my family upbringing. It’s very difficult at times, but that is what God and Bible is for!

          Thanks so much for your ideas and help!

          1. LinseyAK, I am a big fan of some of Laura’s suggestions but I have to say I sometimes struggle with “how” to state things it seems so awkward sometimes as well! The only thing I have trouble with from her suggestions is the finances as my husband wants me to pay the bills as he isn’t the “book/office/techy type” and I am and I manage most of our things online. So we have worked out a plan where he is more engaged, and anything other than small purchases we consulted each other. I think now that it is mentioned though I would like to review some of her book again! OH, and I’m not sure if I agree that my husband will ever want to buy me gifts lol, although I must admit he never argues when I want something for myself which I am grateful.

          2. LinseyAK, you are turning a significant corner with this line of thinking. Sometimes “fake it till you make it is ok”, especially if you are trying something new. Marriage is NOT equal. We are partners, where one fails, the other can step in and pick him/her up. We ARE equal in God’s eyes as his children. One should not love a son over a daughter. God wants all his children to love and obey him. Marriage takes loads of work to choose not to default to the sinful, selfish decisions. It is not for everyone, in fact, but God requires us to love Him first, then love each other as ourselves…martied or not. It might really help to do a little research into how different men and women think about the same thing. There is soooo much to learn. I pray to God to continue to bring wisdom to you. You may feel uncomfortable at first, but how comfortable are you now? Many blessings.

  24. I love the discussion and encouragement that is happening here! I am tied up all day today with various appointments, but am so thankful for the support y’all are giving each other. Such a blessing to witness! 🙂

    Much love!

  25. I just spent the last couple hours reading all the comments on this post. There is so much pain, deception and confusion being inflicted by the enemy on all of humanity. No one walks away unscathed. I am walking through a very long dark valley still in my own life. Last night something happened that shook me to my core and I cried out to the Lord how much more do I have to endure?! Isn’t 28 years of this enough?! (I’m 42 but there is long painful story there.) And even as I cried out I felt there is a strength and a peace simmering in the depths of my soul that is fueling my steps forward. HE IS IN ME. My sweet brothers and sisters no matter what the fiery darts are that each of us are facing…and we each have our own painful lists none are exempt…remember HE IS IN US. WE WIN. No matter what the enemy is deceiving you with and trying to hold over you…HE IS WRONG. WE WIN. Don’t believe the whispers and false images put before you. (that is a word for someone) Don’t fall for any of it. Believe the truth of your blood line…Christ in you. Nothing. Else. WE WIN.

    I wish I could have been here in last few months. I love all of you even though we have never met. I truly mean that. I feel your struggles and I stand with you in seeking your freedom from them. I want so much to see people walking free and living with peace in mind and spirit. I want to see the captives freed. I want everyone to feel the peace I feel deep in me…in spite of my circumstances…it is there burning in me ready to do something powerful for His kingdom…He has me on the cusp of something…something BIG….I feel it…pray for me that I can stand firm to accomplish it, whatever it may be, that I can withstand the enemy’s attacks as he tries to keep me from it and above all let His will be done.

    You are all in my prayers. With great love,
    Quinn

    1. Literally as I typed that last line “let His will be done” a text popped up from my sister sending me this song…

      Thy Will by Hillary Scott

      https://youtu.be/PAmh3yvmzXs

      I couldn’t believe my eyes. I stand in awe of my precious Savior, my Redeemer, my Almighty God.

      He is on the move…praise be His name forever!

      1. That is a BEAUTIFUL album!!! I just listened to that song on YouTube and loved it so much I’m listening to the whole album….listening to it now, holding my daughter and dancing in the kitchen whilst my son makes orange juice…..today is good 🙂 HH

        1. I am so happy that music brought you such joy!! When I told my sister her recommendation helped someone on other side of the world she was tickled pink. 🙂 I really love the image of you dancing with your children with such joy. It brought a huge smile to my face. Keep dancing brother! 🙂

    2. Quinn,

      It is so wonderful to hear from you and to hear a bit of an update and how we may pray for you. I am so excited to see what God is about to do in your life! 🙂 THANK YOU for sharing this encouragement. 🙂 SO powerful!

      1. The situation my family is in amped up this weekend to an unimaginable and deplorable level. We were made aware by God of it and were able to intervene. He is moving rapid fire in it and we are all a little overwhelmed. It is moving in a good direction now after many long talks / legal wrangling but there is still much evil at play. This is a situation that I have prayed on for 28 years so the enemy isn’t going to just let it drop. For God to fix this will set off a chain reaction that will set many people free and bring them to Him. To see it breaking finally is such a relief but causing fear to grip me. I am repeating several key verses over and over to calm me and keep God at forefront of my own mind. Fear is a stronghold for me that I fight daily because of this situation having been in my life since I was young.

        Please pray for us as you feel God lead you because I am not sure what else to ask for other than prayers for His protection and healing.

        Thank you so much for the prayers. Much love to you!

        1. Quinn,

          How my heart breaks for you – but I praise God that He made y’all aware of what was going on. That is a blessing! And I praise God that you are seeing Him moving.

          Fear began to take over in my heart this weekend when I heard some news about Satan’s plans to push a really horrible agenda in our neighboring school district – and then, of course, Charlotte is only an hours’ drive away. I am so grieved over the condition of our nation. 🙁 Sometimes I wonder how much worse things are going to get. But when I react in fear, I don’t make wise decisions.

          I pray that God will give us His victory over our fear as we look to Him and praise and trust Him in the midst of all of life’s storms, my precious sister!

          1. April. I suspect things will get much worse with the general state of the world, not better. It seems to be the way things are going. HH

          2. HH,

            I completely agree that we are headed that way. I just am so shocked to see how quickly things are deteriorating. Things I never imagined were even possible are about to happen in my children’s schools. 🙁 And the division, hatred, racism, immorality, and pain that is happening in my country completely breaks my heart. How I pray for God to bring many to Himself. We are on a deadly path as a nation.

            But – in the midst of all of what is going on and what will go on – how I long to be faithful and to trust Him and not give way to fear!

  26. I’m preparing to apologize to my husband for my mistakes. I will need your prayers, brothers and sisters.

    My husband filed for divorce after I respectfully confronted him about the affair last July. He continues to lie, and there is no repentance. He said that he will leave the house, but still leaves with me. I told him that he is free to go. I continue to be kind to him, and I pray that the Lord will open his eyes to his sin.

    I am deeply grateful to our Lord Jesus Christ who has strengthened me. I know that if I continue to read His word every day, and don’t pay attention to please myself but the Lord, I will grow in the knowledge of Him.
    By the way, April, I started to go to an Evangelical Baptist Church (I live in France) !

    I want also to share a sermon from David Platt I heard on Youtube today “THE GOSPEL DEMANDS RADICAL SACRIFICE” : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Du47Q1btc3c

    Thank you to all the people who post comments on this blog.

    1. Ev,

      Oh, goodness! Such a painful situation! How my heart breaks that he is continuing to lie and is not repentant. I can’t imagine having to live with a husband in such a situation. I pray for God’s wisdom for you, my dear sister! Thank you so much for letting us know how you are doing and how we can pray.

      Brings tears of joy to my eyes to see how you are growing in Christ in the midst of this great trial. WOW! Praising God with you!

      I love that sermon. Thank you for sharing.

      How may we pray specifically for you? And for your husband?

      Sending you a huge hug all the way from America!

      1. April, not only that he is continuing to lie and is not repentant, but he also doesn’t talk to me. But again I praise the Lord. He is so good.

        Thank you, April, for asking how to pray for us. I would like that my husband will be able to receive my apology even if he says nothing to me… and please pray for his soul.

        Much love to you !
        Sending you a huge hug from France !

        1. Ev,

          How I love your heart for Christ and your husband. But what a difficult situation! Whew! I really wish you could be separate until he is willing to repent. I pray for God’s wisdom, direction, and provision, my sister. And – if you need to be together at this time, I pray for God’s Spirit to empower you to be the woman and wife He calls you to be to set a godly example for your husband to witness and that the Spirit in you may draw him to Christ.

          I pray for his salvation, for God to open his eyes. I pray for complete spiritual healing and emotional healing for you both in Jesus. I pray for God’s greatest glory in both of your lives individually and in your marriage. I pray God might wake him up. I pray He will help you guard against any sinful thoughts or motives and help you to keep growing like crazy in your faith.

          Sending you the biggest hug!

          1. Thank you for your prayer, April !

            Yes, if my husband doesn’t repent soon, I will probably have to ask him to live separately.
            I don’t want to do that, but I think it will be a necessary move.
            I have to trust in the Lord.

  27. Good morning, all. I’m still sick, but on the mend. In fact, I have huge urges to clean! I guess I didn’t realize how run down, tired, and very sick I was until I started to feel just a bit better. I know I will recover, and be stronger from it. 

    I had some thoughts over the last few days I wanted to share, though. So please forgive my ramblings. I just pray it may help someone today:

    Faith.

    Funny word. Beleiving in something we have no proof exists. Can’t see it, touch it, hear it, smell it…we just need to beleive. It feels like jumping off a cliff and thinking we will not die when we land.  Common sense keeps us on steady ground because it seems so foolish. 

    Yet that is what God asks of us. To surrender ourselves to Him and trust that He is in control in the very way we think we are being foolish and expecting to be “caught”. Of course, this is a spiritual thing, not a physical thing, but we are beings made of the body, mind AND spirit. My son asked me yesterday…”Mum, as people, what is in control of those 3 (mind, body, spirit).?” Of course all 3, I said, but if I had to pick one, I would choise spirit.  He says next, “But, our mind which lives in our brain, controls our body, the movements, heart beat, eating, thirst sensing…yet, our mind IS our body….cause the brain is part of our body.” Then he preceded to do a hand gesture that indicated his mind was blown. It was entertaining, and deep…for a 13 year old boy. 

    Satan is determined. That is for sure. But  the word of God declares that God has already defeated evil. He has already won. We may not ever fully understand that statement in our tiny human minds, but again, we need to beleive in something. If we beleive in Jesus, then it all comes with it. We are proud people. We think we are smarter than others, maybe even able to “conquer” the universe cause we have sone Voyageur space probe sending pictures back to us in space. How foolish to think we know better than the God who created it all?  So full of pride. 

    Does anyone have teenagers, or remember being one, who think they are smarter than their parents? I sure do. They act like I am utterly stupid. But I know that life will teach them. They will experience consequences of their choices and maybe I will be lucky enough one day to hear them say, “Mom, I’m sorry, you were right. What do I do when such and such happens?  Maybe you weren’t as dumb as I thought.” Or some other validation that my patience with them was worth it. Until then, I will wait, and keep loving them, and do what is best. I wonder if that is how God feels about us? I would think so. He knows, one day, we will grow up, or be with Him, and then see the truth and learn that God was not so dumb after all! We are such children!

    Marriage. 

    Another  funny word, or rather concept. It’s hard enough to figure out our own values, worth, ideals, and thoughts and emotions, let alone introduce a whole other person into the fray with their own set of issues.  So many uncontrollables! If we do not have a good handle on what we beleive, what is good for us, and not, how to be happy with ourselves and stand independently from people, then how can we possibly be a help to another? A parent is no good to a child if the parent cannot even take care of themselves, right? 

    I think, too often, we all go headlong into marriage as if it will solve our problems. We think we found our missing pieces in another person. The “he/she completes me” type of ideas. The ying to my yang, opposites attract, they fill up the holes inside me, type of thoughts. I sure did. And I thought we made the best team ever because of it. It made sense. But the reality is, we are STILL incomplete on the inside. So, when our spouse seems to pull away, remove themselves from us, put distance in between, those holes are apparent, we feel those missing pieces again, we feel incomplete. We start sucking the life out of others to fillbour own holes, but neglect to GIVE to others what we gave extra of. Our mistake was to not be complete the first time around. That way we can “compliment”, not “complete” each other. Marriage is sharing, not fixing. 

    Only God can help us find our missing pieces. Only God can “complete” us. It’s an understanding of the truth in life. The way this world works and how to live a right life for something beyond ourselves. That’s why we are all so lost without Him. Always with holes in our souls and missing pieces. As we learn how to look to God for those needs, we become whole, complete and full. We are then able to compliment others, help them, receive help, have relationships that can benefit all. THAT is why God wasn’t done when Adam was made. Not until Eve was created was it all good.  We are not meant to be alone, but we are meant to be whole on our own.  Joining two into one in marriage should be more like 1 + 1= 3 (God gets 1 point). Not 0.5 +0.5=1. See, we need to be whole people first in order to be able to create a better relationship. We are so much more with God as part of us. 

    Ok. So, what does my rambling have to do with our marriages today? Or our friends, sisters, brothers who are also struggling?

    We are all struggling to become whole people.

    We are realizing that our marriages didnt really fill the holes in us like we thought they would. So, now, after 20 years or so, we are questioning what it will take to really get those holes filled? Some of us find it with God, some chase addictions, money, people, love, happiness, passion, work, or other desires trying to see if they do the trick. The bible tells us God is the only way to a meaningful, full, filled life. 

    So, as we realize how full of holes we are, our husbands are doing the same thing, we look back to all our mistakes, ways we had it wrong and lies we beleived.  We find ourselves a mess. A jumble of thrown together pieces with holes and spaces that need to be filled. Like how a box of Legos or building blocks, take  up more space than if we took the time to stick them all together to make them fit. Its just a box of pieces. No form, no art, no creativity or thought. All the right parts are thete to make something beautiful, nut effort is lacking, durection is lacking. 

    So, then, if we are willing, we realize the mess and start the process to deconstruct ourselves and take it all apart. Evaluate each piece, and begin to put it back together. We ask God to help guide us to place which piece where, what color, how to turn it. With God’s help, it becomes a masterpiece. Without God, we hurry up and throw our pieces onto a box with no real direction. 

    I think right now, many of us are finally in deconstruction mode. Some are reconstructing with God’s help…and succeeding, slowly, but surely. Others, are still trying to figure out the order on their own.  Like our husbands or spouses. That’s why we need to pray that they find God, so they can put themselves together in a better way,  the way God designed it. 

    It may take patience for us to allow our spouses to get to that point of “I can’t do this on my own”. I know that was the crucial moment for me…when I realized I don’t know what to do to fix this and I don’t know who can help me. My mind was blank. Then one word entered….God.  I haven’t been the same since, and it’s been wonderful. 

    But it is a hard, laborious task.  It takes work, dedication, persistance and patience. Many times we just want to throw the pieces back  into the box, but when we understand that it won’t help and we will just have to start all over again, we can keep going. Just keep asking God what the very next piece is and where does it fit?

    I’m not giving up on my marriage. I really want to right now…especially after these last few weeks. But, I was surprised at some efforts being made.  So I went back to my pile of blocks, picked up another piece and I’m looking up to Him for direction. Legos. Building blocks. Life. 

    Let’s build a good foundation with Him. 

    All my love and prayers to you all.

    A healing LMS Daily, since 115. Hugs

    1. Hi LMS. I am glad you are feeling better 🙂 Rambling is good, it seems to help clarify our thoughts when things are written down.

      Here’s a ramble response with my thoughts over the last few days…..some of them generated from a few emails, some of them from a few books, some of them from scripture and some of them from an Alan Jackson song! 🙂

      My first thought is, can we actually be ‘complete’ in this life? Or, is it that we understand that we are an infinite and spiritual person and realise that ‘completeness’ cannot happen until eternity?

      Paul wrote in Colossians 2:10 that “In Christ you have been brought to fullness (completion???).” but then wrote in Philippians 3:12-14 “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

      There almost seems to be a sense that we have our hearts opened to by revelation of God that completeness is something that is found in Christ, but that cannot be FULLY experienced until we reach heaven. As though what we have now are ‘tastes’ of the completeness that is Christ that fill a heart with a deeper desire to know Him and help us put everything else in perspective, but also we know that one day those ‘tastes’ will be fully realised as an eternal ‘feast’. What do you think?

      I like the analogy of lego and building. It fits with where my thoughts have been the last few days, particularly led through an RMM email.

      “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” Proverbs 24:3-4

      “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.” Psalm 127:1

      “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”  Matthew 7:24-27

      These three scriptures were shared in an email and started a chain of thought (and hope). Using your lego illustration, I was a baby, putting pieces in my mouth, dribbling on them, occasionally getting a couple of pieces stuck together. But, with wisdom, as we grow with the right understanding, we can build a house that is beautiful. I picture the scripture from Proverbs as being about a marriage.

      Giving up, what does that mean? Your thought of “giving up just means we will still have to start all over again” is SO true….you are a fighter LMS….keep fighting 🙂 My daughter isn’t giving up…..we are away on a holiday and I explained to her that mummy won’t be coming on holidays with us anymore. She walked to the bed, pointed at one side and said “No, that is where mummy sleeps”. Out of the mouths of babes…..

      Hope your health continues to improve. Blessings on this the Lords day. HH

    2. LMS, so glad you are healing. I love what you said that it is not .5 + .5 = 1, but 1 + 1 = 3. So true. And, how many marriages start out that way – with both people thinking that the other person “completes” them…like the Jerry Maguire movie. It sounds so romantic, but so many of us start out buying a lie and it ends up with disastrous results.

      Praise God for His mercy in saving us and bringing us out of the darkness into His light — so that we can know that He alone is the only One who will complete us and make us whole. Now, we pray and hope and wait for our spouses to know the same thing. I know I can no longer make that desire too big, though. But, we want them to know, too, want them to understand this love that God has for them, what He’s done for them. It’s painful to watch someone in pain and depression when you know the Answer, but in the end, it should make us very, very grateful for God’s mercy in our own lives.

      God’s mercy and compassion through you, LMS, is a beautiful thing to see.

      1. Thank you, April. I won’t lie, this has been the hardest 2 weeks of my life in the last 10 years, I’m guessing. Being sick, discouraged, forced to drag myself up to take care of my kids needs. Laundry, drive them to school, feed them. I knew a mother can’t ever take a day off, but I really thought I would’ve had some help from my husband. I thought “there is no way he has zero compassion, or sympathy about what is going on here”. It was a survival week. No thriving, just survival. I’m heading back to the Dr’s again today. Still very sick. It’s been almost 2 full weeks. But I still have my hope. I think I did incredibly well with what I had left in me. Only God could give me that kind of persistance. I am even learning how to deal with my son respectfully as he is impatient, sassy, irritable and feeling entitled. I keep remembering to be an example, but speak the truth in love to him.

        My husband and I had a few discussions during this time. I knew I was not at my best as far as respect due to fatigue, sick, pain, etc. I became frustrated when I really needed him to take my daughter to school, and instead, he said no…it would put him into heavy traffic, it was too inconvenient to him. This just screamed to me that none of us are at all on his list of priorities. I felt defeated, abandonded, cast aside and totally unimportant to him. He doesn’t check to see how I’m doing, offer to help with anything of the house. I sleep on an air matress in the other room. I’m just trying to breathe. I’m trying to take care of kids. I get no phone calls from him or anything. He agrees to pay the bills. Today, he told my daughter to remind me to take out the garbage cause he forgot. Ugh. Another hammer blow.

        Now. I understand how our expectations can cause dissappointment, how we can tell ourselves lies and fill in the blanks wrongfully, assume bad motives…I’ve done all that in the past. I am aware of that tactict from satan. This, however, was 2 weeks of showing how little he cares. There is no “husband” left in my husband. I am blown away that he truly doesnt have my back. I wouldve bet my life that he wouldve come around to take care of his family in this crisis. I am shocked at how little effort there was. He argued, fought and accused me until he told me that I was the one who started us on the path of “drifting apart”. I am too exhausted to argue or discuss anyway, so i just listened to him bkame me more and more. “Ok, you won, it was my fault at the start. I made the first mistake, so mow what?”

        When we were first married, after 4+ years of college, I landed a good paying job, a bit out of my training area, but with some dedication and hard work, I could catch up. I was so happy to have gotten a job to help support our new little family of us, bring in good money and to make the time he waited for me in college “worth it”. We were going to build a house, I had alot of good benefits from this job. I never wanted him to feel lije the soke bread winner. I wanted him to have some security in case he wanted to try a different job, start a business etc. I wanted us both to be able to make a decent wage. This was all before kids, of course. But it cost some late nights, learning new computer programs, training out of my comfort zone. Little did I know how rejected and unimportant my husband was feeling during this time. I couldnt heat his cry for attention and how much he was missing me. He tried to be patient, he kept checking to see when I would be done. I didn’t look up and see that he needed me. I thought he understood I was doing my part for “us”. So, then, he got tired of waiting, got bored, he found things to do, friends to be with, while I poured myself into my job. Since then, we have gone back and forth in this way with each other. I’m sure he felt down the list from my work, the kids, my hobbies. And I felt down the list from his work, his friends, his hobbies. We grew apart. It started a long time ago. Is this common in marriages? Is this what life does to couples? It’s so easy to get swept away in our own lives and forget the life we pledge to share ours with.

        I now understand how wrong these priorities were. I understand that we were both looking to other things to make us feel our value, worth, and acceptance. We were growing enmeshed, needed the other to fill our our worthy bucket, wanting to feel that validation from each other, but we both sorely let each other down. Only God, in our marriage, could have stopped it all. OnlybHe can fillbthose needs. My biggest regret is not having a relationship with God for so, so long, especially as the third cord in our braided union.

        Today, I feel like it’s too little, too late. Although I know there are lots of good days up ahead, that God can and will still work for my good, I feel strongly that I am being prepared for the end of this marriage. I read everything I could about hardened hearts in the bible. How God verifies that when someone continually turns from God, that their heart will harden and be closed off forever to Him. I never understood why God caused Pharoh’s heart to harden. I thought God was taking away his choice to turn to Him. But, I have come to realize that God knows how our story ends. He knows the beginning from the end. God simply put a period to the end of pharohs sentence. Pharoh was never going to turn to God. Is this a case of predestination? Are people put on this earth, like Pharoh to go against God so that His glory can show out bigger? Or Hitler, to show how God can help His people endure even the most brutal attacks? All for His Glory? To show how much God loves us?

        My husband is so far gone. Away from God. I was afraid I was hardening my heart, too, but I don’t think I am. I turn to God everyday. I’m not hardened toward God, I’m just not able to look to my husband for ANYTHING I need anymore. I don’t even feel he would take me to the hospital if I needed one. I pray for my husband, for my kids, for this world. But I have to beleive that God still wants good for us.

        Jesus verified that Moses allowed men to divorce their wives due to their hardened hearts. Was this a merciful allowance for the poor wives who were cast away because these hardened men were “tired” of their wives? Was this an act of grace by God for the poor women? There are severe spiritual repercussions for someone who hardens their heart to God. A hardened heart is the only soil that will not allow God to plant seeds in.

        All this time, my entire marriage, I thought I was being a good wife, mother, employee, citizen, daughter throughout these 20 years of marriage. But, in his mind, I was a huge dissappointment. My husband only sees his own hurt, dissappointments, and pain. He says he diesntvwidh ill will to me. Says he loves me, but shows marginal respect if anything….nothing that is remotely love. Yes, the way I got swept away by ambition, life, a desire to succeed because I wanted to make my husband proud of me was the wrong way. Motives were good, but they were not motives to please God first. They were motives riddled with idolotry. Idolotry of acceptance, my husband’s apporoval, money, my value in things other than God, success, etc. All chasing the wind. I was wrong. I even told my husband that he may be right, I made the first wrong move. My husband reacted to that back then with his own wrong moves. His moves were no better. His anger, withdrawl, stubborness, bullying, and berating. Even though he knew how it felt, he succumbed to sinning in the same way I did. Neither of us were any good at loving God first, or even each other next.

        So, the real question now is if we both can see our mistakes of the past, turn from that wrong thinking and do things better, more right, follow the narrow path with God leading the way, not ourselves? I feel I have chosen that way for myself. It is a way filled with peace, security, mercy and good. I cannot convince my husband to join me on this path, though. I have tried every way I can think of. I am being dragged along the rocky ground if I continue to hold on. I am bleeding out, emotionally. I love my husband dearly, I always have, maybe evendors too much, but I cannot hold onto him anymore. I am surrendering my marriage. I thought I had done so already, but it seems there are layers of surrender. I am in a quiet place of facing my reality. I have God next to me, telling me it will all be ok, but that this marriage is not.

        Only God can reach my husband now. He has closed his heart to everything except his own desires. He thinks he chose the path of least resistance, the smarter path, the one which gives him control. How misguided he is. It is a foolish path filled with sin, pride and ungratefulness for all God gives us in this world. I see it plain as day. I also recognize how misguided I was too. I praise Jesus for saving me from that darkness. I pray Jesus can save my husband too. But I have no power in my husband’s heart.

        My future is unknown, scary and will undoubtedly be hard. But I will survive, thrive and live with God. I have never shrunk away from hard work, perseverance and a goal. I’m not lazy, but I have been. I’m not perfect, but I tried to be….it cost too much. I am strong, but not on my own.

        Humbled Husband, Bel, Content in Christ and so many others on this PW site, we are on this journey through life. We try so hard to understand it, figure it out, predict it, planning and side stepping around the unpleasant things. But, God is a good father. He takes us through it all. Growing us up, fortifying us, teaching, guiding and supporting us. It’s not at all pleasant all of the time, but nessecary. “Everything is permissable, but not everything is beneficial”.

        I think there is a thread of a lesson of letting go weaved in there somewhere. A cord, a crimson cord. I am so stuck on “never giving up”. I don’t want to let go. I feel like it is weak faith if I do. But I think faith is not about holding on with white knuckles and digging to the bottom of the bucket for just a bit more faith to hold on with, strength and staying power. Rather, I think faith is more about handing over that crimson cord to God to hold for us. Trusting that He will let us touch our faith string again, but He keeps it safe for us. Trusting that God will not misuse our faith. But, this cord of faith gets heavy sometimes, it’s a big rope. It becomes more than we can handle, too thick for us to grasp our hands around all the time. Yet, God only asks that we hold onto a mustard seed of it. Not all of it. God can hold all our faith, and we can come get as much as we want when we want it. It’s a rope, a cord, a lifeline. Just don’t cut the rope.

        I pray this for each of us here:

        Lord, I pray for that which you deem beneficial in my life. I pray that you give me the courage to trust you, follow you even when I want to close my eyes tight with fear. I pray that you grant me wisdom to understand that where you are taking me is far better than where I am trying to stay. Help me set my box of useless garbage down so that my arms can be free to reach out to you and receive the bountiful blessings you have in store for me. Help me let go, so I can receive your new gift for me. Lord show me how to let go of the past and turn from the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. As you destroy that sinful place, let me not turn my head to see what once was…and thus turn myself to dust. Let me keep my eyes on you, Lord, and hold your hand while you lead me to your peaceful and life giving river. In your precious name I pray, amen.

        I will be going away for a few days to enjoy time with my girlfriends. To rest, create and laugh. I hope to find some clarity and wisdom for my next step on this narrow path. I will be praying for all of you, my brothers and sisters.

        1. Wow. And wow. My heart shares your pain and your story gives me strength. It’s like you’re a woman from those stories in the bible. I hope you don’t mind I copied and pasted your prayer and sent it to my husband because we are under spiritual attack. You are blessed to have friends. Hope it is healing.

        2. LMSDaily, my heart grieves for you as you go through this pain. As soon as I read your post my heart became heavy and so much came to mind instantly that I am trusting God that He is leading me to respond right away. You are under attack and I believe that your “never giving up” is what the Lord needs you to remember right now.

          Reading your story of how you both drifted, My heart hurt for you because my husband and I were so EXACTLY right there. Our situation started out exactly this way except instead of my job it was something else, but my actions were the same. I suffered and heaved and cried as at my rock bottom moment, the Lord began to reveal each and every mistake I made on our drifting path, and as I admitted my failure and repented of each sin against my husband and against God.

          This morning as I read your post I had so many words come to mind that I am trusting God that He wants me to share with you. So please don’t consider this as criticism or telling you what to do, I just feel I need to share what the Lord told me as I went through this similar pain. Every word please consider it said in love to another Sister, in encouragement.

          The description of your husband could have fit mine. MY husband was YOUR husband (not literally lol)! I felt how on earth could my husband the man I loved me this person I am living with. How could he have turned into this person?

          I need to tell you to never feel it is too late. Never assume that you know how this story ends. Only God knows that.

          Don’t assume you know what is between your husband and God. That is only God’s and your husbands to deal with. I struggle with these concerns as well, and God has reminded me I need to let HIM handle it. He is perfectly capable without a word from me.

          When I worried that it was too late, when I worry even now about my husbands heart, God reminds me “who are you to question what I can and cannot do?” He is exactly right of course. Who am I, to make assumptions on God’s part?!

          God told me in my darkest moments that the problem was I wasn’t content to live my own life and my own journey, and I had to stop fighting to live someone else’s too. Be obedient to God in how He wants you to be a Godly wife. When you feel wronged by your husband, remember you are only accountable for YOU and God will worry about your husband as He sees fit. God has reminded me to not concern myself with His work on my husband. That was HIS job alone and not a single word or action on my part is going to do anything for my husband without God having his hand in it. And the more I try to take it on myself, I will push my husband further away.

          You mentioned your husband arguing that you were the reason you both started to drift. Stop arguing. God has given your husband authority to lead and you need to trust Him. It doesn’t matter if your husband is seeking the Lord to be able to lead. God is capable to lead you through your husband anyway. Don’t begrudge. Accept accountability to God. Is your husband accountable and can he be blamed too? Sure! But don’t concern yourself with your husbands failures the Lord is capable to handle that. Your husbands arguing may be God telling you that you need to do this.

          What you told us, all of it, about your part, have you told your husband ALL of that? have you faced your failures and told him? If you haven’t already or maybe if you haven’t in that amount of detail, do it. Be brave, and show him you are willing to be fully accountable to carry your part in this, without begrudging or justifying a single action. Like baring your soul and not just “because he wants you to.” If you are truly sorry then God will help you through it. It’s harsh and painful. I know because I did it. And I told my husband I didn’t care what his part was, I was only going to worry about what mine was and I would be accountable no matter how hard.

          I have painfully admitted ALL of my failures to my husband. Am I taking all the blame? Of course not. I’m taking the blame for what I should. ALL of it. And not worrying about anything else Only God can convict my husband of his part.

          I have seen the light come back in my husbands eyes. He has admitted his own failures, and I believe me being the one to willingly go through the pain first is what has allowed that to happen. Seeing that light confirms for me that God really is there. He doesn’t want this marriage to end. He has given us another chance and it was all God. If God can turn it around for us, He can turn it around for you. you might not realize the work God is doing on your husbands heart, but trust He is. Even lough you can’t see your husband turning to God, God can work in his heart. He can do the impossible. Have faith in that.

          We can only see our husbands from our own eyes. Pray to God to allow you to see him through HIS eyes. For many years I too thought I was being a good wife, mother, everything. God ripped my so secure understanding of life, marriage, parenting, right out from under me and said STOP. My whole perfect make believe world crumbled right in front of me but HE gave me the strength to start putting the pieces back together.

          I thought I knew what love was, what respect was, and was absolutely sure that My husband didn’t understand either. I felt I got absolutely NOTHING. Then God said to stop trying to force my husband to love and respect the way I thought it was supposed to work. GOd said stop seeing your husbands actions from your limited human vision, it’s time you saw him through mine.

          You said you were so stuck on never giving up. I believe that is because the Lord is telling you He isn’t letting you let go of that rope. And if you do, His hand is already on you to catch you and hold you up.

          I hope I haven’t sounded harsh or overpowering, some times I am not great with how I word things! But I felt I could not even go on with my day until I shared this with you. I trust that God wanted me to share. I am sure some of my rambling might be too much, but I’m trusting there is something in there to encourage you to keep going.

          You are in my prayers. I hope you get your well needed rest and relaxation with your friends and feel renewed and refreshed to be able to carry on!

          1. Melanie, that was beautiful. I had to work on something at work but I said I want to take the time to read this post also. The more I read the posts here such as yours and PW, LMS, CIC and others I can’t help but feel instinctually God showing me these thoughts/posts as THEE example of what true beauty is. True beauty in a woman is one who seeks the Lord, who counsels from our Lords instruction even when risky, who endures hardships and still relies on our Lords strength through tears. Who doesn’t tear down her house with her own hands (like I keep doing with my insecurity) What encouragement today! Thank you blessed sisters..

          2. Thank you. Truly blessed. I have been all the way down this road with my husband. I have repented, accepted, appologized and turned from my old sinful ways for 2 years now. I have overcone my fear, my idols, my pain and my tears to get to a place God wanted for me all along. I don’t argue…I learned how disrespectful that was. But now, ot is just attack after attack. I used to fight back. I no longer care to be “right” or win. It isn’t worth it to claim those bragging rights. I listen, I seek to bless him, I follow what God prompts me to do, even when I don’t want to. I have been a poster child for standing for marriage. I know God can work everything out. It is His will I want much more than my own. Im not perfect, and will always learn everyday how to live for God. Each day is a new blesding to do my best to honor God. I still want my marriage restored, but I cannot and do not have any power to make that happen more than just focusing on my own walk with God and my own emotions, reactions and responses. I have faced my sins of perfectionism, pride and control. I see how awful that whole mindset was. I know better now. I know what agape love is now. I know what it means to do right for the love of God, even when others don’t deserve it. I have been forgiven of much, therefore, I can forgive much as God asks as well.

            I heard your encouragement as love as intended, thank you. I just know that we are not always going to understand God’s ways. I feel I am being led to deeper waters. My husband wants something I cannot ever give…perfection and feeling of his self worth fullfilled by me. I thought for the longest time I could do that for him. God has shown me my human limits. I cannot be those things for him. I do not fit into the box my husband has for me. Anything beyond that is from God only. At this point, I think it is up to God to teach my husband what he needs. This son of His is lost, too. I have asked God to use me in His plan if He willed it so. As a beleiver, I am to be called to minister into my husband’s life, my kids lives. Even without words. Which is what I have been doing. I wake every day to be an example of God’s love. But, I cannot go against what God is teaching me for my own growth as well. God has brought me to a place of being able to let go…not giving up, or not having any hope or faith, but a surrender. I need to let go of this marriage so that God can do what He will. If it is to be testored, then I trust God will reveal that to me in sone way I can clearly understand. But only by obeying my Lord will I be prepared to receive that message if it is to come. I hope this helps you understand that my faith is still strong in God. Some days more than ever. I will never shut the door on God coming into my life again, but I cannot hold it open for my husband anymore. That choice is between him and God. It’s not mine to be part of anymore. God will bring me to where He wants me, but I think He needs sone alone time with my husband. There is a very hard heart in there. Full of fear, anger, hurt and sin. I have no business trying to do or understand God’s work for Him. I am to obey. Much love.

          3. LMS,

            You know I understand the “letting go”. Some of us are called to this and we know that we know that we know that God is calling us to it. It is a complete surrender to God of our marriage and a realization that we do not have the power to hold it together ourselves. There’s a lot more I could say about it all, but just know that I trust God’s leading of you, sister. I also know about you, LMS, that you are not slamming the door in finality on your marriage, but just ready for the next step that God is calling you to. I know you will be entirely open to Him and what He does as a result.

            The differences for some of us were/are that our husbands would never take responsibility even after we repented, confessed, changed for months and years, etc. When both parties take responsibility, there is something to work with. But, things are destructive when one person’s heart is very hard and isn’t willing to soften, no matter what. It tears you down and it tears at the family bond until Satan is having a heyday. I thank God for what I went through in my marriage because of so many ways He corrected some thinking that I had – that I never probably would have seen differently until I went through it myself.

            My heart is heavy for you, but I know that God is holding onto you. I pray that He will speak very clearly to you and that you will have His peace. You will know when you’ve reached the right answer when you’re at peace and when no one can move you from what you know God has said to you.

            I LOVE that you are getting some time away. What a gift. Those were the times I heard very clearly from God.. I pray you might have some time alone from the other women even if just for a few hours to get before God and be still in His comforting presence and tender care for you.

            I love you, sister.

          4. Cic,Amen. Thank you for understanding this little corner of my heart. This quiet secret room I never knew about. I used to refuse it was even there, like it was “the giving up room” or something. But rather, it is a room of refuge, a room of knowing. A safety spot God has given to me when I acknowledge I’m at the end of myself. I will rest here for a while, gather my strength, my courage, my will and trust that my Lord is guarding the door so I can grow strong and be ready to fight the spiritual battle brewing up ahead. God wants me with Him, I want to be next to Him. Peace. And all my gratitude.

        3. LMS, I pray you enjoy your time away. I enjoyed my weekend away with the kids. It did feel a little empty without DW. I shared that with her when I got back and she showed compassion for how I felt….I felt a brief ray of hope which was dashed when she said she felt compassion because she was in love with xxxx but he was married and she felt empty without him. Ouch. HH

          1. Ugh. What a Stab in the chest. Just k ow that God will keep her going through the same test over and over until she learns what He wants her to learn. I doubt this will last the test of time. It will fizzle out too, just like anything on this earth. She will one day look at her empty hands and wonder why. Stay in God’s obedience, my friend, you are already victorious, even though you may not see it right now. Blessings.

          2. HH,

            Wow. 🙁

            She is so ensnared by the enemy, our brother. This is terribly heartbreaking. But right now, it is the only place she can be. How desperately she needs Christ like we all do. I will continue to pray for you both.

            So thankful for the good time you had with your children. That was a blessing. 🙂

          3. It is certainly confirmation that the entirety of my support must come from Christ 🙂

            I just said that she must feel understood and appreciated by him and that it must have been hard living without that from me, but that ultimately no man can love her perfectly and only true love is found in Christ……in God’s hands now.

            HH

        4. LMSdaily115,

          My precious sister! Do you still have pneumonia? Are you taking any prednisone? If you still have pneumonia and/or you are on prednisone or even the antibiotic biaxin, I would caution against making any major decisions right now. Those things can dramatically impact how we see the world.

          I sure do want your husband to help you! If you continue to push yourself, you can easily end up in the hospital. I guess it will all be on his shoulders at that point.

          I love to hear what you are thinking and how you are drawing closer to God and what you are wrestling with. You are so precious to me! I am praying for you, my dear sister, and for your husband and children.

          Glad that you are planning to rest for a few days in a non-toxic environment.

          I know God has you. I can’t wait to see what He is going to bring from all of this. I pray you can rest in Him and allow Him to heal your body and restore your soul.

          Much love and the biggest hug!

          1. April, I went back to the doctor today. I got a shot in the but of prednisone and another rx of it. Bronchitis and pneumonia, still. Rest, she asked if I had a chance to rest for at least 3 days. I did not. I wanted to, but I did not have any help to take care of kids. My in laws helped a bit, but when I asked my husband for help, he simply said no, it was too inconvenient for him to get into traffic. At that point, I only heard God tell me that I cannot rely on my husband for even this, but that God would give me enough provision, strength and courage to take care of the current needs…and that I will make it through this. Laundry stayed unwashed, dishes piled up, but my kids were picked up and fed and safe. Yes, I am on an antibiotic, tussi cough suppressants and ventolin inhaler. I know my emotions are probably edgy. I just keep praying for God to keep my mouth shut when I want to hurl my anger at him. He came home today and asked why I was laying in bed instead of on my air mattress. Eeerrgggg. Cause it’s my bed too and I need rest! Cleaning a comforter was more of an issue to him than my health. Even though I am well aware of the threat of going to the hospital, I thank God for my friends, my in laws, my mom and dad my boss and all of you to talk with me. I even thanked my husband and God for my husband doing a load of laundry tonight. I’ll take what I can get. He thinks I’m a fool for going away. He doesn’t realize that it’s a matter healing, rest and recouping, not going off to play.

            Ive come to realize he wants something from me I can’t give him….a perfect marriage, attention all the time, a sense of purpose. He says when he doesn’t feel useful anymore to someone, he has no need to be around them. Such a fleshly thing to focus on! He feels everyone quits him….he doesn’t quit them. I think that is the only choice left when we realize we cannot give him what he wants, or fit in their box just right.

            I will try to give myself some time. Wait till I feel better, lean onto God and look for things to be grateful for. I’m so glad I learned about all of this on this blog. April, your ministry has moved mountains in so many lives, weather you realize it or not. Thank you for your concern and prayers. All my love.

          2. Oh LMS 🙁 I feel led to share a scripture that was written on my heart some time ago. I found this scripture quite by accident, I was looking for something else and a webpage had a glitch and directed me to a another page that had this on it.

            Isaiah 60:19-22
            “The sun will no more be your light by day,
            nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you,
            for the Lord will be your everlasting light,
            and your God will be your glory.
            Your sun will never set again,
            and your moon will wane no more;
            the Lord will be your everlasting light,
            and your days of sorrow will end.
            Then all your people will be righteous
            and they will possess the land forever.
            They are the shoot I have planted,
            the work of my hands,
            for the display of my splendor.
            The least of you will become a thousand,
            the smallest a mighty nation.
            I am the Lord;
            in its time I will do this swiftly.”

            I read it and my heart was overwhelmed with the truth that I could not depend on ‘normal and reasonable’ support from my wife but instead had to rely wholly on God for strength. This was illustrated through the pictures of not being able to rely on the sun which is obviously supposed to be there always! Instead God himself would be my light. There was also the thought of “in its time” God would work swiftly. The sense there is that God has a specific time, but when that happens it would be QUICKLY…..Joseph, one day turnaround 🙂 I also enjoyed the thought of ‘the snallest becoming great’ and pictured my youngest daughter 🙂

            Interestingly, five minutes after reading these scriptures my wife rang making a pretty strong ‘threat’. I was able to respond by telling her that was her decision but that I would choose to love her regardless. God was with me at the right time with the right word 🙂

            We cannot rely on a ‘spiritually dead’ person to meet our needs. But God WILL give you what you need when you need it. God bless! HH

          3. That was beautiful and so timely, HH. Thank you for your commentary on it too. Funny how a “happy acvident” can gapoen. I totally beleive God reveals what He wants us to know at the perfect time. I agree very much about not being able to rely on things we think will always be there…like the sun, or our spouses love. But we can rely on God. And I do. Swiftly, in one day…hmm mm a thousand possibilities to that one. I look forward to see what God chooses. I know His way is always better than mine. Blessings and prayers for you to be in a good, peaceful place in your heart today.

          4. Heh. So I decided to sleep in my own bed tonight. Not coughing all night anymore anyway, just tightness in the chest. He immediately got up and slept elsewhere. His choice. I’m not interested in sleeping on air matresses any more. I need a proper bed. Wow. Amazing the hardness in his heart tonight. Lord, let me give him the space to get out of the way. Let me give him to you to deal with. I pray you help me obey you and act as Jesus would. Please bless me with blissful sleep tonight, as it too, is a gift from you. Amen.

  28. Hey all, I HAD to share this. Alan Jackson is one of my favorite country singers. To me, his songs have a depth to them that goes deeper than most country music (which is often pretty deep anyway). I had no idea of his history, found this today when looking for the lyrics of one of his songs. Wow!!!! I hope it blesses you also.

    Alan Jackson’s story is among the most inspiring in country music. One of his prolific accomplishments was that he was able to successfully blend traditional country music with the classic “Honky Tonk” style, which completely captivated his audience.

    He’s had more than 50 of his singles hit Billboard’s Top 30 Country Song’s list and has sold over 80 million copies of his albums.

    His life wasn’t always “perfect” and the testimony about his marriage is more than enough for anyone to see that God truly does have a hand on his life.

    Jackson was born on October 17th in 1958 in Newnan, Georgia. He was born as the baby and the only boy among 4 older sisters. He began singing at a young age in the church choir, where he learned about God and Christianity, which, as we’ll see, played a powerful role later in his life.

    While he maintained a steady ear towards gospel music, a friend of his introduced him to the music of Gene Watson, John Anderson, and Hank Williams Jr. These were key influences that would directly impact his musical sound.

    When Alan was 21 he married his high school sweet heart, Denise, who would prove to be, even among all his success, the greatest blessing God ever gave to him.

    After 6 years of marriage, him and Denise moved to Nashville, TN so he could pursue music full time. He got his first job in The Nashville Network’s mailroom, where he met Glenn Campbell.
    It was his relationship with Glenn that really launched his career.

    He became the first artist to sign with Arista records. It was through them that he released his first few singles and albums were recorded, and he quickly shot up to the top of the country music charts.

    But amidst this success, something more devious was happening back home. His marriage to Denise began to fall apart and after decades of musical success, it proved too much for Alan.

    He decided to throw in the towel on their marriage.

    Denise knew from the start that their marriage wasn’t perfect. She understood it was imbalanced as she found her identity in being the wife of a national star, which proved too much for her to bear.

    “I put so much pressure on myself. Everyone, I felt, was looking at us under a magnifying glass and I had to be the perfect wife, who was the perfect size, who wore the perfect gown, who had the perfect jewels, and it was so stressful to live like that and to base your self worth on what you thought other people feel about you. ”

    When Alan decided to call it quits, she did everything in her power to get him back but to no avail.

    It was during this unfortunate time that Alan Jackson lost his way. He had been unfaithful to her during their separation.

    This is when a distraught Denise turned to God for help. She reached out, pulling her close friends by her side, and urged them to pray for Alan to come back. One extremely wise friend said, that she refused to pray for Alan to return, but instead, would pray for Denise to become the woman God wants her to be.
    This was the turning point for Denise.

    “…It was so freeing to really come to the place in my life where I realized that I shouldn’t base my self worth on any of that, that my self-worth really comes from being a child of God.”

    She began to pray and seek God in order to restore her own security as an individual first, apart from her marriage with Alan. God slowly began to change her and to soften Alan’s heart towards her.

    Obviously, one of the biggest things they had to deal with was his Infidelity.
    “First of all, I had to be able to forgive him, and that’s a free gift that you offer someone.

    So I was willing to do that but in return he had to show me in tangible ways that he was trustworthy. And over an extended period of time he showed me in numerous ways.”

    It would seem that God was also working with Alan to deal with his own issues when it came to Denise.

    The two were able to fully reconcile, and both attribute their miraculous healing to God’s work in their lives.

    “It’s almost been 10 years, and initially when we got back together I did worry and wonder, ‘was he really and truly committed to our marriage?’ But now I have such a peace and contentment about it, because he has shown me over and over and over that he does want to be in the marriage, and it’s evident; it’s evident everyday.”

    There’s plenty more to Alan and Denise Jackson than Alan’s career. Shortly after their reconciliation she wrote a book, to help people understand the importance of God in a relationship called:
    It’s All About Him: Finding the Love of My Life

    Their story gives hope to just about every marriage out there. That in the midst of betrayal, infidelity, and unfaithfulness God can still work a miracle in a relationship.

    What an amazing story. HH

    1. HH,
      Thank you for sharing this story! Beautiful!!! God is truly GOOD, and can turn
      An impossible situations around….
      Praying for you and your wife,
      blessings,
      NB

      1. Thanks NB 🙂 For any who like reading, I downloaded the book this arvo and have nearly finished it…it is AWESOME.

        A quote from it…

        “Okay, Lord,” I cried. “I am so tired! I can’t manage this situation. I can’t control what happens or doesn’t happen in my marriage. I can’t make Alan come back. I can’t believe it’s Your will that our family break up. But I can’t take this anymore!” In that moment, I totally turned my eyes toward Jesus. “I give up!” I sobbed. “I give in! I know You’ll take care of me; I am letting go of it all, and You’ll just have to get me through.”

        I sobbed and drove home to my empty mansion. It was the first time in my life that I had completely let go of my will. I relinquished my desires. My need to try to cling to Alan at all costs. I totally let go and gave it all to God.

        It was the first time I had actually trusted Him to totally run my life, no matter what the outcome. No angels danced on my dashboard. No rays of light shone through my giant diamond to make a rainbow of hope on my windshield. But for the first time, I had a tiny, sure sense of real peace. Peace . . . in spite of my circumstances. It was like there was a connection between heaven and earth in that otherwise ordinary moment.

        It’s odd: I would never have chosen to go through the pain of those awful days, but through it, God got my attention. I had been skimming along on the surface of my fairy-tale life, ignoring the fact that Jesus was softly and tenderly calling me to come home to Him. I’d closed my eyes to any warnings that a storm was coming in my marriage.

        Once that storm broke my heart wide open, though, I finally cried out to God. I heard His voice. I felt His love. And I realized that Alan was never designed to be the center of my life. No human beingcould fill that place. Christ alone could truly be my all-in-all.

        How good is THAT! HH

        1. HH, this is awesome!!! Sounds like a great book! Thank you for sharing!!!! I LOVE how God was speaking to you through one of Alan Jackson’s songs and then led you to his story and then the book. I love how He leads us!

          I remember hearing about a book on Christian radio that kind of interested me. I was looking at it on Amazon and then “accidentally” clicked on the kindle version to buy it now. I wasn’t in the mood to pursue a refund, so I just figured I was supposed to read it. The book wasn’t about marriage (it was actually about the loss of the author’s daughter and her process of grieving – the grieving part being something I could relate to at the time), but in the book, she talked about how she and her husband had recently come through a difficult period in their marriage that had brought them to a sweeter place in their relationship. There were other similarities in the book that made me wonder if God was using the book to give me hope for my marriage. Their son was going off to college and ours was, too – they both had the same name. They had a dog that was the same name as ours (not a common dog name, from what I know anyway). They were also married for 24 years when they went through the rocky period, which was true for us, too. Anyway, our God is so personal, isn’t He? Glad to hear from you, HH!

          1. I finished the book last night. My respect for Denise Jackson has multiplied tenfold and the book has helped me in quite a few ways. The ways she dealt with her fear.

            I loved the picture she gives asking where do we have Jesus in our life. She uses a car as an illustration…is He standing outside trying to hitch a ride, is He a passenger on the back seat, is He a close friend in the front passenger seat or have you let Him drive the car and are relaxing in the passenger seat yourself! Strongly recommend reading it. I won’t give any more spoilers. HH

          2. HH,
            I also downloaded this book on KIndle. Excited to read it! Sounds like a very inspiring book!
            Thank you for sharing it with us!

          3. I am sure that it will bless you NB. I finished it last night and am going to read it again and make some notes. It is very, very good. She has written a couple more, I think I will read them also. Hope your journey is going well. In Christ; HH

          1. Hi PW friends,

            One of the books that Denise mentioned as being instrumental in setting her free from fear is Breaking Free by Beth Moore. It’s about 5 ways that we are designed to live a free life in Christ and the lies we believe that keep us from enjoying this freedom.

            I’m halfway through the book now and going on a church camp this weekend at which coincidentally (not coincidence!!) the topic we are going to be studying is lies Christians believe and how to break free. I would value prayer as I/we study this together 🙂

            I highly recommend the book also. HH

  29. LMS, hope you see this. I read an email from Leslie Vernick today and thought of you. You have mentioned previously the difficulty you have in working out what is “suffering for good” and when to put up boundaries with your husband. I struggle a lot with the same concept. This from Leslie has started a new chain of thought for me and I thought it helpful. Maybe it can be of help to you also. HH

    (I am not sure how to link from the email so just copied the text. Hope not too big)

    Is An Abused Spouse Called To Suffer For Jesus? 

    By Leslie Vernick

    This week one of my coaching clients shared that her Christian counselor told her that her role as a godly wife was to submit to her husband’s abuse and quietly suffer for Jesus.  She was told that setting boundaries was unbiblical and asking her spouse to change specific behaviors for her to feel safe or rebuild trust was demanding. Is that true?

    Does scripture encourage a spouse to patiently and quietly endure harsh and abusive treatment within her or his marriage?

    The passage that we usually turn to support this thinking is found in 1 Peter 2:13-3:22 where Peter writes to believers who face mistreatment for their faith.

    The entire book of 1 Peter has to do with suffering, but let’s see what Peter teaches us about how we suffer in a godly way as well and when we should patiently endure suffering.

    First, let’s look at how Peter tells us to handle ourselves in the presence of abusive people.  Peter is clear that believers should be respectful of others regardless of how we are treated. Often in destructive marriages a spouse who is verbally battered or emotionally neglected or abused starts to lob some verbal bombs of her own.  

Instead of responding to mistreatment in a way that honors God, she dishonors herself, her husband, and God by her building resentment as well as her explosive or sinful reactions to his abuse.

    We must help her choose a different path. Peter encourages us not to pay back evil for evil by reminding us of Jesus, who, “when he was reviled, did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:22,23).

    Second, Peter explains when we should endure abusive treatment.  He writes, “For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure?  But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.”

    The good Peter is talking about here is a moral good, a doing the right thing kind of good.  Although in this passage Peter specifically advises us to submit to authority, Peter himself was flogged after he refused to stop preaching about Christ even though he’d been ordered by those in authority to stop.  Peter refused to submit because in doing so, he would have to stop doing good (Acts 4:19; 5:17-42).

    In the same way when a wife refuses to submit to her husband’s sinful behavior, or stands up for her children who are being mistreated, or refuses to sign a dishonest income tax report, or calls 911 when her husband is threatening to harm her or himself,  she is doing good even if it doesn’t feel good to her spouse.

    Her behavior honors God, protects her children and does what is in the best interest of her spouse.  (It is never in someone’s best interests to enable sin to flourish.)

    When a woman takes these brave steps she will suffer. 

    She may suffer financially as her husband sits in jail because she called the police when he hit her.  She may suffer the censure from her church when she separates from him because of his unrepentant use of pornography and verbal abuse.  She may suffer with loneliness, retaliation from her spouse, disapproval from her friends and family for the stance she’s taken.

    That’s exactly the kind of suffering Peter is talking about.  He’s speaking about suffering for doing good instead of being passive or fearful or doing the wrong thing or nothing at all.  Peter is saying that when we do what is right and we get mistreated for it, God sees it and commends us.

    When we counsel a wife that God calls her to provide all the benefits of a good marriage regardless of how her husband treats her, provides for her, or violates their marital vows we’re asking her to lie and pretend. This is not good for her or her marriage. 

    This counsel also reinforces the abusive person’s delusions that he can do as he please with no consequences. It would enable him to stay blind to his sin and colludes with his destructive ways, which is not good for him, for her, or for their family. That kind of passivity does not honor God.

    Peter concludes his teaching with these words.  “Let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.” (1 Peter 4:19 ESV).

    If we encourage a woman to suffer for Jesus, let’s make sure we’re encouraging her to suffer for doing good rather than to suffer for staying passive or pretending. 

    1. Hello HH! Thank you for this. You have no idea how timely this is! I HAVE struggled to understand where the limit of suffering exists. Leslie does a good job teasing out the differences. I think I have been suffering by being passive and door mat type submissive for far too long in my marriage, but when the resentment and anger built up, my disrespect was very flagarant. Learning how to not be a peace faker, but rather a peace maker has been somewhere I think God has led me. But there were steps to learn along the way. There was definitely a timing to when and how God matures us and grows us up. This was helpful. Thank you.

  30. PW brothers and sisters….I am in need of some feedback. Over the past few weeks, satan has hit hard….very hard. I was very sick, my son got hurt, my husband has been even more distant and hurtful, work has brought many deadlines and issues, computers crashing…it goes on and on.

    My husband and I had a huge fight the other day. I did all I could to remain calm, respectful and godly, but in no way did I “crush it” with perfect behavior. When my husband started threatening to take my kids from me, quit his job and kick me out, fear was a large sledgehammer on my heart. The crazy thing is he thought it was a productive conversation! I thought it was ugly, reactionary emotion and flinging widespread hurt and fear all over. It was loud and my son overheard it. Ugly. Shameful. The next day, my husband acted like everything was fine. That we didn’t just talk about the next closer step to divorce. This Jekyll and Hyde stuff is crazy making! I really don’t recognize the man I married anymore. It’s burning me out.

    Then, 2 days later, he wants to talk. So, I talk and listen. The crux of his argument is this: he thinks I am self righteous to be able to forgive myself for my past choices, mistakes. He thinks its wildly artogant of me. That forgiving myself means nothing. It solves nothing and does nothing for the person who was wronged in the first place. I tried to explain that I didn’t forgive myself, that God forgave me and I accepted that gift from God. Also that forgiveness helps the forgiver more than the forgiven. As an unbeleiver, I know my husband doesn’t understand this. He thinks God doesn’t answer us if we talk to Him. He thinks I have this mindset that I can go around and be hurtful, selfish and mean to others and just “forgive myself” and be okay. However, I have repented, asked my husband for forgiveness, changed my ways and tried to make amends for my past mistakes and sins against him. I have no control over weather or not he actually forgives me or not, but scripture guides us to not live in guilt and shame and condemnation. I see no benefit from that in life if you have truly repented, turned from those sinful ways and are living a more godly life to honor God. There is no hope or strength in living that way. It is why accepting God’s forgiveness sets us free. If I could not be forgiven except by those I have hurt, then I would live condemned from age 1. I would forever be locked in shame, guilt and condemnation. I woud live a life filled with sorrow, regret and oppression. Am I right in this thinking? And how would any of you get that message through to an unbeleiver about the importance of forgiveness…not only to others, but to accept it for one’s self? I think this is a major stumbling block for my husband to overcone to start taking the blinders off. Any other resources would be helpful too. Much love to you all and thank you in advance.

    1. LMSdaily115,

      I’m not sure what your husband’s solution is for when people sin. Perhaps he doesn’t believe he has really sinned much? Not sure. But until we truly see the depths of our own sin and the expanse of God’s grace offered to us in Christ, we don’t really have the power to extend grace, mercy, and forgiveness, to others. Or, I sure didn’t!

      What he shared with you is extremely important. It sounds like this is the core issue in everything – his understanding (or lack thereof) of forgiveness. I don’t know that you can make him see. I couldn’t even make myself see. But I do know that God can open his eyes. It seems to me that you are thinking clearly, my precious sister. Have you ever talked about forgiving him for all of the hurtful things he has done? I think, from what you have been describing, that he believes he can justify his sin against you because of your sin against him. Of course, that is not how things work. God doesn’t give any of us free passes for sin. We all have reasons we think we can justify our sin – and perhaps God may inspire you to have a discussion about that with him – that many times we sin in response to the sin of others, but it is still wrong. We don’t get a free ticket to sin no matter what anyone else has done to us. We will all answer for every motive, thought, word, and deed to God when this short life is over. There will be justice. Either we will pay for our sin or Jesus’ blood will cover it.

      You are not purposely sinning and then flippantly saying, “God forgive me.” And “Now it doesn’t matter that I sinned and I can go on living however I want to.” God has absolutely been working in your heart to change you and to help you become a godly woman, a new creation in Him.

      I’m not sure if your husband can hear any of this from you. I pray for God’s intervention and for His Spirit to soften his heart and draw him to Himself. And I pray God will use other believers and TV programs, books, the Bible, movies, whatever… to speak to His heart and open his blinded eyes to Real Love and Real Life in Christ!

      1. Funny how pride can blind us. I can relate to your husband in some ways. I didn’t see my own glaring sins for so many years. I thought I didn’t really sin against anyone and thought I was “above” having to forgive because I “hadn’t really sinned much.”

        WOW! What pride!

        One day, he will see his own pride and arrogance. And he will be mortified. My prayer is, that he would be repentant and receive the Gift Jesus offers to him so freely and that his life will be completely transformed by the power of God.

        1. April, I love this comment you made about pride, so true! I too think about how blind I was to my own pride for so long, and how I felt like as long as I was not doing the “big sins” for lack of a better term, I was doing just fine. I totally lacked any understanding of how my disrespect towards my husband, controlling nature, fear of the future (so I had to take everything into my own hands), and arrogance, were sins too. I pray every day that God will work on my husband’s heart to make this clear for him too.

          I do have a blessing to share, my husband agreed to go to church this weekend as a family (it is Canadian Thanksgiving and I was really hoping to be able to go together). We went to a new church that I had taken the kids to once before and I suggested he might find this place more of what he would be comfortable in. We don’t have a home church and havent for several years now since we moved. Well praise God we all went together and my husband said he liked it! I am so encouraged by this and so happy he said he would go back again! So I just sit tight and hold my tongue, keep patient, and let the Lord keep working. I have faith that some day I will be able to share spiritually with my husband, I trust the Lord that he’s got this. As well, I am encouraged now that have trying out several different places that my husband didn’t seem comfortable in, I have a place now that I can go and take the kids when he can’t go due to work, and I know he is comfortable with it. I am so grateful to God that He has given me that. I’m looking forward to getting to know people there and hopefully be able to connect with some of the women there.

          1. TrulyBlessed,

            Thank you for sharing. Yes, pride is extremely blinding. It’s scary how much it can hide from our view.

            Praising God with you about going to church this weekend as a family! That is wonderful! And he liked it! WOOHOO! Thank You, God!

            LOVE LOVE LOVE your trust in God and your patience. This is awesome. Praying for God’s will and for your family to grow in Christ greatly in this place!

    2. LMS, pretty much everything you have written lately describes my path towards separation. The sleeping on different beds, her refusing to sleep in the bed if I tried to sleep in my own bed, threatening to take my kids, trying to kick me out, the response of fear (I hurt for your fear 🙁 ), the Jekyll and Hyde, the accusations of self righteousness etc.

      I can’t sleep tonight so I am gonna offer some thoughts….BTW I nearly just broke my nose lol, I went to get a tim-tam to eat while I wrote and I forgot I had closed the door and ran straight into it!

      I get where he is coming from. And in a way he is right, forgiving yourself doesn’t do anything for the person you have wronged. However, if forgiving yourself ALSO goes hand in hand with genuine repentence and trying to put it right with the person you have wronged that’s a different story. Because the trying to put it right IS doing something for the person you wronged.

      In my view, if a person won’t accept that you are trying to to put it right there is something deeper going on. Perhaps (these are general possibilities, not necessarily applying to him) he wants to keep you feeling like you ‘owe’ him as it gives him a sense of control. Perhaps he is too proud to accept your efforts to put it right. Perhaps he is too scared to believe the difference is real. I don’t know.

      I believe you are right in your thinking that if we required forgiveness from every person we wronged then we would always live in guilt, fear and shame. In a practical sense I understand how hard it is to live knowing someone hasn’t forgiven you and I know intimately how much guilt, fear and shame that produces (I still battle it sometimes), but I believe you understand Jesus teaching correctly.

      How do you get that message through to an unbeliever? I honestly don’t know. Maybe you can’t? Maybe it is only something God can show him?

      My thoughts. HH

    3. LMSDaily115, I am praying for you as you struggle, for strength and wisdom. As I read your post i sympathize with your struggles. I have a husband that has always seemed to be “on the fence” in his beliefs (as I was too for many years until recently), and right now I don’t even know where he is spiritually at all. It is tough not having a spouse that understands Gods forgiveness but I try and remember a short time ago I was there too, so right now I say nothing. I just pray every day for the Lord to keep working on his heart, and I trust that He is.

      As I read about your husbands comments that forgiving yourself is wildly arrogant and means nothing, and does nothing for the person who was wronged in the first place, I found myself wondering, if that is the case, what DOES he feel you need to do that WILL help him to forgive you? Has he helped you to understand what it is that he is looking for from you that will allow him to forgive you? If he hasn’t told you in his own words (making assumptions does nothing for me as for years I totally assumed wrong!) have you asked him outright (with respect) that you need to hear from him in his own words what you need to do for him to be able to forgive you.

      I don’t think any reference to God, God’s forgiveness, or living a Godly life is going to get through to him at all right now. If he is an unbeliever it may only give him more of an impression that you are using God as an excuse or a shield to hide behind which you aren’t of course! However it’s clear he just isn’t ready to understand so he is going to jump to the only worldly conclusions that he can reason for himself, because he has no concept of Gods forgiveness.

      Sorry I don’t have much to offer, but it would be helpful to know what he IS expecting from you specifically for him to be able to forgive you. I hear you on how difficult it is as right now I am completely holding back on any discussions about God with my husband. it hurts not to be able to praise God in front of my husband for what He is doing, but for now I still feel God telling me to just be quiet, He’s got this. I want to just be able to say to my husband does he really think the changes that have happened in our marriage that we have had can really be done WITHOUT the power of God? But I wait on God. He will let us share this discussion when the time is right.

      Praying for you, dear Sister, I hope you got some well deserved rest and peace on your time away!

  31. Forgiveness. This is the one subject I decided to focus on with my husband. I ended up sending a text to him. Yes, it was a bit lengthy, but I held nothing back. We seem to “hear” each other better in written form anyway….well at least I feel that way. He responds much more level headed and calm too. I talked about what I posted before, about forgiveness from God, others and for ourselves. I talked about real changes, effort, and repentance. I gave some LMS style metaphors and even though I was nervous about it, I quoted scripture…1 Corinthians 13:13 “love is patient, love is kind….. Love keeps no score…” that means to forgive. I explained that Jesus said we are to forgive, not seven times, but seven times seventy times.-and I explained how significant in that time period it was to even forgive 7 times. I respectfully explained that I cannot give him a perfect marriage and that I don’t expect him to understand my love of God, but if he thought about it for just a moment, he may see the tremendous benefit to him of me putting God first in my life and stop trying to compete with God for my attention. I also told him I am at the end of myself and there is nothing more I can do to try to save this marriage. It’s in God’s hands and my husbands hands now. I have no more “next moves” except to walk away. I explained that I love him and always will. But I also respect his own choices and if he is done, then I will accept it and not fight it like I did before. He is free to go if that is what he wants.

    The result: I received a lengthy message back that declared forgiveness of all the past. Letting it go, agreeing to do what it takes to see if anything can be built upon. A declaration to try to make it work. Agreement about forgiveness.

    Um. Wow.

    Okay, now what? Now, I need God right next to me, holding me up, arms wrapped around my shoulders. I am in shock. I couldnt beleive he would ever say those things. But i knew God could reach him. I have spent almost two years learning how to respect my husband, tame my mouth and live a life to make God proud to the best of my abilities each and every day. In that learning time, I have been fighting spiritual warfare, pride, hard heartedness, over the top emotions and anger, resentment and bitterness. I’ve literally been riding both ends of the seesaw. Alliwing more space and more time than i thought could be. I truly felt there was no gravitational pull left between us.

    I feel this is my chance. My husband has agreed to try! This is the careful stuff. The guiding on God’s path. This is where self control is most needed. This is “winning him without words.” I feel like my reactions, words and actions will be most closely watched. My every step will be judged. This is frightening and challenging, yet exciting at the same time. I have been prepared for this, though. God is guiding me and He has not brought me through all of this for nothing. Is this where God uses ME to be the example? Is this where I get to be the beacon of light? Is this how my relationship with God will be able to bless my husband with the goal of drawing him unto Himself? I could certainly get overwhelmed at this responsibility, important turning point and such. But in all of this, the only thing I need to do is trust in God and live like Jesus the best I can every day. Make my Father proud and all will be well.

    I am cautiously optomistic. This feels like a breakthrough, but not sure if I can trust it. I was about to see a lawyer just the day before. I was looking at houses to move my kids and I into. I was going to tell him that he won…he finally convinced me we should not be together anymore. Then this…a possible softening of his heart. I sure pray I am not being duped here, but I know how damaging it is to zoom ahead and assume bad motives. We have alot of work to do together. This is exam time…big tests.

    It was my husband’s birthday yesterday. I gave him a modest gift and a really good foot massage. We haven’t touched in 4 months…at all. I’m trying to extend the olive branch. Im trying to bless him, forgive, be vulnetable. I’m trying to take a few bricks out of the wall that surrounds my heart….I didn’t want that wall in the first place. I know nothing is for certain, but man, satan hit the hardest in my life for 3 solid weeks before now. Were those labor pains to a new birth in our relationship? I am choosing to beleive so. I am choosing to look at the gifts of all of this, God’s victory in our lives as a sunrise on our relationship. I am much more spiritually mature today than I was 2 years+ ago. I am no longer that over emotional, out of control prideful, controlling perfectionist I once was. I have been able to repair the relationships with my kids, my parents, my in laws, friends and others. I know the narrow path. It feels more and more comfortable now. Like home.

    Of course I canmot predict the future. Only God knows what is up ahead, but I am choosing to renew my hope and faith in God and His ways. He has broken into a hardened heart where I had no chance. I have control of me…I am most confidant in that, and I choose to stay on my page and be the best me I can be. I know I can let him walk away if he decides it won’t work and still be ok, full of joy and light, but I am secretly a little girl dancing with joy on the inside. I hope one day I can dance on the outside too.

    My brothers and sisters. I can say with complete confidence that God can make a way when we cannot see a way. I prayed that line over and over in my darkest hours. This has been the hardest battle of my life, but I know that others endure much worse. I am thankful for this lesson from God, even though. I know I can help others with what I have learned, and have already done so. I never want to be without a relationship with God again in my life. It has cost me 30 years of losing my way. God pulled me from the quick sand and placed me on solid ground. I can truly say that I know how to fight fear now. That is a scary demon to fight, but it can be done. Keep your eyes on God and trust Him. He is good to His word.

    I pray that we all learn to trust God with EVERYTHING. That He holds us when we are weak and bolsters us. I pray that we know that He has our back, that He loves us as a loving father. We are His precious children and we need to understand our place in His heart. We are cherished, loved and accepted. Anything we get from people on earth is just icing on the cake compared to what God gives us. I pray that we accept our value from God. I pray we can have that confidence about whose we are. That God gives us the powers we need to overcome and that nothing we do on our own comes close to what God can do in us. I pray for all of us that are going through these hard times. It seems so dark. But today just might be the day it all turns around. And if not, then let’s thank God that we are one day closer to that day! His way is the best way. He is a good, good father. Amen

    All my love to you all.

    1. LMS,
      THIS IS BEAUTIFUL!!!!! PRAISE THE LORD!!!! What a breakthrough! It almost made me cry the tears of joy for you! And gave me chills!!!! I prayed for you thanking God for His GOODNESS

      Our God is GOOD!!! The fiery trials he brings us through are truly REFINING FIRES that are ultimately are for OUR GOOD AND HIS GLORY!!!
      What a testimony!!!!!WOOHOO!!!!!!!
      Love and blessings to you and your man!!!!! I have a feeling IT WILL BE GLORIOUS FOR YOU TWO!!!!
      NB

    2. LMSDAILY wow I am in tears!!! praise God for this! I am dancing for joy that the Lord has given you both this second chance!!! I know how hard you have been tested and I am so happy to hear how He has brought you through!

      You have extended the olive branch and your husband has grabbed ahold of it, wow, wow, WOW! our God is so amazing isn’t he?! I am so moved to tears of joy for you as I know that very experience for myself not that long ago and it is just so amazing… what a testimony to others that our God can do anything, he can soften any heart, we never have any reason to doubt what He is capable to do!

      I have had you on my mind so often lately and I will be praying for you and your husband, I know this is going to be a new beginning for you both, Have Faith in the Lord! I know you said you prayed you hope you aren’t being duped… while caution is reasonable and a good thing, embrace this gift the Lord has given you without doubt! I know the feeling all too well that “can this be real” feeling… after many years of stress and frustration… but I felt the Lord remind me He doesn’t do for us what He doesn’t want, and now my job was to follow through with complete trust in Him.

      Like you, my husband has not reached a personal relationship with the Lord and it is very hard on a daily basis for me to hold back as coming to the Lord recently myself I just want to be able to freely share and rejoice. But I am being led to wait… and the Lord has shown me that I need to be silent and let Him work on my husband… I keep my own personal journey with the Lord completely to myself at this point because my husband is just not ready to consider the perspective I want to share… so I am trusting and leaning, trusting and leaning… and waiting on the Lord to allow this to happen as my husbands heart is ready to accept it. For now I have contentment and peace in knowing that the Lord is hearing my prayers and working on my husbands heart in other ways, he doesn’t need this to come from me right now.

      Praying for you both as you take these next steps TOGETHER on this journey! And of corse knowing the Lord is right there with you too! I firmly believe that even if our husbands are not ready to seek the Lord He is still capable to lead through them but we must completely trust that whatever happens not to doubt the Lord because we know all His ways are good!

    3. LMS.

      I don’t know what to write! Wow…….honestly, I just cried when I read that. Then read that inside you were dancing like a little girl and smiled the biggest smile 🙂 Thank you for sharing this. I will praise God for His work in this development.

      It’s been a tough 3 weeks for you! Night is darkest before the dawn?! The fight doesn’t stop now…….now is just as important as yesterday, and the day before, and the day before. But God will strengthen you now, just as he did then.

      I admire your strength to reach out to your husband, to stand firm on what you believe, to trust God. I hope one day that I can stand against my fear and lean on God to the same extent.

      Rejoicing with you. HH

    4. LMSdaily115,

      WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      PRAISING GOD with tears of joy, my precious sister! What an honor and blessing to get to watch all that God has been doing in your heart and to see what He is doing in your husband’s heart. Praying for you both – for God’s greatest glory! And for His wisdom for you.

      THIS IS AWESOME! I feel like throwing confetti and putting up balloons and streamers all over the blog. 🙂

      Thank you so much for sharing and allowing us to rejoice with you with exceedingly great joy, dear sister!

      I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for you both and for your family. 🙂

      Much love to you!
      April

      1. I’m trying hard to stay in peace with this. The enemy is still trying to put in doubt into my head, to call lawyers, check up on him, be suspicious and wall up my heart. I pray I can trust my husband. I guess all I can do is trust that God will reveal anything to me I need to know. This is scary. But I need to lay my weapons down if there will be a chance of this relationship being restored. Please pray that this is a true turning point for the good and that no weapon formed against me will prosper! Thank you. Pbbbttt (party favor noise maker).

        1. ((hug)) I’m so happy for you. You’ve helped me tremendously in sharing your life with us and also in my previous questions. One thing I learned recently any when we put on the armor of God is that there is only one offensive weapon that you never want to put down which is the Sword if the Spirit which is the Word of God. It is sharper than any two edged sword and even Jesus Himself used it in the desert. When those voices come use the Sword, the very Word of God from scripture to remind you of His faithfulNess and to put your trust in Him. What a beautiful spirit you have. Because I’m such a hothead sometimes this verse has truly seared my heart. “The unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit is of great worth in God’s sight”. This verse means more to me and has truly tamed me more than you can imagine. Not just worth, but GREAT worth. This is a gem, like a clue of His precious mystery and what He likes. I think you have such a beautiful spirit.

          1. SisterinChrist,

            This makes me smile so much. I love what God is showing you and it brings me so much joy to see everyone encouraging and sharing with each other as we learn, grow, grieve, celebrate, and seek Christ together. 🙂

        2. Ok. So since this “breakthrough”, I have been in a vice grip of fear. Icy cold fear that I am being placated until he gets his things in order and then hits me with a huge betrayal. He is selling many things, still staying quiet, unaccountable for his time and spending, spending spending! However, I feel we are at such a fragile place. I cannot know if his motives are real for our good or not. I do know that I need to stop assuming bad ones. I need to not let fear overtake my mind…that is truly the enemy. I need to stop playing the “what if?” Game in my thoughts. I have prayed and sought knowledge in what to do. I have looked in the bible under the subjects of trust. How to trust. I trust God, nit my husband. But i WANT to trust him. Yet, I dont want to be naiive and clueless either. After much thought and prayer, i made some photo copies of taxes and important docunents and put them in a safe place. I also decided i need to be up front and hobest with him in my fear and what i will need in order to move beyond this and be able to trust him financially again. I felt that the best approach was to ask for full financial disclosure, to be brought up to speed on all our finances and weekly/bi-weekly have discussions with my husband as to our progress of paying off debt, where money is going, what’s owed, what is saved, account numbers and passwords…on both sides. If he is uncomfortable with that, then I want to suggest having his dad as a third party middleman to be accountable to. So I can go to him when I am feeling anxious and my husband can too. I feel that it is a 1 Corinthians 5 type of approach…to bring others in to confront the sin. I know he feels safe with his dad…and I do too.

          Until I see with my own eyes that he is being trustworthy, I don’t think I will be able to trust him. Yet, I know I have to give him a chance to earn it. I feel super vulnerable here. I could either be a giant chump, or an example of Jesus. I’m ready to “wipe the dust of the city off of me” if it goes bad, but I’m trying to keep my mustard seed of faith, the door unlocked and cracked, a ray of sun into the deep forest floor. Quite frankly, I am shocked about my mistrust. This is a man who I trusted with every penny I had, my life, my kids, my well being. But, through this trial, I think God was showing me how foolish it is to trust any human in that way…even my husband. I know I should trust my husband, and in many ways I still do, but the only one I should trust that way is God. I was being very irresponsible and unwise to put all that trust into my husband…he’s human too. Actually, I’m disgusted with myself at how lazy I was being in my trust. I didn’t want to put the work into thinking things out, comparing them to truth (at that time, I didn’t understand God’s word as the truth…in my defense), but my ignorance and closed mindedness was no excuse for my intellectual laziness. I let my husband do the work and left him without a partner in this area. Not a godly wife thing to do. 🙁 At this point, I am grateful for God bringing me through this to learn my responsibilities as well. I am not a lover of money, but it is part of the life we live on earth. It’s the reality of this world. Being ignorant of it, unaccountable or irresponsible with it is not good either. God wanted us to seek wisdom and truth when dealing with it. It is not to be an idol, but it is part of this world. Even Jesus paid his taxes! The 4 dracma coin in the fish’s mouth. (Matt 17:24-27). Just this morning, I awoke to receive my weekly Bible Gateway inspirational on Boundaries, based on the book by Dr’s Cloud and Townsend. The subject is always a surprise. Before I opened it, I prayed quickly that it would be relevant to me today, so I could hear God’s direction for me…just to light up my feet for the next step. Here is what came through:

          How to Risk Trusting Someone Again

          Proverbs 2:1-5 – “If you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding—indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”

          When you’ve been let down by someone who matters a great deal to you, moving beyond boundaries is not easy work — but it is important. One thing you can do in this regard is to figure out if the problem that was previously an obstacle is truly being transformed. In other words, is this person really changing? Is the big problem being solved the right way?

          Here’s an example. I (Dr. Townsend) worked with a couple in which the husband, Bill, was a nice guy but irresponsible. He was one of those likeable people who loves to hang out with others and is a lot of fun. But Bill’s performance in life did not match up to his personality, especially in the area of finances and spending. He overspent on cars, gadgets, and entertainment. He also hid his spending habits, which meant his wife, Pam, was routinely surprised by huge credit card bills. These patterns took a major toll on the marriage. Pam was terrified of an uncertain financial future with him. She was not perfect and had her own issues as well, but his behavior came close to breaking up the marriage.

          In our work together, Pam was clear that though she still loved Bill, she had lost all trust in him. She could not believe anything he said. “If he told me at noon that the sun was shining, I would go outside to check,” she said. As is common in these situations, Bill did not want to acknowledge the severity of the problem or make the necessary changes. He wanted Pam to change, to stop blaming him, and to learn to trust him. “If you would be nicer to me and trust me,” he said, “I would feel more supported, and I’d do better in my career.”

          I had to step in there and say, “You are right; she shouldn’t be mean to you or attack you. But I don’t want her to trust you.”

          Bill was bothered by that and said, “Don’t you want the marriage to work out?”

          “Sure I do,” I said. “I want Pam to love you with no strings attached. But that is different from trust. While love is free, trust is earned. In the area of financial responsibility, I don’t want her to relax and trust you until we have evidence that you have changed.”

          Again, Bill didn’t like that: “You’re both judging me,” he said.

          “No,” I said, “neither of us is consigning you to hell. There is no judgment in this office. But you have not shown that you understand how deeply you have hurt her, nor have you made the necessary changes so that she can trust you again. If you and I were neighbors and I borrowed your screwdriver and didn’t return it, then borrowed your saw and didn’t return it, then your pliers and didn’t return them, what would you do if I asked to borrow your hammer?”

          “Of course I wouldn’t lend it to you,” he said. “Okay, I see the point.”

          Bill wasn’t as sorry as I wanted him to be at that point. He still didn’t seem to be able to acknowledge the impact he had on his wife, but it was progress.

          “Here’s the deal,” I said. “I want you to submit your finances to Pam on a monthly basis for a year. She is in charge. You both see a financial planner together. And we’ll see, month by month, if you are really changing for her sake and the relationship’s sake.”

          I turned to Pam: “If he does what I am asking, would you be open to trusting him again?”
          “I would,” she replied. “I want to get all this behind us. But it has to be real.”

          They agreed to the plan. Bill did some blaming at first, which happens frequently. But he humbled himself and allowed her to be in charge of the money. As it turned out, Bill did fine. And Pam was able to get past her hurt and mistrust, because he had truly changed.

          Hurt and mistrust are nothing more than signals. They tell you that you either have some healing to do, or the other person has some changing to do—or both. So, while monitoring if you are learning to trust again, also monitor how the other person is doing in the arena that caused a break in trust in the first place.

          This devotional is drawn from Beyond Boundaries, by Dr. John Townsend.

          Big. Deep breath. Sigh. And a genuine Praise God!

          To me, this was the hand of God holding mine. His voice speaking to me. His arms wrapped around me telling me it will all be ok. I love you, God, so much. Thank you for being close to me today. Thank you for never leaving me and always listening to me. Thank you for finding a way when I cannot see a way.

          I pray that if others are struggling with trusting again, that you ask God for help. I pray this artice may help others as well.

          Thank you all for your support, celebration, prayers and e-hugs. This is such a journey and I try to share what I’m learning and read what you all share to learn even more. This community has literally saved my life in more ways that just spiritually. God does wonderful work here. Thank you April for being open to Him in this calling.

          I am praying for you all that wisdom, discernment and healing come to you.

          All my love-LMS daily 115

          1. Thanks for sharing this LMS 🙂 It is so good to hear how God has spoken directly to your specific need and circumstances with the words you needed to hear!

            I have just spent a couple of hours talking, praying and reading with the speaker from our church camp on fear. I’ve been reading Breaking Free, which is about breaking free from different things that keep us captive, and the speaker chose to speak on breaking free from lies we believe. God speaking to me what I need to hear.

            In Christ, HH

          2. HH,

            My sister was helped greatly by that book Breaking Free. I am excited to hear all that you are learning and will learn, too! Thank you so much for sharing!

          3. LMSdaily115,

            There absolutely will need to be real signs of change – not just words. Time will reveal whether this is sincere or manipulation. I think your approach is good – from what I can see from here. There will be much wrestling over things, I am sure. 🙂 I really like this devotional. Thanks so much for sharing it! Praying for God’s continued wisdom, love, discernment, and His Spirit’s power for you for each step of this journey. I know He will never leave your or forsake you, our dear sister!

            I love how we can share here. Such a blessing!

            Much love!
            April

          4. A few times a month I’ll send a group text to my husband and kids of either scripture or an inspirational text and you just supplied todays!! Thank you, that is a great one, I really like it alot!

          5. Hi LMS,
            Your fear sounds reasonable (did you expect it? I wonder if we should start anticipating fear in situations and pray hard before it strikes–like knowing your enemy and not waiting for the surprise attack–but being prepared with scripture on trust beforehand so that we have it ready to say out loud when it happens–I seriously type things on paper and post it on my phone–this is war and these thoughts have to go through Christ first–but I need tangible paper reminders, and if I plan I am prepared)
            And I think making copies of the documents is a good idea in terms of ‘back up’. The mind though will start feeding you other things you need to ‘back up’ so ofcourse we weigh that with discernment on what is healthy fear (i think backing up taxes qualifies) versus unhealthy fear (I wouldn’t know in your case what this is but something just wanted me to share there may be a difference worth measuring).
            Ok, this is a risk I’m taking but if everything with your husband is going really well and the communication is good (ofcourse it’s normal for the communication now to be a little cautious) but if it’s good, do you think bringing up finances so soon might send a signal to him after those beautiful texts that you shared that you don’t fully trust him? Assuming he knows this already and will work to build trust I just wonder not if its the right thing to do, I think it is, but if now is the right time?
            Please forgive me as I admit I am presuming since I don’t know when your plan was to mention it but as I read through your post I wondered (just in case you didn’t time it–again, sorry for presuming) if its the fear that is making you want to discuss it “straight away” instead of giving it even just a few more days to see if maybe he brings it up himself as the segway or pray for God to reveal when the time is right (like you saw something that merits questioning and thus it would be appropriate and you feel a sense of calm that this is the right moment versus fear meaning not sure Christ is giving His consent). If it is fear maybe your husband will sense it and will react. I am sure God will reveal when the timing is right as you are in prayer. I’m sorry again to presume for I have no idea what your plan was but I honestly wanted to share it because it popped in my mind and I hope you accept it in the spirit in which I offered it which is in LOVE as your sister in Christ.
            I’m so happy for you LMS, you have a beautiful spirit that just glows through your writing.

          6. LMS, Thank you so much for sharing that. I am struggling with trust majorly, too….and keep having to take thoughts captive and remind myself that in my situation, my husband has been showing change. And, it is STILL so scary. I know what you’re going through is completely normal and God is going to hold your hand right through this and keep speaking to you as He did with this devotional.

            In my case, I believe God allowed me to be kind of “tough-minded” as my husband started to show a willingness to change. It seemed like it would waiver back and forth between a genuine apology to back to blaming me and refusing to take responsibility. I really felt God giving me permission to kind of “hold the line” , so to speak, until the change was looking genuine and humble (not sarcastic and with pride – you’ll know the difference, believe me). That was a scary time, because I wasn’t sure if he would choose our marriage and humility or his pride and being without me. I understand the fear. But, I also knew we wouldn’t really have a marriage if we didn’t get things resolved at least to a point where we were both willing to admit our faults and to work on ourselves.

            Actions have to match words — words are great, but actions have to match words; otherwise, our words are meaningless.

            Praying for you — thank you for your honesty and reaching out.

          7. I don’t know your whole story, but o used to struggle with trust. My husband and I married shortly after my mother committed suicide after a year of lying to me about her mental health. Her side of the family blamed my father and abandoned him so they could have someone to blame. Before my husband, my former relationships were all very unhealthy. So I had major trust issues when I got married. I still sometimes do, but it’s much better for me now that I changed my thinking.

            I noticed that when I don’t trust my husband and question him, he lives up to that low expectation. I don’t think he’s ever been unfaithful but he has lied about many other things, especially in regards to spending. But when I show him I trust him and I act with a “well of course you would never lie to me” type of attitude, he lives up to my much higher expectations. He would also lie when I acted too much like his mother, which makes sense. If I was married to someone so judgmental and someone who is dramatic all of the time, I might lie too. It’s not right, but it’s a reason.

            I’ve lived most of my life in fear, and since my moms death, I expected betrayal from anyone. My mother and I were very close and I felt like if she betrayed me, everyone else will too! And you know what? People do betray each other. But if you live every day in fear and anxiety for something that MIGHT happen, then you are ruining all of your present moments for a future event that MIGHT happen instead of being happy everyday and then dealing with a negative situation when it actually happens. Bad things are going to happen. Might as well be peaceful until they actually do? It took me years and Jesus to realize this. It’s still a struggle. But I do know that if you have high expectations for people, there is a greater chance they’ll want to live up to them. I also realized that if someone is going to “betray” me, that’s their sin, not mine. i don’t think it’s naive to trust. Isn’t trust all about faith? Hope this helps.

          8. Linsey,

            Sounds like you are learning some of the cornerstone lessons of “taking the log out of your eye before trying to take the speck from your neighbors eye”. (Matt 7:3) Addressing your own sins, thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions is really the ONLY thing you have ANY control over. As you learn to emulate Jesus in your everyday actions, you will see more and more evidence of that. You are exactly right, how others react is THEIR sin, responsibility etc. You said you read “Boundaries in Marriage”, by Dr’s Cloud and Townsend…they actually have a similar book called “Boundaries”. I found it meatier and really teaches how to be a boundary respecter too. I found it helped with many relationships, not just with your spouse.

            After reading a bit if your background, this might help you heal from some of that past betrayal and understand how others may have been disrespecting boundaries of yours…or maybe that you didn’t have healthy boundaries set up due to fear of the future, their reactions etc. I know for me, I struggled with what I call my big 3…control, pride and perfectionism. I also had no idea how to set healthy, appropriate boundaries and was a slave to my own fears. These are usually the sources of my sin. As I was constantly irritated by my husband’s pulling away and unloving attitude, I would often have a “kick the dog” reaction to the kids and my mom. I was short and snippy with the kids, angry, yelling, pushy and demanding, always trying to make them do stuff my way etc…

            As they approached their tween years, I was losing my daughter fast. I hated that she was so closed off to me. One day she said “I don’t want to tell you anything cause you always freak out.” I now understand it was me not having any control over my reactions that turned her off. She wanted to avoid my emotional volitility. I wanted to rush in and fix it, demand certain actions, tell her what to do, or not do, yell, scream, etc. I was a hot mess. Very controlling. I had to learn how to accept what was being said, stay calm, give a bit of time for both of us to calm down. I had to control my reactions…she was scared of my emotions.

            I found I also had to look inside myself and try to identify what was making me scared. Fear of my daughter failing, hanging around bad influence friends, her getting depressed and doing things like cutting herself, not opening up to me, lying to me, etc. But the more I tried to control that, the more I was bringing it into fruition. It had the opposite effect that I wanted in my life.

            Now, I understand that my job is to listen to her feelings. Not solve all her problems. I might not agree with her or understand why she feels a certain way, but I can empathize with HOW she feels. I may say ” Oh man, that sucks that your friend just up and left you hanging at study time, I can see why you are angry”. She feels understood, listened to and respected. Therefore, she opens up to me more. Now, she may even ask what she should do…that’s when I can offer advice, but not demand action. She feels much safer with me now, and our relationship has grown deeper from MY changes.

            I can’t help but think husbands, or anyone else, really have similar reactions. When I just listen to my husband and validate his feelings, not try to push my own agenda into the conversation, things go much smoother. Understanding what is disrespectful to husbands and such turned my life around. April has an excellent list on her blog. In fact, she also has a great reading list too. The advice and direction in this blog is good and true and trusted.

            I, too, had to go back into my childhood and deal with things I thought I was over in order to heal and become a better person inside. I dealt with being in charge of raising my brother for years (Control) while my mom was off having an affair (perfectionism). I was 10, he was 3. I was his “mom” for a few years. My dad’s workaholism, my mom’s disrespectful attitude, 3 divorces between my parents and the feeling of I couldn’t trust anyone but myself (pride). The impact of those lies has had resounding consequences on my marriage and life. Other relationships too.

            I only just forgave my mom, at 43 years old, for her part in breaking up our family. My marriage is still on the brink of divorce, but I know I have been working on my own box of emotional garbage for almost 2 years. There are rays of hope, but it will take much more time to heal than I am comfortabke with. But God shows ne how to wait. Yes, my husband has his issues, but there is definately a process that we all go through to mature, spiritually, grow up, become emotionally in control instead of reactionary and “knee-jerk” about our feelings. God can help us learn how to really put ourselves in the other person’s shoes to see things from different perspectives, not just our own. Being “right” isn’t all its cracked up to be. It has a heavy cost of damage in relationships. Peace is always a better option.

            But learning how to speak the truth in love and be able to confront someone respectfully, but loving about their sin is part of growing too. God expects us to look at how Jesus interacted with people. He is our example of the right way. We are imperfect humans who naturally default to sin, so it takes effort and work to choose the way of Jesus. We won’t always get it right. But everyday, we need to give it our best shot. At the end of the day, be honest about what you didn’t do so hot, ask God for forgiveness and turn from the sins. For me, I want to hear the words “well done, my good and faithful servant” when I meet my Maker. Today, I’m grateful for what I have and the chance to do my best with every sunrise, and I no longer lament and complain for what I don’t have. I certainly could lose alot more if I don’t appreciate it. Our lives are filled gifts from God. But how often do we see them as such?

            People are sinners. All of us. No exception. Jesus was the one true example of perfection. Once we realize that everybody, especially those closest to us have the potential to let us down, betray us, hurt us, or not live up to our expectations, we can loosen our grip a bit. Cause guess what…WE can do the same things to our loved ones as well. Stop expecting perfection from others or yourself! Perfectionism is a huge killer of relationships.

            I was so mad at my mom for not trying harder in her marriage, for giving in to lustful sin and cheating on my dad when he was working and trying to provide for his family with his brawn cause he didn’t think he was smart enough to make more money with his brains. I was mad at my dad for making money more important than me, or his family. For not fighting for my mom. I carried that anger for so long. Then I was in the same situation. Workaholic husband. Disrespectful wife. I realized that my parents did the best with what they knew at the time. I’m sure they would make different choices 30 years later, but that is in the past now.

            I wanted to do things different and began the quest of knowledge. I prayed for God to teach me how to live a life to be proud of for Him. How to do right when wrong seems to be all around. I’m nowhere perfect at it, and never will be, but I’m better today than I was 2 years ago, or even yesterday. I am grateful that I am still married, relearning my husband and myself, that my husband is still sticking it out…even though many times I feel like throwing in the towel. I have an unquenchable thirst for learning about God, His character, His design in relationships. My self esteem is healthier and more stable now that I know whose I am…a child of the most high God! As I learn to trust that God can handle it all, I become an obedient child and I reap the rewards from Him as my father.

            I pray that you can continue to bring God into your life and grow that relationship with Him. I pray you do the hard work of looking inside yourself and cleaning house. Get rid of the old lies you beleived and replace them with the truth of the word of God. Get rid of the old self serving thinking and learn how to serve others. Discover how humility is a wonderful gift. This is the stuff that sets us on the narrow path to life. Changing our prespective and being open to possibilities and other ideas actually frees us from the heavy burden of perfection. We don’t have to come up with all the goid odeas, let others enjoy that responsibility a bit. It’s NOT our job to control others, only ourselves….it is called “self” control, not “other” control, right? When we let others be responsible for themselves, we can be responsible for ourselves, there is a whole lot less pressure to perform. The weight of the world will lift and you will feel peace and freedom. I pray you keep leaning into God to have him gently guide you toward that peace.

            I hope you can take some time to dig into more Peaceful Wife. She has a book too, “The Peaceful Wife – Living in Submission to Christ As Lord” which is concise and very useful. You have a great group of friends here too that you can ask for prayers and advice from. We are all dedicated to helping each other, offer perspectives maybe not considered before and unquestioned brother/sisterly love as a fellow child of God.

            All my love, sister. Praying for you on your journey.

          9. Wow, HH. Glad this spoke to you today. I’ll be interested to hear how the Holy Spirit helps you with this. You are doing fine, my brother. It’s great to see you “run up the stairs, two by two” after living on the landing for a long time. I see you truly standing up from the ashes like David did. You are in the palm of His hand!

            Btw, what is a tim tam? Hope your nose is doing ok!

          10. Haha!!! My nose is fine thank you 😝 A Tim Tam is a small rectangular chocolate biscuit covered in milk chocolate…..a bit of a tradition with me is to bite off both ends of the biscuit and use it as a ‘straw’ to suck up hot chocolate milk…..I can drink about half a cup before the whole thing melts into a glorious, chocolatey, sticky mess…..yum!!!!!

            Yes, I am going up the stairs today 🙂 Even with a slight sense of anticipation! I am fighting fear with the only tool that works…..faith. Faith in God’s goodness and love. Faith in His sovereign plan. I read John 2:11 before going to camp from a different version of the bible (CEV) and it says “This was Jesus’ first miracle, and he did it in the village of Cana in Galilee. There Jesus showed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.” It struck me that we put our faith in someone when we see that they are WORTHY of our faith. We simply are not able to trust someone who is untrustworthy. We have to see that something is worth our trust before we trust it. I asked God to show me His glory at camp, and He showed me His glory through the goodness of His people and renewed my faith, strengthened my resolve to trust Him but also gave me the strength to start creating some healthy boundaries 🙂

            It is one thing to read about God’s love, it is another to experience it through His people. I love this from the book Breaking Free “God wants to be made known TO us, then God wants to be made known THROUGH us”……how good is that??!! Slowly, God pulls us from the ashes and sets us on our feet.

            Ashes is an appropriate term you used LMS…..maybe God is even speaking to me through that 🙂 Because, I said this to DW when I declared emotional bankruptcy just recently…..”Our marriage has been burnt to the ground. Destroyed in a hot, hot fire. Like you say, what is done is done and can’t be undone. In a bushfire many things are destroyed. Old trash is completely disintegrated and many trees die. But, some seeds need the heat of a fire to start to grow. Then, the ash that lies on the dirt provides the nutrients required for new life to spring up. I believe the same to be true of life. Things that needed to be destroyed have been destroyed. But, out of the ash of brokenness new life can grow. I believe this is possible with our marriage, but it is not something that I have any control over.”

            I am working away for a couple of weeks, leaving early this morning. Going out deep into the Aussie bush with no phone reception, no internet, no grocery stores etc. Last time I went to this work site I took Andrew Murray’s book Absolute Surrender and my bible and spent 4+ hours each day after work reading it, praying and thrashing through my heart. Last trip was the point I truly surrendered my will to Christ for the first time. Being a living sacrifice means I have picked it up a few times since, but that trip was a key, defining moment in my life. I remember driving away from civilisation with tears pouring from my eyes, unsure if my wife would even be home when I returned. It was a brutal trip, physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausting. I still have a pair of chainsaw chaps where I slipped with a chainsaw simply due to fatigue and tore them to shreds…..luckily they did their job and I did not cut myself open.

            This trip, is different. Same place, still as brutally hard physically, but I am already looking forward to the drive there. I have a few worship songs ready for the journey, I have a heart that is looking towards my saviour and I even have a sense of anticipation at what I may learn.

            I am taking my bible and a notepad. I am going to be studying boundaries. I will be reading through the gospels, looking at how Jesus implemented boundaries and how He did it. I still have much confusion about when we are called to put up a boundary and when we are called to suffer for righteousness sake. I see Jesus not allowing people to push him around in some places (Luke 4:28-30) yet then allowing people to crucify Him. I see Him sometimes withdrawing from crowds of people who wanted His healing and attention (Luke 5:15-16) yet other times ministering to vast amounts of people. I see him knowing that the Pharisees were conspiring to destroy Him and so moving away from their location (Matthew 12:14-16) yet then telling us in His famous sermon on the mount to “turn the other cheek” and if someone “compels” you to go a mile, go two (which seems to have the thought of doing something that we are forced to do). So, Jesus knew when and where boundaries were appropriate. I don’t know…..yet. But I want Jesus to be glorified through any boundaries I do or do not put up.

            Oh I love all you people so much! Take care all. HH

          11. HH,
            I’m so excited about what you are going to study and all that God will show you in this time away. 🙂 Can’t wait to hear about it when you return. May God richly bless your faith in Christ and continue His good work in your heart.

            In Him,
            April

          12. Hiya all 🙂 What a trip! No accidents and plenty of time with the Lord in the most beautiful isolated location. Was an incredible time of peace and refreshment. Much strengthening of the soul.

            And just in time too…..the enemy was having a field day while I was gone……on a scale of 1 to 10 we are talking about say a 143……things have blown up so, so, so, so big, woah!!!!

            Hope you are all well….HH

          13. HH,

            So thankful to hear about your trip and how good it was for you spiritually. That is awesome!

            But yikes! I am VERY sorry to hear about that things have gone so horribly while you were gone. Praying against the enemy’s plans with you and for God’s glory for all involved, dear brother! And for God’s clear wisdom, direction, and provision for you.

          14. Linsey,
            Thanks for sharing this! I am so thankful for the things God is showing you, precious sister! I can understand why you have control issues from your past. I can also understand why your husband didn’t feel safe to be honest with you if he felt that smothered and controlled and that you are learning to stop the control and have a healthier relationship.

            Here is a post that may be a blessing.

            Much love to you!

    5. Oh wow. I’m speechless. I’m praising and thanking God for you with tears. You have stayed steadfast in your faith and are such an inspiration.

  32. Hello, my brothers and sisters –

    Felt like I wanted to write and give y’all an update on where I am. I have realized over the past week or two that I have really been protecting myself and have had a huge wall up. I know that this wall was necessary and really believe God allowed that wall to go up for a while for me, but I have also had a sense the last couple of weeks that it is time for it to go down. I’ve been waiting on His voice, to show me what that looks like – how do I trust again? How do I go back to being vulnerable and trusting like a little girl in my husband’s arms, believing that he has good will towards me? I have been really holding back to the point where I am not reaching out to my husband and I know that he needs that from me right now.

    I feel like God has just been little by little getting me used to the idea. I am praying for God to complete this work in me and to keep showing me that I can trust in HIM fully, maybe no one else in this world, but I can trust the Lord and even if I am a fool again – I will be a fool for God, not for a human being. Anyway, could any of us ever be a fool who are completely trusting in the Lord. “The one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.” (1 Peter 2:6b)

    I am praying that God will just put a love in me for my husband that is different than anything I have ever known. I know that I have loved with God’s love before, but I guess I am wanting even more of His love through me and less and less of my human love.

    Pray for me for this. Pray that God will destroy and bring to light any lies I am still believing – one of them I have realized recently is that I have believed for a LONG time that there’s no way my husband could really be a good husband if he isn’t a Christian. Without getting into the theology of that, I’m pretty sure that’s a lie, but maybe some of you could speak to that for me and help me to break that down a little more – get to the root of that and expose what’s beneath that.

    I probably need to share another thing that keeps me holding back a little, but I need to go for now. Will try to post later. Thank you, all – love you all. Praying especially for those who are in the trenches tonight.

    1. CiC, I will pray for you. This scripture came to mind when I read your comment “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” Proverbs 24:3-4

      Often we want a ‘miracle’ to change things, but the truth is that things are usually changed slowly, through gaining wisdom and applying that wisdom. So, you need wisdom now, to understand how to move forward from here. Do you start trusting more? Are you holding onto some lies that are effecting you moving forward? Is something being hidden? I don’t have the answers, but I can and will pray for God’s wisdom to be given to you. HH

    2. CIC,

      Thank you so much for your honesty and vulnerability. It is a difficult and painful thing to rebuild trust that has been lost. I appreciate you sharing where you are and what you believe God desires you to do at this time. And yes, ultimately all of our trust must be in God, not any human.

      I love what you are praying for God to do in your heart. I pray with you for this and for God to expose any lies you may be believing. I do think your husband can be a good husband in many ways even if he is not yet a believer, and I believe God can even lead you through him. I have known wives with unbelieving husbands who treat them very well and who even speak to them about spiritual issues and God uses these husbands, at times, to expose sin in their wives’ lives or to direct them in various areas in godly ways. Ideally, yes, your husband would come to Christ. That would be AWESOME!!! But you can have a good marriage even if he isn’t there yet. I hope that makes sense.

      Much love to you!

  33. OK, so the other thing I’m wrestling with is this ongoing, continual nagging that there is something that is being hidden. Quite honestly, I’m tired of feeling this. Shouldn’t I be able to discern if this is something from God or from the enemy? Maybe if I don’t know it’s from God, then I need to automatically assume it’s the enemy and take these thoughts captive and refuse to give them one more second of air-time in my head.

    On the other hand, I’ve thought that in the past and asked God to confirm and at least twice, He has shown me things within 24 hours.

    I guess I will do the same thing now. If it’s real, Lord, show me. Otherwise, show me that I can throw these thoughts out the window and refuse them….

    1. CIC,

      Praying for God’s wisdom and discernment about this feeling that there is something hidden that you don’t know about, dear sister! For Him to bring all things to light and to help you test this spirit to determine its origin.

  34. My friends.

    I have had a wonderful weekend at my church camp. We spent a lot of time reading, studying, praying and spending time together as a church community. We studied lies Christians believe and how they effect us and whilst I would not say that I am ‘free’ from all the lies that have held me in bondage, I have made great leaps forward in understanding what has held me in fear for a long time. We were all greatly blessed by the time.

    One of the strongest things that I came away with was seeing how I have always subconsciously believed that I have to ‘be somebody’ or ‘do something’ to be loved. Even at church. This ties strongly in with a fear of being rejected. But, so, so, so many people at church SHOWED me this weekend just how much I matter to them even when I am not doing anything special. I honestly contributed almost nothing to the church community this weekend, but people were going out of their way to help look after the kids as I tried to do the “mum and dad stuff” and still make it to all the study sessions. Asking how I would feel about a divorce skit someone wanted to do and offering to take it out if I would find it to hard to watch. Praying with me. Crying over my pain. Showing by their actions that they are my friends simply because they want my friendship, not because I give them anything. I really FELT the love of God through their actions, not just words. I didn’t have to earn anything, I was just valued. I mattered to them because they know they matter to God. I am going to cautiously say that my deep rooted beliefs of needing to ‘earn’ love have been very shaken in a very good way and I am going to cautiously say that me fear has significantly decreased with this understanding.

    I am putting up some guards around my heart now when it comes to DW, not in an effort to stop showing love but in a practical way of dealing with some of the pain. In fact, I declared emotional bankruptcy (thanks LMS for this concept) to her this weekend, stating that I have begged forgiveness, tried to earn forgiveness but I have no control over any outcomes and cannot make her forgive me and I am not going to pursue or give anything else when it is not wanted. I also faced my pain and fear and expressed it to her clearly and concisely. I have not done this before.

    I have also started considering making some very major changes in the next little while. I have started looking at options for moving to another town, close enough to be there for my children but not so close that I am so ‘involved’ in so much of the trauma. Closer to church and where I will be able to go to mid week studies and fellowship groups.

    I would love to ask for this matter to be lifted up to our Lord for guidance, as selling the home and moving is quite a significant decision and not one I take lightly.

    Love in Christ to all my spiritual family. HH

    1. HH
      I’m so thankful that you seem to be so richly supported by your family, friends and church family. What a blessing. It breaks my heart to read of people here who don’t have support and face this pain every day. I know that we all have our Lord, but to have someone to hug and cry with together is truly a blessing.
      You’re right. Love for people is something we are to have even for our enemies. It’s a free gift whereas respect needs to be earned doesn’t it? (Apart from the respect I guess we are to have for our leaders and people in authority.) but even then the respect can be lost.
      I’m glad you are putting sound guards around your heart. I wonder how your wife will feel/react to this. I wonder if she will actually respect you for it? She knows how much she’s hurting you. I also am very glad to hear about a possible move. I know it must be gut wrenching but I always picture you so close to the action (for want of a better word) and I don’t know if I could do the same. Maybe some distance will be a very good thing for both of you.
      I’ve been quiet but you have always been on my mind and in my prayers. I will be praying now for guidance and wisdom and peace for you in whatever decision you make.
      Bel

      1. Thank you very much Bel.

        Yes, it is an amazing blessing to be so richly supported. It has created a strong realisation in my heart as to how much people need to just ‘matter’ to somebody regardless of what they do or don’t achieve and I want to show people the same thing. I don’t know how people go through these things alone. My church is truly a channel of God’s love.

        Yes, in a way respect needs to be earned, but respect is also given based on positional authority even if the person doesn’t seem to have earned it. I know that I don’t respect one of our local police officers decisions or character but I respect the fact he is in uniform.

        Yes, I am very close to the action. Far too close and a move may be a very good thing. I don’t know how she will react to the guards I am putting up. She did not respond to my emotional bankruptcy communication in any way but it wasn’t about a response, it was about being real with myself.

        How are you going Bel? How is your husband and your children? HH

        1. HH
          That made me think of my children. They just want to be loved no matter what they do or don’t do. When they achieve or just cruise through life. Win or lose. And of course we do love them. Unconditionally. I love my husbsnd but have lost respect for him in some ways. Not ALL ways. But some.
          If there was no response to your conversation it could be that it shocked her and she didn’t know how to respond. She’s used to seeing and hearing of your unconditional love for her even as she hurts you so much. Not that you now mean that’s not how you feel now, but you’ve had to put up some guards and that’s different.
          Goodness me I just continue to be completely gobsmacked about the attack on marriages. So much pain and sadness. I was driving on my own today and was crying out to God to please fight for us all. Help us. Fight Satan for us. I know He is but the perseverance thing is getting to me lately.
          Me? 21 months now since he shutdown. 21 months of no touch at all, and no real sign of anything changing. Occasional small “niceties”, but I dont read into them anymore. Guess I’ve had to put some guards up too. I’m too scared to approach him for any conversation on us. I don’t think I can hear those words from him again. So we are like housemates. Today I remembered a counsellor we saw ages ago say that the fighting meant we still cared enough to fight at least. There’s nothing now. Only the odd disagreement about the kids. The kids are the same though my little one is having some real anxiety and tummy issues. She’s a real worry at the moment. I’m looking into different things.
          I still struggle to hear God. I’m frustrated. Prayers? Yes please.
          Bel.

          1. Definitely kids need to know that….my daughter was a little ‘satellite’ this weekend…..circling around the campsite enjoying the activities but coming back every 15 minutes or so for a hug and an ‘I love you dad’…..just to confirm I was there and she was ‘ok’.

            TBH Bel I think there was no response because that has always been her communication style. If she doesn’t know what to say she ‘buries’ it, either by ignoring it or changing the topic. But, I honestly don’t mind what her response was as it wasn’t sent for a response. It was literally a ‘surrender’ to God and a genuine acknowledgement of me as a hurting human with suitable boundaries. I had and have zero expectations.

            I will pray for you now. I encourage you to come before God with and open mind and bible to really spend the time asking Him to show you where to grow. I learned a lot about Him and myself this weekend doing this 🙂 Praying now. HH

          2. Aww she sounds so precious.
            You sound like you’re in a good place HH.
            Thank you. Sometimes when I read the bible I don’t seem to get anything out of it. I ask God to lead me send teach me. I’ll keep trying.
            Bel

          3. Bel. I was praying today for you and I heard a pastor on the radio talk about how he was driving and thought he had missed his turn. He had a gps working and was wishing the voice told him he was on the right track. He really could’ve used some encouragement. But then he realized the gps doesn’t say anything until you are getting close to taking your next turn. Sometimes God is like that. If you’re on the right track, God may not be telling you the next turn cause you are not there yet. This is where you rest in God and keep working on your own issues. Trust that God will help you know when it’s time to make a move. If you are not feeling that small niggling feeling in your heart, gut or head, maybe you are right where you out to be. Tay in peace, my sister.

          4. Thank you LMS. This idea does help. I just hope my fear isn’t letting me miss anything.
            Thank you for your much needed prayers.
            Love Bel.

          5. Thanks Bel…..yes I am in a better place today. Better today than I was last week….better last week than I was the week before that…..the pathway becomes clearer as time goes on 🙂 Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of this world will grow strangly dim, in the light of His glory and grace. Take care of yourself, seek God, enjoy His love. In Christ, HH

          6. Bel,

            You are not required to respect sin, of course. God doesn’t ask any husband or wife to respect or love sin.

            How are you doing spiritually? Would you be interested in doing a spiritual check up with me? My greatest prayer for you is that you will use this terrible trial as an amazing opportunity to allow God to work in your heart to do what He wants to do in your life and to draw nearer to Him, to grow much stronger in Christ, and to allow Him to transform you to be more like Jesus.

            Much love to you!

      2. Bel,

        There are many definitions of respect. There is a kind of respect that is earned. But then there is a respect we show for those in positions of God-given authority, regardless of whether we agree with them. And then there is also a kind of respect, positive regard, and dignity with which we treat all people as believers in Christ – just because people are made in the image of God.

        How may we pray for you, our dear sister?

        1. Thank you April.
          It’s coming up to 2 years. There’s no talking about us anymore, no fighting, no anything. We are just housemates. The anniversary was very painful for me. A counsellor once said to us that while we are fighting it means we still care enough but when things go quiet it could mean there’s just nothing left to fight for.
          I guess I need prayers for perseverance, courage, wisdom, and the ability to hear God and trust that He working behind the scenes for me and to be able to get through each day with this ache in my belly.
          Is it wrong and showing lack of faith to ask for a sign that things will improve? I don’t kthink God works that way though.
          Is it worth asking my husband if any things chsnging in his heart or will that repel him. I’m scared stiff to hear the words I dread again.
          My journey seems stalled.
          Bel

          1. Bel,

            This is a very tough situation, for sure. VERY painful. I am glad you want the marriage to work. That is a GOOD thing! I still hear a lot of fear in your words.

            How is your time with God going?

            What do you pray for?

            What are you doing with all of this fear?

            What do you believe God may want you to learn in this difficult time?

            Are there things you are afraid to entrust to God’s care?

            Much love to you!

          2. Bel,

            If something is changing in your husband’s heart, I am pretty sure he will change his actions and words toward you so that you will know. My greatest desire is to get you as healed and whole in Christ as possible – then you will hear His voice clearly about how to handle things specifically each day.

            Much love and the biggest hug to you!

          3. Here is a video I made this morning about learning to hear God’s voice – there are a number of resources on the description of the video with more help for learning to hear God’s voice, as well.

          4. All,

            Love this quote:

            We have heard it before, but we need to hear it very definitely—the condition of God’s blessing is absolute surrender of all into His hands. Praise God! If our hearts are willing for that, there is no end to what God will do for us, and to the blessing God will bestow.

            – Andrew Murray “Absolute Surrender”

          5. Bel,

            How do you tend to interact with your husband or how do you act when you are around him?

            What do you want to happen?

            Does he say anything to you at all about anything? What does he say he wants?

            Are you still going to counseling?

            Much love!

          6. April I haven’t had a chance yet this week to answer your questions to me. I need the spiritual check up. I will have to get back to you on that but right now I really need some prayer please. I’m suspicious of some of my husbands behaviour. I don’t want to write detail here but I’m on my bed crying as things don’t make sense and I’m wondering if he’s hiding something from me. I’ve been on my knees praying to God but I’m not feeling any peace. I don’t know whether Satan is putting these suspicions in my mind or whether I really do have something to worry about. I hate this all so much. I know I’m not supposed to have this fear that I have but I can’t help it.

          7. Bel,

            Oh no! 🙁 Praying for God to make things clear and bring everything to light, my precious sister. And for you to be able to rest in His love, provision, and shelter in this stormy time. Praying for God’s discernment and wisdom for you and His direction about exactly what steps to take. Praying for you to keep your eyes on Him – He is your ROCK.

            Much love to you!

    2. HH,

      LOVE what you got to experience this weekend. THAT IS AWESOME! Praising God for that time of healing and greater understanding. 🙂 What an incredible church body you have. How I long for everyone to have that kind of love and support from the Body of Christ!

      So thankful you are seeing that you have value just because God made you and loves you and not because you have to earn it. That makes me smile and fills my heart with joy.

      I also like how you are approaching things with DW. That sounds healthy to me. I pray for God’s wisdom as you seek to make these changes. It seems like these steps would be very helpful for your sanity.

      Praying for you and your family today!
      In Him,
      April

  35. I have a question for anyone that wants to chime in. I’ve been working on biblical submission and respect for the last year. I’ve improved greatly. However, I still struggle at times and right now I’m feeling like I’m starting all over again. My biggest issues are nagging and holding on to resentment.

    My question is on boundaries. I read Boundaries in Marriage and I’m not sure if it’s a book I should look too much into, because I’m scared due to my controlling tendencies. I understand that it is important to have boundaries for more severe issues, like infidelity and addiction, but the book mentioned having boundaries if your husband doesn’t clean up after himself after dinner (stop cooking dinners). I thought this was a little extreme and dangerous for a person with my controlling tendencies to follow.

    Recently I started making boundaries like this and it seems to be causing us to be farther apart. For example, my husband wants me to do the finances. In the past, I was very controlling and naggy about money. He still wants me to be in charge. The problem is that we see money very differently. I’m all about saving every penny. He he more free with spending for convenience. I’m worried, if I make boundaries, it will be more controlling. Today I told him if he didn’t stick to my budget I couldn’t do the finances. He wasn’t happy and I didn’t feel too good about my delivery. In my mind I think I’m right about saving money. We are not in financial trouble. I just feel like we could be better if he stopped “wasting” money on things like coffees and drinks at the gas station, etc.

    But then I think, why am I right and he’s wrong? Am I being too controlling? It’s tough because he wants me in charge, but I don’t know if I’m being unreasonable and I don’t want to feel like his mom. But at the same time it’s stressful to do a budget and he says he’ll follow it but always over spends. Once again, financially we are fine. I just don’t like him “wasting” money. And then when he wants to buy something and I say we can’t afford it, he gets mad. I don’t know if I’m being unreasonable. I came from a family of very frugal parents and his family is more Spenders. I’m trying to respect him as a leader but it’s hard when he tells me to be in charge of finances.

    I’m wondering if it’s a good idea to restore respect first before I tread into this if I even should. My husband does have a temper at times and will yell and swear. I have a boundary of leaving when this happens. However, the book did mention boundaries on some smaller issues that o feel may be better left alone. Like the dishes example. Also, when I’ve been staying boundaries, I feel like a shrew and gets defensive.

    Idk. I’m just worried that making boundaries on small things before I’ve restored respect in my marriage is going to cause more damage. I read the whole book and maybe I’m just not understanding it correctly.

    1. I probably should add that when I tell my husband that we can’t afford something, technically we can because we are not in debt. We put a lot into savings. We are trying to save for a down payment so when I say we can’t afford something it means we can’t afford it if we are following my budget for saving for a house if that makes sense.

      He tells me to make a budget but often he wants to buy things that cost more than what I plan. We have done every single way of handling finances.

      I want to say I can’t do it anymore but he wants me to do it. I’m confused on making boundaries and respecting his leadership. In the past, he would spend a lot of money behind my back as a way of rebelling against my control. I know I should of made boundaries in this situation. He doesn’t do this anymore. I’m wondering if i should let little purchases go as long as we are doing okay. I’m afraid if I continue to be too controlling he’ll go back to rebelling.

      I just have so much confusion on when to respect his leadership, when to make boundaries, and when to let go of things.

      1. Linsey, can you guys agree on a weekly amount for him to have spending money without question? Also, if he wants to buy something out of budget, instead of saying you can’t afford it, can the choices be presented? For example, we can get this item, but what will we take money from to stay on budget? Or, maybe we can’t afford it…yet, but in 3 weeks we could swing it? I think leaving options open and letting him decide HOW to keep budget on track or if saving up would be a good option instead. You are then just presenting options…like facts, but he can start to decide which options would work.

        I think boundaries are good, but you may need to look at your ability to be a boundary respecter first. How are YOU at respecting other people’s boundaries? In my house, I remind my teen son to respect it when someone says “no”. Can you live with “no”? Or do you get mad, demanding and insist on your way? My rule to overcone this same issue is 3 questions…

        1) am I being asked to break the law?
        2) am I being asked to hurt someone?
        3) am I being asked to sin?

        If the answer to all 3 is no, then why can’t you let your husbands (or other persons) idea have a whirl? What will it hurt? So it might not be the best way in your mind, but it’s not wrong…just different. And different is NOT wrong. But ask yourself…is it more important to be “right” or have a closer relationship and peace between each other? This puts things into perspective of what is really worth it in life. Hope this makes sense and helps. All my love, sister.

        1. Wow, this is what I needed to hear. Thank you. I am not very good at respecting his boundaries. One of the reasons he is angry with me right now is because he has asked me not to texted him with argumentative things and I have not done that. So right now it’s pointless to have any sort of conversation about finances or any of my wants, because he said he’s not going to care about my needs until I respect his needs.

        2. You are so right about the perspective too. A peaceful relationship is so much more important than money and an immaculately clean house. 🙂

      2. Linsey,

        I think LMSdaily had some great suggestions. 🙂

        You are both going to need to agree to a budget. If it is all your idea and you are the “money police” and he gets a drink at the gas station and you get upset – I promise this will not work! He needs to have the ability to buy a soft drink without being interrogated or condemned. I like the idea of him having a certain amount of discretionary money that he can spend without having to clear every cent through you.

        It seems to me that a wife can handle the budget and money, but more in the function of a secretary and teammate, not in the function of “the money dictator.” It would be ideal if you come up with a budget and let him approve it or alter it. And since y’all are not in debt (thankfully), be sure to include some money for him to spend on things even if they are not things you would spend money on. It is easy to want our spouse to adopt our own personal convictions about spending – but if my primary goal is to never let my husband spend one penny that I don’t approve, I will repel him and hurt the trust and intimacy in our marriage on every level. He will feel like he is my 5 year old son instead of my husband. Not worth it!

        I also invite you to search my home page for:
        – money
        – finances

        for more ideas about different ways various couples handle this issue.

        Ultimately, the Holy Spirit is the key. You will need His wisdom about how to handle things. I think the Boundaries book could be helpful – but at the same time, you will want to be focusing on your walk with Christ and on seeking to hear and obey God’s voice, as well as learning to respect your husband and his boundaries and needs, as well. There is a delicate balance here where we don’t swing too far one way and be too passive but we don’t swing too far the other way into control.

        If this issue is seriously too much of a control thing for you, you can do what I did – which was to say, “I am being too controlling with the money and I think I am stressing us both out. I don’t think I can handle the bill paying anymore.” But if he continues to want you to handle the money, you may have to handle things more as a team but with you thinking of yourself as “the secretary” but remembering that you both get to help set the budget and you don’t get to control his every decision.

        I would also recommend searching my blog for topics like:

        what is disrespectful to husbands
        – control
        – signs your husband feels disrespected
        – signs your husband is beginning to trust you again

        This is a process. Just keep pressing into Christ and allowing Him to transform you. Give yourself and your husband a lot of grace.
        If you want to do a spiritual check up with me, let me know!

        Much love!

    2. Linsey,

      Be sure to put Scripture’s commands above any book’s suggestions. Does that make sense? As believing wives, we are to respect and honor our husbands. Also, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and Galatians 5:22-23 should describe the way we interact with all people, not just our husbands.

      If your husband doesn’t clean up after dinner, it is possible that you can simply extend grace and not make a big deal over something like that. I would encourage wives to say something like, “Honey, it would be great if you would please take your dishes to the sink/help me clear the table… thanks!” (with a pleasant, friendly tone of voice.) But if he doesn’t, it is not necessary to set a hard boundary here over something so small, in my view, in most situations. Simply do the dishes yourself with a positive attitude.

      If you have a tendency to control, you will have to be extra prayerful about setting boundaries for small things – in my view.

      Here is a post about how wives can handle small inconveniences.

      I agree that if you try to set boundaries over every little thing, it would be problematic and if your husband is already feeling disrespected, he will probably feel even more controlled.

      Much love to you!

      1. Thank you for your response! Yes, I believe that I need to “clean up my side of the street” before I can think of creating any boundaries on any small things. Even then, I may realize that it is not worth it for such small things. I also need to respect his boundaries as well, before he can respect mine. I do feel that I should have some boundaries for when he screams/swears at me, like walk away or leave, but at this time, I need to let the small things go and change my attitude about them. It is a struggle to get rid of the resentment that has built up, but I know if I focus on my relationship with Christ, I cannot lose.

        We have tried almost everything when it comes to finances. I once told him I couldn’t do them anymore, but he just avoided all responsibility. We tried separate finances, but that didn’t seem to work. The best way for us is like you suggested. I’m in charge of being “the secretary”. The problem is getting him to make any decisions or talk about it. He tells me to just figure it out and let him know how much he can spend each week. I ask him if a certain amount is okay and he says yes. This money is for gas and little things, like drinks and coffee and things. What usually happens is he’ll spend his share, and then want to use the credit card or pull money from savings, because he’s all out of money. This is where I get frustrated. However, like I said, we are not in debt and we are putting a great deal into savings each month. He is not overspending by the hundreds (unless we have an expense for cars, schooling, occasionally hunting). We always seem to find a way to pay off the credit card, even if we aren’t able to save as much each month as I want. So maybe, I need to let this expectation go. I have a certain amount that I think should be saved, and if it is not, then I freak out.

        Maybe I should focus on the fact that financially we are stable and we are putting quite a bit into our savings each month, and I should be content. Yes, maybe he overspends a little, but maybe I should factor that into the budget, even if he says the amount I give him is enough? As long as we are doing okay, but I need to let go of this perfectionism when it comes to finances. I do think it is a good idea for him to take more ownership over the budget (know what is going on, help make budget decisions), while I am still the secretary. The problem is that he doesn’t want to talk about it and if I bring it up, he gets angry. However, I feel this has more to do with other things, and not money. I know my husband would be more willing to lead if he felt respected at home and if he didn’t feel like I would argue with him.

        Right now my husband is in withdrawl mode. We have been in a bad spot for the last few months. I have been very disrespectful with my resentment, nagging, and obsessive behavior. In return, he has become withdrawn and unloving. Last night, all the anger came out of us and we had a huge fight, filled with many hurtful words said by both of us. He doesn’t want anything to do with me now. He wants space and probably for a long time.

        In the past, I have not respected his need for space, which created more problems between us. I didn’t know that men needed space and my own fears caused me to push more. So talking about finances or chores right now is pretty pointless and in fact could cause more damage. In fact, I’m going to have to accept that he probably will not follow a budget or listen to my needs or help out around the house, until I can show him the respect that he needs. He does not care about my needs right now. He says that he is not going to care about my needs until I care about his needs. I get it and I’m actually thankful that he doesn’t let me push him around. Also, you reap what you sow.

        I want to show him I respect him by giving him space. It is going to be really hard for me, because it will be lonely and I will probably be having most of the responsibilities on my own. It will be very hard to let go of resentment, especially if he is withdrawn and I’m not getting much help at home or with our child. However, I know God knows I need this to really see what is happening. The consequences of my disrespect. It is also a painful time that hopefully will initiate change in me to be the follower and wife that God wants me to be. Maybe I need this time of loneliness to grow with Christ and to focus on my own destructive sins. Please pray for me during this time, so I can not give into fear, but rather show my husband I respect him by giving him the space he needs and using this time to build my relationship with Christ. It’s going to be hard to give him space, but I know I need to do this.

        Thank you 🙂

        1. Linsey,

          “Maybe I should focus on the fact that financially we are stable and we are putting quite a bit into our savings each month, and I should be content. Yes, maybe he overspends a little, but maybe I should factor that into the budget, even if he says the amount I give him is enough? As long as we are doing okay, but I need to let go of this perfectionism when it comes to finances.”

          YES! I think that is a GREAT approach.

          You know what? You don’t have to have every single penny accounted for in a budget. We don’t! We have a general idea of how much we are spending, but if you are not in debt and you are saving – that is awesome! It doesn’t have to be the exact amount of savings you would prefer. He will need to have space to buy coffee or a drink or a few things even if it is “over budget” without you freaking out.

          How did your family handle finances when you were growing up? What about his family?

          Have you apologized for your disrespect? If not, please search “apologizing stories” on my blog first. That may be a blessing.

          And also, please search my blog for:

          – space
          – husband emotionally shut down
          – control
          – oneness
          – closeness
          – stop pursuing my husband

          I agree that right now if you try to set a bunch of boundaries when he is feeling this disrespected, it will be a disaster. I think you are right.

          We are right here if you need to talk during this important time as you seek to learn to allow God to help you change and to become the woman He calls you to be. 🙂 I am praying for you to seek Christ first wholeheartedly and to approach your husband with humility and that you might trust God completely and allow Him to be on the throne of your heart.

          Much love!

          1. Thank you April. Yes, right now I must give him A LOT of space. Once he lets me back in, I’ll need to work on showing him respect. It will probably be awhile before I can even approach him about any concerns about finances or chores and have him truly willing to listen to me. I think after last night’s fight, it is going to be a long time being emotionally separated form him. I think we both need it though. He needs space. I need that loneliness in way to seek out God and work on my relationship with Him.

            My parents were not wealthy when they got married. However, my mom and dad were extremely frugal, saved their money, made good investments, and became wealthy. This is the example I grew up with. My husband’s family is middle class. His dad spends too much money and his mom has taken the credit cards away from his dad. She had boundaries 🙂 My husband likes to buy expensive toys too, but he usually tells me and we figure out a way to work it out. There’s been a few times when he was financially dishonest in the past over some expensive items. This was during a time when things were worse than they are now. I think he spent money in way to rebel and because spending money filled a void for him. He also thought he could excuse his bad behavior because I was not behaving correctly. Thankfully things are not like that anymore, however if things don’t get better, they may get that way again. I can’t control what he does, but when I am respectful and things are good between us, he will not do something like that. I’m still amazed at the way my behavior can motivate him or influence him. I just have to stop the enemy’s voice from taking over my thoughts and causing me to act horribly.

            Thank you so much for your words. It’s going to take a lot of prayer and God’s strength to get through these nights, but I know it is for the best.

            Linsey

          2. Linsey, I have been reading your struggles and I have sympathized so much because I have been there. You have received some great advice from so many of the wives here I don’t know that I can offer much more. I did want to suggest that rather than waiting to apologize, perhaps a written apology would be helpful. I know my husband is not big on words either, and we tend to get frustrated very quickly and the right words just never seem to happen, only resulting in more frustration. It has taken many apology letters to make gains with my huaband but it has been worth it as it has been the best way to separate the frustration and really speak what is in my heart without my emotions tangling up my words. You don’t even need to say anything. Just hand him the letter and leave it up to him to read it. He will, when he is ready.

            It stood out to me how you said that your husband would not buy your apology because you have apologized many times and have not changed. But if you are truly sorry and want to seek real change, have you spent the time with God to sort out why you really aren’t able to succeed in making the change you need to make?

            This is what I struggled with for so long. We were in a vicious cycle. I was so disrespectful in just about every interaction with my husband I was becoming so unbearable to live with. It took many rounds of this cycle, he would tell me exactly how he felt, I would not understand why I could never fix things, I would say I was sorry but it really would mean very little other than “I want there to be peace again” without ever really understanding what I needed to be sorry for. Life would go on and in a matter of days (hours?) we would be back around for another round. My husband shut down and we were at the point of living in the same house but not hardly acknowledging each other. We kept at this cycle for so long my husband was making plans to move on with his life, and I was completely blind.Finally my husband declared he was done. And the Lord, the one I knew was “there” but I had been refusing to let him have control of my life, spoke to me and revealed to me, finally, what I could not see for so long. I think it was reaching rock bottom that made me cry out helpless and just finally be willing to let Him open my eyes. My entire understanding of what I thought was being a good wife, crumbled beneath me.

            It has only been possible through the Lord’s leading that I have finally been able to make the changes that I needed to make to restore my relationship with my husband. And the real key that I missed for so long was that the Lord was ready to lead me long before I was willing to follow. The Lord has helped me to face every way that I had been disrespectful to my husband, and rebuild what I had destroyed.

            I am not saying because my situation was this way that yours must be exactly the same, but with your husband needing so much space and being so distant and angry the way you describe, it is a very similar situation, it would be worth taking the time to consider that there might be a lot deeper frustration going on than just over chores and spending money.

            I pray that you would be willing to lay everything out on the table with the Lord, and ask Him to show you how to make those changes you desire and that your husband desires, so that you can strengthen your relationship with not only your husband, but most of all the Lord. It has been a very painful road for me of healing, learning, and most of all learning to trust that I don’t need to have everything just the way I think it needs to be, I don’t need to fear the outcome if things aren’t done the way I expect… instead I need to trust that God will make things work out for good and the way He has planned, like only He can. It is a journey that will never be completed but I am willing to take.

          3. LinseyAK,

            This summary of your parents’ relationships and their handling of money is really important stuff in this picture!

            I think you both have expectations from your history with your parents that are very different.

            Has your husband ever said anything to you about the way his mom treated his dad and tried to stop him from overspending? Does your husband believe his dad did overspend or how does he view the situation?

            I don’t think either of you are “wrong” about how to handle finances necessarily. I think you are just different. He is less frugal than you are. But that is not sinful. Does that make sense?

            There will need to be some flexibility on your side about saving – maybe a willingness to save less money for the house. It would be a shame to save the money you wanted to but then for the marriage to possibly be destroyed in the process.

            The marriage and your unity have to be greater priorities than saving for a house, in my view. Something to pray about. 🙂

            Much love!

          4. Linsey,

            Hope to write more in the AM, but another post that may be a blessing is The Frustrating Quiet Phase. I think you may be in this phase for a bit.

            I am glad to walk beside you on this road – I have been there and done that myself! It is painful and lonely to a degree when things are so tense and your husband has shut you out of his heart. Yep. 🙁 BUT – this is an incredible opportunity to really commit to doing things God’s way and to yield all control to Him and to lay everything before Him in total surrender. You may not be able to verbally apologize. That is fine. We will pray for God’s wisdom about how you can begin to repair the damage and allow God to change you first. This will be a long time kind of thing. Think many months, possibly. But it will be worth it.

            Praying for God’s healing for you both!

            Much love!

          5. Thank you 🙂 I’m so ready for the changes that God has planned. I’m going to read the articles that you suggested now. Thank you 🙂

        2. Linsey, yes, men need space and time to mull things over. Women want to chase and fix things right away. The goal is to be honest about things. If you were disrespectful, then I suggest you humble yourself and appologize for it. Don’t give an excuse, don’t justify it, just appologize for any wrongs you did. The goal is to live a life God can be proud of. Even if someone is sinning against you, it is hard to not sin back, but that is the goal. We don’t always succeed, but we need to try. Like a diet. Sone days you eat the whole pint of ice cream, other days you eat the salad….the right choice is to not give up trying every day. Chances are, as you learn what is disrespectful to your husband, he will notice the difference and respond. But not always. However, when we live to honor God, and not other people, we are on the right track. Humility can break through alot of ice. Your husband may not understand this right off, he might become suspicious or untrusting, but that is a natural response. Remember, you are human too. Don’t expect perfection from yourself either. Stay focused on the good and positive and you will find much of the things that used to bother you in the past will start to look trivial.an attitude of gratitude will be very attractive to your husband, instead of a prickly, nagging porcupine.

          I will pray for you to have a thirst for God’s word and learn to free yourself from all that responsibility to control the world! God is already good at that, let Him do it. I promise, His ways are ALWAYS better than our ways. Much love.

          1. Thank you for your response. I would love to apologize, because I feel horrible for how I acted last night. Even though he said some horrible things, I still know I have to own my behavior. However, I know he will not even want me to apologize at this moment for two reasons. Reason 1: He doesn’t want anything to do with me right now. To my husband, needing space means not talking to him at all. He is very angry. He would probably walk away or lose his temper (verbally) if I talk to him. Reason 2: He probably doesn’t “buy” my apology, because I have apologized many times and not changed. He has said this to me. While my husband might appreciate apologies, he thinks actual change is more important. He’s not big with words, more action. I think apologies even make him uncomfortable. He doesn’t like talks about feelings. The problem with him needing a ton of space is that he’s probably going to want a ton of space for a long time after this big fight, before I can apologize or even interact with him in a way that I can show him respect. I guess showing him respect will be giving him that space he needs and then after awhile, when tempers have died done, then maybe I can write him an apology. If he is able to forgive me, then maybe I can show him that respect. It’s going to take quite a few days of loneliness. In the past, I would often freak out during these times and try to force him to forgive me and move on. I think space is much better and during this time, work on my own issues. It’s going to cause me loneliness and pain, but I need to do it. Thank you again for your perspective.

          2. LinseyAK,
            Praying for God’s wisdom and clear prompting and for you to hear Him clearly about how to handle apologizing and moving forward toward healing.

            Much love!

          3. April- My husband has admitted that his father spend too much compulsively and without consulting his mother. He kinda of makes a joke about it, telling me stories of times his dad used to spend a lot of money on “toys” for himself without consulting his mother. I think my husband really looks up to his dad and cares about his opinion, but I think he knows that he doesn’t always make the best choices. So yes, he does get this carefree attitude about spending like his father, but maybe with more reservation. His father is a very kind and sweet man, but yes, likes to spend money. My father, on the other hand, is extremely obsessed with money and it caused me some anxiety growing up. I do not want to become like this at all and I already see him in me! He is constantly thinking about it and obsessing over every dime. So my father is much wealthier than my husbands, but I’m not sure happier? But I agree, my husbands thinking about money isn’t a sin, it’s just different. That’s the part that I’ve been struggling with. The enemy’s voice kept telling me that he was selfish. I need to let some little things go, because they turn into big things.

            I just watched your video on hearing God’s voice. Thank you!!! I’m just starting out on my walk with God and this is the aa I’ve been struggling with. I literally Googled how to hear Gods voice today and I could not understand it at all! Your explanation is the only things that made sense!

            These last few days have been difficult. My husband is basically ignoring me and sleeping on the couch. But I’ve used this time wisely. I’m cleaning up my side of the street and spending a lot of time with God. I’m realizing how much of my behavior has been due to listening to the enemy’s voice. In the past, I would probably shut down and become depressed and cry in bed all day and night, feeling sorry for myself that I married such a loser. But with Gods strength, I am able to stay strong and follow Him. Things are so much clearer! I’m so peaceful in a time that’s so difficult, if that makes sense? God is giving me these difficulty tasks, that are really opportunities to help me grow! So many things have happened in the last two days, where I could of given in to the enemy’s voice and break down. I could of lashed out or been prideful. But God is telling me to continue to give my husband space that he need. I’m not ignoring him or shutting him out, just allowing him space. I do need to pray how to apologize, because I haven’t done it yet.

            I’ll be given another challenge next week. It is my birthday, which has always been a difficult time for me. For my entire life, I determined how much someone loved me based on what they did for me on my birthday. Isn’t that so sad? Nothing was ever good enough. I’m going to have to pray a lot about this, because I know there is going to be a lot of voices from the enemy coming my way.

            Thank you everything again, I don’t really know how I found your blog, but I’m so glad I did!

          4. Linsey, this is beautiful! I’m so thrilled that you have been able to take the blinders off your eyes and you can see a better way….God’s way! You have opened your heart to the Holy Spirit inside you and are able to stay calm in the storm. That makes all the sense in the world, actually and I understand it well. Learning how to control your emotions and not react on them right away is a form of spiritual maturity. This will help you become a safer (emotionally) person to be around for your husband and others.

            Your husbands reaction is pretty typical of men who have felt very disrespected. The gift of time and space is hard for women to understand, but invaluable to men. I am living with a husband who felt disrespected for 16 of our 20 years of marriage. For the padt 2 years I have been working hard on cleaning up “my side of the street” and it’s still very difficult. He is still very shut down, but slowly starting to seek answers. I have experienced rejection on all fronts, but God has been there with me. We learn who we are even when those we love most don’t accept us. I have been able to find my self respect, value and importance in the acceptance of God. For too long I looked at my husband as my king, my god and my judge. This was a huge mistake!

            I love that you are willing to do the hard work of looking inside yourself and seeking to change your attitude, your perspective and really dig into the lies that you beleived….even as a kid. Yes, we may have been influenced by our parents, past, and others, but we are not bound by them. We can choose differently. You dont have to become a money meiser, or a disrespectful wife. But it takes effort and dedication and work to break free from those old, ingrained habits and “stinkin’ thinkin'”. But I guarantee you, that as you seek to honor God and be thankful for the gifts He gives everyday, you will get better at it and it will become easier. Learning about modern day idols such as money, being right, being married, even having kids, a husband, success, perfection as idols was huge for me. Anything that we value more than God is an idol. I was willing to follow God, as long as He didn’t ask me to give up my marriage for a long time. Guess what, things got much worse. I had to come to a point where I said “God, if I am not to be married in order to follow you, then let it be so…just show me what you want me to do and what my next step is.” It felt like flinging myself off a perfectly good cliff, but things really turned around.

            I think we enter marriage with such high expectations of what it will be like and how it should be. He will love me unconditionally, she will follow my every command…the reality is we are no Cinderella and Prince Charming. When the reality of life hits us and our imperfections and fleshly desires start to rear their ugly heads, our wonderful marriage balloon “pops” and we are left with a string and broken pieces in our hand. What we do with that depends on where God is in our lives. He can help us rebuild on much more solid ground, or we can keep looking at the brokenness and be sad, bitter, disappointed and angry. One way leads to life, the other, death.

            I pray that you can see your hurting husband as a brother in christ, who is also loved dearly by God. I pray that you can ask God for the courage and discernment on how to appologize and open up communication to your husband if you feel led to do so. I pray that you stay in peace and keep seeking out your relationship with God and pray for wisdom and understanding. I pray that you can look around and find joy in your life even when bad things are happening.

            Maybe see if you can help someone in need, even if it is a stranger, a cashier at the store or a friend you haven’t seen in a while. This can help you feel useful, but also not focus on controlling and fixing your husbands problems as much. It will distract you from obsessing over your husband and give you a way to do God’s work in little ways and enjoy the blessing of giving.

            I pray for you to keep seeking God, you are on the right track, my sweet sister!

          5. LinseyAK,

            It almost sounds like your dad and his dad are trying to live together in your marriage. Ha. 🙂 And they seem to be polar opposites.

            So – it is very easy to assume evil motives or sinful motives when someone has different priorities and convictions than we do. But from what you are describing, your husband doesn’t seem to have evil motives or even selfish motives. It sounds, from what I can tell so far, like he is just not nearly as frugal as you are. But it sounds like he is very responsible. People CAN be responsible without being completely frugal over every single penny.

            Here is a passage that – to me – is eye opening for those of us who really struggle with having a spouse that doesn’t want to save money as much as we do:

            Do not eat the food of a begrudging host,
            do not crave his delicacies;
            for he is the kind of person
            who is always thinking about the cost.
            “Eat and drink,” he says to you,
            but his heart is not with you.
            You will vomit up the little you have eaten
            and will have wasted your compliments. Prov. 23:6-8

            Another translation for “begrudging” is “stingy.” I may want to ask myself – am I being “a stingy host” to my husband? Am I more concerned about saving every possible penny to accomplish my personal dreams and desires even if I make him feel repelled from me, unwelcome, and like he is doing something wrong just to want to have a bit of extra spending money for a few soft drinks? Am I acting like the “money Nazi”? And what do I think my approach is going to do in my marriage? Will it draw my husband closer to me or make him not enjoy being with me?

            I’m so glad that video was helpful. 🙂 Yay!

            I’m really glad that you are working on your side of things. That is EXTREMELY critical because, from what I can see so far in this conflict, it is really not a matter of one of you being “right” and one being “wrong.” It is a matter of different family cultures and slightly different priorities. It is important, in my view to get to the point that you can accept that he wants to spend some money on things you feel are frivolous. Are you willing to accept him as he is and not try to control or change him about spending? He is not sinning – from what you are describing. So why is it your job to make demands of him that not even God is making of him financially?

            I’m REALLY thankful you are recognizing the enemy’s voice. That is going to be extremely critical. That you recognize lies or accusations from Satan and shoot them down right away and don’t allow them to marinate in your mind.

            Perhaps God will give you some gentle questions to ask your husband. Something like this:

            “You know what, Honey? God has been convicting me about that the things I have gotten upset with you about aren’t really sins. You just have slightly different priorities financially than I do. You are not as strict with a budget as I am – but you are not wrong. It is wrong of me to try to force my personal convictions and spending style on you and I apologize for that. I don’t want to smother or control you – but I haven’t had the tools I have needed to figure out how to think differently – until the past few days. I think I am beginning to see how I can change. I don’t want you to feel unwelcome to spend your own money. I want us to be responsible, yes. But I think I need to learn to give you a lot more freedom. You are a responsible man. You don’t make unwise choices with money. We come from different backgrounds and different families with different priorities. It was drilled into my head that saving every penny was a virtue and was critically important. So for me – it can feel like I am doing something dangerous and irresponsible if I don’t save every possible cent. My dad was on one end of a continuum about spending and your dad maybe was toward the opposite end. I think there is probably a place in the center that is more healthy – that is probably where you already are. I am not used to thinking about spending in ways other than how my dad taught me. But I want to learn to change the way I think and to give you freedom to be you. I have so much to learn. I want to be able to hear your ideas and perspective about this whenever you want to share about it. Your feelings and concerns are really important to me. I want you to feel honored, respected, and loved much more than I want to save every possible penny. You are more important to me than saving as much money as possible.”

            Pray about it. God will help you know what He wants you to do. 🙂

            Yes, it makes TONS of sense that things are more clear and that you are at peace. God can do that! 🙂

            Happy birthday, my precious sister! Keep in mind, that expectations are the key with the birthday issue, too. What your family did for you probably programmed you to think certain ways of celebrating are “normal” and “everyone” does that. But your husband’s family may have handled birthdays differently. That is okay! Please don’t measure your husband’s (or anyone’s) love for you by what they do for you for your birthday.

            Some posts that may be helpful:

            – Valentine’s Day expectations
            – expectations
            – anniversary

            Are you willing to be content with Christ alone – on your birthday, and every day? Is it possible that saving a specific amount of money or getting specific things for your birthday could be more important to you than Christ? Or more important to you than your husband?

            Yes, birthdays can be important to a degree, and saving money is important, to a degree. But are these things really more important than loving Christ with all our hearts or loving our husbands well and treating them well?

            Are you willing to be content in Christ and in your marriage even if your husband does nothing at all for you on your birthday? Let’s hash through that idea if you are up for it.

            Much love to you!

          6. Thank you for your response!

            Yes, his dad and my dad are polar opposites in many ways other than this as well! I do like the idea that he isn’t wrong, just different. He once told me that after he got back from war in the middle east that he would enjoy life and not worry about money; that he was going to have fun. I think this shaped his views on money too. The crazy thing is when we both met 7 years ago, I was in just as much debt as he was! It wasn’t until I got married that I became quite worried, obsessed, and controlling about money.

            The part that I’m having difficultly with is that it just isn’t a few soft drinks here and there, but I guess our past with money issues. There’s been a few times where he has been financially dishonest with me and spent money (we are talking thousands) on a toy for himself and lied about it. He said that he didn’t feel safe about telling me, he felt controlled, and he never apologized. It has been awhile since he has done this, but I’m still holding on to resentment and I still have some trust issues on this. One time, his dad talked him into not telling me about some money that my husband was getting and he told him to buy something expensive and not tell me, which my husband did. I have hard feelings about this even though it has been a few years. I don’t know if it would be any good bringing up old wounds at this point. Also, in the past, my husband has tried to talk me into buying a boat and a very expensive tent, which I did not agree with. He bothered me and bothered me until I finally said yes. I still hold on to resentment about this as well. This is what makes it hard for me to accept that this was not selfish behavior. I’m also not sure how to get over it and trust him. Currently, he wants to invest in some land with his retirement money and I disagree. We can’t talk about it without it blowing into an argument. Other things that stress me out are that he buys his lunch everyday instead of making it and sometimes just wastes money (like not returning things that he bought and found out he didn’t need). I also feel like I have to force him to lead in any area that has to do with finances which puts a lot of the responsibility on me. He tells me he wants me to do it all and that he will follow, but it makes me feel like his mom and stressed out. I know I need to forgive and let go of resentment. I think I’m more mad at myself for “giving in” to him buying expensive things, when I knew I didn’t agree. I know when I look at the big picture, these things aren’t worth the cost of a peaceful and respectful marriage. I know that there are ways to encourage him to lead, rather than criticize him for not leading. I’m just not sure how at this point, where I have been doing things wrong for so long! I would be feel awful if my marriage ended due to our disagreements about finances.

            Another thing that I’m struggling with is his tobacco addiction. When we first married, we both smoked. He told me that he thought we should quit. Well I did, but he just switched to smokeless tobacco to hide it from me. I used to be very disrespectful about this, because I thought it was gross and I judged him. Now, I just worry about his health and now the safety of our daughter. Sometimes, I find that he has dropped some on the floor and I worry that my daughter will eat it. He has tried to quit countless times, and even then he leaves his nicotine gum lying around for our toddler daughter to get to. I have asked him respectfully many times to be more careful, but he isn’t. I’m just not sure what to do in a situation where I need to take care of my daughter. I understand now that it is his health and his responsibility, but what about keeping my daughter safe?

            I’m working on being content in Christ’s love alone, especially on my birthday 🙂 My husband usually always does something special for me, but I do want to be content even if he didn’t. Yes, you are right, my family made HUGE deals out of birthdays for me. I know I have made my husband into an idol. I know I have made money and control idols as well. I never even knew that was a thing until recently! I can see it clearly now! At the end of the day, I do want a peaceful, drama-free marriage! I did write him an email apologizing today. I used your example in your book as guidance and changed a few things. Thank you for that help. I did seek the Holy Spirit to help me as well and basically had to erase my first email, because it was full of blaming and pride while apologizing! 🙂

            Thanks again. I know that I have to seek out the Holy Spirit to help guide me with these issues. I know that people here and other people who follow God’s word can help guide me or offer but I must follow God’s voice. I know that I’m just started out and it may take some time discerning between God’s voice, my voice, and the enemy’s. I know I have to forgive and let go of resentment. Even if my husband sinned by lying to me in the past, I still sin too and I’m still holding on to the sin of resentment.

            Thank you so much for listening! I know that this was quite detailed and a little complicated and there is more to it. Sometimes just writing it out helps me figure things out. One thing that this struggle is helping me with is to see my own sin and what I need to do to change. I understand there is a respectful way to confront our husbands too and there is a disrespectful way. I thought my disrespectful ways were the only way and that I was justified and that it would be the only way to get through with him. What a falsity!

            Thank you again!

          7. LinseyAK,

            Thank you for this explanation – it helps me to better understand your concerns.

            That is interesting about his views changing after going to war. I can see how someone’s perspective would change a lot on many things after being in war. Is this still his philosophy, do you think? What are his views on saving? Does he want to buy a house, too?

            It is also interesting that you were in a lot of debt before marriage. What triggered your desire to control and be more frugal, would you say?

            So – y’all have never resolved those old issues of him spending thousands and hiding it or lying? Yikes.

            Are you familiar with the concept of “submitting under protest”? If not, let’s talk about that!

            Are either of you struggling with any mental health issues like mania or bi-polar or ADD?

            How did you both handle money before marriage?

            The nicotine gum is unwrapped where your daughter can get to it? Or it is just left in the package where she could reach it? Has she tried to open the packaging before? That is a really serious concern. As a pharmacist, I would NOT want any toddler to chew a piece of nicotine gum. That is a scary thought to me.

            Praying for God’s wisdom and healing for you both, my precious sister. So thankful we can share here.

            Much love to you!

          8. Hello. Here ya go. 🙂

            Is this still his philosophy, do you think? What are his views on saving? Does he want to buy a house, too?
            He does want to save a lot and he does want to buy a house. He just doesn’t worry about money as much as I do. If we overspend or an expense comes up, he doesn’t worry and says we will be okay and make up for it.

            It is also interesting that you were in a lot of debt before marriage. What triggered your desire to control and be more frugal, would you say?
            I think just growing up and becoming more responsible. I think my desire for control came with just being in a relationship. This has been an issue in previous relationships too. When it is just me, I don’t freak out over stuff as much.

            So – y’all have never resolved those old issues of him spending thousands and hiding it or lying? Yikes.
            No. At the time, he said he felt justified, because I was so controlling and that he didn’t feel safe in telling me. It was three times in the seven years that he bought something expensive without telling me and lied about it.

            Are you familiar with the concept of “submitting under protest”? If not, let’s talk about that!
            Yes, I read about that. It would be difficult for me to do and it may be something I need to do. It will be hard though!

            Are either of you struggling with any mental health issues like mania or bi-polar or ADD?
            I have a history of depression/anxiety. I have not been depressed for almost two years. I’m managing my anxiety. I’m currently not taking medication for it though, and trying to manage it through prayer, exercise, and healthy eating. IT’s not as bad as it used to.
            My husband has ADHD. He does not take medication, because there are consequences for having that on your record in the military. He says nicotine and caffeine help him relax and focus. He has classic ADHD. Loses things on a daily basis, forgets to do things, can be impulsive (but not to the point where it is affecting his ability to provide for us or put us in harm’s way), and has a short fuse.

            How did you both handle money before marriage?
            We both spent to much. When we got married, we were able to pay off all of our debt in a few years and put away quite a lot for savings.

            The nicotine gum is unwrapped where your daughter can get to it? Or it is just left in the package where she could reach it? Has she tried to open the packaging before? That is a really serious concern. As a pharmacist, I would NOT want any toddler to chew a piece of nicotine gum. That is a scary thought to me.

            I think this has to do with his ADHD, leaving things lying around and not realizing it. He is a nurse, so he is well aware of the risks. He is very overprotective with our daughter too, so it has me quite confused. He won’t even let her go to the nursery at church. He accidently drops pieces of tobacco and leaves gum/ patches on tables. He tends to fall asleep and forgets about it. I think he just doesn’t realize it. I’ve talked to him, but it keeps happening. I’m not sure what to do. This is why we got in a huge fight. I exploded at him when I found a piece of tobacco on the floor. I’ve asked him multiple times respectfully, but it keeps happening.

          9. Unfortunately this might be a time for boundaries in regards to the tobacco issue. Unfortunately, because making boundaries scares me! But I don’t trust that he will stop from talking. Unfortunately talking him doesn’t work, largely due to my fault of disrespect and nagging. He times me out and doesn’t seem to care about my feelings.

            Maybe I can’t leave her alone until he proves to me that I can which would probably mean Absolutely no physical evidence of tobacco for a long time. Once again, obviously it’s not intentional. He’s a great father. He probably feels ashamed about it. But I’m not sure what else to do. If anything happened, I’d feel just as guilty for allowing it to happen. What stinks is that my years of disrespect and nagging has caused him to not take what things I have to say seriously. I’ve freaked out too much over trivial things, that he’s not taking the serious things seriously?
            I’m afraid to make this boundary because he’s going to think I don’t trust him. I don’t want us to be further apart if that’s possible.

          10. Linsey,

            Has your daughter been getting into the tobacco or nicotine? Is she old enough that you can explain to her not to touch it and that it is dangerous?

            Can you maybe keep a child-proof container on the coffee table or wherever he likes to usually leave things that he can use instead?

            There are a lot of possible solutions here, in my view, without having to resort to you telling your husband he can’t be alone with his own daughter. I think this is something that y’all can probably calmly, respectfully discuss after the current tension has been healed – so that you can come to an agreement together.

          11. LinseyAK,

            How y’all handle finances as a couple will have to look a bit different if your husband is dealing with ADHD. He may need a few more checks and balances than some other husbands would – and hopefully, he will agree to them with you so that it is a joint decision.

            Some resources that may be helpful for ADHD (these are secular resources, please be sure to always test everything any human author says against God’s Word):

            Married to Distraction by Edward and Sue Hallowell

            Dr. Hallowell’s website with tons of resources about ADD/ADHD (I really love his positive approach)

            ADDitudemag.com – lots of resources for those dealing with ADD/ADHD as parents and also as adults and marriage partners

            If he is trying to quit tobacco use, as well, that alone is a HUGE challenge and can certainly create a lot of irritability and frustration. So he may need more grace in those times.

            If someone has issues with remembering things, fighting them about it probably isn’t going to help. But there are some organizational things you can do, perhaps together, to help. It may be that you can help make things be a bit more structured. “Here is a shelf that our daughter can’t reach, I’m going to label it for Nicotine gum/patches. Let’s try to keep those things there so that our daughter can’t OD on nicotine – would that work for you, Honey? Or is there another place you’d rather try to keep things?”

            This will require a TON of teamwork. You may have better “executive function” skills at this time. So you may be able to help – respectfully – to create more order and to help with reminders if he is okay with that. There are tons of ideas on those two websites that are very practical that may be a blessing.

            If he seriously can’t remember, it is not necessary to blow up at him. That won’t improve his memory. But you can be sure to also be vigilant about looking for things that need to be picked up. You may remind him – but you can do that respectfully even as you are very concerned. Does that make sense?

            I personally have a lot of issues with memory – especially over the past 10 years or so – mostly, I think, due to sleep deprivation issues. I ask Greg and my kids to remind me of things daily because I will forget. Not purposely, but things will slip my mind. I don’t know if it is just the sleep deprivation or that I have so much I am thinking about – but I appreciate the reminders. I also make sure to use my phone to set reminders and put everything on my calendar with alarms so that I can remember things better. You and your husband can approach this as a team – so that he is not the enemy – ADHD is just a specific challenge that y’all face together and can overcome together. There are a lot of beautiful things about ADHD and blessings, too, that you can find on Dr. Hallowell’s site that may help you both actually be thankful for the ADHD issue.

            Much love!

          12. Thank you for that different perspective! Sometimes it is very frustrating to have to constantly remind him where his things are and repeat everything, but I try to understand that he is not doing these things on purpose. I also try to remember that is a very capable and smart man. He is the type of guy that loses his keys everyday, but can build a boat without any manual by himself! He has done this before. So just thinks a little differently. Thank you for the suggestions and resources. Thankfully, I am a teacher and I am very organized, so maybe that is why God put us together! I help him stay organized and he helps me loosen up a little!

            These are great suggestions in regards to the nicotine. I wish I had thought of them before I blew up! I’m sure he was feeling horrible already, and I’m sure you are very right. Blowing up at him will not help him remember. This time he has gone cold turkey, so I don;t need to worry about any nicotine related items, but if for some reason he is unable to quit this time, these are great ideas for the future. This way he will know I’m on his side no matter what. Yes, telling him that I don’t trust him with our daughter was not a good idea!

            The good news is after I did things completely wrong, I was able to gain self control and I was able to listen to God, especially in how I reacted to his impulsivity in wanting to buy something expensive last night with the credit card. I didn’t give in to the madness and overreact. I simply stated my opinion and told him that I expected him to keep his word. My husband promised all of these things in regards to money last week. He said he would not be buying any more expensive items now that hunting is over, that he would follow my budget, that he would not use the credit card anymore, and that we would be saving for our Hawaii trip this winter. However, as soon as our relationship took a slide down and he started quitting nicotine, he becomes almost obsessed with buying a new something or other for a hobby.

            One part of me is saying, “No! Stick to your guns! He made promises, now you must make sure he keeps them! Do not give in!” However, another part of me says, “He probably made promises to keep you from nagging him to death. Instead of a black and white situation, maybe you can sit down with him and come up with a way that you can save money AND allow him to buy something for a hobby. Especially since he is quitting, he is going to need something to keep his mind off of things.” IDK. I’m not sure what else I can do if he insists on buying what he wants. I knew that he was going to pester me about it today and he did. He sent me all of these text messages about it. So I wrote him back that I expected him to keep his promise of not using the credit card, but that I’d be willing to sit down with him and budget the money so we could come up with a solution. I’m hoping that this was the best choice. Like I said, one part of me wants to put my foot down and “make” him keep his promise, but I think this has a lot to do with our past financial issues with him being dishonest and me giving in to purchases I did not agree with. On the other hand, I don’t want to be the controlling wife that I have always been. I’m also not sure if this is a “Submit Under Protest” kind of issue. I’ll keep praying!

          13. LinseyAK,

            Hope to write more later – but it seems to me that your husband spending a lot when he is feeling really mothered or controlled isn’t about money. It seems to me that it is about sending you a message that you are not going to control him, possibly. Any thoughts on that?

          14. Yes, I think you are right. While he does like his “toys” and hobbies, he is much more willing to compromise and be less “obsessed” about it when our relationship is more stable (I have been respectful). My husband is very stubborn by nature and has always had a rebellion type attitude when he feels like he is being controlled. This is actually a good thing, because if he wasn’t this way, I would probably be way too controlling. He doesn’t let me get away with being disrespectful, even though I can be.

            We did come up with an agreement today. He’s going to get a few more dollars extra each week of spending money to buy what he wants in pieces with cash, instead of using the credit card and buy the whole thing at once. This will be good, because he’ll use less money that he spends at gas stations and at lunch and use it for this hobby. He also agreed to meeting with me this weekend and going over finances. I think I may have to change my expectations on our “goal amount” for saving for a down payment on a house. I just need to remind myself that we are not in debt and we are saving and that is good! It may not always be exactly to the dollar what I want to save each month, but it is positive. I think once we go over how much more we need to save to reach our goal (we did come up with this goal amount to reach in three years), he may be more motivated to save more when he knows where we currently are.

            Either way, I’m going to really try hard to clean my side of the street. Things always go better when I do. I’m going to start to motivate instead of criticize. I’m going to try to help instead of control. I’m also going to try to work with him instead of against him. I must learn how to “submit under protest” too, even though that scares me so much! Especially if he brings up wanting to invest in some land with his retirement money. I guess I can explain my reasons for not wanting to do it, but I may need to submit and trust :/ Scary!

            Thanks again for the help. Things seem more brighter!

          15. Prayers please.

            Last night my husband basically told me that he doesn’t know if he loves me anymore. He also said some other pretty hurtful things, about not respecting me or caring at all anymore. During my pain, I said some pretty disrespectful things too and tried to defend myself. But after awhile something told me to stop and to listen.

            It was hard to hear my husband through the unloving words, but I tried very hard. This is what I got: Basically he feels like I am very controlling. I boss him around and that he cannot relax around me. knows that there are things that need to be done around the house but because I’m so controlling he doesn’t want to help. I don’t support his thoughts or dreams and that he’s never done that to me. My “obsessing over money” causes him to not care about following a budget. He appreciates me creating a budget and he’s fine with following one. He is also fine if I ask for help around the house. The problem is that I continually bother him about these things and then he just stops caring. He appreciates that I want to save money but that I don’t appreciate how much we save and how much he contributes. He said that he really is a nice guy and he wants to make me happy, but that it is impossible so he doesn’t even want to try. In fact, my controlling behavior causes him to want to do the opposite; Rebel.

            This is basically what I got. I’m thankful for his ability to tell me the truth even if it was done in a very hurtful way. Right now I’m trying to give him space and be with Christ. It’s so difficult hearing that the man I love doesn’t know if he loves me anymore. It’s also very hard to not think about his sin and his behavior throughout all this. He is being very hurtful with his words and he’s threatening to buy whatever it is he wants to buy just to spite me, sign up for a credit card. He is also saying he wants to move out. I’m praying for guidance; what to say if anything, what to do if anything. I don’t really think he means what he is saying. We’ve been here before about a year ago. We’ve never have been great in our six years of marriage but these are the real low times. It’s hard with my birthday coming up too.

          16. Linsey,

            That sounds REALLY hard. 🙁

            But you know what? I am SO proud of you for just stopping to listen – even though he wasn’t using pleasant language. It sounds like you really did hear his heart message. That is a good thing!

            Now, you can take all of this to God and lay it out before Him and ask Him to help you see which things He wants you to change and if there is anything that is not a valid complaint.

            It sounds like he is expressing that he has had it with feeling disrespected and controlled. I’m really glad you have been seeking God recently and asking Him to help you change.

            How did you respond after he said all of this?

            Yes, I am sure he has sin issues here, too. But I do believe that if you are willing to look at your end first, then you will have the clarity you need to know how to address his sin issues.

            I am praying for God’s wisdom for you, my precious sister. This is a pivotal moment in your marriage. If you are able to respond in the power of God’s Spirit and wisdom, I believe this marriage may be able to be salvaged. It does sound like he is serious about how much he hates feeling controlled. Really, no one enjoys that. I’m glad that he was able to share that he does appreciate some of your strengths about wanting to save money and have a budget – but that it is more the approach that is the problem for him.

            Conflict doesn’t have to be destructive. If you are able to hear him and let him know that you hear him and that what he has shared matters to you and that you feel awful that he is feeling so upset, disrespected, and controlled, and that you want to change – and more than that, he actually sees you change over time – this is not beyond hope. I have a feeling that if he truly understands that you hear him and that you care and he sees you changing over a long period of time – he may decide to stay.

            This may be the birth pains of a better, stronger, more godly marriage.

            Much love to you!

          17. Linsey,

            Another option is to think together about only handling tobacco products outside or over the sink or a trash can – so that pieces wouldn’t fall on the floor.

            If he is okay with it – you may even agree to post friendly reminders posted around the house to help him. You can approach it as, “I know you are a wonderful and responsible dad who would NEVER purposely hurt our daughter. And I know that as a nurse you are aware of the dangers of a small child ingesting nicotine. Which of these ideas sounds like a good strategy to you for us to be sure to keep any nicotine away from our daughter?”

          18. Well the good news and the bad. The good is he said he was quitting tobacco, which I have good reason to believe because ever since our fight on Sunday about it, he has been going to the gym everyday after work. He does this when he’s trying to quit.

            The bad news is I tried to set a boundary in probably the worst possible way. By being critical, disrespectful, and texting him a million times which is one of his boundaries for me not to do.

            We got in another huge fight and it ended up with him saying that we were over and that he was going to separate the finances tomorrow. I know that he’s withdrawing from tobacco which is very very hard for him. I also know my husband is a very good man who probably already feels ashamed about things, because he truly loves his daughter so much. I know he loves me too even though he has not been able to show it right now.

            I’m hearing that I need to give him space. Time to heal and time to quit without me giving him more stressed. If to continue badger him, nag him, and shame him, he will only go back to using again.

            I don’t why it sometimes takes things to hit rock bottom before I really see things clearly. We’ve been here before but much worse a year or so ago. A year ago I would have fallen apart from his words. Not now, but I still have a way to go with remaining calm, motivating instead of shaming, and trusting God. I sooooo need to look at myself before pointing fingers. Yes, my husband made some mistakes. But how am I going to react to that with respect and love? I know it’s not through yelling and shaming. And if things do happen after I’ve cleaned up my side, and I may need to set a boundary, then maybe I will know then how to approach that with love and respect too.

            My husband is a smart money. He’s very successful as a nurse and leadership position in the military. He could not get where he is if he wasn’t. Was it wrong for him to spend money and lie about it years ago? Yes it was. But to tell you the truth, he was so miserable about our marriage that he was trying to make it for it through his hobbies and things. He was very unhappy during those years. Doesn’t make it right, but I can understand. Is it wrong that he’s being careless about leaving nicotine products around? Well, it’s not wise, but it wasn’t malicious. Maybe I should help instead of condemn. Idk maybe boundaries are needed sometimes, but I need boundaries for myself and I need to not make them on such a horribly disrespectful way.

            I have so much growing to do and learn! I’ve come so far and this is a setback but I’m still moving forward.

            I hope I can be the the wife God wants me to be 🙂