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What Topics Would You Like to See?

Ladies,

I’d love to hear from you!

  1. What topics have you read on my blog or watched on my Youtube channel, April Cassidy, that have been the most impactful, surprising, and/or helpful to you?
  2. What are some topics you would really like to see us discuss here in the future?
  3. Is there anything we have covered that you felt was not helpful for some reason?

I’m so thankful to have the opportunity to be on this journey together. I invite you to pray with me.

Lord,

I pray that You might continue to transform our hearts and minds and for Him to conform each of us into the image of Christ more and more. Let us completely yield our hearts, minds, and lives to You in total trust and surrender. I pray for Your greatest glory in our lives and that You might raise each of us up to become the godly women You call us to be. Use us (and our brothers) to greatly impact the world for Your kingdom. Make our marriages and our lives beautiful examples of His design for masculinity, femininity, marriage, and family. Use us to disciple many other women and to teach them Your ways as Your Spirit empowers us. Let us cling to Your Word as the only source of absolute truth.

Cleanse and refine us of every sin and wrong motive. Purify our hearts and prune us spiritually to make us more fruitful in Your kingdom. Let Your Spirit reign in us and let us know and love Jesus more and more deeply. Increase our faith. Let us be willing to get rid of self to make all the room we can make for You. Let us receive and experience all that Jesus has done for us and provided for us in His finished work on the cross. Help us to rest in Your love and sovereignty in the midst of this crazy world. We desire Your will – all of Your will, and nothing outside of Your will. Let Jesus work through us to make us obedient and faithful to You that You alone might be greatly pleased.ย 

In the Name and power of Christ who is our Lord,

Amen

 

317 thoughts on “What Topics Would You Like to See?

  1. April. It is overwhelming to state ALL the things that were most helpful, but by far, for me was the post on ways women are disrespectful to men. Also, what agape love is, and understanding that we are to emulate Jesus in our lives. Also your book suggestions are great.

    I would love to see some posts on how to deal with feeling “ganged up upon”, defensiveness, when we are trying to find our voice again- how do we get “heard”. Depression when we feel hopeless, how to “practice” respect on safer people, how to address the crazy making feeling that we are alone in marriage.

    Hope this helps.

    1. I would so love to read about how men can improve the marriage by loving and also RESPECTING their Wives as fellow human beings with all the rights and duties it entails. How Men too need to change /evolve to be worthy partners for the women who LOVE them SO much. Christianity is all about how women are the bad apple. But we women should NEVER forget just how brutal, callous,animal like men can be and that we women are instrumental in taming them. Men need to be more humble and selfless. It is now their duty to bear the lot. Women did it for centuries. Now men should bear the negativity – or be so very thankful that we women love them and spare them what they did to us.

      1. Freya,

        Wow. It really breaks my heart to hear that you think that Christianity is about how women are bad. ALL people are sinful without Jesus. All of us are separated from God and spiritually dead without Him. Not just men. Not just women. As I have explained quite a few times before – I am seeking to honor God’s Word by not teaching men. But that doesn’t mean that men are off the hook and can sin against their wives. Not at all! God calls each of us to live in total submission to Himself as LORD and to live in the power of Jesus’ victory over sin.

        Here is a post with resources for men.

        My job is to disciple women – so that is the focus of this blog. I will be writing about what God wants us to do on our end of things. I do have a few posts that describe the big picture- but our power as disciples of Christ, whether we are male or female, is to focus on our own responsibilities first (Matt. 7:1-5), then we will see clearly enough with the help of God’s Spirit to know how to properly address any sin that is begin done against us.

        It sounds like you have a lot of pain in your life. I’d love for you to find the healing that is yours in Christ. I’m here if you want to talk about that.

        Much love!

  2. April,
    For me the posts about practical things we can do to bless our men are the most helpful. I really like your older posts…
    I’d like to see the posts about how we can best support our husbands when they go through really hard time at work.
    And how to be there for our men through difficulties in general, without jumping to rescue them and offer solutions immediately.
    I think I generally know what to do etc. But sometimes hearing it again freshens up our perspective on things.
    Thank you for your ministry!

  3. April,

    First off thank you so much for all the work you put into this blog and the spreading of your message. It really is essential. Think of how many marriages you’ve probably saved and people you’ve helped!!!

    I agree with NB about ways to help men, especially like comforting them, even if it’s not necessarily your husband. (brothers, friends, ect). Maybe just since I’m not great at comforting people period. :/ Also, on the flip side of this, I would love to see discussion on when it is helpful in the long run and when it is not to help men who are emotionally distraught. I don’t really subscribe to the notion that all tears are unmanly. Obviously, with the loss of a loved one, job, or other important aspect of their lives, men have every reason and right to cry. And some men have depression. But I do know older men who cry quite often because of problems they had in their childhood or something else, and this to me, just doesn’t seem right. I really don’t know what to make of the matter, but I would appreciate hearing some other people’s views.

    I would like to see more about ways to prevent some of the problems that are described and addressed in some of your posts. I’d like to see some self-evaluation type posts that help the reader to realize what needs to change about themselves, mindsets and spiritual loops and whatnot. How to (try as best we can!) avoid unnecessary pitfalls in marriage.

    Maybe some articles about different, small, practical, ways to show the men (not limited to your husband) in your life that you respect them.

    Thank you so much April!!

    1. Jo,

      These are great ideas for topics!

      As far as comforting men – sometimes they do appreciate empathy. Sometimes they want to hear words of encouragement. Other times they really just want us to be there and sit with them. Then there are also times when they need space and need to see that we have faith in them that they’ve “got this” and that they can handle it. Other times we may want to offer to pray. This is going to require discernment from God about the particular situation and the particular man’s personality to know exactly when to do what.

      Men are certainly allowed to cry. David wept quite often – and he was “a man after God’s own heart.” Jesus wept over sin, rebellion, and death. It is okay for men to cry. Some men would rather cry alone. Others would appreciate someone sitting with them. Often they don’t want or appreciate unsolicited advice. Many times just our presence can be comforting. Or we may say, “Let’s go fishing or on a walk” or something that the particular guy would enjoy. That is a good idea for a post. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Here are some posts about how we may bless our brothers in Christ.

      How to Avoid Becoming a Controlling Wife

      How Can I Know If I Am Ready to Be a Godly Wife? (from http://www.peacefulsinglegirl.com)

      Identifying the Lies We Have Embraced

      Are you already married, Jo? If not, I also have a blog for single women with posts about many of these topics. http://www.peacefulsinglegirl.com

      Much love!

  4. I think your blog is amazing. I very much appreciate the help and blessing you have been in pointing me back to Christ as i so often lose sight of Him in my marriage. After 29 years of marriage, most all of it a struggle in one way or another, whether through the battle of alcoholism, poor money management, no communication or intimacy between us, I am in constant need of reminders of His truth and what marriage is meant for and how we are called to love our husbands, respect them.
    I would appreciate continued blogs about taking my eyes off myself, my needs, my unmet desires which spurns negative emotion and thinking and casting my eyes on His word, His truth, etc. I also would appreciate, as LMSDaily posted, blogs about loneliness and hopelessness in marriage.
    Thank you.

    1. Susan M Fiala,

      Goodness, y’all have been through some tough times. The enemy really wants to destroy you both. But I am so thankful for your faith in Christ and your desire to please and follow Him! That is awesome!

      I have some posts about these topics. But I will certainly prayerfully consider if I need to share more. Much love to you!

      Dying to Self
      Dying to Self Can Be Dangerously Misunderstood
      InHisGrip Talks about Not Shutting Down Emotionally
      Being Married to a Man Who Is Emotionally/Spiritually Shut Down
      Encouragement for Those Who Are In the Trenches
      Should You Strive to Keep or Please Your Husband at ANY Cost?
      When You Feel Deprived in Your Marriage
      How Satan Would Love to Destroy Your Marriage through Your Thought Life
      25 Ways to Respect Myself
      Is It Possible to Disrespect Myself?
      How to Stay Filled with the Spirit
      I Am Responsible for Myself Spiritually
      A Light Bulb about Loneliness
      WorthyofLove Realizes What This Journey Is All About!
      Fully Trusting God with My Husband- Laying Down All My Fears
      Healing for Hopelessness
      The Answers to All of Your Problems in Marriage
      What Does Casting Your Cares upon the Lord Look Like?
      A Wife Shares How God Is Leading Her from MAJOR Fear to Big Faith!
      A Wife Truly Begins to Trust God and Let Go of Fear
      Taking Our Thoughts Captive for Christ – VIDEO
      A Heart of Thanksgiving and Praise! – VIDEO

      Also, I invite you to search my search bar for:

      – discontentment
      – contentment
      – insecurity
      – security
      – peace
      – worry
      – fear
      – prayer day

      If your husband or you are still dealing with alcoholism, I hope you might reach out to Celebrate Recovery or a similar Christian group for some one-on-one counsel, prayer, and support. Sometimes the things a godly wife needs to do can be different in a situation where a husband is dealign with an active addiction.

      Much love to you!

  5. Submission, letting go of pride like never before, understanding how a man functions best, not reacting to my circumstances, staying faithful to my Lord and believing no matter what, the beauty of feminity, not being ashamed of my Christian lifestyle. I have hurt so deeply and the pain is so great. I have learned boundaries and saying “No” is part of being a woman of God. How can I better deal with pain and loneliness? Thank you April for walking with me during this painful journey.

    I feel a desire to learn more of Godly kindness. What does it look like? How do become kind? How do I overcome my memories? Help me learn to look to the future. How do I communicate my needs effectively step by step? How do I listen effectively and not interrupt. Our timing in conversation is often off. I think I’m not interrupting my husband and then find I am just due to timing. I asked my husband your question. He replied, “Woman think all they do is justified. Younger women feel they can do no wrong. There is a sense of entitlement.”

    1. Vickie,

      Thanks for sharing these great ideas!

      You are welcome to search:

      – biblical submission
      – passivity
      – the pendulum effect
      – femininity
      – lordship of Christ
      – this journey can be lonely
      Are You Able to Say No?
      – Cinderella and the Gospel – (about receiving God’s love for us)
      – loneliness
      – lonely
      – taking thoughts captive
      – I can’t ask for things
      – being vulnerable and direct feels wrong
      – Another Challenge – Let Your Yes Mean Yes and Your No Mean No (about asking for what we need in a feminine, direct, respectful way)
      – Finding Healing for Hopelessness

      Your husband is right, those attitudes are very prevalent among women today. ๐Ÿ™ Sadly. We have been taught to be this way by our culture and our sinful nature is only too happy to comply. Pride is the root of every other sin. How we must pursue humility in Christ! I love Andrew Murray’s book, Humility, on this topic. VERY, VERY good.

      My husband takes long pauses when he is still speaking. I have had to learn to wait a LOT longer than I would have thought to be sure I don’t interrupt him. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Shaunti Feldhan has a new book coming out that and a 30 Day Kindness Challenge. You may want to check that out!

      I will prayerfully consider all that you have shared for future posts. Thank you so much!

      1. Ladies,

        One danger with me giving lots of specific advice about exactly what to say and examples of what to do is that it can be easy to make things into check lists rather than learn to depend on the Holy Spirit and walk in fellowship and obedience to Him, hearing His prompting clearly and obeying Him each moment. The lists of examples and suggestions can be helpful in the beginning when we don’t know where to start. But then, the goal is to learn to listen to God’s voice and to His Word and His Spirit so that we have HIS wisdom in each situation. That is the ultimate goal!

        Much love!

  6. As a Christian woman and married there doesn’t seem to be any forum of discussing sexual issues in a safe godly way. Even christian sites seems to either shy away tackling issues or they are not godly. There are things never discussed except in the secular women’s magazine: Far from helpful and sometimes actually destructive. There are things I wished I knew before getting married. ( I married in my mid forties) So yeah can there be postings on sex. I am not talking about the how but just when issues come up a wholesome input will be helpful. In church the same thing in church no one is willing to talk about these things.

    1. Prayerful Wife, Shelia Wray, at tolovehonorandvacuum.com, has lots of helpful information about sex for Christian women, including a column about what women should know before the wedding night. Hope this helps!

    2. For those who are asking for posts about sex. I actually do have several posts on this topic. Here are the links:

      The Devastation of Sexual Rejection in Marriage
      Placing My Higher Sexual Appetite under God’s Control
      Respect, Biblical Submission, and Attraction
      I Feel Like a Piece of Meat!
      “Unlock Your Libido” – book review
      When Your Husband Is Not Physically Attracted to You
      Taking Initiative Sexually
      When Your Husband Rejects You
      When You Feel Deprived in Your Marriage
      The Essence of Femininity
      Do I Condone BDSM or CDD?
      OneSoLoved Heals from the World of BDSM and CDD
      What Is Attractive/Unattractive to Husbands?
      Handling with a Very Delicate and Sensitive Matter with Respect – a Husband’s Impotence
      A Husband’s Pain – His Wife’s Body Image Issues
      A Husband Talks about Our Body Image and Attraction
      One Couple Deals with the Issue of Body Image
      Making the One-Flesh Relationship a Huge Priority in Marriage
      Being Available to Our Husbands VS. Marital Rape – a Youtube Video

      You may also search my home page for things like:
      – porn
      – flirting/flirt
      – destructive jealousy
      – husband broke my trust
      – bitterness
      – forgiveness
      – body image

      Last fall, God convicted me about that I had a number of posts that were really issues of personal conviction. I was just sharing my perspective and my personal convictions about a number of topics – but I realized that those posts and videos brought about the most contention and hostility of any topics I shared. And I reread Romans 14 where God admonishes us to keep our personal convictions to ourselves because in sharing our freedom in Christ, we who have stronger faith may trample over a brother or sister with weaker faith. So I removed every post that I felt was just me sharing why I have my personal convictions about various issues.

      The oral sex issue is one of those issues. I didn’t have a post about it before. Although I have had more people ask me that than almost anything else. Perhaps I could do a general post about how to determine if something is sinful or not. But this will do as an example briefly for now to get us heading in a godly direction.

      I need to prayerfully ask myself some questions as I seek to allow God’s Spirit to show me His truth and goodness:

      1. Does the Bible list this thing as a sin? In the case of oral sex, I don’t personally know of a reference in scripture that describes this as sin in the context of marriage.

      2. If the Bible is silent about it and the activity doesn’t go against a general principle of God’s Word, then it really isn’t my place to label something as sin that God doesn’t label as sin. I don’t want to put myself in the position of deciding what is sinful for other people.

      3. If an activity violates a particular believer’s conscience, then for that person, he/she is not acting in faith and that is sin for that person even if this is an area where there is Christian liberty and freedom. I don’t want to force my spouse to do something that would violate his conscience.

      4. In areas of Christian liberty, I am free in Christ to enjoy something that is not labeled as sin by God and that does not violate biblical principles.

      Also, in my book, I share a number of ways that we can be disrespectful to our husbands about sex and ways we can respect our husbands about sex. Some of those things are included in the posts that list things that are disrespectful to husbands and things that are respectful.

      There are some reasons why I don’t get into tons of detail regarding sexual issues on the blog:

      1. There are a lot of men reading and sometimes commenting – it is not possible to have a “closed door” women only discussion on the blog.
      2. I don’t want to have discussions that are inappropriate or that could be a stumbling block for some of my brothers or sisters.
      3. I have had men ask me to write about my personal sex life and I am SURE not okay with that. I am writing with my full name and identity, not anonymously. Some topics would be better if they were written anonymously, in my view.
      4. I have tried to suggest possible Christian sites in the past about sexual issues, and have received so many complaints if every single post isn’t perfectly acceptable in each reader’s mind, that I decided not to recommend any sites about sexual things a few years ago.

      If all of these resources are still not enough, let me know if there are other topics that you would like to see me cover and I will prayerfully consider it!

      Much love!

  7. The Articles I’ve liked the most and would like to hear more about is pinpointing the pride we have in ourselves. And showing how we can be disrespectful. You did an article like that once and I printed it up and go back to it a lot because sometimes it’s hard to see in ourselves what we do wrong.

    1. Geraldine Kuykendall,

      Yes, those posts are super helpful!

      – What Is Disrespectful to Husbands
      – Signs Your Husband May Be Feeling Disrespected
      – What Is Respect in Marriage?
      – 23 Signs Your Husband May Be Starting to Trust You Again
      – Also you are welcome to search for:
      pride
      But I’m Right!
      control
      avoid becoming a controlling wife
      humility

      Much love!

  8. It would be useful to include a topic on how to make your husband feel respected when you are the primary breadwinner. It’s easy for wives to get arrogant and bossy when they make more money and husbands suffer a lot of shame when their wives do that. Include a video/article on how to support and respect our husbands when they lose their jobs or get a demotion so they are no longer the primary breadwinner.

    1. Yes Nikki, there is an element here for me too. My husband was the main bread winner when we got married then he was out of work, then when he found work the pay very much less than me as I eventually found a very good job with high pay lots of benefits e.g. medical insurance etc. I saw it as blessing for us both never as thing of pride over him. I know he’s very intelligent, skilled hard working man I often told him how much I appreciated this, plus he worked very hard around the home too. Every time he did anything I would say thanks and show my loving appreciation.

      The other issue is we set up home in the house I previously lived as a single person, so my husband continually expressed his discomfort that was the case. It wasn’t my decision to do this it was just the natural progression of our circumstances and he happily moved to where I lived. Every time there is argument he comments bitterly with comments like its your house. I have always deferred to him about households decisions. After sensing this bitterness I said him in a calm gentle way, let us move out to place we both choose. He agreed that I would research finding us a new place so I began looking at places and discussing this with him but he never followed through. I felt like I turned myself inside out to find a solution. Was there anything else that would be helpful for us both show to respect for him and less stress for me.

      1. Prayerful Wife and Nikki,

        I was the primary breadwinner in our home for over 17 years. And I used to have a support group for wives who were primary breadwinners. I would be glad to write a post about this in the future! It is a very important issue. Satan tempts us to have much greater disrespect for our husbands in these situations even though God’s command for us to respect our husbands has nothing to do with who earns what monetarily.

        Much love!

        1. This topic would be huge for me– I am in a position of great responsibility at work, with many people under me– it is very hard to take off that hat when I get home and suddenly be submissive ( truthfully I find it impossible) I struggle with how indecisive and needy he seems to me and sometimes I am furious about his lack of interest in working–it is not that he does nothing, but the house never seems very clean and I have often longed to lay down this burden of working and let him shoulder it. But he won’t take it– I find it very hard to respect a man who won’t take on one of his major duties— he really has no idea how painful I find this and how much his worth is diminished in my eyes that he won’t do this.

          1. JillBeth,
            SO many times when a wife works full time and especially when she is the only breadwinner, the dynamics become really difficult. Usually, wives tend to take on almost all of the housework, too. It is very easy to become resentful when you feel that you are earning most or all of the money and doing most or all of the housework. This dynamic is not ideal for women or men, in my experience.

            But I will be glad to write about it. Thankfully, in Christ, we can have victory spiritually even in very difficult circumstances.

            How is your walk with Christ going, my precious sister?

            Much love!

      2. Prayerful Wife,

        I like the way you described how you handled this conflict. That is beautiful!

        How long ago was the conversation about moving? Would he rather be the one looking for a new house so that he is more involved and it is his decision, too? What is your husband’s general personality?

        Much love!

        1. When husbands lose their jobs, they are often “drowning in shame.” Their sense of “core identity” can be very affected, and many go into a deep depression. This is often more stressful for men than facing a terminal illness, from what I understand in my research. Some men even begin to think of suicide. So this is actually a pretty major issue for a lot of husbands. Even if a wife handles things well, it can be an excruciating time for a man who wants to be able to provide financially for his family and can’t. He can feel like a failure and like he is “not a real man.”

          Our men need our prayers, encouragement, support, respect, and understanding even more than ever in such situations.

        2. The conversation we had about moving was 2 years ago. Sadly we are now separated in last 4 months. He became so abusive for period of a year that I had become ill. I asked him to leave to get deliverance. I was thinking of leaving myself, just so that he would not say, see you are telling me to leave because it’s your house. My health would have got worse if I left.

          I am reaching into and pressing into Jesus my Lord for restoration and a reconciliation of my marriage and pray for him daily and also weekly with a woman prayer partner.We had been praying together for a whole year about our respective husbands.

          I have come to realize that my husband and me are so broken from rejection from our past our respective issues made it very difficult for us. I continued to love him in the year prior to him leaving .

          The funny thing is this seemed to make more him more angry. He would often be in a rage or not speaking to me at all. This went for most of the year. I do not where he is.He left to go to work one morning and has not returned since. I had to call the police because I did know he would have left without saying anything.. The police contacted him then they rang me and said he was o.k. I spoke to my husband for minute on the day he had left the police found him. He twisted what I said to exclude that I said to get help because of the effect on my health. He said, I told him to leave my house and not return. This he said to the police.After a week after he left I sent a message by text to say come home lets find a way to love each other subsequent messages and calls has not been responded to. I believe the Holy Spirit has said to me my season for contacting him is ended. I pray this means in time he will contact me.

          I trying look at all my brokenness to become whole in Jesus.

          1. Prayerful Wife,
            Oh no! That doesn’t sound good. ๐Ÿ™ I’m so sorry to hear about how painful things were.

            I think you are wise not to contact him right now. It sounds like that wouldn’t be helpful, and may actually cause more problems.

            But he is not beyond God’s reach! I pray for God’s healing for you both, dear sister!

            If you are interested, you are welcome to search “separated wife” on my home page search bar for some posts by wives in similar situations.

            Much love to you!

  9. April
    You have been amazing in helping me, through this blog, to sort out my marriage and start to be a godly wife. Thank you.

    Future posts: I struggle with judging others, especially when they ‘give up on their marriage’. Really want to help other wives, without being judgmental. For example, a woman in my church has recently separated from her husband, I don;t know any details (I hardly know her) but I am angry with her for giving up ‘so easily’ even though I don’t really know the whole situation. Feel let down, that a Christian woman with two very young children, did not appear to fight for her marriage. But I realise I am judging her! And I don’t want to!
    Also, on the same theme, the difference between being humble and being self-critical (which I know is a form of pride!) I am never happy with myself and always picking holes.
    Also, how to cope when the marriage is put under extreme stress by a sick child, how to keep a balance, and still put the effort into a marriage when the priorities are drastically re-arranged!
    I agree with Paula about sex! Never talked about (hardly) and lots of people struggle with this, and feel isolated.

    I am sure you have probably covered these things before, but sometimes it’s hard to find past posts about things when you need them!

    God bless you and your family.

    1. Sunshine,

      I do have some posts about humility vs false humility. You are welcome to search my home page search bar for:

      – humility
      – identifying the lies we have embraced
      – I can’t have needs
      – perfectionism
      – insecurity
      – security
      – contentment
      – hold things of this world loosely
      – loneliness
      – lonely
      – dying to self
      – dying to self can be dangerously misunderstood (false humility)

      Hmm.. I’m not sure have a post about extreme stress. Will pray about that!

      I will be talking about a number of the things different ladies have mentioned in my new book, The Peaceful Mom, that will be coming out later this year in more detail, as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Much love!

  10. I want to be open and honest. I would love to discuss more about sex and the Biblical role we as wives play especially when it comes to demands of such things as oral sex and to be clear that we are obeying God while loving our husbands. Trust me, when that comes up no one especially Christians wanna talk about this! I wanna know what’s acceptable and what’s not according to God.

  11. Hi, April

    First of all I want to thank you for all the time and effort you have put into this blog! It has been a resource of strength and understanding better how to walk the walk of a Christian wife! I spend countless hours reading and rereading your posts, and gain perspective and refocus on what is the only important thing, my walk with Christ!

    I am a very direct kind of person, so oftentimes I come across as knowing it all, which I certainly don’t. Practical ways, examples of a conversation that is respectful and considerate vs. the same one that is not, are extremely helpful to me, since I have a very hard time expressing myself in a way that my husband can hear me vs. feeling attacked, judged or like I am telling him what to do… I know part of this is my husband’s, but I also know I could learn how to speak softer and more feminine..

    I greatly admire your courage, transparency and honesty with which you hold the standards of this blog! The gifts of fully embracing the vulnerabilities of being female, and in that building strength, is a paradox that has gotten lost in today’s world, and unfortunately there are few shining examples such as yourself, to learn from. You are a shining light on the hill, and I again, cannot tell you my gratitude for all that you do!

    All the glory to Him! A Lifetime Learner

    1. A Lifetime Learner,

      So thankful this has been a blessing to you. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I have some ideas for this very thing in my book, and also you may search my Youtube channel, April Cassidy, for things like:

      – non-verbal disrespect
      – controlling vs helping
      – the tone of voice challenge
      – the smiling challenge
      – my welcome home plan

      Would you like to give me an example of the ways that you try to share respectfully but your husband feels attacked?

      Much love to you!

  12. Hi April,
    I’m new to your site, but have weathered a difficult (and sometimes abusive) marriage for 35 yrs now. While, I can never solve someone else’s issues, I can be faithful to do what God commands with regards to my own heart with help from your insights, others, and most importantly by His Spirit /Word. Pleasing Jesus ultimately is no.1 in life’s journey and then loving others comes along more easily as He helps . Obedience to these 2 commandments will be the final judge of our walks, whether smooth or rocky going. No one ever said it would be easy as I’m sure you’re aware of from all the responses. Still where does one go with the pain…. ? Oh the fellowship of suffering through this!
    Sisters-in-Christ you’re not alone. I love the encouragement and fellowship your website expresses, as you apply His Wisdom in your walk. Quite often, it’s embarrassing or discouraging to share with others close by, plus risk upsetting your spouse (although at times this is a positive deterrent to keep him from crossing borders comman in abuse).
    Your site’s resources are also helping me (Engerrich- Love & Respect), along with your testimony of how this helped your marriage. Sometimes, it’s hard to manage the pain in abusive situations and often the church is not adequately responsive, or equipped to help (especially if the abuser attends).
    Resources that women can use to grow through these valleys does help. God never deserts us, rather He delivers us as we keep seeking Him. Although, I’m not Catholic, reading the “Imitation of Christ” by Thomas a Kempis, memorizing Psalms, and a regular morning time of quiet devotion (like you mentioned) with prayer and scripture have been my mainstay. Also, listening to great piano music (Psalms & Spiritual Songs by Eric Schrotenboer) lifts my spirit- medicinal!
    Instead of trying to rescue my husband, I remind myself I’m in need and this all helps keep up my spiritual strength and perspective, which ultimately helps him get his focus back (some of that distance you mentioned- the space only Christ and respect fills….). Then, I stop trying to be my husbands fixer upper. Instead, I’m being whom Christ intended (and getting that mote out of my own eye).
    Keep up your wonderful ministry. Hope to meet you when you come to Eaton,Ohio.
    ๐Ÿ™‚ Georgia L.

    1. Georgia L.,

      It breaks my heart to hear about the pain you have experienced. I do want to be sure you are safe, precious sister!

      There are some women who are in very difficult situations who are strong in Christ and are able to read my blog without misunderstanding. Others think that respecting their husband means they have to stay and take abuse and say nothing. That is never my message! I long for everyone to be safe!

      It is difficult to find godly, helpful, experienced resources in such trials. I’m so glad you are seeking Christ first.

      For some women – http://www.leslievernick.com or http://www.focusministries1.org are helpful. But no matter what the situation, my prayer is that we would seek God and His wisdom and prompting above anything else.

      Much love to you!

  13. Dear April,

    Your blog has been wonderful as I prepare for marriage, and also wonderful for dealing with other things too ๐Ÿ™‚

    The posts that I would say have been the most helpful are the ones on what is disrespectful to your husband, ways to respect your husband, God’s design for marriage, the difference between godly masculinity and godly femininity, what is godly femininity, your “about” page and your story / journey, long skirts, signs you are dealing with bitterness, and waiting on engagement / not being demanding.

    I would really like to see posts on the following:

    **A “how-to” post on getting security and self-esteem from Christ alone instead of accomplishments and what people think of you. I know this is important, but I don’t really know how to do it.

    **A “how-to” post on increasing your self-esteem.

    ** A “how-to” post on being filled with the spirit. Again, know this is important, not really sure how to do it.

    **Overcoming perfectionism

    **Reasons God may or may not choose to answer your prayers / God and answering prayers in general.

    **Dealing with anger and pain after you have been treated unfairly, in particular preventing that anger and pain from turning to self-hatred (ex – the other person genuinely doesn’t believe they did anything wrong).

    **Why God doesn’t want people to self-harm

    **If your spouse is gaining a lot of weight and it is affecting how much you are physically attracted to them and you are concerned about their future health – what can you pray for, what can you say to them, what actions can you take to help the situation

    Thanks for asking if there are topics we would like to see! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Love,
    Flower <3

    1. Also I would love to see a post on not being judgemental of others when you read the Bible. Reading the Bible helps me in so many ways, but when I read it, I also see others’ sin more clearly and I have an awful tendency to then get really judgemental (either in my head or to their face) about it.

      1. That’s EXACTLY what I meant too! About not judging others, because you know what they’ve done or are doing isn’t in line with God’s word, but how do you avoid ‘minding’ about this, when you see it in others? Thanks Flower, you put it so much better than me! ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. Flower,

      I’m not sure if you have seen these posts already, so thought I would share the links in case they may be helpful:

      What Does God Say About Me?
      Roots of Insecurity, Low Self Esteem, and Sinful Jealousy
      Finding Victory over Feelings of Insecurity
      Trying to Find Security in All the Wrong Places
      Jesus Has to be My Only Source of Security
      – search “prayer day” – especially the one “praying from an obedient life”
      How to Be Filled with the Holy Spirit
      Perfectionism
      The Real Motives Behind People Pleasing and Perfectionism
      – search “forgiveness”
      Righteous Anger and Jealousy
      When My Spouse Is Wrong
      “Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin”
      “My Husband Blamed Me for ALL of the Problems in Our Marriage” (same principles will apply in other relationships when we are wronged as apply in marriage about confronting sin and dealing with blame
      Responding to Insults, Rebukes, and Criticism
      – search my home page for “forgiveness” and “bitterness”
      – search my home page for “conflict”
      – Self harm is sin against self. It is sin against our bodies. We are to be trustworthy stewards of our bodies and to love others as we love ourselves. How can we love others if we hate ourselves and abuse ourselves? Only Satan wants us to destroy ourselves. God wants us to have abundant life in Christ.
      25 Ways to Respect Myself
      Is It Possible to Disrespect Myself?
      What Does the Bible Say about Self-Harm/Self-Mulitation/Cutting by http://www.gotquestions.org
      – Search my home page for “hatred”
      – If I hate myself, I am not receiving God’s love, forgiveness, grace, and truth. I am rejecting all that Jesus has provided for me and essentially calling God a liar. If I reject God’s Word and trust my own wisdom more than I trust God, I have self on the throne of my heart, not God. The two greatest commandments are to love God wholeheartedly and to love others as we love ourselves. It is implicit in the second greatest commandment that we must love ourselves in a healthy way and think rightly about ourselves in light of God’s Word. Our old sinful nature has to die with Christ, we can hate our sin. But then we can rejoice in and love our new nature in Christ. That is our new identity. Everything that was our old self is dead in God’s eyes and needs to be dead in our eyes. Now we have God’s Spirit and all of the things that belong to Christ are ours!!??!

      What Does the Bible Say about Self Hatred – by http://www.gotquestions.org

      – It is fine to be concerned about our spouse’s health. I can share my concerns after being sure my motives and heart are right and I am listening to the Holy Spirit. I can be supportive of any changes he wants to make. But I don’t get to be the food Nazi or his drill sergeant, breathing down his neck about his choices. And I can decide to continue to be faithful to my marriage covenant even if my husband gains weight. Laying the issue before God, trusting Him to intervene in ways that are more powerful than any nagging I could do.

  14. I have truly been blessed by your book as well as your blogs and videos.. GLORY TO GOD for HE is faithful to me.. helping me to be a better wife.. what i desire is to know how to balance my life when it comes time to loving my husband and child.. we have our 1st child on the way.. due in April! And, in my mind, i know that the dynamic will change.. both of us are new to this and growing, and doing it together.. i just want to make sure i know that im loving my husband and spending and making time for him.. making sure that he never ever feels neglected.. i love him very much and always want to make sure that our marriage is 1st when it comes to our baby… how did you do this.. how did you handle being a wife and then being a wife AND a mom and learning to balance the two without anyone feeling neglected?

    1. Beautiful Beloved,
      I’m so glad you are seeking to make sure your husband knows you love him and don’t want him to feel neglected. I really tried not to neglect my husband, but there was still so much I didn’t understand about disrespect and respect back then. I found out years later that Greg did feel very neglected when our babies came along.

      I think it is important to realize that the dynamics will change and maybe you can even talk about it ahead of time. Is your husband able to vocalize to you what his expectations are and desires are? Do you have a plan to handle the sleep deprivation and to have lower expectations of each other for a while as you adjust to the new baby, especially the first few months?

      What are your plans about where the baby will sleep?

      Do you plan to do attachment parenting or some other specific method?

      Are you willing to listen to his suggestions and wisdom when your hormones are crazy and you are exhausted? If you can cooperate with him whenever possible, that will be a big help. If he suggests you need a nap, for example, or he thinks you need to just let the dishes sit and you need to rest, do you think you will be willing to do that?

      What are your plans to nourish your soul during those early months when things are just very chaotic?

      Do you know what to do if your hormones go crazy?

      You may also check out these posts:

      My Husband Is Not As Involved with Our Newborn As I Want Him to Be
      Respecting My Husband as a Father

      Also, you are welcome to search:
      – PMS
      – hormones
      – I am responsible for my emotions

      Much love to you! And congratulations!

      1. Thank you very much April for this insight!! I’v actually had the thought today about the baby waking up at night and him being in our room etc.. while my husband sleeps to go to work.. for the 1st year he will be in the bassinet/bed in our room.. for breastfeeding etc.. will definitely share this with my husband and have a discussion.. this will open doors to other things to discuss as the LORD leads.. again thank you so much for taking time out of your day to minister to my spirit.. as well as all the ladies on here… GOD Bless you beautiful woman of GOD.. your beauty is from the inside out.. ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ™

        1. Beautiful Beloved,

          Just keep in mind, that if y’all are not getting enough sleep with the baby in the room, or your husband is feeling neglected – you can put the baby in his/her room earlier than a year and it will be okay. ๐Ÿ™‚ You can still nurse in the night if needed. But you may also have a baby who learns to sleep through the night and you won’t need to nurse much after the first 2 months or so. I think it is wise to be flexible and to consider everyone’s needs and be able to roll with different approaches if something is not working well.

          Glad you plan to have a discussion with your husband ahead of time. That is awesome!

  15. Dear April!
    Thank you so much for this blog!
    I myself am a single lady but I get in touche with LOTs of other people smarrige-problemets at work, my unsaved coworkers marriages! A topic i Find interesting, is how we can encourage a lady who is not saved, but who does have a little concience left, to respect and stay with her husband, when they’re tempted to leave/shut down on their husbands.
    Love!!!!
    Linn in sweden

    1. Linn,

      There are resources by unbelievers about respecting our husbands. But – there is so much unbiblical teaching that usually goes with these resources, it becomes problematic.

      One possible option could be:

      Dr Laura Schlesinger’s The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands

      Also, Rick Johnson’s book, “How to Talk So Your Husband Will Listen and Listen So Your Husband Will Talk”

      Laura Doyle’s book, “The Surrendered Wife” has a lot of helpful stuff, but I would want people to skip the chapter on making up your own god.

      It is possible that she may be open to reading some posts about respect/disrespect on my blog. You could pray about that, too.

      Signs Your Husband May Be Feeling Disrespected and Unloved

      Husbands Share What Is Disrespectful to Them

      What Is Respect in Marriage?

      From Clark Kent to Superman

      Why Doesn’t My Husband Appreciate My Helpful Suggestions?

      Some Masculine Insights about Fixing Things and Asking for Directions

      Healthy VS Unhealthy Relationships

      Also, you can look up posts about “control”

      Much love!

  16. April you know what would REALLY help me is if we could open a discussion among your lovely group of sisters here at this forum titled ” How are you doing in your pursuit of purity? ” I have had a problem on and off my entire adult life of retreating to mental romantic fantasy. It started as a coping mechanism in my childhood of rewriting anxious and scared feelings and then that mental habit eventually became unconsciously generalized into rewriting many aspects of my life that bothered me in adulthood as a form of denial or magical thinking or escapism . Then that neural network became further reinforced by the a dopamine reward response to desire based romantic fantasies and the sin aspect of that has brought me into bondage repeatedly. So it would really be helpful for me , and possibly other ladies here, if we could periodically entertain that discussion as a sort of accountability opportunity? Please share your thoughts on this too.

  17. Hi I am a wife just realizing my ways don’t work anymore….but kind of scared still to jump into the whole submission thing with both feet..I go back and forth..get convicted.but know I just can’t do it ๐Ÿ™
    I’d like to see posts on how to be a godly wife to a militeristic type husband..its painfully hard…but I am stubborn too!!! We love each other but I just sometimes can’t take it and we talk seperation..we fight A lot..
    Been married a Long time too!!

    Also how to make the plunge into this lifestyle with Gods help..
    I referance your book…and know you speak my language deeply…
    But kinda stuck..
    Thanks for any help!!!

    1. Pearl,

      Each husband’s personality type brings its own challenges in marriage and regarding biblical submission. Military style husbands can be a handful! I invite you to search my home page for “command man” posts.

      Before we can really submit to our husbands in a godly way with His Spirit’s power, I believe we must learn to submit to the Perfect Husband, Jesus. Would you be interested in talking about how your walk with Christ is going? That may be a good place to start the discussion.

      Much love to you!

  18. Dear April: The Peaceful Wife Book is the best book ever as it helps me understand how to accumulate more peace and stay centered in this crazy world. Also, it reminds me how to constantly “nail myself back up on the cross with Jesus” when I feel myself getting “proud” or wanting to be in the drivers seat. Thank you immensely! What I would like to read about is basically trying to learn the goal of what Christ desires me to be and not what my husband, friends, or my own will desires me to be. (I am going through a job change too and it is hard to figure out what I should be doing in this world so that is throwing me off)
    Also, how do I show Christ more respect but also my husband a ton of respect without idolizing him. It is hard to show him that he is my best friend and hero without seeming that I am idolizing him. How do I balance that? Blessings to you for leading us through this awesome journey.

    1. Jennifer Thomas,

      To me, the primary key in balancing respecting your husband but not idolizing him is to watch for negative thoughts/emotions and deal with them immediately and thoroughly. If you realize you are disappointed in him a lot, that is a flag that you may be trying to find your deepest needs met in him rather than in Christ. If you find you are enmeshed with him, that is another sign that there is an idol issue, usually.

      Some posts that may be helpful:

      – search “husband idol”
      – closeness in marriage
      – oneness in marriage
      – when would I not submit to my husband
      – should you strive to keep your husband at any cost?

      A test for an idol would be questions like:

      – What are my greatest fears? (the opposite things are usually my idols)
      – What are my most precious dreams?
      – What can I not live without?
      – What would make me feel devastated?
      – What do I talk about most?
      – What do I complain about most?
      – Is there anything I am afraid to entrust to God?
      – Is there anything or anyone that I refuse to let go of if God were to ask me to give it up (other than Jesus)?
      – Am I willing to sin to get my idol? (Am I willing to sin to keep my husband or to have his approval?)

      Much love to you! This may be a great topic to discuss at greater length in a post. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Jennifer Thomas,

        Also, you may want to search my home page for things like:

        – people pleasing
        – lordship of Christ
        – submission means we hold the things of this world loosely
        – worry
        – identity
        – insecurity
        – security
        – peace
        – dying to self

        Much love!

    2. I will also second Jennifer Thomas…The balance of not falling back into idolizing your husband while at the same time showing him great respect, honor, admire him and being his best friend.
      That would be a great topic!

      1. I find this one difficult too. Just yesterday I cried out to God asking how on earth to do this. I have no idea how to love a man or even another human being without centering in on them and having expectations for needs being met. All the relationships I have ever had have been outside of any knowledge of God or that He is supposed to be part of it. I told God I have no idea how to keep it all sorted out. It`s like trying to sort ouf a bag of cats.

        How to tell what I am supposed to look to God for and what one is to look to one`s husband for. I wish this stuff came with clear little labels attached. We get married with the expectation of love, protection, and some degree of security in the relationship. I am still even after reading posts on the idolatry part, uncertain of the whole thing. It`s further complicated by how I grew up.

        Many of my needs were not met interpersonally growing up aside from basic things like food shelter and clothing. There was little knowing and being known and what was there often crossed boundaries, resulting in very distorted role reversals, etc. Occasionally I could go to an adult with a problem but often the response was rather dysfunctional. So there were questions of dependency and security needs, identity and affirmation type stuff, etc.

        A pastor once told me that a parent`s job is to work himself out of a job. I `ve also heard that parents are supposed to model Christ to their children and eventually help them step into their own relationship with God. I imagine if that were somewhat properly done, though imperfectly it would make this question easier and more obvious to sort out. Perhaps some of my questions are really about how to be an adult with her own relationship to God who is married and which dependencies to transfer where. Hope that makes sense.

        1. sheepish,

          Yes, if you had more godly examples and roll models as you were growing up, this probably would be easier to some degree. Although, I had a pretty good situation with my family, and I was still enmeshed with people and I still had a ton of idolatry issues. So – we all have scars and wounds and messed up thinking to work through. You are not alone!

          Things I get from God:

          – my primary identity
          – my primary security
          – my primary acceptance
          – my knowledge of what it means to be truly and perfectly loved
          – the power of the Holy Spirit
          – intimate spiritual fellowship that meets the deepest needs of my soul
          – a big ROCK on which to stand and build my life

          There are certain expectations in marriage that I can’t lay down – faithfulness, freedom from abuse, freedom from certain addictions. But these are about God’s standards more than they are about my standards. Does that make sense? So I don’t want to subject myself to a husband who is not in his right mind or is bent on beating me or who is so addicted to drugs/alcohol that he is going to destroy me and my children. There are times when I need to separate myself for my own protection against extremely toxic unrepentant sins.

          But smaller expectations, things that aren’t necessarily sins, but things that would be nice – like emotional connection, gifts, how to spend time together, help with chores, having things my way regarding matters of preference – these I can lay down. I don’t have to hold those things over my husband’s head.

          I can ask for what I would like, but I don’t get to force my will on my husband or dictate to him and try to coerce him into submitting to me. And he doesn’t get to do those things to me either.

          If my husband doesn’t do what I want him to do regarding one of these kinds of preferences, I can respond with grace and the power of the Holy Spirit rather than responding in the flesh in a destructive way.

          I don’t get to make my husband responsible for my spiritual well-being and my happiness. And I am not responsible for those things for him.

          The Healthy VS Unhealthy Relationships post may be helpful in sorting some of this out.

          But maybe we can have a discussion about this a bit and that may help me see where some ladies are getting stuck and maybe I can write a post about that.

          Much love!

          1. PS,
            And there SHOULD be reciprocity in marriage. That is how it is designed. We are supposed to have mutual love, honor, and respect for each other as husbands and wives. Sometimes, though, things go wrong. And there can be times when we sacrifice self in order to work with God to accomplish His purposes – giving the things our husband needs even when he can’t respond in a healthy way as God’s Spirit leads and prompts us. Not because “I have to make him stay or I can’t live and my life will be over” if my husband leaves, but because, “I want to bless him and see God work in his life.” Does that make sense?

          2. Hello April,

            The above post helps to clarify what was happening to me. Abuse was rife in my marriage not so much physical although there was a few times when he pushed me. Can you believe one of those times was when I went to kiss him goodnight. I felt very humiliated. I got to feel afraid of him after a while being with him I felt very trapped as I felt powerless to do anything to allow him to see how he was harming me and so he would choose to treat me well. There were other times he seemed clearly doing things to harm me deliberately; from observation I felt there was a mental health issue as his behavior was very erratic.

            The pattern of behavior was he would be cold distant not speaking to me for weeks I literally mean not a single word.He would ensure he didn’t look at me at all if I was doing something which meant I came into close proximity to him he moved away from near me. Then out the blue he would speak in a kind friendly way and be almost like how he used to be at the beginning of our marriage. This change would be for an hour or so then the cruel behavior would return. There are many more things which was done which has so damaged me inside. I feel very angry with myself to have allowed myself to go through this for for most of the nearly 6 years of our marriage. When eventually I asked him to leave to get spiritual help , I was relieved and was doing really well in mind and everything for about 6 week now I am in real danger emotionally and spiritually. I do not have any resources for counselling.

        2. Hello Sheepish you describe almost exactly my thoughts. I feel overwhelmed as to how to apply the knowledge with so much wrong in my heart. I wasn’t a controlling wife but a lot rejection in my heart made me behave in ways I now see very clearly didn’t help.my relationship.

          My husband was extremely abusive emotionally, psychologically before our separation however I had a lot of fears which to his mind could have appeared controlling. For example, I was often fearful if was he home late. I read in one posting on here I saw the description “hysterically fear” that was me. I had some genuine reasons for concerns because of the work he does and the danger and the mode of his transport home in busy roads when he is tired after doing night work however I should have asked God to protect my husband used my authority in Jesus for protection and take my peace in Jesus. I didn’t.

          Where do I start? I ask God and myself. I hope for restoration of my marriage!

          1. Prayerful Wife,

            Let’s start with your own spiritual healing in Christ. Would that be okay?

            Have we done a “spiritual check up” together yet, dear sister?

            Much love to you!

  19. I am SUPER thankful for each of your comments, insights, ideas, and suggestions. Wow! Y’all have done a great job on this. I can’t wait to get started on some of these topics. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Just tonight my husband brought up the fact that we were a blended family so we do things differently. I shared that it makes me feel alone when he says that about us because he says it as a negative. He proceeded to throw things in my face from past transgressions like I did them yesterday instead of years ago. It seems like he holds onto bitterness and never sees the positive steps we have made over the years. Should I be treated differently because I am the second wife and we are not a real family in his eyes?

      1. Wen,

        Things are much more difficult in a blended family. But y’all are not beyond God’s reach! Let me see what resources I can find for you, dear sister.

    2. Hello Peaceful wife,

      You mentioned a spiritual check up. I suppose this means going through a list of things to pursue and things to avoid?

      In any event I am willing to do anything based on God’s word either verbatim or using the principles from God’s word. For example, I have would loved if I had found some godly strong women of God who are married as mentors. as I said in my earlier posting I married later in life in my mid forties as I said I really did not have experiences of men to help me understand my husband although I know that every man is different.

      I did read lots of books and went to christian workshops but these while sound didn’t help me where I lacked. The Lord showed me the rejection I suffered from my father then later repeated throughout various episodes of my life made to respond fearful of losing my husband in some ways. I do know there legitimate needs for me as a wife.

      There are issues with him too as I know that as newly weds in the first year especially even after returning from night work, I was alone 5 nights a week then on the days he was off he spent hours away tending to a plot of land he has growing crops. Sometimes I would walk up to the small holding to meet him or call him to say him to say hi as I missed him. He often said he felt pressured by me for doing this and got annoyed. I did understand this activity was really important to him and was relaxation for him. I was also very proud of how successful he was growing things and told him. He did not have balance to recognize he did not have to neglect me to have his time. To be honest in general he seemed to be happy to be alone most of the times. I was very lonely.

      1. Prayerful Wife,

        Yes, I would love to do a spiritual check up with you. My first priority is to see you receive the healing and strength that is available to you in Jesus. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Here are some questions to get us started. Take your time in answering. ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. What would you say your greatest fears are in life in general and in your marriage?

        2. What are your most precious dreams?

        3. What do you believe you need to be content and happy in life?

        4. What were your expectations going into marriage that haven’t been met?

        5. What is your general personality and your husband’s general personality?

        6. What were things like before you got married?

        7. Is there any history of abuse, have there been any active addictions during the marriage, any mental health issues, any severe sin issues?

        8. What did you do when he was still there and you were afraid or lonely? How did you approach him?

        Much love to you!

  20. April,
    What a blessing you’ve been to me. My husband and I have been getting marriage counseling at our bible church that we attend from our pastor of family counseling. He has us pray for him, for ourselves and for each other and us as a couple. I feel like God led me to your website and I can’t tell you how much your videos mean to me and have encouraged me to love my hubby more as Christ would have me do. Some of the books you list, we have also done marriage studies on which made me know that you’re a “safe” and godly woman to listen to. Unlike one of the YouTube videos I watched of someone else and thankfully had that discerning spirit that told me to turn away from false teaching about marriage which it really was. Nothing horrible….just not godly TRUTH and wisdom as you have given.

    I exercise and workout on my treadmill or elliptical while watching and listening to your peaceful self! โ˜บ๏ธ Thank you! I’ve enjoyed all of them! Thanks for asking what we would like more of. I wonder if you could speak a little on your ideas of fitness and health & nutrition that you find helpful to keep a good and healthy balance–such as how long you exercise, the time you give to meal prep, etc. also, maybe share or perhaps if you know a godly man if not your husband who would want to share, for young adult men and finding “the one”. My 19 year old son has a heart for Jesus. He desperately wants to find a godly girl but these days it seems so difficult. He’s such a cutie…very handsome and loves God and will love his wife someday well.

    It’s heartbreaking to see him desiring to find a nice Christian girl and not being able to. So many girls these days are very into themselves by constantly taking pics on social media or being needy of others attention and not God himself. So that would be really cool if you know a guy who could give his godly wisdom to guys like my son who is desiring that godly girl. Sorry for all of this! So much more I could add but I’ll stop now. You’re doing great as it is! God bless you!

    1. Julie,

      I’m so thankful God has used my sites to be a blessing to your walk with Christ and your marriage. That is an answer to my prayers! I long to handle God’s Word rightly in all that I say. Please pray God will empower me to be faithful and obedient to Him. The message has to be ALL from Him, not from me.

      I personally have been on an “anti-inflammatory diet” for almost two years now that has really helped some medical issues I had – with a side effect that I have lost weight and am in much better shape, as well. You can search “anti-inflammatory diet” or “clean eating.” ๐Ÿ™‚ I do try to cook pretty healthy food for my family, although they are not ready to be on quite as extreme of a diet as I am on, so I also make “normal things” for them at times, too. For exercise, I try to take my children for a one mile walk 4-5 days per week. That doesn’t always happen because of weather, illness, or homework, but that is my goal!

      We have a 15 year old son – and I definitely feel your pain on this issue. There are not a lot of godly girls today. Or godly guys, either. It is so sad! The video I made for women about finding a godly guy – a lot of the same stuff would apply for men as they look for a godly woman. Guys sometimes use my posts/videos, too, to “reverse engineer” things.

      Some posts that may be helpful are on my site http://www.peacefulsinglegirl.com – please search:

      – red flags part 1
      – red flags part 2
      – how can I tell if I am ready to be a godly wife?

      The red flags posts help singles “vet” a potential spouse’s character and carefully consider the cost of marriage to a particular person before they enter into a covenant of marriage. If there are any major unrepentant sin issues before marriage, and the potential spouse is unwilling to address those issues, that is a big problem. A believer in Christ should be willing and eager to repent of any sin. Any sin, no matter what it is, when left unchecked can destroy a marriage.

      Sometimes the more godly girls are not nearly as forward and loud as the less godly girls. They may be more reserved and to themselves so it can be harder for a guy to realize that a godly girl is interested because she may not be all over him like some of the other girls are.

      It has been my experience that most Christian girls tend to idolize romance, marriage, men, and family. That is a problem. And if they are from broken families or experienced abuse, they are going to have a lot of healing to do to be able to be ready to have a healthy marriage and family themselves. You can gently help him examine a girl’s character, if he is open to that. And you can also encourage him to focus on Christ and on becoming the godly man Jesus calls him to be as he waits.

      And it may be wise to encourage him to read about godly manhood and leadership. David Platt has a Secret Church series on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood that is on Youtube. The book Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem is also very helpful, in my view. And he may want to search John Piper’s site, http://www.desiringgod.org for things like biblical manhood, leadership, and marriage to help prepare him to lead in a selfless, Christlike way.

      Another post that may be helpful:
      Healthy VS Unhealthy Relationships

      Much love to you!

      1. Thank you so much April for taking the time to get back with me. I really appreciate it and we will check these out for sure! Yes, we also have a 16 yr old daughter and I truly feel so blessed that both of our kiddos are desiring future godly spouses. My son looks to his sister as the kind of girl he would look for in a future spouse with her characteristics and vice versa. ๐Ÿ˜‰ it’s cute…they can drive each other crazy, yet when it comes right down to it, they look at other guys/girls and see that they aren’t measuring up to their sibling! They really aren’t picky but it’s hard to find a godly person these days which is just sad. My daughter seems to notice nice Christian guys though more than my son is seeing in the girls. As you said, perhaps the quieter godly girls are just not going to show their interest as the non believers would. I have told him the same thing. It can be tricky. He’s a senior in high school so he does have time. God bless you for your amazing ministry and I will be praying for you as God speaks through you to all of us!

    2. Hi Julie, (and April) I feel your pain regarding godly future spouses for your children! Just to encourage you, my Jesus-loving daughter found a godly guy when she was 18 (he’s 18 months older) and she held out for him, and didn’t waste time on silly dates for the sake of it, as I’d brought her up to do. They are now engaged and due to marry this year, praise God.
      I have taught my 19 yr old son the same values, and he is also determined to hold out for a girl that loves Jesus. I pray he will, and I know he will have constant temptations in the coming few years, but honestly there ARE some others out there with the same focus! (although it sometimes feels few and far – we live in the uk!)
      So keep reminding him to focus on Jesus and trust God to bring the right one at the right time. But if you find any resources to help and equip him, please let me know too! Thanks. My boy is a cutie too ๐Ÿ˜‰

      1. Thank you Sunshine! God bless you for sharing with me and for your encouragement! From one mama of a cute son to another…praying for our baby boys to find amazing God fearing beautiful inside-out Jesus loving women who will love our handsome sons well!

    3. Dear Julie,

      There are lots of godly girls who desire a godly guy and I am sure there are lots of young women who would love to be with your son, if only they were able to meet him! He sounds like a wonderful young man and I am sure he will be a wonderful husband to some lucky young woman.

      My father wanted desperately to find a godly girl, but he didn’t find my mom until he was 25. Funnily enough, as soon as he gave it up to God that it would be in His timing, he met my mom a few months later.

      The same thing happened to me – just a few weeks after I truly gave it up to God that it would be in His timing, my boyfriend asked me out. We plan to marry when I finish college. ๐Ÿ™‚ I feel lucky that I was so young – only 18 when we started dating.

      I’ll tell your son this – it’s agony to wait for that person, but when you find them, all the years you spent waiting no longer matter. At all. All that pain and worry just evaporates. And, once you’ve found that person, you realize that it was much better to be single than to be with the wrong person. I was that girl in high school who rarely had a boyfriend, and I hated it at the time. I did go out briefly with two other guys before I was with my boyfriend, and I can tell you that I wish I had never dated them. When I look at past relationships through the lens of my current bf, I know that it was much better to be single than to be with the wrong person. The second guy in particular I really lowered my standards for. So I would tell your son to trust that it will be in God’s timing, not to lower his standards, and that it will happen when he doesn’t expect it. Godly girls are hard to find, but they do exist, they want godly men, and they are just as frustrated by the lack of godly men as your son is by the lack of godly women.

      I don’t know if this is an option for your son, but if there are some Christian groups on his college campus, they are great for meeting godly friends of the same gender and godly potential spouses of the opposite gender. I know at least three people on my campus that met their future spouses through Cru. And they were friends at first! One guy was friends with this girl for like three years and they would tease each other and joke around and then all of a sudden he saw her in a different light; wham, they’re dating and a few months later they’re engaged.

      I do really feel for your son because I went through the same thing so recently.

      Love,
      Flower

      1. Thank you Flower for your encouragement for my son! I will share this with him. He’s 19 yrs old and still in high school (graduates this year!). So exciting for you to be getting married! Congrats!! Thanks again and God bless you!

  21. One more…maybe you could discuss insecurities with my husband surrounded by other women who are beautiful in his office. I worry at times that he would think of them sexually while we are together or even just possibly lust over them. I know this is the enemy making me feel this way. He doesn’t ever make me feel this way. My husband is very loving to me and I believe a man of integrity but…he is a man. I pray for him to walk in God’s grace and to withstand the evil schemes of Satan who wants to attack. I’m sure that watching shows like “The Office” etc. don’t help me at all but if anything give me these ideas…as if I needed the help! Anyway, topics as this could be really good too.

    1. Julie,

      I have a number of posts on this issue. It is an important one!

      Please check out:

      I Need to Change! I Can’t Go on Like This!
      Righteous Anger and Jealousy
      God Helps a Wife Overcome Destructive Jealousy
      Healing for Destructive Jealousy – by TrulyBlessed
      My Demon
      How Satan Would Love to Destroy Your Marriage through Your Thought Life

      And yes, certain shows are probably only fodder for temptation – so if you need to stop watching them, definitely do that!
      Much love to you! ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Perfect!! You are truly amazing and God is using you for His Glory, April. Praying for you and “being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” God bless you my sister in Christ!

  22. Hello April,
    I have always enjoyed your posts and you tube channels. Too many to say that I have enjoyed. I did like the ones we had over christmas about being a peaceful inlaw and dealing with boundaries with others. I would love to read more about how to deal with boundaries and learning to say no when others try and get between a marriage mainly family members..
    also someone said about perfectionism. I struggle with saying no and dealing with guilt when I do. Also have been hurt by alot of christians and trying to let go of that and move on. I had a great prayer time last year with ladies from my church and my walk with the Lord has grown alot since then, and my passion for doing things has come back . I homeschool my two children and am always trying to help them in there walk with the Lord and want to teach them things about the Lord and modesty is a big thing for me having a teenager in the house. I love the Lord and He has done alot of awesome things over the years and am so thankful for the blessings, hope to share one day, when the time is right.

    1. Bec D,

      I’m glad those posts were helpful. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Some posts related to some of the topics you are asking about that I have written in the past include:

      Perfectionism posts
      I Must Avoid Conflict at All Costs
      Some Conflict Is Inevitable
      People Pleasing
      Healthy VS Unhealthy Relationships
      Is It Possible to Disrespect Myself?
      25 Ways to Respect Myself (ways to think rightly about myself)
      Are You Able to Say No? from http://www.peacefulsinglegirl.com
      Submission (to Christ) Means We Hold the Things of This World Loosely
      My Identity in Christ
      My Security Must Be in Christ Alone

      Also, you are welcome to search:

      – bitterness
      – forgiveness
      – fear
      – modesty
      – femininity

      Much love to you! I am excited about what God is doing in your life!

        1. April you are a very fine example of what true Biblical counseling is supposed to look like. I’m touched by how the Holy Spirit is working in your life. We so desperately need women of God to be helping and guiding other women to resources . But mostly it’s the posture of coming along side a sister in Christ to minister as a friend and sister instead of placing yourself in a “one up” or ” above” position which automatically positions the other person as “less than” or “beneath”. We see that demonstration of pride everywhere and even in Christian Ministry.

          Years ago the Lord wanted me to confess a few things for my own benefit and health and humility. So I sought out a safe Christian female counselor that I found online. I paid $120.00 to confess my sins and to talk for an hour. I so appreciated having a safe person to talk to and I was really in need of that desperately. I very much appreciated her time and the opportunity to talk. But I will share that after the experience was over, I felt saddened because I realized that she made sure to make me aware when the hour was coming to a close so that I did not exceed the 60 minutes. I fully understand that there are reasons that she needed to mention the time, and I fully honor those potential reasons. I’m just sharing to make the following point. I was already aware of the time and I wouldn’t have imposed on her but I found it sad that she was willing to communicate her “boundaries” instead of being more focused on the comforting of a sister in Christ. Especially when it was clear that I was was not an excessively demanding or imposing or needy individual. It’s possible that she had someone scheduled for the next hour so she needed to be precise in her timing (which is fine). But is that the way we should be approaching such a Holy responsibility? Scheduling clients back to back and collecting very high hourly compensation?

          Your kindness and generosity is the correct way. It’s the model of how we are supposed to be counseling. And we can all do that by helping other Sisters by offering our free time in Christian forums to those who are making inquiries and requesting help. Sometimes people just want to be heard and validates for twenty seconds. And it’s very sweet that you take the time to validate every single response here . It really demonstrates the fruit of the spirit within you.

          Well done. Holy Sister!

          1. Lisa,

            I long for this to be a place where women can feel safe, heard, loved, edified, and encouraged. Sometimes I wish I had an unlimited supply of time to give. Of course, that is not possible. But I pray that I will be faithful to the things God has called me to do and that I will handle each sister (and brother) rightly with God’s love, pointing them to His power, healing, and truth. He has what we all need! Himself!

            Much love to you!

          2. Amen to this beautifully stated post. She is an example of how Christ shining in a heart and soul looks like, I would love to have her peace and calmness.

          3. Thank you dearly April.. These days the Lord is leading me into specific areas which don’t really allow for guest posting but I thank you for your sweet invitation. He usually doesn’t encourage me to stay in one location very long so I’m very grateful when he allows for a bit of a rest stop. It’s so nice just to be able to speak to living people occasionally. Thank you for your lovely blog which can also surely be known as “The House Beautiful”. ๐Ÿ™‚

          4. Lisa,

            Well, I am super thankful to get to meet you and to hear a bit about what God has been doing in your heart. It is wonderful!

            You are always welcome here.

            Much love!

  23. Hi April,

    I’m both happy and sad to report that I think I need to start over. From the beginning. From scratch. On the one hand, things in our marriage have improved, but on the other hand, I feel like I’m still spinning my wheels. It’s me. I know it.

    No matter how hard I try, no matter how much things improve between us, I cannot shake the feeling that I am not even close to good enough for my husband. He gets upset if I apologize or tell him how badly I feel that he settled for me. He deserves a much more attractive, talented, successful wife. I can’t help but feel that he settled for a below-average-looking, didn’t-reach-any-potential, doesn’t-pull-her-weight-financially wife. Everyone around here (where I live, even in our homeschooling community) is stunningly beautiful, extraordinarily educated, and most of them homeschool and work outside the home at the same time! Needless to say, I feel extremely inferior. This is a source of tension in my marriage.

    I just can’t get past the feelings of inferiority. Sometimes it gets better, but not long after I slip right back down again. There’s just nothing about me that feels “worth it”. Then I feel like a REALLY bad Christian for having these feelings, because true Christians are supposed to be thankful and filled with joy at all times – or at least most of the time. So sometimes I just feel like giving up.

    Thankfully (I guess) – I’m not a giver-upper. So I think, frustrating as it is, I need to start from the very beginning. Act like I’ve never seen this blog before, and start at square one. Thank you for all of your wonderful resources!

    – Becca

    1. Becca,

      I was just thinking about you today! ๐Ÿ™‚ It is wonderful to hear from you.

      I hear some of those same deeply ingrained lies that have not been torn out yet that are causing a lot of the tension and problems.

      Are you ready to really dig in deeply and rip them out? I’d be glad to walk beside you on this road.

      Much love to you! And welcome back!

      1. Thank you, April. I think I need to pull that book about “Lies” out again. Somewhere around here there is a notebook, that I actually started writing in as I was studying the book. Then my MIL got so sick, and the summer was so filled with being at the hospital, etc. Couple that with our oldest going off to college, and it’s been a whirlwind! Everything else took a backseat.

        Now that he is loving college, and my MIL is home (still requires care but not 24/7), it’s time for me to get back to work!

        1. Becca,

          My thinking is that you may want to spend a lot of time in that book going very slowly, maybe rereading things over and over and inviting God to help you tear out anything that is not from Him and to help you rebuild on His truth and His Word alone. There is some seriously deep digging you will have to do, so it will take time. I totally understand that things all went crazy this summer and it was really hard to have the time you needed to do this. But I am super glad you are ready to get started again.

          I’m excited for you! This part is painful, but VERY worth it!

          I’m here if you want to talk.

          Much love,
          April

    2. hello, I just wanted to comment on this, I don’t think you are alone in your feelings. society has made alot of women feel that way, myself included of not being good enough. But you are good enough. God created you just the way you are, you need to let that sink in deep in your heart. people can be mean and the devil will use people to bring you down but with God on your side you will win. believe me I totally get what your saying, I have been there and i have beat myself up about it too, but God spoke to me last year and wow i had a wake up call. I have had to change my whole mindset and attitudes to things but its been awesome I can tell you.I had a few words to me that i felt God say about my life I had to rewind and reload and start afresh and I have been working towards it, with the Lord’s help. We need to focus on what God says about us and stop comparing ourselves to others, we are unique. Dont let the negative feeling bring you down. I dont know what is going on in your life but i just want to encourage you to hang in there and never give up.

      society thinks success is money and education, I think success is having Jesus, that to me is SUCCESS!!
      you have Jesus you are a success you are valued and loved, never let others make you feel less than that. I always think of that when someone becomes saved the heavens rejoice, can you imagine that cheersquad. just think about it wow angels blowing trumpets and singing hallelujah to Jesus as another one is saved, wow would be pretty awesome to see, but i think that is similar to when we overcome something too, or saved from the devil schemes. We have Jesus as our cheer squad telling us to keep going keep the faith and run the race.

      I am a homeschooling mum and dont really get any support from extended family, my husband is my supporter. I know i don’t have what others do like lots of money to throw around, but I would rather have Jesus than all the money in the world. I have found connecting via the web has been helping me and keeping me on the straight and narrow and not to focus on what others think about me or that i am not good enough, I know God has put homeschooling on my heart and I will fight for it till my last breath if I have too, because its in my heart, not saying its for everyone ( we have to do what God lays on our hearts) but its something like a fire God has put there, i think because that is Gods plan for my childrens education,i would have been the last person to think about homeschooling but here I am. I felt not good enough and cried and cried when my oldest got a diagnosis of asd, i thought my world came to a end and that i could not homeschool. so off to school and i felt such guilt, to the point the school my child was at basically give up on helping, so i pulled my child out and started to homeschooling and i was freaking out i can tell you. But God is good and He has helped me along the way. I have two children and both are homeschooled, my youngest has never been to school and is know in grade 3. i just wanted to share that to encourage you or others that might read this. Dont ever give up, you are good enough, beauty is fleeting but God looks at the heart.

      One of my biggest things in life is that I must do what God wants me to do, i have such a passion for somethings that I cant contain it sometimes it just comes out because God has laid it on my heart. I am not one to run with the crowd and never really have i can be stubborn and passionate sometimes but God made me that way and it has to be channelled to God’s plans. I have a heart for the hurting and just want to give out a hug or listening ear, i cant help it. i have contained it in fear of what others might think of me being sappy and so on. but i have to do it. the last year i have grown so much and for years felt like a bird trapped in a cage, but the cage was always open i just needed the courage to step out, something i am working on

      but when we make mistakes dont beat yourself up. get up and wipe the dust of your feet and try again. i make lots of mistakes and am so thankful We have a forgiving and loving God.

  24. Hi PeacefulWifeโ€ฆI’d like to see other ladies thoughts/posts about husbands who refuse to talk about the problems in the marriage (I’m talking about husbands who literally get up and walk out of the room leaving their wife to cry alone. Offering her no compassion or comfort). About husbands who offer no reassurance, no words of reassurance whether face-to-face or via text message (ie. I love you), no gifts of reassurance (ie. Birthday gifts or a small token to say I was thinking of you), no request for sex (ie. to show her she is desired). As a Christian, I don’t know how to love a man who refuses to communicate with me.

    1. This was my husband! Well, actually still is, but my views have changed. I don’t need reassurance anymore. While it’s nice, I don’t need it for comfort. I get it from Christ. Plus I found, most husbands don’t want to talk about problems. They find it as attacks on them no matter how nice you say it, they feel like failures. They hear it as “I’m not happy and it’s your fault”. April does have great posts on all of these things!

  25. Hi April,

    Thank you for your ministry and for being willing to listen to our input.

    Some of my favorite content of yours would be about modesty, how you practically live Biblical submission in the real world and how Biblical submission is distinct from Domestic Discipline, Domestic Violence and BDSM Submission. I think in our post Fifty Shades of Grey culture, this is especially important. I know when I read those Bible passages about submission, Ana and Mr. Grey are what I think of first, even though I don’t believe that is what Paul means, so I can imagine what non-Christians might conclude when they read those passages, and how that would constitute a barrier for them in becoming Christian.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7tvKRdIPfE

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxxFGPmsfIs

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCJrQL1ht2c

    I am fairly new to following you, so perhaps you may have already covered this and I am yet to discover it, but I would really like to see you talk about Biblical wifehood when the wife works and the husbands stays at home tending to childcare and/or housework. I would also like to see you talk about how to discern whether you are called to marriage, what materials you would recommend in the discernment process and some reasons a woman might be called to remain a celibate single. Finally, I actually started looking at your content because I am a single Christian feminist who has a huge problem with the Biblical structure of marriage. I find it oppressive, dangerous and repuslive. For a very long time I have said, “God, this is your structure for marriage, I don’t have the power to change it, so I’m not entering into it.” I plan to remain single because I would rather be single than become a lifelong submissive. However, at the same time, I want to do God’s will. So I have begun to try to open up to merely considering the possibility of marriage. I would love to hear from any women who were once in my position and ended up in a happy, Christian marriage and any advice experienced wives might give to young Christian feminist women who are looking at God’s plan for marriage and thinking, “I don’t want any part of that.”

    God Bless!

    1. Lizbeth,
      It is so great to meet you! Welcome! ๐Ÿ™‚

      I am really excited about the topics you would like me to address. I have addressed some of these things before, but these are really important issues. Thank you for bringing them up!

      It would be super helpful for me if you might be willing to explain a bit about your background and what you mean when you use certain words. That way I can build posts starting from the same definitions of words. If we have different definitions of really big words, we will have a lot of confusion.

      Would you mind sharing what your definition of being a “Christian feminist” is? That would be super helpful.
      And, would you mind sharing a bit about your relationship with Jesus?

      Do you believe that God treats women unfairly or that He is not good toward women?

      What is your understanding at this time of “submission” in marriage? (And yes, I completely agree that Paul was NOT talking about Fifty Shades of Grey!) I really wish that movie had never come out. It creates such misunderstanding! ๐Ÿ™

      What specifically seems dangerous, oppressive, and repulsive to you about God’s design?

      I am excited that you want to do God’s will and you want to understand His heart and design. That is awesome!

      Let’s continue this discussion – and then I will see what posts I might write that may be a blessing to you and many others in similar situations.

      Much love!
      April

      1. Thanks April for your response and welcome. ๐Ÿ™‚

        I have always believed in gender equality. Men and women, with few exceptions, are capable of the same tasks, careers, accomplishments and so on, though perhaps they might go about them differently. Men and women have equal dignity, and therefore, they should have equal opportunity, generally speaking. I believe both men and women have the right to vote, get an education, drive, receive equal pay for equal work, live without having their bodies violated by sexual assault, etc. I think Emma Watson, a young woman who greatly inspires me, summed up the reason I am a feminist beautifully in her speech to the United Nations: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkjW9PZBRfk As Emma stated, “Feminism, by definition, is ‘the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.’ When I say I a feminist, this is the meaning I attribute. I do deviate from the norm in that I am a pro-life feminist. As Albany Rose put it, “I fully believe in choice. Everyone should have control over their body. The problem is women don’t abort themselves…they abort someone else.” There is nothing pro-woman about the practice of powerful adult men dismembering and killing unborn girls. While I am sympathetic to the idea women should be able to choose to induce delivery at any point in her pregnancy, because it is her body and she has the right to refuse to sustain another person just as she may refuse to sustain another person by donating blood, I find violence against unborn children to be unjustifiable and one of the greatest human rights violations of our day.

        When I say I am a Christian, I mean that I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. I believe He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Furthermore, I am a Roman Catholic Christian, so I also agree with the Biblical interpretations of the Catholic Church as taught in the encyclicals and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

        I was raised in a devout Catholic family where prayer and Scripture were a daily part of my childhood. In my tween years I began to doubt my faith and went through a period of religious discovery and truth searching. I went to a Steubenville Conference when I was 16, and at that conference, I felt God’s presence and His love. I was convicted and I gave my life to Him that night. I have been striving to live according to His teachings ever since, though I still have much to learn, and frequently seek His forgiveness when I fall. I’m almost 20 now. I take time daily to pray and nurture my relationship with Jesus.

        I believe God loves men and women equally, assigned them equal dignity and made them both in His image. My qualm is with the way He structured marriage. Now I admit up front, His way is best, and I simply don’t understand how. God is all good, loving, knowing and powerful–there is some reason He designed marriage as He did. But to me, that structure seems dangerous, oppressive and repulsive. God has ordained that husbands are the heads of their wives as Christ is the head of the Church, that husbands should love their wives as Christ loved the Church–that is a STRONG statement. How did Christ live out his headship and love? He died for the Church, yes. But He also gave commands, made decisions and even punished us (Hebrews 12:6 and Proverbs 3:12) in his loving headship. God doesn’t negotiate with us, he decides what is best for us out of love and stands firm. For God, that works, because God is perfect.

        Husbands are not perfect. Giving husbands authority to command their wives in anything that is not sinful leaves much room for what I find repulsive, oppressive and dangerous. Unlike the all knowing God, in marriage, there are always going to be things wives are the experts on, things wives know more than their husbands–their own body, for example. It seems very wrong for husbands to get to command their wives under pain of sin to bend to his own will, even in areas where she knows best.

        The potential implications are sobering–these are some examples I know have occurred in real Christian marriages: husbands commanding wives to only wear skirts, forbidding them to wear make-up, forbidding them from cutting their hair, commanding them to have a home birth in which he delivers their child, commanding them to home school, commanding them not to celebrate certain holidays, commanding them not to work outside the home, etc. God seems to allow this with the words, “wives submit to your husband in EVERYTHING”. Even if a husband never uses this power, the very fact that he has it disgusts me.

        I do find it oppressive if you are required under pain of sin to obey everything your husband tells you that is not sinful. You and your husband, along with many other couples, seem to have a found a harmony that works for you between the wife’s submission and the husband’s loving leadership, and I am happy for you in that. I find the marriage structure dangerous because wives still have the obligation to submit even when their husbands fail to be loving, and this can result in much suffering and sadness. I believe women have the right to leave if they are being abused, but much pain and subjugation can be suffered by a submissive wife with an unloving yet unabusive husband.

        I know what I have said about marriage above here may be completely wrong. I am still learning. But this is what Paul seems to be saying and these are the horrifying implications for women. I am THANKFUL for everything God has allowed feminism to provide for me. I am thankful to vote, to be educated, to drive, to speak in public, to wear pants, to have value as an individual even if I never have children or marry, to own property, to be studying to become a police officer, to have control over my body, to live in a land where violence against women is illegal and to have short hair. In my eyes, to marry would to be to give up so many of my freedoms won by the blood and efforts of my feminist fore mothers, to give up a part of my dignity. To promise to obey a man in all non-sinful things he asks til death do us part would feel like becoming something less than who I am able to be.

        1. Lizbeth,

          I appreciate you taking the time to articulate your definitions of Christian feminist and Christian for me. That was super helpful.

          By your definition of “Christian feminist” – I would have to label myself a Christian feminist, as well. I believe that God created men and women to have equal value, dignity, and worth. I believe that women can and should be able to receive an education, be able to drive, be able to vote, and receive equal pay for equal work. I believe that no one should have to suffer any kind of discrimination because of gender or have to experience abuse of any kind. I believe that there are many jobs where women and men can do equal work.

          I also am pro-life and must condemn the murder of innocent unborn children. I agree that this is one of our culture’s most horrific sins. 60 million babies aborted in America alone since the year I was born. ๐Ÿ™ What a completely heart-breaking situation.

          I do not label myself a “Christian Feminist” because the word “Feminist” invokes connotations from the feminist movement that are very far from Christianity. Here is a video that explains a bit about what I mean. For much greater detail, I invite you to read Radical Womanhood by Carolyn McCulley. She was a radical feminist atheist for many years and even majored in women’s studies at a secular university. Then she came to know Christ in her late twenties and her understanding of femininity, masculinity, marriage, and family had to dramatically change. I hope you might check it out. ๐Ÿ™‚

          I am excited to hear about your relationship with God and your desire to know Him more and to live for Him as Lord. That is awesome! I also appreciate your humility that you know God’s ways are best but that you just don’t understand how yet. God can work with that. ๐Ÿ™‚ When we think God’s ways are “wrong” or “unjust” it is always a matter of our understanding needing correcting, not God’s ways needing correcting. He is completely good and cannot have evil motives toward us.

          I have spent quite a few years now studying God’s design for authority in general for believers, and God’s design for marriage. His original design included the husband being the leader and the wife being the helpmeet – but that was before sin. It was not oppressive at all for anyone before sin entered the picture. Of course, sin has distorted masculinity, femininity, and marriage in many ways that are in defiance of God’s beautiful, wise design. When we are in Christ, He gives us the power to restore the way things were supposed to be originally. Of course, Satan wants us to believe that God is holding out on us and that our wisdom is best. The same old line he has used since the Garden.

          I’d love to share a few things with you for you to prayerfully consider. I believe your understanding of “authority” may need a bit of tweaking. These posts will probably help a lot:

          spiritual authority
          a husband’s and a wife’s authority in marriage
          Husbands Are Never the Absolute Authority
          Biblical Submission Is Not Passivity
          The Pendulum Effect
          When Would I Not Submit to My Husband?
          posts on biblical submission
          Does a Godly Wife Have to Lose Herself or Be Fake?
          “I Don’t Want to Lose My Voice, My Power, or My Identity!”
          I Will Not Be a Second Class Citizen!
          Godly Femininity
          Healthy VS Unhealthy Relationships
          25 Ways to Respect Myself
          Is It Possible to Disrespect Myself?

          Let me know what you think. We can keep talking any time.

          Much love to you, my precious sister in Christ!

          1. Thank you April for your words of wisdom! It’s nice to know we have that in common. ๐Ÿ™‚

            I can understand why you might want to distance yourself from the word “feminist”. It is sadly true that feminism has come to be widely associated with things that are both contrary to the principles of Christianity and contrary to the principles of feminism itself, such as man-hating and abortion, because feminism has been misrepresented and misinterpreted by loud individuals who proclaim themselves to be feminists.

            However, I would ask you to prayerfully consider whether the fact that a label has been publicly misrepresented should be sufficient grounds for us to reject the label. I would argue that Christianity has been misrepresented, misinterpreted and connoted with evil even more than feminism has. Yet consider how we do not reject the label “Christian” in the face of this fact. We continue to profess ourselves to be Christians despite the Westboro Baptist Church, the Christian Domestic Discipline movement and the pastors who have sexually abused children because Christianity itself is good, true and beautiful, no matter how poorly professed Christians live it out. It is with this same reasoning that I profess to be a feminist: despite those who profess to be feminists while fighting for abortion on demand, conducting themselves vilely at rallies or demeaning men, feminism, the philosophy of gender equality, is good, true and beautiful in itself, no matter how poorly professed feminists represent it. It is my hope that if enough Christian women take their place in the gender equality movement, authentic feminism will shine and people will no longer associate feminism with the evils paired with it today. Organizations like Feminists for Life give me great hope for the future. Of course, ultimately whether you identify as a feminist is your own prerogative, and I respect your decision.

            I will order that book from my library and go through those links as my schedule allows. Thank you again April! Your encouragement and joyfulness is very uplifting. ๐Ÿ™‚

          2. Lizbeth,

            Yes, feminism has become synonymous with things like:
            – abortion on demand
            – no-fault divorce
            – hatred toward men
            – the belief that women are good and men are evil
            – atheism
            – defiance against God
            – defiance against the Bible

            It is true that many have also misrepresented Christ. But – to me, the things you have described in being a “Christian feminist” are just simply truths of God’s Word. They are truths about God’s design for godly femininity and masculinity. I don’t personally feel a need to have to add an additional name to His truth – especially not one that is so tainted by the world. While many have misrepresented Christ, I gladly bear His Name and seek to bring glory to it. I don’t have that same kind of allegiance to any other name or cause. My goal is only to know Christ and Him crucified, to love God wholeheartedly, and to love others with His love. All of the other names mean nothing to me. His Name is above every name. ๐Ÿ™‚

            I go to a Southern Baptist church, but I don’t care that much about denominations, only that I belong to Jesus.
            I am a pharmacist, but I don’t care about being a pharmacist for the rest of my life, I only want to be in the center of His will.
            I am married, but marriage can’t be my identity and even if my husband were to die or leave me, my identity must be firmly grounded in Jesus alone.

            Jesus is my Life.
            He is my Source.
            He is my security.
            He is the greatest treasure in the universe. ๐Ÿ™‚

            I can’t equate feminism of any other cause with Him.

            My goal is to reject everything that is of this world and human wisdom and only to build my life on His truth and on Him.

            I believe that as godly women shine for Christ, people will see the message you are describing but much, much more than that, and they will find the Life and healing that is available to us all in Jesus. I long only to exalt Him.

            Let me know what you discover. I am excited to be on this journey with you!

            Much love, dear sister!
            April

  26. Starting today, I have a new Blog Archive feature in the right hand column that will make it a lot easier to search through old posts. That may help, as well!

  27. I would like to see posts directed at helping women understand that men are not like women. In other words, your husband should be your best friend, but he is not your “BFF”.

    Men enter foreign territory when they get married, especially since we are more relationship oriented then they are. And don’t forget the fact that we tend to have a lot of expectations regarding how we think they should behave (thanks to all those romantic novels/movies out there). They shouldn’t have to feel compelled to be someone they are not just to make us happy. They should have a right to be themselves.

  28. I would like to have more information about how to deal with a over bearing, perfectionist husband who has an opinion on everything, for example how I fold the towels etc. The other day I earned myself 3 days of the silence treatment for holding his chip packet in the wrong place while he was driving. I thought it would be easier for him if I held it in the middle and he accused me of being deliberately unhelpful. I don’t feel like I can change this as I feel it’s more a personality thing, I can’t anticipate what he is going to think, so I feel helpless to change. Also I tried explaining to him that I was trying to do what I thought was best, in the end I had to grovel like I’d committed a big sin. I hope you can understand where I’m coming from, I’m not trying to just criticise him. Also I find it quite off-putting reading the men’s comments posted, I don’t really want to know how they’ve been let down by there wives and what they think about it.

    1. Confused,

      That sounds pretty difficult, my dear sister! Your situation is very much the opposite of what mine was. My husband would say NOTHING if I did anything that hurt him, for many, many years. I had no idea what he thought, how he felt, or that he was even hurt. I eventually believed he didn’t have feelings and it was impossible for me to hurt him. But – I was very wrong.

      You are getting LOTS of feedback from your husband, but what you are describing makes it sound like maybe he is impossible to please at times? No, you can’t change someone who is perfectionistic, harsh, negative, and has a critical/judgmental spirit. But you can work on your own heart, understanding, thought life, and responses.

      Why do you think you needed to grovel over something like that where you didn’t actually do anything wrong or anything purposely to be unhelpful?

      Check out this post by Radiant, precious sister.

      And, I invite you to also search my home page for things like:
      – command man
      – harsh husband
      – conflict
      – healthy vs unhealthy relationships
      – the pendulum effect
      – enmeshed
      – husband idol
      – people pleasing

      The men’s comments can be helpful at times for women, like I was, who have husbands who are more passive and whose husbands don’t articulate their feelings. I can understand that you apparently don’t have the issue of not knowing what your husband thinks or feels, so you may not need any more info about that.

      Would you be interested in doing a spiritual check up with me? What I would like to do is get you to the place where you are healed and strong in Christ so that you have all of the power of His Spirit to know how to respond even when your husband may be being unreasonable. (If you are not safe, or things are a lot worse than you are describing, please reach out for help one-on-one in person, dear sister!)

      If you would like to do the check up:

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

      2. How is your quiet time going? How much time do you spend with God? What do you read? What do you pray about?

      3. What are your greatest fears?

      4. What are your most precious dreams?

      5. What was your husband’s parents’ marriage like?

      6. What was your parents’ marriage like?

      7. Do either of you struggle with any mental health issues, addictions, or history of abuse?

      8. Do you feel like you can share your concerns, needs, and ideas with your husband safely?

      If you are ready for another assignment after this, I invite you to read “Identifying the Lies We Have Embraced.” Take your time. And let me know which lies you think may be issues for you. Let’s talk about it together.

      Much love to you!

    2. Nina Roesner has some resources for women in situations with over-bearing, angry husbands.

      At http://www.ninaroesner.com, you may search her blog for things like:
      – got an angry guy?
      – critical guy
      – harsh

      And also, her program, “Becoming a Woman of Strength and Dignity,” may be helpful.

      http://www.leslievernick.com has resources for emotionally toxic relationships, as well.

      With any resource, please seek to please and obey God first and listen to His Spirit far above anything any human writer suggests.

      Much love!

  29. Also can I add, I think part of my husband’s problem is that he doesn’t assume the best in me, if for example I don’t hear him say something he doesn’t give me the benefit of the doubt he accuses me of deliberately ignoring him. It’s very trying. Also I seem to be scared to surrender to God because I think he will test me in some way like taking one of my children, I think my faulty thinking is that God isn’t good and he can’t be trusted but I can’t seem to move past it. Thanks so much!

  30. These days many women keep their maiden name which I believe is part of a spirit of rebellion to God’s laws and disrespect to their husbands. Please include a post about changing our last names to our husband’s last name and accepting a new identity as our husband’s helpmate.

    1. For those who asked about me writing more about sex, please let me know if there are appropriate topics that I have not covered in the links I shared on this thread. Is there anything I am missing?

      Thanks!

  31. Maybe how to motivate your man in a respectful and godly way? I know Emerson wrote a book about that but I haven’t read it. For example; how to motivate your husband to be a leader, handle finances better, be more involved in the family or church, etc. Not trying to control, but motivate him to be his best so that he is feels good about himself. Not sure if this is too controlling though? Lol

    1. Linsey,

      Those are great topics. ๐Ÿ™‚

      You may search my home page for things like:

      – husband lead
      – money/finances
      – church

      Also, my book has a lot of stuff about this. You do have to watch your motives, though! If you are just trying to get him to do what you want – that is manipulation and that won’t work. But if you are seeking to bless him, to be his teammate, and to inspire him in ways that honor God and honor your husband, that is a good place to be. ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Maybe about the pressures of the world and the effect on marriages, like the recent feminism protests? It’s getting me confused and fearful in a way ๐Ÿ™

      1. Yes please. I know in my heart what is true, but when I’m around a large feminist population at work, I sometimes think “What if I’m wrong and they are right?”

        1. LinseyAK,

          There are things that feminists are right about:

          – women have equal value and worth as men, we are all made in the image of God
          – women should be paid the same for the same work
          – women have dignity as individuals and should be treated with honor and respect just like men should be
          – women should have freedom to have their own opinions and to express their concerns just like men should have

          Where things start to go wrong sometimes is when we might embrace ideas like:

          – women are better than men
          – women are good and men are evil
          – I should mistreat my husband and focus on my rights all the time
          – abuse of men is okay
          – my husband’s feelings, concerns, and thoughts are not important
          – life is all about ME and SELF
          – my will is the most important thing – not God’s will
          – I need to force my way on others, they should bow to me
          – if a baby is inconvenient to me, I have the right to kill him/her
          – I’ll use my sinful flesh to get my way
          – God’s ways are foolish and my ways are wise
          – God doesn’t know what He is talking about, He is holding out on me
          – losing self-control, screaming, cussing, yelling, and tantrum-throwing are necessary for me to get my point across
          – femininity is about crushing everyone else who doesn’t think just like I do

          THANKFULLY, the truth is that:

          – we can stand up for what is right and retain our godliness, dignity, poise, self-respect, and respect for God and others
          – we can share our legitimate concerns in respectful, powerful ways
          – we have an audience with the sovereign God of the universe – access to the Holy of Holies 24/7 because of Jesus – so we can take our needs and concerns to Him and watch Him do miracles for His kingdom and His purposes to be accomplished
          – we no longer have to live in fear because God has given us a Spirit of power, love, and a sound mind
          – we don’t have to worry about what politician is in office because our faith is in the Lord and His sovereignty over every politician
          – we have God’s power to change the world as His Spirit fills and overflows from our lives

          Does that make sense?

          Or, what is it specifically that you are afraid that you may be wrong and they may be right?

          Much love!

          1. This is good. I definitely don’t get confused with things like that. I guess more on the lines of their overall thoughts like these (that I once believed too). I know in my heart that God’s Word is correct, but sometimes the following are what trip me up a little bit. I know that if I told my coworkers what I really feel, they would think I was a weak woman.

            – Everything should be equal in a marriage.
            – If a man mistreats you, you should leave him or you are weak
            – Allowing your husband to lead instead of leading yourself is weak
            – It is not a woman’s job to do everything around the house and take care of the kids all of the time
            – You need to put a man in his place if he misbehaves or you should leave him
            – It is unacceptable for a man to yell, call you names, etc. This is verbal abuse and you need to leave him.

            It just seems like I hear a lot of reasons that women are weak and should leave a man. Does that makes sense?

          2. LinseyAK,

            Okay, thank you, this is helpful. ๐Ÿ™‚

            First of all, we need to understand that the world’s definitions of strength and weakness are very different from God’s.

            In the world (in my understanding):
            Power means having the ability to do whatever I want to do.
            Weakness means not being able to do exactly what I want to do all the time.
            So power means I have total control to do what I think is best.

            In God’s kingdom:
            Power is about having the ability (from the Holy Spirit) to obey God and walk in holiness.
            Weakness is about trusting self and acting in the flesh.

            Ultimately, in God’s economy – we are here to glorify God. The purpose of marriage is to glorify God. The purpose of family is to glorify God. Everything we do should glorify God.

            There are things that are equal for men and women in God’s design:
            – our worth
            – our dignity
            – our inheritance in Christ
            – our need for Christ
            – our dependence on Him
            – our need to crucify self
            – the spiritual treasures we can access
            – our ability to reach God in the Holy of Holies 24/7
            – the fact that God wants to completely transform each of us and conform us to the image of Christ
            – the nastiness of our sin
            – our complete inability to make ourselves right with God on our own
            – our total need for humility before God and each other
            – our access to the Holy Spirit
            – our ability to receive gifts from God
            – God’s willingness to answer our prayers when we are walking in total trust and obedience to Him

            But our worth in God’s economy is not about our role. That is what the world tries to say – that our worth is equal to our role. But in God’s eyes, does a precious little innocent baby have less worth than the president of the United States because the baby has no authority in the world? No! Of course not! If anything, that baby is all the more precious to Him. Each life is precious. Those who have no voice and who need protection have a special place in God’s heart and He wants those who have power and God-given authority to use those things to serve, bless, protect, care for, and provide for those in their care.

            – God NEVER condones sin. It is NEVER okay for a man to mistreat his wife or for a woman to mistreat her husband. God doesn’t excuse or justify our sin. We are ALL called to treat others with His divine love, with respect, honor, and dignity. There are means to handle things when someone is sinning against us in the New Testament.

            – If you don’t know God and you are idolizing your husband and trusting an imperfect man to think for you, that is a problem. That would be weakness. However, if you DO know God and you know His power and you are living in total submission to Christ as Lord, filled to overflowing with His Spirit – you are not living from a position of spiritual weakness. You are coming into the marriage from a position of GREAT spiritual power because you have the very power of the sovereign Lord of the universe on your side. That really isn’t fair to a husband who doesn’t have that kind of faith. But ultimately, he will be blessed anyway! Ultimately, my faith is not in my husband, it is in God’s wisdom and His design and in His power to lead me through imperfect people – the president, the governor, the mayor, my boss, the police, my teachers, my husband, my pastor, etc…

            No man has absolute authority. Only God does. Just like we as moms don’t have absolute authority over our children and we, as managers, don’t have absolute authority over our employees. We answer to God for how we use our authority to bless them and we are accountable to God and to other authorities on earth if we misuse or abuse our authority. Men are accountable the same way to God and to earthly authorities.

            – Today, we have many choices as women. We can work or stay home. Radical feminists say that being a wife is oppressive. Radical feminists say that being a mom at home is slavery. Why do they say that? Is it really true? They say that the only place a woman can find real satisfaction is in a career. But the Word of God says the only place that any person can find real satisfaction is in Jesus. If I am in the center of Jesus’ will, and He shows me He wants me to be at home, I am in the best place in the world! I don’t have to have the most prestigious career to have an incredibly impactful life in God’s kingdom. Check out the story of John and Charles Wesley’s mom. See if she made an impact on the world as a stay at home mom. ๐Ÿ™‚ God’s Word says that He created us to be our husband’s helpmeet. That is the same word that is used of the Holy Spirit when God says He is our Helper. That is a glorious word, not a word to describe “a second class citizen.”

            One of the most destructive approaches to marriage is the 50/50 approach. It is totally about self, self-will, self-exaltation, and keeping score. “I changed 4 diapers today, so now you better change 4 diapers or else! I did the dishes twice today so you have to do the dishes twice tomorrow or you are a failure as a husband.” Where is the grace? Where is the teamwork and spirit of unity in that? I can share more about how destructive that approach is if you would like.

            The question is – who should decide what I should do as a woman or what men should do? Do we let our culture decide that for us, or a few radical feminist leaders who hate the Bible and who hate God? What does God say about what is valuable for men and women to do?

            The Bible does not specify that men can never help with children or that women must do all of the chores. But what it does specify is that we all are to have servant-hearts, godly humility, and be ready to do anything God calls us to do – no matter how lowly or seemingly unimportant. If God wants me to be somewhere, why would I want to be anywhere else? Why wouldn’t I be ecstatic to help my husband, to help take care of the home, or to nurture, love, and discipline my children. Who loves my children more than I do? Who is better equipped to care for them than a mom? Even if I do work, I have influence and authority in my children’s lives and a responsibility to make sure they are being well cared-for. It is not a burden or duty to care for my children and home and husband, it is a blessing!

            – It is unacceptable for any man or woman to yell and call names. That is really sinful, fleshly behavior. No husband or wife should treat his/her spouse that way. Is it grounds for separation? Not necessarily. How many of us have mistreated our husbands or called them names or yelled at them? Do we believe that they should leave us if we treat them like that? There are a lot of effective things to try first before resorting to separation. Although, there are some times when separation could be necessary if we have taken care of things in our own lives and our husband continues and the issue is severe and we know God is prompting us that it is time to leave.

            The world knows nothing of God’s love or His wisdom. No, women should not be abused. Neither should men. All sin against others is abusive. We all do things at times that hurt our spouses. Instead of immediately running for the door at the slightest provocation, let’s hit our knees and seek God’s power and His wisdom and His intervention.

            Does that help at all?

            Much love!

          3. Keep in mind, Linsey – the world doesn’t know about living in the power of the Spirit. To the world, the only options are to dominate others or to be “submissive” in a way that means slavery. Neither of those things are God’s design. They are both sinful, distorted extremes of masculinity or femininity.

          4. Another thing that is helpful when we think about women throughout history and other cultures – is the fact that before there was birth control, a married woman could expect to have a baby about every year and a half or so. There was no baby formula. She had to nurse her babies. Having children was a very highly esteemed thing. Women were honored for being moms in many times in the past and for being wives.

            A man can’t bear children and can’t nurse children – so that kind of made it a lot more clear cut about who needed to stay home with the kids. Although many dads had a shop in the home or worked on the family farm and were around and helped to teach the children spiritually and to discipline and also to teach the boys a trade.

            The Bible does talk about roles for husbands and wives but there is a lot of room for flexibility depending on culture and different personalities and stages in life.

          5. A book I have found to be helpful as we sort out God’s will and purposes for us as women is Shaunti Feldhahn’s book, “The Life Ready Woman.” She asks, “Are you doing it all? Or doing what matters?” She starts with the foundational purposes God has for women and then helps us to sort through how to find God’s will for us as we listen to His Spirit.

            There is no better place in the world to be than in the center of God’s perfect will!

          6. About Shaunti Feldhahn’s book, “The Life Ready Woman,” from her website:

            Are you a โ€œdoing it allโ€ or โ€œdo what mattersโ€ woman?โ€

            Whether a stay at home; or working mom, an airplane-hopping executive, an empty-nester caring for multiple generations or a single juggling high demands of career and personal life, todayโ€™s fast-paced modern world leaves women gasping for balance. We as modern Christian women want to look to the Bible for guidance on how to manage our lives โ€” but because the world of women looks so different today than it did when the Bible was written, it is hard to find chapter and verse that seems to apply to our situation today.

            Thankfully, God has given us exactly that timeless, unchanging guidance for how to find peace, clarity, and Godโ€™s best for our lives once we know where to look! The Life Ready Woman: Thriving in a Do-It-All World, reveals a profound biblical roadmap for how each of us can find the abundant life we are longing for, rather than the stressful, torn, how-do-I-balance-it-all life we often feel like we are trying to keep up with today. Actually being a LifeReady Woman means that you are clear about your life, bold in your faith, and able to find Godโ€™s best for you, and the end result will be that you not only survive but thrive in our do-it-all world.

            God has given every wonderfully unique woman different skills and abilities, different desires, and different temperaments โ€” and every woman around the planet and through the ages is certainly living in different circumstances. But no matter what a womanโ€™s life looks like, the Bible says that God has an individual mission and plan that Heโ€™s carefully designed for each of us. And He wants us to find it. Starting January 2011, The Life Ready Woman and the Life Ready Woman Video Series will help every wonderfully unique woman to thrive as she identifies and courageously pursues Godโ€™s unique design and callings for her. LifeReady Woman puts you on a roadmap to make decisions that will lead to relief, delight, and fulfillment instead of regret.

            It is a relief to me to realize I don’t have to try to “do it all.” My job is just to do what God calls me to do and what He empowers me to do. There is freedom, peace, and joy when we let go of things that God doesn’t want us to hold on to or things that are just smothering us so that we have time for the things that really matter.

          7. LinseyAK,
            Another thing to think about is that men don’t respond well to being “put in their place.” Of course, women don’t either, right? Men respond to honor and respect. Why would we let a small thing destroy our relationship rather than wisely seeking to steer things back on course?

            Here is a post for women who are trying to decide if they need to leave their husbands. There certainly are times when that is very necessary, but there are a lot of women today who leave their husbands and even divorce them for trivial reasons, and that is not okay. In fact, God hates divorce. Of course, he hates abuse and oppression, too. Still before a Christian woman entertains the idea of divorce, she needs to be very sure that she is listening to God, not to the world or Self. Many of us are tempted to leave just because we are unhappy or we aren’t feeling loved. When that happens, we need to dig into Christ more and allow Him to transform and empower us and give us His wisdom. He can turn a mess into something beautiful in His timing as we trust Him.

          8. Thank you for your book suggestion – The Life Ready Woman. I found it on Amazon and was able to get a used one for less than $4.00! I look forward to reading it.

          9. Susan,

            This book was really helpful to me a few years ago. I think it would have been even more helpful if I had read it when I was deciding on a career. May be a good book for teenage girls and college-age girls, too. ๐Ÿ™‚ Let me know what you think, sweet sister!

  33. Hi April.
    I still haven’t replied to your questions from Jan 5 over in the post Confronting my husbands sin issues. I see the comments are closed. I will have to get back to that. And I know this isn’t the post for this but I’m way off course at the moment. Is it normal to have such huge ups and downs? I’m struggling so much again now.

    I feel like I’m living my life in black and white instead of colour. Crying a lot again. Just so sad and lonely. The 2 yr mark has passed since he’s even hugged me and I just miss him so much and that’s when things got bad again for me. I’m hoping this is a passing phase. We just had a week away I which was very hard. I cried behind my sunglasses quietly a lot. Please can I ask for prayers for me. I’m feeling like running away. Like not going to church. Like everything is against me.

    Do you have any posts on how to handle a husbamd who is a believer and should know better? I know he’s spiritually sick right now but Satan is winning here it seems. He’s just loving what’s going on here and I’m the only one trying and I’m starting to get very tired from it all. What if I never learn what I’m supposed to learn and get where I need to be as far as surrender and faith? I just can’t seem to get there.

    Why is it taking me so long when others are there much quicker?

    Please pray for me. I have an appointment tmrw I’m very nervous about too.

    Bel.

    1. Bel,

      You are welcome to respond here. I have comments active right now on posts from the past 90 days. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Yes, it is really normal to have huge ups and downs and yes, it is normal for this journey to take a long, long time. Please remember that it took Nina Roesner 10 years before she really felt like she knew what she was doing with the respect thing and it took me 3.5 years before I felt like I wasn’t going through constant emotional/spiritual contortion and the new ways began to feel normal and natural.

      How is your time with God going?

      What are your greatest fears at this time?

      What are your most precious dreams?

      I believe you are correct that Satan is in the middle of things trying to destroy them. Do you know how to fight spiritual warfare? What are you doing in that area to learn and grow and invite God’s power into your life?

      Is there anything you may be holding back from God?

      Much love and the biggest hug to you! Thank you for reaching out!

      1. April
        I guess I mean it would be good to be able to get comments emailed to me without havint had to comment myself. I know this is prob impossible but I find I miss so much of the people I love to hear about/from because it’s hard to keep going through it all to see if I’ve missed anything. Which i do all the time.
        I also meant that the ups and downs I have are more to do with my faith and fears than respect. I have felt like I’m nearly there, i “get it”, like a huge awakening and burst of increased faith and strength and the understanding and ability to surrender all outcomes to God is right around the corner. Then it’s gone and I’m back at square one and full of doubts and fears again.
        Once you “get it” does it stay? Or does it always take effort and wrestling to stay there?
        Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing better than I think. I know CIC and LMS and HH have all still had times of feeling scared and down and even depressed. So am I really that far off? I do know and trust that God has a good and perfect will for me. That He loves me and knows what’s best for me.
        My time with God could always be better. I still find sometimes that I get nothing from the bible. You say it’s our power source. I dont feel that from everything I read in it. I’m not worry praying as much so my prayers are shorter ๐Ÿ˜ But I think of Him and chat through the day.
        My greatest fears are still the same. My marriage ending. Being alone. That I will never be able to mean it fully when i pray for Gods will to be done. That I’m somehow hindering Gods work.
        My most precious dreams are to be able to live in complete faith with no doubts and fears. That my children will be ok through all this. For my husband to wake up and realize what Satan is doing here. And I’d be lying if i didn’t say for my marriage to be healed of course.
        I don’t know how to fight spiritual warfare except through prayer.
        Your question of am I holding anything back from God always stumps me. I don’t know. I can’t think of anything. I repent of the sins I know about and ask the ones I don’t realize to be made clear. I worry about this as I know the verse about cherishing sin in your heart and God not hearing prayer. I just don’t know.
        I saw my psychologist today who has seen us both over the yrs and knows us pretty well. She also says my fear is holding me back but says I need to change something and suggests I get a job. I have been out of the workforce for nearly 20 yrs. I can’t go back to my old profession. To say I’m petrified is an understatement. Not only of what on earth will I do. I have worried this will just make him think “see, she’ll be fine without me”. And that it’s a step closer to him feeling better about leaving. She also doesn’t know of anyone who has come back after 2 yrs of no intimacy and said the longer it goes on the harder it will be to change. This is a big concern to me. Of course I’m seeking God on all of this. Just not hearing anything.
        I’m tired of all this. Frustrated. Angry. Sad.

        1. Bel,

          I don’t know of a way to do that without commenting on each post. But you can always just comment very briefly and then you will see all of the comments. ๐Ÿ™‚

          There is a process of learning respect and learning to walk in the power of the Spirit. Sometimes we often do make a lot of progress then stumble and fall. I know that sounds familiar to me.

          There is a sense in which all that we learn and the growth we have experienced will stay as long as we are plugged into Jesus and filled with His Spirit. If I were to begin to neglect my time with God and not allow Him to fill me up, I would be plenty capable of crashing and burning.

          But there are some things that seem to “stick” with me over time. And if I do fall, I can get up more quickly. Usually, also, over time, we tend not to fall as much or as far, as we continue to grow in Christ. If we can learn to let His Spirit have control, He truly can give us victory each day! Where we get in trouble is where we start to look at the circumstances, other people, our expectations, and our fears. If any of us do that at any point in this journey of sanctification, we will sink.

          When I see that I am beginning to feel fearful, disappointed, discouraged, worried, upset, etc… I know I need to examine my thoughts and invite God to help me take my thoughts captive for Christ right away.

          There is not always the same amount of struggling and wrestling over certain issues. I don’t struggle nearly as much now, 8 years later, as I did for the first 3+ years with how to respect my husband and how to honor his leadership usually. But there are new temptations and new things to stretch my faith and there are always new trials and refining fires to go through.

          To me the biggest key is to be willing to lay everything mentally and emotionally before God – all my fears and dreams – and to decide purposely to trust Him with them instead of trusting myself. That was REALLY scary at first. But now it is not as scary. Now that I know Him more. I know that trusting myself is the most scary thing. But there are always new areas of testing where I will be faced with laying other things down.

          What have you been reading in the Bible lately? What do you pray for?

          What are you doing with those fears? Are you willing to face them and to decide, “Lord, I will trust You completely even if this fear comes true and that fear comes true. I know You will be with me and I will be more than okay as long as Jesus is with me”?

          About holding things back, are there areas where you think God might get it wrong? Where you don’t really feel like you can trust Him?

          Is your psychologist a believer in Christ?

          It sounds like you haven’t relinquished all of your fears yet. Is that possible? Do you want to be able to trust God with all of your fears? Are you willing to lay them down and be content in Christ alone whether things go the way you want them to or not?

          Much love to you and the biggest hug!

          1. April.
            It’s very hard not to look at the circumstances when you live with rejection every day and are trying to work out what to do with your life and I don’t want to make a decision that could push him away further away.
            I have read the New Testament and often go back to bits I know relate to me. I’ve read proverbs and often go to the psalms. I recently tried Isaiah but just couldn’t get into it and it felt like when I finished each night there was no feeling of having benefited from it.
            My main prayers are for increased faith, trust. To get me through today. To guide all my thoughts words and actions. For the wounds of our past to be healed and fir my husband to see a new future for us. For forgiveness of my sins. For pure motives. For strenth and wisdom to fight Satan.
            As always. I want to be willing to trust God with everything. And I know how ridiculous it is that I find that so hard and scary and that to think I’m able to somehow do it myself is just stupid. I just still have the huge fear that my marriage won’t improve and wecwill separate. Even having God in my life and a future in heaven with Him and knowing even if it does end that God will be with me doesn’t take away the immense and overwhelming sadness and pain. (I ask for forgiveness for this too)
            It’s never a thought that God will get it wrong. That’s impossible.
            I realize I worry about what people will think and the gossip that is sure to happen if we separate too. Especially as we are Christian He has friends who, in the past when things were at their worst with my anxieties and control, that his male friends have commented to each other (and it got back to be through one of the wives) that if I just “loosen the noose”, and things like that. It really hurts and embarrasses me. And I know if it ends they will all blame me and say I had it coming. I hate to think of being the fodder for gossip.
            I’m not sure if our psychologist is Christian or not. But she respects that we are and often tries to think of places in the bible to back up what she’s saying or things that will mean something to me. So she at the least seems to have some knowledge.
            No I haven’t laid down all my fears yet. You’re right. I’m working on it. Praying for help. I just don’t want to hear that my marriage won’t be restored. I don’t want a future of split visits with kids and grandkids. Yes obviously I want my will and that’s sinful. I want that to change. I just can’t do it but it’s not for lack of trying. I just can’t belive or fathom that it’s not Gods will for our marriage to heal. The other option is what Satan wants. SURELY God doesn’t want that and can fight this for us. That’s what I don’t get. This pain is excruciating. To wake up every day with this very real physical pain is too hard and I’d rather go to heaven now. there are days I can’t hide the pain and tears. And I only do volunteer work one day a week and ive turned up there on that one day in a mess too many times so I’ve had to tell the person I work with what’s going on because all she could do was hug me and ask questions. So how on earth do I get a job for more days a week and get through that? I hate this life even though I’m so blessed in so many ways.

          2. Bel,

            I believe I know what is keeping you stuck. If you are interested in hearing what I believe will have to be your next step that will set you free in so many ways, I would be glad to share it. It will be painful at first. But more than worth it!

            Much love!

          3. April of course I want to hear it but I’ve told you all this before and I think you are about to tell me the same thing you’ve already told me about absolute surrender to God in all my hopes and dreams and trusting Him with the outcome of everything. I can’t seem to do it right. I’m still scared of whats gonna happen. Losing my marriage. Even if that is Gods will for me I don’t want to face that even though I know God will be with me. Huge sin I know. I didn’t get harried and have a. Family to gave it all fall apart. I said my vows and I meant them then and still do now. I just can’t seem to jump this fear hurdle.

          4. Bel,

            Are you at the point yet where you want to want to do this and move forward with God?

            God calls us to leave everything on the altar. Even our most precious dreams. Even good things. I am sure you know the story of Issac.

            When you are ready to want to be able to do this, let me know. ๐Ÿ™‚

          5. Bel,

            I apologize, I can’t remember if you have read the post about identifying the lies we have embraced? Do you recall which ones were issues for you?

            Much love!! And a huge hug. ๐Ÿ™‚

          6. April of course I want to to this. I’ve been trying to make it clear that I know this is what I need and I do want it to happen.
            I will have to read that post again on the lies we belive. . It’s been a while. I will try do that today as well as the other one you just recommended.
            It’s frustrating as I KNOW God is trustworthy. I know and believe all His promises. That’s why I’m frustrated and am throwing my hands up in the air. I admit I don’t want to hear that my marriage is over.

          7. Bel,

            I don’t believe God is saying you have to accept that your marriage will never be healed. But what I do think you will have to be able to do is lay it all down and entrust it all to God however it works out. It is HARD at first. And terrifying. At first. But eventually, you will see that it was no sacrifice, and that God had much greater treasures to give you than you could have imagined. It is difficult to see that from your end. But I wish you could see the view on the other side of that absolute surrender. It is beautiful!

            Yes, it does have to be sincere. You are right. I think as you focus on God and who He is and you address any lies you may believe about Him, yourself, and others, you will be able to get to the point that you can really trust Him.

            I am praying for you!

          8. PS, Bel,

            There is always a struggle between what we know about God in our minds and what we really believe in our hearts at the beginning of this journey, and at other points sometimes, too. Wrestle with it. Face it head on. Dig deeply into what is going on. It is unpleasant and uncomfortable, but it will be less painful to deal with it and dig deeply into it now than to continue to let wrong thinking fester and infect and destroy you.

            Much love!

          9. Seeing the link regarding taking thoughts captive was very timely, as my stinkin’ thinkin’ was rearing its ugly head today. I love the question: “Is this from God?” Asking that will quench thoughts that come in that are from the enemy. I also needed the reminder that those thoughts need to be redirected, replaced, and renewed. As you also said: “I don’t have to be a slave to my feelings.

    2. Hi Bel,

      I have been offline for a bit, I took a few days off with the kids and went down to a friends beach shack with a group from church. Spent the last few days catching and eating crayfish, abelone and snapper and lazing around getting beautifully sunburnt ๐Ÿ™‚ It has been good for us all (apart from the sunburn!)

      Up’s and down’s are so normal I think, they are a part of the journey towards freedom and peace. John the Baptist, after being called one of the greatest born of men and after baptising Jesus, went through a time of fear and doubt when imprisoned and sent a message to Jesus asking him if He was the messiah. Peter, after seeing all of the miracles Jesus performed, denied he knew Him out of fear. Surrender, faith, forgiveness, respect, love and all aspects of walking with Christ are a journey, not a destination. For me, when I used to see life as a destination of perfection I felt flat about not being ‘at’ the destination. But, perfection is an unrealistic goal and there is always someone who is further along the journey than I am, who is more patient, kinder, struggles less than I do. There are still many things that I am learning and practising and growing into, the truth is that it is a daily journey, but there are BIG moments of realisation, freedom and truth that kickstart new ways of thinking and living.

      If you truly know and believe that God has good intent towards you, is there any need for fear? For me, the fear seems to come when I worry that the plan for my life is not the plan that I want. God’s plan may well be for me to remain single and minister to people as a single man. I would love to have a reconciliation and renewed love and intimacy with my wife, but if it doesn’t happen then I am ok with that, a marriage relationship doesn’t define me. I used to feel fear over ‘what if’s’, now I know that those what if’s may well actually happen (and some of them have) but I know that God is enough to strengthen me to overcome those what if’s and to move forward in faith and peace. Doesn’t mean I don’t feel the pain, loss or betrayal, but I can feel them and move forward.

      I feel your psychologist is right, fear is holding you back, but I think she is wrong that a person can not come back after two years of no intimacy. Just because she hasn’t personally seen it doesn’t mean it can’t happen, BUT if your security depends on that happening, what if it doesn’t?

      If we look at the circumstances of our life as being what life will always be like then yes, we definitely can feel more fear. The trials I face daily are far, far greater than what I write on this blog, however, in these circumstances are so many treasures to be found and the refining, patience and faith that can be developed under hard situations simply cannot be found under a ‘normal’ happy life. I honestly, genuinely can not see a future with my wife under current circumstances, it would literally take a miracle for us to move forward in a marriage relationship, the mountains between us are ginormous and becoming bigger every day, and they are mountains that she has no desire to want to move. But I would say that the trials I am going through have made and are making me someone I always wanted to be but was too lazy and proud to be. I needed these things to have the wake up call to really thrash through who I am, who Christ is and where true freedom and peace is found. You could say that it was an act of mercy to open my eyes ๐Ÿ™‚

      Can I please say, there is absolutely NO need to ask for forgiveness for sadness or pain!!! It is entirely natural and expected to feel sadness and pain when your relationships are breaking down. Remember, Jesus wept with those who lost their family.

      But, what are you going to do with your life from here? I have the same questions. I am a couple of months away from our divorce and our house is being listed for sale in the next couple of weeks. I have essentially lost everything material that I have worked for over the last few decades, lost my wife and so forth. Where to from here? Fear? Nope. I love the scripture in Isaiah that says “Trust in the Lord and do good”. That is my plan. I will rely wholly on Christ, make plans for the future to build financial stability for my kids, look for a new small home and likely a new job, but even if those plans come to nothing then I am ok with that also.

      I suspect Bel, that you do not really believe that you will be ok without your husband, and that is keeping you trapped and possibly causing behaviour that is repelling him. I suspect that even though you say you believe God has your best interests at heart you may not necessarily believe it in your heart. I don’t say that to be cruel, but I know from my own experiences that when I truly believed that my fear went.

      I will be praying for you today Bel. HH

      1. HH
        Thank you for your comment and thoughts. I really appreciate it. This down I’m having now is lasting longer than previous ones. We just had a family holiday too and I actually wanted to go home most of the time as I just wanted to cuddle up on the couch and enjoy the beautiful place we were at and enjoy our kids because I love him but instead it was just painful and sad. A dream I have to let go of….
        In a way I can’t describe, I’m feeling like something has to happen. I have to do something, change something. I keep getting the feeling I need to get a job. Nearly 20 yrs of being a stay at home mother and I’m almost physically sick thinking of getting a job. I dint know where to start. What to do. Afraid of failure or being made to look or feel stupid. I have a bad history I won’t get into but it’s hard.

        Also feeling like I nay need to speak up again. I’m Flying under the radar with my husband so as not to rock the boat and push him away further but I’m starting to feel different about keeping quiet. I just avoid talking about us to him for fear of hearing him say he still feels the same way. Regrets marrying me etc. if I don’t hear the words again it’s like I can hope or pretend that maybe he is feeling differently now. I know this all is bad. Shows no faith In God. I feel the same as you said about the plan for my life not the one I want.

        The 2 yrs of no intimacy is most likely going to turn into a lot longer yet. The psychologist said the longer it goes on the harder it will get to go back again. I know I would survive and be fine but it’s the thought of going through life never having that close connection again. It’s so sad. But I know there are way sadder things in life.
        It helps to see it as a journey instead of a destination. I really do try to focus on the end goal of heaven when none of this will matter. I know my relationship with God has to be my number one desire and focus.

        I’m really thinking of your feeling that I don’t really trust God. I know that you don’t mean to be cruel at all. I didn’t see it that way at all. I do know I’ll be ok though I promise. I just know it will be so very painful. I know God only has good in Him. God is love. I wish I knew if any of my behaviour was repelling him more. Do you have examples? I don’t smother, try to control, question him too much. I give him space. I slip up every now and then of course. But I don’t want to repel him any more than I have already.

        It’s possible though that I’m blind to something I’m doing. We’ve been together 25 yrs and only been with each other so I find that so special and rare. He’s always taken care of me and of everything so yes it is a very scary thought to not have him with me. Surely that’s normal.

        I’m all doom and gloom at the moment aren’t I. I keep wanting to get away on my own for a couple days but this is very hard to do.

        The psychologist also thinks I need to show him I would be ok on my own without him. I wouldn’t want to do this in a way that looks like manipulation but I do deep down feel that I need to be ok without him. Letting go. Trusting God. That’s my goal. I guess show him that I’m a big girl and have a life outside of him. Maybe he might even feel the noose around his neck loosen and feel safer to try again. But as I said, I want this to be real and honest and from pure motives and a true heart change. I so want to do this right. My way didn’t work. It ruined things. I want to do it Gods way but I just need to battle my fears.

        I’ve rattled on a bit sorry. Typing as I’m thinking.

        Thanks HH. I will pray for you also. And your little ones.
        Bel.

        1. Hi Bel,

          I’m not really qualified to offer examples of things that may be repelling in your situation, I don’t know you personally, I don’t know the daily dynamics in your relationship and I don’t think it is right for me to presume specifics, I just get a general sense of ‘fear and clinginess’ through what you write here that I feel may be a bit off putting. I hope that is not too harsh, it isn’t meant to be, I actually see the same sort of thing in me in the past which is maybe why I notice it now.

          It is something that may not come across to him, it may be something that just comes across through what you write here and that may just be because this is an outlet for you to write how you are feeling at the moment ๐Ÿ™‚

          HH

          1. Thanks HH. I don’t mind what ideas you convey here. I know it’s out of concern and a desire to help. I do write very openly and honestly here and I know that my husband has no idea of the extent of pain I feel each day. He knows I’d be hurting for sure, but I keep a lot of emotion from him. I actually had a situation with him today, and with my high emotions and struggle at the moment, I actually said a few things today that I’ve been holding back that he may not have liked. I’m a bit concerned about how things are going to play out now.
            Please pray for me. I’ve kept quiet for so long and now I may have stuffed up.
            I’ve been praying like LMS. For God to create beauty from the ashes.

          2. Bel,

            I agree with HH that because you are so filled with fear, you may be doing things that could repel your husband. When our motive is fear, we make destructive choices. The most freeing thing will be when you wrestle with this until you get to the point that you decide you can be content in Christ no matter if your husband stays or leaves. You can realize that God is still sovereign and He can still work in your husband’s life if he is not there. Right now, and I said something similar to HH last spring, you are being held hostage to your fear. If you are willing to do anything to try to get your husband to stay, no matter what the cost, that is not going to produce a healthy relationship. If he wants to leave and you respectfully let him leave and don’t freak out – that would do TONS more to encourage him that you are changing for real than any fear-driven speech or behavior ever could. Of course, you can’t do this in your own strength, and you will have to rework the way you are thinking in order to be able to do this by God’s power.

            It doesn’t mean that you are “giving up on the marriage” or that God won’t heal the marriage if you respect your husband’s desire to leave. It means you are respecting him and taking your hands off of his throat emotionally/spiritually, to honor whatever choices he feels he needs to make. It means you are choosing to honor his free will instead of trying to keep him on a leash.

            Greg explained to me how much he hated feeling like he was on a leash with me in this interview, I believe, and how when I stopped trying to control him, it allowed us to build our marriage on trust rather than my control and fear (which severely repelled him).

            The goal can’t be to keep your husband at all costs. That is idolatry of your husband, his staying, the marriage, and his approval.

            Jesus calls all of us to love Him MUCH, MUCH more than we love our families, spouses, and anything or anyone else on earth.

            โ€œAnyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. Matt. 10:37-39

            What Jesus is calling you to do is exactly what He calls all of us to do – lay down every single dream and fear and all of our plans before Him and decide to trust Him and His plans and His power and His Word rather than ourselves.

            It is scary – at first. It felt to me like I was jumping off of a huge spiritual cliff when I decided to trust God instead of myself. But after you do make this decision, and you begin to taste how good God is and how strong and sovereign and loving He is, you realize that trusting yourself is actually the super scary place to be and that all that you “sacrificed” to Him was really no sacrifice at all compared to what He will give you in return. This is the path to peace, joy, and real fulfillment in life.

            And, once you really begin to trust God and put your faith in Him, submitting yourself to Him as Lord – you begin to have the power of the Holy Spirit that you didn’t have before. You can actually start to have the intimacy and fellowship with God you haven’t had. The Word becomes alive. Your heart begins to overflow with His Spirit and goodness and you realize that He is truly the Greatest Treasure in the universe and that if you have Him, you have everything that matters. And you realize that even if your husband wanted to stay and you had everything you thought you wanted in this world, that it would all be worthless without Jesus. Only He can truly satisfy.
            I am praying for you.

            Much love!

          3. For anyone who is struggling with idolizing a spouse and the fear, discouragement, and depression that come with idolatry, I have some posts that may be a blessing. Please search my home page for:

            – husband idol
            – fear
            – fully trusting God with my husband, laying down all my fears
            – oneness in marriage
            – closeness in marriage
            – giving space
            – a Fellow Wife (almost all of her posts are about how she had to learn to lay down her fear, her bitterness, and stop being enmeshed with her husband – and although it took quite awhile, she really did do this and is in a very healthy place in her marriage now!)
            – husbands need space
            – bitterness of soul, I want to be his first priority
            – I am going to stop pursuing my husband
            – from fear to great faith
            – when your husband says, “I’m Done”
            – a peaceful separated wife

            Much love to each of you!

          4. Bel,
            I remember a time where, out of my own fears, I had several restrictions on my husband. The breaking point came when he was telling me that he was asked by a woman to carry some things into a location that would cause them to be alone for a few minutes. He told her that he “wasn’t allowed to” (by me, as I told him I didn’t want him to ever be alone with a woman), causing her to give him the strangest look and then proceeded to do it by herself.

            Hearing that caused me to see that I was “strangling” my husband by my list of do’s and don’ts. It caused me to do some introspection. I chose to tell him “I release you. I release you from my restrictions. I am going to trust your discernment and judgment to know how to handle situations in a way that respects our marriage.” Just saying the word “release”, released me from the leash I had put upon him.

            It definitely improved our relationship, as he stopped fearing he was going to “do something wrong” in my eyes at any given moment.

          5. Bel,

            I am praying for you today. I was working on chapter one of my next book, The Peaceful Mom, where I talk about Who Is on the Throne of My Heart. I thought of you as I was working on this part…

            The Greatest Commandment, according to Jesus, is to โ€œLove the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mindโ€ (Matt. 22:37). If I love something or someone else with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength, I am putting that other thing or person in Godโ€™s rightful place in my life. The thing I want may be a good thing, it may even be a gift from God. But if I want it more than I want Jesus, I am dealing with an idol.

            Idols always destroy us. They are worthless to save us. They cannot meet the deepest needs of our heart. They are not God. Idolatry has been the downfall of Godโ€™s people throughout history. An idol is an addictionโ€”something I love so much more than anything else that I am willing to do anything to have itโ€”even things that grieve Godโ€™s heart. It is something I think I must have to be happy and fulfilled. I may even desperately think, โ€œI canโ€™t live without this!โ€

            When you are able, I hope you will let us know how you are doing and how we might pray for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

            Sending the biggest hug!

          6. April
            I can’t tell you how much it means to me to open my email and see a message for me, from you, telling me you are praying for me, not even in reply to a comment from me. Thank you. Like many others, I’m in such need of prayer right now.
            Yesterday was an extremely hard day. I couldn’t eat and only drank because I was dehydrated from crying. I spent most of the day in my bed, crying. I got out to get on my knees beside my bed to cry out to God. Not that doing that makes my prayer any more sincere but I just did. I texted my sister and asked her to call me in her work break. Just because I needed to hear her loving sisterly voice. She later sent me a message that quoted the verse from mark 11:24. So I tell you to ask for what you want in prayer. And if you believe that you have received those things, then they will be yours.
            Does it really work that way? I know there’s motives involved but surely mine are good motives. It says it in black and white. And we are told not to add or take away from Gods word. Of course, along with my prayers of begging God for His wisdom, ( which He says He will give if asked) for increased and unwavering faith, for an ability to completely surrender all my dreams and desires to His will only, for my motives to be pure and right, for for forgiviness of my sins and the sins I’m not aware of to be made clear to me, I also pray for my husband to wake up to the lies satan is feeding him and for restoration of our marriage. So if I pray all this and truly believe in my heart that God can/will do this, can I rest assured that it will happen? Maybe not when I want it to, but it will happen? That is certainly what that verse is telling people who read it isn’t it? I don’t believe for a second that it would be Gods will for my marriage to end. We said our vows till death do us part. God was there with us. I have to belive this will happen. God created the world out of nothing but His word. So I know He can do this. Matthew 19:26 says “with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible”.
            This all gives me comfort and hope.
            As others have said too, I wear my rings for God. I haven’t broken my wedding vows so I still want to wear them. there was a time where I didn’t like to put them on as it was too painful. I don’t even know if my husband wants me to wear them anymore, but I do because of my promise to God.
            So I’m praying on my idols. I struggle with the fact that just because I REALLY don’t want my marriage to end, that it is an idol. I can tell you that I know I would choose God over my marriage in a second if I had to. I know that this life is so short compared to eternity so God is WAY more important than my marriage. I know that if I have my marriage but don’t have God, that I really have nothing. I know that in my desperate needs and painful parts of life I look to God and know it is only He who can truly help me. I also know that everything good and beautiful in my life is a gift from Him. I know that no matter what good I do in my life I still don’t deserve Gods mercy and forgiviness and good gifts but that it is a free gift from Him. So I dont see that I have my marriage as more important than God. I’m desperately seeking Him and asking for Him to just help me. Change me. Help me to see clearly if I truly want my husband and marriage more than Him.
            It’s the reality of it all that is so hard. Until I’m in heaven with God, I still have to live on this earth and to think of going through the rest of my life without my husband by my side, experiencing new places, the joy of our house filled with our beautiful kids and grandkids as our parents have had, going on holiday together, just looks so flat and lonely without the one you love beside you to enjoy it. I know God will always be with me but this is still very sad and kind of daunting to think about. And I have to think about it because it’s a reality I may face.
            I don’t believe I would do “anything” to have this all. I don’t even think that I can’t live without this. I know I can live without it. It will just be extremely painful and sad. You have said that if he wants to leave its best to respectfully let him go without trying to make him stay. So I guess that’s what I’m thinking a lot about and trying to get to the place where I can do it. But I can’t help but still think that I Will be happier with my marriage than without it. Of course that’s true. Everyone you meet who is from a broken marriage, both the parents and the children, do have a deep sadness about them. I have adult friends who are still affected and sad about their parents divorce. Is it wrong of me to really not want that for my kids and myself? I don’t think so. I know it’s the balance of wanting something and wanting it too much. More than God. Idol. I need prayer on this I guess. It feels like you’re saying I need to give it all up and really not mind which way it goes. But I do mind. My kids mind. I so want to be an example of Christian marriage to my kids. I don’t want to leave a legacy of divorce to them. I feel it will show them that when it gets too hard it’s ok to give up. But that’s not true. It’s not ok.
            I would love prayer on this. And also for guidance on my next steps as far as a job. And mostly for my husband who I see living in so much darkness. He’s spending huge amounts of money on things he admits will hopefully make him happy. He needs God. These things will not make him happy. Like the alcohol. He’s unpredictable and giving me mixed messages. He tells me it’s over, but yet calls me in to see what I think about his next purchase and there’s a lot of “we” talk. If “we” buy this then “we” can do this. I want to say that I thought there was no “we”. Is that a risky step? Or do I just play along? I still have to live this life and make decisions. I just don’t know what to do.
            Thank you to all of you who have reached out to me.

          7. Bel,

            This is why the idols we have are so tricky, in my view. They are subtle. Sometimes they are good things, good gifts from God. But we do have to be sure we are not putting the gift above the Giver.

            The fact that you are THIS completely distraught tells me that you haven’t been willing to let this go to God. It is not that God wants your marriage to fail or that he wants your children to be from a broken home. He doesn’t! But you are clinging to this marriage in a way that is toxic, it seems to me. If you are willing to put God way above everything else, then you will be able to get to the place where you can say,

            “Lord,
            I know that You love marriage. I know that You want our marriage and family to be healthy. I also know that even more than that You want ALL of my heart and trust. I haven’t been giving you that. I have been living in fear. And I have been wanting You PLUS a healed marriage. I have been clinging to my marriage and husband in a way that is destroying it. I’m scared to lay it down. But I know that if I don’t trust You with all things, if I trust myself or I trust my marriage or husband rather than trusting You, I am holding idols in my heart. Help me to get to the place where I can mentally, spiritually, and emotionally lay down my husband, marriage, and family and trust You with them all. You will do what is best. But most of all, You want all of me.

            Help me to be able to let go of my dreams and fears and to look to You alone for my comfort, security, identity, and peace. I can’t fix my marriage. I am just making a mess. I pray that You will heal my marriage and draw my husband to Yourself. And I pray that You will give me the wisdom and strength to do this Your way and to patiently wait on You. Forgive me for clinging so tightly to other things. Help me to un-enmesh with my husband. Help me to be free in Christ to have Your healing and peace no matter what my husband may do. Make me a useful tool in Your hand to bless my family. Let me learn to go to You alone to be filled up and to have my deepest needs met. Then I won’t be a black hole of need, but You will pour Your life and healing through me into my family. Open my eyes to see any lies I have believed about You, others, marriage, and myself. Help me to face my fears. Help me to decide to trust You with them. I know that You called Abraham to be willing to sacrifice Isaac, even though he was your promise to Him. Help me also to be willing to be content in Christ alone and be willing to lay down every other good thing if You ask me to. And I know that You are asking me to do that now.
            Amen.”

            God does give us what we ask for WHEN we are completely abiding in Him and we are seeking His will far, far above our own. He always gives us His will. I can’t have selfish motives. Check out James 4:1-8 for more about that. If I am asking for things for my own selfish pleasure, I will not receive what I ask for. And there are other times God will not answer prayers, and that includes times that I am cherishing sin in my heart. If I am trying to use God as a means to an end to get what I REALLY want – my husband or marriage more than Him. That is not going to work.

            God has to be WAY, WAY more important than anything else in my life. This is your opportunity to show Him that you are willing to follow Him and make Him first no matter what happens with your husband. Once you are willing to release your fears and dreams and trust God to work things out for the best, you will be free. You will have peace. Then you will be able to approach the whole thing from a position of God’s strength and wisdom instead of sabotaging yourself.

            The goal is not “what will make me happiest.” The goal is, “What will bring God the most glory and what does He want to accomplish in my life through this trial? Am I willing to let Him spiritually prune me and refine me? Even if it hurts?” And then the next goal is your husband’s salvation. Are you willing to let him go if it means that he will find God? Because right now, he can’t hear God’s voice, he only hears your voice, is what it sounds like.

            I invite you to search my home page for:

            – happiness idol
            – my secret idol

            As you are willing to totally yield all control to God, then you will be able to hear His voice and His prompting about how to handle your husband in each of these specific situations. But if you will not trust God with everything and you cling to your fears and dreams and won’t put all of your faith in God, you will continue with this torment in your soul and you won’t be able to hear God’s voice and wisdom for you.

            Much love to you!

          8. Bel,

            I wish you could see what it is like on the other side of surrender to God! My precious sister, you would not hesitate half a second to do it! And I can promise you this – when you do decide to surrender completely to God and trust Him with all of this, you will kick yourself for not doing it sooner. You will NEVER regret totally surrendering everything in your life to God.

            As far as God’s will for believing spouses with an unbelieving spouse who wants to leave, I Corinthians 7 describes God’s counsel in such a situation. And He tells believers with an unbelieving spouse who wants to leave to let them go. Trying to force someone to stay will not make them want to stay. They need to be here because they want to be not because they are being coerced. Men, especially do not respond to pressure or to verbal pressure. They respond much more to respect and space.

            If you want to show your husband you are really changing, let him go and don’t freak out. Be totally content in Christ. He will be REALLY confused, and maybe, he will eventually want what he sees that you have. Right now, all he sees is that you claim to have Christ and are miserable all the time. Why would he want to sign up for that?

            But when you really do have Christ’s Spirit filling you, you will have His joy and peace because when you have Him, He is joy and peace! Then, your husband will see in you something that he would desire to have, too.

            Much love!

          9. One more note, my precious sister, Bel…

            To surrender all to God is not to say, “I hate my husband and marriage and don’t care if I ever have those things in my life again and I am throwing them in the trash.”

            To surrender all to God is to say, “God, I will give all of these things to You. I want Your way. I trust You to what is best and I will trust You no matter what happens. I lay these dreams and my husband, marriage, and children before You. I won’t cling to them because I can’t fix these things. I will cling to Jesus alone. And I will let You do what You know is best with these people that I love and my dream for a healthy marriage and family. Whatever it takes. Whatever it costs me. I only want Your will and I only want to obey You and honor You. You are my Lord. You are in charge. I am not in charge. You have all wisdom. I do not. I won’t lean on my own understanding anymore, but on You and Your Word. Change me. Make me the woman You desire me to be. Heal my own heart first.”

          10. Bel. You and I are soul sisters here. I have been, and still are where you are at right now in many ways. I can offer my stream of thinking to give “a” point of view, but ultimately, I think God is taking you through a process. Step by tiny step, towards growing up spiritually and to bring you to a place of letting go, trusting in Him, not giving up, but giving in…surrender.

            So here goes: First, it is perfectly normal to want to stay married, not want your children or yourself to go through a divorce, feel lonely when your husband rejects you. Those are not bad feelings, or wrong. That is normal, I want to just hug you through all of that. It’s so painful, you just want it to end. But when reality IS these things, it’s how you handle them that is what is most important.

            Some personal background on how I learned this lesson:

            I went through 3 divorces with my parents. I was angry at my mother for 30+ years because I blamed her for my parents getting a divorce because she had an affair. I never thought about the hurt feelings, lonliness, cries for help, missing her workaholic husband that eventually led to her making that bad choice. I thought she was weak, sub par, not good enough…and I treated her with contempt, bitterness and disdain for a long time because of it. My way of handling that dissappointment was not a good thing. In fact, it was detestable. Maybe natural, maybe understandable in the natural world, but handling her sin with my own sin is not of God’s design. I regret making my mother feal like a failure because she sinned. Shunning her, cutting her down and rejecting her. My dad sinned too, but I never acknowledged that. And you know what, I sinned too, in the process. Yes, I might have been 12, but I was also 20, 30, 40, as I continued to sin..when does my excuse end?

            Now, I am in the same situation my mother was facing. I can totally see why a neglected, unloved, not good enough-feeling wife may look to another man for what she was missing in her marriage. But, this time, I have God. I know how that scenario will end. I don’t want that for my kids. So I look to God to give me peace about the things I need to stop expecting to get from my husband. I want to end that destructive yoke. The fact is, my husband is NOT my best friend, my emotional comfortor, my sensitive “everything is going to be allright” guy. He is not my movie or concert buddy, my talk about God friend, or my compadre in the love of classical music and artsy stuff. I just realize now that he isn’t those things, and may never be. I wish he was. Iwish all of those things wete wrapped up in one nice package of my husband. But they are not. They ARE in God. But on earth, I wonder if that guy is out there and I “married the wrong guy”, but no, God gave him to me for a reason. Maybe to help him more than me, most likely, to help each other. God DID, however, give me a husband who makes me laugh, a hard worker, financial supporter, incredible father, someone who keeps a sharp eye out for danger, a man who understands that family is important, a man with the desire to do his best and strives for excellence, someone I am physically attracted to even after 20 years of marriage and a lower fitness level. Someone who keeps the child-like love of life in front of me. I need those things too.

            I have also been given many new friends that are supportive, spiritual and comforting. I have a new relationship with my mother that is filled with understanding and forgiveness. ..in which we are both finding new things in God together, I have people on this PW site that I can talk about spiritual stuff, learn and grow with. I have work friends that make me feel like part of a team, I have a few movie/concert friends that are parents of my kids’ friends.

            I don’t have a sexual partner. I miss that part. Maybe I never will again. Maybe my husband will change his mind. That physical closeness is a sore spot for me, but I refuse to dishonor God and my husband by sinning in that way. It may just be the thorn in my flesh. But God said “My grace is sufficient”. I guess that means to me that I have alot of good in my life, it doesn’t have to be perfect, I just need to be grateful and thankful for what God has given me.

            I have even begun to feel at peace about where my marriage is at. Do I like it? Not really, I still pray for things to improve, get better, grow, but this may be where it stays for a while. The fact is, I want a godly marriage that makes me feel fullfilled in every way, but if my, husband does not, then I can’t force him. I only want what he genuinely wants to give. I will never get all of that from one person…unless it is God. But I can get some.

            God feels that way about us. He only wants the obedience we genuinely want to give Him, simply because we love and honor God. God has given me a church that loves and accepts me, friends for companionship, children to pour out my love to, a husband to keep me accountable, parents to learn from, and Himself as my guide and shepherd in life. I’m no longer going to expect my husband to fill every life role, need and desire in my heart. That’s too much for any one person to bear. He is not my god. I want to please my husband…but I want to please God MORE.

            I also know I am not the end all and be all to my husband, either. I am probably not the fantastic cook, housecleaning he grew up with. I am not his best friwnd, although I want to be. I am not his favorite 4 wheeler buddy, his protรฉgรฉ, his most constant source of affirmation, his bar buddy, his friend who appreciates car racing and fixing shows. But I am a reliable partner, a wonderful mother, loyal, an excellent masseuse, emotionally sympathetic, tidy, and talented in things he is not.

            As God works within us all, we are all works in progress. Maybe in time I may grow into some of those roles I am not right now, and maybe my husband will grow into some roles for me too. I may also realize some of those things I can live without. The fact is, I love myself. I love who God has made me and I am done trying to please everyone in this world, and in the process lose who I really am. If my husband can acept ALL of me, just the way I am, then great. I am learning to accept ALL of him. But if he cannot, then that’s his choice…there is the door…good luck finding whatever you are looking for out there! That doesn’t mean I am not willing to be more considerate, put in effort to make accomodations, try, but, I need to understand my limitations, too. I cannot be the doting mother to the kids and also give 100% attention to him. Just like he cannot be the financial provider he thinks we need and stay home and give me all his attention to make me feel important. There needs to be balance.

            Bel, my point is that God knows your desires and your needs. But he has given us all free will. Just because you meant every word you said in your marriage vows, does not mean your husband did. If he is not giving you his love, attention, affection etc that you would like to receive, then he either cannot give it because it is not within him to give, or he has felt pressured to give it in the past and he doesn’t want to live that way anymore. It doesnt feel genuine to him, or willingly given. He will give what he genuinely wants to give and what he feels safe doing. As he sees you be appreciative of the level he CAN give, he may increase that, but it takes time, patience, faith and an open, loving and grateful attitude. It’s like being very cautious. He doesn’t want to give his pearls to the swine. (Not calling you swine, just saying he is unsure if you are worthy in his mind yet)

            I feel that God has put a dream in your heart that your marriage will survive. I feel that dream in mine too, it’s why I am still in this thing. But I had to know that even if it is not a dream in my husbands heart, that God will bring me to a better place than where my own dreams even take me. I had to know that I would be okay, not bitter, not wrecked, not eternally depressed and waste my life away in mourning if my husband leaves me. I would always feel sad when I think of it, but not LIVE in sadness forever OVER it. What we focus on, grows. And if we let it, that focus will become ALL we see, and we begin to miss out on all that is going on around us in life, and in the background.

            I could be wrong, but I just get the feeling that God wants to give you a gift, but you are carrying around a big basket of useless dead stuff. Until you put the dead things down, you will not be able to receive His living gift. I feel God wants to give you some good, female friends, a team to be part of and feel accepted by, a sense of self confidence so you can see the power in YOU to choose to live in deep waters, and not be buffeted around by the whims and wind of your husband and others. I see God trying to grow you up, spiritually and show you the wisdom of not trying to please people, but rather to please God. I see Him trying to show you a better, brighter path. But as long as you white knuckle the old stuff, you won’t ever know.

            Let’s face it, the marriage you had is dead. You are in mourning for it. It did not work. It is over. Technically you two are still married, but it is not a mutual love/respect/partnership. Not a spiritual marriage. It’s just enduring until something changes. What if God is asking you to give up the old marriage, for a new and better one…with this man? What if, by finding yourself, and growing, learning how to include others in your life for fullfillment, you become a better you, and your man falls in love with this “new you”? The marriage that you could create would be much more than you have now, but until you are willing to let this dead thing go, you will never have room in your heart for the something new God has planned for you.

            Wouldn’t you be full of regret if you looked back and said to yourself “Oh, THAT was what God had planned for me! I would’ve liked that wonderful marriage if only I knew what God was up to. Too bad I couldn’t let go of the past and trust God in that one. I really missed out on something great.” Faith, my dear, trust God, he has this.

            That is why God asks us to trust Him and give Him our precious things. Because He has something so much better in store for us…even here on earth. And they are the things that are real, meaningful and will last.

            Let’s face it. At any moment, our spouses could have a heart attack and die, get in an accident or leave us. Our children could get sick, gravely hurt or harden their hearts to us and leave. Our friends, family.. they are only here for a time. They are not forever. Money, fame, our house, acceptance of people…none of it lasts. In ecclesiastes, Solomon talks about how all the things of this earth are “like chasing the wind” if they are not done for God. Even wisdom, if not used to honor God is fruitless. Read it. It’s a whole book about a man trying to understand what life is really all about. Like a mid-life crisis.

            Your husband is going through a change. He is trying to find himself as well. I understand you miss the old him, your old marriage and life, but those things are not a forever thing. In fact, they are dead. We all change, the trick is to change with them. You are no longer the same person you used to be either. You have to re-learn each other. But I get it. We are always so inpatient. We want things fixed now, or yesterday. But the quick fix is not usually the “right” fix, and honestly, wouldn’t you rather have a “right” marriage than for it to be thrown back together and still be wrong? Be patient and let God put the pieces back correctly.

            It’s ok to mourn the death of your marriage for a time. It’s ok to miss that person, remember the good times. Actual death of your spouse would probably be easier to handle because he wouldn’t be right there living, breathing, talking, but, it’s a death nonetheless. Mourn it. Then pick yourself up and start living life again. See who you are, who he is. Understand who you are in God. Get your mojo back. Go into this world with your head held high knowing you are worthy, important, and accepted by the mightiest Lord, our Father God. Those who love you…lucky them. Those who reject you, their loss. Jesus would go many places. Not everyone accepted his teachings. He did not beg them, plead or chase them down. He wiped the dust off and let them choose their own way. Those that choose to beleive, will find eternal life. Those that don’t, will find death. Let people choose their own way.

            I pray that you can ask God to fill those empty places in you. His love is enough, but He knows you still need to live on this earth in this reality. Ask Him to send you godly friends who can give you connection, acceptance and love. People who you can trust with your emotions and those things you don’t get from your husband. Ask Him to give you strength to bear with the lack of intimacy. Ask God to put to death the sick, diseased marriage you once had and allow Him to heal that loss in you. Then pray for God to show you a new relationship. ..maybe even with this man you have known intimately for so long. Ask Him to teach you how to be a godly wife and how to love yourself as God loves you. How to stop worrying about what people say about you, but rather, to care about what God says about you. In this way, I pray these things for you, my sweet sister. I pray you find peace in God for putting the past away and embrace today and the future with excitement and anticipation for all the good things God has in store for you.

            Blessings, hugs and peace to you today.

          11. Hi Bel,

            The quote posted above from Watchman Nee and a few things I was praying about tonight prompted some thoughts I felt led to share.

            The emptiness that Watchman Nee describes, have you ever felt that? I have. I probably became aware of it as a young teenager. I can remember as a teenager sometimes being a bit overwhelmed by it and just crying at the feeling, without really understanding why. I remember cranking up a song called Americana by The Offspring to try and drown it out (don’t bother listening to that song BTW, there is nothing good about it, it is empty and angry).

            As I grew older, I thought that emptiness may be because I wasn’t married, but the truth is when I got married my marriage didn’t fill that emptiness anyway and I was SO upset when I realised it didn’t. Then, I tried to fill it with sooo many things over the course of the years but they all didn’t work. I didn’t try to fill it with things like drugs, booze, promiscuous sex, etc… because I saw the problems that pursuing them brought to my friends, but I tried to fill that emptiness with what I saw as ‘good’ fun activities like modifying cars, racing cars, motorbikes, 4WDing, rock climbing, gym, swimming, fishing, etc.

            I was probably a bit of an adrenaline junkie, ever launched a highly tuned car sideways out of a corner in third gear, bouncing off the redline? Hit 300km/h on a motorbike? Quite a buzz! I was always looking for my next ‘fix’ but never losing that emptiness. The anticipation of having that emptiness filled kept me going for the next thing, but no matter how high I jacked up my 4WD, no matter how big a turbo I bolted onto my RB25, no matter how many times I saw 300km/h on the speedo, I was still looking for the next hit.

            But now, I am not empty. I am full. Despite circumstances being the way they are, I don’t have that emptiness anymore, because I have all of Christ in me, and exploring that is glorious! It is fulfilling. It is life.

            I am wondering, is that emptiness in you to? Are you trying to fill up something designed to be filled with Christ with your husband instead? I wonder if because you are perhaps trying to have your husband meet all of your needs and are maybe fearful that he can’t, that is what is repelling him. Not necessarily specific actions, but that deep rooted fear. Even if you changed your actions, if they were still coming from a base of fear I reckon he would still see that.

            HH

          12. HH,
            Thank you for this. I appreciate your sharing your story so much with our dear sister, Bel.

            The ironic thing about idolatry, whatever we try to use to fill up that emptiness (that God-sized hole) in our souls, it always destroys us. And when we idolize relationships, we destroy the relationships. That is what I did.

            It seems so counterintuitive to give up the things we want most, but there is so much freedom in it. And, as we are willing to give up control and trust God fully, He steers everything in a healthy direction in our lives. We no longer sabotage ourselves and our relationships. We are no longer needy and clingy and afraid. We are overflowing with love, power, security, and a sound mind. We have something to give to our relationships instead of just taking and being a gaping black hole of need.

            Here is something I prayed for myself today – and realized – this may be helpful for others as you are seeking to figure out how to surrender to God:

            Lord,

            I give all of myself to You as freely as I know how. I yield my plans, my dreams, and any fears to You (I like to list each one). I don’t know Your will for me in the future. But what I do know is that I want all of Your will and nothing apart from Your perfect will for my life. Whatever will bring You the most glory in my life – I am completely open to receiving all of it. Even if it is painful. Even if it is not glamorous.

            I don’t seek for myself a long life, riches, luxury, beauty, fame, power, popularity, the approval of people, romance, the perfect worldly definition of marriage/family. I seek You. I know You are the only Treasure there really is. You are worthy of every sacrifice and all of my obedience. Cleanse me of every sin. Purify me of every wrong thought and motive. Prune and refine me.

            I receive Your Word that You rejoice over me with singing. I receive all of Your love for me. I gladly lay down every earthly thing and all of my life, my health, my family, and my future to seek Your plans, not mine. I know Your plans are good. I want Your kingdom to be greatly exalted in me. I want my life to be very fruitful for You. I want whatever You most desire in my life. Change my heart and mind to match Yours. Help me to rest in Your love, sovereignty, and provision.

            I gladly lay down my life to receive the Life You have for me. Empower me to be faithful and obedient to You no matter what the cost. Help me to keep my eyes on You and on eternal things that really matter.

            Amen!

          13. HH, Bel, Cic, April…and others I may have missed. HH, your post about that “emptiness” mirrors exactly what I have come to realize this last few days. Although to look at my life, I should be drowning in misery, I don’t feel that. I, too felt that emptiness as a child. Kind of “numbed out” by life and wondering what will make me feel whole. I dove into perfection to try to fill it. I had astounding grades, became a billiards shark in college, perfected my hobbies and poems and short story writing (in my mind). I had the sole goal of being a perfect wife to my husband. A perfect mother to my kids. Even when I crushed it, home run, I still never felt that empty hole fill. I was on to the next challenge. So, even though I, too, didn’t use booze, drugs, promiscuity to fill that, I still tried to fill it with the wrong thing.

            I have realized this past few days that even if my husband never changes, and I never feel loved by him the way I think I should, or always hoped I would, I can be okay with that. I have other people in my life that fill that emptiness. God is my main source, but He sends me connection about spiritual things with my PW friends, I go to church to be “recharged” by a family in Christ all understanding that God is first, i am accepted, loved, enough, by my friends, my family, even through my husband. With hhim, i may get financial security, someone who is handy, loyal and a great father to our kids…I still need those things too. He may learn to love me again romantically, but maybe not. I can still appreciate and be thankful for the things he offers to my life. I would loved for my husband to be my best friend, my shopping buddy, the person I can trust with my crazy, cognitive thoughts, my silly friend, my serious friend, my count-on-for-anything friend. But I am fortunate to understand we are all meant to live together, not in solitude. In that way, we are to help fill each other up with our talents. Maybe my husband isn’t the romantic type or the be silly in public type, but he is a hard worker and sacrifices his time to provide for our family. I can get silly in public with my sister in law or friend. I, in turn may not be able to give my husband the completely understanding wife he would like, or the think just like him woman he wishes for, but he has a loyal, loving, good mother for his kids and a partner willing to help when he needs it. Is that love? I don’t know, but it can be if gratefulness to God is given for what we are given from Him. We need lots of people in our lives, not just one (other than God). It would be too much to expect of one person. So, I choose to give my husband a break and accept him for who he is. Even if he decides to no longer be my husband, i can be thankful for his fathership to the kids, and hopefully a friend in life to me. Only God can help me with this, though, so that I can let go of those over inflated expectations of the people in my life. I praise God for releasing me from that endless search for the perfect person, I had Him all along in my creator. Love to you all.

          14. LMSdaily115,

            Thank you for sharing. I was surprised to hear about that you were a billiards shark in college. Wow! ๐Ÿ™‚ That made me smile. It is so true that none of the things we try to fill up that emptiness with from this world can ever fill the void in our souls. Only Jesus can do that.

            I pray that God will continue to work in your husband’s life, to bring him to Christ, to heal his wounds, and to heal your marriage and family. But I love the way you are able, I know it is through God’s power, to be thankful and to see the good in the midst of things even now.

            Praying for God’s continued good work to be completed in your life and in your family’s life and for each of us here, dear sister!

        2. Bel,

          I am proof of intimacy after 20 months of no intimacy. I went back to work after being a stay at home mom and caregiver. I understand your fear. Please know all things are possible with our miraculous gracious forgiving kind Father. God is working each day in our lives. We renewed our vows December 14, 2016.

          Much Love and Prayer!

          1. Hi Vicki
            Thank you very much for this encouragement. Congratulations on your renewed vows. That is such a special blessing. I know what God is capable of and that is so comforting. It’s just hard when I can’t see any improvement, just the opposite in fact. I love to hear positive stories though. It keeps me in hope. Thank you.

  34. Also is there a way to get the comments emailed without actually being subscribed to each particular post?

    1. Bel,

      If you leave a comment, I believe you have the option of asking to receive other comments on a particular post. Do you mean that you want to receive all comments on all posts without having commented on them?

  35. Some general thoughts from a dear sister in Christ – how I long for us ALL to live like this! I appreciate her allowing me to share. I shared this on my FB and wanted to share with y’all too!
    ———-
    Hebrews 11:33- 38 ( Look at this small list of the types of things people have done through faith in God and His promises!! ) ” … who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreatedโ€” of whom the world was not worthyโ€”wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.”

    Not only did they let God bring His kingdom and will into the world through them at any cost – they had Him and His presence in every situation – so that they were more than conquerors no matter what the enemy or the world threw at them. And if the worse happened and they died for Him – He always brought that much more blessing and power and way more people to salvation through it.

    What if we knew that through faith we could obtain God’s promises, be made strong out of weakness, become mighty in Christ for our spiritual battles, stop the mouth of the enemy lion, conquer kingdoms – speak Jesus’ life and power and breath and hope and love into darkness. How different our days would be!!
    And the Church in the West is beginning to rise up to do this in our time!

    Thank You, Jesus that You love for Your people to trust You, to align with Your work and Your will – and to declare Your will and Your promises in faith – and that You move mightily when we do!

  36. Hi April!

    I only read half of the responses, so forgive me if this is redundant, but I would love to see more posts targeted to women who have godly men but have trouble following them.

    My husband is certainly set apart. When I prayed to the Father to help me to learn to be kind, He literally imparted to me that He has already given me an example: my husband. I guess I just need encouragement.

    My husband seeks the Most High’s direction on everything he does (he spent five minutes in the grocery store listening for the Father to give him an answer as to whether we should get a can of coconut milk). Although I know this type of faith is awesome, I sometimes find myself rolling my eyes.

    I guess I need a post on allowing our husbands to be good examples for us and, in biblical order, allowing the Father to speak to us through our husbands. I’m not saying the He won’t speak to us directly too. I just find myself looking elsewhere for advice and examples instead of the wonderful man I’ve been blessed with.

    I just want to thank you for your ministry. I’ve been following you for at least four years, and you have been a blessing to me. Especially when you tell it straight and call out sin.

  37. Bel. My sweet sister. It is so very normal to have these ups and downs. I, too have reached the 2 year mark and I dream of running away many times. I used to be repulsed at the women who just up and left their familes, moved across the country and pretended their old life never happened. It would disgust me, but I feel myself now understanding these women. Although I feel the temptation, I know it is not my destiny, not what God wants and is a tactic of satan. Running away won’t solve my problems, but I can see the attractiveness of it.

    I do think your fears, as mine were, that we will be nothing if we are not married. I thought my life was over at that thought. However, while on a walk in the neighborhood, one day, I saw for sale signs at many cute little hones and i began to think of what it would be like to have a little house of my own if our marriage doesn’t make it. What it could be like…the positives of it. Yes, I knew there would be struggles, probably financial, not having the kids with me all the time, etc, but I tried to focus on the positives of it, the freedom to be myself, to live in peace, loving God.

    Now, I never acted on that “dream”….yet….but physically, emotionally, and spiritually, I realized that there would be life after a divorce. That God’s plan for us does not end if we are not married, we lose a loved one, we experience a loss of a job or get sick. God’s plan is so much bigger than those things that are not forever. Those are mountains to us, but pebbles to what God can do in our life. I began to feel empowered and not as dependant on my husband for all my needs. I already was realizing I couldn’t count on him to love me, or approve of me the way I felt I needed…all that rejection was still very raw and sore, I still have days where I struggle with it. But feeling like life will end…like you will die if your marriage ends, is a lie. Straight out, a lie. We may not know what it will be like, but that’s where we need to trust God and accept the adventure in front of us. Deal with the day to day, not what is next week, next month or next year type of “what ifs?”. That is the scary thing. But life does not work like a “if this…then that” plan. There are unforseen things, changes, struggles and suprises. None of which are too big for God, but as humans, we like the security of “knowing” so we can plan ahead, be sure of ourselves, and feel like we are secure and safe and in agreement with life.

    I laugh at women who try to plan the birth of their children to coordinate with holidays, time off, or to have a special birthday or season to be born in, etc. How absurd. God is in control of that, not us. Those are the people that will struggle to even have kids, or will go into premature labor, or have twins or some other “unplanable” dissappointment to them. Rather than being thankful for the gift of simply having children, they try to take the control from God. Sometimes it works…if God allows it, but He sees the ‘idol’ in it and teaches us differently, but if it doesn’t work out, think of what part of the big picture they are missing…the simple gift…because they are all worried over the wrapping paper, bows and how the gift was handed over…

    Your life, and the chance to live it, IS the gift. What you do with this opportunity and how you handle the “unplannables” is the real journey. Yes, of course a divorce, heartache, rejection from the one person you love the most or the idea of being ridiculed at work is not in YOUR plan, but you are not the only one who influences your plan. God does. That is why He wants you to trust in Him. He is your compass in life. Think of the victories you may be being set up for in life. You COULD get a job, learn to love it, make some close friends, and even find yourself successful in it. Then you start to feel confidence that you can be ok, “even if” your husband divorces you, dies, gets sick or leaves, even if you are not able to live out plan ‘A’, you know you can rely on God, and yourself to make the best with what you have. That’s kind of it, isn’t it…plan A isn’t looking like it’s working out, and you might not have plan B, C, or D set up yet? Scary, because, plan A was the best scenario in our minds, and God says He wants the best for us….but OUR best, just might not be GOD’S best, so we need to defer to GOD’S best, not our own. His will, not ours. That’s how we trust God’s will over ours. It’s ok to plan, have a direction, but without God we may be heading off the cliff. Only God knows what’s up ahead. He may be taking us on a curvy path to avoid something we never thought of, and thus, saving us from bigger problems. But we complain and grumble thinking the shortest path is the best, when God may know there is danger on that short path and His will is to kerp us from that danger.

    I see God nudging you gently to help you overcome your fears. To learn your value and importance to Him and to yourself. A job? I think would be great. It could help you take your focus off your marriage issues, off of relying on your husband for every need physically, emotionally and spiritually. You may be able to find ways to have your need for relationship filled with other people too. Know, though, that God is the only one who can be all to you, but I have come to realize that I very much value my friendship with other females for commraderie, my friendships with you, HH, April, CiC and many others on this website for their insight, support and help with deep issues I cannot talk to my husband about. I value my work relationships to feel like part of a team doing good and being of service to others. It gets me out in the world so I can be part of it, not in isolation. We are meant to be a BODY of Christ, not single, unattached pieces. I do my best work for God sometimes with strangers, or at work, not when I’m sitting in pity city moaning over my own life. It gives me a break from myself. It helps me breathe. You have been a daughter, a wife, a mother for so long. When do you discover YOU? As God made you, apart from all those other attatchments? It’s high time you allow God to help you discover yourself.

    I think as you start growing in confidence in yourself, a kind of beauty and light would start to emerge. It is attractive and full of joy and peace. You won’t feel like a victim, trapped in a jail cell, out of control. You will feel more sure-footed, able to have plans b-c-D if things go awry. You will learn that God is guiding you to a healthier place. Not dependant on any human to give you everything you need. You will realize that God has so much more for you in this life than to be living for “marriage, motherhood or material things”.

    I have a good set of about 8 friends. Each fills something different in me. I used to think my husband needed to do all of those things. 1 likes to shop with me, 1 is a spiritual friend, 1 has kids the same age as mine so we do things together that way, 1 struggles is a bit needy, but she helps bring out my giving side, and she is willing to listen to me in return. Sometimes we start putting the pressure on our husbands to be all of those roles for us…it overwhelmed them. Our husbands need to feel like we can stand on our own 2 feet, that we are not their child to nurture, console, and subdue the drama in our fears. Our best friend, shopper buddy, extra parent to do kid things with, spiritual listener, problem solver. That can be overwhelming. We need to learn to “grow up and put our “big girl pants on” sometimes. Our problems are OUR problems, not everyone elses, but God is right there next to us helping, guiding, being the perfect, loving father we can trust.He alone never leaves us or gets overwhelmed.

    I think, Bel, much of your fear would start to dissipate as you let go of the path you think your life SHOULD take, and embrace the path that God wants you to take. The unknown can be scary, but as you realize that nothing can stop you and God together, the adventure becomes full of joy.

    You don’t have to give up the idea of a restored marriage, just don’t hold onto it like your last breath. Staying open to reconciliation is very different from shutting the lid and hardening your heart to the possibiliry. But in the mean time, don’t waste your life away waiting for something that may or may not ever happen. Start living life as God asks you to. Be kind, caring, loving and live to make God proud, not people.

    Sorry for the long response. I’m praying for you, Bel, and all the hurting souls here.

    Much love.

    1. Such beautifully articulated and meaningful contributions in this thread. I’m fairly new to Aprils blog but I have really benefited in reading the varied life experiences that people are sharing. God is certainly at work in the ebb and flow of all of our lives. I appreciate the candid discussion.

      I’ve personally been married for 28 years to an Irishman who has hardly an interest in my life whatsoever. lol I’ve traveled mostly alone, matured mostly alone and came to faith alone: but I appreciate that my life was definitely customized to maximize my sanctification. My husband is a virtuous man and a stable force of connection however not a source of romance nor deep companionship. We were quite far apart in development and interest for many years so our worldview and focus were quite different . He’s always been a calm and even tempered rather unemotional intellectual and I was more of spirited adventurous romantic. He resides in the world of naturalism, and I in the supernatural.

      We are now both 52 years old and we have a very peaceful and well working marriage. It’s not a fairytale marriage, by any means, but it is a marriage of mutual appreciation and it does allow a lot of room for authenticity and growth and for God and i’m grateful for that. I believe that if I had had a very limerent marriage that I would have been enormously prone to idolatry so I’m blessed with my Heavenly fathers choice for me.

      But because of the type of marriage I have had, and the fact that we don’t have children, I am now fully prepared to live alone should I loose my husband in some untimely way. I was also very alone in my childhood and solitude has taught me many lessons. I can honestly say that it’s a place of enormous fullness to have ones focus be almost entirely dedicated to the Lord because we truly do learn that he is the source of all.

      It’s a priceless privilege to envision my aging future as fully satisfying future with God now. My worries are gone and I am free from the bondage of emotional and mental strongholds and I’m moving into greater and greater apprehension of God daily. And I know that when my last breath comes that I will not taste death nor face uncertainty.

      So I share this as a testimony to be comforted if you are struggling with potential loss or loneliness that it really is all going to work our for good. And also to share that the nature of marriage can be very different depending on what the Lord wills . My husband and I were taking a long walk upstate in a wooded park this past summer when an husband and wife bout twenty years older than us passed us by holding hands. I asked how long they had been married and they responded “60 years”……and then they continued walking in front of us. When they got about thirty feet ahead the man turned around to us and said to us smiling…. ” And twenty of them were even happy”.
      haha I bet he wasn’t kidding at all.

      “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”-Psalm 30:5

      1. Lisa,

        This is beautiful and powerful. Thank you so much for sharing! Greg is very introverted, so I have learned a lot of the same lessons you have been learning. And I also agree that if Greg were different, I would also be quite prone to idolatry. Isolation is often a tool of God to get us off to Himself where we can really hear Him and be still long enough to listen.

        I love how your confidence is in Christ and how you love and appreciate your husband and accept him for who he is and don’t try to change him. I love that you know your needs and that you are focusing on Jesus and grown spiritually even if your husband is not at the same place. I love how you go to God for your deepest spiritual needs to be met only in Him. I love the way you can envision your future with joy knowing that God will be there and that you don’t have to worry. That is beautiful.

        Thank you so much for sharing with our dear sisters!

        Much love,
        April

        1. You’re very kind April but I certainly did my share of attempting to change my husband and mold him to my desires back in the day. I spent most of my life as a carnal woman so I’ve fully engaged in all variations of the naughty. But thank you for your kind remarks. The Holy Spirit is the miracle worker . I am just a person who was fortunate enough to receive him.

    2. Thank you so much, LMSdaily and HH, for sharing with Bel.

      Check out something by Watchman Nee that I read yesterday:

      The first step in the operations of the Holy Spirit upon us is to create in us a longing that causes us to be dissatisfied with our current situation or life. Why is this? Because the Holy Spirit must start with the work of emptying before He can move on to the work of filling.

      1. Hah, that’s a fluke…I took one book away with me this last week, Watchman Nee’s book the Normal Christian Life and I am currently up to the chapter on the work of the Holy Spirit. Randomness. HH

          1. Hi April

            The Holy Spirit is such a big topic that I only have very limited thoughts on it, but they are exciting to me.

            Probably at the moment the thing that is impacting me is the difference between outpourings of the Holy Spirit and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, particularly related to the Corinthian church who were eagerly pursuing the ‘gifts’ of the Spirit (such as tongues and healings) but were rebuked for living lives that did not reflect the fact that they were a temple of the Lord. It is interesting to see that Paul encouraged them to still pursue and enjoy the gifts and the outpouring of the Spirit but reminded them not to neglect the daily presence and life lived by the power of the Holy Spirit. In 1st Peter the Apostle Peter wrote to those in Christ as “Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the Gentiles that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us”.

            It is interesting to see this played out in my own community. Some individuals/churches are eagerly pursuing speaking in tongues, healings and other ‘miraculous’ outpourings but saying things like “Oh we’re under grace now, not the law” and overlooking quite serious sins and behaviour from their congregation. The word sin is almost never mentioned in these churches but the Holy Spirit is mentioned every few seconds. Other individuals/churches are focused so heavily on the apparent indwelling of the Spirit and living lives ‘by the book’ but denying the reality and outpouring of the Holy Spirit as a present day experience. Sin is often mentioned in these churches but the Holy Spirit is mentioned as someone we ‘received when we accepted Christ’ and then barely mentioned again. One group accuses the other of ‘legalism’ and that group in turn accuses the first of being ‘antinomian’. I see almost a flippancy about sin in some groups and then almost a denial about the power of the Holy Spirit in others.

            It would seem to me that both the outpouring and the indwelling are important parts of the Christian’s experience of the Holy Spirit. These things are impacting me at the moment and I am thinking through their experience and application in my own life ๐Ÿ™‚ I have personally experienced a physical healing whilst praying about it that I cannot ascribe to anything other than the work of the Holy Spirit, I literally felt things in my body moving and reconnecting and I have not experienced the health issue since that day. I cannot deny the reality of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in specific situations. And, I also experience the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the promptings to holiness, specific scriptures being brought to mind for specific situations, the joy and companionship of God’s presence in prayer and so forth and the desire to walk in holiness. BUT, I feel that both the outpouring and indwelling could be SO much more than I actually experience and I want to know more of it.

            It would seem to me that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is eagerly desired by people because of the big ‘impact’ that it would have and because it is an ‘instantaneous’ experience. Pentecost would surely have set tongues absolutely buzzing and I can see how manifestations of the Holy Spirit are so sought after. But, if we have a big ‘event’ and then go back home living in absolute filth and depravity, can we really claim that we are living lives reflecting the HOLY Spirit? Absolutely not!!

            I was also thinking of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in terms of it being described as the fruit of the Spirit. This is not from the Watchman Nee book, these are just my random thoughts so please take them as such ๐Ÿ™‚ Fruit is something that is not instantaneous. We live in a world where we want instant everything, instant WIFI, instant meals, instant credit, instant gratification. But fruit is something that still takes time to grow (even in our culture!). A seed goes into the ground, the plant grows, it flowers, is pollinated and the fruit is the visible and edible outcome. I think the work of the Holy Spirit as an indwelling experience is like that as well. The bible also describes the work of the Holy Spirit in Galatians 5 as being the fruit of the Spirit and we are encouraged to sow to the Spirit and we will reap of the Spirit. It would seem to me that the fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control) are not a result of a once off bam-ba-lam outpouring of the Spirit, but instead the result of long term surrender, experience and living out the indwelling of Christ. This is not to say that there is not a radical, life changing alteration when we meet Christ for the first time, but it would seem to me that is more of a change in direction and the entrance of light and Christ, and the fruit is more of a long term thing.

            What think ye all? Love in Christ, HH

          2. HH, interesting subject. I will admit, I am unsure of all the particulars you described as well. I’m interested to hear other thoughts as well.

            But I did have some thoughts when reading your post: the church/individuals who are more concerned about the outdwelling of the gifts of the Holy Spirit….it struck me as a sin of pride to some degree. Like “I have a better gift from God than you do, nanny nanny boo boo” (lol), Like a competition of who is more blessed by God. As I have been led to understand, we are to use our talents, gifts, words and deeds to honor God. Period. We are to use them to expand His kingdom. If speaking in tongues does not help the unbeleiving listener to come to know God, then it is not a gift that helps, it is better to speak in the listeners language…understanding is more important than the talent in this case. See 1 corinthians 14 22-25. Maybe speaking in tongues is benegicial to a beleiver to undetstand a deeper level of God. We are not to use the’s talents to build ourselves up or position ourselves into a schoolyard pick for picking teams (last one picked is the least wanted/talented). Yet each one of us have been given gifts. They may be more “mundane” in earthy eyes like being a great parent, or a great salesman, or able to do fantastic cartwheels, and others have the gift of poetry, tongues, ministry or doctoring for the sick. Yet we can use those gifts for God, or for ourselves….God asks us to use them for Him. The glory goes to God…they are His gifts anyway, nit really ours…we are simply the vessel. The challenge is to figure that out….our destiny or role in this life…how to use our gifts for God’s glory. We all bring something to the table…we are to celebrate our diversity as God uses it all to expand His kingdom.

            The “fruit” of the Holy Spirit does feel much like you explained. Seeds and growth = patience/faith are such strong metaphores used throughout scripture, that I feel you are on the right track with your thoughts. Patience in life equates to growing faith in God. Trusting Him, giving up the control and allowing Gods will to be done, not ours.

            The Holy Spirit is to guide us in a personal, one to one way through our own personal race. Each one of us can look at the Triune God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) as a customized, personal friend.

            Our Father guides us, is in control, flung the stars into the sky, gives us our very breath…our creator, loves us as his children, more precious than gold, cherished to him as children are to a loving father.

            The Son was God’s gift to us on earth to physically see and experience and have the example of what God is like. We are to emulate Jesus. Jesus spent 30+ years on this earth giving us our real “hero” to model. How difficult it must have been before Jesus came to earth to understand what God expected from us? Jesus made it much easier to comprehend.

            The Holy Spirit became in dwelled within us as our personal connection with God. He tells us right from wrong. In the OT, the Holy Spirit would “come upon” people for a time so that His will was accomplished, then leave, but the NT was God’s promise that each of us have the Holy Spirit within us. Jesus died on the cross and defeated death so that we may live….the HS is His assurance, His deposit in us, that we are to be redeemed unto Him. I envision it like a umbilical cord to all we need to survive. Sometimes, when I feel a bit silly, or feel like I’m not hearing God well, it feels like a kids telephone with 2 cans and a string! Lol, but it’s there, nevertheless. God paid for our souls with Jesus as the collateral. He is coming back to collect His deposit…His people. The Holy Spirit IS that deposit for each one of us.

            God also told us not to add to or subtract from His teachings. Some denominations have becone so legalistic with the interpretations of the bible and added man made ceremonies and rules, that it makes the word of God more like a burden. We were cautioned from this in deuteronomy 4:2 “In a comedy show I saw last night, in fact, the comic poked fun at a certain denomination that says we can only talk to God on Sundays through a middleman in a tiny closet. Well, when you look at it like that, it seems pretty absurd, yet, I grew up with that “law” myself. I dreaded God because of it and it kept me from seeing the loving parts of God. I admit, it was the obvious man made stuff in my denomination that turned me off of God at the young age if 12, in which I ignored God for the next 30 years. When I was finally at a point that I knew I needed God, I experienced the personal God, that I knew I didn’t need anyone else, a church, a closet or anything to go to Him through. I threw off the man made constrictions and searched for God in His Word. THAT was a work of the Holy Spirit. I could not have done that on my own, nor could any human make me understand. I am a part of a bible based church…I don’t even look at the denomination…because I still go home and verify the teachings with the bible and my HS. But I do go to church to help see more points of view that I never considered, to alliw my mind to open up to more than jyst what “I” kniw and think and feel. Yet I still look for validation or refute within the bible. My own pastor, whom I respect highly and feel is a good shepherd of his flock tried to tell me that if my husband leaves me, I am free to marry again. Hmmmm, that struck me as a convenient loop hole. I admit it eas something i wanted to hear, but i felt a still, small voice deep inside directing me otherwise. When I checked the bible, I did not see that at all. I looked for proof, I haven’t really found it. Yet, I know God has His plan for me. I think any denomination has their “twist”, but also their spot on truths. We don’t need church to follow the word of God. We can use church for fellowship, support, keepING our minds and hearts open to what God is saying to us, but I always use caution when it comes from people…I need to feel it from my HS as well. That “stirring” inside is a good clue.

            I have chosen to stand for my marriage, even if my husband leaves me. It is the HS in me that keeps me on this track, my flesh would run at the first chance I get. I am honoring God because of my promise “for better or for worse”. I wear my wedding ring for God, not because I want to be my husband’s wife, but because I promised God I would be my husband’s wife. This, to me, if my seeds of faith. I trust God to help grow the frunit of that faith, whatever it may be. Even though my pastor gave me an “out”, it was not an out given to me by God…not for my case, anyway. If I were an abused, beaten, woman and my husband was an evil dangerous man, maybe those words would be verified by the HS and mean something different. God knew that Pharoh’s heart was hardneed to Him, so He exacted His will in other ways. Nothing will stop God’s will from being done.

            I’m not sure that this helps, but these were my thoughts I felt led to share. Hopefully they are what you were referring to. Maybe I’m way off base.

            HH, btw, I found and bought some Tim Tams here in the states, I have been curious since you first mentioned them! Haha.

            All Gods blessings to you. I pray that God continue to bestow knowledge and discernment upon you as you grow deeper into your relationship with Him. I pray that you find ways to use the knowledge you are given to help expand His kingdom by sharing what the Holy Spirit directs you to. You are a mighty warrior, HH, and your curious mind is thirsty for God. There are things we are not to know…because God knows we cannot handle all that He knows…it would be too much for us, but trusting that God has it handled, and it is for each of our personal good, is so comforting and relieving.

            I’m eager to see what you gather. Much love.

          3. Hi LMS,

            Yes, I think there can be a spirit of pride in the pursuit of the outward manifestations of God, in fact I have listened to a preacher from a church very focused on the outward manifestations talk in quite a condescending way about “our brothers and sisters in Christ who do not know God as we do” (although they didn’t use the nanny nanny boo boo!!), and yet there can also a spirit of pride in the pursuit of holiness, if pursued without the truth that holiness is a manifestation of Christ in us it leads to all sorts of self righteousness (Pharisee type behaviour), including the man made traditions you mention. I suspect pride is something that displays itself in all of us in many ways, it certainly has a tendency to show up in me!!!

            I love your description of the gifts being used, thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ And I love the description of the umbilical cord!! Hah, that’s awesome, the new birth in us is fed by the unbiblical cord until it matures. Awesome ๐Ÿ™‚

            I feel very happy to see you learning so much and looking so hard. I love that you are part of a bible based church but do your own searching, it seems to me that is SO important to do. I feel a special brotherly care for you and I think it is because I can see your genuineness and honesty before God.

            I am blessed to be a part of an INCREDIBLE church, I had not realised just how much this church reflects Christ until my wife left, but the support, truth, love and care that has been shown me has moved me to tears on many, many occasions. People in it LIVE Christ and teach solid bible based truth.

            I find it interesting that even though your pastor has said you are free to remarry you feel comvicted that you can not. I also have the same conviction, right through to the flesh wanting to run away but knowing the prompting of the HS to stand. I have thought through it SO many times, and even though I know I have solid biblical basis for a divorce I can not see that I am free to remarry, and if I am honest for the most part I do not want to anyway. I think back to standing in front of many witnesses and making a vow before God that my covenant of marriage was until death parted us and I can not deny that. And TBH even if I see a photo of my wife my heart skips a beat still ๐Ÿ˜ถ Even though our marriage is a farce, I can not deny who I am. I like how you wrote that even though you do not want to be your husbands wife you wear your ring for God. I look forward to wearing my ‘Jesus’ ring!

            Hah! Tim Tam’s, woot! Ok, your next step is to make a hot chocolate drink, then bite off the opposing corners of a Tim Tam and use it as a ‘straw’ to suck up the milk! After a few moments it will turn into a glorious, sticky, chocolaty mess and will melt in your fingers and go everywhere ๐Ÿ˜‚ Quintessential Aussie camping experience that!!

            Take care LMS, look forward to seeing you in glory one day. HH

          4. HH,

            This makes me smile. Not the part about the churches that have swung to extremes and are missing large parts of God’s truth and power. But the parts where you see the importance of the indwelling and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. That is beautiful! We do need both. Probably, we need the indwelling before we would be able to receive an outpouring. It seems to me.

            Praise God for the miraculous healing He has provided for you! And praise God for His Spirit’s power for us to live in victory over sin and that we don’t have to, and really, we can’t, go back to living in filth. We must seek holiness when we know Jesus! Not that we can be holy on our own, but He can absolutely give us the power to walk in holiness and victory as we allow His Spirit to have full control.

            I have so much more to learn about this, too. I think I feel a lot like a toddler when it comes to my faith. But I long to grow up to have great faith like George Muller, the disciples, Watchman Nee, Andrew Murray, and so many other saints who have set such glorious examples as they allowed God’s Spirit to fill and control them.

            Thank you also for sharing about fruit and how it takes time to grow and ripen.

            I appreciate you sharing these thoughts, dear brother!

  38. Hey April. I’d like to see a post for some of us more passive girls. How do we strike a balance between being submissive and just plain being a doormat? I find that I though my husband isn’t angry often, I still fear my husbands (and anyone else’s) anger. This causes me to refrain from addressing issues that need addressed. How can I find my voice in relationships and still remain in my submissive feminine role?

    1. Amber,

      I would definitely love to address this issue more often, too. Thank you for the suggestion!

      I have a number of posts that may be helpful.

      I invite you to search the following terms on my search bar:

      – Radiant (all of her posts may be helpful)
      – submission is not passivity
      – doormat
      – the pendulum effect
      – I don’t want to lose my voice
      – I don’t want to be fake
      – insecurity
      – my identity in Christ
      – security
      – fear
      – people pleasing
      – let your yes mean yes and your no mean no
      – being vulnerable and direct feels wrong
      – I can’t have needs
      – I must avoid conflict at all costs
      – some conflict is inevitable
      – confronting our husbands about their sin
      – a husband’s and a wife’s authority in marriage
      – biblical submission does not = a husband is always right
      – husbands are not the absolute authority
      – conflict godly feminine way
      – godly femininity
      – responding to insults, criticisms, and rebukes

      Much love to you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  39. I would love to hear more about blended families (which is becoming the new norm);and How to deal with the ex girlfriend/ wife who has children by your boyfriend/husband.

    Things that are disrespectful and respectful to men have been the most profound reading on this blog. I also benefit from the message on Idols, insecurities, finding contentment in Jesus. The one about PMS and so many more.

    I would love for the site to be easier to go through each topic . I’ve talked to you about this before. But it is just to hard to find different topic when I’m looking for a certain one; especially the older one. If maybe they could be labeled 1-1000 so I can check off what I’ve read I would love that.

    I thank you so much for creating this blog you have truly changed my life. <3

    1. I just found the Blog Archive, thank you this is a much easier way to track my reading. I want to read every blog written from day one to current.

  40. All,

    I would love to share a bit about George Muller, a man of God who lived in the 1800s and discovered that God is sovereign and that He will provide for the needs of those who are living in faith and seeking His will who want only to glorify Him.

    Here is a website with quotes and books by George Muller – http://www.georgemuller.org

    Here is a bit about what he did through God’s power in England in the 1800s as told by John Piper:

    “He built five large orphan houses and cared for 10,024 orphans in his life. When he started in 1834 there were accommodations for 3,600 orphans in all of England and twice that many children under eight were in prison. One of the great effects of Mueller’s ministry was to inspire others so that ‘fifty years after Mr. Mueller began his work, at least one hundred thousand orphans were cared for in England alone.'”

    “He had read his Bible from end to end almost 200 times.27 He had prayed in millions of dollars (in today’s currency) for the Orphans and never asked anyone directly for money. He never took a salary in the last 68 years of his ministry, but trusted God to put in people’s hearts to send him what he needed. He never took out a loan or went into debt. And neither he nor the orphans were ever hungry.”

    I hope to get to read some of Muller’s books this year, myself. I know my faith would be stretched and deepened to read more about this brotherโ€™s incredible faith in our even more incredible God.

    Here is the link to the post by John Piper about George Mullerโ€™s life and story. http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/george-muellers-strategy-for-showing-god

    Check out how Mueller handled facing his beloved wifeโ€™s death as told by John Piper:

    Twenty minutes after four, Lordโ€™s Day, February 6, 1870, Mary died. โ€œI fell on my knees and thanked God for her release, and for having taken her to Himself, and asked the Lord to help and support us.โ€34 He recalled later how he strengthened himself during these hours. And here we see the key to his life.

    โ€œThe last portion of scripture which I read to my precious wife was this: โ€˜The Lord God is a sun and shield, the Lord will give grace and glory, no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.โ€™ Now, if we have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, we have received grace, we are partakers of grace, and to all such he will give glory also. I said to myself, with regard to the latter part, โ€œno good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightlyโ€โ€”I am in myself a poor worthless sinner, but I have been saved by the blood of Christ; and I do not live in sin, I walk uprightly before God. Therefore, if it is really good for me, my darling wife will be raised up again; sick as she is. God will restore her again. But if she is not restored again, then it would not be a good thing for me. And so my heart was at rest. I was satisfied with God. And all this springs, as I have often said before, from taking God at his word, believing what he says.โ€

    Here is the cluster of unshakable convictions and experiences that are the key to this remarkable life. โ€œI am in myself a poor worthless sinner.โ€I have been saved by the blood of Christ.โ€ โ€œI do not live in sin.โ€God is sovereign over life and death. If it is good for her and for me, she will be restored again. If not she wonโ€™t.โ€My heart is at rest.โ€I am satisfied with God.โ€ All this comes from taking God at his word. There you see the innermost being of George Mueller and the key to his life. The word of God, revealing his sin, revealing his Savior, revealing Godโ€™s sovereignty, revealing Godโ€™s goodness, revealing Godโ€™s promise, awakening his faith, satisfying his soul. โ€œI was satisfied with God.โ€

    โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”-

    May each of us have such a faith in our sovereign, loving, good Lord!

  41. Wow. I left the churches that made up their own interpretations as I felt that God wouldn’t leave us to figure things out on our own. Every church within a few blocks radius making their own decisions on what passages of the bible meant or us just making our own conclusions based on feeling.

    LMS, your comment of “God also told us not to add to or subtract from His teachings. Some denominations have become so legalistic with the interpretations of the bible and added man made ceremonies and rules, that it makes the word of God more like a burden. We were cautioned from this in deuteronomy 4:2 โ€œIn a comedy show I saw last night, in fact, the comic poked fun at a certain denomination that says we can only talk to God on Sundays through a middleman in a tiny closet. Well, when you look at it like that, it seems pretty absurd, yet, I grew up with that โ€œlawโ€ myself. I dreaded God because of it and it kept me from seeing the loving parts of God. I admit, it was the obvious man made stuff in my denomination that turned me off of God at the young age if 12, in which I ignored God for the next 30 years”.

    Alluding to a comedy show, obvious man made stuff (instead of tradition going back to apostolic fathers) and finally, absurdity. Well, my husband and I go to mass everyday and it has done wonders for my husband and our marriage for the past few years. The Catholic Church saved my husband’s life and I’m sure countless others. Forgive me if this is not the church you are referring to but I had to speak in case it was. Of course man is sinful, priests are human, but that closet is really more than a closet. There are brothers and sisters here who read this blog for help and some are Catholic and I have to disagree with your statement towards the Catholic Church as the church saved my marriage of 17 years with the last 5 being created anew since my husband’s conversion.

    He uses all of the sacraments, goes to confession, takes the Holy Eucharist everyday and he is TRANSFORMED and a wonderful husband now whereas, before, he was not the same person. The RCIA program of the Catholic Church, his attending mass daily and receiving the sacraments changed his life. Our favorites to listen to are Dr. Peter Kreeft and Dr. Scott Hahn both converts to the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church made him the husband and father I am blessed to have today.

    1. SisterinChrist,

      Thank you for sharing about your experience with the Catholic church. I’m glad it has been positive. ๐Ÿ™‚

      My desire is for each of us to find a church where we believe we are receiving God’s Word and truth rightly, realizing that in heaven, there will be no denomination lines. All of the denominations are a manmade thing. God is about unity, not division. There is only one church, one bride of Christ.

      There will be areas where we will disagree. And there are people who misunderstand and people who wrongly lead in every denomination. I was raised in a Southern Baptist church and still go to a Southern Baptist church. There, I didn’t absorb much about the sovereignty of God when I was growing up. Was it because they leaned too much toward Arminianism or did I just misunderstand because I was young and overly responsible already? I’m not sure. Each of us take away messages from church when we are young, and even as adults – but the messages we hear are not always the messages that were intended by the leaders.

      I have also seen people in every denomination end up believing in legalism rather than living by the power of the Spirit. Although, some denominations promote legalism more than others.

      I have many friends who are truly born again believers who are Catholic. I have also known Catholics who don’t know Christ and the whole thing is just a religious exercise to them. I also have many friends who are from other denominations who are truly born again believers, but I have known other people from those same denominations who don’t know Christ.

      The most important thing is that we know Jesus, the Jesus of the Bible, and that we are living for Him as Lord and seeking to live the life He calls us to live in His Word. May His Spirit empower each of us to do this very thing for His glory. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Much love to each of my sisters in Christ!

      1. April, thank you. My personal experiences at the Catholic Church have not always been positive. In fact, my local parish priest tries to have a post modern appeal that may be spiritually dangerous but he doesn’t take away from the truth of the church to me. I don’t leave the church because of him, I may go to another parish but that’s not leaving the church. My being a Catholic has certainly not been a result of only feel good experiences but I do appreciate your post. May God bless you and yours always.

      2. I was not referring to any one denomination. As a child, I bounced around searching for one that felt right. Maybe I was too young, too immature, all I saw were the man made parts of all of them. I, too was raised Catholic, and I still hold on to many parts of that denomination, but there were parts I felt were man made.

        To each, their own. I think as long as someone can find a true relationship with God, it doesn’t much matter to me. I appologize if you felt I was attacking a certain religion, I was not, simply stating that for me, the man made stuff in all of them turned me off. I don’t need a middle man to talk with God, but I do appreciate the guidance and discussion. Sometimes God speaks to us through humans too. Hope that clears it up.

        1. Thank you LMS Daily, Catholics don’t believe we need a middle man to speak to God, certainly not, that was a common misconception I had many years ago as well. I continue to pray directly to God and also for many of my brothers and sisters here even while knowing I could go directly to God. I also ask that others please pray for me since the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

  42. Hello!! I love your blog and your youtube channel. I’m a born again Christian who is married to a non believer. I welcomed Christ back into my life about two years after we were married. My husband was a believer when he was younger but now he isn’t. Our marriage doesn’t feel like a marriage at all. I feel like I live with a roommate. I would love more topics on being married to a non believer and how to deal with being born again while in a marriage that wasn’t a Christian marriage from the start. I could really use some advice. Thank you.

    1. Hello Sandy, my husband and I were both non born again believers who attended Catholic schools . I came to faith several decades into our marriage and then became Protestant. My husband is still not a believer but he is a virtuous person so he doesn’t have any negative effect on me. Check out 1 corinthians 7: 13-15 for some clarity and see how the Holy Spirit reveals those scriptures to you.

      For me …I just accept that my life is fine as it is and i try not to have many expectations of how it should be. I’m mostly surrendered to the Lords will but not because i’m a holy individual . I just prefer not to suffer because I’m pretty clear on who is in charge. Sometimes I do squirm in discomfort in the sanctification process, but I try not to allow my flesh to become too rebellious. I know that the Lord is doing a marvelous work in me and I try to keep that in mind. I use my time and my circumstances to fellowship more with God to the best of my ability these days and I’m grateful for that. Perhaps at a future time in eternity things will be different but whatever God wills is fine.

      The best thing you can do is bring it to the Lord in prayer. Tell him what you are feeling and ask for his help in surrendering to his will. He is very faithful to help when we humble ourselves to ask. It may take a while. You may have to cry out to him quite a few times if you’ve been feeling demoralized for a while. But he is faithful to help and you will be able to rest in his strength.

      God Bless ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. Sandy,

      It is so wonderful to hear from you! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m so thankful to hear that you are living for Christ. That is awesome! How I pray your husband will yield his life to Christ as Lord and find the healing and Life that is available only through Jesus.

      I have quite a few posts about believing wives being married to unbelievers in various situations.

      For general topics, I invite you to search my blog categories for:

      – conflict
      – win him without a word
      – respect for husband
      – empowering my husband’s leadership
      – respect for self

      Also, you can search for individual posts like:

      – responsible for my emotions
      – responsible for myself spiritually
      – Portia’s story
      – responding to insults
      – negative, critical husband
      – my secret idol
      – unbelieving husband
      – husband doesn’t love me
      – husband space

      There are so many posts there that I believe will be a blessing.๏ปฟ If/when you are ready for more, please let me know!

  43. I was just thinking a lot about idolatry this morning. You know something ironic? I spent many years idolizing Greg, my being in control, self, happiness, romance, marriage, children, luxury, etc… and didn’t even realize what I was doing.

    But now I see that when I idolize something, when that thing is more important to me than Christ in my heart, I am actually standing firmly in God’s way. When I idolize things, I destroy them. And then I get mad at God that my marriage is falling apart, but I won’t let Him in to help me. When I refuse to surrender control and trust to God, I won’t let God help me. He is a gentleman and won’t force His way into my life. He waits for me to yield to Him voluntarily.

    If I hadn’t idolized my husband and marriage and all of those things, my marriage would never have gotten as bad as it did. If I had done things God’s way from the beginning, Greg and I both would have been spared a lot of pain and misery.

    But how gracious God is that when we do yield to Him, He comes into our lives, only to the degree we allow Him to, and He begins to heal us. So often, He also begins to heal our families when we stop standing in His way, too.

    If only we could see that when we don’t trust God, we are not protecting ourselves from bad things. We are contributing to bad things happening in our lives. And we are keeping good things out.

    I pray we will each decide to fully yield and surrender to God in faith every moment. There is no better place to be!

    Much love to each of you!

    1. Thank you April. What you said is so powerful. You know what I discovered about idolatry in my own walk with God? There are usually a bunch of lies we tell ourselves or have believed all our lives that keep us glued to those idols. And when we come out of alignment with those lies and tell ourselves the truth the devil looses his grip on us. One of the biggest lies in my life was an UNYIELDING belief in an idealized version of love. And that one lie has caused me all sorts of suffering. I just would not or could not accept or genuinely did not know that , for the most part, there is no such thing. And in the rare cases where there is a healthy affectionate enduring type love or even an enduring Hollywood type romance based marriage, it’s just a gift from God meant for that specific couple at that time in their eternity. We are nor meant to covet another persons reality or a fictionalized version of reality. We are meant to accept our own reality and not tell ourselves lies that it’s better than it is. Or to try to mold the reality of our circumstances to resemble what we think it should be like because we refuse to accept the truth. In fact I still am so vulnerable to these lies that I have to consciously choose not to listen to romantic music or watch romantic films. I have to guard myself against male preachers when I notice a temptation to idolize.
      I do this not because i’m Holy. I do it for one reason only. I don’t enjoy suffering. And I’ve learned that the truth is the antidote to suffering. The lies we tell ourselves are really destructive and we do it because we are afraid to face the truth.

      In the last four years I have had to leave every single relationship in my life except my husband. I have had to do this because the Lord called me to face the truth about all those relationships. Very painful. I cried a lot because I had to face a lot of lies that I had told myself for decades. I had to face the truth that the people in my life had not loved me, did not love me at all and were incapable of that. I had to face the truth I had been terribly used and manipulated most of my life and that I was a people pleasing doormat. I had to face the fact that God was calling me into solitude after having already lived a life lacking deep connection with other humans. I was called to face truth, after truth after truth . But I learned through it that Philippians 4:6-7 is really true and I learned that God can help is face and rise above circumstances that we could never overcome in our own flesh.

      And I’m happy now. It was a painful process but God is finally on the throne of my heart . I am so grateful that the Lord stripped me of all the illusions and lies. Thank Goodness God loves us enough to do for us what we would never be willing or able to do on our own.

      May God bless that wonderful book you are currently writing about Peaceful mothers. What a lovely concept!

      1. Lisa,

        YES! Idolatry and lies go hand in hand. Lies about God. Lies about ourselves. Lies about others. Until we are able to look at the lies and tear them out, we have a lot of trouble tearing out the idols.

        I have a post here for women who may want to examine the lies that may be holding them hostage and keeping them from trusting God.

        Several things go together, I have noticed:

        – lies, idolatry, fear, unbelief in God, anxiety, depression/despair, disappointment, frustration, bitterness, loneliness, and emptiness. It seems to me that these all feed in together.

        But when we allow God to help us face our lies, our idols, our fears, and any other sin… and when we decide to trust Him – He can heal us! That is what I want for everyone!

        I have some posts about this, too! Yes! I have found that almost across the board, we women are prone to certain idols/lies:
        My husband should make me happy.
        Romance is an extremely common idol, along with husbands, children, and happiness.
        – Our understanding of “oneness” is often more like “enmeshment” and “codependency” rather than a healthy relationship.
        – We don’t know what it means to have healthy relationships.
        – We often have unbiblical and/or unrealistic expectations that ensnare us and lead to bitterness/resentment.
        – We tend to hold on to bitterness.
        – We tend to be filled with fear.

        I learned about 6-7 years ago that I can’t read romantic fiction or watch romantic movies. It is just not a good idea. Even the rated-G Christian stuff. I tend to compare my husband to the fictional male lead and tend to feel resentful if Greg doesn’t act the way this guy does whose lines were written by women. Greg doesn’t have a female staff of writers. He’s a guy. It is better for me to learn to appreciate real life masculinity and my particular husband’s personality and ways of expressing love than to develop an unrealistic fantasy of what men “should act like” that will actually only hurt the intimacy in my marriage.

        YES! Truth is the antidote to suffering from believing lies and to suffering from sin. Truth also gives us the power and wisdom to handle other types of suffering with joy, as well. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love that!

        Oh my goodness! I am SO heartbroken to hear about the relationships in your life. My precious sister! My heart hurts with you!

        I had a time of separating myself and being kind of hermit-like for about 3.5 years myself. I was a people pleaser, and perfectionist. I had to learn to focus on God and not to put people’s approval above God’s approval. I had so much God wanted to show me. I just needed to separate myself from all of the noise for a while.

        Praying for God’s continued healing for you and for the people you love, my sister!

        I praise God that He is on the throne of your heart and that He exposed the lies to you. What a blessing and gift! Even though it was painful at first, I am sure.

        Thank you for praying for God to work in and through me as I write The Peaceful Mom. It is really about the principles of discipleship that we all need to be peaceful women, or peaceful human beings. I pray God might pour through me to bless many of my sisters and their families for His glory!

        Much love to you! I appreciate your willingness to share so much. You are a wonderful blessing to me!

        1. I’ve been having a hard time with this as well. I will get very mad at my husband if he doesn’t act the way I think he should. I love to read and I read a lot of romance novels. I think to myself “why can’t my husband be like him?” And I find myself becoming bitter because he is nothing like a fictional character. Thinking about it now I feel so foolish. I’ve blamed everything including our failing marriage on him without acknowledging the part I played. No wonder he gets so frustrated with me at times. How exactly is he suppose to live up to someone that isn’t real?

          I find that I have many idols in my life. I love to gossip because it makes me feel good that others have it “worst” than I do. I’m a lazy wife because why do it when my husband will? I don’t respect my husband because I compare him to others, real and unreal, because I think the grass is greener on the other side. I’m a horrible mother because I would yell at my 6 year old daughter for the littlest things and yesterday I found out she has a language disorder. She doesn’t understand what is asked of her. I’m crying and typing this because I’ve been such a fool. I want to do better for my family and especially for God. How can I be born again and tormenting my family like this? I pray that God shows me the way and helps me to allow him to fix what is broken.

          1. Sandy,

            You know what really helped to open my eyes to how destructive romantic movies/songs/books were for me? I saw someone compare romance novels for women to porn for men. Porn depicts women in a fictional way – a fantasy. It turns women into objects to be used for selfish purposes physically and sets up unrealistic expectations about what women are supposed to be like sexually. That is obviously disgusting to me!

            But then God helped me to see that romantic books and media sometimes can do the same thing for women in their expectations of men. Romance novels/movies portray men in a fictional way. But it often isn’t about their physical body – it is about the way we emotionally connect with men. It sets up unrealistic expectations about what men are like emotionally. It makes everything “all about satisfying me” and about being the man I want him to be to meet all of my needs – even if my husband is not built that way or wired that way.

            I personally do much better when I avoid romance and also when I avoid reading about things that “husbands are supposed to do” even Christian marriage books on that topic – I just do better to avoid. I do best when I focus on what God wants me to do, how to bless my husband, and when I focus on Jesus and my walk with Him.

            You know what? It’s not too late, dear sister! I praise God for what He is showing you and I thank Him for the information about your daughter. So thankful that you got to find this out now. I know you can apologize and repent to God and to her and be her biggest supporter as she begins to learn how to navigate this disorder. I had a similar moment in my life with my son when he was in 4th grade. I felt so terrible. But you know what? God can turn all of this into beauty, my dear sister!

            This is a time of refining fire. I pray you will receive all that God has for you and become the woman He calls you to be and that He can empower you to be through His Spirit.

            Much love to you!

          2. April,

            I hadn’t seen it like that before, but that is a REALLY good comparison. There are many similarities. One difference that I see is that men are considered awful for having unrealistic expectations they may have learned through porn use but women are considered justified in having a man meet all of their expectations learned through romance novels/media.

            HH

          3. HH,

            Yes, there is a very different view of the use of porn vs. romance novels/movies. And I can understand that. Romance novels aren’t really about lust. Porn obviously is -and that is a more “blatant looking sin.” But what happens in the hearts and minds of women because of romantic media (some women, not all) is more about their expectations becoming increasingly unrealistic and them becoming increasingly dissatisfied with real life men. Even godly men. It is more subtle. And the idolatry of romance is a lot more subtle, too, than porn use. It is difficult to know what is going on in the depths of a woman’s heart – she may not even realize it herself. I didn’t! Until God opened my eyes. Now I don’t even read the rated G stuff. It is just not worth it to me.

            It is so much easier to be content with what I have when I focus on Jesus first and then on being thankful for who my husband truly is right now and as I seek to accept him and respect him as is. Comparing him to a fantasy is covetousness or sinful jealousy in a lot of ways, and it can also be idolatry, too, as I set my heart on certain expectations.

            Glad this was helpful. Obviously, the two things are not completely parallel – but there are similarities, in my mind. Primarily about unrealistic and unhealthy expectations that create damage in our real life relationships.

        2. I love that you said “Greg doesnโ€™t have a female staff of writers. Heโ€™s a guy. It is better for me to learn to appreciate real life masculinity and my particular husbandโ€™s personality and ways of expressing love than to develop an unrealistic fantasy of what men โ€œshould act likeโ€ that will actually only hurt the intimacy in my marriage.” That is GOLDEN.

          I remember many years ago reading those kinds of novels and shows and I recall that afterwards I would close the book or the movie would finish– but the character still played in my head and the way this particular character cared so much etc… It did more than not just nurture my relationship, it hindered it immensely because I already was using my husband as the idol to make me happy and worse yet, he wasn’t behaving as I thought the idol should behave. And if it could get even worse, the standard of my idols behavior was going to be a romance novel or television show.

          If you are willing to share, aside from Holy Scripture, were there any other books, sites and resources you read those 3.5 years before you started being able to have that peace and wisdom to start your own blog?

          By the way yesterday I read through the Peacefulwife Phillipines blog and she is wonderful! I know she n o longer posts but her site was such a blessing to read yesterday I thank you for linking it.

          1. SisterinChrist,

            I’m glad that this comment was helpful to you. ๐Ÿ™‚

            I read books like:

            Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
            The Surrendered Wife by Laura Doyle (which is not a Christian book, but it did help me a lot. There was quite a bit I had to filter out through Scripture, though)
            What’s Submission Got to Do with It? by Cindy Easley
            For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn
            How to Talk So Your Husband Will Listen and Listen So Your Husband Will Talk by Rick Johnson
            The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage by Dr. Laura Schlesinger (not a Christian book)
            The Respect Dare by Nina Roesner
            Radical Womanhood by Carolyn McCulley (about the history of feminism and how it has impacted us all in our culture and what real femininity looks like biblically)
            Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem (I found this one later, but it is very good)
            Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahoney

            Some other resources I wish I found earlier –
            Elisabeth Elliot’s writings
            Mary Kassian http://www.girlsgonewise.com
            Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

            I LOVE Peacefulwife Philippines! I miss her comments here on the blog and her posts. Her site is a blessing to me, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

            Much love to you!

        3. Thank you so much for your invested responses April. Yes…the Gospel has totally delivered on the promises of redemption in my life and continues to disciple me into an Godly maturing woman. It’s just remarkable how God can transform us from the inside out with Christ indwelling. Hallowed be his name !

          Some heart related messages that really touched me were found in the book called “The Father-Daughter Talk” by R. C. Blakes, Jr. They are messages from a Christian father . Words of caution and care from an earthly father I had never heard as a young lady. Even something simple like knowing that going on a date is not intended to establish a premature romantic climate. He said that a date is actually only an preliminary interview? This would have been really good to know back in the day when I was a carnal young lady? lol And Pastor Paul Washers advice that unmarried women and men should never be alone together. The message of a father seeking to protect and guide his daughter really touched me. My heavenly father has really restored my heart through observing caring father figures in the body of Christ. You were so fortunate to have grown up with a Christian father. I’m always touched by preachers who have a protective instinct. I once saw a video sermon of Pastor Matt Chandler talk about how he would “beat a fool with a stick” in speaking about any young man who even attempted to disrespect his daughter. lol You gotta love a man like that ! lol

          I know you also address respect issues here at your blog which is wonderful. I didn’t know about your blog until recently though.

          Have a blessed day!

          1. Lisa,

            Praising God for His work, redemption, and healing in your life!!!! It brings me so much joy to hear your heart for Christ.

            Thank you for sharing these insights. I’m so thankful that you were able to find this information later. YES! How I long for our single sisters to know these things. I have a blog for them, too, and I share this kind of wisdom with them there at http://www.peacefulsinglegirl.com. Hmmm… if you feel led of God, perhaps you may consider writing a guest post for me for the ladies? So much good information.

            I’m ecstatic to get to know you a bit better. I hope you will stick around! You are a blessing and encouragement to me and to our sisters.

            Much love!
            April

  44. Thank you! Your blog has helped me in ways that aligns with the work I am doing with God. The spiritual focus and spiritual groundness this blog has offered me keeps me going. I love the 25 ways to show respect lost and the one regarding being a peaceful wife even when your husband isn’t peaceful. I have had my share of up and downs with this but reading and her the inspiration from others is extremely wonderful.

    What I would love to see more about is the insolent pride of man and in what ways do we work through a person narcissistic attitudes. When I google the personality disorder it sounds like a dooms day keep it moving approach but I know our God is real and he can change all things.

    Thank you again for your love and kindness to start blogging out this. A true jnspiration to us all.

    1. Nicolle Collins,

      I’m so glad that this site has been a blessing. That is an answer to my prayers. ๐Ÿ™‚

      You are talking about a husband being narcissistic? Or do you mean a wife’s own narcissistic attitudes?

      Much love to you!

  45. Hi April. I thought of something I would like more info on this morning.

    How to tell the difference between conviction from God and accusations from satan.

    Ever since I finally understood how to take the log from my own eye before trying to remove the speck from anothers, I find I am constantly second guessing myself. I used to blame others and never address my own sins, but now, I think I take on too much at times and it puts me in the predicament of being the one who is always appologizing. It seems that I can constantly argue with myself to the conclusions that I screwed it up somehow, that I have a sin to repent from. I wasn’t patient enough, I didn’t listen to the heart message through his insults, on and on. This is starting to exhaust me. Can people ever act wholly without sin? Even for a period of time? Or is there ALWAYS sonething we need to repent from. We are filthy sinners, even when we are born again spiritually, it is always still there. But do we ever “arrive” at a place where we can be sure we are acting completely in God’s will? Is this a perfection seeking thing in me? Or is this a real possibility?

    Example: There was a concert I thought would be fun to go see. Inexpensive, fun for kids etc. I spoke to a mom friend of mine to see if they were interested in going too…so that we would know approximately how many tickets to buy together. I had looked into the details so o could answer questions. Then I sent my husband a text a few minutes later asking if he would want to go with us, dates, time, and that this family might be interested too…she was checking with her family.

    When I came home that night, I walked through the door and my husband lobbed a verbal grenade at me before I could even shut the door or say hi. “Did you really make plans with another family again?” I was floored. I felt blindsided and I asked what he meant. He started to shut down. Be offended and act like he was too disgusted with me to even give the isdue any efgort to discuss. I asked him to please explain why he was irritated/mad. He said “if you didn’t get it by now, you never will and you always do this….and you never care about…. just do whatever you want….just like your mom.”

    At this point, I said I can’t fix it if I don’t know about it. I didn’t know I had to have your permission to talk to other people about plans. I was now irritated and said I’m sorry he’s so over sensitive, blah blah, some general digs were tossed at him by me because of his assumptions, name calling and dismissals…I was now getting triggered. Then I said goodnight because I was not going to argue, he didn’t want to tell me what he was feeling and quite frankly he was trying to fight with me in a rude, manipulative, disrespectful way and I was getting sucked into it and starting to do the same thing. I didnt like where this was already going. In the morning, I felt nudged (HS?) to get up and bring the subject up again to find out how I had hurt/disrespected/irritated him. I remained calm, no barbs, stayed direct and listened as hard as I could. He raised his voice, deflected many times, drug up stuff from the past, got mad again. Finally, I sensed the isdue and tried to clarify with him that I “think” he felt that I was inviting other people first before inviting him and this was out of order to him. He felt disrespected from this. Also, in the past, (when I was at the height of my old disrespectful, angry self) I had demanded that he talk to me first about plans being made and I was tired of hearing about plans being made through other people. I know that at the time, I was most likely feeling ignored, unimportant, dismissed and fearful. So, yes, I said those things in an effort to probably control and out of fear. So, I probably looked pretty hippocritical to my husband yesterday. He left in a huff.

    I prayed for a few minuted and then sent him a message appologizing for my demand from years ago, for unintentionally disrespecting him for not talking to him first about my desire to see this show and also wanting to go with another family, and for lobbing my flippant barbs at him when I was tired and feeling defensive from his attack as I walked in the door. Then I also asked for some patience and willingness to communicate issues 1 at a time to actually resolve them instead of him stuffing them and blowing up volcano like and each of us being overwhelmed by the magnitude of hurt to deal with.

    I get that this takes time. I feel like my husband is not at all even aware of general good communication manners/tactics to try to solve problems. I have suggested we see a therapist to just learn how to communicate better, but he refuses. I have been trained and read a multitude of resources about communication due to my sales and marketing jobs and teaching, and learning over the last 2 years. I am by no means an expert, but I’m trying hard to “fight fair” , if you will.

    What I find is that I’m the only one ever appologizing. Ever. To take it further, my husband claims we are both responsibe for the destruction of our marriage. I agree and have sincetely appologized for things as i understand whete i went wrong. When I asked him what he regrets and is sorry for, his response was “I am sorry I didn’t take you by your shirt collar and throw you out of the house sooner.” Stab. Stab. Stab. That’s the only thing he has appologized for. And it was obviously not a real appology.

    I’m trying to be an example for God, But I don’t want to slip into doormat mode either….such a slippery slope for me. So how do I know what to appologize for and what to stand firm on?

    These boundaries are so hard for me to grasp.

    Many thanks in advance for the feedback and help.

    1. LMSdaily115,

      I don’t see where what you did was sinful, dear sister. It seems reasonable to me to say, “Oh, that would be so fun! Let me check with my husband and get back to you.” In fact, that is what I do.

      I thought your husband doesn’t usually want to do things with you in the past 2 years? Or am I misremembering? Does he want to be included now?

      It kind of sounds like the main issue may have been your comment to him in the past that upset him – from what I can tell. It would be awesome if you could renegotiate that together. And it sounds like that is what you are trying to do.

      Yes, it is possible to swing too far into apologizing for things that aren’t sin and aren’t wrong. There is definitely balance needed. Only the Holy Spirit can truly bring that balance, wisdom, insight, and clarity.

      Ugh. Those were some really hurtful things that were said during his “apology.” ๐Ÿ™

      How are you doing in your walk with Christ at this time? I believe this very much is about the Spirit. But it is sometimes helpful to get feedback from godly, trusted friends/mentors.
      It would be SUPER frustrating to be the only one who is apologizing.

      I think we can always have humility and be ready to apologize for any offense that was our responsibility that is legitimate. Regardless of whether the other person apologizes. It would sure be AWESOME if he would be contrite and see his sin and repent to God and to you. I believe that day will come. I don’t know when, exactly. But I look forward to it very much!

      Praying for you and for him. This is serious spiritual oppression and warfare going on in your husband’s heart. I long for you to be as close to God as possible every moment and I pray God will stretch your faith and heart to receive more and more of Him and to be filled to overflowing with Him. I know He will give you the wisdom you need and the discernment you need to navigate this. It is very tricky. But He does have the wisdom you need and can give you the perspective, strength, and power to carry out His will for you.

      Much love and the biggest hug!

      1. Thank you, April for your thoughts. This helps alot. I would not even be in the picture anymore if it were not for God’s loving grace. I’m stuck to Him like glue. Every day, I pray talk with Him, ask for His provision. I pray for God to work on my husband’s heart as well as my own. I feel stronger, more able to have a voice with respectful, but firm discussions. My fear of my h’s anger is lessening. I see the spiritually immature and angry person he is. I’m trying to be patient and understanding. I don’t have NEAR the expectations of him I used to. I am accepting what he has to give, and realing God has given me many others to help fill the needs for connection, comraderie, friendship etc. I am careful to stick to women only.

        April, I love this blog. It helps me to be mentored as well as to be able to mentor others. God bless you and the work you do for God.

  46. April, thank you so much for the in depth information on those list of books, I really appreciate it! I do wonder about one thing in particular, especially as of late and perhaps this can be a quick topic even. We all adore you here and I wonder about how you manage your day especially knowing you are a mom and the heart you put into all of your writing and blogging. I am very inspired but I lack the structure sometimes since I work full time 5 days a week and get home every day around 5. I notice that you respond sometimes at once to several posts and more importantly your responses are so thought out and informative I wonder how you space out your time. I just read your response to HH on the porn vs. romance by the way and really appreciated the way you made that important distinction. My question is related to your schedule! I would like to find more time to read scripture, read other books (I have so many), maybe exercise for 20 minutes (do you do fitness?) and also to write and pray AND spend time with my teens! Do you have a praying, writing, reading, family time etc..schedule. Would you be able to share some ideas on how to make the best use of your time as a working mom when you want to incorporate these things especially having 2 teenagers that we need to spend time with (I also have two teens).
    Thank you!

    1. SisterinChrist,

      I usually work 9-12 hours per week in the pharmacy. This week, I worked an extra 9 hour shift yesterday. And there were a lot of weeks where I worked almost about 30 hours per week last summer. I usually spend 30 hours or so in online ministry time. It can easily turn into a lot more than that. Right now, I am also editing book #2. And, of course, I need time with God, with Greg, with my kids, time to go for a walk several days per week, and chores have to fit somewhere.

      I couldn’t do all that I do ministry wise and with my time with God if I worked full time. The weeks when I have to work more in the pharmacy or on editing – I often have to pare way down on online ministry time.

      Recently, while I have been doing my first phase of editing on The Peaceful Mom – I have changed my comment section on this blog to be only active for posts from the past 60 days or so. This is a big change for me. I usually have all of the posts open, just about, to comments. My blog gets about 125,000 hits per month. I could easily spend 5-8 hours per day on comments. I have to really watch myself there.

      I try to get offline by 9-10pm depending on the night. That is hard for me, too!

      If you work full time 5 days per week, you just won’t have as much time to do other things. One way I incorporate exercise is to take my daughter and son with me on walks so we all get some exercise together and some bonding time. I also try to teach them to do chores to help free me up to do other things. I have my quiet time with God in the morning when things are quiet. On days I work, I probably get about 20 minutes. Other days, I may get an hour or two.

      I type very quickly, which helps me with time management online. And I also think very deeply a lot all through the day every day – and many of these topics I have written about a number of times, which helps me to be able to respond thoughtfully, prayerfully, and relatively quickly. If there is a new issue that I haven’t really done much praying about before, I will take more time to pray before I respond. I don’t want to rush through my responses, that always comes across as being unloving. Not good!

      We don’t have a specific rigid schedule. My family would not enjoy that. But I know that it does work for many families to do that. Could be something to pray about an dot talk with your husband about, perhaps?

      Much love to you!

    2. SisterinChrist,

      Oh! And I don’t sleep much. I am up with Greg enjoying him from about 10pm-midnight every night. Usually sitting with him in bed while he watches TV. Talking now and then, and cuddling. And then I am usually up between 5:30 and 6:00am. I wish I could sleep longer, but my kitty likes to have me up at 5:30 or so. And I don’t have a way to stop that at this point. So I do have more hours per day than some people do. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Much love!
      April

    3. SisterinChrist,

      One more thing and I must get off to bed!

      I try to cut out absolutely everything out of my schedule that I don’t need to do that I believe is not what God wants me to do to save as much time as possible for the things I know He does want me to do. I am pretty ruthless about that. I don’t really have hobbies. I don’t go out much with friends. I don’t talk on the phone much at all. My life is pretty laser focused on my mission. Loving and knowing God. Loving and caring for my family. Writing. Loving and ministering to my sisters (and brothers) in Christ.

      1. Thank you April! It’s 5:30am as I write this and I just woke up. I look forward to reading this again. Ee are very similar in that i dint have hobbies because my time is so limited and wrapped up away at work mostly. I also take 2 university classes. My ministry it seems is to make myself visible to my teens when I get home from work, plan family outings with our limited time and try to get them out of their rooms and away from their ohones. They’re 17 and 14 now. But I love reading and that is the one thing i wish time wish for. My husband designated 8pm to be reading hour and then he says at 9pm we should say the rosary together. That’s been such a blessed bond. I’m exhausted by 10pm though. We’ve just started eating even more healthy by eliminating gmo foods and buying organic oatmeal and quinoa, it’s helped my energy levels a lot but it sure doesn’t buy me extra time to read, do fun research etc. I sure talk a lot before my morning coffee sorry! Hope you have a blessed day, thanks again for walking me through your days to get a glimpse of how you do it! God bless!

        1. SisterinChrist,

          You are most welcome. I have been working on eating much more healthy like that, too, in the past 2 years. It has helped my health quite a bit. Thank you for sharing about your routine. ๐Ÿ™‚ Much love to you!

  47. Hi all, I was thinking of a topic along the lines of ‘being in the world, but not of it’.

    At first, I was not going to suggest that because it is not singularly restricted to being a wife and I was thinking of more than guarding hearts with men at work which you have covered in your other helpful posts to a great degree…but today, every day actually, I was walking outside and I felt very “outside of this world”. I’m sure many of us experience this. Immediately, I remembered the verse and heard His voice as I imagine it saying “My Kingdom is not of this world” and I was in a bit of a trance thinking of our blessed Lord. It’s easy to take this feeling and think you are superior but NO WAY, the Lord knows my heart and He knows what I think of myself.

    It’s a feeling of being out of touch from the world and its values and being surrounded by folks that are totally about the world and derive their own values from it. I live in NY so this prevalent. My husband and I are probably more detached from the world than probably the average person is as we don’t engage in social media or watch tv, we do have 2 tv’s and use it a lot to play specific programming or just nature background and music everyday but we don’t know about the Oscars, the new music star etc…and we’re not ‘out there’ socializing much or bringing newspapers and media into our home. I am almost certain that is a big reason why there is a lot of peace in the home now but I actually do make sure to have a decent movie play in the background once in a while because I know families bond that way. We played The Secret Life of Walter Mitty the other day, it was fun I just blasted the movie and everyone who stopped by the living room for a while gathered for a bit to watch it, left, came back to the movie, laughed etc… And we still play board games, video games as a family etc…

    But, as a Christian woman who is a wife and mother, while walking around in the world and seeing crowds of people, even in our workplace or the bus, stores, supermarkets, just outside walking or even our neighbors…sometimes (I ask God to forgive me if I am judging people, sometimes it’s automatic) you’ll notice people speaking so vulgar to each other, there are things I can’t post here but you sense when you are surrounded by a mass of secular people. When we work with them and must handle interactions everyday. What I do when I feel especially surrounded is I literally brace myself, I brace myself for inappropriate language or jokes and I make myself ready to not smile along with them (I do this a lot) or excuse myself in some way. My work area has Jesus pictures and calendar and people know and I feel that people who know this just come to me and offer that they are of a different faith without so many words. I keep my surroundings the same as a reminder that I, myself, have to hold myself to a higher standard because of the faith I am representing in my responses to them, people will try to test you. I try to do it with joy and A LOT of humility and that is my challenge everyday. I always remember St. Therese and her “little way” of getting closer to Jesus and finding the spiritual in the little things of ordinary life, what helps me is thinking of Jesus and thinking that my coworkers are judging Him by they way I act! That really puts me in my place. Sometimes I go home drained because everyone these days seem so secular but I am reminded that I live in a very liberal state and that we are a family of at least 2 billions Christians around the world when the enemy tries to make me feel like I’m the only one.

    1. SisterinChrist,
      That is a great topic suggestion. I bet it is even more difficult in certain large cities and certain areas of the country. We are a bit more insulated from extreme liberalism in SC. Although, it reaches everywhere.

      We are aliens and strangers here for sure. How I pray we will be able to see the lost with God’s eyes of compassion and love. They are held captive by Satan to do his will and don’t even know it. They don’t know the gift of Life available to them in Jesus.

      I will certainly prayerfully consider this topic. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Much love!

      1. Thank you April, it was just nice to even get that out of my chest. The other day my sons high school newspaper arrived in our home and they had a picture of about 12 girls in tights their backs facing the camera with their heads turned to look back. That was their pose and all you saw were their leggings and no long shirt kind of pants in a provocative pose. I showed my husband the picture and he shook his head and said “You should call the school to complain” It was so inappropriate. I think of my daughter who is a teen and just yesterday I had a long talk with her and it ended with me giving her the Peacefulsinglegirl link, I told her I trust that she will look through it now that she’s interested in boys and I offer it to her because I know the world on social media will give her other kinds of advice and she should know there are other sites that follow the values I’ve taught and continue to teach her. Thank goodness, no push back on that. She was receptive! Another thing is I’ve spent some time trying to find good shows to watch with her (We had a wonderful bonding time watching the seasons of Gilmore Girls some time ago but I remember having to forward many parts). I found a show on Amazon called Heartland that had great reviews so if any has any recommendations of shows to watch with our daughters or even spouses, I’m all ears! God bless all.

  48. I don’t know if this was mentioned in the previous 246 comments, and I know you’ve written some about having a newborn in the house… but I’d love to hear what you have to say specifically about surviving the postpartum period with your marriage intact. Well, thriving preferably. I found your blog several months before my fourth baby was born in Sept ’16. I was well on my way to learning/practicing a lot of what you teach here when I found your super insightful blog. Anyhow, things were smooth sailing until a few weeks after the baby and booom. I had worse postpartum hormones than aftr any of my previous births, anxiety and depression, constant mood swings. It seems nearly impossible to “die to myself” and my needs feel so important. Ugh. I’m feeling quite a bit better after addressing some things like dehydration and extra B vitamins, but there’s definitely been damage done and my husband is back to being more “in his shell”. I always have so many insecurities, thoughts about how to make our marriage better, oh and insecurities flooding my mind and I just overthink things until I burst into tears out of nowhere. I’m. so. tired of it. I just want to feel loved and secure again, like I did before baby.

    1. ByGrace,

      That is a really tough time for so many new moms – and for so many marriages. I have some posts about dealing with PMS that may be helpful. You are welcome to search PMS on my home page search bar. The principles will be the same.

      But also, be open to your husband’s wisdom and to realizing that your perception and feelings may be skewed right now. Proverbs 3:5-6 may be really helpful. Don’t lean on your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. ๐Ÿ™‚

      And, if you are having a really hard time, it is also okay to talk with your doctor. And maybe you and your husband can also brainstorm together if you are really sleep deprived. Sometimes as a new mom, we are so adamant that everything has to be done a certain way. Sometimes we really could let go of some things and sometimes our husbands have wisdom to share that may be helpful.

      I also have some posts that may help that you may search:

      – insecurity
      – I am responsible for my emotions
      – I am responsible for myself spiritually
      – security

      And check out yesterday’s post about the main emphasis we are to have in our lives and marriages. ๐Ÿ™‚

      If you feel too overwhelmed to read and you can’t even think. Then stop. Rest in God and in His love for you. Rest in your husband’s love. Take a break from all of the thinking. You don’t have to have everything figured out. It may be helpful just to try to get as much sleep as you can. Focus on a verse or two per day. Or listen to the Bible while you are feeding the baby. And just soak in God’s love.

      It is helpful for me to recognize that my feelings may be lying to me when I am hormonal and to choose to disengage from them. I can say to myself, “Right now, I am probably not thinking straight. I am going to depend on God’s wisdom and my husband’s wisdom during this time as much as possible. All of these things that seem so urgent may not be as urgent as they feel to me right now. Things will be a lot more clear in a few months. Until then, I want to guard against running way ahead with my feelings because they may be steering me wrong right now.”

      Much love and a huge hug to you!

  49. Ladies,

    I received some feedback this week that someone felt I jump to use the word “separation” way too quickly when women comment about having very difficult situations.

    I hope that it is obvious that I greatly value marriage. It is a covenant – which is much more than a promise. It is to last until death parts a husband and wife and it is a covenant not just between two people but also with God. I don’t take the idea of a wife separating from her husband lightly. It is not usually necessary and is not usually a first route to take.

    I mention separation for really severe situations where there is unrepentant sin on a husband’s part and the wife is truly seeking to walk in obedience to God, to take care of any sin in her own life, and to be the woman and wife God calls her to be. I know that women in really serious situations often are not free to divulge all of the details online. It isn’t always safe to do so.

    What my hope is – is that women who are dealing with mild-moderate issues will focus on their walk with Christ and on becoming the women God calls us to be, then they will have the wisdom and power of God’s Spirit to lead them about exactly how to handle things.

    And the women with really severe issues – I want them to draw as close to Christ as possible to have all of His wisdom and His Spirit’s power, as well. And if needed, they may prayerfully decide to reach out for appropriate help. And if they are truly in danger, I would personally love to see them get somewhere safe.

    But more than anything I say – please seek God, His will, and His Spirit’s prompting and do what He leads you to do.

    I don’t take separation lightly. If it comes across that I do – then I need to spend more time explaining myself. It is only in situations where there are really severe addictions that are creating an extremely toxic environment for the wife/children or where there is legitimate abuse and a wife/children are not safe or where there is some very serious unrepentant sin and God is leading a wife to separate that I would think about separation.

    Most of the time, we should stay and try to work things out – but there do have to be limits and exceptions.

    Even if a wife separates – my prayer would be for spiritual healing in Christ for the husband, for healing for the addiction, for repentance of any sin, and for eventual reconciliation and a godly, healthy marriage.

    I hope that makes sense.

    I apologize if it came across that I think women should just quickly jump ship for any reason. That is not my intended message at all.

    Much love to each of you!

    1. There are some who believe that the only approaches a wife may ever take that are biblical are based on two passages:

      1. Ephesians 5:22-33 – where a wife is to respect and submit to her husband in everything as to the Lord.
      2. 1 Peter 3:1-6 – where a wife is to win a husband who is disobedient to the word without words but by her godly example.

      It is my understanding that 1 Peter 3:1-6 is primarily about how wives can best witness to their husbands and influence them to move toward Christ. There are other passages in the New Testament that are about how to handle conflict. Some teach that a believing wife can never ever approach her husband about sin in his life and that a wife has to just say nothing if her husband is sinning against her because of 1 Peter 3:1-2.

      But there are several passages about what believers are to do when someone sins against them, and I don’t see wives excluded from those passages. Of course, there may be times God prompts us to wait and pray and not say anything. But there may be times we may need to very respectfully address sin as God leads us. This will take great discernment and wisdom from God’s Spirit for us to navigate.

      Ephesians 5 and I Peter 3 are very important for us to study and to obey. However, there are other passages that apply to wives specifically – and then even more passages that apply to all believers, as well. I don’t want to ignore the rest of the New Testament and only teach 17 verses in isolation.

      We are to respect our husbands (which is an unconditional command) just as husbands are to love their wives unconditionally. We are to trust God to lead us through our husband’s leadership as a designated authority. But those in positions of designated authority have limitations on their authority – which is demonstrated by the fact that we are to submit to our husbands “as to the Lord” – and if a husband asks his wife to clearly sin or condone sin, she may not be able to do what he asks her to do. People in positions of designated authority – like pastors, government leaders, police officers, military personnel, managers, teachers, husbands, and parents do not have absolute authority the way God does. For more about this, please check out Rev. Weaver’s post “Spiritual Authority” who is one of the ministers at my church.

      1 Corinthians 7: 1-16 is also about married life and many of the verses are directed toward wives.
      – We as wives are to be sexually available to our husbands when possible.
      – Husbands are to be sexually available to their wives when possible.
      – Neither spouse is to purposely withhold sex because that would invite temptation to the other spouse to look for sexual release outside of the marriage.
      – God instructs believing spouses not to separate from each other.
      – But then, if a believer prayerfully decides that he/she must separate, there are instructions given about how to handle this. They are to remain celibate and unmarried or they are to reconcile with the spouse.
      – A believing spouse is not to divorce an unbelieving spouse but live with him/her if the unbeliever is willing to stay.
      – If the unbeliever leaves, the believing spouse is to let him/her leave in peace and not try to force the unbeliever to stay.
      – The ultimate purpose for the unbelieving spouse is that he/she may come to Christ.

      So even though separation is not ideal, it is a provision of the New Testament in cases where it is needed for serious issues. Hopefully that may be helpful.

      Much love!

          1. A Christian website popped on my Facebook last night and it talked about many of the things you talk about in marriage. However in the comments section, Christian women were posting how they got a divorce simply because their husbands weren’t trying enough and that God would agree that He doesn’t want people to suffer. Women were typing Amen and applauding each other for it. It made me soooo sad! Through suffering we grow! It made me sad that some Christian women were not only justifying divorce in non extreme cases, but completing ignoring what the Bible clearly states. One women tried to gently explain what the Bible states, and others jumped all over her calling her “judgemental”.

          2. Linsey,

            Wow! That makes me sad, too, to read what you are describing. If I had given up when things were the hardest – I would have missed all of the spiritual growth God wanted to accomplish in my life. What treasures I would have missed out on. And not just me, but Greg, our marriage, and our children would have missed so many blessing of God if I decided to leave because it was hard and because I thought my husband wasn’t trying hard enough.

            May we decide that we are going to become the women and wives God calls us to be no matter what our husbands do. And may God empower us to be faithful covenant keepers. The post I ran yesterday shows where our focus must be and how this is about much more than just ourselves.

          3. April, do you ever get situations from wives who find their husbands get even more mad when they treat them with respect? Ever since the other night when I brought up the tobacco thing, my husband is filled with so much hate, anger, and negativity. I could say the sky is blue and he would get mad. Everything that comes out of his mouth is negativty and angry, towards everyone, but especially me. Then when I respond with respect, he acts even more mad, which makes me feel like he doesn’t respect me because I’m being respectful when he isn’t if that makes sense.

            He’s being so unloving for weeks now. I know he’s having a lot of hard blows at work but the things he is saying to me hurt so much, that I don’t know if I’ll be able to forgive him or love him again. I know what he says isn’t true and I know that the Lord loves me, but how can I love someone who is so unloving? I know Christ does, but how can I possibly do it, at least in a wife/husband way? I can respect him unconditionally but when a husband won’t love you unconditionally how can you possibly do the same? Sometimes I feel like if I went “off on him” for being disrespectful and hurtful, he would respect me more, but I know that’s not what God wants me to do.

          4. Linsey,

            One way you can love him is to realize that he has been withdrawing from nicotine almost constantly and that a lot of the things he has said were harsher than normal because of that.

            Right now, he is also feeling so disrespected and mothered that he has almost a spiritual, emotional “sunburn.” So it doesn’t take much at all to irritate him, especially when combined with the nicotine withdrawal and the ADD.

            Right now, he may not believe your respect is real. Over time, as he sees that it is real, he will be more accepting of it. But sometimes husbands also are really convicted when their wives act with respect. Or they test their wives because they don’t believe this could be true, they think it may be manipulation. So there are a lot of things that may be going on with him.

            As LMSdaily would say, “Keep your eyes on your own paper.” Focus on your walk with Christ and on being the wife and woman God calls you to be. Be filled up with Jesus! He will give you the power to begin to pour His Life and healing into this marriage. But first, He wants to pour it into you.

            Another way to love someone who is being so hateful is to realize that he is trapped in a dungeon, held prisoner by Satan. Right now, his flesh is in control, not God’s Spirit. When the flesh is in control, we give our mouths and attitudes and actions over for Satan to use us. Recognize that your husband is not the real enemy. Satan is the real enemy and right now, he is using your husband’s mouth and words to attack you. Don’t receive anything that is from the enemy. Recognize the source and reject it. Only receive God’s truth.

            Your husband needs to be set free by Jesus. Then he can have the fruit of the Spirit.

            When Your Spouse Is Wrong by my real life brother may be helpful with this issue.

            You can address the disrespect without sinning against him, by the way. You can do something like say:

            – “You know what, Baby, I want to hear your heart and what you want to say to me, but I need to leave the room for a bit because the way you are talking to me right now hurts me a lot.”
            – “How about we take a break for a bit to cool down, and then maybe we can try again in about 30 minutes to have this conversation?”
            – “Ouch.” (That is what Laura Doyle recommends, “The Surrendered Wife.”)
            – “That felt really unloving. Did I do something disrespectful just now?” (That is what Dr. Emerson Eggerich recommends, “Love and Respect.”)
            – “Please don’t speak to me so harshly.”
            – “I feel disrespected when you speak to me that way. I know you have felt disrespected by me many times, too. I’d really love for us both to speak in a calm tone of voice so that we both feel more respected by each other.”
            – Smile. Hug him. And quietly leave the room until he calms down.
            – “Honey, I know that we can do better than this.”
            – “I know you are a better man than this. Do you want to take a break and we can talk about this a bit later?”
            – “It is really hard for me to hear what your message is because you sound so angry. If you are able to speak more calmly, I want very much to understand your heart and I will be glad to listen. But if you keep yelling, I am going to have to leave.”
            – “Let’s start on a new page with each other. What can we do to have a mutually respectful relationship? I’m all in. I want to treat you with respect. I would like you to treat me with respect. I want both of us to know we are safe and that we will be treated well here.”

            You treating him with respect is not about disrespecting yourself. It is not even about that he “deserves” your respect. It is about that Jesus deserves your respect and obedience and that because you love Him, you want to treat the people He made in His image with dignity, value, and honor.

            Much love!

          5. It’s hard for me to feel like this isn’t a result of his nicotine use either. He’s only this way when he’s back on it again. I know it sounds crazy but his moods are crazy! I don’t know if this is who is really is and nicotine just calms him or if it’s caused by it.

          6. I believe my Husband is very far removed from the Lord. When we married, we were both unbelievers. In fact, I was probably the last person people would think that would be a believer. I was anti anything to do with what I believe today. That’s a miracle in itself. However, I think my husband just goes to church to raise our daughter with religion, but of course I don’t know his heart. Is it possible for a believer to be with an unbeliever? And does the Bible say that a wife who is a believer can live as much like Christ as possible to motivate her husband to be a believer? I think you mentioned that verse. I am still new in my bible studies and on this journey. But if God can get someone like me to believe, any things possible.

          7. Linsey,
            I have many posts about this topic. Yes, it is very possible for an unbelieving spouse to live with a believing spouse if the unbeliever is willing to stay. I Corinthians 7 has a lot to say about this issue. And 1 Peter 3:1-6 does, as well.

            Essentially, your job as a believer is to:
            – Obey God’s commands for you to honor your husband’s God-given leadership (unless he is asking you to sin/condone sin)
            – Treat your husband with unconditional respect (this does not mean you respect sin, but you respect that he is made in the image of God and that he is your husband, and the good things about him.)
            – Stop trying to control him and let the Holy Spirit work to convict him in His timing.
            – Show a godly example in your attitude. Be friendly, polite, respectful, appreciative, positive, gentle, joyful, peaceful, and have self-control in Christ. He can work these things in you as you trust him.
            – Avoid complaining, arguing, being negative, having a critical spirit, being bossy, and trying to verbally drag him to God.
            – Stay as close to Jesus as you can so you can be filled up with His power. It has to be all His Spirit working in you, you can’t do this on your own.
            – Your godly example can influence your husband to come to Christ, men don’t tend to respond to words about spiritual things from their wives when they are far from God.
            – Entrust your husband to the Holy Spirit to draw him to Jesus.

            You are not the Holy Spirit. It is super important to remember that. As you walk in obedience yourself, you will stay out of God’s way as He speaks to your husband. Your husband will better be able to hear God’s voice. Then you become an instrument God can use to draw your husband to Himself instead of standing as a barricade squarely in God’s way – which is what we do when we disrespect our husbands and we are contentious.

            Yes, your husband is not beyond God’s reach! He loves him infinitely more than you can imagine. Picture that your husband is God’s beloved lost son. Treat him the way you would want someone to treat your child who was lost and far from home.

            Much love!

  50. All,
    I was reading in Genesis 22 today. This is an AMAZING chapter. It is the place where God calls Abraham to take Isaac, who is the child God promised to Him, and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on Mount Moriah (which is where the Temple was later built – how cool is that?).

    Abraham’s response illustrates why God chose Abraham out of all the other men on the earth. His faith in God and his willingness to obey were incredible.

    I think many of us are familiar with the extreme sacrifice Abraham was willing to make. And many of us are also familiar with the fact that God made the same sacrifice for us, but actually went all the way through with it – by sending Jesus to the cross. He did not withhold His only Son from us. His beloved Son.

    But here is something I may have not paid as much attention to in the past. Look how God rewards the faith and obedience of Abraham because Abraham did not withhold his most beloved son or anything else from God:

    The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, โ€œI swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.โ€ Gen. 22:15-18

    I know it seems scary to yield everything to God and to lay our husbands, our children, our marriages, our health, our lives, our future, our careers, our homes, our money, etc… before God in total surrender. It seems scary when we don’t realize who God is or how He rewards those who trust and obey Him.

    But check out what God does for a believer who wholly loves, obeys, and trust Him!?!?!?!

    – He received a special blessing that he could not have had if he withheld his son.
    – Isaac and all of his descendants received a special blessing (for the next several thousand years or more).
    – His descendants would have victory in battle.
    – The Messiah would come through his line of descendants to bless every nation on earth.

    What might God have in store for us, our families, our marriages, our children, our churches, our communities, our countries, and the world if we are willing to obey Him as Abraham was? What mighty things would God like to do in and through our lives as we respond in total faith and absolute surrender?

    Did Abraham lose anything by being willing to sacrifice Isaac to God? Ultimately, no. But he gained everything.

    Of course, sometimes, we do lose what we sacrifice to God – in this lifetime. But He knows best, far more than we do. And our obedience and willingness to trust Him with everything is a key to unlock the door to incredible fellowship and intimacy with Him and to so many spiritual treasures and blessings that we can’t begin to imagine.

    Much love!

  51. I was wondering about how you would recommend studying scripture. I’m not referring to which books to read but in one of your photos I noticed a Bible and a notebook with a highlighter and since I plan on reading more scripture I wondered “I wonder how April takes notes?” Do you have notebook sections on topics or maybe a note section per certain book of the Bible. I would love your guidance on how and IF you even take notes when you study the Word. I’ve always known people that would highlight and write on their Bibles and I think I’m that kind of person but I wonder how writing notes in a separate notebook is very useful. This goes for now but I also wonder about the note taking during those 3 years you mention when the heart change took place before the blog. Bless you April and you’re busy so feel free to respond next week or whenever, no rush and thank you!!! I’m getting my highlighters ready.

  52. Oh and that study question is also for anyone else to answer, woukd love to hear from LMS, CIC ,Amanda HH. Anyone I’m so curious because I want to study more in a structured way if that’s even a good way! Thanks to all xoxo

    1. Hi SIC,

      I noticed you asking how I study. I am pretty simple, I have a small notebook that I just put a date at the top of each day. That becomes my journal, my study notes and my diary. I use it for writing almost everything, including making decisions about finances, kids, etc. If I have a big decision I write all my pro’s and con’s in it and reference scripture to come to a decision. I weight the pros and cons.

      When I am studying a particular topic I still use this method and write all the relevant scriptures out by hand. This helps me to remember them as well. It does make referencing things a bit tricky because there is no particular system to the order things are written, but there is great benefit in being able to look back and see the journey I took to come to a particular decision, mindset, place etc ๐Ÿ™‚ I guess in a way my ‘system’ is that it is all organised in chronological order! When one book is filled I start another.

      Sometimes when I reply to a comment here or email a church friend I will write out all my thoughts in it, pray about it and then put together what I feel led to share. Sometimes I write out my thoughts and realise that I do not have anything that would be helpful to share so it just stays im the book, but it is a helpful part of the process.

      This has been particularly helpful when working through different fears and mindsets that have been unhelpful to me, to be able to identify where and why I developed a particular mindset ๐Ÿ™‚ It is helpful to see written out my own views compared with truth.

      Hope this helps, HH

    2. SIC, I’m so glad to see you chiming in on the blog! I pray you are doing well. Actually, I am interested to see what April responds too, also. I have a highlighter, and I use it for passages that “speak” to me. But I find that I tend to meditate on certain passages. Kind of like a “theme for the week”. For example, this week seems to be focusing on dealing with the “thorn in my side”. Paul implored God to remove his “thorn” (sickness, malady, worry…we never find out), and God replied “my grace is sufficient for you”. In fact, the “thorn” was never removed.

      I will see references to this “theme” over and over, on the radio, in conversations, signs, etc. So, I try to figure out why or where God is leading me in this. Self reflection. One time, it was all about a Well. The story of Joseph being thrown into a cistern by his brothers, a children’s tale about a frog coming out of his happy well and finding a pond, a lake, the ocean…probably 6-10 refences that week alone. I will sometimes write a poem, or journal about what I have spiritually discovered from my reflections. I ended up writing a poem that week called “The Well” that spoke of God being present with me at the bottom of the well, encouraging me, holding me, and even though I felt trapped and alone in the dark, one day I would emerge from the well, but that I wasn’t ever alone. It did wonders for helping me defend against a looming depression. I have never been clinically depressed, but I see that sinister cloud sometimes rolling over the plain toward me. So far, I have been “saved” from that by God. PTL.

      Many times, I go right here to the PW site and write out my “newly found ‘aha’ moment” if it pertains to a post. I realize this week that I may never have the marriage I dream of, but I will continue to live in a way to please God. I won’t let my “thorn” sour my attitude on life. This ties into my realizations from last week, that I should not expect any 1 person to be all I need in life… including my husband. I can accept what he is willing to give, and also be grateful for the many friends and family God has placed in my life to help fulfill the other roles. Some, may never be filled. But God can be ALL of them, even if I was the last person on earth. This gives me a type of peace, acceptance of others and patience I haven’t felt before.

      When I read a book, I also keep a journal about the “pearls” I learned from that book. It may be a list, a line or two, a scripture that stood out. I find it all helps me understand how to APPLY the Word of God to living this life on earth. I understand that our ultimate reward is when we go home to God , but until that time, this is our chance to honor God with our gratitude for his gift of life and the chance to live on this earth. It is our testing grounds.

      As far as posting on blogs, I have always been a “writer” since 2nd grade. I hope one day to be published. Poems, short stories, who knows, so I know I am a “wordy” person. I try to practice being more direct, to the point and focused in my verbal communications. Eh, I’m a work in progress.

      Something that might be fun is a bible with the extra space on the side for drawing, doodling or illustrating on. The pages that have a passage that speaks to you might be able to be “illustrated” in a meaningful way to you. It becomes very customized and a testament to your one on one personal relationship with Christ.

      Some people journal on a computer because they can type fast, or to password protect it to keep it private…I’ve done that too.

      I have also Google searched images, on line, or took photographs that pictorially show my understanding of God’s word. April kind of does this at the beginning of each of her posts. An example for me was when I was trying to understand how men need space and time, the picture of an ocean with a boat far off by the horizon, and a woman running up and diwn the beach waving a big floppy hat trying to flag the boat down kept coming to mind. So I found a picture, pasted it to a Word document, typed out a few lines of thought about it, maybe included a scripture or two. Common themes for me: seeds, trees, growing=maturing spiritually, the circle of life, having faith. Lighthouses, sun/moon, candles=letting God’s love shine through me or off me to bring light to others and help point the way to God. Wells, prison, darkness=lonliness, sin tempting me, fear.

      These pictures are meaningful and help solidify how God’s word is still relevant and alive today as it was thousands of years ago.

      I’ve gone on more than I planned, go figure! Lol.

      I will pray for God to continue to bring His wisdom to you as you grow up under His perfect parenting, sister.

      Hope this helps.

      Much love
      LMS

      1. Thank you HH and LMS for sharing! HH, your posted reminded me that I have a journal I started since 2004, some years have only 3 entries, other years have an entry almost every month and I see the growth in that span of 13 years that is tremendous spiritual growth evident in the style of writing and the thought processes that were spelled out (and still MUCH more to go) but I was very juvenile in certain aspects of my life and thinking I noticed when I look back. The one thing that stood out to me during those years of journaling was that in almost every entry I always thanked God for my blessings. One time I dedicated a whole few pages just thanking the Lord. It was nice to see I did that in my younger years especially through all the trying times. (thanks mom for ingraining that love of the Lord in me)

        It’s nice that you really think about what you say before you speak, I’m very impulsive when I speak or journal but I would like to try that before responding to a person. I think I will, thank you!

        LMS, that ‘thorn on my side’ issue was actually on my mind lately, and frankly that thorn has been the bane of my existence since marriage only unfortunately. You may be familiar with the insecurity issues I’ve had,– better yes, but there still. As I was thinking of it, I remembered the holy words of our Lord who said in response to Paul, “โ€œMy grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.โ€ I haven’t done any commentary research on this AT ALL, and I’ve heard this verse FOR YEARS I known the blessed response in this verse but it was only the other day when something hit me right in the face (obvious to everyone else who probably interprets this) that when I am weak (tempted to feel insecure, express ungodly fear to my spouse when a gorgeous or even young woman appears somewhere) than THAT is my opportunity to show that “power” in my annoying weakness by remaining silent, remembering and more importantly purposefully bringing to mind that the Lord loves a gentle and quiet spirit and also (another thing that just ‘hit’ me after hearing it several times in the past which is) …”not to give way to fear” . I really appreciated our Lord’s response to him. No. His grace is sufficient, I have to use the power my faith gives me over and over, being refined in the process for His glory. He’s not a grandfather ready to spoil his grandkids with anything and everything, He is our Father who disciplines those He loves. And that hurts.

        I was just thinking of getting another bible with commentary but immediately I heard “Just read first” it was so funny how that thought just popped in my head like a sweet spirit that rolled his eyes at me and just had to say something. I would journal on a computer but I have issues with my vision and I’m at work all day on the computer and it’s a terrible strain on my eyes which are red all day! I use Rhoto drops to combat this.

        I loved hearing from you, thank you so much for sharing. It’s very inspiring that you write poetry after reading something and that you are so present and mindful of all you read. I really like the picture idea, as a matter of fact I have a “Saint of the Month” on my kitchen cork board which is a new thing I started this year for the children, they’re teens but better late than never. I printed above it “Holy Saints Hall of Fame” and will change it every month to a new saint. It has sayings and pictures and a brief snippet of their life. I’ve caught them reading it. My husband too. I feel inadequate as a mother sometimes especially in instilling my faith so I think of things like this. I want to do something to counter what they are reading and seeing out there on social media and I feel a bit desperate.

        I was just thinking the other day of creating my own blog but it would just be for my family to read, specifically my children. I’m still thinking through content but I wanted a to create a sort of legacy in their modern style for both of my children to have (you never know how long I’ll be around, we aren’t promised tomorrow) and I just want them to see how I’ve tried to live out my faith everyday. I’ll post some of my writings and things that express how they should live while using examples of my past etc… Still in the infant stages of my mind.

        1. Sisterinchrist, that’s so funny, I was thinking and praying for you as I drove around at work yesterday and had the same idea about a family blog…not public, but just for the family to bring up ideas, concerns etc. It’s the media of the times. Also in the infantile stages. I never blogged before I found this PW site, was frankly very cautious and scared too. No one in my family blogs that I know of either, but my hand writing is not easy to read, so I type like a mad woman.

          I know that something will “feel right” to you. I do know of your “thorn”. I love how that same theme is running through your life right now too. It is different for each of us, but universal in the lesson. That’s what is so great about the bible and what/how it teaches. It is still relevant today as it was 2000+ years ago.

          Yesterday, I’m noticing a theme of “royalty”. Words like princess, diva, queen, king, crown…all popping up. It made me remember that we have royal blood in our veins as a child of the most high God. We are princes and princesses to Him. Not conceited, arrogant and self serving type, but looking more at the confidence in knowing who we are and where our heritage lies in. We should not be going around thinking we are less than, unworthy of His favor, not good enough. The only opinion of us that matters is God’s opinion. If my husband thinks I am no good, or worthless, or not worthy of love, I can recognize that God is my King, my father, and I am His child, therefore, knowing His promise of perfect love, I can recognize those things said by my husband as lies from the deceiver. Also if I say them or beleive them of myself….still lies. A graceful queen does not hang her head, give off lowly, unworthy impressions. She knows she has earned a certain respect and expects to have it. She doesn’t “lose her marbles” and screams, yells, accuses people like a control freak when they are not disrespectful, she knows that is THEIR issue to deal with. The opinion of others does not lessen who she is. She keeps her peace, her composure. But there ARE people who don’t respect her. Yet she remains unchanged, keeps her godly confidence.

          We need to keep that in mind too. The opinion of others should not lessen who we are in God. Neither the opinion of ourselves.

          I will be honest, I am overweight, have age spots, wrinkles, 44 years old, extra “stuff” I wish I didn’t have, not getting younger, BUT I am God’s masterpiece. I dont feel as old as i am, in fact, i feel young and energetic. My mom told me once that “there are far bigger things to worry about in life than my weight, im not losing my joy over how I look.” (This was after I cut her down about her being “fat” as a mouthy, angry 16 year old teen after my parents divorced) That made me stop and see how cruel I was being, and I saw her wisdom. She remained a very happy, positive person to be around.

          I am going to the gym, not for my looks, but to feel better and take care of the body God has given me. I am at peace with my imperfections. My looks, body, etc may not be pleasing to everyone, but that is not who I really am, just the vehicle for my soul to drive around in.

          So I don’t have a sleek sports car, or a beefy SUV, or a trendy foreign car. I’m kind of a 4 door hatchback, American family car, grocery getter. Lol. I’m ok with that. God made me that way, and I am very versitile. I have room for my family to be comfortable, I can pick up what’s needed to provide, I run good, have solid machinery. I’m in need of a tune up, maybe, rotate my tires, but I keep it clean. My husband is a truck guy. Lots of bells and whistles, shiney, red, roll bar, chrome, KC lights, lift kit, lots of miles. I accept him for who he is, and all I can do is hope he accepts me for who I am. If not, I’m still going to be a grocery getter hatchback. I can’t be a truck, or a sports car, I’m not made that way. We all have our own race to run. His may be on a more obstacle track type, boulder climbing path. Mine is more for fuel economy and people comfort driving in the city. I would not do good on his track, and he would burn up lots of gas and go through brakes on my track. A race car is not meant to go off roading .

          You be the best “you” that you can be. God loves you just the way you are. Don’t try to be something you are not.

          Besides, no car is very useful without a good driver in the seat. Our souls are the driver, and they are beautiful and precious and cherished by God…we are made in His own image.

          All my love to you!
          LMS.

          1. Oh my goodness this was so touching. I am on my phone now but look forward to corresponding further. First, thank you so much for praying for me. That’s a tremendous blessing that humbles me.

            Throughout your post, which I look forward to rereading later today, I kept thinking–and moreso as I continued to read–that you should really consider going through some of your posts on this blog (including the “The Theme of Royalty” you spoke about on this one, that actually made me very emotional to read, thank you for the lovely reminder of who we are as daughters of the Most High) and adding it to your site. Especially for our daughters and even our sons. You have a beautiful, graceful heart. And a forgiving heart. Thank you.

        2. SIC,
          Commentary can be helpful. But it also can skew our understanding in negative ways sometimes. The most powerful thing is just to read God’s Word and invite His Spirit to speak to us. This requires that we be willing to obey anything we find in scripture. Otherwise, as Andrew Murray says, “we are training ourselves in disobedience” if we read but don’t apply what we read.

          Much love!

  53. Brothers and sisters, I would like to ask you to pray for me this week. There have been some challenges arise that were unexpected and they are huge. Bigger than anything I have ever known before. I am confident that God can bring me through these challenges with power and grace but I also know that I need very much to be directed in how to deal with them. I have taken a considerable amount of time off work to process them and I would be extremely grateful to know that I am being remembered in prayer by my PW family. HH

    1. Oh no, I’m very sorry to hear this HH. I will surely pray for you brother in Christ. Pray harder than ever right now too, maybe fast? As Jesus so often did for intense spiritual need as when He was in the desert or before choosing the 12 apostles. We look forward to hearing better news soon.

    2. Lord Jesus,

      Right now, I want us to stop an just think about who You are and where You are:

      I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lamp stands, and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.

      When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: โ€œDo not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” Rev. 1:12-18

      You, Lord Jesus, have all authority from God. Every authority that exists answers to You alone. You hold all of the power of the universe. When You speak, it is done. From Your mouth comes a sharp, two-edged sword with which You defeat Your enemies completely and utterly. You are sovereign. Nothing can happen in the universe without Your knowledge and permission. You do not cause evil. You are completely good and You can’t do evil. Your motives are good. And yet You give us and angels free will. And even when we have evil motives, You are able to use all that was intended for evil to accomplish Your good, righteous, loving, and holy purposes! How we praise and thank You for that!

      So many brothers and sisters here are hurting. Humbled Husband is going through a particularly horrific situation. But You are the King of the angel armies. You wear the Victor’s Crown and You have the power to give victory not only to HH and to those who are struggling, but I pray for Your forces of good to overcome Satan’s forces of evil in the lives of wayward spouses and others who are on our hearts. Destroy Satan’s plans to steal, kill, and destroy. Release the captives from his dungeons of darkness and set them free to live in Your Light!

      Empower us all to completely yield self to You. Let us crucify our old sinful nature and its desires and destructive approach. Cleanse us of anything that is offensive to You. Let us receive all the good that You have already provided for us in Christ. Prune and refine us for Your glory. We ask for Your greatest glory in our lives and in the lives of our spouses and family members and for our churches and the church around the world! Bring many into the Kingdom. Whatever it takes! Whatever the cost! Give us eyes to see from Your eternal perspective. Make us useful and fruitful to You, Lord.

      Let HH and those who are discouraged find great comfort in Your presence. Fill their hearts and minds with Your praises and with thanksgiving. Let them sing songs of victory at the top of their lungs! Give them eyes to see what You want them to see in the darkness. Let them receive the treasures you have in these caves. Let them keep their eyes on You. Increase their faith. Take them much deeper with You. We entrust his wife and these circumstances and our sisters’ husbands and their circumstances to You. And we join together in one accord with complete unity to storm the gates of hell to set these captives free with You at the helm.

      We thank You and praise You for all You have done, all You are doing, and all You are about to do!

      In the Name and power of Christ,
      Amen!

      1. Thank you SIC.

        Thank you April.

        Thank you anyone else who is praying for me but has not commented.

        Brothers and sisters, the trials that are facing me this week are beyond anything I thought possible. I have been wronged in ways that I simply have no words for. Scripture teaches me that some people are called to suffer great things in order for God’s name to be glorified. Scripture also shows that God can turn even the most impossible situation around. I was reading in Esther last night and saw how Haman had everything going his way and had every intent on killing Mordechai, but then Mordechai ended up in Haman’s privileged position and Haman on the gallows he built for Mordecai. I do not know where this horrific situation is headed. It is simply the worst thing that has ever happened to me and my heart is like lead within me. I do not know whether this is something that God is going to use for good soon, or whether like Joseph I will be taken to prison (metaphorically, not literally) for an even darker time.

        Please pray that above all, I would be able to stand firm in faith. I was thinking how does a person’s light shine when the circumstances around them are so dark that they can not see a single way out? But, God helped me see that even if that person can not see the way out, their light would be the most visible to others when their surroundings are the darkest. Perhaps that is part of this. I was praying with a good friend from church last night and saying that I am not seeing any fruit from these sufferings, instead worse things keep on being revealed. He said “You are the fruit, and everyone else can see it and we are humbled before God by it” ๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ข

        I am not afraid of the future, I know that my victory is assured even if things never change. Great pain can coexist with great peace. But, I do need great comfort from the Lord right now and I value more than words can express the prayers of His people.

        In Christ, HH

        1. HH I am in tears for you. I can’t believe how much I care about you and people on here I’ve never met. I feel like I know you in some way and that you are a friend. Aprils prayer for you and us all was so powerful and I will be praying for you right now and especially for you to stay strong in your faith as you have been such an inspiring example of it for all of us through these terrible times. PTL that you don’t ( we all don’t) have to go through life’s fiery trials alone. Our Lord is with you HH. And you have so much support here and from your family and church community.
          Bel

          1. Amen Bel. It was hurtful to read and very saddened to hear of such pain. I think of St. Paul and what he endured, his beautiful words on perseverance through trials…

        2. HH,

          Dear brother! We surround you in prayer and in faith that God has your hand and will lead you through the fire and smoke to a place of rest for your soul. And even in this time of such a raging storm, we pray that God’s love would be more tangible than ever! That He might draw you even closer to Himself. That you might experience a much deeper level of faith and trust than ever before in Christ. That His healing might engulf you and His goodness and brightness radiate everywhere in your heart and mind. We pray for God’s deliverance for those who have caused this pain. Lord, open their eyes to this egregious sin! Bring them to their knees in true mourning over their sin and true repentance.

          Let HH’s faith and life speak powerfully everywhere he goes to illuminate Jesus and the cross! Give him the supernatural ability to love with Your love, to think with Your mind, to see with Your eyes. Direct his every step for Your greatest glory. Let him rest in Your unfailing love and Your promises to him.

          We pray You will empower him to stand firm and to be unwavering in his faith – that all who are around him might see it and see the radiance of Your love and Your Spirit in him and that they might be in awe of You. Go after the people who have hurt him all the more to bring them to salvation. Go after Satan and his forces and overcome them, Lord!

          How we praise God for what You have done in HH’s life over the past year. You have brought him from extreme fear to great faith. He is such a light for you and a blessing to each of us. Thank You for the fruit in his life. We can all see it clearly and I know I am humbled before God by what You have been doing in his life. We thank You!

          Continue to allow HH to live in Your peace. Comfort, encourage, and support him now with Your love, Your truth, and Your healing. Use this terrible nightmare to catapult him to new levels of faith and to answer the prayers he has been praying. We thank You and trust Your sovereignty in this storm.
          Amen!

        3. HH, keep your candle lit, my friend. I am praying deep and wide and long for you in this dark time. I will pray on my face for you tonight. Hugs and blessings from afar.-LMS

        4. HH
          I’m sure many people are praying for you, even ones like me who don’t comment much, but try hard to keep up with this blog, and learn from all the wise people on here and all their trials and experiences.
          I know its a cliche but something that has really helped me recently, in going through a big battle myself, is that someone said “trust is the highest form of worship”. It’s not an actual bible quote, but it really made me think. It’s so hard to trust God when things are tough… so WHEN we do, it is utter worship of who He is, even though we don’t see why He’s allowing what He’s allowing, if that makes sense!
          God bless you

  54. Hi April, I wonder if you might be able to write a column about discerning when to get medical help or evaluation for some issues. Sometimes when I read some postings, I wonder if it would not help the individual to get a consult with a doctor they trust and maybe consider using antidepressants. Some women are just being tormented with generalized anxiety or depression! It seems that we sometimes expect Christians to pray their way out of everything that is mental health-related.

    Sometimes people don’t understand that depression can lead to actual physical changes in the brain that could and should be treated medically (serotonin, nor-epi levels, etc.). Sometimes our over-the-top emotions are symptoms rather than something we are doing wrong. I had a friend who was a Christian. He lost his job, his mother, and had to move. He went into a depression, and no one would help him get mental health treatment. He actually became so mentally ill that it broke him (he had psychotic episodes and was hospitalized) and he became disabled and was unable to work as a church planter.

    Christians seem to think that that all mental health problems can be solved through prayer, but I notice that when a person has crushing chest pain, no one says just pray to God, don’t call an ambulance, don’t go to the emergency room and don’t take nitroglycerin because that means you don’t trust God. And I realize people don’t make that same connection with mental health…that sometimes, there is a time and a place for medical intervention to help bridge us over to a better place. There is so much stigma towards mental health medications!

    Also in that same vein, helping wives understand when there might be other diagnoses that are contributing to their problems. I myself have adult ADHD diagnosed in my fifties. It was so helpful to realize that is why I struggle so much with emotional regulation rather than I’m just a failure. And why I lost so many friends and got a bad reputation in my former church because of my impulsive comments and actions.

    On hubby’s side, it has recently come to our attention, through my husband’s Christian counselor, that he has traits of Aspergers. This is why his face does not light up when I walk into the room and this is why he doesn’t have a need to connect like I do, and why he can’t “pay attention” to me like the marriage counselors try to teach him. It helps a lot to know this is coming from his individual wiring rather than he doesn’t love me or I’m not beautiful. This information also helped me to look back at things that have happened over the years and reframe them with a better understanding of his love for me.
    Just some ideas.

    Keep up the good work.

    1. Marked Wife,

      I always do try to ask wives who comment about if there are any mental health issues going on when they comment. It can be really difficult to know exactly what is going on sometimes with mental health issues. Our emotional/mental health is so tied to our physical health as well as to our spiritual health. But yes, there are certainly times when people may want to consult a doctor. There are a lot of things that can contribute to the problems we have with anxiety, fear, and depression.

      Sometimes there are dietary issues, like I talked about in this post. Sometimes there are side effects of medications. Sometimes there are issues like ADD/ADHD, bi-polar, Aspergerโ€™s etcโ€ฆ I have shared resources with specific wives who have commented about Aspergerโ€™s and also about ADD/ADHD. Sometimes there are spiritual issues with lies or idols that need to be addressed. Sometimes it is a combination

      Yes, this kinds of things can make everything much more challenging. And yes, sometimes medical help can make a really big difference.

      This is a good idea for a post. I will prayerfully consider it! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks!

  55. Hi
    I’ve been reading for about 8 months now after finding this blog and using it to literally save my marriage. Husband was walking out due to my control issues of many years. Thankful to God for where we are today. We are healing and I still know there is much work to be done. I have a few things I’d like to know more about to help my husband heal and trust. And, for me to continue to trust God and be less fearful of the unknown. Would love your advice on the following:

    1. How to help husband as he’s struggling with the “why did it take all these years.” He’s mad and sad and frustrated with what could have been. How do I help him forgive and mourn what was lost and still feel good about the future? It was 16 years of hell in his words.
    2. He still feels scared the change is fake and I will go back to the old ways. What can I do to reassure?
    3. How to refocus myself when I start to worry about the future. The what if he leaves when the kids are grown even though now he’s ok with living with the new me? What if he’s just here for the kids. I think we are closer now fhan we’ve been in years so I know the relationship is growing in a positive way but I still struggle with the unknown.
    4. Husband spends most of his time cut off from us in his ‘cave.’ I sometimes feel like he really doesn’t even live with us at times he’s alone so much I work full time and manage 5 kids. It’s not easily and since my changes to a peaceful wife I stopped arguing about getting him to help or participate in household chores childcare etc. So he kind of has it made now. It’s hard on me but I remain positive and don’t ask for help. Wondering if this distant is necessary for him to sort this all out and learn to nativagte the new relationship? He has so much free time so much time with guy friends etc. It’s hard because I get no break at all. Wonder how/when/if I can respectfully ask for some reengagement? It’s hard to know because I am so fearful of him leaving. I don’t know how much to push or if I should let more time pass. I don’t get much feedback from him. Although I see him starting to pursue and expect time with me I know he’s happier in our house but he doesn’t talk about his feelings toward me etc. it’s hard.

    Would love advice on how to navigate. So far we’ve followed the typical pattern you have written about. Frustrated quiet phase and him not being sure of the new me etc.
    I just want to know we are secure and I guess maybe God won’t let that happen yet until I fully submit and I suppose I haven’t fully done that yet if I am still filled wilth this worry and fear.

    Thanks

    1. Working on Being Peaceful,

      It is so great to hear from you. These are really good questions, precious sister. I praise God for all He has done and all He is doing and will do in your life!

      1. We are all blind to our sin until God opens our eyes. I couldn’t see at all. Didn’t think I had any sin other than a bit of impatience sometimes, but it wasn’t a big deal, in my view. I asked God the same thing, “Lord, WHY did You not show me all of this sin 14 years ago!??!! I have gone on and on like this unknowingly destroying my husband and marriage.” But now I understand. God chose the timing for opening my eyes for His greatest glory. He is using my story to help tens of thousands of other women and marriages. It is easy to have regrets about past sin. But I am just so thankful that He opened our eyes when He did and that we can learn to hear Him and allow Him to transform us now! There are a lot of factors in why we remain blind for so long. Our feminist culture where disrespect toward men and controlling women are normal and expected. Family influences sometimes make our control and disrespect seem normal and good. Our own sinful nature makes these things seem right. And of course, Satan tempts and deceives us, as well.

      Is he a believer in Christ? Husbands have a similar journey, too. It is just as life-changing and painful. Often, they don’t start on it until after we have been on ours for awhile. But don’t worry, he will have his own issues to confront and from which to repent. Becoming a godly man is just as much spiritual contortion as becoming a godly woman.

      This is the process of sanctification you are undergoing. It is a lifelong process of spiritual maturation. It is like a baby growing into adulthood. It is not a light switch that we flip on and suddenly we know it all and can live it all out all the time. It is a process of learning to trust God more and more and allowing Him to transform and renew our minds.

      You can validate his feelings about his pain from the past and then invite him to collaborate with you to help build a new history and new future that is healthy. And you may have to be prepared to extend grace as it takes awhile before he believes the new changes are for real. Any time you stumble, he may be tempted to despair, thinking that you haven’t really changed. A stumble is not the same thing as not having changed. Get back up and keep your eyes on Jesus. ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. What he is feeling is normal. The biggest thing that will reassure him is time and experience seeing that you are pursuing this new path for God wholeheartedly. It has to be for God, not for your husband primarily. I hope that makes sense.

      3. Check out my video on Taking Our Thoughts Captive for Christ on my Youtube Channel April Cassidy. ๐Ÿ™‚ And you are welcome to search “worry,” “fear,” and “anxiety” on my blog. Part of following Christ is that we learn to rest in God’s love and sovereignty in the midst of the unknown and we learn to get comfortable with it. There are many tests for this!

      4. It took over 3 years before Greg felt safe with me again. You sure have a lot on your plate! How old are your children? How long has it been since you stopped asking for help at all? What do you believe God is prompting you to do?

      5. How is your walk with Christ going at this point? Do you feel you can hear Him pretty clearly? What do you pray for mostly?

      Are you ready to lay down your fears and entrust them all to God? He loves you so very much, sweet sister!

      The frustrating quiet phase shouldn’t last forever. You will begin to be able to respectfully, politely ask for help. I try to only ask once, most of the time. But then be okay and poised even if he doesn’t help. Don’t freak out!

      Your security can’t come from your husband, not even when things are healed . Your security will have to come from Jesus alone.

      There is never a guarantee your husband will not sin against you or that he will change. There is never a guarantee he will accept your changes or that the marriage will be completely healed. But there is a guarantee that God will be right there with you and that He will use all that happens for your ultimate good and His glory. Rest in God and His promises, not in what your husband does or does not do.

      Much love to you!

      1. Working on Being Peaceful,

        Some other posts that may be helpful that you are welcome to search on my search bar:

        – things got worse at first
        – why isn’t my husband more supportive
        – stages of this journey
        – I’m trying to respect my husband but he is being more unloving than ever
        – when a husband doesn’t buy his wife’s changes

        Much love to you!

    2. Working on being peaceful…I feel like you were in my mind writing this very request. I’m in the same boat after 18 years of hell, as my husband puts it. 2 years on the road back to respect, and he still feels like you described your husband. I am interested in April’s response too.

      But I can say, that God has you raising kids right now. Its the hat we are asked to wear right now. Back to basics. Focus on the task at hand. Yes, it’s hard to not have a break, I am there with you. But I urge you to thank God for the gift of your kids and find the joy in life through them.

      I think you are right, your husband has much to work through too. Learning how to forgive seems like it’s a real challenge to our men for some reason. My male cousin told me once it’s time to hold on tight and ride out the storm. When the winds calm, you will be able to see clearly again. I pray that God continues to light up each next step clearly for you, even though you cannot see the whole path. I also pray you can continue to grow in Christ with confidence of who you are…God’s daughter, and use that lineage to defeat fear. The fear of your husband leaving…yep, I have that too, but if he does leave, then know you will still be ok. I pray that you grow in the confidence that God will never leave you. He is the perfect parent, the perfect spouse, the perfect love.

      Hugs and prayers to you today.

  56. Thank you for your quick reply and it is so helpful!
    My husband is a believer but I think the state of our marriage severely impacted his level of faith and following Christ over the past many years. We used to attend church as a family and it fell away from priority over past several years. He even told me he used to pray god would fix us many times. I think he gave up that would happen and I feel so awful about the hurt I caused him. I keep thinking about your post were it’s like my husband is in”ICU” and that has helped me to be understanding and extend grace.
    Our kids are tween to early teens so that helps. A bit more independent but still lots to do and running a household and demanding work is overwhelming. It’s been close to 10 months since I stopped asking and it is hard but I’ve also learned I can’t do it all and leave little things go now. So in some ways giving up control has been easier too. It’s just hard when I wait on everyone, including him and no one noticed and no one seems to ever act like I matter much. It just hurts because much if the time I feel like I’m here just as maid etc to make sure everyone else can go about with having a “life.” I guess my control over the years made it easy to let everything fall on my shoulders.

    Over the past few weeks, I can say I feel wholeheartedly God is telling me to stay the course. My husbands heart is softening. I see and feel that every day and the pace has seemed to pickup recently. I almost feel like the tide is changing and I’m the one a bit apprehensive now of how to navigate if that makes any sense. Mostly I pray for continued healing and forgiveness. Our house is so much more relaxed and the tension is gone. I can’t really describe how much better it is for everyone since I let go of so much.

    The biggest struggle left for me is letting go of my fears and giving that to god. I have a hard time not being scared of all the time he needs with friends and hobbies. It’s always seemed to be more than “normal” compared to other couples we know and a bit more immature than most husband I know. It’s hard for me and I will say he is a trustworthy guy and I don’t think there is infidelity but that’s always been a huge fear for me and why I struggle any time he needs to be away. I also don’t think my attachment style is super healthy. There’s never been reason to fear this stuff but I think it was related to my childhood experience or some sort of need to protect myself above all else. I have a hard time accepting his need to be away doing separate things so much. Since I’d always chose he and the kids as my outlets, I don’t get it. Since my new journey started, I feel like he’s increased the times he’s away and it’s almost like he doesn’t even consider other responsibilities before doing what’s best for him. I don’t know if it’s just a temporary sense of this new found freedom being so great he’s making up for lost time or if this is really what he considers “normal.” That’s what I’m stuck with now.
    Thank you!

    1. Working on Being Peaceful,

      If it has been 10 months since you have asked for help, I think it may be time to begin asking for things respectfully. Of course, be sure to pray about this and see how God may lead. The key is, ask for what you need (or would like) in a pleasant, cheerful way, but then maintain your poise even if he doesn’t help. It’s fine to say in a pleasant voice, “Honey, I would appreciate it so much if you would take out the trash tonight/get the kids to take care of the dishes. Thanks so much!” And then… don’t ask again. Give him time. It’s tempting to ask again in 37 seconds if he didn’t do it yet. But – give him time. Maybe even a few hours. If he says he is going to take care of it, let it sit there until he handles it if at all possible (unless there is truly an emergency).

      If he DOES do something you asked him to do – be sure to reward him with a big smile and a “thank you.”

      You can also certainly assign your children many chores to help with things at these ages. You could have a list on the fridge for each one for each day. You could rotate chores each week. However you want to do it. But you don’t have to be doing all the chores with that many children that are this age. They need to learn to help, too. It is a gift to them to teach them to do these things. They won’t be perfect at first, that will have to be okay. You can still thank them and appreciate their help.

      There may even be times when you need to say to the family, “You know what? I think I am a bit overwhelmed with the chores. Would y’all please take over X, Y, and Z? Thank you. That would be great.”

      I love that your husband is softening. And yes, there will be a temptation for you not to trust the changes in your husband as he softens, too. Here is a post with 23 signs your husband is beginning to trust you again that may help.

      Different people have different needs and expectations for togetherness in marriage. If you really believe he is trustworthy, then I vote to label the fear as a temptation from the enemy and to shoot it down and then focus on finding your security, peace, and contentment in Christ. You obviously can’t stop him from having an affair if he decided to. But you could push him in that direction if you freak out every time he is gone when he really is innocent. Men respond to trust. If you know that he is trustworthy, then be happy for him to enjoy some things with friends. But you can also probably start asking for some time with him, too. He is not necessarily wrong to enjoy doing things without you and the kids. You are not wrong to enjoy being with him and the kids. He may just have a different personality. And as he feels safer and safer with you, he may find he enjoys being with his family more, as well.

      You could say something with a smile and a friendly tone of voice like, “I’d love for us to spend a night together this week. Maybe we could do X?” And then let him think about it and let him get back with you. If he doesn’t do something with you – be content in Christ. If he does do something with you, thank him and continue to be content in Christ. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Much love to you!

    2. Working on Being Peaceful,

      Perhaps another thing that would bless your husband is to let him know that God IS answering his prayers for you and the marriage. ๐Ÿ™‚ Isn’t that beautiful!?!?! ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Thank you! Yes I think it’s time someone else pitches in. The kids can do far more than they do now. It’s just hard to manage that since it’s all my responsibility and honestly it’s like single parenting most of the time. It’s a lot. I think he needs to begin leading and hopefully I can help that happen in a respectful way.

        My anxiety gets the best of me and my mind can come up with all sorts of things I think he’s actually doing it reasons he’s away. The enemy is very good at making me think the worst and always has been. I need to work on keeping things in perspective. He does have different needs than me for togetherness and certainly a different personality. That’s something I have had a hard time accepting.

        I will also mention to him about his prayers being answered. I do regret this hadn’t happened sooner and I pray he can accept the timing and move forward.

        Thanks!

        1. Working on Being Peaceful,

          I felt like I was a single parent for a number of years before God opened my eyes. And I continued to feel that way for awhile afterward, although, Greg was working full time and completely renovating our house for several years. That was a LOT of work!

          My children are now 10 and 15. At this point, they can learn to almost handle all of the chores once you teach them and set up a rotation or schedule. That will help so much!

          And I do think that it is beginning to be time to ask your husband and children for things respectfully. I wouldn’t ask them to do 30 things all the sudden. But if you just ask each one to do one or two things, that would probably work well.

          We all have different personalities and perspectives. It is super helpful to accept that “different” doesn’t necessarily mean “wrong.”

          Much love to you!

  57. Thank you all. This is helpful. I think I’ve always placed too much focus on the kids needs above my husband and probably one of the reasons we are where we are now. I need to find a good balance. The kids still need me but not in the way they used to. It’s an adjustment.
    Thanks for your encouragement. I think we are moving in the right direction. I just pray trust can be rebuilt and forgiveness can be found.

    1. Working on Being Peaceful,

      I believe God can absolutely help you continue in a healthy direction. Praying for His healing for you both and that you can rebuild trust and something beautiful together.

      Much love!

  58. Hi SIC, LMS, April, Bel, Sunshine and all.

    I wanted to stop by here briefly today to thank you for your prayers recently and to say I have been working through these challenges. They are in no way over. I have been wronged in a way that my worst imagination could not have pictured and I am still grappling to believe this has actually happened. I don’t really have any words, there is a great white, a hammerhead, a mako and a killer whale in my boat whilst sailing through a hurricane, a typhoon and a blizzard. The Lord has seen fit to allow me to be chewed on, beaten, bruised, battered, choked and frozen. And unfortunately, the day after this challenge arose, grandpa had some complications from his brain tumour and died suddenly and in quite a painful way. That has not helped with processing the challenges that have come…..BUT I have confidence in one thing and one thing alone, and that is the love of Christ. The hands that are controlling the heat of this trial are nail scarred because of their love for me. I know that as I sail this boat I will come out the other side victorious, perhaps into a safe harbor or perhaps into another storm. I do not know, but the captain of my ship is still the one who holds all things in His hands and I praise Him in this storm!!!!!

    Romans 8:31-39

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

    โ€œFor your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.โ€

    No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither 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.”

    Much love to all of you, HH

    1. My deepest condolences for the loss of your grandpa HH. May he be in the Lords embrace in splendid glory. May the peace of God stay with you during these trials. Keep praying earnestly recalling to your mind the Holy Words of Christ. Commit them to memory to meditate on His word day and night. Keep the praise music on also in your battle plan. Take thoughts captive, let the Sword of the Spirit out if it’s sheath by saying the Word out loud during times of distress.
      Keep your temple healthy as well as your mind and spirit by feeding in the Bread of Life.

    2. HH,
      I’m so sorry about your grandpa. I will be praying for you to stay strong in the midst of this great difficulties.
      Love and blessings to you and your little ones.
      NB

    3. HH
      My thoughts and prayers have been with you this past couple weeks. I almost can’t stand to think of you and what you must be going through now. I keep wishing there was something else we could do to help you but then I realize that prayer is the best thing we can do. Just know that we are all here for you and lifting you up in prayer and your little ones too. I hope you know that you are always such a beautiful example of faith in our Lord and you are where I and I’m sure many others are striving to be. I feel so sad for the people who have to go through life’s trials alone and without the knowledge of the promises of God. Praise the Lord that you have a supportive family around you too. My deepest sympathy on the passing of your granddad.
      Bel

      1. Thanks Bel, SIC, NB.

        Bel, prayer from a heart of faith is precious. It is the most important thing we can give each other. The apostle Paul thought it necessary to pray in faith for the Ephesian believers to know the depth of God’s love and I am certain that God works for our good through the prayers of His people.

        I believe that there is a tremendous battle going on in the heavenly realms at the moment, centered around my family, my church and my community. Things are unfolding in ways that are far too circumstantial to be a fluke, I almost feel like Job at the moment with person after person coming to tell me what disaster has just happened. Even after I wrote my thanks for your prayers, dad let me know that my sister just had a miscarriage this afternoon and is in hospital having scans to ensure she is ok. I pray that the doctors will be able to give her the all clear and they can start rebuilding their emotional health after their loss.

        Bel, please don’t look on me as anything special. I am grateful that you are encouraged by me but I also know that I will fail you. All humanity will. I can only point you to Christ. Look at Christ, he is the only one who will not fail you.

        Jeremiah 17:5-10

        This is what the Lord says:

        โ€œCursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord. That person will be like a bush in the wastelands; they will not see prosperity when it comes. They will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.

        โ€œBut blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.โ€

        The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? โ€œI the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.โ€

        The scripture of the day for me is Psalm 112:7 “They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.”

        In Christ, HH

        1. HH, I too, have had you on my mind much these ladt few weeks, praying for you and your kids. Yes, we are only human, but we are also God’s hands, His image, and His body, here on earth to do His work. Which I beleive is to support, encourage and point each of us to our Father. Please know we are doing that for you just as much as you have done for us and others. We are trule family, and are here for you, my brother.

          Blessings.

    4. HH, I am so sorry to hear of your challenging trials. The death of your grandfather and the storms you are going through. My heart goes out to you. And even though we may not see a way, know that God can make a way. He must feel you are strong enough to be able to face these storms today, else He would not put you through them. I know you will be stronger BECAUSE of them as well. Keep your eyes on God, and the page in the book of your life will turn. God raised Lazairus from the dead. When Jesus heard that Lazairus was sick, he waited 3 more days before He went to him. By then, Lazairus was dead. Jesus knew that He was life, the resurrection, that it will not end in death. He waited until there was a time when there would be no doubt about God’s hand in all. He waited for the time when the Jews came out as well as Martha and Mary to show God’s Glory in the resurrection of Lazairus. He didn’t just love Mary, Martha and Lazairus, Jesus loved all of the people and wanted no doubt left in their belief of Him. Read John 11.

      I beleive your testimony in all of this will most certainly bring the greatest glory to God. Blessings to you. And hugs for your loss, my friend.

      1. Hi LMS,

        You are right, God’s timing is perfect and He knows what and when I can deal with. This storm, had it come last year, would have killed me, literally. I know how Jesus must have felt when Judas kissed him. Psalm 41:9

        And I have a choice, to feel the betrayal and pain and become bitter, angry, vengeful or to still allow myself to feel the pain but forgive and allow God to work in the life of those who have wronged me. One choice will lead to life and emotional freedom, the other to death and emotional bondage. I know what choice I have made.

        That is encouraging to think on Lazarus. You are right, Jesus wanted His glory to be shown to many more people than just one or two. WHEN God turns this situation around for his glory, it has grown to the point that there will not be just one or two people effected, there will be hundreds. Literally. And it is a situation that is so impossible that the only thing that can make any difference IS divine intervention. There will be no doubt when God moves.

        I humble myself before God again this morning, trusting His strength for one more day. HH

        1. HH,
          Thank you so much for sharing. And everyone who responded, thank you for reaching out with encouragement, prayers, support, and love for our brother. I will continue to pray – and I already am praising and thanking God for all He will do through this nightmare to bring about His glory and His good purposes in your life, your family, your church, and community. One day, we will know the details and look back with rejoicing together. In the meantime, I am so thankful for the body and for the way we can pray for each other in our times of greatest need.

    5. Dear HH
      I have been praying for you, and I am grateful for your update, although so so sorry to hear of yet another thing coming to batter you at this awful time.
      In terms of how you’ve been wronged, read the Psalms, especially Psalm 7 and Psalm 10. There’s so much in the bible about God seeing the wrong done to us, and how he will NOT allow it. He comes to the rescue of people who are falsely accused or wronged. Read the various scriptures, and then stand on the promises of God. You WILL be vindicated, and He will put things right. He is a God of justice, and He is completely against the oppression of the innocent. There’s many passages describing God like this. Can’t look them up at the moment, sorry, my own circumstances prevent me from giving anything other than a really quick reply. So sorry. I wish I could spend more time on this.
      God bless you my brother. Hang on in there, and be strong, and keep standing on all the promises of God.

      1. Thank you Sunshine. I will read through those Psalms.

        Thank you April. I look forward to the day that these trials are past.

        HH

        1. HH,

          I do, too. I look forward to the day we can look back and see a bit of the beauty God has in mind to create from this nightmare. I believe it is going to be almost unimaginable, the good God has planned to birth from this painful spiritual labor.

  59. I don’t write for husbands about what they should do. However, there are many resources for men written by men that do. For anyone who is interested in studying about godly masculinity and what husbands should do, you are welcome to check out the post “resources for men” on my blog.

    Here, primarily, my focus and calling is Titus 2:3-5. God does not call us to flatter our husbands or stroke their egos. But He does call us to respect and honor them just as He calls them to love us and treat us well. It is for the sake of the Gospel that He calls each spouse to the specific commands He has for them. And it is to give us healthy marriages.

    Eph. 5:33
    Titus 2:5
    Col. 3:18

    The way God’s authority structure works is that when we honor those He places in positions of delegated authority, we are honoring Him. Then He uses those imperfect, sinful people, in positions of authority over us in the home, the government, the church, and at work to accomplish His will in our lives.

    If we rebel against those God placed in positions of delegated authority in our lives, we bring judgment on ourselves. We miss the will of God. We lose spiritual power.

    We may have to respectfully confront sin in them at times. And we may have to refuse to do things if they ask us to sin or condone sin. But we must be careful to respect God’s authority structure and His wisdom so that we don’t hinder His will in our lives.

    David is a great example of this in how he responded to Saul, who was the sitting king, with honor and respect – even though Saul was trying to kill David and had an evil spirit. David protected himself but refused to harm Saul because he was “the Lord’s anointed.” The Lord took care of Saul in His timing and rewarded David greatly for honoring His system of authority, giving him, not Saul, an eternal covenant.

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