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Should a Christian Wife Consider Separation?

I long for all of us to honor marriage the way God desires us to.

Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. (Heb. 13:4)

MARRIAGE IS A COVENANT

God designed marriage. It is a covenant – which is much more than a promise. God’s plan is for marriage to last until death. The covenant goes three ways, not just between two people, but between a husband, wife, and God.

Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

Haven’t you read,” he (Jesus) replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Matt. 19:4-6

 

MY DESIRE FOR MARRIAGES

For wives dealing with mild-moderate issues:

These are situations where we would need to turn to Christ and allow Him to work full blast in our hearts to empower us to be the women and wives He calls us to be. Then we would be able to pray from a position of great strength in Christ and invite Him in to heal our marriages and husbands for His glory. He can direct our steps and grant us His wisdom and discernment as we completely submit to His Lordship. He can also work in our husbands’ hearts in ways we can’t begin to fathom, no matter what our situation may be. Let’s not separate if it is not necessary.

For wives facing really severe issues:

The same things I shared in the above paragraph would apply. But we may also prayerfully decide to reach out for appropriate help: godly counseling, prayer support, pastoral support, medical help, even help from the police, if necessary. By severe issues, I am referring to things like major drug/alcohol addictions, physical abuse, severe emotional/spiritual abuse, threats of violence, uncontrolled dangerous mental health issues, severe unrepentant sin issues, unrepentant adultery, certain dangerous illegal activities, etc…

If anyone is truly in danger and being genuinely threatened, I would personally love to see them get somewhere safe. I don’t want anyone – men, women, or children – to be beaten or killed by those who are supposed to love and protect them. God hates violence, oppression, and abuse.

For women in “gray areas”:

Here, it can be more difficult to tell what we should do. I don’t have the wisdom wives need in every situation. But God definitely does! Again, it will be essential that we allow God to help us get rid of any sin in our own hearts. Then we can allow God to transform our hearts and minds by His Word and His Spirit’s power. Then we can discern exactly what God desires us to do. He knows what each of us need to do and He generously gives His wisdom to us when we ask in faith. (James 1:5)

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2

It is critical that we check our motives. Am I truly seeking to honor Christ above all else? Or do I want to do this because of selfishness, resentment, hatred, pride, or lack of faith in God? Am I acting in the flesh or in the Spirit of God? Have I dealt with any sin in my own life thoroughly and am I seeing clearly and know that this is what God would desire me to do?

AVOIDING EXTREMES

It is easy to go to extremes and say things like:

  • No wife should ever separate from her husband for any reason!
  • Wives should be able to leave for any reason!

The difficult thing is godly balance. That is true about every issue in the Christian walk, it seems. My desire is for us to handle God’s Word rightly and to live in ways that please Him in every area of our lives. We tend to want rules and lists about what we should do. God does give us some of that – but what He desires most is for us to learn to depend totally on Him and to learn to hear His voice and obey Him.

If you haven’t read my post from last Friday, please check it out: “My Primary Goal As a Wife Has to Be This One Thing

WHAT DOES GOD’S WORD SAY ABOUT SEPARATION?

God, Himself, commands wives not to separate from their husbands.

Separation is not the normal pattern. The normal pattern is for us to follow the first command below not to separate from our husbands. The option of separation is given only for true emergencies.

To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife. (1 Cor. 7:10-11)

A decision to separate is a HUGE thing. If I found myself in a possible situation where this could be necessary, I would have to approach this with much prayer, and fasting. I would also likely seek extremely wise, godly counsel with a very trusted pastor or Spirit-filled Christian counselor. A decision to divorce would be even bigger. There are not many biblical reasons for a believer to seek a divorce.

  • Let’s be so careful not to run ahead of God but to seek to do His will! So many women leave their marriages today for unbiblical reasons. Let’s be sure that we are honoring Christ as LORD and honoring our marriage covenant.
  • Another risk is to be in a very bad situation where we know we should leave but we lag behind and don’t obey God right away, exposing our children and ourselves to more extremely toxic things or danger.

If you don’t know Christ or you can’t hear God’s direction clearly, seek someone who is very spiritually mature and experienced in Christian counseling who is living wholeheartedly for Christ. If you have really serious issues, seek out an appropriate counselor who is experienced with dealing with those kinds of issues, as well. Ask for God to lead you to the counselor and resources you need. Evaluate the counselor and resources you find against scripture. Test them to be sure they are in line with God’s Word.

IF YOU HAVE AN UNBELIEVING SPOUSE

Scripture has encouragement for you.

To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 1 Cor. 7:12-14

IF YOUR HUSBAND LEAVES YOU

Scripture also has words of wisdom for you.

But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? 1 Cor. 7:15-16

MARRIAGE IS IMPORTANT, BUT JESUS IS MOST IMPORTANT

I don’t believe a wife should stay in a marriage “at any cost.” Marriage is very important, but it is not more important than our walk with Christ. Jesus must be THE most important thing by a long shot in our lives.

The Greatest Commandment is that we love the Lord our God with all of our hearts, minds, souls, and strength. We are not to love anything or anyone else this way. This requires discernment. (Let’s talk about this together if it doesn’t seem clear.)

Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple… those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.” (Luke 14:25-27, 33)

Of course, the second greatest commandment is that we are to love others as we love ourselves. And we are also commanded not to hate anyone. So Jesus clearly doesn’t mean we are literally to hate our family members in this passage. What I believe He is saying is that our love for Him is to be so much greater than our love for anyone else that our love for our families and our own lives would look like hate compared to our love and devotion to Him.

If my husband asked me to commit some very clear sin in order to stay with him, I would have to refuse to do so because my first allegiance is to Jesus. Here, I am not talking about something that is just a difference in personal preference, a minor interpretation issue, or a difference in personal convictions. But egregious sin.

If he asked me to have an abortion, to have a threesome, to help him rob someone, to join a cult, to worship him as god, to help him traffic cocaine, to condone his beating our children (not spanking, but beating), to cover for him committing murder, to endorse him having an affair or engaging in sex with a prostitute…. I would not be able to honor those requests. I have a responsibility to be sure I am not participating in clear sin or illegal activity myself.

Sometimes a husband may be involved in a sin issue and a wife may not have to leave. But some sin issues are so severe that a wife may need to leave. This requires great wisdom and the direction of the Spirit to be able to tell the difference. We need God’s wisdom not human wisdom.

AVOID SEPARATION IF IT IS TRULY NOT NECESSARY

We serve a mighty God who is sovereign and who is in the business of turning our big messes into beautiful things for His glory. I would hate for anyone to separate prematurely or unadvisedly and miss out on the miracles God wanted to do if only one of the spouses had trusted Him fully and stayed to allow God to work.

If I left when things were at their worst in my marriage, I would have missed out on so many incredible spiritual treasures God wanted to share with me about Himself. I would have missed out on all the spiritual growth and refining He wanted to do in my life. I would also have missed out on seeing God heal my husband and our marriage. It would be tragic to have missed out on God’s blessings if I had left when I shouldn’t have. God often uses trials and suffering to help us to grow.

However, if a wife really does need to leave because of an emergency, that doesn’t mean the marriage is over or that her situation is beyond God’s reach. It is possible for God to heal a marriage after separation and even after a divorce.

SEPARATION IS NOT THE END OF THE STORY

Even if a wife believes she must separate – my prayer would be for spiritual healing in Christ (starting with salvation) for the husband, for healing for any addiction, for genuine repentance of any sin, and for eventual reconciliation if at all possible. I long to see every marriage become a godly, healthy marriage that shines for God’s kingdom.

No matter what our husbands may choose to do, we can know that God will use all things for good for us because we love Him and are called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28-29). When things are good or when they are horrible, we can yield ourselves fully to His will and invite Him to use our lives for His greatest glory. We can rest in His sovereignty and His promises to us.

May God empower each of us to be faithful and obedient to Him!

NOTE:

I am not going to be able to address everyone’s possible situations who think they may need to separate or who have separated or have gotten a divorce in the past. I know it will be tempting for everyone to want to share their particular situation here and get other people’s opinions. But it is very difficult to know what is truly happening in a marriage just from hearing one side of the story briefly online.

Sometimes other people’s opinions online can make things more confusing for a wife who is already confused. I don’t always know exactly what every wife should do in every possible scenario. I don’t want to mislead anyone. I know that God’s wisdom is what is needed, not mine. Ultimately this decision is between a wife, her husband, and the Lord. We will each answer to Him.

If you want to share something encouraging for our hurting sisters, that would be lovely. 🙂

** There is a one-time free Christian counseling service with Christian counselors and chaplains available at Focus on the Family with a free referral service, which may be a blessing.

RESOURCES:

Verses about divorce

What Does the Bible Say about Divorce and Remarriage? – by www.gotquestions.org

What Does the Bible Say about a Trial Separation? – by www.gotquestions.org

Gary Thomas writes about how the church should view abuse in marriage and about how to help women who are suffering at the hands of an abusive husband

John Piper’s articles on Divorce and Remarriage

A Peaceful Separated Wife (a wife whose husband left her)

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

When Your Husband Says, “I’m Done.”

Is Divorce the Worst Thing That Can Happen? – a Peaceful Wife VIDEO

God Stops a Wife’s Plans to Divorce

How to Have a Relationship with Christ

193 thoughts on “Should a Christian Wife Consider Separation?

  1. Beautiful, timely, spot-on guidance as usual April. bless you! My marriage is definitely grey area material, but I’m finding that the tighter I hold onto God, God is shifting the situation, creating new spaces for possibility, building patience and peace and sending clear and obvious blessings as encouragement. Last week I had my bags packed in my head but my heart doesn’t want it. I have to fight, and with God by my side it is becoming easier each day. Blessings to you my sisters in the trenches x

    1. Hope,
      This is so beautiful! How I praise God for what He is doing in your heart. I pray for His healing for you, your husband, and your marriage and for His greatest glory in your family!
      Yes, when God is involved, everything changes. He has so much power! We can’t begin to imagine the things he can do if only we would fully trust Him.
      Much love!

  2. Much needed article, April. Thank you. I felt drawn to comment in hopes that my last few months of enlightenment may give some people something to consider.

    I know for me, I have been tempted so many times to leave, run away, kick him out. In fact, I asked him 3x to leave, and he refused. Even over the last month or two, I reached out to God and asked Him “should I stay or go? I will obey whatever you tell me Lord, I just can’t see the next step you want me to take.” I felt desperate and panicky wanting a clear direction from God. The holding pattern of ‘Do I land or continue to fly in circles’ was driving me bonkers.

    I went to church one Sunday, absolutely exhausted by this decision and quite broken and weepy. The message was about courageous standing in faith, the song that broke me was “The Stand” by Hillsong, all day long there were media, signs, songs, conversations…”stand tall, I stand by you-song, cutting down a stand of trees…” on and on, it was very eerie how often the word “stand” popped up over 48 hours. It felt like God was communicating to me loud and clear…which is just what I needed, but it was amazing how quickly He answered that prayer that was packed full of wanting to obey my Father, but just needing an arrow to show me the path He wanted me to take. I didn’t understand how, or why, but I followed it simply to obey Him.

    Now, that being said, every fiber in me wanted a seperation. I knew if my husband asked for a divorce again, I would’ve celebrated and felt happy about it, just to have some kind of ending in sight to this misery. But he never did. I can’t say that I still would not welcome it, but I have stopped thinking of loop holes, ways and excuses for it to happen.

    I heard my God loud and clear…to stand for my marriage. Now, my job is to stand well.

    I heard on the radio yesterday that while we are waiting on God (for anything) to work in our lives or answered prayers, we need to remember to continue to live life. We can’t stop living just because we are waiting. That hit home to me. Yes, I am waiting for the restoration of my marriage, but I am also working hard to not be obsessed by my marriage during that wait. Otherwise I would miss out on these wonderful years with my teenage children, developing friendships with my female friends, strengthening relationships with my mother, father and other family, becoming better and more successful at my job, and most of all, deepening my relationship with God and understanding His charachter more and more.

    It doesn’t mean my marriage is any less important to me, but it is just not the ONLY thing in my life. I feel I am using the time well. I am maturing so much more spiritually, exercising to take care of this body where the Holy Spirit lives inside me, meditating on God’s word, enjoying the multitudes of gifts in the world God has given me.

    I will say, however, I have a husband who cannot tame his tongue. He does not physically abuse me, no drugs, no adultry (that I am aware of), he is not an alcoholic, but is a workaholic. His main issue is that he is a perfectionist and a control man, but his motives are not bad. He wants the best for his family, but criticises and fault finds to a point that dissolved my self esteem for so long.

    I was a people pleaser, and I had put my husband on the throne over God. I wanted so much to please my husband and make him proud of me, but always felt like a failure at it. Once I took my h off the throne and put God there instead, where He rightfully belonged, my husband was no longer a god to me, but rather, a sinful, imperfect human being….just like me. We were finally equal in my eyes. I saw his flaws and realized that it is not my job to make him happy in life, that is HIS job. And on this note, it is MY job to make myself happy. That is a choice we each must make for ourselves. God’s teachings show us how we can choose to be happy when we are in good times and bad. Paul wrote from his prison cell describing all the affluence and the paltriness of his life and how he has LEARNED to be happy and at peace with all of it (Phil. 4:12-13). That is something he had to learn, choose, decide on.

    So many times I think husbands and wives think that happiness is a right, something they deserve and it should be done for them or given to them. But it is not. People will leave their spouses, succumb to temptations, adultry, drugs, other sinful behavior because it has a bit of “happiness” in it. It feels good, it fills the empty spots for a while, it gives a temporary escape which feels good. But the problem is that it never lasts. It is short lived. The emptiness returns, the low comes back etc…

    That is why we need to look toward God and trust in Him for all our needs. He gives the things that are not temporary, that no one can take away from us. That fill us up.

    Sometimes it’s hard to take a spiritual need and fill it physically with earthly things. But then we need to ask…do we really need that thing then? For example: my husband is NOT my best friend, shopping buddy, emotionally safe person or reliable partner or my lover in my life right now. However, God has helped fill many of those roles for me in other friends, godly council from godly women, my mother, father and my PW friends on this blog. But I still don’t have a lover. God has not filled that position for me physically, and I don’t expect Him to. I miss it, it could be a temptation, but I also realize that it is not needed.

    Of course there are single people, celebate people, people who are unable to have sex.. they all can still honor God without that being filled. So yes, physically that perceived “need” is not filled up by my God, but I have learned to realize it’s not really a need after all. My true needs, and so much more are both filled spiritually and physically, just not by my spouse solely. Right now it takes many relationships for that, and I’m learning that it is ok. It also takes my expectations of my husband to fill all those roles off the table, thus reducing pressure on him. I can accept him for the wonderful father, financial provider, protector, (sometimes) friend that he is and can be at this time. It leaves lots of room for growth, as well.

    Maybe one day my husband can fill more of those roles in me, maybe he never will. I’m quite sure I don’t fill all the roles he needs either, but it’s up to him and God to work that out. In the meantime, God has me in this marriage for a reason. I am to stand. Maybe I am to help point the way to God for my husband and kids. Maybe there are others in his family, my own family, or with our testimony we can bring glory to God and help expand His kingdom. If God no longer wants us to be married for some reason, then nothing will stop Him from His will. But that is not mine to control or wrestle from God’s hands.

    A good news update…

    I just had a birthday, and my husband put in a ton of effort to take the kids shopping, and he shopped for me too. He made a wonderful, fun birthday dinner, traveled to another city to buy my favorite kind of cake and cooked and planned a nice evening. Last year, I got a bag of candy thrown at me from him and an argument, and my in-laws had to take the kids shopping. Quite an improvement. And I really never asked for anything. I knew I would be gracefully and thankful for whatever was done….even if nothing was done or bought.

    I know I don’t need it, and what I want most can’t be bought at a store anyway. Only God can give it. In fact, I was going to skip church the morning of my birthday because I thought it would interrupt the plans he was making. I figured I would watch it online. But he encouraged me to go and said I should, he knows how much I enjoy it and that it helps “recharge” me. It’s just church. I only need God and can have Him anywhere, but I do enjoy the fellowship, praise music and messages. It was the best gift I got that day…and I beleive it came from my Father! He is working on my husband!

    Do I still feel like I want a seperation still? I’ll be honest, it enters my mind daily still, but I am capturing that thought and throwing it back. I know that it is not God’s plan for right now, but rather, satan using a weakness in me that wants to quit. However, I trust God. He is working on the other side of the mountain for me, and for my husband. I also have thoughts that we will get through this desert in our lives, that spiritual maturity for my husband will come, God will work a way for it.

    Happiness is NOT the goal or a right in life. The goal is to honor God, because He gave His only Son to give us life. He created this world and all that is in it for us to enjoy, He just wants us to recognize that and give Him the rightful credit. He wants us to trust Him and honor His greatness. All of this is His creation anyway, who are we, but the created, to think it is “ours”? A silly concept when we put it that way.

    I’m standing. I don’t always like it, it’s hard to resist sometimes, but I feel the peace of God in me when I do, and then I learn such wonderful things like true acceptance of others, gratefulness, patience, unconditional love, understanding, compassion, empathy, obedience, peace, rest, discipline, truthfulness, grace, mercy…..those are much more wonderful gifts and lessons. I am a much stronger person because of this trial, and I can feel the fingers of Satan slipping off of me as I keep moving closer to God.

    I pray for all of you here who are hurting and wrestling with this decision. Like April, I urge you to get safe, seek help and pray for God’s guidance if you are in danger or dealing with major unrepentant sins, etc. Separate if needed. But if not, please consider what God may be growing in YOU and revealing in you by taking you through this trial. We don’t always learn what we need during the good times, it’s refinement by fire that makes us pure. My mother is 65 and on her 3rd marriage. So is my father. I see the heartache they went through. They both admit they still love each other and wish they both could’ve worked it out, but thought that a separation would “teach” the other a lesson. The lesson they learned was not at all what they expected.

    Only God knows the plans He has for us, if we trust Him and obey Him, we cannot go wrong. He is a good, good father and he knows what’s best for us all. I pray that God can give us clear direction on issues like whether to seperate or not. Remember, God loves His children even MORE than marriage. Even though He hates divorce, He loves and cares for our well being MORE.

    All my love to you here. You are in my prayers today. -LMS daily 115

    1. LMSdaily115,

      Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this story, sweet sister! I’m so grateful for all that God is doing in your life and for your willingness to obey Him even when it is truly difficult. I pray for His continued guidance, discernment, and wisdom for you. I also pray for His continued healing for you, your husband, your marriage, and your children. I am amazed to hear what your husband did for your birthday! WOW! Happy belated birthday to you. 🙂 It is obvious that God is at work. What a blessing. I rejoice with you over these little baby steps.

      I pray your story may be a blessing to others who are in the trenches right now and who are struggling.

      What God is doing in your heart is so beautiful!

      Much love!

    2. LMS daily. Thank you for sharing. I’m so grateful your husband is still home with you. That right there is a real blessing. Trust me being alone is not fun. I’m still dealing with my insurance nightmare and my husband just stopped over. He doesn’t understand why I want to rebuild our home. And he started saying he had no feelings for me. Very hurtful words. I keep standing and praying for him. And sometimes it’s hard to not give up. But what you said about living still is what I’m trying to do. One day at a time. Thank you for sharing. It makes me smile!

      1. Tina, I am so sorry about your situation. I wish so much like you stated that you could have what your heart desires so much which is to live with your husband. I personally take that for granted sometimes. I love how you write with a genuine focus on God as you lay yourself aside and ask that your husband be filled with Jesus. It’s very inspiring. I think it’s great you’re going to church and seeking his Word daily. Love that you have that peace and positive and hopeful tone. God bless you.

    3. Praise God for Him working on your husband! Glad ur looking for the good! Thank you for sharing ur ups and downs. And yes the reminder that satan is still whispering in our ears!! He want to deceive /devide/ and destroy us! Keep praying — I love this line “God has me in this marriage for a reason. “. Thank you for the reminder!!

  3. Hi April!

    Thanks for sharing this! I just wanted to briefly share a small part of my recent testimony of learning to depend solely on God when the temptation to separate comes about.

    A few months ago I was convinced I had to leave my husband because of his sin. He was involved in smoking weed, pornography, along with other sin issues. He was emotionally disconnected & though he was previously a Christian – had given up on God. I was at the end of my rope so I kicked him out several times but I always told him the same night to come home. I would engage with arguments with him and was unknowingly unsubmissive.

    I continually felt God nudge me to love him so I learned to submit. I started honouring his requests and leaning to God to strengthen me to do His will and love & submit to my husband. I learned not to argue back with a contentious attitude and rather learned to reflect on what my husband was angry about asking God to search my heart. I started to find my security in Christ and learned to rest in Him alone. (READ HEBREWS 4 friends)

    Things did not start to change right away, they got worst in fact. My husband thought I was now putting on a show, trying to be better than Him and the worse things got, the more it pushed me to seek the Lord. My husband wasn’t changing, he was actually seemingly getting worse, but I started changing & I realized what scripture says is true: the present sufferings are nothing compared to the glory that shall be revealed in us. I was being refined through the trials in my marriage. I also started head covering and my prayer life became much deeper.

    My husband still is not fully surrendered to Christ but slowly I’ve seen God’s hand at work and I continue to look to the cross for strength. My point is, just because you don’t see your husband changing, does not mean to give up on your marriage. When God says all things will work out for the greater good for those who love Him, He means that. Even if our husbands never surrender to Christ expect that He is able to reveal His glory one way or another. I pray this will encourage someone down on their faith to not give up!

    God bless!

      1. Hi sister in Christ,

        Its like apostle Peter when the Lord asked him if he would also leave with the multitude. Peter said “Lord where will I go? For I know that you are the Christ. ” I like Peter have no where to turn but to the Lord. That is the way I see it. I’ve tried doing things in my own way but I don’t have strength in my self, but His strength is made perfect in weakness.

    1. The Lord’s Handmaiden,
      Thank you so very much for sharing this. I love what God is doing in your heart! 🙂 I pray for God’s continued healing for you both.

  4. My husband secretly planned behind my back to leave and immediately divorce me with no discussion, suddenly, in a new city with no support and no job at the time.

    We didn’t go to any pastoral help, I wanted to. Se went to a secular counselor once though I wanted very much to go to a Christian one. I apologized profusely for all my sins and shortcomings, admitted my mistakes, wanted nothing more (and still do) than to reconcile. I believe from the bottom of my heart one year after he ran away that God brought us together.
    I am still in deep pain and have prayed and asked many prayers from people all over the world.

    He has adamantly refused, has no communication now and when did so was very cold.

    I have been working diligently on myself and my life, turning it over to God continuously. I suffer from depression and self image and employment issues off and on but would do anything to take care and be the best godly wife I could. I examined and learned so much from this blog and many good people and books about controlling, insecurity, selfisheness, pride, health, idolatry (husband/marriage vs. God and things above), sacrifice, and supporting him. I wish so so much to put this into pratice with my covenant spouse faster.

    I heard nothing from him or his family (which had become my family, since mine was dysfunctional) for my birthday, Thanksgiving or Christmas this past year for the first time in 7 years. Only from his lawyers demanding me to hurry up and sign papers for what I believe is wrong. I see fully my part in hurting him, our marriage and letting evil enter in and not turning to God or putting God first in our relationship. But I would submit and follow God for the opportunity to offer our marriage to this world as a blessing.

    I miss not the unhealthy broken marriage but the beautiful foundation, the friendship, the tenderness, the laughter, prayer, the stronger purified holier version I know is possible, GOd willing. Please join me in praying for this and a clear sign that I am to stand for this hope or not. Last year was exhausting and excruciating. Thank you and God bless your work and each person hurting and seeking the Lord in this.

    It is worth it and I NEVER want to take my spouse or my duty as a woman or wife for granted again ever. If you are still with your husband, give him a huge hug, thank God, turn to God daily, look honestly at yourself, cherish all the good of your in-laws if you have them, never ever take it for granted.

    1. Julie,

      Such a painful, difficult situation. 🙁 I am so very sorry to hear about this! I’m so glad you are seeking Christ and allowing Him to work in your heart. Would you be interested in doing a spiritual check up with me?

      Much love!

  5. I did consider Separation. He did not see me as his wife but as a tool. He demanded respect and told me women are scum. I wanted divorce so badly – but his Mother asked me to try one last time. So I wrote him a letter with my expectations. Love and commitment or I was out. Quit drinking. He will always be a dry alcoholic. But I can do that if he shows me love and commitment and respects me as the Wife who stood with him when all his male friends turned their backs on him.

    1. emscherfee,

      I pray that God will bring healing to you both and to your marriage, dear sister. Such a difficult situation. But it sounds like things are doing better right now?

      Much love!

  6. Hi all!

    This evening I engaged in a doctrinal debate with my husband. To my shame I should have respectfully disagreed but instead allowed the enemy to get a foothold and did not hold my tongue as I should. UGH. I reaped the bitter fruit of my actions of course and my husband is upset now. I just wanted to come on here and say that this journey is tough at times but thankfully we serve a mighty God who will reveal our sinful hearts to us when we seek Him! Sometimes it’s a painful purifying process but its good to remember that these trials purify us and draw us closer to Him. Currently my focus is back on the Lord as He works in my heart over my mistakes that were sin that led to this. He chastens those He loves. Thankfully during the difficult time we can run into Him and hide under the shadow of His wing! Thankfully He can use our trials to remind us to stay humble and to stay in His strength! I wanted to write to share my experience that this walk is not a cake walk, but it can be a “faith walk” when you seek Him above all else and look to Him through the storms in our marriage and in our life! Please pray for me and my marriage if y’all can! Lord bless & keep you!

    1. Amen to that! Its so hard to respond in love (for me anyway) instinctually when I feel defensive towards my husband, when I feel wronged. I extend much more grace and patience with my children. It’s almost comical, not only the internal contortions we go through but sometimes when I hold back from a negative or defensive remark I almost feel sick and I feel I have to get away quickly before I’m overcome. I’ve conquered fleshy comebacks many times, fought the flesh, it hurt and even looks awkward but I avoided alot of arguments that way. Then, surprisingly, the resentment dies down and its a good thing we controlled our tongue. I’m certainly a work in progress myself. Still learning every day but we sure don’t get much of a break from “Control your temper/insecurities with Your Husband 101 “class. You know what I want to try? When I sense a conversation might test me I’m going to try purposesly viewing my husbands words and actions as a test I’m being spiritually graded on with the reward being being closer to Christ’s heart the more patient and grace filled I am with my husband. Bless you sister.

      1. Hi sister in Christ,

        That is so true! I think that’s why its so important that we ask God to search our hearts. It truly is about a heart change as from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. When I’ve asked God to search my heart, I often become almost hesitant knowing that He will do this! I know ill be in for a lesson in humility, because often when I’m asking I know that there may be things that are unpleasing to God and no chastening is pleasent in the meantime though afterwards produces fruit of holiness as scripture says! Its about more than simply “tolerating” because eventually we get weary of just tolerating, and we will find ourselves overcome by the flesh in these instances. The heart must change.

        🙂

      2. Hi Sister in Christ,
        That happens to me so much with my husband. Sometimes I try and be so quiet……and he gets so mad because i don’t speak. Then he starts saying hurtful things, almost so I will fight back. I am going to try what you suggested. I watched WarRoom again today. I needed a reminder today of all days what God can do. I am going to make my own “war room”…….Thank you for the wonderful suggestion!!

        1. Tina,

          I used to do that with Greg. I was so hurt and upset, I wanted to see him hurting and upset, too. When he would say nothing, I got even more angry and would try to provoke him just to be able to have some kind of interaction. I wanted him to hurt like I did, as if that would make him want to do what I wanted him to do for me. It was messed up thinking. Dysfunctional thinking. Really, it was my flesh lashing out in hurt and anger.

          Praying for God’s wisdom for you about how to respond in these moments. We don’t want to purposely withhold just to incite anger. But we do need GOd’s wisdom every moment about what to say, how to say it, when to be quiet and wait…

          Going to God in prayer and having your own war room is a very good idea!

          Much love!

    2. The Lord’s Handmaiden,

      So painful! How are things today, dear sister? Praying for God to use this to refine and purify you further and for His glory in ways we can’t imagine. So thankful for your faith. I pray for God’s Spirit of unity and healing in your marriage.

      1. Hi April!

        Things are ok. My husband says he has forgiven me, though his actions do not testify of that. Ouch! Thankfully God has grace for me to continue in His love and strength to continue to render good for evil. I am thankful for that! Thank you for your prayers!

        1. The Lord’s Handmaiden,

          I pray that God will continue to work His powerful healing through the power of His Spirit in you both, dear sister. Most of all I pray God might give you the strength to be obedient and faithful to Him, able to hear His Spirit clearly, dependent on and yielded to Christ.

          Thank you for the update.

          Much love!

  7. I try to spend at least 30 minutes a day in Bible study. I pray frequently throughout the day – especially on my hour commute to and from work. I pray for my spiritual growth, for God to lead me and teach me the lesson He has for me, for peace, grace, compassion, forgiveness. I pray for my husband and children to be open to His spirit, for protection, for them to be appreciated where they are (school and work), for them to find some Godly influence while they are out on their own in the world. I repent for my shortcomings. I give thanks for things as they occur to me.
    I now pray for God to let me see the enemies attacks coming, so I don’t get blind sided anymore! I pray for the people who are on my “Not SO Nice” list – people who cause strife in our lives…That God will bless them or use me to bless them.
    I am sure that I am harboring some expectations for my family and myself now. They kinda sneak in there, don’t they?
    I spoke with my husband about the budget, and his perspective is sensible. I still don’t like it. That’s definitely something that’s going to take a little work to let go of. And I’m pretty sure there’s a healthy dose of selfishness mixed in there somewhere that I need to get rid of.
    I am definitely dropping my bitterness towards my husband and daughters. They aren’t out to get me or trying to make things difficult.
    I am the same way about our home. If it’s not a necessity, I think it needs to go. I have been purging our house the past few weeks – and it is making everyone a little crazy. I can totally relate!
    Thank you!

    1. MissingTheMark,

      Yes, expectations absolutely do sneak in there. And they often become resentment.

      It is helpful to examine my expectations when I begin to feel disappointed.
      – Do I expect my kids to be perfect?
      – Am I responding to them in the power of God or in my flesh?
      – What does God desire to do in my life and in their lives through these tests?
      – Do I expect imperfect people to never sin against me? Is this biblical or realistic?
      – Maybe these aggravating situations are tests of my faith?
      – Do I expect everything to be exactly the way I want it? If things don’t go my way, am I responding graciously?

      I have some posts you may search, if you would like, about:

      – expectations
      – bitterness
      – forgiveness

      Perhaps these may be a blessing.

      As you take your thoughts captive, God will give you the power to be filled with His Spirit and to respond the way He does rather than in the flesh. You can’t do this in your strength. You need the Spirit every moment just like we all do. But to be filled with Him to overflowing, it does involve tearing out any sin and a willingness to die to self.

      If you want to talk more after you have prayerfully considered these things and spent some time laying them before God, please let me know. 🙂
      Much love!

      1. I have been reflecting and praying a lot. I have come to the conclusion that my PRIDE is HUGE. It has never been like this before, as much as a pray for humility…my sinful nature is holding on this pride with both hands. I’m at war with myself.
        I have even been struggling with my marriage – not because of anything my husband is doing/not doing but because of my own prideful thoughts. My husband is amazing. So full of love, loyal, smart, funny, strong, caring… I love him so much! I was enmeshed with him for a long time, but that has changed now. I thought we were in a great place, but then I started to feel so cold towards him. I have thoughts like, “What about me?”, “You don’t notice how tired I am, but I’m still taking care of everything for you.”, “How can you complain about my help when you know how hard I work.”…It’s like everything inside me is shut down. It scares me. It hurts me. I want to love him as much as he loves me, but I don’t feel it right now. The more I have reflected on it, the more I have realized that it stems from a complaining spirit – me, my husband, and our kids have it.
        Ugh, I feel like I am failing on all fronts – with God, with my husband and with our kids. A year and a half ago I would have been a crying mess. I would have been giving voice to all my feelings and fears instead of shooting them down as lies and taking them to God. I know something good is going to come from this trial, but I just want these feelings to change. And God keeps sending me the same message – He keeps telling me to stop trying to control the situation that He will remove the pride and the feelings in His time, not mine.

        1. MissingtheMark,

          Pride is generally the primary sin for us all. From it, every other sin begins to grow and be nurtured in our hearts and lives.

          I’m thankful that you are seeking God and listening to Him. That is awesome!

          I have noticed that when I focus on “what about me and my needs?” things do not go well. Yes, I may have to voice my needs sometimes. But then, I have to quickly drop expectations of others. I do best when I am focusing on resting in God, getting filled up with His Spirit, truth, love, and goodness. When I am praising and thanking God. And when I am focused on what God wants me to do in His kingdom for my family.

          Thankfully, you can repent from pride and from complaining and negativity. Praise God you know that you can shoot down these lies and take them to God! That is awesome! The way it works is that obedience comes first, and eventually, feelings usually follow behind, like a caboose to the train. But I am so thankful we don’t have to be slaves to our feelings. I pray for continued revelation and illumination from God for you. For the ability to see all that needs to be torn out of your mind and heart, and for the power and wisdom of God to rebuild on His truth and His Word.

          I believe that as you focus on who God is and on humbling yourself before Him, He will give you great victory in Christ! Not in your strength, but in His strength.

          A book that may be helpful is Andrew Murray’s book, “Humility.” Another one that was very impactful for me was his book, “Absolute Surrender.”

          I also have some posts that I can share with you if you are interested. You are welcome to search my blog for things like:

          – emotions
          – bitterness
          – forgiveness
          – why do I have to change first
          – motives
          – a challenge for you ladies (about not complaining)

          Much love to you!

          1. Thank you for all your resources, April. I am hesitant to hash any of this out with anyone else – only because it is so easy to be influenced in the wrong direction by unbelievers and false teachers. I love that this blog is a place I can come when I need to fellowship with other women who are believers and receive some advice that is based on scripture not FEELINGS. I don’t have that at home. You and the other contributing ladies are such a blessing!

  8. April
    I’m still struggling with letting go completely and with knowing if maybe I have but just haven’t felt a great epiphany or something. Is there always a definite realization that you “get it” now? Or have reached the goal?
    I’ve been feeling a real sense of something I’m not sure how to describe. It’s like a real restlessness that it’s time to do something. I think I’m confused and battling to know whether it’s best to still stay respectful and quiet and the whole space thing whilst setting some boundaries or whether it’s now time do something different. I know this is all in Gods hands and that I can really do nothing to change things but I think I remember reading on the blog somewhere about God not wanting us to sit idly by just watching and waiting but that we are to do as well. I have been feeling a push to tell my father about what’s going on. My parents don’t know he extent of it all. I also feel like asking my pastor to speak with him again. My husbamd is so Jekyll and Hyde to live with. It’s so hard and confusing. He is not coming to church much anymore. And it frustrates me that he’s not hearing these great sermons. Just said he doesn’t feel like it or has work to do. It’s so hard to sit by and watch him push God out of his life when he needs him more than ever. It’s been 2 yrs now and I want to tell him that I’ve given him 2 yrs of space and quiet and forgiving 70 x 7 and patience and unconditional love and that it’s time to do somethin on his end. The drinking is not getting better and he’s also on a statin for colesterol. I worry about the effects on his body. He drinks antacids straight out of a bottle and has been getting an upset stomach and diarrhea for a while now. It makes me so angry that he’s staying in this denial and things are never going to get better if he doesn’t do something. Our kids comment on his “all over the place” mental state. I’m getting angry. I have been feeling a kind of peace and like I need to just wait for a long time now but now my anger is rising and I feel like I might lash out one day and it might not go well. Do you think it’s time to ask my pastor and elders to confront him now? It’s like he needs a huge slap in the face and needs to wake up to satans evil here. I’m running out of patience here. I feel like I’ve been crying out to God for so long and begging for help here. I beg Him to change me and fill me with the spirit and show me my sin and help me to surrender. I’m honestly going crazy even though I’m abiding in Him all day long. When will He ever come and help?? I know you have a post on when to speak but I am scared of making things worse. He’s very sick I feel and I just don’t know the best way to handle it all.
    I’m not sure if I’ve explained myself very well. I’m sure you will ask me all the usual questions about my time with God etc. all I can say is that I speak to Him and think about Him all day long and I feel I’m asking for the right things. I ask Him to show me if I’m holding sin in my heart and what I’m doing wrong. For True heart change for me. Strengthened faith so that I can truly surrender. I read HH’s post on the destructive storm again. I feel I’ve done much the same as him but haven’t received that supernatural peace you all talk of. I still don’t feel peace no matter what ,ynhusband does or doesn’t do. It’s the watching him self destruct and wondering why God is not slapping him awake.
    I can truly understand suicide though I would never do it. I can understand how people just don’t want to wake up to this pain anymore.
    My words may seem harsh today but I’m just so angry and frustrated.

    1. Bel,

      I am really glad you reached out for help.

      What I hear in all of this is “flesh” not Spirit.

      I don’t know if you need to involve your pastor or tell your parents or do something. There are times God calls us to wait and trust Him to act and fight for us and there are times He desires us to act. However, if He wants us to act, it will be very different from what you are describing here.

      The flesh wants to:
      – act rashly, quickly, without thinking things through or waiting on God
      – lash out in sinful anger
      – just do something even if it is destructive
      – hurt self
      – hurt others

      The flesh is restless. God’s Spirit is not.

      When the Spirit is leading:
      – there is real peace
      – there is a sense of quiet confidence in God and calm
      – there is joy
      – there is love, gentleness, patience, grace for others and self-control
      – there is praise for God
      – there is trust in God
      – the sinful self is out of the picture
      – the goal is God’s glory whatever the cost
      – a husband’s salvation and a wife’s own spiritual growth are the primary focus

      Yes, there is a definite realization that things are very different when you have released all of your concerns to God. It is scary at first when you decide to completely trust Him. But then, there begins to be a sense of tranquility and calm.

      There is a place you will get to where you can truly lay all of your dreams and fears down and be content in Christ no matter what happens with your husband and marriage. Where you seriously entrust your husband to God and you stop trying to fix him.

      Is he an alcoholic? How much is he drinking?

      As far as his health with the cholesterol, stomach issues, and diarrhea, he is a grown man and will have to make his own decisions about what he eats, whether he exercises, and how he cares for his health. Those things are not yours to control. You can be there to help him if he asks for help. You can support him if he wants to make healthier decisions. But you can trust God’s sovereignty with these health issues. That is what I do with my husband. I used to try to force him to do healthier things, but that isn’t helpful.

      If he is actually an alcoholic and things are really toxic, there are times a wife may prayerfully need to leave. But I believe you have more heart work to do with God and laying down control, fears, and dreams and totally submitting yourself to the lordship of Christ. Then you will experience His peace and His wisdom and discernment about exactly what He desires you to do, I believe.

      Then you will hear God clearly and know for sure whether He wants you to leave or not and whether you should speak to your dad or the pastor. But it won’t be out of restlessness, frustration, bitterness, or impatience. Your motives will be pure in God’s sight. You won’t run ahead of Him to try to handle things yourself. You will hear Him and obey, not running ahead and not dragging your feet.

      Much love!
      April

      1. April
        I guess I feel like I’m not rushing into wanting to do anything here or lash out without thinking. I know I said I’m getting angry but I have been tho King on this for a long time now. It’s not a rash decision. And I’ve been waiting for God and quiet and thinking about things and changing and having a closer relationship to God for 2 yrs. I don’t want to do it if it could make things worse or hurt others or cause destruction. That’s why I’ve been waiting and praying. But how long must this go on for? So just bacause I’m feeling restless I’m wanting to act in the flesh?
        I don’t mean ANY disrespect or bad feelings here as you have been a lifeline for me for a long time but I feel like I’m just always being told I’m not doing it right or something. The decision you keep telling me to make I guess I don’t understand properly as I have told God countless times that I want to give it all to Him and that I trust Him. I guess I thought abiding in Him was what I was doing as I’m seeking Him like never before and always in touch with Him all day. Hes my first thought in the morning and I’m always talking to Him or reading on here or reading devotions or the Bible. I’m trying so hard and I’ve told Him to take all this from me and I’m willing to give it and trust Him. So why am I still not there. I am not trying to fix my husbamd. I pray for him. I don’t even give him that look of disappointment about his drinking or decisions anymore. I tell you guys here what’s on my mind and unload I guess but im not showing this at home. I’m not trying to change him. I gave up on that long ago. I’m waiting on Gid to do the changing but it’s not happening.
        Yes I believe he’s a high functioning alcoholic. At least 40 or more beers a week not including the spirits he has regularly. I’ve seeked help on this but there’s nothing I can do and it’s kind of like you explained how you can’t read romance novels or read about what husbands should do, or should be like. Because we can’t change them. And I can’t change or help his addiction. But hearing how bad it is for him and his health and how it’s probably contributing to his anger and depression is very frustrating when there’s nothing I can do. Anything I’ve ever said has caused it to become worse. The professionals even say that there’s nothing I can do. It’s got to be up to him. That’s why I’m frustrated and angry. He will never accept its an addiction. Says he can stop any time. Just doesn’t want to. Just LOVES beer and if I tell him to stop drinking it will be over. And works long hard hours (which he does) so is not affecting anything in his eyes. Things are not really toxic to a point where I think I should leave though.
        I’m not trying to run ahead of God. I’m trying to be patient and figure out what I’m to do. I can’t imagine another year or more of this. I believe the no intimacy is a huge factor in our seemingly getting further apart. It’s meant to be the glue that keeps us together in a way. But 2 yrs of him tellin himself he doesn’t want it or need it is only going to make us drift further apart in my eyes.
        I want to give up

        1. Bel,

          Living with a high functioning alcoholic would be very difficult. 🙁 My grandfather was like that. He died a few weeks before I was born. But what a strain it was on my grandmother and my mom and uncle.

          I don’t know if you need to leave or if you need to stay. I don’t know if it is time to reach out for more help. It could be. Do what you believe God desires you to do, dear sister.

          As far as abiding in God. I am so glad you are seeking Him and you are telling Him you want to trust Him, that is awesome!

          Here is something that helps me understand a bit more about trusting God and abiding in Him. Spiritual oneness with God has a lot of parallels to physical oneness in marriage. It isn’t about me trying really hard or getting myself all anxious. It is about me relaxing and resting in God’s love (or my husband’s love). It is about me being receptive. It is about me being open to what God wants to do as I am still before Him, looking to Him with total trust and faith.

          What I hear is a lot of you feeling really anxious, upset, frantic, frustrated, and feeling like you just need to do something. When the Spirit leads, it is usually more of a sense of calm determination that you know what you need to do. It is not a feeling of I just have to do anything right this second no matter what happens, but a sense of knowing what God desires you to do and being at peace about it.

          I believe you are right not to like his addiction. It may even be a deal breaker. There may even be a point where you have to prayerfully consider saying something like, “Honey, I can’t live like this. I want our marriage to work. But I want you to get help to stop drinking. I want to be treated with respect. I want our intimacy physically to be restored. It is so hard to watch you destroy your health and yourself. I want to see you treat your body well. I want to see you treat us well. I will do anything I can to help you with this. But something needs to change. Would you please think about reaching out to Celebrate Recovery or Al-Anon or our pastor?” And then let him think about it.

          But he may choose the alcoholism over his marriage. That is possible. That is what addicts often do. So you will need to be ready for that possibility and prepared in your heart to have your mind and heart stayed on Christ and His provision for you if you believe that is what God is prompting you to do.

          I pray for God’s wisdom for you, my dear sister. This is a very tough stitauion. And a difficult and frustrating situation. I also pray for greater illumination so that He might show you what is blocking you so that you can lay it down. God doesn’t take things from us, we lay them down ourselves. If that makes sense.

          Like for example, I might say:

          “Lord,
          I really want this marriage to be healed. I want my husband to stop drinking. I want him to come to You. I want him to repent and be regenerated by Your Spirit. Help me know what You want me to do. Do I need to respectfully give him an ultimatum about the drinking and how he has been treating me? Show me what to say. I want to trust my husband and marriage to You. I want to stop trying so hard myself to make things work out. I can’t do this. I need You desperately! I need Your Spirit and Your wisdom. Show me anything that is blocking me from having Your peace. Show me the source of my anxiety and frustration. Show me if I am trusting self rather than You in some area. I am determined to be content in You no matter what happens with my husband. Bring about great spiritual growth in my heart. Change me! Conform me to Christ. Prune and refine me. I will rest in Your love and let You do the work in my life and my husband’s life.
          Amen!”

          Today’s post may be a blessing to you. The kind of changes God has brought about in FreeinChrist is what I pray you will get to experience in your life, too, my sweet sister.

          It is okay to give up trying so hard in your own strength. My prayer is that you will be able to just sit at God’s feet and let Him restore your soul and empower you by His Spirit. Then He will give you the wisdom and strength you need and the direction you need.

          If you need to reach out to talk with a trusted godly pastor or counselor or someone at Celebrate Recovery, please do. I pray for the resources you need and for God’s clear direction.

          Much love to you!

          1. Bel,

            I don’t want you to be discouraged at all! But rather encouraged that you can stop striving so much and let God do the heavy lifting. My prayer is that you will get to a place where you know that you will be okay as long as you have Jesus if you believe He wants you to stay or if you believe He wants you to leave. And that you will seek His will and His glory far above everything else.

            It is scary at first. But there will also be an increasing sense of peace that you know that if you have Him, you have everything. And you will be able to rest knowing He can reach your husband in ways you can’t and that He loves your husband dearly. He desires His prodigal boy to come home. You will also have a sense of the overwhelming love, presence, and peace of God as you continue to trust Him more. So even if you do have to face your greatest fear – maybe being separated from your husband – you will not have to despair. You will be sad, but also anticipating all of the good things God has in store for you.

            Does that make sense?

            I am praying for you fervently today! I long for you to be most encouraged in Christ!

        2. Bel. I believe, and we can pray on it, that your restlessness may be God’s way of taking you to the next level. I know I’m not saying it right, but I think it’s ok to be angry. Godly anger is not bad. Your husband is not treating people right, he is involved in addictions and abusing himself. God got angry too, sometimes. It’s how you deal with this anger that will matter most. Talking to him and not being afraid of “getting it wrong” is an important part of standing up for yourself and earning respect.

          I think April had great wording in her other response. It’s bringing up concerns, ideas, and such, out of love, respect and concern for him that is REAL love. If you didn’t love or care for him, you wouldn’t bother to say beans to him. But you do. I’m secretly glad to see you getting a bit angry. You are seeing sin, and it’s not okay with you anymore. However, it could be really easy to slip into your old ways and yell, be disrespectful, cut down, give a piece of your mind. Make sure you approach this in a controlled way. It’s important to think about all God has taught you so far and when the time is right, God will help you. Don’t do a wild swing into verbal vomit again.

          It’s very easy to be afraid to say the wrong thing…Lord knows we don’t want to make things worse, but there were times when there was a “blow up” between my h and I did much better than I had in the past, but there were things that I didn’t say right, or times I was disrespectful or taken wrong or I lost my self control, too. I would appologize for those things when I recognized them. But inevitably, I would get alone and pray, after. I couldn’t sleep, too upset. I would cry to God that I screwed it up again somehow. I would repent to God, feel like a failure, afraid I made things worse.

          But one time, I remember it like yesterday, I was crying in the dark to God, and I felt Him say, “I can make beauty from these ashes. I’m sorry, but you are not that powerful, to ruin my plans for you. I know where your heart was. I know your heart was to be loving kind and trying to be godly. It will all be okay, just wait and see. I am proud of your progress.” I cannot describe the instant peace I felt at that moment. The acceptance, the love of God. I just knew that I knew that I knew it would all work out. The next few days, I could see a change in my husbsnd. The things I “didn’t do” were almost more noticeable to him that what I did do. He opened up more, didn’t feel like I was trying to control him as much, etc.

          It wasn’t perfect, but I stopped being scared of pushing my h away more. I started to feel like I had a voice again, but one that was in much more control and made more sense. I haven’t stumbled over my words since that moment (I used to think of the witty comebacks after the fight was over), I felt sure of what to say, and could stop myself better (not always, but better) before I said something mean, cutting or sharp. I also learned how destructive assumptions, filling in my own feelings into what I thought his motives were or what his real feelings were. Sarcasm is also so disrespectful. Interrupting, arguing, also a lesson learned. I learned ways to catch it when it entered my head, many times before it came out my mouth. My filter was working.

          But, I also saw that my husband began to be a bit more speechless, he didn’t have the witty comebacks like he used to, he would stop and think a bit, he was frustrated, but more at the truth than anything. He could not deny that I had some power back and I was no longer a pushover. That was not me, though, it was all God. All I had to do is obey Him, He would shut my mouth for me, or take away the opportunity for my to snap a remark back if I shouldn’t say it, or, sometimes, the right words would spill out of me with grace and compassion, and I would think that I didn’t even know I felt that way when I said them. Where did THOSE words come from?!?

          I’m not worried about your “anger” and I’m not worried that you might say something to push him away more. I feel you care about the relationship and are finally getting the courage to fight for something you beleive in. Good for you! God is working in YOU. That stirring is God calling you to action in some way. You may be coming out of your silent phase, but just do it with wisdom, a goal to honor God and be like Jesus in all you say and do. Would God yell and scream at a man and call him a fool for drinking too much?

          Another thought. I loved my grandpa very much, but I hated that he smoked 2 packs of smokes a day. He was fun, loving and generous, but he stank and he was killing himself. When he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, I was angry with him for hurting himself, killing himself, taking himsrlf away from me and making me miss him, grieve and feel the pain of loss. I was angry at him for not quitting smoking when I had asked. But I still loved him. In the end, I realized we can love the person, but hate the lifestyle.

          I feel that way about homosexuals and thrives too . I love them as people, but I hate the lifestyle they lead. You can love your husband, but hate his lifestyle of alcoholism, raging, irresponsibility. Of course you want better for him, but he has to choose that for himself. It has to be genuine and chosen freely, not forced, or else it isnt real anyway. Even God wants us to choose to obey him. He doesn’t manipulate, hollar, try to control or force us to obey Him. If we choose to, we do it joyfully, and because we WANT to obey and live him. Maybe your husband will choose God, maybe he won’t, it’s his choice, not yours to demand, stay on your own page, run your own race.

          If you feel God is asking you to stay, then stay. I think you are on the cusp of some big learning and growing for you. I think you are going to start understanding some big things about finding joy even if your husband never changes. I would maybe stop asking God to show up and fix things for you, or fix your husband. God is more interested in helping to fix YOU than he is in fixing your situation. He is working in your life, just not in the way you want Him to or how you would expect Him to. But He is there, we all see it. You are almost just too close to the fire to see it. I vote to look at how God is changing YOU, not your husband.

          Don’t even worry about your h right now. He may need to self destruct a bit, lose it, have a breakdown, who knows, before he gets to a point that he is at the end of himself and starts to look for help when he realizes he can’t do it on his own. That may be when he finally hits his knees and calls on God. Let him be the bull in the China shop for a bit. He may destroy things, break them, etc, get out of the China shop and take the kids to emotional safety. If he hurts his relationship with his kids, his brother etc, by raging and rollercoastering, then fine, it is his relationships, not yours.

          You can nurture good relationships with the kids yourself, your family, his family. My husband got really mean and critical of his mother at one point. I, on the other hand, learned to mend things between us and appreciated and loved her more during that time. It drove my husband nuts that his mom and I were closer than him and his mom were…he started to realize he was being a miserable hind end. He didn’t like that feeling. We were all having a good time, laughing, enjoying each other’s company and he was being grumpy and no fun…we carried on without letting his dumb attitude steal our joy. He came around a bit, after a while.

          I truly think God places us in the same situation over and over until we decide to choose His path instead of our own. When we choose our own path, the path circles around and we retrace footsteps, like the Israelites wandering in the desert and circling the same mountain for 40 years. When we wake up, and do something different, like choose God’s way instead, that’s when we move forward, closer to God, closer to our destiny. We learn, we mature, we grow.

          Bel, I pray that you take some time to try to hear what God is saying to you. I think He is calling you to action, but He wants you to be wise and use what He has taught you. I pray that God uses you, his mighty warrior to help your husband. I pray for wisdom, discernment and godly patience for you from God. God is using you in this marriage to strengthen it, but it will take courage, patience, and discipline, all given to you by God. What do you have to fear, but not having God on your side? All else is nothing compared to Him. If your husband leaves because you were trying to save the marriage, then let him go, it will be HIS loss. You will be able to know you were trying with all you had in you.

          No need to rush into anything. Take your time, pray, try a bit at a time if you need to. I got angry like that when my husband would cut my son down and berate him. He could say all he wanted to me, but mama bear came out when he messed with the kids. I haven’t heard him say it to my son since, and they have a better relationship now, because of what God did in his heart and through my words. For their sake, I am thankful to God that I was able to stand up to my husband and defend my son. I had no guarantee it would stop him, but he sure knew it was unacceptable and I would not allow it anymore. (I think I threatened to kick him in a sensitive spot, which in hindsight, I don’t think Jesus would’ve done, but it DID get his attention and he took me serious, lol).

          All my love, I’m praying hard for ya, my sweet sister. 😉 Have a wonderful, God filled-day today, as I lay my head down to sleep while you bask in His light. You are loved. You are stronger than you think. You are a wonderful part of our lives and I’m grateful for you today. Hugs.

      2. Bel, I agree with April on this viewpoint too. I think there is still work in you to be done. Let God and your husband handle your husbsnd. You have enough to work on in you. It doesn’t all have to be fixed today, some things will take much, much longer. All my love.

        1. I know I obviously have much work to do on myself. I feel I was doing better a couple months ago and have gone backwards sharply now. And I think it’s because I feel a definite increase in separation between us. I don’t get phone calls to chat anymore or for help when he needs it, or asked my opinion on things much anymore. It’s getting worse. He has no interest at all in me or what I do.

          Even with a new job I’ve started. No questions or interest at all. Just a “good on you” when I asked if he had anything to say about it. This hurts deeply. In fact it’s an understatement that it hurts deeply. I’m being pushed further aside and away from him and he’s showing me that he doesn’t need me at all anymore. I admit it. I’m feeling like this marriage is done and dusted in his eyes now. And I’m beyond scared and sad.

          I know you all say God can fill all my needs and it won’t matter what my husbamd does or doesn’t do. I can’t see that. I’m begging for help and peace that’s not coming. I want to run. I keep telling myself God is in control. I know He is and that I can do nothing. I’m not even trying to do anything. I’m just so very sad. And I’m scared because there’s no guarantee God is going to work on my husband or that even if he does that he’s going to want to rebuild our marriage or listen to God anyway.

          He might be lost in his free will and never come back to God. He already has been missing more and more of church lately and just says he doesn’t feel like going. Or he’s too busy. He’s pushing God out along with me it seems like. And this worries me more than anything.

          It’s easy for you all to tell me there’s peace and joy for me no matter what happens. I just can’t see it at all. I fear I’ll never learn this lesson. I want Jesus to come back so bad.

          1. Bel,

            My heart hurts with you over your pain. I experienced my husband not wanting to have anything to do with me for a very long time. It hurts!!!! He barely spoke to me. Didn’t want to hear anything I had to say. Was totally emotionally and verbally shut down. He wasn’t an alcoholic. But he either had the TV on all the time or was working on renovations until 12am or later 6 nights per week for a few years. I felt like a single mom. He didn’t even like me to touch him at that point and often rejected my advances. I had no idea why. Now I know it was because he was completely exhausted many times, but also because of my disrespect and control – in my case.

            I don’t want to minimize your pain. This HURTS! And if you add alcoholism into the mix, it would be even more difficult and painful. 🙁

            I am not saying that if you totally trust God it won’t hurt you if your husband doesn’t want to be close to you. It will hurt. But – the more you know God and His goodness, the more you begin to trust Him, the more you let His Spirit take over in your life and you seek to obey Him, He begins to heal your heart. You won’t have to depend on your husband for your security, peace of mind, joy, and fulfillment. Jesus absolutely can meet those needs – no one else and nothing else really can. If you haven’t experienced that yet, it can be hard to imagine. But I promise that Jesus can meet the deepest needs of your soul like nothing else. You don’t get to experience that until you release your fears and dreams to Him. But after you do that, you will be able to experience that and it is glorious!

            I had no guarantee that Greg would change when I decided to trust God fully. I was terrified. I had to decide that I would do things GOd’s way and trust Him even if it meant that Greg stayed completely shut down, even if he never wanted to love me more or touch me more or talk with me or listen to me. Would I lay everything down before God and stop trusting myself even if nothing in my circumstances got better? Even if my circumstances with Greg got worse? I had to wrestle with that for awhile.

            But then I realized that I couldn’t control things. I couldn’t make Greg love me. I couldn’t change him. And all of my attempts to do that backfired and repelled him. I realized that if I didn’t trust God, bad things could still happen and I wouldn’t have God’s power to deal with them. I wasn’t able to protect myself from anything I feared.

            I had to go through every single fear I had and decide if I was going to trust God with them even if He decided to let me face those things or if I was going to live in fear and unbelief.

            When you are filled up with God and His Spirit and love, you can know that you will be more than fine even if your husband leaves. Yes. It will still hurt. A lot. But there is also peace from God and even joy in the midst of trials. You also have a different perspective because you trust God’s sovereignty to reach him. Yes, your husband has free will. But God is also sovereign. Both of those things are true at the same time. So you can entreat God to reach your husband in ways you can’t. Even if he leaves, you can trust that God is at work and will make something good from the terrible storm.

            Greg couldn’t hear God’s voice when I started this journey. But as he heard less and less criticism, negativity, lectures, nagging, and condemnation from me, and as God began to change me – he began to hear God’s voice again. In my case, my voice was in the way and was drowning out God’s voice in Greg’s life.

            Your husband is not beyond God’s reach.

            But I believe God wants to do quite a lot of miraculous and radical healing in your own soul first. Then you will have the power and wisdom you need to know how to pray for and how to live out a godly example before your husband. God loves you so much more than you can imagine! And He loves your husband the same way. He knows and wants what is truly ultimately best for you both. He can’t have evil motives toward you.

            Much love!

          2. Thank you for sharing ur journey again April. This is soooo helpful to read that u went through some of the same things that I’m living in now.

          3. I wish each of you could experience life in my heart and mind for an hour or a half of a day.

            Once I tasted how good God is and the peace and joy that come from totally yielding to Him, I realized, God is truly the greatest Treasure there is! Now I know that the best place in the universe is to be in the center of His will close to Him, whatever may happen, even if it is tragic. And now I see that the scariest place to be is to trust myself or anything but God.

            When I trust self and I don’t trust God, the results are that I live by my own sinful flesh. All I can do is destroy stuff. All I can do is be afraid, upset, lonely, anxious, worried, and depressed.

            When I trust God fully and let Him be Master, the results are that I get the power of the Holy Spirit more and more. His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control are mine. His power surges through me. His wisdom becomes mine. His Spirit directs and prompts me to know what to do like a GPS. His Word comes alive. I have the ability to pour His healing and life into my relationships and I come into my relationships from a position of great spiritual strength and being overflowing and filled up already instead of being needy, clingy, and upset with other people.

            When I give all of myself to Christ, He gives me access to all of Himself and all of the work He has done on my behalf on the cross. I have access to all of the spiritual riches of heaven and I am seated already with Christ in the heavenlies! I get access to the Holy of Holies 24/7!?!?!

            The gifts Christ gives us are staggering.

            May God give us eyes to see. May we receive all that He has for us in Himself with joy.

            Much love!

          4. Something else I believe we all must face on this journey is a motive check. It is tempting to try to love and serve God so that He will give us the things we really want. Like our husbands to love us more or s healed marriage. But God can see my deepest motives. He had to remind me of this many times. He will not be a means to an end. I need to come to Him to get to have Him whether or not I get anything else that I want. If I am only serving Him to try to get my other dreams and desires, I will stay very stuck. He will be far away. But when I decide He is what I want most, He will draw near.

          5. Bel. My heart is breaking for you. That kind of rejection does hurt so very deeply. I was hoping you would be spared this part. It’s a very dry desert. But you won’t be alone. My husband did, and, in some degree is doing the same thing to me. It felt like complete, utter, miserable rejection. I kept hearing “dry bones”, and “5 years” in my heart when I thought about how dead my marriage was. I think you need to be surrounded by prayer and be held in God’s arms right now.

            I can’t really assume what is going on in your husbands head. All I can do is draw from my own similar experience and pray. This is where most of my painful posts originated in. As you may remember, my husband became super withdrawn, and shut down. He wouldn’t look at me, talk to me, touch me, call me…pretty much, I, like April felt single, alone and abandoned in my marriage. This is where I really started to get down to basics. I took care of the kids, the house and me. I worked, I did not rely on him for ANY emotional support. Things we talked about were the kids and only nessecary items about the house etc. I did not tell him what to do, how to do it, or anything. I let him be and seperated myself from him emotionally. I’ll be honest, it’s a scary place to be. You may find yourself putting up some walls, withdrawing, sharing less of your feelings with him. But the fight is to not get bitter, resentful or hateful about it. I found friends, family, this blog to do that and find support. You still need safe people whom you can trust, but right now, it is not your husband. My husband went through a short period of drinking, but God scared him by a police pullover. Then there was a drug or two he was not using for intended purposes and basically abusing them…lots of anger there. Maybe porn even. Like one substitute to another trying to search for something, but we all knew he really needed to find God.

            Bel. I’m not sure what your limits are. Only you and God know that. The important parts here is that you and the kids are safe. If he becomes abusive, then get help immediatey. If you feel safe and you feel God wants you to stay and stand for this marriage, then it will be time to buckle up and hold on tight. The storm is coming. I promise you will learn through all this and grow, but you might not realize it until you look back a bit. This is where the rubber meets the road in trusting God to work things out for the best. But know, it may not work out how you want or think it will. Your husband may, or may not play along. There may be physical seoeration or nit, there will definately be emotional seperation. My hope is that you can ride out the storm and see what God has for you when the storm clears. Your h has a process he will be going through. He needs to find out if he can live without anyone in his life. He won’t trust anyone, or feel he needs anyone. He may becone like a hermit, paranoid, afraid to move or hurt anyone, trapped in the dark with his eyes shut tight. His mind will be lying to him and satan will attack him like torture. You can urge, berate, scold him, but he may be immoveable. This is when my husband slept on the floor and his chair for about 3 months.

            The reality is that we are not meant to be alone, but we think we don’t need anyone but ourselves, not even God. It’s a huge pride issue, but he will think he is just trying to stay out of the way and not hurt anyone. He doesn’t realize that this very withdrawl of his love, attention, affection itself, is very hurtful. Don’t mistake this as you are doing something wrong. Im sure you have things to work on, but you dont deserve this either. He is trapied in sin. You could be the picture perfect wife, and he may still need to go through this. It’s like a cardiac arrest, spiritually. Your job will be to keep following God. Do what is right, not easy. Be the parent for your kids, take care of yourself. Eat healthy, go for walks, stay busy. Seek others to bless. Dont fall into the same trap he is in. This keeps you looking ahead, not down or backwards. You really will feel like a single mom. You will learn how to rely on yourself and stand strong for your kids, for yourself, for God. Make some female friends from church. Simplify your life as much as you can. But do not sit and wallow in self pity. Grieve if you must, cry your heart out, hollar to God if you want, but come back to Him, your Father understands. Your kids need you now more than ever to be there, be present, be strong. Come here to PW, or to your sisters for help. Your pastor, other friends who love and support you. You won’t be alone.

            I will pray that this desert is short. But in the mean time, don’t expect some big aha moment from him, or for you. It’s going to be baby steps. Small understandings. Feelings of peace mixed with greif and painful sadness. A true roller coaster ride. But, there is light at the end.

            I’m only now starting to see a dim flicker at the end of this tunnel. There is still no touch, no kisses, no phone calls just to talk. There are days I think things are great, then some big set back again 2 steps forward, three steps back. Then 1 step at a time forward for a bit. It’s a test. I will get filled with hope if he smiles or laughs, or some little thing, but then I fall from the let down that it’s not consistant. You need to keep the goal in mind to honor God in all you do. Your husband may start to spew venomous words at you, calling you a good goody, self righteous, a Jesus freak… yep, I received those barbs, but you will need to dig deep and stand strong against the lies. Remember, your husband is not the enemy, satan is the true enemy here. Your husband is blinded and chained up by the enemy right now. God needs you to fight WITH Him to save His child. Satan wouldn’t be trying so hard if he didn’t think that something good was coming…like child labor pains. The pain is most intense right before the delivery. Then, a wonderful gift from God is given to you.

            You will discover things about yourself you didn’t know you could do. You will become stronger, more confident, but, it. Will. Hurt.

            Think of your babies. Be a safe place to them. Hold them, be gentle, caring, loving. Listen to them. God will speak to you through your kids, the television, signs, other people. But always verify that it holds up to Gods words. Pray like you have never prayed before…for God to hold you, comfort you, show you His next step for you, protect your kids hearts.

            You may eventually even find yourself not wanting your marriage anymore. You may begin to be repelled by your husband. Just have it over so you can move on in life. You might not like who he becomes, trust me, HE won’t like who he becomes either….he will be hating himself, but so lost in it all. BUT, it is all not permanent. The answer seems so obvioys to us…” if he would just listen, talk to a pastor, or just (fill in the blank)”, but the reality is he needs God deep in his heart. It may look like permanent, dead, burnt to ashes, but God can make dry bones live again, beauty ftom ashes and a way where we don’t see a way. Feelings change, attitudes change, God can flip the switches and one little thing said, done, heard can start an avalanche in you or him or both. We have no control in any of that. Just totally work on controlling yourself, learning, growing in Christ. He already knows your deepest desires. Trust Him. Honor God. Get out of the way, your husband is self destructing, but he needs to before he can be rebuilt.

            Keep your candle lit, my dear friend. I am praying hard for you to stay right tucked in under God’s protective wing today. I just want to hug your neck and hold you myself. Peace.

          6. LMSdaily115,

            My approach was very much like yours. I decided not to expect any emotional support, emotional intimacy, etc… from Greg. I focused on God and spent a good 3-4 hours every day praying, reading, studying, begging God to change me and to teach me what it meant to be a godly woman/wife. I stopped trying to control him and change him. I stopped trying to fix him and tell him what to do. I stopped being demanding, negative, and critical. I began to learn to get all of my emotional/spiritual support from God.

            I took all of my pain, fear, frustration, anxiety, and loneliness to Him in prayer. I began to realize that God hurts in a similar way when I am not close to Him and trusting Him that I hurt when Greg was far away emotionally from me. And I began to realize how much God looks forward to time with me. As I started to really trust Him more, His word began to become alive.

            When I repented of my sin (which took about 6 weeks at first, as He brought more and more to mind each day), and then I sought to repent every day as soon as I realized I had more sin, I began for the first time to really experience His love, peace, and joy in ways I never had before. I began to see life with Him as an adventure. I began to cling to His promises to me, His love letter to me, the Bible. I began to look forward to my time with Him more than anything else in the world. He became my safe place. My Shelter. My Rock.

            Then I was able to be content more and more no matter what Greg did. I am now very thankful for the years that Greg was skeptical and rather distant because if I didn’t have that time, I wouldn’t have the faith in God and the relationship I have now. I needed that time to grow spiritually. God knew that if Greg changed right away and started giving me all of the attention I wanted, I would have forgotten all about God and gone after Greg’s attention. How I praise and thank Him that He knew best and that the trial became food for my faith to grow.

            I began to focus on what God wanted to change in me and began to focus on things to be thankful for in Greg. For me, separation was never an option. But I know that God can make this clear for women in the “gray areas” or even women with severe issues in their marriages.

            Thank you so much for sharing with Bel, LMSdaily115. I pray your words might be an encouragement!

            Much love!

          7. This is my story of my marriage!!!! He’s Pushing me and God aside!! Please please seek Jesus! He is soooo faithful. I was at a point I couldn’t seek Jesus by myself but turned to Christian radio preaching shows on tv/ radio! Everything that was preached God used for me ! Walkintheword.com. God met me and used that ministry to where I NOW feel Jesus’ peace love and know he’s catching every one of my tears in a bottle!! He is the God who hears!! Believe me He will be found by those who earnestly seek Him!! I am proof:)

          8. Carla,

            Love this!

            Thank you so much for sharing with Bel. 🙂

            Greg was pushing God and me away, too, for awhile before I began this journey. That is one reason I was so afraid to trust God because I knew Greg wasn’t hearing God and didn’t think he could lead me well. Turns out I was way wrong on that!

            You know what Greg told me after he felt safe with me again? He said that when I stopped all of the criticism, control, negativity, complaining, and arguing, it was like someone took the static off of the speakers with God’s voice in his heart. And then he said that when I began to truly learn to respect and honor him, to treat him well, to affirm him, look at him like he was a teammate and a good guy instead of my enemy, and be friendly and positive toward him, it was like someone added an amplifier to the speaker with God’s voice in his heart.

            Wow.

            I will never forget those words. How I long to amplify God’s voice by working on my own end of things and being empowered by God’s Spirit. I never want to tear him down again or make it even harder for him to hear God.

            He also said that when I told him I was such a more mature Christian than he was and I was so much holier than he was with all my Bible reading and praying – that he believed me. He felt he could never be close to God and eventually, he gave up for awhile.

            But none of us are beyond God’s reach. May we be instruments of blessing to our husbands and may we be completely plugged into God.

            Much love!

    2. Bel,

      I only read as far as your original comment, and April’s first response—so for give me if what the Lord has on my heart to share with you has already been said by others 🙂

      I know what you are going through with not actually feeling the peace, yet you believe you are focusing on Christ and surrendered and all that. I was stuck there for a long time….. and I didn’t understand either what was going on—why the Lord was NOT intervening. Especially if your husband professes Christ—- that is hard to see happen. I have seen my husband go thru stages where he was far from God and where I felt he was blind to a lot of things he was doing and what was going on in his life that was contrary to God. But in the end, like April said, it wasn’t what I said to him or tried to make him do that helped at all.

      The only true change came Bel when the Lord by His Spirit truly opened my eyes to the Cross of Jesus Christ, and what actually happened in the Cross. When Christ died on that Cross however many years ago—- we died with him in our natural life—the life we were given when we were born into this world. That died with Christ. And when Christ was raised, so were we in Him, even when we were yet in our sins! And if we have truly been born from above—- our life now is only by the life of Christ in us—and that only happens and becomes a reality in our life when we see the Cross and accept God’s judgment upon ALL FLESH—that it is dead and buried with Christ. Now, all God is concerned with is the development of Christ’s life in us by the Spirit dwelling in our spirit.

      Sometimes, we don’t know it at the time, but when we feel like God is doing NOTHING, and like we don’t know what to do and we are getting mad and impatient—it is actually God allowing us to experience the utter hopelessness there is in trying to do things in our own power, in our own strength, in our own natural way and ideas—-apart from HIM.

      Where you are is the point where it will become clear as to whether you are truly following the Lord, and surrendered to His purposes for your life—or whether you are still attached to this world and something in this world for your own personal gain and benefit.

      The Holy Spirit never commits himself to the natural flesh of man. If you are still before the Cross, and have not fully accepted the death in Christ, then the Holy Spirit will not commit himself to you and you will not experience the freedom found when the Spirit is Lord! And you won’t experience the peace, the joy, the love, the true heart change that comes when we TRULY SEE with the eyes of our heart, by the Holy Spirit who Christ really is and what this new life He has given us inside is all about.

      I can assure you it is not about making your marriage better for your own personal enjoyment. It is not about you having a godly marriage and your husband being godly and things being ok. The Lord gives us His own Life for His own purposes—for His own interests, for His own glory to come of it—-not to make our life better in any way.

      The point is that, even if our life gets a million times worse, if we have the life of Christ in us, we will get through it and come out of it in the strength and joy of the Lord!

      How do we live by Christ’s life in us? By faith, we appeal to His life as within us—not somewhere away in outer space—- as His life INSIDE US to rise up and face the situation we are in for HIS GLORY and HIS PURPOSES! And as we appeal to His life in us to strengthen us inwardly by His Spirit, we rise up in the Name of the Lord, by faith, and press on in His strength. And we find that, as we do this, He fills us with His life and strength and it is ALL TO HIS GLORY! And He enables us to meet the hardest situation in the Spirit with peace and calm and joy and love.

      Testimony to God’s sovereignty: I nagged my husband for a good year and half when we got married about his eating and health habits that I did not agree with. He ate more candy then before when I did that. Once finding April and the many eye openings from the Lord about all that—I stopped talking about food and health all together. Well, one day a month or so ago—out of no where, the Lord opened my husband’s eyes to the truth about eating horribly and eating a lot of artificial stuff, etc.—and he threw it all out and hasn’t touched it since!!!!!!!!!!! God did in one minute what I tried doing in a year and a half when it was left to the Lord and His sovereignty! 🙂

      You have all the reasons to have hope here—and hope to lead you to a cry out to the Lord for an increase of faith in Him—and for His Spirit to truly work in you to open your eyes to all that He truly wants to do in and through you for His own glory and purposes!

      I pray you will seek Him and be open to what is said here and bring it to the Lord in prayer and see if He might have yet more light to break forth unto you! 🙂

      Love,
      Amanda

      1. Amanda, I just want you to know I spent a long time yesterday reading entries on your blog (I always read this blog time and again as refresher courses in my spiritual life and I honestly can’t pinpoint what made me come across your blog but when I did I was so blessed) and I really appreciate the heart for God in your postings as well. I just wanted you to know. I look forward to reading more.
        Ps- I’ve been thinking of CIC lately, I hope she’s well.

        1. SIC,

          I’m so glad this blessed you!

          CIC is doing good, I spoke to her ohhh probably a month ago I think! She is doing good! 🙂 She’s much more busier now than she was before so that’s probably why she hasn’t been “around” lately!

          Love,
          Amanda

          1. Hi Amanda, I just saw this! Thank you, I’m so glad to hear CIC s doing well since it’s been so long that she’s been here and has been on my mind lately!

  9. I am considering leaving my husband. I suspect he is either cheating or heavily into porn – or he finds me unattractive but will not be honest about it. Our sex life has plummeted. He has been having issues with maintaining his manhood. I’ve have asked him to see a dr in case something is wrong. He refuses. I have asked if he is cheating or if there is issues with viewing things online. He denied it. There is something terribly wrong but I can’t put my finger on what is happening. I am trying to be understanding and patient. The anger is becoming too much. I can’t hide it anymore and it is coming through my actions. I have asked God for help, for both of us but I see no help coming. I am tired of what I believe, is my husband lying to me. It is difficult for me to grasp that he refuses to remedy the issues, whatever they are. I love my husband deeply. i just want to fix what is going on.

    1. Wifetoonemamatomany,
      Before making a drastic move, I pray God will give you His Spirit of wisdom and discernment. It is possible that a man who is having difficulties with impotence may be involved in porn or possibly an affair. But it is also very possible that he is just having impotence issues. Especially if he is obese, has high blood pressure, or is on certain blood pressure meds, has diabetes, or is on certain anti-depressants. It is also possible that he may simply be feeling too mothered, or too disrespected or controlled. That can turn a man off, too.

      I invite you to search my home page search bar for “impotence” for a post about this issue. This is a REALLY tough issue for most husbands. It is humiliating. Shame-producing. It is the ultimate “failure” as a man to many men.

      A lot of men are extremely uncomfortable seeking medical help. As a pharmacist, I see that quite often.

      If he really is having an affair or is addicted to porn, that would require specific approaches based on those things. But if he seriously is just having medical issues, it would be so tragic to accuse a husband who was innocent. I don’t know your husband’s situation. But I pray God will illuminate things for you.

      I’m here if you want to talk some more. I hurt with you over this painful situation. I pray for God’s healing for you both.

      Much love!

    2. Hello Wifetoonemamatomany,

      I am in a place where I am trying to find insight ,information counsel to workout whether my husband had cheated on me also. He has left now but if he were come back I need to know for definite if he had cheated.

      Would you be o.k. to share what are the things which make you suspect your husband’s behavior? I think I would find it helpful to see if my feelings plus some possible evidence are right. Thank you

  10. All,
    Y’all are doing such a beautiful job encouraging each other and sharing your stories. I hope to get to respond in more detail tomorrow night. I am a bit tied up with extra work in the pharmacy. Thanks for your patience!

    Much love!

  11. I don’t want a divorce or to separate from my husband. I am not feeling love towards him anymore, though. I value him. I care about him, but that ‘spark’ is gone after over ten years of marriage. I was enmeshed with him, but now I’m shut off.
    I have been growing in Christ, and I know that divorce is not the answer for my family. I stumble frequently. I have exhausted myself by trying to be everything to everyone. I am beginning realize that the Lord is happy with me just being ME – even when I stumble. I only have to open my heart to Him and trust Him to see me through.
    God has blessed me immensely. I wanted to be confident in my marriage, peaceful about my life, no longer living in fear that I would lose my husband. BUT that has developed into me not feeling connected to my best friend of the past ten years. I know that THIS is not what God wants for my marriage. I am afraid that left unchecked these cold feelings might lead our marriage down a terrible path.
    I was being so respectful and submissive to my husband that I even stopped letting my husband know about my needs and desires. I realize now that I need to communicate those things with him – that is part of why I feel so shut off.

    1. Needing Some Guidance,

      It is really common for us to overshoot when we are learning this stuff. I know I did. We go from being enmeshed to being too far away. Too controlling and disrespectful to completely passive. The extremes are dysfunctional. There is this beautiful place in the middle that we can only reach by God’s Spirit’s power in us and by some practice.

      You can ask God to help you find a new normal, a new healthy balance. You won’t be completely dependent on your husband for everything. Your emotions won’t be totally tied up in him and what he is doing for you. But you can be friendly, relaxed, inviting, warm, welcoming, etc… Coldness and distance is not what we want either.

      I think LMSdaily115 may have some posts about this. You are welcome to search my home page search bar for “LMSdaily”

      And I have some posts about this, as well. I invite you to search for:

      – oneness
      – closeness
      – even once my marriage is healed – I still can’t go back to my old ways
      – the pendulum effect
      – this journey can be lonely
      – loneliness in marriage
      – shut husband out

      Let me know if these things are a blessing. I pray for more revelation from God to help you navigate this hurdle.

      Much love!

    2. The pendulum effect. It is so true, but I see the pendulum upside down…like a gas guage. It is sinful to be pulled to either extreme, too disrespectful, or too passive and closed off. Sin is like the gravity that pulls us to each extreme. It takes effort to fight gravity and pull ourselves into the middle.

      I also did this same stuff you are describing. It’s kind of an easy way out to just shut the doors and turn off the lights. If you want connection, you need to be willing to reach out and connect, if you want a friend, you need to be a friend, if you want a trusting partner, you need to be a trusting partner. Ghandi said “be the change you want to see in the world”, and Jesus was sent to be the example of God’s design for us to follow. Jesus became a great leader because he was willing to be a servant. This is the hard work that makes a beautiful, godly example of marriage. But it will take time, patience, courage and faith.

      I suggest to concentrate of the good. Find the things to be grateful for and concentrate on those. Don’t focus on what is missing, wrong not perfect, or you will miss all those wonderful things you DO have. Or else one day, instead of 80% good/20% bad you may be 20% good and 80% bad and wish you could go back to the way it was. Life is not perfect, be thankful for what you have.

      I will pray for God to help you find a thankful heart, compassion and understanding for your husband, and the courage to reach out and be vulnerable again to open up to your husband and share your thoughts and feelings in ways that he can hear and appreciate. Don’t throw your pearls to the swine, but done hide them away, either. Your husband needs to see the real you, the feminine side to be able to stir up the protective and hero like man in him.

      Much love.

      1. Spoke right to my heart. Thank you!
        This is so hard for me – to open up after being closed off. I didn’t realize how closed off I had been. Nearly 4 years ago, my husband told me that he loved me, but he didn’t want to be with me any more – because I was so controlling and angry that I just made him miserable. Looking back, I don’t blame him one bit.

        It terrified me, though. I knew that I loved him – the good, the bad, and the ugly. So, I decided to change me. I didn’t have any clue what I was doing, but I knew I didn’t want to lose him. So, the only answer I could come up with was to make myself more like my husband – if we didn’t argue, then he would NEVER leave. If I gave him everything he ever wanted, then he would NEVER leave. So, I became the person I thought he wanted me to be.

        I started to realize that I was missing out on a lot. I never went to church because my husband didn’t like to go. I never socialized with friends because that took time away from him. I ONLY did things that he liked – no beach, no mani/pedi, etc… Don’t mistake me, he had NO IDEA that I was doing this to myself, and if he had, he would have snapped me out of it!

        I talked to him about all of this the Saturday night. I have been prayerfully considering what I should do to honor God and become a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, everything. He was shocked. I didn’t throw my pearls to the swine as you put it :), but I let him know what I am going through and that I needed his support.

        He told me that he is there for me and that he loves me unconditionally. BUT I can tell that he thinks I’m having some kind of ‘Thelma and Louise’ breakdown. He keeps telling me that I’m going to decide that he’s whats making me unhappy and divorce him.

        I went to church this weekend. I’m joining a women’s prayer group on Wednesdays – they are studying a book on marriage by John Piper. I am surrounding myself with people who will influence me for good.

        I’m feeling better, but there’s so much more that God has shown me that I need to address. There is a mountain of unforgiveness in my heart that I didn’t even know was there. I thought I had prayerfully removed all those old wounds, but there is so much more under the surface.

        Thank you for your prayers!

        1. Needing Some Guidance,

          So thankful for all you are seeing! You know what? This is exactly why we can’t try to change for other people or to keep our husbands around. It gets really dysfunctional when we do that. But when we change only for God and are seeking to let God do the changing and transforming and we seek His approval above all else, then we can find real freedom, real healing, and we have the power of Christ to bless our husbands but we don’t overcompensate and give up our personalities, influence, and joy.

          The Pendulum Effect talks about avoiding the extremes of being disrespectful and controlling (having self as an idol) vs. being a doormat with no personality who gives up her influence in her family, (making her husband an idol).

          Some other posts that may be a blessing:

          25 Ways to Respect Myself (or to think rightly about myself)
          My Identity in Christ
          Is It Possible to Disrespect Myself?

          I’m excited about the changes you are making. Happiness is an inside job – as my pastor likes to say. You can have God’s joy in this situation, I hope you will reassure your husband that it is simply your way of thinking that needs to change and that he is not the problem.

          Much love!!!!!

        2. Needing someGuidance—-, I too lived a life I thought my husband wanted me to be. I changed my very being and personality to match his. I wanted so bad to make him happy and proud of me. In the process, I lost who I was and became angry and bitter. I began to reject my family of origin as dysfunctional, messed up and beneath me. I became arrogant and acted superior to them. Guess what, just like my husband acts now. How awful. I realize now that I had nothing to be ashamed of. My husband fell in love with me back then because I was different than him. Now, he claims we are too different and doesn’t like it, but in reality, it’s a good thing, he just can’t see it yet…we are all different, and supposed to be. But he was extremely frustrated for the longest time in me. He felt i refused to listen to him. In my eyes, i feel we switched places 2 years ago. Maybe we each need our turn to mature.

          I like who I am now that I am willing to be myself and stop pretending to be a pinterest perfect wife/mother/daughter in law, etc. I thank God daily I am not like my husband. I love our differences of opinion, but I also had to learn to stop the controlling, the self pride and the perfectionism. I used to demand things be my way. Niw, as long as he is not asking me to sin, hurt others or myself, i am mire willing to go with his idea. I still bring up my concerns and points, but i allow his decision to stand. Sometines things go to heck, but he learns ftom them then to consider other viewpoints. Those 3 things were my worst traits, and I still struggle with them at times.

          I love realizing I’m not perfect and that expectations of perfection from people are not my burden to fullfill. I feel free because I know what is not mine to carry anymore. The books “Boundaries” and “Boundaries in Marriage” by Dr’s Cloud and Towensend are stellar to read about laying down the crap other people place on us. It actually helps me be more loving, understanding and able to help others grow and mature. I use those principles with my kids, work people, friends and husband. MY husband doesn’t like it much, but for 18 years, I taught him he could treat me like trash cause I felt I deserved it. I taught he could disrespect me because I thought I was dumber than him, not worthy, less than. All lies from the enemy!!!! Now, I feel more equal, worthy of respect, not less than and I can respectfully stand up for myself, yet be loving and compassionate and understanding.

          My husband has his own issues of self righteousness, pride, over the top expectations and control that he needs to work through. But I allowed it for too long. If he feels he needs a mousy, yes-woman, doormat to feel good about himself, then he can go find one. He had that once and wanted to divorce her after 18 years…me…so, I’m going back to the real me, but one who loves God first, before her spouse or herself. If my husband doesn’t like that, then I wish him good luck on his search for happiness elsewhere. We all know he needs God, but until he comes to that conclusion himself, he will remain a prodigal sleeping in the pig sty.

          I just keep praying for his salvation while I continue to clean up my own messes.

          Thoughts, prayers and hugs to you.

          If you want to email 1:1, ask April for my email. I would be willing to talk out some of what you are going through together. We are on similar paths, my sweet sister. Blessings to you today.

  12. Here is a very helpful post by Gary Thomas, author of “Sacred Marriage” and “Sacred Influence” about divorce and abuse. I pray it will be a blessing:

    “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26

    What does it mean to “hate” someone we are elsewhere called to sacrificially love? We are told to love even our enemies, yet Jesus here tells us to hate some of our closest family members. What could that mean?

    Hatred here is Semitic hyperbole. In essence, it means “love less than.” There are times when our love and allegiance to God may be at odds with human loyalties; in those cases, love for God, His light and the way of truth, must always prevail.

    It’s okay (actually, commendable) for me to love the Seattle Seahawks. But if my wife needs me to take her to the hospital in the middle of a game or needs me to pay her some attention, I have to act like I hate the Seahawks and not even consider my love for them in service to my wife.

    Let’s apply this principle in regards to how the church views marriage and divorce.

    I recently spoke at a long-standing North American woman’s conference and was overwhelmed by the quantity and horrific nature of things wives are having to put up with in their marriages. Between sessions, I was bombarded by heartfelt inquiries: “What does a wife do when her husband does this? Or that? Or keeps doing this?” It broke my heart. I felt like I needed to take a dozen showers that weekend.

    This may sound like a rant, but please hang with me, as I think this conference was a divine appointment. I can’t get this out of my mind.

    One wife began our conversation with, “God hates divorce, right?”

    “Yes,” I said. “I believe He does.”

    “So I’ve just got to accept what’s happening in my marriage, right?”

    When she told me what was happening, I quickly corrected her. “If the cost of saving a marriage is destroying a woman, the cost is too high. God loves people more than he loves institutions.”

    Her husband is a persistent porn addict. He has neglected her sexually except to fulfill his own increasingly bent desires. He keeps dangling divorce over her head, which makes her feel like a failure as a Christian. He presented her with a list of five things he wanted to do that he saw done in porn, and if she wasn’t willing, he was through with the marriage. She agreed to four of them, but just couldn’t do the fifth. And she feels guilty.

    God hates divorce, right?

    This is monstrous and vile. This woman needs to be protected from such grotesque abuse, and if divorce is the only weapon to protect her, then the church should thank God such a weapon exists.

    A young wife, barely in her twenties, held a baby in a blanket and looked at me with tears. Her husband has a huge temper problem. He’s made her get out of the car on a highway with her baby, twice. “But both times he came back for us,” she said in his defense when I looked absolutely appalled. They were separated and she was living with her parents. She wanted to know if she should take him back because his psychiatrist supposedly said there wasn’t anything really wrong with him. Her husband doesn’t think he has a problem that, in fact, the problem is with her “lack of forgiveness.”

    They had been married only three years and she had already lived through more torment (I’m not telling the full story) than a woman should face in a lifetime. My thoughts weren’t at all about how to “save” the marriage, but to ease her conscience and help her prepare for a new life—without him.

    Church, God hates it when a woman is sexually degraded and forced to do things that disgust her. It should also make us want to vomit.

    When a young man is so immature he puts his wife’s and baby’s life in danger on a highway (amongst other things), the thought that we’re worried about the “appropriateness” of divorce shows that our loyalties are with human institutions, not the divine will.

    As Kevin DeYoung so ably puts it, “Every divorce is the result of sin, but not every divorce is sinful.”

    Another woman told me about putting up with her husband’s appalling behavior for over forty years. I was invited to look in her face, see the struggle, see the heroic perseverance, but also be reminded that counsel has consequences. So when I talk to a young woman in her third year of marriage and it’s clear she’s married to a monster, and someone wants to “save” the marriage, I want them to realize they are likely sentencing her to four decades of abuse, perhaps because of a choice she made as a teenager. When these men aren’t confronted, and aren’t repentant, they don’t change.

    Jesus said what he said about divorce to protect women, not to imprison them. Divorce was a weapon foisted against women in the first century, not one they could use, and it almost always left them destitute if their family of origin couldn’t or wouldn’t step up.

    How does it honor the concept of “Christian marriage” to enforce the continuance of an abusive, destructive relationship that is slowly squeezing all life and joy out of a woman’s soul? Our focus has to be on urging men to love their wives like Christ loves the church, not on telling women to put up with husbands mistreating their wives like Satan mistreats us. We should confront and stop the work of Satan, not enable it.

    Look, I hate divorce as much as anyone. I have been married for 31 years and cannot fathom leaving my wife. I have prayed with couples, counselled with couples, written blog posts and articles and books, and have travelled to 49 of the 50 states and nine different countries to strengthen marriages in the church. By all accounts, I believe I’ve been an ambassador for improving and growing marriages.

    The danger of what I’m saying is clear and even a little scary to me, because no marriage is easy. Every marriage must overcome hurt, pain, and sin. No husband is a saint, in the sense that every husband will need to be forgiven and will be troublesome and even hurtful at times to live with. I’m not talking about the common struggles of living with a common sinner, or every man and woman could pursue divorce. (There are many men who live with abuse and could “biblically” pursue a divorce as well.) Charging someone with “abuse” when it doesn’t truly apply is almost as evil as committing abuse, so we need to be careful we don’t bear “false witness” against a spouse to convince ourselves and others that we can legitimately pursue divorce to get out of a difficult marriage.

    That’s why I love how some churches will meet with a couple and hear them out to give them some objective feedback, helping them to distinguish between normal marital friction and abusive behavior. Some women need to hear, “No, this isn’t normal. It’s abuse. You don’t have to put up with that.” Others need to hear, “We think what you’re facing are the normal difficulties of marriage and with counseling they can be overcome.” There’s no way a blog post (or even a book) can adequately anticipate all such questions.

    I love marriage—even the struggles of marriage, which God can truly use to grow us and shape us—but I hate it when God’s daughters are abused. And I will never defend a marriage over a woman’s emotional, spiritual, and physical health.

    I went back to my hotel room after that woman’s conference and almost felt like I had to vomit. I don’t know how God stands it, having to witness such horrific behavior leveled at his daughters.

    Enough is enough!

    Jesus says there are “levels” of love, and times when one loyalty must rise over another. Our loyalty to marriage is good and noble and true. But when loyalty to a relational structure allows evil to continue it is a false loyalty, even an evil loyalty.

    Christian leaders and friends, we have to see that some evil men are using their wives’ Christian guilt and our teaching about the sanctity of marriage as a weapon to keep harming them. I can’t help feeling that if more women started saying, “This is over” and were backed up by a church that enabled them to escape instead of enabling the abuse to continue, other men in the church, tempted toward the same behavior, might finally wake up and change their ways.

    Christians are more likely to have one-income families, making some Christian wives feel even more vulnerable. We have got to clean up our own house. We have got to say “Enough is enough.” We have got to put the fear of God in some terrible husbands’ hearts, because they sure don’t fear their wives and their lack of respect is leading to ongoing deplorable behavior.

    I want a man who was abusive to have to explain to a potential second wife why his saintly first wife left him. Let men realize that behavior has consequences, and that wives are supposed to be cherished, not used, not abused, and never treated as sexual playthings. If a man wants the benefit and companionship of a good woman, let him earn it, and re-earn it, and let him know it can be lost.

    Enough is enough.

    I know I’m ranting. But I don’t think it was an accident that I was constantly stopped at that woman’s conference and forced to hear despicable story after despicable story (“forced” isn’t the right word. I could, of course, have walked away). I think God wanted me to see the breadth and depth of what is going on, and in this case, perhaps to be His voice.

    Message received! We are called to love marriage, but when marriage enables evil, we should hate it (love it less) in comparison to a woman’s welfare.

    1. Thank you for sharing this April. I will study it at length. It lacks a little of your wisdom, which is only testimony to you and not criticism of the author.
      My husband quotes the passage from Luke often regarding leaving my own disbelieving family behind. I also don’t think that God sees marriage as an institution. My husband is part of me, the other half of my heart. I’m talking to him now and he’s listening calmly. I know my husband’s behavior is abusive at times and I truly can’t take this much more. I’m still not clear where the line should be for God. I need time to reflect and pray and I can’t seem to get it here, try as I might. Just wish I could have a break.

      1. Satan is the greatest enemy here. He would love to destroy you both and your marriage. I pray you will be able to have the wisdom and discernment you need to make the decisions that God most desires you to make. I pray He gives you the clarity, illumination, and revelation that you need. I pray for God’s wisdom for your husband. For humility. For godly love and compassion. For both of you to hear God’s voice and desire to submit fully to Him and His ways for the good of you both.

        I pray for you to have the time you need with God and that you will be able to hear His voice very clearly and that God will confirm to you what He desires you to do.

        A godly man will treat his wife kindly, lovingly, gently, and with respect and honor. God does not hear the prayers of one who mistreats his wife. (1 Peter 3:7).

        There is most certainly spiritual warfare going on. I pray for a break through for your husband and a realization of his need for Christ and His Spirit to empower him to be the man and husband God desires him to be. My greatest desire is first for you to be walking in the power of the Spirit and His healing and then for your husband to experience that healing, as well in a powerful way.

        Much love to you!

        1. That’s beautiful April, that really heartens me, thank you for praying for us. The truth is, despite his many errors, my husband is a godly man in many different ways and perhaps is scared to see his errors as attacks of the darkness because he has always been so close to God and now feels so far away. Thank you for keeping up those beautiful prayers, and bless your for your solidarity and wisdom.

        1. Hope,
          I’m glad to know you are safe. I want you to receive ALL that Jesus has provided for you and ALL of the joy, peace, power, wisdom, discernment, and spiritual riches He has already made available to you. You may not be able to overcome this evil alone, but you are not alone. Jesus has all authority over every evil spirit, over all other people in positions of authority. I pray for His victory over Satan in this home!

          1. Thank you April. I hate to see Satan winning and I won’t allow it even if I spend my whole life fighting. That warfare has destroyed our lives and home from the outside in. Our lives are in ruins, and there looks to be no hope. But I have faith that God will rebuild us even stronger and that we can bear these unbearable burdens. I join you in prayer for God’s victory in my home and our hearts, in the homes and hearts of you and all our brothers and sisters. I also read this just now, April your words from a year ago which made me tearful:

            “It is hard to leave our greatest dreams and the most important people in our lives at the foot of the cross. It is dying to self. It is taking up our cross and following Christ. It is laying our Isaac on the altar, not knowing if we will receive him back or not – and when.”

            When everything is destroyed and the end seems near, all I can do is lay my Isaac on the altar, pray and listen for God’s instruction. I also love what you say about Jesus’ authority. We have a tendency to make God so small (God bless you for your new post!). I know that He can act over people in authority of course but I have lost my faith that He will do something that isn’t related to money. Everything is our life is stalled because there is none to sole some of these problems. It has been so long now. I feel like He is doing some small things but that mainly He wants me and husband to act faster to resolve the situation urgently according to His guidance. That may not even be true. I’m working day and night on a solution, and my husband pressures me to work more and harder, leaving me no time or space for communion. I resolve to lay it all down before Him and let’s see what happens. There’s nothing else left to do.

  13. It is truly amazing to see the parallels with stories on this blog. We are just starting on month 4 of this journey and I am seeing God’s work on me every day. I am finally stronger about discerning my sin vs. my husband’s sin (or at least his part of the “blame”) and was able to talk strong, respectful truth to him yesterday when he insisted on making sure I knew that his feelings hadn’t changed.

    He’s been very up and down lately and I couldn’t figure out why. I found out that basically it’s because he felt that when I was kind and soft with him that I thought everything was “ok” with us again. Far from it! I have learned so much more about how far we truly have to go before everything is “ok” ever again. But it did seem to bring a wall down. He’s much more responsive to me now, just in 24 hours, because I told him that I will not be disrespectful to him, I will be kind to him, I will love him until the day I die.

    He doesn’t believe I’ve changed and his response when I tell him I have is: “that’s good for you, but it’s too late for me”.

    We’ve never worked at our relationship together at the same time. He insists he’s told me that he’s been unhappy many times, I didn’t argue, I just apologized for not being able to hear him. And now, he says he’s just done. But he will stay for the kids…which at least means I have time to show him more directly my changes.

    He is so far from God right now. He is hurting so much. I see him doing things that he would never do if he weren’t hurting so much. I’ve asked his brother to stay close to him since I can’t. But it just shows me how much he’s truly hurting. It pains me to my core. I pray constantly for him. I am trying to be his soft place, to help him heal, to give him space; but I just pray that somehow God will guide him back to Him.

    I love hearing your stories April and LMS and think about how much time it takes to heal. That sounds incredible that I hope that it takes that much time for him to heal, but I truly believe it can’t happen over night or no one will truly change for the better. Thank you for this blog and the ability to hear the similarities and get the support we all need. God bless!!

    1. Trying,

      I’m so thankful to hear that you are better able to discern the difference between your husband’s sin and yours. That brings so much more clarity! I long for us all to be able to discern this issue wisely by God’s power.

      I’m glad that y’all had this discussion. I know that he is not where you want him to be right now. But I am also glad that you are sticking to doing what is right in God’s eyes no matter what happens. That is beautiful!

      You do have a wonderful opportunity to seek to bless him since he is planning on staying for awhile. Not that it will be easy. But with God’s help and power, I know it will be amazing to see what He does in your own life. I am also excited about what God will do in your husband’s life. His greatest need is Jesus and the healing He can bring – as it is for each of us.

      I’m so glad you can see that what he is doing, he does because he is in so much pain.

      Quick changes are not real changes. The kind of change God wants is change that will last and continue to deepen for a lifetime that brings glory and honor to Him.

      May God continue His good work in your life and your husband’s life for His greatest glory! May you rest in His healing, sovereignty, and love. I pray you will hear His voice clearly and that you will be quick to obey whatever He may lead you to do.

      Sending you a huge hug!

      Much love!

    2. Trying, It’s so great to meet you! Thanks Bel for the heads up;)

      I know April responded too. Yes, I agree that being able to recognize our own pile of garbage (sin) vs always seeing our spouses pile of garbage is the first crucial step. That realization is the moment when our eyes truly open up to understanding for the first time. God yearns for us to see His design for marriage, life, us as His children. He is the perfect parent. As you learn, grow, spiritually mature and gain more wisdom and a deeper relationship with God, you will find that doing things God’s way IS the right way. Our own ways usually are not. Doing things the right way, and not the easy way, is what God teaching does for us. We may not like His timing or the hard lessons He has for US to learn, but after you are through that conflict, you will be able to look back and appreciate the way God planned it all out, genius -like.

      “Not my will, Lord, but yours be done.”

      Even now, it’s been 2 years since I started this journey. It’s a total roller coaster ride. I have learned so much, but still have so much more to learn. Yet, I wouldn’t trade in this part of life. Not my favorite, by far, but definitely the most beneficial and life changing for the good.

      I am struggling this week with “battle fatigue”. I wonder if my husband will ever wake up, will things change, when? But I also dig deep and know that I can love this man even if he never changes…but our relationship just may be different than I planned on. I am learning acceptance, adaptation, a deeper level of forgiveness and love. I am trying my best to hand him over to God and focus on my own race. I know, spiritually, that i cannot find love with anger, I’m not to repay evil with evil. And that my faith can be deepened when I trust God and know He is in control of it all. Recognizing what my flesh would like to do and comparing it with God’s laws really makes me realize how deceiving the enemy really is. It also helps me make much better choices when I go to God with my struggles first instead of trying to do it on my own.

      Your journey will be hard, trying and sometimes painful, but you will also experience unlimited joy, freedom and peace like you have never felt before. I’m glad you have found friends here. April has created a wonderful place, with God’s direction, for people like us to come and find each other, honest feedback spoken in love, friends, ways to be directed to God, support, love, perspectives and knowledge. God drew me here overy 2 years ago at my most desperate hour. I feel like it was my biggest answered prayer…it led me to find a real relationship to God. If it helps heal my marriage, well, that would be the icing on the cake, wouldn’t it? , but the real problem has already been resolved…God has His daughter back!

      I will pray for you and your husband for tender hearts, open eyes and ears, forgiveness, compassion, wisdom and discernment. I pray you keep focusing on Him and that God will show you each next step exactly when you need it. Trust in Him, He is a good, good father and you are so loved by Him.

      http://www.worshiptogether.com/songs/good-good-father-tomlin/

      Blessings and hugs to you, sweet sister.

      1. LMSdaily115,

        Thank you so much for sharing all of this with Trying. I pray for God to continue to empower you to be the woman, wife, and mom He calls you to be by His Spirit alone. I pray for His continued healing and work in your family and in your life. I pray for His victory over Satan’s plans and I rejoice with you even now over all that He has in store!

        I love the song. Thank you so much, dear sister!

        Much love!
        April

  14. The attitude of “Because I Can!” -My discovery of the week.

    It’s no secret, I have 2 teenagers, a boy at 13, a girl at 15, and a husband who although a grown man, is emotionally acting like an insolent child who doesn’t get his way and is angry that I won’t enable him any longer. Yet, I too, acted this way not so recently either, so I can be very sympathetic to where he is at in his journey.

    Teenagers can be mean. They are known for their self absorbed attitudes and although they may be physically mature, they are not emotionally mature. They are still trying to figure out where they fit into the world, their role, their little puzzle piece and how to get what they think they need in life to succeed and feel accepted. In my case, I did not have a relationship with God until 2 years ago, and my husband doesn’t see God as anything more than a made up story to give poor folk hope with and to control the masses by kings and upper echelon people. So, needless to say, the consequences of not raising my kids in a home that honored God until recently is quite in my face right now. It panicks me that I have such limited time with them before they leave the nest. I feel the clock ticking, but need to not force it down their throat either, and turn them off of God.

    The other day, my daughter was just being very ornery one evening and rude to her brother. Cutting him down, calling him stupid, picking on his gender as if he is beneath her, being snarky etc. My husband called her out on it. “Why are you being such a jerk to him?, he asked her. She replied “Because I can. He loves me and he’s not going anywhere.”

    Wow. This reply of hers struck a cord in me. How often do I feel my husband treats me with neglect, unworthiness or blames me for things wrong in his life just “because he can”? How much did I bicker, argue, complain, demand and accuse him in the past because I beleived our marriage was unbreakable and he would never leave me anyway, especially because we had been married longer than my parents were, I was a great wife, we had kids and bills together, and his family would be so dissapointed in him if he ever even thought about leaving me….because I could treat him that way and I beleived that there were no consequences to it….”because I can”.

    Our kids have been raised in a secure setting. They trust that we will take them to school, pick them up, make dinner every night, wash their clothes, on and on. We are “safe relationships”. No matter if our kids are mean, make mistakes, screw something up, they know we love them anyway, will forgive them and still be there for them. She knows her brother will not abandon her, so she feels entitled.

    I love that my kids are secure in their family love, but, I see the sense of entitlement that comes from it. It hurts me when I have to discipline them because they didn’t turn in their homework on time, or they are being disrespectful and taking out their anger inappropriately, and then they refuse to give me a hug goodnight or even thank me for a ride to school instead of making them take the bus…it hurts to not be loved back. To have your love taken advantage of. It hurts to not have that same safeness back.

    I realized that this “because I can” attitude happens in marriages too. We get so used to each other always being around and we think that unconditional love = unconditional forgiveness, trust and understanding. But it does not. I never in a million years thought my husband would ever utter the words “I want a divorce.” It was inconceivable to me. I thought “that will never happen to me.” But it did. I took advantage of my husband’s love for me and was disrespectful, blaming, accusing, and angry towards him. He eventually got to a point that the marriage, bills, having kids together, my pitiful efgorts of love, or even 18 years + of history together was not worth the daily hurt of our marriage. There was no cherish, protect, love, honor, nurture, or unconditional (agape) love coming his way. All he saw was ingratitude. I was not protecting the delicate gift of love my husband offered me. So he took his love and put it behind a giant, impenetrable wall where no one will ever abuse his love again. He offeres it to no one…. Maybe occasionally to his kids, but in a very controlled environment.

    Yep, I did that. And now, our roles are reversed and he is being neglectful, unloving, uncaring, stonewalling, unavailable emotionally and hurtful “because he can”. I have proven to him that even as he does these things and withdrawl his love, that I will not leave him. That he can trust that I love him, that I will forgive, keep trying etc. He’s right, but I worry, sometimes, if I will get to that snapping point and be where he was 2 years ago and want to end the marriage? I am fighting against that temptation daily. Will we ever be able to love each other unconditionally and NOT take advantage of each other’s loyalty? I know that every day, I am bluntly aware that my husband could leave, call it quits, serve me divorce papers at any moment. I do not think, anymore, that he will be with me “forever” no matter how I treat him. I understand his limits, the monster that lives in me as well as in him. I know that his love is not without limits because he is human. Only God’s is, but even then, God had enough and divorced Israel. Even God had His limits. He is patient, kind, merciful and full of grace, but overall, He is a just God as well. When physical death comes, we will be then judged by He who created us.

    My point is, we should never think that the love of our spouses is forever. It would be great if it was, but even then, it gives no one an excuse to take advantage of that love. Even God’s love. We should not take advantage of His love for us. That attitude of gratitude and thankfulness keeps us in check. Why can’t we have that with our spouses, kids, parents, friends? We certainly don’t deserve God’s unconditional love, but He gives it to us. We don’t deserve forgiveness for our wrongs, but God us merciful. We can love because He loved us first. Why would we think that our spouses NEED to forgive us when we wrong them? Forgiveness is a gift, not something you can demand from someone. It is precious. It has a higher value than we can ever pay.

    Reading the various “Boundaries” books by Dr’s Cloud and Townsend are helpful to understand how the “because I can” attitude is a huge boundary busting attitude. It stomps all over the other person and totally disregards them as a valuable human being. It negates their ability to “give freely” because instead, they are forced to forgive, love, do, out of demand. They are not treated with “respect”, but rather treated with “expect”….these things (love, forgiveness, trust, respect) are expected from them, not given freely. They are taken by force. Their own free will is not honored. God honors our free will, therefore, when we come to Him willingly, it is because we truly want to love Him, and that is the best kind of reciprocity.

    I want my spouse to say “I love you” because he really means it, not because I will feel neglected and hurt, and complain at him and complicate our relationship and cause him grief if he doesn’t. That’s not real love if I have to wrestle it from him. I don’t want his love given begrudgingly, or to keep me quiet, or like throwing a steak to the angry lion so you can sneak away in safety.

    I want my kids to enjoy my company, not force them to spend time with me and hate every minute. I don’t want to guilt, manipulate and brow beat them into spending time with me. My parents did that and it repulsed me. I think that understanding how to set healthy boundaries is very important, but we also need to understand how to respect other people’s boundaries, even if they are not good at setting them themselves….because we love, honor and respect them and allow their free will.

    I don’t want to be a boundary buster. I don’t want to take advantage of the loyalty I have been given. I don’t want to just “expect” it all to be there when I want it. Gratefulness and thankfulness should be an everyday part of my life, my relationship with God and my relationships on earth. I pray this prayer for all of you to have as well.

    Dear Lord, please help me and all of us to live with gratitude towards all you have given and do for us. You alone are the perfect one, who loves us even when we are unlovable, forgives us even when we deserve unforgiveness. Your love, grace and mercy are precious gifts and we don’t want to ever take advantage of them. Help us learn how to always have a thankful heart and respect the boundaries of others. Amen.

    1. LMSdaily115,

      Ooh! That was really powerful. Especially the quote from your daughter about why she treats her brother that way. We have some similar dynamics at our house, as well with our kids sometimes. Isn’t it so easy to take our family and loved ones for granted and to think that means we can be hateful to them or even abusive and it should just be okay? That is tragic!

      Praying for wisdom for you, your husband, and all of the parents and wives and husbands here – that we might not take our loved ones and family members for granted. How I pray we will treat them better than we treat strangers because we love them so much.

      I appreciate you sharing these insights, my dear sister. I pray for God’s continued good work in your life and in your family’s lives. Most of all that you might abide in Him and hear His voice clearly and that His Spirit might empower you to do whatever He calls you to do. I pray for salvation and regeneration for your husband and children. I know God is able to compensate you for the years the “locusts have stolen.” It is not too late!

      Much love!

    2. I’m thankful God led me to read the part about not believing in a million years that our spouses would leave us, because we have a history, children, have had great times etc…It’s good to be reminded that nothing is guaranteed and it was beautiful, and sad, to hear you describe your husband’s love as a precious gift we have to be careful to handle. Because it’s so true.

      Today, particularly, I had a terrible morning. I was accusatory and cried. By 8am I went to mass anyway, my spirit was dead. I had almost a supernatural experience there. When I drank the blood of Christ, the woman said my name and I cried harder. I was actually angry at the enemy and said to myself “I’m going to PRAISE GOD right now even if I don’t feel it” so I did and it was a big deal, not loudly, in fact some parts were very low but if you knew how dead I was inside you’d find it a miracle, I could barely breathe a whisper and I didn’t automatically feel better but something happened. I wish there were words. My spirit said “This is how you battle”.

      Then my husband called and made it better which made it worse for me in the sense that one day, if I’m not careful, he’s not going to be there to help me carry the cross, like he always says. One day, if God doesn’t heal me (yes, I’ve taken all the steps imaginable and still will and yet I’m not fully healed and at this point I’ve come to the conclusion that I will continue praying and feeding on God’s Word but it’s up to Him to remove this I can’t do it on my own, I’VE TRIED with all of my strength).

      The truth is, I wonder if I will be like Paul, asking for the thorn to be removed and God telling me no. I think I realized that ton of bricks the other day, and I can only unite my sufferings with Christ and I don’t know how to do that with joy yet. But, thankfully, this is just a temporary journey and at least every day I thank the Lord before I start any prayer. I pretty much thank Him throughout the day really as I ask for the protection of my loved ones.

      The worst is to have so many blessings and still not have that ecstatic joy because of a thorn, a cross you realize is permanent in this life. This is why I tell God I’m thankful all the time, even though He knows, because I want Him to know that I am very grateful for so many blessings even while trying to remove this daily emotionally traumatic thorn. My husband is the greatest blessing, that man is so immersed in God it’s all he talks about which is a blessing in itself especially considering our past. He was healed fully. His testimony is amazing. But I’m not. I am so blessed anyway, I realize that if I’m this way and have prayed for years, is there more I can do on my own. I don’t think so, except to keep praying in earnest, with Thanksgiving.

    3. LMS,

      This is something I could have written myself. I was just the same. I too felt that because we were married and had kids and had parents who are still together, that no matter what I said or did or what happened in our marriage, we would be ok. He even told me that one time. He said that we just have to forgive each other. That easy. So along with all the pain with things that happened through the years, I would tell him the most hurtful things.

      I told him he was a great provider but a terrible husband. That we should never have married. That I couldn’t help it but I just was not interested in sex anymore and that it made my skin crawl. It was like I thought by saying these things it would wake him up to all the pain he was putting me through. But now it’s him saying those things to me and the pain is excruciating. I would do anything to even just have his hand rest on my leg in the car like it used to, or even for him to ask how my day was.

      If anyone is out there reading this and thinking it won’t happen to you, please don’t believe that lie. It can and it will. My husband also, like LMS, has completely shut down emotionally and physically from me for over 2 yrs now and I feel the slight glimmer of light I had that things will get better is fading.

      It always seemed to me that men were the tough ones and that we were the emotional ones who were allowed to vent and our husbands had to just suck it up and make it better. It’s like my husband is a soft little baby now and said he feels like his heart has been kicked around for so long that if it gets just one more kick he might die. So the wall is impenetrable now. He won’t allow me to kick him again.

      I can sit here and find plenty of excuses and justify why I said those things. I can’t say them here but I still even feel that he did way worse things to me than I ever did to him. Those close to me who know stuff have even said that they couldn’t be as strong as I was and that they would have left him or said way worse things to their husbamd if they did that. I just handled it badly and made him pay for it for so long. I turned into someone I am shamed of now. I so wish I could go back and do things differently. Please readers, don’t let things get to this point. Sometimes I just can’t believe how my marriage has turned out. We had everything going for us. It is not just always gonna be there.

      I’m finding I can’t shake the feeling of wanting to tell my husband I love him and miss him and asking him if we can please try again. But I am worried he will tell me again that it’s too late he’s done or that it will repel him more. I am getting weary of crying out to God for help. To show me what I’m to do now. I can’t hear Him.

      I am obviously so stuck still. I have been praying and trying so hard to be able to give this all to God. I’m sad and lonely and worried about the future but that means I’m not trusting God doesn’t it? But i am. I do trust Him. It’s still the same old stuff I used to write about here a year ago. I’m confused. I honestly feel like God is not listening or caring about my prayers. April we’ve been over everything numerous times. I agree with you and believe everything you said. I’m frustrated from trying so hard.

      I’m sorry. I’ve been having a real hard week. I want and pray for the peace and joy you say is there for me no matter what’s going on in my marriage. I see glimpses of it but it never stays.

      I know so many here are going through so much pain and I pray for you all.
      Sorry for my venting.

      1. Wow Bel, I just read this and feel your pain. After reading everything the one thing that popped in my head was “Oh I hope she knows everything is possible” because I had my own marriage in mind. We also went through the saying terrible things to eachother, things were so bad and I was so lonely that both he and I did harm to our soul and to our union. I have to suggest what’s much easier said than done which is what someone, I forget who, stated on this blog that really resonated with me, which is to continue to ‘bless him’. You miss him and want to say these things and in the meantime maybe your actions can be the way to ‘say it’. Even though I’m sure you are already doing things to bless him but the key is to continue. Pray that the Lord soften his heart as you are seeking to bless him for the Lord, because you are his beloved wife.

        Ofcourse it’s easier said than done, I know exactly what I need to do and like St. Paul I do what I do not want to do! Don’t let the enemy make you despair! Know that if we mess up we have to get right back up and do it all over again…WITH PRAYER. Bel, I cant tell you how often when things are bad I say “Ok, welp this is my lot, things will never change and I’ll never be one of those normal women that don’t freak out over insecurities”. Even if that’s not true, because anything is possible with God, I am so thoroughly convinced and I still seek God. I’ve come to the point (which took forever) to realize that if I’m not healed/restored after so much ardent prayer than God is STILL master of the universe, Creator and owner of our souls and my job is just to keep seeking Him, even when I’m dying inside and all I can do is whisper. Why am I saying this? Because, just when I accepted that I will probably die in this state of being imprisoned with insecurity something happened as I went about my day the other day. I saw myself healed. It was a glimpse. It was unreal and only lasted but a moment but if you knew the weight that glimpse had on my soul, you’d not give up praying and hoping and yielding to His will. This is very intimate, but I felt that I was offered that glimpse of, how can I put this, a person that I’ve always wanted to be in a realistic form vs. vain hope, because I finally said I’m going to keep running after God like my life depends on it even if I/ or things never change.

        I used to spend my life doubting everything and it made me MISERABLE, lately I’ve been happier and more faith filled BELIEVING things that make spiritual sense while using discernment. My thoughts are with you Bel, my sister in Christ.

        1. SisterinChrist

          I wanted to thank you for writing to me. It’s so very sad how many marriages are in and have been through so much pain. I know this all keeps us reaching out to God and that’s the main thing. It’s just the feeling like my life is wasting away, I’m getting older, my kids will leave home soon, and what’s left? I feel my last few years with my kids is just so spoiled. And that’s hard to take. I dont what them to have all this sadness as their last memories of living at home with me. And I think that’s why I feel so anxious and desperate for things to improve quickly. Time’s ticking.

          I want to show them that prayer and trusting in God is worth it. How I would love a sweet restoration of our marriage and family to send them out into the world. One of my kids has said that if her dad and I who are both believers can’t make it work then what hope does she have?? They can’t look to us as an example and that’s heartbreaking to me.

          I do things every day to just bless my husband. Love is an action. Not just a feeling. I don’t do it to expect anything in return. I love doing things that might bless him but I seem to irritate him a lot. I think that’s because he really doesn’t want to be married to me anymore. He’s just here for the kids at this point. I think he may see it as manipulation. But it’s not. It’s what God would want me to do. I see that as his problem not mine mostly. I’m not doing anything over the top or wrong. I don’t think he really looks at me as his wife anymore. He has said its just all “business” now and not to take his kindness or things he does as hope that things will get better.
          How I would love my own glimpse of healing like you had. I’ve seen glimpses of things at times but they never stay.

          Thank you so much for your thoughts. My thoughts and prayers too are with everyone here.

          1. Bel,

            I just want to send you a big big hug sister!!! My heart goes out to you! I feel your pain!!! It is so sad and it does hurt so deeply to feel unimportant and like things will never be the same or get better! So many issues that seem to never be able to be resolved! And yet, through it all–you have NOT given up, and that proves the power of Christ within you sister. If not for His grace, you might have already given it all up. But you haven’t—by His grace and mighty power working in you! Even when we can’t “sense” it, the facts are what tells us that the Lord is truly with us!

            And the fact is, after 2 years, you have NOT given up–and you have kept on reaching out to the Lord, and the proof of His being in you and with you is that you are still here. You did not turn aside and throw it all away and give up! The Lord has a hold on you and your heart, and He is empowering you to NOT give up—even though it hurts and seems hopeless!

            That is a greater Testimony to the mighty power of the Lord Jesus than anything else sister! Be encouraged! 🙂

            Whatever may come, He is with us and the proof is in that we have not given up! The devil would have already had his way by now in ALL of us, if not for the Lord’s grace working mightily in our hearts!!!!

            I pray you will be comforted by this truth and that you might sing a new song today in the sure hope of Christ!

            Love,
            Amanda

          1. Satisfied wife
            I guess you’re right. I havent given up yet. But I think it’s also because of my fear. I have kept telling myself it’s better to live like this than to have to tell our kids we can’t all live together anymore. And I still believe it is. I’m not being abused and things aren’t that toxic that I feel it’s best to get out. Mostly we get along and even laugh and enjoy stuff together. Just as friends would though. I figure that’s better than nothing. There was a time when he was so nasty to me that I almost thought it was best to go, but he’s calmed a bit. Every now and then he says things that cut right to the bone but I stand up for myself now and he’s much better.
            But if, at 6 months in to this shutdown, I knew that it would still be going on another year and half later, I honestly think I would have gone crazy. Now I have passed the 2 year mark I just can’t bear to think it will most likely be still going on this time next year. But I think I feel God keeping me here. Not sure. It could just be for the kids but taking my fear out of the equation, though lately I keep feeling it’s time to speak up again.
            I will try and see it the way you see it. It’s just that I feel the devil IS having his way here because our marriage is all but over.
            I appreciate your thoughts very much. Think I’m just a bit depressed.

          2. Bel, Cic, I am so grateful for this forum to bring things like this into the open. This is why we need this body of Christ to lift each other up.

            Bel, I know where you are on this, emotionaL roller coaster. I think our souls are connected because of the similarities. Just last night my husband tried to pick a fight with me. I’m sick….again (like 4th time this season), and am just trying to just stay in control of myself, emotionally…again, no help or compasdion from him. He was trying to get me to agree that some people should not be made to stay married when they realize they made a mistake getting married when they were younger. My H has a friend who is cheating on his wife and she doesn’t know it, and he has become an alcoholic in the process. He is consumed with shame and guilt, but is a house burning down in my opinion. He wants to leave his wife, but she has been a loyal and goid wife to him. Whenever my husband hangs out with this guy, my h cones home “guns a blazin'” about the parallels of our life vs his. He thinks divorce is a way to “right a wrong decision”. I highly disagree. He gets so mad that I don’t see things his way. I have told him my big 3 ‘A’s…adultry, abuse, addiction. So far, to the best of my knowledge, my own marriage has not had any of these 3 killers. Therefore I stay. And because I feel that God has me here for sone reason I don’t fully understand, but hopefully (I suspect) to help bring His lost son home again.

            I want to point out that after he became angry with me, mad and frustrated because he couldn’t understand my point of view, and i would not agree with his, I remembered what the bible says in 1 corinthians 7:15- “But if the unbeleiver leaves, let it be so.” I finally told him that if one wants to leave his marriage, he should be allowed to leave. There is no point in making someone stay who doesn’t want to. It’s not a real relationship, then, anyway. I’m not endorsing divorce, but I tried to follow the Word of God in these matters. Thank you, Lord for your word in the Bible!

            I don’t think my husband realizes at all that the very things he thinks I “did” to him are the very things he has also done. He thinks I screwed him over for years. Yes, I admit to my disrespect. But I have been loyal, good, and trustworthy. I have appologized over and over, and changed my ways. Repented, asked forgiveness. Yet, none is given from my husband. I beleive that even if I were to die, he would still not forgive me. What else can I do? At this point, I think the ball is in his court. He has some soul searching to do. The devil has him beleiving that nobody deserves forgiveness, except maybe his kids. That is the prison satan has him in. He has not accepted the forgiveness of others, God or himself, so how can he?

            Bel, do you think your husband has been tricked by satan to not understand things like forgiveness, grace, mercy? Has He struggled with how to accept those things from God for himself? Will you be able to accept them for YOUR SELF from God, even if your husband never forgives you?

            This is where living for God far outweighs living for other people. You can be free of guilt, sin, shame, blame and such because God promises to wash us clean with the blood of Jesus, even if humans do not. Thank the heavens that God is real, because this world would be very oppressive without Him. I think that unbeleivers live very oppressed and downtrodden trying to escape the guilt, shame and their past, but can never find how. Only Jesus can do this for us. Yet, we must be able to accept His loving gift given to us. Forgiveness. All God wants is will full love, given to Him with gladness. He wants us to WANT to love Him, obey Him. Isn’t that what we desire from our own spouses? We want them to WANT to love us. Not be there under duress or guilt or shame.

            As we learn to love God willfully and trust Him, our own love can grow.

            I pray that we all can be an example of God’s forgiveness, mercy, grace and love.

            All my love to you both.

  15. Bel,
    I thank YOU for being a light to me. You words are kind, even in the midst of this big trial that just really touched my heart. You have a gentle calmness that radiates. That’s a big deal. I did want to share something that I felt when you mentioned your daughters comment of ‘if both believers can’t make it work than what hope does she have?’.

    Immediately, I remembered what has always confounded me and if you are led to share some parts with her than I pray it’s a blessing. What has always confounded me is the faith, or lack thereof, of parents sometimes has nothing to do with the way a child’s faith turns out when they mature into adults. Don’t be heartbroken about this Bel. The Lord knows your heart as a mother.

    My own family is a testimony to this as it relates to a biological brother of mine. My husband’s family is a testimony of this and I read lots of stories of very faithful Christians that stated they grew up with atheist parents and of course the sad stories of faithful parents that have atheist children. I always have had this in the back of my mind because I know that we can only do so much to teach them our faith and then pray daily for the Lord to gift them as I’m sure we all do. And you’re right, she is watching how you handle this situation but I wonder if you could tell her that it’s not a matter of the faith not being able to “make it work” it’s a matter of how one “lives out their faith” in the midst of trials. Maybe in her mind, dad says he’s a Christian, mom says she’s a Christian, whose behavior do I look to to see Christian behavior? Mom or Dad’s. She might need to have explained that there are certain behaviors that aren’t acceptable to say or do just because we’re hurting. You said you want to show them that prayer and trust in God is worth it and they will when they see the way mom takes her sacred marriage vows seriously by you blessing him with kind acts and words. (even though you’re hurt inside and you can share to her that it’s not easy but you CHOOSE to believe God, in His time, will work everything for good and that will be contagious to her, she’ll remember you said that with a trustful look at whatever the outcome).

    When your children leave home, don’t worry, they are going to be focused on their life’s adventure because you’re going to encourage that with a smile. You’re going to tell them “Don’t you guys worry about us…your momma already has plans to ……(Fill in the blank, maybe join a group or begin a project you really do plan to tackle and sound excited about it so that they feel your excitement and will think to themselves “Good for mom!” and they don’t have to worry).

    When you feel ‘anxious and desperate for things to improve quickly because time’s ticking.’ Pray out loud Philippians 4 6-7
    Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

    Instead of counting sheep I would say this prayer over and over through the years at night and it’s one of the first verses I ever memorized that would pop in the perfect moment.

    1. Thanks for encouraging Bel, SisterinChrist!

      Bel,
      I would also encourage you that as you focus on your walk with Christ primarily and your spiritual healing – THAT is the greatest gift you can give to your husband or your children. For you to be whole and complete in Christ. For you to be content, peaceful, and satisfied in Christ. That will do more to draw them to the Lord than anything else. For them to witness God transforming you from great fear to strong, unshakable faith, will cause them to thirst for God, too. 🙂

      1. There is a time to pray. And then, when we know what God desires us to do, there is a time to move forward in obedience. 🙂

        Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

        15Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. 16Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. Ex. 14:13-15

        1. Until we move forward in obedience with what God has last shown us to do – we will not be able to hear His voice about other things. We will be able to see and discern His will properly each step of the way as we act in obedience to Him.

          Rom. 12:1-2

    2. SIC and Bel. I totally agree with Sic, here. Great point. Your post brought out a wonderful truth, thankyou! It actually helped me too as I struggle with this worry over my own kids, but I, myself have gone through 3 divorces with my parents. The last thing I wanted was to have that yoke passed down. However, I am probably the most close to God than any of my parents ever were. They ask ME about biblical principals, forgiveness, love, mercy etc. It has become a wonderful road to be closer to my dad, who never really held a serious conversation with me. My mother and i have gone on this spiritual journey together for the last 2 years and she has faced personal wrongscand healed too. I think my own faith has not only helped me heal, but has brought healing to my parents too. We never really know when those sown seeds will start to grow, but YOU know they are planted within your children.

      All my love.

      1. It’s so nice to hear from you LMS. Wow you are a blessing to your parents, I’m sure they feel so comforted by your strong faith. I think the reason I’ve always wondered at this is because my older brother is very secular in this thinking and I’ve always been amazed at how extremely opposite he is from my mother who I grew up showing me her goosebumps whenever she spoke of the Lord. We grew up hearing about God all the time. My brother is in his fifties.

      2. LMSdaily115,

        How I praise God for what He is doing in you and how He is using you to bless your parents! My Dad came to know Christ at 12 years of age, and eventually led both of his parents to Christ. They did not provide a godly upbringing for him, but he grew as a Christian and was able to provide a godly home for all of his children.

        Sometimes things go in a different direction than we would expect.

        Much love!

    3. Sic
      I had to check about 3 times that you had my name on your comment. I’m not usually in the same sentence as words like calm and gentle. I’ve always been anxious and depressed so that felt nice. Thank you.
      I like what you wrote too. Especially about living out our faith in the midst of trials rather than faith having to work things out for us.
      I also think regularly about the Philippians verse. It’s certainly one that gives me much hope. But then Satan reminds me that we all have free will and that’s what my husband is exercising. He can make that choice to keep rejecting me if he wants.
      I do hope my kids see that I’m still kind and loving to my husband even when he’s not to me. I worry I over share with my kids though. But they’re getting older now and I want them to know I’m not giving up on their family and that I love their dad. I wouldn’t give up on them if they did something terrible or lived life in a sinful way or something. I’d keep praying and fighting for them. I wouldn’t just say oh well I tried my best with them but that just didn’t work out. I just feel I need a huge vitamin shot to give me the energy to keep going.
      Thank you again for your concern and love.

  16. From Dietrich Bonhoeffer – The Cost of Discipleship:

    Cheap grace means grace as a doctrine, a principle, a system. It means forgiveness of sins proclaimed as a general truth, the love of God taught as the Christian ‘conception’ of God. An intellectual assent to that idea is held to be of itself sufficient to secure remission of sins…. In such a Church the world finds a cheap covering for its sins; no contrition is required, still less any real desire to be delivered from sin. Cheap grace therefore amounts to a denial of the living Word of God, in fact, a denial of the Incarnation of the Word of God.

    Cheap grace means the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner. Grace alone does everything they say, and so everything can remain as it was before… Let the Christian live like the rest of the world, let him model himself on the world’s standards in every sphere of life, and not presumptuously aspire to live a different life under grace from his old life under sin….

    Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession…. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.

    Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man’ will gladly go and self all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble, it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him.

    Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: “ye were bought at a price,” and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.

    Costly grace is the sanctuary of God; it has to be protected from the world, and not thrown to the dogs. It is therefore the living word, the Word of God, which he speaks as it pleases him. Costly grace confronts us as a gracious call to follow Jesus. It comes as a word of forgiveness to the broken spirit and the contrite heart. Grace is costly because it compels a man to submit to the yoke of Christ and follow him; it is grace because Jesus says: “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

    (pg. 45-49)

  17. Here is a sneak peak into a quote from my next book, “The Peaceful Mom,” that I am working on right now…

    The real test of my faith is not what I think or say I believe—but rather, it is the fruit of my life. If I am living in the power of God, His Spirit will so fill me and radically transform me to be more and more like Himself that I will exhibit the fruit of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis. It will be noticeable to everyone around me.

    1. April, will your book touch upon the topic of teenagers and older children or parenting in a broader sense? I think the above quote should written in our hearts, it’s beautiful.

      1. SisterinChrist,

        The book will not be about parenting as much as it is about our own spiritual growth. I believe it would be a blessing for any mom at any stage. 🙂 We will be talking about things like:

        1. Who Is On the Throne of My Life?
        2. Putting My Oxygen Mask on First (physically when necessary and also spiritually)
        3. Purifying My Thought Life (learning to take my thoughts captive, recognizing toxic lies and replacing them with truth)
        4. Taking Responsibility for My Character
        5. Taming Negative Emotions
        6. Modeling Respect in All Areas of Life – for God, for myself, for my husband, for my children, for those in authorities, for all people
        7. Can I Love My Children “Too Much”? – how we tend to make idols of our children and how to overcome that
        8. Trusting God’s Will for My Children
        9. Seeing Through the Lens of Eternity
        10. Avoiding Some Common Mistakes – like loving with strings attached, playing the martyr, using guilt to manipulate, controlling others, divisiveness, gossip, and oversharing
        11. Counting Trials As Joy
        12. Living Out Forgiveness, Mercy, and Grace in Our Own Lives

        I wish I had understood how to examine my life much earlier – and that if what I say I believe and what I think I believe don’t match up with the fruit in my life, I have a big problem that needs to be addressed. I pray that God might pour His healing through me to many others. Perhaps it won’t take as long for them to find the abundant life available to each of us in Jesus as it took me. 🙂

        Much love!

        1. Thank you. I really look forward to it. Great topics, I’m especially resonating at this moment with number 9’s “Seeing Through the Lens of Eternity” because my coworker just shared with me about some crime on the news that broke my heart, then ofcourse the spiral of other bad news happening to children makes us (or me) have a momentary panic thinking of the safety of our own children in this surrounding evil and fragile state of the world. This is why I never watch or read the news.

          1. SisterinChrist,
            I could easily write this book for single women, for wives with no children, or for women in any stage of life. These are topics that are foundational to discipleship.
            Yes, how awful the current condition is of this world. So many tragedies and unspeakable pain. 🙁 We definitely need eyes to see from an eternal perspective like God does.

            Much love!

          2. Thank you, sounds like the peaceful woman. I don’t doubt so many will be blessed with this book. Thank you for writing it.xoxo

          3. Can’t wait to devour this book too. I have started a collection of books, like a mini library specifically for my kids and their future spouses to help pass of wisdom. I’m sure this one will sit right next to April’s first book as well.

  18. Had to share these amazing quotes with my sweet sisters:

    “If we desire our faith to be strengthened, we should not shrink from opportunities where our faith may be tried, and therefore, through trial, be strengthened.”
    ― George Mueller

    “The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.”
    ― George Mueller

    “The first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day is to have my soul happy in the Lord.”
    ― George Müller

  19. Ladies
    I have recently been introduced to Austin Sparks’ writings. Just read a challenging article today that I believe would be a blessing for any believer in Christ to read. It is about how to view the chaos in the world and our sufferings and trials rightly so that we can glean the most good from them as we see with God’s eyes.

    It is a bit deep. But very powerful.

    Much love to each of you!

    http://www.austin-sparks.net/english/001589.html

  20. I found my son sleeping on the couch in the daytime, and picked up his ipad in the middle of the day. There was YouTube video after video of funny, dumb, elementary grade pranks on it. Garbage, really. I asked him why he watched such garbage? There were HOURS of it! He admitted he has a problem. He sneaks it into the bathroom, at lunch at school, when I’m cleaning, when he’s home with dad. I asked him if he felt he could control it. He said no. An addiction. At 13. This breaks my heart. So, we talked. I listened, I asked questions to get to the heart of why.

    What he told me made me so sad. “Mom, there is no joy in this house anymore. We all used to have fun, play, laugh, joke around, play games. But ever since you and dad started fighting, 5 years ago (not 2, when my H asked for a divorce, like I assumed) no one smiles, laughs, plays or has fun anymore. I’m missing that in my life, so I hang around the funny kids, I watch comedies and stupid stuff. I admire these people because I need that fun in my life. It’s too dark and sad here. You are always praying to God, reading or crying, and dad is never around. And when he is, he just watches TV or goes away more.”

    Heart. Wrenching. Truth.

    There isn’t much joy anymore, especially for 2 teens who really rely on the security of how we present the world to them as parents. It sure doesnt seem much fun being married, grown up, working all the time…..why do it?

    So, my son sits in his room, bathroom, stays after school for fictitious activities, to desperately seek “fun, laughter, humor, the lighter side of life”. I have tried to do fun activities with him, so has dad, but life gets in our way too. We are pulled in so many directions. I’m busy cleaning, cooking, working, laundry, dishes, cutting the lawn, transporting kids, all by myself. I dont have a ton of time to do what should be one of the most important things…be with my kids. I understand their need to be able to learn how to self entertain and not rely on others all the time, but, I see the missing holes. I see where other things could enter (drugs, alcohol, porn, other addictions) to fill those holes. I try to talk about the need for God, but they just don’t understand Him yet. They were not introduced to God untIL 2 years ago, when I finally understood what God was all about, and frankly, they can’t see where He has helped much. Although inside me, He has. But my kids can’t fully understand that yet.

    I wonder what I really can do? Is it enough to take care of the basic needs? Am I damaging them by staying in this loveless, dead martiage with a man so stuck in his head that he is blind to what is happening to those he says he loves the most? What if my husband stays this functionally depressed person forever? I know I cannot know the future and that God can and does work miracles, but it’s killing me to see my kids suffer from this problem…it’s not their fault, how do I help them grow strong through it?

    I try to have fun with them, do activities together, but I’m “Mom”. The fact is, I can’t be their friend first, I have to be mom. I need to do what is in their best interest.

    Maybe it’s just that winter was cold and wet and boring, but no snow to play in, cabin fever, boredom. Maybe it’s just that.

    But I know that my little girl feels an extreme need to be with her friends and at school activities too. Anything to be away from home, it’s no fun here. At least there, she is with people who are fun, silly, smile and care about her. That’s what she has told me.

    I pray for them to escape one day and find a full filling life for themselves, away from this darkness. I want to help them escape, even if I am doomed to stay.

    I get it. I feel that lack too. But I also have joy inside me. And April says we are the thermostats of the household. I’m not really moping around, being sad and crying anymore, but that’s what the kids remember. I find joy at work, with friends and with my kids, but they don’t feel that like I do. There is something to be said about not being so “busy” all the time and investing into your family. I need to do more of that somehow. Whether my husband joins us or not.

    The truth is, I can’t protect my kids from these feelings. I can do my best, but, God is taking us through this time for a reason I don’t understand yet. I’m sure one day I will. But we need to remember to still live “life”. It is supposed to be full of joy, laughter and such, not dragging around getting from one day to the next with no goal in mind. We are supposed to thrive, not just survive.

    I’m not sure if I portray that “no goal in mind” mentality, but I have probably been living in my own world too much lately. I go to God alot, which is good, but I can’t just leave everyone I love behind either. I can be with God no matter where I am, or what I’m doing. But I need to get out there and be an example to my family, not just to myself. It’s time to get up and put my deep faith into action. 1- because God asks us to spread the ministry of the gospel and 2- because my kids, husband, myself, need to see that light. We have been in the dark too long.

    Lord, I pray that you can help open my eyes to the ways to live a life of salt and light. Let me take the bowl off of my candle and radiate the joyful love of life you have sparked within me. Please help me allow the sorrows of life, lost expectations and dissappointments in life run off me like water off a ducks back. Help bolster my children, my husband and those I am around with the joy you have given me. Help me to live the life you intend for me to live, and teach my kids in the way you have laid out for them. I ask for beauty in exchange for these ashes in my life, Lord, i give them to you. Help me to get back what the locusts have eaten. Lord, please show your light to my kids, my husband in ways that open their eyes, and guide, me, Abba father to where I need to be.

    In your loving name I pray this with all my heart.

    1. Hi LMS,

      My heart aches very much for the hurt you are experiencing. I can’t help but think of my own childhood. It’s very strange how I often tell people how I don’t honestly remember any joy or happy times in my childhood. I don’t have very many fond childhood memories and yet, none were particularly bad or heartwrenching. It was just boring and safe. My parents provided shelter, the basic needs and when I was bored I had to find something to do, my mother would never go out of her way to make me feel she had to entertain me. I sometimes would say ‘mom, I’m bored’ and she’d very calmly tell me to do whatever or give me some pencils to draw but basically I was on my own and if I had a cell phone back in the 80’s you bet I”d be on it for hours. And yet, I love and admire my parents more than anyone in the world as a forty something today and hold my parents no ill will for the boring childhood I had. Why? Because they gave me love, a home, food and I know now as an adult they did exactly the best they could. My mother is very introverted by nature and rarely did we go out and do crazy fun things but at home she was always there cooking, singing and MOST importantly (I mentioned this before I”m sure many times) always talking about God. As a matter of fact, as boring as my childhood was, and I tell people this, I WISH I could be like my mother. Calmy leaving her teen kids in Gods hands because she knew at some point she did all she could do. THat sounds cruel I know and very unpopular and when I was in my twenties there were probably times I wondered why my mom didn’t push me more to become more successful? and I would begrudge that a bit. But now 20 years later in my forties with teens of my own and a husband more extroverted than me I know why….because it was not part of her personality, it had nothing to do with her not loving me, if she thought of it and thought it was something she should tell me she would have….that’s just wasn’t who she was.

      All this said my son isn’t doing great in school and my husband said “oh I’m going to pay for him to take SAT classes” and lo and behold now my son is taking SAT classes. You know what LMS, I love my kids dearly and I want the best for them but it didn’t even OCCUR to me to do this for my son. I almost thought “wow, what the heck is wrong with me that I’m not the one who thought of this idea for my son” but it’s not that I’m being lazy it’s just that quite honesty I might be a bit overwhelmed with lots of things and sometimes my own kids might fall through the cracks in some way or another. PRay for them everyday and talk about God is something I always do though. SAT help, I missed that one. I have to forgive myself these misses or I will think I’m the worse mom in the world.

      Lots of kids are hooked on their phones. One time years ago when my husband and I tried to punish our son by taking away his phone, he held on to it so tight my husband ripped his shirt in the exertion. He was about 14, he’s 17 now and I remember being so heartbroken. But you know LMS, my son now laughs at his ‘young self’ when he remembers that time and even he shakes his head. My daughter is glued to her phone. As long as you filter their phones (I always made sure no access to porn by filtering the ROUTER, i can give you this information so this means no phones, ipads, xbox, playstations and computers can get to bad sites while we’re home and when they’re in they’re friends house we have to pray they’re wise. I did dumb stuff equal to curiosity of kids these days, we may over worry, the way your son is watching hours of shows I used to do the same except watch hours of Brady Bunch or Gilligans Island, it made it less boring at home. My mom was never worried that I was watching too much tv, she was just happy I was home safe BUT if she said to me ‘what are you doing watching all this TV I’m so worried about you” I would have been confused.). Please don’t take that the wrong way, I just mean I totally get what you’re saying because we still tell our daughter to spend time with the family sometimes instead of always being on her phone but as long as certain sites are blocked it’s been my experience that they do grow out of the always on the screen phase eventually.

      It definitely can be cabin fever too, that will certainly exacerbate things. I used to want to ‘escape’ from home too and that’s normal, I still love my parents to death.

      You’re doing the best you can do LMS, you’re going through a lot emotionally, your kids don’t know the extent of the willpower it takes sometimes to have to do housework and errands with that knot in your heart so please forgive yourself first for not doing what you thought you probably should have done before and take it one day at a time with new things you plan to tackle with your kids. It’s exciting to plan things with them. I remember many times feeling super down and plastering the most genuine smile I could think of while offering an idea of things the kids and I could do, sometimes it worked sometimes it didn’t. Sometimes it was a movie in the background and sometimes it was just a fun conversation for about 15 minutes and then we each went back to our own worlds, they in their teen world and me back to reading and that’s ok.

      I always try to keep music in the background of the house every single day cafe or jazz instrumental music is playing, it really adds life to the home. For my mom it was her singing. It really shouldn’t be quiet at home. That’s one thing moody teens don’t need. Every time one of my kids walk in on me in the kitchen or while I’m reading I always greet them with half a shout “Hey, what’s up!? Want a sandwich” . I’m sure you always give them attention but really that’s all we can do when they’re teens aside from teaching them things of God, provide a nice atmosphere of happy music, chips and salsa on the coffee table every weekend, ask them about their friends that you know of, basic needs, encourage them to do their best in school (I always tell my kids ‘your heart is the most important’ and forgive ourselves when we think we could have done more because some days we are more inspired and have more energy than other days and pray every day for them morning and night. I get on my knees literally for these kids and I even pray to the Lord for their future spouses. We’re human too and right now you’re dealing with alot, be kind to yourself, try to have a festive atmosphere when you come home from work put on that background music, every weekend have some new snack on the table, we also have a chess set out the teens can play.

      For quick bondness 2 things worked for us, buying a PS4, my 2 teens bonded and laughed so much that first day, and going to the pet store to bring home small pets. Huge heartfelt milestone days.

      Anyway, sorry this was so long. I hope so much something here may uplift you. God give you strength and bless your beautiful family.

    2. LMSdaily115,

      That is amazing, in my view, that your son was able to actually articulate why he is watching what he is watching. What a blessing that you know this! And there certainly are many worse things he could be watching. I am very thankful it is not porn. But I still do understand your concern.

      I’m so glad that you are not feeling so sad anymore and that you have God’s joy.

      I pray that God will give you the wisdom you need to love your children the way He wants you to and to see your joy. I love that SisterinChrist remembers her mom singing a lot. What a beautiful thing! Something like that could be a way to show joy. I’m sure all of our kids could benefit from more genuine smiles from their moms, in any situation. I pray and trust that God will direct your every step for His greatest glory in all of your lives. I thank and praise Him because I know that He will do exactly that!

      Much love and the biggest hug!

    3. LMSdaily115,

      I also think this could be a perfect time to talk with your kids about counting trials as joy and embracing what God may want to do in their lives in the midst of this instead of trying to escape. And how to have joy in the middle of the storm – and that joy is so much greater than happiness and circumstances.

      Much love!

  21. April, LMSDaily115, Amanda, SisterinChrist,
    I have been trying to catch up on all of the comments as I glean so much from all of my sweet sisters. I am having a hard time this past week. My husband has threatened for weeks to file for divorce. He even sent me a picture of a divorce complaint…….what I have feared is getting close. I have sought out the help of an attorney this week. Because its been a year since he separated we can move quickly. The lawyers want a ton of money. We have so much property, and our insurance claim and other insurance issues. I feel so overwhelmed. I am so sad to know my husband is away this weekend with the OW, its hard for me to focus on anything other than that. My daughter has been used as his pawn for a while. We were on a good pattern of her coming to see me every other week and when he got mad at me a few weeks ago, he told her she didn’t have to come see me. Now of course I have her this weekend so he can be out of town. Next week should be my week and I have asked her to stay with me and she said she will see. He is holding something over her. My dilemma is do I go ahead and file for divorce so I can get a custody hearing? Or wait for him to do it. I have been so against it, but the lawyers are telling me to do it. Get it going. I just want my family back! So any of you that have your husbands at home, love them! Even if you love them from afar like April had to do. Keep being who you are…..I don’t have a choice right now. He won’t let me near him. He tells me he hates me and can’t wait to be divorced. And then my friends tell me to be done with him. How do you tell people you still love him and desire to be married…….that you are praying for God to bring him back to him so he can come back to his family. I don’t know how to be joyful right now. I still pray for him…….but how do I turn it all over to God? I feel like if I just live life and pretend I am not hurting, that days are just wasting away. Its already been a year……..

    1. Marie,
      Oh my gosh I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I wish I could be an ear for you in person. I did a search with your name to see if I could read more background information on your situation like how old your daughter is and how long you’ve been married but there wasn’t anything on this particular. I’m sure you mentioned it in other posts because I remember your name. Ugh I wish so much no sister would hurt this way. I’m sorry he says those things to you, you mentioned the OW, I’m so sorry. Don’t stop praying EVER and try, hard as it may be, to continue to hope and trust that the Lord not only hears your prayers but that He will take all and use it for good. I don’t know what to say regarding the filing issue as I’m not sure about how those things work but when you see your daughter, let her see her momma smile and be of good cheer (even if you’re deeply hurting inside). You want her to look forward to your time together so plan activities, a sweet surprise….a parakeet, a mani pedi spa day or a good comedy on a rainy day. Keep yourself IMMERSED in God, pray alot!!!, read scripture, read about the saints, watch Christian programming, PRAISE music and praise God in your mind, there is a scripture that talks about praising God while suffering and the value that has….take care of your heart. Don’t stop seeking edifying encouraging things for your life. Do you have encouraging friends? I don’t, so I’m always reading or watching or listening to something edifying to lift my spirits because if I leave my mind empty the enemy will try to sneak in there. Don’t let him in, KEEP GOD inside. You are in my heart and thoughts Marie, your story really touched my heart. Love, your sister in Christ.

    2. Marie,

      This is a very tough trial, my precious sister. One I wouldn’t wish on any spouse.

      I don’t think that pretending to be okay is going to be a permanent solution.

      Are you working through all of your emotions and feelings and fears with the Lord and/or with a godly counselor?

      How is your time with God going? What are you doing to feed your soul and to heal your heart?

      I pray you will hear God’s voice clearly about how to proceed. I know He can lead you wisely each step of the way.

      My heart hurts with you, precious sister! Sending you the biggest hug!

      Much love,
      April

      1. April,

        I have been praying a lot. I have watched many sermons and reading my bible. I talk to many of my Christian friends for support and I attend church. Its hard because they are not going through it. My Christian counselor wasn’t really helping me. I had the pleasure of attending a service Thursday night where Priscilla Shirer was the speaker. It was very uplifting as she prayed over marriages. I know the devil has attacked my family and I know my husband is not the enemy…….I just hate the path we are on. I can’t make him come back to me, he has made his choices. Its up to God now. But when they tell me to give him to God, how do I do that? I pray for Gods healing touch on all of us.

        1. Marie,

          Yikes! I didn’t realize I left you hanging a few days ago! My apologies! I try to catch every comment.

          I’m thankful that service was a blessing to you. 🙂

          I guess the biggest question to ask God in your situation – in my mind – is…

          “Lord,
          What do You desire me to learn? How would You like to use me for Your glory in this situation?”

          You are in a situation that none of us would volunteer to be in. It is a painful place. A lonely place. But I believe God has good plans and that He wants to make this big mess into something really beautiful. I don’t know how. And I don’t know when. But my prayer is that you will be wide open to anything He wants to do in your heart and in your life and that you will just continue to be completely yielded and available to Him – receiving all of the good things and the abundant Life He has for you, in spite of the storm and the enemy’s taunts.

          As far as giving your husband to God – to me that would like like:

          “Lord,
          I can’t change my husband. I love him. I want our marriage to work. But I can’t make him want to be with me. I can’t make him obey You. I can’t make him honor our marriage covenant. So I release him. I release my dreams to You. I lay each one of my dreams for my marriage before You. I lay down my love for my husband before You. I lay down my dreams for my daughter and my family at Your feet. I release them completely. You know my heart. I want to see my marriage and family healed. I know that You desire that even more than I do. But more than that, I want to be close to You. And more than my marriage and family being healed – my husband and daughter desperately need salvation and regeneration in Christ. And so does the OW.

          I don’t know what needs to happen for your will to ultimately be done. Maybe the road doesn’t look like what I want it to. Maybe the time frame is much longer than I would have chosen. Maybe I will be waiting for months or years. Maybe longer. That is okay.

          Your wisdom is so much greater than my own. I release my plans and my will and my dreams. I trust all of these things to Your wisdom and Your will. Just give me the power to obey You and to love and cling to You. Give me the power to grow in my faith and to please You. Let me be able to receive all that You desire to give me now – all of the spiritual treasures You have for me in this dark cave. I want to receive every one of them from Your hand and not miss one good thing You have for me.

          Help Me to rejoice in You and to praise You all day every day. Help me to have a heart of thanksgiving. Help me focus on You and Your goodness. I trust You to overcome the enemy in my family. I can’t do it. I have to back off now. They can’t hear anything from me. But I pray You will reach them and I know You can reach them in ways I never could. I trust You. I trust Your heart. I trust Your motives. I trust Your plans for my husband and daughter. I trust Your plans for me. Do whatever it takes to bring them to Christ and into Your kingdom. Only show me how You desire to use me and give me the faith I need to obey Your prompting.

          If they can’t hear me right now. I will be silent to them about You and about reconciliation. I will respect their decisions. But I appeal to You, the sovereign King of the universe, to intervene in Your way. Your time. By Your power.

          I love and trust You and yield all that I have and all that I am to You. I give You all of myself and my life. Make something beautiful from me and from my life for Your greatest glory!

          Amen!”

  22. Sending hugs to Marie and LMS. Thinking of you both today. I hope the Lord is warming your heart with His love and graces.

      1. SisterinChrist,
        Thank you for sending encouragement to Marie, LMS, and Bel. 🙂 I am so thankful we can pray for, love, support, and seek to bless each other here.

        1. Sisterinchrist, thank you so much for reaching out and praying for us. You are so sweet. My biggest prayer is that we one day get to hug each other and celebrate living with God together. I can’t wait to meet you all one day. Until then, I enjoy growing closer together to God and encouraging each other. God be with you today.

  23. For those who are suffering (and really, for all of us who belong to Christ),

    It is extremely humbling to hear this Christian man’s story, Petr Jasek. Prisoner Set Free – the link is at the bottom of this comment. How he was wrongly imprisoned in the Sudan for 14 months. How he was mistreated and even tortured by Muslims who were fellow prisoners and members of ISIS in his same tiny cell. It really puts our struggles and problems into perspective. I can tell you that!

    If you have time to listen to the first message and also to the one called The Greatest Peace, I believe you will be very blessed. Each one is a bit less than 30 minutes. What he describes is the kind of love, faith, and devotion God calls each of us to have in the face of our greatest trials. This is the kind of faith I pray for God to empower each of us to have.

    Listen especially for the ways God encouraged him and prepared him for what he would endure. And the ways God blessed him in the midst of incredible suffering. And how his prayers changed from “how long will I have to stay here, Lord?” to “how do You want to use me here, Lord?”

    If God can give this kind of blessing and encouragement to one of His dear sons who was in prison for his faith very recently, can we imagine that He is any less able to encourage us in whatever situation we may find ourselves today?

    https://secure.persecution.com/radio/default.aspx?pdid=6851

    Much love in Christ!

    April

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