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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

139 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. Hello, i dont often comment but thought i would share a glimpse of my story! I was married for 27 years and had five amazing children. Both my husband now ex. were involved in lots of different churches within that time. My relationship with my husband was always betond difficult. I tried doing the good Christian wife thing for years and years. Any advice sought from christian woman was to just pray for your husband and submit. I tried that over and over.

    Long story short only one of my children attend church now and shes broken. My ex. was emotionally, spiritually and psychologically abusive. The only trouble was i didn’t recognise that until eight years ago. He told me to move out six months ago! Six weeks after i left to be with my family in another state he found another woman who he took to church. This has caused further barriers for me now in terms of caring about my involvement in church, although i attend most weeks!

    The damage has been overwhelming to the kids all five of them and myself. I’ve been studying psychology part time for four years now. If theres anything i can contribute to this blog is to say : unless someone has ever experienced these types of abuse dont go to them for advice, seek professional help. The journey to recovery is huge! I have so much mistrust as a result and i dare say if i were to marry again i would rather choose a man based on his character and integrity rather than beliefs! I can’t imagine trusting another christian man. Its such a shame that too often we settle with ‘ just pray about it’… in my case it gave more time for more damage to be done. …

    1. Anu,

      I obviously don’t know anything about what was going on with your husband. It sure sounds like it has been extremely painful. 🙁 I’m so sorry to hear about that he may be with another woman already. SO SO heartbreaking! Thank you for sharing.

      A few things I’d like to share in response to your story, dear sister:

      – If there is serious emotional/spiritual/physical abuse going on, a wife would want to seek someone who is truly Spirit-filled and also experienced with dealing with such situations for counsel. Someone who will uphold the Bible but also be able to help a wife rightly discern what she needs to do in her specific situation. Other wives who have not been through similar issues may not be the best counselors in such a situation. It is important to be very careful who we go to for counseling. Especially in serious situations.

      – A “Christian” should have fruit in his/her life. I talk about this a lot on my site for single women http://www.peacefulsinglegirl.com. Anyone can claim to be a Christian with words. He might even go to church. But someone who knows Christ will be radically changed by His Spirit and will have the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I have a number of posts about red flags for our single sisters to help them learn to “vet” a man before marrying him. His character and integrity, especially in times of trial, will reveal whether he does know Jesus or not. We do need to be very careful to marry a man who doesn’t just claim Christ but who truly seeks to live for Him in submission to Him as Lord and who has fruit in his life.

      – When we talk about praying for God’s wisdom, the goal, in my view, is that we will pray and receive an answer and then know how to move forward from there in obedience to God’s leading. If women are in serious situations and they don’t feel they can hear God’s voice clearly, again I would love for them to seek godly, wise, experienced, Spirit-filled counsel.

      Much love to you. How I pray for God’s healing for your soul, for your children, and for your husband.

      1. My concern with this reply is that you quantify the abuse. Namely ‘serious’ physical abuse. I started following this site in 2012 when things started getting rocky in my marriage. I was desperate for answers and blamed my self for a lot of the strife that was in my marriage. 2013 my husband beat me up for the first time. I wasn’t severely physically hurt. ( maybe that’s what you mean by non serious physical abuse) 2014 my husband strangled me 2015 he beat me up again 2016 on four occasions he beat me up again. The violence was escalating. But still maybe not ‘serious’ as maybe you mean by quantifying especially physical battering. In all the 7 occasions it happened I was never black and blue like some pictures of other women I have seen. The last time I went to the hospital coz he stomped on my rib and was told I has soft tissue injury. Why I bring up the quantifying the abuse especially the physical abuse is because from reading a lot of your posts I wandered if I was a ‘deserving victim’ or if I could put myself amongst the ‘physically abused women’ since I wasn’t black and blue and almost left for dead like the others. But now I relies how much that quantifying damaged me. I was never going to leave until I felt like a deserving victim until he had ‘seriously’physically abused me and left me for dead, then I would have accepted that. I’m concerned with you quantifying abuse because there could be women out there like me reading what you have to say and the message they take away is that their abuse is not serious enough to separate or to seek counsel.
        Until you have walked through being abused by your husband you have no idea the myriad of emotions you go through. Getting counsel from someone who has either not gone through it and come out victorious the other side or is not well versed with the nature of abuse can be very harmful.
        My advice for people being abused physically by their husband is get safe get professional counseling and start healing. Trying to be the peaceful wife in an abusive situation serious or not can break you down even more. I can not stress it enough… Get professional counseling, get safe, and start healing your wounded spirit.

        1. Tate,

          This completely breaks my heart. I am in tears over your situation and your words.

          I guess I wrongly assumed that women would all know that getting beaten up (even without visible bruises) or strangled is dangerous and serious abuse. Strangling is always a very dangerous situation – and a huge indicator that a man may later try to take his wife’s life, from what I understand. Getting beaten up is always a very serious thing to me.

          There is NEVER a “deserving victim,” in my thinking, for any kind of physical abuse. I hope you had a chance to read my post about rage and violence and how it is NEVER ok.

          It is EXTREMELY difficult to address the issue of abuse online with thousands of women in countless situations. There are some women who think they are being abused, but they are not. There are other women who don’t think they are being abused, but they are.

          Over and over I have tried to implore women who are dealing with abuse to not read my blog, especially if they thought they were hearing me to stay in dangerous situations, but to go get appropriate help from experienced, godly counselors who could get to know them one-on-one.

          I don’t recall ever talking about “non-serious physical abuse.” I do sometimes say “actual abuse” or “serious abuse” because some women who truly are not being abused at all seem to call all kinds of things “abuse.” The word “abuse” is overused so much it makes it difficult to properly communicate about real abuse. Women might think, “My husband tried to restrain me when I hit him. That was abuse toward me.” Or “My husband wants me to stick to a budget. He is abusing me.” Or, “My husband called me a name. He is abusive.”

          If I just say “abuse” it means a thousand different things. I was hoping to make the message more clear to those who aren’t being abused. But maybe I made it less clear to those who are being abused. Whew.

          Could there be a case of “non-serious physical abuse?” Possibly. Maybe a husband pushed his wife onto the bed one time and then repented and never did that again. I guess that could be “non-serious physical abuse.” When I threw a pair of panties at Greg, even if they had hit him, which they didn’t, that could have been “non-serious physical abuse.” I don’t really know how I could possibly have a list of every scenario and whether that was bad enough to leave or not. This is where discernment must come in.

          I don’t know what is happening with every marriage and behind closed doors. Often, wives who are being abused don’t share the extent of the severity of the abuse. This is an issue that needs to be tackled with a trusted counselor face-to-face who can really get to know a wife and her situation.

          It seriously tears my heart up to think that you read my posts and couldn’t recognize that you were being abused. :'(

          I have also tried to share over and over that I don’t have experience with abuse myself. My blog is most relatable for controlling wives with husbands who are not abusive at all. I have asked wives who are being abused not to even read my blog in some cases because women who are being abused so often mishear me and think that the idea of respecting our husbands means we have to stay and be unsafe. That is not what I am saying at all. 🙁

          I’m really glad you shared your comment. Thank you so much! I am not sure how best to communicate what I am trying to say if this is the situation where some women who are being beaten up think they are not being abused “enough” to leave. UGH. 🙁 This makes me SO SO SAD.

          All,
          Please pray for God to give me wisdom and for His Spirit to work in the hearts of those who read. I NEVER EVER EVER want any woman to stay and face real danger like this if she can get somewhere safe. I am so very grieved to know that I could be so misunderstood on such an important issue. And please pray with me for Tate and her situation – for God’s healing for her and for her husband.

          1. The abuse issue is also difficult because sometimes both husband and wife are abusing each other. Sometimes, if a wife stops hitting and punching her husband or throwing things at him, he may stop the things he was doing.

            There are so many variables when we talk about “abuse.” Like SisterinChrist said, it requires discernment.

            If a wife is not sure if she is being abused, I pray she will reach out for a godly, experienced counselor.

          2. Thank you for your response. I am still on a journey of healing and in a safe place now. Praying one day I will have a testimony to share with others. However, thank you for your response.

          3. Tate,

            You are most welcome. I’m so thankful to hear that you are safe.

            You can be a peaceful woman and wife no matter what your husband does. You can be close to God and filled up with Him. But sometimes a godly wife does have to leave if her husband is trying to hurt her and she is not safe. I pray you will get to be peaceful more and more in Christ as you heal.

            Much love!

          4. It’s really helpful to read all these posts on abuse. I was not hit or strangled or any of the severe actions yet, day in day out my husband, abused my mind ,emotions and spirit. He mocked me, he was sarcastic, said vicious things, called me bad things ,was threatening and pushed me in the face believe or not when I tried to kiss him goodnight, because maybe foolishly I tried to continue as normal with such things as good night kisses. He pushed me at other times when I tried to hug him or sometimes when he was angry I thought a gentle hand on his arm may express tenderness enough to calm him down. This was a mistake as he raged even more like he could not bear me to touch him.

            He also did so many other cruel things which humiliated me too embarrassing to say here. I became afraid of him because his behavior was so erratic and he would go into rages. In the first year of our marriage it was difficult I reached out to our 2 pastors their approach was to try to bring 2 people others as well themselves to see us I felt this would overwhelm my husband as didn’t have them to come.

            Later asked if another Pastor would see us, he came to see us. I thought we had a break through but it did not last long It later made my husband more angry but now in a shut down way where .stopped speaking to me.

            After 2 years of this intensity of his treatment of me I asked to him go and find spiritual help as I had become ill and felt I would have breakdown. He has left now 5 months and sometimes I wish I had battled on and I did not ask him to leave. I feel all kind of emotions and still wish for restoration. I am trying hard to be comforted by the Holy Spirit sometimes the memory fills my mind and I end up sobbing in pain. Please pray for me. Please pray for my husband also to be healed in his heart and mind. I feel in limbo. All his things are home is there any practical advice for me. Does it seem likely he will return as his things have not been moved?

        2. Tate,

          I’m going to try not to give a long drawn out response for many reasons but I was a victim of abuse before I met my husband. Before I get into that my husband and I have been married 17 years and although he never punched me or hit me directly, in the first years of our marriage he’s pushed me when I tried to hit him and I have fallen back because he is strong and probably was bruised and hurt.

          I would say I was a thrower of things and a hitter so maybe I abused him, I think I did sadly many years ago before we had children. If he would have left me because of those few occasions of my bad temper and if that would have resulted in us never having children and if I were to think back on it I could never blame him, if he had those standards before. But since he didn’t and put up with me and I with his other forms of ‘abuse’ such as neglecting me we decided to strive on and are two completely different people fast forward almost 2 decades later.

          When he pushed me back those very many years ago I got hurt physically because I fell into a wall or on the floor but in my head I knew he was just making sure I didn’t go too far and was really holding me back. I discern that is not abuse. With that said, it is possible to be married several years happily and all of a sudden you can become abused, the duration of marriage is not the quantifier. Anything can happen to a person to alter their personality. I hope Tate that you are taking your own advice and seeing a counselor, you need to, beautiful sister. Now please. Use Focus on the Family’s free resource as one option.

          In the abusive relationship I had prior, the person I was with was very kind at first. As the relationship developed I noticed that he was very controlling. I couldn’t wear things, I couldn’t speak to certain people. That is what I now teach my daughter as a ‘warning sign’. Warning signs are VERY important. Eventually out of the blue he just didn’t like what I said one day and grabbed my face and shoved it into the medicine cabinet which resulted in a huge goose egg. That was the first time he hit but not the last.

          The serious abuse was already simmering in his possessive behavior (I tell my daughter THIS IS WHEN YOU CUT THINGS OFF because it WILL escalate into physical as has been my experience) but my young self was blind until he proved this point eventually stabbing me several times and tried to set my house on fire when I lived with my parents. God allows me to see the huge difference and discern between that kind of abuse and my husband pushing me back hard once several decades ago. Both involved physical force but you see the difference. If you don’t I am willing to share further. God gives us discernment when we immerse ourselves in Him through prayer and in other people we can speak to if we’re not sure, like it sounds like you’re doing. Abuse is serious, I don’t believe April meant to say that abuse and serious abuse are mutually exclusive at all, only that perhaps they are labeled incorrectly at times.

          If I’m married 20 years and all of a sudden my husband decides to start hitting me that’s abuse, even if it was just one time in my view. If I met a man on the first date and he decides to yank my neck back because he doesn’t like what I’m wearing that’s abuse. If it’s done on a consistent basis it’s abuse, if it’s done once it’s abuse. My husband can’t punch me in the face today and I have to wait to see if it’s a regular occurrence to measure abuse. NO, God gave me common sense and it is abuse immediately.

          That doesn’t mean marriage can’t be restored, it means it’s abuse at the moment and if I don’t feel safe I need to seek help immediately. I mention consistency because even though I haven’t experienced this I do believe what if one day I snap, and I may want to hit my husband and what if I do, did I just abuse him? Maybe. But he will use his discernment and say “This is not at all like my wife to behave this way, I have to see what’s going on here” etc…Prayerfully discern your particular situation Tate. Is this a pattern? From what you’ve written yes it is . It was for me too. While I was in it I didn’t see it, much like (maybe) you’re not seeing what’s obvious to me because I’ve lived it as a teen.

          1. Tate, one thing I forgot to mention is that when he was finally arrested I still missed him and wanted to be with him. My parents saw what I didn’t see (that this was the best thing to happen to me). I only saw that I missed him, even while I was being abused. This is a normal part of the process. My sister told me (she saw the angst I was feeling at being separated and she was much older and wiser) to write down all of my feelings in a journal and she got me a notebook. I don’t have that journal today but I do remember the pages I ripped in anger and the pleas to God to help me overcome this until finally the last few pages were thanking God for healing me. It’s a painful memory. I was 17 and finally set free after making the painful yet important first steps. You will most definitely be in my prayers this evening. I don’t ever revisit that part of my life often but it is worth it to revisit the hurt if it helps you in any way.

          2. You’re welcome April, if that part of my past can be useful in any way than let it be so. God brings out evil for good. Now that my children are older I’ve shared with them some parts of that experience to teach them what to look out for in certain personality traits and to explain why I warn them of certain things and so forth.

    2. Hello,
      I concur with you and know what you mean by not trusting ‘another christian man’. I got married in September 2016 to a ‘pastor’ in church. Little did I know that he was using christianity and ‘serving God’ as a cover up for his wayward lifestyle. We dated for three and half years and all these time he was so smart in covering up that I never discovered him. I recently got to discover that he has another woman with two kids whom he also lives with and they have been together for more than 8 years! He also has a chain of women that he sleeps with without protection and some of them have his children. The women have all fallen in his trap. We had another fight about his closeness with a lady neighbor and it got ugly and he got physically violent with me to the point of strangling me. He got violent again when I was moving out and he hurt me badly that I had to go to the hospital.

      I felt my life was in danger physically and health wise as I ran the risk of contracting some disease. So I decided to leave. He still vows that he is “faithful” and fears God. He does not want to change his ways and says I should understand him just the way he is.

      I’m planning to get a divorce, I can’t live under such circumstances. I’m a believer of no divorce and didn’t imagine that my new marriage would end up this way. I was in it for the long term but my husband has many of us lined up and visits all of us in turns. He doesn’t know that I know that much just yet…but I have all the evidence that I need and will confront him when I’m in a more stable state emotionally to do that but for now I just feel betrayed and wasted.

      1. Di,

        Oh goodness! NO, NO, NO!!!!! That sounds awful. 🙁 I hope you are safe. It completely grieves my heart to hear that this would happen in ANY marriage. But to hear these words about a man who has a position of pastor and who professes Christ makes me so sick.

        Again, I want to add. What you are describing here is not the fruit of a genuine “Christian man.” Of course, I don’t know his side of the story. But based on what you are saying – this is not a man who is living for Jesus. There are many who profess Christ, but Jesus says that those who love Him obey Him (John 14:23-24). There is also counsel in scripture not to associate with or even eat with a man who claims to be a brother but who is sexually immoral (1 Cor. 5:11). So this is not a man who is walking in fellowship with Christ right now, from what you are describing. Wow, that is beyond heartbreaking. 🙁

        I can certainly understand that in a situation like this, the only option would be to leave. How I pray for God’s healing for you. Are you receiving the spiritual support and counsel you need? Do the elders/deacons at his church know what is going on?

        What a nightmare.

        No, a wife in such a situation cannot just “understand him” and accept this. I know that I could not!

        Sending you the biggest hug. Please do be safe.

        How may we pray for you?

        Much love to you!

        1. A reminder, there are many false teachers and false prophets. And false believers, too. Jesus and the apostles gave us many warnings to be on the lookout for them. We can recognize them by the fruit of their life that is sinful rather than godly.

          “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. … Matt. 7:15-20

          Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, 1 Tim. 4:1-2

        2. Ladies,
          Let’s pray together for these wives in very difficult situations – and also that God might bring these wayward husbands to humble and genuine repentance, salvation, and regeneration in Christ!

    3. Dear ANU, Sounds like you went through a similar time in your life as me. I was married for about 27 years with 3 children, emotional abuse and adultery. I also had a heart attack. One issue I see with myself and maybe you, is that we were not taught good boundaries for ourselves. We wanted to do right, but really allowed things to go way too far before we cried out for help. I do pray that you will cling even closer to the Lord, though, because sometimes nice people can look good from a distance, but as Christians we must not be bound to an unbeliever. It is hard to find counselors who understand roller coaster marriages in a one-sided Christian marriage often times. I hurt for your children as I have also seen pain in mine over a broken family. Blessings to you in the future and I pray for you to resolve some of your feelings from the hurt you have received. In Christ’s love, M.

      1. Mary Ann Young Robinson,

        Thank you so much for reaching out to Anu. How I hurt with you to hear about how painful things were. 🙁 I hope you are doing much better!

        It is true that God commands believers not to marry unbelievers – and we can certainly understand why after marriage if we didn’t before hand. Once a believer is married to an unbeliever, then 1 Corinthians 7:10-16 would be the route to take.

        Praying for healing for all those who are struggling – that they might receive the healing that is abundantly available in Christ to each of us!

  3. Its been a long year for me…….I hate the separation. It’s his choice. And I have asked so many times…….”Why God, why me?” There has to be a reason and I think I am starting to see it. God wanted me to come to him, to desire him. Even though I was a Christian, I was not attending church or seeking him. I can say now I am attending church and seeking his word daily.

    It just makes me so mad at myself. So many things I could have done better even though I thought I was a good wife and mother. But our God is an Awesome God! It will have to be God’s will for my husband to come back to Christ. I have stopped praying my husband home. I have asked God to bring him back to Jesus. With God, all things are possible.

    About a week ago I was on my way home from a trip out of town with a good friend. I had followed her so I didn’t pay attention to the directions. So when I left, I just used the GPS on my phone. I stopped off to get gas and then not to long after that I saw a billboard that was solid black with one sentence written in white and on the bill board it said…….”I have a plan for you” signed…..God……..I praised God in that moment. Had I taken any other route I would not have seen his message. Continuing on my trip home I came up on an accident. I had no choice but to take a detour. I told myself not to worry, I had GPS and I would surely find the right route, but all of a sudden i lost signal. I remember thinking what now? And not too long after that a car in the other lane was coming toward me and his front license plate said JESUS. I just smiled and kept driving. I like stopping at thrift stores and later on my journey home i stopped for a break. In the store was a picture of Jesus praying…….another sign. The messages are clear to me…..don’t stop praying because God has a plan for me. So I have had so much more peace this week!

    I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I know what I desire, but for now I am at peace. If you still are living with your husband, cherish the time. Pray and seek the Lord. I would give anything to have the chance.

    1. Tina,

      I’m so thankful that God is using this very painful time to bring you to Himself. So true – sometimes wives have no choice in the matter. I wish you didn’t have to go through this trial. But I am overjoyed at what God is doing in your life!
      I love that you are praying for God to bring your husband to Jesus. That is the most important need he has.

      Thank you for sharing the little blessings God gave you on that trip. 🙂 I rejoice with you that you are able to be at peace in Christ now, even in this fierce storm. I pray for His continued good work in your life and His continued healing for you, your children, and your husband in Christ.

      Much love to you!

  4. 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!!

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. April, I’d like to know your opinion about sexual separation. I mean we all know that Apostole said not to deprive each other of phisical intimacy. But what if sexual sin is in the picture? And abuse in sex? Is it a legetimate reason to withdraw intimacy not for a long period but when a wife feels hurt and traumatised for 10 days or so?
    A wife should submit to her husband sexually but what if he keeps adding images of naked women to his mental library like almost everyday? Despite all her efforts to be loving and passionate.

    1. Ann,
      If there is sexual sin, pornography use, sex addiction, sexual abuse – those are situations where a wife may need godly one-on-one counsel to help her discern. Pornography use doesn’t always mean a wife has to sexually separate, although, I think there could be times that may be necessary. It would require God’s discernment. If a husband is abusing his wife sexually, like raping her or hurting her, that is a big problem. If that is the case, please, please seek trusted counsel quickly.

      1. I can’t reveal all the details here. That’s not black and white. We have a great marriage thanks God! I just need to stop worrying. Right now I’m worried mostly not about the addiction itself but by very many new female freinds/coworkers due to changed circumstances of our life.
        These girls make pornographic images of themselfs(nudity, sex with others). I get anxious. I know his intentions are pure and work related but it just looks like devil is getting closer and closer, crawling like a tiger. And I’m crying like everyday but don’t tell anybody why….I need all the armor of prayer and God to be with me.

        1. I’m overwhelmed with emotions and can’t open up to anyone. My closest friend is husband and while he is trying to understand me, it hurts. Unfortunately I look overreacting in his eyes and too much focused on the issue while this friendship is not about porn at all….

    2. Ann,

      In my situation I really have to ask God continually to fill me with compassion for my husband. Why do we love Christ? Because He first loved us and I think we can find healing at the cross for situations like ours. Its also essential to find out security solely in Christ and to seek to be freed from taking our husbands porn usage as a personal attack (though I know the hurt!)

      In my personal experience I’ve realized when I used to become personally offended by my husband using porn, it was often my flesh holding into my rights, and my pride telling me I didn’t deserve it.

      One thing God used to help me heal was the story of King David’s adultery. You can read about it in 1 or 2 Samuel & David’s cry for repentance in Psalm 51. This helped me to realize how redeeming our God is and how He seeks to call our husbands home to Him as prodigal sons, just as He did to David.

      I’m not saying that you should remain in any abusive situations, but ultimately seek to do God’s will and ask Him to lead you by His Holy Spirit into His perfect will. In my personal situation I’m glad that I didn’t leave and learned to love my husband in his sinful state just as Christ died for us while we were still sinners as declared in Romans. He’s used my trials to humble me and build my faith and bring beauty from our ashes.

      Praying for you.

      1. Just to clarify I’m not saying any wife “should” ever deserve to feel the hurt of a husbands unfaithfulness! Its truly difficult. However it’s really important to recognize that it’s ultimately God they are sinning against and will take account to. Vengeance is HIS and He alone will repay. Our job is to love them.

        1. Glory to God April. I’m thankful that God used my trials to bring me to a place of brokenness before Him. He is able to reveal His glory much more greatly when things seem the worse I think! I also realized when I didn’t seem to learn a lesson in humility during the harder times, God allowed me to keep falling until I finally *got it* and than I’d see greater break throughs in my life – whether it was to see my faith restored, a change in my heart or my husbands, or learning to draw closer to Him and depending on Him. He purifies us with fire & we come out as silver.

          1. The Lord’s Handmaiden,
            He will make sure we learn what He wants us to learn. We don’t get to get out from the lessons He has for us. I want to learn as quickly as possible and not go on and on making myself miserable anymore. 🙂

            SO SO thankful for what He is doing in your heart!

  8. 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!

  9. My husband and I are approaching our 20th anniversary in March, but have lived apart for the better part of 2 years. This was my doing… me asking him to leave, or him leaving and me not letting him back in. While we have been married for 19 yrs and 11 months, he has been sober (without alcohol, illegal drugs, or doctor prescribed opiate replacements) and at home (as opposed to treatment or jail) for maybe 50% of those years. We have three children, our youngest being 16.

    My husband claims salvation and says that I must accept him as he is and submit. He says this while drunk and high. He questions my salvation due to my rejection of him. He is presently speaking to a female “friend” (an ex-girlfriend), calling her in late at night, to share the gospel with her (I know this, because we still share a cell phone bill and I asked). Two of our children no longer speak to him. They are terribly hurt by and ashamed of his choices.

    I blame myself for this mess. I feel that if I had been a better, more supportive and encouraging, wife that perhaps we would have a different outcome today. Little over a year into our marriage, I had to go “home” to have our second child. We had a 17 month old, my husband was drunk (and that time physically abusive), and I needed a c-section — there was no way I could manage that all without support, so I went home to my family for what was going to be 6 weeks. Shortly after I left, he had an affair with a co-worker, one that lasted past the birth of our second child…. long-story short, I never made it back to our home, but he moved to my home state where we have lived ever since…. I never got over that betrayal… and he never really stopped.. I do not believe he has been physically involved with anyone since, but he has tried, initiating contact with other women (at least 13) over the course of the marriage… saying that he was with me because of our kids, but would leave as soon as they graduated… he says he did this because I did not accept him as he is. I did not protect and comfort him like I should, that I wasn’t feminine enough, not attractive, too critical, too judgmental.

    He now makes threats against my family. He says he is going to shoot my brother and brother-in-law, for their role in supporting me refusing to allow entrance into our house (after he disappeared and was arrested in another state for a DUI). I have applied for a Temporary Restraining Order. The judge suggested divorce. My husband has an extensive arrest record – domestic violence, multiple DUI’s, resisting arrest, bail jumping, criminal possession of dangerous drugs (and that is just what he has been caught doing).

    Sin is the root of all of this. I want to honor the Lord with my life…. I feel I am caught in cement… I can’t seem to go forward… and I don’t want to go back… My husband is a believer. He trusts Jesus for his salvation. The choices he makes do NOT evidence that at all, but that is what he proclaims. What am I to do with that?

    1. Confused and Tired,

      Wow, does my heart go out to you! That is intense, and obviously very very hard to deal with sister! What I have been seeing lately is how many of us wives find ourselves in situations where we can’t see what to do. We don’t know what to do! And the Lord has faithfully shown me that that is exactly where He wants us, in order to reveal HIMSELF and His glory! When we don’t know what to do—that is the perfect time to call upon the Life of Christ in us to rise up and be the life of our mind, the life of our spirit, the life of our body—and our wisdom! He has the answer to EVERY situation! And He will lead us by His Life if we are open and truly surrendered to Him as Lord!

      When seeking the Lord’s will in anything—we must have discernment about whether or not whatever we are doing is resulting in LIFE or DEATH!

      If we try to hold to the “letter” of the Word of God—- as some kind of outward law or system—and we seek to follow the words of scripture as from an outward stand point—- we are limiting the Lord and His Life! If I take all the words about marriage from scripture and look at them as some kind of 10 commandments or something, and seek to follow them WITHOUT THE LIFE OF CHRIST as the power and strength within me—– then I am doing it all in vain and it will result in death.

      But when I am truly in Christ, dead to my own natural mind and it’s reasonings and judgments—and I am depending on the Holy Spirit as dwelling within me to rise up and lead me in any situation—that is when the Lord has an open way to lead me in the way of LIFE—the way that will increase the measure of Christ and the way that will lead to the Lord having His full place as Lord in that situation.

      Your husband is claiming Christ–yet his actions all speak of DEATH. He is not growing more like Christ–he is growing more like the enemy of our Lord. Even the demons believe in God! They know Jesus is real and that He is LORD—-and they shudder, the Bible says!

      If anyone is in Christ, and who truly has the Spirit of God within them—- they will not, they COULD not do such things as what your husband is doing! They are SO AGAINST the Name of Our Lord! They are so against everything the Lord is and means! And the Bible is clear that we are to not even EAT with a brother who claims Christ, yet commits sexual sin, etc. There is the answer, sister!

      That may be hard to swallow if you love this man and want things to be good and worked out, but honestly, until your husband TRULY sees the Cross and its meaning, and who the Lord Jesus Is—and how Holy He is—-nothing will change! And even though it is hopeless until that change might occur—- that is where the Lord works the most—when things are HOPELESS!

      Your husband blaming you for all of his sin is WRONG–and should not be listened to for another moment. That is his FLESH talking, not the Spirit of God!

      It sounds to me like your husband is doing the work of the devil in trying to keep you under bondage, to keep you under guilt and shame, to keep you under the very things OUR LORD DELIVERED US FROM IN HIM!

      Oh how I pray you will have eyes opened sister! And that you will be able to hear the Lord speak in your own heart as to what you ought to do! For His Spirit is our true source of Life and our true guide!

      Faith is needed —- much faith— to call upon the LIFE OF CHRIST IN US—– to rise up and meet these difficult situations in the power of His Spirit, for HIS GLORY ALONE!

      We must stand against evil, not tolerate it!!!!!

      Love,
      Amanda

      1. Amanda,

        Thank you so much for reaching out to our sister.

        Yes, this man needs Christ! How I pray for God’s healing for Confused and Tired and for her husband. Satan is at work overtime in this situation. May God bring victory!

        Much love!
        April

        1. SIC,

          Hello! I’m just a fly on the wall lately 🙂 But I wanted to say thank you for sharing your story as well, and wanted to point out how similar those behaviors are in true abusers! Your story, I have heard it from close friends almost word for word, sadly 🙁 It is scary—and it is so hard to see when in the middle of it all. The fact that these men randomly start abusing is what makes the story so similar and so shocking to hear over and over. Thank God, you were delivered! God had His eye on you all along, and nothing goes unnoticed when He has a purpose in mind for us in our life!

          I also experienced a less severe situation where I was HIGHLY provoking my husband and he snapped. The behavior was unacceptable, obviously, but nevertheless, it was not the normal for him, and he would never randomly just physically assault me. He doesn’t even like killing a mouse.

          And I agree with April that there is a FINE LINE between true abuse and women thinking that because their husband isn’t paying attention to them, that they are being abused. We can expect all unbelievers to be “abusive” in the sense that they are selfish, blaming, lying, etc. But when there is physical harm,adultery, sexual abuse in ANY way, and true control where a husband is literally not allowing the wife to have one cent, or any access to the car, or anything necessary for life—then these are SERIOUS problems that should NOT be ignored!

          If we could all take the focus off our SELVES, and put them onto the LORD—- a lot of issues would be resolved immediately—and in severe situations—- we would be able to see the difference and that what we are allowing is NOT of God or glorifying to Him at all!

          Hope all is well with you lately and that you are enjoying the fellowship of our Lord Jesus! 🙂

          Blessings and love,
          Amanda

          1. Amanda,

            I have been trying to get my daughter to bed, so my response to Confused and Tired was short. But you shared so many gems and important truths in that first comment and also in this one to SIC.

            What you are describing is one of the reasons why it is SO HARD to address the issue of abuse. There are a lot of issues, and many times, online, I can’t know what is happening.
            If a wife is being extremely provoking, she needs to own her own sin and stop doing that. It is still wrong for a husband to hit her. But it is also wrong to try to provoke our husbands and try to egg them on to hit us or to purposely push all of their buttons and try to see how much we can make them lose self-control. That is unwise!

            And yes, all sin is “abuse” to some degree or another. All sin is hurtful. Ignoring someone is hurtful. Calling someone a name or raising your voice is hurtful. But there is a continuum. I don’t like to call mild to moderate kinds of things “abuse” because it makes things too confusing. But so many things are called “abuse” today that if we don’t define the word with each woman we are talking to, it is hard to know for sure what we are talking about. And I also agree, there are some forms of serious abuse that aren’t physical. It can be very difficult to quantify every single thing in one short post. I think it would take a book. Or more. This certainly requires godly wisdom and discernment.

            I agree, if we were able to repent of any idolatry, unbelief in God, toxic lies we have believed about God/self/others, being enmeshed with our husbands, fear, worry, pride, self-righteousness, bitterness, resentment, gossip, and any other kind of sin… then we can be filled up with God’s Spirit. Then we can have His wisdom and things become much more clear.

            Thanks again for sharing!

          2. April,

            I pray that all would have eyes opened to see who our Lord truly is–and how Great He is! And that in any situation, we would all call upon His Name, His life in us—to rise up and meet that hard situation in the power of His Spirit, for His glory—and nothing else! That is where our power lies— not in ourselves—or in trying to fix our marriages or any situation–but rather–in submitting to Christ as LORD, and letting go of anything and everything that He shows us is WRONG, and not unto His glory!

            If I was in a more severe situation, and I still wanted to do what the Lord commands, I can see how it might be confusing to hear certain things and to misunderstand what is being said—- but that is why our relationship, our fellowship with the Lord, and spirit union is MOST IMPORTANT—-so that whatever I am facing, it is HIM that I turn to, and rely on, and nothing else—- not even just the Bible. It has to be His Spirit witnessing within me what is of God, and what is not—– those letters Paul wrote were certainly of the Spirit of God—but He did not write another set of 10 commandments! We are not living in the time of outward law abiding–we are living in the time of the Holy Spirit within us— within us as OUR VERY LIFE source—meaning–our source of power, energy, wisdom, strength—-so that even if we are in a deserted Island with NO Bible—we will still know, WITHIN by the Spirit, what is according to the mind of God, and what is NOT! It is spiritual discernment—and it is MOST important! If we could seek the Lord for more of this discernment–we would be saved from all this back and forth, confusion, and inability to know what the Lord is leading us to do in our lives!

            The biggest hindrance to living the life in the Spirit is our SELF–with all it’s natural mind, reasonings, desires, feelings, etc. Our hearts are deceitful—and we can think we are all for the Lord’s will—- and not even realize that we are actually living to serve our own interests, even if it means being truly abused! We have to allow the Lord to seriously search our hearts first, if we want to know His mind about any matter—-and truly surrender our own desires and interests, in order to receive the mind of the Spirit to our spirit! If we have self-interests to serve—we will receive nothing of the sort, because we have already made up our mind, leaving no room for the Lord’s mind to be made known!!!

            Love,
            Amanda

          3. Amanda,

            You are so right! Yes, as we live in total abandonment to Him, and allow Him to heal us and illuminate everything for us by His Spirit, we can know what we need to do. If only we could all grasp this! That is why I always want to focus on wives finding healing in Christ first, no matter what the situation. Because if they are filled up with Him and His power, He will show them the way to go.

            Amen!! Yes, we do need to die to self. But in the right way, not a messed up, sick kind of way that involves self rather than the power of Christ.

            My longing is that we would each know Christ more and more and allow Him to transform our minds and hearts radically – exactly as He has been doing with you over this past year. It is so beautiful!!!! And so powerful what He is doing in your heart. 🙂 I wish we could just pour what you have been learning into everyone’s souls.

            That is the goal – absolute faith, absolute trust in Christ, absolute surrender. When we are in such a position, no matter what our husbands may be doing, even if it is a severe situation, God moves mountains and does miracles and answers the prayers of those who are completely yielded to Him in great faith. That is what I long to see. An army of women completely dedicated the the lordship of Christ and empowered by His Spirit to live holy lives and to dramatically reach this world for the kingdom.

          4. April,

            Amen Amen Amen! The Lord is available to all who are finding themselves in a hopeless state or situation! We have available to us immediate access to GOD ALMIGHTY in and by our Lord Jesus, in spirit joined to His Spirit! But we MUST be dead to our own mind first, and totally dependent on Him to reveal His mind about anything! The answer will always be in how much Christ will be increased in us by taking a certain way in life, or making a certain choice. Is it for our own personal gain and benefit? Or is it in the Lord’s interests? We must always put the Lord before our face, and see where He truly stands in all that we are thinking, doing, and planning to do.

            In new birth, we have all been given a new sense of seeing and hearing that allows us to know and hear the Lord inwardly as from His Spirit. This is not an audible voice! It is a sense that can not be explained, but only known by those who have experienced it. If any one is crying out to the Lord, but not getting an answer–let them realize that yes, our Lord is in Heaven–but He is also within us by His Spirit, and it is as we appeal to His life in us by faith, to be the life of our mind (our thinking), our body, and our spirit—- that He has an open way with us, to reveal Himself and His mind!

            The mind of man is not the final word or authority–it is His Spirit!

            Let us all seek to be in closer union, abiding in Him—referring Him in all situations, totally dependent on His Life in us to lead us and guide us in the way we should go that will result only in LIFE, more LIFE!

            Love,
            Amanda

          5. Thank you Amanda! It’s so nice to hear from you. I am all over enjoying the fellowship of our precious Lord, now if only I could always act that way!! Just yesterday I had a snafu with my husband I layed in bed, both of us upset and I said to myself (no way, I’m going downstairs to apologize). I was surprised that he actually apologized to me too since he didn’t do anything wrong. And we had a great night. All it takes is one step to ruin a night and if we’re lucky with another step we can repair a previous injury if it was minor enough. I always have that phrase “Death by a thousand little cuts” in my mind so now I temper my impulse to speak insecurity even more so. This has made a big difference.

            On a brighter note I heard this morning on the radio about a 5 year old that told his baby brother “Hurry up and tell me about God, I’m forgetting already!”. Oh my goodness that is thee most adorable thing I’ve heard in a while. And very interesting and telling.

            God bless you all so much.

          6. SIC,
            So thankful y’all worked things out. Eventually, it does get easier to overcome the times we stumble, generally. That is such a blessing!

            LOVE that example about the 5 year old. So precious!

    2. Confused and Tired,

      My goodness! This is a big mess. 🙁

      I guess I am confused. What is it that is confusing to you? These are some really severe issues you are dealing with. Are you confused about if you should go back to live with him while he is often high, drunk, threatening to kill your family members, and where you are unsafe?

      Do you accept that you are responsible for any sin in your life and your husband is responsible for his own sin? Or do you truly believe you are responsible for all that your husband has done wrong somehow?

      Do you have a godly counselor who is helping you with all of this? What spiritual support do you have?
      I wonder if you might like to do a spiritual check up with me?

      Much love to you!
      April

      1. April,

        I often feel as though I have failed 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. I have struggled with patience. I have been unkind. I have been envious (of others), I have boasted when things were going well. I have been prideful, looking at my husband and asking “what is wrong with you? Often thinking, I left certain behaviors behind, why can’t he? I have been self-seeking, not always being helpful and perhaps asking too much. I used to to express a lot of anger (not so much anymore, the Lord has changed me). I obviously have kept a record of wrongs… I try not to delight in evil (I struggle with an inappropriate and ungodly sense of humor – that too, has diminished over the years), I do love the truth. I have not protected my husband… I have called the cops many times which lead to arrests. I do not trust him. I have always hoped (and still do) that the Lord transforms his life. I feel like I am failing to persevere.

        I know I am responsible for my own sin, but feel like his sin is my fault too. But, I know, deep down that even if I was the most awful wife in the world, the sins he commits in response to whatever (justified or unjustified) wrongs I have committed against him are his own choice.

        I wonder too if by failing to recover from the adultery (years ago) if I am not the foolish woman who tore down her own house — “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” – Proverbs 14:1. I could never get past it. I forgave, but I couldn’t forget. Part of me thinks it was just foolish pride, the other part feels it was just response to lack of truth, transparency, or remorse… maybe I expected too much. It colored everything I ever did or felt. When I learned of it, I felt like part of me died… maybe that is too dramatic. Every time since, when I learn that he has or is seeking “friendship” with other women, I feel physically ill. It is like salt on a wound that never healed. Did it not heal because I did not forgive? Are the subsequent “friendships” just evidence of my true lack of forgiveness?

        Do I have a godly counselor? No. My godly support comes from my mother and sister.

        Yes, I would be willing to do a spiritual check up with you.

        1. Confused and Tired,

          None of us have the ability to be godly wives in our own strength. And, it seems to me, that you may have a tendency to take over-responsibility for your husband’s sin, which is something I have often struggled with myself.

          I would love to get started with a few questions just so I can get a bit of a pulse on where you are right now with God. Then, I will do all I can to point you to Christ and all that He has for you. 🙂

          1. How do you believe someone can be saved or what does it mean to be a Christian?

          2. How is your walk with Christ going? How much time do you spend in the Bible? What do you generally pray for?

          3. What do you desire most in your relationship with God?

          4. What are your greatest fears?

          5. What are your most precious dreams?

          6. Is there any area where you are afraid to trust God and may be holding back?

          7. What do you believe it means to “protect” your husband?

          8. What is your definition of a godly wife or of the word “submission”?

          9. What was your parents’ marriage like in general?

          10. What was his parents’ marriage like in general?

          11. Did either of you experience abuse before this relationship? Any mental heath issues?

          12. Have you ever seriously experienced the grace of Christ and His gift of forgiveness that completely washes away all of your guilt and shame and the new life He has for you? Or are you still living in a lot of shame, guilt, and fear?

          13. Are you safe now?

          14. Are you able to look for a godly counselor?

          Take your time. 🙂

          Much love!
          April

    3. Confused and Tired,

      I want to see you experience all of Jesus and all of the good things He has for you. I invite you to check out some posts that may be a blessing. You are welcome to search for:

      – spiritual authority (my class notes from a minister at my church about God’s design for spiritual authority in the lives of believers and when we should submit vs. when we should not)
      – when I would not submit to my husband
      – biblical submission is not passivity
      – biblical submission does not = the husband is always right
      – doormat
      – too respectful
      – husband idol
      – healthy vs unhealthy relationships
      – identifying the lies we have embraced
      – husbands are never the ultimate authority
      – rage, violence, and abuse

      You can honor the Lord with your life. ABSOLUTELY! Your husband, from what you are describing, would have to have a pretty major spiritual awakening and lots of fruit of repentance and willingness to rebuild trust, as well as a long history of sobriety, and plenty of godly counseling for him and for you before you could possibly agree to get back with him if all that you have shared is true. And I think you have a lot of spiritual healing to do, as well, from what I can tell so far. I think you may have quite a few wounds from all of this.

      There is no command that says a wife has to go back to her husband, particularly in a situation like this. It is not a sin to stay separated when a husband is this dangerous and so far from being in his right mind – if I am understanding the situation correctly.

      I really do hope and pray that you have a solid spiritual support system that is helping you, or that God will help you to find one at your church or somewhere locally.

      Praying for you, dear sister!

  10. 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!

  11. April,

    Have you ever just felt COLD towards everyone? I don’t WANT to feel cold and indifferent, but that’s the only way I can describe it. I have been on the journey for several months. God has worked miracles in my heart. But, the past few weeks I have stumbled – becoming obsessed with organizing the house, getting new things for the family, arguing with my husband about money. And, now, I feel further from EVERYONE – God, my husband, my kids, my friends…

    To fight it, I have really been digging further into scripture, praying harder, crying out to God for help, BUT I still don’t feel myself. I feel stuck, closed off. There’s some anger, resentment, and bitterness going on definitely. I can’t put my finger on the root of it. I know that when I’m praying God hears me. I can feel Him showing me his love, but it slips out of reach just as quickly as it appears. The devil has been busy in my life. I prayed for strength and he must have overheard my prayer… Because my pride and selfishness grew, and I mistook it for strength.

    Please pray for me – that I find my way again.

    1. MissingtheMark,

      Wow. You have some really powerful insights here. “My pride and selfishness grew, and I mistook it for strength.”

      If any bitterness begins to grow, resentment, hatred, anger that goes on unchecked… it will definitely create coldness.

      Just also want to check, are you having any issues with your health or hormones lately?

      Would you like to do a spiritual check up with me?

      Praying for God to expose any hidden sinful thoughts, wrong thinking, or wrong motives – that you might be set free from all of that and able to walk in His Light and power, dear sister.

      Another place to start might be this post – Identifying the Lies We Have Embraced.

      1. I’m in good health. My hormones occasionally cause me angst, but that’s normal for me. This is definitely different.
        I think a spiritual check might help me identify where to focus.
        Thank you, April.

        1. MissingtheMark,

          Okay, let’s probe a bit together…

          1. Are you able to identify who you feel upset with? God, your husband, your children, or someone else?

          2. Do you have expectations that have gone unmet? Are you disappointed about something?

          3. Do you feel like you have to try to be a godly wife in your own power? Like you just have to keep trying harder in your own strength?

          4. Are there any fears that are nesting in your heart?

          5. What do you believe you need most to be content right now?

          6. What have you been complaining about most lately?

          7. Do you feel there is an area where you are afraid to trust God specifically? Something you don’t want to lay down to let Him handle?

          8. Are you nursing some hurt feelings about something?

          Much love to you! 🙂

      1. Are you familiar with taking your thoughts captive for Christ? Have you been doing that these past few weeks?
        I have been recognizing when I have feelings and thoughts that are lies, but that’s not making the feelings stop. I just know I can’t trust them. That’s a huge improvement for me, because I usually just run with whatever pops into my head.
        What have you been watching and reading and listening to recently?
        I have been on pinterest looking at all the creative ways to reorganize our home, all the puppy’s I can’t have, all the things I want but will put off for another time… 😉 I swore pinterest off yesterday, because I realized I’ve been obsessing over material things. I need to spend more time focusing on God and family.
        I’m not big on TV – my husband watches the news and hunting shows, so I listen to those while I look at pinterest/facebook/amazon…

    2. I pray that you can find the gratitude in the life and gifts that God has given you. We all can think of things much worse than where we are, but we don’t miss them till we are gone. I pray God can rain wisdom, discernment, forgiveness toward others and humility toward you and for you. Much love, sister.

  12. 1. Are you able to identify who you feel upset with? God, your husband, your children, or someone else?
    I am mostly upset about situations –
    that my husband has to work so many hours because his office is short staffed,
    that my kids keep arguing and bickering – even about helping around the house,
    that my house is not as organized as I want it to be,
    that when I try to spend money to finish a project (redecorate, reorganize) or to make sure our family has
    things we need (clothing, shoes, food) I have to negotiate with my husband (while his spending goes
    unchecked),
    that I work all day and come home to work more and get little to no appreciation – sometimes, they even
    have the nerve to complain,
    that my husband’s family is constantly creating drama amongst themselves, then I feel the need to
    protect my husband from their hurtful cycle and that sometimes cause drama between us,
    that I feel like I’m failing as a role model for our daughters – I want to be a loving, kind, gracious example
    for them, but instead I’m used up, busy, grumpy, whatever it is that day,
    that my husband and I are complacent in our relationship – we talk several times a day, but I am lacking
    that emotional attachment,
    So, it looks like I’m upset that I’m not superwoman.

    2. Do you have expectations that have gone unmet? Are you disappointed about something?
    Most of them are expectations for myself – teach my kids not to behave selfishly, take care of the home so that
    my husband is proud to bring guests over, be fun to be around…I’m disappointed in myself.
    The only other expectation is that I expect the four of us to get along and have fun together – me, my
    husband, and our daughters.

    3. Do you feel like you have to try to be a godly wife in your own power? Like you just have to keep trying harder in your own strength?
    YES! I’m so emotionally drained right now because of it. I don’t even realize I’m doing that, though.

    4. Are there any fears that are nesting in your heart?
    I’m afraid that I won’t teach the girls things they need to know – things that weren’t passed on to me, that I’m
    learning as an adult.
    I’m afraid that I won’t be able to handle my husbands emotions as he loses his parents (they are getting up in
    age and having health problems).
    I’m afraid that I won’t make my husband happy because I’m no fun anymore – to busy refereeing fights
    between the kids and making sure things are done.
    I’m afraid that we will lose everything again – maybe even each other this time. Eight years ago we lost
    everything we own – house, vehicles, etc… It’s been a long, hard road back.

    5. What do you believe you need most to be content right now?
    God. But He feels so far away from me right now.

    6. What have you been complaining about most lately?
    I’m easily offended. But, the thing that keeps running through my mind is money. My husband and I agreed
    on a spending plan, and he keeps changing it in order to save. It makes me feel like his agreements with me
    are not important – that he can make changes whenever he wants whether I agree or not.

    7. Do you feel there is an area where you are afraid to trust God specifically? Something you don’t want to lay down to let Him handle?
    I want Him to handle all of it, but there is something He is prompting me to let go of and I am blind to it.

    8. Are you nursing some hurt feelings about something?
    My feelings are hurt. I didn’t realize it, though. It hurts me that the girls are so unappreciative, that they don’t
    get along well, that my husband doesn’t value my opinion, that all these things are out of my control…

    1. MissingTheMark,

      How much time are you sending with God daily, generally? What do you pray for?

      Are there expectations about your husband, his job, your children, and your in-laws, that you may need to lay down?

      Have you shared your concerns about the budget with your husband?

      So you are seeing your hurt feelings now – are you ready to let go of bitterness against your husband and your daughters?

      You know what? I used to watch HGTV a lot. And then when my house didn’t look perfectly clean, I would get really upset. I can get pretty OCD about wanting a really clean house sometimes, to the point that I really stress out my husband and kids. Not worth it! I have learned that there are things that are triggers for me to feel discontent. If I watch stuff or read about having a really clean house or if I read about minimalism, I get upset and antsy and want to sell 3/4 of our possessions and go live in a really small house with no junk and clutter. I want to get rid of everything and only have the bare essentials. It is a super strong urge and the more I read about it the more I want to act on it.

      Problem is, my husband and children are not on board with that. So I have a choice. I can lay down my expectations and stop feeding my desire for less stuff and a cleaner house by not watching and reading those things. I can also lay down my dream of minimalism and give it to God and choose to be content with what we have and where we are right now.

      As you are filled up with the Holy Spirit, He will give you the strength you need to deal with your daughters and with your husband’s long hours and even with his changing his mind on the budget. You can’t do this in your own strength. I promise it is impossible! But you can rest in God’s love and sovereignty and receive all of the good things He has for you in Christ as you are willing to get rid of any sin and yield fully to His Lordship.

      Much love!

  13. 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!

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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!

  17. 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.

  18. Beautiful post and discussion as always, thank you April and sisters!

    My dilemma is complicated but the crux of it is that my husband is controlling most aspects of my life. He calls it discipline, to me it feels like torment. He has always applied strict rules in our household, rules that while harsh I at least understood the purpose.

    Now these restrictions seem to have extended to other areas such as my work, squeezing every ounce of my joy out of it, particularly as I am a creative and people person. Where before we did everything together, for example now he doesn’t want to see family or friends meaning I don’t get to either. He is depressed and there are many problems, particularly financial, but while I understand I can’t make that an excuse, especially as I am now depressed too.

    We have discussed this issue countless times recently and it seems this may be a deal breaker as I see no signs of his budging, and all the budging has been on my side. I am dedicating my time to staying calm and ensuring God has my heart back completely before considering seriously about my future and what God wants. My husband is a good and godly man in many areas, but he is also a difficult man who rules with an iron rod. His decisions also often lead us to worse situations, and his behaviour is prohibiting me from the doing the very work that will help us out of this awful financial mess and depression.

    He says that God says that women are incorrigible. While as a modern independent woman that comment angers me, I also see that Abraham sent Sarah into prostitution twice and she called him My Lord. I’d really welcome your thoughts on whether and to what extent what we like to think of as submission and what God really wants for us wives are the same thing.
    Love, Hope x

    1. Hope,

      I remember your situation and my heart aches with you, precious sister.

      My greatest desire for you is that you will be as completely filled up as possible with Christ yourself. I know that if you are, He will give you all the wisdom, power, and discernment you need to navigate this very tricky situation. I also believe He can impact your husband greatly by His power as you pray. God can give you the clarity you need.

      All people – men and women – are evil and have no good in us on our own. But in Christ, we can have His very goodness filling us to overflowing. What Good News!

      How are you doing spiritually? How may we pray for you?

      Abraham and Isaac both lied about their wives because they were afraid they would be killed and their wives stolen from them. Abraham did this twice. Sarah (and later Rebecca) was not sent into “prostitution” but she was taken into the king’s harem. But even there, God protected Sarah and Rebecca. He spoke to the unbelieving kings who then quickly rebuked Abraham and Isaac and obeyed God when He spoke to them in dreams.

      I don’t know that this means we must always cooperate with lies if our husbands want us to. There is a sobering example in the New Testament where Ananias and Sapphira agreed together to lie about how much money they received for a piece of land. God did not protect her from the consequences of cooperating with her husband’s sin and lies. Both of them were struck down dead as examples to the believers to show reverence and awe to the Lord.

      In whatever situation a believing wife finds herself, I believe that God’s Spirit, His Word, and His wisdom can direct her into His will. I believe He can change a husband’s heart. I believe He can empower a wife to set a godly example without nagging, lecturing, and preaching at her husband (1 Peter 3:1-6) but demonstrate the power of God in her life by her beautiful, powerful example.

      Do you believe you are able to hear God’s voice clearly at this time?

      If you are in danger or things are really awful, do you have any church leaders your husband respects to whom you might appeal?

      What happens when you share that his approach is making you have a harder time doing what he wants you to do? Or do you believe you are safe to share that?

      Much love and the biggest hug to you!

  19. Thank you April. Spiritual warfare seems to have made a home in our home and has been ruining our lives for so long now. We don’t go to church and if I were to tell any of the leaders he respects he would not thank me. When I share that his approach is making things harder it turns into a huge argument as he gets defensive and attacks verbally. I appreciate your thoughts on Sarah. I feel like Sapphira, I am living the consequences of my husband’;s poor choices, probably for being such a sinner before coming to Christ and for reacting/standing up to my husband. I disobeyed him the other day and went for a coffee with a family member and now everything is coming down around me. My mother, my family have abandoned me and my husband is in full war cry. I need to leave and I have nowhere and no one as my husband has led me to burn all my bridges. All I feel is pain and fear and long to be able to fill myself with the Spirit and hear God’s voice clearly as I have in the past. God please give me the courage to leave today. Please pray that I will be ok. I don’t know where to go.

    1. Hope,

      I am so concerned for your safety, my sister! Is there any kind of shelter available through a Christian organization or even a state-run organization?

      I pray God will give you the resources and provision you need. From what you have described, I can’t imagine why you are being kicked out. 🙁 This breaks my heart! Can you turn to trusted leaders in the church privately?

      Has he threatened to hurt or kill you?

      Please let us know if you are safe.

      Praying for you fervently right now!

      1. Thank you dear April. I’m not being kicked out. I need to leave by Monday. I tried to leave today. He hasn’t threatened me or hurt me. There isn’t a single org that could help me, I’ve been looking. It will have to be a hotel. If I don’t go soon I won’t do it. When he was ranting earlier it was much easier to go. Now he’s calmed down I can see my mind trying to put it off again until he starts up again. And now it’s night.
        I am financially responsible for us (well, responsible for everything). I borrowed money for our rent (we would have lost our home) using as a guarantee savings we have that are destined for a special purpose. That purpose won’t happen until later in the year, by which time the money will be freed. My husband today is pushing for me to take out the money so I told him I couldn’t until June. He has told me to give it to him on Monday. My husband is in a vile mood, my home is soaked and I am in a panic. I just can’t take the screaming and intimidation anymore. And as always, this reaction means I’m too angry and confused to rectify anything or to get us out of this mess. I owe so much money and can’t bear the weight of it. I just wish I had a family or friend to go and stay with while I gather myself together and see what God wants me to do. The few people I know don’t know God. They’ll just gloat. Thank you for your prayers.

          1. Here is something from George Mueller that may be a blessing to us all:

            HOW TO DETERMINE GOD’S WILL by George Mueller:

            1. I seek at the beginning to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter. Nine-tenths of the trouble with people generally is just here. Nine-tenths of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the Lord’s will, whatever it may be. When one is truly in this state, it is usually but a little way to the knowledge of what His will is.

            2. Having done this, I do not leave the result to feeling or simple impression. If so, I make myself liable to great delusions.

            3. I seek the Will of the Spirit of God through, or in connection with, the Word of God. The Spirit and the Word must be combined. If I look to the Spirit alone without the Word, I lay myself open to great delusions also. If the Holy Ghost guides us at all, He will do it according to the Scriptures and never contrary to them.

            4. Next I take into account providential circumstances. These often plainly indicate God’s Will in connection with His Word and Spirit.

            5. I ask God in prayer to reveal His Will to me aright.

            6. Thus, through prayer to God, the study of the Word, and reflection, I come to a deliberate judgment according to the best of my ability and knowledge, and if my mind is thus at peace, and continues so after two or three more petitions, I proceed accordingly. In trivial matters, and in transactions involving most important issues, I have found this method always effective.

  20. 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.

Thanks for joining in the discussion! :) Let's keep it wholesome, edifying, and respectful.

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