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Does God Call Women to Be Weak?


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

In the world:

  • Power means having the ability to do whatever I want to do.
  • Weakness means not being able to do exactly what I want to do all the time.

So power means I have total control to do what I think is best. It is all about self being on the throne of my life.

In God’s kingdom:

  • Power is about having the ability (totally from the Holy Spirit) to obey God and walk in holiness.
  • Weakness is about trusting self, living in sin, having a lack of faith in God, living apart from fellowship with God, and using human wisdom and strength.

God calls all believers to crucify our old sinful selves. There is no help for my sinful self. I can’t make it “better” enough in God’s sight. He doesn’t have plans to make my old self better, either. It is impossible. I don’t just need washing or sprucing up. I am not an old house that just needs a bit of renovations. In God’s eyes, nothing from my old self is salvageable. It is only fit for crucifixion. Time to bring in the bulldozers and completely raze the old house. My old self is fit only for condemnation and death.

God doesn’t call me to be weak. He calls me to be dead.

Dead to this world. Dead to sin. Dead to fleshly pleasure. Dead to human wisdom. Dead to my own efforts. Dead to my desires and my will. Dead to my pride that there could be any good in me or that I could possibly please the Lord on my own.

Every part of my old self must go to the cross to die with Jesus. I can’t keep my strengths, weaknesses, or anything else. All must be laid on the altar. All must be completely sacrificed and burned to ashes.

Of course, He calls men to do the same.

  • Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23

(For more on this, please read Romans 6.)

Thankfully, God doesn’t just call me to be dead. 🙂 He also calls me to live a new life in Christ.

This is where many of us don’t understand ahead of time. How could we, really, if we haven’t experienced it yet? It would be as difficult for us to understand in advance as it would be for a caterpillar to imagine being a butterfly one day, wouldn’t it?

Sometimes we see that we are called to die to self. We see that we give up our will, our desires, and our dreams. We have to wrap ourselves in that dreaded cocoon. All we see is misery, confinement, and death. It seems awful to have to completely surrender self to God. That seems too great a sacrifice from our perspective before self has been crucified.

What we don’t realize yet is that when we yield to God in this way, when we give ALL of ourselves to Him in total surrender, obedience, and trust, He gives ALL of Himself to us. What we gave up was trash. What Jesus gives to us in return is great treasure – Himself! Because I am “in Christ” – His death belongs to me. But also His Life belongs to me. Everything He has and all that He is becomes mine because we are one in Spirit now. He is the head and I am part of His body – the church. His death was my death. His resurrection is my resurrection. I come out on the other side of the cross with new wings and a new body, just like that beautiful butterfly.

But I didn’t cause myself to sprout my own wings. It is not because of my efforts, goodness, or abilities that I am now a butterfly. It is because of God’s power, alone.

Now I can receive all of Jesus’:sean-stratton-60953

  • Spiritual power.
  • Victory over sin.
  • Holiness.
  • Obedience to God.
  • Goodness.
  • Perfect thinking.
  • Desires.
  • Will.
  • Spiritual treasures.
  • Spiritual authority to accomplish His will on earth.
  • Fellowship with God.
  • Wisdom.
  • Plans for me.

A butterfly has no resemblance to the caterpillar she once was. Her old life is over. Her mouth is very different. Her legs are very different. Her body is completely different. Her diet is totally different. A butterfly no longer wants the food she used to eat as a caterpillar! She needs a new food. Her mode of transportation and habitat are different. She has a brand new purpose and incredible beauty.

So it is when we die to our earthly self and begin to experience the life of Christ in us. We are completely different.

We have a new Spirit and a new purpose. A new diet. A new habitat. God calls us to soar on wings like eagles as we live in His power (Isa. 40:31).

God’s ways are always totally opposite of the world’s ways. God calls me to do things as a believer and woman like:

  • Honor my husband’s leadership.
  • Respect my husband.
  • Forgive those who sin against me.
  • Love my enemies.
  • Humble myself before Him and before others.
  • Repay evil with good.
  • Seek fulfillment in Him alone, not in anyone or anything else.
  • Trust His wisdom more than my own.
  • Humble myself so that He will raise me up to a place of glory.

God’s wisdom is never about weakness.

The world may view God’s ways as weakness – because the old sinful self doesn’t get anything. It is dead in a tomb!

But in God’s kingdom, things that seem foolish to the world are wise and powerful. When God’s will is done, everyone is blessed and His kingdom grows by leaps and bounds here on earth and in heaven!

When I give up the world’s wisdom and its ways, the only thing I lose is my ability to destroy my relationships and myself. I gain the power of heaven to experience all of the blessings and spiritual riches of Jesus Christ. Not just in heaven, but now!

When I am fully yielded in submission to Christ as my Lord, I am not weak. I have the very power of God to accomplish God’s will and His purposes. Not because I am good. But because Jesus is good and He is living in and through me.

There is a principle in scripture that the weaker I am, and as I reckon myself dead to this world and self, the stronger Christ is in me! (Romans 6:11, 2 Cor. 12:9) Now I come into relationships from a position of great strength and victory in Christ. Victory over sin. Victory over death. Victory over the flesh. Now I have God’s ability to pour healing, goodness, and Life into my relationships. I am like a big wide-open pipe that is now able to let God’s Spirit gush through me into the lives of everyone around me. My only strength is found in Jesus! I long for everyone to get to experience this new life!

  • God’s version of femininity and masculinity are so much stronger than anything we could experience in this world.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Cor. 5:17

 

RELATED:

Godly Femininity

Dying to Self

Dying to Self Can Be Dangerously Misunderstood

The Offense of the Cross – Austin Sparks

The Blessing of Knowing about Hell

How to Have a Relationship with Christ

 

If you want to talk about how you can become a follower of Christ, please leave me a comment. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

62 thoughts on “Does God Call Women to Be Weak?

  1. The word “virtuous” in the Proverbs (“a virtuous wife is a crown to her husband;” and a “virtuous woman” in Prov. 31), is actually the word “chayil” in Hebrew. Would you like to know what it means? 🙂 “Chayil” means “a force…; i.e. an army, virtue, wealth, valor, strength” ! Can you be a “force” beside your husband? An army beside him? Virtuous, yes, and also a wealth. Are you of “valor” and full of “strength”?
    THAT’s who we’re called to be, dear Women in the Lord! Isn’t that exciting?

    By the way.. that’s a force beside him; not against him. ;o)

    Thank you for the wonderful posts and for encouraging us to be virtuous women in Christ!

  2. April, I’m so grateful that I found your blog a while back. You say things in such a way that it just clicks in my spirit.

    ” All we see is misery, confinement, and death. It seems awful to have to completely surrender self to God. That seems too great a sacrifice from our perspective before self has been crucified.

    What we don’t realize yet is that when we yield to God in this way, when we give ALL of ourselves to Him in total surrender, obedience, and trust, He gives ALL of Himself to us. What we gave up was trash.”

    I’m not there yet, but I’m not where I used to be. Thank you for being a wide open pipe for God’s Spirit to pour through! May God bless you richly in every way!

    1. j0y – Praying that God will continue to lead you deeper with Him! I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for you and for each of us.

      Thank you for the prayer and encouragement. May the Lord be highly exalted! 🙂

  3. April,

    MelissaB is correct. The word virtuous in Proverbs 31 does mean forces, might, power, riches, strength, valour, war, wealth, band of men, band of soldiers…. The same word is used to describe David’s mighty men. I did a study on the word on October of last year when I heard Leslie Ludy of the SetApart Girl Ministry discuss this fact. This is a powerful revelation.

  4. Ms. April!

    Its been a while since we’ve chatted!

    Update: Hubby and I are in counseling! It’s really cool because the pastor is a john piper “fan” so he’s totally on board with the whole biblical manhood and womanhood ordeal. So, naturally, headship and submission is brought up and good thing ive been wrestling with the topic and following your posts for a while because it’s not so foreign or offensive when we talk about it.

    Though the topic is much easier to talk about, the journey is still “trenchy” and hard as ever! In fact 2-3 weeks ago we threatened the relationship and nearly divorced! IT IS ONLY BY THE GRACE AND NONCOMPREHENDABLE PEACE OF GOD THAT WE ARE STILL HERE! Ive had to repent lately because i was going through the stage of “nothing im doing is working” and i found myself just lingering and frustrated. But God always uses you and the posts you share to jolt me out of my spiritual pity party and get back to fighting to trust and put my eyes on Him.

    My current wrestle is feeling like its actually the wife who has to lay down her life for the man to be a man. Maybe thats a fleshly perspective but that’s how it feels.( I really wanted to comment on the why do i have to change first post but the comments are closed so this is next best topic with an open comment section lol).

    Now in this post you say in paraphrase that we are to give up all our strengths and dreams etc etc and in a recent youtube video too. But didnt God create those things and give them to us? Arent these things what makes is unique and cant he use these things for his glory? Idk, what u said kind of reminds me of an unhealthy extreme of die to self…i know you have a post on the topic however i just sense what your saying here could be misunderstood without clarification….

    Clarify please!

    Much love!

    1. Shamaya Shawante Coats,

      It’s great to hear from you and I am so glad that you are both in counseling together! That is AWESOME!

      Both spouses are called to lay down their lives – first for Christ – then for others. Actually, all believers are called to do this. BUT – we don’t lay down our lives to please others and get their approval or to idolize them. That is the catch that must be understood. We lay down our lives to Christ and are willing to then walk in obedience to anything He calls us to do for His glory which will be for the benefit of those around us. Does that make sense?

      A husband is called even more directly to lay down his life for his wife. He is to represent the very love of Christ for the church as He gave Himself up for her. Eph. 5:22-33. Don’t worry, husbands have a very similar journey to take. They have to learn many of the same things we do, plus a lot more, involving incredible humility and selflessness.

      But – their journey is between them and God. We can’t make them learn or force them to lay down their lives for us. Our job is to focus on what God calls us to do as wives/women.

      God created us with our talents and abilities, yes. And I am not saying this means, “You can’t sing anymore if you love to sing.” But what this means is that we give everything to the Lord so that we are no longer using our strength and abilities for ourselves and our will. We are now yielded to Him for Him to use. The other thing this means is that I don’t depend on my strength and my intellect. I depend on God now. Anything I do in the power of my flesh will be burned up and will not count for eternity. Only the things that I allow God’s Spirit to accomplish by His power having control in my life will count eternally.

      Does this make any more sense? Let’s talk about it some more if it doesn’t.

      Much love!

      1. If a wife gives up her personhood to her husband, gives up her influence, gives up speaking, gives up her place in the marriage. THAT is very unhealthy.

        But if a wife gives up her old sinful self AND receives her new self in Christ and is empowered by Him and then uses her position, influence, time, and abilities under His direction and by His power – THAT is the goal. It is all about His will and His glory. Not about what we want. But, as we draw closer to Him and He fills us up more and more, He transforms our desires to match His own.

        That is why He can say, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart,” Ps. 37:4. It is not that He gives us everything our old sinful selves desire. Not at all. It is about that He gives us the things He desires. But when we are abiding in Him, His desires become our greatest desires. 🙂

      2. Shaman Shawante Coats,

        Let’s talk about what this may look like in real life.

        I can have preferences, opinions, ideas, etc… I can respectfully share them. However – I will have a filter. God’s filter. So that I don’t share anything that is not of Him and not glorifying to Him. And if I don’t get what I would like, I can be content in Christ. I don’t have to demand my way. I want God’s will much more than my will.

        Some things, I will find as I die to self and live for Christ, I just won’t care about as much anymore. Maybe I like a certain color of paint or a certain restaurant the best. If I get to have those things, that is great. But if I don’t get everything I want, it is not a big deal. I can handle not getting my way very graciously.

        Also, I may have ideas about our future, where we should live, my career, my husband’s career, how to raise our children, where to go to church, etc… and I can share those when I have prayed about them. But – if my husband believes that it is best for us to do something different, I can lay down my desires, my wisdom, my expectations, and trust God to lead me through my husband and circumstances and through His Spirit. (If my husband is asking me to cooperate with or condone sin, I can’t support that, of course.)

        But if we can’t agree and he wants to move and I don’t, I can share what I believe is best and my concerns (with a godly attitude and respect, and hopefully, after prayer). But if we can’t agree, I can trust God’s authority structure in my life and trust that maybe God knows things I don’t know and that His wisdom is better than mine. So I don’t have to fight my husband or God. I can yield my desires and my wisdom to His plan and ask for His will and His best for our family and His glory. I can ask Him to change my husband’s heart if the decision is not of God. I can ask Him to change circumstances. I can rest in His love and sovereignty and trust that if He does lead me through my husband to do something, like move, or handle discipline in a way that is different from my way, or have the kids go to a certain school, or have our family go to a certain church – that God will accomplish His will in my life and in my children’s lives as I cooperate with my husband’s leadership.

        My husband has positional authority – given to him by God, which he is supposed to use with extreme humility. I have influence authority which I am supposed to use with extreme humility. I can seek to influence my husband as God leads me to. I can also respect that God’s design is that He will accomplish His will in my life through people in positions of authority in my life. My boss, my pastor, my president, my governor, police officers, government officials, my husband, etc… Not because they are so good or perfect. They aren’t. But because this is His idea to prevent chaos and anarchy and to lead and provide for me through these people in these positions.

    2. Hi Shamaya Shawante Coats,

      I agree with what April said and I would like to add an additional perspective on, “My current wrestle is feeling like its actually the wife who has to lay down her life for the man to be a man.” I would say it’s sort of true. Sort of, but not completely.

      Yes, we all (men and women alike) called to die to self. But in addition to the things that people in general are supposed to do, there is also something a marriage is supposed to do – to portray the mystery of Christ and the church to the world. The husband is supposed to love his wife and the wife is supposed to respect her husband. The husband is also supposed to lead and the wife is supposed to follow.

      How does the wife’s effectiveness at following depend on her husband? It doesn’t, really. She can follow him (provided he is not asking her to sin or condone sin) even if he doesn’t seem to be leading anywhere “special.”

      How does the husband’s effectiveness at leading depend on his wife? It does. A lot. You can’t lead effectively if no one will follow you. A husband could be the most godly, Christ-like man ever, with the best leadership talents, but if his wife refuses to follow, he can’t SHOW that he’s an effective leader.

      So from that perspective, I would say that the wife’s willingness to follow EMPOWERS her husband’s leadership. (But both are called to die to self for Christ, and both are responsible to God for their own actions.)

      Love,
      Flower

      1. Flower,

        Ooh! I LOVE this!!!! God is giving you so many precious insights to share! Makes me smile such a huge smile. I love that we can encourage and bless each other here together. What a blessing y’all are to me!

        Much love!

        1. Thank you, HH! 🙂 And thank you for your update. It is really inspiring how much you trust God and how much He is working in your life.

    1. Michelle,
      That is certainly part of it. But not all. It is also a dying to this world, to our abilities, our plans, our wisdom. Only when we are completely empty of self is there room for God to come in to fill us with His new Life. 🙂

      1. Hi April,

        Can’t “dying to this world, to our abilities, our plans, our wisdom” also fall under “dying to sin” because the things you are dying to are sinful (wordly priorities, pride, etc.)? Just wondering.

        Love,
        Flower

        1. Flower,

          A lot of dying to self is dying to sin, yes. It is primarily about laying down all of myself. Placing myself on the altar for God to use however He will. Being a “Living Sacrifice” (Romans 12:1-2). Getting off of the throne of my life and yielding the throne to God.

          There are some things that we may not necessarily think of, at first, as “sinful” that I will lay down, too. I will not trust my own intellect, my own emotions, my talents, my abilities, my dreams, my money, my health, my body, my own strength.

          These things are not necessarily sinful in and of themselves. Some of these things are good things.

          Of course, if I do trust those things and depend on them an seek them first rather than God, that would be sin in God’s eyes.

          If I have yielded my intellect, abilities, talents, dreams, my body, my health, the outcome of my life, my money, etc… to the Lord, then He will direct me to use these things for His purposes. That is a good thing.

          It is about seeking His will much more than my own. About giving Him the reins and trusting Him completely.

          I think this topic could probably be a whole book. It is difficult to cover everything in one post. But I love this discussion. Thank you so much, sweet sister!

      2. Thanks for your reply April. I have felt the need to study more on ’emptying of self’ since your comment.
        Somehow
        , I have been led to Wisdom 11:22-12:2 which is a really encouraging reading at this point, would recommend. I am going to look at New Testament references…thankyou for the inspiration.
        Praying for all sisters in Christ x

        1. Michelle,

          That is a good thing to study. Emptying of self, dying to self, humbling ourselves, taking up our cross, being a living sacrifice… all of those things basically describe the same thing.

          Much love!

  5. All this feedback, i feel so loved! Thanks ladies for your words of clarity and wisdom!

    Ms april, the die to self sounds alot better when you say “YIELDING dreams, etc etc” because i dont think God wants our whole personhood (the good things he made) to DIE. If that’s the case we would all be cookie cutter chriatian robots only speaking christianese and thats BORING! Lol i know i dont have to give up my personhood to my husband but my question about die to self was more in reference to God. Im having a hard enough time learning to respect him im definitely not on the extreme of idolizing him.

    Flower, thank you for giving me a better perspective about my current wrestle. I guess it just seems topsy turvy to me. The concept that his leadership depends on my willingness to follow. Christ was already a great leader before he called anyone to follow. He was secure in his purpose, personhood, and knew God before he lead. Ephesians 5 says the husband is to love the wife as he loves himself. Does the husband learning to love himself, know God, grow up as a man, heal up as broken man depend on my willingness to follow? I get me following in certain respects empowers him but it just seems a bit weighty especially with my specific marital situation in mind….

    1. Hi Shamaya Shawante Coats,

      You are welcome! 🙂

      I would say that his leadership’s EXISTENCE does not depend at all on you. The ability of his leadership to be SEEN (by you and by others) depends on you and how you respond to him.

      Love your example about Christ! Yes, so true, He was already a great leader before He called anyone to follow. The thing is, no one else could SEE that He was a great leader UNTIL people started to follow him.

      Similarly, if you don’t follow your husband, no one else will look at your marriage and SEE the Christ-and-the-church-he-leads-she-follows part. But when you do follow, people will look at your marriage and SEE that. 🙂

      Does the husband learning to love himself, know God, grow up as a man, heal up as a broken man depend on your willingness to follow? NO. He is responsible for that on his own. But your respect will make it easier for him. And your disrespect will make it harder. You are not responsible for making him grow in Christ; you are responsible for being the best wife to him that you can be, according to God’s Word and with God’s help. <3

      Love,
      Flower

      1. Flower
        I see….maybe im a bit petty, i just feel like it could go both ways then. I could easily say that my husband knowing God, learning to love himself, growing up as man and healing up as broken would make it so much easier for me to follow because it would!
        In the same respect, when following Christ we have to learn that He is good and he wins our trust. According to the gospel we know Christ died because he first loved us but it isnt until we come into a revelation of that love and who He is that we began to trust him as Lord to LEAD our lives. Why is it not so for a husband if parallelism is the goal?
        I do not struggle with feeling like im not loved by my husband. I know my husband loves me and can be very loving to me. Its his own personal issues that prevents himself from being the best version of himself and this inevitably effects me too and whole of the relationship and love. Just like any unaddressed issue of mine would take effect on him and the relationship. Yet and still i guess this logic gets trumped by a command and the logic of reverting back to curse christ freed us from that still is somehow relevant as though we are still tied….??…??
        Sigh….maybe im overthinking….
        Idk…i will just continue to pray study and journey…
        Thanks so much for the responses but more importantly PRAY FOR ME PLEASE!

        1. Shamaya Shawante Coats,

          When one spouse disobeys God and doesn’t give his/her spouse what that person needs, it is more tempting for the other spouse to disobey God and to react in the flesh.
          When one spouse does obey God and does seek to meet the needs of the other spouse, it is easier for the other spouse to begin to obey God, too.

          But, we are each responsible for ourselves.

          This is The Crazy Cycle that Dr. Emerson Eggerichs explains in Love and Respect.

          – Wives need love like they need air to breathe.
          – Husbands need respect like they need air to breathe.
          – A wife responds to feeling loved with respect, usually.
          – A husband responds to feeling respected with love, usually.
          – When a wife feels unloved, she has a knee-jerk disrespectful reaction.
          – When a husband feels disrespected, he has a knee-jerk unloving reaction.

          That is the crazy cycle.

          But if one person begins to meet the needs of the other, in time, the crazy cycle will usually stop spinning.

          It would be AWESOME if your husband changed first. But you have zero control over that. Here is a post about why we should be willing to change first that may be a blessing.

          Yes, any struggles either of you have will affect you both. You are one flesh now. His problems are your problems. Your problems are his problems. His sins impact you. Your sins impact him.

          Sometimes the problems that we want God to take away that are creating pain are the very things God wants to use to refine us, mature us, and ultimately, to use to accomplish much good. I pray you will be open to all that God wants you to learn and how He wants to use this trial to strengthen your faith. I pray for His greatest glory and for His victory over the enemy in your marriage and in each of your lives individually, dear sister!

        2. Hi Shamaya Shawante Coats,

          I will pray for you. <3

          I agree with April and I would perhaps add a few other things:

          Yep, it does go both ways – him trying to be a good leader will make it easier for you to follow as well. But you can only control your actions, so the only part that you really have influence over is how easy you make it for him to lead.

          "Why is it not so for a husband if parallelism is the goal?" This is a great question and I had to think really hard about it! I think it's mainly because of two reasons:

          1. If the wife was only supposed to follow the husband after the husband proved himself to be a good leader, that would promote the wife judging her husband. We are called not to judge others. So if a wife thinks she only has to submit if her husband is a good leader, she will probably think things like, "No, I really think he could do better. In situation X the other day, he did Y when Z was a much better choice. Also, he still needs to get more spiritually mature." This causes her to have a critical spirit. She is not the judge of her husband. God is. (And her husband is not the judge of her.) So if she thinks that she is only supposed to follow her husband if he is a good leader, then she has to come up with the idea of what she thinks a good leader is and make sure he conforms to what she wants in a leader before she follows. This would be judgemental, and she is not the judge of him.

          2. Christ loved and led us before we submitted because there was no other option. Christ's relationship with us is between one who is sinless (Him) and one who is sinful (us). If we were sinless, we would have respected and followed him immediately. And if we were sinless, his sacrifice, atoning death, and resurrection would not even have been necessary for us to have a restored relationship with him. Christ had to love and lead us before we submitted because that was the only way that He could bring us back to Himself. Ideally, we would have submitted to Him immediately.

          Because the relationship between a husband and wife is a relationship between two people who are sinful, God calls each of them to change ASAP. But each of them can only change themself, they can't change each other.

          April's "Why Do I Have to Change First" post is a great read. But to clarify something, it is not that you have to change first because the wife has to change first and that all wives have to change first. You have to change first because if God opened your eyes to your sin, you have no right to sit there and refuse to change until God opens your husband's eyes to his sin as well. Ultimately our change is about our obedience to God, not about whether our husbands deserve it. (Similarly, if a husband's eyes are opened first, he also would have no right to sit there and refuse to change until God opened his wife's eyes to her sin. I have seen situations where God opens a husband's eyes first.) So the changing first thing is not, "you must change first because you're a woman," it's, "you must change now because your eyes have been opened."

          With love and prayers,
          Flower

          1. Flower,

            Thank you for all of this! And YES! The spouse whose eyes are opened first is the one who should seek to change first! Exactly. 🙂 Whether it is the husband or the wife.

          2. Flower and Shamaya Shawante Coats,

            Would y’all consider allowing me to use some of Shamaya’s questions and Flower’s answers in a post? This interchange is SOOOOO powerful! 🙂 Shamaya, I would use your questions anonymously, and keep them as bare-bones and generic as possible. 🙂

            No pressure! But I would sure love for other sisters in Christ to get to hear the insights Flower has shared with us.

            Much love to you both!

          3. Hi April,

            Thank you so much! I am so happy that you think what I have to say could be useful. It’s fine with me if you share my words. 🙂

            Love,
            Flower

            PS – possible autocorrect issue? Shawante -> Shawnee?

          4. I love you Flower, the last paragraph especially has officially disarmed the petty! It makes sense! I read the why do have to change first post, that was the one i originally wanted to comment on but the comment section was closed, remeber. Lol You have brought another piece of clarification that blessed me. Im glad Thanks so much

          5. Dear Shamaya Shawante Coats,

            Yayy yayy yayy!!!! 🙂 I am so happy to have been a blessing to you. 🙂

            Love,
            Flower

          6. Flower,
            I will include that clarification in that post, about that it is whoever has had his/her eyes opened first to God, not about women need to change first – just to be sure that hopefully no one misunderstands. 🙂

        1. Thank you Ms.April for your responses and clarification! You most welcome to use our interaction! Keep it raw, dont make anything generic because im sure there are women with the exact same questions. You may identify me as rootedlady please or anonymous is fine ☺ continue to pray for me Ms. April and keep doing what you do, you truly are a blessing!

          1. Shamaya Shawante Coats,

            I’m so glad this has been helpful. Thanks for letting me keep it raw. 🙂 I pray it will be a blessing to other ladies. Yes, many, many wives have the exact same questions.

            Lord,
            I praise You for what You are doing in Shamaya’s life. I thank You that she is not alone, that You are with her. Thank You for her willingness to learn and to allow you to change her. Thank You for her legitimate and important questions. Thank you for providing a place for us to share together as sisters in Christ to encourage, build up, support, and bless each other with Your love and wisdom. Thank you for Flower and all that You have shown her and her willingness to share and the gift You have given her to explain these things so beautifully and clearly.

            We can’t wait to see what You have in store for Shamaya and her husband and their marriage that will bring much glory to You. Help her to keep Christ on the throne of her heart and her eyes on Him alone. Help her to yield fully to His Lordship and great faith and trust. Grow her faith. Deepen her spiritual maturity and understanding. Let her love for Your grow and blossom and be beautiful in Your sight.

            Amen!

            I’m so honored to get to be a little part of God’s work in your life as things He has shown me pass through my life into yours to bless you. WOOHOO!

          2. Ladies,

            Here is a bit of my own clarification I am planning to add to Flower’s point #1 about why wives are to lead even if they believe their husbands aren’t good leaders:

            If a wife has the authority to decide when her husband is a “good leader, if he is leading properly, and when she will follow,” then it is really the wife who has the authority, not the husband. There are limits to a believer’s submission to any human delegated authority, but apart from those limits, we are to honor the authority’s leadership, trusting that God will lead us through that person. Not because of the person. But in spite of that person – because God is sovereign and this is His design to lead us through human God-given authority. When we honor a person in a position of God-given authority, we honor God’s authority. When we rebel against a person in a position of God-given authority, we rebel against God and bring judgment on ourselves. Rom. 13:1-2 And we malign the Gospel of Christ when we rebel against our husband’s leadership. Titus 2:5)

            Do we need to talk about this a bit? 🙂

            Much love!

    2. Shamaya Shawante Coats,

      The idea is, we don’t depend on ourselves, we depend completely on God. Everything that became corrupt in the Fall has to die. Jesus is restoring us to a pre-Fall condition. We will still have our personalities, our talents, abilities, and personhood. BUT – these things will all be completely in submission to Christ.

      All the sinful stuff dies. All of the old sinful self is dead. Now we have a new self. That new self has personhood and personality and influence. But it is all harnessed under the power of the Lord for His glory, not for old self.

      Thankfully, when even just one spouse begins to change by the power of Christ, it often paves the way for the other one to eventually begin to heal, as well. It seems to me, from the experiences I have witnessed, that things often heal faster when it is the wife who changes first. But I don’t have statistics to back that up. That is just my observation. Of course, if both are working on healing in Christ at the same time, that is ideal. But we have the ability in Jesus to be faithful to Him no matter what our spouse is or is not doing.

      If you are dealing with really serious issues in your marriage – active addictions, uncontrolled mental health issues, unrepentant infidelity, or abuse (real abuse, not just, “my husband wants me to follow a budget and I think he is abusive because of that”) then I would certainly encourage you to seek a godly, experienced, Spirit-filled Christian counselor who will give sound, biblical counsel.

      Much love!

    3. Hi SHAMAYA SHAWANTE COATS, I just wanted to respond to your previous comments in hopes that it may bring clarity.

      Leadership REQUIRES Followship. If no one is following someone, that person is not a leader; they just have leadership traits/characteristics.

      “The concept that his leadership depends on my willingness to follow. Christ was already a great leader before he called anyone to follow.He was secure in his purpose, personhood, and knew God before he lead.”

      All of what you mentioned are great qualities of a leader. Leadership is a verb. Jesus had leadership abilities/qualities as a child, but it wasn’t until He had a following that he was a leader. Leadership requires a person to be leading followers somewhere. When wives don’t follow, we are literally sabotaging our husband’s leadership capabilities. We are called to oneness so it really is self-sabotage.

      So yes, our husband’s leadership is dependent on us following. The more our husbands submit to God, the better their leadership will be. HOWEVER, if the husband hasn’t yet “learned to love himself, know God, grow up as a man, heal up as broken man” God can use our submission (Followship) to heal the broken places of our husbands and develop them into great leaders.

      I’m a living witness as this is what is happening in my own marriage. I hope this helps.

      1. Natalie,

        I love this!!!!!! Thank you very much for sharing a bit of what God has shown you, as well. It is so meaningful when we get to hear from those who have learned these things firsthand. Praising God with you for what He is doing in your life!

      2. Natalie

        Thank so much for that and I thank God for all the women here!

        I realize my faith needs to be up a couple of notches. The more you ladies clarify the more I realize how much I think my husband is a special case and I just can’t be led by him or worry that God can’t change him because he has to make up his mind to allow God to change him and my hubby is THICK-HEADED along with being emotionally unstable!

        I worry about me losing all my “best” years (20s even 30s) due to waiting for him to grow up and heal. I’ve known my husband since we were 14 and he still struggles with certain things if not worse now that he’s lived a little and so my fear is based in factual familiarity. I also struggle because I’ve been faithful to my husband and by his side yet he still wrestles with trust issues due to fear so it makes me feel like nothing I do can influence him to see and think otherwise.

        However, I know God’s word says nothing is too hard for God and he makes all things work for my good. Really believing and resting in that is the goal, even through the fears and struggles.

        1. Shamaya Shawante Coats,

          Ha! I think almost all wives think their husband is an exception to God’s Word at first. 🙂

          I don’t know your husband or your situation. I pray for God’s clear wisdom, discernment, and direction for you both. And His healing for you both. I’m so excited about what you are learning and about your willingness to be open to things God is showing you. That is awesome!

          You don’t have to worry about time spent in obedience to the Lord as “wasted time.” Time we spend following Christ is NEVER wasted time, no matter what the results may look like on earth. You will have eternal rewards for your willingness to obey God and trust Him.

          I pray for His continued and increased power in your lives and marriage for His greatest glory, dear sister! I pray you will be able to lay down the fears and rest in God’s love, truth, and sovereignty in the abundant life He has provided already for you.

          It’s an honor to get to be on this journey together.

          Much love!

  6. “Time to bring in the bulldozers and completely raze the old house.”

    Isn’t that the truth?

    Thank you sister, and I believe that taking up the cross every day, is how further tear out those idols.

    They have a nasty habit of creeping in unless we appeal every day for the Holy Spirit to wash us clean and guide us on our next steps of our walk.

    God be praised, Hallelujah, hallelujah!
    Jesuscentreoflife

    1. jesuscentreoflife,

      That is SO true! Idols do have a way of creeping in and we don’t even notice them. But if we are consciously yielding ourselves completely to the Lord, dying to our old self, dying to sin, and to our will – living for Him alone, that will go a long way to guard our hearts against idols and all kinds of sin!

      1. Every day let us yield our hearts to the Lord!
        Let Him take inventory of our heart,
        Let Jesus enter our heart
        As He entered the Temple in Jerusalem
        And drive out sin!

        Blessed be your day sister,
        Praise the Lord!
        Jesuscentreoflife

  7. Hello April and ladies!
    I had commented a few weeks ago about submitting even more, laying things down, and I am praising God for so much grace between my husband and I. It’s been an incredible couple of weeks, and I wanted to update you all on some new developments and ask for prayer from my fellow sisters.

    I had submitted on stepping down from a church ministry I was very involved in, and also submitted to my husband’s request that we attend a different church for a period of time. In short, we were unequally involved and felt very differently about our church home. I was sad, but really wanted to submit to my husband in this and support attending a new church as a family.

    Well, after being away from my church family for about 3 weeks and spending more time as a family, this past Sunday I had it on my heart to tell my husband that I would be okay to move if we needed to (something I never imagined myself being able to do, because of how attached I am to our church).

    I’ve been the “breadwinner” and he has been laid off every winter for 5 years…we are both discouraged by this, and we don’t feel this is how God wants us to be. I want to be home with my daughter, he wants to work and provide…so, can I ask for prayers regarding moving? My husband was relieved, and he is 100% set on moving quite far to be closer to members of both our families. We are without relatives in the place we live now.

    I would love discernment and peace in moving, and submitting to my husband in this. My mother lives closer to where we are (still a plane ride away) and I can tell she is not thrilled we are moving…I don’t like to let people down, and I feel like God is really using this time to teach me to say “no”…I just got a promotion at work, too, but it’s causing a lot of stress and I feel so sad being away from my daughter during the day.

    Sorry this is so long! I love this community of women. Thank you for reading and God bless!

    1. SavedbyChrist,

      You know what? I am so excited about what God is doing in your life and marriage. I know it is hard to cooperate with our husbands when we disagree. It is certainly fine for us to share what we believe is best respectfully. But then, if we don’t agree, we can trust God to lead us through our husbands (unless they are leading us into clear sin or asking us to condone clear sin, or they are seriously not in their right minds at the time, etc…)

      It is easy for our flesh to scream, “This is unfair!” But the amazing thing about God is that He sets up authority structures in our lives and then He works through them to accomplish His will for us as we trust Him. That is just how He works. As we trust God to lead us in this way, He can take us down roads we would never have chosen to accomplish His purposes that we can’t begin to imagine. His wisdom is greater than ours.

      I can’t wait to see how He is about to lead you. I know there are some scary things going on and a lot of unknowns that will probably stretch and test your faith more than ever. Please let us know how you are doing and how we may pray for you. 🙂

      I am so proud of you for honoring your husband and for being willing to hold things loosely so that he can seek the kind of employment he believes is best for him and the family. What a blessing that he wants to be able to work and provide for the family and that you are willing to honor that desire even though it means a lot of changes. I’m also excited to see what this will mean for your relationship with your daughter. 🙂

      Praying for God’s wisdom and leading for you, precious sister. Please keep us informed and reach out any time you need encouragement or prayer.

      Lord,
      We thank and praise You for Your design for authority in every area of our lives – to protect, care for, nurture, and provide for us – not to hurt us. Direct this husband’s every step. Let him hear Your voice and prompting clearly. Empower SavedbyChrist to walk by faith – mostly faith in You, but also faith and trust in her husband in ways that honor You. Lead them exactly as You desire to. Accomplish Your will in their lives and Your glory. Bring them closer to each other and to Yourself in this process. Increase their faith greatly. Refine them and grow them in spiritual maturity. Let them rest in Your love and sovereignty. We can’t wait to see all that You have in store!

      Amen!

      Much love to you!

      1. Hello April! How are you dear sister? Thank you for your prayers!
        It’s amazing to have the support of the ladies here. We are moving, and we have already started selling furniture online. It’s amazing to see God’s hand on everything- the fact that we rent, don’t have expensive items, makes it that much easier. I would love prayers for how to gracefully quit my job…it’s something that I have been thinking about a lot this past week, especially having just been asked to have more responsibility at work. I want to be respectful to my boss, and her company. I am so excited though, to be home with my daughter more and watch her grow (she’s only 2.5)
        I also would ask for prayer to remain united with my husband, and support this move….for our daughter to remain grounded in her family and not in the changing situation. We both acknowledge it feels scary and very sudden. We sense a lot of uncertainty from extended family in our reasons for moving, but I trust that God is leading me through my husband, and our marriage has been blessed through all of this. I so appreciate your prayers and support! I wrestled a bit through the week with this and prayed a lot…but all I kept coming back to was that even if I don’t foresee the end, or if I am fearful of the what ifs, I need to submit to my husband in this.
        Praying for a blessed weekend with your family, April. We serve an amazing God!

        1. SavedbyChrist,

          Lord,
          We pray for Your wisdom for SavedbyChrist as she will need to resign from her job now that they will be moving. Please give her Your Spirit, Your peace, and discernment as she seeks to honor You in this and everything.

          Direct her husband according to Your will. Lead this family by Your sovereign hand and love. Help SavedbyChrist to be united with her husband by Your Spirit and to know how best to support him and how best to trust You in all of these big changes. We ask for only Your will, all of Your will, and nothing but Your will in this family’s situation.

          We praise and thank You already for all that You are doing and all that You will do and how You will provide.
          Amen!

          Much love to you!

          1. Told my boss yesterday that I’ll be quitting at the end of April- she told me that she has “a deep sense of peace” in my decision, even though she is sad. So amazing that she used that word. I feel incredibly peaceful. Thank you Holy Spirit!
            Lots of love, April. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement. What an awesome God we have 🙂

          2. SavedbyChrist,

            Wow! Is your boss a believer? That is such a blessing! Thanks for letting us know how things are going. Please do continue to update us and let us know how we may pray for you. 🙂

  8. April,
    Thank you so much for what you do here. I first found this blog when searching for Godly counsel amid the shame and fear of having been sexually rejected by my husband for over a year, and having no one local who was compassionate in their counselling while being biblically knowledgeable enough to counsel only with God’s counsel and not with worldly counsel. As I have used these blogs to routinely check my obedience to God in my marriage and braved the counter-intuitive instructions He gives to us as believers and wives, I have had to fight the fear of being weakened and finding myself an emotionally abused wife. However, with every step, I find myself gaining ground, not against my husband, but against the unhealthy elements of our relationship.

    This fear worked against my obedience and I was horribly inconsistent and flaky when the journey began. However, with increased commitment to God’s ways, I’ve learned that with God’s help, I can not only fix what I’m doing wrong, but also neutralize or disable many of the manipulations and distortions that my husband tries to use. Some of this neutralization has involved my bringing in help from our church’s leadership, and while no counselling was provided for me or my children, it was enough to quell the potentially dangerous behavior.

    While this incurred wrath and I have learned that many things are much worse than I thought since finding refuge here, God’s wisdom, that you are faithful to repeat here, helps me to respond in additional ways that are right in God’s eyes. I am not damaged by the new information, nor is my marriage compromised any further as it becomes more transparent despite my husband’s attempts to try to conceal and bury increasing vitriol.

    Because he knows I know about the hatred and bitterness, yet I can continue to respond with grace, forgiveness and engagement, he can’t emotionally manipulate me and I do not begin to mirror his critical and malicious spirit which would validate that for him. I don’t go in for most pop psychology, but I have learned that he matches all the criteria for what gets labeled as a passive-aggressive personality, and all but maybe one for passive-aggressive narcissist. I say this to give you an idea of what I’m talking about and to give other readers who might find themselves dealing with the same thing whether as a child, co-worker, parent or spouse some hope.

    If I had known this “match” before beginning this process, I would have had an even harder time trusting that God knows what He’s talking about, at least in MY situation. I would not have been able to fathom that submission, respect, forgiveness and mercy could have any power over such a person The worldly advice is to get as far away from their toxicity as possible, until they have proven that they’ve changed…but since they see nothing wrong with themselves, they won’t pursue change, so they never will.

    I cannot accept that, because it leads with the premise of leaving a marriage that God has not authorized my leaving, though I may have questioned that, had I known. Thankfully, God brought me to commit to His instructions, and the conclusion that if I’m going to obey Him by staying, then I also have to have a clear conscience before Him in how I conduct myself while staying The collective results have led me to trust Him increasingly, which has led to a better consistency and peace about obeying Him.

    I pray that God will reach my husband’s heart and change him, but even if he or God never changes his mind/heart, the dependency on God that I have developed makes life SO much easier, especially since God can handle the full weight. While I wait, God is changing me and making stronger in Him which produces a mysterious victory in my marriage, despite its chronic brokenness. I hope everyone who reads your counsel will remember that God’s wisdom covers all sinful variations and accomplishes His will, which includes the good of His beloved children.

    1. Grace-Groupie,

      Wow!

      What God is doing in your heart is so amazing! Thank you very much for sharing, dear sister! I’m so thankful for the wisdom and discernment He is giving you. I pray God will reach your husband’s heart, as well. And I praise God for what He has done, is doing, and will continue to do in your life. Your faith i sos beautiful! I can relate to being “horribly inconsistent and flaky when the journey began.” What a blessing, all of the things God is showing you.

      Much love and the biggest hug to you! I appreciate you sharing this so much.

Thanks for commenting! Let's be respectful toward God, our husbands, and one another.

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