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One of Your Most Powerful Gifts As a Woman

 

A smile costs you nothing, but it is such an incredible blessing to those around you. You may not see your own facial expressions, so it is easy not to think about them much, but those around you definitely notice them.

This week, I’d love to challenge and encourage you to:

  1. Seek to give your brightest, most glorious smile to your husband and children when you first see them.
  2. Every time you walk in the room and one of your family members are there, smile at them.
  3. When your husband or children are talking with you (and it is not something sad or really serious), smile a genuinely friendly smile at them. 

You don’t have to have lipstick or makeup on. You don’t have to have perfectly white or straight teeth to do this. You don’t have to have any special talent and it doesn’t take much time at all.

All you have to do is just share that glorious smile of yours with your family.

As believers in Christ, we have more about which to smile than anyone on the planet. So we don’t have to fake a smile, thankfully. If you aren’t feeling up to smiling much, spend some time singing praises at the top of your voice to the Lord when you are by yourself in the car or at home doing chores. As you focus on God’s character and all of the countless blessings He has given to you, you may realize you have a lot to be thankful for.

Receive God’s radiant smile and love for you. Do you realize that He rejoices over you with singing (Zeph. 3:17)? How beautiful and precious is that!?

If you are feeling overwhelmed on this journey, take a break. Rest in God’s love for you. Receive His goodness, His truth, and His healing for your soul. Focus only on thanksgiving and praise for awhile. Find your joy in Christ Jesus. Think about Philippians 4:8 kinds of things, which is God’s will for all of us as believers:

  • Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Phil. 4:8

That is the most powerful thing you can do. As you draw near to Him, Your heart and soul will heal and shine. After He has filled up you to overflowing…

Radiate that glorious smile of yours to everyone in your family!

You are the “heart” of the home. You get to have a huge impact on the emotional and spiritual temperature in your family. I want to see you set the atmosphere to warm, safe, welcoming, and loving. Yes… your smile has that much power! And even if there is a lot of tension in your marriage and your husband can’t hear words from you right now, as you smile at him – you are showing him you are a safe place, that you have the joy of Christ in your heart, and that you have good things to give to him when he is ready to receive them.

What a priceless gift this will be to those you love. You may be shocked at what happens as you simply share this beautiful asset of yours with those you love.

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Smile at your family without any expectations of anyone doing anything for you in return. Then let me know what happens as you focus on blessing your husband and children with your beautiful smile this week, my precious sisters. As you think about good things, and as you focus on smiling – does anything change in your walk with Christ, your own feelings, or your relationships?

  • A joyful heart is good medicine. Proverbs 17:22
  • Those who look to him are radiant. Psalm 34:5
  • Rejoice in the Lord always. Philippians 4:4

RELATED:

There are many benefits to you personally when you smile – even a number of health benefits. Check out this article!

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42 thoughts on “One of Your Most Powerful Gifts As a Woman

  1. This is great. One thing I always do, thanks to lessons from mom is to be cheerful when someone walks in on me in the house, it’s almost instinct, play uplifting music in the background, hum (I can’t sing like my momma) while moving my head to my humming while doing chores,….If youre not feeling up to it Ive learned most times the feelings will follow…but action first. There will be days when your situation hasn’t changed but somewhere deep down, where it matters most, you’re at peace and you just feel like humming a praise. That’s what I saw growing up and my dad wasn’t always a picnic as a husband I’m sure lol (but a great dad)

  2. I have a friend who gives me a warm smile every time I enter a room, or whenever she sees me. I think she naturally does this with everyone and does not even notice, it’s just the sweet soul that she is. Though I have never told her, I look forward to her warm smile all the time. I think I should tell her! :). A smile is such a nice gift to give not just to our family, but to our friends and those around us. I think I need to start practicing this.

  3. What a great way to start this week off! I just love how you said that even if our husband’s aren’t willing to receive words from us now, we can still be inviting with a smile letting them know that we are a safe place full of good things to give him whenever he comes around. My husband is always smiling at me and this post has made me realize not only how often I refuse to smile but how often I reject my husband’s affection. Wow, thank you for this Sis 🙂

    1. Brandi,

      Aw! How sweet that your husband smiles at you so much. I can’t wait for him to get the blessing of seeing you return his smile and receive his affection. 🙂

      So glad this was an encouragement!

  4. Amen! I remember being a young wife once, frantic, running about, cleaning the oven at the time actually, and hubby said, “you aren’t doing any of that for me.” I was offended, annoyed of course, everything I was doing, I was doing for him and because of him. He was right however, all he really wanted was my smile and to know that I was happy. Everything else was about meeting someone else’s expectations, often my own. Marriage got a whole lot easier when I learned to just smile and show some gratitude for his presence in my life. It’s surprising how little else is actually required of me, at least as far as he is concerned.

    I think God is like that too, although in a much bigger way. He really asks very little of us except to receive His grace,rest in His peace, and show some signs of rejoicing in the gift He has given us.

    1. insanitybytes22,

      That is really interesting what he said to you. And what you learned to do – that your smile and joy meant much more to him than a perfectly clean house and oven. 🙂

      You know what? I think you are right. God wants us to enjoy Him and sit at His feet and learn and worship and just trust and rest in Him. Sometimes we run around like maniacs DOING so much for God. But we don’t just sit down and be still and enjoy Him.

      Love these insights. Thank you so much for sharing!

      1. Yes to sitting @ His feet and enjoying Him! One day a few months ago, during my bible reading time when I was going through a hard time in my marriage and feeling sorry for myself that my husband doesn’t want to spend time connecting with me emotionally, it hit me hard that, just as I long for time spent and emotional connection with my husband, Jesus longs for me to spend time connecting with Him!!! WOW that really hit home…I pray every day, but do I really spend quality time being emotionally connected and adoring Him as I should and as He desires?

        As to what insanitybytes said, it makes me think of Mary and Martha where Mary is sitting at Jesus feet and Martha is worried about serving food…Jesus said “Mary hath chosen that good part” …yes we do need to “serve” our husbands but we may need to realize there are different ways of serving and if our husbands favorite way is different than what our choice would be then we should consider “choose the good part” and serve in a way that respects and honors them. 🙂

        1. SuzieQ,

          That is exactly the revelation God showed me when I was so lonely because Greg didn’t want to spend time with me early in this journey. That God missed me wanting to spend time with Him, connecting with Him. I realized I could use all that time that I felt lonely in my marriage to connect with God. What a blessing that was!

          And you are exactly right. Husbands and Jesus often just want us to enjoy them rather than running around like crazy doing things for them.

          Love these insights! Thank you for sharing!

    2. Really love your perspective, insanitybytes22. I am a young and new wife and have killed my joy from running around trying to “take care” of everything for my husband, but all the while exhausting and frustrating myself to the point that my husband does not even see those actions as sacrificial, but rather a burden since my resulting negative attitude is the last thing he desires in his life. Day by day, I’m learning to relax on all the busy stuff and instead put a much larger focus and emphasis on just being sweet and loving towards him. Wow, what a change Ive seen in both of us already! He is so much more receptive of my love, and now he genuinely appreciates the things I do for him because he can now see them as an action of love. I rest on the verse in Proverbs 16:24 that teaches us that gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. This is so true. I think us wives truly have more power over the way our husbands feel and perceive life, and if we can be supportive and sweet instead of resistant to their guidance and negative about everything, all else will fall into place like God intends. Really loved this article April… big smile planted on my face for the rest of the day 🙂

      1. Danielle F,
        LOVE this! Thank you so much for sharing! This is something I wish we all could learn. I know my husband would much rather me be relaxed, joyful, peaceful, and ready to enjoy him than crazy, stressed out, exhausted, and totally spent because I was trying to have everything be so perfect.

        I am very excited about what God is showing you! WOOHOO!

        Much love!

  5. Alright, I’ll be the one to say it.

    I’m going to do this, but I’m not going to like it.

    Yes, sometimes I refuse to smile. But it is specifically *BECAUSE* it seems to have so much power and communicate to my husband “You are a success!”

    Nope, there is no addictions or abuse, and yes, I’ve been working on this repect thing for years and, I believe, my husband would say he is generally respected in our marriage AND IT Is STILL A HORRIBLY SUPERFICIAL AND LONELY PLACE.

    So, I’ll smile a genuine smile because of Jesus. And I’ll try to ignore the satisfied look my husband has as if he did something to cause it.

    1. Dear A Realistic Wife,

      Yep, Jesus is what’s most important 🙂

      Just curious, what are you afraid will happen / change if your husband believes that you think he is a success?

      Love,
      Flower

      1. Hiya Flower.

        Nothing will change in action. Just his ego. He thinks our marriage is great. He has told me that he gives advice to other men so they can have wives that treat them the.way I treat my husband.

        The thing is, I don’t have to fake the smile. I have learned (and am learning) to lean into Jesus.

        So, I guess the answer to your question is: I’m afraid of more of the same: He feels great, I feel worse. It feels like putting cement in a brick wall that helps him deny the truth.

        I feel like sometimes I wind up in a position to do that without realizing it.

        To do it with intention – makes me sad then angry. And lately, discouraged and a bit hopeless.

        This is life.

        A Realistic Wife

        1. A Realistic Wife,

          What things do you feel you need that you are not getting, my sister? It is generally okay to ask for things you would like. Maybe we can hash through this a bit together?

          Much love to you!

          April

          1. Hi April!

            Thanks for your reply. I’ll do my best to give you a clear picture.

            I would like a frienship with my husband.

            For me this means to be able to talk/do things that aren’t the necessary things. So, we might talk about scheduling the kids for something or whether we can make this appointment but that is about as deep as it goes.

            I have expressed this. Both as an overarching desire but usually as individual specific, attainable requests.

            Usually, if someone asks for us to go somewhere (like a church banquet for married couples) he says we can’t because we can’t find a sitter.

            I have two great sitters I had to use during my last pregnancy to watch my older two kids while I went to doctor.

            But, he doesn’t want to pay them. (It was a neccessity during pregnancy as I had some high risk issues that required weekly monitoring by my M.D.) But now baby and I are fine (he’s four months) so he doesn’t want to.

            Also, my husband goes to his mom’s house every Sunday. I have said something along the lines of – we have a baby sitter (his mom) every single week. I would love to sneak out to see a movie or go walk on the beach, please!

            He usually agrees. “That’s a good idea.” Or, “You are right, I do need a break.” And nothing.

            This is over the course of years.

            So, I try to meet him where he is and I’ll plan easy, lighthearted dates. And bite the inside of my cheek trying not to bring up heavy things.

            I’ve got a few good girlfriends that I can talk about the Lord with (and pray with). Perhaps ponder the future and talk about dreams ( I would love to travel to Israel!) and try to find
            some way to bless my husband.

            It was our 13th wedding anniversary recently. I asked his mom to come with the kids, took my husband out for a bit.

            No big deal.

            Later on our anniversary: he mentions he has a coupon to a restaurant and I say oh! I’d love to go!

            Him: We could take the kids this day.

            Me: Hmmm. How about the two of us? Your mom just offered again.

            Him: Ya, but, I’d rather save that for something important.

            Me: Something important?

            Him: Like a resturant I’m really excited to eat at.

            Like the ones that cost too much money to go to, other than possibly, once a year on our anniversary?

            Yep. Like that.

            This is the ONLY thing that my husband is frugal on. Otherwise, he is the, most definitevly a spender.

            Me: I’d love to go camping, or go see the Grand Canyon.

            Him: You know, I think that the only thing you’ve been asking for our whole marriage.

            And….cricket’s chirping.

            And, boy, forget conversation.

            Me (some months ago- Always presented almost casually shoulder to shoulder Not face to face -too direct for my husband-): You know, Jim is going to graduate from high school this year. Since he plans on staying home and going to community college maybe we should have an idea of some basic house rules? Just kinda giving you a heads up.

            Another month or two- you know, maybe that he goes full-time. But, if he doesn’t, he pays some rent? I dont know, what do you think?

            Him: I dont know.

            Me: Well, let me know?

            Another month or two -me: just checking in!

            Him: I dont know.

            BUT, when not if our son messes up the (never clear or communicated) rules my husband’s anger is overwhelming. It’s almost like he *can’t* know what to think until somethimg makes him feel really mad (teenage son) or really good (the super expensive steak house).

            So, I wilt.

          2. A Realistic Wife,

            Would it be okay if I ask a few more questions about his personality and background and your personality and background and where y’all are spiritually so I can get a better picture of what is happening? Once I feel like I understand, I will offer any wisdom that I believe may be a blessing if you are interested, my dear sister.

            Much love!

    1. A Realistic Wife,

      You are most welcome. It seems like maybe y’all are getting stuck somewhere.

      Okay, take your time in answering… 🙂

      1. What is your husband’s general personality (introverted, extroverted, Type A, dreamer, steady and calm?)

      2. What was his parents’ marriage like? (Was one parent more “in charge” than the other? How were finances handled? And how was conflict handled? Did the family go on trips together? Did they go out alone to dinner much? Did the family go out to eat at restaurants?)

      3. What is your general personality?

      4. What was your parents’ marriage like?

      5. Is the main thing just that y’all have different priorities and expectations, possibly?

      6. How do you respond spiritually when you feel neglected, unloved, and like your ideas are not important to your husband?

      7. Do you think it is possible you may be struggling with any resentment or bitterness?

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

      9. What are your greatest fears?

      10. What are your most precious dreams?

      Much love to you! 🙂

      1. 1. What is your husband’s general personality (introverted, extroverted, Type A, dreamer, steady and calm?)

        Generally, he is quite extroverted (he’s the guy making everyone laugh at parties) and a dreamer/steady mix.

        He is energized by the act of dreaming but has very low tolerance for new experiences. So, dreams but no action, on purpose.

        What was his parents’ marriage like? (Was one parent more “in charge” than the other? How were finances handled? And how was conflict handled? Did the family go on trips together? Did they go out alone to dinner much? Did the family go out to eat at restaurants?)

        I can’t say I know absolutely thw answers to all these questions, but I can give you what I believe to be an accurate picture based on the info I do know.

        His parents got married in high school and were young and playful until life responsibilities kicked it. Then dad took off mentally (thpugh staying around physically) and mom responded terribly. Yes, it is possible that her behavior influenced the “there but not there” behavior of dad though I would be greatly surprised if anyone, including my husband, has made that connection.

        From what I can tell, dad attempted to have control – clumsily, often and angry other times. So, I’d say from the standpoint of actively undermiming Dad, mom was more on control. O have a specific example of this – of needed to clarify. So far as conflict, I believe they yelled a lot. Resolved precious little. I doubt they went out a lot alone. Not sure about the family together.

        3. What is your general personality?

        Introvert – all the way. If I’m having a good time at a party its because I have found a kindred soul to connect with over some topic. Otherwise, though I love people all that “nice weather we are having!” business is likely to drain me to the point of crankiness.

        4. What was your parents’ marriage like?

        My parents divorced legally when I was four. I understand they were seperated for a year or two before hand. My mom is a very together, succesful woman. My Dad is still struggling.

        5. Is the main thing just that y’all have different priorities and expectations, possibly?

        No. I don’t believe so. He is this superficial with just about everyone. On purpose. He doesn’t want to hear “bad things.” So, he keeps it light and keeps them laughing. I have had one or two people express that they hope he talks to me because thet have never had a semi-serious conversation with him. He doesn’t handle stress well. So he avoids it. This is one of the reasons I included the example about some basic ground rules about our (almost) high school graduate. Something is amiss, April. I don’t understand it.

        6. How do you respond spiritually when you feel neglected, unloved, and like your ideas are not important to your husband?

        I don’t think I feel these things, at least not currently. Sometimes, I get cranky because I want someone to admit submission, even to a man who is not beating you, doesn’t automatically result in marital bliss. I read your blog and one other to encourage myself to stay the course – to keep on. But yes, I’ve been starved for an “I hear you.” Or some other acknowledgement of my pain.

        7. Do you think it is possible you may be struggling with any resentment or bitterness?

        Up until you asked that question, no. But resentment, yes. I feel as if he is happy in his prison, but happier if I’m in it with him. So, the conversations about the babies we’ve had go to Jesus before us? Or, my family member with mental illness? Or, the chronic illness? Or, the (crazy blessed – watched for issues but none appeared) pregancy? Or, or, or…?

        April, how can my marriage be a three fold cord of the only ones showing up is me and Jesus?

        So, yes, it seems I’m struggling with resentment.

        I have (and do) earnestly pray for my husband. And, he is not my ultimate enemy. I know this.

        Oh April! I didn’t know I was SO mad!

        Father in heaven, forgive me!

        Husband, I forgive you. You haven’t asked – but its no matter. I love you. And I’m sorry for all of the unflattering things I’ve let fester in my mind. I believe, if you could, you would speak words of comfort. But until then, and even if you do not, in Jesus’ name, I WILL LOVE YOU. In words and in deeds and, by God’s grace, with my heart.

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

        To hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

        With love,
        A Realistic (and blessed! ) wife

        (P.S. I realize there is more work to do. But, I’m gonna take a little break. I will check in after a bit.)

        1. A Realistic and Blessed Wife, 🙂

          Take all the time you need, my precious sister.

          I’m going to respond now so that I don’t forget to. But you can wait and read this later, whenever you are ready.

          I know I still only have a little bit of the whole picture of your marriage at this point. But what I seem to be seeing is that you both had some poor examples of godly marriage, masculinity, and femininity as you were young. Not to blame parents. They usually do the best they know how to do at the time. But now that you are grown, you can objectively look at the examples you both had and choose to reject anything that does not line up with God’s Word. And you can choose to rebuild your definitions of marriage, femininity, and masculinity, as well as your expectations, on the Solid Rock of God’s Word. You can also choose to forgive anything that was lacking in the examples you saw.

          You both very likely have a lot of emotional scars and skewed thinking that probably go back for decades. We all do! Even those with parents with good marriages, there are still things we misunderstand when we are young, or there are still some sin issues our parents had. None of our parents were perfect. And we have serious heart work to do because we can get skewed thinking so easily. This involves looking at some of our core beliefs about ourselves, God, manhood, womanhood, marriage, and family. It is painful to question our core beliefs. But as we examine our lives for any lies we may have absorbed, we can tear those out and rebuild on God’s truth alone.

          What I see with your husband is a man who may associate deep conversations with intense conflict – from what you described. I would imagine that if there was a lot of fighting and yelling at home when he was growing up, he may have tried to cope with that by focusing on humor and the lighter side of life to try to find some semblance of peace for himself. Men long so much for peace. He may try to avoid deeper discussions because, perhaps, to him, talking about deeper things may seem scary. And volatile. And maybe unproductive, or even harmful.

          I think it may also be possible that the kind of emotional/spiritual support you desire from your husband may not be something he knows how to give. And he is not alone. I think many times we expect our husbands to be able to support us emotionally the way our girlfriends do and have those deep face-to-face conversations about deep feelings and relationships. But not all men know how to do this. And if he associates these kinds of discussions with very negative feelings – you crying a lot, for example, or you being very upset – that can be really overwhelming to a guy. He wants you to be happy. He wants to be the hero. And maybe he acknowledges that he can’t be the hero who saves the day with these huge kinds of problems.
          – He can’t make the babies come back.
          – He can’t fix the family member with mental illness.
          – He can’t heal a chronic illness.

          Some men would rather not talk about these kinds of deep things because if they can’t fix the problem, it seems painful, and pointless, to talk about them.

          Men tend to talk about things to fix problems. To a number of men, talking about something that they can’t fix is excruciating. Women tend to talk about things to bond and to process their feelings. But a man doesn’t intuitively know that just him listening to you talk helps you to heal. He just thinks “we are talking about this horrible problem again, and it reminds me that I can’t make things right and that I can’t make my wife happy. It reminds me of my failures.”

          What would you say is your definition of submitting to your husband?

          A wife submitting to her husband does NOT automatically create marital bliss. I agree 100%. Biblical submission is painful. It involves dying to self. It is not fun. Ultimately, though, it is about our trust in the Lord, not in our husbands. It is about my faith that God is sovereign, even over my imperfect husband, and that He will lead me through this man because that is His design.

          Submitting to the Lord leads to joy. That is where my peace, joy, fulfillment, contentment, and supply comes from. Jesus. Alone. If Greg is then able to add something to what I have received in Jesus, that is awesome. But if he can’t meet my deep emotional/spiritual needs, I can be unshakable. Not because I am submitting to my husband. But because I am abiding in Christ and submitting to Him as LORD of everything in my life. I hope that makes sense.

          I see that the lightbulbs started going off about resentment. That is such a blessing to be able to see what is happening. Even though it hurts to see it. Now, you will be able to take the resentment to the Lord for healing. I love the way you responded with humility, repentance, and grace. That was beautiful!

          If you need more resources, I invite you to search my search bar for things like:

          – husbands emotions
          – bitterness
          – forgiveness
          – husband lead
          – biblical submission

          Much love and the biggest hug to you!

          1. Realistic and Blessed Wife,

            Another thing that is very helpful to me – is to realize that men don’t usually bond with words. They tend to bond by doing things together without words. They can feel very connected to us all throughout the day even if we don’t talk. That blew my mind!

            They also tend to show love without words. If we are able to learn to understand their perspectives and how they show love, then we may discover we are a lot more loved than we realized. We were just expecting love to be shown more verbally and they often show it with actions, instead. To a lot of men, words mean nothing. They value actions much more than words.

            Much love!

          2. Hi April,

            Thank you for your reply. I’ll finish answering your original questions first then move on to your response, if that’s ok.

            9. What are your greatest fears?

            That my children will be turned away from the Lord because of what they see in our marriage and/or they will find themselves in similar marriages. Either taking on the role my husband or I play now. I am especially fearful for my daughter because she already is depended on, by my husband, in ways that give her too much responsibility, in my view.

            Should I go to work tomorrow? (He has s flexible, make your own schedule job. He asked me the question first – I demured saying ‘whatever you think’ and I overheard him ask our then 8 year old daughter. I talked to him about it-strongly- and to my knowledge it hasn’t happened again. The reason, I demured is when answered.

            Go fix what your brother is doing.

            Hold the baby while mom cooks dinner and i play games on my phone.

            10. What are your most precious dreams?

            I don’t think I can answer that. For several reasons, #1 Dreams, to me are almost synonymus with goals. Big desires that I take action to achieve. It took me almost a decade to realize that not everybody thinks that way and for some the dream is it’s own reward.

            Since understanding that, It is too painful to nurture or have a dream, since I’m tucked into marriage that *doesn’t* have long-term dream, drive, or direction of its own & doesn’t support one for me.

            I wrote this in my journal sometime within the last year or two: (its undated but I think it can’t be that long ago)

            Lord,

            Why don’t I have dreams?

            Shouldn’t I dream of being a missionary, or a teacher, or an artist, or something?

            Why don’t I have dreams anymore? Is it pleasing to You, that I don’t have dreams? If not, please place a dream in my heart.

            There is no use being distracted with things you don’t want.

            Make your plans for me my dreams.

          3. A Realistic Wife,

            Thank you for answering these. 🙂

            This is helpful for me to see, too.

            9. What do you generally do with these fears? Are those 3 things you shared about what your husband said to your daughter the worst things he says to her, in your view? Are there other things he is doing that you believe means he is giving her too much responsibility, as well?

            10. I used to think that Greg couldn’t lead me. He didn’t have dreams and goals. He didn’t want to have meetings about our plans for the future. I thought he couldn’t hear God when I started this journey. And I was right, he couldn’t. But, interestingly, for the past few years, he has been able to hear Him more and more. But Greg leads in a way that is NOT my style. I used to have so many expectations of how he should lead. It turns out, even without him having verbally expressed dreams, goals, plans, and even without our having meetings – God has been very able to lead me through Greg as I began to trust Him. It took some time. But God has done it. And sometimes, I still really want to have more feedback from Greg. I would still love to talk about goals and plans – but I am so thankful God can lead me through him even without that.

            I am very glad that you want God’s plans for you to be your dreams. That is awesome. I do think there is room for you to have desires or to have passions and to ask God to lead you through your husband about those things. I used to pray about being a missionary when I was in high school. Then I went to pharmacy school and Greg and I got married. For many years, I thought Greg was holding me back from doing God’s will. But 3.5 years into this journey of learning to be a godly wife, Greg shared with me, “I think you should share these things God has shown you with other women.” That blew my mind! And then, he has been there every step of the way, guiding me, being my IT guy with my blog and computer stuff, suggesting 3 years later that he thought I should write a book. Then, last year, Greg said he thought I should start doing conferences. He has been my biggest supporter, my counselor, and sounding board. He has participated with me in several classes at church and in several conferences – getting up in front of the ladies (not his favorite thing to do) and answering their questions, giving his masculine perspective. That has been many of the wives’ favorite part of my conferences so far. He has handled the commenters who were really nasty – to protect me. He even started his own blog for husbands the same year I started this one. I could NEVER have imagined what God had planned. Or how God could lead me through Greg. I thought I would have to sit until I was 80 years old and do nothing for God if I followed Greg, at first. But I decided that that would be what I would do if that is what God wanted me to do. Amazing how after I focused on walking in obedience and dealing with my own sin and stopped asking God to change my husband, but begged Him to change me – God began to lead me into ministry.

            Now, God uses this blog to reach tens of thousands of women in over 200 countries every year. It averages 2 million hits per year the past several years. I actually get to be a missionary from my living room! Something I couldn’t have imagined in high school back before there was an internet. 🙂

            As you allow God to transform and heal you, and as you allow Him to expose any sin in your life, and as you allow His Spirit to empower you to be the woman He calls you to be – there is no limit to what God may decide to do with you, in you, and through you. 🙂 And in your husband, too!

            Much love to you!

          4. –But now that you are grown, you can objectively look at the examples you both had and choose to reject anything that does not line up with God’s Word.

            Agreed. That’s what I’ve done and continue to do. Is there something particular in my comment that you are refering to? I have been blind to a log in my eye before so I would appreciate the info if you don’t mind sharing.

            –Ultimately, though, it is about our trust in the Lord, not in our husbands. It is about my faith that God is sovereign, even over my imperfect husband, and that He will lead me through this man because that is His design.

            Agreed. I’ve seen it happen, experienced it first hand.

            —if he can’t meet my deep emotional/spiritual needs, I can be unshakable. Not because I am submitting to my husband. But because I am abiding in Christ and submitting to Him as LORD of everything in my life.

            I don’t, intentionally, look to my husband to fill any (emotional) needs much less the deep ones. Not for a long time, anyway. Sometimes, I am disgusted with myself for wanting anything to do with him at all. I imagine it is like a man who desires his wife, even though she has rejected him regularly & repeatedly for years. When he recieves another reject, he’s kinda mad at himself for being dumb enough to ask again. That’s so with me.

            -We were just expecting love to be shown more verbally and they often show it with actions, instead. To a lot of men, words mean nothing. They value actions much more than words.

            Yes. I have this problem. I have learned that stopping at the grocery store or buying cookies show love for him. But, there is this disconnect between my head acknowledging it and my heart feeling it. I gather other women don’t experience this. That once they know this is their husband’s love language they begin to experience that love.

            Nevertheless, I am aware that love is not a feeling but actions so I make loving actions with intention, in the way he understands, daily.

            About the words, my husband says the phrase “I love you” A LOT. Like, way more than I need to hear it. But, it is hollow to me because the, yes, painful, hard work is lacking, in my opinion.

            —If he can’t meet my deep emotional/spiritual needs, I can be unshakable.

            This phrase, unshakable, stopped me. I haven’t been. And, if I’m being honest, I kinda don’t want to be. I want to not carry all the burdens on my own (with Jesus). I would LOVE, if he could genuinely encourage me or pray for me or over me. Or solve problems on his own, or think about planning the future or do the painful hard work of connecting with our son. I would love to be able to lean on him when times are tough–just a little bit.

            I guess I’m the shallow one. There was a whole lot of what *I* wanted to get in that last paragraph.

            April, please be direct with me. I’m tired of being stuck in this pit.

            I guess, I need to *want* to be unshakeable.

            Lord, I’m willing that you make me willing.

          5. A Realistic Wife,

            At this point, I don’t know all of the things you may be thinking. But as we continue to talk, I will be glad to gently point out anything I see that may be toxic. We all have blind spots and we need other believers to help us see things that we can’t always see ourselves. I know that pride and bitterness are especially difficult for us to see on our own at times.

            What happens if you ask for things you would like in a respectful way?

            Do you believe you are not supposed to have needs and you are not supposed to ask for anything from your husband? One of my writers, Radiant, used to believe that. Here is a post she has written on that topic.

            I think other women do experience this same issue with the disconnect. But, because God gave us such an amazing ability with communication and language, I believe this is something we can learn. I know I have been able to learn to change my expectations from receiving love verbally to appreciating the ways Greg shows love. It has been quite a blessing to be able to do that. I used to ask Greg to write me love letters. He shared one time that words about emotional things are really hard for him. He said it would be similar if he asked me to “just build a set of shelves” for him to show him that I loved him. Um. Yikes! If that is what Greg expected me to do to show I loved him, I am not sure how loved he would feel by me!

            Is it possible that he truly does love you and truly does want you to be genuinely happy, but that maybe he can’t meet some of your expectations at this point?

            What expectations do you believe you may have of him?

            What is your definition of “connecting with your son”?

            It is not wrong to want to be able to lean on your husband at times. But because he is human and he isn’t God, he will fail you at various times for one reason or another. And when he fails to meet your expectations, it reveals a lot about what is going on with you spiritually.

            I used to want Greg to pray with me, too. He usually doesn’t. But I understand why now. And I also have done some research about that particular expectation that you may find to be interesting in this post.

            I believe that you absolutely can carry all of your burdens just with Jesus. If you can be content in Him alone, then anything your husband does for you is extra. Icing on the cake. But you are not depending on your husband to make you happy or to make you fulfilled. You are depending on Jesus to do that. Then, you can come into your marriage from a position of being already filled to overflowing with Christ, not a position of being needy for your husband. As he grows and is able to do more for you, you can rejoice and appreciate it. But you can also be content right now even if he doesn’t change.

            I have some posts about expectations that may be helpful. Check this out. 🙂

            I love your heart and your willingness to want to let God show you things and to change you. That is beautiful! And your attitude shows me that you are open to His voice and that means He is about to do some big things in your life. I can’t wait to see the healing you are about to experience.

            Much love!

          6. Some things to expand…

            Does knowing that he feels bonded to you automatically make you feel bonded to him?

            It doesn’t for me, should it?

            And, I’m familiar with the lies book. I consider it a almost foundational exercise to clear up things that are hindering one from truly “hearing” the truth.

            I was astounded when the Lord showed me, I believe, that I was operating on the lie that He was not good. Because He didn’t stop me from my(free will choice) of marrying my husband. That is a nasty lie!

            I agree that my husband cannot connect on this level now, if ever. Knowing that doesn’t really help, though.

            And yes, he wants to be my hero.

            So, all that is true & my marriage is still superficial & lonely. Is my path to endure? Or is there hope for healing? Am I missing sonething? I read so many testimonies of how submission changed marriages and impacted souls. Whats wrong with mine? Whats wrong with me?

            Oh, and I have what I might call – dreams lite. Littler things I’d like to do but haven’t done yet – travel, have a garden, learn a musical instrument stuff like that but I hold those pretty loosely – except for maybe the garden my husband doesn’t like or like the time commitment of any of the other stuff. And, he is well said that just navigating the needs of our famiky as is- is enough!

          7. A Realistic Wife,

            It can help you feel more bonded to him if you will receive it.

            Do you believe that you are able to receive love from God and from your husband?

            I believe it is possible your husband may eventually be able to connect in some of the ways you would like to. But he has a lot of scars and wounds – and he is a guy, not a woman. So I think you may have to adjust your expectations with the understanding of what he is able to do at this time.

            Let me ask you something – do you spend much time reading romantic novels or watching romantic movies? Even Christian ones?

            I believe that when we are feeling lonely in our marriages, that is the most wonderful time to turn to the Lord. We can let Him fill up our loneliness. He can truly meet our deepest spiritual and emotional needs for connection SO much more powerfully than any human ever could. I have a post about that here.

            It took 3.5 years into my journey before my husband felt safe with me again. He was still rather shut down and skeptical for quite awhile. And, to be honest, I really didn’t “get” respect and submission until about 2.5 years into this journey. I had no mentor, and it took me a long time to figure things out. Now we have more emotional and physical intimacy than ever before in our marriage. However, Greg still is rather introverted. He still needs a lot more time to himself than I do. He still doesn’t want to talk about tons and tons of “deep” things the way I love to. And that is okay. I don’t expect him to be me anymore. Now, though, I do talk with him about a lot more things than ever. But I know he has limitations in how long he is able to listen. And I don’t depend on him to be my primary source of emotional connection and spiritual fulfillment. God is still that for me. He will always need to be my primary source of emotional/spiritual intimacy and connection. Greg can’t be Jesus to me.

            So, even though our marriage has been miraculously healed and changed, it is different from what my expectations used to look like. And oneness in marriage is different from what I expected.

            I have to be careful not to go back to idolizing Greg.

            We’ll talk some more, my precious sister.

            Much love!

  6. I feel I don’t get my husband’s time or attention. He won’t even look at me sometimes. He won’t even talk to me at times. He won’t even tell me he loves me

    1. Kakar Hutch,

      I have been in that place before. For a long time. It is a painful place to be!! 🙁 My heart aches for you.

      Would you like to talk about things a bit with me?

      Much love! And a big hug!

      1. Thank you for replying. I love my husband with my whole heart. Lately, I feel as though I am begging for his attention. I ask him to tell me he love me and he either walkes away or change the subject. I feel as though I am the only one that is fighting to save this marriage. I refuse to give up but I’m tired. At times he makes me feel lonely and worthless but still I refuse to give up.

        1. KaKar Hutch,

          That sounds very frustrating and lonely. Was there something that seemed to trigger this? I would encourage you not to beg him for attention and not to ask him to tell you he loves you. That tends to only repel a man further away. If you beg him for attention and words of love, and then he gives you attention or words of love, it won’t really be meaningful, if that makes sense.

          Is he under a lot of stress right now?

          I don’t want you to give up on your marriage. But I have a feeling there may be some approaches that would be very different from what you have been trying that may be more healthy for both of you and may be more effective. Would you be interested in some resources?

          And, would you be interested in doing a general “spiritual check up” with me, so I can get a better feeling of where you are and where the marriage is, so I can give the best possible resources for you to find the healing you need in Christ?

          Much love to you!

  7. Oh! And another fear is that God will make my marriage work by (only) changing me. Like, He might give a sort of lobotomy and I’d be a shell of a person – and since my husband likes light and easy- he’d be thrilled to have a shell of a wife.

    So, one of the lies there is that God’s plan for me is not good- they are (Jer. 29:11) or that he would do something, anything, but particularly something to me, that is not good.

    As for the Lord, His ways are perfect.

    I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you & this ministry!! Thank you!

    1. A Realistic Wife,

      Thankfully, that is NOT at all what God will do for you. I promise! If you try to be a godly wife in your own strength, you may turn yourself into a shell of a person. But that is not God’s plan. 🙂

      Here is a post about that.

      You may also search my blog for things like:

      25 ways to respect myself
      Is it possible to disrespect myself?
      biblical submission is not passivity

      Much love!

  8. Thank you, April. I’d like to be able to change the font for that to read in super huge letters: Thank you!!

    I took a lot of your time and you were nothing but gracious.

    I will prayerfully consider your comments and wisdom.

    I feel a little shy about sharing this but I almost feel as if Jesus is saying this to me, as it were:

    English Standard Version
    Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you arise!”

    I will seek Him. (Pray, read the word) and we will see what He does.

    With Love,
    Realistic & Blessed

    1. A Realistic Wife,

      Aw! This makes me cry tears of joy. YES! That is exactly what is happening. Jesus is calling you to rise up in the new life He has provided for you, out of any old dead ways of thinking, into His glorious light. 🙂 He sets us free from our dungeons. He breaks our chains and leads us into His freedom, love, joy, and peace.

      It is my honor to get to be here with you and to get to walk beside you on this journey. I didn’t have a mentor in the beginning of my journey. No one I could ask questions of. But what a joy that God allows me to be part of many other women’s journeys! I never get tired of watching God perform miracles, healing individuals first, and then healing marriages and families so many times. I’m in awe and so humbled that God allows me to be part of His work. I count myself to be the most blessed woman on the planet that God healed me, healed Greg, healed our marriage, and now that He gives me a virtual front row seat to see His love, truth, and power transform many others for His glory.

      I’m so glad you reached out. I’m extremely thankful for the chance we have had to talk so far. I am here if I can be any help in any way.

      Much love to you, my precious sister!

  9. Can I ask a clarifying question please? You asked if I had difficulty recieving God’s love. Since, I have recieved the free gift of salvation does that mean I do not have difficulty? Or is there some other aspect you are referring to?

    Thanks in advance,

    1. A Realistic Wife,

      I don’t know if you have difficulty or not. Some women receive salvation from the Lord, but then don’t receive all of His truth about their new identity. One of my writers, Radiant, had that issue. She believed that God loved other people more than He loved her. That His promises were not really for her like they were for others. She had issues receiving God’s love in many ways – or receiving His truth and goodness into her life on a daily basis. She also had trouble receiving anyone else’s love, including her husband’s. She has a post I can share if you think that may be applicable.

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

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