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Facing Uncertainty and Trials with Joy

Every believer faces tests where we crash up against suffering, trials, and the unknown. We don’t like that! We want to feel like we know what is going to happen. We want guarantees. Timelines. Promises. We want to feel like we have control. Sometimes, we would rather even push for a bad outcome if only we can just “get closure” and not have to bob around in an ocean of not-knowing any longer.

It is often the waiting and not knowing one way or the other that seems like such torture.

This issue is not confined to uncertainty in our marriages, it covers everything in our lives.

How can I possibly rest in the peace and sovereignty of God when there is constant uncertainty and no way for me to know what will happen?

GOD’S WORD ABOUT TRIALS AND SUFFERING FOR BELIEVERS IN CHRIST

  • Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Prov. 3:5-6
  • I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. John 16:33
  • We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance. Rom. 5:3
  • For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Rom. 8:18
  • Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Rom. 12:12
  • Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6-7
  • Endure suffering as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? Heb. 12:7
  • Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
  • Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12
  • Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 1 Pet. 4:12

I believe that if we can understand that God has purpose behind the suffering we experience and behind the times we have to wait in uncertainty, we can embrace the good things He wants to accomplish in our lives during those times.

These trials are often gifts and blessings from Him in disguise IF we are willing to trust Him completely and receive all that He has for us in them.

GOD HAS MUCH GREATER GOALS IN MIND

We tend to think primarily about our current comfort level, health, and happiness. We focus on our human wisdom and what seems best to us in the moment.

God focuses on:

  • Conforming us, our husbands, children, and others in our lives to the image of Christ over the long term.
  • His Kingdom and how He wants it to grow and how He wants to use our situations in our lives to help accomplish bringing more of His beloved children to Christ.

This kind of spiritual growth doesn’t happen when we get everything we want and have smooth sailing.

We tend to grow the most when we get really stretched by difficulties.

It is similar to the way that if we don’t use our muscles, they will atrophy and get weak. Our faith is like that. In order for our faith to grow, it has to face resistance. When we have times of difficulty and times where we don’t know what will happen, we are forced to learn to depend on the Lord in ways that we just wouldn’t if things were going well.

This takes much spiritual wrestling sometimes. And that is okay! Times of waiting and suffering are hard. But they often produce great results when they are in the right hands:

  • If land never has rain or storms, it becomes a barren desert.
  • If gold is not refined, it contains many impurities that weaken it and make it much less valuable.
  • If a farmer will not wait for his crops to grow, he will never get to enjoy the harvest.
  • If a fruit tree is not properly pruned, the branches grow in crazy ways that cause the limbs of the tree to break as the fruit begins to get heavy. The tree can’t produce as much fruit and the fruit is not nearly as sweet for an unpruned tree. It also looks terrible – broken branches everywhere and no pleasing shape.

God knows what our souls need to grow and to become very valuable in His sight. If we are able to trust God’s heart for us, we can know that whatever pain or time of waiting and uncertainty we face, He absolutely can and will use it for our ultimate good and His ultimate glory. That is a promise to those who are in Christ – Romans 8:28-29!

PRAYER WHEN WE ARE FACING THE UNKNOWN, TRIALS, AND SUFFERING:

Lord,

You alone are God. There is no other. You reign in majesty and splendor from the throne room of the highest heaven over all of the universe. You are sovereign. You are good. You are love. You have all wisdom. You have all truth. You can’t have evil motives toward me. You are an Expert at turning disasters and tragedies into beautiful things for Your glory. You are the Healer. You are my Strength and my Shield, a very present Help in trouble. You are my Very Great Reward. There is no greater treasure in the universe than You. You spared nothing to provide for my salvation when I was still Your enemy. You sent Jesus to live and die in my place. Now His holiness, goodness, power, peace, joy, and right-standing with You are mine. His life, death, and resurrection belong to me. I am seated with Him in the heavenlies already!

You are intimately aware of all of my fears, my suffering, my needs, and my concerns. I thank You for that. You walk this road with me, living in me, empowering me with Your Spirit. I lay down every single fear and all of my desires and dreams. Here are the things I desire…

But – more than any of these things, I desire You. I want to know You and love You more. I want to give You total access and freedom in my life  to conform me to the image of Christ in whatever ways You know are best. I want Your glory. I want others to be drawn to Christ. I want Your kingdom to come into this situation and many to come to Jesus. I want to receive all the spiritual treasures You have for me to learn. I don’t want to waste a moment of this trial – but have my eyes open to all You have in store – for the adventure that awaits.

I praise and thank You now for all You are doing and all You will do through this very situation for Your good purposes in my life and in my husband’s life and in our family. I entrust it all to Your strong, capable hands. I know You will never fail me. I know You will never leave me or forsake me. I cling to Your Word and Your promises. I will sing praises to You even in the storm, knowing You will cause this storm to bear much fruit in my life.

Amen!

SHARE:

How have you learned to approach trials and suffering with joy, anticipation, and faith?

 

 

98 thoughts on “Facing Uncertainty and Trials with Joy

  1. Thankyou April,
    My family and i have gone thru a horrible time these past 7 months. All caused by my father. Its affected my health emotionally and physically. And finally today i spoke with a lawyer and he gave me the best news i think ive heard in months. Ive prayed constantly that God would bring this to a close. And we may just see the light at the end of the tunnel. This post means a lot. I sure wish it had been around 8 months ago!
    Blessings,
    Anon M

    1. Anon M,

      That is so heartbreaking to hear! 🙁 My heart hurts with you and your family. I’m glad to hear that maybe there is good news coming. And very glad this post is a blessing today.

      I wish I had this post about 23 years ago myself!

      Much love,
      April

  2. Thank you April. I’m still going through my trials with my husband. He has given me such small signs of softening his heart. I thank the Lord for continuing to give me hope right when I was about to give up. I am accepting of whatever outcome the Lord puts before me. I needed this article to remind me to be patient, and to remember that the Lord loves me and ultimately has good purposes for these trials.

    1. NewlyBorn,

      If you can learn to keep your eyes on Christ instead of on your husband and your circumstances, and you are open to all that the Lord has to teach you even in the hardships – you will be amazed at the things God will share with you and the work He will do in you. 🙂

      In fact, eventually, you will even learn to thank God for the trials and pain because you will realize that He has many good things in store in those times if you are willing to trust Him.

      God often uses the long time it takes (for our husbands to feel more secure and safe with us again) to refine our motives. I know He did that with me. I needed that long time of Greg still being unplugged and passive after I began my journey to really cement it in my mind and heart that I was seeking to change only for the Lord and to please Him – not to get my husband to do what I wanted him to do for me.

      I can’t wait to see all that the Lord has in store for you. Continue to seek Him wholeheartedly and allow Him to use the pain and the trial to accomplish His good work in your heart and life. 🙂 He is VERY good at doing this.

      Much love to you!
      April

      1. Thanks April. I wondered why it seems to take a long time for our husbands to feel more secure and safe. My husband is going through a lot of issues in his heart, and it is painful wondering which way things are going to go. You’re right though, I need to stop putting my focus on my husband, and work towards Christ.

        1. NewlyBorn,

          Here are some posts about why it takes husbands some time to be supportive:

          Why Isn’t My Husband More Supportive of Me As I Seek to Change?
          How Husbands Often Respond in the Beginning of This Journey
          A Husband Answers a Wife’s Question – “Why Won’t My Husband Lead?”
          23 Signs Your Husband Is Beginning to Trust You Again
          When a Husband “Doesn’t Buy” His Wife’s Changes
          An Interview with My Husband – by Peacefulwife
          Things Got Worse When I Began to Change – by the Restored Wife

          Yes, it will take time for him to believe these changes are real and not a phase or a fad. That is actually a blessing – because it will cause you to learn to depend on Christ alone. 🙂

          Much love!

  3. Good morning!
    I am possibly facing the most difficult time of my entire life within the next week or two, as my husband is ready to leave and wants to tell our 3 kids. I have been battling this “war” with him for many months so I am in a good place for myself, but for it to impact the kids is devastating. God has been sending me many messages, through so many places, that I know the kids will have God with them always, but it still makes it very very difficult to see. I see my husband fighting with himself and the pain I know he’s going through. He doesn’t see another way to be “happy” than to leave ME. He gets frustrated with me and says I’m being “fake” when I’m joyful and happy. He can’t see that it’s my choice and God’s power that allows me to be so. Nothing is impossible with God… Please pray that my husband’s heart and mind will be changed before this crushes our children’s tender hearts. They’ve always only known a loving, supportive mom and dad. If it is God’s will… Thank you again for a very timely post April. Have a blessed and joyful week.

    1. Dear Trying,
      Sending prayers your way. I’m in the same situation, although my husband has not said he is ready to tell our son yet.

    2. Trying,

      Ugh. It is so much more difficult when our children are impacted – and it is not just ourselves who will be hurt.

      This is where I am so thankful for God’s sovereignty. Yes people have free will. And yet, at the same time, the Lord is sovereign. PRAISE GOD FOR THAT! I know that He absolutely can and will use even this terrible trial, if they must face it, ultimately to accomplish good things in their lives. Perhaps He will let them see your godly example and faith, your peace and joy that is supernatural, in the midst of the storm. And they will realize that God has changed you so much and that they want what you have.

      I will pray that God might spare them from this if it is possible. But even if your husband goes through with his desire to leave – I know that things are not over. That is not the final chapter. It may be that your husband needs some time to himself to really figure things out. It may be that as you respond with dignity, poise, compassion, grace, understanding, respect, and peace over a long period of time – your husband may be convinced that the changes in you are real. God may use your response to his leaving to draw him to Christ.

      My greatest desire for you is for you to cling to Christ, abide in Him, trust Him, be filled to overflowing with His Spirit. Do whatever He calls you to do in His power. And we will entrust your husband and children together to the Lord to work in their lives.

      I pray you will be open to all that the Lord has for you in the midst of this stormy trial. And that you will allow His Spirit to have full control. Perhaps, your prayers may be answered through a path that you would not have chosen.

      Much love to you!

  4. This may be out of subject from other comments…but both my husband and I by God’s grace are born again. I have pcos, I get my period irregularly if at all. We have been trying for over a year for a 3rd child, we have 2 beautiful daughters already that were unplanned but God had mercy on me even when I was yet a sinner. This does resignate with me because this is teaching me to Trust in the Lord completely and wait patiently for His blessing. I want it NOW, but I have to learn to wait and focus on The Lord and His Kingdom and let Him do what I can not do. I know our third child will be here soon, I have seen him in my dreams in my arms. I believe in God’s promises and I have to have faith.

    1. Roseey,

      This comment is about this subject. Thank you for sharing! Yes! God’s timing and His will is perfect. You can rest in Him and trust in Him about your desire for another child. He has a heart for women who long for children. And sometimes, in the long time of waiting, He creates a much stronger faith and trust in a mom’s heart to prepare her to be the godly mom He desires her to be. I’m so thrilled that you are going to be willing to lay your dream down and trust in God’s timing and praise and thank Him for all He will do in your heart in the time of waiting and uncertainty.

      Much love to you!

    1. Briefly, if a husband says he wants to go, a godly wife can:

      – Share that she wants him to stay and wants to work on the marriage (if she believes that is what God is calling her to do).
      – But then, respect that he wants to go and let him go.
      – Be sad, yes, but unshakeable in Christ.
      – Pray for God to reach her husband because God can reach him in ways she never could.
      – Continue to focus on her spiritual growth and walk with Christ.
      – Seek to love, teach, nurture, and care for her children.
      – Surround herself with strong believers, solid doctrine, and prayer warriors.
      – Use any opportunities of interaction to demonstrate a godly attitude, respect, and honor for her husband (not for any sin in his life).
      – Set a godly example for her husband, her children, and those around her.
      – Invite God to use this fiery trial for great good in her life, her husband’s life, their children’s lives, to bless the body of Christ, and to bring many to salvation.
      – Stay in the Word and in prayer and study godly books about growing in faith.

      Here are some posts that may be a blessing:

      When Your Husband Says, “I’m Done”
      A Peaceful Separated Wife’s Story
      A Separated Wife Finally Begins to Experience the Peace of God in Her Life
      “My Two Year Anniversary As a Peaceful Separated Wife”
      A Husband Experiences Gods’ Power in the Face of a Fierce Storm
      Hold the Things of This World Loosely
      My Primary Goal As a Wife Has to Be This One Thing
      How to Make Your Husband an Idol
      Fully Trusting God with My Husband – Laying Down All My Fears
      FreeinChrist Stands for Something Way Bigger Than Her Marriage
      I Am Responsible for Myself Spiritually
      I Am Responsible for My Emotions
      Identifying the Lies We Have Embraced
      Should You Strive to Keep or Please Your Husband at ANY Cost?

      Much love to each of you!

      1. Thank you so much for this list! It is such a Blessing to have found your blog! You will never know how much it means to me. Thank you for sharing with me and others how to stay focused on God no matter the circumstance. God Bless you!

        1. Angie,

          You are most welcome. I am honored to get the opportunity to share these treasures of Christ with you. Can’t wait to hear all that God has in store for you, my sister!

  5. April, Some days there are simply no words to describe the gratitude I feel for your calm, reassuring, faithful Christ-like presence here.
    Thank you sister. Not only for what you say, but how you say it…and that you just keep showing up, a willing vessel.
    Bless you and your family!

    1. Nicole,

      Isn’t it incredible that God allows us to encourage each other on this amazing adventure with Him? I am so honored to get to be here. Thank you for your encouragement. That blessed me greatly. 🙂 I’m so excited to see how God will use all of the trials we face and the times of uncertainty for His kingdom and His glory. Isn’t it so wonderful that none of our time in Him is wasted? None of our obedience and trust in Him is wasted? It is all used by Him to create something beautiful!

      Much love!
      April

  6. My dearest April, how i thank God for using you, specifically with this post. What a word in season for me. My family is going through a challenge concerning the development of my daughter (would highly appreciate it if you say a little prayer for her. Her name is Fortress). Actually today was one of those days I felt very low. Thank you so much for taking your time and write this post so profoundly. May God continue to use you. I believe soon I will give a testimony.

    From your sister in Christ in Botswana. I hope you still remember that you have a follower there.

    1. Golfing,

      Thank you for sharing all the way from Botswana. How amazing that we can all share together here from all over the world! That still blows my mind.

      I’m so thankful that this was a blessing to you.

      Lord,
      We lift up Fortress to Your loving, good, sovereign hands. We ask for Your greatest glory, for Your wisdom, and discernment for her parents and for all who are involved. We ask for You to intervene in her life and in this family’s life to accomplish Your good purposes. We praise and thank You for this trial and the good You desire to bring from it. Help Golang and her family rest in Your love and provision. Use this time to increase their faith, to help them grow spiritually, and to be a blessing to all who know them for Your Kingdom.
      In Christ’s Name,
      Amen!

      Much love to you and I am sending you a huge hug!

  7. Dear April,

    What a tremendous encouragement this post is, pointing us towards the only one who can carry us through times of uncertainty, pain, betrayal, discomfort and trials.

    I want to share a few things that the Lord has shown me over the past couple of years of trials, to encourage anyone who reads this blog. This Easter was the most powerful Easter I have ever had, purely because of the trials that I have experienced. It is no wonder that we will spend eternity worshipping Christ! He is altogether lovely, I’m not sure that I can find the right words to describe it but I will try. When we suffer due to the betrayal of other people, it gives us an opportunity to understand and appreciate the depth of the sacrifice that Christ made for us. Christ looked at people who were spitting on him, crucifying him and said Father forgive. He looked on them with love, wanting only that they would turn in repentance and receive His love.

    The garden of Gethsemane, where Christ sweat (literal/metaphorical?) drops of blood, where He considered the cross and all that it meant and then chose to walk in obedience to His father for OUR good. Can you imagine? What if someone came into your home, took your daughter, raped her, and then killed her. Could you look that person in the eye and take their punishment for them? This is the love that Christ has for us! In a totally unique way, experiencing grief allows us to understand in a deeper way the love of Christ. And He came to bear our grief on His cross.

    The book of Ephesians is a powerful book. Verse 20 stood out to me recently “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” I have often seen this scripture in the light of material things, that God is able to do more than I ask or imagine and provide for me more than I can think of. And, God IS able to do that with material things, BUT that is not the primary goal of this scripture.

    This scripture is talking about the treasures of the heart! It is talking about what God can do in our heart, more than we can possibly ask or imagine. Interestingly, verse 13 of the same chapter talks about the suffering of Paul for God’s glory, then it goes on to describe how he longs for the Ephesian church to experience the full measure of Christ’s love in our “inner being,” the new life of Christ. It struck me very strongly that Christ was offered the whole of the world in His temptation, but that wasn’t the “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine”.

    No, the “immeasurably more” was the love that led him to the cross! The immeasurably more was the giving up of all of the material things because of love for you, I and the world. THAT is above all. THAT is totally foreign to our human nature. THAT blows my mind. I can’t put words to that. As I experience the betrayal and grief over being sinned against so heavily, it strikes me with so much more power just how deep the love of God is. The whole world’s sin on Him! Wow. And that same power is at work in us, strengthening us to forgive the unforgivable, to stand when all is naturally lost, to know peace in the midst of the most terrible storms. That is the “immeasurably more” that Paul was writing of.

    The cross shows us that when all is considered lost, broken and unredeemable, God is still in control. His plans and purposes are still being worked out for His glory and for the good of those who have been redeemed by Him. This sermon I found very powerful recently. It is about one of the chapters in the bible that I have always disliked, the story of Tamar and Judah. What a horrible display of mans depravity! And yet, we see God working to accomplish His ends and promises even using mans sin. Wow!!!

    Over the last two years, I have been broken again, and again, and again. The Lord has allowed me to experience every type of loss and betrayal a man could experience, and just when I think it is all over another thing happens. But, I can testify that through it all the presence, leading, encouragement and love of God through the Holy Spirit has been present. I have thought much about whether I should write anything publicly on your blog over the situations that have occurred and I have decided not to write about it. But, I can share two small examples where the Lord has provided for me recently through what would have appeared to be a bad situation.

    1. A few weeks ago I wrote off my car. I hit a kangaroo (now you all know the country I am from!) at 100km/h and the car was deemed an economical write off. This accident occurred whilst I am going through the divorce process, meeting with lawyers, my house was for sale and so forth. Under natural circumstances, a car accident like this is a terrible blow. It could have ended with me in hospital.

    But, the car accident has turned into such a blessing!

    Firstly, I was not harmed at all. Not a scratch, despite the impact destroying the bonnet, barwork, radiator, support panels, quarter panels etc etc. Then, a man at my church who owns a second hand car yard offered me any car I wanted from his yard that was within my affordability and I could pay him back when the insurance was payed out! That allowed me a very short time without a car and I know that I am buying a car from a person I trust! But, the most awesome bit is, I will have enough left over from the insurance payout to pay for the fees for our property settlement. I was not sure how I would afford them but this has proved to be a God send at this time. God used a suicidal kangaroo to provide for me in a way that I could not imagine.

    2. A second trial that has faced me is the loss of our family home. Due to financial and practical reasons I can no longer stay in the home. It was a terribly hard thing for me to face, I built a lot of it with my own two hands and have owned it for over 15 years. I had a day off work to pray and mourn and I got up from praying to see a text message from a friend at church. He had no idea that I wasn’t working that day or that I was praying about the home. In fact, he had no idea that I was going to lose it! His message was a single verse reference, Luke 9:58.

    Intrigued, I looked up the scripture. It stated “Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”” WOW!!!! I was in good company. Jesus didn’t have a home either! That day, I released my home into God’s hands. I told Him that it belonged to Him, for His glory, and to take it if He had plans for it. I had peace about selling it and went about listing it with an agent I trusted.

    Turns out, God had a much better plan for me in place.

    Our home had a contract on it within 4 weeks from a buyer in another state who has not even seen the home. To sell a home this quickly in our location is very rare, there are homes that have been listed for sale for over two years! The settlement date for the home that the buyer wanted coincided with another home in another town that the builder was willing to let me do a heap of work on to reduce the cost. And, the new home is only 18 minutes from church whereas our other home was well over an hour’s drive.

    The location, price, design and size of the new home is SO MUCH MORE than anything I could ever have dreamed of (see, God can and does work in the material world also, but He is more concerned with our hearts!)!!! Truly, I almost cry when I think of moving into this home soon. It is small, yes, but it is enough for me and my children. And even down to the colour of the tiles in it God has provided for me.

    That may sound silly, that the colour of the tiles is a blessing to me, but I was willing to move into any home God wanted me to and He gave me a home where even the colours appeal to my own taste and match the furniture I own. It is a provision that I could not have anticipated, and if I had of held on to my other family home and struggled against the loss, fighting against the direction of where I was being led I would have missed out on being closer to my church family, the fuel savings it will entail, the ability to extend hospitality to young Christian friends who were unwilling to drive so far to my other home etc. This new home is literally 200 metres from a major bus station so I can even extend hospitality to people who don’t have a car! Such a blessing.

    It was not easy to let go of my family home. It ripped my heart out. As you wrote, it was a time of spiritual wrestling and it was HARD!!!!! But, if I had not let go of it and trusted God I would have missed out on SO MUCH!!!

    There are many trials that are facing me still. Some so big that my heart is still wrestling with them. Some of them feel like I may never heal completely, particularly when my children are involved. But, as I look over life and see the hand of the Lord working in small things such as a car and a home, I can trust Him to work in the big things, like my children’s lives.

    Truly, God has so much more intended for us than we realise. I am a baby, a child in the ocean of His love. The more I understand of God the more I realise the vast differences between Himself and myself, and how much I have to learn and grow. But, He is able to do “Immeasurably more than we even ask or think” and the same spirit that was at work in Christ is at work in our hearts, if we belong to Christ.

    Have you tasted and seen that the Lord is good? Do you know His love, power and strength in your heart? If you don’t, I encourage you to seek it with ALL OF YOUR HEART! He is a good God, a good Father, and works even the most awful things for His glory and our good.

    Much love in Christ to all of you brothers and sisters here. I pray for you all, in particular LMS, CiC, Bel and Quinn.

    HH

    1. All,

      If you would like to see a bit more of HH’s story, please check out this amazing post.

      HH,

      WOW!

      I am so thankful for what God is doing in you. I don’t know if you can remember, but when you first shared your story with me – I told you I could stand on my “spiritual tiptoes” and see way ahead that God had INCREDIBLE things in store for you spiritually and that I believed He planned to use your story and trials to bless many, many people for His kingdom. I still believe that. 🙂 It’s pretty neat to watch how it is already happening in a lot of ways. And I know this is just the beginning.

      It is such a joy to watch what God has been doing in your heart and life. I know that the trials have been extreme. More than most of us could ever fathom. And yet – God has been so faithful and given so many signs of encouragement along the way. You have blessed me greatly as I watch God work in your life. It has been such an honor to pray for you and your family.

      My first desire for all of us is that we might find spiritual healing in Christ and that we might totally yield to Him and experience His will and bring great glory to the Lord in our lives as He directs us – as you have experienced and are still experiencing. I know that the ending here is not what you had desired a year ago or so. But, I also know that you are in God’s very good hands and that your story is not over. I am excited to see all that God has planned and how He will take what was meant for harm and use it for incredible good.

      We all appreciate your willingness to share what you are led to share.

      With much gratitude,
      April

      1. April,

        Yes, I do remember you saying that! I think, if i had known the nature and intensity of the trials that were to come, I would have run in terror from them at that point! But, God has been gracious to allow them to unfold gradually, bringing things about in the right timing. Humbling me and convicting me of my own sin and then strengthening me to deal with others sin. God is good and the treasure that He has enriched me with have deepened my life in ways I could not have fathomed.

        The story is not what I have wanted, no. It was far worse than I could ever have imagined. But, it is not over and until the last page is turned God will continue to lead and direct me.

        https://youtu.be/wcE9-AngoeM

        Love in Christ, HH

        1. HH,

          God is very gracious to us that He takes us through things in steps and by stages. If we had to face knowing everything all at once, it would be too much. Especially the kinds of trials you have faced over the past year. But it was interesting, He always seemed to prepare you and strengthen you spiritually before the next thing hit.

          God is very good. How I long for all of us to know Him, trust Him completely, and love Him wholeheartedly. There is no better place to be in the world!

          God is making a beautiful, powerful, amazing story of your life. I am looking forward to reading the chapters that are yet to come.

          In Him,
          April

          1. April,

            Yes, the stages of preparation and situations where God has allowed me to see and hear of certain things to help me come to terms with something before it has happened has certainly been an incredible blessing. HH

    2. HH, wow, I was thinking of you just today, and before I decided to go to bed, I got a ping on my email and it was April telling me to check out your post. Divine? Yes, I think so. Chill bumps, really.

      I’m so glad to hear how you are doing. I agree, God loves us little sinners in ways we will never be able to understand. The sacrifice is undescribable. I have celebrated 44 Easters, but since the renewing of my mind, the last 3 have been such deep, spiritual connections. It really grows us up and humbles us when we meditate on the purpose of our lives in Christ.

      Your little miracles are so inspiring. Although my heart hurts for you and these trials, I see your little God-boat serving you just fine. No more sinking iceberg!

      You have grown so much spiritually, it has been such a thing of honor and pride to be a sister of yours in Christ. You have been inspired, and inspired at the same time.

      I love your Down Under stories. I just would never be able to experience “suicidal kangaroos” without your help! Lol. We have suicidal deer.

      Glad to know you were not hurt at all. Amazing.

      Know that the final chapter has not been written yet. Although life has not turned out like you expected, I think we could never expect the things God knows anyway. Trusting in His will and wisdom is do much better than our feeble attempts to control and know the massive things we have no control or understanding of. But God does. And it takes all the pressure off. We can learn to live a life God meant for us when we put and keep God in His rightful place on the throne of our heart.

      Jesus took our overwhelming debt from us on the cross, a debt that we could never pay back.

      Jesus paid the debt of our sin with his death…the only price tag of sin.

      Jesus felt the incredible wrenching and tearing and seperation from God that sin causes….from each and everyone of us that day, that hour as he cried out in a roar. He felt that aloneness as He cried out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”….

      He felt the ruin of our sin. Yet, he never sinned himself. A perfect person, the only unblemished sacrificial lamb. It is agonizing enough to feel all of that for one person. Yet, He took it for EVERY person. Alive at that time AND forward into the future for those not born yet. It is an incredible love God has for us.

      He is truly celebrating the return of His lost sheep.

      I will pray for you, HH that you can continue to grow in God and shine brightly for His kingdom. I pray that your life can settle a bit too as God is positioning you for His wonderful next chapter of your life. Peace, my brother.

      1. Hi LMS!

        Lovely to hear from you ☺ Yes, the boat I am in is holding me up. It has some pretty big gouges in it from this February’s challenges and I think the enemy has brought out the big guns, but I can see the shepherds hand through it all!

        I actually wrote out a looong email to you last week, but when I read it through realised that I did not feel ok to send it yet. I am not sure whether it would be an edifying thing or whether I was just looking for a shoulder to cry on. So, I deleted it for now.

        The sacrifice that Christ made is simply beyond words, isn’t it! It is a love that is beyond anything comprehensible by our human minds. It is love so different to our natural way of dealing with life that it inspires worship like nothing else.

        Thank you you for lifting me up in prayer LMS. Things will not be settling out for me for quite some time yet, I believe. The home is a great blessing and miracle, but I am very much still in the middle of intense warfare, with trials and storms that are beyond anything I could have imagined and they look set to be playing out for at least the next few months. Please, I ask in humility, continue to pray for me. My eyes are firmly fixed upon the cross in faith but I must acknowledge the deep pain and constant need for support from the saviour and the body of Christ through them all. May His strength be made known through my weakness and may HIS light continue to shine.

        Love in Christ, HH

        1. HH, I will be happy to pray for you. I would even welcome your email, especially if it is simply a shoulder to cry on. I will send a message to you through April.

          I think man or woman, we all need that body of Christ in order to find direction and try to make sense of it all. I understand that it may be harder for men to “let go” emotionally like that. Seems against the grain, but I strongly feel that allowing oneself to let go emotionally will allow a sense of “righting oneself”. Like a bouy that has a hole in it and has taken on water on one side. Until the (emotions) water is allowed to drain out, the buoy will continue to list onto its side- being weighed down, thus, having a distorted view of the world. Pouring out your feelings to a trusted and safe friend can be very, very good for a person. Especially if that friend can speak honestly back without being shut out. A friend may be able to offer a viewpoint that has not been considered, or may give sone advice that is not just good, but “best”. It may not be what you want to hear, but rather what you need to hear.

          I think on this blog, there are many of us that are willing and able to do that. And quite frankly, the distance offered keeps the connections where they need to be. It’s awesome to have friends that I can get a hug from, physically see their smile, etc, but I have to be honest, none of the people I know understand the mix of pain, joy, suffering, and love that we seem to understand on this blog. To be in the middle of deep pain, yet, experience such deep joy in Christ at the same time is hard to understand for so many. It is why I so appreciate you, Bel, Cic, April, Satisfied wife, Hope Always and so many others on this blog. Your perspective is highly valued because of the male point of view of the same situation. It helps me understand what my husband may be thinking, feeling etc. Yet, you still know God’s love and follow Him.

          I hope you can reconsider writing again. It would be my honor to help you in any way I can for the glory of God.

          1. Hi LMS,

            You are a dear friend ☺ I am glad that I have been a help to you, I certainly write everything with great care and love but also hope that my words are weighed up against scripture.

            I will consider sharing some things, but I know that once something is said it can’t be unsaid, and I want to make sure that I don’t dishonour God or any person by my words.

            The distance is good at keeping the connections where they need to be, but at the same time we are all vulnerable because we are hurting, and I am reluctant to email any woman without direct accountability and transparency. I would be happy to receive a message through April but I also feel that it isn’t fair on her to be conversing through her ☺

            Love in Christ, HH

    3. HH,

      Wow! I’m glad to have come across this update! It is always good to hear how you are doing and what God has been doing in you and your life for His purposes and glory!!

      Don’t you just love when ” God uses a suicidal kangaroo to provide for us in a way that we could not imagine”???

      It really is how He works sometimes! And like you said, if we try to fight against it, trying to hold on to everything that we fear losing, thinking it could NEVER work out or be for the better—it turns out to be the VERY thing that God uses to turn our whole life in a different direction and way, all for His glory!

      WOW!

      I love it Praise God!!!

      You are an encouragement, and have a significant impact on those who are in Christ!

      Thank you so much for sharing!!

      Love,
      Amanda

  8. Humbled Husband, a suicidal roo! I realize we are talking about trials, but that sure shows God has a sense of humor. He sure put some roo in your do, didn`t He, lol!

  9. Wow!! I am speechless and really feel so humble! This post has my name written all over it, tears are running down my face! 💟🌸
    You haven’t heard from me in a while and still – it feels like God told you exactly what to tell me and how to answer ALL my questions! I will read it every day! Thank you endlessly!
    After you so graciously have given me a lot of your time that weekend writing to me and explaining things, I almost had no free time to write back. But I would have…
    With heart full of gratitude, I was praying and thanking God for you, for your patience with me, with all of us. I said: ” Thank You so much, my heavenly Father, that there is April on the other side of this planet! Please, bless her with whatever is that she needs, bless those who are on her heart and close to her!”
    In a meantime, things got worse. Or it sure looks like it is now much worse for me. But look what you wrote and what God says how to face all that pain!
    My husband an I, we have 5 children, ages: 24, 21.5, 20, 14.5 and 6. And now – I am pregnant again. 😦 I didn’t plan for my life to look like this! No way, never! When I found this out, I froze in fear – how will my family react, my friends, everybody….How will I go through this again? I am now 43.5 years of age. How will I do this again?!? I was crying and crying….
    Than I told my kids. They are incredible, so happy and full of support, so positive!
    But I knew it is not going to be so with my husband.
    Since he is messing up with another woman for more than two years now, I told him on time not to approach me and not to reach out for me. But he said he couldn’t do that. So I’ve decided I will not humiliate him by denying myself to him. And now I have what I have.
    I was right about what his reaction would be like. I told him about the pregnancy saturday morning and his reaction was very, very ugly. He told me so many terrible things and suggested that I should have an abortion and that he is not going through this again (like he ever did! 😠 ). I told him that I do not have courage to go against God and that only medical indication would justifie something like that.
    That evening, he just left without a word. Again, haha. And I know that he is with that woman.
    Before this situation, I was really very rebellious towards God. As you know, I had a million “why”- questions and the fact that there are no guarantees were destroying me. My sister in Christ oftenly told me to stop being so stubborn and that I am on a dangerous ground.
    And than, I heard something that was very helpful: did Job know why is he going through such a horor? No, he had no idea! And even more, his friends were so discouraging. But he decided to trust his God! So, who am I not to do the same?!
    Now, this frightening situation suddanly put me in a totally different perspective.
    I suddanly understand that the only wright thing that I can do is to rest in His hands, to trust Him and just let go all those pointless questions. I know that most of it I can not understand.
    Today, I feel extremely burdened.
    I would appreciate if you, please, could explaine a little more something that you wrote:
    “– Use any opportunities of interaction to demonstrate a godly attitude, respect, and honor for her husband (not for any sin in his life).
    – Set a godly example for her husband, her children, and those around her.”
    The way I feel, I would avoid to see him, like ever! But that would be wrong, right?
    But, how do you respect and honor a husband who lies, cheats, betrays and abandons his family? And I am not talking now about the fact that he does not deserve any respect. I am asking how should that respect look like?  How do I show respect to an emotional sadist?
    Thank you for everything from the bottom of my heart!
    Hmbled Husband, thank you so much for your willingness to share your story with all of us.
    May God reachley bless all of you here. 💟🍀

    1. Irena Bonnie,

      Oh, goodness, my dear sister! What a painful situation you are in with a husband who is with another woman. 🙁

      And I can imagine, as I am now 44 myself, what a surprise it would be to be pregnant again now – especially under such circumstances.

      But my sweet friend, I do want you to know a few things for your own sanity:

      1. You have no obligation to be intimate with a husband who is having an affair. He is breaking your marriage covenant. You have no obligation to stay with him. He has abdicated his position as spiritual authority in your life. You have every right to separate in such a situation and to refuse sexual intimacy. You can forgive him in God’s power. But you can’t trust him right now. If he sincerely repents and shows that he is willing to rebuild trust over a significant period of time and you decide you believe you want to take him back, perhaps a sexual relationship can become healthy again in time. I would personally want my husband to be tested for STDs before I would want to subject myself to that, even if I felt I could take him back after an affair.

      2. You absolutely have no obligation to get an abortion. In fact, that would be murder in God’s eyes, and you can’t do that. So you were right to refuse to kill your precious baby. Good job!!!!!!!! I am so proud of you!

      No, it is not wrong to want to avoid a husband who has violated your marriage covenant so severely. You have been betrayed on a very deep level. That kind of pain is pretty severe. You may have to have some contact because of the children. But you don’t have to continue to try to be a wife the way you would if he were not cheating. Does that make sense? When one spouse violates the marriage covenant like this, it is broken. And the other spouse doesn’t have to stay there and continue to be sinned against.

      However, God can absolutely take this really big mess and all of this pain and make something beautiful from it. And – He loves this baby and has known about this sweet baby since before He created the world and He has good plans for this child – and for your other children.

      You can’t respect your husband’s sin. His sin is NOT okay. You will have to have healthy boundaries against his sin.

      Where respect comes in is that you can respect that he is a person created in the image of God. You can speak respectfully to him. You don’t have to cuss him out, hit him, throw things at him, be bitter at him, insult him, call him names, lash out at him in sinful anger, ridicule him, smear him all over your circle of influence, gossip about him, slander him, hate him, teach the kids to hate him, condemn him, have a “revenge” affair yourself, etc…

      You can conduct yourself with dignity, grace, poise, and honor in your interactions with him. You can desire to respect anything you see that is good in him and try to encourage those things. You can pray for him that God might open his eyes and that your husband might repent and turn to Christ before it is too late.

      But, you can also respect yourself, God, and your marriage covenant.

      You can say things like:

      – I am really sad about the choices you have made to have an affair. I can’t subject myself and our children to this kind of breach of our marriage covenant. Unless and until you are willing to repent and completely change and be devoted to this family and this marriage, we are not going to be able to live together as husband and wife anymore. I wish things were different. I don’t want to see this marriage destroyed. But I am going to respect our marriage covenant and the sacredness of it. And I will not allow you to defile our marriage bed. I can’t be available to you because you are committing adultery and dishonoring me and our marriage. This is not okay.

      – Then you can continue on in the peace, joy, and security of God’s love for you. You can depend on the Lord to make something beautiful from this situation. You can entrust your husband and his soul to God. You can set and example of faith in God that he can see in your attitude and interactions when you have to interact with him. You can avoid sinning against him so that all he will have to look at is his own sin. You can show your children that you refuse to allow bitterness to overtake you and that you forgive in God’s power – but that you will require trust to be rebuilt before putting your family and yourself in harms’s way again. You can teach your children about the Lord. You can have His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. You can even love your husband with God’s love in your pain and see him with His eyes, experiencing the grief God’s heart feels over sin. You can acknowledge that God is the one being sinned against most by your husband’s adultery. You can acknowledge any sin in your own life and repent of that and seek to allow God to conform you more and more to the image of Christ.

      Does that make sense?

      Much love to you!

      1. Yes, it makes all the sense in the world! Thank you a thousand times!
        When I first read this post, I so wanted to hug you. Than I laughed imagining the site: so many of us want to hug you, some day in the Lord’s Kingdom! Now, that’ll take time! 🤗☉
        The other night, my older daughter (she is now 20) came to me and just started to pour out her heart, saying:
        “You know, mom, it’s not “just” this situation now the reason that I can’t stand dad. It is so much more, much deeper.
        You know how it is with kids – they like to brag about their dads. So was I talking about my big, strong dady.
        Other dads were always present, comming to kindergarten and later to school.
        Whenever parents were invited, you were there or grandpa was (my father). Nobody ever saw my dad.
        When my friends came to play at our place, again – most of the times, dad was somewhere else, he wasn’t at home.
        When any of us needed a doctor, you and grandpa were there. Dad wasn’t.
        So I was very young when I realised – I don’t really have a dad. So, since that time, if anybody would ask me about my dad, I would just say – I don’t have a dad.
        And, you know, some day, when I move out, if he will still live here, I will never enter this place again. I will see you somewhere outside or at my place, but I don’t want to have anything to do with him!
        When he is at home, we all feel so tensed, just waiting what he will start yelling about. He is always so negative, he wants to be unsatisfied with all of us, all the time. It is unbearable! I don’t understand how any of you still speak to him.
        Some day, he will not be invited to my wedding. That would be a bad luck to start with!”
        I was listening to her with my mouth open. I always knew what the situation was, but I never realized it affected her so severely. 😔

        1. Irena Bonnie,

          You are most welcome. You know what? I can’t wait to get to meet everyone and give everyone a big hug in heaven! I look forward to that very much. We will have eternity and we will be outside of time – so no problem! 🙂

          Sounds like things have been very tough for a long, long time, my dear sister. My heart hurts for all of you – even for your husband. I know Satan is the only one who rejoices. However, what an opportunity to demonstrate how to respect God, yourself, your marriage, your children, and your husband properly. What an opportunity to live out a godly life before your children so that they can see what Jesus looks like. I pray for His healing for each of you and His wisdom, provision, and discernment for you as you make some big choices.

          Much love to you!

          1. Please, pray for me.
            I saw a doctor today. He told me that I have a blighted ovum and this will have to be terminated.
            I know this is often a case at my age, but what terrifies me is that I will have to take antibiotics after a procedure. My reaction every time are very heavy side effects. How will I survive? My world is colapsing…….

          2. Irena Bonnie,

            Oh, goodness, my sweet sister! (For those who are unfamiliar with this term, it means that an embryo didn’t develop. There is the appearance of a pregnancy, but no baby.)

            You have had quite a roller coaster of emotions. I bet you just wish you could get off and rest for awhile.

            If it is okay, I would be glad to email you about the antibiotic issue – as I am a pharmacist – if you are interested.

            Lord,
            I thank You and praise You that Your Word stands for Irena Bonnie today. You will never leave her and never forsake her. The plans that the enemy has to steal, kill, and destroy, You are able to use for good. Hold her weary heart in Your loving hands. Lift up her chin and let her see Your eyes blazing with love for her. Help her to pour out her fears and problems to You in trust. Help her to be still and receive Your love and provision. We lift up this painful trial and trust You and praise and thank You for what You will accomplish for Your glory and her ultimate good through this. We pray for Your strength, Your healing, Your wisdom, Your provision, and Your discernment. We pray for you to reach her husband’s heart and that he might repent and be regenerated in Christ. We pray for Your healing for the children involved in this family. And we pray for Your healing, comfort, peace, and joy for Irena even in the midst of this raging storm. Help her to keep her eyes on You today, Lord. Direct her path. Provide for her every need.

            We surround her with Your love and prayers and pray that You might help her know and feel Your love in very tangible ways this week.

            In the Name and power of Christ,
            Amen!

  10. All,
    I shared this on my FB page a week ago or so. Perhaps it may be a blessing to you as well.

    If you are having problems and the enemy is greatly at work in your family, at your church, at your job, or in your neighborhood – one of the most powerful things you can do is go to that place (your office, the church, your house – walking through the rooms) when you can be alone and sing praises to the Lord at the top of your lungs. Or, if you have another believer or several other prayer warriors, ask them to join you:

    – Invite the Holy Spirit into that place and into each of the people’s lives there.
    – Thank and praise God for what He is doing and will do for His glory there.
    – Invite His Kingdom to come and His will to be done.
    – Entrust each situation and person to the Lord.
    – Repent of any sin God reveals to you in your own thinking.
    – Declare truths of God’s Word out loud there.
    – Speak and declare the promises of God that are relevant to the issues you are facing there.
    Then wait with expectation and faith for the Lord to accomplish His will and His glory.

    Two of my favorite songs to sing in these times:

  11. Hi April, thanks for this great post. Thanks also to HH for his contribution. This has made me realise that what I need is to “rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him and not to fret”. My natural inclination is to want to fix things and to think that the reason things aren’t ok is because I just haven’t come up with the right answer yet.
    My husband’s family is pretty conflicted to the point that my mother-in-law doesn’t want our family to visit. I don’t want to say too much on-line but it breaks my heart and as you can imagine it is even harder for my husband who feels rejected by his mother. It is also really sad that she doesn’t even want to see her grandchildren. I want to protect my children from being damaged by this too. Basically I need to lay down my desire for a normal family life of joy and celebration and family gatherings.
    It is so amazing that there are people from all over the world sharing here too. Thank you to all of you. My new favourite quote is going to be “if God can use a suicidal kangaroo..”

    1. Carried,

      There are times when we do need to actively do something or say something. And then, there are times when we need to wait. That is hard! I tend to want to jump in and “fix” everything, too. Of course, we can also go the other way and lag behind when God is prompting us to do something.

      I actually have a similar story in my book about a wife whose husband and his family were having major conflict. The wife wanted to resolve it ASAP. The husband decided to cut contact with his family for a time. It took about a year, but then, his family began to truly apologize and repent. Fellowship was restored. It was interesting to see that God worked as this wife decided to trust the Lord even when she didn’t think they were taking the right path.

      Perhaps God is leading in this, as well. I encourage you to receive all of the good treasures He has for you spiritually in this time of waiting and to invite Him into the family to bring His healing in His timing. Yes, it is hard to lay down our expectations. Especially when they seem right. But as you can lay this down and entrust your in-laws to the Lord – you are setting a beautiful example for your children of faith in God. You can refuse to be bitter. You can love them from afar and ask God for His timing for opportunities to show love in more tangible ways. God can make something beautiful out of this mess, too. I’m so thankful!

      I love that quote. It may need to be the title for HH’s book one day. 🙂 Ha!

      Much love!
      April

  12. My current situation relates to my husband’s problems with immigration and employment. He has been living with me in my country for about two years. He applied for Permanent Residence almost a year ago and because of the backlog of applications and inefficiency of the Immigration department, there has been absolutely no progress on his application. As a result, he can’t work legally, apply for a driver’s permit or even open a basic savings account. He is therefore forced to be completely dependent on me.

    He is very frustrated with this situation and so am I. It is such a struggle for both of us. I just pray for him every day and pray about the situation, hoping that God will move mountains for us. I worry about the strain this is placing on him psychologically. I hold onto my Bible very tightly and focus on the promises of God. I focus on treating him with the highest level of love and respect. I’m doing all that I could, but I must admit that it is stressful and frustrating and I wish that God will work things out for us.

    1. Nancy,

      What an incredible opportunity to grow in faith and trust in the Lord! I’m so glad that you are clogging to your Bible and to the promises of the Lord. I am so thankful you are using this opportunity to bless your husband and to treat him with great love and respect. It is a frustrating situation. Our flesh would naturally want to become resentful in that kind of situation. I praise God that you don’t want to do that and know that you want to be a godly wife to your husband in this difficult time. I know that your husband appreciates these gifts you are giving him more than he could ever express.

      It is extremely difficult for a man not to be able to work. What does he believe the two of you should do? Does he have any suggestions at this point?

      Is it possible that God may have shut this door and that He may be providing a different path? Or do you both believe the Lord desires you to continue to wait?

      I don’t have the answers for you. But I pray for God’s wisdom for you both and for you to hear His voice clearly and for His provision and His greatest glory in this situation.

      Much love to you!

      1. This situation is really making me cling onto God very tightly. Your blog has done a lot to teach me to be loving, patient and respectful to my husband no matter what. I’m sure he appreciates it a lot.

        Every month I go to the Immigration office to ask for an update and they just tell us to keep waiting. I stay calm and respectful with the Immigration officers, unlike others who yell at them. I try to treat them as I would treat Christ, although I’m very frustrated with their inefficiency.

        On the plus side, the laws of my country allow non-nationals to start a business and apply for a work permit for themselves so we are going to try that. If the work permit is approved, he would be able to apply for a driver’s permit, open a bank account and be able to work and provide for the family. It will truly change our lives and help him to feel like a man again. He feels terrible that he has a family that he can’t provide for. He has an excellent work ethic and would like to support his family more than anything.

        The first question is “Will the Work Permit Secretariat approve the work permit?”. They are very strict so the possibility of them declining his application is very real and we will be absolutely devastated if that happens.

        Also, I will be pouring my life savings into buying him a truck and tools to start his business. Therefore, the second question is “Will he get enough clients to be profitable or will I have gone broke for nothing?”.

        Those are two very unsettling questions. I’m begging everyone who reads this post to please pray for us.

        1. Nancy,

          That would be so frustrating! And they give no idea of how long the wait might be? I’m thankful that you seek to be respectful. I pray for God to give you wisdom and for Him to direct your path and your husband’s path according to His will – opening the doors that He desires you to take.

          It sounds like it would be wonderful if he could have a business of his own. I pray that God might grant this ability according to His will and that this trial might produce great fruit in your lives and glory for the Lord. 🙂

          I also pray that you will both hear God’s prompting clearly and be ready to do anything He may call you to do.

          Much love and a huge hug!

  13. April,

    I just stumbled upon your blog a few days ago and I have been consuming posts everyday, savoring all the nuggets of truth and wisdom I find in them. I praise God for you and the wisdom he’s given you.

    I would like your wisdom and insight I know has been imparted to you for the Holy Spirit on my marriage.

    I can start by saying that I sinned my way right into this marriage. I had premarital sex with my now husband, forced the marriage thing when he wanted to reevaluate our relationship, and have been all around a controlling and manipulative wife.

    By Gods grace I have come to confess and repent of all of my sin I’ve been made aware of. But it may be too late for us. My husband said he wanted a divorce the other night.

    Since then I have been praying, staying in Gods word and seeking wisdom from my Christian mentor. I read your post on what to do when your husband says “I’m done” and I couldn’t have been a more perfect example of the wife that does all the wrong things (crying, begging, nagging him to stay.) Realizing my sinful behavior, I have since given him space, stayed in the word and tried to be as Christlike as example as I can.

    I think he wants to believe I really am changing but he has been testing me a lot, to see if I will resort to old behaviors I guess.

    What my questions are I guess is this:

    * What role do second marriages have in Gods will for marriage? I don’t see this come up in a lot of posts but my husband was divorced by his first wife so she could stay in her unrepentant affair. I have never been married.

    * Is it possible it could be Gods will for us not to be married when we never should have married in the first place?

    * My husband told me during premarital conversations he would be willing to have children with me. Now he is saying he will get a vasectomy. How do I surrender my desire for children? Am I supposed to?

    I am utterly terrified of spending the rest of my childbearing years with this selfish, unkind man knowing he will most likely never change his mind. I almost wish he could make good on his word so I would be freed, but I know divorces grieve the Lord and I’m trying my best to honor God through this.

    Perhaps you could direct me to some blog posts if the answers to these questions would be too lengthy.

    Thank you!!!

    1. Callemara, I won`t presume to step in and answer questions you`ve directed to April, but I do want to let you know that you are not the only wife on this blog who was pushy, aggressive and sinful in the manner in which she pursued her marriage, and you are also not the only wife who has questions about second marriages. I have struggled with these same issues and questions myself and although haven`t got a clear answer as far as what is and isn`t the scriptural position on second marriages, what I do know is that given God`s character, I think He is willing to lead us into all truth and doesn`t punish by withholding information. I love the verse that says `If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives generously and upbraids not“ Certainly knowing what God thinks or desires is a pursuit of wisdom. And upbraiding is what happens when you humble yourself and admit your problem and someone uses your confession of sin against you to shame you and rake you over the coals for your failings. God is saying here that He is not that sort who will do that. Just wanted to offer that encouragement because you`ve really shared vulnerably and I know that can leave you feeling like a pork chop at a jewish kosher dinner.

      1. 7times, that is beautiful!!!! I haven’t thought of upbraiding like that, what a wonderful, wonderful thought, thank you so much!!! Oh I have experienced SO much upbraiding from my wife due to my confession of my sins, oh I have been raked over the coals over and over again, but to see that scripture like that when we ask God for wisdom is so cool! It may have been obvious to you but I hadn’t seen it like that till now. Thank you!!

        HH

        1. Hi HH, I am glad that you got some juicy encouragement out of that verse. I had heard that verse many times but never thought about it in terms of who God is saying He is and is not over and against the meaning of that word. A friend of mine says `Jesus is kind“. I guess God knows how hard it can be to admit our sin.

          I was wondering if you think that inviting her to sit down and write out every grievance, offense and resentment she has against you – no holding back and getting down to the nitty gritty, and why its so significant to her, ie, what meaning she makes of it, might be helpful to her in getting to the bottom of the barrel of her anger? Perhaps she might be willing if she knows the motive is freeing her from hurt and poison and nothing more is expected. Maybe you`ve already done that? I know what its like to deal with the ungraciousness of upbraiding. Not fun.

          1. Hi 7times,

            Thanks for the suggestion ☺ I have done exactly that many times and I have listened to her grievances for hours. I hope it has helped her but we have reached a point where she is beyond that now. HH

      2. Thank you for your comment. Of course I don’t mind you chiming in.

        I always just accepted the exception clause in Matthew 19 as acceptable reasons for divorce and remarriage. I know there is a whole branch of doctrine that disputes this, much like Mr. John Piper whom I respect very much.

        I really don’t know if marrying my husband was a mistake, or something God was against. I wish I would’ve had the foresight to make a better decision going in.

        I am praying for wisdom and discernment and praying God will give them to me abundantly.

        I loved the pork chop line that made me giggle 😄

    2. CallmeMara,

      Hello, my precious sister!

      I’m so thankful that you have confessed and repented of all of the sin you are aware of. That is awesome! But how my heart breaks with you over hearing that your husband said he wants a divorce. Those are words no spouse ever wants to hear. And yet, I am extremely encouraged to hear that you have been reading and studying and praying and that you want to approach things in a godly way now that you are seeing what that looks like.

      7Times and I have spent a lot of time researching this subject of second marriages. I love her response to you – and I do believe that the Lord can give you His wisdom and won’t leave you hanging.

      There is not a lot written in the Bible about second marriages. And I certainly don’t want to make assumptions about what God thinks that I can’t support with Scripture. Here are the things the Bible does say.

      – In the Old Testament, there are instructions that if a wife is divorced by her husband and remarries, she cannot go back and remarry her first husband.
      – In the New Testament, Jesus talks about that believers are not to divorce and that remarriage is adultery. But there may be an exception clause for cases of adultery. That is a debated topic among believers.
      – In the New Testament, if an unbelieving spouse leaves a believer, the believer is to let the unbeliever go. There is debate about whether that means the believer is free to remarry.

      Your husband may be in the category of the exception clause. So that will be something for you to study and pray about.

      There are not really instructions about second marriages in Scripture. Nor are there instructions about coparenting or handling step-children. But there are also not instructions about believers leaving their spouses if they find themselves in a second marriage. 1 Corinthians 7 may indicate that a believer should stay where they are at that point and not seek a divorce.

      I am not an expert on divorce and remarriage. But I do believe that when a believer wants to honor the Lord and walk in obedience, He will give each person wisdom and light as they seek Him and want to please Him above all else.

      I do know that there tend to be extra problems in remarriages that seem to be even more difficult than the problems in first marriages many times.

      I have a post about when a wife wants a baby and her husband doesn’t. You are welcome to check that out here.

      I wish that there were more instructions on this topic. But I know that God does not withhold important information that we need. So I trust that in all that He has written for us, you will find what you need to know how to follow and obey Him.

      Would you be interested in doing a spiritual check up with me? I want to see you experience all of the healing that is available to you in the Lord. And then, you will have His power and Spirit and wisdom to know how He desires you to handle this situation.

      Much love!

        1. CallmeMara,

          First of all, I know what this name means, “Call me Mara,” – a quote from Naomi in Ruth when she was bitter and believed that the Lord had forsaken her.

          What we say to and about ourselves is powerful. Words contain the power of life or death. Would you consider choosing a name that describes faith in the Lord in some positive way? 🙂

          Take your time to answer these questions, precious sister… I just want to get a feel for where you are spiritually and then I will seek to point you to the healing that is available to you in Christ.

          1. What do you most desire in your relationship with Christ?

          2. Do you believe that it is possible to be content in Christ alone? Would you like to experience this?

          3. What are your greatest dreams?

          4. What are your biggest fears?

          5. Is there anything you feel you may be holding back from God?

          6. Are you ready to fully yield to the Lordship of Christ?

          Much love to you!

          1. You’re right, I am sorry for the name. I admit I have been feeling very bitter in my heart and I don’t want to feel like this anymore.

            1.) I would say I would desire to feel the joy and peace that only the security of being in a covenant relationship with Christ can bring. I have struggled all my life with viewing God as a distant Father I am not pleasing. I want to declare his promises over my life but I just hear whispers that they are not meant for me.

            2. I believe it is totally possible to be content in Christ alone. I feel like that would be so incredibly FREEING. I just don’t know if *I* can do it.

            3. My greatest dream has always been to be a mother and wife. I feel I have totally made them idols in my life and now they are turning to ashes in my mouth. I think I need new dreams.

            4. Abandonment hands down. I grew up with an abusive father and mother who left us. I had a string of abusive boyfriends. I am terrified of people in my life leaving me and I think it’s created a lot of self-sabotage.

            5. The idols in my life. My fear. Lies from the enemy.

            6. I’m ready. I’ve been doing a great job messing up my life on my own. I’m ready to try it God’s way.

          2. Callmeblessed,

            Now that is more like it. 🙂

            Let’s begin to tackle the lies of the enemy that you have probably been holding onto since you were young. It’s important to be willing to shine the truth of God’s Word on what we believe – to ask Him to help us tear out the lies and toxic thinking, and to replace that and rebuild our lives on His truth and on His love and promises.

            If you had an abusive father – that creates a lot of wounds and scars in a child’s soul. We tend to assume that God is like our earthly dad. If we have a loving, godly dad – it makes it easy for us to trust God as our good Father. If we did not have a healthy relationship with our dad, there are some things we need to hash through in order to realize that God is not like our sinful earthly fathers. We have to consciously choose to recognize the specific areas where our dads failed us and then receive the truth about who God is and how He is not like our dads who failed us.

            I invite you to check out these posts and just really carefully, thoughtfully, prayerfully read over them. Let me know what God shows you. 🙂

            Identifying the Lies We Have Embraced
            Cinderella and the Gospel
            I Can’t Ask for Things. I Shouldn’t Have Needs, Desires, or Feelings

            I’m right here. I’m honored to walk beside you on this road. Take a few bites. Chew on it. Pray over it. Journal if you want to. Ask questions. Wrestle in prayer. And we’ll hash through these things together. There is healing – total spiritual and emotional healing – available to you in Christ.

            Much love to you!

    3. Callmemara,

      I know you are working through this with April as well, but I wanted to share a few things in my experience because I literally have found myself in your exact position. Never married, married a divorced man, we both agreed that we didn’t want any more kids because he has 2 and I have 1 from a previous relationship.

      I too found myself a few years ago questioning if whether the reason our marriage was totally falling apart was because in God’s eyes we were living in some kind of adultery. My husband’s ex-wife was also having affairs and left him and after many attempts to reconcile, he let her go and divorced her (since she did not have the finances to do so herself). My husband was on the verge of becoming born from above when this all went down—so I don’t believe he was living in the good of Christ’s Life while this all happened. But he did seek God at that time, and was led to the Bible and those certain passages in Matthew, etc. on divorce and the exceptions, etc. and he was convinced in his heart that God was allowing it. My husband had actually planned on NEVER getting married again. He was very hurt by her affairs and was not willing to ever go through that again so he resolved to never get married again.

      Well, several years later, as he grew closer to the Lord, he literally woke up one day with the thought planted in his heart that he was going to be getting married. He couldn’t explain it. He just KNEW. Well, at about the same time in my life, the Lord was putting me through the same thing! He was giving me such a burden and desire to be married… but yet to wait for HIM and HIS leading—to the man I would marry. I just KNEW I would be getting married—–but not when, or to who! It was within 6 months that he and I had met and married—and the rest is history!

      But the point is– like you, I didn’t realize that I was the controlling, needy, “fill me up with all you got” type girl yet, and he and I immediately had problems that lasted a good 2 years (we’ve only been married for 3 years). It wasn’t until I found April’s site as well that I saw my own sin and realized I needed to make major changes. That was a year ago—and the Lord has truly done mighty works in my life, heart, marriage, etc. for His glory–and He continues to do it! But like your husband–my husband had threatened divorce many times to me and I thought he was serious. It really got to the point where I thought it was for real over—— several times. But here we are! And you know what? The Lord has allowed it all so that not only am I able to encourage you here with my own personal experience on the matter–but in order to bring my husband and I to the place where we could see that without CHRIST at the center–there was really no hope!

      And that’s what I want to share with you here—- the whole remarriage, divorce issue—- people can debate it for the rest of their life, and what profit will have been gained by that? We as believers have the Spirit of God dwelling within us—and He is able to make known to us what is right and what is not right—-by giving us a sense of either LIFE AND PEACE or DEATH! That is how we are led by the Spirit in matters that we are “unsure” about.

      And from my own experience with getting hung up on the question of second marriages—–I was led straight to DEATH spiritually when I was trying to find the “right” or “wrong” with it all. It literally accomplished NOTHING for God.

      Now that I am resting in faith, believing that my marriage was more than Divinely appointed and allowed—— there is Life, there is peace, and there is an increase in the Knowledge of God and true conformity to the image of Christ in us both by our marriage—that is how I know God is using it for His own purposes!

      And that’s what I ultimately wanted to share with you sister is that, unless CHRIST is in the center of our marriages, unless we are both truly all out in our lives for the Lord and His purposes for our lives and marriages—-our marriage will fall apart. It is a fact. Christ is the one who holds ALL THINGS together—so if you or your husband are not married with the intent of making your marriage a vessel in which the Lord’s purposes are fulfilled—then the marriage is going to fall apart all around.

      I’ve been there—my marriage was all about ME a few years ago, and what I wanted it for—not about Christ or fulfilling the purposes of God through it all—-and it was in shambles, DAILY!

      Now if my marriage is getting torn apart it is usually by the enemy seeking to divide my husband and I with all kinds of subtle tactics and devices, but in the end, he always loses because greater is HE LIVING IN MY HUSBAND AND I than he who is in this world!

      So what I want to encourage you with is the fact that whether or not it is “right” or not—is NOT the point—the point is—– is Christ at the center? Is your marriage for the LORD, or for yourself in some way?

      That is going to be the ultimate question that needs answering—not whether being married twice is the cause of all your marriage problems!

      Praying for you!

      Love,
      Amanda

      1. Amanda,
        I love this! Thank you so much for sharing things God has done in your life and things He has shown you. 🙂 Yes, when we are seeking Christ first and willing to lay everything else down before Him, He will show us His path and the way to LIFE.

      2. Hi Amanda,

        Thanks so much for sharing more details of your story ☺ I know it was not directed to me but it is useful anyway. I very much understand how your husband must have felt and understand his reluctance to experience the pain all over again.

        It is also interesting that both of you just KNEW. That is something that has happened to me over and over and over the last couple of years, having this strong sense in my heart about something that was going to happen. I have often felt it was God preparing me for another stage of my journey.

        Know what? I’ll bet your husband threatened divorce out of fear of being hurt again. Thanks again for sharing part of your journey.

        HH

        1. HH,

          Everything that you foresee being an issue if you ever remarried has been my experience with marrying a divorced man, unfortunately. April actually shared my story on her single girl site about marrying a divorced man where I shared about all the things that you mentioned that might be an issue if you were to get remarried!

          Like a few others have said already, I was/am more than willing to be a part of his kids’ lives, but they live far away so we really don’t see them that much. We saw them 1 time so far in the 3 years we have been married. So the drama doesn’t really come from that part of anything—but more from jealousy and issues of that nature on my part, and the part of his ex-wife.

          But my husband has taken in my son to be as his own, and on the flip side, in terms of my relationship with my son’s father, and his wife (ex now, they are recently divorced) — my experience has been so different. My son’s step mother is actually one of my best friends. We still get together because she has 2 kids with my son’s father, so we get the kids together and we are very close. But his father is living far away, but he and I have no issues, and my husband and him get along and there are no problems like those I experience with his ex-wife and his whole situation (my husbands).

          So it’s weird to be on literally both sides of the possibilities of being remarried and having kids with someone else, etc. and all the potential problems that may cause!

          But yes, I think you are wise in thinking before hand of all the possible issues and if ever you should get remarried, you will have hopefully addressed all the possibilities with whoever you marry. I think that was my husband’s mistake and mine—I thought that because I was bff with my son’s step mom that his ex-wife and I would totally become best friends too. But that didn’t happen lol. I should mention too that my son’s step mom is also a Christian so that might have had something to do with it. But in the beginning of my son’s father getting married, things were not best friendly at all. That took a good 4 years to come about, but still. I don’t see that happening with my husband’s ex.

          So yea, the point is that— all your concerns are legitimate and it is not easy, I can testify to that. But there has come a point where I’ve just had to accept it for what it is and stop focusing on it and focus on my own life and what I need to do in the situation. This world is perishing and when all is said and done—we won’t have life like we have it right now when we are with Him —- so all we can do is use the time wisely to allow the Lord to conform us to Christ in all these situations that are hard!

          Love,
          Amanda

          1. Hi Amanda,

            Thanks for sharing your experiences ☺ It is so good to see you walking in faith through it all, I love that you are seeking to be conformed to Christ through it all.

            Wow, I couldn’t imagine only seeing my kids once in 3 years! That must be hard on your husband. I find it hard not seeing my kids for even a few days!

            Praying for you, HH

          2. Amanda,

            I just read the post you made on the other site. Wow! That is certainly an eye opener. Thanks for being so open about it all. It is helpful.

            HH

          3. HH,

            I’m glad it was helpful—but hopefully it doesn’t scare you to death that you never consider it if the Lord leads you to remarry lol It can be different—- depending on the people involved I guess. I think personally this whole situation in my life is just something the Lord is using to change me, and that’s always good, so I accept it! 🙂

            Blessings,
            Amanda

          4. Hi Amanda,

            No, it hasn’t scared me to death ☺ Just given a lot to think about. I have settled the matter in my heart over the last few days actually, I have sought counsel from my church leaders and done a lot of reading and praying about it.

            My church leaders believe that our marriage covenant has been broken by her adultery and that I am free in Christ to remarry. They said that they would hate for me to carry the burden of an obligation to remain single when they do not believe that God has laid that obligation on me, and that a marriage to a different, godly woman at the right time could provide a stable relationship for my children to be a part of and observe. They felt it was very healthy for me to be seeking God’s will on the matter and said they would be worried if I was attempting to run into another relationship at this point. It was good and practical advice.

            I considered and respected their advice, but I also know that ultimately the decision rests on me and that I will be accountable to God for my own decisions. I do not have peace about a second marriage, which I believe is significant for me at this point. I often consider Hosea and the way he related to Gomer, and despite being repulsed by my ex-wifes decisions and actions, I really strongly want her to know that someone has seen her at her absolute worst and loves her still. I want her to know, deep and securely in her heart, that she is loved. I want her to be able to view herself as totally worth the sacrifice Christ made for her, and I believe I still have a part to play in that, somehow. I’m just not sure how. It’s interesting, I struggle to look at her or even talk to her now because of her decisions, but I still can not shake my desire to see her blessed and full of peace.

            So anyway, I have come to peace that I do not have to make a decision on marriage at the moment. I was meditating on Abraham being called into another land, and he went in obedience “not knowing where he was going”. As I reflect on the leading of the Lord in other ways during the past year, I realise that I do not have to know what the outcome will be with my ex wife, or another woman, or remaining single. I can let that go and simply rest in doing what I DO already know, and trust God to show me about marrige in His timing. I trust in faith that I have asked for wisdom on this and God will be faithful to show me the right path, because He knows my heart is surrendered to His plan. I have peace with that surrender.

            Surrender to God and God alone results in tremendous peace! I was thinking today that when we seek approval from a person we put ourselves in bondage to that person. But, when we seek approval from God and God alone we are not in bondage to anyone and can live as truly free people.

            Love in Christ, HH

          5. HH, this is truly lovely to see how you have searched out God’s will in this big question in your life. Trust in God…that is the truth. Blessings to you, I see you coming out of this dark tunnel soon.

          6. HH,

            I really appreciate you sharing all of this – the wisdom your church leaders have shared, the way you have thought and prayed thorough things. The heart of Christ you have for your wayward wife. And I love the you realize that all you have to do is follow God right now – that you don’t have to know what the future will look like, you can trust God to lead you.

            I also love seeing the peace the Lord has given to you. You are no longer in bondage and fear anymore! WOOHOO!

            The things God has done and is doing in your life are so beautiful!

          7. HH,

            That last thing you wrote about how we can be in bondage to people when we are out to please them—wow that really stuck with me yesterday when I read it! And I know I’ve learned it before, but sometimes we forget and we don’t realize that a lot of our issues are because we are trying to make another person our LIFE! And only CHRIST can be our Life! So thank you for writing that!!!

            And it sounds as if you are following the Lord and there is no reason to fret over this at all.

            I’ve been lately coming back to the fact that this life is not for time or for ourselves, but for the Lord and eternity. And in the light of that, we have to look at everything in our lives. What is the eternal value of any and everything that we do and say? If we really evaluate all the things in our lives as of right now, according to their eternal value, I think we would all be surprised to see that a lot of things are going to perish and not have any eternal value.

            Marriage can be one of those things that have no eternal value if we are only holding our marriage for our own personal benefit and satisfaction and pleasure. If we have our marriage in our lives as a thing for ourselves, and only for ourselves, in the end, it will have had no eternal value. But if we hold our marriage as for the Lord, and for His interests, and we seek to do His will in and by it all, then it will have eternal value!

            In your life you will see that your marriage may not be what you ever wanted it to be, but God has taken you down the same road as Christ went, emptied of all self-interest and self-consciousness whatsoever, and is taking you into a whole new life where all is out from God and for God! How different our views are from God’s on everything.

            But it sounds to me like the Lord has increasingly revealed His mind to you about your life and marriage and things, and it will only profit in the end when all that is going to burn is burned up, and what came of it in terms of eternal value lasts forever.

            So wow! Praise God!

            Love,
            Amanda

      3. Satisfied wife,

        Thank you so much for your testimony. I do agree that a marriage needs to be founded on God. My Husband told me when we met that he was a Christian but I didn’t see a whole lot of fruit of that in his life, ya know? I basically married him anyways because I felt that I wasn’t that “good” of a Christian either.

        Silly I know. I’m rolling my eyes at myself over here.

        Things are getting somewhat better with my husband as in divorce has been taken off the table for him as I’ve unconditional respected him. But he has been verbally attacking me and it makes me feel so weak.

        This past weekend he told me that because of my verbal attacks and controlling behavior early in our marriage he doesn’t know the man he is anymore and that he “feels like going out and sleeping with someone else.”

        He’s been just picking at me often, telling me we are so incompatible and how if I respected him I would listen to him (meaning doing things his way.)

        I am growing so weary and I really just want to throw In the towel. I am losing sight of who I am in this.

        I keep praying Ezekiel 36:26 over him, but I don’t know that he will ever be the kind, loving, Godly husband I am praying for.

        Do I just surrender and embrace a life with a husband that doesn’t really like me, allows his friends to mock me, and nitpicks at me daily?

        1. Callmeblessed,

          How have you generally been responding when he has been verbally attacking you this week? Do you feel like you have gone over toward being more of a doormat?

          How is your time with Christ going? That is going to be KEY to your ability to have God’s strength, wisdom, discernment, and supernatural ability to handle difficult situations in a godly way.

          Where is your hope, my precious sister? Is it in your husband and his ability, or in the Lord?

          Right now, I believe your husband is testing you. This is fairly common. He may be trying to provoke you to prove that you haven’t really changed, to get you back into the “old familiar dance.” He may also be trying to switch roles if you had been the main controlling one before and the one who was verbally attacking, he may try to seize that kind of a role now that you are not attacking him.

          This is called spiritual warfare, my friend! Do not be surprised at it. You will need your armor on. God will use this time to purify your motives and your spiritual walk. Let’s talk together about healthy ways you can handle this.

          I invite you to check out these posts:

          – Responding to a Negative, Critical Husband.
          Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin
          25 Ways to Respect Myself
          Is It Possible to Disrespect Myself?
          Dealing with a Negative, Perfectionistic Husband by Radiant
          LMSdaily “Approaching My Husband’s Sin Issues”
          “My Husband Blamed Me for All of the Problems in Our Marriage” – by The Satisfied Wife

          Also, Nina Roesner has some posts about dealing with angry husbands that may be helpful at her blog.

          For even more help, Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas is amazing! He gives real life examples of believing wives who respond in God’s power and graciousness to their angry men and shows what happens. It is incredible.

          I would encourage you to pray first. Read some of these posts and resources. And then, God may give you exactly what to say and the timing of when to humbly say it.

          But there will be a time when you may need to say something like,

          “You know what, Honey? I was really wrong to disrespect you for so long. I didn’t realize how much damage I was causing. It breaks my heart to know how much I have hurt you. I want to make things right. I want you to be able to be honest with me about how you are feeling. I want to be a safe place for you. But I wonder if we might think about changing together? What if we both seek to speak to each other with respect? I’d like to change the culture of our relationship so that we don’t tear each other down anymore. What do you think?”

          Also, it may be helpful to know that often things get worse in the beginning when a wife begins trying to learn respect. Here are some posts about that:

          Why Isn’t My Husband Being More Supportive As I Seek to Change?
          When a Husband “Doesn’t Buy” His Wife’s Changes
          How Husbands Often Respond to Their Wives in the Beginning of This Journey
          Things Got Worse at First When I Began to Change – The Restored Wife

          Surrender to the Lord, my precious sister. That is who to trust. That is who to yield to. God is not happy about sin against you – or sin against your husband. You are very early in this journey. This is a test. Embrace it and see what God may desire for you to learn. We are all here with you praying for you and supporting you. Do this whole thing for the Lord not for your husband, ultimately. Your husband has his own journey to take, too.

          Much love to you!

        2. Callmeblessed,

          Sorry for the delay in response! But I am glad to hear from you, and not surprisingly, I have a lot of similarities in my own marriage as you have described, right down to my husband saying we are “incompatible”!

          My husband, over time, has come out with the truth that he felt I “pressured” him into marrying him, and he has felt that over the past 3 years I have tried to control him and make things go my way in everything and he basically blames me for everything still.

          The whole him nitpicking is probably just his bitterness coming out at you. That’s what people do when they are bitter and resentful towards others.

          My husband has also made comments like, “Since I can’t make you happy and you think I’m such a horrible husband, I might as well go out and cheat on you and go to bars and do everything since you already think I’m a horrible husband” ——– That’s not exactly something wives would want to hear and then turn around and be a happy, respectful wife. But I think what my husband meant is that because he thought I was always saying he was a bad husband that he might as well go be one. He hasn’t done anything like that, thank God, but still—words are hard to erase from our memories.

          Honestly, it just sounds like your husband is really bitter and resentful and dealing with all the things he’s maybe bottled up for the past however many years—and it’s all coming out now that you are desiring to make things right and be respectful. Like April said, he’s probably testing you, or he is just now feeling comfortable enough to let his “true” feelings show.

          Now is when you definitely need to stay close to the Lord and not fall for it. You have to really gain control of yourself and not respond negatively to his bitterness, by God’s grace. Because what will eventually happen is, he will realize that HE is now in the wrong, and he will start to feel convicted for how he has been treating you! (Hopefully).

          I am actually in the same boat—feeling like, do I just embrace a life with a husband that doesn’t really like me?

          My husband literally tells me that we are not friends and sometimes he doesn’t like me. But I’m supposed to believe he loves me? hmmmmm…..

          But I believe it’s just his own bitterness towards me coming out. That’s fine…..All I can do is trust God and seek God and focus on my own walk with the Lord and wait for the Lord to get a hold of my husband and open his eyes to what he’s doing.

          But I definitely made the mistake of freaking out in response to my husband’s bitterness coming out and it didn’t help. It wasn’t until I completely left him alone and stopped saying ANYTHING about anything he did, thought, or said that things actually started moving in the right direction!

          I hope this helps! You are JUST beginning to see these things, there’s definitely hope though!

          Love,
          Amanda

  14. Right on time. Enjoyed this. Will be saving this post to read every time I struggle in my certain “wait” situation right now for something I truly desire.

    For me, I stay reading and praying and talking to God to remind myself He knows best. It’s definitely a DAILY battle. One day I’m positive, content and okay and the next I’m stressed. Usually if I take a walk I feel better. Relieves my mind and have a nice conversation with the Lord. He usually reminds me not to complain and that I should be grateful exactly where I am now. That the Lord has given me what I asked for and will always continue to give me the desires of my heart if it’s BEST for me and my husband. Definitely hard to wait but I have to just trust the Lord and enjoy NOW.

    1. Chloe N.,

      I’m so thankful that the Lord used this to be a blessing.

      I love your heart for the Lord and that you seek out time to be with Him and to listen and receive His truth. When we can be thankful and trust Him, it is such a beautiful thing!

      Much love, my dear sister!

  15. Thank you endlessly! I am so, so broken!
    If you can, please, e-mail me. Can you see my e-mail or do I write it to you?
    💟☉

  16. Humbled Husband,

    Had to reply here, the little thingy wasn`t on that last comment box. But, well, that is a bummer that you guys tried that and it didn`t help. I mean good on you that you were able and willing to give space to her pain and anger. It`s hard to listen to someone vent and vent all the hurt and anger they feel against you, whether its deserved or totally unfair.

    I had to listen to my daughter go after me several times, one session lasted for an hour and when it ended we were both in tears, ragged heaving broken sobs and desolate wails, and she hung up on me at the end of it leaving me shattered and feeling inside-out. I know for some folks, getting it all out actually helps get things off their chest and moves them forward when they really feel heard and like the other person is willing to listen. But for others, talking about it is just rehearsing it, like wearing deep wagon ruts even deeper, making it hard for the wheels to jump out of the tracks that are now controlling the direction of movement. ( I suppose that could be the working definition of a stronghold in terms of how it works)

    I hesitated to ask about that suggestion because I know what its like to have Job`s comforters around with their useless advice and victim-blaming and spouting the accepted but clueless pious platitudes that get bandied about in Christian circles. Sometimes even the kindest and most well-meant advice from truly understanding and merciful people who want to help, can still feel like sandpaper against raw burnt skin. So I hope I didn`t do that to you. (((((( )))))

    1. Hi 7TIMES,

      Your advice has not harmed in any way 🙂 I like your description of how talking about it is like wearing deep wagon ruts even deeper. I think that is exactly what happened in our situation, I listened to anger, to pain, to tears, to cursing and accepted all of it, but have now been labelled as the ‘whole reason’ for our failure.

      Anyway, putting that aside, I have thought through the second marriage issue many, many times. I agree that God can and will give us specific leading on this, if we are willing to let Him lead on it. I had a situation a few months ago where I was very attracted to a godly woman, but I did not say anything and instead specifically released her to God in my mind and said His will be done. Two weeks later, she moved hundreds of km away without me saying a word to her or anyone. It was a pretty clear indication to walk away and helped me to process my own feelings. God was good to help me through this.

      But even with that guidance in that situation, it is still very difficult to see a path through sometimes. I am not settled as to whether I would be ok getting married again. I can see clearly from scripture that adultery is a clear breaking of the marriage covenant and on that grounds our marriage has been broken by my ex wife many, many times over with many different men, both before and after our separation. Our divorce, which will be finalised soon, was filed by my ex wife, not by me, and I have no say in the matter unless I want to go to court and fight it with a lawyer. So I will be divorced by her choice and will have had our marriage covenant broken by her decisions, regardless of what I want.

      But, I still can not come to peace on remarriage. When I think of remarriage, I consider the vows that I made with my ex wife many years ago. I vowed to be married until ‘death parted us’, and neither of us are dead! And nor do I want her dead!! I want her to thrive and be happy and have peace and joy. And, regardless of the adultery and the associated pain it causes me, I do not want to dishonour these vows. How can I vow the same thing to another woman if I did not honour it with the first?

      The second thing is the children. The reality is, I am the only father they will ever have and my ex wife is the only mother they will ever have. That bond can not be broken. To expect another woman to come into my life and care for children that she did not bring into this world would be an incredibly big burden for any woman, and I would struggle to impose that burden on a second wife. And also, to expect the children to accept another woman into their life as a ‘mother’ figure, the confusion and brokenness that it would bring into their life. I do not want to impose that burden on them either.

      The third thing is the constant interaction that a second wife would have to have with my ex wife. I have to see my ex wife at least 4 times a week to pick up and drop off the kids, and often more for school interviews, doctors appointments and so forth. I know how difficult it is for me to see her and her latest boyfriend together, it makes me feel physically sick. Would it be any easier for another woman to see my ex wife so often? Would she feel jealous and hurt? I don’t know, probably. I wouldn’t want another woman to have to feel that sort of jealousy and pain, I would want her to feel unique, special, the only one.

      Marriage is difficult enough the first time around, I can see very clearly that it would be even harder second time around as many new problems would be brought into the relationship that wouldn’t have been an issue in the first one. I will be very, very hesitant to move into a second marriage. I guess that’s why separated/divorced families are called ‘broken’ families, because they are quite literally broken.

      I do have a friend at church who has been married before and they divorced, then he met a wonderful Christian woman and he was saved through her witness and then they married. They now have a very close marriage and two children. They started serious bible study a few years after their marriage and were convicted about it being his second marriage (her first) and they made the decision together that if it were God’s will then they would separate and he would pursue reconciliation with his first wife. Incredible surrender to God’s will right there! But, through a lot of study, prayer and counsel together they both came to peace that the brokenness that would occur to their children would be more dishonourable to God than the brokenness that occurred with his first wife (with whom he had no children and was only married to for a year).

      I can and do have a lot of wonderful fellowship with a lot of wonderful Christian friends. Really, the only thing I am missing out on is physical intimacy and someone to ‘come home to’. But, I don’t want to let that loneliness or the physical desires push me into a second marriage that could be harder than the first, and I don’t want to give myself to another woman without being absolutely certain that I am honouring God with the decision and that I could and would honour and esteem her above all other woman for the rest of my earthly life. It is all in God’s hands. I know that somehow He will bring all of this brokenness into something beautiful and hey, there is plenty of single men who live very fulfilling lives for God’s glory!

      In Christ, HH

      1. HH, I am a child of divorce….x3. I looked at my step parents as “my parents spouses”, not as another mum or dad when I was a child. Some of them were downright mean people and God delivered me from them with a second divorce, but I was an adult and had my own family by then. My dad married for the 3rd time, for example, 5 years ago. His wife, who is only 10 years older than me, makes him extremely happy. Finally. I’m thankful to her for that. But she is not my mother. However, she loves my dad and is loving to us kids because of that. I love her for loving my dad. My step father recently passed, he had no kids of his own, but always felt we wrre his kids. I never wanted to rob him of that privilage. Even when him and my mom divorceD and he he remarried for the 3rd time, we remained close and I spent his final year helping to care for him. I am now caring for his widowed wife (the one he married after my mom) through her surgical recovery. I actually feel more blessed for having more parents in my life. But I didn’t feel that as a teen, for sure! Lol.

        I know your kids are young, but time helps. Asking another woman to help raise your children would definitely be a very unselfish thing for her to do. But if you find a loving woman and a Godly woman she will most likely be very willing to do such a thing. It’s unfortunate that your wife is living the life of sin that she has. It basically has put your marriage to death. Even if it wasn’t something you wanted to happen, it still happened. You did all you could to try to rectify the marriage but ultimately it is two seperate people and not just one person. She will have to be accountable for her sins. And you for yours. However, if you have asked God for forgiveness and repented, you are seen as sinless to God because Jesus paid the debt of your sin. Please receive it and not let Jesus’ death be for nothing. Of course you need to pray to God and follow his Direction with any moving forward and possibly having another marriage, however I don’t believe our loving God would want you to suffer because of the choices of someone else forever. Hopefully this helps. You could still very possibly glorify God’s design for marriage in a second marriage. Fear does not need to rule. It may have its own set of problems, but with God, all things are possible. You also may feel led and decide to never marry again, it’s the life you live FOR and WITH God that matters most. Hugs.

        1. LMS,

          What a broken, hurt childhood you have had. I am so sorry for the experiences you have had to go through but so happy that you have grown through them and are living your own life as a reflection of Jesus ☺

          Yes, her decisions have not been good. I’m not willing to talk about them on here, still thinking on emailing you. I may yet.

          In Christ, HH

          1. HH. The reality is that we are all broken and damaged. I still feel blessed to feel that despite my broken childhood, I turned out to be a pretty decent person. I was loved by many, and my kids have lots of grandparent love. I used to think that my broken home was a detriment to marriage, especially because my husband’s parents are still together. But lately, these last few years going through my own marital issues, I feel like I was prepared by it instead. My parents divorces became the “beauty from the ashes” when i had to face my own issues. I knew how hard divorce was on kids, how angry and bitter things can get, the jockeying back and forth etc. Step parents, different rules and houses, etc. So I fought harder to do what IS right, not just what FEELS right in my own marriage. My husband has no real idea what divorce is like, so it seems like such an everyday, easy back door answer to him. I feel I know better. But I am living proof that there is life after divorce and it can be used for God’s good if we trust Him with it all.

            I leave your choice to write completely in your judgement. I very much respect your integrity to not publicize your wife’s failings. I’ll pray for you to receive wisdom and discernment in seeking help, friendship and the body of Christ in the way that God, our good father feels is best for you.

            All my respect to you, brother.

          2. Hi LMS,

            Yes, we are all broken aren’t we. All in different ways. It makes the pursuit of truth and healing so important. The truth will, and does, set us free. Lies keep us captive. Like you are aware, it is the kids that are victims of divorce. It is the hardest thing in the world to accept brokenness for my kids. I can carry my hurt, but to see them hurt is more than I can bear sometimes. And more than my ex wife can bear sometimes too, she often cries when she drops them off.

            I very much respect your stand for your own marriage and I pray for you often. I think, in one way, this broken marriage has made me a MUCH better father. In my desire to shield them as much as possible I have surrendered so much more to God and have grown in patience, in love, in strength and in many ways that will bear fruit in them long term. That is good.

            I think, much as I appreciate your sincere offer of communication and support via email, I can not accept it. I am happy to support you and receive support on open platforms like this with whatever we both feel ok to share, but I think it wise to keep specific disclosures of specific things within circles that I can be accountable and walk with integrity. I often think of Joseph when he discovered that Mary was pregnant and thought she had been committing adultery, it says he did not want to subject her to public disgrace. That is my desire also ☺ Judgement is God’s job, and without disclosing any details, He has caused her to have to face consequences far beyond anything that I would have expected already.

            I have support here now. I have been carrying a lot myself as I didn’t want to expose her actions, and there have been some things to face that were much bigger than I thought possible, but unfortunately they were exposed in ways I could not stop. And, since things were exposed, my church body has stepped up to the plate and I have regular contact with good, Christian blokes. Today would have been my 11th wedding anniversary and one of my good friends caught up with me. We took the kids to the local botanic gardens, they went for a paddle in the lake (read; walked in so deep that they both needed a full change of clothes and their gumboots are currently airing on the line lol) and had lunch. It was good. I have come a long way and I well and truly have the tools to face what I need to face ☺

            Love in Christ, my sister. We have prevailed amd will continue to prevail, as our eyes are fixed on Christ. HH

  17. HH, I hear you; second marriage is not something to be entered into without a lot of thought and laying of groundwork. I too have been through two parental divorces as well as my own and have had step parents and now am one. I had two step moms. One was an alcoholic who was very immature and the marriage to my dad lasted three months. I had come home from school to find a wedding in progress to a woman I had never seen before! However her parents were wonderful and included me in their lives as if I was their flesh and blood granddaughter and even bought me a horse for Christmas. They were cattle ranchers. When the marriage broke up after three months I was heartbroken because I knew I would never see them or my horse again. I cannot describe the anguish I went through when I realized that once again, I was being robbed of having a family. The third wife was manipulative and two faced and stayed with my father even though he did harm to her daughter. I got replaced by her and her children so it was very painful. She made sure to get rid of me because I was a threat. So I know the ugly side of the whole second ( and in some cases third) marriage and blended family scenario.

    I think if one is released by God to remarry, that there are women and men out there with generous hearts who can make a difference and who don’t see taking their new spouses children into their hearts as a burden but rather as a ministry. I never forgot my step grandparents. They gave me one of the best experiences of normalcy in my life even though it was short lived. I don’t know what happened to their kids but they were great. So it can be positive too.

    I think, speaking from a second wife’s perspective, a lot of how things go with the ex wife, how special you feel as a wife, etc, depends on the husband and the stance he takes, the boundaries he practices and how he upholds her and values her, protects her if she is under attack. But you are right, there is a lot to consider.

    1. 7TIMES,

      Wow, what a heartbreaking childhood journey! I thank God that you are seeking Him through this. I pray that my own children will be able to find peace through the process as best as they can. I hear in their voices so much pain, I try to minimise it as much as I can but it is still there. Thank you for your thoughts and sharing ☺

      In Christ, HH

  18. April, I just want to leave a comment to say thank you for your personal responses on this and every page on your blog. I pray God blessed you greatly for the time you take to pray with others and point them to Jesus. The amount of comments is staggering! 🙂 there is obviously a need, and I have been incredibly blessed reading this blog. Although the trials and sufferings are so painful at times, I have enormous comfort and peace knowing intimately how much our Father loves us. I can’t wait until we can all meet in heaven!! Lots of love to you and your family, April 🙂

    1. SavedbyChrist,

      This is one of my favorite places to be in all the world. It is my honor and joy that God gives me this incredible opportunity to share the treasures that are in Christ and to pour out His healing, love, and truth to those who come to this place. I feel like the most blessed woman on the planet that God allows me to do this and to be part of His work in so many lives. 🙂

      Yes, there is such comfort and peace in the Lord and in His love for us and His sovereignty! May we all be able to wrap our minds around it.

      I look forward so much to meeting everyone I have spoken to online in heaven. I want to see every single person there.

      Thank you for the love – sending much love and a big hug to you, too, my precious sister!

  19. Hi April,
    I had such a difficult night. I was reading and watching different christian counseling videos about forgiveness and unsafe people. I started crying in grief realizing even more that I have been this unsafe person to my husband during most of our marriage. I prayed to God for forgiveness and I know I am truly repenting. I couldn’t sleep at all! So I just read some more. I don’t know if this is what conviction feels like or if I’m teetering on worldly sorrow. Most of the time, I’m filled with joy and God’s peace these days. But last night l, I almost felt despair when having a deeper understanding of the pain I have caused.

    I know my behavior in my marriage had a lot to do with my abusive childhood. My husband knows my past as well. As you know, I did apologize to my husband in an email and told him i dont want a divorce. But I’ve been reading up on apologies as well and I can see that my apology was kind of general….apologizing for being controlling, resentful, bitter, selfish, etc. I apologized for being disrespectful and dishonorable. Do you think it makes a difference when an apology is specific? A lot of things I’m reading and learning talks about how important it is to be sincere and convey that you have a clear understanding on what your offenses were for them to consider reconciliation and forgiveness (along with prolonged change in behavior). I can tend to over think things but I know how much God is working in me and I don’t want to hold back on any humility. I want to make myself completely vulnerable and accountable without sounding like I’m making excuses (I explained in my email that I was very far from God and was unreceptive to what a godly wife was and this was why I failed miserably in my own flesh).

    So, my question is- do you think it would be healing and a blessing in any way to be specific with my apology and identify offenses, since I was never receptive before? I started making a list in my journal about all the different offenses ive made against my husband to get a clwar picture of how bad it was. We have very little contact as this point, as I’ve been giving him space but do you think he may feel more discouraged if he thinks I still don’t “get” what my mistakes were?

    I feel unsure and discouraged.

    1. Healing Wife,

      True repentance does involve mourning over our sin. It is MORTIFYING to see the depth of our sin and the pain we have caused. I feel you on this, my dear sister. I wanted to go live in a cave for the rest of my life when I saw my sin against Greg, and against many other people in my life. 🙁

      Conviction is VERY painful. Horrifying, in my view.

      But then – the difference is, instead of turning to self destruction or suicide, we lay it all down before God and ask Him to change us and to heal us. And the awesome news is – He absolutely will do it as we trust Him to. 🙂

      There may be a moment in the future when you see an opportunity to let your husband know that you have seen the depths of your sin and you would be glad to apologize for specifics. Most husbands, in my experience, don’t really want an apology for every single specific thing. But you could offer that, when the time is right, and he may be interested in seeing what you have written or hearing about it.

      I love that you don’t want to hold back on humility. That is a beautiful attitude.

      Maybe after you have written a list, you will have an opportunity to share that you have made a list and that he is welcome to see it if he would like to.

      Please don’t be discouraged! This is the most painful part. But – it leads to incredibly deep healing. The deeper you can dig and deal with any sin, the more of the cancer/gangrene you can cut out. That is a good thing.

      Much love to you!

  20. quick question. My ex-husband and I have been on a reconciliation journey that has hit a snag. He told me ” I’m not saying I won’t come back, but I need to heal”. I understand I need to give him space and let him talk if/when he wants to. So does that mean no contact from me? Or can I give him a “have a great day” or ” I love you”?? I don’t want to push him away.

    1. Marsha Martin,

      That is a good question. Unless he has said that he wants to hear from you, I would suggest waiting respectfully and letting him decide when he wants to come toward you. A good general rule of thumb, in my view, in a situation like this, is to let him initiate contact, and let him direct the frequency of communication. So if he texts you once, you may want to text once in response. If he texts once and you text 27 times, that is not very balanced. Remember that words don’t tend to be very bonding for men. Actions mean more than words. He will be more likely, in most cases, to respond to your respect for his request for space than to lots of loving text messages. If he feels very hurt, those words may not mean much to him, and may be irritating if he is not ready for them.

      Praying for God’s continued healing. I am very encouraged that he is leaving the door open to coming back. And that he is being honest about what he needs.

      Much love to you! And a big hug!

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

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